FASHION | Cats and Pompoms

Jumper: H&M
Skirt: Forever 21 (similar)
Boots: Naf Naf
Bag: André

I was so excited to take photos of this outfit, because I really wanted to show you the cutest boots in the world! (at least that's what they are to me) I actually borrowed them from my mum. We were shopping together during the sales and I spotted them, immediately knew she'd love them! My mother loves pompoms, fur, fringes and all that stuff so obviously, she did love them and decided to get them. Being the mischievous person that I am, I was happy she got them because I knew I'd wear them too. :P
The jumper I'm wearing is what I call my "cool jumper". Why? Well, because it is lurex and it has cats all over it! I got it a few years ago and I couldn't find anything similar to link in this post, sorry about that. Also, I'm liking longer skirts at the moment, a 'little black skirt' is a wardrobe basic! You can wear them with light tops, jumpers, shirts... and longer skirts tend to look a bit smarter. 
I'm sorry for the lack of links to the items, but I couldn't find anything that looked similar to my jumper and boots. The skirt was easier to find though.

I tried to take some photos with my grandma's cat but he wouldn't stop moving around... I love him so much, he's just the cutest. He just lives by his own rules, but when he wants cuddles he'll follow you literally everywhere until you pet him. Urgh, he's so cute I wish you could actually see him!

Please let me know what you think of this outfit! And more importantly, are you a cat person too? 


BEAUTY | The Manicure Moment: Nuit 1947, Dior

Today I won't be showing you a super sophisticated manicure, but I just needed to do a full blog post on this beauty. If you read my last beauty haul post, you'll have seen the Nuit 1947 by Dior already. I put it on as soon as I got it because as it was my first Dior nail polish, I wanted to try it out and judge of its quality. 
Originally, I wanted to get my hands on the Rouge Noir by Chanel, one of the most classic and loved shades of the brand. Sadly, all the shops I visited had sold out this shade, and as I began to be desperate slightly, I was told by a very helpful sales assistant that Nuit 1947 by Dior was a dupe for my dream Chanel shade. I didn't know about it at all, and I was indeed surprised to see how similar the two polishes look. As you can see it is a deep, almost black red with a very shiny, almost gel-like finish. Typically, this is a colour that can be worn if you're looking for a simple yet timeless and chic manicure, if you can't wear more extravagant colours, because of your job for example. This is a subtle shade that suits all skintones, from really fair to dark skins. In terms of quality, the texture is quite opaque, you only need two coats to have an even finish (but you could even go for one coat only if you're in a rush!). The polish dries super quickly, I was actually impressed about that! As for the lasting power, I'd say it lasts around five days without any chipping at all, and then the colour starts chipping at the tip of the nails. At 25€50, I won't lie: you could go for something a lot cheaper and of the same quality. But this shade is so beautiful and the packaging minimalistic yet dreamy, that I don't regret getting it at all. Of course you also pay for the the brand, and I've been willing to invest a bit more in my beauty items these days, so to me this purchase is definitely worth it. If you like the colour but you're not sure whether you should 'take the splurge' or not, go and swatch Nuit 1947 in Boots or Sephora. You'll see it in its full glory with your own eyes! As for me, I'm just in love. ;)

Have you ever tried Dior nail polishes? Do you like this kind of dark, classic shades?


BLOGGING | Things I've Learnt About Blogging

Even though I've only been blogging on Julia Speaks for a year now, my history with blogging is longer than that. I've had a blog some years ago, in which I posted mostly makeup reviews and favourites. I also have a style blog in French with a friend of mine, which mostly consists of outfits of the day. I can safely say that I've been writing blogging for a good while, and that I'm still loving it just as much. Julia Speaks is my first personal, long-term project. Ever since I started it, I've been learning new things, and I know I'll be learning more and more as time goes by. This post gathers all the little things that I've picked along the way, and that I wanted to share with you!

1. Blogging is a time-consuming hobby
No matter how fond you are of blogging, how much time you're ready to put in it, the whole process in itself will be more time-consuming than you'd expect. I think some people don't realise the hours that go into blog posts: finding inspiration (which can be the hardest part!), taking photos and editing them, putting the post together, writing and proof-reading... All of this requires time, and even though the result is always worth it, sometimes you might get a bit carried away and without even noticing, you've spent two hours straight editing photos and uploading them, your eyes glued to the screen of your laptop!

2. You can be very influenced by other bloggers
Once you get in the world of blogging, you'll find yourself reading dozens and dozens of new blogs all the time. This is great because it makes you discover new people and new ways of expressing creativity, but the negative side is that you'll read so many great posts and see so many awesome blog themes that the temptation to do just the same will be strong. All of us always want to improve and imitate what we think is the best way of doing things, but it doesn't work out the same for everybody. My favourite blogs are those that reflect the personality of their owners, I personally don't like heavily 'branded' blogs that don't seem to have a person behind them. What I'm saying is, stay true to yourself and do things the way you like to, not just how everybody else is doing!

3. The writing part matters just as much as the photography
While some people might disagree with me, I think the writing is really important as to the quality of the content of a blog. I never bother with blog posts made of photos only, I feel like the person doesn't really care about it all and just wants to show all the pretty outfit photos they took. I think there is nothing more personal than a style of writing, and when you start recognising a blogger through their words, it feels like you know them better and step into their world even more as you're reading their posts. 

4. The people you interact with are the joy of blogging
On my first blog, years ago, I only blogged for myself. I didn't interact with other bloggers, I never left comments on other blogs, and I actually didn't read blogs that much! The whole process was just a personal experience I guess, I loved writing about nail polishes and foundations but just for the sake of it. But really, the best thing about blogging is that you get to meet a lot of amazing people you'd never have known if it wasn't for your common interest in blogging! It's always nice to see familiar faces and names commenting on your blog and interacting with you, and I'm sure people love it when we do the same!

5. It is okay if your blog isn't perfect
I am never completely happy with how my blog looks, or the content that I make. Every time I publish something new, I'm afraid that nobody will be interested in it... Which places a lot of pressure on my shoulders! However, as I've been reflecting on my experience to write this post, I've come to the conclusion that the little faults you find in your content, in your photos or in the appearance of your blog are not meant to stop you. There is no need to worry about every little thing that you think is not right about your blog. Blogging is meant to be fulfilling, and no matter how imperfect your blog may seem compared to others, you should be proud of it because there is so much hard work going into it and so much of you in it, that it is actually a pretty awesome thing to be the owner of!

What are the things you learnt through blogging? Are there any tips you'd like to share with other bloggers?


BEAUTY | My Winter Makeup Haul

I didn't really know how to call this post. Nothing especially related to winter, but it's still a winter haul technically isn't it? Anyways, I had a sort of makeup wishlist of items I wanted or needed to buy after Christmas, and I've finally gathered them all together. I'll go through each of them quickly, and I'm leaving the links if you want to have a closer look at the products. I got them all with discounts so I'm quite pleased with myself! Most of these are expensive and there is no way I'd buy them full price to be honest. This year I'll try to stick to the motto 'quality over quantity', but it doesn't mean that I'm ready to throw all the banknotes into Sephora cash registers!

Everlasting Foundation with SPF 15, Clarins: I'm running out of my much loved Max Factor FaceFinity foundation, so I was looking for a new one and I wanted to try out something a bit different. I did not plan to get this one, it was more of a purchase of the moment as I went in the shop. It was reduced from 44€90 to 26,94€ so I thought it was a good opportunity to try a more high-end foundation, and my mother kindly got it for me! 
Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm, Nuxe: I've already talked about this balm previously I think, this is the one product that I recommend to every person that's looking for a good, comforting lip balm during the winter. Because of its texture, this Nuxe balm repairs the lips and covers them in a protective layer. I've never read any bad review on this one, so that says it all!

Amplified Lipstick in 'Fast Play', MAC: A few months ago, I have decided to stop getting lots of random lipsticks all the time and focus on quality items instead. From now on, when I want to treat myself to a new lipstick, I'll go into MAC and actually take time to swatch all the colours, think it over, to find a shade that I actually want and love. I was looking for a pink nude lipstick after Christmas, and I took 'Fast Play' home. It is a gorgeous colour that works perfectly for natural looks.

Ombre Blackstar Eyeshadow Stick in 'Misty Rock', By Terry: I had been craving the Ombre Blackstar sticks for months, and I finally got one! These are clearly an investment, and I actually got mine with 25% off thanks to a Sephora Black Card offer. These sticks are incredibly beautiful, they are so shimmery and the creamy texture makes it easy to apply and blend out. It was hard to choose just one shade, but Misty Rock stood out to me because it is a gorgeous, deep shade that I can wear both for everyday makeup looks and more sophisticated looks, as a base eyeshadow for example. Do go and swatch them, you'll fall in love I'm sure!

Gel Shine Nail Polish in 'Nuit 1947', Dior: Originally, I wanted to get the Chanel 'Rouge Noir' nail polish, but it seemed to be sold out everywhere. It is a really popular shade, but I thought I could still get it... Nope, apparently everybody wanted to get it at the same time as me haha. As I was feeling a bit desperate when the last shop I visited had sold out, the sales assistant told me that this shade from Dior was an exact dupe for the Chanel polish, so I decided to get it instead. I'd never tried Dior nail polishes before so that's a good way to discover something new as well. Again I might review it; let me tell you that the colour is ah-mazing!

Have you bought any beauty or makeup items recently? Or do you plan on getting something new soon?


FASHION | Everyday Retro Style

Dress: Marks & Spencer (old)
Boots: André (old)
Bag: gift

I've already said multiple times that I love everything vintage and retro. I don't wear this style of clothes very often, because unfortunately retro brands are quite expensive, and I struggle to find real vintage pieces that suit me in second-hand shops. My collection will be growing slowly I guess, and maybe in a few years' time I'll have a closet full of vintage clothes! 
I love this dress from Marks & Spencer. To me, it has a 1940s vibe to it in the top part especially, the sort of shirt-like part of the dress. The print is super cute as well, a cross between feathers and hearts. I'm in love with the coat as well. It was my one of my Christmas presents from my parents, and it is just what I was looking for - and it keeps me so warm! If you're looking for a good coat with a classic, timeless look, you should check out Marks & Spencer. 

In a more personal note, I'm feeling very happy with how my blog is looking right now. I have lots of blog post ideas and plans, and hopefully I'll be doing more OOTDs in the future. Now that January is over, I'm feeling better, ready to work, plan ahead and share more positivity that what I'd been doing this past month!

Do you like vintage-inspired clothes? Do you know any good shops that sell retro clothing?


LIFESTYLE | A Room Tour in Pictures

Having a peek at someone's room is a good way to get to know them. Obviously, it shows through the overall style of the room (and its state of messiness!), but also from the little things - the candle they're burning (well, for bloggers at least because who else burns candles in their room? haha), the way they arrange and store their clothes, or the little trinkets they keep on their shelves. This is why I've decided to do a sort of room tour, but only showing you bits and pieces instead of wide shots. My dad repainted and redecorated my room last summer, and I finally got rid of the blue walls I'd had for the past ten years to go for a more neutral colour. Funnily enough I went for a pale, greyish lilac on the walls, which is pretty much the colour scheme of my blog! Changing your room can really make a difference in how well you feel in it, trust me - a makeover is always a good idea.
The only thing that bugs me is that I have so much stuff that I'm struggling to find storage tricks now. My bookshelves are completely packed full of books and I have to put new ones randomly in every bit of space I can find now. But I wanted to show you my favourite part of it, the old books corner - I love collecting books from centuries past! I got the little squirrel stuffed toy in a shop in Hyde Park, London, and the curious bottle of Bath water in... well, Bath haha. Also, from these photos you can learn two things: 1. that I really like Jane Austen and 2. that I am also a huge Harry Potter fan. By the way, if you'd like me to do a Harry Potter merchandise collection, do let me know because that would be fun!

What is the colour scheme of your room? What are the bits that you like the most about it?