UK Fashion, Lifestyle and Travel.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Valentine's Day: Embellishing The Scene

Valentine's Day Pretty Drink PresentationWith Valentine's Day fast approaching, I've been thinking about ways to celebrate the occasion.  More to the point, I've been thinking about ways to celebrate the occasion regardless of your relationship status!  Whether February 14th is spent with a partner, on your own, or with a group of friends, if you're planning a night in, something that's guaranteed to go down well is an array of sweet treats!  So, you've baked the main attraction and now you're looking to embellish the scene - what do you reach for?
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Saturday, 28 January 2017

Dermalogica #MyFaceMyStory: Face Mapping Skin Analysis

UK blog review flatlay of Dermalogica productsA couple of weeks ago, I had a Face Mapping Skin Analysis with Dermalogica.  The skin analysis provided an insight into the 'past and present' of my skin and a few days later I received a targeted skincare regime based on the results to ensure a brighter (literally) future for my skin.  It's been a fascinating process, both learning more about my skin (probably the only time I'll be okay about receiving a list of my skin's flaws!) and becoming acquainted with my new Dermalogica skincare regime.  So, after a week or two, what do I think?
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant blog review

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Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel c/o - One word, clean.  It feels as though I'm truly taking care of my skin when I use this (soap-free) gel cleanser.  This was recommended by Dermalogica through my Face Mapping experience to give my chin the best chance to fight hormonal breakouts.  So far, so good!

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Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant c/o - Hands down my favourite of the bunch, and I'd even go so far as to say one of my all-time favourite beauty discoveries (and not just because the powder-to-foam process is strangely satisfying).  Having read countless positive reviews, I was super excited to find it was recommended for me in a bid to reduce congestion across my face.  It's been a case of too much moisturiser and not enough exfoliating.  From the very first use my skin has been softer - and YES I've been making everyone stroke my face to show off the results.  Goodbye bumps either side of the nose!

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Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque c/o - Hmm, although my skin isn't super sensitive, it's also nowhere near tough enough to deal with this product.  Sadly, this wasn't a good fit for my skin and left my forehead and chin feeling uncomfortable.  I would definitely suggest trying a sample of this product to test it out on your skin before purchasing  

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Dermalogica Total Eye Care spf15 c/o - The most interesting discovery through my Face Mapping Skin Analysis, was finding out my eyes were dehydrated which had resulted in dark circles and unnecessary fine lines.  Since using Dermalogica's Total Eye Care, the skin underneath my eyes has undoubtedly become more comfortable and fine lines have reduced significantly.  There's been a small improvement with regard to dark circles, though combined with increasing my water intake, I'm hoping a clearer result will perhaps reveal itself in a few weeks from now.  I really, really wish I had known about this product before now - it's done so much for my eyes in such little time!

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Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque

If you try one - Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

If you skip one - Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque

Dermalogica Total Eye CreamLong story short, I'm smitten!  The Daily Microfoliant feels like a miracle product and I'm relieved to finally have an eye cream in my skincare regime that performs so well.  Let me know in the comments below whether you're familiar with this brand, and if so, do you have a favourite product?

With love,

Gabrielle x

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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Walking: Easy, Free and Vitamin D

All black fitnesswear mesh topAs much as I encourage pushing your limits when it comes to working out, I'm well aware winter (especially January) is a poor time to be talking about how much I love running and how great it is to try new sports/classes (I'll save that for next month!). Earlier this month I included walking within a list of 10 Ways To Lift Your Mood In January, and was so pleased to see how many people also found the simple act of heading out for a walk to be a total mood-booster.  Considering everything that winter throws at us (fewer hours of daylight, nasty colds and the general desire to hibernate 24/7), I started thinking about how walking is totally underrated.
Southbeach activewear mesh jacket
UK fitness blogger benefits of walking
Black activewear mesh jacket by South Beach

Sunglasses - Vera Wang

Jacket - South Beach Mesh Hoody at ASOS

Leggings - Kyodan

Trainers - Nike Revolution 3 Running c/o Brantano

Sunshine through the trees in a wood
Vera Wang black reflective sunglasses
Nike Women's Purple Revolution Trainers
UK fashion blog black mesh activewearPersonally, I tend to attach walks to the end of runs, or just to get from A to B.  But somewhere in the middle lies the perfect pace ready to be unlocked, and one that helps our minds, bodies and souls.  It's one that sees us explore new locations, get your fix of Vitamin D from the sun (here's hoping!), gives us 'thinking time' and helps our bodies in the meantime.  Oh, and it's a pretty good opportunity to listen to all the new music you've just downloaded as well!     
UK fitness blog reasons to walk this winter
Nike Revolution purple women's trainers
Long blonde hair from the back in the woodsLike I said, walks can help you discover some gorgeous places - on this occasion with a friend, we came across a gorgeous patch of woodland filled with trees bending in all directions (kind of reminded me of a scene set in the woods from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire!).  Anyway, I'd love to hear how you feel about walking during the winter months?

With love,

Gabrielle x

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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Royal Windsor In Winter

Windsor Castle at winterSome places suit particular seasons, and others have a charm that lasts all year round - Royal Windsor is definitely one of those places.  It's a town that moves with the seasons; plenty of flowers in Spring, streams of tourists with ice creams in Summer and trails of orange leaves along The Long Walk in Autumn.  So, that just leaves Winter, though I'm finding it difficult to put into words how special the crisp air of Royal Borough of Windsor is at this time of year.  Here's hoping my photos can do most of the talking!  Read on for some tips on how best to spend a chilly day in the famous town during winter...
Windsor Castle black and gold gates
Windsor Castle in winter on a sunny day
White horses outside Windsor CastleIf you're visiting Windsor for the first time, your trip isn't complete without exploring Windsor Castle (a residence of the British Royal Family).  It still remains one of my favourite castles in the UK, thanks to the impressive rooms, Foot Guards and general ambience - you're surrounded by tourists from all over the world.  Plus, the gift shop stocks delicious boxes of fudge and I'm not sure what could be better than that.  Once you've finished admiring various rooms, The Long Walk can be found just around the corner from Windsor Castle's entrance (though still in plain sight, leading up to the castle).  The beautiful stretch is lined with trees and sees you encounter plenty of dog-walkers and joggers along the way.  Oh and if you fancy burning off the box of fudge and happen to walk far enough, you'll come across the Deer Park!
Windsor The Long Walk at winter
Small fountains in Windsor
Styling a leather jacket in winter
Things to do in Windsor travel diaryAlthough the town is packed full with hundreds of dining options, there's a particularly good selection of cafés and restaurants (ideal for snacks) within the Windsor Royal Station.  No longer an active station (there's one behind it though!), it's now an entirely unique home to plenty of shops and eating destinations - including the Cinnamon Café, perfect for generous-sized cakes. Côte Brasserie with a river-view is a five minute walk from the castle and across a small bridge.  Alternatively, directly opposite Windsor Castle is the Duchess of Cambridge, a pub that has a rather nice atmosphere during the day (head to the very back, it's lighter and calmer) and serves delicious hearty meals.  Also opposite the castle is the Windsor Macdonald Hotel, an ideal location for a modern afternoon tea.
Windsor converted station architecture
Converted station ceiling in Windsor
Luxurious white houses in Windsor
Accessible by train in just under an hour from London, the town is ideal for slotting into a long British break as a day trip. Personally, whenever visiting I tend to book a play in advance at the Theatre Royal Windsor; complete with beautiful traditional interiors, the plays range from classics to first productions of new work and some of which transfer to the West End.  My recommendation?  Book a murder mystery play - they're nearly always brilliant!  Another suggestion would be to explore the town via the sightseeing open-top bus in Summer, or snuggle under a blanket for a Horse & Carriage ride.
A Winter afternoon in Royal Windsor
The famous Long Walk in Royal Windsor
These gorgeous Donna Ida Liv Jeans (for Jaeger) are now on sale!
I'd love to hear whether you've visited Royal Windsor before?  And if so, how did you spend your time there?

With love,

Gabrielle x
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Thursday, 19 January 2017

Styling A Statement Bag: All Black

All black styling a statement bag in winterMany of us share the sentiment of loving neutral looks, but how do you feel about all-black outfits?  Personally, I adore them! Both by day and night, they look strong and yet elegant.  Lately, I've been applying this very same, unusual combination of 'strength meeting elegance' to accessories; going from ear cuffs to metal bangles and from dangerously high heels to statement bags.  Just as the spikes on my Valentino winter purchase saw my heart race, the heavy embellishment on this mini box bag has really caught my attention!
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Monday, 16 January 2017

10 Ways To Lift Your Mood In January

Stylish desk setup with chrome lanternDon't worry, you're not the only one who's noticed I enjoy making lists!  The thing is, it's partly out of habit (having done so for years) and partly because I find creating them therapeutic.  We all have our familiar habits and creature comforts, though it's at this time of year they really prove to be worth their weight in gold.  Whether it's immersing yourself in a new box set, slipping into fleece loungewear or simply treating yourself more kindly, January is the month to pull out all the stops and show yourself some love!  With this in mind, and the fact today has become known as 'Blue Monday', I've put together 10 possible ways to lift your mood this month...
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Thursday, 12 January 2017

International Giveaway: Passionata Brooklyn Plunge Bra Set

Passionata Brooklyn Plunge black bra setRewind to last November and I was solving a wardrobe dilemma by Taking The Plunge With Passionata.  Since then, the Brooklyn Plunge black bra has been a total game changer for me when it comes to styling, so much in fact that the nude version is now sitting prettily on my shopping list!  Anyway, forget about my lingerie drawers and turn the attention to your own, because I've teamed up with Passionata to give one lucky reader the chance to win their own (super flattering and sexy) Brooklyn Plunge Bra set including matching hipster/tanga!  Better yet, the winner will have their choice from four colours: Black, Nude, Night Blue and Watermelon. Read on to enter...
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Monday, 9 January 2017

When Nothing Will Do But Neutrals

Styling a shirt jumper dress for winter Funnily enough, for years I'd thought of neutrals as pale shades such as white and cream.  Eventually, I twigged the spectrum includes a ton of other options, ranging from black to grey and from brown to (best of all) navy.  I love the colour and have been bringing it into my wardrobe whenever possible lately (check out my latest fitness look).  So, when I spotted this sweat dress with shirting hem on one of my far-too-often late night ASOS sessions, I found myself wondering how to style it with other neutrals, without drowning the pale shirting hem.  Needless to say, this is not a look for facing the elements in and rather one suited to indoor events - or uh, for exploring glasshouses...
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Friday, 6 January 2017

7 Ways To Refresh Your Blog For 2017

Ways to refresh your blog such as a redesignHmm, notice anything different around here?  My blog's been given a makeover ready for the year ahead!  It occurred to me while writing up my 5 Tips For Sticking To Your 2017 Fitness Goals, that the same level of 'rejuvenation' suits just about every area of life - especially during the month of January.  It's at this time of year we're all looking for ways to refresh certain areas, and so a few changes here and some tweaks there, and my space has been given a new lease of life for 2017!  If, like me, you love hitting the 'refresh' button where possible, read on for a few ideas on how to refresh your blog for 2017...
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Tuesday, 3 January 2017

5 Tips For Sticking To Your 2017 Fitness Goals

5 Tips for keeping to your new year fitness resolutionsI'd always thought I was in the minority by not creating New Year's resolutions, however after a bit of asking around, it seems many of us are opposed to the idea.  Instead, we set goals.  Ambitious but entirely manageable goals.  Thinking about it, goals are resolutions broken down into bitesize chunks, ready to be ticked off step-by-step throughout the year.  But anyway, regardless of whether you refer to them as 'resolutions' or 'goals', if the theme is fitness related, I might just be able to help...
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