Monday, 13 October 2014

Under The Weather Skincare Solutions // Emergency go-to Skincare Kit

The weather has taken a turn for a worse and its certainly dampened my spirits. To add to it, I've had a very strange virus for a week, and I'm going through what seems to be another phase of it. I've pretty much spent the last few days tucked up warm in bed, and doing so has left me looking a little… Well, rough. My skin is cracked and dry, and my face is sensitive, congested and just looking a little 'naff.'

In an effort to raise my spirits and avoid deconditioning (or rotting), I've dragged myself out of bed to try and do something several times, but its only left me feeling a bit worse for wear. Today I dragged myself out for a pamper - How could that possibly make me feel worse? I grabbed a few of my recent favourites and got started... 

First off, I set about diminishing my congested, red skin. I've always been a fan of charcoal based masks for this, and this Bioré self-heating one minute mask is simple enough, in sachet form. It also warms when applied which I find so soothing, although its not the easiest to remove. Saying that it left my skin feeling super soft and clean which I definitely needed! I haven't properly looked after my skin for at least a week. 

Propolis has been a favourite ingredient of mine for a couple of years. I tried my first Propolis based product at Thermae Bath Spa and fell in love with its undoubtable ability to calm redness. The oil I used worked wonders for calming spots and soothing redness from scars, and this Bee Good Cream Cleanser* is no different. Granted, I've only used it this once, but the invigorating natural scent reminds me exactly of that oil but more intensive, richer, and I can't wait to use it again. It left my skin feeling supple and smooth, and I almost forgot how that felt. I plan to write a full review on this, but I had to include it for now. 

I used Herbalifes Vitamin C Face Quenching Spray in place of toner. I've always taken this on holidays with me, making the most of its refreshing and revitalising qualities. Its been my sidekick throughout the day as well as for a quick boost. Then its on to the hydration station, and theres no better than Hydraluron. I slathered on the already classic Hydraluron Serum, followed by HealGel's Intensive Gel in a further attempt to sooth and restore my skin into what it was before this illness (read my full review here). After that, I enjoyed the almost-water texture of Hydraluron's Moisture Jelly* (Think of it like the moisturiser of the family with two extra ingredients to moisturise and protect). This instantly sinks in, and leaves my skin feeling refreshed and cool. Seriously, if you can afford nothing else, the last three products are essentials in your emergency-go-to kit. Whenever my skin seems to be feeling a little angry, sad or looking extra drab, I reach for these three products before anything else.

For good measure I'll then finish off with my favourite eye cream, for its simplicity if nothing else. That'd be Bobbi Browns Hydrating Eye Cream. It doesn't claim to be anything beyond a moisturiser and thats all my sensitive and delicate eye area needs. You can read more about that one right here.

Feeling a little less groggy, thats for sure. 

Whats your go-to skincare when you're a little under the weather?
Do you use any of these?
S xx

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

What I Wore // Body Con-ciousness

Dress - Hybrid*
Shoes - Nine West 

Since hilariously splitting a body con dress a couple of months ago, I've accepted my fate and steered clear since. Hence why I left the house wearing this dress with jeans and a vest tentatively stuffed in my bag. I'm pleased to say that the impeccable quality managed to withstand my hips and derrier with no problem. In fact, I got several compliments and was asked where my dress was from, and if I'd lost weight. Obviously I haven't, but I'd not hesitate to blame (or thank) the clever panelling and waist shape of the dress. 

I'd been looking for an excuse to wear this for a couple of weeks, and decided to chuck it on for a wedding show we recently exhibited at. I obviously forgot that this included packing up, and it managed to stay together as I reached around, wiggled on the floor and crawled around on my knees. I can't vouch for how ladylike that looked, but I was comfortable enough! Hurrah Hybrid, for restoring my faith in the body con. 

What do you think?
How do you feel about body con?
S xx

Sunday, 5 October 2014

GIVEAWAY // Autumn Sun - Carrera Sunglasses

Carrera 5011s £86*

On our recent Portugal holiday I found myself reaching for these sunglasses more than my usual favourites, Ray-Bans. Although I'll always love my aviators, theres something a little more summery about a bright frame around the pool and along the beach. These wayfarer style glasses are colourful and flexible (the arms are rubberised and perfectly malleable for my weirdly shaped head) so they're pretty durable as well as cute. I find Autumn sun to be even more blinding than high summer sun as its lower, and pretty dangerous when driving - So I'm still reaching for these in desperation of summer colour!

Sunglasses Shop have been kind enough to offer a pair of Carrera's up to one of you lucky lot - All you need to do is choose a pair up to the value of £100, let me know which pair that was, and click a few buttons to follow us both. All entries will be checked, so serial compers who don't actually follow the options will be disqualified - Its not fair on real followers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Good luck! 
S xx

Sunday, 28 September 2014

What I Wore // Feeling like 'Me' again

Swing Dress - Glamorous*
Jacket - Zara
Scarf - eBay
Shoes - Glamorous*

Since we've got back from Portugal I've felt a bit odd. Every single day before going away I was either at work, on call, shooting a wedding with Dan or stressing out about house buying dilemmas. Truth is, I haven't had chance to feel like myself for ages, and whilst I adore my job and am super excited about buying our first home, I just haven't felt quite right. Even on holiday I was constantly on edge without anything to do - I'd genuinely forgotten how to relax. 

Fast forward a couple of weeks and wedding season is slowing down, the solicitor is taking care of things from here onwards (work never slows down), and for the first time in what feels like ages, Dan and I had a few hours to ourselves. I chucked on some clothes other than my uniform and smart clothes - Something that felt like 'me.' My favourite, monochrome with a bit of colour. This scarf was a bargain from eBay a few years ago, and its still serving me well - I always seem to wear it with black and white, but this swing dress offers something a little beside the usual black dress. And these shoes, oh the shoes! Almost identical to the fabulous River Island shoes I lusted after, but two thirds of the price and super comfortable. Prior to taking these photos, I would've said they're surprisingly easy to walk in, but I must correct myself - They're easy to walk in, on level ground. I almost broke my ankles on this uneven field! 

I'm thinking of having a complete blog overhaul too, but I'm not sure how to go about it. Anybody know anybody who can create something fancy? And what do we think about a rename? 

How're you doing?
What do you think of the outfit?
S xx

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Home Comforts // Hello Autumn

With the dark evenings rolling in, and my duvet becoming a more valued piece of homeward yet again, I've decided to share a few of my favourite home comforts at this time of year. I've always been a summer loving soul, but over the last couple of years I've come to appreciate autumn for its opportunity to add several layers, wrap up in the warm, and treat myself to one too many hot chocolates. 

Penny cuddles in bed //  
Penny is seldom allowed on our bed, but when its cold and Dan is working late, I can't help but invite her up for some much appreciated cuddles. We picked Penny up on boxing day, and shes yet to see snow. She loves the cold, so I can't wait for her to experience it. Heres hoping we get some this year! 

New home furnishings // 
Dan and I are in the process of buying our first house, and though I really don't want to jinx it until we get the keys, I can't keep my mouth shut. Although I'm desperately trawling Argos for dressers and ottomans, I'm resisting for now. I have, however, been slowly collecting small things that will look lovely in our new cottage, and this Sex and the City (or Beethoven, really) quote is something that will see our first real home, and definitely our wedding. Its hard not to love Dottie Rocks designs. Theres something about a crisp typography print and gold foil that just sets me right up for joy. You can find these prints and other stationary right here.

Candles // 
Candles will probably always be my number one winter warmer, wrapping the place with a cosy scent and a calming flame. Yankee Candle recently introduced me to a few scents from their Indian Summer collection, and I'm sold. Wild Fig, fruity and bold, is my absolute favourite of the lot. Yum! You can see more of the Yankee Candles Indian Summer collection* here.

Cashmere //
I can honestly say I've never looked twice at cashmere, purely because of the seemingly ridiculous price tag. Being someone that believes that cheap is most often a false economy, I'm not sure why I've avoided it for so long. Since this Duck Soup Cashmere Jumper* arrived on my doorstep, its been my go-to for the chilly days that are starting to creep in. Its a gorgeous mint hue and is unbelievably soft, being of a much higher quality than the cashmere you'll find in supermarkets etc. If you're splashing out, you might as well do it properly, eh?

So there we have it - I've managed to hold off the hot chocolates so far, so they're not included just yet. At the moment everything is about home stuff, and I've been looking here and there including the Argos buying guide for home furniture, not to mention Pinterest for the never-ending sea of somewhat frustrating inspiration (our rooms aren't LIKE those rooms at all). I can't wait for Christmas, eek!

What have you been up to recently?
S xx

Monday, 8 September 2014

What I Wore // A splash of colour

Dress - River Island
Clutch - Asos
Shoes - New Look
Nails - Nails Inc 
Bracelet - Tiffanys
Rings - Thomas Sabo, Vintage, Pandora, Engagement Ring.
Phone Case - Kate Spade

I spent ages umm-ing and ahh-ing over this somewhat bootilicious striped dress, but being only £25 in the sale I bought it anyway. Theres something about striped pieces that makes them impossible to walk away from - I'm a stripe lover through and through, especially with a bright colour against them a la Kate Spade! I'm currently trying to figure out how to incorporate stripes into our wedding theme whilst still fitting with our venue and overall theme. I wish I was good at this stuff...

I wore this to a friends wedding last weekend. Strangely enough it was the first wedding we've ever been to as guests rather than photographers - Dan was the best man! I've never realised how relaxed weddings can be, we're always so busy busy busy!

So how has everyone been?
What do you think?
S xx

Monday, 1 September 2014

Lancome Miracle Air De Teint Foundation // A perfectly airbrushed finish?





For a few years now, Lancome has been the home of my favourite foundations. Teint Idole Ultra, Teint Miracle, Visionnaire, they're all sublime. So when this foundation, or as Lancome prefer to call it, skin perfecter, arrived I expected great things, obviously. But in actual fact, I have a love/hate relationship with it. 

Some might think its expensive, but its so runny that a pump won't even do. Its thicker than water but still so very fluid. The pipette dispenses a controllable amount, and a few generous drops are absolutely more than enough for a whole face, and I do like to layer up. It'll last forever, I'm sure of it.

To apply is a very strange feeling - Lancome recommend that you use your fingers, but I still prefer a buffing brush. I can feel the silicone in this straight away, and its not a bad thing by any means. It glides on so silky smooth and feels so light, I've honestly never felt anything like it. When first looking in the mirror, I like the finish. No, I love it. This foundation is a relatively light/natural finish, with a veil of colour washing over, without completely covering blemishes, making it absolutely perfect for a naturally perfect look that absolutely looks airbrushed. However, on closer inspection, something strange happens to the skin around my nose - It seems to sink into pores and cling to dry skin. I'm sure nobody will be looking that closely at my nose, but still, I know, and its enough to stop this foundation from pinching the top spot on my favourites list. 

I will say that I've also tried the YSL Fusion and Armani Maestro foundation that have both been raved about. Those didn't particularly work for me either - BUT, this is a similar texture, and actually far superior in terms of colour range and lasting power with a revolutionary 'matte but dewy' finish. If you're after a foundation that looks and feels completely natural, you'll love this, but you might want to avoid it if you have dry skin! 

Have you tried this yet?
S xx

Friday, 29 August 2014

Fashion Foundations // Ann Summers 'Sexy Lace' Bras

Finding a good bra can feel like a mission, much like finding the perfect jeans, or flats. Scouting out a good fit instantly makes me hold myself better (is there anything worse than fidgeting all day)? BUT,  finding a set that incorporates comfort, fit, quality and style often feels like some kind of diva demand. I was pleasantly surprised when Ann Summers, a place where I don't usually look for lingerie, presented their Sam Faiers 'Sexy Lace' Collection, I was pretty impressed, though I don't like the name. These styles mostly have removable padding, dainty features and delicate lace. And the fit is like a dream. Here are my favourites, but you can see them all here:

If you happen to be a pear shape like me, you'll most likely reach for a Plunge* in times of need. Some outfits just need a little more shape up top to even out my wide hips, and I always reach for a plunge when I'm wearing a body con dress or a low V-neck. If you're looking to show of your cleavage you'll love a good plunge, and this one is super comfortable. 

Love them or hate them, the Balconette* provides a naturally rounded look that isn't so obvious. I do love a balconette, but usually find them the least comfortable so I only own a few. This one is soft, malleable and has removable straps, so its pretty cosy, if you can call a bra that. I'd be wearing this with sheer tops, and low cut round or square neck tops for a naturally full décolletage.

An absolute basic, is the classic T-Shirt Bra*, which goes mostly undetected despite its lace decoration, and thanks to the completely seam free finish. I do think that this style requires a good fit to avoid gaps at the top, but if you get that sorted this is a lingerie drawer essential that you absolutely need to invest in. I tend to wear this style for work under my lovely NHS tunics, with close fitting dresses, or as the title would suggest, a T-shirt of course.  

The most surprising of the bunch is the Underwired* bra. I usually avoid bras with absolutely no padding with fear of giving the public more of a view than they bargained for. However, the comfort of this bra has got me sold - An absolute perfect fit, and soft material, not itchy as I expected. I'll be wearing this bra confidently with sheer tops and vampy lipstick. Feeling very Ooh-la-la! 

Which is your favourite?
What are your preferred styles?
S xx