We often don't realize it, but winter has crept upon us rather quickly, and with that so has dry winter skin. With Christmas looming in the background it also doesn't help that we have much added stress that can leave our skin rather dull and all over the place this season. Put it back in place with ease and glow with radiance and natural confidence-the secret is in DHC's new Mineral Mask.
This natural mask is made from bentonite clays and clarifying kaolin while being extra gentle with nourishing ingredients such as aloe, chlorella, and brightening mulberry. This mask doesn't dry and pull on your pores too tightly to purify- a good indication it doesn't leave the skin parched. I also found that it was great for healing the odd blemish that appears with weather/climate changes. My top tip for use: steam the faces with a hot towel first beforehand, apply a generous amount of mask, leave to dry and then clean off with damp towel. Make sure you tone and moisturise well. Wake up to healthy glowing skin that truly sings- Hallelujah! Make it one to put into someone's stocking or on your Christmas wish list too! £29 at DHC.
With Beauty being away this month I've taken over the beauty sections of the blog and my first post will of course, do with fragrance (not her forte). I've done some nosey-ing around and got into a Discovery Box by The Perfume Society. For those who are passionate about smells and fascinated with everything connected to it, The Perfume Society is just that and more. You can join and subscribe to them (for about £25 a month) and get discovery boxes sent to you every quarter with all the latest fragrances and news- talk about being taken to new places and heights. The box also always has another beauty product that is not fragrance related, lovely post cards that tell you about each and every fragrance (these are great as it asks some key questions to you too quite rather like how fragrance profiles are done) and some blotters for you to consider each and every smell before you wear them (or not).
This month I've tucked into the Jet Set Box and been whisked around the world (as I'm incredibly reminiscent of recent holidays abroad from the summer). I must at this point highlight The Library of Fragrance with two of their scents: Pina Colada and Salt Air.
If you're looking to find something easy to wear for the everyday then perhaps Salt Air is your call to fresh. There is a hint of amber and musk at the base of it but it certainly will remind you of beach holidays. You can smell the sea salt in it every so subtly.
For those who are looking for something a bit warmer as the season gets colder and a bit more delicious try the Pina Colada. The base consists of coconut with light run in the heart and a tinge of pineapple at the top. It is in fact so divine you might want to be careful someone might not try to take a bite out of you!
I learn from my box that the brand- The Fragrance Library is famous for specialising in single note accords like tomato, jasmine and even quirkier smells like waffles.
So why not go on a bit of an adventure every month in your beauty regime by joining those who are in the nose.....?
I have to admit...I'm a bit of a NARS-issist...that is a huge NARS fan when it comes to make-up. This next item I'm going to talk about is a must-have this next season, but you've got to be quick as it is a limited edition face palette. First of all, you cannot get it in the UK. You can however, find it in Sephora shops in across Europe or order it online directly from the NARS. (Click on the link, $59)
This item is a mighty little box of make-up as you can do your entire face with it (sans mascara). The two-tier box has a mini Roman Holiay lip gloss- the softest and most neutral pink, Albatross- a highlighter you can use on cheeks, your nose, or eyes, a Laguna bronzing powder, and blushes in a degree of pinks: Roman Holiday, Enthralled, and Enrapture. The box is not just compact for travel or the everyday, but the top of it is a mirror for super convenience.
I always make sure I snap up at least one of the limited edition palettes when they come out each season as they are incredible value. If you had to buy all these colours separately, it would come out at least 3x the price. They also make incredible presents for birthdays or Christmas too. My friends who are reading this of course, are wondering if I bought them one and if they shall receive one? Silly girls....you already know as I told you at the beginning of the post: you have to be quick and I'm a NARSissist!
One of my greatest passions in fashion is of course 'the handbag'. My advice to most people is that you don't need many nor a collection, but definitely invest in a piece that is iconic and that is versatile enough to use for both day and night. This season I've got my eye on DIOR's Open Bar bag.
Inspired by the figure 8 and Dior's legendary Open Bar jacket & suit, this bag comes in the softest most supple leather. This bag is a good example of a piece that is good for both day (to the office) and night (to any party to match any fancy dress). It is indeed elegant enough for the evenings and does not look like you were not bothered and just took your work tote along with you from the office.
Re-made this season it is also surprisingly light to carry and comes in colour options of black, blue or soft/rose poudre pink. It comes in 2 sizes. The smaller size is still incredibly roomy and enough to carry more than just your purse, ipad or paperwork. (Small DIOR Open Bar bag 26x22x16 cm, and will set you back £1,750).
The larger size is great for travel or those who love a true tote for everything everyday. (Large DIOR Open Bar bag 32x27x19cm, and will you back £1,950). Although the price point looks a bit scary at first sight it actually is an accessible price for Christian Dior and versus any other luxury handbag makes for that matter.
I love the fact that this bag also comes with an added strap so that you can wear it in multiple styles and change the bag to effect of being more or less casual.
The interior of the bag is just as fabulous as it comes with a pocket that has a clasp to keep your phone, train ticket, keys, or money for safekeeping and does not require you to go on a digging expedition each and every time you need something. The middle bar closes the bag and nips it it (rather like the open bag jacket design). With the DIOR letters hanging from the bag it simply is the most divine....and must have on any girl's Christmas Wish List....it's already on mine.....
ormal'>The Handbag Now is an Open Bar
Have you noticed that the weather has changed and it's getting awfully nippy? Well, perhaps trying to hang onto the sunshine with layers of fake tan is not the best option as winter is inevitably here. I know many of you are then wondering, so what kind of make-up do you wear in winter then? As Christmas is fast approaching, one of the top favourites for the season is sparkles. I've got my eye on frosty tones as they are back with vengeance this season (think 1970s and 80s). Although back in fashion, these colours require a bit of skill, and know-how to apply on different skin tones without looking silly.
If you’re rather pale in your skin tone then frosty make-up colours go in your favour, but if you are slightly more tanned, olive toned or dark, then some selection and technique is required. Why? Well because frosty make-up is more silver or white based, and on darker tones can look uneven.
Thankfully, I’ve teamed up with Art Deco (one of Germany’s make-up leaders) and ready to show you how to get the look this season at a fraction of the cost, and look like the ice princess who just walked out of the Arctic. Come and join me and Art Deco here for some crystal decadence- no one will be able to resist these glacial landscapes!
Art Deco's new Artic Beauty Collection is fabulous on all skin tones as it is not made up of only white or silver bases but pink, mauve, and gold- which is warmer and more wearable for olive to darker skin tones.
First up, is the Sparkling Lash Drops £11.20. This product is incredibly lightweight and has a long-lasting glitter effect. The particles in this product are super fine and dry quickly so the best way to apply this is to dab quickly over the eyelid with your ring finger.
You can also use on other areas, other than your eyes/eyelids as a shadow but on the cheeks, eyebrows and neckline. Wearing it on the eyebrows, in fact, can give that slight illusion of a lift and make the face more refreshed, revitalised and even younger! This is definitely a must-have item in the collection for everyone and anyone as it is one handy piece of make-up candy!
If you're not sure and you're shy to try this new 'frosty trend' then a great way to dip in is to dip into this bottle of nail polish £10.50. You just can't go wrong. The nail polishes in this collection are high-tech because they are not only long-lasting, but give the most brilliant shine due to the high pigments and high opacity. There is also a gel-based film-forming agent which means it gives a shorter drying time. It also has vitamin A.C & E, pathenol, & amino peptides to feed the nails.
Up next is main piece in this collection, the hero product- Artic Beauty Dust, £22.30. It comes in a transparent vintage glass bottle, which is not only fun, but gets your heart and hands pumping it to add that sparkle & shine.
A great tip about this product I've discovered is to wear it in your hair. There is something magical about sparkle in the hair and it never goes unnoticed. Best of all, this beauty dust smells a subtle hint of vanilla.
Finally my favourite piece in this collection has to the Glam Stars Liquid Eyeliners, £7.60. The brush is absolutely fantastic in this product as it gives easy and precise application. While it is an eye product that is heavy in glitter particles this is skin compatible and dermatologically approved. My suggestion is to wear this over a darker eyeliner either in grey or blue hues to give it some polar light!
When it comes to buying beauty products who's not lost? Every beauty brand might boast of famous lines and products, but are they right for you? I know many of you out there who have also probably, like me, gone out blind sighted, sought the advice of a beauty consultant, and then returned with a product that wasn't quite right. That product is probably still in your cupboard, never used, but never thrown out because money was not well-spent. Another frustration of trying to shop for beauty products might be to shop for others-another stab in the dark. As Christmas shopping is looming we are tempted to buy fragrances, lippies and other gift sets, but will they be well received?
Thankfully, I've made a massive breakthrough & discovery through the website: My Beauty Matches. It's like a one stop shop, but with all the advice, and also the ability to do all the price comparisons from thousands of beauty websites. How's that for smart beauty shopping?
I have to admit that at first, I was pretty dubious of this website, as I know a lot about beauty having been an insider for years, but I was curious of what it could suggest to me and I wanted to test and trial it properly. In order to find the right beauty matches for you, you have to login through Facebook or Twitter. It then leads you to a series of questions about your skin, and other questions such as eye colour, hair colour, texture/type etc.
Once you have gone through all the questions your beauty matches appear in all these categories: Skincare, Haircare, Make-up, Hands & Feet, Body & Editorial.
My immediate response was to go to the skincare as I wanted to see if any of the usual brands I used would come up. Indeed, La Prairie came up as one of my moisturiser options, amongst others favourites of mine (and products I indeed use) like Eve Lom, and Bliss. In each category suggestion, such as exfoliators, and eye treatments. The options also suggest a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd best product for you.
When you hover and click into the product of your choice you can not only see all the information about it, but you can go directly to a site to order it, and also see all the other sites that are selling it- being able to compare it and get it at the best price possible.
I think that this is indeed one of the niftiest tools I've ever used to shop, let alone shop for beauty products. I would definitely encourage everyone and anyone who has ever had buyers remorse for a beauty product to try this out as it eliminates a lot of the guesswork. Last but not least, for those who don't like the pressure of buying on the spot, there is none. There are very few shortcomings to this except that you cannot feel or try the product on the spot. Welcome to truly 'finding' beauty!
Thinking of what is best to give/to receive this Christmas? Well here are a few ideas and some definitely on my hit list & wish list this season....
Giving the gift of clear, healthy skin is a most welcome gift & the ultimate pamper. I love the Dermalogica's 'Favourite Kit' (£30) as it includes 4 of the top-selling travel friendly key products-suitable for all skin conditions. One of the most delicious products in this boxed set is the Daily Microfoliant which unclogs pores in an instant! This box will have that glow effect to anyone you give it to and says: Love, Love, Love!
Looking for something that is hands free? Well at this time of year we're all looking for something that has 'no strings' attached. Handbag Lisa Lemon has the right idea in these trendy bum/waist bags that have made a definite comeback on the fashion scene. I love this all leather mulberry BELLA(£140) that is not only festive & fun but gives easy access to all the neccessities.
I know at this time of year when temperatures drop and stress levels rise all I want is a nice hot bath. Therefore, who wouldn't want this bath set from Paul & Joe? This bath set includes three luxurious bath products: bath salts + shower gel + body cream makes this everyday ritual indulgent as eating a box of chocolates! (£42) Choose from two scents (rose/citrus) Best thing about this set is that it gives deep incredible hydration to the skin a gift to truly make one SMILE!
Everyone loves a little 'teddy bear' even grown-ups to remind them of childhood christmas pasts. Give or put on your wish list this adorable 'Thomas The Bear' Key Charm from Burberry on the list. Models like these with bobby hat or guardsman hat go for £150 while an array of colours are available also in regular teddy bear styles. These bears are super soft and made from 100% cashmere....it's makes the perfect touch to brighten up any handbag or can truly made a set of keys jingle...
Love taking selfies? Well then you might have to re-think the foundation behind that, and of course when I say that I mean your base or foundation make-up. How good does your foundation really stand up to the cameras your or others who are taking pictures of you use? There is good news for those of you who have suddenly panicked. Make-up Forever have created a high-definition Ultra HD formula that can stand up and look invisible on 4K cameras and to the naked eye.
This make-up not just looks but feels like second-skin. There is no residue or oil throughout the day, and the skin is super hydrated and moisturized. For those who are concealer addicts, you'll be glad to know that you can opt out and not use one as this foundation also adjusts and conceals every imperfection- just blend with a brush!. (You might say, it's a bit of a smarty-pants)
There is a full range of colours for all skin tones and types, and at £29 a bottle it's not just a good investment but one of the best this season as the bottle lasts also forever. I find that it's the closest colour match I've ever had in terms of bases. The pro's down at the counter at Debenhams are helpful and know their stuff when helping you choose the colour. I know I've never been disappointed!
If you're thinking of going down that catwalk or just for fashion week, don't be caught without this! Get yours at Debenhams now....
Resveratrol found in red grapes (skin) is known for its super anti-aging properties. It not only makes the skin more resilient to external factors like the sun, but can repair and delay the signs of aging. The resveratrol within the skin of the grapes helps it without the harshness of UVA & UVB light from damage.
Many global well-known skincare brands on the market contain resveratrol but sometimes can be rather pricey. This season I've found a whole series of products with resveratrol from DHC at a fraction of the higher market prices, and one that gives the skin a luminescence not to be compared with the others.
The secret behind DHC's formula is that it boosts your skin's own moisture barrier through moisturizing cereal extracts. I'm in love with the moisture cream as it has a light whipped texture and does not feel heavy on the skin. The smell of the cream is also rather neutral and not full of perfume. There is an iridescence in the cream without it being too shiny (just enough to reflect some light and for others to see a youthful glow radiate). (Cream £43)
I use the essence or serum (£43) with the cream too and have found it an incredible thirst quencher and cushion to my foundation make-up. Again the texture is light, with no fragrance. The first time I used this line I found that my skin detoxified overnight. It appeared brighter and somehow clearer. So if you're thinking of switching your skincare this season, and wanting something more nourishing and that could make that visible difference give this a try. You won't be disappointed. Take the turn and reverse with resveratrol from DHC!
The poncho or wrap is a definite asset this season. Whether you wear it inside to make that statement of 'warm & cosy' or you wear it as an outside layer to your coat/jacket, no girl should be without this staple. Burberry's is the most sought after brand when it comes to the variations it provides in this category. I'm rather partial to this bright yellow and khaki check print for a burst of WOW. At £550 make it one on your Christmas Wish List....
Love that Burberry's check pattern/print, but can't afford the price tag. Next, I unwrap a version from Dorothy Perkins that is available at Debenhams. This multicoloured wrap is quite the dream to go with jeans or just about anything to recreate that winter festival look. Can you argue with it for £16? I didn't think so.....
One of the key trends that is currently entering shops and into the new season are sparkly shoes. Talk about putting your brightest foot forward if not the best. The leader who is bringing a rather full and complete collection is Clarks + Orla Kiely. Sadly, this will be Orla's last collaboration and collection of shoes with Clarks. So on that note, be ready to snap them up quick!
I had been waiting for the official date (it was Sept 4th) of the sale of the shoes since early August. Not wasting another moment this weekend, I got down to Clarks as soon as I could to get my own pair of the Angelina's in gold. These have been spotted during the last London Fashion Week and have been sending pulses of media and bloggers racing. (£130 Angelina).
I'm opting to wear these in 'true' Orla style with retro turqoise tights, patterned tights, and all my other retro skirts, dresses, coats and tops. While the gold is outstanding these shoes also come in pink, brown and black for those who prefer the conservative understated. They are of course, just as nice with the double mary-jane bands. (Super cute!)
For those who can't get enough of Orla's traditional flower pattern- the flower power is back with a punch too in mary-jane styles above in retro monochromes as well as short boots in the sweetest blues.
Get them before these limited editions sell out. In selected Clarks stores across the country as well as online.
Paris Shines With Maje + Sandro
For those who want to follow this trend of sparkly shoes with a edge look no further than the glitter of Parisian brands like Maje. This season Maje has launched these delicous FIMA chelsea boots in silver. Wear with jeans, leggings + skirts/dresses....but be sure to add a hint of leather to the coordination to give this pair of 'twinkle toes' justice! (£359 FIMA).
And Other Glitteratti
I think these Karolina heels from Kate Spade are so fabulous you could possibly click them and be transported to a whole new world (toe toes we're not in Kansas anymore!) Incredible with any outfit, they will brighten up black dresses, and can get you ready in a flash for any event! (Karolina, Kate Spade £260)
This A/W '15 don't be caught dead without RED in the closet. It is the colour of choice and the one that could elevate your fashion status and get you noticed. I'm loving and anticipating the arrival of this winter garbardine dress from CARVEN's collection (550 euros). The special feature of this dress is that you can underlay another colour skirt or slip underneath to create diversity. Add thin or thick belt to create a slim line figure too! What's not to love with this red number?
A new year is upon us and that means it's time for change and a fresh start—an idea that also applies to the contents of your closet. If you're in the market for a few new dresses to add to your 2016 wardrobe, consider classic silhouettes instead of trends. Why? Well because sporting what's "in" now is always fun, but embracing a classic look can help you avoid any embarrassing fashion regrets when entering 2017.
So what are classic silhouettes? According to Martha Stewart, there are six designs that epitomize a classic silhouette, though some are a bit more practical than others. For example, unless you're getting married or you're secretly a Disney Princess, you probably don't need any ball gowns (a small waist with voluminous skirt) or mermaid/trumpet dresses (those that hug the body but jet out into a fuller skirt around the knee). The remaining four silhouettes, however, can make excellent additions to any 2016 wardrobe.
The A-line is a fairly self-explanatory style. The design gets its name from the A-shaped triangle created from the narrow bodice and outer edges of the wide skirt. Victoria Secret Miranda Kerr wore an A-line dress to a store opening in Hong Kong that epitomized the silhouette. Her dress combined the traditional silhouette with timeless accents of lace and a classic mix of black and white. It's a look you could easily recreate and wear for years to come. What’s not to love about that?
For inspiration on a classic sheath silhouette, look no further than high-end fashion designer Adianna Papell. Her collection of dresses included here features dozens of sheath dresses in short and long varieties. She frequently sticks to flat, solid colours like white and black, making many of her looks universal and easy to customize with different accessories. In addition, several of her designs are available in plus sizes, so everyone and anyone can rock her take on the classic sheath style.
The versatility of an empire silhouette makes it great choice- whether you're trying to camouflage a few of your trouble spots or accentuate your favourite features. The raised waistline is cinched below the bust- making your chest appear bigger and your waist appear smaller. The skirt can be straight, slightly flared, or wide like an A-line. Just like the sheath style, stick to solid colours and muted patterns to create a timeless look.
Of course, you can always sport the "short" silhouette as well. Remember,with ‘a- hem’ just slightly above the knee, the silhouette encompasses a lot of different styles. As long as you stick to solid colours, or traditional patterns, you should be a-OK to wear the dress for years to come. So throughout 2016 remember this lesson in silhouettes, whether you will be dress shopping for weddings, prom, or for special event- you just can’t go wrong with these classic cuts!
Tired of the same eateries on the weekend, and want to get something that is somewhat reasonable in price but truly feels satisfying? Well, let me in on a little secret that surely will get your lips smacking! SMACK is the brainchild of the lovely people that brough us Burger & Lobster. Not far down the road from their restaurant in Soho they've set up a little sandwich & soup shop- SMACK that sells lobster rolls & lobster chowder/ soup.
The menu has a good choice of rolls and salads for £10. Soup or chowder is £5 a cup.
They're famous for thier Samurai roll (a rather japanese take on it with japanese mayo and avocados). There is also the classic, the BLT, the California nad even the Mexican!)
Located at 58 Dean Street, they're open Monday-Friday 11:00am-10:30pm, and 12:00pm-10:00-pm on the weekends. This is a great option for before or after the theatre, or if you've made the mistake of not making the reservations but still want a decent meal!
On the day I went there I opted for a cup of the chowder. At first I thought it would not consist of much lobster, but dig deep and you will find a whole treasure trove down in that cup of soup. You could see chunks of lobster claws in the soup and it had the richest smoothest consistency- what you would expect in a £10+ bowl at a top tier restaurant.
And the roll? Well, SMACK suggests that you don't stand at the desk and ho and hum too long about the choices, but just to roll with it...I know I did when I opted for the California....and I'll be rolling back again and again too!
What Snob Ate: London is that kind of city where you can find a food market in the middle of a busy buzzing district. Namely, of course, I am referring to the Patridge Saturday Food Market down at Sloane Square. On this weekend visit I have met a new vendor: McLauchlan's Sweet Potato Crisps. His little stall caught my eye as it was no bigger than his tiny trolley where he fries the sweet potato crisps fresh by the batch.
McLachlan sells the sweet potato crisps for £3 a box and flavours them on the spot: allowing you to choose from a variety of flavours such as salt + pepper, paprika, and herbs or a combination.
What Snob's Taste Buds said: Now if you're a fan of moorish snacks and love the combination of sweet + salty then you'll love sweet potato crisps. They tend not to be as nearly as crunchy as potato crisps due to a higher sugar content in them. They're a really good alternative if you're tired of eating the same old crisps, and want something different. I love them and think that McLauchlan's is out of this world as he makes them fresh on the spot which can't be beat! I opted for the classical salt and pepper flavour, and when I bit into my first chip it sent me to a new snack orbit and back.
Thumbs Up: He's given me a loyalty card.....so he'll be seeing me again next week...and the week after....as I'll be up for a free box in no time!
Find McLaughlan's #SweetPotatoCrisps @ThatCrispGuy (on Instagram & Twitter) and on Saturday at Patridge Saturday Market at Sloane Square. It's what I ate this weekend.....
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