hello october.

by Suzie Bonaldi

Shop My Wardrobe

Selfridges Diane Von Furstenberg DVF Knot-waist Cotton-poplin Shirt DressSelfridges Diane Von Furstenberg tie waist Cotton Shirt DressSelfridges Diane Von Furstenberg DVF White Shirt DressSelfridges Diane Von Furstenberg DVF White Summer Dress

Finding the Perfect Day to Night Summer Dress.

Post in collaboration with Selfridges.

Despite being an October baby, summer dressing is kind of my jam. But that's not to say it's easy, I often spend hours trawling online and rooting through stores to find the perfect additions to my summer wardrobe. One of the items I always feel I lack is that perfect, all occasion summer dress. The one that can take you from brunch in the city, or a sun soaked stroll, to beachside drinks on your summer holiday. But Selfridges came through with this little white number from Diane Von Furstenberg which has filled the gap in my wardrobe nicely! 

Selfridges always have an amazing range of designer dresses and whilst browsing I realised I'd never purchased any Diane Von Furstenberg dresses before, and whilst there were a fair few summery shirt dresses that caught my eye, it was the DVF knot-waist cotton-poplin shirt dress that I knew would fit perfectly in to my wardrobe. Light, and floaty, with pockets and a skirt that is just screaming out for me to do a little twirl in it. It's love. It's such a gorgeous fabric, which is so breathable and perfect for warmer weather, all finished off with a gorgeous nude trim to the inside panel of the collar and button holes and a tie waist which is one of my new favourite additions to any dress, playsuit or jumpsuit as it cinches you in at the waist and is so flattering! 


The length is also a winner for me, and I think it would work beautifully whatever your height. It's designed to hit around the knee, which is perfect for me, as the length is more midi length - one of my favourite dress lengths for summer. Mini dresses are great, but there's something so flattering and pulled together with a knee length or longer cut. Whether I wear it with lace up sandals and a basket bag (my new obsession! Full post coming soon!) during the day or a pair of dainty strappy heels and a cute clutch in the evening, it just works with everything and is totally perfect for a summer holiday and beyond. 

SUNGLASSES: RAYBAN
SHOES: CHLOE
JEWELLERY: MONICA VINADER

Selfridges Designer Dress Diane Von Furstenberg DVF Knot-waist Cotton-poplin Shirt Dress
Selfridges Diane Von Furstenberg White Holiday Dresses
Selfridges Diane Von Furstenberg White Designer Dresses
Selfridges Diane Von Furstenberg DVF Tie Waist Cotton Shirt Dress
Selfridges Diane Von Furstenberg Knot Waist Cotton Poplin Shirt Midi Dress
Selfridges Diane Von Furstenberg DVF Summer Holiday White Shirt Dress

Summer Gifting with Boots UK
*This post is sponsored by Boots UK.

Gift giving is one of those things often associated with the latter part of each year, and for me most gifting situations outside of the last quarter are met with a sudden gasp and a palm to the face, the day before said gift is due. What follows is often a rushed gift, with a gift tag stating "because we all know how much you love socks...". So this summer the lovely team at Boots UK have challenged me to take part in their Everyday Thoughtfulness project, encouraging me to not only be more thoughtful on general gift giving occasions (e.g. father’s day, the national gift giving holiday that escapes me EVERY YEAR) but most importantly, on an everyday basis. So challenge accepted, I've picked out a selection of gifts from Boots for five of my favourite people with thoughtful little gifts I know they'll love!


These are just a few of the people in my life whose love and support I really value, and it feels nice to show them how much I appreciate them. For me they are a key part of living a healthy, happy life, so it's always important to remember to show them I care. We all lead such busy lives now, and it's easy to let the little everyday thoughtful moments fall by the wayside and sometimes a thoughtful treat is the perfect way to show someone you care. Whether it's a mascara that you overheard your mum has run out of, a surprise picnic in the countryside for your partner, or a gorgeous fragrance that your bestie is always saying she loves. It's a lovely idea really, and something I'll be embracing with open arms over the next month.

So this month I'll be starting my journey in to everyday thoughtfulness with Boots, treating my loved ones to the perfect gifts from their store. So keep an eye out on my Instagram, Instastories, Twitter and of course, over on the blog for updates! I'll also be doing an extra Father’s Day special, putting myself to the test to get my Pah something super thoughtful, and for once, totally not last minute!


Personal Style.

My twenties have seen a lot of things, a varied career journey, huge personal growth, as well as physical and mental change, so much change. It's such an interesting experience, even more so when it's documented on the internet in front of so many people. In addition to learning new things about myself everyday, I also learn things about my style and my preferences everyday. Over the past three months I've had the biggest breakthrough when it comes to feeling sure of myself and my wardrobe (I have shopped no where near as often as I normally would as I'm just so comfortable with what I have!). I'd previously been under the assumption that personal style involved knowing exactly what you like and sticking with that 90% of the time, but I recently came to the conclusion that "personal style" is still open to change. People grow and change throughout their life, and year on year, therefore personal style can too. It's not about dressing the same all the time, but knowing the key features and preferences that run throughout your wardrobe. Does this make the whole "personal style" thing a myth? I don't know, but I've been doing a lot of thinking about mine...

I'd love to be a minimalist, or a super chic tailored girl, but what I've realised over the past year is that I will always love a mixture of everything, from statement jackets to girly dresses and a well tailored jumpsuit. Despite those varied floral or embellished pieces with zero consistency, I know love a classic denim or biker jacket, and pairing everything with converse. I love to dress things down, and feel comfortable and casual in my clothing. It's not about having a rail of perfect "classic" items, because I just find that boring, but it's also not about buying in to every trend - but it is about having fun with the ones that I'm drawn to (most of the time these don't feel "trendy" to me at all). I recently started to shop differently and pick items that, though they wont necessarily go with everything, make me feel a 10 with the fastening of a clasp. I used to shop this way around 6 years ago, never worrying about how things would work out, and most of the pieces I bought because I absolutely loved I still have now.

Summer is definitely a time when I feel I can clearly define my style (maybe because it's not hidden under a million layers) and right now more than ever I have such a clear idea of how I want to dress and what I want my wardrobe to say to the world. It's laid back, light, free flowing, comfortable, dark, casual, textured and feminine and occasionally a little rough around the edges all at the same time. It has so many contradicting pieces and though it doesn't scream "clear sense of personal style" in the traditional format, but this multi faceted sense of style perfectly reflects me. Much like an onion, I've got layers. And embracing those layers rather than just focusing on a few feels so free. Possibly the most free I've felt in a long time. 


Finding Your Personal Style.

Streamline.
So, how did I get here? Well, aside from deciding I no longer gave a crap whether someone either on the internet or IRL deemed me "not stylish" or "not different" enough to have personal style,  I started with a wardrobe clear out. I've actually done a lot of these over the past few months due to moving and I can't recommend it enough. Culling a large amount of unloved items and just seeing the left over pieces that #bringyoujoy really does help you to see what it is you like, and also where it is you go wrong when shopping. Though I'm still a magpie for a silly purchase, I can now see one coming a mile off, and so far I haven't bought anything that feels "un-me" or doesn't fit in to my wardrobe.

Embrace Your Signature Feature.
For some people, their defining feature might be really clear, always wearing a clean cut silhouette, five inch heels or something with a ruffle. But for some it's not always going to jump out and smack you in the face, and that's okay. Your defining feature that you always rock doesn't have to be through your clothes, think accessories. It can be the messy waves you style your hair with every single day, a bold red lip, huge oversized sunglasses or some seriously statement earrings. It could even be a pair of reading glasses. For me eyewear is the defining feature, they're always dressed, first with liner and secondly with glasses or a seriously oversized pair of sunnies. 

Shop Without Influence.
In terms of filling my wardrobe, I've stopped myself looking to Instagram for inspiration before shopping. This might sound crazy but hear me out. Following a lot of international bloggers, it can be easy to see gorgeous, girly, whimsical pieces that look great, but might not be suitable for me or my lifestyle, figure, or climate. There are a few ladies I follow who live locally and I love their style, but even so, looking to others for inspiration right before shopping was clouding my own personal style. So now I shop completely alone, whether online or in person with no outside influence. Occasionally I might see something on a fellow shorty on Insta stories and take the plunge, but that's rare and I see it more as inspiration finding me, more often than not I don't go looking on Instagram pages for ideas. When shopping I now find myself picking out pieces that are really interesting to me and my wardrobe has so much variety now instead of a million same-y lace shirts.

Document.
Documenting your outfits also helps, even if it's just going through your Facebook and identifying moments where you loved what you wore or perhaps didn't love it so much. I've learnt that in situations where I feel I'm expected to dress a certain way, I never feel entirely comfortable with what I wore. Understanding this helped me to make a few changes to avoid this, like not asking friends what they're wearing, or buying an outfit specifically for an occasion. In the past these habits have lead to panic purchases, and a muddled wardrobe with no clear vision. Now I look at my rail each morning and feel inspired and excited, even with old favourites such as this Topshop number which I've had for over three years now and I still love it (I've actually just had it repaired because it's been through the wars and I'm still not giving up on it). 


And finally, try not to give a crap about whether something fits your personal style or shape. Most of the people I know with the best sense of personal style have never used the words "personal style" in their life. They get dressed each day and even when it doesn't work, it still works. I realise there's such an irony in this. So cut out the noise and ignore what's "on trend", know what you like and don't like and have fun with it. And embrace your layers. All of them.

Shop The Post.





*This is not a sponsored post, however some links may be affiliate links.

Yeah, you read that right, a Sunday Post. It's been a while. But as I type this it's 1am on Sunday morning and I felt like getting a little life update out. I'm working on a bigger post (for which the above photo is a little teaser) but I have so much to talk about I felt like I wanted to get some things of my chest before I come back with a chunkier post.

BEFORE I START...

This week has been an emotional rollar coaster, I think for most people in one way or another. The attack in Manchester has left so many feeling lost for words, and it's something that will stay with me forever. I wanted to take a moment to touch on this here, as it's so hard to say how you feel in 140 characters on Twitter, and felt wrong to try and eloquently say something to my vlogging camera, but equally, it felt wrong to say nothing.  My love goes out to everyone affected by the attack on Monday, rest assured whilst it looks like everyone is back to business, it's not and Manchester is still in my heart.

PRODUCTIVITY AND PRIORITISING...

On a smaller, more trivial scale, this week has been one where I try my best to keep my head above water. I feel like I'm forever battling trying to be a domestic goddess (or just a normal clean human, who remembers to wash their hair and tidy their kitchen) with running a business in a balanced, responsible way. It's so important for me to have a good work life balance at least 90% of the time. Over the last year I realised how much we romanticise being "busy" all the time and working ridiculous hours. So whilst some days I kick myself because I haven't been able to get through every single item on my to-do list, or I didn't all my chores done, I'm still giving myself a pat on the back for doing the most I can in the time I have, whilst not running myself in to the ground. I've spoken a little about my experience of anxiety here, but being realistic with my expectations of myself has really helped me manage my anxiety and the pressure I put on myself on a daily basis. I think it's important to not equate working all hours with success, as everyones perception of success is so very different. Define what success means to you, and then decide what you need to do to achieve it. For me it's been so important to stop looking to others around me and really work on what really is my priority for myself. If you're feeling overwhelmed or unsure I can't recommend this enough!

MOVING MADNESS!

One of the reasons I've been battling my to-do list a little more than usual this week is because we're actually in the process of moving! I mentioned it here but in case you're more of a blog reader than YouTube viewer, we're moving! Same old Brighton, bigger house. There will officially be a space for me to work, and plenty of space to play too. (Side note: what are your favourite stores for interiors? This girl needs to know!) Whilst I'm so excited I was reminded this week that we really don't have very long to go and I need to get my act together. One thing that definitely helped with my focus a little this week was having my dedicated laptop hours out in the heat and sunshine - I've never been more ready to get on with my admin than with the promise of doing it in 20 degree heat. What can I say, I was born for warmer climates...

THE BEST BIT...

And finally to round off this week, I was asked to be a god mother for one of my best friends gorgeous little girl! Aside from feeling very aware this means I probably need to start acting like a responsible adult for her, I'm so thankful and feel so blessed that they chose me! It was a much needed moment of joy after a crazy week.

And that's this week in a nutshell, tomorrow is a "bank holiday" in the UK though for me you'll find me glued to my desk as usual. But changing my working practices recently has me feeling refreshed and ready for another Monday!

Love,
Suzie xx


Did someone say Road Trip???
*Sponsored by Rimmel

I love a road trip, but more than road tripping myself, I like the act of loved ones embarking on a road trip with me as their destination (of course the lazy girl in me loves this, of course!). When Rimmel first approached me and asked if I'd like to show one of my besties around Brighton for the day, I couldn't say no! A little planning and a few calls later here we are! Alix made her way from her hometown (nope, despite popular belief she doesn't live in Brighton!) to mine earlier this month for a day of doing what we do best, eating our way around Brighton.

Highlights Include:
Getting to create and film our own looks and going to some of my favourite places with Rimmel (check out their video to see what we got up to!), driving a swishy new Mini around my home town, and last but not least being mugged by a seagull! It took 25 years but it finally happened so make sure you check out the behind the scenes for all the details on that one!

DAY TIME LOOK: Natural Bronze
For running around Brighton during the day, my makeup look what pretty much what you'd expect from me, natural and bronzed with a little liner to finish things off.
I started with a little bit of the Match Perfection Foundation in the shade 200 Soft Beige to even out my skin tone and corrected any dark circles or areas of redness using the Insta Conceal and Correct palette, followed by the Insta Conceal and Contour in the shade 010 Light to conceal blemishes and blend over the top of the correctors. I also added a little glow and highlight to my skin by mixing the Insta Flawless in the shade 007 Medium Dark with the Good to Glow in 001 Nottinghill Glow - the two mixed together make a brilliant golden highlight! Before moving on with the rest of my makeup I used the Insta Fix & Matte Translucent Powder Notting HillGlow to set everything in place and bronzed my skin using the Natural Bronzer in 025 Sun Bronze. I added a little blush which was a mix of the two Lasting Colour Soft Colour Blushes in 020 Pink Rose and 010 Santa Rose. 
On my eyes I used the Magnifeyes Palette (001 Keep Calm & Wear Gold) applying the lighter shades over my eyelid and the neutral taupe shades in my crease. To counteract any redness in my waterline I used the Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eye Liner in 005 Nude and defined my eyes using the Glam-Eyes Professional Liquid Liner in the shade 001 Black Glamour. To finish it all off I used the Volume Shake Mascara in Black to give length to my lashes.
To finish my look off I defined my brows using the Brow This Way Fibre Pencil in the shade 003 Dark to give my brows a neat, fluffy, filled in look and applied the Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in 018 Addiction to my lips with the Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick in 54 Rock ‘n’ Roll Nude over the top!


EVENING LOOK: Coral Pop
As for my evening look, I went for something slightly different on the eyes, ditching the liquid liner for a smudgy brown kohl and coral lip colour.
I started off with the same base I'd applied that morning, applying slightly more of the Match Perfection Foundation in 200 Soft Beige for more coverage. I followed this up with the Insta Conceal and Correct and Insta Conceal and Contour in 010 Light to conceal and correct and a mixture of the Good to Glow in 001 Notting Hill Glow and Insta Flawless in 007 Medium Dark as before.
For a more intense contour I used the Insta Duo Contour Stick in Dark and blended this in to my temples, through my cheekbones and around my nose. I then applied the cream highlight on the other end to the tops of my cheek bones, down the centre of my nose and my temples. For eyes I used the Magnif’eyes Double Ended Shadow Liner in the shade 003 Queens of the Bronzed Age and blended the bronzey brown colour all over my eye lids in a messy, smoky way, bringing it down under my lower lashes too. I then defined my eyes using the Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer – 212 Rich Brown by applying this to my waterline and smudging it out on my lower lash line - I loved this soft smudgy look and actually think I prefer brown kohl liner to black now! I finished things off by using the Exaggerate Eye Liner in 003 Black  for some added definition, though the look didn't really need it. I recreated this look on my YouTube channel (don't forget to check that out too!) and I left it out as it looked so nice without! To finish off my eyes I used the Scandaleyes Reloaded Mascara in 003 Extreme Black. This mascara is amazing if you like thick, long lashes! I then filled in my brows using the Brow This Way Fibre Pencil in 003 Dark and made them a little more full than I did earlier that day.
 For lips I applied the Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in the shade 024 Red Diva, followed by The Only 1 Matte Lipstick in the shade 610 Cheeky Coral. I love a Coral lip at the moment and this shade inspired the whole look! To finish up I added a little bit of the Natural Bronzer in 025 Sun Bronze to add a bit more warmth to my face (an essential when applying heavy eye makeup!) and a mixture of the Lasting Colour Soft Colour Blush  in 020 Pink Blush and 010 Santa Rose to give a slightly more fresh feel to the overall look!



Recently I decided to downside my makeup bag, normally the size of my head, to something a little more respectable in size. I'm a little obsessed with polka dots of sorts at the moment and the new Zoella "Fairest of them All" makeup bag really caught my eye and inspired the huge downsize. Since then I've found it so much easier and faster to get ready each morning and I thought it was the perfect excuse for a blog post! So here are my favourite bits and bobs that I've been happily applying each morning!

First up we have my hero base products, the Dr Jart Water Fuse BB Cream, and YSL Touche Eclat foundation (shade 40), I always reach for the Dr Jart first, and then the YSL if I'm in need of extra coverage/glow/general flawless-ness. It's been four years and I'm still reaching for this one regularly, it really is the best foundation ever. Then for any dark circles I use the YSL Touche Eclat Neutraliser in the salmon/peach shade to correct any grey areas, followed by either the Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer (shade: Creme Brulee) or the YSL Touche Eclat depending on how much coverage I need, the former is definitely more of a high coverage concealer and I only reach for this one if my under eyes are a real mess or my complexion is looking particularly blotchy. Since blogging full time and wearing a full face of makeup on a more regular basis, I've really noticed just how much my skin has taken the hit. So i'm trying to keep my base as light as I can where possible, keeping it light handed and sparing on those rare "good skin days" in hopes that there will be more of them in the future! 

For blush I've been using an old favourite that I discovered during my Makeup Decluttering Video, it's EsteƩ Lauders Pure Colour Blush in Sensuous Rose, I've had this for a while and I'm hoping it's still around because it really is the perfect natural blush colour. At the time of photographing this post, I was a bit all over the place when it came to bronzing, and had been using a bit of everything, from the Tanya Burr Cosmetics Peachy Glow Palette to the Tom Ford Summer Compact, but I've finally settled on the Hourglass Illume Sheer Trio once again, and it's left me wondering why I ever stopped using it. It's a cream bronzer, blush and highlight in a palette and it truly is my perfect palette. It's not for every skin tone unfortunately, but I'm hoping they bring out a wider range of palettes in future so everyone can have get in on the action! For eyes, things are pretty much same old, same old. I LOVE the Guerlain Liquid Liner, it's the best if you love a really wet liner with a slightly satin finish. It's long lasting but comes off like a dream at the end of the day, I think I'm on my fourth now...

I've also been loving the Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara for those liquid liner days, it's defining and volumising with a little extra length too! If I'm going for a more minimal look then I simply reach for the EsteƩ Lauder Little Black Primer, this is a really under rated product and I actually get a lot of use out of it. Whether it's for a minimal eye look to add a tint to the lashes, or popping on a little something waterproof before the gym, or making any mascara waterproof or smudge proof when applied over the top for that matter, it's a good little multi tasker! As for lips... I always have a handful in my makeup bag, and this month I've been wearing Tanya Burr Cosmetics Martha Moo liquid lipstick almost daily, with either the L'Oreal Colour Riche Matte Lipstick in Blush in a Rush, or Hype over the top. I just found out about these lipsticks a few weeks ago and I'm totally converted, I even picked up a third called Pink-a-Porter the other day!

If you're wondering what any of the above look like on then I would highly recommend taking a look at the video below as I've used a fair few of them in there! There are also a lot of other favourites featured which I've been dying to talk about so it's definitely worth a watch! 

Suzie xx


SHOP THE POST







Towards the end of 2016 I'd been wanting to start the process of stripping back my skincare routine and have a more relaxed approach to my beauty regimen and I feel like the guys at Deciem heard me. The Ordinary launched last year and though it took me a little while to get around to picking out and trying a few things (trust me there's quite the selection), I'm so glad I did. I've been trying out a few products from The Ordinary for a few months now, and it's really changed how I approach my skin everyday. The brand has a simple, stripped back approach in terms of style, application and it's contents, and that's exactly the ethos I'd been looking for. The one thing I would say is knowing what you are looking for can be tricky and those with little knowledge of skincare ingredients will need to read up, which The Ordinary have actually made super easy with a regimen guide which shows application and when to apply and even gives a couple of example routines. I would highly recommend checking out their website as there is a fair amount of information there that could be helpful if the range looks a little daunting on the get go.

That aside, I wanted to show you what I'd been using and my thoughts as I think this is a brand you'll be seeing me mention a lot more in the future! Now, it all started off with the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 which I thought would be a pretty safe starter as my skin can often be dehydrated and I've used seemingly similar products in the past. I use this after cleansing/toning and before any heavier/thicker products like oils or creams. I don't go too product heavy over top of this, mainly just applying a moisturiser quickly after to allow it to work most effectively with the hyaluronic acid. It's pretty similar to Hydraluron - that old blogger fave - in concept, so I treat it as such. I generally use this morning and night unless I'm using something else (generally only switch my routine on the odd night - AM stays the same), and tend to keep it to serum and moisturiser. Nice and simple.

A more recent purchase from them which has quickly become a huge love of mine is the Salicylic Acid 2% Solution. It's an exfoliating acid which is often used to fight blemishes. You may remember I'm a big fan of toners that use Salicylic Acid, and I do use these on occasion, however in my experience I've found that persistent, regular use can be a bit too much for my skin, so I do tend to use this at the first signs of blemishes and during my transformation in to spot-zilla, but not when my skin is completely clear. So far this has been working wonders for me and I've actually found my recent breakouts haven't scarred so much. *BREAKS IN TO CELEBRATORY DANCE* One little reminder is that as with any exfoliant, you're going to want to go in hard on the SPF after using this for at least a week - even if it's cloudy. I wear it every day that I leave the house so it's second nature to me, but for those that don't it's worth keeping that in mind. Same goes for the next product...


Then we have the Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%, this is one that I'm currently using in very small amounts a couple of times a week (PM) alongside the Hyaluronic Acid as I'm still building up my skins tolerance levels to it. Even just using a small amount leaves my skin feeling so soft and smooth the next morning so I'm excited to continue using this long term and see how it works with my skin.

Then we have "Buffet" which is described as a "multi technology peptide serum", and if I'm honest this is the one I'm still a little unsure of so far. I question weather my skin is still a little too young for this as it's build to target signs of ageing, amongst other concerns. I haven't given this one too much of a road test as my skin recently broke out and I'm waiting for it to chill before I introduce it in to the rotation on a longer term basis. But I have friends who love and swear by this and it seems to be a popular choice in the range if you want something that does a little bit of everything.

All in all, my experience with the brand so far has been really positive. The product quality and performance for the price range has really impressed me. With so many acids in the range (which require SPF for at least a week after use) the one thing I do feel is missing from the selection is a kick ass SPF (correct me if I'm wrong but I can't see a dedicated SPF anywhere). It would be great if they could be a one stop shop for all skincare needs but I'm excited to try more and I think The Ordinary also works as a great stepping stone in to other Deciem brands. They're also Vegan and Cruelty Free as they don't retail in China AND they retail on ASOS, so if you have your VIP membership you can get a few bits and bobs from them delivered to you the next day (worth doing if everything you want is on ASOS, otherwise delivery from their website can take a few more days). 

TLDR: Effective, affordable, vegan and cruelty free - reasons why this brand is worth a look in a nut shell. Now we know where I stand, I'd love to know your thoughts? Are you interested? Or does it all seem a little bit too science-y for your tastes? 

THE ORDINARY





*This is not a sponsored post, however some links may be affiliate links.
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