St. Ives got in touch with me a few weeks ago and asked if I wanted to take part in their 7 day blogger challenge to promote natural beauty. The idea was to use their apricot exfoliating facial scrub during the week, and then take a picture with no make up on to see the effects.
I read the ‘no make up’ part of the email and already began drafting my reply email to politely refuse. Take a picture of my bare face and post it on my blog? No thanks, I’m not that brave!
But that got to me thinking (totally stole Carrie’s catchphrase!) when did it become brave to simply post a picture of yourself with no make up on?! What a crazy world we live in eh? So I decided to be “brave” and go ahead with the challenge and encourage having confidence in stepping into the online world naturally, how I am, without make up. I think social media can be damaging as we look at other people’s “perfect” lives and bodies and think that that is how they are all the time. I guarantee that they too pop down to Tesco with no make up on, hair up in a bun and in a massive hoodie. And then run the other direction when they spot someone they know! We all do it!
If you don’t feel confident in stepping outside with no make up on, try things that naturally improve your skin like using natural beauty products, such as the St Ives facial scrub which makes your skin considerably smoother (and smells lush!), drinking lots of water (might sound obvious but it really helps) and eating food like avocado, which has antioxidants and is brilliant for the skin.
Try it out! Let’s bring back the bare face! Although not completely, I’m loving the new Charlotte Tilbury autumn lip range and am dying to try them out! Thanks to the lovelies at St Ives for sending me this gorgeous pamper hamper filled with all natural products and healthy living treats!
If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you may know that the long awaited Cosmo Blog Awards was on Tuesday and my blog got named ‘Highly Commended’ best lifestyle blog of 2014! How crazy! Even whilst I’m writing this post, I am sat on my desk, grinning goofily from ear to ear with my award next to me and I still can’t quite believe it! Someone pinch me!!
The awards were at the swanky OXO Tower and I headed there with my sister, my date for the evening, for some cupcakes, canapés and Cosmopolitans. Well if you can’t have a Cosmo at the Cosmo awards, when can you eh?
We entered the awards room where the Editor in Chief and Web Editor of the magazine spoke about the awards, mentioning that a whopping 47,000 blogs were nominated this year! Even being shortlisted down to the last 12 is an amazing achievement for me, let alone coming away with Highly Commended, so a very big thank you (but more on this below)! They called out my blog name, I gasped and very shakily wobbled to the stage to collect my awards and take pictures and then got called to do an interview, which you can watch a small snippet of here!
Now I don’t want to sound like I’m giving a speech at the Oscar’s, but I’d just like to say a massive thank you to everyone who voted for my little blog. It really means a lot to me that you took the time out of your day to sit there and click through the categories to vote for me, so thank you! A thank you to Cosmo, for choosing my blog amongst the other amazing blogs in my category and for a fun filled evening. And lastly a massive thank you to my sister for always (even on her days off!) taking my blog pictures for me, and never complaining when I tell her to take the pictures again as they haven’t come out right! Oh and thank you to the Academy…I’ve always wanted to say that! Cue the ‘get off the stage’ Oscar music!
Altogether I had an incredible evening, meeting some amazing bloggers and just having a whale of a time, so Cosmo, how about we just repeat the night again? Shall we say next Tuesday?
P.S This was my first Get Ready With My video, I loved making it, so I hope you like it too!
Now I’m no expert on Paris. I’ll leave that up to the regular Eurostar goers, and seeing as this was my first trip to France in 10 years, you might think I’m not qualified enough to a guide to Paris and nor do I. But I’m doing it anyway!
I spent a little more than 24 hours in the French capital, and although no amount of time would be enough, 24 hours is certainly a push for time. If there was ever a need for Bernard’s Watch, (the best 90s kids’ show ever!) it was my whistle stop trip to Paris. However, I actually managed to cram quite a lot in.
If you’re off to Paris for a quick trip like me, or just like reading guides to Paris to dream about your next trip there, this is the Parisian guide for you. How to do Paris in 24 hours. I’ll start with the most important thing….
Shopping I didn’t spend a great amount of my two days in Paris shopping as I wanted to see the sights and eat macaroons (obviously!) instead of just spending my 24 hours inside of a shopping centre, but a the well known department store, Galeries Lafayette was very near our hotel, so we decided to pop in. And I’m so glad we did! It’s basically like the French version of House of Fraser but with stunning architecture. As soon as you walk in you see this beautiful dome that surrounds the shops and the top floor also has a stunning surprise waiting for you (see below). I’m sure many people just come in to have a look at the dome, and even if you’re not keen on shopping, it’s worth going to see!Shopping doesn’t always mean buying things, it’s also is a history field trip (yes, really mum!). A history on a woman who changed fashion forever, Coco Chanel. The first ever Chanel store is a must see in Paris (if you like fashion, oh and history!), however we didn’t have enough time to head there, so this is my excuse for my next Paris trip! However, we did manage to visit the first Christian Louboutin boutique, but sadly left empty handed, having spent all of our Euros on macaroons. Boo.There’s a reason why every beauty blogger raves about French pharmacies, and it’s not because of their antibiotics! Cheap, big bottles of Bioderma! I needn’t say more.
TOP TIP – Shops are not open on Sundays, so if you’re planning a weekend away, make sure you schedule shopping in on the Saturday, to avoid disappointment, or tears!
Views of Eiffel TowerEven though the iconic sight looks a little like a massive piece of scaffolding, I am in utter awe of it. When I saw la Tour of Eiffel for the first time this trip, I actually, gasped! Many tourists choose to go up the Eiffel Tower, and while you get a fabulous view of the whole of Paris, you don’t actually get the Eiffel Tower in the shot. Therefore, we decided to skip the long queues and check out the view from the rooftops of the Galeries Lafayette, which I don’t think many people know about. A rooftop view of Paris and the show stopping Eiffel Tower in the view for you to enjoy. Plus the department store is a lot less busy, so you can spend time taking those great ‘wish you were here’ shots of Paris.Trocadero. No, not the fun one in Leicester Square, the Parisian one, with a great view of the Eiffel Tower and where I took my outfit pictures in my first post.
If you want to check out the Eiffel Tower at night, I would really recommend walking over to the Pont Alexandre III bridge, which is about a 30 minute riverside walk from the tower itself. A very romantic walk if you’re with your other half and for the rest of us, a great time to grab those night-time Paris snaps.
FoodMost street corners have cute cafés, so they aren’t hard to come by but I would recommend Claus, an adorable, hidden little café with the best croissants ever. When bloggers go to Paris (or stay in London even) we must consume a boxful of macaroons. Preferably from Laudree. The salted caramel ones are to die for! That’s it from the Paris posts, I hope you enjoyed reading them and hope to blog about it again soon (someone get me another Eurostar ticket!). And Paris I have a feeling I’ll be visiting again soon and I promise to not leave it another 10 years.
Au revoir mon cherie!
I don’t know about you but when I’m packing for my trip away, my iPhone weather app stays open for the entire stressful process as obviously all outfits must match the weather. While I was going through my packing ritual for Paris, I was annoyed to see ‘sunny and 24 degrees’. Normal people would rejoice, sing their ‘Hallelujahs’ and dig out the summer sandals. Me? Not so much.
I thought that heading to Paris in the middle/end of September was guaranteed autumn weather. Well, the weather gods proved me wrong. I wanted to wear my new knits, which some, poor things (yes my clothes have feelings!) haven’t seen the light of day since I bought them. Anyway I had to leave my new clothes back in London, make the most of a “bad” situation and wear my trusty little white dress, which I bought from a random Vietnamese market for a few pounds!
We spent the day shopping, eating (but more on this later, keep those eyes peeled!) and went for a stroll in the famous Jardin des Tuileries, a perfect way to spend an hour in Paris. I would say a day, but we had to rush off to finish off our must-see/do things before it was time to head to the Gare du Nord for the Eurostar home.
dress – Vietnamese market | shoes – Topshop | bag – Mulberry | sunnines – Miu Miu