Midi Connection.

A short history of MIDI.
A short history of MIDI | Rings, Topshop/H&M; Nails, Sally Hansen Nail Polish Strips in Side Swiped

I’ve not been one for jewellery for a long time. In fact, I was 16 the last time I wore anything with regularity: a pair of large silver hoops that travelled down the trend funnel from J-Lo to me. Since then, metal hasn’t seemed to get on with my skin, and rings in particular I have never worn. Until I bought a pair of gold/diamante midi rings from H&M for a wedding party: £2.99 wouldn’t be bad for a one-off, but actually they came with none of the usual strange rashes or urge to pull them off my fingers that I’m used to. My birthday arrived the next week, and with it a bit of money to spend up town. To Topshop it was for their ridiculous gold-toned jewels, and then back to H&M for turquoise and thin silver.

The ones that started it all
The ones that started it all | Rings, H&M; Nails, China Glaze

I don’t know how much anyone really notices my hands, but I am very excited that I can get a bit of metal on there now to compliment nailz. I’m also working up to necklaces and earrings, so keep your eye out for sparkle a-comin’…

Holodeck.

Someone turned off all the lights, right? It’s cold and Novemberish so only shiny things will do. I’ve finally joined the bandwagon I’ve been running alongside forever: sweet, sweet holographic nails.

Sparkle motion! Nail polish, £12, Urban Outfitters
Sparkle motion! Nail polish, £12, Urban Outfitters

I’m now in possession of THE NAILS I WAS BORN TO HAVE. Or, something like that. Ever since my sister gave me my first ever nail polish (Rainbow Glitter by Spectacular, fact fans), I’ve been set on this course. I am now myself, at one with my inner magpie. I know holographic nail varnish has been readily available for ages now, but I’m not too keen on mail order and 17’s offering didn’t seem up to much. £12 is a little ridiculous but it’s the real deal: my digits scatter rainbows, and I just wish I had some crazy acrylics to increase the sparkle. As it is, my purchase coincided with hacking my nails to within an inch of their lives – but you get the picture.

image
Godzilla vs. Carrot Fingers

Images ably backed by my paper placemats. I cleared the crumbs off for y’all especially.

Cute & Sleazy & Cursed.

Goodness knows what this title’s gonna do for my search engine rank, but Cute & Sleazy is the name of this set of nail stickers from Sara M Lyons on Etsy (look closely enough and you’ll see there’s no skimping on the latter). I thought they’d be complimented well by the cutest and sleaziest new addition to my wardrobe, this leopard furry number from Primark. Teamed here with an H+M T-shirt dress that’s migrated half the way across my chest, and a new Topshop bag I’m holding back-to-front.

Outfit Photos 101: FAILED
Outfit Photos 101: FAILED

I’d waited for a bit to wear the stickers, and finally decided that today was the day: three fresh coats of Rimmel’s Black Cherries later, I realised that you were supposed to paint your nails with a light colour for them to show up. There’s a little strawberry on Ruby Ring, not that you’d know it.

Reading instructions: FAILED
Reading instructions: FAILED

Just to leave you with something successful, here’s my phone decorated in the normal-sticker versions, alongside a few puffy Japanese stickers and a poodle with blusher on. Makes reading this whole thing worth it, right?

HI I'M A POODLE WITH BLUSHER AND A BOW TIE
HI I’M A POODLE WITH BLUSHER AND A BOW TIE

One day, I’ll get better at all this.

The Rough With the Smooth.

What goes on with my nails is basically a micro version of my flighty aesthetics, the flip between class and trash all played out between cuticle ‘n’ tip. This post could be about coats or shoes, but today it’s nailzzzz.

New Look: thee glitz
New Look: thee glitz

Exhibit A: I saw these nail wraps in New Look and immediately snapped ’em up (although tbh the Little Mix wraps were tempting) then stuck ’em on. Aside from looking pretty awesome they are THE ROUGHEST THINGS EVER. Two coats of topcoat tempered them a little, but don’t even think about running your fingers through your hair. Definitely not anyone else’s hair. Top marks for easy removal though, so for that alone they’re worth it.

 NARS: down the chippy
NARS: down the chippy

Exhibit B: After all that I was dead set on something smooth and classic, so I used my sole NARS nail varnish in ‘Dovima’. I’m still pretty bowled over by high-end makeup, so this hasn’t been used anywhere near as much as it should have been – but DAMN it is classy. (I’m also afraid of classy.) Glossy and sleek and about eight flipping chips in as many hours. Sorry François, you lost this one.

Moral of the story? Nails aren’t a moral issue. Get outta here and paint/wrap/glue ’em good. I’m on a blue tip next…

Lessons Lately.

I’m not planning to get all catch-up post on you, but here is some stuff whilst I haven’t really been doing anything worthy of proper blogging:

50p nail wraps are a false economy

>:(
Rage

£1 ones still rule, but I guess they’re half price for a reason. This was after a couple of hours 😥

My bum is stuck in the past

Original short shorts
Original short shorts

No pics of me in them as they are tiny, but these 1950/40s shorts I just inherited from my great aunt fit like a dream. With no stretch. I know I’m far from being the only one with the problem of waist/hips that don’t fit with modern sizing, but oh how these demonstrate the discrepancy.

I’m an ingrate and can’t be bovved with summer anymore.

BORING
BORING

Try as I might, August is always the point I stop caring about sunshine. The new season’s filtering in, and I’m getting excited. As per usual I have exactly the same wishlist: clumpy shoes, dark lips, buttoned-up collars. Post in the making.

About that sunshine – I’m on holiday for the next week so it’ll probs be quiet around here, but I’ll be back with tales of charity shop wins and maybe what I’ve worn to visit ruins.

Cool!

jumbo

So apparently the heatwave is over, just in time for my British holiday (no it is NOT a bloody ‘staycation’) – but there’s still enough sun for me to wear stuff I bought at the height of stickiness. This H&M dress is a style I’ve been seeking out for years, but have been foiled by overenthusiastic step hems, non-hip-friendly sizing, and general wrong-place, wrong-time. £7.99 later and I’m finally the proud owner of a sack, and no I shall not be Belting It To Emphasise My Waist.

summat
Is that a smile? Cap, Urban Outfitters | Dress, H&M | Bag, Monki | Shoes, Reebok

Despite my friendly photographer declaring the above picture “looks like you have a boob on your shoulder or something” I think it illustrates the outfit alright. Those glowing white things on my feet are actually Reebok Classics, surprisingly hard to wear when you’re not an Ashish model but I’m soldiering on.

Accurate
Accurate

Alongside my outfit I have the results of a scintillating Friday night, spent with a bit of matte topcoat and my Spectacular nail stickers – from ’97, which I cannot bring myself to call vintage. I read somewhere or other that words-on-nails is gonna be A Thing, but I dunno if this is quite what they had in mind. Not sure what the general consensus is on smiley faces with headphones on, as below (and more visible on Instagram) but they’re making me happy.

Happy, and definitely not swearing.
Happy, and definitely not swearing.

Your Name Here.

HT = happy times

There’s something endlessly fascinating about personalised accessories. Name, star sign, birth stone: I’m on it, but having metal allergies and the inability to afford a proper April diamond, I’m not yet a walking invitation to identity fraud. I’ve ignored the former to stack these initial rings from Urban Outfitters and little heart from the charity shop, but angry blistered fingers means they’re decoration for my ring holder most of the time. I’m also on the H train with the above brooch from a Tatty Devine sample sale, adorning an H+M Kids bomber (I like to marry up my got-it-for-cheap items).

So good they named me twice

Two things I can wear on a more regular basis are my ‘Helen’ bracelets, both found on Etsy on unashamedly self-centred searches. The upper has been termed my “pub landlady bracelet”, and the lower is from Diament Jewelry, a veritable treasure trove of vintage name jewellery. Seems like Helen is a fairly old-fashioned name round most parts, so I’m up there with the Bobbies and Renees diggin’ our sweet arm candy – speaking of which, there is a Candy version that I consider totally suitable for anyone not lucky enough to have a ’50s teenager name.

That’s where my collection ended until a few weeks ago, when Diament’s owner Libby messaged me that there was a new lot of name rings in stock. After verifying their 14k gold status, I put in my order: I am nothing if not utterly predictable. Here it is!

Jazz hands

On my nails: Rimmel 60 Seconds in Man Overboard. Not sure what grey has to do with falling off a ship, but them’s the breaks and this does dry very quickly, thank you Drowned God.

Grey. Joy.

Stuck.

Primark vs Dell
Primark vs Dell

Doing a lot of ~life admin~ right now, which means I need a carrot ‘n’ stick equivalent to keep me going through the long form-filling hours. I might have just extolled the virtues of Reggae Splash but my attention span is short, and my £1 Primark nail stickers are just the sort of thing to make me feel vaguely human/ridiculous in a good way (see also Sainsbury’s Profiterole Dessert, but I didn’t get round to photographing that).

My third go with Primark’s nail wraps (second try here, first try lost in the mists of time) is probably the most silly yet, but I love a bit of cheering up when I look at my digits. Fun fact: my mum took me to see Blair Witch Project when I was 15, and beforehand I painted my nails a pulsing acidic orange so I could look down at them and be brought back to reality. In the end I didn’t really need it, and it might be for that reason I still think of it as a valid strategy…

Anyhow, here’s the end result: hit me with your overhyped horror movies. Look at their uncannily cute faces!

Hey lil' dudes
Hey lil’ dudes

Splash.

HAND ATTACK
HAND ATTACK

Bank holidays are for new nails in my opinion: plenty of time to paint ’em, maybe somewhere to take ’em, and the feeling that you’ve done something really useful with all that time off.

Newness this time comes in the form of Rimmel’s Salon Pro in ‘Reggae Splash’, a most pleasant apricot. I was drawn to its peach-perfect shade as a kind of at-least-it’s-summer-on-my-nails deal, but the scorching heights of 19 degrees have complimented it rather nicely. Supposedly designed by La Moss herself, it wins against all my other pale nail varnishes by dint of actually being visible (Topshop Nails you’ve let me down one too many times) so I’m not too bothered about its supermodel provenance. I can only imagine it’s called Reggae Splash because Pina Colada is too overdone, and it’s another way of giving off that Caribbean holiday/beverage vibe, though I wouldn’t be too bothered if they’d called it Wetherspoons Pitcher – and surely Moss would approve.

In a weekend marked by a smashed blusher, dozy insects flying into my eyelashes and a not-entirely-intentional £50 spent in Boots, good old Rimmel have come up trumps. Fascinating aside: I wasn’t planning to “get the London look” at all and headed over to Barry M, but Boots have apparently yanked all their nail varnishes off the shelves for some sort of overfilling problem – further proof that generosity gets you nowhere.

Good lord my fingers are weird.
Good lord my fingers are weird.