Travel Beauty: What to Pack
Posted 6 months ago by Zoe Williams
There’s only so much you can pack without getting accused of being a princess. The last thing you want is to throw away some of your prized beauty products because your luggage was overweight. So what should you take to cover all the essentials, but keep your suitcase light? It’s time to get back to the basics.
Yup, these get a special mention. Why? Because they are easy to forget and, unless you have very short hair, they should be a priority. Other than keeping your hair out of your face while you’re removing your make-up, they double up as a great way to keep your neck cool in hot weather and will keep your tresses away from your sun-creamed back when you’re sunbathing.
Miniaturize your toiletries. It’s not feasible to pack massive bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Instead, buy your own set of minis – they take up hardly any space and weigh next-to-nothing. Once used up, rinse them out and save them for your next holiday.
Take the bare bones of your make-up drawer. Mascara, lip balm, a small eyeshadow palette, and blush – done. Take a break from heavy make-up coverage. Relax. You’re on holiday!
Also take your make-up remover with you. A massive blemish on your vacay is extremely unwelcome.
If you wear contacts, do not forget to pack them. There’s nothing quite like not being able to see anything to spoil a holiday. If you really can’t wear contacts, pack your glasses, but make sure that you have a pair of prescription shades too. Sunnies are a must, otherwise you’ll be squinting all day long.
Please tell us that sun cream is on your ‘to-pack’ list? It’s important that you keep your skin coated in high factor protection, to defend it from UV damage. Skin cancer ain’t no joke. Neither is premature aging. If you want to look bronzed, invest in a Salons Direct spray tan machine – that’ll sort you out.
Ditch the foundation – it’s far too heavy and usually isn’t compatible with sunscreen. Try a tinted moisturizer or bb cream, if you have your reasons for not going au natural.
Whether you’re in a sunny climate or on an air-conditioned plane, the holiday has conspired to dry out your skin. Keep it comfortable and moisturized with a good cream.
For long-haul flight, a facial mist works wonders since the cool dry air absorbs all the moisture from your skin. Feeling fresh and comfortable is a great way to have a relaxing flight.
When you travel, what beauty products can you not live without? Let us know in the comments below!
Next Year’s Hottest Fragrances and Where to Buy Them
Posted 6 months ago by Zoe Williams
Seeing as we’re more than halfway through 2013 already, it’s time to get out our crystal balls and predict the hottest fragrance trends for 2014!
The fragrance market is set to be valued at $15.7 billion by 2017, which means more money is going into the pockets of developers — so we’re expecting great things from the perfume industry in the coming years, as it pioneers increasingly complex and natural scents.
Here’s what we’ve got in the cards for your perfume cabinet next year:
Next year’s forecast is dark and sensual. We predict shelves of killer, black and gold bottles, packed with luxurious and mysterious aromatic blends. Classic florals, such as lily and rose are given a gothic and irresistible twist with added spice, incense, belladonna, dark cherries, and licorice.
Who knows, maybe dark romance will become the little black dress of perfumes in 2014?
With the release of the cinematic adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel ‘The Great Gatsby’, 1920′s vintage has serious fashion retail value this year, and perfume is no exception.
Expect a continuation of this next year, with powdery aromas that smell like a million dollars. Think expensive white florals, such as gardenia, with luxurious undertones.
You can usually spot sheer opulence inspired products a mile away by their beautiful presentation: lace, pearls, and sequins all match a pastel palette for an unmistakably feminine perfume.
Aquatic scents have never been so sophisticated, and this is a trend that transcends gender values too! The aromatic citrus elements of this perfume are attractive to both men and women, so pick up a bottle of seasoned nautica and visualize white sails, refreshing sea air, and anchors, as you wake up in the morning.
Although strikingly floral, this trend is bold and daring – not for the faint-hearted. Expect wild combinations of carnations, mint, and roses to jazz up a new year and a new you. Don’t forget to ask Santa to put floral graffiti in your stocking this Christmas.
Which fragrance trend are you looking forward to most in 2014? Let us know in the comments!
*We have teamed up with fragrance and food flavorings brand Ungerer Limited to bring you this post.
Top 5 Health Benefits of Tennis
Posted 9 months ago by Zoe Williams
When you’re playing a game of tennis, your anaerobic energy system gets a serious workout. This sport is high intensity, as it’s consistently start-and-stop, throughout the match. Depending on the court’s surface (clay, hard, grass…), tennis can affect your body dramatically. It’s a great way to burn calories, but be aware of the positives and negatives of any high intensity sport.
Heart and Lungs
Really, you can shape a game of tennis around your needs; building on stamina or short bursts of energy. During an intense match, you can reach your maximum heart rate and then recover again, during a pause. Playing a game of doubles, with less physically fit individuals, still has great benefits; it just means you won’t reach quite the same calorie-flaming intensity. Regardless of your approach, your heart and lung capacity will grow with time and your fitness, cardio, and stamina will all increase.
Exercising three times a week can significantly lower your chances of heart disease, cardiac arrest, or stroke, by lowering your blood pressure.
Muscles and Bones
You use a lot of muscles during a tennis match, so you can be sure you’re toning all the way through your body. Tennis boosts your phasic fibres (fast-twitch to you and us). Your muscular endurance will substantially increase, while pounding the hard court.
Your bone density will also benefit from the high impact, which reduces your risk of osteoporosis. It’s important to stretch after a match, as tennis (like many activities) can shorten your muscles.
Joints, Ligaments, and Tendons
Unfortunately, (similar to running) during a tennis match, you run the risk of putting a lot of stress on your joints, as it’s a high-impact activity. You may find that you feel soreness in your knees and elbows. Repetitive stress injuries, from repeated movements, can also severely damage your body. Usually, the worst affected areas are the knees, shoulders, elbows, and wrists.
Beware the tennis elbow!
Often, people take up a new sport to get fit and lose a little weight. The good news is, due to the high intensity of tennis, you’ll starting shedding pounds. If you want to up your calorie-burning, play singles games; not doubles. An hour of this, and a 160lb person should flame 584 calories!
Even after you’ve finished the match, tennis will keep torching calories. Especially if you do your best and give it your all!
Exercise is a wonderful way to alleviate the symptoms of depression. Tennis increases positive mood-enhancers in the brain, decreases stress, and reduces feelings of fatigue. Not only will tennis change your body, but it’ll help you feel less lethargic on a day-to-day basis and improve your outlook. Alongside losing a little weight, this mood booster can really change how you see your life and make problems more manageable. The social aspect of tennis also gives you that extra interaction with another person, which can be uplifting.
Will you be playing tennis this summer? Let us know in the comments!
*Post contributed by specialist surface manufacturers, http://www.playrite.co.uk.
Relax and Unwind: The Benefits of Vinotherapy Treatment
Posted 10 months ago by Zoe Williams
Vinotherapy – something about that word conjures up idyllic images of Roman vineyards and a relaxing glass of pinot noir. In actual fact, spas across the globe can offer you treatments taken from by-products of the wine making process, while you enjoy a glass from the local orchards.
Not only is this wine-based treatment supremely relaxing, but the antioxidant-rich grapes slow down premature aging and boost the skin’s elasticity by restoring collagen and elastic fibres. Sign us up!
What Is Vinotherapy?
The origins of Vinotherapy can be dated back to the Romans, with Cleopatra being one of its biggest fans. An emerging trend in vineyards, spas using grape seeds, skins, and stems are popping up internationally. Rich in polyphenols and resveratrol, grapes have been shown to reduce signs of aging, stimulate cell growth, and plump up the skin.
In the 1970s, France was the first country to invest in this treatment (of course it was…), so winos could enjoy a spa experience catered to their tastes.
Channel Your Inner Roman God/Goddess
Imagine yourself unwinding in a bath of Pinot Grigio enriched water, while sipping a glass of fine wine. Vinotherapy offers treatments, from massages to scrubs, which enhance the power of the humble grape. This may sound like dreamland to oenophiles, but it’s a wonderful way for teetotallers to utilise the health benefits of wine without letting a drop pass their lips.
Polyphenols promotes skin elasticity and creates a more youthful appearance. Vinotherapy appears to accelerate healing, as well as bolstering collagen synthesis.
If you’re convinced that a Vinotherapy spa treatment is just what the doctor ordered, then check out some of the best in the business:
1. Les Sources de Caudalie
Head to Bordeaux, France, where wine has been in the blood of grape growers for centuries. Tour around the neighbouring vineyards and then relax at the original Vinotherapy hotel. Among some of its more famous treatments, masseuses use winemaking rakes to massage “energy paths” in the body.
2. Hotel Marqués de Riscal
From France to Rioja, Spain, this is the world’s most famous wine spa. You can expect an array of treatments, from vino hydro massage to grape-seed oil facials. Once you’ve had the full once-over, relax on the rooftop lounge with a glass of local wine.
3. Santé Winelands Hotel
If you’re looking for a bit more excitement in your holiday abroad, choose South Africa as your Vinotherapy spa destination. A signature treatment to die for is the three hour Shiraz grape scrub, Chardonnay wrap, massage, and Cabernet hydro-bath. Obviously with a glass to match each treatment – it would be rude not to!
4. The Vineyard at Stockcross
Don’t worry; you don’t have to leave the country to sample Vinotherapy for yourself. In Berkshire, England, you can experience all of the luxury of a Californian vineyard.
Britain may not be well-known for its wine, but the intimate therapy spa is a wonderful excuse for some Bacchian TLC. Dine in the Michelin star restaurant and sample some of the best wine from their vast cellar. Bottoms up!
Have you ever tried Vinotherapy or a similar treatment? Let us know your experiences in the comments below!
This post has been written in collaboration with drink supplier Vivas Wine.
Become Your Own Makeup Artist: Tricks of the Trade
Posted 1 year ago by Zoe Williams
With the beginning of a brand new year comes the perfect time to create a new, more beautiful you. After the holidays, we all want to go back to work or school, showered with compliments rather than turning heads for all the wrong reasons. With top tips from professional makeup artists, you can leave the house every morning with flawless skin.
Look ten times more attractive with these tricks of the trade:
Before applying foundation, make sure that your skin is clean and moisturised. As the winter months tend to wreck havoc on our delicate skin, try a balm cleanser rather than a milk cleanser for extra penetration and nourishment. Allow time for your moisturizer to sink in properly, as applying foundation too soon can lead to an unappealingly shiny finish.
When swatching a foundation in store, make sure that it’s almost invisible against your skin. For a shameless way to match the right product to your face tone, large beauty stores often offer makeup counters where you can try out foundations free of charge.
Start by testing the foundation shade on to the back of your hand – this will warm up the product and make it much easier to work with. Apply from the center-outwards, as the center is usually where we need the most coverage. Use a foundation brush to get an even finish, and resist applying heavy coatings – your foundation should look natural, not like a mask. Spread just over your jawline, as you don’t want an obvious foundation edge along your chin.
Every girl needs two similar shades of foundation: one for summer and one for winter, as our tone changes with the seasons. Finish with a light application of translucent powder.
Blushes should make you look healthy and glowing. Either apply to the apples of your cheek, or for a more svelte look, in the crease of the cheekbones.
Exfoliate your lips before you apply anything. Why? Sloughing off the dead skin will give a smooth, even finish and make your pouters appear larger.
For a natural, daytime look, choose a pink balm or gloss for a healthy looking pout. With the vast array of beauty supplies in the UK, you won’t be stuck for choice.
Use your eye crease to your advantage. Begin by applying a light shade to your lid and use this as a highlight too, under the brow.
Take a darker shade and dab at the outer corner of your eyes before continuing in a ‘c’ shape, up into your crease. If you do this with your eyes open, you’ll be able to see better where this shade should fall. With the leftover shadow, line your lower lashes.
Using an eye-poppingly light shade (shimmery), just highlight the centre of your lash to bring your eyes forward and blend it out. Apply the same shade lightly to your tear duct area in the inner corner. This will make you appear much more awake and glowing – perfect if you didn’t get your full eight hours the night before!
Curl your eyelashes first. This will expose the white of the eyes, making them appear larger and younger. Pulse five times at the roots, center, and tips. Finally, rake mascara through your lashes to separate them through the spoolie, creating an awake and flirty appearance.
Before using your mascara, blot on a tissue to get rid of any excess that could clog up your lashes. If you’re doing more than one coat, allow to dry before the next application.
Take a glowing highlight and apply just under the eyebrows and down at the top of the cheekbones. With liquid crystals, create a dewy glow along your cheekbones.
This guest post has been composed and contributed by Zoe, a cosmetic-obsessed blogger from the UK. She has written this post in collaboration with Salons Direct.
Festival Footwear For The Fashion-Forward Girl
Posted 2 years ago by Zoe Williams
As another summer rolls around, so does a music-packed, mud-splattered season of festivals for us all to enjoy. British festivals are renowned for two things: Unpredictable weather and wellies!
Though the first does often add to the fun, it has an impact on the outfits that we had already planned for Leeds and Isle of Wight. Choosing the right footwear is always a hard decision, and many things need to be considered: comfort; practicality, and of course style.
For us girls, the last is definitely the most important, as festivals are a time for us to truly express our personal style without having to hold back. If you were too afraid to wear those neon sandals out of the door last week, now is the perfect time to step out onto the field with confidence and seriously cool steeze.
To help you decide which shoes to style the rest of your outfit with this summer, here’s a rundown of five on-trend footwear choices for the festival season.
Go Edgy With The Flatform
A new trend for 2012, the flatform keeps popping up everywhere, and for good reason! Without adding any extra discomfort, the flatform gives height and improves posture, and even better – they look so on-trend with almost everything!
The flatform is very much a statement shoe, especially if you go super high, but you can bring down their gregarious aesthetics by opting for a flatform or high-top sneakers.
High-top flatforms are getting snapped on a deluge of celebrities at the moment, so these are a great choice for comfort as well as style. Team your flatforms with a bright bodycon skirt and relaxed, grungy sweater. Pile on the accessories and you’re good to party throughout the night.
♥ $65.00 Nasty Gal
Go Boho With The Ankle Boot
This season, the ankle boot is still very much on trend. To bring it up to speed with 2012, opt for a flat, fringed style. Minnetonka do a great range of boho ankle boots and moccasins that are perfect for all festivals, especially Gottwood and Secret Garden Party which both have a slightly boho, hippy vibe.
Team your fringed ankle boots with a printed maxi dress for serious boho brownie points, or opt for a floral summer dress if you prefer your outfits to have a feminine, girly tone. Not so practical if the heavens decide to open thanks to their suede finish, but let’s just cross our fingers for a dry weekend!
♥ $155.00 Nasty Gal
Go Punk With Creepers
Creepers have become somewhat of a fashion statement this year. Once worn in the 70′s and 80′s by the likes of Bananarama, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley, now they are worn by the likes of Rita Ora, Rihanna and Fearne Cotton.
Their chunky sole likens them to the flatform trainers, but with a suede finish and often a print, they have been translated from the Blue Suede Shoes of the 50′s into an edgy choice with a punk twist for 2012. They are going to be a popular choice for this season’s festivals thanks to their height and versatility – creepers look great with jeans, skirts and shorts.
♥ $58.00 Asos
Go Girly With Sandals
Sandals are a great option for the European festivals like Benicassim, where sunshine is pretty much guaranteed! For the UK, sandals can sometimes feel like a regretted choice if the sky decided to pour down.
Choose sandals if you’re guaranteed dry weather, as they’re a practical choice if you prefer flat shoes. They’re a great choice to add femininity, especially if the rest of your outfit is on the more masculine side. Choose jeans, a pretty top and a leather jacket for a girly outfit with an edge, or go all out with floral prints and girly colours.
Go Traditional With Wellies
Wellies (rain boots) are synonymous with British festivals, and Hunter wellies are by far the most popular choice of brand when it comes to this practical choice of footwear. The only style you’ll need if the weather forecast looks wet and grey, you can truly make wellies a style statement of their own with the right outfit. Choose a pretty, fun playsuit to balance out the practicality factor.
♥ Hunter Wellies: $125
So there you go! Five different choices of footwear for your chosen festival this summer. Which ones are you going to choose?
About The Author: Zoe is a professional fashion blogger with a penchant for festival style. She is currently writing for heritage handbag and footwear brand Jane Shilton.