Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Pleats Please: Embracing the pleated skirt

 Boots: Chloe Susanna | Skirt: Pull and Bear| Top: Primark (similar here) | Denim Jacket: H&M (similar here
For some reason, I've never really been into midi skirts. I usually feel too short to pull them off (or more my legs are too short), but always like the way they look on other people. That's not until I found this Pull & Bear pleated  number which I find flattering ,versatile and easy to wear. The jersey fabric also makes it incredibly comfortable and snug. I've worn this skirt with many of my wardrobe summer favourites, mainly my denim jacket, converse trainers and Chloe Susanna boots. Excuse the dark, blurry, selfie images. I got a few compliments when I wore this outfit so decided to do a quick blog post by taking selfie photos.  Unfortunately Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino continue to ignore my calls and tweets to photograph me for my blog! 

Monday, 25 July 2016

It's all about the Hydrafacial

Being a skincare junkie, I'm always on the look out for a new effective facial. Though there are hundreds of different ones out there, not all facials work for ethnic skin. I also suffer from dryness, sensitivity, black heads and the occasional spots. The main reason I get facials is to reboot my skin. I tend to go very dull and grey (especially in the winter) so need a resurfacing treatment  every 3-4 months (to get back my glow).I used to have the microdermabrasion but found it left me red and irritated for a few days before I could see the difference. I often had to get the timing right before a holiday or special event so I didn't show up red faced.
Before and After my Hydrafacial  treatment
I have been hearing about the Hydrafacial for years but associated it  as a high end 'celebrity' treatment, as it was deemed quite expensive. When I came across limited offer at Harley Street clinic Juvea Aesthetics , I decided to give it a try.The most impressive thing about this facial is that it does many things in one treatment. It cleanses, extracts, exfoliates and hydrates your skin in under an hour pain free. It removes dead skin cells and opens up pores by depositing glycolic and salicylic acid to the skin's surface. During the extraction phase, I could really feel the dirt and impurities being removed, which got rid of the dullness, blackheads and uneven skin tone instantly!If you're someone that has sensitive skin, it's worth giving the Hydrafacial a try as I felt no irritability afterwards.
The only thing now is ... I'm addicted. I was advised that a course of 3 or 6 gave the best results and, that it was to be used as an on-going facial. When I saw the amount of dirt that came from my skin, I could see why. Living in London again has increased the amount of soot and dirt hitting my face on a daily basis so definitely a facial I'll be needing to invest in. I will definitely be having a Hydrafacial again and highly recommend it.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

OOTD: Summer Days

My summer wardrobe is hands down more exciting than my winter one. Though we’re not exactly in 30 degree heat,  warmer temperatures makes choosing what to wear more versitale. I don’t own or wear a lot of shorts but these denim staples have served me well ( see other outfit posts of me wearing them here and here) !They are the perfect length and fit as I can’t do hot pants (those days are gone) and longer shorts cut off my legs.This look is all about embracing summer but accepting it’s not ‘heat wave’ weather. I wore my shorts with this cute Zara cami, trusted leather jacket and favourite biker style boots. Sandals and open toes only come out when I know it’s going to be hot (or I’m on holiday), as I much prefer boots, pumps and loafers for summer. I have a lot of fun with hats as they can make a simple outfit pop as well as disguise a bad hair day.

Over 10 years old and my Balenciaga is still going strong. It’s definitely my go-to bag when I’m going down a casual, rock chick route. I’m also obsessed with my investment Porsche Design sunglasses which I invested in earlier this year, as I wanted a pair bigger than my Ray-Bans.They seem to go with everything so I wear them with everything!  If only I can be promised the next couple of months to experiment and enjoy my summer wardrobe. Fingers crossed! What’s your favourite summer look?


Saturday, 25 June 2016

It's all about giving up the moisturiser!

Skincare routines are an art form. You have to learn what works for you, adapt to your skin as it changes (and ages) and pick out products that react well to it. I've been working out the right formula for years and thought I'd cracked it till I heard about Dr Obagi and ZO. Cleansing I've got down, maintenance, face masks and exfoliating I've cracked, but I'd never seem to get the right balance when it comes to moisturising. For a very long time, I thought I had dry skin. As soon as I showered or washed my face, my skin would feel tight and dry but then when I moisturised, I'd be left with oily greasy patches on my forehead, nose and chin half way through the day. Annoyingly my skin is a combination of dry and oily so I get the worst of both worlds.
Even though he's been in the business for over 40 years, I've only recently come across Dr Obagi and his ZO skincare range. His take on moisturising is that we don't need it. The first time I heard this theory I was sceptical. Then I started researching and reading more. The main philosophy on the no moisturiser rule is that: 

1) It only moisturises skin on the surface 
2) It stops skin from naturally moisturising 
3) Our skin becomes addicted to artificial moisture which is never good 
Dr Obagi says: 

“Skin becomes addicted to moisturiser rather than doing the work itself. Repeated application of moisturiser can lead to “dependency on external sources for moisture. The dependency leads to skin dryness, irritability and reduced vitality which can be calmed down by applying more moisturisers. Using too much moisturiser can also clog the pores and prevent skin from exfoliating. Moisturisers should only be used occasionally when needed.”

Well after hearing that I had to give it a try! I vowed to go cold turkey and quit moisturizer completely and the first few days were harrrrrrrrrd! I cleansed, I exfoliated, let my face air dry and either applied make up or went to bed.  By day 7 my skin adapted. In fact, I’d wake up in the morning and it would be slightly oily which explained why I had combination skin! The natural moisture was coming to surface and doing its work.I can honestly say I have been turned. My skin is in such better condition. It’s clearer, cleaner and less clogged up and I’m learning how to control my naturally oily skin.
The only thing I use now is the ZO Skin Health  OSSENTIAL DAILY POWER DEFENSE and Heliocare SPF 50The ZO power defense product is a light based serum that delivers daily DNA repair and antioxidant protection. It boosts collagen production, restores skin function and elasticity and improves the tone and texture of the skin.  I’ve only been using both products for a couple of weeks and my skin feels smoother and plumper. Highly recommend my new routine and hero product. Using no moisturiser might not be for everyone but I'd honestly give it a try. Even if it's to normalise your skin and see it in its natural state. 

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Spring Trends : Black on Black ..... on Black

 1) Hats and Caps beanie hat |2) Ray- Ban Aviator sunglasses | 3) Embellished t-shirt similar here  | 4)  Faux biker leather jacket- similar here 5) | ASOS lace skirt similar here 6)| Striped tights similar here 7)| Dorothy Perkins biker boots | 8) Prada tote bag, similar here 
I never shy away from wearing black, not even in the summer. This ensemble actually happened by accident after all my jeans landed in the laundry at one time. I don't wear skirts a lot but I love this  ASOS lace number especially with patterned tights. I love the contrast with my embellished t-shirt which makes the black on black work. Matched with biker boots and my trusted leather jacket, I was ready for a casual mooching day. Unfortunately, I was having a bad day so out came the hat (which also happened to be black). Thank God for my dark brown Ray-Bans ...(ok so they look black too).

Sunday, 1 May 2016

OOTD: Keeping it Casual

 I don’t know why but I seem to be embracing my casual side lately. Trainers and trucker caps have been replaced heels and disco pants, especially in the daytime. Don’t get me wrong, I still like to get glammed up when I’m out in the evenings, but comfort and warmth is my new default look. This outfit was built around my new baseball style cap, which was based on 'couldn't be arsed to do my hair' day. This led to jeans, a plain tee, a jumper and my favourite leather jacket. The trusted tartan scarf always comes in handy with the changing temperatures, and as I was mooching around locally, it was all about my comfortable Adidas trainers. My Ray-Bans and YSL tote are my current go-to accessories, as I feel that they smarten up every look. I’m really looking forward to Spring to give me more choice in my wardrobe.

Get the look: 1.Ray- Ban Aviator sunglasses | 2. Faux biker leather jacket- similar here | 3. Skinny jeans - similar here |4. Tommy Hilfiger scarf (actually my scarf is really from Primark but the only similar one I could find is Tommy Hilfiger) | 5. Trucker cap (similar here) | 6.SL 72 by adidas Original | 7. Saint Laurent tote 

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Skincare switch up : Getting Ready for Summer

There’s nothing as exciting as coming to the end of a winter tunnel, even in the unpredictable UK climate. This is the perfect time to have a good old spring clean be it my wardrobe, make-up bag or face. Getting my skin prepped for summer mainly involves three things: exfoliating, hydrating and sun protection.
Though I exfoliate regularly, my seasonal regime involves a Microdermabrasion facial, deep cleansing washes and a face brush.
Left photo is before the face brush cleanse and right photo is after
Microdermabrasion:  I love having this facial seasonally because   it thoroughly removes dead skin cells and helps extract blackheads and spots. It’s quick, non-invasive and rejuvenating and I always instantly notice the difference. Therapists usually advise a course of three to four in a row but one does the trick for me just fine. The only thing I’d say is have it done a week or few days before any important events or trips. Sometimes you might breakout in spots as everything is coming to surface.
I use this every day and leave it on for about 30 seconds in the shower. This face wash is amazing for drawing out dirt and impurities without drying out my skin.

Freederm Exfoliating Facial WashI use this face wash every few days (once or twice a week) to unblock pores and remove excess oil. I’m a big fan of all the Freederm products, as they are specifically aimed at people with spot prone skin.

Bauer Facial cleansing brush:Face brushes have become even more popular of late. I never took notice until I saw the Bauer kit on offer, and decided to give it a try. I have to say this brush is honestly AMAZING! I can instantly see the difference after a deep cleanse as it polishes away dull flaky skin and clears visible pores. I also notice that my skin better absorbs moisturisers after use and is more hydrated. Because I have sensitive skin, I only use about once a month and I would also say don’t clean for my than sixty seconds at a time, and do it gently as it's basically peeling off layers of skin.


Dry skin comes in all different forms based on skin type and environment. Dry skin in the summer is caused by sunburn, air conditioning and blocked pores, so hydration is key. I have naturally dry skin anyway so hydrating in time for summer is even more important to me.

I’ve wanted to try sheet masks for a while and after research, the Tony Moly range seemed to get the best reviews online. This sheet is 100% cotton soaked in hyaluronic acid and glacier water, and its main purpose is to lock moisture in and improve elasticity. I love using this mask every two to three weeks or after a busy (aka alcohol infused) weekend.
The scary sheet mask on 
This is another sheet mask I love using which is even more hydrating than the Tony Moly one! It contains Tahitian black pearl essence with rich vitamins, minerals and amino acids, as well as deep sea algae. What I love about this mask is that it’s so hydrating that I don’t need to moisturise afterwards. I can also see an instant glow after using it, nearly as if I’ve just had a facial. I highly recommend it
Skin after sheet masks 
Sun protection
For many years I didn’t wear any sun protection because frankly, I didn’t think I needed it.  That was until I was scolded by many beauty consultants and realised sun cream had to be part my regime (especially in the summer). Many beauty products have SPF nowadays so I've collected quite a few including the  BeautyLab Skin Perfecting Moisture Cream (SPF 20), NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer (SPF 30) and PH Advantage skin protection moisturizer (SPF 30).I usually start wearing more SPF around April or on the winter days when the sun comes out. The NARS tinted moisturizer is probably my favourite as it’s a great substitute for ‘no make-up’ days, giving me a natural glow. Most importantly, ramping up my water intake is a huge part of my seasonal skincare transition. I’ve been much better at drinking more recently but go up by at least a litre a day during summer months.  It honestly  makes a huge difference.