Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Bronzing for Spring/Summer

I've always had a love hate relationship with tanning products. Bad examples include, disgusting biscuit smell that lingers on you all day long and not so natural, tangerine legs. I have tried and tested a number of self tanners, Dove, Johnsons, Garnier you name it - all of which have never really boded well with my pale, sensitive skin. So, in the Christmas holidays I took the plunge and decided to invest in some pricier tanning lotions, one for face and one for body. I made sure did my research before splashing out on these two 'luxury' items. I turned to none other than tanning expert, James Read - also founder of the website His website is home to all things 'bronze' ranging from tutorials, catwalk trends, interviews and reviews.  

When I looked into what face product to choose, he seemed to highly rate Chanel's Soleil Identité. I'd never sampled any of Chanel's beauty products before, so I was happy to see that my skin felt incredibly smooth with a subtle, bronzed glow.

 For body, I turned to trusty tanning brand St Tropez. I chose the Gradual Everyday Tanning Body Lotion which worked well and gave me a nice colour, but it didn't seems to last very long and I was only using it twice a week. Last week I returned to Boots to re-purchase some more and stumbled across a new St Tropez product standing on the shelf. St Tropez 'Naturals' with Vegetan is a new creation perfect for people like me who don't like to layer on lots of parabens and synthetic ingredients onto my body. It also works well for sensitive skin, great for me! 

So far, so good! It hasn't reacted with my skin which was my main concern, and it hasn't turned me a questionable shade of orange. Unfortunately, there is a tiny hint of the dreaded digestive biscuit scent, but only a little - no where near as bad as anything I've tested in the past. They have some other products in the range which I look forward to trying out. Big thumbs up!

To find out more about the Naturals range, visit

Sunday, 26 February 2012

S/S12 Trend Shoot

In a recent project for my Uni course, we were asked to style and organise a photo shoot with clothes inspired from the s/s12 catwalks. My partner and I decided to use the pastel and lace trend as it's such a versatile look that you can really have fun with, and that we did.

Our model Kristie was great and took direction really well. Even though the London skies were clear and the sun was out, temperatures weren't at their best. Nonetheless, she didn't let it faze her and got on with the job like a true professional.

My favourite shot. We had Kristie wearing the blazer, but this was a great alternative pose - her pins looks great in those lemon pastel skinny jeans.

The shoot took place in Kentish Town on a street lined with pastel coloured houses - perfect for our theme. What's more, we stumbled upon this baby blue VW van along the way, it seemed to good to be true!

Siobhan Drew took care of hair and make-up and did a cracking job. The focus was to keep Kristie looking natural with big, defined brows and little colour on the eyes. However, we wanted to have a hint of the peachy/coral tones we all know and love to wear in the Spring. We did two hair and lip looks and changed up the nail colour three times - all worked so well with each outfit.

We were so happy with how all the photos turned out. Meg Hutchison did a great job and knew exactly what we wanted from the shoot. All of her other work is stunning, particularly her portraits, so I knew that we would end up with some great beauty shots as well. All in all, a very successful day - I thoroughly enjoyed the styling aspect of this project and loved being able to hands on with hair and make up choices as well. Hopefully I can get more involved with styling again soon!

Meg Hutchison Photography:
Siobhan Drew Hair & Make Up:  
Model: Kristie @ Leni's

Sunday, 19 February 2012

All hail the Barbour!

The moment has come. After years of wishing, hoping and waiting - I am finally the proud owner of a classic Bedale Barbour.

Quintessentially British, the Barbour jacket has been a must have staple in the wardrobes of country bumpkins all over Britain. In the recent years, (with help from the likes of Alexa Chung) this waxed wonder has also become a favourite amongst trend setters everywhere - proving a great finishing touch, smartening up any day/evening outfit.

The story of the Barbour all began in the Market Place in South Shields in 1894, with the current headquarters situated in Simonside. The brand has 11 of its own retail shops in the UK, and sells in over 40 countries worldwide. They remain true to their core values and the company still prides itself on their individually handmade creations.
Unfortunately, the recognized Barbour look can be seen as something of a clich̩ amongst fellow fashion enthusiasts Рbut, this will not stop me from wearing my Bedale and wearing it proud!

This is by far, the most precious item of clothing in my wardrobe. I only got it yesterday and refuse to let it out of my sight. It's going to look great with my burgundy tartan scarf and perfect over those short skater dresses in Summer.

Thursday, 16 February 2012


Camden is renowned for mods, punks and retro market stalls. True it has lost a little of its original rocker authenticity over the years - nonetheless, it still beholds a bustling atmosphere which attracts people from all over the world. Apart from purchasing a Levi's denim jacket from Rockit clothing, a visit to the vegan cafe, InSpiral, was my main priority.

I eliminated meat from my diet 14 months ago, but only recently have I been trying to give up dairy as well (it sounds extreme but it's really not) - and since then I\'ve enjoyed seeking out specialist vegetarian/vegan cafes around my area. InSpiral happened to be one of the top hits on Google when I searched around, and being a fan of Camden anyway, I thought it seemed the perfect place to try out.

I will shamefully admit that I was indeed, very much hungover today - so the first thing I went for on the menu was a rehydrating, antioxidant packed fruit juice, 'Berry Bliss' to be precise. It well and truly did the trick, I instantly felt better after - this made me more entitled to order some of the delicious food I'd heard so much about.

For my main, I ordered a 'medium mixed bowl', which literally consists of a variety of the cafes mixed buffet. My friend (a meat lover) decided on the much talked about vegan lasagne, which looked and tasted a treat.

Not only was this food delicious, it was exciting and enticing. Being in an industry which is filled with health conscious gym bunnies, this diet is probably one of the best you can follow. Even if you love nothing more than a great big, juicy Angus steak, I recommend trying out InSpiral (or any veg/vegan cafe that is for that matter) and seeing what you think. Let me know how you get on!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Valentines Gifts For Him

Trawling through the pages of Selfridges, I've managed to conjure up a list of my favourite Valentines gift ideas for your special spouse this year. WARNING: Damage to bank account is probable.

Mulberry Scotchgrain Clipper Medium Holdall £495
Perfect for the weekend break he's been planning for months.

Kiehl's Facial Fuel Anti-Wrinkle Cream £30.50
Whether he's 25 or 60, the 'W' word is something that no man wants to discuss - so make it easy for them and take matters into your own hands. 

Taylor of Old Bond Street Leather Grooming Box £229
An extravagant gift yes, but who said there had to be a price on beauty.

Tom Ford for Men Eau de Toilette 50ml £45
If your man's scent doesn't excite you any more, induce a bit of Tom Ford into his daily routine - try resisting him after that.
Paul Smith Mini Interior Wash Bag £110
Perfect for fitting in all those lotions and potions you didn't realise he had.

Alexander McQueen Skull Embossed iPad Case £265
Keep him looking professional with this sleek leather iPad case, one sure to impress at those important business meetings.

Vivienne Westwood Classic Orb Wallet £100
Who could turn down a bit of the punk-princess herself. Bank cards and green paper has never looked this good.

UGG Scuff Slippers £80
A definite luxurious treat for their feet.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Black Keys & Cupcakes

It's only Saturday and my weekend has already consisted of mosh pits, excessive sweating and a brief moment of tinnitus - as unappealing as it sounds, it's not the nightmare you'd expect. Yesterday evening, a friend of mine and myself headed up to Alexandra Palace where The Black Keys gig was taking place, little did we know that Band Of Skulls were supporting - which was a pleasant surprise as they have become a bit of a favourite recently. TBK played a good selection of their songs, including some tracks off their latest album 'El Camino' - which will not disappoint if you are already a big fan. 

Awesome cupcake we found in Whole Foods, Kensington. Seems such a shame to ruin this and actually eat it, never thought that would be said about something so tasty.

I spent today in Kensington visiting some of the usual culprits to blame for my inferior bank balance. I ended up buying two scarves from H&M, the first a lovely checked number with just the right amount of fabric to be able to wrap round my neck and still look like it has length and the second, a leopard print fur collar to replace my stone one which I lost on a night out. It doesn't have a fastening like the one before, but I think the pattern makes a nice change to the original ones most fashionistas have caught on to these days. The spending doesn't stop there (I know, I am admittedly saying I have a problem), I headed on over to Zara where I found this gorgeous lace 3/4 sleeve top - perfect match for the s/s12 trends.

Sunday, 5 February 2012


This week I finally got round to watching 'Drive', a compelling action/thriller featuring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan. The film is based around the mysterious Driver, who works as a mechanic and stuntman by day, and a getaway driver by night. He is introduced to his neighbour Irene and her son, Benecio - and complicated implications start to unravel as the two characters begin to fall for each other. Little does Gosling's character know that Irene's husband is soon to be released from prison, and he needs Driver's help to complete his last job. 

Apart from the gripping, unconventional storyline - the cinematography and soundtrack also support making this film an absolute success. Definitely worth a watch.

WARNING: Not for the faint hearted.

Pastel Picks

Once again, it's that time of year when we can put all our dark, autumnal shades to the back of our wardrobes - and bring out those candy coloured pastels we've all been waiting for. Fun and fresh, this trend is one that will definitely never become dull. Whether it's incorporating a small dash of colour to add some variation to your outfit, or going all out for a bold statement - keep it simple and you can't really go wrong.