Thursday, 30 June 2016

Which water are you?

Remember when coconut water exploded onto the scene a few years back and everyone had little Pret or vita coco cartons on their desks and peeking out of their instabags?


Ya. Well. Don't get me wrong, I think coconuts are Mighty Foods; I have coconut sugar, flour and oil at home, but the water... Cocono.

Which is why I got super excited to try the new 'What a melon' water, recently launched. I went to Planet Organic where they were handing out samples of birch water as well... Wha? Then I saw cactus water in the fridge and I was like oh hellll no I gotta try all these babies.

Birch Water - 3kcals/100ml - This is pure tree sap! The birch drinks up all the water during the rainy season and collectors just tap into the bark to collect the sap. Smells like play-doh and tastes like really cold river water that has been stored too long in a thermos. Not unpleasant but a bit strange.

Maple Water - 10kcals/100ml - Same as above and below for bamboo, pure tree sap. No smell whatsoever but it's slightly sweet and seemed to warm my throat like a lemon ginger tea effect. Not very refreshing though, due to the sweetness but a really good option to make ice tea with I reckon!

Bamboo Water - 0kcals/100ml - Oddly tasted like very weak green/jasmine tea. More refreshing than the other two Siberi options, as it was a little bitterer.

Cactus Water - 9kcals/100ml - I'm annoyed at this one! It's only 20% of the actual cactus fruit (and it's from concentrate!), it has "natural flavourings" (mmm) as well as natural colouring made with beetroot. Tastes like a strawberry Ribena so it didn't feel very healthy. Shame.

What a Melon - 29kcals/100ml - Really thought I wouldn't like it because watermelon has that weird taste that lacks usual fruit acidity. However this includes squeezed lemon and they've got the balance just right because it's delicious! I also used some in my Nutribullet instead of coconut water and it really made my smoothie zing. Love it, I'm totally converted. Now make bigger bottles people!

What's your latest fave drink craze?!

Monday, 20 June 2016

Bare Minerals - Skin Longevity

I was walking past Bare Minerals in Covent Garden last week and saw their ad for their new skincare range, which looked interesting. A bit Herbal Essences but hey. I used to love the mineral foundation way back when it first exploded on the scene, but they've got great new additions I hadn't heard of until now!

Namely, Skinlongevity Vital Power Infusion. I went in to have a look, was immediately sat down with some "deluxe samples" and proceeded to have a mini consultation.

The lady started by cleansing my skin with the Clay Chameleon, which had a very Origins feel (my fave brand). It goes on like a clay mask but as you massage it in, it transforms into a cream. My skin immediately felt smooth, fresh and tingly. You can also use it as a detox mask. I love a good multi-tasker!

Next on was the Skin Longevity serum. Super lightweight and immediately sank in. I've been using it for the past week and it's been really easy to add in to my routine before my moisturiser. So quick! My skin feels awake, soothed, and any sleep puffiness is banished.

The main ingredient comes from the Okinawa island in Japan, apparently known for its oldest living (and youngest looking!) female inhabitants... *Googles if supplements exist*.

Lastly, the smoothing lightweight emulsion went on. This almost had the same light texture as the serum and is not much to shout about. I would probably give this a miss and use a more luxurious moisturiser + SPF.

Overall quite impressed with this new line, and the clay cleanser was a revelation. Pay day can't come soon enough!

Do you use any anti-aging treatments?

Monday, 13 June 2016

Father's Day - Gift Guide

Judging by these gifts I've picked out below my dad apparently loves a drink, can't be relied on to dress nicely himself, always loses stuff and has a penchant for chocolate.

Quite accurate really! 

1. Fitbit activity tracker - I think every dad in the land will receive one of these on Sunday! Excellent little fitness gadgets, find all the different ranges on Amazon (cheaper!) - here.

2. Whisky stones - To chill is favourite tipple without diluting it. Loads of different ones online!

3. Gingko Alarm Clock - Stylish little clock for his bedside or desk at work. Voice and touch activated, found on Amazon here

4. Draft beer on tap by Fizzics - I think this is a genius gadget and I was immediately imagining myself basking in the glory of giving such a great gift and being the envy of my siblings. However the price tag might make you wanna go halves with someone... #myideathough.

5. Facial Fuel - Let's face it when do normal men ever buy skincare. Give him the best with this Kiehl's anti-aging moisturiser.

6. Keysmart key organiser - What is it with men and tiny knives? We'll never know, but this invention is practical and cool! Make sure you select the extended version, made for foreign keys, and you can personalise them too.

7. Bluetooth Trackers - Tracking tags to keep your belongings safe. Loads of different ones available online, XY Find It seem to be the coolest.

8. Hotel Chocolat The Beer Collection - Chocolate, with beer. Need I go on? Also makes for a great party game! Have him close his eyes and guess the type. Not so Mr Trivial Pursuit now are ya dad. 

9. Posh Stationery - I love embossed leather accessories, especially for travel. Find the best at Aspinal or Smythson.

10. Summer Wardrobe - "Are we ready to go?" omg dad go back upstairs you are not wearing that. Avoid last minute panic with some nice posh cotton shirts. Your mum will thank you millions.

11. Fun Bits - The stocking filler type of gift that everyone enjoys! The Shed especially appealed to me, but there's also The Loft. One for next year...

Have a lovely Father's Day everyone! Although i bet all those dads out there would much rather be left alone to watch the footie in peace and quiet this Sunday... Don't plan any pub lunches girls!

Monday, 6 June 2016

Bali - Stylish Seminyak

Our last 5 days in Bali were spent in Seminyak, the more luxurious side of the island. A perfect mix of Australian brunch vibes, European chic and tropical Bali touches, it’s one of the coolest places I’ve ever been to!

We stayed at the Vasanti resort, newly opened so prices are still quite low and you get tons of freebies; a massage each, welcome drinks, afternoon tea etc., there weren't enough hours in the day!
^ The comfiest and softest bed I've ever slept in. I nearly stole the pillows. Some kind of feather/memory foam combo #omg.
^Our room was one of the pool access options, which was extremely glam.
Anthropologie style restaurants everywhere, serving up delicious Asian fusion food.
^ Motel Mexicola is a must-eat. The best tacos served in the coolest restaurant!
^ Spent a day at Potato Head Beach Club, feeling thoroughly decadent. The pool was glorious, and the view of the crashing waves right in front of you looked unreal, like a backdrop.
^ Great little find for excellent coffee and Ozzy style breakfast favourites. Each coffee is lovingly crafted, so takes a while, but worth the wait...
^Apart from all the cute fashion boutiques lining the streets there is also the Seminyak mall, totally worth a look! I bought some beautiful handmade baskets with pompoms, and super good value.
^The view descending into Finn's Beach Club. I could not contain my excitement! I'd heard such good things about this place and it did not disappoint.
Despite it being the best season to travel to Bali in terms of weather, I think we underestimated the sea conditions! Super strong currents made for exciting (read, scary) swimming and the waves are huge!

We had such a good time exploring this different side to Bali, and cannot WAIT to come back. We left with big grins on our faces that not even a horrid 18h flight back home could break.

Have you been to Indonesia? What's your favourite place?

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Bali - Gili Islands

I have just returned from the most beautiful holiday of my life… Two weeks of sun, jungle, peanut satay and beaches. Currently staring at the London rain outside, my Nike's are still damp and I can’t get warm.

In an effort of trying to stay positive the Bali way, let’s revisit what I got up to in the Gili Islands!

We stayed on Gili Trawangan as it's the biggest with the most to do, at Villas Ottalia. It's an eco-property with a collection of gorgeous mini villas with their own private pool, and a larger public pool and restaurant attached. Secluded, romantic and totally blew me away!
^ New found love for mosquito nets, especially this one where you don't need a four poster bed.
The sun rises quite late and sets early in Indonesia so the light always had that mid-afternoon glow.
No cars allowed on the islands! Only horse drawn carts and bicycles. This was daunting at first but thrilling once you get the hang of it. No road signs, traffic lights, even street lights most of the time!
^Gili T's night market was excellent, every night at 7 the main square near the harbour comes alive with sizzling fresh fish made to order, kebabs of every kind (the tuna was a revelation) and the best satay sauce you'll ever try. So inexpensive and a real local experience.
^We spent a day on Gili Air, for the slightly quieter and more unspoiled beaches. If you go make sure you nab a sunbed at Scallywags, they have the best view and the best beach gear for snorkelling and kayaking!
^The winding paths of the hotel connecting all the villas. Dress from Asos here - I had it shortened to a midi to look a bit more current.
The most gorgeous swimsuit, also from asos here, hat from Bershka here (reduced!) - Probably the best holiday item I bought!
 Despite the holiday blues, I like to think that at least somewhere in the universe I am on a constant loop doing this 

The Gili's were absolutely amazing and I wish I could have had more time there. Next time we'll check out Lombok as well, it's apparently what Bali was like 30 years ago and the beaches are pristine. 

Have you been to the Gili's? What did you think?!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Holiday Prep!

With my Bali trip just around the corner (I'll stop mentioning it, promise), I've been taking extra care of myself these past several weeks to ensure I'm at my super best in time for take-off.

I seriously recommend the few specific things below that I've really enjoyed lately. Basics for any holiday prep in my opinion!
^ Karmameju recharge ionic body brush - I got mine through Amazon here.

The daddy of all body brushes, it's made up of fine bronze wires and horsehair bristles. The friction creates negative ions, which deliver oxygen to blood cells and aid detoxification.
I've been using it for a few weeks every night with long even strokes towards my heart, starting from my feet and working my way up. It's amazing, I've noticed a definite improvement in skin tone and texture on my legs, and I wake up in the morning with a much flatter stomach. Just make sure you drink plenty of water to flush out maximum toxins!

Read up about it on the Karmameju site, the benefits are impressive. 

^ Derma Roller 0.5mm - Various brands/Amazon has a good selection.

I first discovered this when I had a facial at Face Gym, followed by a collagen mask. I looked like shit straight after, but omg for days and WEEKS afterwards my skin has never looked better. It was plump and glowing. I definitely credit some of that to the roller.

If you're a beginner, start with very short needles. The rolling effect creates tiny holes in the skin, prompting it to "heal" itself and therefore produces collagen. It's commonly used to treat acne scars and wrinkles, but I mainly use it to prep the skin for pampering. After a shower when my pores are open, I gently roll it in one direction all over my face. Then I apply either a face mask or a night cream. It really boosts their effectiveness as the products can penetrate deeper. Try it!
^ Lindsay Calendula rubber mask - on Amazon here.

Next gen for face masks... These come in a powder form that contains alginate, so that when you add water it slowly transforms into rubber on your face! You gotta be quick though... I didn't quite master the mixing so there were lumps, I looked like elephant man.

I recommend adding the water a little at a time to get the paste as smooth as possible, then apply on cleansed skin asap. Leave for 15 mins then peel off! Extremely satisfying and my skin looked calm and bright. Since then, it's still looking really good and soaking up creams/oils a lot better.

How to video (which I viewed only afterwards) here! They also supply mini konjac sponges for each mask to help remove any leftover bits, so actually really good value for money.

The lost guides for Bali are excellent, very curated recommendations for people who don't want to spend loads but are after more luxury than #gapyear style backpacking. The book itself is beautiful too.

Any Bali tips welcome!

Monday, 25 April 2016

Vacay Wish List

I'm off to Bali in three weeks and have been doing a ton of shopping to look insta-worthy abroad.

I've got outfits for every occasion (do you wear leggings or jeans to ride an elephant?!), but the below picks are for my perfect day at the beach.

1. The Beach People roundie towel - I think these look great to claim your patch on the sand. You can go high end or find super cheap versions on eBay, with tassels.

2. Packing organisers - these are from Amazon, they have loads available. Make sure they are sealable and water repellent. Ideal to pack sun cream and/or snacks for a hard-core tanning day! I'll also be using these to sort my suitcase packing.

3. Gold Tattoos - The best are Topshop or Asos. Use lengthways down your arms or along your hair parting for some Bey vibes.

4. Sunglasses - I have been trying for ever to find chunky pastel pink sunglasses with dark lenses but finding it impossible. My holiday wardrobe is candy coloured so the hunt for the perfect complimentary pair of shades continues!

5. Sun Hat - I'm in love with this Eugenia Kim sunhat, it's beautiful and fun. A floppy style such as this one or a classic boater will instantly lift any casual outfit from beach to chic.

6. Bikini - Stripes. Any shape or colour but I insist on striped swimwear. Apply a faded Instagram filter and hello retro!

7. Suncream - #DUH. I've purchased this one from Clinique, it's a high broad spectrum SPF and doubles up as a smooth foundation primer. Perfect!

8. Makeup - You've got your shades, your hat and your SPF. The only bits that need colour are your lips! I'll be snapping up this Lancome Juicy Shaker at duty free and applying it presto. The colours are great and the nourishing lip oil ensures day long moisture. Can I have all 13?!

9. Tote - I lurve this basket I spied over on Etsy. Pompoms are in and the shape is interesting. Just enough space for all the above and your favourite paperback. Check my book club section for reading inspo!

10. Ear climbers - Prettier than boring ear studs but still won't get in the way of swimming activities.

11. Denim Cutoffs - I recently did a great job with a pair of old boyfriend jeans, by following this excellent tutorial from Refinery29, here!

Have I missed anything?! What do you guys pack for the tropics?