Jo Malone London

30 June 2017

Jo Malone perfume
I can’t leave the house without spritzing on some perfume. I think it's a habit I have picked up from growing up around my mama and nana - they always wear perfume. I have memories of sneaking in to both of their bedrooms when I was younger and smelling their perfumes in the gorgeous bottles on their dressing tables. 

When it comes to the scent of a perfume, I’m all for summery fragrances. Up until recently I would choose between a couple of the Marc by Marc Jacobs ‘Daisy’ scents. In the run-up to my wedding day, I decided I wanted to try a new scent - one that would remind me of the day and give me happy memories when I wear it. 

I paid a little visit to my local Jo Malone London store, and had a little sniff of all their fragrances. Founded by beautician Jo Malone, hers was one of the early niche perfume houses that transitioned from being a small start-up, which she operated out of her own kitchen, to having boutiques all over the world after Estee Lauder Companies acquired the brand.

The brand itself never really screams and shouts about new launches - although the parties they throw for the press and bloggers are something I dream of! (Take a look at their Instagram and you’ll understand) Their products are off the scale beautiful, and being someone that seems to love a bit of monochrome, you can see why this brand caught my eye… 
Jo Malone perfume
I went with their “English Pear & Freesia” scent. It’s perfect for me as I don’t like fragrances that are too in ya face. Light and fresh is my jam, and this scent is flowery yet fresh, leaving you feeling like you’re bathing in a sea of pear drops and freesias. Dreamy…

It’s light, chic and has a strong staying power. I recently purchased my 3rd bottle whilst on a work trip (the perks of traveling frequently - duty free shopping!) and I get compliments every time I wear it. Plus, it brings back memories of my wedding day, awwww. 

The Harbour Hotel Spa, Brighton

28 June 2017

The Harbour Hotel Spa, Brighton

I love a pamper (who doesn't?!) so when I heard that the hotel I stayed in over my wedding had opened their spa, I put my out of office on and headed down to the Harbour Hotel in Brighton, for a morning of relaxation and pampering. 

The Harbour Hotel Spa, Brighton
The Harbour Hotel Spa, Brighton
The Harbour Hotel Spa, Brighton

The Harbour Hotel Spa is located underneath the hotel. With a raised indoor pool, separate hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room, two Scandinavian hot tubs, comfortable relaxation areas and a gym, as well as six spacious treatment rooms, this is the perfect place for a little downtime. For those requiring ultimate relaxation and pampering there is also a private hideaway for two, featuring a hot tub, double day-bed, champagne mini-bar and your own butler on standby.

The Harbour Hotel Spa, Brighton
The Harbour Hotel Spa, Brighton

We spent the morning relaxing in the various pools and hot tub, before heading off to the treatment area for a relaxing 25 minute aromatherapy back massage, finishing the morning with lunch up in the Jetty Restaurant. 

The perfect place for a bit of relaxation. 

The Refresh Spa Morning package costs £65.00 per person Monday – Friday and £80.00 per person on a Saturday. Total treatment time 25 minutes

Book here

The Weekly Edit: Summer Sale Shopping

25 June 2017

The summer sales have begun (although we all have to conveniently wait a couple more weeks for pay day).

From more autumn/winter-style pieces to floaty frocks and all manner of things in between, now’s your chance to stock up on some last-minute holiday clothes as both high street and designer brands are slashing prices on some major items. 

Above and below are a few pieces that have caught my eye...and my bank balance! 
The Summer Sale Edit
Coat // Pouch // Pink Dress // Gingham Dress // Top // Wedge Sandals

Have you picked up any sale bargains?

Kylie Cosmetics Pressed Powder Blushers

23 June 2017

Kylie Cosmetics Pressed Powder Blushers
Watching the dramas and adventures of the Kardashian / Jenner clan has always been a huge guilty pleasure of mine. 

If anyone knows about makeup, it’s Kylie Jenner! First came the lip kits, which sold out over and over. So, it was no surprise when she announced she was launching Kylie Cosmetics

I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on two of her blushers, which launched earlier this year and, have been trialing them for the last few weeks so thought I’d share my views. 
Kylie Cosmetics Pressed Powder Blushers
The Kylie Cosmetics pressed powder blushers have a creamy / velvet feel to them, even though they’re powder. They’re matte, so if you like blushes with a touch of shimmer, you may want to add a little highlighter on top. 

They’re not intensely pigmented in one swipe, which is perfect for those out there that prefer the less intense blushes. The application is is really smooth and they blend really well. One thing I love is that I have more control over these blushes and can build them up to how I like, meaning I will get more wear out of them. The quality and staying power is good, and they don’t settle into any fine lines or exaggerate pores.

If you like blushes with a shimmer – these are matte. So you may want to use a highlighter on top.
Kylie Cosmetics Pressed Powder Blushers
First thoughts on packaging, was that it looked a But, actually it works! The blushes come in a matte outer box - similar to the shade of the blusher inside. It’s made of thick cardboard, and has a magnetic closure with a mirror inside, which is perfect for travelling with. 

There are currently 5 shades of the Kylie Cosmetics blushers. The names are slightly inappropriate, but then sexually charged product names are nothing new in beauty; 

Hopeless romantic – Matte orange red
Hot and bothered – Bright pinky coral
X Rated – subdued tangerine
Virginity – vibrant warm pink
Bareley legal – soft baby pink. 

The Kylie Cosmetics blushers are sold exclusively on the Kylie Cosmetics website for $20 per blush. International shipping is available (hoorah!) and is around $14.95, so it can get a little pricey. 

The Ginger Rooms, Hove

21 June 2017

The Ginger Rooms, Hove

If you follow me on social media, you may have seen me bleat on about my favourite place for cocktails and food on a Friday night. The Ginger Pig in Hove, is pretty much our local pub, and part of the Gingerman restaurant group, with other properties scattered around Brighton and Sussex. 

A couple of weeks ago, a new addition to the ginger group opened up above the Ginger Pig. The Ginger Rooms consists of 11, beautifully designed boutique bedrooms. 

We were offered a chance to sleepover in one of the rooms and after a long week away on a work trip, I jumped at the chance and took the husband with me.The Ginger Rooms, Hove
The Ginger Rooms, Hove
The welcome is casual but warm - no formal check-in - and you're shown straight to your room.    
We stayed in one of the feature rooms which was spacious, simple but luxurious - my husband had to drag me out the following morning as I didn't want to leave. 

The rooms are beautifully decorated. Retro lamps, gorgeous furnishings and artworks that stand out against the grey-green colour palette. The bathroom features a walk in shower, big enough for two, geometric, monochrome tiling and Cowshed products to pamper yourself with. 
The Ginger Rooms, Hove The Ginger Rooms, Hove The Ginger Rooms, Hove
There’s a free-standing bath in the bedroom, which I took serious advantage of later on that evening, sipping on one of the pre-made cocktails from the mini bar made by Rob, the super-talented barman downstairs (he did our wedding cocktails, which also went down a storm) whilst watching Ru-Paul’s Drag Race on the TV. The Ginger Rooms, Hove
The Ginger Rooms, Hove
The Ginger Rooms, Hove
Pre-made cocktails aside, there’s also tea & coffee (in the form of a Nespresso coffee machine) and plenty of snacks should you get the midnight munchies. There’s even a pre-made beach bag at your disposal, complete with towels and beach mat should you fancy a morning swim before checking out.
The bed was a dream (no pun intended) and my jet-lagged body was very appreciative of the Royal Warrant Hypnos mattress and Soak & Sleep bedding - it was like one huge hug! The heavy curtains kept the morning light out so we slept for hours, waking up with huge appetites ready for breakfast downstairs in the restaurant.
The Ginger Rooms are a short bus ride away from the city center, and a 2 minute walk from the beach.

The Ginger Rooms is the perfect home away from home and bloody good value too! Rooms cost between £80 and £160 per night

Book here

Silo at The Salvo Fair

20 June 2017

Silo at The Salvo Fair
Winner of The Observer Food award for Britain’s best ethical restaurant, Silo is popping up at this year's Salvo Fair. 

The Brighton-based zero-waste restaurant by chef Douglas McMaster is hosting a two-course Silo at Salvo lunch. Choose carnivorous or Herbivorous Calzone, made from freshly milled heritage flour, slowly fermented for flavour and good digestion. Taste transatlantic emission free organic Pirate Chocolate fondant… Sailed from the Dominican Republic using only the wind and a crew of badass sailers (pirates). Washed down with your choice of Old Tree libation like bubbly infused with sea buckthorn.
Silo at The Salvo Fair
The Salvo Fair plays host to some amazing vendors. Including, Emily Griffin, designer and maker behind the homeware and accessories brand Mahala. She will have bags made from old British saddlery leather and military canvases, clogs made in England, and vintage and handcrafted homewares.  Other exhibitors include Mary Jones Vintage who unearths rare fashion for gents and ladies, featuring clothes, accessories, jewellery and a showcase of hats including unique designs by Dior.   

SALVO 2017 at a glance
Where: Icehouse Lane, Henley on Thames, RG9 3AP
When: Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 June 2017
Open: 10am to 5pm
Charity Gala Preview and late night shopping: Friday 23 June 2017, 5pm to 8pm

Book Weekend Tickets for a 2-course Silo at Salvo lunch on Eventbrite 

The Weekly Edit: High Street Holiday Pieces

18 June 2017

High Street Holiday Pieces

Holiday season (US readers; it's basically what we call Summer!) is upon us, and so I’ve hit the shops and rounded up the best pieces for that ultimate summer holiday suitcase all available on the high street now.

Obviously, there's a few pieces that are essential to the holiday capsule wardrobe. During the day, stick to light dresses you can throw on over a bikini or swim cozzy, with a comfy sandal. This will take you from lounging on the beach or around the pool, to the bar for a drink or 2 before changing for the evening.
High Street Holiday Pieces

I tend to mainly wear dresses on holiday, but in the evenings I sometimes change it up, and slip on a pair of floaty trousers and a cami. I avoid wearing heels on holiday, and tend to make my outfit a little fancy with accessories instead. Wearing a nice necklace, or a few bracelets can jazz up any outfit or grab a raffia clutch to complete the outfit.

Girl Vs Cancer

16 June 2017

This ain't the first time I've spoken about cancer on this blog, and I'm sure it won't be the last. 

It's the dreaded word that none of us hope to face, but when 1 in 3 people are likely to get some form of it, it can be hard to avoid talking about it.  

Most of you will know that my mum got diagnosed with it around 18 months ago. My family have been pretty open about my mum - that was one thing she wanted from the beginning of her diagnosis, to not be afraid to talk about it and so, we haven't and I continue now to talk about it as much as I can and want because we find it actually helps deal with it. 
You can read about more in a post I wrote here.

But, talking and writing about it is nowhere near as difficult as going through it. Which is why I can’t begin to imagine what my mum is going through, even though I’m watching it all unfold in front of me. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again - she’s a bloody legend and one hell of an inspiration. 
Girl Vs Cancer T Shirt
Which brings me to another amazing and inspiring lady...

Lauren is the lady behind the blog Girl Stole London, and one I’ve been following for yonks! She’s my age, and has been tackling the bitch that is breast cancer. She’s been dealing with it in the most hilarious, expressive and moving way that the whole taboo surrounding cancer vanishes when you read her posts on her blog and social media. 

To say she’s an inspiration, just like my mama is an understatement. 

Cancer is hard to deal with, but no one really thinks about all the baggage that goes with having the disease. The side effects can be insane (my mum ended up in hospital the other week due to one of these) and it also puts you out of work for months. Which means, you can struggle financially due to low sick pay and / or no health insurance. 

Statutory sick pay is around £350 per month, which means paying rent and doing the food shop is near on impossible. 

Yep. Not great at all, right? and not something you want to worry about when you're going through treatment. 

Like my mum, Lauren hasn’t let the big C word (no, not that one you naughty scamps!) get in the way.  She has created a collection of amazing titty t-shirts which has totally blown my mind (and many others) as very few people could think of a business idea whilst having chemo and dealing with the side effects, but Lauren is clearly on another level!
Girl Vs Cancer T Shirt
Each t-shirt is priced at £28, with 25% of profits going straight to supporting Breast Cancer Care, with the remaining dollar keeping Lauren on her feet until she is able to head back to work. The first run of tees sold out quick, and a restock has happened this week with a couple of new slogans thrown in to the mix coming very soon. 
Girl Vs Cancer T Shirt
So, treat yourself to a tit-tee and support a mahoosive cause. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #GIRLvsCANCER and follow Lauren’s story on her blog and Instagram.  

Photos by the wonderful Carrie from  One Pleasant Day

Cin Cin, Brighton

14 June 2017

Cin Cin, Brighton
Tucked away in the heart of the North Laines, Cin Cin is what Brighton has needed in a while - decent, authentic Italian food. Serving up antipasti, handmade pasta, aperitifs and Italian wines, grab one of the 18 seats around the open bar and kitchen setting and watch the restaurant do its thing. 

Chef Jamie works his magic in the small kitchen, knocking out some of the best Italian food I've eaten outside of Italy. 

It's the perfect place to grab a selection of plates and share with your date
Cin Cin, Brighton
Although, my date never got a look in when the burrata came out. I'm sure you can understand why...
Cin Cin, Brighton
 Mmmmm...just looking at the photo is making me so hungry! 

Their pasta dishes take me back to my Summers in Italy.

Fresh pasta, cooked right in front of you, accompanied by delicious flavours. 
Cin Cin, Brighton
 Their menu changes frequently, which is one of my excuses as to why I've been so many times (plus, it's around the corner from my office). It's also close to Brighton station, so easy enough to walk or, roll to after you've consumed the whole menu. 
Cin Cin, Brighton
Head there on a Tuesday lunchtime, when they offer a pasta dish and a drink for £10 

Fresh pasta, and a glass of Italian wine? 

You can't beat that! 
Cin Cin, Brighton
You can find Cin Cin on Vine Street. They also take bookings and, you can hire out the whole restaurant for a private lunch or dinner if you're feeling fancy.

Give them a call on 01273 698813 and go with an appetite! 

The Weekly Edit: Summer Sandals

11 June 2017

Summer Sandals

As it's now June, let's talk about the item we'll (hopefully) be wearing on our feet for the next couple of months: sandals. From embellishments, to textures and prints, this season there's something for everyone. 

Above are my favourites from the high street. All coming in at under £70. 

The Best Beauty Products (from the Past Year)

9 June 2017

The Best Beauty Products from the Past Year by Laura Lewis

I did plan on calling this post "The best beauty products of 2016" but seeing as we're now in June, and I've only been back from blog break since May (time has flown by!) I didn't feel like I could really call it that. 

So, these are the best beauty products I've been introduced to in the past year. Doesn't have the best ring to it, but let's just go with it...

Kat Von D Liquid Everlasting Lipsticks
These little tubes of sexiness were recommended to me time and time again when I asked what I should be buying on my trip to NYC, and although every Sephora in Manhattan seemed to have a shortage of these, I did manage to pick up a few shades. 

Fast forward a few months and almost having a meltdown after running out of my favourite shade (Double Dare) you can now get your hands on them (and all other KVD products) here in the UK! 
Buy here

Glossier Boy Brow
I wax lyrical about this brand, and quite rightly! This product is the one beauty product I now can't live without! Even better is that Glossier will be launching in the UK soon! 
BEST. NEWS. OF. 2017 

Wonder Glow, Charlotte Tilbury
Another product that was recommended to me, and another one I will be re-purchasing when I run out. This is a great all-year round beauty product as you can use it on its own for , or under your foundation.
Buy here 

Beauty Blender
2016 was the year I bought my first Beauty Blender. After being a little skeptical about how a sponge could actually be "a total face changer" I bit the bullet and bought one in Sephora...and haven't looked back since. 

Just remember...the rule on using a Beauty Blender - wet it if you're using a 'wet' product (foundation, etc) and keep it dry if you're using it to apply a dry product (blush, highlighter, etc)
Buy here 

Eve Lom Cleanser
I started to really pay attention to my skincare routine in 2016, and a few months in I had a massive change up with products - I think I've got it on point for me now. I found this cleanser to really help clear any sort of breakout up, and it's really suited my very sensitive skin. 
Buy here

Milk Jelly Cleanser, Glossier
Another cleanser that I've been using, and can't get enough off! Again, it's not available here in the UK yet but hopefully soon.

Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer, Marc Jacobs Beauty (not pictured)
I picked this up on a whim in Sephora, and I'm so glad I did! The only primer I ever use (and I'm so glad you can now pick it up in the UK) this actually feels like it's keeping your face fresh when you have a layer of foundation on top. It's a tad on the expensive side, but a little goes a long way. 
Buy here

Tips for Beating Jet Lag

7 June 2017

Tips for Beating Jet Lag
I'm going to be honest here.

Jet lag fucking sucks.

I had it so bad in Sydney back in Feb, that I vowed to beat it the next time I flew long-haul and, I think I can safely say that although it's difficult to avoid it, there are some ways of making it a little easier on the body and mind. 

So, here are my tips on beating jet lag. 


Drink Plenty of Liquids
It’s always been advised to stay hydrated on the plane, I always grab a litre bottle of water at the airport, after security to take on the flight with me as the small bottles they give to you on the plane don't cut it. If you’re going to drink alcohol on the plane (which I always, always do - it's free, so why not?!), alternate with water.

To sleep or not to?
I'm a huge believer in trying to get on the time zone of your current whereabouts / destination as soon as possible - Do whatever it takes to stay awake during the first couple of days, so that you are on a normal schedule in your new time zone - adopt this approach also when you're back home. It can prove slightly tricky on the plane but, don't be tempted to nap when you arrive unless it's nighttime! Take the time on your flight to enjoy the free drinks and catch up on films. Although, that being said, if you’re on a night flight that lands in Sydney first thing in the morning like I was (as they often do), a few hours of sleep won’t hurt as you’ll need energy to conquer a full first day on the ground.

Don't cut calories
EAT! You'll probably ease into this anyways as airplane meals are likely to happen out of your normal eating schedule. I've found that my jet lag can be even worse if I haven't eaten much on the plane. Depending where you're off to, you may be asleep at times when you'd normally eat at home. My appetite was so out of sync when I was in Sydney because of this! So, try to go to bed full and not the least bit hungry. 
Tips for Beating Jet Lag

Homeward Bound
When you arrive home from a trip, if possible, give yourself a free day before returning to responsibilities. A stressed mind can keep you awake. If you land and have, “I have so much to do, I can’t think straight!” running through your mind, you won’t sleep. Try to organise yourself so all you have to do is laundry, sort emails, and a few chores the day after you return from a trip.

Pretend Like You Don’t Have Jet Lag
This is harder to do when you return home and lack the adrenaline rush of being on holiday / work trip. But, the best way to get over jet lag is to power through it as if you don’t have it. Get into denial mode if you can and ignore the fact that it may be breakfast time where you were, but it's actually dinner time back in your house.

A little pamper
Now, this is very indulgent but so good especially if you're travelling long-haul. Book yourself in for a massage and even a facial. This will help your body so much after sitting on an airplane - it will help to reduce swelling, get your circulation flowing and recharge your skin. 

There you have it. My jet lag tips. I am NO expert but I hope these help next time you fly. Let me know if you have any tips I haven't thought of in this post.  

Deliveroo Editions, Brighton and Hove

5 June 2017

Deliveroo Editions, Brighton and Hove
Deliveroo first came to Brighton just over a year ago, and has been a real game-changer to the city, offering takeaways from some of Brighton's best-loved restaurants.

They have just launched Deliveroo Editions, their first site outside of London. This launch will bring a few Brighton restaurants to people who live in the Hove area, who have up until now, not been able to use Deliveroo.

By providing delivery-only kitchens, Deliveroo Editions enables restaurants to reach new customers without needing a high street premises, allowing local restaurants to expand their business via takeaway customers.  

Six restaurants will now operate out of the new kitchen, including Deliveroo favourite, Chilli Pickle. I decided to try out a restaurant that I've heard a lot of things about: VIP Very Italian Pizza.
Deliveroo Editions, Brighton and Hove
I'm a huge pizza fan so I thought I'd try them out as when I've walked past their central Brighton branch, it's always busy. 

The pizzas arrived speedily, and still scorching hot - always a bonus!

I'll definitely be ordering from the Deliveroo Editions restaurants again. Next time, I may try Thaikhun which is new to Brighton. 

Beauty Pie

2 June 2017

Beauty Pie makeup
The newish kid on the block, Beauty Pie is a brand that has made me really think about the cost of a beauty product. Until recently, I wasn't fully aware of the markups on beauty products - so mind-boggling! Enter this brand where their ethos is 'makeup without the markup' 

There's a twist - for a small monthly membership fee of £10, you get to purchase items without the markup. In return members can buy luxury makeup at factory prices, thanks to Beauty Pie’s policy of stripping back packaging to generic, lightweight plastic and loosing the middlemen retailers.

Interesting, right?
Beauty Pie makeup
Each product comes with a full breakdown of where your money’s going to. For example, the price of their Everyday Great Skin Foundation plummets to £4.75: £3.76 on product and packaging, 3p on safety and testing, 17p on warehousing, plus VAT. Postage is extra, but even when combined with membership fees, the overall cost is low. 

Below are some of the products I purchased and my thoughts on them. 
Beauty Pie makeup
Everyday Great Skin Foundation - £30 / £4.75 (membership price)
I'm impressed with this foundation. The packaging looks and feels luxurious even though you're getting change from a fiver. I'm always hesitant in buying a base online, as I like to colour match in store, but I seemed to have nailed the shade this time round. The product itself is easy to blend - with fingers, brush or sponge and doesn't feel too heavy once applied. 
Beauty Pie makeup
Uber Volume-Boost Mascara - £20 / £1.93 (membership price)
Having the shortest, straightest eyelashes out there, I struggle to find a mascara that gives my lashes the 'oomph' I desperately want them to have. This one is ok. It gives them a nice length, the formula isn't too thick and the brush gives good application. The downside? I find that after a couple of hours of wear, it starts to flake off! Not the look you go for really. 
Beauty Pie makeup
One Powder Wonder - £26 / £3.68 (membership price)
First thoughts on this product is that it smells weird. However, it's really interesting because the powder looks shimmery within the pan, but no powder transfers onto the fingertips whatsoever. When using a brush, it does pick up the powder but not too much which is maybe why it doesn't cake. It mattifies your base, but also gives a soft radiance at the same time. Something I can get totally on board with, and have been using a lot.
Beauty Pie makeup
Superbrow Precision Pencil - £17 / £2.06 (membership price) 
Now, I'm never going to shy away from my favourite brow product ever (Boy Brow by Glossier FYI) but, as it's pretty tricky to get over here I need to have a back up. So, I thought I'd try this one. I've only used it once, and I wouldn't say it's the best brow pencil I've used but, it does the job.
Beauty Pie makeup
One of the downsides is most definitely the smell of some of their products. When the brand big themselves up about being fragrance and cruelty free, it's bizarre that some of their products smell fairly chemical. The foundation was the worst for me, smelling like white spirit. 

However, if you're on a budget and looking for some new products to try, sign up for membership and try some of their stuff out. I honestly don't think they're worth the non-member price, but then that may be because I've never spent over £30 on a foundation! 

Let me know if you've tried any products by Beauty Pie