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5 Inch and Up by Sandra Hagelstam - 5d ago
GUCCI BLOOM Acqua di Fiori - Introducing the second wave of fragrance by Alessandro Michele.

In collaboration with Gucci

It’s been proven that no one has been unaffected by the seductive Gucci craze that took us by storm when Alessandro Michele stepped into the fashion house and if you are anything like me, it’s not just the wardrobe that got the experience the awakening.

The new chapter of Gucci Bloom embodies vitality and youth, as it’s inspired by friendship and the nature at its peak of Summer. Honouring this, I partnered up with the beautiful Peony Lim, a friend and colleague that inspires me on many levels, to shoot a story that would bring to life the vision that the Acqua di Fiori represents. The fresh, green scent is a continuation of the original Gucci Bloom, with added notes of Galbanum and cassis buds that will figuratively place you under a floral waterfall. Whether you currently find yourself in peaceful surroundings of a blooming countryside, or in an urban, wild garden in the middle of London like us - this scent is guaranteed to bring the feel of summer right to you.

Flowers and friendship, although it sounds like the perfect Instagram ingredients, I am talking about the real ones, that need to be nourished and treasured. This Spring has taken me by surprise and friendship-wise brought new, incredible women into my life. I don’t know if it’s the life situations over the past few years that has changed my priorities or my personal growth that has attracted these new inspiring characters. Either way, in-between the social shoutouts and ‘accidentally amazing’ press trips abroad, I am doing my best to honour all the important people in my life, new and old. You can only really be present at this very moment, so make sure those moments are spent with the people that matter the most to you.

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Photos by Kit Lee

The post An Urban Garden in Bloom appeared first on 5 Inch and Up.

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5 Inch and Up by Sandra Hagelstam - 1M ago
Art Basel and the Art of Caviar, a Swiss visit with La Prairie.

In collaboration with La Prairie

A stay in a historic, Alpine spa hotel and a chance to experience Art Basel with one of the most innovative and creative skincare brands on the market? This was an opportunity that I would never be able to forgive myself should I let it pass. Next thing I know I was flying over the white Alps and landed in a green, summery Switzerland that flooded me with iconic connotations of everything from Sound of Music to the illustrated Heidi books. Much like Finland, Switzerland is iconic for its winterly sceneries but a hidden gem and ever so underestimated for its summer spectacle.

Arriving at the recently reopened Bürgenstock Resort had me slightly panicking which app, camera or media to use to best document the breathtaking setting. The anxiety quickly settled when I sat in front of a view that looked like a watercolour painting. The Resort was nothing short from amazing, ‘resort’ is putting it lightly, it’s more like a village that on top of the impressive facilities hosts an iconic guest list. The resort is where Audrey Hepburn got married and Sophia Loren lived for several years, so it’ s safe to say the charm will win you over, too.

The old Basel town, "Heyday "by Georg Herold and "Exomind" by Pierre Huyghe, as part of the Parcours tour.

An hour away from the charming Bürgenstock we arrived at the old town of Basel where we were led through the Parcours tour that spread through the city. It quickly dawned on me that this town takes a lot of pride in its reputation of being the epicentre of modern art, as sound installations were installed in the sewers and old chapels used as the arenas for modern, colourful sculptures.

This was La Prairie's second year of sponsoring Art Basel, the worlds biggest annual art fair that has now spread through Miami and Hong Kong as well. When stepping into the fair itself it opened up to me how massive this was (I should have understood that by the number of private planes lined up at the airport) but the artwork quickly drew us into a world of its own. Sustainability, overconsumption and the importance of the individual were some of the most discussed topics, even school gun violence was an addressed subject. All works were so personal and raw that it halted everyone from the experienced visitors to the first-time visitors.

''Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)'' by Lara Favaretto.

‘’Tiger, Tiger, Tiger’’ by Ai Weiwei, ’'Tumba Abierta III’’ by José Yaque and Untitled by He Xiangyu.

‘’Death Star III’’ by Roberto Longo and ''Nero Cellotex'' by Alberto Burri.

Manon Wertenbroek  “Mirrors”, “Blue Portrait” and “Window Glimpse” were created and photographed by the artist in collaboration with La Prairie. She paid tribute to Niki de Saint Phalle’s work and incorporated cobalt blue which is signature colour to La Prairies Skin Caviar.

Returning back to the sanctuary (the hotel that is) we were introduced to the renewed version of La Prairie’s iconic Skin Caviar. 30 years on from when the original Skin Caviar formula was introduced, the dedicated, Switzerland based team points out that the development of innovation has allowed the experts to discover ways to better the formula - why would you otherwise fix something that definitely isn't broken?

From a caviar dinner to the caviar infused facial that was hands down the best one I’ve had to date (It’s available in Harrods too, just minus the view). It’s safe to say that my standards have once again been raised, I honestly don’t know how much higher I can go from this. Talk about a trip to sooth all your senses.

The post The Art of innovation appeared first on 5 Inch and Up.

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5 Inch and Up by Sandra Hagelstam - 2M ago
To the next chapter

I am both terrified and excited to reveal to you most exciting project yet. This time I haven't signed a million pound ambassador deal nor is this a grand brand collaboration, rather a leap into the unknown, fuelled by purely a passion and a calling that I am answering to satisfy simply one person, myself. 

Over the past two years, I’ve been studying acting and I am now ready to introduce this whole new chapter into this social world. Although I find this post difficult to write (mostly because I have a million things to say and it’s hard to convert emotions into words), finally coming out with these news brings me more excitement than any announcement or collaboration ever has. In TV and film, as a drama or comedy actress (they are surprisingly close to each other) is where I see a future and I m going to combine all of this with the shoe-obsessed, fashion loving, world travelling 5 inch and up persona that you already know. 

Before fashion took over my life like a pleasuring wave and long before blogs were even considered a tool for having your voice heard, let alone a career path, I wanted to become an actress. I was one of those annoying kids that would always put on an act, whether it was appropriate or not. Then came fashion and all the wonderful aspects of it, little did I know that my vain shopping addiction would soon turn useful. At the time Finland did not have enough options to study in the field of fashion so a few weeks later I found myself on a short course at LCF, which then lead me to apply for full time studies and eventually the start of this blog. So here we are, 8 years later, looking at a very different industry where the extreme ends seem to be to either ‘please your followers’ and adapt or stay true to yourself and do your own thing, even if that costs you your following. Longevity lies in the things you can continue naturally and without too much effort. As an influencer, having things come across as too ‘try hard’ is something I work hard to avoid. While this is not to be confused with hard work (the time I spend perfecting a shot…) The outcome needs to be effortless with a natural flow.

So, back the acting. After getting over the cliches - Am I too old to start? Do I need to have a background in drama? And will I ever be taken seriously? I thought I would have to end my career as an ‘Influencer’ and transition into an actress because these are two very opposite things. On one side we have the polished, posed, filtered, post-production images focused around products and a pretty face, in the other corner we have the non-filtered approach, built on emotion, raw feelings where the biggest fear is to come across as just a pretty face. See what I mean? Two years into my studies, I don’t feel the same and I don’t see them as two separate things anymore, we are all creators, whatever we do. The beauty of being an ‘influencer’ is that it’s such an undefined (and weird) profession where we have every other phone owner calling themselves an influencer, to ‘creatives’ that will hit the roof is you dare to put them in the blogger category. I guess what I am trying to say that the industry and peoples perception has changed. You are not required to fit into one box anymore, personality and aesthetics are what defines you, and that is something that I am more than happy to rely on.

So at what point does one even qualify to call themselves an actress? Not being able to answers this question is the reason why I haven't told you the news sooner. I’m now in the conversation of my second film role and I finally feel comfortable talking about this. I will be taking you along for the ride with behind the scenes images, ‘making of’ videos and more. In all honesty who the hell knows where this will take me, which is so incredibly exciting.

So in between some intense eye fucking, trying to not look like a serial killer, constipated nor gimmicky, illustrated above are some in between shots from my attempt to shoot headshots. It took a while to get into the role of not introducing a new lipstick or hiding behind a piece of jewellery, rather into a state of mind where appearing pretty would become secondary.

Photos by Mikko Puttonen

The post My leap into the world of acting appeared first on 5 Inch and Up.

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Minna Parikka ‘Elizabeth’ red satin bunny pumps

While my shoe closet expands into the oblivious (I’m working on turning this around) I want to make a conscious effort to introduce a larger variety of designers in my SOTM features. So on that note, I’ve chosen to praise Finnish designer Minna Parikka’s newest design in my monthly review. You might know her from the ‘bunny sneakers’ that rose to fame a few years ago and has hence become available everywhere from Selfridges to Farfetch (This style also comes in an adorable baby version so unless you have a matching pair with your toddler, please buy them now and send me pictures).

The iconic bunny ears have got a sophisticated update and by the time they were presented in satin, on a mule stiletto and with a pointy toe - I immediately booked them in for this feature. Longtime readers know I’ve been a fan of Minna Parikka for a while, but this shoe is without a doubt her best creation. A shoe so good, they come in three colours and four different styles, plus the family is set to expand for pre-fall. If you ask me, these satin bunnies are destined for greatness!

Comfort: 5/5
My gosh, this is a shoe that feels just as comfortable as it looks! Sturdy on the foot but perfectly arched for a comfortable balance. So far I’ve found Minna’s heels more comfortable than the flats, but I will be trialling the different styles of these satin bow bunnies throughout the summer.

Quality: 4.5/5
A stunning shoe in scrumptious satin has it looking like it belongs in the Miuccia family. The choice of the fabric is spot on - delicate but durable enough to work on a shoe, the heel, however, could have used a bit more definition or shape to it.

Purchase price: Gifted in April, but retails for €395 on minnaparikka.com. The satin ‘bunny ears’ comes in a variety of colours and materials, with the flat slides set to be a winner for the summer to come.

Conclusion: This is a shoe that is set to be an Instagram hit for the summer to come. Cute and comfortable and at a price that will not completely blow your budget. Unless you have too many soft pink coloured shoes, go for the stunning ‘rose’ version to give the idea of a nude shoe a whole new meaning. The style comes in strappy sandals, sneakers, flats and of course the mule. The two latter ones are my prediction for the world domination 2018. Pick your pair.

The post SHOE OF THE MONTH: MINNA PARIKKA ‘ELIZABETH’ SATIN PUMPS appeared first on 5 Inch and Up.

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5 Inch and Up by Sandra Hagelstam - 3M ago

While it doesn't really feel like it, we officially moved into springtime over a week ago. My iPhone’s automatic time setting had already outsmarted me by the time I woke up that Sunday, while my loyal wristwatch kept throwing me off the whole day. See, I never bought into the whole smartwatch trend, the one that gives you Facebook notifications, simply because my phone is already working overtime when it comes to distracting me from life. From my watch, I have different demands. I am a jewellery indulger, so my timepiece needs to act accordingly and sit comfortably, whether I’m wearing it as a single piece or stacked with jewellery, mixed and not necessarily matched with similar precious metals.

I became a bit of a watch snob upon turning 30, after realising the simple joys a nice watch can bring. To someone that insists on changing earrings twice a day and owns more rings than my 10 fingers would ever be able to accommodate, a watch is just the right kind of accessory commitment that I am ready to make. Ralph Lauren just celebrated 10 years of its now iconic, Swiss-made Stirrup watch collection, where you’ll find subtle equestrian references running through the whole range. This I can truly appreciate, I come from a family that breeds horses after all.

The Stirrup petite-link watch might just be the most recognisable of them all, whether you want it with a classic or the mother of pearl face, it’s a timepiece that could just as well be classed as jewellery (something for you who shivers at the mention of a smartwatch).

 

 

 

Ralph Lauren Stirrup Petite-Link Mother of Pearl

As delicate as newly fallen snow, the various sized diamonds in the RL888 Snowfall will give you Après ski feels, even if we have Spring on our doorstep. With over 40 interchangeable straps, this is a model you’ll be guaranteed to never grow tired of.

 

 

 

Ralph Lauren RL888 Snowfall Diamond

Ralph Lauren Chunky chain jewellery

You only need to set half a foot into the perfectly decorated townhouse-like boutiques to transport you into the world of Ralph Lauren. Next thing you know, you are going to start wishing your wallpaper had a bit more ‘texture’ and lean toward ‘beige being the new black’. Clearly, I’m living in this belief as we speak and embracing rose gold like never before. Feminine in its soft finish but masculine with its simple chains, although the Chunky Chain collection is strong enough to fall into a statement piece category, they work just as well worn together and for everyday use. I guess this is what makes a hero piece, a piece you’ll have faith investing in. You can trust that a sophisticated spin on a chain is something that will go out of fashion anytime soon.

All jewellery and clothing by Ralph Lauren 

Photos by Mikko Puttonen

The post Daylight savings appeared first on 5 Inch and Up.

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AQUAZZURA Powder Puff 105 sling in powder pink suede

I’m back on my heels and apologising to 90% of you who I offended with the previous sneaker review (seriously lost a few dedicated followers there…). We’ve moved into springtime since we last spoke, so it’s more than appropriate to introduce a slingback, a pair that I’ve been longing to have part of my monthly feature for ages. Aquazzura, who came out with the news today that they are set to launch a menswear line soon, will also expand into a ‘lifestyle’ range - Anyone who’s visited their stores, knows that there is something good in the pipeline!

The Aquazzura ‘Powder Puff’ (I live for this name!) has since it’s launch for pre-fall 2017 been made into a classic style that now comes in a 105 heel, kitten heel, ballet and slipper (not to mention the baby version that might just be the cutest thing I’ve been on this side of 2018). This boudoir-like pair is like a winter version of the ‘Wild Thing’ (that I had as SOTM in 2016), which is probably why the velvet version has grown to become the most popular style yet. Delicate, with its pointy toe and feminine sling-back, the oversized pom pom adds a bit of fun which makes this my favourite Aquazzura pair to date! Am I the only one who thinks the puff makes you want to stick your face into it…?

Unlike my previous pair, this is a shoe that I did does not require much convincing. Apart from being the perfect partner to your LBD, it goes equally well with your jeans and is one of those pairs that gathers uhh's and ooh's wherever you go.

Comfort: 4/5
This is a shoe that feels comfortable on the foot but might fly off should you actually need to move around more than usual. You will need to tighten the back-strap, possibly even make a few additional holes to have them sit comfortably.

Quality: 4.5/5
Overall a gorgeous shoe that IMO looks best in velvet. You might need to ‘comb’ through the puff upon taking them out of the box and be very careful to not have them drenched in the rain.

Sizing: Runs true to size, maybe a little on the big side. In order to have the shoe stay on, you need to go down if you are in between sizes.

Purchase price: £530 from Flannels, March 2018
The ‘Powder Puff’ comes in a variety of colours and materials, with the flat slides set to be a winner for the summer to come. Shop my favourite selection below.

Conclusion: This is a shoe that has been going strong throughout the seasons, I think the fact that they now come in more colours that I could fit in the selection below, is an indication that this is a style that is here to stay! The good news is that these are equally gorgeous in all heights (a rare fact!) so take your pick, the bad news is that you are going to need to add these into your collection sooner rather than later because many of the colours are seasonal and selling fast!

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Photos by Mikko Puttonen

The post SHOE OF THE MONTH: AQUAZZURA POWDER PUFF PUMPS appeared first on 5 Inch and Up.

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Louis Vuitton ‘Archlight’ sneakers

It’s in shock and disbelieve that I am endorsing sneakers here on 5 inch and up! But what can you do, the unknown excites me and like a 5 year old, I’ll continue wanting what I ‘can’t’ have.

The ‘dad sneaker’ has been forcing it’s way into almost every designers collection, sneaking in to our otherwise tailored wardrobe. Over the years, I said no to the Stan Smiths, the New balance the Nike’s and the chunky Balenciaga’s, but I wasn't able to say no to the Louis Vuitton one. ‘There is a little bit of a heel’ were words enough to have me hand over my credit card.

This is a shoe that grows on you, so bare with me. A shoe that is retro yet futuristic and that does not look like a dirty gym shoe that someone found deformed in the back of a closet (I’m looking at you Balenciaga). You may love it or hate it, but you must admit the Archlight’s shape is interesting and nothing like you’ve seen before. The updated 80’s accidental favourite will perfectly throw off your neatly styled spring suit and casually remove all the ‘over’ from your ‘overdressed’ ensembles. Wear them with white shirts, dresses, blazers and trench coats, just stay away from the hoodies and baggy jeans. These shoes are here to replace your heels, not your sneakers… if that makes sense.

Comfort: 5/5

Of course, these shoes are as comfortable as they look, I believe it would actually take extra work to make them uncomfortable. They might feel a bit ‘bulky’ and have you walk like a duck for the first few days but at least you are able to walk (unlike with many of the perviously reviewed shoes).

Quality: 4.5/5 

While these are the most expensive sneakers I’ve ever bought they do live up to the hype. The shape is unique and you’ll know that these are no average kicks. The chunky rubber sole is likely to starch easily so fight the burning urge to overtake people (although you’ll discover the wonderful world of speed walking)

Sizing:

Runs true to size, so don’t go experimenting size-wise. These are meant for walking so don’t make the coziest shoe in fashion history uncomfortable but taking a size too small. Going big, you’ll be tripping over your own steps so I don’t know what worse.

 

Purchase price:

$1,090 in NYC, February 2018. The ‘Archlight’ comes in eight from colour combinations, from silver to LV monogrammed, and a all black version was released exclusively for NYC.

Conclusion: 

Haters, do yourself a favour and jump teams, because this is a shoe that you will be seeing everywhere this summer. From Balenciaga to Stella McCartney, there is more or less a chunky sneaker in every designer collection. Let’s celebrate the ones that do this trend well and the trend that is challenging the tradition on women in uncomfortable shoes. Surely, not a shoe for everyone and definitely not a pair that will ‘elongate your legs and accentuate your female figure’ but for the fashion girl that prefers a dad sneaker over a sugar daddy, get yourself a pair before they sell out.

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Dad sneakers, best served white and with that akward platform.

Photos by Mikko Puttonen

The post SHOE OF THE MONTH: LOUIS VUITTON ARCHLIGHT SNEAKERS appeared first on 5 Inch and Up.

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5 Inch and Up by Sandra Hagelstam - 6M ago

‘Which are a few of your favourite things?’ is what Christian Louboutin could have asked me before coming out with the seductive scent; ‘Trouble in heaven’. I imagine him standing in front of a big pot, throwing in sex appeal, stiletto heels, red nails, oriental amber, sarcasm and all things mysterious - and giving it a good stir. ‘Trouble in heaven’ is accompanied by ‘Tornade Blonde’ and ‘Bikini Questa Sera’ but these are stories for an another time or for other troublemaking vixens.

To pull on the heartstrings of another added sense, behold the pumps that I can proudly call my highest to date. Simply elegant but oh so delicious, purple satin stilettos, but don’t let that darling rounded toe fool you, these aren't causing trouble in your heaven for nothing.

 

 

Christian Louboutin custom made shoes | Christian Louboutin 'Trouble in Heaven' perfume in 30ml | My Beachy Side dress | Saint Laurent bangle

"I wanted to celebrate woman and her desires. I wanted these fragrances to enhance an aspect of her personality, or perhaps reveal something about her that no one knew before, maybe not even her, tell a secret, a story. In a way creating these fragrances is like being a film director, some directors want to control the acting process. Others want to reveal the power of character and personality. This is what I try to evoke with shoes and now with the alchemy of fragrance. I want to give women the means to express themselves and to delight in their femininity." - Christian Louboutin.

The post TROUBLE IN HEAVEN appeared first on 5 Inch and Up.

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5 Inch and Up by Sandra Hagelstam - 6M ago
2018 skincare resolutions & The UK launch of Lumene.

In collaboration with Lumene at Feel Unique

It’s January, the optimist in me is thriving and filled with hope and excitement. After a very emotionally tough few months (… make that a year) I am finally seeing light in the end of the tunnel and looking forward to the new year that is finally here.

My enlightenment might be fuelled by a long holiday break which has given me the energy and strength to return to London more optimistic than ever. Never have the ‘New Year, New Me’ mantra hit harder than right at this very moment! Equipped with a long list of new plans and ideas, many of them regarding this blog and what I would like to do more of in 2018. Don’t worry, there will definitely still be a strong shoe focus, but I will be going a bit deeper into the beauty and skincare sector, revealing a bit more about the routine that comes before achieving perfect skin and a flawless make-up look.

The truth is my skin is currently in the best state it’s ever been, which is an achievement to say the least, after a cold and dry winter (that still is not over btw…). So what do I have to thank for my skin’s current state? Last year my resolution was to be kinder to myself, which I can proudly say that I, well at least partially, followed through. There was significantly less nights that I fell a sleep with my make-up on and a big increase in the times where I would find satisfaction in applying masks and play around with serums & skin boosters. Keeping up a healthy, carefree skincare routine is likely what I have to thank for having my best skin to date. Discovering that my oily skin needed more moisture or that facial oil is what keeps the blemishes at bay, let’s just say 2017 has been a learning curve on the skin front. Seeing visible results has been so rewarding, that I’ve gone from an advocate to the biggest fan when it comes Lumene’s products.

Working with Lumene over the last few years, has meant I’ve been among the firsts to test and trial the new product ranges. From the game changer, Invisible Illumination, to the Vitamin C enriched ‘Valo’ range, my skin routine now consists of a carefully selected (tried and tested) variety of Lumene’s products that is all built on Nordic ingredients. I am excited to announce that the products are finally available to my UK based readers! Feel Unique now stocks a wide selection the skincare ranges, so here is a post of my most loved products that I use daily.

INVISIBLE ILLUMINATION - THIS WAS A RANGE THAT RESET MY CONTOURING HABITS AND GREW TO BECOME A SIGNATURE RANGE OF LUMENE.

 

The liquid formulas of the water based serums are both lightweight and really blendable. You’ll end up with that natural, dewy ‘no-make-up look’ that both works on its own or as a base.

The Instant Glow Serum acts like a very sheer foundation, that I often use on my make-up free days, but the must haves from the collection is the bronzer, blush (that comes in two shades) and the illuminizer (available in three shades). The ‘Shimmering Dusk’ illuminizer also works wonderfully as a primer.

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BUILT ON ARCTIC SPRING WATER, THE ‘LAHDE’ RANGE IS EFFECTIVELY MOISTURISING AND THE RANGE THAT HAS BEEN BEST FOR MY SKIN.

Lumene ‘Lahde’ Pure Arctic Miracle 3-in-1 Micellar Cleansing Water
My previous use of cleansing waters has been mostly to treat problem areas, like the blemish-prone t-zone, but discovering the effect of this micellar water has been impressive. Designed to neutralise the skin, this is a product that is guaranteed to work on all skin types. I use it after my face wash, to wipe away any left traces of makeup and to soften the skin.

Lumene ‘Lahde’ Hydration Recovery Aerating Gel Mask
Hands down my favourite mask to date. Super hydrating and leaves the skin dewy and even in texture. Use a generous amount and leave it on for as long as possible, on the days that I am away from my boyfriend, I sleep in this mask! My pro tip is to store this in the fridge and use it chilled on hangover days. I don’t know how, but works wonders even on breakouts. 

Lumene ‘Lahde’ Hydration rescue balm
From the three moisturisers in this range, it came as a big surprise that the balm, which is naturally heavier than the other moisturisers, has been the best for my oily skin. Don’t be put off by the heavy texture, it works wonderfully even under make up. I use it religiously both morning and evening.

Lumene ‘Lahde’ Arctic spring Water Enriched Facial Mist
After my moisturiser sets in, I spray a few pumps of the mist. This is also a product that I use over my make-up and throughout the day as a refresher. The organic birch sap gives the skins moisture level an instantly boost so it’s a saviour in both the dry winter as well as hot summer. I also occasionally use the mist from the ‘Valo’ range. 

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RANGES ‘VALO’ AND ‘SISU’ ARE THE BEST SCENTED RANGES OF LUMENE, SET TO BRIGHTEN AND PROTECT.

Lumene ‘Valo’ Glow boost Vitamin C Essence
As I tested the ‘Valo’ range throughout the last summer, the product that stood out as the hero, was the Vitamin C serum. This little miracle in a bottle brightens up the skin with two types of hyaluronic acids, Vitamin C and cloudberry extract, I use it twice daily under my moisturiser. Smells wonderful and I have yet to meet someone who’s not impressed. Read the reviews if you don’t believe me.

Lumene ‘Valo’ Bright Eyes All-In-One treatment
Not forgetting the eyes (although I admit I often do...), the Vitamin C also works wonders on tired eyes, dark circles, puffiness and wrinkles. Packed with all the effective goodness, and is especially great for being fragrance-free and kind to sensitive eyes.

Lumene ‘Sisu’ Recover & Protect Facial Oil
Out of all Lumene products, the best smelling ones are from the ‘Sisu’ range. Like a foggy forrest on a summer morning. I use the oil when my skin feels dry, especially on colder days in London. The blend of Nordic berry seed oils is set to protect your skin against harmful external elements like weather and pollution, so the ideal product for city life.

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The post The honest skincare update appeared first on 5 Inch and Up.

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Saint Laurent ‘Niki’ OTK boots in black

Quite simply, the boots of the year.

You know it, I know it. There is a glittery elephant in the room when it comes to my holy ‘Shoe of the month’ category, that shamefully has not gotten the attention it deserves! I am of course talking about the Saint (correctly titled) Laurent sparkling, Diamond (well actually Swarovski crystal-embellished) boots that stopped traffic (read: jammed Insta, the 2017 version of causing a physical traffic jam) when they made their way down the runway in Paris last February. “A cult shoe was born!” is what I remember the press raving.

The boots that more or less inspired the KiraKira+ app has been featured and adorned, but only by the very selected and industry insiders alike. See the crystal-embellished boots landed online with a hefty price tag of £6,855, so with a heavy heart, I had to start looking for some realistic, wearable alternatives. Although it sounds like I was shopping for the baby of average-Joe and plain-Jane, I knew Saint Laurent was not going to leave us dry. The boots started dropping in more version that I could hope for, actually more version I wanted to hope for, as they now come in leather, suede, in everything from otk-boots long enough to have me skip pants, to pumps that cut so low, you’ll have all your toes practically pouring out.

The cone heel has been well received. It is comfortable, practical and somewhat timeless, however, it is nevertheless controversial. Think the heel looks familiar? You are right. The pointy toe, cone heeled boot is a signature style to Isabel Marant, and all versions of the ‘Niki’ are annoyingly similar. I think I am only scraping the surface when I say that we can spot the ‘inspiration’ here, but then again the cone heel dates back to the 1980’s and can’t really be owned by anyone, right? I will let you be the judge…

Comfort: 4/5

I would state these as pretty kind on the feet. The foot part is comfortable to walk in, you’ll feel it first on the ball of your feet because of the high heel and lack of platform. The boots can be worn either pulled up or scrunched down, in the latter you might find that they are a bit bulky to walk in… That is if you, like me, are lacking a modest 50cm of hight compared to the runway models.

Quality: 5/5 

The glossed leather is so delicious. Shiny, but not patent. Structured, but not hard and very forgiving when it comes to scratches. The boots have been travelling with me back and forth since the fall, both worn and stuffed in a suitcase - still looks like I just unwrapped them.

Sizing:

Runs a little on the small on size, so I would say go up half a size. I bought mine in a full size up, simply because they were selling out quicker than my shopping habits could keep up with. These being boots, go rather too big than too small. It is December after all.

Purchase price:

£1200 at Net-a-Porter, September 2017. The ‘Niki’ comes in variations from otk-boots to pumps, in leather and suede. Shop the collection below. 

Conclusion: 

There is a reason why I crowned these not only ‘Shoe of the Month’, but ‘Shoe of the Year’! Certainly living up to their reputation, I remember feeling a bit like Batman when I first stood up in these. The versatility of wear (there is nothing in my wardrobe that would not go with these) is guaranteed to suit and spice up even the most basic denim wearer and you’ll see people’s heads turning in slow motion. YOU NEED THESE BOOTS. Although there is a delicious tan version (and even a Rambo take of that), you’ll make the biggest impact in black. Make it the otk-version, or at least the knee-length one because the wrinkled leather is 90% of the fun. Think of it as the sexy, fashion version of a rolled down wool sock (if you must) and thank me later!

Me and my boots are wishing you a Happy New Year! May 2018 bring us happiness and more shoes!

Photos by Mikko Puttonen

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The post SHOE OF THE MONTH / YEAR: SAINT LAURENT ‘NIKI’ BOOTS appeared first on 5 Inch and Up.

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