My Spring Beauty Essentials | 2019 Recommendations
With a change of season, comes a change in my beauty routine. Long gone are the cold winter nights, cloudy days and lack of sunlight which brought dry and dull skin. New obstacles arise, with hotter days and more time spent outside. Thankfully I am fully prepared this year. My recent trip to Japan helped a lot, as it meant I was able to stock up on some old favourites, as well as some new products I researched before/during my visit. That said, in 2019 I’ve continued to keep my beauty routine pretty varied in terms of origins & brands – with items coming from UK, Japan, Korea and France (amongst others).
I’ll be spending this spring focusing on the basics; healthy skin and hair, fresh scents and a fully prepped base with minimal make-up. So without further ado, here are my spring beauty essentials for 2019.
I’ve always been an advocate for taking care of your skin first, and I think that’s pretty apparent with this list, as you can see I haven’t added any new make-up products to my cupboard. But I think the most obvious change from my winter beauty products, is the addition of lighter creams and stronger SPFs. It may not be groundbreaking, but it is practical, and it works.
Don’t forget to check out more of my beauty recommendations and let me know in the comments which products you’ll be coveting in spring 2019.
In the space of five minutes around 10 people stopped by to take photos on our recent visit to Shozo Coffee Store. It’s true, the cafe itself is incredibly Instagram-worthy, but the aesthetic doesn’t feel out of place in the neighbourhood (Cafe Kitsune is just down the road). In short, this coffee shop feels genuine. Which makes it a real shame that only 2 out of the 10 people who took photos actually stopped to grab a coffee/food. Because in a time where cafes are designed ‘for the gram’, Shozo is a breath of fresh air.
Shozo Coffee Store
Located in the stylish neighbourhood of Aoyama, Shozo Coffee Store is just off the main road – yet it feels worlds away from the trendy cafes and fashion houses of Omotesando. The rustic, natural look of the cafe has a uniquely Japanese style inside and out. Oddly it’s a style I’ve not found to be popular in Europe.
Shozo’s ‘branding’ isn’t restricted to the outside though. Step inside and you’ll find an array of baked goods (they’re known for their scones), branded items, and of course high quality coffee. All compacted around two very small seating areas (there’s more outside), albeit it rather stylishly. We tried the cinnamon buns and coffee and bought some coffee jam to take home). The pastries were delicious and the coffee went down a treat, the two together making the perfect combo. With the light filtering through the linen curtains, and the friendly staff smiling and chatting away alongside some gentle background music, we felt a moment of serenity in the midst of busy Tokyo.
If you fancy finding out more, check out Shozo Coffee Store’s Instagram to see their food offerings, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the Tokyo coffee scene.
This year marks 10 years since my first trip to Japan with Ben (I had been before). We have a lot of history with the country, including studying and living in Tokyo together. So it was quite fitting that we would choose it for our honeymoon location. We caught up with friends, relaxed, and did everything we had on our insanely long list. And of course there was space for one of my favourite activities in Tokyo (apart from eating) – street photography.
We walk a lot, wherever we travel. And we treat the vast Tokyo streets no differently. I’ve always loved Tokyo’s streets – the main ones littered with my favourite stores and restaurants, are of course a must visit, but it’s the small side streets that have stolen my heart over the years. Thanks to my strange sense of curiosity, and my love for street photography, I can walk for miles and not even notice my feet aching…until I find a cute cafe, then suddenly I’m 100% down to sit for a bit.
These particular photos were taken on a walk from Asakusa to Ueno – two locations we frequented during our holidays/living in the city. Yet somehow, no matter how many times we visit, we take a different route each time. Because of this I can’t remember our exact route this visit, but that adds to the charm and mystery of it all. No?
A small disclaimer: a lot of the photos I took and feature in this post were ‘shot from the hip’ as I didn’t want to affect the scene by looking down a viewfinder. Because of this, some of the photos are a bit wonky, but I happen to think this adds authenticity to them.
See more of my Japan travels on my blog. And if you enjoyed these photos, I’d highly suggest checking out @Super_OrdinaryLife on Instagram – an account and hashtag run by my dear friend Yasumi, who is located in Tokyo.
If you’re anything like me you’ve probably spent the last few weeks window shopping – both physical and online – for potential Christmas gifts. I don’t like to make it easy for myself though. I enjoy visiting as many shops as possible, so I can make sure I get a good idea of what’s on offer this year. But that’s time consuming and if I can help anyone save time, or recommend something they haven’t thought of, then my blog’s work has been done. So without further ado, here is 2018’s ‘The Scandi Lover Gift Guide’. And I’ve made sure to pack it full of my favourite products from the year. Enjoy!
As you can see I’ve focused on brands and products from a range of price points. I’ve included items I have in my own home, so you know that I can vouch for their quality and assure you that they are worth purchasing.
I included three of my favourites books this year, as I think they fit perfectly into any Scandiphile’s lifestyle – you have interior design tips for the home by Bungalow5DK, timeless fashion advice by Pernille Teisbaek, and a tour of Copenhagen with recipes by Trine Hahnemann.
I also added some bits for the home, to create that perfect ‘hygge’ feeling. What better way to do that than with a glass of something delicious, some candle light, and a mini urban jungle? And who could forget the accompanying Christmas food? Liberty has such a beautifully packaged selection this year, I couldn’t resist suggesting them.
If you’re anything like me you’ve probably spent the last few weeks window shopping – both physical and online – for potential Christmas gifts. I don’t like to make it easy for myself though. I enjoy visiting as many shops as possible, so I can make sure I get a good idea of what’s on offer this year. But that’s time consuming and if I can help anyone save time, or recommend something they haven’t thought of, then my blog’s work has been done. So without further ado, here is 2018’s ‘The Christmas Beauty Gift Guide’. And I’ve made sure to pack it full of my favourite products from the year. Enjoy!
As you can see I’ve focused on brands and products from a range of price points. I’ve included some of my trusted go-tos (Dermalogica & The Ordinary), as well as some new favourites (NIOD & Nails Inc). I’ve also added in a couple of gift sets for good measure. Why? Well I happen to think that they’re perfect for this time of year. Gift sets often feature a variety of complimentary products – sometimes limited edition – that are generally priced lower then they would be when bought separately (e.g. the Gatineau set is worth £276). If we’re being honest, we all know how much we enjoy spoiling our loved ones at Christmas. And if anything can make the gift giving season easier, and cheaper, you may as well make the most of it, right?
I’d been looking at sustainable alternatives to sanitary products for a while, but found that they weren’t UK-based, and cost a lot of money. Fast forward to last month and me happening across FLUX period panties. I ended up buying two pairs – the Bikini (coz cute & lacey) and the Detachable (cute & practical) – which I’ve been using for one cycle, to date. I wanted to share my experience with them in the hopes that it will help others.
FLUX Period Panties
FLUX period panties combines four layers of ultra-thin materials to absorb up to 4 tampons worth:
Top layer: moisture wicking, so that you stay fresh as a daisy.
Second layer: anti-microbial, keeping you squeaky clean.
Third layer: absorbs moisture, so you don’t feel wet.
Fourth layer: leak-proof, so you’re worry free.
The lining holds for up to 12 hours, depending on your individual flow. And they’re easy to wash too. They can be hand-washed, or put in a cold/30c wash, and air dried.
Would I recommend them?
I’m finding them to be incredibly comfortable, and basically no different to wearing regular underwear. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but they absorb well and do everything they say on the box. I was caught out once when I decided to have dinner after work, and I found myself nearing the 12hr window. But even then I didn’t have any issues other than my own head telling me I needed to go home and change.
Would I recommend them? 100% yes! These have become a replacement for regular sanitary products for me. They’re more sustainable than pads/tampons, and down the road I’ll also be saving a lot of money. FLUX period panties have helped me feel more comfortable and confident, and have changed the way I approach my periods.
South Korean skin care has been making waves across the globe. From 12-step skin care regimes, to innovative products that you won’t find anywhere else. I properly introduced Korean beauty products into my regime a few years ago, and I haven’t looked back since. So much so that I wanted to share some of my favourite brands and products with everyone. Here are my…
Top 5 Korean skin care brands
Innisfree are a brand with a mission – their aim is to contribute towards lowering carbon emissions, and all of their products are made with at least 70% natural ingredients. They may not have as many ranges as other brand, but what they do have is packed full of quality products.
You’ve probably spotted TONYMOLY‘s products before – they come in packaging of all shapes and sizes, including fruits and adorable animals. The brand is so iconic it has made it’s way overseas, and you’ll often find them in TK Maxx and on Cult Beauty.
Probably my favourite brand on the list, Etude House offer a wide range of products for every skincare need – from body, to face, hair and nails. Their packaging is simple but cute, and always on-brand. Plus they have a make-up line that compliments their skincare perfectly.
They may not be as well known in the UK as some of the other brands on my list, but Secret Key are pretty well known in South Korea, and across the globe. They’re new to my skin care regime, and so far I’ve been won over by the results.
SKINFOOD claim to be the first beauty brand to root itself in food. Their products are filled full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are good for the body with ingredients such as honey, egg white and more.
It can be pretty tough visiting a new city, or country. You’re not sure where to eat, what to see, or even where to stay. Well I’m here to change all of that with my handy guides! They’re full of tips, tricks, and the best places to go. So stop worrying about how you’re going to make the most of your time in a new place; here are my recommendations for spending 24 hours in Stockholm, Sweden!
24 Hours in Stockholm
Stay at Hobo Hotel
The modern, design-centric hotel is placed directly in the centre of Stockholm, making it a great hub during your stay.
You can hardly visit Sweden without sampling some of their famous pastries. Bröd & Salt bakery has stores across the capital, and offers some of the most delicious. My tip: try Mandelbulle – it’s like a cinnamon roll had a baby with an almond croissant.
Visit the museums
Most of the museums are conveniently located next to each other in Stockholm. Skansen is an open air museum which offers a glimpse at Swedish culture – including lots of cute animals – whilst the Moderna Museet includes the works of Dali, Matisse…and Beyonce?
Stroll through old town
Gamla Stan is Stockholm’s old town, and it’s full of picturesque buildings and streets.
Go local for lunch
You have to try the local delicacies whilst in Sweden. My recommendations are the bountiful seafood, and the open sandwiches, or both! There’s Drop Coffee Roasters, Green Rabbit and B.A.R to name a few.
The Swedes are known for being stylish, so why not shop at some of the best designers out there? Lifestyle stores such as Grandpa are aplenty, but for those who prefer their designers all in one place there’s NK Stockholm and Åhléns.
Splash out on dinner
Where better to sample Neo-Nordic cuisine than Stockholm? Kagges offers a reasonably priced tasting menu made with local, seasonal ingredients. The flavours are stunning, as is the presentation and care that goes into each dish.
Have a nightcap at Hobo
Hobo hotel have a cool bar with a DJ, which is frequented by Stockholm natives, as well as guests.
Hints & Tips for 24 Hours in Stockholm:
Don’t bring cash!
Stockholm is a cash-free society, so much so that you’ll find ‘card only’ signs in most restaurants and stores across the capital.
Reserve a table
Like most capitals, Stockholm has a thriving restaurant scene, so it’s best to try and make reservations before you arrive.
Well there you have it, my travel guide to 24 Hours in Stockholm!
Feel free to check out the my other 24 Hours In… guides.
Of all the things that made up my wedding, I probably had the most fun choosing my bridesmaid gifts. Which makes sense when you know that I’m a serial gifter. I love spending hours looking for the perfect item, and the satisfaction that comes with finally finding it. In the end I probably spent several weeks choosing bridesmaid gifts. But I had set myself some pretty strict criteria to adhere to…
Choosing Bridesmaid Gifts
I didn’t have a massive budget for my bridesmaid gifts, as I’d chosen to also pay for their dresses and accommodation. That said, I wasn’t about to compromise. I still wanted to choose some special gifts that they could use again, whilst still marking the day.
The ‘Initial Necklaces’ were great as I was able to have them personalised, and they came in a selection of precious metals – luckily for me all my bridesmaids wore silver. The make-up for my Maid of Honour wasn’t an issue; she was already using Haloscope, and wanted to try out Lash Slick & Boy Brow – easy! Finally the hair pins and dressing gowns brought everyone’s outfits together – both before and during the wedding – and were a little reminder of the day.
My main takeaway from choosing my bridesmaid gifts has to be personalisation. Everyone has a different style and personality, so it was important to me that I took this into consideration, rather than buying a blanket gift for several people. I’d suggest anyone buying gifts for their bridesmaids take the time to look, and don’t just buy something because you think you have to (i.e tradition etc).
By now we’re all used to at-home beauty remedies. Who doesn’t exfoliate and put on a facemark whilst binging on Netflix? But when it comes to the more complicated treatments, such as facial peels, it becomes a bit more complicated. Well Dermalogica is here to change all of that. They’ve just brought out their Rapid Reveal Peel; a professional-grade at-home peel that helps reveal brighter, healthier skin.
What is it, and does it work?
Rapid Reveal Peel comes in a 10-pack, complete with a handy travel bag. At it’s core it’s a maximum-strength exfoliant, which delivers powerful results using a unique complex of phytoactive AHA extracts, Lactic Acid and fermented plant enzymes. Put that all together and you’re promised new, firmer skin. Sounds pretty fancy, right?
So how does it do what it says on the tube? Well it’s pretty simple really. It kick-starts cell renewal to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and evens out skin tone by resurfacing the skin – leaving you with smoother, brighter skin.
Rapid Reveal Peel – final thoughts
First off can I say that I love that I don’t need to pay a ton of money to visit a salon for a facial peel now. I really can’t stress how easy this is to use. I’m currently on my 5th tube, and since I started using it, I’ve seen a big improvement in my skin. I was having a particularly bad time with breakouts, dryness and dull skin when I started. But I’m half way through the treatment and my skin feels brighter and a lot smoother. I can’t wait to finish the pack and really see how much it’s changed.
The Dermalogica Rapid Reveal Peel costs £79, which may seem like a lot, but those that frequent spas for this kind of treatment will know that it usually costs a lot more. And of course a face peel isn’t something you’re going to do day-in-day-out – more like every few months – so you’re not going to need to repurchase this as frequently as say an exfoliator. Honestly, after seeing how much of an impact this has had on my skin, I am definitely adding this to my at-home regime.