There's a lot going round on the Internet about "100 Layers of this and that", interspersed with tutorials on how to look like Kylie Jenner. I'm not one to judge - if that's your thing, go for it. But, I am finding it increasingly difficult to read up on skin-care and pearls of wisdom about looking after your skin better.
Maybe it's just not cool anymore, but I am a big believer of laying the foundations (not the foundation) for a healthy, youthful glow and since my teens, have been obsessed with researching, testing, switching and applying new products. So here goes, Part 1 of my skin care series.
Dead Sea Mask
I've been to Israel 4 times but only on the last trip did I make it to the Dead Sea. Was it worth the wait? Er, YES.
It's a weird experience, dipping into water so mirky you can't see a damn thing, reminding yourself that literally nothing is living. Not a single organism. Comforting to know that nothing is about to crawl up your leg but your mind does play tricks on you!
The water is so full of Sodium Chloride that you are warned and warned not to get it in your eyes and to wash the mud off your skin within 10 minutes. The beauty is that after about 4 minutes you are already feeling renewed.
The balmy (not clammy) coating on your skin is like nothing you'll have felt before. So good in fact, that I walked straight out of the water and into the shop to pick up some supplies to take home.
The MINERAL-RICH MAGNETIC MUD MASK featured here, is compacted with Dead Sea minerals, Vitamin E and Pro Vitamin B5 mixed with iron powder. You layer your skin with the mask, leave for 5-10 mins and then pull the mixture off with the magnet that is included. The skin is left with the same balmy, protective sheen and visibly smoother.
It's a perfect treatment pre-makeup application as the skin is not greasy at all but perfectly primed for foundation (although my skin always feel so nice afterwards that I really try to resist applying anything).
Try it out - your skin will thank you.
Q. "What's that royal wave all about?"
A. "Truthfully? Post hair-flick."
Pure and simple, I am most comfortable in denim and even more comfortable when doubled up. I've had a little denim update recently; replacing old pairs of fading jeans with fresh ink-jet counterparts and agonising over about 6 different denim jackets - settling on this one from Topshop for now.
Note to self: don't walk 15,000 steps in brand new shoes suitable for triangular toes and nothing else. I've had my eyes on these since they dropped - everyone's into mules, sling-backs and lace up ballerinas right now, but I can't get into it the same way.
We spent the weekend in sunny (read: wet wet wet) Manchester and paid visits to some of my old haunts. Architecture wise, nothing compares and I just adore the red brick buildings and urban beams. It surprises me to hear how many people have never visited, if you haven't, make sure you do - after all it's home to The Smiths, Stone Roses and depending who you ask, Oasis.
What I am wearing;
I'm feeling so lazy these days. I don't know if it's due to slowly waking up from hibernation (I'm always a total grouch-ball after a nap) or the lack of sunshine in my life, but I just can't seem to get going.
I've been giving myself no more than 20 minutes to get ready in the morning which doesn't exactly support the path to a bangin' outfit. It's more of a case of grabbing whichever clean thing is sprawled across my sofa and making a mad dash for it. Cue trench coat ... the one item that doesn't require any dressing up or complex thought; the item that says it all whilst saying nothing. Simple. Neutral. Essential.
It's been a tough week; first week thrown back into work, first week wearing actual clothes (everyday) and the first week introducing food groups other than chocolate and Pringles.
It's been a whole week since I actually shot this look and much has happened, including the out-of-the-blue shut down of Atterley . A shoot that was simply supposed to demonstrate a basic 'outfit post' has, in the end, turned into somewhat of an 'ode to Atterley' showcasing the last piece I'll ever buy.
As an avid online shopper - it's a little bit sad because Atterley really did seem to offer something a little different, a little less mainstream and it just 'got me'. Well as one venture dies, another is born - right? Happy 2016!
Shop The Look:
The tree, the tree, the tree! Who wouldn't be elated at the sight of a something-foot Christmas tree, compiled of every Disney character you could dream of. Well, except those who aren't fond of Christmas nor Disney; something I can't quite compute.
But yet, it's true. During the long, dark days of winter, I'm frantically counting down the days to Christmas and to time spent in my cave of chocolate and twiglets. Dawning on me, is that this isn't the case for some - and it's not always down to horrible memories or religious indifference. As I stared up at the giant pile up, I'm taken back to my childhood; hoping that an auntie would buy me a little eyeshadow palette or something else girly and grown up. And I'm still the same, only hopefully a smidgen less materialistic, more sentimental.
Whatever you are doing or feeling this season, I hope it's a good one and if you're in London, the tree is worth a visit.
London is great. There are endless things to do, places to see and things to eat. That doesn't mean though that some of the more special things are easy to experience. Take the Sky Garden; I've been waiting months to finally head on up into the clouds, enjoy a coffee and look down on the grey buildings and big red buses.
Ok, so my awful organisational skills with regard to my personal diary do come into play here - every month, at around the 10th or 11th I remember that I would love to book a (free) ticket, and it's always too late. Not this month - this month I got my crap together and by the 2nd of October I had selected my slot. It was lovely. Honestly, not as lovely as I had imagined (Instagram can do that to you!) but still, lovely.
I will never get over how big the buildings in London are, the skyline is definitely one of my favourite things and I love that it's ever changing. One thing that isn't changing, is my colour palette for autumn. Marl grey, white, black, darkest navy, camel... I just can't help it and I can't resist.
Take this look - so simple and so me. I love prints but I will never be flat-out decorated and the tones need to be muted.
This jumper is the perfect cut, bulky around the neck, wide on arms and falling below my bread belly. Very. Important. Especially when wearing a skimming white skirt such as this one from &otherstories. I love it, but I won't lie that it acts a little bit like magnifying glass to my wobbly bits - hence, the very important loose fit knit.
Gone. Gone are the days, and nights, when I would stumble home at an ungodly hour – cheesy chips in hand. I’m no party girl; no Kate Moss (in many ways).
Saturdays are filled with pub grub and brisk walks in the suburbs of London instead of litres of water, pjs and re-runs. The dawning of this realisation didn’t sit with me well at first; I didn’t want to admit that I was no longer up for wild nights fuelled by alcohol and 6 inch platforms. A friend recently commented “ I can’t imagine what you would wear on a “night-out”. And she’s right to wonder, because with my current wardrobe, it would be hard to scrape something together to hit anywhere like Mayfair.
But, honestly, that’s because it’s just not me.
“Me” is being surrounded by down to earth people, wearing down to earth clothes. And for me, I love nothing more than this time of year – cold sunshine and crisp dry leaves, calling for pea-coats and shiny new boots. It’s exciting - and even more so, knowing that I won’t be shivering on the street, gradually turning blue come 2am. Nope, I’ll be in swaddled in my layers enjoying a coffee from now on.
Photographs: Taken by my lovely friends Geri and Diane
JET LAG. It does things to you. It leaves you unable to muster the strength to do the most menial of tasks, including laundry.
It forces you to dig to the back of your wardrobe and pull out pieces you actually forgot you had. Like this, lets face it -daringly short, khaki pocket skirt that I have been passing up in favour of suede counterparts that now lie waiting in the queue to the dry cleaners.
Well, they can stay there, because I'm still sleepy and I'm enjoying the discoveries hiding at the back of my wardrobe.
"Suede is a funny thing. It's rough, but soft. It's strong, but quiet, and doesn't wrinkle and doesn't crack. And doesn't stand out so much in a crowd of leather and vinyl.
You don't notice it at first. But once you do, you can't take your eyes off it and you wonder how in the hell you ever overlooked it in the first place"
Yes Johnny Suede, you knew what it was all about.
I don't really feel blue; merely 'feelin' blue. I was 'feelin' these hues, reflected in the skies. That dove blue you can sometimes see looming over, signalling that a somewhat sunny day is about to take a turn for the worst.
London skies like to play these games more than most. A day that can start out promising, can end in downpour, saturated denim and soggy espadrilles (speaking from experience). Summer in London doesn't truly start til June so I was really braving it with bare legs.
As with most of my outfits, it all starts with the jacket. Some girls like to centre their aesthetic around a bag, a shoe and of course sometimes I do too - it's just that most of the time a jacket or a coat or a blazer always defeats. It's a pretty handy obsession to have when living in aforementioned drizzly Britain.
This piece actually manages to merge two of my favourite things; sleep and outerwear. It undeniably resembles a linen bath robe. In fact, while watching my usual 300 Friend's episodes on a Sunday afternoon, I happened to notice Richard donning a total doppelgänger, and donning it well.
Mine is tailored slightly better and comes with a £14.99 price point. Need I say more?