Thursday, 23 June 2016

ASOS Haul & Try On

My second YouTube vid just went up, and this time it's an ASOS haul! I recently made a few orders (I have no self restraint when it comes to online shopping), so thought I'd round up what I bought and try it all on.

Some of the pieces are already absolute staples in my summer wardrobe (a 90s-style slip dress), while other items are lined up ready for autumn/winter (the faux fur coat of dreams) - and, knowing England, that could be a lot sooner than we think!

Friday, 10 June 2016

6 Best Sheet Masks In The UK

This month was a good month for my skin. As part of a feature on South Korean beauty routines, I tried out the famous 13-step skincare regimen for a week - and thanks to some very generous brands got to sample a myriad of K-beauty products I never knew existed. Now, naturally, we're all aware of sheet masks these days (those celebrity sheet mask selfies made damn sure of that) - but I had only really dabbled in them before being sent what could only be described as 'sheet mask Christmas'.

Bags and boxes of the things arrived on my desk and I was bestowed the mammoth task of testing them all out - I know, it's a hard life on the beauty desk. The six pictured here are the best of the bunch in terms of hydrating, radiance-boosting and 'baby skin'-giving benefits.

TonyMoly I'm Real Rice Mask - £6 for 1*

Previously to my 7-day skincare experiment, I’d never understood the real meaning of the ‘baby skin’ beauty product sell so popular in Korea - did I really want to look like a baby? - but now I finally get it. It’s that fleeting dewy radiance, so quick to vanish when we start a ‘grown-up’ routine of stressful commutes, busy cities and long working days.

Sheet masks play a big part in that. They're applied after all the ampoules, serums and moisturisers (but before eye cream and night cream) to kind of seal all the goodness into the skin. Your products, along with the active ingredients in the sheet masks, are absorbed tenfold due to the mask raising your skin's temperature and preventing water evaporation. Genius!

If you fancy find out more about Korean beauty and how much the 13-step routine changed my skin in just one week, read my full feature on HuffPost UK Style here.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

The Comforter Treatment At Lush Spa

When I received an invitation to the Lush Spa, I knew the experience would be a world away from typical therapies - and my visit did not disappoint. Prepared for some serious pampering, I headed down to the Chelsea King's Road branch (Oxford Circus is far closer to me but, be warned, the spa books up fast!) to try out Lush's full body treatment, The Comforter. Fans of the namesake bubble bar - the closest thing to a 'hug' in a bath - will love this one, but I was surprised to discover there wasn't a hint of blackcurrant or bergamot scented products used in the treatment. What was used however, was even dreamier...

On arrival, the cosy cottage-inspired interiors instantly put me at ease. It was like sitting in a tranquil country kitchen, and I sipped on a cup of herbal tea with home-made biscuits as my therapist talked me through The Comforter experience. As she led me to the treatment room, my jaw genuinely dropped - a mesmerising nebula shone across the ceiling, while an amethyst glow illuminated the bed. I was ready for some serious relaxation!

Without giving away too much (there are a few charming surprises), first you're tucked up in a warm, fluffy duvet on a heated mattress, then coated with a hot chocolate body scrub and finally massaged with an iridescent rose-scented serum. Heaven. The soundtrack - full of sweet childhood nostalgia - makes the whole 60 minutes feel like a blissful daydream in a way that doesn't even come close to a standard massage.

After the treatment, and floating gently back to the real world, I was greeted by the pinkest, sugariest drink (above) to finish everything off with another dose of Lush magic. It was slightly too saccharine for my taste, but I was impressed to learn it was vegan-friendly. Before I left, I quickly spruced myself up in the bathroom with more Lush products and noticed my skin was positively glowing! I also I felt seriously spaced out... in a good way, drifting off home in a dreamlike state.

I cannot wait to go back and embark on another sensory spa journey with Lush. Has anyone tried any of their treatments? The Good Hour sounds ideal, as I love a deep tissue massage, but I've also heard great things about Synaesthesia. Please send recommendations my way!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Coffee At Palm Vaults In Hackney

Another day, another independent coffee shop opening. I could yawn if it wasn't for all the artisan coffee I've been drinking. But before you write this off as a bore-worthy topic - I have to say, this place is truly something special. It's a great feeling when someone creates something that just feels meant for you - a book, an album... a coffee shop? I never thought I'd experience the exquisite pleasure of walking into a café and feeling like it was staring into my soul, but I have. Thank you Palm Vaults.

Although the place only opened a few weeks ago, it's already bustling - surely helped by its proximity to Hackney Central - but also because there's nothing quite like it on Mare Street. The shimmering pearl shell Palm Vaults sign (created by Alex May Hughes) and Instagram-worthy interiors (check them out on the 'gram here) are getting people in the area talking... and visiting, and snapping away.

Putting the burgeoning hashtag to one side, Palm Vaults actually delivers when it comes to the drinks. Not only is the coffee excellent, there's a choice of non-dairy milks - soy, almond and cashew - frappes, matcha lattes, and their famous healthy 'red velvet' latte made from beetroot juice. There's also a seasonal menu of breakfast, toasties, handmade cakes and pastries.

The shop also offers wares for sale - think carefully curated designer vintage clothing, a florist section and art by local makers. Those stopping by in the evening also have the option of access to the secret underground cocktail bar, so head downstairs... if you dare.
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