New Spring & Summer Wardrobe Additions

new wardrobe additions minimal style
new wardrobe additions minimal style
new wardrobe additions minimal style
new wardrobe additions minimal style

After a rather large wardrobe declutter (which is coming soon to my YouTube Channel), I’ve been focusing on building it up in a few areas that needed a little bit of TLC – namely resort wear and a few smart tops to see me through spring and summer. I have a bit of a tendency to go overboard – I have an obsessive, one track mind – though I’d say I’m about 50-75% of the way there. So, in case you missed it, I thought I’d share and quickly talk through my recent wardrobe additions in a little more detail.

TOPS

Summer in Sydney is always tough, especially as I tend to walk 45 minutes each way, dressed head to toe in my full work kit. This time of year, I usually find myself on the hunt for a couple of tops to throw into the mix that are a little different, whether that means the addition of a print, or just an added ruffle detail. Usually anything sleeveless goes.

Perhaps my favourite recent addition of all is this polka dot ‘halter’ style top from J Crew. I love the subtle ruffle trim, the cross front detail, and the jazzy polka dot print. Next, I found myself in Zara with my sister-in-law, heading straight to the till with a velvet flocked ruffle blouse. A completely unintended purchase, but I love the button front detail and lower cut neckline; the combination of which stops it from being overtly sexy. The third top I picked up was with the Maldives in mind; I wanted something in a cotton/linen mix, which I could pair with just about anything high waisted. This gorgeous one shoulder ruffle top from Faithfull ticks all of those boxes and then some, plus I have a feeling that it could also work during the colder months, layered over a thin knit skivvy. Along a similar vein, I found an oversized linen shirt from Karen Walker on eBay that I had been trying to track down for more than a year now, which I think is the perfect cover up (and also features in my previous post!). The final top I picked up is this simple tee from RUBY. I’ve been shopping from RUBY since I was in my early teens, so my purchases are always marked with a slight hint of nostalgia. While I wasn’t in desperate need of a new white tee, I loved the sweet love heart embroidered detail on the bust.

SKIRTS & JEANS

While I absolutely thrashed my Willow leather skirt in the winter, I’ve really been struggling to find an alternative that works for the warmer months, that isn’t denim. It’s a gap I’m still looking to fill, but for the meantime, I opted to grab a few items that would work either for casual Friday (think lots of denim), for weekends or summer holidays.

If there’s one print that really encapsulates the current vibe of my wardrobe, it’s the polka dot print – I can’t seem to get enough of it right now – which would probably explain why I made a beeline straight for this lightweight button front skirt from Flynn Skye when I spotted it online. I don’t really foresee this as being something I can make work for the office, but I thought it’d make a great option for weekends, and particularly for our trip to New Zealand in about six weeks’ time. The second skirt I opted for is this frayed hem denim mini from Wrangler (this one from Topshop is a straight doppelgänger), which I picked up as an alternative to that white denim skirt from J Crew that I practically haven’t been able to take off. This one is a little shorter, but I love the frayed hem, and slight a-line style.

Even though it’s starting to really heat up in Sydney, somehow I found myself with three new pairs of denim. The team at Everlane really kindly sent me a pair of their modern boyfriend jeans to put to the test, which I’ve really been enjoying, and which I’ve reviewed here if you want to read more about them. I also picked up a pair of the mid rise skinny ankle jeans, which I have a feeling will be more of an acquired taste, down to the fit. Again, I’ve shared my thoughts on them in a blog post which you can read here. The final pair of trousers are again from Everlane, and I’ve been dying to buy them for ages, but seemed to keep missing the restock; they’re the wide leg crop trousers. The sizing on these can be a little tricky to figure out, but for reference, I’m usually a size 25 in jeans and I opted for the size US0. These fit me well, although there’s a bit of room at the waist – they do give a little but on reflection, I probably wouldn’t size down if I had the chance to buy them all over again.

DRESSES

I recently ‘discovered’ Need Supply, and have been loving trawling through their new in section on a weekly basis. It was there that I spotted this striped maxi-style shirt dress from Stelen. This has resort wear written all over it, and I can’t wait to wear this while we are in the Maldives. It’s made out of natural fibres, and has a slight stiffness to the fabric, the combination of which I really like.

SHOES & ACCESSORIES

Finally, let’s talk shoes and accessories. I’m a shoe fiend by nature, so any new wardrobe additions post (or video) is inevitably going to include at least one pair. Starting with a couple pairs of sandals, I was on the look out for some flat sandals that just slipped on. As much as I love the ease of wearing a pair with an ankle strap, they can often cut you off – basically, they aren’t always the most flattering. So, when I spotted these sandals from Sportscraft, I was sold. I love the nude nubuck leather at the heel, and the snakeskin effect leather that criss-crosses over the toes. They’re the kind of sandal that will pair well with every outfit, plus they’re comfortable too. The second pair of sandals I sprung for were these ‘lou’ mules from Alexander Wang (also here). I’ve been sitting on the fence about investing a little more in a pair of mules, and these struck me as a really ‘cool’ option. The cut out detail is a little more unusual, and really makes these a stand out piece.

I quite often like to buy things out of season – generally I can snag something on sale, or a piece that I know will be a staple for the months to come. That’s exactly how I approached buying a pair of Everlane’s boss boots, which are essentially a wardrobe replacement for the famed Acne Studios Jensen boots. Personally, I think Everlane’s offering is better; the price point is more palatable, the heel is slightly higher which is my personal preference, and I like the side zipper. A full review is here if you’re interested in a read. Then along with a pair of jeans, the Everlane team also sent me a pair of the Editor heels, which I’d coincidentally been eying up. I am absolutely smitten with the colour selection, in particular, the emerald and navy both seem like a beautiful option for autumn or winter. These are a snug fit in the toe box, but otherwise fit relatively true to size. I’m crossing my fingers these will come out in a leather option next year.

The final wardrobe addition are these incredible earrings from RUBY. I’ve been on the lookout for some squiggly earrings for a while now, and these were such a reasonable price point, plus I like the clasp – it makes them really easy to throw on. These are also a really incredible alternative.

I’ve shared a couple different ways that I’m planning to style up each of these items in one of my recent videos, which I’ve shared for you down below. Safe to say, I went a little overboard… but I’d love to know which piece you liked the most – let me know if the comments section! x

The cotton/linen shirt

minimal outfit wearing cotton linen shirt
minimal outfit wearing cotton linen shirt
minimal outfit wearing cotton linen shirt
minimal outfit wearing cotton linen shirt

Karen Walker linen shirt (similar, and I also love this style), J Brand skinny jeans (also here), Paul Andrew heels (flats here), Celine trotteur bag (more affordable option)

I thought I’d share a quick outfit to wrap up the weekend, featuring one of the newest additions to my wardrobe, a cotton/linen shirt I picked up second hand from eBay. Luke and I are currently on countdown for our long overdue honeymoon (we’ll be making our way there this time next week), and it’s safe to say that this rather oversized shirt will be getting a top spot in my suitcase – it’s lightweight, breathable, and will be the perfect coverup for days spent lazing in the sun.

How to get to fresh, dewy looking skin with makeup

clinique makeup review
clinique makeup review
clinique makeup review
clinique makeup review
clinique makeup review
clinique makeup review
clinique makeup review
clinique makeup review

When it comes to summer, I am all about fresh, dewy looking skin – the two just seem to go hand in hand, especially when you have a sun kissed glow (one of my favourite souvenirs of summer). But, sometimes, you have to fake it until you make it, which is where a few key beauty products come in.

Wearing J Crew polka dot top and RUBY earrings (similar here)

I was fortunate enough to be gifted with a very generous selection of staple beauty products from Clinique as part of the launch of their new Even Better Glow Foundation, so I did what any girl would, I applied it all to my face to see what I liked, what I loved, and what I probably won’t be reaching for much at all. I’ve been playing around with these products for a good six weeks now, so I’ve got a pretty good handle on the best way to apply them, and what’s going to work for me long-term. The results are fresh, dewy looking skin that work to enhance your natural beauty rather than conceal it, so read on to find out which products have come out on top.

BASE

I was lucky enough to get to attend a Master Class led by makeup artist Casey Gore, to celebrate the launch of Clinique’s newest foundation, the Even Better Glow Foundation. I was colour matched on site – something I’d highly recommend doing at a Clinique concession – to shade 12 (meringue). I’ve been putting this foundation to the test over the last 4-6 weeks, and not only is it the perfect match for my skin tone, but I’ve also been incredibly impressed with the foundation.

Unlike other foundations that I’ve tried, the Even Better Glow Foundation is loaded with Salicylic Acid and Vitamin C, two ingredients that work to improve the texture and appearance of your skin, and at the Master Class, we were challenged to use the foundation over 30 days, to see the effect that it had on our complexion.

Having sensitive skin by nature, I’m prone to rashes and eczema break outs if I’m not careful with what I’m applying to my face, so most days, I’m happy enough going foundation free, with a little blush or bronzer to add some (often much needed) warmth. So, I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only did this foundation not cause any eczema breakouts, but I found my skin looked more luminous at the end of the 30 days, where usually such prolonged use of a foundation would have a more detrimental impact.

For application, I prefer to use either my fingers or a damp beauty sponge, as I find that these two methods result in natural looking skin, whereas applying the foundation with a brush can look a little ‘cakey’ – at least in my experience. The foundation provides sheer to medium coverage, and can be layered for a more flawless looking appearance, and with a fresh and dewy finish. Aside from the fact that this also has a bit of SPF in it – something that’s a great addition to any foundation – I love the glow that this gives me, and that feeling of being ‘lit from within’. The one thing worth noting though, is that you really need to ensure that you have your skin prepped before applying this – if you have dry skin, the foundation will pick that up over the course of the day, and cling to any dry patches – but it’s nothing a healthy dose of moisturiser can’t fix.

BRONZE, BLUSH & HIGHLIGHT

I’ve been a big fan of Clinique’s Chubby Sticks from way back; for many years the lip balms formed the base of my beauty stash, so it’s safe to say I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for them. But, I hadn’t really experimented when it came to the other Chubby Sticks on offer, namely the Cheek Colour Balm, the Sculpting Contour, and the Sculpting Highlight, though as I love a good cream beauty product, I was pretty excited to put these to the test. The premise of these is pretty simple, it’s a twist up tube style packaging that you can either apply directly to you skin, with your fingers, or with a brush.

So, let’s start with the Cheek Colour Balm, which I have in the shade 01 Amp’d Up Apple. This is oil-free, and feels really light on the skin. The colour is a very natural looking pink, that applies quite opaque on the skin but once blended out leaves a sheer wash of colour that adds a healthy looking glow to the cheeks. I’ve been applying three small dashes of this onto the apples of my cheeks and then blending up and towards my cheekbones with a stippling brush. It’s pretty subtle, though I think if you wanted a bit more colour you can really layer this up.

Next up is the Sculpting Contour, which I have in the shade 01 Curvy Contour. I will admit, when I first saw this, I was pretty intimidated by the colour. I’ve been using the Shade & Illuminate Duo from Tom Ford for years, but this is several notches darker, which can look a little intense when you first apply it to the skin. This doesn’t blend out quite as smoothly as the Cheek Colour Balm, as the product has a lot more pigment to it, so you do have to work at it with a fluffy brush to get a natural looking effect. Personally, I find that this is a little too warm to use as a contour, so instead I apply it like a cream bronzer, of which I adore the effect. It’s incredibly creamy, which makes it a dream to apply to the skin (I draw a line around my temples and at the tops of my cheekbones).

Perhaps the product I was most disappointed with (of the bunch, to be fair), is the Sculpting Highlight, which I have in the shade 02 Super Starlight. This is a champagne-toned highlight, which should suit most skin tones, and has that same creamy texture as the Sculpting Contour, whereas the Cheek Chubby Stick is a little more balmy. Where this falls short for me is the glitter; I’ve never been a fan of glittery highlights, so naturally this isn’t a product I’d gravitate towards since I prefer something that looks glossy on the cheekbones.

EYES & BROWS

Since I didn’t have an eyeshadow on hand, I applied some of the Sculpting Contour to my eyes for a wash of colour on the lids. Then I dove in with what’s actually become one of my current favourite products, the Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen. This has a really fine point which is perfect for creating a really sharp wing, and it also doesn’t budge or smudge at all over the course of the day – pretty much all the things I look for in a liquid eyeliner.

For my lashes, I applied the Lash Power Flutter-to-Full Mascara in 01 Black Onyx. This is a mascara that really surprised me. I’ve owned a few mascaras from Clinique in the past and I’ve always liked them, but this one really takes the cake. It coats the lashes with an almost fibrous substance, which makes them appear thicker and longer, and it’s seriously smudge proof. This has a twist up dial that you can adjust depending on how much you want to go ‘all out’ with your lashes. This is definitely worth picking up.

My brows have been getting a lot of attention this year, so the Superfine Liner for Brows (which I have in the shade Soft Brown), was right up my street. At the Master Class, Casey talked about how for natural looking brows, you really need to go with something that’s a little softer, and it’s advice I really took on board. I might have really dark brow hairs, but I don’t think I’d go any darker than Soft Brown in the product to get those fluffy, “my brows but better”. The nib on the twist up pencil is incredibly fine which makes it easy to draw fine hairs into any areas where your brows are looking a little sparse. I then use a spooly to soften the appearance of the product. Another thumbs up from me.

LIPS

Now I wouldn’t usually opt for a three step approach to my lips – a swipe of my favourite lip colour is usually enough – but with a lip liner, a lipstick and a gloss up my sleeve, I figured… why not?

I started with the Quickliner for Lips Intense in the shade 07 Intense Blush, which is a mid-toned pink with brown undertones. This is really creamy and incredibly easy to apply, and I think it’d look nice worn on the lips by itself as unlike the other two lip products, it has a more matte finish to it.

The lipstick I reached for is the Clinique Lip Colour & Primer in the shade 01 Nude Pop. I actually wore a lipstick from Clinique on my wedding day from this particular range, so I already knew I was a fan of the formula. It’s rich and creamy, applies smoothly to the lips without dragging, and wears off evenly – which for a nude or pink hued lipstick, isn’t really of much consequence plus it’s really easy to re-apply. Nude Pop has slightly mauve-y undertones whereas the shade I wore on my wedding day – Beige Pop – is slightly more of a true blush pink. All in all, it’s a nice lipstick with a velvet finish that is comfortable and moisturising on the lips.

Finally, the last product in this round up is the Chubby Plump & Shine Liquid Lip Plumping Gloss in 01 ‘Normous Nude. Now, quick caveat, I’ve mostly avoided gloss since I was an early teen, which if you grew up in Wellington like I did, it’ll be pretty obvious why (wind + gloss don’t mix). Additionaly, I don’t love having sticky feeling lips, yet consequently that’s something that comes hand in hand with lip gloss products in general. The applicator on this is a little unusual, it’s the same ‘Chubby Stick’ appearance, but it has a plastic applicator that disperses the product by twisting it out. I don’t love this method, and I found it was pretty difficult to judge how much product to disperse. The gloss itself has a milky-type appearance to it, and it adds a shine to the lips. Unfortunately, this just wasn’t right for me.

What is your secret to fresh, dewy looking skin? Is there anything else from Clinique that you would recommend I try?

The secret to elevating a casual outfit

minimal outfit stripe top denim mini mademoiselle
minimal outfit stripe top denim mini mademoiselle
minimal outfit stripe top denim mini mademoiselle
minimal outfit stripe top denim mini mademoiselle
minimal outfit stripe top denim mini mademoiselle
minimal outfit stripe top denim mini mademoiselle
minimal outfit stripe top denim mini mademoiselle

T by Alexander Wang stripe top, Wrangler denim mini skirt (similar), Everlane editor heels* (similar here), Phillip Lim pashli bag, Astrid & Miyu bracelet

Whether you’re a regular here on my blog, or familiar with my what I wore this week videos on YouTube, then you’ll know that my style tends to be pretty relaxed these days. It’s a far cry from the heels and button down shirts I used to wear daily, which marked my initial foray into experimenting with fashion and my determination to project a timeless, classic style (even at the age of 18!).

The shift in my day-to-day style has been punctuated heavily with the addition of denim (and lots of it), low blocked heels, loose silk camis and a-line leather skirts; essentially, four of the key basic pieces in my wardrobe that I reach for almost daily. It’s this shift in style that has forced me to look at my wardrobe a little differently, and think about how I can elevate these more relaxed outfits to work for the office, or for a night out. So, I wanted to share four quick and easy tips that I apply to my outfits, to elevate an otherwise simple or casual look.

K.I.S.S; Keep it simple, stupid. This has pretty much been my motto when it comes to building my outfits. Coco Chanel once said that as you walk out the door, you should look in the mirror and take one thing off, and I ascribe to that daily – there’s an elegance to simplicity that can’t be matched. As much as I love the idea of wearing something that’s a little ‘extra’, a simple striped tee, a frayed denim mini, and a pair of heels can look just as good.

Wear a pair of heels; It’s about as simple as it’s going to get, but I find adding a pair of heels to a simple – and casual – outfit instantly adds a bit of lift and elevates your entire outfit in one swift step. The team at Everlane kindly sent me a pair of their new launch, the editor heel, which I’ve been pairing with more simple outfits such as the one above. I adore the combination of the pointed toe and delicate kitten heel, and the squared off cut at the foot. I decided to jump on the ‘taupe’ pair, which come off as a warm chestnut-hued tan shade in person, in my usual size – US 9.5/EU40. I haven’t had a chance to properly break these in yet, but I do find them quite snug in the toe box, though I’m not sure going up a size would be quite the right solution as they’d probably slip off your feet. It’s nothing too uncomfortable, but worth taking into consideration if you’re planning on picking up a pair.

Throw some fine jewellery into the mix; Playing on that mantra that it’s all in the details, the addition of some fine delicate jewellery to the mix provides a subtle elegance where costume jewellery might come off as a little gauche. Dainty little rings, fine chain necklaces and minimal bar bracelets are a good place to start.

Opt for a structured bag; My final tip is to opt for a structured bag. Adding another layer of refinement to a casual outfit, a bag can make a bit of an impact on how your overall look is perceived, which is perhaps one of the reasons why I tend to favour a structured bag over a slouchy one (especially with how relaxed my outfits are these days!).

How do you like to elevate a simple outfit?