28 September 2011

6 ways to share a small living space

Living in the UK and being part of a generation of renters sometimes means that you have to cope with living in a space that isn't big enough for your lifestyle, and even worse, often you have to share it.  This article is specifically aimed at living with your Significant Other as that is what I am coping with right now, but it can be applied to best-friend house mates, room mates in University, even siblings still under your parents roof.

(image via Tumblr; unknown source)

1. Look at what you have and what you need.
It's best to do this before starting to share your space, but it can be done at any time you feel overwhelmed with belongings. Look through the things you have and try to minimise what you have to live with.
There are plenty of different methods of sorting out what you need in your house and your life and if you're like me, you love every item you own. It's tough to donate things or chuck them, but there are a few questions that I ask myself when I look at things that I'm unsure about throwing them away that may help you;
  • Do I really LOVE it; does it have fond memories and/or sentimental value?
  • Do I need it and do I have a use for it in the future?
  • Is it going to be hard to replace if you do need it later in life?
  • Can I see myself using it in the future; does it fit the life I WANT to lead?
If you're still swimming in clutter after sorting through your belongings, maybe you can look at storage but it is very expensive and it's equivalent to just throwing money away if you don't store wisely. If you don't use the things after keeping them in store for over 6 months, maybe it's worth running them through the questions above.

22 September 2011

Things I love Thursday

Lolita meet-ups in my hometown!  Pokemon TCG Kick-ass Flygon decks! ♥ "If I get stabbed, you can have my Megadeth collection"  Merciless Terror at the Butler Inn (while in frills) ♥ Diet coke and cherry sours = CHERRY COKE!  Skeleton-painted shorts ♥ Halloween goods in shops AT LAST <3  Evenings spent in kigus ♥ Satisfying accomplishments at the workplace - feels GOOOD  Fudge Oat-so-simple! ♥ Weight-loss and starting like I mean to go on ♥ Greyscale-toned nail polish  MAC lipstick 'Honeylove'; I forgot how much I love this colour! ♥ 


21 September 2011

Is dressed-up too overdressed?

Please don't get me wrong.  I LOVE getting dressed to the nines for meet-ups, tea parties, special occasions, in fact give me any excuse and I'm going to don my everyday best.  I just don't understand wearing your finest finery to do everyday things like going to the grocery store, or wandering around town.

Nearly every day people upload photos to communities boasting "I wore this to go run errands" or "I wore this to see my nan" and the outfits are more detailed than some of the co-ordinations I put together for nationwide meets.  I understand this is not just a fashion for some people; it's a hobby and a passion too, but this strikes me as odd.  It's impractical to wear all of those accessories on a daily basis.  I've written previously about getting the magic into everyday clothes but some of these outfits seem like a scream for attention rather than enjoying a fashion.

It's not dressing up.

It's being overdressed.

(image from Tumblr; original source unknown)

But where does the line get drawn?

In my opinion, you should always dress for the occasion within reason.  If you are just relaxing at a friends house, it should be OK with them for you to give a superb outfit a trial-run and on the odd occasion, this is fine.  When you're spending every day with a teacup adhered to your head, you might be going too far.

Dressing for the occasion should also be considered with your motif choices.  It's popular to wear the latest brand-released print but wearing a circus print with all of the related ephemera to spend the day on a farm just doesn't make sense, and vice versa; A day spent at the opera in Angelic Pretty's Sheep Garden just doesn't seem right.

I know it's tempting to drag your finest out at every viable opportunity but sometimes it needs to be held back until it can be worn on the finest occasion, and that's definitely not the supermarket run.


19 September 2011

What I wore 17.09.11

I wore this to Reading to meet with the local Lolitas; some coming even from London to explore my old home-town!  We relaxed and had a picnic and toured the shops (including Eclectic Games where we bought Magic and Pokemon cards; NERDTIME!) and ended up with a few of us drinking at the Purple Turtle and then at the Butler Inn to watch some bands.  A good day, but so tiring!  I chose an outfit that was comfortable and could cope with both picnics and potential dancing.

JSK: Angelic Pretty
Shoes: An*tai*na* (via Clobbaonline)
Cardigan: Kohls!
Necklace: Hot Topic
Tights: Primark


15 September 2011

Things I love Thursday

My lolita-inclined friends all looking fab at the Royal Horseguards on Saturday! ♥ Posh crab finger sandwiches  Laser-cut gold necklaces that say "Tea Party", and the AWESOME people that gift them! (thank you Sophie!)  Korean karaoke  Purikura with my sweetest friends!!  Freshly dyed hairs ♥ Many compliments on my bizarre usage of bracelets (I BLUSH!)  Sleeping in ALL day King Arthur (especially Tristan; purrr) ♥ Coming to the end of 'A Clash of Kings' and realising I haven't read this avidly since University  Halloweenies released at Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs Nikki Lipsticks SUPER-COOL DIY hair extensions FAQ  Sea-salted dark chocolate ♥ 


13 September 2011

My Lolita Wardrobe

I've had a couple of requests to show a photo of my wardrobe, so here we go!

My tops look a little sparse compared to JSKs as I tend to wear casual t-shirts or shirts with them a lot and they're in my casual wardrobe.

You can look through the main contents of my wardrobe in the 'My Lolita Wardrobe' tag on my Tumblr (although a lot is missing as some items don't have stock pictures, or I can't find them!)


12 September 2011

Rejuvenating your closet

Spend some time looking through your existing wardrobe and take stock of what you have. Look over your favourite pieces and remember outfits with them that you loved and that were comfortable. I know some people keep their wardrobes catalogued on Poupeegirl or in notebooks; I keep mine on my Tumblr.
Give your current wardrobe some LOVE!  Sell what you don't love any more, fix buttons and put new insoles in your shoes if needed.
Search for outfit photos using the main pieces you own.  A quick look through Daily Lolita or Google Images will give you a ideas to try to let you see your existing clothes in a new light.

You can get your inspiration from anywhere; magazines, street snaps, blogs, Tumblr, even just window shopping, but once you've got your idea of what you want, make a note of it!
Make a mood board of your favorite styles and outfits ensure that it's something you can maintain and love for a few more seasons, yet something that can traverse the seasons with different layers.
Where modern wardrobes and fashions can change easily, Lolita and other similar styles are a bit more of an investment so make sure you know what you're aiming for!

FOR EXAMPLE, you can see from my mood board above that although I didn't stick to any colours intentionally, it's mostly pinks, black and creams.  Also, there's a lot of frills offset by my punkier/goth roots which I don't want to loose with my Lolita style.

Think about what you're missing and make a list of what you need, note it in your fashion journal, blog about it, make a wishlist.  Whatever your process, get it out there!
Ensure you have enough tops, bottoms and dresses to complete a useable wardrobe.  You will have a better idea of what you're likely to need in the long run.
Remember accessories in your 'need to get' list; they are an all-important item in a successful outfit.

Michelle <3

08 September 2011

Things I love Thursday

Last weeks Things I love was deleted by Blogger so I've made this one twice as big to compensate.

(image via Tumblr; unknown source)

Bruised eye make-up  Seeing your bestfriend after month apart - I missed you baby!  Tao Peng and noodles  Watching 500 days of Summer to start the day Overflowing bunnies  Finally catching the Minecraft bug!  Creamsicle sitting amongst my soda glasses  Woolly shorts weather!  Wedding invitations ♥ Angel Cake scented bath syrup  Incoming lenses from iwantcute.com ♥ Faking it until you make it ♥ Having a million ideas for new art pieces - at last! Already excited for next years RP!  Rejuvenating oversized handbags ♥ Pink biker jackets ♥ New hair colour! SO MANY fashion ideas I want to explode  Not-too-hot-for-jumpers, not-too-cold-for-skirts ♥ Soft pink and gold  Giles Deacon SS10 dinosaur bag; do you reckon it's going to be too hard to make myself?! ♥ Finding last years lilac Ugg boots ♥ Hey Ashly, Whatcha playing?  POKEMONNN SNAP!  Tea Party Club 4th anniversary tea this weekend!!

Michelle <3

07 September 2011

Sweet Lolita can be punk too!

Lolitas can come to the fashion from a wide variety of backgrounds.  There are goths, indies and ravers, girls that never left their childhood frills and girls that never had them in the first place.  There are even self-proclaimed 'Otakus' whose love of all things Japanese brought them to the fashion.  I've noticed that there is one 'genre' from our subculture that is seemingly under-represented in the Lolita world; Punks.

(images from lolitafashion.org article on Punk Lolita)
To me, Punk Lolita isn't Punk; it's only a style that has borrowed it's imagery from Punk.

Punk Lolita itself is a defined style within Lolita fashion, and uses the tartans, bondage and crass imagery of 'proper' punk as the crux of it's appearance, but is it really 'punk'?    The original anger and malcontent of punk isn't apparent in these outfits and the ideas behind the punk style have been watered down to teenage melodrama, not rebellion.  Just wearing Lolita clothes with normal punk stylings would work for some, but it's not a fashion that lends itself to frills easily.  Sweet creations by brands like Angelic Pretty don't sit easily amongst torn jeans and spray paint.  A fashion style as dirty and raw as punk doesn't lend itself to perfectly coiffed hair and pristine hairbows.  Maybe the whole idea of Lolita is diametrically opposed to all of the ideals of punk?

Punk, to me, is defying the mainstream and doing your own thing in ways that appeal to you.  By that definition, Lolita is the EPITOME of punk, but then can you really BE punk while wearing $$$-expensive clothes and dressing in a style that's a translation of high-class Rococo and Victoriana?  My opinion?  Why the hell not.  Punk is a mindset.  Punk Lolita is just another style; it's NOT punk.  It's no more edgy than Sweet, no trendier than Classic.  Maybe in these times, Punk is more centred on bucking the trend of everyday style and every Lolita is doing that in her own way.

Take a leaf from the book of Punk; F**K everything else - Do what you love and gain strength from it.

Michelle <3

06 September 2011

20 Sweet Lolita-style make up tips

Sweet-Lolita make-up can almost look doll-like when done perfectly and although 'Porcelain' is often used to describe a doll-like pallor, to me it's more about the smooth, radiant skin;
  • Start as you mean to go on; a good moisturiser will give your make-up a soft canvas to sit on, and will help your skin in the long run.
  • You can use foundation if your skin needs it, but Eyeko 3-in-1 cream makes a fantastic moisturising base that you can cover everywhere with; skin, neck and eyelids as a primer.
  • Finishing powders (a bit like bronzers) carry a lot of colour and a touch of light-reflecting glitter and can make your skin look radiant with a quick brush-over.  I recommend MAC 'Soft & Gentle' to everyone, no matter their skin tone as it's a warm gold that suits most.
  • A touch of warm pink or peach blush under your cheekbones can give a really cute effect but it is something that's needed sparingly.

For me, the impact of sweet-Lolita make-up lies within a fresh look and BIG innocent eyes.  Try a few of these hints along with a cute set of contact lenses;
  • Lemon-Aid by Benefit disguises any redness and evens out the tone of your eyes before any other eye make-up is applied.
  • There's a split opinion of whether a hard or soft liner-line suits sweet Lolita the most but I think it really depends on the person.  Try different styles to see which you prefer before prescribing to a definitive make-up guide or tutorial.
  • It's tempting to pile on eyeliner to emphasise your eyes but it can make your lids looks heavier than they are.  Line carefully and finely and bring the lower-line out a little, almost Gyaru style, to get the big-eyed effect.  
  • A slightly wider liner-line over where your pupil falls can make eyes appear larger.
  • A white liner on your water-line can make eyes look wider and brighter.  If you can find one in a soft yellow-toned cream, it can help to tone down any redness in the whites of your eyes.
  • If you want to make your eyes seem wider and more innocent, change your mascara for a shade darker.
  • False eyelashes are FANTASTIC for an OTT Sweet Lolita look and a more subtle set can really set off a more casual look.  If you can get hold of them, Dolly Wink are a great brand to try but some sets from Eylure and even a couple in the Paris Hilton range by Elegant Touch look fantastic on western eyes; just familiarise yourself with the Japanese eyelash brand 'styles' and then try and buy similar.  I've even found some good ones in Poundland!

It's most common to underplay the lips in the sweeter styles of Lolita and a neat application of skin-toned lipstick or even just a balm is often enough to tie the look together;
  • Full lips are youthful and cute, but not everyone is blessed with them.  Using a nude lip-liner, you can draw your lip to just OUTSIDE your natural lip-line and then fill as normal with a pale lipstick. 
  • Dark lipsticks make lips look narrower and more mature so avoid those!  
  • Dab a little gloss in the centre of your top and bottom lips to reflect light, emphasising them.  
  • You can pull light to your top lip by highlighting your cupids bow with a little cream highlighter.
  • A nude lipstick with a pink 'jelly' gloss over the top can look really cute but you must take a few moments to line your lips with a little concealer to top the nude lipstick from feathering onto your skin as it can make the skin around your lips look a little... odd.
  • If all else fails, bring out the Too Faced Lip Injection.


  • Gems, stickers, diamantes; they're cute but look best when used sparingly for everyday looks.
  • Glitter can be used to highlight your favourite parts of your face but again, it's best used sparingly.  I like to use Barry M 'dd27; Gold Iridescent' at the corners of my eyes and lightly at the top of my cheekbones.

(and finally)
  • At the end of the day, WASH IT OFF!  Keeping your skin make-up free overnight will help your skin stay beautiful &hearts;

01 September 2011

DREAM WARDROBE: September - the end of the Summer of Love

Katie had spent three hours trying to make an outfit suitable for her first date with Oscar; cute but comfortable enough to handle the nervous touches, the laughter and awkwardness. As she sat and straightened her hair and put the finishing touches on her perfect pink pout, she realised she'd just had more fun dressing up than she would probably have with the boring boy her mum had set her up with.
(Hitch Skirt: All Saints - Knit tote: Aeropostale - Jewellery: Miss Selfridge, Vera Wang - Tee: Newbreed Girl at Topshop - Pumps: Iron Fist)
Delilah winds her finger around her faded Seafoam coloured hair and bites her lip. She's been sat next to the prettiest boy in the world on the train for the last three stops. She knocks her empty latte cup and it bumps his hand as he's reading. He looks up - finally - and she smiles coyly. Hopefully the conversation will make it worth sitting on the crowded train for two stops longer than she had to.
(Dress: Angelic Pretty - Fishnet tights: Topshop - Lipstick: MAC (in Pretty Please) - Bag: Angelic Pretty - Bracelet: metalskinnyc.com - Shoes: Angelic Pretty)
Violet leans with her back to the bar and scans around the faces for her date. He's late... again. She slams back her Jagermeister and slings her bag over shoulder before heading for the dancefloor anyway. Anyone that keeps her waiting for more than 5 minutes isn't worth waiting for.
(Sequin Vest: New Look - Belts: New Look - Jewellery: Kiki Kannibal, jewelsforme.com - Bag: Mark B - Peep-toe shoes: Iron Fist)

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