TSM Outift Post: Falling in love with London and Louboutins

I never really believed it, but it really is possible to fall in love with a city and I know this because I get a bit choked up inside thinking and admitting that after three and a half wonderful years in London, I’ll be leaving soon to head back home to Melbourne. I convinced myself that if I don’t admit it on my blog and continue not to discuss it with close friends here, it’s not really happening (classic case of denial!). Whilst I very much looking forward to spending more quality time with my loved ones and re-discovering Melbourne through new eyes, I’m also left with other peculiar feelings such as anxiety, sadness, excitement and fear which hopefully are normal emotions for someone in my situation?!

In preparation to leave, I have learnt three things over the past few months: 1) I need to check myself into ‘hoarders anonymous’ 2) the decision to move half-way across the world has provided me with some of the best experiences and memories of my life so far and 3) how lucky I am to be able to see walk by these historic and strikingly beautiful landmarks each and every day … Tower Bridge is one of my favourites and is only a 10 minute walk from my home.

Celine trio bag clutch in red christian Louboutin pigalle

Celine Trio Magenta red Christian Louboutin Heels PiagelleThese are my trusty comfortable distressed boyfriend jeans that I’ve mentioned work well on most body shapes and can easily be dressed up with a simple pair of heels. You’ll remember that these were a travelling staple of mine from my Tuscany trip¬†styled more casually and were inspired by a reader who wanted advice on how to wear boyfriend jeans.

zara distressed boyfriend jeans how to wear boyfriend jeans

Celine Trio Hermes Orange H Bracelet clac

It really does take time to find the right pair and I probably tried on at least 5 before I found these which were affordable and comfortable with just the right hint of ‘ventilation.’ You know you can always find an old pair and jeans and experiment with distressing it yourself (DIY) ūüėõ

Now let’s talk about another love affair. The one most women may or may not admit to having with Christian Louboutin heels. Maybe like me, you’ve always wondered whether these Christian Louboutins are really worth all the hype and more importantly the money (first post here).¬†To be honest, I find only a select few CL designs fit to my taste but if there is one thing that Christian Louboutins do and do very well, is make you feel like a million bucks. It’s not just about the signature red sole, but it’s a combination of the low cut sides, shape and heel design of this particular heel which makes your foot feel and look sexy. Christian Louboutins are known for being made to enhance and celebrate a woman’s femininity and walk. I’m really not explaining myself very well here but there is definitely a sense of confidence, however fake, I get from doning and strutting around in a pair of these Christian Louboutins. Whether I can last in them for more than an hour, that’s a different story #weak

BCBG Maxaria lace striped top celine trio christian louboutin black shoes

boyfriend jeans ripped distressed denim zara

This design is the¬†Christian Louboutin Pigalle in patent black and is available in three heel heights: 8.5cm (85)¬†(better for everyday wear), 10cm (100) and the very sexy 12cms (120). I’m wearing the 100s which is just at the height of my comfortability threshold. I’m at awe at those who can trot around in the 120s on and off camera!BCBGMAXARIA lace top

Tower Bridge London Fashion Christian louboutin celineThese are some of my favourite photos from my blog because I can see the stunning Tower Bridge in the background. If you ever do come to London, put it on your list to get to for a picture because it certainly is a lot more exciting that the actual famous London Bridge. St Paul’s Cathedral and West Minster Abbey are also other favourite landmarks of mine.

t-styled Me and melandelle 2

zara orange peach coat_

Outift Details

Thanks for reading and thanks to Jon for taking these pictures for me :)

TSM Recommends: Aldo Black Ankle Cham Boots

Hi Guys! Just a quick hellowww … Hope you had a great weekend. Mine was pretty good, except for the fact that it was too short but that seems to be the trend these days… What is up with that?

I know not all of you read my tumblr and I’ve had a few more questions come through about the black boots that I’m wearing in this post here¬†so I thought I’d provide a quick update to let you know I popped back into an Aldo store on the weekend and they are back in stock this season and in a variety of colours too!

Aldo Cham Ankle Boots

Aldo Cham ankle boots with gold hardware

Unfortunately for my Aussie readers, Aldo in Europe doesn’t ship to Australia but I did a bit of research and found a similar pair available online that is in a very similar design at the iconic and may I add, it’s a little cheaper too! I can’t speak for the quality of this one but I do know the one from Aldo is made from leather and a really comfortable height.

If anyone uses Amazon.com I surprisingly found the boots on here too.

T-Styled Me Tip …

For that extra bit of comfort, add insoles! They make the world of difference and I bought a pair from Primark and Topshop¬†which had a sticky backing and slipped right into the shoe. They certainly¬†help with the comfort factor when I’m late and running for the bus!

shoe in-soles

Have a great week guys!

Tien xo

TSM Tips: How to find the right hairdresser that suits you

I recently had a few questions come through on my tumblr about what styling products I use for my hair and this had me reminiscing about the first day I set foot in London and decided that it was time for the big C.H.O.P! I had had enough of long hair (and standing in front of the mirror, sucking in my cheeks and folding my hair in at strange angles in attempt to imagine myself with short hair, a fringe and a moustache) I was ready for a change!

I’ve never been one who religiously visits one and only one hairdresser. Not because I’m disloyal, but because I’ve never felt like I’ve met ‘the one.’¬†It’s almost like dating isn’t it? Some would just nod and pretend to listen (Just¬†a trim sweetie? Blah blah blah Imma give you whatever haircut I feel like today) and others would make me feel like they understood what I wanted but in reality charged me an arm and a leg to flutter their scissors and exclaim how much they LOVE.IT before pushing me out the door poorer than when I walked in yet still with the same length hair.

Since I’ve come to London, I have stuck to the one single hairdresser for three years. I met my hairdresser at Rush Hair¬†on the Strand on Embankment and for the first time ever, I didn’t leave regretting wasting my money. I was in LOVE: Hook, line and sinker after the first session. My hairdresser¬†was professional, technically trained, genuinely friendly and importantly delivered on what we discussed. The salons themselves were gorgeously decorated and it always felt like a treat to be in pampered in, especially in the Shu Umera lounge at the Rush salon on¬†The Strand.

I know most of us want to feel like a million bucks when we leave a hairdresser’s and I’m no exception but after so many let downs in Oz, for me all I wanted was to leave feeling like I a) I actually got my hair cut b) my styled hair differently to how I walked in and c) I got my money’s worth. My experiences at Rush always tick these three boxes. I love the products they use and am always sneakily asking for advice on DIY tips and tricks for the in between haircut weeks.

If you’ve been roaming around London like me looking for ‘THE ONE’ I’d definitely recommend giving Rush¬†a go. It’ll be the best pick me up you can give yourself.

A picture taken after ‘The Chop’ three years ago

short hair rush hairdressers

And another one from the last haircut I had a couple of months back from the same hairdresser I met all those years ago at Rush.

Celine Trio Bag Magenta Red regular small Shoreditch love shake

 

T-Styled Me tips on finding the right hairdresser and obtaining the experience you’re after is is always to:

  • Where possible, use recommendations from friends. Trust is a major issue when it comes to hair and you generally don’t want to risk it.
  • Opt for a hairdresser that is within your budget that you will realistically return to for follow up appointments whether it be a stylist or a senior stylist
  • Bring in pictures and clearly explain to your stylist exactly the look that you’re after and don’t be afraid to speak out half way through the haircut.
  • Find someone who suits your style and you get along with without having to try too hard.
  • Always ask for a different finish: blow-waved curly, straight, with loose waves – This part personally always makes me feel like a million bucks !
  • If you don’t like the service, get up and move on – no one wants to be stuck in a bad relationship right?!

TSM Shopping Review: Isabel Marant Dicker Boots

Isabel Marant Taupe Dicker boots-2Hope you’re having a fabulous week so far! I realise that I’ve had my Isabel Marant Dicker boots (available here) for well over six months now and I still haven’t got around to posting a review on them.

I was after a pair of non black boots that were suitable to wear in Winter and with dresses in Summer and most importantly, of reasonable walking height so when I spotted these Isabel Marant boots, I instantly fell in love with the Suede finish and French designer’s subtle design. The online reviews were very favourable but the only downside was the hefty IM price tag. So after months of deciding (I asked every man and his dog what I should do) it came down to two pairs: The Isabel Marants or a similar styled pair in Topshop

Topshop arlene western Boot with side zip Arlene Western Zip Boots from Topshop

These Topshop ones were made from leather, came in a similar but not exact taupe colour, were reasonably comfortable and provided my desired look. Clearly they were the more economically viable choice right? Well … about that … You’ve seen the first picture so you know which path I went down in the end … I gave into my Suede shoes addiction, trusting all the online reviews and went on a mini-splurge, convinced the price would translate into quality. I also say mini splurge because I was lucky enough to locate a hardly-worn pre-loved pair on eBay in France in my size, woohoo!¬†Ebay fate. Believe it.

If I had purchased the Topshop boots, would I have been happy? Yes, I think I would have but maybe the grass is greener on the other side. I gave into gut instinct and to this day, I don’t regret it at alI :) I love my Isabel Marant Dickers and have walked hours on end with them over London’s Winter and now into its Summer too…

Isabel Marant Dicker boots

These babies will be making an appearance in my next styling session post soon so stay tuned …!

TSM Shopping Review: Butterfly Twists – Folding Ballerina Flats

My hands are itching. The biannual sale season is almost upon us here in Europe. Yes, if there’s one thing no-one can deny it is the fact that sales are HUGE here and they are Awwwesome!¬†(crazy shoppers, not so much). I wasn’t sure when the sales would start this “Summer” but after nosing around (chatting to sale assistants) it appears the preview sales start this weekend with the official start in a few weeks’ time. I’ve been itching to shop for a few months now but am holding back for the bargains. The beauty of shopping for clients¬†is that you feel that temporary rush without having to feel guilty! I’m creating a focused list of sensible items to target when the time arrives so let the games begin! (I’m still convinced shopping is a sport).

Ever since I made the mistake of wearing heels on my birthday followed by a full day of shopping around London (birthday post here), I’ve been on the lookout for fold-up flats to throw in my handbag. If you live in Europe, unless you’re wearing a stacked heel or you’re superwoman, it is extremely difficult, to walk around efficiently in heels. There’s no boyfriend’s car to totter over to but instead, you’re greeted with steps upon steps leading to out of operation escalators to the train platforms and cobblestones oh cobblestones. So unless totally inebriated after a night out, my feet are always furious at me for putting them through a fashion instigated ordeal.

I finally stumbled upon the perfect pair of fold up ballerina flats while shopping for a client last weekend and wanted to share them with you all. Not sure if I’m the only one out there who can’t manage to walk around in heels in London but in the event that I’m not alone, there are these absolute God-sends by the name of Butterfly Twists that come in a surprisingly stylish range of colours and patterns.

Folding Ballerina flats butterfy TwistsButterfly Twist BallerinasOliva Palmero leopard flats Butterfly twists folding flats

The retail price varies depending on the design but I managed to pick mine up for £20 in the OFFICE concession store in Selfridges.

They’re designed in the UK but manufactured in China and I’m not too fussed about that because they are really just a back up for when my feet need relief from heels. I’ve worn them for a couple of hours (tested them out at dinner) which included walking to the tube and restaurant and my feet felt quite supported. Although I went half a size up for extra comfort, because my left foot is slightly larger than my right, the elastic band of heeled part of the shoe dug into my heel which irritated me a little towards the end of the night. I should have gone up a full size up in hindsight. Otherwise, I’d recommend them for your wallet/purse as they are really quite comfortable and compact.

Fold up flats Butterfly twists for your handbag

I’ve got the Cleo Ballerinas on here – snap taken while waiting for the tube to come.

Butterfly Twists are available in Office and other outlets within the UK but also deliver internationally. You can always check your local pharmacy/drugstore for similar alternatives.

Hope this post was helpful! I must admit, the fact that Oliva Palmero wears them may or may not have influenced me to purchase them. Damn those celebrity enablers!

T-Styled Me Tip: DIY belt holes (Silverline Leather Hole Puncher)

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you all had a chance to enjoy the extended weekend and didn’t indulge in too much chocolate like I did (Easter may be over, but I’m still going! Damn those two-for-one deals; they always get when the eggs go on sale¬†after Easter!). This came up on my FaceBook News feed which made me giggle (and sing off tune) as I usually eat one or two of these each Easter so thought it’d be funny to share it with you guys …

now-youre-just-some-bunny-that-i-used-to-knowOne of my friends gave me an Amazon e-voucher last year for my birthday and I’ve been slowly using it up over the past 12 months buying e-books on my Kindle (FYI Currently in the middle of reading ‘Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea;’ a collection of stories about real life North Korean defectors who escaped to South Korea; a real eye opener!) but what I’ve also managed to buy with the voucher which has proven to be super handy is a Leather Hole Punch Plier.

Silverline Leather Belt hole Puncher

I have about 20 belts hanging from my belt rack, 10 which never get to see daylight as they’ve been mentally ostracised, deemed unsuitable¬†for wear because they’re too large and require extra holes. Roughly every six months I either pick up another belt at the sales in a similar state or and continually convince myself that I’ll get around to taking those 10 belts to cobbler’s to get those extra holes added. The last time I did that was probably four years ago at a shoe repair place where the guy charged me $2/hole or something silly like that. So I bit the bullet recently and purchased my own belt hole puncher and I am particularly chuffed that it has now punched holes in all my belts, my friend’s cross body bag and her boyfriend’s belt as well!

Silverline Leather Belt hole Puncher Heavy Duty Punch Pliers

The punch pliers are really simple to use, however the only disclaimer I would bolt onto that is that it helps to have a guy around to clamp the hole puncher and swivel it with significant force.

Step 1: Mark with a pen where you require the hole, taking particular care to evenly space the desired hole in relation to the others. 

How to make a hole in your belt

Step 2:¬†Select the right sized hole on the plier wheel (It’s always better to go for a smaller hole first).¬†This particular plier has 6 different sized holes that range from 2 – 5mm.

Silverline Leather Belt hole Puncher Heavy Duty Punch Pliers

Step 3: Clamp down firmly and swivel the belt /  leather

Leather Belt hole Puncher Heavy Duty Punch Pliers

And Viola!!leather belt bag hole puncher Ralph LaurenI purchased this particular Silverline Heavy Duty Punch Plier from Amazon and if you browse around you’ll find that there are a variety of brands you can choose from at various prices. You can also use this handy tool for other leather DIY projects (leather clutches, travel tags, personalised key rings etc) so also check your your local¬†hardware¬†store too.

Hope you found this post useful! It’s just one of those things that only one person in the family needs to invest in and everyone can benefit from it rather than making that trip,¬†procrastinating¬†in my case, to see the repair man.

Thanks Michelle for being my hand model ūüėõ Have a great week guys!

Tien xo

TSM Product Review: Sephora’s Express Nail Polish Remover

One of my favourite beauty buys which I don’t mind splurging on is the Sephora branded Nail Express Polish remover. Whether it be in the smaller stores in Spain or the mega-flagships in the US, every single time I walk into a Sephora, one to three of these bottles make their way into my basket. I don’t mind picking up a couple extra more just in case it happens to be the last time I ever walk into a Sephora (unlikely) and so I end up giving them away as presents to friends :)

No joke, this nail polish remover will CHANGE your life (ok, perhaps a slight exaggeration but it is definitely amazing in my books) and it’s certainly unlike any nail polish remover I’ve used before. What I love about it is that it’s simple, clean and effortless. There’s no excess rubbing involved; you don’t even need cotton wool and if there’s one thing you may have noticed about me is that I am notoriously lazy (cue many blog photos sans make-up). Although an avid lover of bright coloured nails, removing chipped polish puts me off applying it in the first place. With this nail polish remover, I find it much easier to swap and experiment with colours without wasting a good 20 minutes each time trying to get rid of stubborn polish.

These bottles retail at 7.90 Euros or $9.50 USD depending on where you buy them from and are available to buy online at Sephora (shipping to limited countries). If you ever get a chance, definitely grab one of these!

Sephora Express Nail Polish Remover

The 75ml bottle is filled with foam soaked in nail polish remover liquid with a hole that allows you to individually dip your fingers in and within a minute, the nail polish is removed completely from all crevices of your nail bed, no matter how many stubborn layers you’ve have applied. In my experience, each fingernail only takes 5 seconds and the nail polish is completely removed from the fingernail without any effort at all.

Pros

  • Dermatologically tested and formulated without acetones and parabens
  • Gentle on nails
  • Quick, efficient and requires little effort leaving no mess
  • Available online and across Europe & Asia
Cons
  • You can’t use them on your toenails ūüėõ
  • They aren’t available in Australia or UK so stock up when you travel or get a friend to bring one back.
  • Slightly expensive for 75mls
Here are some other goodies I picked on my most recent Sephora haul which I am glad to report have been using :)

TSM Product Review: Tarte’s Amazonian 12 Hr Clay Blush

I buy make up (which I hoard and don’t use except to give myself the visual delight of seeing them look pretty in the drawer) but blush and mascara are two favourites I actually do use. Mascara, well she’s a girl’s best friend and with blushes, you just don’t seem to find ‘bad’ blushes out there – You can probably only go wrong with uncomplimentary colour choices and application.

The last blush I used was Revlon’s Colourstay Mineral blush. The¬†Petal colour was extremely sheer (just a hint of pink) and required¬†layers of application to build and blend. While annoying for some, it actually suited me better for everyday wear and if I were to re-purchase, I’d give the slightly darker Roseberry colour a go.

  • Cost: Under $20 AUD (cheaper in US & online)
  • Packaging: Clean and compact
  • Contained an emergency mini brush
  • Colours: Petal (soft pink) Roseberry (pink) and Honey (nude)

Tarte’s 12hr Amazonian Clay Blush

The Revlon blush lasted me two years (shows you just how often I use make up!) and since I couldn’t find it to replace in the UK, I decided to give Tarte’s 12 Amazonian Clay blush a go having heard rave reviews about Tarte’s Clay blushes. I’ve been using it for two months now so thought it’d be the perfect time for my first product review. Here’s a quick summary:

  • It’s a solar-baked pressed powder blush infused with clay from the banks of the Amazionan rivers (where the nutrients are at the highest concentration)
  • It claims to last for 12 hours
  • It’s not tested on animals (very important to me!) and is¬†vegan friendly.
  • Contains beeswax (naturally stimulates collagen and decreases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles) and vitamin C and E
  • Free of mineral oil, parabens (controversially linked to cancer),¬†phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate and synthetic fragrance.
  • Suitable for all skin types:

Oily skin: Amazonian clay minimizes oil in and around pores to balance skin and keep product in place
Dry skin: Amazonian clay hydrates skin naturally to restore moisture so your blush wears better & longer
Combination skin: Amazonian clay is completely intuitive; gives skin an overall smooth & even appearance

The clay blush comes in 8 different shades. I opted for the colour ‘EXPOSED’ which although described as nude in colour is more of a brown with a hint of pink.¬†

This part below I don’t enjoy so much as part of blogging but here we go ! I wanted to try the blush directly onto my bare skin without any base so here are some extreme close ups (eeeek!) of the colour on my cheeks with only one application…

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