The Serpents Club: The Lau Necklace

I’ve never thought of myself as a jewellery fan: bracelets rattle on my desk, necklaces make me itch and earrings catch my collars. But then I discovered The Serpents Club.

Based in Manchester, The Serpents Club is an independent label specialising in beautifully unique, handmade crystal jewellery. Following the recent trend in quartz necklaces, I had trawled the high street to find pretty, if only average, offerings.

And I was beginning to lose hope when, scrolling my way into the depths of Instagram, I saw this…

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The ‘Lau’ necklace is, what I believe to be, The Serpents Club’s signature style. There is something peculiarly dainty about it; its raw chunkiness is part of its whimsical charm, the polished stone mounted in pyrite as though it had tumbled from a fairy’s grotto.

It is detailed but uncomplicated, distinctive but understated. It makes a beautiful, subtle statement.

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Each quartz is individual in its size, shape and colouring; every piece is utterly unique. As you can see from the picture above, the Lau’s stone (a medium-sized 3 inches) is transparent apart from delicate white veils. It’s natural beauty is completely untouched – I’m head over heels!

The individuality of the necklace means it is extremely versatile: it can be worn with a casual jumper, a crisp collared shirt or a floaty dress, for breakfast, lunch or cocktail hour.

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At only £30, the Lau is an absolute steal, considering I’d wear it to bed if there wasn’t a risk of me showering it in dribble. I have since made two more purchases from The Serpents Club and am planning my third (it’s a difficult job with so many goodies to choice from), each thing is just as amazing as the last.

From the wonderful designer to the quirky packaging to the pieces themselves, every aspect of this label sparkles and shines.

Will you become a member of The Serpents Club?

Hope you like!

Molly x

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In Defence of: the Ugly Jumper

It’s that time of year again. The time when that jumper, blazoned with snowflakes, reindeers and christmas puddings, is unearthed for the office party or dinner with the family. It has become a collective, if embarrassing, token of our festive cheer.

But why should the ugly jumper only be for Christmas?

By ‘ugly’ I mean garish, OTT, outlandish and out-dated; the jumpers abandoned in charity shops and vintage markets. They’re hidden gems – the uglier, the better!!

This was my first: an eighties beauty with a bold geometric design found in my local vintage shop. It soon became my go-to “lectures are too early and I can’t be bothered” jumper. It’s bat-wing shape is so comfortable to wear and, with jeans and a simple jacket, can add colour and kookiness to an outfit without any fuss (the pink stripes are interweaved with wisps of white thread).

My next new-old jumper is this zebra print crop found in Cow Vintage. Okay, it’s not exactly ugly, but it’s different to anything I’ve seen in TopShop or Urban Outfitters recently. Its monochrome style means that it can be paired with anything from Levi’s to a pencil skirt.

And finally… my ultimate ugly jumper. Another eighties throwback with bold stripes of different coloured animal print. This jumper knows no bounds when it comes to colour combinations and clashing patterns. Like the first, it has an exaggerated bat-wing sleeve and a loose fit, but it’s gorgeous v-shaped back shows a little bit of flesh in a way that is both unique and feminine.

Throw on a pair of black leather-look jeans and voilà – a complete outfit sans effort, but with tons and tons of character.

What do you guys think of the ugly jumper?

Hope you like!

Molly x

What I Wear To Work

I’ve recently started work at a local university (hence why my posts will now have to wait till weekends) and so, while I need to look smart and professional, a little self expression is always welcome.

Outfit

In terms of outfits, I like to stick to neutral colours – white, black, grey and navy – but play around with textures and patterns. Mohair, lace, cord and viscose help to add a bit of interest to block colours and each have their own particular way of clinging to my figure or flowing loosely. I have a definite thing for all things check and tartan and recently bought a two piece check co-ord set from Marks and Spencer. The top piece is a gorgeous peplum shape, the fit of which nicely balances out the straight legged trousers.

Make-Up

My work make-up follows the same principle as my outfit: I tend to keep my eyes neutral, but use a bold colour on my lips. Benefit’s ‘Big Beautiful Eyes’ palette is the perfect little contouring kit containing a creamy ‘industrial-strength’ concealer and three different colours to help create a gorgeous muted smokey eye.

The palette offers a concealer in ‘Boing 02,’ an alabaster pink base eyeshadow, a cocoa shimmer contour shadow and a deep chocolate liner colour, each of which have their own designated brush specially designed for their specific forms of application.

Benefit’s ‘Boing’ is a shade darker than my usual concealer so I tend to use it to cover blemishes and opt for MAC’s Studio Finish Concealer in NC15 under my eyes. My base is completed with a sweep of Bare Mineral’s Touch Up Veil in ‘Light’ – a lovely lightweight compressed powder that helps to minimise shine and even out my complexion.

Finally, my current lipstick of choice is No7’s Moisture Drench Lipstick in ’02 Plum Beautiful,’ which not only has a lovely satin finish but also doubles up as a lip moisturiser.

Make-Up Bag

It’s rare that make-up applied at 6am will stay put until 5pm, so I carry a mini make-up bag with me to help top up throughout the day. Inside I carry my lipstick of choice, a dinky reel of dental floss, a mini tube of hand cream and a travel bottle of perfume. I also take my Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in ‘Fair 1:’ this concealer is considerably lighter than that in the Benefit kit so I top it up at lunch time to freshen up my face and stop my eyes looking heavy and tired.

What make-up essentials do you take to work?

Hope you like!

Molly x

Bringing Back the Mod Look

I recently came across an article on Harper’s Bazaar’s website that claimed that mod hair is making a comeback (here it is incase you fancy a read). With a hair-cut like mine, there’s hardly room for “envious volume” and a “Bardot-inspired bouffant” so, not wanting the mod revival to pass me by, I thought I’d channel my 60s alter ego with a casual cut-crease and a polo shirt dress.

The Wearable Cut-Crease

Tutorials for the cut-crease abound on Youtube and with good reason: it’s a striking look that allows you to use those eyeshadows that always seem to get neglected in the palette. Because your lid is left pale or relatively light and the colour kept to the periphery, the style can withstand the darkest and brightest of colours without looking carnivalesque.

That being said, for a day-to-day look I opted for light and neutral shades. Below is my tutorial:

Step 1: Apply primer all over your eye, right up to your eyebrow, and sketch out a horizontal tear-drop shape across your lid as I have done here with a kohl eyeliner (I use Rimmel Soft Kohl Pencil in ‘Sable Brown 11’).

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Step 2: Blend the eyeliner up towards your eyebrow using a similar coloured eyeshadow (I used UD’s Naked 2, ‘Taupe,’ with ‘Busted’ towards my outer v to add a bit of depth). Before I do this, I like to place Sellotape underneath my eye to help me achieve a sharp, straight line.

Step 3: Using a flat eyeliner brush and a thick concealer (I use MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 in NC15) retrace the tear-drop shape to neaten up any unwanted smudging. Apply highlighter just below your eyebrow, making sure to blend this into the eyeshadow you have just applied (I use Rimmel Glam Eyes Mono Eye Shadow in ‘Glam Ice’).

Step 4: Add a light colour of your choice to your lid (I use UD’s Naked 3 ‘Dust’). Using a liquid eyeliner, draw a line from the inner corner of your eye to the outer corner and another that curves up to the tip of the tear-drop shape, like I have done in the first picture.

Step 5: This step really tests your patience, but it is hugely important for the end result: gradually build up your eyeliner to create a thick sweeping line.

Step 6: For a daytime look, I like to keep eyeliner to my upper lash line and only apply the taupe eyeshadow underneath my eye.

Step 7: Finish with mascara, and/or lashes, and voilà!

Looking at photographs of Edie Sedgwick or Mia Farrow, the rest of the face should be kept light, fresh and youthful; I skipped the bronzer and opted for a little blusher at the top of my cheeks (I use No7 Natural Blush in ‘Soft Damson 10’) and used my Glam Eyes white eyeshadow as a highlighter just below my eyes and round towards my ears. I wanted to keep my lips equally pale so I used a very sparing coat of MAC’s ‘Snob,’ a light neutral pink.

Of course, there’s plenty of scope to make a cut-crease more dramatic: you can change it’s shape, it’s colouring and it’s definition, as I have done in this picture. Instead of the tear-drop shape, I’ve flicked out the corner of the arc to mimic my eyeliner; added UD’s Naked 2 ‘Blackout’ to my crease; and brought the eyeliner underneath my eye into a point at the inner corner to create a cat-eye effect.

The Outfit

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Dress, Cooperative at Urban Outfitters;

Shoes, Dr Martens (Polley); Jacket, Barbour.

For this look, with quite intricate make-up, I wanted to wear something that was a little boyish, but at the same time feminine (a style typical of Twiggy with her pixie cut and boxy, short dresses). My polo shirt dress is perfect; though it’s colour and shape first appears simple, the material falls perfectly to create a feminine silouhette. My oversized Barbour jacket and Dr Martens, both iconic in men’s mod fashion, add a clunky, kooky feel to counter my dress, bringing the look into the twenty first century.

What elements of mod fashion will you be adopting this autumn?

Hope you like!

Molly x

OOTD: Lunch in Aubergine and Green

I love going out for lunch; I’m too impatient to hold out for dinner. Having a big lunch means there’s no need to restrict yourself to little nibbles throughout the day so you can ‘make room’ for dinner. You can just go and have your fill without a huge wait and then a huge belly before bed.

But dressing for a lunch out is, I think, a lot like the ambiguous “smart-casual:” the limbo between a casual brunch and a smart dinner.

Earrings, Accessorize; Jumper, Topshop; Belt, Vintage;

Trousers, Carin Wester at Urban Outfitters; Loafers, Topshop.

I think that my aubergine Carin Wester peg trousers strike the right balance between relaxed and formal. The details – the nipped-in waist and the central seam – give the illusion of a smart trouser, but the tapered structure and the unconventional colour stops it looking like I’m off to a business meeting. My belt is a lovely green coloured faux snakeskin print and helps to break up the dark colours, adding a bit of texture to an otherwise plain outfit.

For my make-up I blended UD’s Naked 3 palette’s ‘Buzz’ on my lid with ‘Liar’ in my crease to create a warm rose-mauve eye. I brought this colour along my lower lash line to give more definition to my eye shape and to balance out the drama of my bold 50’s style winged eyeliner. My lipstick, Bare Minerals’ Pretty Amazing Lipcolour in ‘Fearless,’ echoes the mauve colours on my eyes and has a gorgeous super-glossy finish.

(I thought I’d leave you with a cheeky picture of my dessert – chocolate fondant, mmmm!!)

So what would you wear for a lunch date?

Hope you like!

Molly x

OOTD: Day Trip to Oxford

Today – on what seemed like the first day of winter: dark skies, bitter winds and drizzling rain – I headed down to Oxford to catch up with my friends from university. As I spent most of my studies there wearing t-shirt dresses and jeans, I thought I’d now make an effort to look a little smarter.

OOTD: Oxford

Shirt, Zara; Jumper, Topshop; Leggings, Topshop;

Chelsea Boots, Topshop; Coat, Topshop; Scarf, River Island.

The trend for warm reds – wine, burgundy and berry shades – was most prevalent last autumn, but is back in the shops this season too. Hurray! I decided to mix last year’s waffle knit jumper with this year’s check leggings and tartan scarf, complete with my ultimate eBay bargain, my charcoal Topshop duster coat.

Layering is usually too much of a conscious effort for me; when it’s cold I typically reach for the same old thick sweater and heavy jacket, rather than building up lots of complimentary pieces. I knew I wanted to wear my duster coat (which is a beauty, but very thin) so that necessitated an under-layer that was warm, but not too bulky.

I was initially worried about how the shirt would look against a crop jumper, but I actually think it works really well. It also saved the hassle of constantly having to tuck my shirt in throughout the day!

My make-up had to be something simple (I was in a rush to make a train) so I opted for a muted smoky eye using UD’s Naked 2 Palette’s ‘Taupe’ with Bare Minerals’ Glimmer Eye Shadow in ‘Celestine.’ The latter’s light pewter shade is one of my all-time favourite shadows that’s perfect for adding a bit of sparkle without being overstated. For lips, I used MAC’s ‘Viva Glam II’ (<3) outlined with Rimmel’s Exaggerate Lipliner in ‘Eastend Snob, 063,’ a combination that thankfully outlasted all the coffees, hot chocolates and endless gossiping.

Oxford How are you incorporating this season’s shades into your day-to-day outfits?

Hope you like!

Molly x