Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

An entry with polish - 8 easy DIYs you can do with nail polish

The natural and surely harmless high of shopping brings a giddy intoxication - one that can very occasionally skew one's judgement and send inhibitions through the floor in an incident commonly known as the impulse buy! We've all been there, done it, bought the proverbial or perchance literal t-shirt and lived to regret it. Some prefer to bury their heads in the sand - or the offending item in the deepest recesses of their wardrobe, in sufficient confinements of darkness to compensate for the shame of it genuinely seeming like a good idea at the time. Others try to make the best of a bad situation; the match might not be obvious, on the dim return to reality, but surely you can make it work. Maybe it's merely a question of customising or tweaking it for a better fit. Here at Chic Cheat, there's no prizes for guessing which approach I endorse!

The impulse buy fear doesn't stop at clothing. Many has been a time when I've treated myself to make-up that I haven't managed to use within its lifetime, especially nail polish. If you're not especially into nail art, or prepared to put the work in, it can seem like a waste to don something you have to remove within 24 hours for school, work or any other institution in which painted nails could bring shame on the professional reputation of the establishment or cause mortal contamination. Also, I get hangnails which sting murderously when they come into contact with nail polish remover. So what do you do with a nail polish collection you can barely wear? Use them as a glossy, economical alternative to enamel paint, of course!

Tutorials clockwise from the top left:

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Supra Duper - How to DIY Supra's painterly look on high top trainers

High tops are the perfect 'blank canvas' for painterly effects!



You will need...

 * I used both but you can use one or the other. I know fabric paints are expensive and you don't need to use anywhere near as many as I did - I'd recommend four colours, tops, with a mixture of runny silk paints and thick fabric paints.


Very easy

While an element of technique is required to pull off the messy painted look, it can be achieved by taking your time and really taking care. This is one of the easiest projects I think I've ever done and very therapeutic - flicking paint always is (cleaning up, not so much!).


As long or as short as you like, depending on how detailed and messy you want your project to be but I think you're hard-pushed to take more than an hour (unless, like me, you're extremely easily distracted!).

Get your splodge on!

The silk paint method

Squirt drips of silk paint along the tops of the trainers and the laces, alternating colours as you go and varying the distance between each drop, so that some paints run into each other and some stay as they are - a straightforward way to get the most out of few colours.

The fabric paint method

Yes, that says 'flick paint,' gutter brain! The trick here is to keep your brush as dry as possible; put it straight into the fabric paint and use a generous amount. Flick your brush in a short, fast upward movement so that the paint tapers off and leaves brush-like streaks.

Finally, get a generous splodge of fabric paint on the bristles and flick them at the shoes, causing the paint to splatter.
A quick drip, flick and drizzle with fabric paint is all you need to make a powerful print statement!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Trends on Thursday - Bucket A-List

The bucket hat's no flop this time!

Fashion is a fickle mistress, in too many and too obvious a set of ways to mention. So many of my nearest and dearest cite at least one article they just can't wear, either because their body shapes are too elusive for the formulaic proportions of high street clothing or they just don't suit them. Whether they're trousers, short skirts or wrap dresses, these garments very soon reach the point of sartorial anathema - a nemesis the wearer can't even imagine themselves in. The subject isn't even up for discussion. My mum, for instance, 'isn't a hat person.' Just think, what chance would such an unabashedly functional, ugly accessory as the bucket hat have of capturing the imagination of the fashion industry?

Timing is at the heart of this. The bucket hat, as a trend, is nothing new in menswear circles, nor has it been for the past two years. Pharrell's head gear has made fashion waves among both sexes but the bucket hat's relevance was cemented by Rihanna in her Instagrams from the World Cup final. Of late, she's been seen cannily teaming bucket hats with elegant feminine paradigms, including scarlet lipstick, leggy hotpants and satin twinsets. Given the current women-led zeitgeist of tomboyish comfort and a 90s revival under way, when better to take a bucket hat and make it your own?

Bucket hats originated in Ireland and are part of the nation's traditional folk costume. They were also famously worn by  Beppe Wolgers, a Swedish author and artist, in the 1970s; in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; by Alan "Reni" Wren from the Stone Roses; by  rappers in the 90s and among urban black youth in South Africa, as a sign of streetwise edge. Within a fashion context, a bucket hat over your hair - a quintessentially girlie paradigm - represents a subversive, hard-partying look, that's cool in a devil-may-care kind of a way. It's the next logical juncture from beanies, not to mention infinitely more comfortable in the sultry summer heat! It's such a good look, in fact, that I was moved to dig one out and capture the moment myself - in my selfies.That point I made about uncool being the new cool? ...I'll get my coat!

Monday, 14 July 2014

That's the way I spike it - How to DIY an Eddie Borgo cone gemstonebracelet

Owing to the epic challenge of moving, things have been quiet at Chic Cheat HQ, but since I'm back, I thought I'd make my returning presence known with a bit of colour.



I'll fill you in on the method soon, but just to give you the edited highlights, in amongst a seemingly neverending onslaught of packing boxes, lugging them and unpacking everything once again, I managed to fit in an hour or so of creating an homage to Eddie Borgo's gemstone cone bracelet by deliberately mixing colours in polymer clay and gouache, rolling them into cones, adding the odd lick of pearlescent nail polish and topcoat and gluing them to a chain. It was generally easy but fiddly, and now I'm exhausted. So now you know.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Unleash your marbles - How to DIY a Jean striped rainbow clutch by EdieParker

Cook up a stylish storm with a deceptively simple upcycle!


Of late, I've fallen in love with Edie Parker's marble-effect clutch bags. This designer's clutch motifs range from stripe patterns to quirky fruits and flowers and even bespoke name designs in a handwritten signature typeface. But above all, my eye was caught and my imagination captured by the rainbow clutch design, worn recently by country singer, Kacey Musgraves at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards.

You will need...

* Amendment (added 21/07/2014): Use metallic paper, not tissue paper.*

I would also recommend using a paintbrush for the nail polish, in the interest of speed (just go with this one). You can also use it to create marble-like swirls in the nail polish, but it's technically optional.


An hour, tops.


Pretty easy

It's reasonably straightforward, if messy. It's a quick project, yet easier if you take your time - I mean that in the 'more haste less speed' sense, rather than the 'add a painstaking extra hour' you'll be pleased to know!

Add some stripes

As you can see in the picture, I've already done one side so, turning our attention to the clear side, you start by cutting the paper into strips of a similar width. The width you cut should depend on how wide the plastic box is. Mine were 2cm wide. You might need to make the first and last stripes slightly wider if the width isn't easily divisible by the number of stripes. Also, remember to measure with the curve of the surface if it isn't flat.  Pour a generous blob of nail polish over a small area.

 Spread the nail polish in a messy 'marbly' way using a paintbrush or the brush inside the bottle. Be careful not to waste the whole bottle in one gush - nail polish dries quickly and, when it comes to coverage, a little goes a long way.

Place each strip across the inside of the box. I recommend using metallic paper, so you should place them with the coloured side facing downwards.

Cut away the excess paper, close the box and you should be left with something like this:

Amended DIY

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The Trends on Wednesday: That's a wrap - a bow to Diane Von Furstenberg

This week has seen the 40th anniversary of Diane Von Furstenberg’s iconic wrap dress. It was in 1974 that the famously flattering design was evolved from a wrap top into a legend-making frock. Among the things she is best known for was an interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which she confessed that she  "didn't know what (she) wanted to do, but (she) knew the kind of woman (she) wanted to be – an independent woman, who drives her own cars and pays her own bills." This quote, noted in Winfrey's memoirs, was perfectly reflective of the feminine empowerment and elegant confidence that the wrap silhouette pioneered. When Diane Von Furstenberg designed it, her vision was to liberate women from the unfeminine constraints of hippie garb, bell-bottoms and pantsuits. And so, just as Madeleine Vionnet's bias-cut gowns divested fashion of it's binding corsetry and skimmed the curves of the body like fluid sculpture, the wrap dress took the slinky comfort of a jersey dress to form a perfect hourglass shape with a zigzagging line that guided the eye along the contours of the torso. Incidentally, fashion scholars have drawn comparisons between the wrap dress and the sportswear of Claire McCardell - the first designer to design a garment intentionally cut on the bias. No wonder the wrap dress remains timeless and so aptly immortalised in the Costume Institute collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Can Google Glass do the same?