What with fashion week, a whirlwind trip to New York and lots of work to keep me busy, February has been one of those frantic months that ended in chronic fatigue and a heinous cold. It’s times like these that the little things in life become even more important….
There’s quite a lot of beauty-orientated stuff in this one, probably because we’re at that time of year (post-holiday, pre-Spring) that requires more help than ever to look and feel half-decent before leaving the house. Anywho, without further a do, here are the things I’ve been loving this month.
I know what you’re thinking; how many shampoos and conditioners does one girl need. But when I read in a magazine recently that John Frieda was reissuing his Beach Blonde range after being discontinued for 10 years, I think I let out a small squeal. And any hair product that warrants that kind of reaction deserves a mention… This was my favourite shampoo as a teenager, the minty smell of it immediately transporting me back to washing sand and salt out of my hair before heading to the pub, brimming with butterflies in case I was ID-ed. I had the healthiest, thickest hair of my life when using this stuff and while I concede this could be down to raging adolescent hormones, I like to think it had something to do with this stuff. Screw the beach, I’m using this all year round.
I’ve got into the bad habit of wearing flimsy, non-wired ‘Pinterest bras’ on a daily basis recently, and while they’re all lovely and everything, I got to the point where I realised I needed something a little more grown-up in order to, as the woman in the shop politely put it, “keep my shape”. This mesh set from Bodas is the perfect compromise; wired and well-fitting while still being sheer, black and very far from all connotations of the word ‘supportive’. Think I’ve found my forever everyday basics….
The Flavour Thesaurus and New York Times 36 Hours Guides
Both of these were gifts for Christmas and my birthday respectively and are exactly my kind of ‘flicking’ books. The Flavour Thesaurus is ideal for my kind of cooking (not a huge fan of complicated recipes) and helps you mix up those flavours a little more. You basically pick an ingredient, it could be anything from beetroot, hard cheese or ginger, and the book tells you what other flavours work well with it. It then gives examples of recipes from various chefs but you can kind of put your own spin on the ideas given. So good for dinner parties or if you just have something in the cupboard and want to try putting it with something a bit different.
The NY Times travel guides are my absolute favourite. I totally trust the NY Times in terms of taste, love how the guides are broken down into 36 hours per city or location (ideal road trip fodder) and the covers, unlike other travel guides, look great on a shelf or coffee table. Plus, it highlights neighbouring towns, national parks and points of interest beyond what you or Trip Advisor might have on your radar.
Creme de la Mer
I’ve always been a bit sceptical of super-expensive beauty products because, well just how great can they really be. So when Creme de la Mer offered to send me a couple of things to try I had high expectations and put a lot of pressure on this duo to really work their magic. And much to the annoyance of the sceptic in me, I wasn’t disappointed… The cream is something of a wonder product, especially for thirsty, grey winter skin, and the luminous eye gel has really kept my dark circles and fine lines in check. Worth noting a little of this goes a long, long way (that might make you feel better about the price too), and you apply it differently to normal moisturiser. Take a tiny amount, warm and rub it between your fingers and gently pat all over your face.
Yogi Kombucha Green Tea
When I was in New York, Kombucha was everywhere; from drinks in my minibar to juices in the local deli and Whole Foods. It’s not something I’ve heard that much about before so I did a bit of googling to try and work out what it was (not geeky at all). It’s essentially a fermented mixture of tea, sugar and Kombucha culture (a mix of bacterias and yeast) that results in an cider-like drink that’s full of vitamins and probiotics. While you might think the sugar and yeast part sounds really bad for you, apparently the Kombucha digests the sugar and it’s this process that creates organic acids and vitamins, such as B vitamins for energy, stress and mood, lactic acid for aiding digestion and glucuronic acid for liver and kidney health.
It’s a long time since I did biology or chemistry so please do your own research like I did if you have more questions – no expert on this stuff sadly. But I was struggling really badly in New York with a horrible cold so was very open to the idea of anything that might help kick it into touch, and came home with a box of Yogi Kombucha Green Tea and have been having at least a cup of day since back. And if you’re a sucker for words and mantras like me, the mini motivational speeches on every tea bag are a nice little bonus. This particular one says ‘there is nothing more precious than self trust’ which I thought was kind of great. And yes, I opened at least 5 and picked a favourite for this shot….
Readers from across the pond will be pleased to hear I recently discovered the insanely great Bauble Bar, and promptly placed a mammoth order. I’d heard of it before in passing but stupidly thought from the name that it would be more about costume jewellery and big, bold ‘bauble-y’ pieces, neither of which are really my thing. But, after seeing someone tag it on instagram, I went to have a closer look and within about 20 minutes I had to start editing stuff out of my heaving virtual basket. The best piece I bought was this constellation stud which was a mere $32 (about £20). I love anything astrology themed and have had so many compliments and ‘where from’ questions on this one. The customs and duty charges are pretty fierce so maybe do a bulk order with friends and split it between you.
The second new piece I’ve invested in this month is this tiny little pinky ring from Love Adorned in New York. My boyfriend told me about this treasure trove of a store on the Lower East Side and it was the best independent boutique I came across while over there. Filled to the brim with trinkets, jewellery and unique homewares, I would have bought the entire shop if my credit card would have allowed me. But this little rose gold lace ring will suffice for now…
Other rings are by Natalie Marie Jewellery.
Rodial Bronzing Powder
A friend of mine works for Rodial in the product development team (how cool), and when I told her I hadn’t used anything Rodial ever, she very sweetly gave me a few things to try. I loved absolutely everything and that is no word of a lie, but the bronzing powder is especially awesome. While I will continue to be in a long term relationship with Nars Laguna, I love how this is softer, shimmer free and works like a pressed powder and bronzer together. A bit of an epic find that is constantly on rotation between by bag and bathroom mirror.
Let me start by saying I am not the hair tong type. In fact I usually come out in hives if a stylist walks towards me wielding a pair on a shoot. I’m that person that never so much as blow dries their hair, but the whole air dying thing has become a bit non-realistic recently what with it being the middle of winter, and going to meetings with frizzy, half-dry hair in the mornings is never a good look. And any good hair days I do have are always a total fluke and never never down to my own doing, so I decided to take matters into my own hands with one of these. Adds texture in a non-ringlety way, easy enough for a malcoordinated soul like myself to use and has an auto switch off setting that means any OCD frets about burning the house down can be put to bed.
Just obsessed with this stuff, to the point I actually get up earlier wanting to eat it. I think it might be down to the recent revelation I can actually have cereal like a normal person thanks to Rude Health almond milk. But whatever it is, this stuff is super delicious and while it might be chocolatey and not that great for you, anything that makes getting up easier is ok by me.
In light of what I touched on in my recent post on working from home, I joined a gym this month. A big step for someone who hasn’t been on a cross trainer for 7 years. I used to be a massive gym bunny back in my university days but somehow lost my way when I moved down to London and starting interning. Until now, I’ve always relied on sporadic yoga which I love, but feel like I need something a bit harder to really put me through my paces and let off some steam. I’m feeling pretty motivated but also totally out of my depth and figured some new kit would definitely help me feel like I belong. Gap Fit is the best, most affordable stuff I’ve found so far; I defy anyone to put on one of the bras and leggings and not want to move around more.
What have you been relying on this month?