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.

It’s all in the scent…

Cacharel Yes I Am perfume

When Yes I Am Eau de Parfum from Cacharel arrived at my doorstep, even before I smelt it, I was flooded with teenage memories.

Why, you ask? Well, Lou Lou, a Cacharel late 80s/90s classic, was my staple for years. Many years.

No wonder I warmed up to Yes I Am straight away, and heart-eyes really appeared when I saw the gorgeous lipstick shaped bottle. I was in.

Cacharel Yes I Am perfume

The fragrance is distinctive, and as expected from the brand, it is strong and powerful. Its strong oriental notes are balanced by the fresh florals and it develops into a delightful creamy scent that I’ve been wearing almost everyday since I got it.

The top notes are mandarin, raspberry and cardamon, with ginger flowers, jasmine and gardenia at its heart (what a beautiful heart it is) and sandalwood and milk to form the base.

Cacharel Yes I Am perfume

A fragrance that is meant to produce the power of the perfect red lipstick, but making it clear it is NOT a lipstick – my interpretation is that it is not just how it looks on the outside, but about the woman’s inner beauty being highlighted; it speaks to daring, independent, and powerful women. When asked if you are any of the above, the answer should be: Yes I Am!

I used to be quite loyal to a fragrance, but as years gone by, not only I started to reach out to different fragrances to suit my mood (yes, I became perfume-promiscuous), but the type of fragrance I like has changed a bit too.

Cacharel Yes I Am perfume

Thought this post was quite fitting to go out this week, given the concept behind the fragrance, to follow up from my feelings about international women’s day: let’s build each other up, let’s empower each other, and be kind.

Sometimes all it takes to help unleash inner confidence (on others and ourselves), is a word, a lipstick, a shift in posture, the knowledge someone’s got your back.

Yes I am Eau de Parfum is priced from £35 (30ml; 50ml is £60 and 75ml is £78) and is available from major retailers nationwide, including Boots.

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 with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

A little London haven

Agua. In my mother tongue, something I cannot live without and if I had my way, I wouldn’t go without the agua Spa, at the newly renamed Sea Containers London hotel in London.

Beside the fact it’s my favourite hotel – it has a great restaurant, an amazing growing floor bar facing the river, a cracking rooftop bar and a gorgeous cinema, the agua Spa really lives up to the rest of the family.

Delighted does not even describe when I was invite to sample one of their treatments and their delightful spa menu.

I experienced the hot oil manicure which is great to help improve the condition of nail that may have been a bit neglected.

The 55-minute treatment combines nourishing organic oils from Dr. Jackson’s which soften the cuticle and moisturise nails. Then, using Japanese techniques, nails are buffed so the nutrients go deep into the nail bed.

It is great for nails that have been damaged by gel application, polish changes, health conditions or medical treatment, as it helps restore them to health and no polish is needed for up to two weeks.

This picture was taken 5 days after the mani and it still looks perfect – shiny and pink!

The hot oil treatment is available for pedicures too (I am tempted to have one as my toe nails are indeed in need of post-winter hibernation TLC), and is priced from £50 (off peak, £55 peak).

Treatments take place at the fabulous Glamour Room within the spa, an area that can also be hired for pamper parties – birthdays, hen do and other celebrations. They offer a great range of treatments and packages.

Which leads me to the menu. What a fab food and drink menu to help take relaxation to another level!

I tried the delicious Immunity (£10) and Energy (£15) booster bowls and could not have enough of the tasty, fresh goodness in them. However, the star was the scrumptious salmon tartare, avocado mousse and oscietta canape cone (£12). The flavour was off the charts! I could’ve eaten 10.

The also have a range of snacks, fresh juices, sundaes and of course, champagne for celebration or well, just champagne. Definitely check out the impressive menu on offer.

And you can have afternoon tea there (from £38pp).

Last, but not least, the spa itself. What a gorgeous haven or tranquility. I had a terrible day that Tuesday and very quickly it all got wiped away by such a great environment and people – service was professional, attentive, personal, warm and overall lovely; the people are the real assets there!

The lounge is an (insta) dream, the steam room is superb with a great shower, and the showers are amazing. And the toiletries are Malin+Goetz, so… Love.

You can check out all the spa treatments available, including massages, facials and body, including maternity specific ones. The range of products they use is also carefully curated to offer really bespoke, quality treatments. Well worth a visit.

For more info, visit the agua Spa website.

written by Dani

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

When haute couture sparkles

It has been a while since I wrote a style post – or even longer a fashion post. So how best to pick it up than with Paris Fashion Week? From FROW, merci!

Don’t they say Paris is always a good idea? Turned out to be a great one got treated to a plethora of amazing shiny designs. 

In total, we covered about 10 shows in 2.5 days under mainly freezing in snow and, trust those 55k steps taken, hectic. But boy, would I do it again? Hell yeah!

I will start with what makes my heart flutter: whimsical sparkle. And there as a fest for my eyes!

Alin Le’Kal brought in wearable glamour to the catwalk with Reflective Elements. And reflect it did, as it shone its way past me.

So close I could (wanted, but didn’t) touch the fabulous creations, the heavily embroided evening gowns walked had in had with very party friendly versions.

These gold numbers are an example of the versatile core design translated into different styles and occasions.

The black numbers didn’t disappoint and again, seeing something I could wear straight away was a delight.

Also alluding to princess dreams, some of my favourite designs had a classic full skirt, and the mix of materials is just dreamy – crystals, feathers, beads.

The lines are sensual and feminine, and very relatable.

Regal. That is what Ziad Nakad‘s Orion collections says to me. I am not going to lie that every time a model came down the long staircase into the double runway, it did take my breath away.

The craftsmanship was almost palpable and the whole collection looked like a magical fairy tale, with flowy and extravagant styles.

Dazzling in pastels, champagnes, silvers and black, the collection did allude to vintage royal styles, heavy on stone work, Nakad created his own constellation that afternoon.

The above, my favourite, mainly for the combination on the ombre colours, neck line and the exquisite use of feathers and crystals, was a just breathtaking – I let out a huge gasp when it came in and when i went out.

Finally, not as amped up but also shining bright, La Metamorphose brough some classic (and classy) lines into their Eden Gardens collection.

Having a woman in bloom as its theme, the pastels and whites call for purity and light – in design and personality.

Again, vast skirts did take my fancy, and I was again taken aback by the prettiness of it all.

A huge thank you to all of the amazing people at MÉPHISTOPHÉLÈS Productions – Romain, you are a gem and everyone working at the shows made me fell so special!

Stay fashionable – I will soon be dropping more fabulous brands in!

Alin Le’Kal and La Metamorphose images by imagetree, prss release by Mephistopheles Productions.

written by Dani

Get your skin some beauty sleep

Facial oils are one of my favourite types of skincare. I find easy to use and they give my skin more than just their core function.

I mentioned in the past how discovering facial oils changed the way I care for my skin and coming across a new brand is always great, especially when it works, as the Beuti Beauty Sleep Elixir does.

The elixir is 100% natural blend of 14 plant-based oils, including Caribbean coral extract, lavender herb, seabuckthorn fruit berry, geranium and neroli flowers oils, capric tryglicerid from coconut as well as oils from sandalwood nut kernel and from the seeds of camellia, chia seed, bitter cherry, strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, blueberry and cranberry. Phew! It also has a boost of vitamins, minerals and omega 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9.

These ingredients together work to help prevent ageing signs caused by inflammation. This process, where the protective skin barrier is compromised, happens over time usually due to skin exposure to pollution and sun, over exfoliation or simply by having the wrong skincare regime.

The Beuti Beauty Sleep Elixir works to help renew and repair the skin and its barrier, overnight, while you sleep and skin is at its prime regeneration mode.

The oil itself is rich in colour but moderately rich in texture, absorbing well. For my skin type, best used in the autumn/winter and at night, applied with a lovely massage to face and neck.

It works well with other products – I’ve been using a pigmentation and and a vitamin C serum, and sometimes extra moisturisers on top of it.

It can also be used under makeup, or mixed to foundation, but that does not quite work for my skin.

After using it for a while exclusively at night for about 4 weeks, I did notice skin is suppler and overall happier and glowier, breakouts have been stable and skin condition is good.

It is suggested as a topical blemish inflammation reducing but again, for me, I felt it is not necessarily more potent as I was applying to the whole face anyway and my blemishes have been under control.

Also, a little goes a long way so the price tag of £42 (30ml) is, for me, good value for money!

The Beuti Beauty Sleep Elixir is made in the UK, with 98% organic oils can be purchased from they Beuti Skincare website and lookfantastic.com when it is in stock: it is very popular and sells out super quickly so get your hands on it whenever you can!

I am lucky to have mine!

written by Dani

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

Super (natural) stylin’

got2b oh my nude range

I am not a person who styles their hair on a daily basis, but I am a huge fan of loose waves from time to time – think events and when I am feeling mermaid-y!

For a while now Schwarzkopf got2b has been a favourite brand for all things hairstyle: their products are so good with amazing value for money.

One of their latest ranges is called #Oh My Nude and taps into the nude trend in beauty – think styling for a very natural look.

got2b oh my nude range

Design to enhance hair natural textures, the three products also create a softer finish so styling god almost unnoticed. They contain ultra-fine polymers that provide a more flexible finish and subtle texture ad won’t weigh hair down.

My absolute favourite is the Air Does it Air Dry Foam Spray (RRP £4.19). I can only describe as a spray mousse. I use it as a mousse to create natural waves, which are smooth and crinkle free, brushing really well while retaining the shape!

got2b oh my nude range

Recommended use is as a after wash product – spray on towel dried hair and let it dry naturally for a smooth and bouncy finish. It has no residue and helps with frizz.

The Oh So Flexible Hairspray (RRP £4.19) is almost an anti-hairspray as has nothing of a crinkly and sticky finish. It offers long-lasting super light definition with a super soft texture to touch. Control is light, with natural hold.

got2b oh my nude range

Finally, the Silk’ly Done Detangling Spray (RRP £4.19), amazing for long hair – or short and fine prone to tangling. It is non-sticky and has moisturising ingredients. Spritz and comb to get a more manageable mane.

I feel this is a great addition to my air routine – so easy to use and really makes a difference; hair dries naturally with a much better texture!

got2b oh my nude range

Needless to say, all the got2b products have a fabulous scent and how cute is the packaging here? Love the pastel tones with rose gold!

You can get them nationwide at major retailers in the UK. Currently, Superdrug has a 2 for £6 on selected got2b products!

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.

written by Dani

When beauty turns ugly: the importance of having reputable cosmetic medical advice

We see often in the news: people becoming deformed or losing their lives because of cosmetic procedures performed by under qualified professionals. I am grateful I have a dermatologist I can 100% trust.

According to the Guardian, in 2017, 72% of all complaints about cosmetic procedures were from patients who had found the practitioner on social media, where you can easily find offers of cheap deals luring people in. That’s insane – remember that you usually get what you pay for.

Even though my experience was even close to an extreme case, when I had an allergic reaction after a facial peel, I really started thinking about how important it was that the professional that did the procedure on me was not only qualified, but also reputable, knowledgeable and above all, caring. 

He knows my skin (and all skin, for that matter), I had done chemical peels before, I had used all the products on my after care in the past, so why oh why I ended up looking like the marshmallow man mid bonfire? 

My face swelled up to full blood moon proportions: it was big, red, hot, itchy, angry and my skin was full of bumps underneath. It was horrible. 

My dermatologist’s fast and knowledgeable action got it under control and most importantly, got me reassured – not only that it would pass but I wouldn’t get any after effects.

I got booked in swiftly (almost impossible in that busy clinic) after hours, had topical treatment and left with medication prescribed and dispensed, on top of a whole new after care routine, in case one of the products was the cause of the allergy. 

Laugh away. Here’s my best impression of the marshmallow man mid bonfire. And this wasn’t even at its worst!

But above all, I felt safe – as safe as I feel when I am having my procedures done there.

I arrived in tears after feeling like a monster on the tube, with people staring and being unable to look in the mirror. Might sound dramatic, but that’s how I felt when I didn’t know what was happening and if things would get better. 

Apparently, you can just develop an allergic reaction to anything at any time; even someone like me who’s not allergic to many things. 

After a few days on steroids, antibiotics and anti histamines, on top of some medicated creams, my face started to go back to normal. 

In the end, the peel did its business and go rid of most of the post inflammatory pigmentation I had on my face.

My doctor called me after, checked on me several times and the clinic staff, daily. 

Once again, I cannot stress how important it is to seek sound professional advice when considering a cosmetic treatment.

It’s true Dr. Haus performs miraculous aesthetic treatments but above all he is a (super) qualified dermatologist and his duty of care as a doctor is second to none. And all procedures performed by his staff are also under his care, guidance and training. 

This is peace of mind. After all, in my case, he’s looking after my face, which with I’ve always had a fragile relationship due to the acne, and trusting someone with it means a lot to me.

At Dr. Haus Dermatology, you get the latest tech in treatments – aesthetic and medical, and I love their problem centric approach where treatment is tailored to address your issue – it might be a combination of procedures, or even tweaks to existing ones, to really deliver the best results to your individual case.

Worth thinking long and hard – is it worth the extra pounds? Absolutely. 

You can get the same fabulous treatment my skin gets (and many others, cosmetic or medical) at Dr. Haus Dermatology. They are located at 140 Harley Street, London and you can contact them via phone (02079356358) or email (appointments@drhausdermatology.com) .

Highly recommend.

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post is a result of a wonderful partnership with Dr. Haus Dermatology. The opinions, feelings, admiration and trust, however, are all my very own and honest.

Hard working skincare

Cinch skincare

Just for being a mist, the Cinch Face Cheat Moisturiser + Glow (£22) was already half way there to get to my heart. 

Cinch describes it as a “Swiss army knife of skincare” as it delivers moisture, glow, pore and wrinkle minimising in a spray. 

The moisturising properties are surprisingly effective and lasting for a mist and its pearlescent formula delivers that subtle glow.  

It’s great under makeup – I apply a few sprays and massage in with my fingers. It’s great kept in the fridge too for those morning afters! 

All products contain the Cinch superhero secret ingredient to fight free radicals and deliver overall goodness: Kakadu plum, an Australian fruit that contains a super high concentration of vitamin C – and you know how much I love vitamin C in my skincare!

Cinch skincare - face cheat(er) moisturiser

The spray has a conventional moisturiser sister: the Face Cheat(er) Cream Moisturiser + Glow (£22). 

It covers the same 5 bases of the spray, but is richer. I love this as a day moisturiser and on top of the spray it’s a potent combination to long lasting illuminated, hydrated skin. 

Finally, the 5-in-1 Face It Cleansing Water + Glow (£12) is a delightful micellar water, super gentle and effective removing all make up, including stubborn eye products. 

Cinch skincare - face it micellar water

It also works as a balancing toner, mild exfoliator and a glow getter as fruit acids work their magic on the skin. I love using it all over, after washing my face.

Cinch products were developed to save time without compromising efficiency. They are free from parabens, mineral oil, urea, sulphate detergents and soap; also vegan and not tested on animals.

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.

written by Dani