Monday, July 30, 2012

Nailing It

I haven't done a Nailing It post for a while, but I've had a few different looks going on that I've been really pleased with... so think of this as a Nailing It version of Recently I'm Wearing... perhaps?!


Top Row L-R

Mavala Elle Grey and Models Own Ibiza Mix - George @ Asda blue and Models Own Ibiza Mix- Models Own Sundae selection with ELF Matte Top Coat


Bottom Row L-R Models Own Sundae Selection and Ibiza Mix - Shellac I had done for my trip- George at Asda black and Nails Inc Sloane Sqaure


Some of these are old favourites- the Black with Nails Inc Sloane Sqaure in particular, such an easy look to make an impact with. I'm not sold on Shellac- it looked amazing, but grew out way to quickly for my liking, so I felt a bit cheated as it was quite pricey. 


I'm in love with lots of the nail art floating around at the moment, I'm just a bit short on time to do any of it. We just moved house this weekend, so I'm hoping to be back in more of a routine from here on in, and I might just have some more time to play.... we shall see!
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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Battle of the Brands

My interest in make-up is a growing one, as I've gotten older, I've come to appreciate, that with practice, it doesn't have to be obvious to look good, and that the most expensive product isn't always the best one. Long time lovers here will know that I'm slightly obsessive where mineral make up is concerned, it's the best solution I've found for my skin type and needs, but eye make up is one area that I still experiment with in terms of other brands and types.

My Aunt- who would be the most amazing beauty blogger if she knew how to use the internet... recently gave me the Bobbi Brown Ultra Nude palette after having tried it and had a bit of a reaction to the shimmer in the shades. Happy to do my bit and recycle, I promptly went off to play with it.



Whilst the overall result is... ok, I have to admit, I'm not impressed. The shades didn't come out particularly pigmented, the fall out of the glittery shimmery parts was HUGE and 3 hours after application most of my cheeks were further covered in tiny little shimmery bits. I'd be a bit hacked off if I paid RRP for this product which seems to be around about £25-30

P.S. excuse the ill face in the middle... I've had a nasty cough and cold this week.


Compare that to a £4 spend for twice the number of shadows.



I've been desperate to get my hands on this MUA Palette FOREVER. Ok, slight exaggeration, but for some time. Neutral eyes are my favourite go-to for day and often for night too, and despite the hype around palettes such as the Urban Decay Naked one, I was still more interested in this collection of true neutrals which I'm more likely to use all of. It was just a case of getting a hold of it, here in my rural abyss. 


I know this palette has been reviewed to death, so I'm not here to do that. But here's what I will say. I'd spend my £4 many times over on the MUA Heaven and Earth palette, my good experience with MUA products is well and truly continued. The shadows are more pigmented, have little fall out, last the day, and the packaging is surprisingly sturdier than expected, although it will still be packed into bags with caution.

Whilst the Bobbi Brown palette shall be living in my travel bag with it's slightly studier packaging, a back up but not my preference. I definitely wouldn't pay it's retail price, and I know I'd be sorely disappointed if I had. The lesson here: try before you buy, and don't underestimate a budget brand!


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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chloe Likes To Eat

HARK. The return of Chloe Likes To Eat. I've had a rough couple of months of drug side effects- nausea in particular, so food hasn't been so enjoyable, but I'm back on form, with all the more vigour and willingness to scoff my way through blogging!



Behold... Pasta and homemade pesto. Lots of basil, lots of garlic, plenty of pine nuts, a generous but optional sprinkle of Parmesan and a decent grind of black pepper. Comfort food at. Its. Best.
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Monday, July 23, 2012

Recently I'm Wearing


Day 1: Zara Dress and Topshop Jacket
Day 2: H&M Dress, Topshop Jacket, Asda Shoes










ME
Day 3: Primark Dress, Handbags At Dawn Winnings, Asda Shoes









An evening outfit: Asda Top, Primark Shorts
Day 4: Asda Top, Uniqlo Shorts










ME
An evening outfit: Primark shorts and tee










ME
Day 5: Primark Dress, Topshop Jacket, Asda Shoes











So Asda and Primark feature heavily right... Thing is, this Wardrobe Zoo addition... AMAZING

#WardrobeZoo

Also, Asda are on FIRE at the moment. A last minute trip yielded these 2 awesome tops before I left for my trip... For £8 each... not bad hmmmm



Not to mention these rather snazzy sandals for £8...




So there you have a week in outfit posts... not to shabby!

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Livin' La Vida Lagos

So I've been a bit absent right? Good news is that I've actually been doing some pretty exciting things, namely my visit to Nigeria. Want to see more?!

Manchester-Amsterdam-Lagos

10 hours worth of flight later... and a quick nosy in Schipol duty free... I was officially in Lagos, Nigeria. AFRICA DUDE! The purpose of the trip- a good will mission between my uni and University of Lagos (UniLag) and an opportunity to do some guest lecturing.

We flew KLM, quick heads up- AWESOMENESS! They fed us every 90 mins or so for the entire flight and they have the most awesome smoked almonds for in-flight snacks... the important stuff people... the important stuff...

UniLag Law School, as you can see from this marble wall, they celebrate the 50th anniversary this year. 

Amazing doors to the Law School and all the Deans and the Law School.

The view from the Vice Chancellors office- not bad huh?!, Switched on students, doing what we were told... 

Natalie enjoying a pre-dinner drink, shoes made to order (my lecturer's purchase I should add...), goodies and gifts from the VC

UniLag central library pretty amazing art work no? A resident of the Zoological Research area of UniLag- yes it's a crocodile, the Master Plan- everybody needs a master plan. 

Signs in the UniLag central library- students actually voted to have a dress code at UniLag, I have to admit, I like the idea. Proper African Food (Beef, Rice, Coleslaw) thanks to the Aunt of the awesome Antonia who was the student who got lumbered with showing us around and who was beyond lovely, Local flora at the hotel

TEAM!
Top- Nigerian Police
Middle- Zizi, our driver Michael, our lecturer Peter, Natalie and yours truly
Bottom- Security, Zizi, moi, Natalie, more security, Michael our driver and Peter our lecturer

My trip was definitely an experience- I've been priveleged enough to give lectures to some of the most switched on students I've ever come across, meet some awesome students and staff, been treated as though I'm someone mega important and been fortunate enough to get to know people both from home and abroad in a whole new way. 

I'm not sure what else to say except that this was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and I loved the whole thing. I could tell you about all the laughs and jokes, the scary driving and an interesting money changing experience, but I'll leave you with this for now. There will be some more posts on Nigeria, but I just wanted to fill you in on where I've been and give you a flavour of it to get you started. 


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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer Sunglasses*

Sunglasses are something I have lots of. They live in the car, in my handbag, in the cupboard next to the keys, the depths of my empty suitcase and there may be a pair floating about in the car that I'm not insured to drive.... I've always had cheapo pairs that don't matter so much when they inevitably break or go walk about in the abyss of our home or vehicles, but lately, with all the very pretty pairs on the market, I'm finding myself swayed towards a better quality pair.

When I was contacted by SmartBuyGlasses, about their range of designer glasses, it set me on a bit of a wishlist mission. SmartBuyGlasses stock all sorts of rather nice looking brands like Carrera Sunglasses.... or some rather nice looking Persol 714 glasses. I think these are my current favourites, loving the leopard print goodness.

I also rather like these Chloe Glasses.... my namesake, therefore they were made for me, therefore I need them. Am considering a second job to fund my wishlist...

Source


I also a bit in love with the extensive lists of dimensions on the site. I'm wary of buying something like glasses online, having always visited my optician for my proper ones, but underneath each pair, you'll find full measurements of the arms, bridge, lenses the lot. As someone with a tiny head, this is encouraging- even if I will look like an idiot when trying to measure bits of my face...

Oh and did you know these guys have a sale on right now?! MMMMHMMM!
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Monday, July 16, 2012

Honey.... I'm Not Home

Having had an amazing week in Nigeria- photos and catch ups I come, I'm back on the road again!

I landed back in the UK on Saturday morning, very tired and jet lagged despite no time difference... Proceeded to wash 5 loads and repack and this week I'm interviewing for some exciting things.

Unfortunately I don't have Internet access on my laptop whilst away so I shall leave you with today's game face... Wish me luck folks!

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Writing To Reach You

Back in June, I was slightly overwhelmed by the response to my post about mine and my partners separation whilst he is currently playing with live firing rounds on exercise on the other side of the world. I shouldn't be, as the online community I know and love has continued to be supportive and generally amazing through so many tough times as well as some brilliant ones.



Anyway, this weekend is a month since T left the country and 3 weeks since we spoke. I've communicated with him twice since he left the country, but for the last four weeks he's been somewhere in the wilderness sans comms. It's been pretty tough, I'm used to speaking with him by text, phone, email or pictures every day, T is the person I share all the good bits- like scoring a job interview, and all the tough bits- huge plans falling through, and since he's been gone a LOT has been going on.

I'm not here to tell anybody how they should be conducting their relationship, nobody truly knows it but you, but ultimately, this is a bit of an insight into how I've dealt with not just a long distance relationship, but a very absent partner indeed.

Journals. I used to write a journal a lot in my mid teens. I went through some tough patches and writing things down- thoughts, ideas, versions of events, it all helped me get straight what was real, and whether I just needed to take a step back and assess. I stopped writing journals for no real reason other than I had no desire, and that's cool. I think a lot of people get a bit caught up on having to write them, all the time, but for me, I picked it up and put it down as I wanted to. It's a tool to help and pressuring myself to do it isn't helping.

My journal... It's glittery and EVERYTHING

Recently I've started writing in a journal again. It's help me get my head around the big change in circumstance and it can stop me saying things that people don't need to hear. Journals aren't for everyone, but writing something down, in whatever format can be a great way of structuring your thoughts.

Letters. I know lots of people with friends and family in the Forces are able to write letters, unfortunately I can't, as there's nowhere to send them at the moment. This is especially tough for us because T and I have always written letters or in the absence of reliable post, emails with letters attached. And it would have been a great way to keep him up to date with everything going on for me here.

Then I stopped. And I thought. What's stopping me? That I can't send them right now doesn't mean I can't write letters. And so every day I've written short letters, with perhaps a picture of the day or a funny tweet I might have texted to him or an update. They're all collected on one word document, ready to email off to him when he's (partially) back in the land of the living. For me, selfishly, it helps me to feel that he's not missing, and I hope he will read them and understand how things have come to be however they are when he gets back rather than having fast forwarded over 3 months.

And last. It's ok to miss someone, it's ok to have days where you lay in bed, trying so hard to imagine that person with their arms around you that it's almost real. But don't let it dominate your life. Throw yourself into things you love- I started writing again, have read more books and magazines than I have in ages and got into some DIY projects. I try not to fill my letters to T with 'I miss you' because he knows that. I don't want him to come home and I don't want him to be miserable. I want him to enjoy his opportunities, make the best of them and come home with exciting things to tell me. Ultimately, if you don't feel something at letting your partner go for a few months, I suspect there isn't much there to start with, but if you support and believe in each other, you can't begrudge them their chances and their needs.



So this is me. I'm hoping to have T back in early September- although he still doesn't have a return date. We will have been apart for just shy of 12 weeks and will have had little to zero contact for the majority of that time. I'm still here, and I'm still standing. If you're in a similar position, I'm interested to hear how you manage it or what you've learned, hit me with it.

My favourite picture (and one of about 3) of us together (Sept 2010)



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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hobo

I got super lucky and won another give away last week- hurrah! News that I'd won seriously made my week and the prize itself is awesome so big thanks to Laura who ran the competition and to Handbags At Dawn from whom my gorgeous prize comes.

Want to see it? My precious. My baby?!

Oh, alright then!



Isn't it pretty? It's currently with my on my trip as it turned out to be perfect airport size, and the relaxed shape on it means it doesn't look bulky for out and about whilst I'm lecturing/speaking etc in Nigeria.
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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Ready Or Not

All being well I should be several tens of thousands of feet up in the air right now, probably shattered after a ridiculously early start this morning.... I didn't want to leave CLTT silent in my absence though, so I have a few little things lined up and if you want to know what I'm up to, see HERE. Here goes...

So I like to harp on about Bare Minerals quite a lot, I know, but I have a shiny sparkly new purchase, and I wanted to share. So there.

One of the big problems people often have with mineral make up is that they come in a loose powder format, and I'll admit it doesn't always travel that well despite some tools which certainly make it easier. Well, problem no more.

Back in May, BM released the new Ready range- the same mineral make up I know and love... in solid pans. Genius? I think so. The range includes the translucent mineral veil- (like a base and finishing powder), a tinted mineral veil- the solid version of the mineral foundation, blushers, eyeshadow duos and eyeshadow quads ( Love THIS ONE). You can buy these relatively easily but the best prices I've seen for the most part have been via FeelUnique.com by and large because their prices include delivery.

I got mine via an Amazon seller because I had an Amazon giftcard to use after my mammoth trade in session a couple of weeks back. And just a word on the seller Escentual.com the price was still super competitive and although I paid delivery, it was only £1.95 and my goodies arrived one working day (order on Sunday evening, arrived Tuesday morning) later via DPD. Oh, and they sent me a freebie nail file, something I was actually in need of!



So firstly, isn't the packaging nice? Clean, and simple, and easy....




And secondly, isn't this a pretty colour?! It's kind of peachy coral and has a slight gold shimmer to it. All pictures were taken in natural daylight, so it's as true to life as possible. The shade is called Aphrodisiac and looks a lot like a Nars blusher that lots of people love.

I'll be doing a more in depth review on this once I've used it a bit more, it's with me at present whilst I'm in Nigeria, so I should have some more interesting things to say. But first impressions are good- the compact is solid and has a full lids worth of mirror. The small brush is workable for on the go, the colour is beautiful. Don't get me wrong, this is a fairly pricey product, but I wouldn't necessarily buy it for everyday use, for me this is the ultimate for travel and handbag- the make up I love, in a solid format.

Baby, I'm ready to go....
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Alles Gepackt

Packing is an art form. Yeah, actually that's rubbish. Packing can be done by anyone with less than half a brain cell. But good packing, clever packing, the kind of packing that leaves you with everything you need and does not leave you with €60 worth of excess baggage (worse still... it was dictionaries... BILINGUAL FRICKIN DICTIONARIES). . That requires some brain cells. And I think I'm fortunate enough to have those particular cells, lacking some others perhaps, but I like think these were ones I happened to be blessed with.

So for those of you who are more of the 'chuckitallintothebagandhopeforthebest' persuasion, some Chloe Tips on Packing....

1. Start EARLY!
And that doesn't mean early of the morning that you have to be out of the house an hour earlier than you usually are anyway....

One of the many keys to better packing is being able to take what you want, not what you've got. Oooooh that shirt would be great with those trousers OR that skirt... oh wait.... I wore it 2 days ago and haven't got time to turn it around? Yeah... that's rubbish. But if you know you have a trip coming, pull out some things you love, pieces that are your failsafes, your favourites. Set the aside. Don't wear them in a time frame that you know you you can no longer turn it back around. For me that's usually 3 days, but for a big trip when I'm busy, a week.



2. Stop. Think.
So you've pulled every favourite item you own- including your slightly risque length silk tea dress and your leather trousers, out of your wardrobe and it's now hanging there, begging to be packed. But what's that? You're going to a desert country in the rainy season to speak for a professional conference. Oh and the area of that country is generally conservative.... yeah. risque length silk dress I can't raise my arms in without exposing my behind... not so great. Once you've got the pieces you love, you know you can wear comfortably, and you know they fit, time to start assessing which of those pieces fit your needs.

Things I don't think I'll need in Africa in July....

3. Make Lists.
I am a list whore. I make lists for everything you can think off- shopping, to do, to wear, DON'T BUY AGAIN EVER lists, lists of things to sell, lists of things to pack, lists of outfits....
When it comes to packing, you should now have a collection of clothes that:
Fit
You love
Are clean/ironed/travel ready

But chances are you'll have either more than you need or less hanging there, or you'll have enough for 15 separate outifts, but not one thing that will work in 2 outifits...

List the days you will be away. List any requirements for that day (smart for meeting/hiking up a mountain/visiting annoying aunt with 5 hairy dogs....)

Next to those days, list your preferred outfit.

If your schedule is a bit more fluid, just keep a running list of how many outfits you know you have for the number of days you know you'll be away, plus a spare or an extra one for an extra occasion.

Once you have those preferred outfits, you should be able to see if you need an extra t-shirt that will work for the skirt for you meeting just as well as with shorts for a day of local sightseeing or if you really really really need those suede heels which someone to walk ahead with a spirit level in case you are at further risk of tripping over...



Things to consider...
How many days can you or will you conceivable wear something- I know I will likely wear a pair of city shorts and a skirt two days each but a shirt or top only once before it hits the laundry pile. Would it therefore be wise to take an extra t-shirt that might work with either my shorts or my skirt?

Will any of your outfits need substantial accessories- do you really want to need 5 belts for 5 outfits?

Have you got enough appropriate underwear to go with all your outfits? If you do not have 4 days worth of pale bras but you have packed 4 days worth of pale clothes you either need to go shopping or you need to rethink.

4. Mirror Mirror....
At this stage, I personally like to try anything on I'm not certain about. There are, I'm sure worse things than being stuck with an outfit on a trip that you're not comfortable in because it doesn't quite hang right or those jeans are now falling down a bit more than the slightly annoying stage, but frankly it can feel like it's the end of the world when it happens. If you're not sure if the outfit is going to work or the dress is going to make it over your boobs or the edge of your shoe is going to rub, try it.

In the theme of reflection, now is a good time to shop for anything you need. You can see what you have, what works. You know if a pair of denim shorts are going to be the difference between having enough beach wear or not. If you may need a few extra pairs of your favourite colour pants so you have a spare pair....

How I spent my Saturday.... Dress, Primark. Assorted Tropical Defences, Boots.

A Zara return.....

5. Get on with it.
Now you've got the clothes you need, get them packed. Don't leave it so late that all those well planned outfits end up being screwed up and shoved into a bag that only just fits it all.

Fold the heavy stuff, put it at the bottom of the bag. Fold the lighter weight things. Put them on top of the heavier things so the light things get less crushed. Make sure it fits into the bag or the case you want to use. Bear in mind if you want to bring anything back from your trip, you will need to leave room for it.

Rocket science? I think not.

5. A quick note on washbags....
Short trips are great opportunities to use up ends of toothpaste, packs of face wipes, shower gels... you get the picture.

Miniatures are great, but so are refillable travel bottles. Miniatures are often over priced and the easiest way to check is to check how much the product you're actually getting for your money compared to a standard size. I buy my squeezy refillable bottles from Superdrug- they come in variety of sizes with various coloured lids. They are often on 3 for 2 at this time of year. eBay is also a great place to look for these kinds of things. 
If you're a regular Beauty Box subscriber, maybe think about stashing away some of the goodies for travel?

Don't scrimp on the things you'll always need. Getting 7 days through a 10 day holiday in Spain and looking a bit thin on that moisturiser you buy from a UK brand and that is the only thing your skin refuses to hate is not big or clever. You'll will be pissy, you will kick yourself, and your skin will hate you you. Less is NOT more in this case.

So there you have the Chloe Likes To Pack Crash Course.  Did I miss anything?

4 Days To Go...

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

To Infinity

It seems a bit like all I've done is play catch up recently, but here we go again. Oh the irony, in the week since my exams finished, I haven't managed to blog...

I have quite a lot going on here at Chloe Likes To Talk HQ, so first up an impending trip. If you follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram you'll know over the last month there have been lots of emails and running round trying to secure visas and letters of intent and vaccinations and itineraries and certifications. The reason for this, well this time next week I'll be coming to the end of my first 24 hours in Nigeria. I've been selected (along with one of my awesome friends SHOUT OUT Natalie....)to head out for guest lecturing and added bonus I get to speak at the Nigerian Bar Association. It would be fair to say I'm quite excited....


This weekend has been all about last minute shopping and getting most of my packing done being as I will be at work during the week next week.

A #wardrobezoo purchase and all the important (read: less exciting) bits

Rest assured whilst I'm gone I won't be abandoning Chloe Likes To Talk (*cough* like I did this week *cough*) I have a few guest posts lined up from some wonderful wonderful ladies and I'll be scheduling a couple of my own posts that I've got in the pipeline too.

Another little bit of excitement to share with you is a personal triumph. Once upon a time I used to do a bit of writing, I even harboured dreams of becoming a fashion journalist. Intervening reality checks made me realise I'm neither fashionable nor a journalist and other commitments meant I didn't have time to write for free any more.

Roll forward 6 years and the lovely and really rather amazing Michelle produced the first issue of the online magazine Aesthetic earlier in the year, and it's a beautiful beautiful magazine, aimed at graduate women. GO READ IT HERE Based on the success of the City Girl Edition, Michelle is creating a second edition, and I'm honoured and really quite proud to tell you that you'll be able to see a few words from yours truly. 


Having a submission accepted for Aesthetic means a lot to me, being able to do something I love and reminding myself why I enjoy it so much is important to me. It's a great reminder that we should all do something we love even if we know that pragmatism might get in the way of making it your dream career or the thing that dominates your world.


So heads up, plenty going on here, and I'll leave you with this little peek into my life....

Comments are of my profile picture (as it is on my blog), and that arsehole, is my best friend!
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