Tuesday, 24 July 2018

SHOPPING - The Best Is Yet To Come



This Summer!  Am I right?

Apparently it has just overtaken that famous Summer of 76 (which of course I don't remember) as the hottest, longest on record.  After months of wearing this seasons wardrobe I am longing for a few updates and guess what?  The best of the season is now on Sale! Whoop.  Here are my current must have items to freshen up your wardrobe for the months to come.  Let me know if you have found any bargains out there.


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Friday, 6 July 2018

BEAUTY - Fresh Faced





English Summertime has finally arrived and the city is heating up. I can't stand to put on anything more than a floaty dress and sandals to leave the house and the Tube is almost unbearable. Beauty wise I'm lusting after fresh scents and refreshing, zesty products. It's all about great skincare rather than layering up make-up.

I've found myself asking a lot from my products this summer.  For my face I want hydration, an energy boost to wake me up and a decent SPF. Well I only went and found the dream didn't I? 

You may have read about Origins GinZing SPF 40 Energy Boosting Tinted Moistuiser in the press recently? I always aproach these 'promise all' products with an certain amount of caution. Too many times have I found a caking BB cream. Well I was really impressed! In fact I was so impressed that I've (temporally) ditched my trusty Mac Studio and am using this baby exclusively.


This Tinted Moistuiser isn't the cheapest on the market (£30 for 50ml) but comes in a decent size tube and you don't need much. On a cleansed face I use a serum and moisturiser as my skin is currently on the dry side. You may find you don't need the moisturiser at all. I apply Origins TM all over my face. It's a hydrating, easy to apply consistency with a divine zesty scent. The coffee beans and Panax Ginseng instantly boost moisture and energy levels leaving you ready to face the day. The tint is enough that I don't need anything else except the odd dab of concealer on any bad blemishes and having SPF 40 means no sun cream is needed. It really is the speediest way to a fresh face and lasts well throughout the day - even on a hot tube.




I'm so impressed with the product I'm looking to try more from Origins collection. Do you have any gems you've tried? If so let me in on your secrets.



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Tuesday, 3 July 2018

BEAUTY - Ditch Those Nasties








It's been a long time since I was loyal to a haircare brand.  I'm forever trying different products, most of which I never mention due to being a little average.  I had seen a few reviews from L'Oreal's sponsored bloggers and thought the Botanicals range looked promising.  Without any high expectations I purchased a selection from the range from the Boots site and awaited my delivery.

A few days later my Boots box arrived filled with the Lavender Soothing Therapy Shampoo, Camelina Smooth Rituals Conditioning Balm and the Camelina Masque.  I've been suffering with dry straw-like hair, split ends and a slightly dry scalp so I thought this selection might just help a little.  







First impressions were the pump shampoo bottle was a great idea and made it very easy to get the right amount whilst feeling quite Salon-like.  Initially I wasn't wild on the scents.  They weren't bad however usually I go for something a little fresh and fruity.  The products are natural so the shampoo smells of Lavender as you'd expect.  I have now grown to rather love the smell and it definitely hasn't put me off.

The Botanicals range is free of silicones, parabens and colorants.  The products are Vegan (although L'Oreal itself does test on animals in some counties so if you are Vegan you may want to do a little more research - this isn't my strong point).   Botanicals uses finer ingredients from natural origins and more sustainable processes.  The lack of added ingredients really has transformed my hair making it softer and stronger with less breakage.  I use the Masque once a week which keeps my hair super soft and apart from the above am just using a heat protection spray before blowdrying and styling.

I've just been over to the Boots website and the Botanicals range is included in their 3 for 2 offer so I'm stocking up!  I've added the links to what I used below.  If you give them a go don't forget to let me know your thoughts.





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Friday, 29 June 2018

STYLE - Summer Lovin'







I am currently completely obsessed with summer cover-ups and this beautiful jade green kimono is winning.  It's majestic cream and red floral print and dark piping makes it look far more expensive than it is at under £25!  I'm throwing it over neutral jeans and slip dresses daily whether at work or a weekend picnic.  When the weather heats up during the day this beautiful piece is so lightweight I fold it up into my handbag.  A kimono style duster coat is also a dream for streamlining a rather large bump!











I've added this beauty and an edit of my favourites from online boutique SHEIN below for you to take a look at.  Let me know which cover-up's you are loving this Summer.


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Caloco Print Long Kimono - £23.99

Botanical Print Kimono - £22.99

Lace Embroidery Kimono - £13.99
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Monday, 21 May 2018

FASHION - Summer Layering







This ever-changing weather leaves me struggling with what to wear.  Cooler mornings turn into warm afternoons and the only solution seems to be layering.  Lightweight knitwear and sweaters are ideal for throwing on over cotton shirts and camisoles to avoid feeling the morning chill.  Pretty pastel colours and feminine details give them a romantic, etherial feel that work perfectly for these early Summer days.








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Shop a few more of my summer knitwear favourites below:













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Friday, 18 May 2018

BEAUTY - My weekend make-up routine







I used to love spending my mornings dabbling with products before work.  Taking time to layer up  until I looked adequately groomed was a joy.  Then the baby arrived and mornings disappeared in a muddle of nappy changes and cereal fights.  Since then speed has become a priority and I have refined what was my simple weekend make-up regime to use for every day.  I can look fresh faced in under five minutes. 

This speedy masterclass is due to a few products that really do what they say on the tin and I've been wanting to fill you in on them for a while now.  Here are the products I couldn't live without and my tips and tricks for a stress free make-up morning.






IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BASE

Keeping a small make-up bag in a room that I can occupy baby in is simple but makes all the difference.  It takes twice as long when she is pulling products off my dressing table and I'm having to watch what she is up to.

A hydrated face is key before beginning.  Following a swift cleanse and a dap of serum and moisturiser (see what I'm currently using here ) I use a pea sized amount of this life changing studio face and body foundation by Mac.  This lightweight, buildable colour feels hydrating, cooling and smells amazing.  I apply with a foundation brush and it glides on with no streaks and minimal blending needed.  For a natural look just apply thinly or in selected areas or layer up for a more 'done' look.  It lasts ALL day and I never feel the need to top up.  I'm using shade N2.

For those days when the eye bags are taking over I use my Kiko Colour Correct palette to touch up blemishes.  The smooth texture glides on with no caking.  Find it here.  Kiko's Flawless Fusion bronzing powder in 01 is my go-to for a little holiday glow.  I re-buy this product time and again.


EYE GLOW

My brows are so fair that a brow pencil is essential.  Benefit's Goof Proof is idiot proof as its angled head makes it super easy to apply.  The waxy formula doesn't budge so you can swipe and forget about it. The built in brow brush means it's the only item you need to rummage around for.  

I used to be an eye liner fiend but recently I'm preferring the more natural effect of using a cream eye shadow.  Glossier's Lidstar in cub and Shiseido's cream eye colours are alternated for a pretty, burnt pink/copper colouring.  A flick of black mascara and I'm done.


LIP CARE

Nuxe honey lip balm hydrates lips all day so I always apply morning and night.  I'll pop a lipstick in my bag to apply en-route.  Which is my favourite lipstick?  This changes daily!








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Thursday, 10 May 2018

BEAUTY - Fresh faced beauty buys





The arrival of warmer days always reminds me of waking up from hibernation.  No more mornings stumbling around in the dark or trying to wake up with the use of gallons of coffee.  The sun is up and the day has that smell of excitement.  

Instead of avoiding that tedious weekly morning ritual for as long as possible I'm up and dressed in a matter of minutes.  A quick shower and into some form of lightweight dress and I'm done.

As the days warm up skincare quickly takes over from make-up for me.  I've always been a lover of that fresh faced, low maintenance Parisian look rather than a full perfect face.  A good cleanse and moisturise is important all year round, however if you're only planning a sun kissed glow with a dash of mascara it's even more important to find those perfect products.  





I'm a strong believer in a skincare routine not being a hassle and as you get older you discover those forever products that you stock up on time and again.  Several of my go to's have always been from French beauty brand Caudalie.  I have lost track of how many people I have recommended their Beauty Elixir to, always with glowing reviews following.  I have a mini in my handbag at all time.  However there were lots of the brands products that I hadn't tried and until recently were kind of tricky to get hold of.  

Then gorgeous luxury beauty box brand Latest in Beauty launched a huge selection of their products to pop into your build your own boxes!  Fantastic.  Over the past few weeks I've been only using Caudalie for my skincare routine and my face has never looked or smelt so good.




I didn't try anything that I didn't fall in love with.  This is so unusual with a beauty brand who usually have one or two hero products.  Every product smelt divine.  I tried three of their cleansing products which can be mixed together or used alone to remove grime and dirt.  One of my favourite items which I definitely didn't expect to love as much as I did was the Foaming Cleanser.  I ended up keeping this in the shower and a pump or two of this in the morning is so refreshing.  They have a cleanser for everyone with a great micellar water and lightweight hydrating cleansing oil.  You can't beat a micellar water for a speedy routine after a long day.

The other products I fell in love with are the Vine Activ glow activating serum and moisturiser.  I've been feeling under the weather for some time now and this has been reflected in my skin.  These products have plumped and bought life back to my skin.  I am stocking up!

If you haven't come across Latest in Beauty's stunning treats then hop over to their pretty site.  You  choose exactly what you want to try in your box from an inspiring edit of the best beauty products around including from Caudalie.  What better way to test out these skin saviours?



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STYLE - Woven wonders







I'm excited to channel my inner Parisian this summer embracing both style and comfort with the shoe of the season, the espadrille.  They have been bubbling away in the background for a couple of years and have now arrived on every High Street.  I'm not sure there is anything this staple doesn't work with but I'm especially loving them paired with a wrap dress or straight-leg jeans.  Comfy enough to wear all day running around after a toddler or racing to the office.  I've just purchased a classic black pair but think I need a colour pop too!  Do I go for the pastel blue Topshop or the yellow Castaner?  Shop my favourites edit below all for under £105.


Images via Pinterest


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Thursday, 8 February 2018

SHOP - The Weekend Accessory Wardrobe




Am I the only one who's weekend wardrobe needs a little bit of love?  I spend all week in classic workwear and by Saturday morning I stick on what ever is looking the cosiest.  Well not in 2018.  It doesn't take much to build that casual wardrobe and a pair of jeans and simple knit can be updated with a couple of dreamy accessories.  Mint Velvet is the home of Hygge and their Spring accessories are no exception.  These grey star Skylar boots are just made for weekend fun!


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Thursday, 1 February 2018

SHOP - Fresh Love





I'm all for Valentine's Day.  My husband not so much.  Are any of them?  This time of year is all about the Hygge and hanging out in luxe pyjamas with a stash of scented candles.  There are some beautiful Spring treats out there that are just waiting to be snapped up.  So if the hints, shoves and punches are not working then why not purchase one or two of my below edit for yourself?  Oh I shouldn't have!


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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

BEAUTY - The Ultimate Skincare Regime




Growing up I used to hear people say, 'If I'd have known then what I know now'.  As a twenty something female it never resonated and I shrugged it off as 'old people talk'.  In my thirties there have been multiple times when I thought, I now totally understand.  Whether it be bickering relationships, juggling child care or keeping toys in their original boxes, these revelations keep on  coming.  Yes part of me IS turning into my mother.  

One thing I wish I had known a decade ago is to invest in my skin.  I'm not talking about spending a fortune, just purchasing a few decent products rather than stacking up on glitzy bottles from the beauty aisle.  My lust for beautiful French women has been a life long affair and Vogue Paris is one editorial that is part of my monthly essentials.  This alongside regular trips to France and a property renovation lead me to spend many an hour perroosing pharmacy shelves.  The French are incredible at sampling.  You purchase a product and they always fill your bag with pouches and packets to try out later.  The reason being their products are very good.  The French didn't focus on packaging or branding and most items look like something we would be prescribed for a rash over here but that is definitely part of their charm.  

My daily routine now consists of just a few products all of which I couldn't live without.  My routine is quick and easy as my time is always limited and mornings are mostly spent racing around after a baby whilst getting ready to dash out of the house.  I can't imagine not sharing these products with you so here are my absolute cannot live withouts.




First step is always Bioderma Micella Water.  I have used this for over a decade and I will NEVER stop.  A sensitive cleansing water that gently removes every speck of make-up, dirt and grime with zero effort.  A sweep on a cotton wool pad morning and night leaves skin clear, blemish free and hydrated.  If you buy one product make it this.

Next step for that boost of hydration and to plump the skin add Vichy's Mineral 89 Serum to your routine.  Just a quick smoothing morning and night and within a week your skin will have lost any dryness or sensitivity.  This cold weather was leaving my skin tired and dull and this recent addition has worked miracles.  You get a lot for your money here.
    




I must have tried a thousand moisturisers over the years and I have found two things.  Firstly my skin is completely different between May-October to November-April.  You probably find you need to switch up your products at least once a year too?  Lighter shades of foundation, more hydrating creams? Yep me too.  Secondly, don't be fooled by a pretty bottle or eye catching brand.  My go-to moisturising cream for most of the year is Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre.  Until recently this was impossible to get hold of anywhere other than over the counter in the depths of France but now it is a little easier.  This cream smooths on beautifully, sinks in and leaves a smooth finish more like a primer ideal for make-up application.  I am not sure it can be beaten.  For an in-depth treatment use as a mask.

A French girl favourite, Nuxe Reve de Miel is a highly nourishing lip balm and an essential for handbag and bedside table.  It's honey based formula soothes and repairs chapped dry lips.  For extra hydration use a generous coating as a mask on dry lips when going to bed.




Caudalie has to be my overall favourite beauty brand having never tried anything I didn't love.  Their cult classic Beauty Elixir is basically a facial in a bottle.  A spritz or two of the radiance boosting mist hydrates skin, tightens pores and basically makes you glow!  It smells amazing and wakes you up instantly.  You can even use it throughout the day over your make-up.  I keep a large bottle in my bathroom and a small one in my handbag for a quick shake-and-wake.  The brands Deep Cleansing Exfoliator is ideal for brightening dull skin.  It's micro particles and grape pulp leave skin soft and fresh.

These products are now ALL available in the UK so you don't need to wait until your next trip to France for better skin.  I've added the best places to shop below for you so let me know what you think and how you get on.


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