Comfort in Stripes [Dolly & Dotty]

Come on, you must know by now that I’m a little bit crazy for nautical colour combinations. Give me red, white and navy, give me anchors, give me stripes! I just don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. But I suppose, sigh, that it is sensible sometimes to have separates that can make up a nautical outfit but don’t have to, that can be paired with other pieces for a different kind of look. I mean, I guess.

These pieces from Dolly & Dotty both indulge my nautical love and gift me with a somewhat reluctant possibility of versatility.

Dolly & Dotty Gloria stripe top Erin high waisted flared skirt Dolly & Dotty Gloria stripe top Erin high waisted flared skirt Dolly & Dotty Gloria stripe top Erin high waisted flared skirt Dolly & Dotty Gloria stripe top Erin high waisted flared skirt Dolly & Dotty Gloria stripe top Erin high waisted flared skirt Dolly & Dotty Gloria stripe top Erin high waisted flared skirt Dolly & Dotty Gloria stripe top Erin high waisted flared skirt Dolly & Dotty Gloria stripe top Erin high waisted flared skirtDolly & Dotty Gloria stripe top Erin high waisted flared skirt

Top: Red Stripes Gloria top C/O Dolly & Dotty
Skirt: Navy Erin High Waisted skirt C/O Dolly & Dotty
Bag: White purse by Lola Von Rose
Hat: Old Select
Bangles: Woven Bamboo by Splendette + Assorted bamboo bangles
Shoes: Old Primark

Playful joking aside, these pieces really do make for versatile staple pieces. I love off the shoulder tops but more often than not I tend to find they fail to do their one job–actually stay off the shoulder. Consequently, I probably own at least 5 different off the shoulder tops that I hardly ever wear, despite feeling they’re super flattering on me, because it drives me crazy having to repeatedly pull them back into place sufficiently off my shoulders throughout wear. No thanks. This Gloria top, however, poses no such frustrating problem. Once off the shoulder, this top really did stay in place, perhaps because the stretchy fabric is such a fine knit it’s not constantly bunching back up from the weight of its own stretch. This top settles and stays put, even as I move about my day, which is something I can’t praise highly enough, especially for only £14.99! Methinks I’ll be needing it in the other colours as well, and that perhaps Dolly & Dotty should look into offering it in plain shades too. Just a (hopeful) thought 😉

The Erin high waisted flared skirt is exactly that, featuring a wide waistband, hidden pockets and 17 functioning buttons that fasten down the entire front centre panel of the skirt. I must admit that items of clothing that fasten with a series of buttons drive me slightly crazy, as buttons that won’t unpop throughout the day are hard work to fasten in the first place, and buttons that are easy to fasten are a threat to popping open at the most inopportune of times. These are the former, so at least they stay in place and won’t accidentally flash someone your belly button or pants when you aren’t paying attention. Plus, the inclusion of pockets always makes me a happy pinup.

The skirt actually had tons more stretch than I was picturing–I’m not sure if I confused this skirt with another one I had seen sizing information on elsewhere, or whether I just somehow deduced from the product pictures and the deep waistband that it was going to size small, but either way, I was wrong. The 18 I requested was much too big, especially since this skirt has stretch, but I took it in by a few inches in the back and now it’s a comfortable fit. Before I got out my needle and thread, though, I did note that the waistband flat measures 38 inches with stretch up to 41 inches, so definitely either size true on the size chart or size down. My Gloria top, thankfully, I requested in the right size, the size 18 to fit my 45 inch bust, and it fits comfortably through the arms, my main area of concern in sleeved tops, as well as in the bust with some extra room in the waist. It’s a true to size piece that has stretch, so it’s an easy piece to order without size concerns.

The Erin high waisted flared skirt comes in navy blue, black and burgundy in UK sizes 8-24 for £34.99 and the Gloria off the shoulder top comes in 5 different striped colourways in UK sizes 6-24 for £14.99.

My Magic 7 – Top Lasting Lipsticks

I’m obsessed with lasting lipsticks. Once upon a time I didn’t wear lipstick ever and I was terrified of the idea of accidental smudging from forgetful touches in the same way you can sometimes forget you’re wearing eye makeup and accidentally threaten the integrity of your perfectly filled in brows with a mindless swipe. Now that I’m used to wearing lip products such a worry doesn’t concern me so much, but I do have steeply curved upper lips and a tendency to be overly expressive with my lips which combined means inner corner transfer of colour is a true threat. Plus, I do actually eat. Y’all know that. And I can’t be dealing with a lipstick that’s gonna wear half off every time I take a gulp of water or eat half a cookie. So I’m all about long-lasting lipsticks, especially if they’re affordable.

I’ve tried a hell of a lot of them, and more often than not I’ve come away feeling disappointed by the unmet claims from the advertisements and feeling gypped to have unloaded another unnecessary tenner from my wallet. But all my trying and testing does mean that there are some products I’ve found which I love, and those are products I return to over and over again. After months of meaning to get around to a lipstick master post letting you know my favourites, finally it’s here. Below are my magic 7 lip products that I love. Why 7? If you have to ask that you have obviously never read Harry Potter. (Also, it just so happens I have literally listed every product I switch back and forth between constantly and that happens to be 7 products, but you know, the ‘7 is the most magically powerful number’ thing as well. That too.)

Accio Long Lasting Lipicus! 


Makeup Revolution Wow Stick Call Me

Makeup Revolution WOW Stick in ‘Call Me’

Makeup Revolution WOW Sticks
Finish: Matte
Formula Type: Lipstick
Application: Twist up pen, straight from tube. Can be applied with lip liner and/or lip brush for added precision.
Comfort: 4/5
Longevity: Some softening and wear off during eating, dependent upon food, but requires only minor touch up after. Hours of non-budge wear.
Price: £2.99
Additional: Excellent when worn alone but also a favourite of mine to layer under velvet creams that will either slightly alter the colour (taking the bright red of Call Me to a rich red when adding the dark red of Bourjois Grand Cru over, for example,) add extra moisture comfort in wear, or will together create a super long lasting duo. Available currently in 8 shades, all of these are matte with one shade that I know of, Hanging On The Telephone, being matte with super fine shimmer particles. The cap on these can come loose in your bag, which is really annoying, and they don’t come with their names printed anywhere on them, which means you’ll have to make your own labels if you want to avoid uncapping them all to find the colour you want each morning if you own multiple colours, but despite those two packaging problems the product itself is still one of my favourites.


Maybelline Superstay 14hr Lipstick Ravishing Rouge

Maybelline Superstay 14hr Lipstick in ‘Ravishing Rouge’

Maybelline 14hr Superstay Lipstick
Finish: Satin
Formula Type: Lipstick
Application: Apply a single coat for full pigmentation, apply over lip liner and/or with a lip brush for added precision.
Comfort: 4/5
Longevity: Like any long-lasting standard lipstick, when eating some transfer will occur, level of which depends upon food type. Hours of wear.
Price: £6.99
Additional: This is one of my favourite standard lipsticks. It’s more comfortable than liquid lipsticks as it doesn’t have that drying feel but doesn’t feel as slippery as standard non-lasting lipsticks can feel, and it comes in a great range of over 10 colours.


Maybelline Superstay 24 Color Red Passion

Maybelline Superstay 24 Color in ‘Red Passion’


Maybelline 24hr Superstay
Glossy balm topcoat.
Formula Type:
Two step liquid lipstick.
Two step process. Apply lip colour evenly across entire lip, allow to dry fully with lips held apart to avoid lips sticking together and disturbing the application. Once dry, apply a coat of the provided lip balm.
5/5. Lightweight formula and comfortable due to balm, no dry feeling.
Some wear during eating and drinking, dependant upon food type. Long-lasting wear requiring only minimal touch ups from eating, if at all, and frequent balm touch ups can maintain colour and comfort. 
I’m not a fan of the slightly glossy sheen the balm gives this lipcolour and have found that the matte version of this product both lasts less well and isn’t offered in a classic red shade, but the longevity of wear and comfort from the balm have me reaching for this product regularly even though I prefer a matte finish. Available in 18+ colours.


Collection 2000 Lasting Lipstick Queen of Hearts

Collection (2000) Lasting Lipstick in ‘Queen of Hearts’

Collection Lasting Lipstick
Formula Type: Lipstick
Application: Best results come from lining your lips with a pencil, applying a coat of lipstick, blotting, dabbing on a light dusting of translucent powder through a tissue, reapplying another layer of lipstick, and blotting. A matte finish can be achieved by adding a second layer of powder and not reapplying lipstick over it.
Comfort: 4/5
Longevity: Despite the transfer this lipstick will leave on almost anything your lips touch, the longevity is amazing. I have often eaten wearing this and felt the colour looks so good afterwards it doesn’t even need a touch up.
Price: £2.99
Additional: This is a dark horse. The application is not a quick on-and-out-the-door job, but it’s more than worth it with the long lasting result it achieves. Available in 6 colours.


Bourjois Paris Rouge Edition Velvet Grand Cru

A bad picture (sorry!) of Bourjois Paris Rouge Edition Velvet in ‘Grand Cru’

Bourjois Paris Rouge Edition Velvet matte
Matte velvet
Formula Type: Gel-like velvet lip cream.
Application: Using the doe’s foot wand, apply one layer for a sheerer pop of colour or build up layers to get an opaque colour look at full pigmentation.
Comfort: 5/5
Longevity: Will last for hours, only wearing off in the centre during eating and easily touched up. Can possibly feather after several hours under certain conditions or on lips that are heavily creased, but typically I have not experienced this problem.
Price: £8.99
Additional: This is the only matte product I’ve tried that actually looks soft and plush on the lips like true velvet when worn. It’s super comfortable, lasts well, and works amazingly layered over other long-lasting lip products to make them feel super soft and to layer up the staying power. Available in 11 shades.


LA Splash Lip Couture Poison Apple

LA Splash Lip Couture in ‘Poison Apple’

LA Splash Lip Couture & Smitten Liptint Mousses
Formula Type: Liquid Lipstick.
Application: Apply one full-pigmentation coat using the doe’s foot wand or a lip brush for additional precision. Hold lips apart while drying to avoid product pressing together and flaking off.
Comfort: 4/5.
Longevity: Lasts for hours, with only minor inner lip wear during eating (unless you eat something greasy, as greasy foods will wear off most lip products because of the oil.) Easy to touch up without getting that clumpy, rubbery feeling of the product layering up.
Price: £9.15ish
Additional: This is the most comfortable matte liquid lipstick I’ve ever tried. It’s lightweight and doesn’t feel as drying as many other products. Hard to get ahold of in the UK, these can be purchased on multiple US sites but the most affordable international shipping I’ve found is when purchasing from, where they also have regular discount codes to get money off your order. Available in a range of 15+ colours that include neutral tones as well as more dramatic shades of red, pink, purple, brown, and even blues and greens. The Lip Coutures are a different range from the Smitten Liptint Mousses, both by LA Splash, but I own some of each and can’t see any particular difference except that the Smittens are more matte. 


Makeup Academy Luxe Lip Lacquer Reckless

Makeup Academy Luxe Lip Lacquer in ‘Reckless’

Makeup Academy Luxe Lip Lacquer
Formula Type: Liquid Lipstick
Application: Apply with the doe’s foot wand or lip brush for added precision.  Hold lips apart while drying to avoid product pressing together and flaking off.
Comfort: 3/5
Longevity: Will last for hours, but can flake off during eating, particularly on the inner lip. Can soften at the corners of the mouth and smudge a little, depending upon your mouth shape and how regularly your automatically moisten your lips.
Price: £3
Additional: One of the first Velvetine dupes, this product comes without the hefty price tag or suspicious business ethics of Lime Crime. It’s formula is heavier than the Velvetines and the above Lip Coutures, and it feels more drying than the Couture’s, on a level with the dryness of the Velvetines. For those who can’t stand the dry feeling of matte liquid lipsticks, layering one coat of Bourjois Velvet Rouge Edition lip cream over the top will increase comfort and keep your lips in tact for hours. Cheaper alternatives to the Bourjois Velvets can be found in the Makeup Academy Luxe Whipped Velvet Lips £3 and the Makeup Revolution Ultra Velour Lip Cream also £3. These will work perfectly as a top coat for comfort and extended wear, but aren’t long lasting products worn on their own compared to the Bourjois. This product comes in a range of 9 colours.