Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide

Unusually, I'm feeling quite organised (and therefore a little smug) with my Christmas shopping this year. Granted, I still have THREE Christmas trees to decorate but one thing at a time...

On my own Christmas shopping travels, I spotted quite a few things that I know would be perfect for other people so I've put together a little Christmas Gift Guide in case you are still struggling for some inspired ideas for any fabulous ladies in your life.

For me, the perfect Christmas present should be something that you know a person will love but would never justify buying for themselves. That is why this Finds + Charlotte Simone Bon Bon shearling bag is the first item on my Gift Guide. Yes, it is pretty impractical but then again, do you think Carrie Bradshaw would ever consider practicality when it comes to fashion? Hell no!

Finds + Charlotte Simone Bon Bon Shearling Bag - £150 Net-a-Porter

Cheaper but definitely still cheerful is this blue fluffy version by River Island for £30!

Blue Fluffy Bag £30 River Island

For a little stocking filler, you really can't go wrong with mascara. Every girl needs lashings of mascara over the festive period so a super lengthener will keep her fluttering her lashes well into the New Year. I have tried just about every mascara on the market but my absolute favourite is 'Perversion' by Urban Decay. I've even converted my mum and she is notoriously fussy when it comes to mascara.

Urban Decay 'Perversion' Mascara - £17 Debenhams

If you have been a lot better behaved this year than I have then it can't do any harm to ask Santa for these oh, so glorious, Giuseppe Zanotti gold sandals. They really are absolutely perfect and I fully expect you to let me borrow them if you wake up to these little beauties on Christmas morning.

Giuseppe Zanotti 'Andrea' £475 Giuseppe Zanotti

Never one to wait 'til Christmas for a new pair of shoes, I treated myself to these leopard print heels from Office a couple of weeks ago and have had lots of wear from them already. They are great day-to-night shoes and look as good with jeans and a t-shirt as they do with a leather pencil skirt and shirt. There is currenlty £20 off them (how annoying for me!) but they would make the perfect present for any high heel lovers in your life.

'Shout Out' Leopard Print heels £45.50 Office

I've got so many pieces from online fashion jewellery store MyMillyMoo and this 'Nina' Double up ring is definitely on my wish list this Christmas this year.

'Nina' Double Up Ring £21 MyMillyMoo

Speaking of jewellery, my gorgeous friend Jayne bought me the cutest Marc by Marc Jacobs bangle for my birthday a couple of months ago and I just love this sweet little range.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Enamel Disc Bracelet £45 Harvey Nichols

Marc by Marc Jacobs Enamel Bracelet £45 Harvey Nichols

If candles are her 'thing' then she will absolutely adore any Jo Malone candle. My current favourite is the Velet Rose and Oud scented candle. They also do this same scent as a perfume so I think I may need to treat myself to it soon if my letter to Santa gets lost in the North Pole post.

Velvet Rose & Oud Scented Candle £48 Jo Malone
Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne Intense £100 Jo Malone

Easily the best Christmas present I received last year (thank you mum) was my Clarisonic Mia 2 Cleansing System. I wondered if it could really live up to all of the hype and deliver amazing results but I couldn't live without it now. I am a self confessed beauty junkie and this is definitely my number 1 must-have beauty routine item. It is currently on sale in Debenhams with 10% off and, considering I use it every day, it actually has been great value for money.

Clarisonic Mia 2 Sonic Skin Cleansing System £112.50 Debenhams

While we're on the subject actually, one tip I would give you if you're lucky enough to receive a Clarisonic cleanser for Christmas is to start using it in the New Year after all your celebrating. I started using mine as soon as I got it on Christmas Day and I had a lovely breakout just in time for New Year! Not ideal for any Hogmanay selfies.

If all else fails, a nice spa day makes a lovely present and will give her something to look forward to in dark and gloomy January. My favourite spa in Glasgow City Centre is definitely The Blythswood who have the most amazingly relaxing spa. I ususally go for the Twilight Thermal Experience which is 3 hour evening access to the saunas, steam rooms and the hydro pool. It costs £45 per person and will leave you thoroughly relaxed... But, if you're anything like me, quite hungry and thirsty so make sure to leave enough time to head upstairs to The Salon for a post-spa nibble and cocktail.

The Spa at The Blythswood Hotel Glasgow

Of course, if you want to give someone the gift that keeps on giving and will ensure wardrobe meltdowns need never happen again, then you need to enlist the help of a personal stylist... like me! My vouchers always make popular presents at Christmas and I'm currently running a special offer on gift vouchers. Any half day service is now £150 (instead of £200) and any full day service is just £225 (normally £300). All the information can be found on my wesbite, www.victoriamartinstyle.com. :)


So there really is NO EXCUSE for giving someone anything other than a fabulous present this Christmas.

Happy shopping!!


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Host Your Own Styling Party

Get the girls together for an evening of fashion and discover your style in the ultimate girls night in.

Styling Parties are a unique opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade and streamline your style with your own personal stylist in the comfort of a living room with your closest friends. 

Photograph - Anette Schive

Photograph - Angela Stewart

Having styled hundreds of women of all ages, shapes and sizes, I will teach you what you need to know about:
  • How to build your capsule wardrobe 
  • How to make your wardrobe work for your lifestyle
  • How to wear colour with confidence
  • How to re-invent your existing wardrobe with the help of accessories
  • The common mistakes women make and how to avoid such 'fashion faux pas'
  • How to organise your clothing to make it easier to 'shop' your own wardrobe
  • How to discover your own style and step out with confidence every day.

You will also have plenty of time to speak to me on an individual basis to answer any of your style dilemmas.

Photograph - Laura McKinnon

Styling Parties last approximately 2-3 hours and party guests are encouraged to bring along a couple of items that you require some styling advice on.

Photograph - Anette Schive

I will also bring along a selection of items that showcase the seasons' hottest trends and show you how you can get lots of wear from the must-have pieces.

Styling Parties are a great way to celebrate a birthday with your friends or even as part of a hen night celebration as it is suitable for women of all ages.

Photograph - Mark Seager

If you wish to host a Styling Party with me in your home, simply invite between 5 and 15  of your most fabulous friends, provide some liquid refreshments for your guests (fashion is thirsty work after all), and I will do the rest. 

As a small thank you for hosting a Styling Party, your place at the party will be completely free and it costs just £25 per person for your guests (minimum of 6 people).

I also work closely with Perfect Parties (www.perfectpartiesglasgow.co.uk) who can set up a mobile bar in your home and provide some delicious cocktails for you and your guests allowing you to sit back and enjoy your evening. Just ask for more details when booking. 

If you would like to host a Styling Party but don't have the space to accommodate your numbers, I can organise a suitable venue to host it in and you can also upgrade your package to include food and drink. 

So contact me on 07931143559 or email victoria@victoriamartinstyle.com to discuss your individual requirements and book your Styling Party today.

I look forward to seeing you soon...

Victoria x

Friday, 7 February 2014

Steal Her Style - Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian has seriously upped her style game recently and it's safe to say that she is a HUGE fan of the pencil skirt/crop top combo.

She wore this cream Calvin Klein long sleeve top with matching pencil skirt a couple of weeks ago in LA and looked amazing!

But, if you don't have approximately $2,000 to splash then you can get a similar look in Zara for less than £80! What a bargain!!

Calvin Klein v Zara

Skirt - £39.99 and top £39.99  both Zara
 Get in quick before it sells out!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Three Way Thursday

As a stylist, I always get asked by clients how they can get more wear from their wardrobe. So, prompted by requests by friends, family and clients, I have decided to start a new feature on the blog on a Thursday to show you how easy it is to make lots of outfit options from one single item. In fact, I'll show you three different ways to wear it. Let's call it 'Three Way Thursday'!

As much as I may appear to be a shopaholic to many people (i.e. my flatmates!), I really try to only buy things that I know I will get lots of wear from and know that I can style in lots of different ways. It's not necessarily about having more clothes, it's about having the right clothes and about trying to wear more colour and adding interest through prints, textures and accessories!

Every week, I'll show you three ways that I wear something I already have in my wardrobe! (Hopefully with better quality photographs than those below!)

To get the ball rolling, I decided to chose an orange blazer from Zara as it's probably not a colour that people would associate getting lots of wear from as it's not neutral shade. But it actually looks great with lots of diffent colours and is great for dressing up jeans and a t-shirt. I added the fur collar from Topshop to the blazer last week to make it a bit warmer and let's face it, you can never go wrong with a little faux fur...

So, I need YOUR suggestions of items that you need a few ideas of how to style up! Send me a picture of the item that you want to get more wear from via Facebook (Victoria Martin Style), Twitter (@victoriamstyle), Instagram (@victoriamartinstyle) or email me at victoria@victoriamartinstyle.com. And don't forget to use the hashtag #ThreeWayThursday

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Nailed It!

I'll hold my (perfectly manicured) hands up to having an ever-so-slight obsession with my nails. 

My nails don't grow particularly well anymore so, about 4 months ago, I decided to try out some acrylic stiletto nails.

I found a girl called Cheryl Cheney through my hairdresser, Nicole and I would always rather go to someone who has been recommended to me to make sure that I know what kind of quality to expect.

Nicole's nails were always gorgeous so I decided to go to Cheryl for some nude stiletto nails after seeing a picture of Rihanna with something similar.

Cheryl did such an amazing job and they were exactly what I wanted.

My favorite thing about the nude nails is that they are really easy to paint over but look just as good without nail polish as it does with it. Every colour I try on seems to look much better with long nails.

My new ALL-TIME FAVOURITE EVER nail polish is a lucious red called 'Trophy Wife' by Tom Ford. It goes on perfectly and looks amazing and glossy after just one coat. It also lasts really well too and doesn't seem to chip.

Tom Ford 'Trophy Wife' £26 at Selfridges

Given how much I love the "Trophy Wife', I've added another couple of Tom Ford shades to my wish list including "Bordeaux Lust' and 'Fever Pink'.

Tom Ford 'Fever Pink' £26 at House of Fraser
Tom Ford "Bordeaux Lust' £26 at House of Fraser 

As I had been painting my nails red quite a lot before Christmas, I decided on a purple shade by Revlon as my festive nails. This shade is called 'Plum Attraction' and it always gets lots of compliments.

Revlon 'Plum Attraction' £6.49 at Boots

And I also really love this shade called 'Dreamer' by Revlon too...

Revlon 'Dreamer' £6.49 at Boots

My nails are a lot more low maintenance than they look. I get them filled in every 2-3 weeks and a new set put on every 2 months. My nails grow really quickly so some people could probably get away with having them filled in less often but I always think they are more likely to break if they get too long. 

After I have them filled in they literally look as good as new - this picture was after having them infilled for the 2nd time.

Last summer I got a white sparkle Shellac manicure and found that white literally goes with everything so I decided to create my own using Barry M white polish with a glitter Models Own polish on top of it.

Both available nationwide at Boots and Superdrug

I wear neon clothing A LOT so I see no reason for my nails to miss out in the trend as well... The 'Barbie Pink' shade by W7 goes great with lime colours and is only £1.99!

W7 'Barbie Pink' £1.99 available at Nail Polish Direct

I'm due to get a fresh set of nails in a couple of weeks so I'm thinking of trying out some of Cheryl's other designs (you can check her Facebook page out here). I love this glitter design as it's just the right amount of 'bling'...

And I also really like this nude, leopard print and cross design as well!

I literally have hundreds of bottles of nail polish and my sister Louise bought me a nail polish holder for Christmas. 

Acrylic Nail Polish Display Stand £8.49 available on ebay here

It's really handy and I definitely need to invest in some more so that I can fit all my nail polish on shelves rather than in shoe boxes as they are currently stored!

Acrylic nails get quite a bad reputation for ruining your own nails but I've had mine on continuously for nearly 4 months and my nails still grow really fast. I've been lucky that I've only had 1 small break so far and I managed to get it fixed straight away so I've never been tempted to try and pick them off myself. I think having them removed by a professional rather than trying to take them off yourself is the key to healthy nails after having had nail extensions on. 

I also think it's important to find someone really good if you feel like trying out acrylic nails yourself and I have nothing but good things to say about Cheryl!


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

How to Successfully Shop the Sales

I'm not normally much of a sales shopper as I found that I used to end up buying things that I didn't really want just because it was a good price and it seems that I am definitely not alone. 

Whenever I am doing a Wardrobe Detox session with a client, I more often than not, find that they have lots and lots of items in their wardrobes with the tags still on which they bought on impulse in the sales.

I was once sorting out a clients' wardrobe and found that she had about 20 really similar black dresses (ALL sales purchases)... even though she NEVER wears black. When I asked her when she would ever wear the dresses, she said that she bought them in the sale in case she had any funerals to go to! 

I think we are all guilty of buying something at one time or another that didn't fit, wasn't our style or was the totally wrong colour for us just because it was CHEAP! But it is quite scary when you add up all of these unworn 'bargains' that you have bought over the years and realise that you could probably have bought yourself something that you really wanted for the money that you spent.

I am certainly a lot more savvy when it comes to making sales purchases now and only buy something that I know I will get lots of wear from and that I would buy even if it was full price. 

Recently I bought 2 pairs of peep toe boots from Topshop in the sale which do look pretty similar to each other but I have already worn both pairs so many times (even in the rain!) and know that I'll get so much wear out of them as they go perfectly with jeans... and I wear jeans A LOT. I also wear heels every day and they both have sturdy, block heels which are really easy to walk in and they give me height without having to wear stilettos which are a lot more uncomfortable, even for a seasoned pro heel-wearer like me!

Anyone who knows me or follows me on Instagram (@victoriamartinstyle) or Facebook (Victoria Martin Style) will have noticed from my many outfit posts that I wear a lot of pink so I really couldn't resist this pink biker jacket from GAP. It's not normally a shop that I go into but the jacket was right at the front of the shop enticing me into the store. I can wear sweaters and scarves with it in winter and with dresses in summer so again, I know I'll get lots of wear from it.

One of my best buys last year in terms of cost-per-wear, were some white strappy sandals from River Island that I got for a wedding in May. I had them on so many times over summer and they go with just about everything from dresses to skirts to jeans. This is just 4 of the ways I've worn them.

So I really couldn't resist snapping them up in both pink and blue when they went on sale just before Christmas. They arrived last week and I can't wait to wear them!

My Top Tips for Sale Shopping!

A quick checklist of questions to ask yourself before buying any item in the sale.
  1. How much would you be willing to pay for it? Look at an item and decide how much you like it before you look at the price! So often people decide that they like the price of something before they've even properly looked it.
  2. Do you have anything similar already in your wardrobe? You might really like this particular purple blouse but if you have 2 or 3 already then do you really need another one? So often women are drawn to the same thing time and time again and then wonder why they have a wardrobe full of clothes but feel like they have 'nothing' to wear!
  3. What do you already have that will go with it? If the answer is 'nothing', then the chances are that you are either not going to wear it OR you will have to go out and buy a top, jacket and shoes to go with it. Not really much of a bargain when you have to spend money to actually wear it.
  4. Does it fit you? People are full of good intentions that they will take an item to get it altered at the tailors or stretch those leather shoes that are too tight with a potato. But, from experience, I've found that they very rarely do and they lie, unworn, taking up space and gathering dust...
  5. Are you going to get lots of wear from it? Shopping for basics in the sale are what sales are great for, especially if it is an item such as a coat, blazer, jeans or any other classics that won't date and that you'll get wear from season after season.
  6. Do you love it? Is it something that you would be drawn to in the shop even if it wasn't on sale? Would other people look at it and say "that's so you!" - if not, then step away! Sales are not the place to try out a new styles. Stick to classics, basics and other items that are true to your style.
I know it sounds really simple but these are the questions I always ask clients whenever we go out shopping, even for items that aren't on sale and it's really good to do a quick check before you get carried away with trying to snag a bargain! 

And remember, it's only a bargain if you get something in the sale if you were willing to pay full price for it!

I hope that you have found these tips useful and that it will spare you from any future buyers remorse!


Monday, 6 January 2014

Detox Your Wardrobe

The only type of detox that should be undertaken in January, is a detox of your wardrobe!

I've already had lots of emails from lovely ladies who have made it their new years' resolution to feel better about themselves in 2014.

It seems to be the time of year when people start to reflect upon their current style and find that they are fed up of looking at a wardrobe full of clothes and still feeling like they have nothing to wear. The secret to having lots of outfit options is not necessarily having lots and lots of clothes but having the right clothes.

My wardrobe detox package is the perfect place to start in the quest to re-discovering your style and putting a stylish spring in your step this year.

So, I thought I'd share a bit more information about what exactly is involved in a wardrobe detox.

Firstly, we will have a quick chat about your day-to-day life, what you don't like about your current style and what you would like to change about the way you dress.

Then, we hit the wardrobe (or wardrobes...) and take everything out so that we can see exactly what we have to work with.

I'll get you to try most things on and you can tell me what you would normally wear with that item and when/where you would wear it. Often, I come accross items in a clients wardrobe that they love but have never worn as they're not sure what to wear with it and what accessories would finish off the look. From experience, you probably already have the right item in your wardrobe to wear with it but just haven't thought of trying it with it. If you don't, I'll give you lots of suggestions to suit your budget that might be worth investing in in the future to help you get lots of wear from your favourite items.

Thoughout the clearout we'll keep items seperate that have seen better days, aren't really in style anymore or no longer fit you. Knowing that every single item in your wardrobe fits and looks good on you will make it so much easier to get dressed in the morning rather than having to sift through lots of unsuitable clothing which is taking up precious space in your wardrobe.

We'll also let go of any sale 'bargains' that you bought years ago becuase it was a great price but it still have the tags on! I always encourage clients to buy something because you love it and NOT just because it's cheap.

We will also identify items that form the foundation of your 'capsule wardrobe'. This often compromises of basic but classic pieces that you can easily mix and match to creats lots and lots of stylish outfits. These will be your 'go to' items and will make it infinitely easier to decide what to wear each day. If I feel that you could do with a few additional items that will help you get much more wear from the clothing that you already have, I'll make suggestions about pieces that it would be worthwhile for you to add to your wardrobe.

We'll also discuss accessories and pair these with outfits to create complete 'looks' that you can put together yourself.

And don't worry, I won't leave you to sort out all the mess that we will inevitably create in the short-term. I'll organise everything in your wardrobe so that it makes it really easy to quickly find exactly what you are looking for.

After I've left, I'll send you your very own bespoke 'style file' that will re-cap everything we discussed at the time and suggest items that would work really well in your wardrobe with the items you already have. I'll also give you outfit suggestions and some style inspiration to help make it so much easier to get dressed for any type of occasion.

I'm currently offering 50% off any Wardrobe Detox puchased in January, a saving of £100. So, if you want to get your style in tip top condition for 2014, email victoria@victoriamartinstyle.com to book or visit my wesbite www.victoriamartinstyle.com.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Vinyl Collection

I feel that I might have a serious vinyl addiction coming on... thanks to Topshop!

I love a good pencil skirt, especially of the pink variety so I absolutely HAD to have this baby pink vinyl skirt from Topshop as soon as I saw it. I knew it would sell out quickly (which it did!) given how 'on-trend' this shade of pink is right now. I've only actually had it on once so far and I wore it with a lilac silk camisole top (also available from Topshop here) and some white strappy heels from River Island (available here - wore them so many times over the summer and would definitely recommend them).

Topshop have now released the same skirt again in a few new colours for winter including this absolutely luscious camel version so it would be rude not to get it to keep my pink skirt company.

Camel vinyl skirt - £38 Topshop www.topshop.com
I will probably wear it with a either a cream oversized sweater or a crisp white shirt underneath this camel sweater from Zara...

Camel sweater £19.99 Zara www.zara.com
And, of course, finish the look off with some ridiculous heels, probably these nude fluffy sandals, again from Topshop (not available on the site yet).