Not forgetting – the pinafore trouser!

(not to be confused with a dungaree!)

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Picture from alexachungblog.tumblr.com

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Pinafore Love

I have to admit, I love a pinafore. I always have done and always will. I liked wearing them at school and I’ve been prone to wearing dresses pinafore-style with a shirt or polo-neck underneath in the winter because I think it looks good. Up until recently I felt that I may have been alone. But luckily for me, my biggest style crush Alexa Chung has become the  champion of the pinafore dress, both the ‘designed to be pinafore’ type and the ‘turn any old dress into a pinafore’ type too. Here is my ode to Alexa and her pinafores. May they ever continue….

Scottish Fashion Awards 2012 London Collections 2012: MEN - Day 1

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All pictures from alexachungblog.tumblr.com

February Favorites No 5 – Maybelline Colour Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow

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It is fun to have a bit of metallic sheen in your eye shadow especially if you want quite a dramatic effect. This gel-cream eye shadow by Maybelline is in the colour ‘On and On Bronze’ which is a really subtle shade of brown, and is perfectly wearable in the day without looking like you are going to a party. Creams and gels are great because you can apply them with your fingers much easier than a powder and I’ve also been wearing it as an eyeliner under my eye too instead of a pencil as it  gives a lovely soft edge and a tiny bit of shimmer. It is also carmine free (I have to check everything before I buy as the ingredient creeps into eye shadows too it seems…) especially the bronze/ gold shades.

February Favorites No 4 – AVEENO Daily Moisure Lotion

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I can thank my wonderful husband for introducing me to the soothing power of oats! We went to Thailand on our honeymoon, during their rainy season (and that is a lot of rain) and my skin fell to pieces. I was a walking rash, which meant I had to wear cotton from head to toe and stay cool all the time. Not great. I did however learn that a tropical climate wasn’t for me!

When we returned my skin didn’t get any better, mostly due to the hideous wet weather in the UK all summer so I was being driven insane by a full body rash that was keeping me awake at night and miserable all day. Then one day my husband announced he was going to make me a ‘porridge bath’ because he had read it could help. I was very skeptical but was prepared to try anything at this point. It was a revelation! He had put a few spoonfuls of porridge oats in an old sock, tied the end and then left it in a warm bath. By the time I got into it the water had gone milky and there was a really pleasant smell of porridge. The effect was soothing and my skin stopped screaming. Since then I have used oats in the bath every time I have a flare up. It doesn’t cure it but it is very calming.

So, onto Aveeno! This daily moisturizing lotion has no fragrance and contains oats which as you may have guessed – have anti-irritant properties to sooth the skin. I try and remember to use it every day after I shower as it makes a huge difference to my skin’s general hydration and that in itself can help keep the eczema away.

I have to add that I haven’t used it during a flare up so this review is base don my present, calm, winter skin.

February Favorites No 3 – Lily Lolo Foundation

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I have struggled for years to find a foundation that didn’t upset my skin and have to take off after a couple of hours. I found mineral make-up by chance, while researching products that didn’t contain certain ingredients. The genius of mineral foundations is that that only consist of a few basic ingredients; Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide and Iron Oxides. It is really unusual to be allergic to these ingredients so they are a great choice for people like me who react to the normal combinations of oils and pigments found in most make-up brands. Titanium Oxide (and Zinc Oxide) are some of the best ingredients found in sunscreens so this type of make up also works to protect your skin from sun damage.

Lily Lolo is one of the more affordable mineral make-up brands and they sell small test jars through their website so you can try it on you skin initially without a lot of investment. The colour I have been wearing all winter is called ‘Blonde’. I am very pale, having been away from the sun for the better part of two years now and it matches my complexion without looking sallow. I would say it has a tiny peachy edge to it but almost unnoticeable. I also use it as a concealer.

I want Michelle William’s new hair cut!

Michelle Williams new hair is utterly fab. She has said it is ‘grow out hair’ but in my experience grow out hair looks deeply tragic and not effortlessly chic like this. It does help that she is blessed with elfin features and nice thick wavy hair but I still salute any woman with the confidence to have cropped hair. If only I was that brave…

Looks like a short bob from this side...

Looks like a short bob from this side…

But from the side it looks much shorter (though that could be some clever brushing!)

But from the side it looks much shorter (though that could be some clever brushing!)

February Favorites No 2 – JASON Natural Fragrance Free Daily Shampoo

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I have had to wear rubber gloves in the shower to wash my hair for as long as I can remember. My hands and face are the two places on my body that need little encouragement to become itchy, red and very unhappy.

For years it was almost impossible to buy any shampoo that was fragrance free (obviously most people want to wash their hair with something that smells lovely) but not great for those of us with allergy issues. I remember having to use some really unpleasant products prescribed by my doctor which left your hair feeling greasier than it had to begin with.

So, the washing up gloves were my answer, making sure as my hands didn’t touch the stuff and it was rinsed of quickly, though when my skin was having a flare up this would just make things worse. But ‘hurray!’ Some brands are now realizing that there is a whole market out there of people who need things to be really simple, because their skin is sensitive to basic irritants, and fragrance is one of them. Jason’s shampoo is lovely, quite runny, but lathers well, despite there being no Sodium Laurel Sulphate in it (another thing I try to avoid) and it cleans the hair well with no residue. I can also leave the washing up gloves in the kitchen!