Friday, 2 June 2017

Going to Glastonbury? Stop by GlastonBrow

First they brought out their iconic vending machines, and now they're getting us all excited again with a 'drive-thru'. No, this isn't another fast food venture - this is Benefit's latest way to bring you beauty essentials in style. Launching during this year's Glastonbury festival, the outlet will be giving away FREE Benefit goodies, brow waxes and festival essentials (yes, you heard that right!).

If you're attending Glasto this year, you'll find GlastonBrow on the main road to the festival, and its bright pink exterior will definitely be hard to miss. While you're waiting in the notoriously bad traffic jams, Benefit will get the party started with exclusive DJ sets from Zara Martin, Anna Prior from Metronomy and many more.

Swing by the drive-thru and you'll be treated to a beauty experience like no other (seriously, I've never seen anything like this!). Choose from a menu of brow-inspired gift options and drive-thru to the collection window where a Benebabe will deliver the free goodies. In addition, Benefit will also be giving away all of the necessary festival essentials for a weekend of glitter, flower crowns and music!

As if it couldn't get any better, customers can hit up social media with a photo of their freshly acquired Bene-swag and the hashtag '#BenefitBrows' to be in with the chance of winning a year's supply of Benefit's cult brow products. 

See you there?

Benefit has been transforming brows since 1976, during which time it has opened more than 1,500 brow bars across the globe. Having launched a 13 piece brow collection in 2016, the brand understands the importance of ‘wow brows’ and how they can truly transform someone’s appearance.

Benefit’s head makeup artist and brow expert, Lisa Potter-Dixon explains: “Brows have the power to give you an instant eye lift and can totally transform your look. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had years of over-plucking or are struggling with unruly and thick brows, our team can magically transform them into beautifully groomed arches. We’re taking our signature technique and beloved brow experts to Somerset for all festival-goers to rock a statement brow to match their feathers and glitter – it’ll be sure to get them into the festival spirit!”


Thursday, 1 June 2017

How to accessorise your phone in style

I was chatting with one of my friends today, who told me that she carries around an organiser to keep all of her important notes and dates safe. Birthday party coming up? Boom. Into the organiser it goes. She takes it to work with her everyday and it helps her stay up to date with both her office and social diary.

Me? I like to jam-pack everything into my phone. My little Samsung is my life. It's sad to think it, but it's true. My calendar, contacts, emails, notes - it's all there (God forbid I lose it), and I keep it close by at all times. Some might say I have nomophobia, but I just love the fact that I can store everything in a pocket-sized gadget. No paper needed.

Because I'm always interacting with my phone, I like to dress it up a little bit with a new case every now and then. There are so many different designs out there, which makes it hard for me to choose which one best suits my style, but currently Richmond & Finch have some beautiful, sophisticated and simplistic designs which are perfect for my 'aesthetic'!

As I mentioned, my phone is a Samsung, but Richmond & Finch also cater for iPhones, from the iPhone 5 to the 7 Plus. The designs vary depending on which phone you have, but there are beautiful patterns available for each phone and most cases are around €43. This price includes a one-year warranty on the cases, which feature a trademarked gold ring and band border displaying the Richmond & Finch logo - a classy touch, I think.


Friday, 26 May 2017

Boohoo's Dress of the Month

If you hadn't already taken note, gingham is a big trend for SS17. Designers such as House of Holland, Shrimps and Molly Goddard went full-on with the print on the runways last September, taking inspiration from the Wild West, school girl pinafores, and The Wizard of Oz protagonist, Dorothy.

Gingham wasn't on my radar this season as, unless it's a stripe, I'm not a doting fan of all-over patterns. I didn't particularly want to look like a saloon barmaid, or a tablecloth. But then I was contacted by Boohoo to style their Dress of the Month on my blog, and this happened to be a gingham dress.

Boohoo's 'Dress of the Month' is a campaign which lets influencers receive a surprise sample dress from the brand's current collection, and style it as a source of inspiration for your readers. I was chosen for this month's campaign, and given the Jenna Gingham Ruffle Hem Smock Dress* to style.

When I took it out of the bag, I was pleased that it wasn't a bodycon affair, as I'm far too body-conscious to cope with anything skintight. Holding the dress up against my body in the mirror, the cogs in my mind starting turning. How will I make this work?

I was thankful that the dress came up larger than average - it's designed to feel oversized so that it hangs off the body for an easy, comfortable fit. In my head I was picturing an outfit along the lines of off-duty Alexa Chung circa 2014: something laid back with an indie rock vibe. However, the ruffles across the chest gave the dress a modern look, which meant that I would still look current.

I chose to keep my accessories mostly black and paired this dress with black patent boots from Public Desire, some round sunglasses from zeroUV* and a black shoulder bag from Dorothy Perkins. The only pop of colour was a Mary Katrantzou scarf, which I'm currently wearing with everything.

Since it was bitterly cold the day I shot this look, I brought a light duster jacket from Topshop with me. I'm not usually able to pair a coat with an outfit and make the whole thing look cohesive, but I think this finished off the look quite well.

What are your thoughts? Would you buy this gingham dress? Find it here.


* Gifted for review

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Put down that avolatte

If you've been awake in the past five years, you'll know that avocados are kind of a thing. A big thing, in fact. This time last year, the Telegraph wrote that 'sales of avocados overtook sales of oranges in December [2015] with around 44 million being sold per year'. There was even an avocado pop-up restaurant in London (of course), where customers could order from a menu comprised entirely of avocado-based dishes - it was called, in the most original way, AVOPOPUP, and it will be returning this year as AVOLUTION.

If you think Britain hadn't already reached peak avocado obsession, think again. This week, I saw that a coffee shop in Melbourne had created a particularly icky-looking 'avolatte' as a toungue-in-cheek gesture towards Australian millionaire Tim Gurner's comments on millennials and housing affordability, but it somehow caught on here in the UK. Now, I'm hoping the irony hasn't worn off (we can't really be THAT basic, can we?), because that amount of creamy fat is bound to encourage a heart attack. 'But it's good fats!' you say. Maybe. But I'm not going to tell you how many calories are in your favourite vanilla latte, because it will probably make you cry.

Instead, let's take a step back from the Instagram-fueled madness, and strip avocados down to their bare pits. These little green fruits are a great source of monounsaturated fats; research shows that this type of 'good fat' lowers cholesterol, decreases the risk of breast cancer, lessens the painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and lowers the risk of heart disease. Avocados also contain high levels of potassium, dietary fibre, and vitamins A and B-6, which is why it's called a superfood.

Now, if you've already eaten more plates of avo-toast than you can count on both hands, there are other ways to enjoy an avocado. For example, you can pop it in a blender to add creamy texture to a smoothie, mix it into a nourishing face or hair masque, or even use it to create a rich mug cake. 

However, if you're not much of an alchemist, you might be glad to hear that avocado is emerging as a key ingredient in everyday products such as hair care and tea, due to its amazing benefits. 

Heath & Heather's Organic Green Tea with Avocado already contains antioxidant-rich green tea, but when combined with avocado this soothing drink becomes even more beneficial. Boiled for three to six minutes in water, the tea bag releases a smooth, creamy infusion of ripe avocado, which is perfect to enjoy at any time of day - though I prefer mine at lunchtime with my avo-toast and a Happy Egg Co poached egg. It feels like an indulgent treat, but it's so healthy!

This is an ideal drink for those of you who love green tea and avocado, but if you'd rather try something different, Heath & Heather have also just released two more flavours in addition to their huge range: Organic Green Tea & Imperial Matcha, and Organic Super Green Tea Matcha & Seaweed. As these teas are organic (no nasty chemicals here), they're great for your body and great for the environment! You can find these online, or at your local Holland & Barrett. 

Last year, Tesco released its first avocado spread which (I believe) is a vegan alternative to butter, but please correct me if I'm wrong. I know it contains palm oil, the production of which causes widespread environmental destruction and even threatens the extinction of certain species, so perhaps it's not the most ethical alternative. However, if you're not ethically minded, this product does contain avocado oil, which features some (not all, I must say) of the benefits of eating an avocado as-is, including vitamins D and A, plus the added benefit of Omega 3.

High street hair care favourite Aussie has released its new Miracle Nourish range for long hair, which includes a shampoo (£4.19), conditioner (£4.19), and the much raved about 3 Minute Miracle (£4.99), a treatment which works its nourishing magic in just three minutes. Infused with avocado oil and eucalyptus extract, this range promises to deliver a kick of moisture to limp, lacklustre locks - and it does! Having tried this on my own, very long, very overprocessed hair, I can wholeheartedly say that this delivers more of a moisturising effect than your regular high street shampoo. 

The blue formula smells delicious, and is a pleasure to use. You don't need much of the shampoo, but I tend to use more conditioning products, so the addition of the three minute miracle is perfect for me, as I can use it in place of the conditioner if it runs out.


Do you have any avocado-based products to recommend?


Friday, 12 May 2017

Your summer 2017 essentials

Summer's approaching fast. Just today (in glorious May), I felt myself getting a little too hot in the office, and the holiday daydreaming started to kick in. Unfortunately, as it happens, I'm probably not going to go on holiday this year as I'm trying to save money - so I'll just have to limit my use of social media (to escape those pesky Insta-vacay-snaps) and hope that the English weather will be enough to at least make me look like I've just come back from a weekend in the French Riviera.

In case the weather does hold out, and I somehow manage to catch a tan whilst standing at the office water dispenser by the window pretending to fill up my glass, here are the fashion and beauty items I'll be purchasing this year:

Festival hair Rings, Johnny Loves Rosie, £12

Pop these in your plaits for an instant style update.

Matte Yellow Anorak, New Look, £34.99 (Get 25% off until 22.05.17 - no code required)

Because it rains in England. A lot.

Nelih Sandals, Moda in Pelle, £79.95 (Get 20% off until 21.05.17 with code MAY10)

Pair these with a tan and you're golden. Literally.
Flute Sleeve Poplin Shirt, Miss Selfridge, £32

This bell sleeve trend ain't going anywhere.

Grey Jersey Frill Hem Shorts, Nobody's Child, £14

Who doesn't love a cute pair of shorts when it's too hot for jeans?

Bette Printed Playsuit, Reiss, £195

Pricey, but that tropical print is oh so worth it.

The Activist Body Oil, Mio Skincare, £29.50

Literally the best body oil I've ever tried.

Ivory Pineapple Print Sundress, Dorothy Perkins, £20 (Get 25% off during DP VIP week - no code required)

Pineapples + anything = a happy Jen.

Did you know Dior made a Luminizer? Neither did I. But I need it.

1 Piece Orange Bathing Suit Dary, Pain de Sucre, £104.90

No guarantees you'll look like Halle Berry emerging from the water in James Bond, but you'll rock it either way.


Friday, 5 May 2017

Vegetarian Recipe: Butternut Squash and Spinach Risotto

I know. This isn't a food blog. Yet I constantly yap on about food like I think I'm some sort of expert (I'm definitely not, just to clarify). Like any other glutton, I love to eat, and I guess that's where this constant need to mention food on my blog stems from. I hope you don't mind.

So, if you hadn't read my Twitter bio, I'm a vegetarian. I've been a vegetarian for nearly a year, and I quit meat for various reasons (but that's another post). Experimenting since then has been really fun, and it's made me far more creative with my meals - not to mention feeling super great about the amount of vitamins I'm getting from eating so much veg.

One of my go-to meals is risotto - I love it with roasted pumpkin cubes in the autumn, or with mushroom and asparagus at the beginning of spring. But you can pair pretty much anything with risotto and it'll give you that nice comfort food feeling even without adding in the usual cream, butter and white wine.

This week, I was clearing out my fridge, and saw that I had a bit of butternut squash and some spinach left over. I popped this in with some risotto, and found myself another delicious combo! Here's the recipe:

Ingredients (serves 1):

200g butternut squash
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper
200ml vegetable stock
70g risotto
Handful of fresh spinach leaves


1. Preheat over to 200 degrees Celsius.

2. Peel and chop the butternut squash into bitesize cubes, then place in an ovenproof dish. Crush the garlic and sprinkle on top of the butternut squash. Drizzle with olive oil and season with the salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 30 minutes.

3. Place the risotto in a saucepan and pour the vegetable stock on top. Stir, then place the lid on the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the handful of spinach, then leave for another five minutes.

4. Spoon the risotto and spinach into a bowl, then spoon the butternut squash on top. 

Saturday, 29 April 2017

A Subtle Colour Change

Two months ago, I spent a Sunday revamping my hair colour with my go-to hairdresser, Ellenora. We were able to try out L'Oréal's brand new #Colourfulhair range, a selection of eight bright, semi-permanent, professional colour products designed to provide thousands of different colour options - a huge bonus for those who love to let their colour do the talking (like me!).

I've tried many different shades in the past, but after years of experimentation I've found out that cool tones suit me best, because they complement my cool-toned skin (if you need help on finding out whether you're cool or warm-toned, or neutral, a quick method is to look at the colour of your veins - green = warm, blue = cool, somewhere in between = neutral). This applies to makeup and clothing, too; however, as I see my hair as my best asset, it's important for me to get it right.

With this in mind, Ellenora suggested a mix of dark blue and green shades, and as I trust her expertise, I was happy to go ahead.

My hair was dyed before this experiment, so I had the colour removed using a stripper, followed by a Smartbond treatment to restore moisture and strengthen, before the #Colorfulhair was finally applied. We used Electric Purple (dark, purply blue) and Iced Mint (blue-green) in alternating strips to create the look, and although it wasn't a major change, I really loved how it looked - especially in natural lighting, where the colours were extra vibrant.

Maintaining this look was a lot easier than the saga I've endured with other semi-permanent dyes. I thought this would wash out straight away, but the vibrancy lasted for around six weeks - that at least twelve washes, for me. My routine during this time involved using a professional shampoo, followed by an at-home Smartbond treatment; I then gently towel-dried my hair and applied eight-to-ten pumps of L'Oréal's Mythic Oil to my hair, before blow-drying straight. If I wasn't going anywhere special, I'd leave it at that - however, if I was preparing for an event, I would curl my hair, which made the colour even more vibrant due to the light bouncing off the curls.

Do I prefer this to permanent colour? Probably not. Although I adore the vast range of hues available within the #Colourfulhair range, the fact that the dyes stain everything they touch is a negative for me. I've had to bleach and scrub my shower floor every week, as well as change my pillowcases every couple of days (although I decided that using a sleep cap was far less effort). 

Another downside is that this range is salon-only. If I had short hair, I wouldn't really mind, as I could strip or change the colour as soon as I was bored with it. However, as I have long hair, it's just not cost effective for me to keep getting my hair done at the salon every time I want a colour change. For those of you with shorter hair (especially blondes) who love to change their colour in-salon, I would really recommend #Colorfulhair, as a talented colourist could make some really stunning, out-of-this-world colour combinations!

Monday, 17 April 2017

A Great Big National Tea Day GIVEAWAY!

Although many of us rely on a morning coffee to get us through the day, I know very few people who would turn down a cup of tea when offered. There's just something about this drink that seems familiar, comforting and satisfying - after all, we brew a staggering 165 million cups of tea daily in the UK. Perhaps we love tea because of Britain's longstanding involvement in the tea industry, or maybe it's the little kick of caffeine that keeps us awake through the rest of the afternoon - or maybe it's the narcissistic pleasure of having a cuppa brewed to your exact specifications. Whatever the reason, the cup of tea is a Great British tradition, and it feels only right to celebrate it on National Tea Day.

Taking place on 21st April 2017, National Tea Day gives us the chance to recognise why this drink is loved by so many. Whether you'll be drinking your trusty favourite breakfast tea or trying out some new flavours, this nationally recognised event is the perfect chance to make the most of your brew. You could do this by:

1. Treating yourself to a tea-friendly treat

If you're popping by the shops, spend a few extra pennies and treat yourself to your favourite indulgence to pair with the perfect cup of tea. For me, this would definitely be a cinnamon bun (I'm salivating just thinking about it), but for you it might be a luxury pack of biscuits or a slice of cake from the bakery.

2. Booking an afternoon tea

I always seem to enjoy tea more when it's brewing away in a vintage teapot, in the comfort of a relaxed setting, with a plateful of pretty treats. Visit for a comprehensive list of afternoon teas available around the country.

3. Taking part in a tea tasting session

The best way to get to know the different flavours of tea is to try them for yourself! If you're open to trying new brews, book yourself a tea tasting class and learn all about the library of tea that awaits you. There are various tea tasting and brewing classes held across the country, but If you want to go all out, Claridge's hosts the ultimate afternoon tea masterclass for £250.

4. Entering the English Tea Shop's giveaway

Speciality organic tea company EnglishTea Shop is joining the National Tea Day festivities by giving away Luxury Organic Gift Tins to 50 lucky tea fans on their social media channels. The Luxury Organic Collection contains 72 individually wrapped pyramid tea bags and features a diverse range of classics to more unusual herbal varieties. The range includes:

Organic and Fairtrade English Breakfast: A pure Ceylon black tea sure to quench any thirst for a proper English brew
Organic and Fairtrade Earl Grey: A quintessentially British tea delicately flavoured with bergamot
Organic and Fairtrade Green Tea: A delicate and refreshing blend of 100% organic and Fairtrade green tea
Organic and Fairtrade Peppermint: A revitalising and delicious tea packed full of antioxidants
Organic Chocolate, Rooibos & Vanilla: Caffeine free, naturally sweet and antioxidant rich rooibos deliciously blended with vanilla and chocolate notes
Organic Black Tea Chai: Organic black tea entwined with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and orange peel
Organic Lemongrass, Ginger and Citrus: An understated classic packing a citrus punch! Notes of Lemongrass and citrus infused with a tingle of ginger will refresh any palate
Organic Green Tea Tropical: Made with the finest organic green tea combined with mouth-watering tropical herbs and fruit flavours
Organic Super Berries: A delightful blend of classical herbs and aromatic berries - tastes as delicious as its aroma

All English Tea Shop teas are created using time honoured healthy ingredients. The range includes nature’s most revitalising herbs, spices, fruits and flowers for the most beneficial infusions and naturally cleansing teas. Steeped in tradition by using the finest quality tea leaves and using age-old practises English Tea Shop works with the finest organic and Fairtrade farmers.

The Luxury Organic Gift Tin is available to win on the English Tea Shop Facebook and Twitter channels, all you need to do is comment, re-tweet and follow to be in with a chance to win!

*Sponsored post

Sunday, 9 April 2017

What happened when I did a coffee flavour challenge

London Coffee Festival by Jen Lou Meredith

'I am a coffee fanatic. Once you go to proper coffee, you can't go back. You cannot go back' - Hugh Laurie

When I was growing up, I lived in a house where the smell of coffee lingered throughout, all day, every day. My dad was involved in the coffee industry, and often brought back packets of wholebean and ground coffee from London, and samples from his week long trips to Brazil. Our garage was crammed full of boxes, bags and tubs of coffee, and for a child who was only interested in riding her bike (which was, consequently, always trapped behind the mountains of coffee), this was a bit of a hindrance for me.

Whilst some kids in a similar situation grew up to become baristas or, at least, coffee lovers, I despised the stuff. I couldn't understand how adults could drink this hot, brown, bitter liquid, and even more how some adults relied on the stuff. I remember asking my dad about it and he said, 'your tastebuds change over time. Someday, you probably won't like cakes or hot chocolates because they're too sickly sweet, and instead you'll enjoy a nice cup of coffee'. I screwed up my face and disregarded this explanation, telling my dad that I wouldn't ever dislike cakes or hot chocolate. 

Ten or so years later, and I still like my sweet stuff, but I do appreciate coffee a lot more. The smell alone makes me nostalgic, and I really do enjoy my lattes, and the occasional espresso when I go to continental Europe. However, I've always bought my coffee from major brands such as Starbucks and Costa - I never thought to engage myself in the world of the independent barista. I'm sure there are many people like me; we stick to the big brands because it's what we know. What if we tried something from an independent cafe that we didn't like? It might put us off. So we go to our local Bucks and order our daily flat whites because it delivers that same, comforting feeling every single time.

I wanted to remove myself from this routine, and try something that was out of my comfort zone, for once. I was given tickets to this year's London Coffee Festival in Shoreditch, so I decided to go along and expand my knowledge. 

London Coffee Festival by Jen Lou Meredith

Walking into The Old Truman Brewery, I'll admit I was a little intimidated. Here was a huge group of people who know pretty much everything there is to know about coffee, and drink it like it's water. I walked around the entire place once, speeding up a bit when someone looked like they were about to talk to me (hey, I didn't want them to think I was stupid or wonder why I was there), before sitting down at the bar with an espresso martini.

Whilst I was drinking, I thought that everyone here, at some point in their lives, knew nothing about coffee. We all have to start somewhere, whether that's with a cup of Nescafe Original Instant or plunging right into the deep end. 

I finished my drink and, with a little bit more confidence (mostly from the vodka), I walked around the venue again - this time, taking in all that I could. 

I stopped at the Union Hand-Roasted stand. This was a large area where people seemed to be congregating around one bar. I made my way to the front to see what was going on, and was asked if I wanted to take part in a flavour challenge. I was given four cups of black coffee, and asked to match them to four different flavours: Chocolate & Caramel, Fruit, Nuts & Spices, and Citrus & Floral. I don't have a great sense of smell, so unfortunately that part of the challenge was wasted on me - but the tasting part was where the fun really began. I must have changed my mind so many times, rearranging the cups around between tastes to establish the right order, but I just couldn't put my finger on the flavours. I guess I didn't have an experienced palette, so I couldn't quite pick out the details, and I ended up getting just one right - the distinct Citrus & Floral.

My name didn't make it onto the winners chart that hung on the wall, but I did come away having learnt a whole lot about how the location and processing affects the way that coffee tastes.

London Coffee Festival by Jen Lou Meredith

After that minor defeat, I couldn't help but stop by the Latte Art stand. I wanted to visit the stand earlier in the day, but there was a huge crowd blocking my view. That afternoon, there was still a huge crowd (people now seem to have a huge fascination with coffee art thanks to Instagram) but I managed to glimpse the work of an Autralian barista who was demonstrating the well known rosetta design, as well as more challenging techniques.

A volunteer was asked to come behind the bar and try the art for herself, but the milk pretty much blended with the coffee and you couldn't make out the design. Turns out that the baristas make this skill look so much easier than it is, when in reality it requires much more practice than people give credit for.

London Coffee Festival by Jen Lou Meredith

Following this session, I decided that it was time to head to the Hotel Chocolat stand, where I could get my sugar fix. They were handing out 100% cocoa hot chocolates, as well as a brand new white chocolate and vanilla drink - both of which were to die for. No word on the release date for the latter as yet, but as soon as it arrives on shelves I'm going to have to bag myself some! 

In the middle of the room stood a huge statue made from real chocolate: stacks of huge pieces, possibly the size of the average laptop. People were invited to scrape off a bit for themselves to pair with their hot chocolates. I politely declined. Me, being the hygiene freak I am, thought about how long that chocolate had been sitting there and just how many people had touched it. Everybody looked like they were enjoying it, though.

London Coffee Festival by Jen Lou Meredith

Finally, after a good look around the festival, I decided it was time to go home. I was a little overwhelmed with the amount of info I picked up, but I was intrigued at the very least. In a goody bag, I was kindly given a packet of wholebean coffee - which I've now got to find a way to grind and brew! Any suggestions on reasonably priced grinders and coffee makers would be much appreciated!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Healthy Tea? Count Me In!

Now that spring's finally here, and we've fully emerged from winter hibernation, now's the time to start reintroducing fresher and more invigorating flavours to your food and drink to really wake your tastebuds up for the new season. If builder's tea has kept you going throughout the dull weather, your body will thank you for moving away from the heavy stuff and onto lighter herbal and fruit teas instead.

Since November last year, I've been picking up the nearest thing I could find to eat for breakfast - mostly croissants, pan au chocolats, bagels - whatever I could find that I could eat in five minutes on the way to work. However, now that spring's here and the mornings are lighter, I've starting getting up twenty minutes earlier, having prepped some nutritious overnight oats, and using the extra time to indulge in a cup of Heath & Heather tea. 

If you haven't heard of Heath & Heather before, they're stocked in Holland & Barret and they have been producing herbal and infused teas since 1920. I'm currently addicted to their newly released Organic Super Teas range, which comprises five different teas:

  • Organic Energising Morning Time Tea
  • Organic Relaxing Night Time Tea
  • Organic Supportive Root Remedy Tea
  • Organic Detoxing Slim Tea
  • Organic Digestive Super Seeds Tea

What I love about these is that they all have a different purpose, for example, the Energising Morning Time Tea is perfect for waking you up when you're feeling groggy, while the Relaxing Night Time Tea is ideal for times when you need a little help settling down before bed.

I get bored drinking the same tea all the time - one day it'll be English Breakfast, the next day, Rooibus, and the next, Earl Grey - so I'm really loving this selection of teas for its variety. There's literally a tea for every working day of the week!

However, I have developed a liking for the Detoxing Slim Tea. As the name suggests, this metabolism boosting tea is ideal for assisting natural weight loss by aiding bowel movements with fibre, detoxing the gut and curbing food cravings. It tastes like a nutty green tea thanks to its infusion of green yerba mate, guarana seeds and rooibus - so if you like the sound of these ingredients, I recommend giving this tea a go!

Friday, 10 March 2017

Spring Beauty Round-up: What to buy this season

Spring Beauty by Jen Lou Meredith

“I enjoy the spring more than the autumn now. One does, I think, as one gets older.” ― Virginia WoolfJacob's Room

Although I agree with most of what Virginia Woolf has written, I have to say that I haven't yet reached the age at which spring becomes more enjoyable than autumn. Perhaps it's because I was born in autumn, but there's just something about the reddening leaves, the cooling temperatures and the hazy sunshine that brings me so much nostalgia and contentment.

Spring, however, is a beautiful time of year, and I'm getting excited just thinking about it. The weather's getting warmer (it's 13 degrees outside!), the evenings are getting lighter and the spring stock is beginning to appear in stores. I'm loving SS17, fashion-wise, for its lighter take on florals, lazy bell sleeves, casual bottoms, mules and, of course, pastels.

But we're talking about beauty here - and there are some intriguing products that are catching my eye, including some brand new launches set for the next couple of months, and some revamped favourites!

Ciaté, known primarily for its nail polishes, have just this week released a new product called 'Dewy Stix'. Described by the brand as a 'luminous glow highlighting balm', this is the perfect product to recreate the no-makeup makeup look that featured heavily on the runways.

Estée Lauder's Double Wear Cushion BB All day Wear Liquid Compact SPF 50, £35

Set to launch in May 2017, this Estée Lauder liquid compact is hailed by the brand as a multi-tasking miracle product: it primes, moisturises, adds luminosity, controls oil and protects the skin from the sun, all the while providing natural-looking coverage.

Luxury vegan and organic skincare brand Dahliana has just released its Berry Beauty Collagen Booster, which harnesses the power of natural berries to regenerate skin cells and rebuild collagen. At £75, this is steep, but Dahliana's products are highly rated and therefore this could be an excellent skin care investment.

So this isn't a beauty buy, but candles make you feel good, which in turn releases endorphins which make you appear happier and healthier (I know, it's a tenuous link, but I love candles so hey ho)! At a steep £80, this is definitely a luxury buy; however, the price is justified by the scent story behind the candle. Inspired by Jo Malone's love of the South of France, the scent takes you on a journey through the streets of Grasse and Mougins with fragrances of neroli blossom, lime cologne and petitgrain. It's spring in a cup!

Urban Decay's new skincare collection, Rehab Makeup Prep, from £11

Due for release on 13th April, Urban Decay's foray into skincare is set to be a big hit with fans of their makeup - after all, wouldn't it be great to be able to buy everything from one place? The collection will consist of Pretty Gritty Skin Polish, £22; Pore Refining Peel, £24; Oxygentated Bubble Mask, £22; Moisture Layer Eye Roller, £20; Hot Springs Hydrating Gel, £22 and moisturising balm Lip Love, £11.

Cover FX Illuminating Setting Spray, £22

Launching this month (March 2017), Cover FX's Illuminating Setting Spray sets makeup to keep it in place all day whilst providing a healthy sheen across the face. It's non-sticky, long-wearing and alcohol free, as well as 100% vegan. Watch out for this one.

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