I must admit that over the last couple of months, my spending habits have drastically changed. Whereas this time of the year would usually see me buying last-minute flights for a summer holiday, a new swimwear wardrobe and likely every SPF product under the sun, this year I’m rethinking my priorities. The truth is, before I spend money on anything that can’t be deemed a necessity, I mull the potential purchase over for hours, weighing up whether or not, given the current situation, my expenditure is worth it.
With international travel, festivals and trips to the lido off the cards for a little while longer, I have found myself reinvesting my annual budget for such things elsewhere. Most specifically, in coffee table books. It sounds a little extravagant and niche, but hear me out.
You see, spending so much time within the confines of my own home has somewhat limited my creative output. In an attempt to get my creative juices flowing once more, I have been looking at all of the different ways I can make my living space just that little bit more inspiring.
And what better way to do so than with coffee table books that are just as chic on the inside as they are the out? Stacked on shelves, piled up high on tables and perched on my nightstand, there are coffee table books filled with some of the most inspiring images and words in every corner of my home. Keep scrolling for the chic coffee table books filling my wish list right now.
Look, I know there are a lot of sandal styles to be excited about right now. There’s the chunky (a continuation from last year’s iteration), the velcro or “dad” and, the most 2020 of them all, the heeled flip flop. But there’s another contender for coolest sandal style of the year—the rope. Consider these the exact sort of style of shoe you’d wear if you spent May to September on Ibiza. They’re slightly boho but with a cool edge. I remember first spying this style of footwear from Isabel Marant—the queen of bohemian-meets-rock-n-roll—and I still love them. Of course, Marant still has versions in her latest spring/summer 2020 collection but there are other designers who have mastered this sandal too. For example, Valentino has a black and white version that I can’t seem to escape on Instagram (influencer Emili Sindlev looks incredible in them). But, if luxury brands are within your budget right now, there are some gorgeous versions from Normadic State of Mind, Arket, Mango and Zara too. Ready to check them out? Keep scrolling…
As many of us had plans to be jet-setting this summer but were met with indoor destinations instead, I’ve sought the bronzing miracles to give the appearance that we’ve spent time in warmer climes, even when it’s just the local park. The best bronzers give you a healthy and radiant glow, even when you’ve not had the chance to get more Vitamin D. A few swipes with a brush there or a couple of dabs of gel there, and you’ll look like you’ve been on the Costa del Sol, even if it’s more like Costa del London Fields.
To master a luminescent complexion, it’s worth noting what to look for in a bronzer and the tools you’ll want to be equipped with to successfully craft your summer skin. A general recommendation is to avoid bronzers that are too orange or too grey. On any skin tone this will either over exaggerate or flatten the complexion, drawing away from the desired look.
On fairer skin tones, reach for a shade that is one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone but has a mix of tan and rose undertones to enhance your complexion and always apply it with a light hand.
For light to medium skin tones, you want to focus on bronzers that are quite neutral with slight gold undertones, this will create a warm, golden glow without going too orange.
Coppers, golds, reds and terracottas, are the sort of warmer shades and undertones that work perfectly for tan and olive skin tones. Avoid straying from your natural skin tone though and focus on the warmer shades, as anything cool will instantly flatten your complexion and appear dull on the skin.
For dark to deep-dark skin tones, stick to your natural skin tone—you are enhancing and defining, not sculpting as a contour would do. Instead focus on the pigment and undertone, look out for gold, terracotta, and red, they will add a further warmth to the skin and for a shimmer. Also, try playing with metallics to create a natural radiance.
Once you’ve got the correct colour, it goes without saying that applying bronzer correctly is a must but it’s easy if you get the tools right. Founder of Artist Couture and makeup artist, Angel Merino advises “the best brush for both powder and cream bronzer is an angled brush that can carve out a subtle definition. I really love using the BareMinerals Seamless Shaping & Finish Brush, it’s the perfect dome shape to blend out products and the tip is tapered to achieve definition at the same time”.
With the colour, tools and technique down, discover the best bronzers to achieve your dewy, destination skin.
When it comes to beauty routines, there’s nothing quite like a face mask to turn your everyday skincare steps into a relaxing, self-care moment. Taking five to 10 minutes whilst the mask works its magic is probably the closest experience to a spa day we can get right now. Your mind and your skin will also thank you for that bit of extra attention.
So now onto the decision of which mask to use. From hydrating sheet masks to under-eye plumping patches and good old-fashioned detoxifying charcoal masks, these days there’s a plethora of options on the market promising miraculous results. But have you ever considered making your own?
Would you believe some of the best and most effective face masks can be made in the comfort of your own kitchen and without the extraneous ingredients that you can sometimes find in shop-bought concoctions? Just purely good stuff.
Keep scrolling for homemade mixtures to help with everything from congested skin, dryness and, of course, getting that glow. Just a few things to remember: Always do a patch test first, be sure to use them on the same day of making and check those sell-by dates. (If you wouldn’t eat it, probably best not to slather it on your face.) Happy face-masking!
Without the help of our bra-size calculator below, finding out (and updating) your bra size can be a time-consuming and downright annoying thing. There are loads of great places where you can visit to get your bra fitted (and I do venture afield, as you’ll see below), but the truth is that it’s super important to keep checking. Our bodies change fast (weight can fluctuate and our figures shift all the time), and wearing the wrong size bra can be rather damaging to your breast tissue. So although we would always recommend getting fitted properly, it is a great idea to be able to scope out your own bra size from home. That way, you can be on top of things when you’re too busy to visit a lingerie department every six months.
To get some expert intel, I headed to both M&S and Rigby & Peller. The latter is an old-school underwear shop that works very differently from other stores. Instead of measuring you, the bra fitters work by sight. They just look at your chest and work out which size you are. Both Rigby and M&S came back with a 34D. Now, while just knowing someone’s bra size from looking at their chest does seem like a sort of superpower every breast owner should have, alas, it’s not something we can all possess, which is why I got thinking about a bra-size calculator. So here is the easy way for everyone to work out their own bra size without having to always go get it fitted. Keep scrolling for our guide on how to find out your correct bra size, and you can thank me later.
To measure around the band part of your bust, which is directly underneath your breasts, make sure you have a soft tape measure to hand, place it flat against your skin, and draw it around your torso. Keep as close to under your bust as possible. Once you’ve done that, note down the number in inches.
Once you’ve done the band, then you want to measure the fullest part of your bust. Gently take the tape measure and measure it in inches as well.
Then comes the slightly tricky bit: To work out what your cup size is, you want to subtract your band size from your bust size. From the difference between the two sizes, you can work out your cup. If the difference is less than 1, then it’s AA, 1 means A, 2 means B, 3 means C, 4 means D, 5 means DD, and so on.
You’ll still need your band measurement to give you the number preceding the letter. For example, if your band size is 34 but your bust size is 37, then your bra size is 34C (difference of 3, again, means it’s a C cup). Of course, it’s worth mentioning that bras can fit differently according to different brands, but now you have the basic tools to work out your correct size.
Under-band: This should be parallel to the floor and secure enough that only two fingers can fit under the elastic.
Centre front: Should sit completely flat against the sternum.
Side wire: Make sure this is flat against the rib cage and never digging into breast tissue.
Cup capacity: Breasts should sit fully into the cup without any spillage.
Straps: These should be adjusted to just fit two fingers on top of each other, which will give the right pressure for your shoulder.
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.
With an increased global consciousness around fashion and sustainability, it’s never been more important to champion brands that are doing their bit for the environment. From the use of recycled materials to zero-waste garment construction, so many labels have created innovative ways to minimise their impact. And while there are several elements to ensuring a brand is sustainable, today we’re focusing on brands that are helping to reduce waste in the fashion industry.
Including Cro-Che, a newly launched brand that has waste mitigation built into its ethos; MaisonCléo, the buzzy French label beloved by influencers; and Ilk + Ernie, which purchases surplus fabric, below are three labels that know what it means to put sustainability at the forefront. While they might already be on your radar, keep scrolling to learn a little more about how these labels are working to reduce waste in the fashion industry.
It seems that serums have stolen some of the spotlight away from moisturisers. There’s always a new serum or treatment that grabs the attention of beauty fans but when’s the last time you heard someone raving about a moisturiser?
But, honestly if you find a high-performance moisturiser that you get on with, then your skin is in for a treat. Unfortunately, the most results-driven ones in the bunch can usually be found in “anti-ageing moisturiser” categories. A term that surely we need to move past now. But, as our skin changes over the course of our lives, our product requirements can also change.
Ultimately, what we’re looking for here are moisturisers that actually do the job and can team up with us to work with our skin concerns. Everyone has their thing, whether that’s looking for more moisture, radiance or a bouncier and smoother texture to your skin.
Keep scrolling to find out the moisturisers that you need to make space for.
Remember that time when everyone was drinking celery juice by the litre? Well, if you can’t stomach it, your face still deserves to get in on the action. Consider this your one-stop-pot for bringing your skin into balance.
Just look at that price. This super skin-renewer is packed with peptides aka the nifty ingredient that signals to your skin that it could do with producing some more collagen, and we can always do with more of that
If your skin is feeling as thirsty as that post-run hunt for water, then look no further. This super rich cream has antioxidants via marula oil, brightening vitamin C and enough hydration to keep your skin looking plump and deeply nourished.
In lieu of having an on-call facialist, there’s this powerhouse of a night cream. The formula contains algae extract and vitamin E for all of their free-radical busting and soothing benefits. If you want to wake up and glow on a budget, this is the jar to add to your cabinet.
You can always rely on the smart folks in the L’Oréal Paris labs to deliver results, back up their claims and give you skin that will have your friends asking what treatment you’ve just had. Everyone’s favourite moisture-boosting ingredient hyaluronic acid is featured in the firming and smoothing formula.
There’s a reason why No7 launches create much warranted hype– the stuff works. This moisturiser is rich without creating an oil slick on your pillows and the diehards of this product will attest to just how restorative it is for your skin.
Honestly, it’s like one whisper of the word retinol and your skin will perk up in anticipation. But, it’s time for your skin to expand its vocab as we’re all about the bakuchiol right now. The plant-based retinol alternative is making waves for both its efficacy and for causing less irritation. This radiance-inducing moisturiser is the upgrade you’ve always needed (plus it’s lilac).
Pollution is the ultimate hater and it really doesn’t want our skin to live its brightest, dark spot free and dewy lives. But, we don’t have to back down, thanks to this day cream that protects skin from pollutants with a blend of probiotics, niacinamide and antioxidants.
Yes, I know. Would I rather go on holiday for £400? Absolutely. But, no-one likes that friend who keeps their skincare secrets to themselves. It’s as dense as the crème part of a crème brûlée and it does all kinds of magic tricks to lift, firm, nourish and protect skin. I wish I didn’t love it. If your skincare budget allows it’s well worth it, for the rest of us, wish list it.
Olay has got your back when it comes to keeping skin feeling firm and juicy. With its formula that includes peptides, this moisturiser works super hard to regenerate and restore your skin. You’ll wonder why you ever cheated on Olay in the first place.
While we’re all well aware that there’s no such thing as hope in a jar, this moisturiser is certainly a jar that’s filled to the brim with results. You won’t find any filler ingredients here as every single one deserves its place to improve the appearance of skin. From anti-inflammatory ursorlic acid to a blend of nourishing results; this is serious skincare at its very best.
You’re probably over hearing about peptides, but sorry, not sorry. You need them in your life and in this cream in particular, they work wonders. The addition of ceramides give your skin the moisture that you probably didn’t even think was possible and evens out tone and texture.
With exfoliating papaya enzyme, this will do all the hard-work in reducing the appearance of dark spots and giving skin a brightness booster–all while you’re fast asleep.
Ease your way through skin concerns that might range from dryness, fine lines or uneven skin tone with a host of stealthy ingredients like retinol and pigmentation-reducing ellagic acid.
Skin that’s a bit sensitive to most of the heavy-hitting creams needn’t feel left out as Kiehl’s have managed to formulate a complexion refining moisturiser that’s still gentle on the skin.
Pop this next to your supplements, as this is the equivalent of a multi-vitamin for your face. The collagen-promoting, omega-including moisturiser leaves skin feeling as bouncy as your favourite cushion.
Once you’ve gotten over the scent, then you’ll be even more impressed by how your skin looks the morning after. A blend of oils and shea butter will wrap your skin up and work to refresh and revitalise.
There’s a reason why this cream is a shelfie staple with the beauty crowd. It’s a very quiet and humble cream on the outside but it comes into its own once slotted into your skincare routine. Sunscreen is a must always, and this moisturiser features broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection also.
You might as well prepare yourself now, for all the skin compliments you’re about to receive. With an admirable ingredients list, this silky cream gives you all the benefits of retinol without the need to worry about your skin getting too sensitive.
If you’ve got sensitive skin, but want a retinol moisturiser to work with pigmentation, fine lines and uneven skin tone, this is what you’ve been searching for.
We created What to Buy Now to bring you a concise edit every Monday of the items we really love—from the high street, designer labels, vintage gems you can buy online and even charity-shop treasures. We’re constantly scanning the most stylish online stores so you can feel safe in the knowledge that you won’t miss a thing.
We know that your fashion requirements can vary massively from season to season, whether you’re looking for an immaculately tailored staple, an affordable sundress or the perfect pair of shoes. So not only will we cover all the bases, but as ardent believers in mindful consumption, we’ll make sure everything we include will look just as fresh in a year’s time as it does now.
Of course, we’ll also bring you those pieces that simply set your heart racing in a way that only fashion can. This week’s highlights include plenty of winning wardrobe gems, including a pre-loved statement blouse, a summer-ready linen jumpsuit and an outfit-elevating pair of sunnies. Scroll down to shop the buys on my wish list this week. You know what to do.
For me, hair removal is without a doubt the most time-consuming, expensive and annoying part of my beauty routine. You see, I’m naturally a very hairy person. So much so that I’ve been frequenting my local salon once a month for a face waxing since my early teens. However, as I have got older, my beauty priorities have started to shift. Whereas once upon a time having perfectly groomed brows, silky smooth legs and a preened bikini line justified huge expense and effort, more recently I have found myself seeking cheaper, less time-consuming hair removal methods.
And I’m pleased that I got a head start. With salons shut, we have no choice but to turn to at-home hair removal methods. Luckily, I have already dedicated a great deal of time to perfecting my routine, and it’s much easier than I thought it would be. Sure, I might not get salon-smooth results every time, but it will do for now.
So take my word for it when I say that during this time, there are some very effective ways of keeping everything in check without having to go to the salon. With a little guidance from hair removal expert Zainab Siddiq at Ministry of Waxing, keep scrolling for everything you need to know about getting rid of body hair at home.
While it is certainly low on the priority list right now, as a fashion editor, there is something a little sad about not being able to stroll along the streets of London and add to my mental portfolio of outfit inspiration via the well-dressed individuals that pass me by. It’s one of the lovely things about living and working in a city known for its eclecticism and creativity.
So in the meantime, I just have to make do with the avenues available to me. Of course, there are the usual go-tos such as Instagram and Pinterest, which provide endless fashion cues for my summer wardrobe. However, there is one category I use which might surprise some people, and that’s e-commerce sites. Not all platforms are made equal, obviously, but I’ve found that certain brands have really perfected their model shot styling game, and for me, it essentially presents an opportunity to gather dressing hacks from a professional stylist, who probably spent hours putting these looks together.
I have even been known to search for specific items that I need ideas for. For example, when I bought white jeans last year and needed some guidance, I searched for white jeans on Net-a-Porter’s site, and voilà: ready-made outfits. Try it next time you scroll through your fave online store. Recently, I’ve been particularly appreciating Mango’s spring/summer outfits, many of which toe the line between accessible and high-end, and comfortable and cool so well. Scroll down to see the five outfits that have piqued my interest this season.