EMPORIO ARMANI FRAGRANCE LAUNCH IN MILAN (SPONSORED)
Back at the beginning of June, Aslan and I were lucky enough to spend a couple of days exploring the beautiful city of Milan with Emporio Armani. We were whisked off to Italy to celebrate the launch of the new Emporio Armani his & her fragrance collection which actually launches TODAY! We were literally only in Milan for about 36 hours, but we’ve both agreed that we’d love to go back and really experience what Milan has to offer. We had a lot of fun exploring some of the city though and it was soooo lovely to get the chance to soak up a few days of glorious Italian sunshine and learn a little more about the story behind the beautiful Together Stronger fragrances! (Not to mention get my fix of delicious gelato!)
We stayed at the Armani Hotel which was absolutely INSANE! If you’ve watched the vlog from our trip you’ll know that our room was suuuper duper beautiful and had theeeee most incredible bathroom I’ve ever seen! We had a couple of hours to ourselves to recuperate from our day of travelling before we got all glammed up to head out to the fragrance launch event.
Our last day in Milan was SO much fun! We only had until 4pm in the afternoon to explore the city so we definitely didn’t have enough time to explore all of the wonderful things that Milan has to offer, but we tried our best to fit as much into those few hours as we possibly could! Our first stop was the iconic ‘Duomo’ which was even more beautiful than we could have imagined. We managed to make it to the very top of the Duomo and were rewarded with an absolutely stunning panoramic view of the city. While we were admiring the view we had the chance to learn a bit more about the new Emporio Armani fragrances. The perfect Italian setting to do so, right?
The fragrances are all about luuuuurve (heehee) and the idea behind them is that the two scents come together to form a story of unconditional love and strength. There is a ‘his’ and ‘hers’ version of the Together Stronger fragrances so both Aslan and I were excited to try them out. The Men’s fragrance is called ‘Stronger With You’ and it has a super sexy spicy scent to it which I absolutely LOVE (Aslan loves it too!) The fragrance has top notes of cardamom, pink pepper and violet leaves (this is what gives it the spicy kick!) with a subtle undertone of smoky vanilla and sugar coated chestnut. Sounds good enough to eat right? I love it when Aslan wears a spicy scent and this one is really gorgeous.
The ‘hers’ fragrance, ‘Because It’s You’, is much lighter and fresher than ‘Stronger With You’ thanks to its notes of ripe raspberry and neroli. I’m not usually into such light fragrances, but I think that the reason I love this one so much is because the undertones of vanilla and musk help to give it a deeper, more woody feel. We ended up falling in love with each of the scents and how they smelt on each other’s skin so we’ll definitely be using these! I’m also known to wear of Aslan’s fragrances from time to time and since I feel like the ‘Stronger With You’ perfume is more of my kinda thing you can bet I’ll be stealing a spritz or two from time to time….(don’t tell him!)
The idea behind the fragrances is that they come together to form an equal strength; one light and feminine with its elegant, sparkling scent, and one gorgeously masculine thanks to its sensual, spicy and smoky scent. They compliment each other and work together stronger. I love the whole idea behind this campaign and these beautiful fragrances!
Later on Aslan and I headed off in search of some lunch and found ourselves in the incredible ‘Bar Luce’ restaurant. Bar Luce was designed by WES ANDERSON HIMSELF so of course stepping into the cafe is like walking into the set of a Wes Anderson film. Whenever I’m in Italy I make it my absolute mission to get (at least) one gelato and let me tell you, the gelato that I had in Bar Luce was one of the best! I’ve never had a chocolate ice cream that tasted so…chocolatey!? Anyway, it was incredible and rounded off the trip perfectly!
Although 36 hours is definitely not enough time to explore such a beautiful city, Aslan and I definitely got a taste of what Milan is all about and we can’t wait to go back and explore some more. We’ve both agreed that we need to make it our mission to visit again some time soon. Thanks so much to the amazing team at Armani for bringing us along and inviting us to celebrate the launch of the new Emporio Armani fragrances. The fragrances launch TODAY on the 19th of July so click here to get your own Emporio Armani Stronger with You or Because it’s You fragrances. Make sure you go and catch up on our vlog to see what else we got up to on our whistle stop tour of Milan! *Warning* you will have serious gelato envy…
SHOP THE POST!
EMPORIO ARMANI 'STRONGER WITH YOU' FRAGRANCE
Fragrance for him
EMPORIO ARMANI 'BECAUSE IT'S YOU' FRAGRANCE
Fragrance for her
Jeepers Peepers Yellow Sunglasses
I can't stop wearing these
Céline Trio Bag
I love this classic red
SHORT SLEEVE WHITE SHIRT
EXPLORING SHANGHAI WITH LANCÔME
A couple of weeks ago I hopped on a plane with my Lancôme family for a whistle stop trip to beautiful Shanghai! Lancôme asked me to go along to check out their incredible ‘Declaring Happiness’ exhibition which was curated in celebration of their brand new Lancôme store which is opening in Shanghai. I was joined by the lovely Victoria from In The Frow as well as tons of other beautiful bloggers from around the world. Until this trip I’d actually never visited China before, and since it was one of the countries that I’ve been dying to visit since FOREVER I was so excited to join the team and spend a few days exploring some of what it had to offer.
We arrived into Shanghai airport on Tuesday evening and I had a few hours to recover from my 12 hour flight (yes, 12 hours!!) before we headed off first thing Wednesday morning to get our first taste of the country’s culture. As soon as we stepped out of the hotel doors Victoria and I were whisked off in one of the super cool Lancôme sidecars (make sure you watch the vlog to see me getting way too excited whizzing around Shanghai) for a quick tour of the city before being dropped off at our first destination – Yong Foo Elite.
HERE'S MY OUTFIT!
Re-Worked 'Hanes' Tee
I could wear this every single day
Mango Sequin Sandals
Some glitz in my life
CROCHET MIDI DRESS
Cool and comfy
DITA CAT EYE SUNGLASSES
The ultimate cat eye sunnies
Mansur Gavriel Leather Bucket Bag
Super duper roomy!
As soon as I stepped out of the sidecar I just COULD NOT believe my eyes! Yong Foo Elite is housed in the most incredible 1930’s villa and is surrounded by one of the most gorgeous gardens I’ve ever laid my eyes on! Unfortunately the weather wasn’t on our side, but even with the rumbling clouds and drizzle the garden was truly magical. The house was surrounded by giant magnolia trees and streams filled with lily pads. I’m such a plant lady so of course the garden had me all heart eyed.
Lancôme had so many activities planned for us to try which meant that I actually got to try Tai Chi! If you follow me on Insta stories you would have seen me trying my hardest to nail the moves and keep up with the instructor while looking as ‘zen’ as I possibly could. Tai Chi is actually waaaay harder than it looks but I actually really enjoyed it! I also got to keep the outfit (score!!) so you can bet I’m going to be lounging around the house looking like a Tai Chi pro very soon…
After exploring the gardens we were whisked off to a secret location within the grounds. We arrived in this teeny tiny room where the Lancôme team unveiled the incredible Lancôme Advanced Génefique Sensitive and told us all about what makes this serum is so magical. It feels super special, from the moment you open your bottle the whole experience is incredibly dramatic. To activate your serum you basically twist the cap which releases this beautiful blue liquid into the bottle. You then shake it up and voila! Once activated, you should use your serum everyday on a cleansed face as the first step of your skincare routine. It feels incredibly luxurious to apply and is great for sensitive skin, troubled skin and skin that just needs a bit of a boost! It was such an experience to witness how the serum works it’s magic, you have to try this stuff. Oh and once you activate the serum you have to use it up within 2 months as the ingredients are fresh and active!
That evening we got the chance to take a peek around the incredible ‘Declaring Happiness’ exhibition which was organised by the Lancôme team. You guys know that even before I started working with the brand, I’ve always been such a Lancôme fan, so it was amazing to wander around the exhibition and see all of my favourite products in such a beautiful setting. Luckily for us we were allowed a sneak preview of the space before the event started, but later on that night we got all glammed up and returned to join in on the party. Make sure you watch the vlog to see what we got up to!
We spent our last day in the city exploring some of Shanghai’s best tourist destinations. Our first day was so busy that it was nice to take things a bit slower and really get an idea of what Shanghai is all about. We started our day at the top of the Shanghai tower which was absolutely INSANE!! I’ll insert a photo of the view down below but unfortunately it was so cloudy that we couldn’t really see much through the windows. Hopefully you get the gist though! On a sunny day I bet the view is breath taking.
After leaving the Shanghai tower we headed to the place that I was most excited for – the Yu Garden. Call me crazy but gardens are one of my favourite places to explore when I’m in another country, I just love to see how the plants and trees differ from what we have here in the UK and back home in Canada – it’s fascinating to me! The Yu Garden was absolutely beautiful and definitely fulfilled all my fantasies about traditional Chinese gardens! The whole place felt so atmospheric and it was such an incredible experience to be walking through an area which has so much history behind it. If you’re visiting Shanghai definitely make sure you make time in your schedule to visit the Yu Garden.
THIS IS WHAT I WORE!
HUNTER YELLOW UMBRELLA
FLORAL WRAP DRESS
Into the dress & tee look lately
BASIC WHITE TEE
The perfect staple piece
JIMMY CHOO STUDDED MULES
I'm in love
CULT GAIA GAIAS ARK BAG
Love this Mother of Pearl style
Although we were only in Shanghai for a matter of days, I had the most incredible time and it’s definitely one of my favourite memories from this year so far. Thanks so much to my Lancôme family for putting so much hard work into organising not only the trip, but the Declaring Happiness exhibition. Don’t forget to catch up on my vlog from the trip if you haven’t already, I had an absolute blast!
ALSO FEATURED IN THE POST:
MORPHO & LUNA PYJAMA SET
I wish I could wear these 24/7
Lancôme L'Absolu Rouge Lipstick
I love the formula of these lipsticks
Lancôme Advanced Génifique Sensitive Antioxidant Serum
You need to try this
Lancôme Rénergie Multi Lift Ultra Fluid
A light and silky fluid
Lancôme Rénergie Multi-Lift Crème Riche
A rich firming day cream
LISBON CITY GUIDE
It feels like forever ago that we touched down in Lisbon, but I’m finally getting around to making a little city guide! I can’t recommend this city enough and I’m dying to go back to Portugal to see the other beautiful sights. We went on a short 3 day city break but managed to squeeze a lot of activities (and food) in. Even though we were always on the go, we still felt incredibly relaxed and that’s what city breaks are all about!
As soon as we got closer to the city centre I couldn’t take my eyes away from looking out the window! There is just so much to see in Lisbon from the tiny cobblestone streets to the brightly coloured buildings. I was also quite mesmerised by the tram system in Lisbon although Aslan made us walk up every.single.hill. Bring some comfortable shoes because the uphill walking is no joke. My thighs were BURNING the entire time!
HERE'S WHAT I WORE:
The Sleeper Pink Linen Robe
Rufier 'Happy' Gold Chain Charm Bracelet
Byredo 'Unnamed' Eau De Parfum
Monica Vinader Diamond Hoop Ring
Le Cruset Stoneware Espresso Mug
Of course a trip to Lisbon wouldn’t be complete without eating as many ‘Pastel de Nata’ (custard tarts) as possible! We hit the jackpot by going to the best place (in our opinion) first and nothing else seemed to compare! Manteigaria just happened to be close to our air bnb and lets just say it was one of our most frequented places. If I close my eyes I can almost taste the gooey custard and crunchy pastry. Top it off with a bit of sugar and cinnamon and it’s like a little bite of heaven! The most famous place to get one of these delicious desserts is called Pasteis de Belém, which is much more authentic feeling. I would say it’s definitely worth visiting, but Manteigaria is still my favourite! If you’re after a variety of pastries then I highly recommend Pastelaria Alcoa which was a great place to stop and get a coffee and a pastry (or 3).
Chocolate lovers pay attention! We were repeatedly told that we couldn’t leave Lisbon without trying the world’s best chocolate cake at Landeau (located inside LX Factory)! I did wonder how good it could be but after one choclately bite I was also convinced that it was some of the best tasting chocolate cake I have ever had! I wish I had photographic evidence but we ate it so quickly we didn’t even think of taking a photo. That’s when you know something is gooooood.
LUNCH & DINNER
If you’re looking for a quick lunch break definitely check out Nicolau Lisboa. It was great to be able to sit outside and they had a variety of healthy and slightly unhealthy stuff. I tried their soup of the day and it was delicious!
O Prego da Peixaria
O Prego da Peixaria was a great place to eat if you’re after a traditional Portugese sandwich with a modern spin on it. We went here for dinner one evening and it was really tasty!
Pistola y Corazon
I can safely say that I had the best Mexican food of my life at Pistola y Corazon in Lisbon, which I know doesn’t seem to make much sense but it’s true. Every single thing we ordered was interesting and delicious. If we discovered it on the first night I can guarantee we would have been back for every dinner that followed. It was a cool atmosphere with all different types of people and age groups which made it feel really comfortable. I’d go back to Lisbon JUST to eat here! Big love to Charlotte for the recommendation!
Santa Justa Lift
We happened to walk past the Santa Justa Lift which is a gigantic elevator in Lisbon and a major tourist attraction. There was a huge queue to enter so we didn’t get a chance to go up it, but honestly it was pretty cool just to look at it from street view.
Before heading to the Monastery we went to the Belém Tower. I didn’t realise this at the time but it’s actually a UNESCO heritage site so it’s definitely worth checking out if you have the time.
We really enjoyed walking around the monastery and although it was pretty busy it still felt calm inside the walls. The stone carvings were very impressive and I’d highly recommend it!
WHAT I WORE:
Rag & Bone Vintage Striped Tee
Mango Belted Trousers
Céline Trio Bag
I love this classic red
Céline 'Erin' Sunglasses
Stan Smith Sneakers
WHAT ASLAN WORE:
Reigning Champ Cotton Sweatshirt
Nudie Jeans 'Lean Dean' Slim Fit Jeans
Ray Ban Round-Frame Sunglasses
New Balance M1400CSP Sneakers
Peak Design Everyday Backpack
Technically not in Lisbon, but I just had to mention our day trip to Sintra. It’s about an hour outside of the city and completely worth the trek!
Quinta da Regaleira
My favourite part of the trip by far was when we visited Quinta da Regaleira. There is definitely some magic in the air because this place doesn’t feel quite like anywhere else I’ve ever been. It almost feels like a set in a fairy tale and it was just such a beautiful place to spend the afternoon. If you want a place to clear your mind, feel free and get a sense of that childlike wonder back in your life then you need to go to this place.
Besides having absolutely stunning plants and flowers it had waterfalls and a really cool pond that you could walk across. Beware! Three people fell into the pond within ten minutes of each other! It’s a peculiar, inspiring and in a spectacular adventure! One of my favourite places I’ve ever been. Definitely worth the 45-ish minute trip to Sintra!
Mango Decorative Bows Trench
M.I.H Frayed Hem High Rise Jeans
Crap Eyewear 'Joy Bridage' Sunglasses
Gaia's Ark Bag
Vince Textured Leather Slides
Praia da Ursa
After our magical visit to Quinta da Regeleira we took a drive to Praia da Ursa which is essentially a ‘secret’ cove. It’s a bit of a tricky place to access but if you’re up to the challenge the view will certainly pay you back. Apparently clothing is optional on this beach and it’s a favourite among nudists because it’s so secluded. Even I caught a bit of the nudist bug and flashed Aslan because there was literally NO ONE around! Aslan was shocked to say the least because I’m normally such a prude but you only live once right!?
Since we had a bit more time left in Sintra we decided to go to Pena Palace which is a pretty hyped tourist attraction. I’m not sure if we were just tired or what, but this place just didn’t do it for me! It was also a really cold and foggy afternoon so we didn’t get much of a view. Lots of people seem to love it though so don’t take our word for it! It’s a famous castle with multi-coloured paint and a very strange interior design.
After walking around all day in Sintra you’re going to be STARVING! We’d highly recommend grabbing a bite to eat at Café Saudade. We had a cute table right by the window which was great for people watching! Actually it was more like dog watching because there was a gorgeous Golden Retriever sleeping on the balcony across the street! Anyway, I had a delicious panini and I cannot describe to you how delicious the apple pie was. The waitress said they were somewhat famous for their apple pie and when I took that first bite I was on board. Try it!
To be honest we didn’t do too much shopping in Lisbon! We were more focused on seeing the sights and eating delicious food, but there were some gems that stood out to us. Lisbon has all of the high street sort of shops so if you wanted to pop into H&M etc. that’s readily available.
SHOP MY LOOK:
Acne Studios Leather Jacket
Acne Studios Long-Line Cardigan
Common Projects Sneakers
Mansur Gavriel Leather Bucket Bag
Super duper roomy!
(Similar) Topshop Ripped Jamie Jeans
I had researched some shops in Lisbon before our trip and this was the one place I knew I needed to go. Luvaria Ulisses is a tiny little hole-in-the-wall shop that specialises in making gloves. It was founded in 1925 and they’ve been making gloves ever since! It was actually really neat because the woman in the store took one look at my hands and knew what size I’d be. She brought out a box with the gloves I chose and expertly fit them to my hand. It was like a second skin and now I know where the phrase “it fits like a glove” came from. I bought two pair that day! It was such a special experience.
A Vida Portuguesa
This store was recommended to us countless times and I totally see why! They sell a variety of soaps, blankets, sardines of course and much more! This is a great place to go if you want to get some Portugese souvenirs that aren’t magnets/keychains. They also have a huge selection of food which I would have went crazy for if I had more space in my luggage.
LX Factory is quite a unique place filled with restaurants, cafés, galleries and shops.
Under the Cover
Sadly I didn’t get a chance to go to this bookstore while in Lisbon, but I’ve been following them on Instagram for ages! If you’re a bookworm and happen to be in Lisbon check out this store on my behalf!
All in all we had a fantastic time in Portugal. It’s definitely up there as one of my all-time favourite city breaks and like I said I really want to go back and do some exploring. Please do watch the 3 videos we made from the trip and let us know what you thought!
If you have any recommendations on where to go leave a comment down below!Have you ever been to Lisbon? What places do you recommend?
BEHIND THE SCENES WITH CHANEL
A couple of weeks back, I was lucky enough to be asked by Chanel (yes, THE Chanel), to attend a once in a lifetime trip to Paris with two of my blogger baes, Amelia and Victoria. Chanel invited us along on an adventure to check out their stunning Beauty Boutique and take us on the most amazing tour around Coco Chanel’s apartment (OMG!!) I also had the chance to get my makeup done by one of the Chanel makeup artists (she does Kirsten Stewart’s makeup *fangirls*) who made me look like a totally different human with a daring dark pink look which I adored! (You can check out the finished results here!)
While sitting here writing this post, I’ve realised that I’m actually lost for words when it comes to trying to sum up just how amazing Coco Chanel’s apartment really is. Walking up the beautiful spiral stairs and through the front door into the apartment was one of the most surreal moments of my life! I really tried to imagine her walking through the space and entertaining inside. Every room was the epitome of chic; every corner adorned with the most beautiful and ornate gold accessories. Amelia, Victoria and I were pretty much speechless throughout the entire tour, we were just desperate to try and take as much in as we could and store it in our memory banks for the rest of our lives!
Although I found it hard to contain my excitement throughout the entire tour, arguably my favourite part of the experience was getting to immerse myself into Coco’s office space. What I loved about this room is that it was filled with tonnes of beautiful deep red toned books which reflected an iconic shade of Chanel lipstick that she created. I also discovered that Coco was a fellow Leo which was represented by the beautiful gold lions in almost every room. I’m making it my personal mission to leo-ify my house (what a Leo thing to do!). It was incredible to see such an intimate insight into one of the world’s most notorious designers in history!
As you might have guessed from my collection, Chanel is one of my favourite beauty brands. Personally, nothing makes me feel quite as special as finishing off makeup look with a slick of Chanel lipstick. My favourite shade is ‘Boy’ which is a nude that makes me feel like a million dollars and I’m confident that I’m not the only makeup lover that feels this way. There’s something about the Chanel collection that feels so luxurious, as if it should be saved for special occasions to add to that extra special feeling even more.
I’m a huge fangirl of anything Chanel but lately I’ve been super into the new Rouge Coco Glosses, which we were introduced to on the trip. I’m such a ‘gloss’ kinda girl, but only if they’re non-sticky! I can assure you that these glosses are going to be an all-time favourite for me. They feel like a silky, moisturising balm and they come in the most gorgeous shades. 714 ‘Caresse’ is my ultimate though, it’s a beautiful terracotta nude shade which is right up my street. I’m also a massive fan of the Le Rouge Crayon de Couleurs which are a collection of easy-to-apply lip crayons that come in THE most gorgeous selection of shades ever!
Of course I’m a fan of pretty much everything from the Chanel makeup collection and as a self-confessed hoarder of fragrances, the classic Chanel perfumes are some of my most treasured in my stash. The infamous No 5 L’eau is of course one of my go-to’s thanks to its fresh, floral scent which sums up everything I look for in a fragrance. It’s a lot younger than the original and definitely more wearable for me.
You might also have heard me mention the Chanel Blue Serum once or twice and that’s because it has been a permanent fixture in my skincare collection for quite some time. As someone who suffers with dry, sensitive skin, the soothing and hydrating properties of the Blue Serum make this stuff my skin’s saviour. I religiously apply a pea sized amount of this serum to my skin every morning and night after cleansing.
I hope you enjoyed reading all about my amazing trip to Paris with Chanel, as well as learning a little more about my favourite Chanel makeup and skincare products. Huge thanks to the wonderful team and Chanel for bringing me along on this adventure and making so many special memories!
Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss
Chanel Coco Rouge Lipstick
Chanel Le Rouge Crayon De Couleur
Chanel Poudre Universelle Compacte
Chanel Les 4 Ombres
Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel
Chanel Blue Serum
Chanel Coco Code
HERE’S WHAT I WORE:
Ganni Cherry Bomb Tee
Ganni Pinstripe Pants
Common Projects Sneakers
M.I.H Frayed Jeans
Lucy Williams x Missoma Necklace
Last week I was lucky enough to hop on a flight to Italy with Fresh to learn more about where they source the very special Umbrian Clay they use in their skincare products. We were also the first people to see the limited edition new collaboration with Rometti Ceramics. As someone who already uses the Umbrian Clay Mask at least once a week I was especially curious to learn more about the development of the products as well as how Fresh discovered this very special clay. Lev and Alina are the founders of Fresh and were also the hosts of the trip, which was very special because we could learn directly from them and ask them any questions we had. Lev and Alina are some of the most generous and genuinely great people to be around, so it was great to spend time with them in such a beautiful setting.
On the first day we headed to Asissi, Italy where we went on a guided tour of the Basilica of Saint Francis of Asissi. After that we headed to the Nun Spa and Museum which was such a treat! We had a few hours to spend in the hot tub and sauna before having a glorious facial using Fresh products. I was very relaxed!
On day two we were taken to the quarry where the Umbrian clay is sourced and we also got to see inside the factory that turns the clay from dirt onto the ground to a useable ingredient for skincare. I especially love that the factory uses only water from the creek beside the factory when producing the final product.
Umbrian Clay has been the basis of therapeutic treatments for centuries and is one of the earliest known cosmetic ingredients. Umbria was home to the ancient Etruscans and first Romans, and the discovery of white clay tablets inside the 6th century BC tombs of the Etruscans suggests that the clay possessed mystical meaning for this ancient civilization.
If you’ve never tried the Fresh Umbrian Clay products before I honestly can’t recommend them enough. I have very dry skin, so using clay masks is usually a bit of a no-no for me…until I discovered Umbrian Clay. It has a high-mineral content that works to help balance, purify, and clarify the complexion. I didn’t realise this, but Lev told us that they did loads of research about different types of clay and this was the only one that doesn’t completely dry out the skin and leave it feeling desperate for moisture. It’s suitable for all skin types and is genuinely my favourite clay mask I’ve ever used. Other ingredients in the mask include Sandalwood oil which is known for its astringent properties and helps to calm the skin, Chamomile flower and lavender water are notable for their soothing properties and Olive leaf extract helps to promote suppleness and is known to protect against free radicals.
I was also introduced to the Umbrian Clay Treatment Bar which is 100% clay and is great to use on the face as well as the body. I’ve started using this in the shower and I think it’s great.
On the last and final day in Italy we were taken to Rometti Ceramics to finally see the collaboration with Fresh. They teamed up to create a little ‘house’ for the Umbrian Clay mask and we learned about the entire process of making this beautiful and bespoke jar. Rometti was founded in 1927 where local artists create handmade objects using clay pulled from a local quarry that dates back to Roman times. Rometti’s limited-edition design for Fresh features an Etruscan figure in homage to the clay’s origins. This woman, chosen to represent beauty, is updated with a modern silhouette and set against a bold geometric pattern. And while Rometti is usually known for stark colours, the packaging features a soft, earthy palette inspired by the Umbrian landscape.
Vic and I excited to go truffle hunting!
Huge thank you to Fresh for bringing me along on this dream trip! I had such a fantastic time (despite losing my voice) and made memories that will last a lifetime!
WATCH MY VLOG FROM THIS TRIP!
Fresh Umbrian Clay Face Exfoliant
Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask
Fresh Limited Edition Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask
Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Treat
Fresh Umbrian Clay Oil-Free Lotion
BEST LONDON BEAUTY TREATMENTS
I think that most of you will agree with me when I say that January can leave us all feeling a bit ‘bleugh’. The holidays are over, the weather is miserable (at least it is in London) and I’ve eaten way too much junk food for my insides to handle. I don’t know about you, but when this time of year rolls around I feel like my body just craves some attention. Giving my bod some TLC usually means treating myself to something that makes me feel a little bit more human again. Whether it’s a slick of paint on my nails or an extra bit of oomph in my hair, sometimes all it takes is a little bit of ‘me time’ to get me feeling ready to take on the coming year. With this in mind I decided to film a video and write this blog post all about my favourite beauty treatments in London. I wanted to share the places that I hit up whenever I need to put a little pep in my step, the places that help to make me feel at my best. I highly recommend each and every one of the places that I’m about to mention so definitely check them out if you’re in need of a treat. If London isn’t on your doorstep, don’t fret! Many of the spas and clinics that I’ve featured have branches all over the world, but if they don’t then perhaps this post will inspire you to check out somewhere closer to home. Stay tuned to the end of the post to watch the video that I filmed with my friend George Muncey! Here goes…
Cowshed is most definitely one of my favourite places to hit up whenever I’m feeling like I need some ‘me time’. Cowshed have loads of branches all across London (as well as several locations within the Soho Houses of the world) but the Primrose Hill spa is arguably the most beautiful in my eyes, I just love that place! Cowshed offer tonnes of different treatments including facials, massages, waxing and brow tints to name but a few, but I think that my favourite thing to get at Cowshed is a manicure and pedicure. Plus, the fact that they have TVs playing endless episodes of Friends while you get your nails done may have something to do with my unashamed favouritism! All of the products that they use in the spa are hand made by cowshed which is super cool, I particularly adore the spearmint hand scrub that they use, that stuff smells good enough to eat! There’s also a cute little cafe inside every Cowshed location and I’ve heard that their coffee is absolutely delicious so make sure you ask for one while you’re getting your nails done.
Blow Drys are one of my favourite things to treat myself to. There’s something about stepping out of the salon with fresh, bouncy hair that makes me feel like I could take on the world! Anyone else feel the same? DryBy is my go to whenever my hair needs that extra oomph. Every time I visit I always leave feeling super relaxed and refreshed, the interior is super cool and calm and there’s just an atmosphere about this place that I adore. One of my favourite things about DryBy is that choosing a style to go for is super easy. Every time you visit you get given a book full of loads of different blow dry styles so you can just pick exactly what you want and they’ll work their magic on your hair. I usually choose the ‘London’ style which has more of an edgy vibe with lots of messy curls and heaps of texture. Love it!
Whenever I need some zen in my life I make it my mission to hit up the House of Elemis. To put it simply, this place is magical and whenever I visit the spa I feel like I’m a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of London. Each and every one of the treatments at the House of Elemis are absolutely wonderful, but by far my favourite thing to get when I’m there is a full body massage. The massage itself is nothing short of incredible, but what makes it super duper special is the fact that during the massage you lay on a bed of quartz and amber! It’s hard to describe exactly what laying on that bed feels like, but believe me when I say that it feels AMAZING. The amber and quarts is heated so it envelopes your body in a wonderful warmth and makes you feel like the definition of zen. This treatment is super unique so I urge you to give it a go and try it for yourself. Whenever I leave the House of Elemis I feel like a whole new woman and that’s what makes this spa a winner in my book.
I don’t feel human unless my eyebrows are on fleek and Blink Brow Bar is my go to place whenever they need a spot of TLC. My favourite branch is in Notting Hill, but you can also find these guys in Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and John Lewis to name a few. Although my favourite thing to get at Blink Brow Bar is a brow shape they also offer loads of other treatments including eyebrow and eyelash tints and eyelash extensions. You name it, they do it! This place is my brow saviour.
The Sarah Chapman Clinic has everything that my face needs, this place is literally the best! In my opinion, Sarah Chapman does the best facial in London and I truly believe that because you can actually SEE the results as soon as you leave the clinic. Whenever I visit this place I always step out of the door with the most gorgeous looking glow. Not only that but my skin feels INCREDIBLE. Everything that they do to your face during the treatment is so hi-tech and unique that it makes the whole experience really fun and interesting, I always come out of the clinic feeling like I’ve actually learned something about my skin that I didn’t know before. Make sure you check out this place because I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed! Just make sure you book well in advance so that you don’t miss out, this place is almost always fully booked! Guess I’m not the only one that thinks the clinic is amazing!
Let's Go To The Beach!
Everyone has their happy place and ours is the beach. Last summer we rented a house on the beach for two weeks and invited loads of people to enjoy the sunshine with us. It was pure bliss, so Aslan and I decided to go back in November for some r&r after my book tour was finished. It was something both of us were looking forward to, so when the time finally came to pack our bags we were ecstatic. Speaking of packing bags, we didn’t bring much. Just some loungewear and I didn’t bring a single makeup product. Bliss!
The best part of our beach vacations is that we can bring our beautiful Greyhound Reggie! Unfortunately our holidays are usually spent without him because he can’t go on airplanes or drive too far, but since Camber Sands is about a 2 hour drive Reggie can happily rest in the back seat of the car. Dog lovers will understand that being without your dog is tough, so to be able to organise a holiday around dog walks and afternoon naps together is ideal. ZzzZz.
Reggie is keeping his eyes peeled for rabbits.
There’s nothing quite like waking up and going for a morning walk on the sand. It makes for a nice change compared to the sirens, smog and noise London greets us with. You don’t always need to get on a plane and travel around the world to have a lovely holiday. Sometimes the best memories can be made near home.
The kind of happiness we get from seeing Reggie run around like crazy is unexplainable. It’s the kind of happiness that radiates through your entire body and keeps you buzzing all day long.
I’m learning the importance of switching off. We are all so obsessed with technology and the digital world that it’s actually quite difficult to break the habit. For the first 2 days at the beach house Aslan and I always struggle to get back in touch with “reality”. It has become strange for us to leave our iPhones in a different room all day long and I see that as something I want to change. These digital detox holidays are crucial for us and I’ll be making sure to do more of it in 2017.
Where is your happy place?
To celebrate the launch of my brand new book Bloom: Navigating Life and Style I gathered all of my friends to come hang out at Libreria Bookshop in East London. It was the perfect venue because there were loads of beautiful books around us, it has a great atmosphere and a pretty cool mirrored ceiling. I’d definitely recommend checking it out if you’re ever in the area!
Anyway, I’ve been a bit of a recluse for the past year while I wrote Bloom, so it was great to see some of my friends I haven’t had a chance to catch up with for awhile. It has been such an unexplainable feeling to be so supported by my friends and family throughout this process. I can’t begin to describe how grateful I am for everyone’s support and positive feedback. Much love to anyone who has taken time out of their day to say something wonderful about Bloom.
SO WHAT IS BLOOM ABOUT?
Bloom is about growing into yourself and working out who you are – which can be really hard at times. I've looked back at all of the events, people and things in my life that have influenced and inspired me and have made me who I am today.I'm not a flawless human (nobody is) and I wanted to write something that showed highs as well as lows in my life, and how you can use that rollercoaster to help you form the life you want. I hope that my book will inspire other people to think about their Bloom stories and who they are, to not be so hard on themselves, to celebrate the good and to not be defined or limited by the bad – and to look into the future, take control of their path and make things happen.
Tea & Crumpets
When did I become British?
A few weeks ago, Aslan and I headed out one Sunday morning for a delicious snack. He was mortified when I told him that I’d never tried a crumpet before, so he was rather excited to see what I thought. Good and Proper Tea Co. has such a huge selection of different types of tea that it’s honestly difficult to choose just one. They also have these super cool tea making machines (the technical term) that were mesmerising to watch.
The space is decorated so beautifully and we spent most of our time wondering how they made it look so good! They have loads of wooden panelling, gorgeous brick and this really cool peg board style wall with various plants hanging from it. Don’t even get me started on how much I love the lights in this place!
In the end I stayed boring and went for earl grey, but it was the best damn cup of earl grey I’ve ever had! If you’re around Clerkenwell, I highly recommend checking this place out! We’ll definitely be back to get our fill of tea and crumpets.
Crumpet verdict: frickin’ delicious.
Two Nights at Limewood Hotel
A Reviving Break
The other week, Aslan and I decided to carve out some relaxation time. Both of us needed to escape from the city, but we didn’t really want to get on a plane and travel too far away. I was having daydreams of sitting in a hot tub all day, which is where Lime Wood Hotel came in. I’ve had so many recommendations from friends about this place, so we decided to pack our bags for a weekend getaway.
This is the first spa hotel I’ve ever stayed in and I now understand the attraction. All you do is eat, sleep, go in the sauna and repeat. I also got a full body massage which was glorious!
The hotel is set in the heart of the New Forest National Park which is filled with wild ponies! We took a leisurely stroll one afternoon and saw a lot of wildlife. Luckily the hotel provided wellies because it was really muddy out there.
Our room was so spacious and it really felt like our own personal getaway. There was a huge bathtub, a balcony overlooking the forest and we even had a fireplace in our room which Aslan proudly stoked.
If you’re a Londoner in need of luxurious relaxation, this is most definitely the place!
THESE ARE MY WINTER WALK ESSENTIALS!
A country walk isn't complete without them
Lancôme Hydra Zen Anti-Stress Rich Cream
Perfect for dry skin
Carmex Lip Balm
Protects lips from the bitter cold!
MV Organics Hand Rescue
One of my ultimate faves!
Super Cosy Scarf
I love this Acne number