Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 – My beauty year in review

Wow I can’t believe how this year has flown by! With 2012 coming to a close I thought I would outline some of my favourite beauty looks/posts/products that featured on the blog this year. Here we go…

Way to Glow – Loving this glowing look (link) // Chanel Les 4 Ombres Palette in Mystic Eyes – I now use this regularly (link) // Dermablend Vichy Ultra Corrective Stick. (link) I found out about this product through GlossyBox and it is now one of my favourite concealers. // Grey smokey eye and product love for Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow all over Radiance Crème (link) // Burberry Lipcover in Rosewood – a regular lippy for workdays (link) // Argan Oil has been my Holy Grail hair product discovery this year (link)

Beauty products 2012

Bourjois 123 Perfect Foundation. My all time favourite drugstore foundation this year! (link) // MAC Melba blush – to create the perfect peach touch of colour to your cheeks (link) // Summer statement lips with MAC So Chaud lipstick (link) Love how it makes my eyes POP! // I fell in love with Shellac Nails this year (link & link) // Pretty glittery FOTN. Reflects antique gold pigment is a must have MAC product for me! (link) // Clinique bottom lash mascara. How did I live without this for so long? (link)

makeup looks 2012

Bourjois 1 Seconde Nail Polish remover made cleaning my nails a breeze! (link) // Summer was all about bronzer! Some of my favourites in 2012: link & link // Bridal makeup for my best friend. Was a bit scared at first but she looked amazing, phew! (link) // A cheapie but a goodie! I love the Sleek Brow Kit (link) // Top coat love for Essie – Shine of the Times (link) // Bright pink lips + MAC Tan pigment on my eyes = perfect beauty combo! (link)

What were some of your favourite beauty finds, looks or products this year – I’d love to hear!

I can’t wait to see what 2013 will bring me! This year has been seen my blog grow a lot and am so thankful for all my readers out there. All your comments and support means the world to me. I have many looks, posts and product reviews lined up for the blog in 2013 so I hope you will continue to follow me next year! Happy New Year :) xoxo

Jewellery Trend: The Statement Necklace

One popular jewellery trend of 2012 has definitely been the statement necklace. Chic and bold; statement necklaces are extremely popular because they can transform any simple outfit into something more special. Statement necklaces can be beaded, embellished, layered, twisted, feathered or geometric. The trend has featured in designer shops to the high street, all in different shapes, sizes and styles. You can wear a statement necklace with several different outfits to create many eye-catching looks. For example a statement necklace can instantly transform a LBD for a party while a casual t-shirt can be accessorised with a dramatic piece to add some flair to your day look.

Being a fan of this trend, a few weeks back this little beauty from Zara definitely caught my eye!

ZARA Cobalt blue stone with metal & ribbon woven statement necklace. Now sold out but you can still buy it on eBay it seems! (link)

The blue, green and orange in the necklace really brighten up any simple outfit! What do you think of the statement necklace trend, is this something you have been wearing? If you are worried about how to pull this trend of then just remember to keep rest of your outfit simple and and let the necklace make a statement all of its own!

Christmas Party – 1920s Inspired Makeup

December is always a month full of parties and events which is great because it often gives you an excuse to dress up or sparkle in your best outfits! A few weeks ago we had my office Christmas party and this year it was 1920’s themed. It wasn’t meant to be a very strict theme but it encouraged everyone to make an effort to look old school glamorous! Most people straight away started planning ‘what to wear’ but as a typical beauty blogger my main focus was on how I wanted my makeup to look for this party. After googling for 1920’s beauty inspiration I came across this image (link) of Charlize Theron which I absolutely loved so I decided to go for a very dark berry lip with a nude/rustic look for my eyes.

This is my finished look of the night:

Products used: 
MAC studio finish concealer NC20
Clinique stay matte foundation – Shade 9, Neutral (link)
MAC bronzer in Golden
The Body Shop – cheek colour in Sweet Nutmeg, an oldie but a goodie! (link)
MAC Mineralize blush in Warm Soul (as seen here) applied as highlight on cheekbones
MAC Pigment in Vanilla applied to tear duct & brow bone
Urban Decay NAKED palette – eye shadow Virgin (all over lid)
Urban Decay NAKED palette – eye shadow Naked (blended into crease area)
MAC Mineralize Eye Shadow (Duo) – Play on Plums (as seen here)
Applied the plum/burgundy shade along my lower lash line. I really love this limited edition eyeshadow duo and am gutted it is running on empty; can anyone recommend a good dupe for the plum/burgundy shade?
L’Oreal Super Liner in Black – my current favourite liquid liner pen! (link)
NARS NARS Larger Than Life Volumizing Mascara
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara (as seen here)

On my lips I’m wearing Berry Vamp by LookBeauty from their Loud Lips range. The packaging of this lipstick is a bit cheap but the colour is really stunning and the fomula is smooth, highly pigmented and long lasting. Not bad for only £7 (link) I have changed from being more of a sheer lip gloss girl to quite loving a darker lip – what do you think of this lip shade?
Jewellery wise I kept it simple and wore these vintage clip-on earrings that used to belong to my grandmother! My hair was done by the lovely Jess from Powder Puff & Pin Curls, who specializes in vintage hair-do’s! She came to our office and did the hair of about ten ladies to get us all looking in style for the 1920’s party. I will post some more photos of the party in another post :)

Dress wise; I couldn’t seem to make up my mind and with December being so busy, I just hadn’t had time to find the perfect outfit! Until last minute that was,  because the night before the party I saw this dress in Zara and it was love at first sight! I didn’t own a long black evening dress yet so I felt it was a much needed addition to my wardrobe ;) The dress is part of the new collection by ZARA as seen here in their Woman Lookbook Twelve. I adore this recent collection by Zara, it is so classic and elegant.
 ZARA Combined Lace Dress – £69.99 (link)
The dress falls beautifully and the fabric is very soft and pretty. I love how the added touch of the lace in the back makes it that little bit sexier whilst remaining classy. For me, it was the perfect Christmas party dress and I really liked my slightly different to usual look! What do you think of my 1920s inspired look?

Merry Christmas to you!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! Here some Instagram photos of my last few days! I’m celebrating the holidays with my family in The Netherlands but we also made a quick overnight trip across the border to Germany to browse around the Christmas markets in Münster.

Enjoying the Weinachtsmarkt in Germany. Lights everywhere, glühwein, lebkuchen and bratwurst!
I baked a traditional Dutch Christmas bundt cake! Christmas tree bauble, feeling festive in my reindeer socks and Christmas crackers for the table decorations.

Preparing Christmas dinner; we have some vegetarians in my family so this year it’s Jamie Olivers cranberry & pistachio nut roast as one of the many courses for our Christmas day feast. Last night we went to the Christmas midnight mass and today I did even more baking; the most delicious gooey chocolate crinkle salted caramel cookies ever… (recipe to follow!)

A quick run at the beach earlier today and now I am relaxing, eating and drinking with family…
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with family and loved ones! Xoxo


DIY Instagram photo collage

A little while back I was thinking about what to get my flatmate for Christmas and thought a photo collage of our favourite pictures from our holiday to New York together would be a really nice idea. I wasn’t really sure how to go about this project until I stumbled across this brilliant website! Printstagram is the perfect way to enjoy and share your Instagram photos. The website connects to your Instagram account where you can select your favourite images which you can then get printed in several options; memory boxes, squares, calendars, mini books, stickers or even a poster.

I opted for their squares to start my little DIY photo collage project after I had found some examples of making a collage with these in the Internet. For the squares they have two size options; mini squares (2.5 x 2.5 inches) in a set of 48 or their standard squares (4×4 inches) in a set of 24. Once you select the images you want, they are then printed on quality paper with a nice matte finish plus a neat white trim. You can pay via PayPay (easy!) and then they are posted out to you! I had a mix of NYC holiday photos and some of my other favourite pictures I wanted to get printed so I decided to get 2x sets of 24 standard squares which only cost $25/£15. It was so easy to order and when they arrived on my doorstep after about 2-3 weeks I was very excited! I LOVE them; they are such great quality and look super cute :)

Now the next thing I needed for my DIY project was a photo frame. I found this great simple large white frame at Marks & Spencer’s but IKEA also has some lovely frames with cool raised edges (link).

The frame I bought came with a premade insterted border for 7 photos but I didn’t need that so I just took that out and was left with a large white sheet of paper which I could use to adhere my prints to. Most photo frames come with these back sheets which is perfect but if yours doesn’t, then don’t stress, you can easily improvise by using any kind of paper/cardboard and cut it to size.
Next up was the fun part; choosing and arranging the photos. In this frame, it perfectly fit 20 squares (4×5) I had about 30 New York photos to pick from so it was still a tricky task to decide which ones wouldn’t make the cut ;)
After a bit of playing around with the squares I was left with my final collage!

Now that you have the images all in their right position, all you need to do is adhere your photos to the white cardboard. For this you can use any kind of glue stick, nothing fancy required. So I got out my trusty Pritt!

Apply the glue to the back of the squares and then just stick them onto the sheet in the order you want. I was very lucky that with this frame it was a perfect fit and they all aligned perfectly which meant no little trimming tasks where needed.

It didn’t take too long to do and quickly my sheet was filled with all the pretty squares! I popped the sheet back into the frame, placed the glass back on and TADA my DIY Instagram photo collage was done!
I absolutely loved the end result and couldn’t wait for Christmas time to give it to her! We exchanged gifts on Thursday and she seemed to love it so mission accomplished :) I still have more squares left so think I will get myself one of the IKEA frames soon for my own personal Instagram photo collage!
Do you think this is a project you might try for yourself or as a gift? Oh and if you would like to follow me on Instgram, I am ‘dutchessroz‘!


Chocolate Fruit Bark – Christmas Foodie Gift!

For Christmas I always love showing off what a domestic goddess I am spoiling my loved ones with some homemade baking ;) Over the years I have treated my family and friends to Christmas Rocky Road (link), Biscotti (link) and the most amazing festive chocolate crinkle cookies (link). I think foodie treats make for wonderful festive gifts. This year I found all my recipes on Pinterest and when I spotted this Chocolate Fruit Bark recipe, I knew it was something that I had to make. Easy as 1-2-3 and delicious…PERFECT!

Doesn’t this look scrumptious? This chocolate bark recipe uses dark chocolate with 51 percent cocoa and adds some dazzle to it with dried apricots and figs, raisins, and cashews. The addition of the dried fruit and nuts spreads out the chocolate’s intensity, and adds in a healthy dose of antioxidants and finer; so need to feel too guilty when enjoying it!

What You’ll Need:

1-2 bars of good quality cooking chocolate
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup dried figs, chopped
1 cup mix of raisins, cranberries and mixed nuts


1 large baking sheet
Parchment paper

What to Do:

  • Melt chocolate over a double boiler or in your microwave until its smooth.
  • Pour chocolate over parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spreading so it so that it is about 1/2 cm thick.
  • Evenly sprinkle dried fruit and cashews over the chocolate.
  • Place the bark into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, or until the chocolate harden.

I went for the super easy microwave option. I found this great Lindt cooking chocolate at my supermarket. I just broke the bars (I used two to make a good quantity) into pieces, placed that into a bowl and microwaved in short intervals of 20-30 seconds on medium-high power and stirred after each interval until the chocolate was melted.

About halfway ready….gooey runny chocolate, omg!

Perfect, all melted and only took about 2-3 minutes!

Now onto the toppings! For my slightly Christmasy chocolate bark I chopped up some dried apricots, dried figs and used an already mixed bag of raisins, cranberries, pecans and cashew nuts. However you can really let your imagination run wild and use any topping you fancy. Some other ideas could be adding; candied orange peel, cherries, hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios. Even more contemporary toppings are: cocoa nibs, toffee pieces, candied ginger, crushed peppermint candy and other dried fruits such as pineapple, blueberries, strawberries plus even toasted pumpkin seeds, cereal and pime nuts. Anything is possible!

Now once your chocolate is melted, just pour it onto a baking sheet which is on a tray of some sort and smooth it out, I just used the back of a spoon to do this.

Sprinkle your toppings onto the chocolate and you’re basically done already! Now all that’s left to do is just place the tray with your chocolate creation into the fridge to cool and lick that chocolate bowl clean ;)

When the chocolate bark has cooled and hardened, just snap into pieces and enjoy! Yummy….

I wrapped mine into little cellophane bags, added a cute Christmas tag and TADA a lovely and delicious Christmas present!

Will you be making any foodie gifts this Christmas?

Deborah Lippmann – Razzle Dazzle NOTD

Christmas is just around the corner and every part of me is getting in the festive spirit…even my nails!
Nothing screams Christmas to me like glitters so I decided to add a bit of sparkle to my look with this recent nail of the day.

I got this Deborah Lippmann polish as part of last years December Glossybox. Razzle Dazzle contains lots of cranberry coloured glitters in a blackened raspberry jelly base. The base is quite sheer which did mean it took three coats to achieve full opacity. The varnish applied smoothly and drying time is super quick but when the polish dried it was a little grainy so I added a layer of Seche Vite topcoat to smooth it out.

Above photo is with flash. It was hard to properly capture the glitter and how they catch the light in these photos but I have to say I loved rocking these festive sparkly nails. Overall I really liked Razzle Dazzle and I am now very keen try some more Deboral Lipmann nail polishes.

For example check out these two lovely limited edition 2012 holiday sets!

ROCK THIS TOWN set which includes: Moon Dance (deep lavender swirl glimmer), Chain Reaction (dirty brass glimmer) and Phoenix Rising (foxy copper glimmer).
SHE’S ALWAYS A WOMAN mini set which includes: Putty in your hands (putty taupe creme), Raspberry Beret (flecked berry) and My Prerogative (royal blue creme)

Deborah Lippmann nail polishes retail at £14 each sold in House of Fraser online and in selected stores. 

Have you tried any Deborah Lippmann nail polishes before?