Triple Temptation: Spring Palettes


Bobbi Brown // Nars // No.7

Every spring I’m tempted by the prettiest make up palettes that come out and look simply beautiful along with adding a bit of spring brightening sunshine to your make up look. Sometimes I feel like these are a bit of a folly but I have some lovely ones that I have used incessantly. As long as you pick colours that suit you it can be a hard working bit of kit. These are all brightening or blush compacts so likely to be the most useful of the possibilities out there and make a perfect spring treat for yourself or a gift for a friend.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Skin Saviour: Lush

I went through quite the phase a few years back where I was very keen on Lush products. At the time it was mainly bath products, the gorgeous bath bombs and exfoliants (Buffy Body Butter) but for some reason they slipped from my mind and it is some years since I have really used them.

This winter my skin has taken a complete battering and although I don’t understand it, as it hasn’t been all that cold, my skin is like a parched, dry, flaky dessert floor. After trying without success to slather on all my usual moisturisers, layering serums and facial oils and exfoliating I was on the verge of returning to my beloved Eve Lom, when I went in search of something to moisturise my growing bump and rediscovered Lush. I managed to find a solution to all of my dry skin trouble zones so I thought I’d share them here in case any of you find yourselves in need. Best of all, they’re all safe in pregnancy with the exception of one bath bomb

Bump and Body: King of Skin £5.50
My number one find has been this Body butter. I’ve said before that I’m lazy when it comes to skincare and putting something like Bio Oil on my bump daily simply wasn’t going to happen. This however is super fast and easy. I just glide it over my skin top to toe after washing in the shower, rinse and pat dry, with super soft and silky skin all ready for the day.

Lips: Mint Julips Lip Scrub £5.50
My lips have been so dry and with my love for lipsticks, the one thing I don’t need is flaky dry colour. This sugar scrub is brilliantly effective, fresh and minty and so full of goodness you can literally lick your lips clean afterwards.

Face: Ultrabland Cleanser £6.95
This oil packed cleanser melts in to the skin, taking off make up and dirt, then wiped away with toner, (not the way the company recommends but an excellent tip I got from the staff inshore) leaves my skin super soft and with no hint of dryness. With a lot less nasties than some cleansers and at a much better price, (a little goes a long way,) I’m very happy with this new addition to my regime.

Body: Therapy massage bar £6.50
Perfect for the end of the day if I want some additional moisture, this massage bar smooths my skin and with relaxing lavender, neroli and orange oil, it’s incredibly dream inducing.

I should say that I don’t really believe that any cream or potion will prevent stretch marks – its down to skin type, but if I can keep mine as healthy and supple as possible for a head start then I’ll try! And using something that I enjoy is likely to be 100% more effective as at least I will put it on!

So readers, if you are suffering parched skin or flaky lips, these might just solve your problems. I’d love to know if you’re a lush devotee?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Give it some Stick

When it comes to beauty I am Lazy. You will never find me luxuriating in hours to do my makeup and hair before a night out but I do enjoy mixing it up a little with different looks. I want impact and good results, but fast. There seems to be a real trend for crayon type lip products recently which appeal to me for their ‘slick on’ ease and I’ve tried a few so I thought I’d round them up here and see if any of you had any recommendations?

Revlon Colourburst Matte Balm and Lacquer
I was drawn to the colours of these and I love a Matte lip but I was really disappointed to find that despite the ‘balm’ name, they were super drying on the lip. I do suffer from dry lips so perhaps I’m not the best judge – I’d be really interested to hear if you liked these. I also though the colour range was a little limited. The lacquer was more moisturising but in a strange range of shades that didn’t suit my skin and still nowhere near a ‘balm’.

Clinique Chubby Stick £17
The original fat pencil lip product, this is like a cross between a balm and a lipstick with good colour density and a moisturising formula. It’s moisturising and has a good range of less outrageous colours perfect for your work bag.

H&M Lip Pen £2.99
I picked one of these up on a whim in H&M whilst shopping because I thought for the princely sum of £2.99 it could hardly disappoint. I wasn’t wrong as it is lovely and soft, moisturising on the lip and the colour builds as you apply. Of course there are only a few shades and the peachy shade I chose is really better for summer, but definitely worth a try for the price! :)

Have you tried any of these or can you recommend a new moisturising lip colour for me?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Reviewed: The #Paleo30

Today I have a guest post to share with you from Erin. Everybody gets a health makeover in January but I watched with interest as Erin did the #Paleo30 and made it look easy on Instagram. Of course it wasn’t easy but I asked her to share her experiences with you guys here in case you’re interested. Thanks Erin!

*****

Hello Readers! When Rebecca asked me to write a post about the Paleo diet I followed throughout January, I jumped at the chance. I’m what you would probably describe as a normal dieter. Every so often I feel like I need a reset so for a while I count my calories, eat less and exercise more. I don’t tend to go in for diet fads as I don’t believe they are sustainable long term, and well, I love cooking and food! Whilst my favoured strategy has worked for me in the past, adding a child into the mix means there is far less time for the latter.

I’ve always been one of those women who can’t shift a lot of weight with food alone. In the lead up to our Wedding in March 2011 I started exercising in earnest the Summer before, just after we got engaged, and found myself in the gym 4 out of 5 mornings before work, and then at least once of a weekend. The results after 6 months of (more or less) this routine spoke for themselves, with me being the probably the lightest I’ve been in my adult life, but not only that, toned too.

I digress. Now that I’m a Mum to a 19-month old, who works full time, time for myself is rare and therefore, gym time is pretty non-existent. Just getting out of the door in the mornings is a miracle, and by the time the food, bath and bedtime routine is done, speed is of the essence with the food we prepare. I have been trying to watch what I eat, but it’s difficult to remain healthy all of the time.

After the excesses of the festive season last year, and having read about it last year on Jessica’s blog, both my husband Richard and I decided to give the Whole30 a go. Not so much a diet as a way of eating, I hoped it would act as a re-education exercise too.

What is the Whole30?
Put simply, it’s eating only whole foods for 30 days (or in our case, the month of January). It follows the Paleo principles of eating… but is just a bit more extreme as it’s meant to act as a reset for previous bad food habits. When people asked what Paleo eating was, I usually described it as “eating like a caveman” meaning you were only allowed food that you could hunt or gather – nothing that has gone through a process.

No sugar, no grains, no diary, no legumes and no alcohol.

Richard and I decided if we were going to do this, we were going to do it the right way. Taking the plan from It Starts with Food (which you don’t need to buy, it’s more about the science behind it – the website has most of the information), we cleared out our fridge and hid all the alcohol. Coming from months of diary, wheat, alcohol and grains, we were pretty much left with a bare fridge. After a VERY expensive shop (guided by what to buy), it was full of colourful vegetables, meat, fish and berries, and our cupboards were full of coconut oil, nuts and lots of spices. We were ready.

How to do it…
If you are embarking on this diet, and you don’t have the willpower to watch your partner devour another slice of bread, it’s easier to do it together if you can. Having the support of your partner is invaluable, and you really can spur each other on. The other point to note is that you need to meal plan. Rich and I are meal planners anyway, as we find it easier to shop this way for the week ahead, but we had to add breakfasts and lunches into the mix as well.

Breakfast’s were easy for us both as we both have microwaves at our workplaces, so making scrambled eggs was pretty simple. Eggs will definitely be your friend during this. I’m not actually sure what we’d have done for breakfast if we weren’t egg lovers!

Lunches were slightly harder since you can’t pick things up on the hoof. Mostly mine consisted of chicken that I’d roasted at home mixed with mashed avocado and rolled in a Gem Lettuce leaf, or a portion of leftover supper from the night before. This is a good tip – make more for dinner so you can eat it for lunch the next day.

Dinner’s were fine as they were usually planned in advance with ingredients bought for specific recipes.

Have in your mind that there will be a lot of repetition for the month – this helped me get through. Yes, eating the same thing for breakfast for a whole month seemed daunting, dull and boring, but the reality was fine. The simpler the better.

Favourite Dishes:

  • Scrambled Eggs with Avocado for breakfast
  • Egg and Bacon “Cupcakes” for breakfast
  • Steak with Sweet Potato Chips and Green Veg
  • Prawn & Cucumber Curry with Cauliflower Rice
  • Homemade Spiced Chicken Legs

The Pros
The obvious one is weight-loss, but the Whole30 is more than that, which I’ll get to. I also haven’t really done any extra exercise in this period so the loss is all down to changing my eating habits.
Better sleep and consistent energy levels
Clearer skin
A more efficient digestive system
Learning how to spice food properly for taste
Changing the way I think about food and what I eat. The Whole30 really has made me realize what and how to eat in order to maintain a healthy, well running body. You will be AMAZED at how much sugar is added to everyday things, even down to roasted chicken fillets from good old M&S! It’s definitely made me look more closely at what we buy.

The Cons
The cost. Our weekly shops have gone up by about 50% during the month, and that’s down to the organic produce and fresh food gracing our trolleys. The weekly visits to Whole Foods haven’t helped either.
Making your baby yummy looking shepherd’s and fish pies, tasty looking sandwiches and watching him eat creamy yoghurts is torture!
Eating on the hoof is impossible, and this goes for eating out too. Rich and I had a huge row whilst out in our local town on the second weekend as we wanted to eat lunch out, but the choice of your usual Italian establishments and sandwich shops didn’t offer anything we could have. Cue us missing lunch altogether and having a really nice steak supper.

The Results
I’m not going to lie, the first week was hard. Hungry, tired, suffering from bloating and headaches, you wonder why on earth you are doing this and what the benefits will be. Most of these symptoms are reactions from the change in the way in which your body is fuelled, and as we hit day 7, we were feeling less tired, less bloated and as if it was actually making a difference.

Strangely enough, about half way through, both Rich and I suffered from VIVID dreams of cheese – it’s the point at which you think you should just eat the damn cheese but we persevered and the feelings passed.

The end of the month then came pretty quickly actually and after having not weighed myself all month which you are told not to do, I’m amazed to report that not only have I lost 6kgs (which in old money is just under a stone), I’m sleeping better, my skin is so much clearer and less dry, my energy levels are constant (I don’t have the mid-afternoon slump) and I’m not suffering from some of the digestive issues I was having before I started on this way of eating.

All in all, it’s been an eye-opening month. I can honestly say that it really has changed the way I am going to eat. I know I have labored that point, but it really has. I’m following a whole host of new Paleo inspired blogs and getting lots of ideas for new suppers and snacks to try. My spice draw is full of new flavours and I’m in love with everything Coconut (Oil, Milk, Flour, Water!) You can also eat out. Rich and I managed lunches at Byron Burger (Skinny Burger with a Mushroom and a side salad with dressing on the side) and a dinner at a Shellfish restaurant in Soho. I also managed to stick to it whilst I was on a work trip to the US. We were strict with ourselves, but that was the point. This is a month reset, but I know I won’t be going back to my old way of eating.

As a detox, or perhaps a reset before a holiday, it’s worth thinking about giving the Whole30 a go. Once everything is planned, it’s easy! Good luck if you are going to give it a try, you won’t regret it.

Read more from Erin over on her blog Love From Cornfield, or follow her on Twitter @CornfieldLove and @ErinLauraWalsh

#JanuaryJoy: Tidy Up

Todays post has a slightly ambiguous title, but isn’t as obvious as it sounds. Nope, I’m talking about a beauty tidy up here ;)


Image copyright David Burton Studio

I don’t know about everyone reading (although I will be seriously impressed if there are many of you who prioritise this kind of thing in the winter months,) but I haven’t looked properly at my own body for a long time. A combination of tiredness and a freezing house means that the clothes to pyjamas stage is fleeting in my house and I don’t hang around in the mirror in the bathroom either. As a result, some ahem, ‘essential’ maintenance has fallen by the wayside and I could do with some serious beauty attention. Around this time I always start to find that there are things that need doing from a beauty perspective. Christmas often means a hair cut, or toes to polish for parties and a pre-festive season haircut. Come the end of January it’s time to start thinking about peeling back the layers in a few weeks and generally making yourself (clearly, I’m projecting here,) feel better when you look in the mirror.

Right now although my hair is holding up well after a pre-New year hair cut, my toes are still glittery red from Christmas, and my body needs some serious attention. First on my list is to book a waxing appointment and start to feel attractive again.

On a slight tangent, on of the strengths of Florence Finds I always think has been the community sharing tips and recommendations and I thought maybe thats where we should take todays post. I think it’s the hardest thing to fid a great hairdresser, manicurist or waxer (and I’m sure we have all experienced a few horror stories in that department.) For me it was a revelation the first time I attended a salon where the therapist just got on with the job without appearing embarrassed to tell me where to put what. Sadly she moved on and I spent some time in the waxing wilderness (insert bad experiences here) and even did a bit of DIY, but for some time now I’ve been going to the Brazilian Waxing Company and highly recommend them. I always think beauty therapists are better when they just do one thing and although multi talented these ladies start off just learning how to wax and make a brilliant job of it too. (I also happen to like their ethos towards employing working mothers with flexible hours around childcare, but that’s another story…)

So ladies, today I’d like you to share your best contacts for a ‘tidy up’ of whatever nature, and where they are based – maybe we’ll all pick up a new beauty bff. ;)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

The Brazilian Waxing Company
Manchester Oxford Rd and City Centre

http://www.brazilianwaxingcompany.com

Booking online or 0208 1234332

#JanuaryJoy: Make a fitness target

It’s easy when the new year rolls around to start with good intentions but not actually go on with your fitness plans. In 2012 I joined BMF and then 12 months later was just about admitting that I wanted to quit. Last year was a total flop for me when it came to fitness and I’m not proud to admit it. Work got the better of me but I did manage to tackle the 30 day shred twice with great results.


This year, I honestly don’t know what my plan is yet, but I need to do something. I’ve dabbled with re-joining the gym but don’t want to commit as let’s face it, even the fee looming over you isn’t enough motivation once signed up unless you really want to go. And I’d really be wanting to swim more than anything which I find very relaxing.

One thing I have done is to get back to yoga – my best friend Jess chose getting back to yoga as her new years resolution and so far we have got together both of the last 2 Saturdays to do my favourite DVD Love Yoga, and I’ve done it between times too.

Perhaps I need a little inspiration from you guys for a change… I’d love to hear what your fitness goals are in the coming year or maybe months. I think having an ultimate goal is always a better idea – is anybody signed up for a race or marathon? I want exercise to be fun again!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

#JanuaryJoy: Get serious about your skin

I thought about calling this post, ‘get serious about anti-aging‘ but skin care is important at any age however you choose to address it. My particular angle this year is towards investing in the future… at almost 32 I feel it might be time to acknowledge that ubiquitous beauty industry term, ‘anti-aging’. Scary.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel I have suddenly aged in the last year. I’m very lucky and still don’t have any greys (yet!) but I do feel my skin has changed. It’s not quite as plump and fresh looking as it once was and I can’t help but feel that a lot of that is down to my own laziness.

I’ve fallen into the trap of using facial wipes each night, rarely moisturising, unless my skin is actually flaking off and the same goes for exfoliating. One improvement I have made, as of Christmas however, is to start using a serum (something I vowed to find last year) and so I thought I’d share some skin care recommendations that I’ll be endeavouring to follow…

  1. If you have to use a facial wipe (and let’s face it, a facial wipe will always trump sleeping with your make up on,) these are my new favourite. I picked them up in Glasgow when I forgot my usual cleanser and was pleasantly surprised. They’re neither greasy nor drying and don’t strip your skin, plus they’re kind to eyes when removing stubborn mascara. I keep mine in my bedside table ;)  Johnsons Skincare Make Up Be Gone refresher wipes £3.29
  2. Last year, to save money I left my beloved Eve Lom behind and worked through some of my old cleansers to use them up. Now I feel like I deserve the deep clean and daily sloughing off of dead cells that Eve Lom gives and its soothing oils, so I’ll be splurging on this queen of cleansers again. Eve Lom Cleanser 100ml £55
  3. This is hands down the best exfoliator I’ve ever used. Super smoothing and brightening, I use it 1-2 times weekly for the best wake up to your skin you could ask for. Boots No.7 Total renewal Microdermabrasion exfoliator £11
  4. My hard and fast rule for moisturisers (and anti-aging) is that they must contain SPF. I find this one is strong enough for winter dryness but non-greasy and smells lovely while protecting my skin. A Perfect World SPF 25 £35
  5. Lastly, the super serum. This one gets a lot of hype, especially after its recent reformulation and release. I got a sample a few months back and fell in love with it. It has a lovely texture and whilst I’m never going to be the sort of person who actually believes it will make my skin younger to erase wrinkles, it definitely improved the texture and quality of my skin so I asked for a full size bottle for Christmas and am crossing my fingers for miracles! Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex II £48

So readers – do you have any skin care resolutions or products that you have discovered and want to share. I;d love to hear any recommendations (or confessions if you’re a face wipe user too!)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Triple Temptation: Berry Lips


Stila Crush Lip and Cheek Stain in Cherry £16 // Albeit lipstick in Plum £14 // Marquisette Rouge – & Other Stories £12

Now the mercury has dipped to freezing I’m thinking about pink cheeks and berry lips for a festive look. Equally good for a trip to the Christmas Markets in the day time or brought out for a Christmas get together. I actually purchased the & Other Stories shade in London last week and can vouch for the creamy texture and berry-perfect shade. I also own the Stila lip glaze and was inspired to get it out after seeing Bella wear it a couple of weekends ago (in another shade) but it remains less moisturising than the creamy texture of the lipstick.

Now, what I’d like to know is if you guys can recommend any other brands or shades for a berry pout this winter? Have you tried a berry lip?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Monday Must Have: Old Hollywood

Before we go any further, can we just take a moment to note how fabulous Katie Holmes looks in the Bobbi Brown Christmas campaign: Old Hollywood.

There are very few things in life that make me feel better than a bright pout. Regardless of how tired I’m feeling, or dispirited with my wardrobe choices or weight or whatever, it’s a failsafe pick me up. Bobbi’s look for Christmas demonstrates the power of the pout nicely, I think.

This year my wardrobe for the festive season is likely to be severely limited by budget and although I may stretch to a single party dress, I’m thinking that a mega watt smile in Holiday red would probably do the trick for festive cheer this year.

On saturday whilst trawling the shops for a cheap and cheerful wardrobe update, I came across the Old Hollywood collection and instantly coveted the lot. I’m sure many of you already own a red lipstick, but the nail shades were fab too (and inspired me to paint mine gold for this week,) and the cream shadow stick glided onto the back of my hand like silk, blending beautifully. If not for a little mid-month pick me up, how about putting one on the Christmas list?

Happy Monday readers,
Rebecca
xo

AW13 Nail Favourites


Chanel Le Vernis in Rouge Noir and Vendetta // Essie in ‘For the Twill of It’, ‘Power Clutch’ (khaki) and Magnetic Snake skin effect ‘Snake it Up’ (navy) // Butter London ‘Billy no mates’

For the last couple of weeks I’ve started to embrace autumn’s palette in my nail shades, opting for darker tones. Unusually for me I’ve been drawn to deep rich blues, my usual Rouge Noir (although not always the Chanel version) and a couple of wild cards. I’ve yet to try it but I’m lusting after a flat khaki green and pale grey. I don’t own a khaki but I fancy this Essie shade and I’ll be resurrecting a pale grey I bought a few years back and wore only once. They feel modern and grown up at the same time and will provide the perfect relief from summer corals and neons, before party season sparkles take over.

I’d love to know what your favourite shades are this autumn… let me know!

Love,
Rebecca
xo