Curly Hair: Looking After The Locks

My hair has been both my best friend and the bane of my life for as long as I can remember. In its natural state, it’s a curly, tangle-prone mess that often resembles a bird’s nest. It’s not a fan of humidity or rain and can’t be brushed when dry without exploding into a frizzy, fluffy eyesore.

We’ve been on a long and turbulent journey together, through many different lengths and styles and colours. There was an interesting “emo” phase when I was 13 (a pin-straight fringe that covered my eyes, back-combed roots and way too thin ends), blue hair one week, purple the next and an awful bleached blonde for two days (I refused to leave the house until my mum bought brown hair dye to cover it up). When I cut my hair into a bob, I was lovingly given the nickname “hat hair” after the ridiculous shape it would mould into when rain touched it.

The dyeing and burning and tugging for so many years eventually took its toll and I was left with an unhealthy, damaged head of hair by the time I started uni.

Buying hair products had always been lower priority for me than things like makeup and skincare – I didn’t want to spend £20 on a nice conditioner when I could buy a new contour palette instead! But when I realised how damaged and crap it looked, I decided it was time to get to grips with my curly barnet and figure out a way to maintain it (on a budget, if I could).

Today’s post is going to be about the products that saved my locks and restored my appreciation for my curly mess.

Kérastase

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Curly hair is typically drier than straight hair because the natural oils produced at the root don’t make it down the full length of the curl. When curly hair gets dehydrated it often goes frizzy and one of the best ways to tackle this is with masks!

I’ve tried countless masks over the years but the Kérastase Oléo-Curl Intense mask is the one I end up re-purchasing.

It smells yummy and has a gorgeous creamy texture. It’s pricier than your average pot of goo so I save this one for special occasions or when my hair is feeling particularly brittle. I try to leave it on my hair for at least five hours to get the ultimate conditioning treatment. It’s magical – even after coating my hair in dye and burning it with straighteners this mask restores moisture, shine and smoothness after just one session.

 

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This Kérastase Elixir Ultime Beautifying Oil Cream came free with a pot of the Kérastase hair mask and I fell in love immediately – I’ve got another tube waiting for me when this one runs out! It has a gorgeous clean scent and works like a leave-in conditioner. You can apply it to damp or dry hair (I prefer damp!) to it adds moisture and nourish.

This cream is meant to be particularly good for fine, sensitive hair but I’d recommend it for any hair type!

 

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The first thing you’ll notice about this amazing MoroccanOil Treatment when you unscrew the lid is its smell – ooooh I could bathe in it, it’s heavenly! When I first tried this oil though I wasn’t the biggest fan – it’s a little pricey for such a small bottle (£12.50 for 25ml) but after using it a couple of times I was quickly converted. You only need a tiny amount to cover your hair so the bottle lasts an age and it adds the most amazing shine to your locks.

 

 

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My heart broke a little when I found out that this Umberto Giannini Silky Curls Smoothing Balm was discontinued but I couldn’t resist including this dreamy product in my hair-saving collection.

I’ve been savouring this bottle for ages and am on the final dregs, but smoothing balms designed for curly hair are a product to consider if you’re looking for a cheap ‘n easy way to tame your locks.

It works a bit like the Kérastase cream but instead is only applied to dry curls to add shine and smooth down frizz. While this product isn’t available anymore, Shea Moisture and Percy & Reed also do great balms for curly hair.

 

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If you’re a straightener / curler / blow dry fanatic like me, it’s really important to keep your hair protected whenever you put heat on it.

Heat protectant sprays or shampoos help prevent the natural moisture in your hair from evaporating when heat is applied. It forms a kind of protective coating around the hair’s cuticle, stops it getting damaged and maintains its natural shine. These special formulas can also make your hair less porous and subsequently less prone to becoming frizzy when it’s humid or rainy.

While protecting your hair from heat is important, I wasn’t ready to spend more than a fiver on a spray so I scoured the Superdrug shelves and picked up this bright pink VO5 Heat Protect Spray (NGL, it was the packaging that did it for me 🙊). It does the trick perfectly – maintains shine and moisture, and makes me feel a tad less guilty about giving my hair a heat-beating every day.


I hope my curly-haired pals enjoyed this post, and maybe discovered a new product or two to try!

Love,

skitch

2018: What now?

🎉 HAPPY NEW YEAR WONDERFUL WORLDIES! 🎉

I’m writing this post from the comfort of my duvet cocoon on the first morning of 2018, surrounded by jugs of water to detox from the sour wine we drank last night and many packets of crisps we ate afterwards.

Me and the boyf spent the first moments of the new year on top of Primrose Hill in North London, in front of the most stunning view of the city. The annual fireworks displays around the London Eye and along the Thames were mere sparks in the distance but it was a magical atmosphere and a night I won’t forget in a hurry.

I normally spend New Year’s Day in pyjamas in front of movies surrounded by yummy treats (starting the year with a salad has never been my thing…) and today will be nothing different ☺️

I love setting New Year’s Resolutions and normally spend the end of December and first day of the new year refining and writing them up. This year I’ve been a tad slack though and am still reflecting on the past year and thinking about what I want to achieve over the next 12 months.

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Nonetheless, I’m going to talk about some of the resolutions and goals I know I want to resolve or accomplish in 2018, with the hope that publicly announcing them on my blog will make me more motivated to achieve them! 😂

I can imagine that most of us who make resolutions will have their own personal, private ones they like to keep under wraps so this post will be dedicated to the more generic (perhaps slightly more superficial) little things I want to do this year!

 

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My skin has been the source of massive insecurities for the past six months so 2018 is going to have a focus on detoxing, inside and out. Whether it’s filling up on superfoods, monthly facials / dermaplaning / dermabrasion sessions, or investing in an effective luxury skincare product or two – I’m determined to get my skin bothers under wraps this year.

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It’s natural to grow out of interests with age, but creative activities like painting and photographing and writing and designing, even makeup and baking and sewing up clothes, have always been a massive part of my life. 2017 was definitely the year for excuses though – “I’m too tired to get all the paints out“, “I’m not creative or clever or imaginative enough to think of cool new designs for the blog“, “I just can’t be arsed“.

IMG_4536.jpgBut this year, I’m shutting them down! I know that when I let my creative side shine I’m a happier and more chilled person, and that’s all I can really want for this new year.

 

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I’m guilty of eating almost every meal in front of a movie or TV programme, whilst reading a book or typing away on my phone. It often means I get to the end of a plate of food without realising I’ve even eaten it or feeling particularly full.  Mindful eating has its roots in Buddhist teachings – something I also want to learn more about this year – and aims to reconnect us with the experience of eating. The goal is to listen to our body’s physical cues, for example distinguishing between feeling hungry and feeling emotional. It’s also about focusing more on foods’ texture, taste and aroma. Mindful eating is thought to help you build a healthier and more positive relationship with food and your body too!

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I’ve already mentioned that a major skin detox is in the plan for 2018, but I also want to have a good clean-out of other areas of my life. The main focus will be on materials – I’m planning to donate / sell / chuck a lot of the junk that I’ve acquired over the years. While it can be sad to get rid of things that hold sentimental value, detoxing also feels massively liberating and it’s so much nicer to spend time in an environment that isn’t bursting with things I don’t need or use anymore.

 

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Apart from a phase during my late teens, I’ve never been a big fan of exercise or working out.

For six/seven months during sixth form I was working out every other day – doing Zumba in my room, using my brother’s weights, jogging in the evenings – but I gained muscle on my legs, someone said I looked fat and I used this as a reason to stop.

I then got diagnosed with a heart condition about a year ago and used this as another excuse not to work out or do anything active. I spent most of the summer in 2017 making a dent in my couch, gaining weight and feeling more and more gross every day. I noticed every little cardiac symptom and dwelled on the fear that it was going to get worse.

But then I got a job and was forced to walk to and from the station every day, run up and down tube escalators and dart my way through the rush-hour crowds from platform to platform. Suddenly my heart symptoms started getting better – I wasn’t swaying from dizziness or struggling to breathe or worrying about my heart going mad half as much as usual! I definitely put this down to getting off my arse and giving my body the activity it deserved and needed. Even just an hour of walking each day has helped, so what magic might a half-hour workout on top of that do?!? ☺️

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I want to ignite a love (or at least a ‘like’) for working out and moving my body and then hopefully other areas of my life, like my skin, weight and mood, will feel the effects too.


These five goals are amongst others that I want to, and am excited to, achieve over the next 365 days. I hope you all had a wonderful start to 2018 – I’d love to hear about your resolutions and goals for the next year!

Love,

skitch

Self-Care Sundays

Hiya lovelies 👋

Can you believe we’re only four weeks away from Christmas?! This final quarter of the year has flown by so quickly; Xmas 2016 still only feels like a couple of months ago! 

The weather has become (a lot) chillier, so I’ve been transitioning from denim skirts and Bardot tops to layers (and layers, and layers…) of jumpers and long-sleeved tees and thick socks. The gloves and scarves have come out of hiding, and now it’s out of the question to leave the house without the thickest coat I can find! 🙅 

The past few weeks have been a bit busier and more tiring than usual, so I was looking forward to spending some time with the doggo, catching up on lost sleep (daytime naps FTW) and doing some blogging.

Now that weekdays are taken up by that employment jazz and week-evenings are spent eating / netflix-bingeing / sleeping, my dedicated pamper time has had to be confined to a couple of hours on Sunday afternoons.

As a natural introvert I love spending time alone each day to reconnect and rebalance. Today’s post is going to be about the routines and habits I’m trying to practice every week with the aim of boosting those happy vibes and reducing any anxieties or stresses that have followed me into the weekend.

 

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Candles and fairy lights ain’t just for romantic evenings with your boyf/girlf, and treating yourself well is just as important as treating others well. Don’t save candle-lit rooms and boxes of chocolates just for loved ones – you deserve a night of pampering too. 

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If my stress levels are particularly haywire, I’ll add a couple of drops of essential oils to the bath water, play soft acoustic tunes and just float for half an hour or so. During my work experience at a mental health clinic I learnt about the power of grounding and how effective scents are at rebalancing emotions. Lavender can be particularly good – hopefully a blog post will be up about this soon! ☺️

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I used to be a terrible hoarder – I’d keep every magazine, every pair of ripped tights, every broken picture frame and crinkled photo. My room usually looked like the aftermath of a hurricane.

I’ve worked hard to break that crappy habit and nowadays prefer a much more minimalist lifestyle (oh, how vogue). Clean surfaces, colour-coordinated bookcases, walls reserved for pop-art canvases rather than ripped-out zine pages… *drool*

A tidy space means a tidy mind

A tidy space = a tidy mind

There’s something so satisfying about a clean, ordered bedroom, made even more special with a bunch of fresh flowers and burning incense.

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Whether it be creating blog content for work or scribbling in a journal, I looove writing and have done for as long as I can remember. I’ve kept diaries since I was about 10 years old – the early books are hilarious(ly embarassing) – and I’ve always used journalling as a form of ‘soft therapy’ when life gets stressful.

If my brain can’t switch off and I feel a little wired, getting all the thoughts jotted down on pages of a notebook can feel like a relief.

It’s fun to read back on times that made you happy, or when things were tough and you came out at the other end having learnt how to deal with a new type of situation.

Writing gratitude lists are also great for times when you feel a little lost or empty. Reminding yourself of all the lovely things around you, which you might not always see or take much notice of, can give you a new perspective and lease on life.

 

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While I might be a lazy gal at heart and have zero desire to ever join a gym or dedicate time to strenuous exercise nowadays, I’m learning to love a good walk.

As well as long dog walks across the countryside every weekend, I’m starting to enjoy the short journeys to and from the tube station each morning and evening, and trying to make the most of my lunch breaks by taking mini tours of the area.

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The music I listen to as I ramble around can really influence the mood I will be in afterwards. Sometimes there are days when you just need to wallow in your bad mood with those sloooowww saaaadddd songs. Other days, a couple of fast-beat motivational tunes are all I need to get me going for a workday or a night out. Choose the right playlist and you can feel like you’re in a movie – I looove that weird feeling of detachment from reality.

 

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Just like sounds / smells / images / etc. can trigger crummy thoughts or memories, they can trigger happy ones too! Dedicating time to figuring out what those things are is important – the things to perhaps avoid, and the things to have around you in your space to keep you feeling sweeeet.

Simply seeing a candle flickering on my desk when I’m working on something a bit tedious at home makes me feel more at ease. The sound of crunching leaves under my feet when I’m walking the pup. The smell of a perfume that reminds me of someone I love. Putting on a warm sweater that’s fresh off the radiator.

Holding onto the little things that trigger those lovely feelings of warmth and/or nostalgia helps bad moods and stress pass quicker. 

 

So, when you’re next feeling rough or run-down, try running the bath, surrounding yourself with things that make you smile, taking a walk and jotting down any funny or annoying thoughts that are whirring around in your head. Establish a pampering routine to engage in at least once a week that helps lift you out of negative moods and return you to your happy place✨.

Love,

skitch

October Favourites

I think it’s really important to reflect on what you’re grateful for and to express this gratitude on a regular basis. This could be by writing down a list of things that you’re appreciative of, meditating on it when you’ve got a few spare moments in the evening, or simply thanking someone for being a beautiful presence in your life!

I’ve tried to make “gratitude journalling” a habit and it’s slowly been changing my mindset – everything is precious and easily lost; it’s so important to appreciate what you have when you have it.

Life becomes that bit more magical when you reflect on how lucky you are to have the simple things – people that love you, a roof over your head, food on the table. Beyond these essentials are the materialistic luxuries – lots of outfits one can pick from in the morning, a camera-donning 4G smartphone, or maybe a velvety chocolate cake that waits for you after dinner.

This post is dedicated to those materialistic luxuries – the things we don’t need, but can love immensely all the same! Society puts so much emphasis on the importance of valuing relationships and experiences over materialistic things, but I don’t think it’s bad to admit how happy certain objects can make you feel. It’s all about balance! 

This October I’ve been creating a little collection of the fashion / beauty / lifestyle-related bits ‘n bobs that I’ve been particularly loving & appreciating over the past 4 weeks – read on to find out what and where! 🍁🎃🍂

 

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RAPID Chunky Ankle Boots by ASOS

I love a chunky boot – they can toughen-up a girly floral dress, or complement skinny black jeans and a bomber jacket.

I had been on the hunt for some not-too-clumpy black boots for months before I came across this pair from ASOS at the start of summer. At just £30, I had to have ‘em!

These booties are well-made and easy to incorporate into almost any outfit. They’re going to be perfect when the autumn weather gets chillier and the regular rainfalls return.

The side zip adds detail and a touch of colour; I love pairing these boots with an all-black outfit and silver accessories.

Short Skirt by H&M

IMG_3140.jpgThere seems to be a black-and-silver theme emerging here 😂

This faux suede black zip skirt from H&M is really versatile and comfortable – I’ve been incorporating it into so many outfits this month!

It’s usually pretty difficult for me to find skirts that fit properly around my waist and my thighs, but this mini has a great A-line cut and fits well.

I like pairing this skirt with big cosy jumpers or an oversized graphic tee tucked in.

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Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Daily Solution by The Body Shop

Tea tree oil is an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, making it a great ingredient to use in acne-combatting skincare products or for treating minor infections.

One of the most appealing uses of tea tree oil for me is its ability to dry up and get rid of spots. While The Body Shop also sell a more concentrated tea tree oil dipper that you put directly onto spots, their Anti-Imperfection Daily Solution can be applied to the whole face – you only need a couple of drops so this decently-sized bottle will last ages.

This solution has been a great addition to my skincare routine; I apply it all over my face and neck every night after cleansing my skin with Garnier Micellar Water. I then finish off with lots of moisturiser – recently I’ve been reaching for this one from La Roche-Posay.

Make-Up Cover by Dermacol

I’ve had Dermacol on my radar for a couple of years now, but have always hesitated about purchasing their products. The brand markets their makeup to the stage and theatre industry, which to me means that it’s probably heavier and more dramatic than your average everyday cosmetics. But after trying out one of their foundations, I regret hesitating for so long…

After another acne flare-up, and with the first day at my new job looming, I purchased Dermacol’s high-coverage Make-Up Cover foundation in the hopes that it would hide the redness around my spots and make my skin look less blotchy.

To my amazement, it did this and more – it evened out my complexion, made the pores on my nose look smaller and even gave me a subtle glow.

This foundation is infamous for being pretty thick but I didn’t find it any more so than the Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation. It didn’t leave my skin feeling sticky or heavy, and it lasted for the majority of the day without reapplication.

I’m now really keen to try out some more of Dermacol’s products!

Hoola Lite by Benefit Cosmetics

I have naturally very pale skin – whenever I’m picking out a powder or foundation, I know to go straight to the lightest shade to find my colour! Finding a contour or bronzer than doesn’t look orange or muddy can be a struggle – drugstore brands often don’t cater well to the palest / darkest skin tones.

Last summer I purchased a mini version of the Benefit Cosmetics Hoola bronzer but was worried it would be too dark on my washed-out complexion – and I was right. I loved the texture and wear of the product but it was definitely too orange. I felt really bummed about the lack of other shades.

So, when Benefit came out with Hoola Lite earlier this year I ran to the nearest Boots counter in the first week of its launch to test it out, and I wasn’t disappointed.

This shade is perfect, with cool undertones that complement my skin colour and freckles. It can be used as a contour colour or an all-over bronzer to get that sun-kissed glow. It lasts for hours before the need to reapply and smells beautiful.

It’s also very pigmented; you only need to tap your brush into it to pick up lots product so it will last ages.

 

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These three wonderful little books have been on my bedside table for months – and not because I haven’t gotten round to picking them up but because I keep reading them over and over!

If you’re looking for some inspiration, The Art of Creative Thinking by Rod Judkins will get your cogs whirring and ignite your creative flame again.

The Yellow World by Albert Espinosa is beautiful and thought-provoking. Diagnosed with cancer at the age of 14 and losing his leg, a lung and a section of his liver over the course of his ten-year battle with the disease, Albert creates the Yellow World. This world is based on a number of discoveries that are revealed across the pages of his book – inspirational and amusing lessons that can help us reconnect with reality and cope with our ever-changing world. I highly, highly recommend.

The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down is written by ‘mega-monk’ Haemin Sunim. It’s full of inspiring advice, life stories, anecdotes and beautiful illustrations. It’s an easy book to read, and perfect to pick up when you’re in need of a pick-me-up.

Despite living in London my whole life, I’ve only managed to visit Notting Hill a handful of times. This weekend, I journeyed to North West London with one of my lovely pals from uni for a candy-coloured adventure.

Notting Hill is perhaps best known for Portobello Market – a haven of stalls selling cool vintage items that you never knew you needed, food from around the world, and clothes with a sentimental history. It’s also gained a reputation for being home to many beautifully coloured houses. Pink and blue and mint green and yellow houses are dotted along streets all over the area – it’s an Instagrammer’s heaven 😍

I hope you liked delving into my little collection of October favourites – I’d love to hear about what you’ve been enjoying this month too!

Love,

skitch

Three Beauty Trends I’ve Fallen For This Autumn

Who knew a full-time job would be so time-consuming? 🤷‍♀️😂

Before I officially began post-graduation employment life I thought it was going to be easy to come home from a day at the office and spend the evening blogging and shooting. Unsurprisingly though, my free time has mostly been spent on the sofa surrounded by snacks, intermittently eating and napping.

Although the rush-hour commute is a bore and the 7am alarm can feel a bit painful after a late night movie, the job itself has been a whirlwind of excitement. I’m being introduced to a brand new career and getting trained in skills I never knew existed; I’m lovin’ it ❤️

Enough work-talk though; today’s post is going to be about another little love of mine. A couple of weeks ago I talked about my favourite autumn knitwear trends, and this post will run along the same lines but instead about the beauty crazes that have caught my eye this season.

For me, the perfect autumnal palette consists of rich red and mustard hues, soft browns, various shades of beige and metallic bronze. During the autumn months I want the colours of the changing leaves to be painted in makeup onto my face; nature is the fundamental source of beauty, so why not take inspiration from it each season? For the next few months I’ll be avoiding sharp lines and bright colours (not that I’m ever really one to sport a blue eyeshadow though…!), and embracing bitten lips, glowing skin and rosy “been-in-the-cold-for-too-long” cheeks.

 

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I’ve never really been one to favour a bright lip over a striking eyeshadow look. When I’m getting ready for an event or night out, I always warm towards a smokey and dramatic dark eye, complete with sharp liner & enormous lashes. My confidence tends to dip whenever I wear a bold lip colour because there are so many things to worry about – is it on my teeth? Has it smeared all over the rest of my face? Did I just get some on that person’s shoulder when I hugged them??  This lipstick anxiety usually results in me avoiding those stunning hot red or pretty pink colours.

But, autumn always feels like the start of a new chapter. I have always associated it with the beginning of a new academic year (a milestone more anxiety-inducing for me than January 1st! 😂) and I guess I’m still stuck in that conditioned mindset of something new starting around September/October-time. This sense of starting afresh is often accompanied by the desire to be a lil bit daring and get out of my comfort zone.

My mild version of “getting out of my comfort zone” this season is going to involve deep red lipstick. Enough of simply admiring those who have the confidence to wear a beautiful lip colour (and envying their perfect application skills!) – this season I’ll be joining them in sporting those gorgeous red-berry shades (at least, I’ll try to on weekends 😜). While matte lips were all the rage this spring and summer, autumn calls for contrasting high-shine glossy looks.

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My favourite red wine lip colour is the MAC Matte Lipstick in Diva, with a slick of No7 High Shine Translucent Lipgloss over the top. I line my lips with Max Factor Colour Elixir Universal Lip Liner before applying and it stays put for hours. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the MAC Diva, and prefer liquid lipsticks over solid ones, the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen is a pretty great colour match (if perhaps a tad darker).

 

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Rosy red cheeks bring back childhood memories of hours spent playing in the forest after school. We would make dens within the trees and build ‘bonfires’ out of leaves, and once the sun set and the air got cold we would run home to our cosy houses and mama’s warm hugs. I’ve always loved the sensation of burning cheeks when you come into a hot room from wintery weather outside. To me, that beetroot-coloured glow breathes life and energy, and I embrace any opportunity to recreate such a look without having to do the actual running-around part 😂

Rosy pink is the colour of choice this season (for eyes, as well as cheeks). The blush that I have repeatedly been reaching for is the No7 Match Made Powder Blusher in Peach Velvet, and the Real Techniques Blush Brush is perfect for applying it with.

 

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On the spectrum of cake-face foundation to barely-there BB cream, I can land on both ends. For the right occasion I will embrace a high-coverage foundation to create the illusion of “flawless” and matte skin. During general day-to-day activities, I’ll warm towards a lighter BB cream to even out my skin tone and add a natural glow; I’ll just dab some concealer onto blemished areas.

This autumn, the “no-makeup” makeup trend returns once again. While in previous seasons there was a focus on bare skin and soft brows, AW17 puts more emphasis on those finishing touches – wispy lashes, perfectly groomed brows (touched up with powder, if needed, and held in place with some brow gel), a touch of pearly highlighter or pale gold on eyelids, and a sleek hairstyle to accompany.

To keep my skin looking bright and glowing, without an oily effect, I use the Topshop Glow Prime & Finish underneath a light/medium-coverage foundation. For a subtle highlight you can also dab it along cheekbones, cupids bow and the bridge of your nose.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the beauty trends I’ve fallen for this autumn (get it? Fallen? Fall? Autumn? Yah, punny). I’d love to hear about the makeup fads you’re enjoying too!

Love,

skitch

REVIEW: Ultimate Skin Spa Facial Cleansing System by Vanity Planet

Last month I was invited by the lovely people at Vanity Planet to join their Brand Ambassador programme, and along with this came the opportunity to sample some of their amazing products!

I only had to wait a couple of days until my first item arrived in the mail – the Ultimate Skin Spa – Facial Cleansing System. This post will be my unbiased review of this product after having tested it out for a couple of weeks.

Vanity Planet Ultimate Skin Spa Facial Cleansing System

Cleansing facial brushes have been around for years, promising a deeper clean and improved complexion in comparison to standard “motor-less” methods. Soft-bristled brush heads are attached to a battery-powered machine and once turned on, the brush moves in a repetitive motion (either side-to-side, or in circular patterns) over your skin. This motion is designed to remove the dirt and grime that collect in your pores (pollution, makeup residue, sweat, etc.). The brushes simultaneously exfoliate your skin, removing the surface layer of dead skin cells, and leaving a glowing and more even complexion.

The Vanity Planet Ultimate Skin Spa came with a set of three brushes – a Daily Cleansing brush, an Exfoliating brush and a Silicone brush that’s particularly good for sensitive skin (like mine!). All you need to do is squirt a bit of cleanser on top of the brush and buff buff buff ya face.

Vanity Planet Ultimate Skin Spa Facial Cleansing System

The device can rotate at two speeds – the lowest speed is perfect for using with the Daily Cleansing brush before bed when you’re getting rid of any excess makeup or grime. The highest speed is great to use with the Exfoliating brush to create a deeper clean and improve your complexion.

The Silicone Facial brush has got to be my favourite though. At first appearance, it looks slightly intimidating – it consists of a collection of sharp-looking spikes stuck to a wide plastic plate. However when it touches your skin you realise how gentle and soft these so-called ‘spikes’ actually are. When it is rotating at a low speed against your face it feels like a tingly massage – heavenly! Rather than scrubbing or buffing like the other two brushes, the Silicone brush is designed to have a more gentle cleansing and massaging effect.

Vanity Planet Ultimate Skin Spa Facial Cleansing System

My fave things about the Vanity Planet Ultimate Skin Spa?

  • It exfoliates, buffs and cleanses – what better all-in-one tool could you want for your skincare routine?
  • My skin feels softer, cleaner and not taut after use – I often find that using cleansing products/tools can make my skin feel stiff and tight afterwards, but not with this one!
  • It’s thought that these motorised cleansing brushes can be particularly beneficial for those with acne! It’s too early for me to conclude that it has/hasn’t helped with my own acne but I’m keen to see how long-term use might improve the overall quality of my skin.
  • The Silicone brush really does feel amazing.
  • Vanity Planet is a completely CRUELTY-FREE company!

What isn’t so good about it?

  • It requires a bit more effort and time compared to your average rub-ya-face-with-soap routine, although I’d say those extra few minutes are worth it to get a deeper clean.
  • Those with particularly sensitive skin should be more wary of cleansing brushes in general – I have sensitive and red-prone skin, so I take care not to put too much pressure on the brush on my face or buff too vigorously. As recommended by Vanity Planet (for all skin types), I only use the Exfoliating brush once per week.
  • The set doesn’t include batteries.

My overall opinion of the Ultimate Skin Spa is really positive, and I’m excited to see how it benefits my skin further the longer that I use it for.

Click here if you want to go straight to the product on the Vanity Planet website to find out a bit more, and have a lil browse at the other gorgeous health, beauty and wellness items they sell while you’re there!

Love,

skitch

The It-Knits (A/W 17)

“Fall has always been my favourite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” ~ Lauren DeStefano

By the beginning of October, trees have started to turn magical shades of pink and orange and red, leaves seem to find their way into the house every time you open the door, and that “new season” feeling has truly set in. Autumn is my favourite time of the year – finally I’ve got an excuse to snuggle up in big chunky sweaters 24/7 and spend my evenings sipping cocoa in front of the fire. I can pop to the shops in an oversized jumper dress, unbeknownst to others that I’ve got pyjamas on underneath that I haven’t bothered to change out of. I can use “it’s too cold” as an excuse not to leave my cosy house, and most importantly, I can invest in some new autumn outfits!

It’s not rare to find knitwear in the Autumn/Winter trend charts, but in 2017 there is a strong focus on textures. Cable knits, feathers and fur – sweaters this season are going to be adorned with all manner of materials and patterns. While I’ve not yet jumped on the feathered-sweater bandwagon, and that furry Zara jumper will be sitting on my wish list until I get a pay cheque, I’m so excited to have another excuse to fill up my closet with some more fluffy and velvety items.

In this post, I’ll be talking about some of the knitwear – new and old – that I’ll be wearing for the rest of the season (or year, tbh).

 

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This cropped striped sweater was purchased from H&M years ago, but there are lots of similar pieces on the market at the moment such as these at Forever 21 and New Look. It combines two popular trends – the monochrome striped pattern that has plastered the catwalks for the majority of this year; and the cropped style, perfect for pairing with high-waisted miniskirts or jeans, or over a flowing dress. I’m embracing texture in this outfit and pairing this crop with a beautiful lace midi-skirt (originally from an M&S sale rack, similar can be found at Missguided and Very.co.uk), a big silver chain necklace (Missguided have a gold version) and some chunky white heels (Boohoo; similar here).

 

skitchAvenir Stripe collage (FIRST ONE!)

You can find similar knitted turtleneck jumpers at ASOS and Missguided.

 

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As might be evident from the name of my blog, I’ve got a weakness for anything velvet – whenever I’m adorning any soft bits of clothing, you’ll find me unconsciously stroking it throughout the day 😂. I own very few pieces of beige-coloured clothing but I fell in love with this Chenille jumper from Stradivarius as soon as I saw it on its hanger. Its beautiful texture adds detail to an otherwise plain piece, and I love the contrast of the light nude on darker colours. I’m a big fan of neutral palettes, so I’ve paired it with a really simple grey A-line skirt and black boots; the cute “bunting” necklace adds a nice pop of colour though. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, Tesco sell almost identical ones in three colours, and River Island have got a cardigan version!

 

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This gorgeous mustard yellow is going to be my staple colour this season. It’s bright and it’s bold – something I often shy away from when I’m constructing my outfits each day, but this cosy knit from Primark adds a much-needed burst of colour into my otherwise dark wardrobe. The sleeves on this piece are wider than average – I love how they look when they’re rolled up – and the neckline is almost polo-style. I’ll be wearing this sweater with black skinny jeans, a pair of chunky boots and an oversized scarf when the weather starts getting cooler. Primark don’t have this piece on their website, but similar-ish versions can be found at Missy Empire and New Look.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my (slightly unhealthy) affection for jumpers, and perhaps feel a tad more inspired to fill your own closet with knitwear and cosy clothing for this new beautiful season.

Love,

skitch

It’s About Time…

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetEvery year, for the past six-or-so years, “start a blog” has been written amongst the tens of other goals on my New Year’s resolutions lists. Until now I’ve not had the time or balls to publish a website with my name and face attached to it; I’ve questioned my ability to create content that’s worth reading, and whether I’m imaginative enough to regularly write interesting posts about new topics!

This summer I have tried to dedicate time to reigniting my passion for writing, photography and art, things that I used to love doing until I let my psychology degree take over most of the space in my brain. It has been such a relaxing and invigorating few months – I’ve managed to pick up books (that weren’t textbooks!) for the first time in years and actually get to the end of them; I’ve taken so many photos and reminded myself of why I loved photography in the first place; I’ve explored new areas of my city; I’ve painted and drawn and collaged; and most importantly, I’ve moved further down the path of understanding what truly makes my heart flutter (yay for tachycardia!).

My 3-year university degree came to an end in June and at the time, I don’t think I had ever felt more lost or unsure of what to do next! But after settling back in at home with my family and finding myself with lots of spare time (funemployment for ya…), my old creative interests started to return – suddenly I wanted to write & paint and photograph beautiful things and listen to inspirational podcasts and style outfits again! So I picked up my paintbrush, unclipped my camera lens, invested in some new clothes and created a blog.

Joie de Velvet will likely be a reflection of the weird and wonderful things that fill up my brain; a mixture of fashion, photography, beauty & travel, maybe with a little bit of psychology thrown in now and again. I really hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I will enjoy writing it.

Love,

skitch