A Few of My Favourite Things: July

This has been a little late coming, I grant you, but July has been utterly full of things that I have loved, so whittling them down for this post was somewhat tricky. It’s been a pretty happy month, so read on for a highly-edited selection of what’s been making me smile…

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These white slingbacks from River Island were a bit of a birthday present to myself (thanks to the in-laws!) – I saw them and fancied them at the start of July, but didn’t commit; did I really need another pair of heels? Then, my best friends’ engagement party jumped up on me, and I found myself in desperate need of a pair of white heels to go with my dress. Cue the slingbacks, subsequently sold out on the River Island website, but luckily the last pair left in store! They’re not what I’d usually go for at all, but I loved the retro ladylike feel, and there’s nothing like a pair of shiny white shoes to make a girl feel special. I’ve got my eye on the ponyskin-esque leopard pair next…

The tacky little Eiffel Tower… I bought this at about 11.30pm on my birthday, when my love and I were leaving the glorious light show behind at the Tower. I had fallen completely in love, and so decided to buy myself a tacky little 2 Euro tower to remind myself of a truly wonderful evening. And it really does; every time it catches my eye, I smile. More about that evening in Paris in a few days…

I first read Little Women when I was about nine years old. Bored on a day trip to Windsor, I sought solace in a bookshop, and stumbled upon this very interesting-sounding story about a group of sisters, who looked quite Victorian from the cover image. I bought it for the princely sum of £1.99, and have never gone a year without re-reading it since. It’s one of my very favourite books, and all the time I have spent travelling in July (which was a lot of time, believe me), my tatty, battered old copy of Little Women came with me. If you haven’t read it – what have you been doing with your life?! – please do, and check the film out on Netflix to fall as much in love with Christian Bale as I have done.

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It’s been a good month, beauty-wise. In terms of good products, not in terms of me personally, I hope you understand! I joined the revolution and started using a Tangle Teezer this month, and promptly wondered why on earth I hadn’t gotten one before. The most practical of all my birthday presents, but definitely the best-used, I haven’t been without it since I unwrapped it.

I feel the same about my new Real Techniques powder brush; again, a brilliant buy with my birthday money. I’ve been looking at this for a long while, and I already have the blush and expert face brushes, which I adore, so I decided to go the full fandango and buy the powder brush too. Cue a gorgeous, glowy complexion without the merest hint of powder. Lovely stuff.

I wrote about buying the Miss Manga mascara previously, but now I’ve had a month or so to test it, I can honestly say I love it. It creates totally black lashes, and builds to a gorgeous thickness, leaving me with the 1960s-false eyelash style I love to wear. It’s not without its faults; I can’t wear it on my lower lashes as it seems to smudge quite easily there, and it does flake a little, but I’m hoping both of these are because of the humidity. I’m going to ride it out until Winter and report back.

Lord knows I love a magazine freebie, and in my job, I luckily get to help myself to every freebie going! But my favourite has been from a magazine we don’t get in the office – it came from my Elle subscription. This Malin+Goetz miniature set has been a dream this month, coming in handy for all the times I’ve been away. It takes up no space at all in my makeup bag, but the three products have been incredible to use. The cleanser is so gentle, removing all the last scraps of makeup easily, while the moisturiser is very nourishing. I’ve found that the lip moisturiser somehow plumps my lips up quite substantially, as well as hydrating them, so I’ve been loving having a fuller pout! Unfortunately this issue of Elle is no longer on sale, but I would definitely recommend these products if you’re looking for suits-all essentials!

Whilst on Oxford Street at the end of the month, with time to kill and a purse full of birthday money, I decided I wanted a pretty pink lipstick. I had the exact shade in mind, which turned up to be Mac’s very, very limited-edition Viva Glam Gaga, which has of course has long since sold out and is nigh on impossible to get hold of. Unless you like the idea of buying someone else’s, second-hand, half-finished lipstick, of course. Yeuch. After some online hunting, I found the perfect dupe and the answer to my longing – Rimmel’s Lasting Finish Lipstick in Pink Blush. It is literally the prettiest pink ever, and I have worn it almost continuously for the last two weeks. Best of all, it’s priced at just £4.99 – a whole £10 cheaper than Mac. It’s very hydrating, glides on smoothly, stays on for ages and looks just lovely, I highly recommend.

And last, but by no means least – my very favourite birthday gift. I bought it myself, with my own money, and it was the best gift I got, hands down. After a lovely morning and lunch in Paris on my birthday itself, I decided what I’d very much like to do was to visit the original Chanel store on Rue Cambon, and treat myself to something pretty inside. On a very limited budget, in Chanel terms anyway. I had a glorious red lipstick in mind, and what should I find but utter perfection. Ladies, this is the Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet, in shade 46, La Malicieuse. Also known as, the best lipstick I’ve ever bought. Velvet is not the word – this thing is like a cloud. The colour payoff is stunning, and it’s so comfortable to wear. I adore the packaging, and almost can’t bear to use it – I don’t want to wear away the ‘Chanel’ embossed into the bullet. It was completely luxurious and self-indulgent of me – but sometimes you just need to spoil yourself.

So, that’s what’s been making me smile this month – how about you?

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