Thursday, 29 January 2015

JUST.DO.IT.

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Ever have those day dreams whilst sat at your desk? What if I left... what if I did what I really
want to do? What do I want to do? What else could I be doing with my life? Do I know the
answer? I want to keep exploring my options, what my life could be and discover the world
we live in. What if I left cold weather for tropical beaches, the commute for a plane ride...

I had those days. I loved my job but I felt I still had things to do before 'settling down' and doing
them same old thing every day, even if it was fun. I wanted to explore, to not know what was going
to happen tomorrow, to meet new people and make new friends, to see what I could still do - I'm
still young! I thought. 

So, as most of you will know, last June I quit my job, left London and booked a one way ticket to
Asia. I had been thinking of doing it for a while, I still had the travelbug and those feelings of
wanderlust which never seem to leave me.

I've done multiple blog posts, photo diaries and hotel reviews about my time away, but with so
 many photos it can be hard to convey the feeling of the whole 3 months of travel we did
before ending up in Sydney to stay more permanently.

So instead of a long photo diary - I made a video! 100 seconds of travel, that'll certainly give
you the push you need if you're looking to quit your job and travel the world.

You can see more videos from me on my Youtube channel, here.



P.S. Do let me know what you think of the video - I'd love to hear your thoughts! You can tweet me here.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

THE.SEEKE.

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You didn't know you were looking for it.

But you found it. 

THE SEEKE has become a minor obsession of mine since discovering their beautiful Instagram 
feed, falling in love with their packaging (hey, I'm a sucker for a pretty pot - okay?) and then
trying the offerings and finding out that they worked just as good as they looked.

The Efflorescent candle has been burning, filling my flat with the scents of gardenia, jasmine
and sweet peas since December, and the Dry Coffee Scrub + Restoring Body Oil combo is
so addictive that I can't stop stroking my soft skin I have to stop myself from over-
exfoliating everyday in the shower.

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Monday, 26 January 2015

THE.SKINCARE.EXPRESS.

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I've been really getting into using masks recently, and I've been using them a lot more than I
normally would, on Lisa's advice - sometimes more than one a day. I'm not talking harsh, full
-of-chemicals masks but pick-me-up glowing skin masks that give skin the extra boost it
needs.

The Express Flower Gel Mask from Sisley is one that recently joined my growing collection,
and I especially love it because it acts so fast, and I don't even have to wash it off. I pop it on
after cleansing in the morning, let it soak in for 3 minutes, and then moisturise. Easily done
when I'm in a morning rush.

The 'flower' in the name comes from the extracts of Lily and Iris, that have a powerful water
retaining capacity, giving you long lasting, hydrated skin. When I use this mask my skin doesn't
start looking dull mid afternoon, instead it makes it feel - and look! - like I've been guzzling
water all day! (Which I try my hardest to do, too...)

With my highly sensitive facial skin, I thought that using the same mask multiple times a week
was a big no-no, but I've found that with Sisley masks - I'm a big advocate of the Black Rose 
Cream Mask too - they work so gently that I needn't worry about irritating my skin. Plus, they
smell so good and feel so luxurious on the skin that any excuse will do.

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Friday, 23 January 2015

ALILA.VILLAS.SOORI.

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I can't begin to explain the amount of times I drafted, re-drafted, edited out photos, and added
new ones in to this post. It had to be perfect. I had to convey my feelings and the atmosphere
of Alila Villas Soori through the images above, and transport you there. 

This was the last place we stayed in Bali, and it really was like we had saved the best until
last. Tucked away in lesser known Soori in Bali, opening out onto a black sand beach, we had
our ocean front pool villa. The villa felt like it was built into the pool, rather than the pool
around the villa, with every door and window opening out onto it (even from the bath!
Josh's favourite thing was to wake up and straight in the pool from the french windows). An
outdoor shower leading out from the his 'n' hers bathroom mirrors and sinks - complete with
Alila Living products - where you could take you post-pool day shower as the sun was setting,
or even better - stroll down the beach on your way to Cotta for dinner.

I felt truly relaxed here, even though this was the place we saw our first - and last! - snake during
our travels. This feeling of Zen was of course helped by a couple trips to the spa to experience
the Relaxology package. With both my muscles and skin softened, the only thing I wanted to do
was head to the Reading Room below, which had it’s own coffee bar, big lush sofas and all the
books you could ever read by candlelight.

See my previous post from Alila Villas here.

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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

LINE.UP.

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After having scoured high and low for things to keep my beauty products in, I found this white
tray, and gold hammered pot, both ideal for keeping my current regime in. I love that I get so
much light in the morning here, both thanks to the beautiful weather and my all white, big -
windowed flat.

I'm very much into Dermalogica and REN at the moment, their products are foolproof and great
for 20-something skin. Diptyque's skincare line L'Art du Soin was also a suprise hit, as I thought
it might be style over substance but I'm officially hooked to the cleansing oil. And of course my
new favourite from SK-II is their eye cream, as I spoke about here.



Monday, 19 January 2015

PREVENTION.

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Preventative measures are always better than correcting measures, well - in skincare at least. 
I'd rather protect and prevent my skin from damages now, than have to correct damages later
on. It's like planning ahead.

I first used Skinceuticals' Phloretin CF about 2 years ago when I was introduced to the brand. I 
went through two consecutive bottles - applying a couple drops after cleansing morning and 
evening. In smoggy London I knew my skin's barrier was being reinforced and protected from 
free radicals (smoke, pollution, stress) and other external aggressions that can lead to early 
ageing, uneven skin tone and imperfections. However, I always felt it was a little too much for 
my overly sensitive skin.

I've continued using the Retexturing Activator, Ultra Facial Defense and Phyto Corrective Gel 
(the best, best thing for aggravated sensitive skin) since, but  the Phloretin CF slipped off the
list. Recently, I tried the gel version of this serum - as my skin responds well to gels, especially
 if they're strong - and have been pleasantly surprised. Giving me the same outcome - along
with firmer, brighter skin thanks to a dose of Vitamin C. Plus, it works on combination,
normal and sensitive skin. The Phloretin CF Gel is an all round winner that certainly won't
be dropping out of my skincare regime anytime soon.


Please note: Ultra Defense SPF 50 is not available in Australia, but the 
SPF 30 is.



Friday, 16 January 2015

THICK.BLACK.LINE.

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Loving the look of thick - almost sixties - classic winged eyeliner after finding these images I
took backstage at Sibling at fashion week. At the moment I've been using the Estee Lauder 
Double Wear Zero-Smudge Liquid Eyeliner. A serious no-budger, from my eyelids no my
make-up bag.

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SK-II.STEMPOWER.

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Since the beginning of last year I was looking for a really great eye cream. I know now is the
time to start looking after the skin around my eyes - which is the most fragile and sensitive skin
on the face. And having moved to a sunny climate, I'm very conscious about squinting my eyes
all the times and giving myself an early onset of crows feet. Up until now I've dabbled in
using several eye creams at once, namely Kiehl's, Neal's Yard Remedies and Nuxe.

However, I've been religiously using this SK-II Stempower Eye-Cream for two weeks now and I
can really see a difference. It absorbs easily into the skin and is just generally apleasure to apply.
This new offering from SK-II is full of their signature Pitera - vitamins, amino acids, minerals
and organic acids - alongside the Stem-Acanax Eye Complex making this product the gold
standard in anti-ageing eye cream. If you're trying to find 'the one', I highly recommend.

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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

OTHER.STORIES.

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& Other Stories top and skort, COS bag, Seed sunglasses

Pops of electric green against an unusually grey Sydney sky, whilst wandering around Woollahra
and Paddington after visiting some weekend markets.

Monday, 12 January 2015

THE.SWISS.WAY.

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I sometimes chuckle that I write about beauty on a daily basis, and run a blog which features
it heavily. I say this because when I say this to people who I've just met, I imagine they have this
idea of me as a girl who's always been into beauty and loved make-up. In reality it was quite
the opposite, although I grew up as the youngest of 5 girls, I was more interested in training to
be a gymnast, climbing anything I could (this included all our doorways to my mother's dismay)
and making up dance routines with my friends after school. Even years later at university I
rotated between using Savlon or Aqueous BP cream to moisturise my face. Mainly because I
was hopelessly poor and the harsh winters of Northern England meant I needed a thick dose of
help, but I also quite liked the fact that I used such simplistic, everyday products on my face. 

Fast forward 3 years and I was running the beauty section of a magazine, having been thrown
in (gladly, I might add) the deep end since graduating and my days were made up of beauty
launches, breakfasts with brands, writing features and planning editorial. My Savlon and Aqueous
BP were duly replaced with more 'Beauty Editor' appropriate products. And now, almost another
3 years after that and I'm here, still going strong with beauty. 

One of the biggest changes I've noticed over the last year or so, is that I'm gravitating towards
more luxury high end brands. There's the obvious reason why: they have so much prestige attached
to them that I'd be a fool not to try them out, but there's also a reason I'm realising more and
more now: I want to take care of my skin, age well and luxury brands give you the results to
make this possible. Over the past month I've been using these three products from La Prairie;
the Foam Cleanser - which feels like rubbing pure silk on your skin, Cellular Refining Lotion
and Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil

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It all began when I was invited to discover the brand by having a facial with them at David
Jones (which you can do too, and the price is redeemable against any products purchased). My
skin was quite literally glowing afterwards - proof - and so of course: I was at once intrigued by
the brand and hooked to the products. The reason why La Prairie works so well - there's a science
to luxury, after all - is thanks to the exclusive Cellular Complex. The patented formula activates
the skin’s metabolism and delays the signs of ageing by helping the skin cells to survive (=
glowing skin) and promotes the skin’s natural defense system to prevent damage.

And so here I am, chuckling that I write about skincare - with La Prairie on my shelf instead
of Savlon.

I'm now thankful to the Swiss for two things: feeding me non-stop with chocolate on Swiss Air
flights and for some damn good scientific skincare. Both are things I know shall never part
with.



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Friday, 9 January 2015

WHITE.CRISP.

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Uniqlo shirt, Zara skirt, Midas shoes, Pastiche bracelet, 
Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero-Smudge Liquid Eyeliner, Toni & Guy Reconstruction Hair Mask

Expect to see a lot more of these kind of posts, or rather a lot more of me (soz) in 2015. A
new focus for the blog is going to be fashion, no - I'm not becoming a 'fashion blogger' but
rather broadening what fits under my umbrella of 'lifestyle blog' alongside travel, beauty, food
and photography.

This crisp white oversized shirt from the newly opened UNIQLO in Sydney was just what I
was looking for to go with this lace skirt, and my Christmas present to myself - the heels -
spruce it up quite nicely.

TOMS.LIPS.

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The recent release of the new Tom Ford Lips & Boys prompted me to give my beloved and
trusty Tom Ford lip colours a whirl. I want to start using the dark Violet Fatale more, alongside
 the two orange hues - Sweet Spot and Firecracker - from last summer's collection. At one point
last year I had become a true lipstick girl, but somewhere along the way it - or rather the
lipsticks themselves - got forgotten. A beauty resolution of sorts, to wear lipstick at least once
a week.

 

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

SRI.PANWA.

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Like so many, I started off 2015 by looking back at 2014. Not just what I've done, but where I've been. 
As you'll know, 2014 was a big year of travel for me, visiting South East Asia, Hong Kong and 
Indonesia for a 3 month mammoth trip. I took so so so so many photos that a lot got lost in the 
depth of my iPhoto along the way. I've had a look back and there's still a couple photo diaries I'd 
like to share with you, namely this lot from our amazing stay at Sri Panwa in Thailand.

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Having stayed two nights in Bangkok upon arrival, we jumped on a plane down to Phuket where 
we were picked up and driven to the hotel (although "hotel" doesn't even describe it, it's more like
 a luxury estate full of private villas set on the edge of a mountain). After a warm greeting from 
the staff we were shown around our ocean view pool villa. The second I set foot in the villa I 
couldn't believe we were staying here, and neither could Josh - we tried to remain as calm 
and collected during the tour, to appear like this was just 'nother villa to us, but seriously, just look 
at the place. I could quite literally roll from bed into the pool, look out onto the Andaman sea, 
swim to the jacuzzi and stand up for a shower, or maybe take a few steps to the double sized bath.


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The food here was also incredible; plates of fresh exotic fruits, a classic English fry up, 
American waffles and pots of Asian noodles. You can either pop to Baba Poolclub to enjoy the 
buffet, or have your choice of breakfast delivered to your villa. For lunch, we headed to the 
Baba Poolclub for a fresh salad, the most incredible selection of sushi or a cheeky bowl of 
chicken wings. Dinner time meant jumping on a golf buggy to Baba Soul Food for some sharing 
and sampling of home cooked traditional Thai food (with a choice of ‘Euro Spicy’ or ‘Thai Spicy’) 
in a cosy, relaxed setting with ocean views. We were so impressed by this place, with Josh stating 
that even London’s fiercest foodies would be hard pressed to find something they didn’t enjoy 
here. After dinner, head up to the lookout point, Baba Nest, and relax on a beanbag with a 
martini.

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Sri Panwa really has a 'getaway' feeling, it's has a feeling of calm enveloping it and you can 
truly relax and forget the hussle bussle - this was hugely helped by a couple visits to Cool Spa, 
right at the top of the hill. But you can also head all the way down to the private and secluded 
beach (which is very rare in Thailand) where you can swim, kayak or you know - hire out a 
yacht for the day and go island hoping.


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