Saturday, 15 April 2017

Style | Borrowing from the boys

Saturday, 15 April 2017

I have a habit of buying men's shirts and jackets lately. It stems from a few years of pinching my boyfriend's clothes, much to his annoyance. I just love the simplicity of menswear and a boxy cosy fit. I spied this men's yellow denim jacket recently on ASOS and the colour made me 'add to basket' real quick. I bought it in a small and it's still pretty huge as the fit is oversized but I'm in love with it and it definitely ticks the comfortable box!


I know us Brits always go on about the weather constantly but you can't blame us really. It's actually been warm enough in London to brave bare legs again which has gotten me so excited for Summer. I love how uncomplicated style can be in the warmer months (as the city gets so humid and you can't wear more than a few pieces without overheating). I paired the jacket with a crop top and black denim skirt here as I still wanted to still keep the look feminine and Vans because they seem to go with everything!

Jacket & Skirt - ASOS | Top - New Look | Shoes - Vans

Photography - Mike Burchardt | @burchardtlens


What have you been wearing?  

Lesley x

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Beauty | ASOS x Deciem

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Self-dubbed the 'abnormal beauty company', Deciem is an umbrella of beauty brands including Hylamide, The Chemistry Brand, The Ordinary and NIOD all of which are making waves in the industry currently. With the brand's head office based in Toronto, Canada, the products are mostly available online from a few retailers including ASOS. They also opened their first UK store recently in Spitalfields Market, London and another is set to open in Covent Garden soon. To celebrate the sale of new Deciem products on ASOS, a few ASOSers and beauty influencers were invited to the Deciem flagship store on Thursday evening. It's the first time I've visited the store and it has an apothecary feel to it with a modern and minimal aesthetic, definitely my kind of settings!


At the event, co-founder Nicola Kilner focused on Deciem's newest brand The Ordinary, which is only about 6 months old. The key selling point of The Ordinary products are that they use effective ingredients and technologies but they're sold at a very affordable price point - you can pick up most of the products for less than £10 each. The brand calls it "Clinical formulations with integrity" and it's not hard to see why this brand has struck a chord with skincare enthusiasts across the globe.

I've had quite a few of The Ordinary products amongst my skincare arsenal since the end of last year but it took me a while to work out which products were best for my skin. The brand's website is extremely helpful however, giving suggestions on how to slot these products into your skincare routine based on your needs. It also goes into detail on which products work well together (and which don't) as well as what order to use them in to reap the most benefits. 

At the event Nicola ran through the most popular products from The Ordinary sold on ASOS which were Niacinamide (£5/30ml)*, Hylauronic Acid (£5.90/30ml)*, Advanced Retinoid (£8/30ml) and Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil (£9/30ml)*. I have all of them and will post a review at a later date of these when I've got more of a feel for how they're working for me. Nicola explained the benefits of each - the Niacinamide is great with helping with blemishes and congestion (nighttime use only), Hylauronic acid is key for hydration and Retinoid and Rose Hip Seed Oil both help with signs of ageing.

Nicola also briefly touched on the brand's latest product addition Colours, a 42-strong collection of mineral-based foundations priced at less than £6 each. I sampled a few shades at the event and I've already found my ideal colour - 3.0Y Medium Dark with yellow undertones. The foundation applies so smoothly and Nicola explained that the way the pigments are suspended in the formula means that they can't stick to each other so they don't gather in fine lines giving a 'flawless' look. I didn't have the product on long enough to really test this out but I'm intrigued to see if there's a product that doesn't crease under my eyes or in my smile lines so I'm eagerly awaiting the launch of these foundations later this month. 


You can get Deciem products in-store, online or on ASOS.

*sample - read my disclaimer here.


Have you heard of or tried anything from Deciem? 

Lesley x

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Review | Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Skincare has definitely been more a priority for me recently and one of the most important things in my routine is cleansing. One of the cleansers I've been relying on for the past couple of months is the newly launched Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse (£24/2x50ml). It's a 2-in-1 product with cleansers to both remove makeup and sunscreen and prep the skin for your nightly skincare.


I've only really become familiar with Pixi products since last year but the brand launched over 10 years ago in London. Creator of the brand Petra Strand has a wealth of experience as a makeup artist and product developer and her mission with Pixi products is to bring out the natural beauty in all women.

In creating the Double Cleanse Pixi partnered with Caroline Hirons, a globally qualified advanced aesthetician who's one of the first beauty bloggers I started following several years ago. She's also a massive champion of 'double cleansing' (using more than one product to clean your skin). Caroline is so straight talking and knowledgeable in her field that she's main reason I grabbed this product.



As you can guess there's two parts to this product - side 1 and side 2 and it's intended for use in the evenings. The Solid Cleansing Oil in side 1 does most of the dirty work to remove makeup and sunscreen and it's formulated with natural oils including Macadamia, Evening Primrose and Avocado. To use I scoop out about a pea-sized amount (you really don't need a lot) and massage onto dry skin. After a few seconds of working the product into the skin my makeup feels like it's melting off my face and it's at this point I remove everything with warm water (or you can use a moist facecloth if you'd prefer).

After the first step my face usually feels pretty clean but I've always gone in a second time with the same or another product to ensure all traces of my makeup are gone. Caroline recommends cleansing the skin with different types of products depending on what needs to be removed from the skin. The Cleansing Cream in side 2 is richer and feels like applying a moisturiser. It's described by Pixi as a luxe cleansing cream and it's intended to prep the skin for the next steps in your nightly skincare. It's so buttery, I just rub in and once it's rinsed off my skin feels so soft.


Together the two parts work well and I have loved using this product nightly for the past couple of months. I've tried a few cleansing oils before to remove makeup and some have made me breakout with regular use, I suspect as they had coconut oil in which this doesn't so I'm assuming that's why so far I've had no trouble with this. The only thing I don't like about this product is the packaging. It's quite bulky given that there's only 50ml of each cleanser and I prefer to have a pump rather than scoop out of a tub but it's not a deal-breaker. Neither of the sides drip despite the design of the tub - I've actually knocked it upside down by accident and the product barely budged so you can travel with this if needed. I now have about a third left in each side and I'm planning to grab another Double Cleanse when this runs out.

Have you tried anything by Pixi?

Lesley x

Monday, 20 March 2017

Style | Back in Black

Monday, 20 March 2017

Just as I was starting to retire my Winter clothes to the back of my wardrobe the sunny weather quickly faded back to grey and windy this weekend. As much as I'm itching for some more sun I do love having an excuse to throw on this faux fur aviator jacket from Topshop. I bought this jacket at the beginning of January and it has got me through so many cold London days. The lining makes it so warm and cosy I've only really needed to wear a t-shirt underneath recently.

Jacket - Topshop | Top & Joggers - ASOS | Shoes - Converse | Choker - Regal Rose

I've been trying to experiment with colour but I always gravitate back to black, hence the almost all black affair here. I can't help it, it's my comfort zone. Speaking of comfort, I'm pretty much always in slouchy, oversized fits now too. I've been wearing these ASOS White denim joggers almost constantly since I got them so I think I'm going to have to grab another pair. As usual the styling is simple and I teamed them here with a cropped polo and converse that have seen better days.


A tad sidenote but I just wanted to take a moment to thank the photographer who took these photos - Mike Burchardt aka @burchardtlens. Style posts have always been few and far between on this blog mostly as I usually take a lot of my photos myself indoors where I don't have much space. It's that or have to pester my poor boyfriend to tear himself away from work or studying to take a few shots. I've always felt really awkward in front of the camera too and hated taking pictures in public (ironically) but in the last year my confidence has soared and I'm definitely excited to work with more photographers in the future.  


What have you been wearing lately?

Lesley x

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Style | Jaded London Mesh T-Shirt Dress

Sunday, 12 March 2017


The grey and cold has finally started to ease off slightly lately which means I've been ditching the extra layers and showing (a little) more skin than usual. I've always been obsessed with mesh pieces and I've somehow managed to accumulate quite a collection. My favourite at the moment has to be this mesh shirt dress with embroidered detailing from Jaded London. It's technically an ASOS Tall exclusive but I've found this fits my 5'6" frame perfectly and sits above my knees.


You all know by now that I like to keep styling pretty simple so I wore the dress over an old slip from Miss Selfridge and paired with a denim jacket and Puma Suede Hearts. The Jaded London dress also works really well worn over a bralet and shorts so I think this will be one of my go-to pieces as the temperature (hopefully) heats up.

Mesh Dress - Jaded London via ASOS | Black Slip Dress - Miss Selfridge | Denim Jacket - ASOS | Shoes - Puma* | Necklace - Rock N Rose 


*sample - read my disclaimer here.

What have you been wearing lately?

Lesley x

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Skincare | Frank Body

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

I've always been a bit obsessed with body scrubs so it was only a matter of time before I got my hands on Frank (Frank Body products that is). Famed for their coffee scrubs, the Aussie brand has taken Instagram by storm and 'babes' across the globe (myself included) are hooked on the so called 'Frank effect'.

I grabbed the Original Coffee Scrub (which I've now finished), Coconut Coffee Scrub, Body Cream and the Lip Scrub and Balm duo at the end of December. My skin was looking pretty lacklustre at the time, partly from a neglected bodycare routine and the cold weather just made my skin so dry. Since I've noticed continued use of these products together has helped my skin feel the softest it's been for a long time.


My favourite product of the bunch is the Coconut Coffee Scrub (£13.95/200g) which contains only a few (all natural) ingredients including brown sugar, Grapeseed oil, Vitamin E, Jojoba beads, sea salt, coconut flakes and, of course, coffee. The ingredients are stated to help with a number of skin-concerns including stretch marks, psoriasis, cellulite, eczema and acne. Huge claims right? I apply the scrub on damp skin in the shower and scrub well before allowing to sit for a couple of minutes and rinsing. It's messy so I tend to do this on days I have time to spare but the results are so worth it. The oils in the product keep moisture locked into my skin and I've noticed scarring and dark patches on my legs are gradually lifting though old stretch marks on my inner thighs seem the same. I'm not crazy about the packaging as I find awkward to scoop the product out of, but there's always the option to transfer the scrub to a pot. The scent does linger on your skin too which some will love or hate. I don't find the Coconut Scrub too overpowering but with the Original Coffee Scrub I used a little shower gel afterwards to dull the scent before exiting the shower.


The Lip Scrub and Lip Balm Duo (£12.95) are also solid favourites and they smell so delicious. The balm contains natural ingredients including Coconut, Safflower and Olive Oil and Lanolin which absorbs and keeps in moisture. I reach for the balm daily but only need to dab a little on to keep my lips soft and hydrated. I tend to use the Lip Scrub weekly and it contains raw sugar, beeswax, Macadamia Oil, Coffee and Coffee Seed Oil. Again I only need a little product to smooth and buff away flaky patches. Together these are perfect.

The Body Cream (£17.95/200ml) like the other products contains natural ingredients and literally has the scent of cake icing. It smells beautifully sugary and I get so hungry (for cake) when I've applied it. This cream is so thick and rich I find it takes time to really settle into the skin. I usually have to dot small amounts onto my body and work it in well. Of the products here it's the only I don't think I'd repurchase as it just takes too long to apply and I find I'm reaching the other creams I have first.

Overall I'm in love with most of the Frank Body products I've tried and the Body Balm and newly released Glow Mask are now on my wishlist.

Have you tried Frank Body or Coffee-based products?

Lesley x

Monday, 27 February 2017

TreasureTress | February 2017

Monday, 27 February 2017

I'm no stranger to beauty boxes though I haven't tried anything specifically curated for naturally curly and kinky before. Cue TreasureTress, a UK-based monthly subscription box, unique in that they provide 3 different boxes each month for young children, teens and adults (Mini Me, Tween and Qween) all priced at £20 + P&P.* You simply pick a box according to your age and the idea is that both mothers and daughters can try out a range of new hair products tailored towards their hair. 


I received this month's Qween box which contains Palmer's products mostly from the Manuka Flower Honey range which I've not tried before. Inside was the Manuka Flower Honey Strengthening Shampoo (£6.99/350ml), Manuka Flower Honey Nourishing Conditioner (£6.99/350ml), Manuka Flower Honey Protein Pack Deep Conditioner x2 (£2.99/60g), Manuka Flower Honey Leave-In Spray (£5.99/250ml), Manuka Flower Honey Leave-In Cream (£6.99/190ml), the Olive Oil Conditioning Spray Oil (£4.69/150ml) and a useful card containing information about the products and a few tips.

With all beauty boxes the main selling point is that you can try something new for a snip of the usual RRP and you do get quite a lot of products in this box. This is really ideal for those who haven't quite found the right products for their hair yet. The subscription cost is worth it providing you like the products inside and where most beauty boxes fall down is that you don't actually know what's in the box until it arrives. Currently you need to have started your TreasureTress subscription before the 5th of each month to receive that month's box and there's no hints about what might be inside. I think it's quite a lot of products to receive each month too but it is handy to have full size products so you can really get an idea on whether you like them. The subscription can be cancelled at any time too and there is the option to skip the next month when you open an account.


I've had these products for almost two weeks but I usually like to spend a couple of months using hair products to really get a feel for them so I won't be reviewing these in detail here. As you can guess from the name, the Manuka Flower Honey products all contain Manuka Flower Honey as well as Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter and Amla Oil. The products are also formulated without sulfates, parabens, phthalates and dyes and are stated to be for all natural hair textures. The products are scented, and whilst I don't love the scent, thankfully it isn't too overpowering. 

So far the standouts at the moment are the Nourishing Conditioner and the Leave-In Conditioner Spray. Both leave my curls feeling really soft and hydrated and I'd buy the conditioner to use as co-wash. The Leave-In Conditioning Cream I had less success with. It's really thick and, whilst I followed the instructions which suggest applying to clean dry hair, my hair didn't really absorb the product - it just kind of sat on top and made it feel a little sticky. I tried it again the next day but this time with my hair still wet first and the product seemed to work better but I have other hair creams which I'd reach for over this. I haven't yet tried the Protein Packs or Shampoo. The Olive Oil Spray works great for added shine but I don't tend to use these types of products often when styling as I only really use oils or oil-based products when I'm conditioning.

Overall this month's Treasure Tress box was a great introduction to Palmer's haircare products and as someone who's tried a lot of products before it was great to experiment with a brand I'm not familiar with already. I'll continue to use the products to see how they work for me over the next couple of months.

If you're interested in subscribing check out the TreasureTress website here

*sample - read my disclaimer here.


Have you tried TreasureTress?

Lesley x

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