|Image from Fishpools|
|Image from Julia Palosini|
|Image from Fishpools|
|Image from Julia Palosini|
"Take a deep breath of this diverse skyline and put your foot to the pavement. Crisp watery notes of stone and cucumber in harmony with the subtle aromas of moss and basil. Feel the gust of freshness right off the lake"
|Image from the Oak Furniture Land blog via Pinterest|
Lavender Oil & How I Use ItWhenever I write about candles, relaxation or pampering of any sort, I always mention lavender as it is the main scent that instantly relaxes and calms me. I've always loved lavender and lavender essential oils are perfect for helping me get to sleep. The way I use this oil is to dispense up to ten drops (or more if I want it to be very strong) onto a cotton pad which I place on my bedside table so I can smell it throughout the night. Every time I do this, I always have a better nights sleep and who wouldn't smelling lavender for hours! Alternatively you could apply a few drops to a tissue under your pillow or a very small amount behind you ears, temples or neck - you can also do this with peppermint oil if you have a cold!
Belt: Johnny Loves Rosie
*Crown Luxe Florence Bracken Wallpaper by Inspired Wallpaper (£19.99 per roll - Grey/Pearl)
*Lisa Blur Hi Def Foundation (£25, 20ml - C2 Warm Yellow)I chose what appeared to be one of the lightest shades on the website and it is an amazing match for my skin. The yellow undertones are fantastic for counteracting the redness in my skin caused by eczema. I have used it with a foundation buffing brush and a sponge, I prefer using a sponge as I do have dry skin. The foundation has light to medium coverage, depending on your application method and how much you use - it covers most of the redness, pores, dark circles and minor blemishes that I need covering.
*Lisa Blur Dual Powder (£17.50, C2 Warm Yellow)I've recently finished yet another Essence Fixing powder so I wanted to give a new powder a go; this powder can used as a setting powder or as a powder foundation. I use it to set my t-zone which need setting and a very small amount over the rest of my face. The powder claims medium to full coverage silky smooth application, soft finish and a formula that won't settle into fine lines.
*Lisa Blur Ultra Satin Lipstick (£11 - Right On)I have so many lipsticks that are such similar shades that any non-beauty blogger or beauty lover would think was excessive so I chose a shade that I would usually go for - a glittery deep purple! The shade can be used lightly as an almost shimmery purple stain or it can be built up for a deep, rich purple with a visible pink shimmer and shine. I think such a vibrant, colourful shade is perfect for spring especially when used lightly - it seems to make my complexion brighter!
Charging CableOk, this first one is pretty basic and it is an item that everyone with an iPhone or iPad needs - a good and reliable charging cable. I have gone through so many official apple and...*cough* not so official 'apple' charging cables and every single one breaks on me within a few months but this one feels so durable. Mine always break at the ends because of the wire twisting but this *Askborg ChargeTube with Lightening Connector (£9.99) is made of braided nylon and the ends feel really stiff so they won't twist and break. I've been using this charging cable for the past couple of weeks and it's perfect; it's one of those basic items that you just need and it works so well.
iMac/iPhoneAnother pretty basic item but both are so essential for me, my iMac which I blog and edit photos on and my iPhone where all of the social media promoting, editing and scrolling happens, far too much scrolling. My iMac is just perfect for blogging because of the massive screen, easy to use apps and it's super reliable as we've had this one for about eight or nine years.
Blog PropsThere's one aspect of blogging that I'm always trying to improve and that is my photography. I am never 100% happy with my photos, don't get me wrong some are gorgeous (if I do say so myself) but I always want to make them look better. One thing I never used in the first couple of years of blogging were props but now I always use them. My favourite blog photo props including: books, blankets, towels/fluffy jumpers, candles, fairylights and of course flowers. I like props that looks right with the products, I've seen some photos with props that look odd with the product but I think you can never go wrong with fluffy blankets, candles , fairylights or flowers.
Canon 750DCameras for blogging have been the topic of numerous blogger debates and chats and here's my view of it: you need a descent camera to get the best photos you can and also to progress, develop and work with brands, in my opinion. I can't imagine using my iPhone for my blog photos! I bought my Canon 750D last year with money I'd earned just from blogging which was a fantastic milestone for me and I now couldn't live without - it's by far the best camera I've ever used. Before I had the Sony DSc H200, the Nikon L110 and the Nikon L120, which are pretty good and I'd recommend them all but I adore my Canon 750D! Just look at my photos now compared to two years or even three years ago to see the massive difference in quality, sharpness and clarity.
NotebooksAnother basic, inexpensive and definitely essential item, notebooks and stationery! I have far too many notebooks but I do use them constantly along with memo pads and to do lists that I use to keep track of items I'm expecting in the post, tasks that I have to do and notes, blog ideas or recipes. I always have at least two notebooks/pads on the go!
StorageThe penultimate essential is one that isn't really discussed or thought of but it's so important! I use various storage boxes, drawers and crates to store blogging items - I have drawers next to my desk for general office/iMac items, stationery, blog prizes (yes, I do have a blog prize drawer) and for items that I need to post about in the next week. I also have a box filled with items I need to photograph which helps me to stay organised, especially around christmas when I'm lucky enough to receive small mountains of products and gifts. Additionally I have a canvas bag that I use for cardboard and paper recycling which is one of the many unglamorous aspects of blogging. SO. MUCH. RECYCLING.
Numbers/ExcelLast but not least, another organising tool that has been helping me organise my blogging schedule - Numbers which is the Apple/iMac version of Excel. Spreadsheets are so useful to plan out and organise blog posts; I usually plan a month or so ahead and it lets me see if I have space to post about new products or if my schedule is too full.
|Images from ukswimwear|
GeometricsA big theme is geometric and artificial patterns this year. Gottex’s new collection, for example, contains a geometric element in about half of their swimsuits and bikinis. This can be a set of stripes or spots, or something man made like a mosaic pattern. But for many designers working in 2017, it is all about creating something stunning, creative and original. That is why Gottex’s new range is an amazing line up for this trend. Erratic lines, explosive motifs and a can of cyberpunk aesthetic that takes your outfits to the next level.
Painted Natural WorldWe estimate that the natural world has never been absent from a swimwear collection. This means it is a perennial favourite, but it is also about time for a new and refreshing makeover. This makeover has taken the form of painting and an imitation of various schools of art. Mostly water colours, oil paintings or interior decor are the inspiration of this change, making florals look like a tapestry or a mural. It’s one of the most exciting new trends in the world of swimwear fashion. Check out the Roidal Flor Romantica for a great example of this.
Hybrid DesignsThis is easily the biggest new trend in fashion, whether it is swimwear or otherwise. Designs that have been created from a mixture of two or sometimes three different schools of design are some of the most interesting new numbers you can get your hands on. For example, imagine a design that contains an oriental ceramics pattern on the bottom, an arabesque tile arrangement like the interior of a Moroccan palace, and a big floral centre piece all together. Sounds hectic and impossible? Not so! It exists already. It is hard to blend these different lineages of design together, but if you have a master designer at work, the results can be fascinating. To see the collection we mentioned above, take a look at the Gottex Le Jardin range
BookBeatWhen the opportunity came up to work with BookBeat, an audiobook subscription service created in Sweden in 2015, I had to apply. BookBeat offers subscribers thousands of audiobooks to choose from which vary from all kinds of fiction to non-fiction as well as classics and newer releases. As of last month they have expanded their market to the UK and I have been lucky enough to receive a free subscription. If you wanted to subscribe then it's £14.90 per month and there isn't a limited on how many audiobooks you can listen to but you can get a ONE MONTH free trial using this link (it's not an affiliate link) rather than the normal two week free trial.
Audiobooks I've Listened To So FarSo far I am on my fourth audiobook, I have finished two fiction audiobooks, one non-fiction and I'm currently listening to Victorians Undone by Kathryn Hughes which is a non-fiction audiobook (and I'm loving it). I would have finished more but we've been busy redecorating recently and getting ready for a new kitchen which should be started today. You can rate audiobooks on the app too and I've given the three I've finished all four stars out of five.
OverallI am loving audiobooks on BookBeat so far, especially the non-fiction I've listened to. I love how the app is laid out, it's easy to find what I want and discover audiobooks I didn't know existed and I love that I can listen to an audiobook while doing other things and it still counts towards my GoodReads reading goal! My only criticism so far is that Stephen Fry can't narrate every single audiobook...
Burts Bees Lipstick in 501 Blush BasinLet's start with the makeup item as makeup is my favourite category of items to receive in subscription boxes. I actually have this lipstick in this shade already as I was very kindly sent it to review and you can check out my full review of Blush Basin and swatches on my blog. I'll just say that both Blush Basin and Suede Splash are fantastic everyday shades that are smoothing, moisturising and very comfortable to wear, I'd definitely recommend!
Soigne Botanique Nail Polish in Betteraves RougesBack in my college and university days, I wore red nail polish constantly, it was my thing along with skinny jeans, frizzy hair, liner and hoodies....yes, I regret most of my past outfit and beauty choices. Although red polish has continued to be something that I love and wear but I don't as much as I used to. This polish is just perfect as it applies perfectly in pretty much one coat, it's super pigmented and even in one swipe. Without a base coat or top coat it does just last for a day without chipping or wearing away but with a top coat it is fantastic and I see more red polish in my future. If you follow me on instagram you will have seen previews of this post as well as a swatch of this nail polish - I'm @ofbeautyand on instagram.
L'Occitane Roses et Reines Hand CreamSticking with the red theme, the next item is a gorgeous hand and nail cream from L'Occitane. My aunties have loved L'occitane products for as long as I can remember so from my teens I have been gifted L'Occitane products including their hand creams which I now not only love and use so much but oddly they are a little nostalgic for me too. This size is perfect for travelling and I will be taking it so York later this month.
Gatineau Radiance Enhancing GommageNow, when it comes to skincare I do have to be careful as I have sensitive skin although thankfully now my eczema seems to have cleared up almost completely but when I see exfoliating type products, I always get a little nervous. This is a 'ground breaking enzymatic' and vitamin C enriched exfoliator. It's a peach gel that when massaged into the skin, it turns into a luxe feeling oil and even though I have only used it once, it did leave my skin very smooth and brighter but I did experience a tiny amount of irritation; however I will continue to use it.
Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising SorbetI have tried a couple of serums from Caudalie and loved them so I have no problems with this moisturiser (and I love the pink packaging). It's a lovely light but moisturising and smoothing cream that would be perfect for spring; also it smells like cucumber!
Oribe Gold Lust Dry ShampooThe penultimate item is the one I was most excited about when I opened the box as it's not only a dry shampoo, which I have come to love over the past year but it's from Oribe which is a high end brand I have heard nothing but amazing things about from beauty youtubers and other bloggers. I adore the packaging and even though I've only used it once, it has definitely impressed me! It doesn't seem to leave a white or grey residue in my hair, it leaves my hair feeling fresher, lighter and much more presentable but I haven't tried it on the horror that is my three or even four day hair yet.
Lastest In Beauty Compact MirrorThe final item is one of the prettiest in the box! It is a gorgeous limited edition gold compact mirror with a white rose illustration on the front; I have actually been meaning to pick up a small compact mirror for my bag for ages but I never get round to it as let's be honest, there are far more exciting things to buy! I love this one, especially as it's magnified on one side so I can see my pores in all their gross detail!