18.04.2014- Beauty Buying: Neal's Yard Remedies Coconut Oil

Friday, 18 April 2014

As far as cult beauty products go, as a rule I'm always fairly late to the party. Having only discovered the wonders of argan oil following my trip to Morocco in February, I've been shouting from the rooftops about how much I love it to anyone who will listen (and not run a mile!) Since starting my current job eighteen months or so ago, I've been faced with the prospect of the dreary daily commute, and rapidly realised that I'd need to update my skincare routine, if only to make it better equipped to deal with the grime and pollution of Central London, as well as my daily jaunts on London Underground. After investing in Laura Mercier's wondrous tinted moisturiser and rediscovering the Clarisonic, I've recently been converted to the wonderful world of facial oil. As someone who is rather breakout prone and errrs on the oily side of the skin spectrum, I had been rather reticent to slather my skin in an extra layer of goo. However, after discovering the miraculous properties of argan, I've been converted to all things oil based- and after hearing amazing things about coconut oil, I decided to take the plunge and try it for myself: 

Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, £9, Neal's Yard Remedies

All hail a true mulch-purpose beauty treasure. This pretty little pot of magic cost me a bargain £9 from Neal's Yard Remedies, and it's the most versatile product ever. From cleansing to moisturising- and even cooking- this does it all. I've been using it every day since I bought it about three weeks ago and have barely made a dent in it, so it's a definite value for money purchase too. I've found it's fantastic at taking off makeup before hopping into the shower at the end of the day- particularly stubborn eye products and mascara. I've also been combing it through my hair pre-shampoo and have really noticed a difference in how manageable my usually ultra-unruly locks have become, as well as an extra shine which is a dream if you're ultra lazy when it comes to using other styling products (like I am!) Finally, it turns out that coconut oil is an absolute moisturising godsend- so much so that I've been shunning my habitual body butters in favour of a handful of this every day. It's really helped with combating dryness and dull, post-winter skin, and I'm confident it's going to become a real summer beauty staple too. 

Have you tried coconut oil as part of your beauty regime?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

15.04.2014- What I Wore Today #181

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The glorious weather at the moment is certainly providing plenty of inspiration when it comes to reinvigorating my wardrobe. It's lovely to see so many bright, vibrant new season pieces in the shops (Zara and Mango are killing it at the moment!), and over Easter I'm determined to have a ruthless clear out and de-clutter my collection of clothes. If you follow me on Instagram, then you'll have seen that over the weekend I took my lovely mum to Claridge's for a belated Mother's Day afternoon tea, and we also paid a visit to the amazing David Bailey: Stardust exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery. With plenty of 60s inspiration in mind, I put together an outfit which married together some new season favourites: 

 Coat- Cos 
Blouse- Zara 
Trousers- River Island 
Shoes- Topshop 
Bag- Boden
Sunglasses- ASOS 

I know, I know- another coat. As my mum says, I could open my own shop, but I'm pretty sure that my penchant for outerwear stems from year long exposure to the truly unpredictable British weather. After all, when you spend 99% of your life wearing a coat, it's nice to have plenty of variety, isn't it?! This pastel pink design is from Cos, and comes with a detachable collar- so technically two for the price of one! It's a really simple addition to my wardrobe, perfectly treading the line between a modern aesthetic and a vintage inspired silhouette. We all know that I'm a huge fan of the printed trouser, and this pair from River Island are a real favourite from their new season drop. The pastel tones are just perfect for this time of year, and they are seriously comfortable too- passing the 'I've eaten too much cake' waistband test with flying colours. Here I teamed them with a much worn basic in the shape of this staple Zara blouse, but can't wait to style them with lots of other favourites too. Accessories wise, these sunglasses were an absolute steal from the ASOS sale a little while back, and post payday I treated myself to this bag from Boden- not only do I adore the vibrant gold colour, but the cross body, boxy style is perfectly practical and ideal for accommodating all of my essentials. 

How have you been preparing for the new season? 

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

13.04.2014- Next New In

Sunday, 13 April 2014

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to pop along to the ultra-plush surroundings of the Soho Hotel in Central London for a very special sneak preview of what Next have on offer for high summer. I'm still suffering from a serious case of wanderlust after my trip to Morocco earlier in the year, so am eager to book another holiday adventure soon- and having a look at what Next have in store for the coming months has definitely inspired me to plan an escape sooner rather than later! With practical summer dressing in mind, they've put together a really solid collection of holiday staples, as well as pieces which are perfect for spending summer in the city. With rumours of a heatwave on the way at the end of the month, I was eager to catch a glimpse of some new season essentials, and wasn't at all disappointed: 

As always, Next's selection of accessories has got to be one of the best on the high street. They always offer accent pieces which instantly update any outfit, and here boxy, satchel style designs were contrasted with slouchier, more relaxed backpacks- perfect for traveling. Amidst a palette of pretty pastels for high summer sit vibrant pops of pink and orange, and simple block colour basics contrast with a host of pretty prints which conjure up an instant summer holiday feel. I also loved the shoes and sandals on display- ideal for updating old favourites and injecting a little nod to modern minimalism into any wardrobe. Needless to say, I've now got a rather long shopping list- as well as a serious urge to book another trip away!

Do you like the look of Next's new season pieces?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

08.04.2014- What I Wore Today #180

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

As I mentioned a little while back, the shift in seasons is a great excuse to have a good sartorial sort out and rediscover some old wardrobe treasures. It's finally getting warm enough to contemplate leaving the house without being wrapped up in thick knits and jeans, and it's been lovely to inject a splash of colour back into my day to day dressing- especially after living in dark hues for most of the winter. Printed pieces are more or less a summer staple for me, and along with my jacket from Whistles, I've been eagerly rediscovering another favourite of late- the humble printed trouser: 

Top- Just Female (via ASOS) 
Trousers- c/o Warehouse 
Shoes- Gap 

Last summer I more or less lived in these trousers from Warehouse, after picking them up for my Postcards from Shoreditch shoot back in July. They were packed away for the duration of the winter, but towards the end of last week I dug them out- and am so happy to have rediscovered them. Not only are they ultra comfortable, but the colourway means they're perfect for teaming with an array of block colours- whether a pink jumper or a black blouse like this one from Just Female which is rapidly becoming a real staple. I'm generally something of a slave to denim on a day-to-day basis, so it's always really nice to mix things up a bit, and find some alternative easy-to-wear options for everyday. I'm already planning on digging out some more prints for the summer, and have recently discovered the amazing array at Boden- I have a feeling some of my favourites might be making an appearance on these pages sooner rather than later... 

Do you have any favourite printed pieces? 

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

06.04.2014- Westerosi Wardrobe Wonders

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Unless you've been living across the Narrow Sea of late, it can't fail to have escaped your attention that this evening (well, 2am UK time!) marks the much anticipated return of Game of Thrones to our television screens! I for one am ridiculously excited at the prospect of returning to Westeros and catching up with some of my favourite characters (as well as some which I love to hate...!) You might remember that last year I put together a little post about Rodarte's SS13 collection, which drew more than a little inspiration from the world of George R.R. Martin's imagining, and the arrival of series four has heralded an influx of Westerosi inspired pieces on the high street too:
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Dragon Skin Dress, £135, Whistles/Leaf Headband, £15.99, Zara/Long Dress with Low Back, £49.99, Zara/Zodiac Top, £45, & Other Stories/Clio Sandals, €120, Ancient Greek Sandals/Crystal Hair Clip, £17.10, Boden/Gold Tone Horse Brooch, £6, River Island/Leo Starsign Flats, £495, Charlotte Olympia/Laura Lee Lion Coin Ring, £135, ASOS.

One of the things which I love about Game of Thrones is the beautifully created aesthetics- from the cinematography and beautiful locations to the costumes and armour, everything you see on screen helps to build a really authentic, believable picture of the worlds created on the page. I also really like how there are clear visual codes which help to identify characters and locations, something which again lends a sense of realism to the myriad of realms in which the action unfolds. Whilst it might be slightly impractical to head to work in a suit of armour (although maybe necessary at times!), at the moment the shops seem to be full of subtle little nods to a more ethereal, otherworldly look- and this little selection encompasses some of my favourites, as well as giving me the opportunity to combine two of my favourite things- GoT and online window shopping! 

This dress hit the Whistles homepage last week, and my immediate thought when I saw it incorporated a dragon skin print was 'Khaleesi!' There's no denying that the Mother of Dragons is one of the most stylish characters in the series (this little anecdote about costume designer Michelle Clapton buying a Vionnet dress for Daenerys has got to be one of my favourites!), and this print offers a really modern nod to a more mystical, exotic aesthetic. I also never cease to be amazed by the jewellery and intricate metalwork which incorporated into so many of the costumes- this lovely headband from Zara is subtly crown-like, and a piece which is perfect for summer too. Beautiful blues feature heavily across Daenerys' wardrobe, and also across a lot of Margaery Tyrell's costumes- this dress from Zara offers a lovely new season salute to one of the realm's best dressed.

The seven pointed star motif is one of the most recognisable symbols in Westeros, particularly across King's Landing, and whilst this Zodiac top from & Other Stories has a few more spokes to offer, it definitely conjures up something a little otherworldly. I've had my eye on a pair of Ancient Greek Sandals for a few years now, and this simple pair would prove a welcome addition to any summer wardrobe- although perhaps not the most sensible choice of footwear for navigating the slums of Flea Bottom, eh? This gorgeous hair clip from Boden has a really classically inspired feel to it, and Laura Lee's lion ring (designed exclusively for ASOS) is a perfect pledge of allegiance to House Lannister. With all things lion in mind, look no further than Charlotte Olympia's iconic, much-coveted Leo flats- although it might be an idea to pay your debts before investing in a pair! Finally, River Island's horse brooch offers (in my mind!) a lovely little tribute to Khal Drogo- because let's be honest, we still really miss him, don't we?!

Are you a fan of Game of Thrones? Are you looking forward to season four?

(Image credit: Whistles, Zara, & Other Stories, Ancient Greek Sandals, Boden, River Island, Charlotte Olympia & ASOS.)
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