Pur Minerals: In The Clear-Clarifying Cleanser: If you're looking for 'fresh' awakening in the mornings in a cleanser try this. I've been using this and not only addicted, but found that it keeps a positive buzz all morning. Perhaps it is because it contains lavender (a gentle and calm morning greeting), peppermint (for that zesty feel) and aloe ( to keep it all well-balanced and hydrated throughout the day). Although, recommended for oily/hormonal or acne prone skin, I love using it to keep all, if any, blemishes at bay. The lactic acid in this product also helps keep pores clear and unclogged, and rest easy as it is a Pur Minerals product which means it has no parabens, lanolin, SLS, DEA, Formaldehyde or Petrolatum to name a few of the common nasties found in products now. It definitely gives your skin that breezy holiday feeling.... £15 only at M&S! www.marksandspencer.com
Urban Decay- Perversion Angled Brush & Super Saturated Waterproof Cream Liner
Nothing is more irritating than getting panda eyes in the summer heat. This is not the look you want to have while at the beach, as it is more bum than babe. At the moment I'm quite hooked on a little secret I've discovered from Urban Decay: Using the Perversion Angeled Brush & Super Saturated Waterproof Cream Liner. The Cream liner dries quickly and with one stroke gives you the most amazing definitive eyes. The Perversion brush makes it super easy to achieve this, and to apply the cream liner for sultry eyes. For those who have had trouble perfecting cat eyes, try this, as it defnitely is easier to do it with these two can't live without tools! Liner £16, Brush £12 at www.debenhams.com
DHC-Velvet Coat: It may be getting a bit too warm to wear a velvet coat, but not on the face it isn't! If you find it hard to look flawless as temperature rises, try this. I've been wearing this primer just on its own as well with either no make-up on top or just a slight dash of powder or mineral make-up. This transparent silicone gel fills in all lines and hides all imperfections. As a base or primer, it keeps the skin free from oils all day long. I'm in love with using this all month so far....and won't let it go even when it heats up! £17 at www.dhcuk.co.uk
Models Own- Sticky Fingers: Models Own have launched new manicure sets called Sticky Fingers. They are absolutely adorable, not to mention, the quickest way to get a super speedy manicure. Choose from floral, blobs & drops, bows and sweet candy stickers that match pastel polishes. I’m partial to the sweet candy motifs and as you can see here, I think it’s ‘delicious’! Perfect for holidays to do on the plane or train while you’re on the way…£6 at www.modelsownit.com
Eye Spy says: The weather as of recent late has not been all sunshine and rays of bliss, perhaps that is why so many of us in the UK will definitely book at least one trip to guarantee at least one week of steady sun abroad. I’ve found some sun essentials this season to not be without and must-haves for the beach and journey. These are sure to make you feel ‘fan-tan-stic’ this summer!
Elemis Total Glow Bronzing Lotion (Face Moisturiser & Body Moisturiser): Nobody wants to go on holiday completely pasty white. With the rainy days we’ve been having here, it’s hard not to though right? Wrong! Elemis have just launched their Total Glow Bronzing Lotion for the Face and also one for the Body. These lotions give you a natural glow all year around and not only moisturise but deliver a natural radiance. What I really like about them is that they pave the way for you to go on holidays. This is unlike fake tans as it’s made from Vegetan-derived from wheat, it gives the skin a gradual build up in colour, and all in a moisturiser that leaves the skin velvety smooth! I’m in love with the smell of peach, bergamot and orange oils with a floral twist of ylang ylang that puts you in that holiday mood (I think it rather smells of Tahitian summer days.) It’s great as make-up base or primer, and even gives you full anti-age protection with anti-oxidents such as green tea and ginger water. With it being pretty much an all-in-one it’s a keeper for before, on and after the holiday. I’ve found the body version done the most for me on the legs while the face version is great because I don’t have to find a shade of foundation to adjust to if I’ve had sun to the face. Get yours now, Face Total Glow £29.50/50ml; Body Glow £34.50/200ml at www.timetospa.co.uk
Skinade Travel Sachets: With all the tanning you might be doing on the sandy beaches far far away, don’t let the extent of what sun damage can do to the skin be forgotten. Tanning in the sun can damage and deplete collagen from the skin, and that is why doing instant repair and boost is essential…from within. Skinade (collagen supplements) now come in convenient concentrate sachets of 15ml that you can add to a glass of water anywhere and drink anytime. Whilst in L.A. I drank one every morning before leaving the hotel, and reaped the benefits of fighting the adverse effects of the powerful sun. Small enough to travel in hand luggage…don’t leave home without it! £66, 20 days supply, find a stockist at www.skinade.com
La Roche-Posay-Anthelios XL: You wouldn’t normally put body cream on your face, so why would you put SPF intended for the body on the face? The problem with putting regular SPF on the face is that it might clog your pores and affect your skin. That’s why the experts of SPF, La Roche-Posay have developed Anthelios XL Ultra -Light Fluid in three different formulations for different skin types: oily, normal/combination & dry. I’ve tried and tested this product and highly recommend it for holiday, as it is super light- weight.
And for those of you who can’t be bothered to find a perfect shade of make-up to match your tan, why not try Anthelios XL Cream foundation with SPF 50+. It gives the most natural coverage, is water resistant, won’t clog pores, and have no parabens or fragrance. Comes in two shades: gold or sand beige in a compact for convenience & travel & for the most natural beach glow! £16.50, Face Ulta Light Fluid & Anthelios XL cream foundation compact £19.50 at www.boots.com
Crabtree & Evelyn Pear And Pink Magnolia Hand Therapy: The hands are one part of the body that get ignored as the face and body get most of the pampering, and protection in warm weather and whilst on holidays. Make sure they get the appropriate care with a trusty tube Crabtree & Evelyn’s Hand Therapy. Crabtree’s hand creams are exceptional as they have ceramides in them to help your hands stay plump and moisturised, not to mention macademia nut and shea butter to soothe and protect cuticles too! This season I’m obsessed about the new Pear And Pink Magnolia scent-juicy pears combined with pink magnolia, jasmine and osmanthus. This special formulation is also ultra- light and perfect to use in the summer! Get your 25g tube in the beach bag £5 at www.crabtree-evelyn.co.uk
Feel Soft Heels & Hot Toes:
Beauty Says: The unsightly thought of heels that crack in summer but in a beautiful pair of sandals is more than I can stomach! During the summer weather, heels will get drier than usual purely because we wear sandals and expose our heels and allow them to get dehydrated. Walking in the sand, or bare feet in the park will add to the wear and tear and before we know it, rough heels, or worse, painful cracked heels. Let me let you in on a little secret I’ve discovered recently….
O’Keeffe’s Health Feet Foot Cream: This is a real secret weapon to completely heal and get rid of cracked and split heels and make them smooth and supple.
Now you can use the pumice, or use the skin remover (like they do in the salons for pedicures), but it seems that the rough skin just keeps coming back. I also find that even the thickest creams applied on afterwards don’t seem to penetrate this area as the skin is thicker.
The secret to O’Keeffe’s magic is that it contains both water and glycerine. The glycerine is a humectant- which means it will attract the moisture in the air to the skin. It also traps the moisture with occlusive agents which mean it prevents the evaporation of the water in the area. A little goes a long long way for this product. It doesn’t smell of anything and it is suggested that it is applied on at night time as this is when it works most effective. A mild stinging sensation, on severely dry skin may occur, otherwise, you don’t feel anything.
Protect and make sure those heels and beautiful….because after all, we want to be completely beach hot all the way from top to bottom….get your O’Keeffe foot cream £6 www.amazon.co.uk
Model’s Own-Polish for Tans: Compliment and show off the tan you’ve been working on by painting your toes this summer with Polish for Tans from Model’s Own. These neon polishes highlight golden skin tones. There are 5 shades to choose from: Neon-green, yellow, peach, coral & pink. I’m rather partial to the green as it is different and brightens everything up with a twist! £5 at www.modelsownit.com
Beauty Says: Stressed out at work? In times of stress many look towards a treatment- it may be a back and shoulder massage or perhaps a facial. Others say that doing calming exercise such as yoga can help alleviate tensions that may be niggling at you. Might I suggest some new age alternatives? As of recent late I’ve made some new friends who are experts in the art of Reiki, Reflexology, and Acupuncture.
As of recent late, acupuncture facials have risen in popularity, as many have found that it can indeed irradiate lines. Hmm…perhaps this is the reason why the Chinese age so well? Well, I was curious to learn more and see the results for myself so I got in touch with Ka Hang Leoungk, a specialist in this field. On a Tuesday, Ka Hang offers her facials at the Neals Yard on theKings Road. As with all treatments, you have to fill some paper work to let her know your current and past health conditions. She begins by explaining how she will proceed in the facial: with a general maintenance of cleansing, and then the sticking in of the needles in different areas of the face, and the legs, finally once the needles come out after about 25 min, a facial massage.
Before I get to the needles though, let me explain how they work on the face and body. Ka Hang tells me that many people misinterpret acupuncture in general. Acupuncture is to be thought of as something to help clear or boost the body. Nothing is added to you or altered. Ka Hang explains the whole process as if the body was the M25 and there was a traffic jam (say for example if we experience pain or stress) and we are not removing the cars but creating new pathways in order for the cars to move and un-jam. Qi in Chinese medicine is about creating a balance which is what the Chinese call Yin or Yang. This is essence what the needles do-they help create a balance where balance is needed in the body. In the face, the needles do what you could consider as a bit of a work out. This is why acupuncture on the face helps with lifting, and lines. Another nifty fact is that if you continue to do it, much rather like exercise for the body, your face gets to keep the results.
The needles are very small and thin and about 15mm long. I would say the pain factor is as minimal and may be compared to no more than waxing treatments. In some areas where Ka Hang put them in- such as the chin and eyebrows hurt more than the hairline, or cheeks. I could feel a tight and slight pulling sensation near by jaw line through the facial. Not long after she put the needles in my legs, my legs felt incredibly relaxed and a bit heavy. This feeling of the legs being heavy is called ‘De Qi.’ ‘De Qi’ is this unique sensation- which means it is working!
Ka Hang tells me that she can tune the needles up or down to create more or less or what I feel depending on how I like it. While waiting for the needles to do ‘De Qi’, Ka Hang massaged by hands and arms, and then removed the needles. She tells me at this point that once the needles come out this is the most opportune time to apply products such as serums. She then uses a serum to proceed to give me the facial massage. The results? Amazing!
I would compare the results much like the results of a Caci facial where deep lines on the face disappear. I found this result most visible with the two lines leading to my mouth. Also the cheeks appear lifted and much more youthful. There was a slight redness, but I was assured this was only because of the blood flow due to the massage. My legs also felt as if they have been massaged for over an hour as well (even though nothing happened but the needles being put in and out). What I find exceptional also with this type of facial is that you don’t get any headaches afterwards unlike traditional facials where headaches may occur due to toxins try to get out. This seems to be a much gentler and more effective approach for the face and body.
My verdict? I would recommend this facial for those are looking for some lasting anti-aging results! Ka Hang also offers treatments sans the needles for those afraid of needles. It is recommended that you start doing this type of facial treatment once every two weeks or so, and once it has kicked off for you, maintain with a monthly. 90 min treatments/£128. I think it is well-worth the investment, and it not only gives you your face back, but also an incredibly sound mind over body…….ohm!
For more information & to get your ‘Qi’ back -Ka Hang Leoungk and her Acupuncture Therapies are at: www.pointspace.co.uk or call Neal's Yard, Kings Road on 0207 225 2842
or e-mail: email@example.com
Having had more stress than usual, due to recent project commitments, I was in much need of ‘ohm….’ calm. It wasn’t until I accidently met Veronica Amerelle, of Healed Soles, at an event one afternoon, and when she gave me an Indian Head Massage, that I felt re-collected for the first time in many weeks. Veronica is a champion in well-being, in three core therapies: Reflexology, Reiki and Indian Head Massage.
Reflexology is an ancient healing art form where acupressure and massage are applied to the feet or hands. She tells me that it doesn’t just relax you though. Other benefits of reflexology include: helping with alleviating sleeping disorders, stress, depression, improving indigestion, or conditions such as IBS, clearing toxins out of the body, or even encouraging the body to heal.
I can tell you that what Veronica claims in reflexology are indeed true. Although I opted for the Indian Head Massage that afternoon I could feel similar affects from it as the reflexology. Perhaps it is almost like reflexology for the head. While she was doing the head massage on me, I was slowly gaining clarity in my mind, and not once was I thinking about any worries or work. That evening, post treatment, I did not wake up in the middle of the night (as I have been randomly in past weeks). Although I have not received Reiki from Veronica, I have from other healers, and I can tell you it works. Reiki is not hocus- pocus, but a Japanese technique of natural healing where energy is channelled through the palms to treat emotional, physical or mental/spiritual imbalances. What I think is exceptional about Veronica and Healed Soles is that it is not only about going for a quick fix in terms of treatment, but a more long term way you can learn how to manage your stress levels. She’s also a personal coach in the art of well-being. www.healedsoles.com
Beauty Says: Who hasn’t dreamed of being a fashion designer? Well what about designing for a hot lingerie brand? If you’ve always wanted the chance to do it here it is. Esty Lingerie is holding their 4th worldwide consecutive lingerie design contest to give one lucky person a chance to have their design produced and sold!
The competition opened June 1, 2014, and all entrants must be 18 years or over. (Those who are 16 or older should have parental permission is also allowed) Deadlines for entries are 31, August 2014.
The theme this year is ‘Seasons’. Simply design a two-piece lingerie or nightwear set inspired by one of the four seasons. The 1st prize winner will see their item produced, and sold via Esty Lingerie. They will also receive their very own set of what they designed, £100 gift voucher, and an interview on the Esty website. The 2nd and 3rd prize winners will get £50 & £20 vouchers too.
What are you waiting for? You could really give MissVictoriaa run for her money ladies! I think it’s a fabulous opportunity to allow your inspirations come to life this summer. I’m drawing up doodles as we speak! I’m thinking…..Bra-zil & Summer….what about you?
To Enter here: http://www.estylingerie.com/2014-Lingerie-Design-Competition
Beauty Says: Exfoliation has always been a tricky topic in skincare as there are so many questions, depending on the skin type, and whether one has to over do it, under do it, or needs to do it at all. Not to mention the overwhelming choice of products can leave you dizzy and make you think: Why bother? I’ve tried and tested most of the products on the market, and my take, is that most face exfoliators are neither bad nor good- they do the job, but the skin doesn’t sparkle. What do I mean by sparkle? Well, rather like the way a diamond is looked upon, the skin must have clarity. Professional treatments, such as microdermabrasion facial treatments, have that clarity affect on the skin, but also have had negative write-ups- due to the damage that it can cause the skin. So are there exfoliating products out there that can do the job of a diamond finish, but be gentle enough and good for the skin?
To start, the underlying rule is that you should never exfoliate on a daily basis-doing this is just simply, criminal to the skin. The reason for this is that over exfoliating can over stimulate the skin and cause (any skin type) excess production of sebum or oil. This of course leads to clog pores, break outs or problems. If you have problem skin or acne, the general rule is never exfoliate with anything that is abrasive. Take note that if you do have blemishes what happens is that during exfoliation the blemishes are broken, and you are in fact, spreading bacteria or the blemish to other unaffected areas. Instead, opt for peels or a product that is granule free. Exfoliation should be done on a weekly basis and should be thought of as a ‘booster’ for the skin. With the surface dead skin removed through this process the skin is able to absorbs products such serums on a deeper level, hence being beneficial for the skin.
My number one recommendation for a ‘diamond polish’ is La Prairie’s Microdermabrasion. Made from bits of diamonds, this polish gave salon results, but was gentle and safe enough for home use. It could give the skin a translucency that cannot be compared with anything else on the market. Sadly, this product was discontinued out of its product lines a good two years ago. Since the discontinuation of this product I’ve been on a hunt for something to replace it. (Let me clarify that I’ve not told you about this product to torture you, but to have something to illustrate a kind of bench mark if you will for the ones I will introduce.)
My closest encounters, with products that are available at the moment on the market, and that can perform the task at hand are Nubo Skincare’s: Electric Buff, Omorovicza’s: Refining Facial Polisher, and Ling’s (from Cult Beauty): Triple Action Exfoliator.
NuBo Skincare: Electric Buff:
Inspired by a Volcano story about the Eolian islands not far fromSicily, and where Volcanoes get their name from, the volcanoes in this region have been famous since the Roman times for their magic curing properties. This prompted NuBo to research Rhyolite- a unique mineral from the lava stones of the Eolian volcanoes and what makes it such a super tonic. Apparently the secret is that this mineral can regenerate the skin and smooth down the epidermis without affecting the hydro-lipidic film. The Electric Buff is boosted with Magentite dust whose natural magnetic force stimulates Bio-Electric current and creates an ‘electric battery effect’ to improve the communication of cell communication and exchanges. I highly recommend this as the premium diamond exfoliator the skin is not only clear but flawless and firm-even upon first time use. (This is especially true in the cheek and jaw line area.) It’s not for the faint hearted though, nor those who consider themselves or their skin sensitive- as it does have a rather more abrasive feel to it.
Other secrets about this product is that it has brown algae molecules, Vitamin E & C- which are repair oxidatives, and can protect the skin from UV damage & harmful free radicals. I also love the added cooling sensation of this product as menthol has been encapsulated to give that lasting cooling feel. As like all NuBo products it is paraben, SLS, fragrance, and nasty free, and the price point is incredibly reasonable at £38 for 80 ml which should last more than 6 months. Sure to give the skin the jolt it needs and bring brilliant light to the surface, nothing at the moment compares to this on the market! Available at www.nubo.com
Omorovicza Refining Facial Polisher:
Refining Facial Polisher: Instant bright complexion can be yours with this face polisher. This polisher stands out from the crowd as well because it has a hydro Mineral Transference delivery system. What does this mean? Well it enables the skin for optimal absorption of the minerals (yes, the healing waters of Budapest) inside this product. It’s also rather gritty so again, it is not for the faint hearted or ‘sensitive’ crowd. The results are staggering as your skin does indeed feel firmer, and younger. If you’re looking for something that will double up as a detoxifier this is it, as the micro-algae in it does just that. The bits in this polisher are natural pumice and do an incredible job of resurfacing. Having said that, the skin does not feel dry afterwards, as it is rich in minerals, it also feeds the skin at the same time. I think it’s a rather smart product, and a must have. Don’t just take my word on it though, as many have tried it and claim it does not leave your skin blotchy, or raw, but in fact leaves it supple and soft. Some say that they initially thought it was too strong for them, but after a few uses, can’t let it go and it definitely didn’t leave their skin irritated. Truly one of the best on the market, and well worth the investment! This is my all-time favourite and has become a staple in my cupboard. Horray! One tube should last a year! Get yours £65/100ml at www.omorovicza.co.uk
Ling: Triple Action Exfoliator:
Ling Skincare fromNew Yorkis a ‘go to’ mark of celebs such as Madonna, Giselle, Uma Thurman, Naomi Campbell and Cameron Diaz. Ling’s Triple Action Exfoliator acts as 3-in-1 product that can not just slough away dead skin but act as an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and intense pore cleanser. I highly recommend this for those who have a more sensitive skin, and would like to have the option of something less abrasive but still show stunning results- and boy does it!
First of all, the smell of this is good enough to eat-smelling of almonds you would think you have stuck your face in a delicious almond croissant. The feel of this product is incredibly creamy, and the hydration it gives the skin is impressive. It also gives optimum ability for your skin to absorb serums and creams afterwards. The secret to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties is honey. I would also recommend this while on holiday –as it is handy to use in the shower & travel with in it’s flat tube packaging. It is also great as a treatment after sun.
Get yours £42 at www.cultbeauty.co.uk
Beauty Says: I’ve wanted to report on bee venom products for a while, and I know many of you out there might be wondering about them yourself. Bee venom has been popular since the likes of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was reported to having weekly bee venom facials that have transformed her face at least a few decades. It is not only bee venom that is able to plump and firm the skin, or contributes to a more youthful appearance, but something else bees make is equally as powerful: honey. Although all honey has soothing properties and benefits- I’m talking about one in particular: Manuka honey.
Manuka honey is made when bees pollinate from the Manuka Bush or Tea Tree Bush fromNew Zealand. Taken orally, health experts have claimed that it has boosting properties that cannot be compared or competed with. Such benefits include the power to fight dieases, aid digestion, improve and heal skin, as well as put off sugar pangs in the aid of weight loss. But, what does it do for your skin?
Well for a start, Manuka honey is antiseptically beneficial and showing 70% more of this property than any other honey. It also has amazing plumping benefits, as well as healing such as evening scars, provide relief from eczema, psoriasis, and other irritations, balance out the pH level and keep it radiant by keeping the skin hydrated. If you have dry eyes, you must try a manuka honey product around this sensitive area, as it is the honey that is able to pull hydration from surrounding areas to where it is needed most in the eye area. (This happens through osmosis.) Of course, having listed all of these benefits, it would bee rather sticky business if we were applying the honey right onto our skin wouldn’t it? Might I suggest a few products that meet the best of both worlds of Manuka honey and bee venom in natural beauty right now:
Good Things Manuka Honey Range: This is the newest range of products developed by award-winning beauty writer, Alice Hart-Davis & Good Things. The range consists of four products: a cleanser, a scrub, a mask & a moisturiser for both day and night. (On the packaging though it does warn that these products are not suitable to those who suffer allergic reactions from bee stings. )
I highly recommend the Refining Scrub in this range as it contains oatmeal, and sweet almond oil which is fabulous for the summer weather. The oatmeal can absorb excess oils as well as naturally exfoliate, and hence, leave a clearer complexion. I love it because it gives a soothing boost to the skin that you can see and feel quite quickly upon first time use. At £5.99/150ml bottle, can you bee-lieve it?
Also in this range, I’m in love with the daily moisturiser, as it contains both royal jelly and been venom-both ingredients being, incredibly youth boosting! The moisturiser has a matte and light-weight feel after you have rubbed it in while also being nourishing- £7.99/100ml. You’ll also be glad to know that none of the products with this range has any parabens, SLS, mineral oils or sulphates. So it is a rather natural option to use for those who are concerned about these ingredients. I would say this range of products is accessibly and affordable to those who want to try, but see decent results. Both available at www.goodthingsbeauty.com
Manuka Doctor: Another recent discover of mine in the Manuka department is Manuka Doctor, which is widely sold in Super Drug across the country. The difference with their bee venom is that they have purified it, which means those allergic to bee stings may be able to use it too. They also have three series of products: apiclear: for blemish prone skin, apirefine: for anti-aging benefits, and apinourish: for rejuvenation. I recommend trying the apinourish, rejeuvenating face mask. It tingles slightly as you put it on, but the instant plumping effect that you get from it is comparable to the most expensive skincare on the market that money can buy. It doesn’t come as accessible as the Good things products, but at £49.99 for a pot of the mask, I would say do buy into it and invest, as it is a good mask that you will enjoy using and seeing results from.
Having used the mask only once my skin felt tighter, and there was a definitive glow that lasts for several days afterwards. The Manuka Doctor products have also been highly rated by Sarah Stacey & Jo Fairly in their new Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible.
Having said all that, there’s only one thing to do now ladies….zzz-ing it out….I trust that you will all be bees to honey on this one. www.superdrug.co.uk
Beauty Says: Ladies all love the comfort of a pair of ballet pumps, but are all brands the same? Are you buying a brand that is right for you? I’ve done the research and in the next few paragraphs tell you the truths of well-known brands flat out!
Ballet pumps or flats, are also known as ‘Dolly Shoes’ and are derived from a ballerina’s slipper. They’ve existed as long as the 16th century, when even back then, men wore them as well. It wasn’t until the next two centuries that high heeled shoes were made fashionable and the flat shoes popularity waned. Today, they’re an absolute essential solution to feet that start hurting by an end of evening, or as a staple to any girl’s wardrobe thanks to the likes of Audrey Hepburn, making them oh so stylish again.
I’m an avid lover of this style of shoe as it is not only comfort that concerns me but also safety. On a trip toNew Yorka few year’s ago, I fell on the streets, in a 2.5 inch pair of high heels that left me with a cut lip, and since the accident have not gone back to these great heights. I’ve worn probably more than a dozen different brands in the last few years, and most recently it has dawned on me that not all ballet pumps fit the same. Nor is the fact that they’re flat, they are comfortable or good for your health. You need to choose the ones that can give your feet the right support.
Here are my ratings some selected brands:
4/10- Miu Miu
For many years I would gift myself with a pair of Miu Miu ballet flats fromBond Street. Miu Miu, the sister brand of Prada, are known for their decadent styles of ballet pumps. The signatures of these shoes are bells and whistles- crystal embellishments or bright vivid colours in patent or unusual leather textures. Besides being extremely expensive, I have found these shoes also slightly uncomfortable for long durations of the day. If you were them to a dinner, they are ok. I do not recommend these to pound the pavements ofLondonin, as they can nip you in the back or front. My conclusion about them is this: beautiful to wear to a dinner or party, but not fully functional on a daily basis. (Take note, that this fact is completely the opposite of Prada shoes which are not only functional but also are fashionably divine.)
5/10- Pretty Ballerinas & French Sole
I find both Pretty Ballerinas, and French Sole rather similar in the fact that they pride themselves on the different fits they provide, styles and patterns choice, and whether you like more or less toe cleavage to showing. Both their shoes are rather comfortable and can with hold a day’s running about town with minimal pain, but when you buy them the cautionary is sizing. These brands run small, and it is always best to go into the shop to try them. My theory is because they make the shoes rather narrow, and for standard feet or wide feet, your size might run a couple of sizes bigger than what you normally buy. They’re still a bit pricey at over £100 a pair, but are an ideal pair of ‘dolly shoes’ in quality leather. My recommendations are the metallic colours in golden champagnes & silver.
The choice of Clarks’ ballerina pumps can be kept short and sweet: They’re great for comfort, and support (incredibly flexible to your movements), and the price is oh so affordable (around £30 a pair). The only downside is that choices for styles are minimal. www.clarks.co.uk
I have only traditionally raved about Duo’s boots for their boots, but their take on customizing also extends to their flat shoes. You can choose from wide fit, narrow fit, or regular fit. Their flats are not completely flat as some of them have a good 0.5 inch heel to them, and choice for styles is on trend and delicious. Most recently, I got a pair in pony hair in a black and white cow print pattern, and have worn them on a daily basis. The values of them are great as well as they come in under the £100 a pair. Rubber soles mean they will withhold London’s wet weather conditions and won’t fall apart! www.duoboots.com
This is the brand that will receive my highest standing for the ballet pump, not because they are indeed a ‘ballet shoe company’ but because their shoes are the only pair I wore until I simply couldn’t anymore. Their shoes mould to your feet, and are so incredibly flexible there is no pain both while and post wearing them. They are well worth the investment. The shape is also interesting as they cover enough and are not too shallow which gives you the right support. Don’t just take my work for it, as it’s a favourite to many celebs such as Anne Hathaway!
Buy ballet pump you have tried on properly, and can walk in with ease. They should not nip or fall off your feet
Buy ballet pumps with a rubber sole rather than a leather sole as they will withhold the wet weather conditions here and won’t fall apart
Invest in a quality pair rather than buy something that is just flat, and cheap and cheerful, as the cheaper versions can cause post back pain (they don’t have the support or flexibility)
Buy it because it’s cheap, and flat. With cheaper versions the fit may not be right for you and your toes may be clawing onto them to keep them on. You risk, getting hammer toes later in life!
Buy them because they’re just pretty. Think about the functionality of the shoes, and your health.
In anticipation of the World Cup in Brazil this summer, Brazil Fever is sure to sweep across the world. Here are some great venues that will be celebrating all that is Brazil and get you into the spirit!
Party At Cocobananas
For those who like a good party, Cocobananas will be taking their guests straight into the heart of Brazil with their beach party. Décor will be in the form of exotic beach shacks, surboards, and palm trees to get you into that sultry mood with holiday soundtracks that will give you a caipirinha bar atmosphere.
As world cup kicks off, guests will be able to enjoy all the football matches and highlights before hitting the dance floor. There will be capoeira dancers, girls from Ipanema and champagne bossa novas too! And if that weren’t enough boys in havaianas and girls in sarongs and bikins will serve Brazilian national drinks such as cachaca in cocktails featuring papaya, guava, star fruit, watermelon, & passion fruit. Am I getting your buzz going with drinks like ‘Da Cabana’ which has Leblon cachaca, Cheery Marnier, Cointreau, Lime, Passion fruit, Apple & Pomegranate juice topped with 7 up? To cool down that heat there will be fruity caipirinha ice pops, and street food such as pizza bites, grilled king prawns with a cashew & chilli lime sauce and pizzas made with slow-cooked buffalo, bacon, chicken, bbq sauce, red onion & sweetcorn. So if you’re ready to party the Brazilian way…..get to Cocobananas this summer:
101 Howie Street
Open: Friday– Saturday, 10.30pm – 2.30am
NB – Will also be open for all Brazil /England Group World Cup Matches.
Barzhino's at Archer Street
Have you visited the fabulous Brazilian bar downstairs at Archer Street? To celebrate the heat of Brazil and the World Cup this summer, Archer Street has turned their basement into Barzhino's. They're serving up some of the tastiest drinks, have painted their walls full of muriels to get you into that mood to get ready to cheer your teams on! I suggest the Barzhino cocktail...incredibly delicious with hints of pineapple, coconut....it goes down very smooth, but be careful as it might give you a kick back too. Check it out and make it one of your hang outs for all the footie highlights! I've checked it out with my friend Sara, and as you can see from her happy smile, we were both pleased with the lovely cocktails and the fab mood Barzhino's put us in. You'll feel rather like the quote from Fernando Pessoa: "I have in me all the dreams of the world".
If you love seafood as much as I do, then you’ll love this event in Pimilico Gardens for just 1 day this summer called The Last Frontier, brought to us by Shuttlecock. Celebrating Alaska’s mighty king crab, sockeye salmon, black cod and the like, you will be able to sample the very best in Alaskan produce and the cookery skills that make it gold. This pop-up will take place June 21, and there will be tastings, demonstrations, music and treasure hunts, not to mention incredible stories of The Last Frontier.
80 lucky guests are also able to take seats under cover of canvas to enjoy a seafood banquet and enjoy drinks and dancing on the evening.
Tickets for the day start at £15, evening tickets £55. To book visit http://www.designmynight.com/alaskan-gold-rush
We Grill will be coming to Leadenhall market as the freshest street food we have seen yet. Their concept is to serve up the most wholesome treats for you to enjoy. As it heats up their lamb/chicken skewers put you into that mood of doing nothing but enjoying all that the sunshine has to offer- and that is the wonderful food at the market at We Grill!
I find this rather refreshing, especially in the summer heat, as one should not just stuff oneself full of junk that the other stalls have to offer such as churros and the like. I’m in love with the vege and fruit skers, and have tasted their fabulous smoothies! On average at £3 a pop, I can’t say no, because it’s just so hard to resist…..can you? www.wegrill.co.uk
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