Wardrobe Update

21 Nov 2017

When Foundation Means Business


Who doesn't have a love-hate relationship with foundation. On the one hand, I know that it's going to make my skin look evenly toned(er), dewy and generally more concealed, but on the other, the reality of working in skincare is that I know full well that it's not particularly good for my skin, especially wearing it day-in, day-out (underneath all the pollution that's bombarding it everyday). Not just the wearing it, but investing in a new foundation is daunting in itself; the likelihood is that something won't be right.. whether it's the colour match, coverage or even smell might make you regret swaying from your regular and wasting a tonne of money in the crossfire (keeping the receipt is crucial; to think how much money I could have saved doing this...). Alas, change is not always a bad thing, and really, formulations in make-up and skincare are advancing all the time, so not trying out what's on offer might mean you miss out on the next best thing. 

Sisley's new foundation, Sisleya Le Teinte*, is a game-changer when it comes to new foundations. They call it a fluid foundation, which is accurate for the texture and consistency, making it really blendable and perfect for those days you want less (but can build it up, too, if you need). The best bit is it's formulated with active ingredients (those of which I won't pretend to know the science behind), but namely Persian Acacia, Chlorella and Red Vine. These grace the ingredients list; those of which you'd expect to see in a face cream formulation, rather than make-up, and that's what makes this one so special. For something that's going to sit on your skin all day, better that it contains some goodness, than nothing at all. Being so high-tech in it's formula and ticking all the other foundation-shaped boxes, it's quite costly so I'd more than recommend sampling this first at your nearest Sisley counter. 

You can shop Sisleya Le Teinte here

         
        
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15 Nov 2017

Ideas To Start Your Christmas Shopping

Although internet shopping is considerably more hassle-free, and yes it obliterates queue irritation, achy legs and sore feet, doesn't it slightly lose the magic of 'Christmas shopping' if you do all of it from your sofa? The impulsive buyer in me is often grateful for internet shopping and the damage control it can bring, but sometimes it's the experience of gift buying that can be magical in itself. Maybe it's just me, but going into decorated stores, perusing the beautiful displays and taking the time to choose the gifts is pretty lovely. Going out with friends or family to wander round the shops (with an abundance of coffee breaks, naturally) is a part of this time of year that I love. Granted, that's an idealised perspective on shopping and doesn't account for the annoyances that department stores and shopping centres can merrily bring on, but it's all part of the fun, right? 

I'm a longstanding believer that the best gifts to give are the ones that people wouldn't usually buy themselves; those thoughtful but unexpected ones that are a little outside the box (to me, a disposable camera is a fail-safe one for this and especially great if you're on a budget i.e. office secret santa). And in this realm usually comes gifts that are that little bit more indulgent and not necessarily things you need, but things you might just want (like that's just restricted to Christmas...). From Jack Wills gift cards to inspiring travel-magazine subscriptions, here's what's on my radar this season..


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For the fragrance-phile
Now it's officially the 'cosy' season, no bedroom feng shui is quite complete without a lit candle (or five) in there to really get that Autumn nights feeling (warm drinks and blankets also essential). There are almost too many utterly drop-down gorgeous brands out there offering the most desirable of heaven-scented candles; you've got Byredo, Diptyque and Bella Freud (the list really does go on) releasing their Christmas offerings this time of year - and obviously their candles in general - they are the ultimate luxury. 

For the one who needs more 'me-time'
The benefits of bathing is underrated. Yes, they're relaxing. But they're also so effective at relieving tension, whether it's in your mind or muscles. When it comes to bath oil gift-giving, I think Susanne Kaufmann's Essential Bath Oil For The Senses is pretty glorious. Similarly, the Aromatherapy Associates bath oil selections are extensive and meet basically any need you could have. It's really good for getting an even more personal gift.


For the comfort-seeker
It's this time of year that I crave buying things like cable knit socks, jumpers and generally things that will induce cosiness, and probably the thing I make a beeline for come Boxing Day sales. Jack Wills is somewhere I'd head to meet all those needs, so a Jack Wills Gift Card is a pretty perfect gift-option this time of year (also great for NYE outfit options). 

For the one who likes their beauty sleep
The past year I've discovered the wonder that is eye masks (admittedly late to the party), and all the goodness they can bring to your life. Seems like quite timely, too, given the technology that brands are using to make them not only helpful to not-so-good sleepers like myself, but actually have anti-ageing benefits. For the indulgence, Slip Eye Masks are unequivocally gorgeous, whereas Iluminage have the got the technology in tact to wind back the years as you sleep. 

For the modern bookworm
As I've got older, I've actually started to appreciate magazines in a way that's more than just flicking through, looking at the pictures. For years, Vogue subscriptions were a novelty and a dressing-table necessity, blissfully bypassing the actual written content - looking back this was a scandalous waste of money but hey ho. Magazine subscriptions now are something that always grace my Christmas list. Recently, it's been Porter (cover to cover gold, can't recommend this more), and Lonely Planet (for all your wanderlust and holiday-planning needs). Really, a lot of the value in this comes from wanting some post these days that isn't a bill or card statement, but something you can actually look forward to. It's the gift that keeps on giving (for six months, anyway).  

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This post was created in collaboration with Jack Wills.
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11 Nov 2017

Everything I Never Told You


Long has it been since I've eased as seamlessly into a book as I did this one. Celeste Ng's first novel, Everything I Never Told You, recounts the story of the Lee family, starting in 1977. After being reported as missing, the favourite daughter, Lydia, is found at the bottom of a nearby lake by the police. The Lees are a Chinese-American family; Marilyn and James Lee are parents to Lydia, Nath and Hannah. The family descend into emotional turmoil when Lydia is found dead, resurrecting the past and so it starts to unravel that the cracks were beginning to show long before. 

I liked how the book distracted me completely from what I expected it to be. I started reading this thinking it was going to be from the who-dun-it crime or thriller-type, but it was far from it. Yes, you naturally want to know what happened to Lydia, but there's so much more that captures your attention that you start to forget (pretty quickly) that you still don't know the story behind what happened to her, even right towards the end. It doesn't unravel the same way that a crime novel would; you don't find yourself getting closer to the truth, but navigating your way around the family instead. Each family member has their own (rather bleak) story to tell, which is in turn sculpted by how they have been raised, and by who; it's an interesting depiction of how much our character is informed by our parents, and the trials and tribulations in their lives.

Lydia is an essentially an embodiment of James and Marilyn's projected dreams, ambitions and lost futures; they channel into her what they lacked from their own lives, for Marilyn it is the opportunity to become a doctor (when female doctors were few and far between), and for James it is his desire to feel as though he belonged. This article by The Guardian raises an interesting point; the 70's setting allows for a disappearance that's relatively untraceable. Does that even exist nowadays? With social media, GPS and god knows what else that we're blissfully unaware is tracking our every move, it would be near on impossible to disappear in the same sense. She's able to disguise her lacking popularity from her father, essentially because he can't check her follower count, comments or Facebook friends because they simply don't exist yet. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad comment on today's society vs. back then, but it sure would have been easier to see the signs of an unhappy child.

The novel switches from past to present erratically, and it's only really from the characters that you can ground yourself in the time (from back in my linguistics seminars at uni, this is called finding the 'deictic centre', letting it point you to the time or place with the words they use...geek). The novel is a struggle, a depiction of the simultaneous power and destructive nature that silence has. I found the last pages so evocative, and emotionally charged with sadness and desperation for Lydia. Compressed by the wants, desires and lost lives of her parents, in desperation to be everything they wanted she lost herself. The sadness starts in James' story, his isolation in coming to America. I found Hannah's story the most difficult to read. Ironically, she's the child that's been holding the family together before she was even born (given Marilyn only returned from her estrangement when she found out she was pregnant with her), yet she has a ghost-like presence in the household. She spends most of her time curled under a table, listening to her family argue; her words are sparing and her desire for love and attention from her family is tangiable. 

Beautifully written and the most fluid prose that lures you into the story from the offset, but really quite desperately sad, it delves into important and poignant things that aren't spoken about enough. Ng's second novel is out in hardback now, Little Fires Everywhere, and it's already on my list. 

You can buy Everything I Never Told You here.
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Wild About Green Rose

t2-tea-gift-set

You can't get much more comforting than a cup of tea, so you can imagine the atmosphere when surrounded by shelves and shelves of it in the T2 Regent Street store-come-otherworldly grotto of every single blend you can think of, complete with tea cups, mugs, flasks and pretty much any tea paraphernalia in existence. It's not a place for the indecisive, having a frankly astonishing amount of tea assortments all laid out for you to peruse, smell and even drink before you buy. For someone like me who's shopping thrills more than often come from buying homeware (mugs and plates in particular), it is a four-walled nirvana and every house should have a tea-room like this simply for the sheer joy it brings. So, it's not a surprise that T2's new Christmas collection, just launched, is aptly named Joy to the Wild, inspired by nature and all it's offerings (hence the plant decor), and is pretty spectacular for tea-lovers. 

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In the store, I was gifted my own choice of one of the Christmas collection sets, and to no surprise to those who know my penchant for green tea, I chose the Wild About Green Rose set. Beautifully designed (it's got that Christmas feel without being overtly festive), it contains a box of their Green Rose tea, a cup and saucer, AND a mesh ball infuser - something I've been after for so long for all my loose tea leaf needs. There's something just a bit more special about that than a box of tea bags in my opinion; making it more special.

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t2-tea-gift-set
t2-tea-gift-set

Gifted by T2 Tea. You can browse the full range here


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