Fruit power for the skin

Oh, how much do we love affordable skincare that does its job and on top of it looks great? The answer is an awful lot.

Meet Formula 10.0.6 skincare. A traditional brand created by chemists in 1933, they have an affordable range that promotes clear, healthy young skin (but works wonders for older skin too, if you’re not specifically looking for strong anti-ageing solution).

For me, it really acts as a “maintenance” range, so it’s always by the sink. The fact if has some cute names, simple and bright packaging with effective products within certainly help.

My favourite from the selection I tried was the Pores Be Pure Skin Clarifying Mud Mask. This light mud mask feels very purifying and is quite gentle on the skin.

It contains strawberry, yarrow and rosemary. It dries but doesn’t crack on the skin, sucking impurities for a clear, less congested complexion.

Taking about clearing, the Best Face Forward Daily Foaming Cleanser is exactly that: a fabulous, gentle everyday gel foamy cleanser that leaves skin feeling super clean and fresh.

It contains oiliness reducing passion fruit, soothing and exfoliating green tea and calming chamomile.

Now, who doesn’t love an exfoliating scrub? The One Smooth Operator Pore Clearing Face Scrub purifies, gently exfoliates with pumice from volcanic rock.

It also contains purifying zinc and soothing oat. Feels comfortable to apply and leaves skin feeling soft.

Finally, the P.M. Perfector Overnight Hydrating Cream with black currant and liquorice for a long radiance, soothing and nourishing overnight skin workout. It’s light and absorbs very well.

Best of all, you can get Formula 10.0.6 products from Boots in the UK, and it’s great value for money – each one costs £8.99!

written by Dani

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

Happening now: Organic Beauty and Wellbeing week

If you follow me on Instagram and saw my stories (if not, @dani_dutra, I talk non-stop), you know I went a bit crazy after coming back from the first day of the Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Week, currently happening at Protein Studios, 31 New Inn Yard, Shoreditch, London, EC2, until the 21st March.

I attended the press event last year and in 2017 they are back, bigger and better, to also include wellbeing, which is a great advantage of organic cosmetics. Don’t you know, they have high concentration of pure ingredients which can actually get properly absorbed by your body and bring other effects apart from the cosmetic ones!

The Soil Association is behind the event to reinforce their “Look for the logo” message, which confirms the product organic certification. Natural and organic are very different things and because cosmetics are not as regulated as food when it comes to be called organic, products with very little organic content can pass for being organic, even though that is quite misleading.

With the Soil Association logo on the product, you can rest assured you are getting the real deal. Here’s a little word of advice from them on what’s NOT in products they certify. You can also check their full list of certified brands. Handy!

With an increase of 30% in sales in the last 2 years, it is important you know that you are getting what you expect from the organics beauty products.

The pop up shop is a great chance to know some brands pioneering organic beauty and looking to extend their knowledge to the consumer, so they can be confident on their purchases.

Apart from brands such as Neal’s Yard Remedies, Viridian, VOYA, Bamford, Herbfarmacy, LA-EVA, Therapi, Nourish, amongst others, you can also catch some amazing talks, workshops and events. My highlights:

  • Naissance bespoke serum bar (OMG! NEED): 16/05, from 12-13:00, FREE!
  • Energising Yoga with Cristina Chandika Ma: 17/05, 8:30-10:00, for £5 which goes to charity
  • A night of food and beauty (I mean COME ON!): 18/05, 18:10-22:00, FREE!
  • Neal’s Yard Remedies Stress Less Workshop: 20/05, 14-15:00, for a £5 charity donation

To browse all events, and book your place, go to organicbeautyandwellbeingweek.eventcube.io. Some events are already sold out.

Of course, you can (and should) take a look at the brands’ stands (it’s all so pretty) and grab your favourites with discounts or deals. And have a nice chat.

If I were you, I’d keep an eye out for the Neals Yard Organic Eye Makeup Remover, Viridian brand new Organic Curcumin Latte (seriously delicious), Nourish London Illuminating Face Shimmer and the Toning Body Shimmer (in love), Yes organic intimate products(read lubricants and hygiene), anything Herbfarmacy (lookout for the marshmallow root!), Therapi toners, LA-EVA Roséum Lotion (for face, hands and body!),  VOYA body oils (OMG, can’t even), Naissance Organic Beauty box, Bamford Essential Oil blend (I am overworking the Padmasana one, which is for concentration when writing this so late!)… I cannot stop!

And that’s not even a fraction of the goodness available… plus the added bonus of all the lovely people.

So hurry, you have until the 21st of May to catch them. All information can be found on the Soil Association website.

Oh, and here’s the logo! LOOK!

If you are not in London, they put a handy list of all the discounts together, you know, because they are nice like that!

Also, a massive shout out to the lovely Nicola from Black Book Communications who pulls this all together and is always so kind to get me over! ❤

written by Dani

Right, you know the drill… this is a bit of a PR post.

The London festival experience

GALA Brixton

As spring is firmly underway – or so we hope… c’mon, it’s still around 13°C most days here in London!– and daylight gets one extra minute each day, we get closer and closer to the wonderful stream of festivals that sweep across the UK. However, it seems like long gone are the weekends of mud, sweat and tears…

It seems that, as years have gone by, people are less interested in what some still love to call *the festival experience*. By that they mean camping for three/four days, often braving horrible weather conditions, large quantities of mud, bad toilet facilities, with little or no possibility of freshening up, let alone having a shower.

GALA Brixton

For someone who loves freshly washed hair (although I thank the Gods every day for dry shampoo!), clean and crisp clothing and the comfort of my own bed, this reads as my description of HELL.

I was never into this idea of ‘festival experience’, and I remember going to V Festival in 2006 and saying “oh my word, I cannot BELIEVE I’m home”. Don’t get me wrong, the festival was incredible! And it was even more so because in 55 minutes I was at my door, skipping happily to my warm shower.

I’m so glad to know that I’m not alone in this. The new festival experience involves VIP bracelets, a “sweat only if you want to” attitude, gourmet food trucks, drinks from independent producers and –the best of it all – a short tube/bus/Uber ride home.

LOVEBOX

It is no wonder that inner London festivals are becoming big players in the music scene. Field Day (Victoria Park), South West Four (Clapham Common), British Summer Time (Hyde Park), Wireless (Finsbury Park), Lovebox (Victoria Park) and GALA (Brixton) are some of the main festivals happening within London this spring and summer, taking advantage of the appeal of being at home after a long day (and sometimes night) of partying.

And let’s not forget that 2017 will be the first year where we’ll be able to use the night tube during summer! This is something I’m really looking forward to, in order to reduce my late night post-partying Uber addiction…

So, if you ever thought that you wanted to experience festivals but wouldn’t be happy applying your makeup in a muddy compact mirror, after cleansing your face with just a baby wipe for the third day straight… I HEAR YOU. Have a thorough look on all events happening within London and I’m sure you’ll find something that tickles your fancy – and with travelling time possibly shorter than your daily work commute!

written by Carol

Right, you know the drill… this is a bit of a PR post.

Festive, me?

2017. I am doing festivals. What?! I hear you shriek in disbelief. Really?

That’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I dipped my toes for a day once, a couple of years ago, but never really got into it.

The fact that on festivals you can get away with copious amounts of glitter on your body is too big an attractive for me to pass.

But fear not, it’s still me and you won’t catch me camping anytime soon.

To open the season, I am going to ease myself with GALA, in Brockwell Park on the 28th May, bank holiday weekend, and welcome summer with Carol in a disco fashion with a very local vibe.

Of course, preparations have started – you know me, nothing happens without due preparation.

I’ve decided silver holo is the way forward for this one, because…disco ball. Stars, chunky and fine glitter are waiting to be devised into some shimmery face adornments.

As for outfit, I am keeping my options open. It’s London after all and the weather will dictate what I wear (plus I won’t tell you in advance, silly!) but expect some fun and comfortable, married with comfy footwear. I might crimp my hair. Just putting it out there.

In my bag, Dove deodorant, Gucci Guilty roll on perfume, the Garnier Ambre Solaire SPF mist, lollipops, lipstick, glitter, a fan and a power pack for the phone.

Juuuust in case it turns into an after party (or just for that post frantic dancing much needed touch up), I will have some powder, concealer, eyeliner and that e.l.f. Baked highlighter/blusher duo at hand.

Now, enough about me. Let’s dissect this. GALA will host the holy trinity of disco: Studio 54’s Nicky Siano, Paradise Garage DJs and Horse Meat Disco.

And that is not all, expect to also boogie to the sound of Late Night Tuff Guy (a Bowie tribute), Moxie, Honey Soundsystem, Afriquoi, Stevie Wonderland, Crazy P Soundsystem Live, Love Glove, Mood II Swing, Harvey Sutherland & Bermuda, Bas Ibellini, Krywald & Farrer and NixWax.

Gala 2016

What if all that dancing get you hungry? Fear not, there will be a feast of South London independent food on offer: The Joint (delish BBQ, bread from prison guys), Kriket (Indian small dishes), Bill or Beak (pulled duck? Drool. You know what I’m having).

They are joined by The Chicken Shop (succulent rotisserie chicken), Kerbisher and Malt (traditional fish and chips), Fatties Bakery (deserts. Amazing ones. Salted caramel dreams. I am not going to disagree), Made of Dough (pizza, pizza!), Killa Dilla (sexy quesadillas) and Oh My Dog (also sexy hot dogs) to make sure you’re suitably fed. Yum.

And to ensure you’re properly watered, the Soulshakers (they are bar and cocktails experts. Here’s my number), Brixton Brewery (local, independent, full of craft beer), Brick Brewery (a Peckham microbrewery) and Canopy Beer (a Herne Hill microbrewery) will be at hand for refreshments galore.

This is a bit of what went down last year!

Now, how much you ask? Tickets started at £20 but at the moment, they are on third release through good old Resident Advisor (how I love thee) for £35 plus £3.50 booking fee, which is excellent value for money.

You can also get a group ticket for £140 for 5 people or early entry (before 13:30) for £25, and the 10% booking fee also applies.

It starts at 12 and goes to 22:30, last admission at 17:00, with an after party at Jamm (£10 + £1.30 booking fee).

And you might bump into me (YAY). I’ll be the shiny disco ball-like girl bouncing around.

To get all the information go to thisisgala.co.uk.

Right, you know the drill… this is a bit of a PR post.

Repairing comfort for hair: Garnier Ultimate Blends Maple Healer

garnier-ultimate-blends-maple-healer-review-1At this time of the year my hair (and skin) are very tired: the wind is brutal, central heating has been acting on it for months… what better than some natural healing power to help restore my locks?

Enter the brand new Garnier Ultimate Blends Maple Healer, with conditioning Omega 6 and 9 rich castor oil and protecting maple sap. This trio will treat your hair to extreme hydration and a fabulous smell.

garnier-ultimate-blends-maple-healer-review-4I discovered the range (and got my personalised bottle) at their fabulous The Blends’ Room pop-up in London. And if you are around Soho today and want to be amongst the first to try, pop down to 15 Bateman Street (W1D 3AQ) before 6pm to get free samples and other treats. Hurry, it’s the last day!

I am a huge fan of the Ultimate Blends from the beginning (see?) and every addition they bring out really nails it. Not only the shampoo lathers and cleans well and the conditioners really soften hair, but the added items of each line within the range do the job very well: oils, masks, sprays, treatments.

garnier-ultimate-blends-maple-healer-review-5All addressing different hair needs and the even better, with a price tag that won’t break the bank.

The smell is amazing: sweet and maple-y without being sickly. It lingers lightly in the hair and every now and then you catch a lovely whiff of it.

garnier-ultimate-blends-maple-healer-review-6A small amount of conditioner is very effective and the mask is thick and powerful. Hair feels clean and soft after use.

garnier-ultimate-blends-maple-healer-review-3Now, a little away from hair… the Intense Repairer body lotion is divine, perfect for winter skin. It is rich but absorbs amazingly well; my skin cannot have enough of it.

And the smell? Well, you guessed: fabulous. Sweet and maple-y, just like the hair range, which sticks to the skin but is not overpowering. My skin (apart from smelling amazing) fells nourished (winning a mid-afternoon “your skin was so soft this morning” message) and comfortable all day long.

The gorgeous Garnier Ultimate Blends Maple Healer range is already available to buy from Boots, Superdrug and Asda. The RRP is £3.89 for the shampoo and conditioner (400ml), £4.49 for the mask (400ml) and £4.49/£5.99 for the body milk (250ml/440ml).

signature1You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains a mix of products I have bought myself and PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Dani’s Little Book of Fashion: You shall go to the ball

peggy-hartanto-dress-the-apartment-5What’s better than a fabulous little black number for a ball? Well, not much really.

I was lucky enough to wear the stunning Peggy Hartanto Aegean dress in black, kindly lent to me by The Apartment at London Fashion Week.

peggy-hartanto-dress-the-apartment-1And yes, I went to the fabulous China Ball at the stunning Natural History Museum. I was honoured to be dancing with Dippy, the Diplodocus, which will be retired from the grand hall at the end of this year.

peggy-hartanto-dress-the-apartment-6This dress has very classic lines; a full A-line skirt with some modern twists, like the deep neckline and tied at the waist, for extra definition. The quality and finish are superb!

peggy-hartanto-dress-the-apartment-3The satin fabric is heavy and thick, making it fall perfectly but also nipping in to the right places for a structured, clean silhouette.

Peggy Hartanto is an Indonesian designer who studied fashion in Australia and her beautiful collections are indeed based on clean lines, bold colours and innovative use of fabrics and construction.

I accessorised it with my Lulu Guinness black lips clutch, Christian Louboutin Pigalle Follies Python Mika, Christian Louboutin lipstick and plenty of gold accessories.

There was downside to wearing this gorgeous dress: I had to give it back the day after. Cry.

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Dani’s Little Book of Fashion: the wide-legged trousers

so-many-lovely-things-7-of-11Recently I became obsessed with these wide legged trousers. When I say recently, add around 6 months.

After years constricting ourselves into skinnies, my pins welcome the freedom and breeze of these babies.

so-many-lovely-things-6-of-11This particular pair is a fantastic cut for my body shape: high waisted, flowy and skimming the bum. It doesn’t pinch too much at the waist, just the right amount. Just flattering and perfect.

These Forever 21 bargain trousers are so versatile it’s not even funny – they do day, evening, flats, heels, summer and winter without any effort. I always feel elegant on them.

so-many-lovely-things-1-of-11Here, I paired them up with a netted (super) crop tee from Topshop, which add a bit of informality to the attire.

so-many-lovely-things-9-of-11These silver block heels are amazing. Also very versatile, a manageable heel height for every day and super comfortable leather from Kurt Geiger.

The shoes are a very easy way to add some metallics to the outfit without being too out there.

so-many-lovely-things-10-of-11Statement sunglasses were in order for this hot day in London – and Le Specs does it effortlessly, for a pocket friendly price.

so-many-lovely-things-5-of-11I wore a basic day makeup (escaped from the office to  do the shoot), red lips, plenty of rings and my Mulberry Lily bag.

And I had the best time with the wonderfully talented Sarah Bacchus, the photographer from 2Boxes Photography.

She made me feel so comfortable, was fabulous at directing and getting the best shots out of me.

so-many-lovely-things-3-of-11She was also very speedy, making the lunch break shoot a fun and smooth reality!

2Boxes does styling sessions, but also amazing photography of all types – wedding, children, events, fashion… name it and it will be done in a magical and professional matter.

My wide-legged trousers joy was captured brilliantly!

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Dani’s Little Book of Fashion: a, well, fashion affair

lfw-1

Photo by @JoinComb for The Apartment

It’s early, I’ve had little sleep, I’ve been so tired I refused champagne. Yes. That. It must be fashion week.

Honestly, I don’t even do that much for it and it is rather tiring. On my day 1 (actually day 2), I was lucky to watch Rohmir frow with Crabtree & Evelyn.

lfw-1

Photo by @JoinComb for The Apartment

They were an official Fashion Scout sponsor this season and created beautifully illustrated special edition packs of their fabulously classic hand creams to celebrate; I had a divine hand scrub and massage, which all Freemason’s Hall guests could have too!

Their #HandsOnFashion hashtag was all over!

Rohmir show was entitled my English Garden and, quite appropriately to Crabtree & Evelyn, had a its share of flowers! A pretty, flowy collection and very wearable. I could certainly do with some pieces.

I also visited the fabulous The Apartment, a space I am very lucky indeed to be invited to. The atmosphere is fantastic, Abi, the founder behind the concept is a joy to be around and she gets it beyond right every season.

lfw-2

Photo by @JoinCOmb for The Apartment

This season’s star had to be the concept room, full of pink balloons. In love.

I had my hair done – a small side plait and some waves and a photo shoot with the amazing guys from Comb. As I mentioned, The Apartment has some fabulous partnerships every season!

I decided to go a bit girly-goth on Saturday. Cats seem to be a recurring LFW theme for me – this season it manifested itself with a Karl Lagerfeld tee, with Choupette illustrated by Tiffany Cooper.

lfw-6

Photo by @JoinComb for The Apartment

Add my little Karl phone cover to it, a dinky cat necklace from Forever 21 and voilá: a theme is re-born.

I also threw my Karl Lagerfeld for Riachuelo jacket in for good measure (it’s London after all).

lfw-5This magnificently full voile skirt, bought from Amazon, was Primed over in 24h for a ridiculous £8.95.

Little dotty socks (I freaking love little socks) are from Primark, these chunky sandals from New Look have been with me forever, handbag is my beloved Chanel, of course, which completed its first birthday with me.

lfw-4

Photo by @JoinComb for The Apartment

Nails were painted grey with Essie Now and Zen, lipstick is the fabulous Di La LA from MDMflow, a cleaner eye with fierce eyeliner and the pretty Eylure Rosie Bea Kitsch lashes.

I loved this look so much! And it worked with flats too, to run around, although I was lucky enough to be ferried around in style (and comfort) by Hyundai – another great Apartment partnership!

I also visited the Pandora lounge and they had Mii makeup, Nails Inc Paint Can nails and the most amazing Pandora treats vending machine!

Lookfantastic also has a fab lounge; when I went, I had a makeup refresh and a fab lip done by Lord & Berry and I also popped to the Perrier Jouët L’Eden in London, which is a gorgeous lounge and bio-responsive garden by Bompas and Parr, part of the London Design Festival (well worth checking their activities this week).

Perrier Jouet L'Eden

I mean, anywhere you can pick your pretty flute from a tree, I am totally in. Glam and gorgeous!

And that was just Saturday…

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Cool down, deliciously

img_7066Summer. The last couple of weeks have really felt there is a summer in the UK, albeit late I’ve been enjoying every bit I can.

And to help me keep cool, and have a deserved break during my working hours, I was sent me some delicious Magnum Double – Chocolate, Caramel and the new (my favourite), Peanut Butter.

img_7063Perfect for these days, The Magnum Double Peanut Butter is one of those indulgences that doesn’t cost a lot, under £2 per ice cream.

The sweetness of the chocolate and the ice cream are balanced by the saltiness of the peanut butter, making this the perfect ice cream for me.

img_7075Each Double has the normal velvety ice cream encased in chocolate, a layer of smooth sauce and another layers of chocolate. Biting into it is pure luxury for the senses: the taste, the textures, the sound of the crunch…

With the scorching sun, I took a break in my busy day to have lunch, clear my mind, enjoy the sun in Bloomsbury Square and treat myself to a delicious Magnum. Yum.

img_7067London certainly looked better that day! And there is still time to grab one to enjoy this warm bank holiday!

You can buy the Magnum Doubles in supermarkets nationwide. Multipacks are £3.35, for 3 and individual ice cream cost £1.90.

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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

 

Step back to 1877 with Stella Artois Time Portal

We love London, right? And we love Wimbledon. Plus we have a penchant for all things Victorian…

No surprises then when Stella Artois, the official beer of Wimbledon, invited me to The Time Portal, an immersive theatre experience that took me back to Victorian London in the search of the first Wimbledon tournament, I couldn’t say no.

img_5056Under a cinema sign on Stoke Newington Road in Dalston, East London, I was taken into an adventure to help someone make their little tennis tournament known. And guess what? At the same time a certain beer, was also just starting out.

Full of one to one interactions, last night I stepped into a time machine, came off into a Victorian market and helped little pickpockets perform their tricks, solve a murder and give Scrooge peace of mind – all for the noble cause of helping Spencer Gore win the very first Wimbledon Championships and get the cup from Queen Victoria herself.

After my little adventure, I was transported to a bar where I quenched my thirst with some Stella Artois beer and cidre.

The whole experience was very dynamic, lively and a lot of fun, loaded with East London cheekiness, as well as nicely set – be prepared for that eastend rundown vibe.

For four days only, you can experience this trip back in time, by acclaimed theatre companies Olivier Award nominated Les Enfants Terribles and Framestore, especially commissioned by Stella Artois, that inspired me a bit to think how I’m making my own mark in the world.

The Time Portal run from 7-10 July and is priced from £13.50 – £18 (including a £1 booking fee), lasts 40 minutes and includes two complimentary drinks.

Of course, the bar will be open for business if fancy more!

You can book your tickets on the Stella Artois Time Portal site – and hurry, just like going back into the past, if you blink, you’ll miss this one!

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Stella Artois kindly took me to 1877 – thanks! – but opinions are my own.