I’m Getting Married!

BeFunky Collage.jpg

It’s been quite a while since I’ve blogged but I’ve got a very exciting reason to get started again. Two weeks ago my lovely, lovely boyfriend surprised me in the park after a picnic with a gorgeous sapphire and diamond antique engagement ring.

If I’m 100% honest, it wasn’t a *total* surprise, given that we’ve been talking about getting married for a while, and he’d checked with me on what style of ring I liked, but it was still a bit of a shock to see him actually on one knee. I almost asked him “Why are you weirdly kneeling like that” but thank god I kept that to myself.

I don’t wear any jewellery on a day-to-day basis (I’ve tried, but I’m just not an accessories kind of gal) so he really wanted to make sure I’d actually like it, which of course I do. I’ve gone full Gollum and am refusing to take it off, save for sleeping or washing up.

Now, onto the big one – the wedding planning. I’ve done pretty damn well in the past two weeks with getting everything lined up. It helps having a secret Pinterest board (that can finally go public – hurrah!) and a keen sense of organisational detail.

So far, I’ve lined up the venue, the photographer, the DJ (he’s a cracker) and bought my shoes which I nabbed in the sales online. Our working date is 25th March next year which is only a crazy seven months away.

We definitely want a low-key wedding and both of us want to get married as soon as possible. For me, it’s because my grandma has been unwell this past year and she is 88 so seems a little unfair to make her wait much longer. Her response when I told her I was engaged was hilarious: “Oh thank god, it’s finally happening!”

The big next steps are sorting out the guestlist (both my SO and I have big families – eep), booking the registrar and sending out the invites. Once that’s done I’m going to take a breather until October when Operation #FindMyWeddingDress begins.

Any brides-to-be or married ladies with wedding planning tips, hit me up! I’ve taken to scouring Pinterest and sites like The Knot and Rock My Wedding but a personal recommendation is always a winner.

Follow me on Twitter | Follow me on Instagram | Follow me on Bloglovin

  

The Cult Beauty Box by Vivianna & Lily

analily_image_landingpage2-wvo3m

It’s a little less than two weeks until my birthday, which means I’m looking for any excuse to treat myself. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to start taking better care of my skin – I’m officially past the mid-twenties bit of my life and a quick dash with a cleansing wipe at the end of the day just isn’t cutting it anymore.

So I chose to treat myself with the Cult Beauty box collaboration with Anna of ViviannaDoesMakeup + Lily of LilyPebbles. It’s been a while since I’ve tried a beauty box, and this one really appealed to me. There’s definitely a focus on skincare, which was perfect for me considering that’s my new obsession!

The Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel is a big blogger favourite, and I can see why. The gel turns to oil on the skin, which feels gorgeously hydrating and leaves your skin feeling completely clean but with a good layer of moisture. I normally use the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser as my usual cleanser, but I think Oskia may replace this as my daily cleanser of choice.

I’m also loving the Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist. As a last step before applying primer this has totally changed my base game. My skin is usually pretty well behaved but adding this to my routine has meant that my foundation goes on even more smoothly and sits better on the skin. It’s also really refreshing on hot days so I can see this being a staple over summer.

Another product that has also been incredible to trial was the Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil. I’ve seen this featured in Harvey Nichols and Space NK a lot recently but the price tag (an eye watering £85 for 30ml) has put me off. It does come in a slightly unnerving shade of blue which means massage is required to really let it sink into the skin, but the fragrance and texture of the oil is just lovely. As a final step before bed it really relaxes you and I’ve seen a huge improvement in the texture of my skin since I’ve started using it.

Finally, a bit of a wildcard but I really loved the addition of the Jade Facial Roller. Keeping this in the fridge has meant puffy morning skin is a thing of the past.

And, ahem, it’s incredibly soothing on your temples if you have a morning-after-the-night-before headache… #JustSaying

Follow me on Twitter | Follow me on Instagram | Follow me on Bloglovin

My Little Black Book of Beauty…

Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 4.43.55 PM

I’ve written loads about where I go to get my hair done in previous posts (see here, and here), but I realized I’ve never shared where I go for the beauty side of things.

I’ve known Christina ‘Kiki’ Moscu since I was sixteen, and I’ve been a loyal client of hers ever since. She’s the only person I will ever let touch my eyebrows now – I moved away from her gorgeous boutique salon in South London for two brief years and I’m still paying for the consequences of not seeing her during that time! Never trust a £3 eyebrow wax people.

Since coming back to the fold of South London three years ago (YAY), she’s patiently helped me re-grow my eyebrows back. They’re still a long way off perfect but her advice (castor oil every night, sit in the sunshine with it on to help growth) has really worked. She’s also the fastest, and therefore least painful, waxer in the west. TMI maybe, but any girl knows a fast waxer is like gold dust.

Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 4.43.37 PM

I actually met Kiki first through my mum. My mum is blessed with great skin genes, which I’m hoping I’ve inherited, but she’s not one to get complacent. My mum always taught me that a facial is a one of those necessary indulgences that act as great insurance (skin-surance?) for the future. A facial with Kiki is a heavenly hour or so where she takes a long look at your skin and prescribes the perfect facial to match. I always walk out of her Herne Hill salon glowing and feeling completely relaxed.

I’m probably going to regret telling the Internet when I can’t get an appointment with her, but Kiki is really just too good not to shout about.

You can find her salon just a 10 minute walk away from Herne Hill station here:

Kiki Hair & Beauty Salon

274 Rosendale Road

London,

SE21 9DL

www.kikihairandbeauty.co.uk 

Follow me on Twitter | Follow me on Instagram | Follow me on Bloglovin

#BigHairDo with Myla & Davis

FotorCreated

Last Thursday I was invited down to the East Dulwich branch of Myla & Davis for their version of the #BigHairDo event. In association with LayeredOnline, 100 salons around the country took part in an evening of celebrating all things hair.

You know I’m already a Myla & Davis fan, having written about my journey from brown to blonde with them here, and I was really looking forward to see what they had planned for the evening.

With a Smashbox make-up artist on hand to offer make-overs, and hair stylists fresh off the London Fashion Week circuit demonstrating styles, the salon was absolutely buzzing with bloggers, regular customers, and a photographer getting suitably snap happy.

After enjoying the sushi canapes and a glass of raspberry studded prosecco, I chatted with Ellie as she deftly twisted my hair into a gorgeous milkmaid braid style. She even gave me some tips on how to recreate this at home – although as she quickly saw, I’m all fingers and thumbs when it comes to braiding so think this may just be a salon only style for now…

FotorCreated2

I then enjoyed a Smashbox smoky eye make-over, courtesy of the lovely make-up artist. She gave me an amazing tip for adding definition to a smoky eye: after priming your eyelid with a primer and a neutral base, dust a little matt bronzer in the crease of your eye socket to add definition before following on with your smoky tones. I honestly saw a big difference to the finish of the make-up, and it made my eyes really stand out.

The Myla & Davis team put on an amazing night, and even gave away a lovely Bumble & Bumble giftbag with minis of some of my favourite products including the Thickening spray and the Don’t Blow It product.

Such a great way to spend a Thursday evening, and the Myla & Davis team were all lovely as ever. Definitely a fun reminder that I need to pop back soon to sort out my roots (any old excuse…)!

Follow me on Twitter | Follow me on Instagram | Follow me on Bloglovin

Going from Brown to Blonde…

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 18.13.12

As a child I had dark blonde hair that went a sandy blonde in summer, but which then darkened to a murky brown as soon as I hit my teens. Since then, I’ve had my hair a glossy chestnut brown, a very dark brown/bordering on black, dodgy stripy highlights and have even toyed with red, which was inspired by a break up that resulted in the slightly cliched and tearful “Just make me look different” plea to my poor hairdresser. I’ve actually changed my hair so much now that, at the grand old age of 25, I wasn’t quite sure what my natural hair colour was.

I have pale skin, brown eyes and very dark eyelashes. I look very, very much like my mum who when she was my age had naturally dark hair (almost black), so I just assumed I was naturally very dark as well. So, imagine my surprise when earlier in the year when I first tentatively went lighter, my hairdresser remarked that in actual fact my roots were a dark blonde.

I have Myla and Davis to thank for my colour change this year. I first started out with ombre, being wary of that very obvious home dip dye that so many girls had been rocking and so headed to their Herne Hill salon in an attempt to have proper, grown up colour. I quickly became hooked on being blonde, and went back to take the colour up to my roots.

I love being a blonde – suddenly I don’t have to wear quite so much make up in an attempt to make my skin look less ghostly. I have been blonde before, but I unwisely had an all-over bleach which looked a bit (as my gran kept saying) cheap. That, and the fact that my roots took just a week before making their presence known.

I’ve had my colour done by Elle who has been just brilliant. She gave me very fine highlights which meant re-growth has been incredibly subtle. And because of this, it means I can go a good 6-8 weeks without needing to return and my hair is in surprisingly good condition. I’m approaching the nine week mark right now so my roots are loud and proud, but I’m getting my hair extended at the weekend (!) so I’ve been trying to wait as long as possible before going back so my colour will be good for the number of social events I’ve got coming up.

Lifesaver products you should probably invest in as a blonde: purple or silver shampoo (Bleach London do a great one), a serious leave-in conditioner, and preferably a hardcore conditioning treatment. I’ve been a Phillip Kingsley fan since I was thirteen and had a traumatic hair experience after having encephalitis. His products quite simply brought my hair back to life so I will always be a lifelong advocate of his. Elasticizer is pricy, but seriously worth it. Make it a twice monthly treatment and your hair will thank you.

Follow me on Twitter | Follow me on Instagram | Follow me on Bloglovin

10 Facts About Me…

This June is my sixth month of blogging, and looking back, I’ve really enjoyed it. Not only has it been a great way of keeping track of some of my favourite adventures (Mexico being a particular highlight), but it’s also opened up my reading list by helping me discover other blogs and the amazing writers out there who all champion their own little corner of the internet too.

Ana from Ravishing Roses, one of my regular reads, did a great post to celebrate 700 followers by giving her readers 10 facts about her. I thought this was a nice way to connect with an audience so I’ve (gratefully) borrowed her idea to celebrate my six months of blogging:

487609_10151318366261922_1030198343_n

1. Rome is easily my favourite city. I’m a bit of a history fan and it bowls me over every time I go there. I’m going back in September with my boyfriend who has never been and we’re trying to get tickets on the Scavi tour – the Roman necropolis directly underneath St. Peter’s. Bit morbid, but fascinating. I’m also a lover of pasta so there’s that too.

1901849_10152367680451922_6312656445891392010_n

2. I LOVE Agatha Christie. I’ve read every single Poirot story she’s written. She also coined the term ‘the haters’ because she was a boss.

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 18.18.14

3. I did my degree part-time in the evenings at Birkbeck College, University of London. It was exhausting but so, so worthwhile. I hated the idea of being a traditional student – I’m rubbish at clubbing, I wanted to earn my own money and I definitely didn’t like the thought of ending up in thousands of pounds of debt. I’d completely recommend it and I’ve even just applied to do a Masters in Marketing Communications back at Birkbeck. Fingers crossed!

4. I hate all forms of sport. I am incredibly uncoordinated and was rubbish at sports at school so I think this stems from that. Also, it has a tendency to turn perfectly sane people into bellowing loonies…

5…The one exception to this is skiing, because it includes copious amounts of post-slope wine and cheese as a matter of course. And I love cheese.

384668_10151406987001922_56479164_n

6. So much so that when I get married, I’m not having a wedding cake but instead plan to have several tiers of cheese wheels. This is something my boyfriend and I are completely together on. CHEESE FTW.

7. I have terrible eyesight. I’m desperately trying to get laser eye surgery as soon as my prescription settles down.

8. I once had a pretty brilliant job as a tour guide on a London open top bus. I’ve managed to retain about three London facts, which I usually crack out after I’ve had one too many cocktails and/or if I’m walking past Trafalgar Square.

9. My favourite swanky London place to go for cocktails is the Savoy. It’s ruinously expensive but reassuringly so. I also once met Will Smith here and recited the Fresh Prince of Bel Air rap at him which I’m confident no one else has ever done.11295534_10152784251331922_1850531118878611489_n

10. I speak to my mum every day. We’ve always had a close relationship, and nobody can quite make me laugh like she does. I take after her so much my boyfriend thinks we’re probably the same person. I’m just reassured that there’s someone else out there who also thinks it’s normal to find their purse in the fridge next to cheese.

Follow me on Twitter | Follow me on Instagram | Follow me on Bloglovin

Prawn to Run: Dinner at Rex & Mariano

For my birthday dinner, I’d heard wonderful things about Rex & Mariano. Yes, from Rosie Londoner but also from Jay Rayner – my favourite restaurant critic.

He’s a South Londoner like me, and he was actually one of the few people to write about Brixton Village before the restaurant scene there exploded (and before Franco Manca decided to venture out to Westfield of all places). When he wrote a rave review of Rex & Mariano, I decided it was the perfect place to celebrate being 25.

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 21.41.30

It’s situated in the same location where the god awful Vodka Revolution bar used to be, in St Anne’s Court in Soho. Spacious, with very on-trend white metro tiles, we were seated right next to the open plan kitchen and given an iPad on which to order on.

IMG_0385

We ordered oysters to start, followed by tuna tartare with avocado, chilli and sesame oil which was delicious and one of my highlights of the whole meal.

IMG_0386IMG_0388IMG_0389

This was followed by a plate of lobster ceviche, which was light and beautifully citrussy with yuzu and orange. We then opted for the grilled red prawns (we were too squeamish to order them raw) which were mind-bindingly good. Honestly, if you go, order two platefuls of these and some bread to mop them up with. Properly delicious stuff.

IMG_0390

We then went slightly off piste with the fritto misto. My boyfriend loves this dish and if it’s on the menu he’ll always order it but I find it a bit too heavy. We were going to opt for the scallops with a side of courgette fries but they’d run out of scallops which was a shame.

IMG_0391

IMG_0393

However, when we were paying the bill, my boyfriend told the manager it was my birthday and this was where Rex & Mariano firmly marched themselves into my good books. Not only did she very sweetly give us a shot of limoncello each, but she said she couldn’t let us leave without a birthday pudding and so we indulged in a nougat affogato which was the perfect end to our meal.

Follow me on Twitter | Follow me on Instagram | Follow me on Bloglovin