Monday, 30 July 2012

Little Nell Haul

I'd seen Little Nell jewellery featured on so many blogs in outfit posts and the likes and thought that it was so pretty that I had to check it out for myself. Over the past few weeks I've built up a nice Little Nell collection that consists of; two necklaces, two bracelets and a set of rings and I couldn't be more happy with them. Little Nell orders come in gorgeous packaging and what's on the inside doesn't disappoint either!

I decided to buy these two necklaces, the Rainbow Quartz Crystal Pendant in Dusty Pink and a Crystal Quartz one. The Rainbow Quartz Pendant was supposed to be £16, excluding delivery, but I got 30% off thanks to a clearance code, so all together it cost £13.70! Originally I wanted it in the Petrol design but it had sold out so I opted for this lovely pink one because it's a colour that I never wear so I thought it would be nice to have a change. You also get to choose between a gold or silver chain which is such a nice touch. The Quartz necklace was only £6 in the sale! I think it had been reduced from around the £18 mark, I'm not sure because the listing has been taken down now so I don't have a link for it. It has a really long chain and no clasp so there's no fiddly business when you put it on, which is ideal for me!

I loved these necklaces so much that I went back a week later and ordered a few more pieces. I've been in dire need of bracelets for such a long time so I couldn't resist these Studded Friendship Bracelets for £3 each! The colours are sent at random so it's a bit of a nice surprise to see what you got when they arrive. I also bought the Gold Ring Trio - Heart, Star ans Cross that had been reduced from £6 down to £3! Their title is pretty self explanatory so all I can add to that is that they're also adjustable and look lovely either all together or on their own!

Little Nell offers a wide range of jewellery including bracelets, earrings and necklaces! You can check out the store here as well as follow her blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Have a look and let me know which items you like!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

The Dark Knight Rises Review

It's easy to say that upon the release of Batman Begins (2005) Christopher Nolan let it be known that a film adaptation of a graphic novel such as Batman didn't have to be something light hearted and unrealistic that only children and comic fans could enjoy. Nolan's Batman trilogy is far from this, it touches on the darker side of human nature and is set it a world that is all too real. After the massive critical and commercial success of The Dark Knight (2008) four years ago, The Dark Knight Rises (2012) has a lot to live up to, but the question is whether this is possible or not.

Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) still has his Batman persona in retirement after using it to take the blame for both Harvey Dent's murderous rampage and subsequent death in order to maintain Gotham's faith in Dent's status as a symbol of hope. However, he is soon called on to bring the Bat back after the franchise's latest antagonist Bane (Tom Hardy) and his army plan to detonate an atomic bomb in order to destroy the city. With the new girl about town Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) throwing in some drama of her own, Batman must juggle both the terrorist and the feisty feline.

The beginning of The Dark Knight Rises starts off at a relatively slow pace and is full of throwbacks to the aftermath of the mayhem caused by the previous antagonists; Ra's al Ghul of Batman Begins and Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight. At a staggering length of two hours and forty five minutes it is easy to say that at least an hour passes before the viewer is given narrative that they can truly sink their teeth into. The Nolan brothers have succeeded in creating another intricate and interesting narrative that the previous two films were acclaimed for. Well written, clever and funny it the right places the script is brilliantly written. The Dark Knight Rises is full of very smart twists and turns, brilliant characters and intriguing dialogue.

Nolan's style can't be questioned. From the sleek suits to the fighting choreography to the police chases through Gotham city, this film is an absolute treat. The slow but sure demise of Gotham city during Bane's urban warfare is stunning in its own disastrous way and looks brilliant up on the big screen. Though the editing gets considerably rapid throughout the film this is not necessarily a fault, whether it be a chase scene or a fight scene, the rapid movement looks brilliant and it definitely calls for the actors to be put through their paces.

The two main newcomers to the trilogy are Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway as Bane and Catwoman, respectively. Though physically menacing, with his face obscured behind a mask and his mammoth physique, Tom Hardy's Bane fails to carry the torch left behind by the late Heath Ledger's Joker. One major flaw that comes with Bane is dialogue issues, thanks to his mask his vocals are extremely muffled which leaves some of his lines completely unintelligible. Whereas The Dark Knight gave a psychologically complex villain who brilliantly questioned human morality, The Dark Knight Rises simply gives a more physical sense of a villain. The intentions of Bane are also slightly confusing; he claims that he wants to 'give the city back to the people' whilst at the same time he threatens them with a nuke. The true scene stealer of the film is the amazing Anne Hathaway. Often cropping up at opportunistic moments, armed with her killer heels and sharp one liners she'll leave the entire theatre wanting more of her. Her slight anti-hero status is brilliant as it lingers throughout the film as she has to choose between saving her own skin or doing the right thing and give a helping hand to stop Bane.

Friendly, familiar faces also appear throughout the film. The loyal butler Alfred (Michael Caine) and technological genius Lucias Fox (Morgan Freeman) appear in their small yet mighty roles as Bruce Wayne's somewhat surrogate fathers and general go-to-men. The new kid on the block is police officer John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Gordon-Levitt gives a great, feisty performance and as we see his character coax Wayne out of retirement, save some under privileged kids and to top things off he gets a pretty impressive scene that will leave fans on the edge of their seats at the end. This being said, deep down there's the feeling that his character was somewhat irrelevant and his contribution was a little lacklustre.

It's clear that Nolan set the bar incredibly high with The Dark Knight, and it's also clear that he himself couldn't overcome it. The sense of perfect closure was at his fingertips but was ruined by a slight cliffhanger ending to one of the supporting character's story arcs. Instead of closing all of the doors and locking them Nolan leaves this particular one left open, even though he's confirmed that he won't be venturing back to Gotham city again and the trilogy will indeed remain a trilogy. Though the film can easily be seen as a slow burner it makes up for this as it progresses and the latter part of the narrative certainly packs a punch.

It's fair to say that The Dark Knight Rises sadly didn't rise and remains buried under the legacy and success of its predecessor thanks to its ruined attempt at full closure and poor choice of antagonist. Negativity aside, this film is packed to the rafters with beautiful cinematography, brilliant performances and perfect style. Devout Batman fans will be able to overlook its bad points and truly enjoy the final piece of the bat puzzle.

As I'm a massive fan of Marvel and an absolute DC novice, I'd like to thank my friend Dan for giving me a crash course in all things Batman and Chris Nolan before I wrote this review! You can check out his blog here.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Wish List #2

1. Black Coated Molly Jeggings - River Island. These slightly remind me of the American Apparel Disco Pants, which I can't buy because I'm too tall so the leg length would be way too short for me. So something like these would be an ideal substitute because they come in a long leg length and are almost half the price.

2. Strappy Grunge Midi Dress - Washed Blue - Topshop. I love midi dresses and this one is so simple and I think it would work well even in Winter. I recently bought the Aztec dress from my last Wish List and wish I'd have seen this one first!

3. Tall Bleach Denim Leggings - Topshop. I've been looking for some acid wash jeans for such a long time but these bleach denim jeggings are lovely. I've never bought any leggings/jeggings from the Topshop Tall section so I don't know if they'd be long enough. If I decide to treat myself  I guess I'll find out!

4. Black Madonna Print Tank - River Island. You can't beat a bit of classic Madonna and I love the image on this tank top.

5. Studded Leather Hobo Bag - Topshop. I'm on the look out for a bag for when I got back to university in October and I think this one is gorgeous. I always opt for a black bag because it makes it easier to match my outfits with.

6. Vans Authentic Lo Pro Trainers - Schuh. I already have a pair of these that I bought when I started college in 2008 and I think now is the time to buy a replacement pair. I used to wear them everyday and every night, so whilst I got my moneys worth they also got trampled to death at gigs. I remember spending less than one weeks EMA on my last pair so they've gone up from £25 to £40!

Is there anything you've had your eye on?

Friday, 20 July 2012

Life of Leigh-Anne #2

Hello everyone! I've actually been up to a few things lately so I thought I'd write another one of these update posts.

L-R: My blink-182 wristband and Mark Hoppus and his Nyan Cat speakers!

First off I went to see blink-182 for the first time since Leeds Festival. I bought the tickets at the end of 2010 for last summer, but they cancelled the all of the European dates in order to release their new album so it wouldn't be a 'greatest hits' tour so I'd been waiting for almost two years to see them again! Being the genius that I am I forgot my camera so I only got a couple of pictures on my phone. They were absolutely brilliant and I really want to go again. Crowds in Liverpool are always rubbish, but I'll live!

L-R: My gorgeous Jewellery By Jaymie pieces and my Effie's nails.

I also bought a few things from Jewellery By Jaymie (I'll be doing a proper post on what I bought soon!) after seeing her jewellery featured on so many peoples' blogs. I also bought some false nails, I usually avoid wearing them but I fell in love with these ones designed by Effie. My nails have been in a rubbish condition lately so I haven't put them on yet, but as soon as I do I'll write up a post on them too.

L-R: Trying out a centre parting and my Topshop Haul #2.

I also spent some time fuelling my new found Topshop addiction and picked up the Aztec print dress from last weeks Wish list as well as a few more things, which were mainly from the sale so I got some bargains! You can check out my haul post here.

What have you been up to this week? I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Topshop Haul #2

Hello everyone! I know it must seem like my last Topshop haul was only two minutes ago but I have no excuse, I'm a little bit addicted. I recently made some money on eBay and got a grant from university, so this plus the Topshop sale got me quite far.
I've basically been living under a grey cloud for over a week now so please excuse poor lighting in the pictures!

Overall I bought; one tank top, two dresses, two necklaces, one bracelet, one headband, a pair of socks and a pair of shoes.

L-R: Speckle T-Shirt Mini Dress, Aztec Print T-Shirt Cross Back Dress and Metallica Tank By And Finally

Ever since I got my grey Speckle Tee Dress last month I've been in love with it and I was so happy that it came in different colours/designs. Firstly I got the Speckle T-Shirt Mini Dress that's only £10 in the sale, and thanks to student discount I got it for £9! It was advertised as navy blue but it's definitely more of a purple colour, but I don't mind. Then there's my favourite of the two, the Aztec Print T-Shirt Cross Back Dress, which was in my last Wish List post. I wanted this for so long that I caved in and bought it the second that I got my grant. And finally there's the Metallica Tank by And Finally. Metallica are one of my favourite bands in the world and I couldn't believe it when my local store actually had this in stock, it's usually absolutely rubbish. It's really baggy so if you could probably pull off ordering a size down.

I think that I benefit most in the jewellery department when it comes to Topshop sales. All together this should have cost £39.50 but I got it for £13! The skull necklace and ankh bracelet were both reduced from £6.50 each to £2.50, the triangle necklace was £12.50 to £3.50 and the headband was £14 down to £4.50 so I seriously suggest going out and seeing what you can pick up. Also, I bought a pair of Black Lace Trim Ankle Socks which were £3.50 (or 3 pairs for £8).

Vectra Canvas Slippers

Finally, I'd seen so many posts saying how amazing their Vectra Canvas Slippers were so I had to buy a pair. I opted for the black ones because we all know that black goes with anything and seeing as they were £28 I want to be able to get my moneys worth out of them. I'm usually a size 8 in shoes but had to go a size up because they're a little short in the length, besides that they're super comfy!

Have you found any Topshop bargains recently?

Friday, 13 July 2012

Submarine Review

From East is East (1999) to Cemetery Junction (2010), there is no doubt that over the last decade or so British cinema has had a penchant for producing refreshingly unique comedy gems. However, no matter how brilliant these films are, the sad matter of fact is that they are constantly overlooked in favour of more mainstream, Hollywood blockbusters. Sadly this is a hole that Submarine (2010) may have fell into as it was forgotten by many casual cinema goers upon its release, but by no means does this mean that it's a bad film.

Set in Wales in 1986, Submarine is narrated by its protagonist Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts) who recounts the story of how he had to juggle his first 'romance' with his pyromaniac girlfriend and the possible demise of his parents marriage due to a suspected case of infidelity which involves his mystic neighbour.

Even though Submarine marks the directorial debut of The IT Crowd actor Richard Ayoade it is an extremely confident film that shows no signs of his lack of directorial experience. Not only did he direct the picture, he also wrote the screenplay, which was adapted from the little known novel of the same name by Joe Dunthorne. Nothing but praise can be given to Ayoade for this particularly stylish feature. The film is extremely well edited and is split into three parts, reminiscent of chapters in a book. Certain moments of the film feature speed manipulation; a brilliant yet subtle trick that emphasises the urgency or loneliness of the characters' situations.

The script is brilliantly written, comical, witty and smart. In no way does Submarine resemble the typical teenage romance/coming of age dramas that are constantly being pumped out which tell the tale of two relatively popular, ridiculously good looking teenagers falling in love who must overcome an epic obstacle to be together. Instead, this film follows two protagonists who, maybe only on the surface, appear to be completely normal. The central love story of the film isn't necessarily a traditionally romantic one and this is what makes Submarine stand out from its peers, a romance film is far more interesting when the lead male and female hate the prospect of actually being romantic. Aside from this tale of (almost) romance, there is a brilliantly funny subplot in which Oliver attempts to understand the mechanics of his parents' marriage and just how their mystic, new age guru neighbour is seducing his mother.

L-R: Jordana Bevan (Yasmin Paige) and Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts).
Craig Roberts' portrayal of Oliver is flawless as not only does he do the brilliantly written script justice, he also brings in a sense of nostalgia for other favourable yet downtrodden male youths such as Bud Cort's Harold in Harold and Maude (1971), even to the point of having a slight physical resemblance to the young Cort. Oliver Tate is a protagonist who leads a relatively mundane life yet is an incredibly interesting character who partakes in activities such as; 'light arson', surveilling his parents and, in a typical cocky schoolboy manner, he also fantasises about how much people would mourn his death. Oliver isn't a stand alone protagonist; cue his girlfriend Jordana Bevan (Yasmin Paige). Jordana is seemingly similar to Oliver, though somewhat slightly more confident than he is. A pyromaniac who finds acts of bullying amusing, she is a slight sadist in her own strange yet empathic way. Being a female character who hates the prospect of romance, she's a rare character for a teenage romance film, yet another trait that makes her so perplexing. Just as Roberts does with Oliver, Paige brings the role to life in a blunt yet fantastic way.

Though Submarine may not be as memorable as other films from its time of release it's a thoroughly enjoyable film that fell into the sad trap of being shunned, most likely due to the lack of big names, CGI effects and explosions that most 21st century cinema frequenters crave. Despite this it's extremely difficult to find any faults. The style, cast and script are immaculate; all the things that a perfectly enjoyable film requires.

Submarine is ultimately a very funny, witty and clever film that can be enjoyed with ease. Its made greater by its protagonist, who is one of the more unique and interesting characters in film. Though its humour may not meet the tastes of international audiences it is British comedy at its best. We can only hope that Ayoade continues his phenomenal work behind the camera and makes a follow up film. It's also a must see if you're a Wes Anderson fan.


Monday, 9 July 2012

Nails of the Day #1

Hello everyone, I hope you're all having a happy Monday!
For my first post of the week I thought I'd start doing Nails of the Day posts because they seem quite popular and I spend a ridiculous amount of time painting my nails these days! I recently bought some French Manicure nail tip guides from eBay so I've been painting them with different colour tips for a few weeks now.

My nails, complete with glitter polish on spilled on my thumb.

I've fallen in love with the idea of using a glitter polish for the tips, it stands out and looks really cute. For this design I used my new Barry M Ice Cream Berry polish for the entire nail and then used Pink Fizz by Models Own for the tips. I'm a little addicted to Models Own polishes right now and I'm dying to buy more!

Do you have any favourite nail polishes?

Friday, 6 July 2012

Gold Sparrow - Indie Braclets Review

About a month ago an independent boutique called Gold Sparrow started following me on Twitter. After I had a nosey on their page I saw pictures of a couple of their simplistic yet absolutely gorgeous bracelets so I was pretty happy that they'd somehow found me in the massive world of Twitter because their jewellery was right up my street. Their actual website didn't launch until the 1st of July but they did a giveaway a couple of weeks beforehand, sadly I have terrible luck and didn't win anything! So I had to sit back and patiently wait for their bracelets to go on sale.

L-R: Heart and Hand and Wing bracelets.

Their website launched on Sunday 1st July and I was there as soon as they put the link up! There collection is really impressive and there's so much choice. After thinking it through I decided to go for the Heart and Hand and Wing bracelets. Currently all of the jewellery is 20%, that's just £3.99 for one bracelet! You can also get free delivery by doing little things such as following them on Twitter etc. This means that I paid £7.98 for these two gorgeous bracelets, so I can't complain!

The bracelets don't have fiddly clasps or anything complicated, you just pull on a little tie depending how tight or loose you want it to sit. I have a really wide hand span and they still go on perfectly so there's no issue with sizing at all! The charms look gorgeous and I was really impressed that the Hand and Wing charm has the design on each side so it doesn't matter which way it falls; I hate having to constantly readjust charms on necklaces and other jewellery so I think this is ideal.

I can't wait to see what else they design as time goes on. I'm a bit of a necklace fanatic so I'd love to see some other types of jewellery from them in the future.
You can check out the complete range of their bracelets on their website and also follow them on Twitter.

The Robyn Diaries Giveaway
One of my favourite blogs, The Robyn Diaries, is currently hosting a giveaway! You can find out more about the lovely Robyn and her giveaway here.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Wish List #1

1. Aztec Print T-Shirt Cross Back Dress - Topshop. I've had my eye on this dress for a while now. I have the Grey Speckle T-Shirt Dress and I love it, then saw this one in the store a few days later but they didn't have my size in! It has a gorgeous cut out detail in the back and I'm very tempted to get it as it's only £26!

2. Tall Flippy Heart Mesh Dress - Topshop. This dress has been on the website for a few months now and I absolutely love it. It's got such a retro look to it so it's right up my street! I'm really happy that they do this in the tall section and it's tempting me even more now. They also have it in regular and petite lengths.

3. Tall Fluro Scarf Shirtdress - Topshop. I think that this dress could be quite marmite as you'll either love or hate it. I adore scarf print so I'd definitely wear something like this. As another 'Tall' find I was really pleased but it's practically double the price of the T-Shirt dress so I may have to sit this one out, or wait patiently for a sale!

4. Studded Headband - Topshop. Sadly the link to this headband has been taken down now so I think it would be impossible to get! It was £12.50 and I don't think I'd ever spend that much on something like this but I still think that it's super pretty. Topshop sales usually come through for items like this so I'll have to wait and see how lucky I am.

5. Leather Leopard Metal Buckle Satchel - ASOS. I've had my eye on this satchel for a really long time and it's recently been reduced from £80 to £48 so it's still a lot! I'm going to hang around and see if they reduce it any further. I'm a sucker for leopard print so I seriously need it!

6. Triangle Collar Tips - Topshop. I've been seeing so many people wearing collar tips lately that it's got to the point where I feel really plain when I'm wearing a shirt or top with a collar! I think these ones are so edgy because they have the chain too so it's like a little necklace.

What do you think? Is there anything that you have your eye on?

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man Review

Just as the buzz over the commercial and critical success that was The Avengers (2012) started to cool down, Marvel have wasted no time in supplying their fans with yet another cinematic treat; The Amazing Spider-Man (2012). Released in the wake of The Avengers and before the final instalment of the Batman franchise, The Dark Knight Rises (2012), The Amazing Spider-Man joins the line up of films in what can only be described as a comic book fan's dream summer.

Only a mere ten years have passed since Sam Raimi's Spider-Man (2002), and only five since the character's last outing in Spider-Man 3 (2007). Therefore there is a certain, unavoidable question on the lips of every Spider-Man fan. Is it too soon to retell the origins of Marvel's most famous character?

Directed by Marc Webb, who's only other feature film is the indie hit 500 Days of Summer (2009), The Amazing Spider-Man is an impressive piece of work. It's evident that with the release of Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins (2005) a new standard for the superhero movie was set; they no longer had to be deemed solely for children or stereotypical comic book readers and this film proves that. With a darker edge than Raimi's trilogy, and no ridiculous dance scenes, The Amazing Spider-Man features more three dimensional characters and a stunning use of both CGI and 3D.

Though interesting, it seems that from the onset that the narrative would no doubt provoke a sense of déjà vu within the viewer. The film had no other choice but to open with the origins of that one bite that turned a regular teenage boy into one of the most famous heroes in the world, a story that even people who aren't exactly Spider-Man literate are familiar with. That being said, this films spin on that story does give a more detailed reasoning behind Peter Parker's (Andrew Garfield) descent into the life of a superhero. Another throwback from the previous trilogy is the relationship between the hero and villain. After experimenting with reptile DNA to regrow a missing limb Peter's (somewhat) mentor Dr. Conners (Rhys Ifans) transforms himself into a giant Lizard hellbent on turning the rest of the city into cold blooded creatures like himself. Sadly, this sets up the entire film in a Spider-Man 2 (2004) type manner as it greatly resembles the previous Spider-Man's plight to stop Doctor Octopus; the student must save the teacher storyline strikes again.

Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) discovers his new abilities.
By 2012 Peter Parker has transformed into a legitimate 21st century teenager; his walls are decorated with the icons of previous generations such as Joe Strummer and he reeks of sexual angst. Though it may not seem like it, all of this is a sigh of relief. The idea behind Spider-Man was that he was just a regular teenager; he could be your brother, your best friend or even you. By no means is the 28 year old Garfield any of these things in real life, but he completely pulls it off and doesn't summon those feelings of mutton dressed as lamb that Tobey Maguire did. Maguire's Spider-Man feels considerably poor in comparison to the more slick character portrayed by Garfield. In short, the evolution of Peter Parker over the past ten years is satisfying, even though the somewhat whiney performances in Raimi's films had to be endured to get there.

Emma Stone equally enthrals as Gwen Stacey, making her a more loveable character than the previous reincarnation of Spider-Man 3. Stone's on screen chemistry with Garfield is brilliant, making the relationship seem more true. No Spider-Man feature would be complete without resident family members Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field). Sheen and Field excel in their supporting roles as Peter's doting family, to the point of tugging on your heart strings.

Sleek, stylish and funny, The Amazing Spider-Man undoubtably deserves one of the highest ranks amongst Marvel's cinematic ventures. Though slightly let down by some elements borrowed from the previous films and the sense of déjà vu it can still be enjoyed. It's a far cry better than Sam Raimi's trilogy and will hopefully be able to hold its own against The Dark Knight Rises.
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