HOW TO: MY ONE MINUTE BROWS

The most often asked beauty question goes a little something like this: ‘what is the one product you can’t live without?‘. Putting aside the fact that it’s probably THE MOST first world problem known to woman (and probably not something men get asked #askhermore), I’m going to focus on the crux of the question, which is really about what’s your favourite beauty product, or important feature, or whatever. For me, I’ve come to realise over time that the feature that makes the most difference to your face is your brows. Really and truly. The right shape frames your face, makes you look more alert and seriously, overall, just makes you better looking. I didn’t always think that – every so often I see pictures prior to my brow-phiphany and cringe (delve deeply enough into the archives and you too will find this).   And you know what, although essential, polishing your brows on a daily basis need not be a lengthy process – particularly if you’re like me and have *very* limited patience when it comes to getting ready in the morning. Read on to see how I give my brows a touch up, in just 60 seconds.

One Minute Brows

You need: A spoolie brush, brow powder (I use the Mac eyebrow shaper palette, which I think they don’t make anymore but it’s like this), brow gel (I use this clear gel) and an angled brush.

0 – 20 seconds: Using a spoolie brush (like a mascara brush, often found on the end of an eyebrow pencil), I quickly brush the hairs up and away from my face, opening the brows and giving them shape. This has the added benefit of making my brows look bigger and more Lily Collins-esque.

20 – 40 seconds: Using a brow powder (or non sparkly eye shadow) a shade lighter than your hair and your angled brush, fill in the gaps in your brows, making sure to follow the natural arch. The Mac palette I use also has a

40 – 60 seconds: Lastly, add a touch of brow gel with your fingers to keep your brows in shape all day.

Quick brow how toQuick brow how to Quick browsQuick brow how to About Geneva Vanderzeil

Photos by Nicola Lemmon

BEFORE & AFTER: THE BACKLESS CROP TOP

You may remember a while ago I turned the bottom of a plain dress into a shift style, complete with straps made from the fabric belt of the dress. The top section of the dress sat gathering dust for a while, mainly because in creating the skirt I cut the zip part off the back dress, making it hard to close it without adding a while new zip or buttons. Argh why has time for that?! After I while I came to the conclusion that instead of adding a zip, it would actually work to just leave it open, securing it at the top with the hook and eye that was already there. Because the store has just received a new set of beautiful rhinestones, we decided to add a few amber and grey jewels around the neckline to give it more of a decorative edge.

Before and after: the jeweled top Before and after: the jeweled top Before and after: the jeweled crop top
You need:

  • a crop top or cut off dress top.
  • assortment of rhinestones (buy yours in our store here)
  • E6000 Glue
  • Needle and Thread
  • Pins

Make a jewelled rhinestone crop top www.apairandasparediy.com

How to:

1. Pin your hem on your reversed side and the hand or machine stitch it.

Make a jewelled rhinestone crop top www.apairandasparediy.com

2. Apply glue to the back of your rhinestone

Make a jewelled rhinestone crop top www.apairandasparediy.com

4. Start at your shoulder seam and stick your first rhinestone along the neckline

Make a jewelled rhinestone crop top www.apairandasparediy.com

5. Continue applying rhinestones to complete a row along the neckline. Once you have done your second row, add another ow of stones.

Make a jewelled rhinestone crop top www.apairandasparediy.com

6. Continue creating a new row of rhinestones and then allow to dry overnight. Voila!

Make a jewelled rhinestone crop top www.apairandasparediy.com Before and after: the jeweled top

DIY Open Back crop top

In the mood for some summer crafting? Check out our new clear glass rhinestone kit, perfect for making some seriously gorgeous jewellery.

Photos by Nicola Lemmon

DIY GRANOLA BAR

Catering used to make me nervous. Not because I don’t like cooking, or eating for that matter, but more because I have this weird Dutch-Sri Lankan thing where I’m absolutely terrified that there won’t be enough food and it will all get eaten and then people will leave hungry and then WHAT WOULD THEY SAY!?! Clearly a little something passed down from my grandmother. Anyhoo, after running a few events in the studio I’m proud to say that I may have kicked my catering related anxiety – what I’ve learnt is that sometimes the best little ideas for food are the most simple – and DIY!

Out of all the menu items we’ve had in the studio, the granola bar has been the most popular, and so so simple. All you have to do it fill small paper (or ceramic if you’re fancy) bowls with granola, one for each person, and then lay out an area of larger bowls with yogurt, nuts (we used almonds, pepitos and pine nuts but any will do!), berries, shredded coconut, honey and conserves – people love being able to tailor their little layered parfait. The best thing about this is that I can satisfy my tendency to over cater (another genetic predilection), without blowing the budget. More is more when it comes to brunch right?

Grab yourself my granola recipe here and away you go. Happy eating!

DIY Granola BarGranola BarGranola BarGranola Bar Granola Bar Granola Bar.

Photos by Nicola Lemmon

HOW TO USE PINTEREST TO CREATE BETTER OUTFITS

When it comes to getting dressed in the morning, for me it’s all about efficiency – working out how to put together the best outfit using the least time possible. Because honestly, who has hours and hours to get dressed in the morning? Because I’m sure you face the same *staring at the wardrobe, clock is ticking* conundrum some mornings too, I thought I would share a little trick I’ve been using recently to help me put outfits together, and that’s PinterestYes it’s a great way to plan your baby shower, and yes it’s how I find that chair I want to buy. But did you know that when organised and used properly, it can act as a functional morning dressing guide that can cumulatively save you hundreds of hours in your week? Ok so maybe not hundreds but you get what I mean… Read on to see how.

Getting dressed using pinterestGetting dressed using pinterest Getting dressed using pinterest

Wearing: DIY gladiator flats, Zulu & Zephyr shorts, Witchery tank, J Crew Jacket, Dylan Kain Bag

Get Pinterest on your phone
The first thing to do is to make Pinterest as accessible as possible for when you’re getting ready, and for me that means putting it on my phone. The app is really easy to use, and this makes it super handy!

Create a style/dressing board
The next step is to create a style board on your Pinterest profile, a place to store everything you see that inspires your outfits. Keep this separate from any other fashion board you have where you include other inspiration, just focusing this one on outfits you would wear. You can check out my style board here – chances are you’ll see me decked out in a few of those outfits soon!

Reflect pieces that you own
When you’re adding images to your board, try to make sure the outfits are reflecting items that you actually own – a striped top for example or a khaki jacket. Look for various interesting and inventive ways to wear these pieces and pin them.

Or adapt what you see
You also don’t have to copy exactly what you see on your Pinterest board, the outfits are there as inspiration. So don’t be put off if you don’t have all the pieces, just adapt what you see. Here’s an IRL example: I loved this outfit and filed it away on my style board. One day I was dressing to go to a long lunch with friends. I literally only had ten minutes to get dressed (late as usual!) and took one of those minutes to review my style board. Instead of trying on 15 outfits and being late, I saw this photo and then pretty much straight away put together the outfit you see above. It’s actually not that similar in the end but you can see she (unnamed blond lady) provided the structure/basis for the outfit, and I adapted with what I had. For me this also works because I think it’s a good way for you to put your own spin on an outfit.

Try to build your style
You want your board to reflect outfits that suit the things you need to do and the places you like to Go, but also try to build your style  with this process by thinking about different ways you could wear the pieces you own, or different outfit structures you could start wearing.

Create a shopping list
Finally, use your research on your style board to help inspire smart shopping choices – if you see a piece cropping up over and over on your board but you don’t have it – say the perfect LBD or a blazer – add it to your list and know when you buy it you’ll have 750374 ways to wear it! This makes for a much happier closet in the long run. :)

So that’s my little trick guys, and it’s come in handy recently, particularly when you’re rushing somewhere and have no time to be creative. Here’s to more ‘pinnable’ outfits in real life!

Photos by Nicola Lemmon

Ps. Remember these DIY gladiator sandals? They’re still going strong!