Living with No B.S.

If the boys won’t let me live my life free of it, at least my skincare can now be no b.s.

Yes, you heard it: a skincare brand that says we should put up with no bullsh*t – and they live up to it in their formulations.

Retinol is one of my favourite ingredients, mainly due to my skin type and condition, and the no b.s. Retinol Night Cream is a dream. 

Because it has no nasties, it relies on the line smoothing, scar fading properties of retinol with the added benefits of moisturising hyaluronic acid, protecting vitamin E and soothing aloe vera to do its job. 

And what a job it does – from the first use, skin wakes up plumper, smoother and overall feeling great. 

Over time, the retinol gets to work its wonders, especially when pigmentation fading is concerned. 

If I weren’t before, I just became a bigger fan of no b.s. and was glad to extend the motto to another part of my life! 

No b.s. is an American company that has a simple message: say no to toxic crap. And their products, apart from the sassy name and bright packaging are leaded full of clean ingredients in potent formulas, to create a simplified routine.

They are cruelty free, free from synthetic fragrances, parabens, phtalates and sulfates; their packaging is recyclable and with exception of one product (SPF 20 moisturiser), all products are vegan.

I am really into their whole range – it’s straight forward and packed with goodness, so you can truly #LiveNoBS skincare wise (boys, help us here, it’d be great to extend that to you, just saying).

The no b.s. Retinol Night Cream costs £58 for 30ml (it goes a long way). In the UK, you can get your hands on them at FeelUnique.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains a PR samples and this product was GIFTED. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on it.

ps: the butterfly was mounted by me and it is ethically sourced – it lived its full life in a sanctuary and died naturally before making its way into my wall.

It’s wedding season!

Calm down, I am not settling (down)! Now to the real reason behind the title…

If you are a bride, there are lots of big ticket items you will definitely have ticked off your list, but we know the devil is in the detail and one of the little touches that makes a big difference is giving your bridesmaids and wedding party a thoughtful gift. 

They supported you through the blissful, the stressful and even maybe the bridezilla and it’s lovely to say thank you for having them in your life. 

How, you ask? Pandora has a lovely bridesmaid collection, geared towards this type of gifting, but also options aplenty on the site, and with options for various budgets – be it to keep as a token of gratitude and friendship or to wear on the day. 

The collection is very stylish and carries very intricate and symbolic designs, ranging from classic to trendy, certain to meet all varied tastes and age groups.

The selection of their famous charms for the occasion is very cute, some carrying meaningful messages. You can build a bracelet for £129.

On top of that, a necklace is always a good choice, and Pandora’s selection is second to none – the one I was gifted, Shimmering Wish, costs £70 and it’s sterling silver with cubic zirconia in the shape of a wishbone.

It can be made into a set with earring and a lovely bangle with the same design.

Apart from being beautiful and well crafted, Pandora really helps take a tiny bit of stress from having to go to many places to gift your wedding party – to be honest, most of their jewellery is more than suitable for the occasion.

We were presented with the new collection at the Ivy Tower Bridge, over a fun night for food and drinks, where we had a calligraphy workshop  – which is also handy to get those gifts an extra special touch! 

I am pretty sure that thanking your bridesmaids with a Pandora gift would have them, unintentionally, thanking YOU for a thoughtful gift to be kept for a long time.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: I was invited to see the collection and was gifted the necklace. This piece, however, is based on my honest opinion.

Wine o’clock

Have you ever wished to get your hands on a fine bottle of wine, within 45 minutes and barely moving a muscle?

Granted! Wineapp has a great range of fine wines, selected by sommeliers, delivered to your door, typically in 45 mins to an hour in London zone 1 and 2 and next day in other parts of London.

This extremely neat app has gorgeous graphics and pretty interactions, married with stunning imagery and great information of the wines on offer – flatlays with the elements in the bouquet? Yes, please.

Usability is great and service friendly – be it in the chat or the driver delivering the goods, and you can track the whole wine journey from warehouse to you.

I placed a few orders to my office and the were delivered in 45 minutes – one even under – just make sure you have your ID to receive.

And, it gets better – if you use my code, DD167, you get £15 off. Now, that’s enough for a bottle with delivery. Yes, you are reading this right: FREE wine delivered to you, so you try and fall in love.

I can not recommend the La Mascota Malbec enough. Delicious and easy drinking at £13.95 a bottle is great value.

And the Ruggeri prosecco (£16.49), heavily featured in this post plus sold at Nobu, don’t you know, which is crispy and fresh, perfect for the summer.

Download the app (App Store and GooglePlay) and make sure to use DD167 at checkout for £15 off your order.

Delivery costs £2.50 but if you spend £50 or over it is free!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: my orders were gifted, only for Instagram posts. This review, however, is based on my honest opinion, written at my own initiative will as I enjoy the service so much!

Summer is calling!

Somerset House is a special place in London – not just for me, I am sure. The art, the fashion, the fountains. There’s nothing not to be in awe of.

I used to work around the corner and the terrace comes alive in the warmer seasons and this year, San Miguel is (beautifully) owning the space, putting a gorgeous Spanish laid back twist to it. 

Obviously San Miguel beer is widely available, but not only as we know it: they have a selection of 10 different beers, which include special edition varieties, with varying strengths and using hops from around the world, as well as gluten and alcohol free versions.

Brave enough for a Dorchester? Its ABV is 9.1%!

Food is a ace, as in any Spanish affair: tapas such as albondigas, tortillas and padron peppers, as well as sharing platters and delicious wood fired flatbreads to be washed down with the beer selection, or the very interesting beer cocktails.

Sceptical as I am, I was somewhat besotted with Piscolinho (£10.25), which contains pisco, cointreau, agave syrup, lime and San Miguel Especial. 

And the decor? Well… think Spanish veranda: white washed, pink flowers in abundance, a swing (very insta worthy!). 

The Somerset House x San Miguel terrace is open throughout the spring and summer until September.

Well worth a visit, as well as the place it sits in, when strolling through the capital.

You can check all the details on the Somerset House website (and make group bookings). I recommend you check their menu – you won’t be able to resist!

A beautiful setting with fantastic food and drinks – what a way to spend a (hopefully) balmy summer evening or a scorching afternoon!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: I was invited to the terrace opening, so it was a PR experience. This review, however, is based on my honest opinion.

Brush it gently

If you have fine and/or fragile hair, you know how important it is to treat as the finest of silks, especially when brushing. 

I’ve been using brushes specific for my hair type for a while and was very happy to try the new Denman Tamer Gentle, designed especially for fine hair. 

This tug-free brush is very light and comfortable to grip, with fine bristles of varied lengths to really get into the finest of hair for gentle detangling and smoothing. 

It feels fine on the scalp and brushing, wet or dry, is a breeze. It comes in 4 different colours, and I love both I was sent – the black one now lives in my bathroom while the bright blue, pink and yellow made my bedroom its home!

Marrying the detangling power of the Tangle Tamer Ultra with the Denman soft brush technology, the Tangle Tamer Gentle has an ai-cushioned pad that rides the contours of the head and soft ball ended bristles to glide through hair gently.

And talking about the Tangle Tamer Ultra, for thicker, unruly hair, it now comes in beautiful new shades, including this gorgeous pink, plus purple and another 4. 

I gifted one to my friend Carol and she has been enjoying the brush on her (gorgeous) thick mane! I am glad it now had a good (and more appropriate) home!

Denman is a traditional British company born in 1938 from the will of a brother to help his sister style her wonderful but unruly curly hair and is a now a established worldwide company. 

The new Tangle Tamer Gentle brushes cost £11, which I find great value for money, and can be purchased at denmanbrush.com and Amazon.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains some PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Underneath your clothes

Pants. Knickers. Nether garments. Underwear. We all wear it, most of the times, but we don’t really talk about it very much.

Is there anything better than new, fresh underwear? Come on!

There are many different shapes and styles to suit all body shapes and I favour some more than others, depending on the occasion.

A thong is very handy and lends itself for a sexier look, so I wear them quite a lot, especially when going out.

I find that when picking a lacy number, it is important that the lace quality is good, so it does not feel uncomfortable or cut.

The lacy numbers are a staple in my wardrobe and I love thongs with pretty details on the back.

Maidenform underwear at Fashion World, £31 for 2

Talking about staples, seamless pants in colours close to your skin tone are always welcome, especially in the summer with lighter colour skirts. Not the sexiest of pants but super useful.

Another favourite shape is the Brazilian brief. I feel it is comfortable but still makes the bum look good.

For every day, I prefer cotton (or at least a blend with high cotton %) as it is breathable and better for intimate health – I am quite sensitive so this is a great help for me.

Pretty Secrets cotton rich underwear at Fashion World, £11.20

The brief shape is doubtless a favourite for day to day.

All these (and much more) can be found at Fashion World. Check out their broad knickers selection, which has a great ranges of sizes and stocks many known and loved brands.

written by Dani

This is an AD as it is sponsored post. This piece was written by me.

New in the London nightlife

Just hanging: Near & Far with the lovely Kat (and a few cocktails)

Camden is a place I don’t venture that often, but I was glad I made it for the opening of Near & Far. 

If you’re thinking the name is familiar, you are right: there’s another one in Peckham Levels and they belong to the same group behind the Magic Roundabout. 

The bar is pretty, let’s agree beforehand. Pinks, palm trees, flamingoes, in a Palm Springs style: it’s an insta-dream.

It has a terrace, perfect for the coming months, and hiding at the lower level is a gorgeous sitting room like area, with the most gorgeous hanging chairs and neon art. 

Being one who does not pass on a cocktail, I am happy to see Peckham classics and new additions such as the The Benedict Cucumberbatch (gin, elderflower and cucumber) and the Emergency Brexit (play on a classic Negroni), both £7.50 – very affordable!

The menu, by Elote, is fabulous – a Mexican fare of snacks, tacos and tostadas, with options for everyone – all gluten free. I loved the pulled pork tostada, and the chickpea fries are definitely worth a try!

You can check their food and drink menus out, and head to their website to make bookings – apart from being a cocktail and food place, they also host ArtNight events and cocktail masterclasses. You can also do private bookings and have the place to yourself!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this is an AD as I was invited to the opening night to sample the drinks and food. This review, however, is based on my experience and reflects my honest opinion.

A bit of insolence

When I got my hands on the gorgeous Vetiver Insolent from Miller Harris, I just admit the scent was a bit wasted on me. 

Although I loved the company and the sheer craft behind their fragrances, I just thought that wasn’t one to call mine.

As I write this in the tube, I catch pleasant whiffs of Vetiver Insolent from my hair and skin and I can’t have enough of it. 

Needless to say that the staying power of this exquisite scent is great!

Strong and beautiful, Vetiver Insolent is a spicy fragrance mixing vetiver, which is theroots of a grass grown in Haiti and India.

Altough quite smokey, it is not heavy and intriguingly fresh, with the rootiness of vetiver playing nice with smoky resin of elemi, woody elements of black pepper and the brazen freshness of bergamot and cardamom.

Its top notes are of bergamot, black pepper, elemi and cardamon, while iris, lavandin abs and crisp amber are at its heart and vetiver, tonka bean and moss as base notes, making this a deliciously developing and striking fragrance.

Admittedly, a daring fragrance for day (but I don’t care and wear it anyway), which leaves a powerful trail and envelops you. 

Sometimes you mature into tastes, as I mentioned a while ago it is something that seems to be happening a fair amount of times with fragrance, and this is exactly what happened here.

Plus, how cute is my personalised bottle?

As expected from a unique, specialist blended fine fragrance, the price is premium, but not outrageous: Vetiver Insolent costs £75 for 50ml, as mine, and also available in 100ml bottles for £105.

You can also get small sample bottles of most of their perfumes for £16 for 9ml, which is a great way to trial before committing to a full sized bottle. Delivery is free in the UK when you spend over £50.

Miller Harris is a fine London perfumier with an exquisite range of fragrances, inspired by the less obvious and the streets of London. To find out more about them, visit their website.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains some PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Unleashing creativity

Gorgeous gift!

I do love doing something different and Viking really nailed it recently with their Tudor times creative evening.

With some background live lute music, we were treated to a little food feast, plenty prosecco and fabulous workshops to unleash our creativity, Tudor way, to celebrate Shakespeare Week.

My best attempt

First, the calligraphy workshop ran by the talented Mathilda from Quill London. I have been to one or two workshops with those guys and they are a great intro to the art of calligraphy.

Putting pen to paper. Photo by Eloisa (https://www.elouisageorgiou.co.uk/)

And the kit we left the event with will fuel my like to it.

Calligraphy is a great way to create head space, and sometimes I just write on old magazines images, to ease my constant battle with anxiety.

The biggest surprise of the night was, doubtless the sonnet writing workshop, which was, in the very short time available, a whistlestop class on the art of poem writing.

The lovely Jacqueline Sapphra expertly explained what a sonnet is (fourteen line poem, usually written in iambic pentameter and rhymed, you all) and we got to write sonnets, but one line each, complementing others’ writing.

And we were introduced to the sass of Edna St Vincent Millay.

It reminded me of classroom play, when we created to most amazing stories by passing a notebook around and I enjoyed way more than I though I ever would.

Of course, Viking has stationery solutions for all your writing needs so I’ll be able to keep putting creativity to paper!

You can check their website out – but careful, once you go in, it’s hard to get out!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this is an AD (GIFTED), as post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience reflects my honest opinion.

Art and wings in the heart of Hoxton

If you don’t, I’m an east London girl. Well, adopted, that is. 

Many years ago I left SW crying on the front seat of a moving van, clutching a box containing my most precious shoes towards east London. I never looked back and now I can say E is definitely home.

Amongst the (maybe many) bars I go to, the Hoxton Square Bar does hold some find memories of my ex (yes, very fond) so I was delighted to be invited back as they have seen quite a few changes since I last visited.

Currently, the bar is dressed in the beautiful Chanovsky “RGB Universe” exhibition, on until 29th June 2019. The artist presents on the wall three different artworks, that can be seen when the light changes to red, green and blue (get it?), so it makes for great surroundings.

Now, I had the cheeky Don’t go to Dalston cocktail, which is so fresh with raspberries and lime, made with my favourite tipple, vodka, and topped with prosecco.

So good I stuck to it, but there’s a whole menu of cocktails priced £9 and £9.50, as well as the usual bar fare – beers from and wine from £4.70 (bottle) and £4.80 (pint) and wine from £4.90 a glass and £20 a bottle.

To eat, Orange Buffalo serves up a filling selection of food. You can of course, have their speciality, chicken wings, with 7 sauces to choose from. Legend has it a person fainted after having it, so proceed with caution.

Being the wimp I am, I went for the Sgt. Slawter burger (£8.50) – succulent breadcrumbed chicken thigh on a potato bun, with cheese and, well, a mild sauce.

It was so filling and I couldn’t stop eating even though I should’ve! And of course, on the side, their home curly fries (£3.50), which I may say, are deliciously crunchy and extremely flavoursome.

Service was great and fast – although they don’t do table service, ordering and receiving the order was very smooth. And you can book tables.

My friend had the vegan option, the cauliflower “wings” (£8) – battered cauliflower served with hot sauce, coriander, sesame seeds and slaw and she approved!

There’s also a gorgeous veggie burger on offer and if mine is anything to go by, I think it’s a winner!

Oh, and they have a photobooth – £3 for 2 prints and you can email the image over – and it has a wind machine!

Adjacent to the back of the bar, there’s a live music area, where they hold at least one live gig a week and during the weekend it turns into a club! 

Hoxton Square Bar also has a private events room, the Green Room, with a bar and DJ booth, which holds around 100 people.

I hear they are going through a bit refurb in the summer, so doubtless will be even better!

Get yourself down for a basket of wings and to check the exhibition before the end of June. You can check out what’s on on their website.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this is an AD as the experience on the evening was GIFTED. This review, however, is based on my experience and reflects my honest opinion.