Beauty: Best Face Cleansers

As you guys may have picked up on, I'm really enjoying all things beauty at the moment. I knew very little about it all to start with, so I'm loving trying out lots of things and working out what works best for  me. The QVC Beauty Excellence Awards were last week and I was asked to test out their facial cleansers and let you know which one gets my vote… (Find out who won here).

Getting straight to the point, my favourite is the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. I've been using this for a long, long time having been bought it for Christmas one year. It was the product that showed me that in beauty (within reason) you get what you pay for. I use it once a fortnight as a bit of a skin blitz, but if you have more problem skin I'd recommend using it more. It's completely worth the investment, although I find it's far more of a skincare product than a make up remover.

Two other products (that I hadn't tried before) get a series thumbs up. Alpha H Balancing Cleanser is a fantastic all rounder. Soap free with bags of aloe vera and Vitamin E, I'd recommend using this for a couple of weeks after a holiday when your skin gets blasted by the "UK summer." It does also work as a make up remover so although it's £10 more expensive than the Liz Earle it saves you the expense of an additional product.

Finally, the Decleor Micellar Oil needs a mention. I'd been wanting to try this since reading about it on Really Ree's blog. Either use it "dry" or if you've really piled on the make up for an occasion splash some water on when you've put a couple of pumps on your face. 

For more information on any of the products visit QVC's website here. This post was in collaboration with QVC with no text or opinion editing.


Paris Part Deux

Here is a little post from our first evening in Paris. We were invited to 114 Faubourg, Le Bristol's restaurant. I have a bit of a thing with eating at hotel restaurants… In the UK they're often not particularly good and I also think if you're staying somewhere you should at least venture outside of the hotel to eat! So, needless to say I was a bit "on the fence" about eating there… As you'll see, I was completely wrong.

Here are a few shots of me getting ready and my beauty bag for the trip. The beauty of Eurostar is there is no liquid limit so I took my usual make up and beauty products (makes a welcome change from flying). I'm going to be doing a few more beauty posts over the coming weeks so won't go too much into my ever-faithfuls now, but in a nutshell I am absolutely swearing by No Make Up Make Up by Perricone MD, REN Skincare Keep Young And Beautiful and Tom Ford's newest perfume, Noir Extreme. Two further things worth mentioning are Tom Ford's primer (completely sorted out my skin and stops make up coming off) and Benefit's Sun Beam. This pot was a freebie with a magazine and I refill it up and keep it in my handbag at ALL times (I'm well aware none of this is particularly cheap, but I really recommend the investment).

Now over to the outfit which is top to toe Reiss.  The leather skirt is a favourite (I also bought this dress version which is half price in the sale, insanely cheap for the quality) I've been wearing it with all sorts - denim shirts, white tees and big, comfy jumpers like the one in this post. I love the grey colour of the jumper, it looks fab with blue denim and is perfect for down-dressing an outfit like this one. I hate looking overdressed and as we'd never been to this restaurant before I had no idea how formal it was - this was perfect! I've also got it in white (here) which is the perfect smart/casual "throw on" knit.

The shoes are quite high for me which made me a bit nervous, but they are super comfortable. They're the kind of thing I'll wear again and again - in fact they're living under my desk as they're perfect after-work heel. Last but not least the handbag… Contrary to popular opinion I am not a massive handbag fanatic. I'm borderline boring with my choices - it needs to be practical, easy to carry and look expensive. I appreciate the last comment may be a bit "ooh-err" but it's always been a thing for me; handbags should never look cheap. This one is amazing. I've been glued to it since it arrived. It's everything a handbag should be...

So onto the restaurant. Michelin starred since 2013, 114 Faubourg's feel is everything you need for a Parisian weekend evening. Enough of a vibe to it to burst out laughing without feeling like everyone is watching, but calm enough to completely relax and enjoy your food. We started with lobster (obviously) and an artichoke soup. I've never really cared that much for soup, until now. If you could award a dish with a Michelin star, this would get it. It was incredible...

Don't get me wrong I still love my fish finger sandwiches at home, but it's so nice to spoil yourself once in a while and this place was certainly a treat. We went on to have white fish and a pigeon dish (above) that was essentially a bird beef wellington. When it arrived I thought it would be gone in 60 seconds and I'd still be hungry but it was perfect. The fish was great too, light but really tasty. After main courses we decided to make the most of the warm evening and sit outside for coffees and desserts. The sorbets are extremely good, and as for the restaurant's take on a deconstructed crumble… You should just go and see for yourself. Find out more here.

Shop my outfit here:



Paris Part Un with Reiss

As you may have already seen on the Reiss site or my Instagram, last weekend I went off to stay at Le Bristol for the weekend in Paris… It was an amazing couple of days which completely instilled my love of the city. We hopped over on the Eurostar (mind bogglingly easy) and arrived on Friday evening in perfect time for a quick dip in the rooftop pool before dinner (more on that later, it deserves its own post).

Saturday morning was a beautiful day so we head straight out after breakfast for a wander. After popping into a gallery or two we found ourselves in the middle of the Champs Elysees overlooking the Seine and the Palais de la Decouverte (an enormous glass conservatory that makes Alexandra Palace look like my granny's greenhouse in comparison). Happily snapping away it was only once we had walked over the Seine that I realised I'd left the memory card in the hotel room - so these photos are all courtesy of our iPhones, oops...

I should probably mention what I was wearing… I can mainly remember being baking hot. The jeans are my standard Topshop girlfriends, and the pumps are a new purchase from Gap (bought last week as an emergency when I was trying to break in a different pair and after a couple of hours I thought my feet were going to be gnawed off if I didn't change footwear). The tee is new from Reiss, because you have to wear stripes in Paris, right?

I wouldn't say I'm the usual rucksack type, but my new one here is amazing. Firstly it has an additional handle which makes it look like a bucket bag if you want it to (I wore it all weekend so if you still aren't sure check out posts later in the week, I am adamant I'll convince you). I found it super handy to have when plodding around town…  After some ice cold Oranginas we head back to the hotel to make use of the rooftop pool and terrace...

I had been eyeing up this swimsuit for months. I already own the black one, but the red version is something a little bit special which is fortunate as I had one of the most embarrassing situations of my life in it about five minutes after these photos were taken: I went back to the room to get the remainder of our wine from the night before (waste not, want not) and accidentally pressed the lift to go to the lobby rather than the roof, and arrived at reception wearing only this, holding the bottle of wine… A group of Americans thought this was hilarious (reception is formal, and busy) and I felt like something out of Pretty Woman. Needless to say the wine was sunk quickly afterwards to rid myself of the feeling of complete embarrassment...

After this we head back to the room to change before going up to Stade du France to watch the rugby (England v France). We had brilliant seats and the atmosphere was amazing - if only we'd won it would have made the perfect evening!  I'll be posting content from Paris across the week, and check out the Reiss site here for more.



Outfit: Sea-ing Blue

There has been a distinct lack of outfit posts over the last week, apologies! This is mainly because Anneli and I have been so busy we haven't met up and therefore we haven't had our useful photo sessions… Here is a quick snap of an outfit from last week whilst bumbling around Clapham with my housemate. The top is from Zara (they have them in every colour possible and I have had to restrain myself not to buy them all) and this denim one is super handy for throwing on at weekends. The skirt is Sea NY (hence the title). Bit obsessed with this brand (I wore this jumper in a post a couple of weeks ago) and wearing as much of it as possible. I bought the skirt from Vestiaire Collective for something silly like £40 (retail value is about £150). Happy days… 

Shoes and bag are from Anthropologie; developing a huge crush on their clothing. People often forget they do more than just cool crockery and candles, do not make that mistake. The sandals are now reduced to £30, find them here. Some of their new stuff is insane, check it out here. Sunglasses are Jimmy Choo, my favourite eyewear brand - I think they're called Cindy and you can find them here.  Hope you guys have a super week!


Love Her Look: Au Revoir

Maybe it's because I'm off to Paris today (woooooooooop) or just because I have 2,938 Breton tee shirts, but this week I've been lusting after outfits like the below. Being vertically challenged wearing culottes is difficult for me without heels, so ideas like this really give me faith that it's doable and they're essentially one of the easiest looks in the book...

Did you know that a proper Breton tee has 21 stripes to represent each of Napolean's victories? Thank you Atterley for that little fact. As I said, I have a lot of these but my favourites are from Reiss here, St James here and Chinti and Parker here. Denim culottes wise I found an absolute bargain from River Island - these are £38! Lust list wise, these from Net A Porter (from a brand I'd not heard of before Steve J and Yoni P) are incredible too. The heels I could swear are Phillip Lim as I remember seeing them on Vestiaire, if anyone knows please let me know! In the meantime, for the taller of you I discovered these ASOS flats for £10 in the sale!


Limewood, again

Anyone who follows my Instagram will notice I'm at Limewood again… Turns out the sofa (with a tub of Pringles and a bottle of red) isn't my ultimate happy place, this hotel is. I totally understand how "first world" this sounds - but from the minute I turned up here (yesterday) all worries disappeared and I've managed to get myself from a stressed, wound up, busy person to a calm, sedated, super human.

These photos were taken last time I was here with Anneli, unfortunately it's raining today (although this does mean I get to sit in the 10 foot square hot tub in the rain - #thuglife) so no chance for pictures. I wore this for dinner at the hotel's restaurant, which is so awesome it's silly. We ate there again last night and did the tasting menu, every course was almost giggle-worthy-good. 

I don't really do the whole "colour match" thing so this felt a bit organised for me. The culottes were a spontaneous purchase from H&M a couple of months ago - I was wearing jeans in London on a hot day and realised that if I didn't alter the situation I was going to pass out. I've worn them so much, which surprises me as they're a pretty bold pattern. They remind me of my friend Lucy who is addicted to palm prints and whilst in California last year and we went to the Beverly Hills Hotel (who have the same print everywhere) … 

The shoes and clutch are from Jimmy Choo. Five years ago I would never have said this but investing in decent shoes is an incredibly smart decision. I have stupid little feet (size 3.5, they're basically hooves) so heels are really painful. These are the only ones that don't cause tears… They are so bl**dy comfortable I could run a marathon in them (or at least the shoes wouldn't be the issue when I passed out 2 miles in). They're the Addison style and I cannot recommend them enough. More importantly here are a couple of photos of the "dinner of actual dreams."

If you go to Limewood's restaurant (Hartnett and Holder) then do the tasting menu, simples. It's £65 a head and you won't need to eat for 3 days afterwards so it pretty much saves you money. As an example of the dishes, above is the smoked salmon (smoked in-house, obvs) with cod roe, and below is my absolute favourite dish; cured vegetables and ewes milk cheese. It sounds so simple, but tastes so good I dreamt about it last night. Book here. Do it. 



Love Her Look: Simply The Best

This week Love Her Look is one after my own heart. Sincerely Jules has the wardrobe every girl wants and what I love most about her is that all of her outfits are completely doable. You guys picked this image (above) as your favourite on my Pinterest boards this week and I'm really not surprised. 

I still don't have a black tee - my James Perse one got lost (I suspect it's currently touring Africa with my sister) a few months ago and I haven't gotten around to buying a new one. I blogged recently (here) about the perfect t shirt for different shapes, for me deep V necks or high necks are best. I really believe in investing in stuff like this so I've narrowed my search down to this Alexander Wang one from The OutNet which is 50% off at the moment (and I suspect is the actual one Jules is wearing) and this J Crew one which quite a few friends have. Denim shorts wise, I find you need just buy short versions of the jeans you usually wear so these Paige ones are great, or if you're new to the idea I recommend buying ASOS Brady jeans and cutting them to size… 

Handbag wise the Chanel is obviously a contender on the "dream list." If you're thinking of buying one check out Vestiaire Collective (here) as they have lots of nearly-new ones for up to 70% off. Finally the sunglasses are my favourites: Rayban aviators. I have four pairs (which I know ridiculous) and these gold ones are my favourite. Shop the outfit with the links above!



Outfit: Topshop Ghostbuster

Last week I went along to a breakfast at Claridges to find out more about Gemmyo, a new (for us) made to order jewellery company.  Fred was there too which was brilliant as I really haven't seen enough of this girl recently. We used to work together at Vestiaire and have been friends ever since, I'm stupidly excited about her wedding next month in France. She's recently set up a new consultancy called She Unleashed which is a flying success, if you haven't already seen it check it out here.

After breakfast we did what bloggers do best and slipped down an alley to take some snaps.  Fred is one of those girls that just brings a smile to your face, which you can probably see from the images. It was one of those days that you just didn't know how to dress, London has been pretty unkind to us in that respect for the last few weeks. As I was running around town all day I decided to go with possibly the easiest piece of clothing I own to wear; my new Topshop jumpsuit.

I've noticed a lot of the girls in London have been wearing the green version (here) but when I popped in between meetings a couple of weeks ago I spied it in cream.  When I say it's comfortable it really doesn't do it justice. A guy friend of mine told me I looked like a Ghostbuster, but I really don't care. Especially you're too busy "working" (giggling like a child in the street whilst taking photos of yourself). Blogging is a strange, strange occupation at times...

My sunglasses are new favourites from Marc by Marc Jacobs (expect to see a lot of these on the blog as since losing my Jimmy Choo x Carerras for the FOURTH time I decided it was time to give up and find a new pair).  The sandals were a sample sale find a few months ago, they killed my feet the first few times I wore them but the pain was totally worth it. I'm not an enormous fan of the "red soled"look, but these don't look that Louboutin-like which is why I bagged them the minute I saw them. Have a super week, kids!

Shop the outfit here:



Saltspin Denim Part 3

These photos were taken when I was in what I like to call my "happy place." Sitting in a chair, fiddling around on the laptop, drinking coffee (most probably from Monmouth Coffee as it really is the best). At the weekend I don't want to think about what I'm wearing, I put on whatever is on top of the pile in the drawer.  I'd usually go for loose fitting jeans but these ones are so soft and comfortable that they're perfect even for lazy Sunday mornings.

The jumper is from Sea NY. Anyone who doesn't know this brand needs to, it's one of my favourites. All their stuff epitomises "I woke up like this" style; effortless, boho cool.  I got this from The OutNet (Net A Porter's discounted little sister) where it was reduced from £290 and £130. Here is a little pick of my favourite from their offering:

Any way back to the important stuff, the jeans. This is the last post in my tie up with Saltspin and therefore your last chance to win some denim! This week I have posted about their amazing black skinny jeans and blue boyfriend jeans, picking my own three favourite pairs. You can become the proud owner of three of your own by visiting their site then emailing me here - you have until midnight on Tuesday to do it, so hurry up!


Love Her Look: Blazing Green

It's been a while since I've done a Love Her Look post as I've been so busy at work and with the blog that I've barely had any time to update my Pinterest account. But today I managed to squeeze in a 30 minute catch up and noticed this picture (below) has been pretty popular. 

I live in jackets (I just became the proud owner of this one from Reiss) but I'm pretty ruthless with them. I have one of each neutral colour, a couple of printed ones for crazy days and a bold blue one as my "block colour" blazer.  Seeing this post has made me realise I should really have a green one as its my favourite colour, so I started the hunt. I found this one from Marks and Spencer, but the hunt for the exact one continues. If anyone has any idea where it is from please let me know! As for other components, you just need a denim shirt (this Current Elliott one is on my hit list), shorts and sunnies - simples!



Saltspin Denim Part 2

So here is part two (of three) of my tie up with jean brand Saltspin. As I said in my first post I was pretty dubious when they approached me promising me they'd be my new everything. I was already pretty happy with my jean collection and was actually having a bit of a guilt trip about the number of pairs I owned. Now being the proud owner of three pairs, I have to say they weren't far wrong...

This black pair are probably my favourite. For a start you could completely get away with them as trousers. The fabric is super soft and looks sort of velvety, I got away twice this week with them in "no denim" venues which felt stupidly rewarding. They "hug" you rather than "cling" to you… I'm hoping that makes sense to you because there really isn't any other way I can think to describe it. More than anything, I just feel really good in them and with my shape (I have a bum, and its not very forgiving, and my thighs aren't exactly supermodel standard) thats quite a compliment to the brand. 

For this shoot I wore them with an Etro shirt I found in my wardrobe last week. In truth I bought it in a sale and didn't realise there was a side zip so didn't think it fitted me until my housemate pointed it out a few weeks ago! You can't really see from the photos (note to self; never try and photograph black and white outfits in direct sunlight) but it's got a couple of leather panels on it… I love it. The shoes are oldies but goodies from L.K.Bennett, if you like the look I found these current season ones here that are  quite similar. Sunglasses (in the first pic) are from Max and Co, and the bag is from Anthropologie.

In case you missed it, Saltspin and I are giving you lot a chance to win your three favourite pairs of jeans (similarly I will be posting mine on the blog). Simply visit their site here, and then drop me a line (here) with your details, sizing and your denim choices - for extra points follow us on Instagram (me here, them here). Full terms and conditions are on this post, but the winner will be selected at random and announced on Twitter on Wednesday the 12th of August.

Psst -  if you can't wait till then, you can get 25% off with the code ANNA25 until the end of the month!
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