Best Dressed: Emmys 2014

Emmys2014

I almost can’t believe that it was already a year ago that I did my last Emmy’s roundup – well almost, as this year’s ceremony was held a month earlier than usual. Some of my favourite actors and actresses were in attendance, amongst them Mindy Kahling (The Mindy Project), Claire Danes (Homeland) and Zooey Deschanel (New Girl). Rounding up the best dressed of the evening (in my humble opinion) wasn’t easy as I don’t think there is one look that truly stood out, but nevertheless here goes!

1. Allison Williams in Giambattista Valli Couture

I love a good princess moment, so this was surprisingly easy to decide on. I love how unexpected the punch of yellow is and obviously the cutesy bow detail. Keeping her accessories minimal was a good call, I just think a brighter lip would have been even prettier.

2. Lizzy Caplan in Donna Karan Atelier

I love this modern equivalent of Julia Robert’s iconic Valentino monochrome look. It struck the perfect balance between opulence and minimalism. The deep side part was pure genius on Lizzy’s part!

3. Julliane Hough in DSquared 

All white can easily look bridal, but this elegant and simple look keeps it looking sleek along with Juliane’s laid back style and attitude. White and a great tan is unbeatable.

4. Heidi Klum in Zac Posen

She rarely dresses age appropriate, but this goes to show what is a great colour and good fit can do for you. The dress really makes the best of her figure without looking too garish or sexy. I wish she’d dress like this more often.

5. Kaley Cuoco in Monique Lhullier

Come on, tulle, a-line and my favourite colour combination (pink&red) all in one? Love! Kaley’s new edgier hairstyle adds some edge to an expected look for her and I love it.

6. Behati Prinsloo in Prada

I love how this Prada dress reminds me of my dancing days yet is elegant and understated. The sweeping train adds just the right amount of drama to this low-key look. Best pony of evening as well!

7. Julia Roberts in Elie Saab

Breaking all the ‘age-appropriate’ rules is Julia Roberts in a low-cut mini. On book it doesn’t sound like something I’d like, but on her it just looks amazing. The large embellishments make it more playful than sexy and the hemline hits just on the sweet spot.

8.  Michelle Monaghan in Giambattista Valli Couture

Another beauty in white! It is very evident that red and white were the dominant colours of the evening. I’d like to start off with a note on how beautiful her hair was styled and finish by saying that her minimalist approach beats the runway cape look by miles! White and gold is always a winner, even if you don’t get to deliver your speech!

9. Halle Berry in Elie Saab

Another actress who usually treads the line between sexy and inappropriate. This look is firmly on the sexy side with the perfect slit and a modern grecian-goddess look.

10. Julie Bowen in Peter Som

I wouldn’t say this look is exactly the most memorable, but I felt it deserved a spot as Julie looked very pretty. The soft side-swept waves do it for her! I also like the halterneck and pleated skirt combination to make the best of her svelte frame. Add to that a fun print and I’m sold!

Which were some of your favourite looks of the evening?

My Go to Look: Stripes & Jeans

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Style is such a personal representation of a person. It is something I am realising more and more as I meet more people.

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I guess everyone has a looks or style that will always draw their attention. I know someone who has more blue shirts than she knows what to do with. My bane however is jeans and striped t-shirts. So much so that even my brother has noticed my partiality to the look and that this collection is outdated. Since I took these pictures I’ve added another delightful striped T from Edgars and scored a great fitting pair of jeans at the Witchery sale (and you know how rare that is!).

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I love how versatile they are, how a great fitting pair can make me feel and how it strikes a balance between classic and modern. Do you have something that you are always drawn towards or own way too much of?

Choc-Caramel Shortbread Recipe

chocolate caramel shortbread biscuits

I love a good tea-time biscuit and this one is particularly decadent. There isn’t much I can say about the taste other than WOW! Imagine a good shortbread biscuit enrobed in chocolate meeting a delicious helping of fudgy-caramel. ‘Nuff said!

I wouldn’t say it is ideal for everyday simply because of the butter and sugar content, but boy I wouldn’t mind having it on the daily otherwise! Whilst only twelve biscuits does sound like very little, I can promise that you only need one at a time to satisfy even the most severe sweet tooth (which would be me!). This would be ideal for a high-tea or when you simply want to treat yourself.

DSC_0128Ingredients:

Biscuit:

  • 250 g butter, softened
  • 160 g castor sugar
  • 300 g flour
  • 150 g cornflour
  • 300 g chocolate, melted

Caramel:

  • 1 x 385 g tin condensed milk
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 60 g butter

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Method:

To make the shortbread:

  1. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  2. Fold in the flour and cornflour and roll into a 6 cm sausage.
  3. Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. Here you can learn from my mistake. Be patient or you won’t get perfectly round biscuits!
  4. Preheat oven to 160 degrees.
  5. Slice the sausage into 4 mm-thick slices and place slices on a lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 10 – 15 min and set aside to cool.

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Caramel:

  1. In a medium, thick bottomed pot simmer the condensed milk, syrup and butter gently for about 5 min or caramel coloured. Remember to stir all the time.

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Assembly:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl and dip each biscuit halfway in the chocolate before placing on a tray to set.
  2. Once set, sandwich two together with the caramel and enjoy.

Makes roughly 12 biscuits.

My Beauty Routine

DSC_3897I’ve been promising to tell you about my skin care philosophy and routine for quite some time now, so it is long overdue, but here it is at last! I follow a very basic skincare routine and my philosophy is quite simple.

I believe that when you properly take care of your skin, you’ll reap the rewards in years to come and you can also get away with a little less makeup which is always a bonus. Saying that, quality beauty products don’t have to cost a fortune you just have to know your skin and find what suits you. I don’t yet have any major problems apart from dryness/sensitivity but I know that what I am doing now is an investment in my future, at least my skin’s future.

I did have slightly problematic skin in my very early teen years so my mother introduced me to Clinique’s three-step program which resolved all of those issues. Surprisingly I started with combination skin, which gradually got drier until eventually my beloved Dramatically Different wasn’t enough. I have since completely changed my routine, to be more budget friendly and to better suit my needs.

I use a Dove sensitive soap (not pictured) to wash my face after I’ve removed the bulk of my makeup. I scrub my face twice to three times a week with my Dirty Works scrub and usually follow that with a Moisture Glow. In the evening I use a Rose Water and Hazelwitch spray as a gentle astringent.

In the summer I use a Neutrogena oil-free moisturiser with sunblock and in the winter and evening I use Nivea Soft which is high in Jojoba and Vitamin E oil. I’ll still sometimes use a little DD cream under my makeup as it just feels great, but I won’t be repurchasing it.

The only problem I currently face is finding a quality eye cream on a budget. I’m close to finishing my Estee Lauder free gift and I’ve been spoiled. So if you’ve got any suggestions, please send through!

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Finally, last but not least is my hero product! It is the Vitamin E Face Oil from the Body Shop. I know that this has recently been replaced with the Serum-in-oil which sounds great, but I managed to score this baby for about R10 (yes it is a bargain!) with a few Clicks vouchers and a sale. This really leaves my skin feeling soft, plump and moisturised. And I don’t know if I am imagining it but my pores even look smaller! It doesn’t feel greasy at all and is easily absorbed in seconds. I just warm a few drops in the palms of my hands and then gently massage it into my face and neck avoiding the eye area. Occasionally I’ll finish with a little 8 Hour Cream on my cheakbones/eye area and that is skincare done!

Have you got any other tips for me?

Rock and Roll Basics

DSC_3612I have always been a relatively ‘safe’ dresser who feels most comfortable in jeans and flat shoes. When people hear that my favourite music genre is Metal they usually struggle to believe so as I don’t conform to their idea of what a metal fan looks like. These pants however might make it slightly more believable, or so I’d like to think. They aren’t something I’d normally gravitate towards and certainly don’t feel ‘safe’ for a conservative dresser like me, but it is kind of what I like about them. That and the great fit of course.  Paired with more feminine neutrals, I simply love the edge this adds to any look.DSC_3611 DSC_3590 DSC_3605

Chocolate & Almond Biscotti Recipe

DSC_1359If you follow this blog regularly, you’ll have noticed that I reserve a special place in my heart (in my stomach) for Italian cuisine. Naturally Biscotti, something between a rusk and a biscuit, is one of my favourite treats. This is the ultimate indulgent snack for winter. It is sweet, filling and ideal for dipping into coffee. The best part is how easy it is to make as you literally just throw it all together and mix before baking. 
DSC_1363aIngredients:

  • 100 g almonds, diced
  • 100 g milk chocolate chips or diced milk chocolate slab
  • 430 g flour
  • 15 ml baking powder
  • 300 g castor sugar
  • 5 ml cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • 45 ml butter, melted

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160C and prepare a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Sift together all the dry ingredients and add the almonds and chocolate.
  3. Beat the eggs and butter in a separate bowl and add to the dry ingredients. Mix until it forms a big piece of dough
  4. Divide into two pieces and press and roll it out into two long ‘french loaf’-type shapes.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and leave to cool completely.
  6. Slice thin slices of biscotti (approximately 5 mm) with a sharp knife.
  7. Spread out on baking tray and bake for a further 20 minutes or until crispy at 60C.
  8. Let it cool and serve with coffee.

 

August Inspiration

Hello August!

Whilst those in the Northern Hemisphere are saying goodbye to summer, we’re welcoming spring (about a month early!) and with that I am already looking forward to summer. Whilst Augusts are still quite cold and usually welcomes the heaviest snows on the mountains, I feel spring in the air and know that summer it is just around the corner.

I’ve got a few simple DIY’s planned for this month including a canvas tote for travelling. It is ideal for everything that doesn’t fit into my regular handbag.

Beauty-wise I’d love to try and perfect my faves but thus far I’ve been unsuccessful. And don’t you just love this manicure?

I’ve also got a better idea of what I want to do above my bed, though I’d choose some more meaningful words. Since I’m in an Italian mindset I also want to make my own pasta which I haven’t done in ages. It does take a while but makes the most delicious lasagna!

So whatever you’ve got planned for August, I hope it is a good one!

 

The Perfect In-flight Outfit

Perfect In-flight outfit1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

I am planning a trip to Italy later this year (less than three months, yay!) and besides stressing about my dry skin, I’ve been imagining the perfect in-flight outfit. I walked into Woolworths just after work now and realised how evil they truly are. I saw everything I want and there is just no way my budget will allow it all. I thought I’d share it with you guys as it is the best I can do!

We’ll have a long flight, spending almost 20 hours in transit and arrive early morning in Rome, meaning there will be minimal clothing changes between my flight and the first day of sight-seeing. So everything has to be comfortable, stylish and still look decent after spending 24 hours in it.

I want to trade in my regular jeans for comfortable, yet stylish silk sweatpants and a bright, ‘beautifying’ coloured top that will keep me warm. For our stop over in Abu Dhabi I will wear a plain white T. Black suede flats are  a necessity as well as big sunglasses and a decent travel wallet. Because I am a bit of an earring addict I think a minimalistic pair of studs will add a little polish to this comfortable outfit.

I hope you like this as much as I do and that it will help you solve your travel dilemmas too!

Top 5 Beauty Uses for 8 Hour Cream

DSC_1560Elizabeth Arden’s iconic miracle cream has thousands of uses, but here are the five ways I use it the most.
1. Laughter lines are a sign of a life well lived, but crows feet are a massively different thing. Apply a thin layer to your upper cheek bones. This will act as a beautiful highlighler all the while delivering extreme moisture to the area all the way up to the eye. Thus preventing unsightly lines.
2. If you’re anything like me you can’t resist touching the occasional spot (naughty I know). Luckily you can speed up the healing process and prevent scarring by applying copious amounts of this cream to the scab until it has healed completely.
3. Prevent winter hangnails by rubbing this into all your cuticles and sleeping with gloves. This helps lock in moisture and makes unruly, dry cuticles more manageable.
4. Ever been so misfortunate as to burn your forehead with your straightening iron? (How glad am I that my fringe days are behind me!) A little bit of 8 hour cream will manage the sting and reduce the redness granted its not too serious.
5. Finally, my favourite use has to be for kissable lips all year round. I keep it in my bedside table and apply a thin layer every night before bed. Great for if you want to attempt a matt lip!
Do you have any other great uses for this magical fornula?

July Inspiration

Helo everyone!

I almost feel like I have to reintroduce myself as I’ve been absent from my blog this past month. The truth is that working two jobs has been getting to me. But from somewhere around mid-July my time after 5 O’clock will be all my own. It is a luxury I haven’t had for what feels like ages and hopefully I’ll be able to spend that time doing what I love most, of which Shopgirl is one.

So this month I’m looking forward to settling into a new schedule which hopefully includes reading a great book (any suggestions welcome), and getting back into a regular jogging schedule. This does however depend on the weather.

I’m also really looking forward to the Soccer World Cup Finals (what, I’m a soccer fan – during the World Cup!) and in honor of the team I’m supporting I’ll give you beautiful Dutch tulips.

This month will most likely also see my first hairdresser visit in about 6 months, which is kinda anxiety inducing (if you don’t know what I mean, I’ll have to ask for your hairdresser’s number). I could probably write an entire post about my hairdresser disasters but they usually only surface once I have to style my hair myself and realise how terribly skew they’ve cut it etc. So there is that to look forward too… I’ll keep the image of OP’s envy inducing healthy hair as my inspiration handy. I’ve also developed a slight obsession with the perfect pink lip.

I hope to one day have a pretty vintage plate collection like the one above and I believe my trips to the Milnerton Flea Market will help. I also want a pair of perfect jeans (ideally they’d also make me look like that), but I’ll settle for a dark blue pair with perfectly placed and sized pockets, no gaping at the back, thick denim at a reasonable price. Is that to much to ask? I promise I’ll always make them look classy!

When you look at the last picture, I hope the striped sequin dress grabs your attention. I just want to let all how strong I can be as I passed one almost just like that up despite the fact that it was on sale in Zara. Sometimes you have to prioritize!

I hope July is just as an exciting month for you as it is for me!