what’s on my bathroom shelf?

:: by Lizzie
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As I’m getting more into skin and haircare (and because I’m nosey enough to find it interesting when ‘proper bloggers’ write these sorts of posts), I thought I’d give you a little tour of my bathroom shelf.

 

Oribe Dry Texturing Spray – Okay so hear me out on this one. It’s sort of the most expensive texturising hair spray ever, BUT it’s also a complete game-changer. Just washed but flat and lifeless hair? Grubby/tangly hair that you really should wash or at least brush but you’re in too much of a rush? Spray this bad boy at the roots, or in the lengths, for just the right amount of volume, texture and hold to make your ‘do’ look deliberate. You really can get that perfect ‘not too done’ look (I realise that’s a contradiction in terms) with just a few sprays and a bit of a jush.

 

Oskia Renaissance Cleaning Gel – Another game changer for me. This cleansing gel is my go to cleanser morning and evening and has visibly cleared up my skin. It’s helped with redness, breakouts, dryness and oiliness. How can one product do all these things? You may well ask! It seems to induce a happy equilibrium for my skin and I’m loving it. I massage two pumps of the stuff all over my face for a few seconds and then wash with a warm and wet muslin cloth. I would highly recommend you try it.

 

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Boost Mousse Styling Foam – I still remember standing in front of the mirror with my older brother JD enjoying styling my then naturally blonde shoulder length hair with mousse. It was the 80s, it was an experiment on what would have otherwise been a bit of a boring day and it actually looked pretty cool. I’d not used mousse again until going ombre a year or two ago. As a result I got into John Frieda’s blonde range and this little moussy number not only locks in the blonde, it also gives a really nice volume and hold. On days I feel in the mood, I put the purple foam through my wet hair and blow dry. I like the look and feel of slightly thicker hair with better hold, but more than that, I like going to bed with it in a plait and looking forward to the waves I get on the second day which would otherwise drop out within 5 minutes.

 

Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil – I do love me a bit of Aesop. It was one of the first brands that got me into skincare. The Parsley Seed range is a classic that I would recommend to anyone. I use the Cleaning Oil and Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Toner less these days as I have other favourites but they are both solid options well worth having as backups.

 

Superfacialist Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil – It may seem that three cleansing oils is a bit much, to be honest I agree with you, but next up on the shelf is one of my all-time favourite skincare products. This orangey smelling oil, packed full of vitamin C feels wonderful on the skin. I love the smell, I love the feel, I love the effect. I just like the Oskia Cleansing Oil a tiny fraction more. This Una Brennan number (decanted into a Muji bottle) comes with me on my travels as it’s loads easier than the Oskia to take along for the ride.

 

Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Mask – More Aesop Parsley Seed love. I told you, it’s a classic range! This is possibly the best clay mask of all time. So clarifying it leaves your skin obscenely clean. Like clean to the core. But not dried out or likely to breakout and it’s gentle on the skin too. If you’re after a real double whammy start with the Aesop Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste. Massage a pea sized amount into the skin and wash off before applying the mask. Finish with your moisturiser of choice and it will leave you feeling like you’ve been for a facial.

 

Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask – Another mask option, this one is a little more hardcore as it’s technically a peel too. Since seeing that episode of Sex and the City when Samantha’s peel is not a success and leaves her skin bright red and well, peeled, I’ve steered clear of any such product. This mask is different though. It’s so very gentle and packed full of ingredients that your skin will love. Start by applying for just 5 mins before rinsing off and feel how soft and bright your skin becomes.

 

Living Proof Flex Shaping Hairspray – I’m not actually a huge one for hairsprays but like the Oribe Texturising Spray, this Hairspray is a holy grail product. The name says it all ‘flex’. Not sticky, not crunchy, not dulling, just flexible hold. Living Proof has managed to get Jennifer Aniston – the best hair in the business – on board. Who doesn’t want Rachel hair? The Living Proof Good Hair Day 5 in 1 Styling Treatment is my favourite product. Applied to wet hair and combed through it does magical things to your locks when dried. It promises to smooth, volume, condition, strengthen and polish. What’s not to love? Well actually, there is one thing. Living Proof’s ‘Perfect Hair Day’ collection is not yet available in the UK. I picked up my 5 in 1 when I was in New York. Sorry to be a tease. Maybe start with the Flex Hairspray which is available round these parts and keep your ear to the ground for any friends hopping over the pond who might pick you up a bottle of the 5 in 1 Styling Treatment. It’s worth the wait.

 

I’ve showed you mine, now you show me yours. What’s on your bathroom shelf?

 

july favourites

:: by Lizzie
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Okay, first thing’s first – I’m sorry for the tardiness of this favourites post. It’s been a bit of a crazy month and so I’m very very late with this one, but… This is where where I pull together my favourites in fashion, food, beauty and everything in between for the month of July.

 

F A S H I O N :

adidas Originals Stan Smith ‘Copper Kettle’ – Just like many other people right now, I’ve got a bit of a thing for copper and brass. Most of the bits and bobs I’ve been picking up in metallic finishes have been for the flat (more on that coming soon) but these bad boys are firmly fashion – although come to mention it I do keep my trainer collection on display at home (more on that coming too). They’re perfect for those slightly chillier London summer days and even cope well with occasional drizzle, but they pack a proper punch of the sun kissed look so keep you feeling bronzed and weather optimistic. I’m looking forward to rocking them into autumn.

 

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Topshop Sleeveless Duster  – Oh how I love layering. It’s my go to happy place when putting together an outfit – and navy is my absolute favourite layering colour – so you can imagine my delight when stumbling across this sleeveless number at Toppers. I’ve been throwing it over old favourites like my oversized breton t or long navy sleeveless YMC dress which were both featured in my 2013 blog post what betty wore no.2. Pair with old classics and staples to pull them effortlessly into 2015.

Bimba Y Lola Banana Print Bikini – I love fruit! I love eating it, I love illustrations of it, I love little plastic miniatures of it (oh yes I have a small plastic banana and lemon at home – it’s fine, they’re vintage) and I love wearing it. This banana bikini makes me smile and is comfy too. I’d have liked to get my hands on the cossie version even more but alas I was too slow off the mark after Knomes spotted it for me. Exposed tummy aside, I love this swim suit.

 

F O O D :

De Kas – On a recent trip to Amsterdam I had the pleasure of eating at De Kas, a restaurant in a green house setting in Park Frankendael. They grow all of their own fruit, veg and herbs and only use locally reared meat, fish and poultry. The menu is a seasonal tasting one based on what’s fresh that day.

We had…

Tomato soup with roasted tomatoes, shredded lettuce and nasturtiums

Mackerel with beetroot and bacon

Courgette, watermelon, feta and pesto

Cucumber sorbet with honeycomb

 

I drank filtered tap water but mum can wholeheartedly recommend the house champagne! I would strongly suggest prioritising a visit if you’re ever in Amsterdam. De Kas is a special place.

 

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B E A U T Y :

Mac Ripe Peach Toledo Blush Ombre – This bad boy is rather popular with the beauty pack so I couldn’t find it in stock for a while but stumbled upon it at Luton airport. Winner! It’s the perfect peachy lift to the apples of your cheeks and looks good with any lip colour.

Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser – I’ve been having a bit of a Laura Mercier moment. Historically I’ve been more of a concealer stick and pressed powder person but I’ve found that my skin is getting less oily and a little more dry as I get older so I’ve needed to change things up a bit. My focus used to be on trying to reduce the oiliness of my t-zone, but now I’m looking to bring the glow. This oil free tinted moisturiser which I apply with a buffing brush, goes on looking like healthy, dewy, glowing skin. It’s got enough coverage to even things out but is light and natural on the skin and not at all cakey. Hello glow.

Laura Mercier Metallic Cream Eye Colour in Platinum – I don’t wear eye shadow. I like eye liner and mascara but eye shadow looks weird on me. It seems to make my eyes look smaller even. This little tube of goodness on the other hand is perfection. I apply it to the corners of my eyes with my fingers to open them right up and bring a bit of brightness.

 

O T H E R :

The Hoxton Hotel Amsterdam – The people behind Shoreditch’s and Holborn’s Hoxton Hotels have opened shop in Amsterdam and the place is gorgeous! You can see how their taste and style have developed and the Amsterdam branch is by far my favourite. I was lucky enough to be one of the first guests to stay there, just two weeks after them opening their doors. They’ll be launching Hoxton hotels in New York and Paris in 2016 so I’m looking forward to seeing what they do over the pond and in gay Paris. Full review of The Hoxton Hotel Amsterdam coming soon.

 

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Studio Lenneke Wispelwey – The main reason for my end of July trip to Amsterdam was to visit friend of SMUG and ceramicist Lenneke Wispelwey in her studio. SMUG has worked with Lenneke for a year or two now and is currently the only place you can buy her beautiful pieces in the UK. We are putting together a special exhibition of her ceramics – Lenneke Wispelwey upstairs at SMUG, which will launch in September for London Design Festival (watch this space for more on that one). It was really good to finally meet Lenneke in person and to understand better how she works. Her shop and studio in Ahern, an hour or so out of Amsterdam, are wonderful spaces full of inspiration and intrigue.

 

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june favourites

:: by Lizzie
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This is where where I pull together my favourites in fashion, food, beauty and everything in between for the month of June.

 

F A S H I O N :

BDG Denim Duster Jacket in Blue – What a classic eh? Daniel spotted this for me at Urban Outfitters (he’s good like that) and when I tried it on I knew right away that I should buy it. I’ve been wearing it as a second skin ever since. It goes with everything – summer dresses, jeans and t shirts, my current favourite – a stretch cotton pencil skirt and an oversized tee and it’s equally nice with trainers, sandals or jellies. I like wearing it with the collar up.

Cockatoo Comfort Bra and Knickers by Mimi Holliday – I have a bit of a thing for nice undies. I have always, since I can remember, liked things that come in sets. I also really enjoy a little bit of attention to detail here and there and feel a very good place to start with this is your knicker drawer. I couldn’t recommend wearing nice pants more. My favourite label is Mimi Holliday, known for their beautiful silks and laces and their fantastic pops of colour. This neon set is right up my street right now.

Nathalie Du Pasquier Kaya Tomato Print Tent Dress for American Apparel – One of my favourite pastimes at the mo is scrolling through Pinterest looking at and being inspired by the plethora of beautiful and colourful geometric patterns that illustrators are coming up with. You can imagine my delight when, in American Apparel last week searching for a summer floaty cover up, I found this perfect representation of all I’m loving in the illustration world in the form of a tent dress. It is perfection and I feel very happy when I’m in it. Huge bonus – it has pockets!

 

B E A U T Y :

Chanel’s Les Beiges Healthy Glow Hydrating Lip Balm – I’ve been looking for the right lip balm for a while now. I’ve learnt that Vaseline tends to dry out my lips, so that’s a no-go, and most things I’ve tried with a little bit of pigment in them have left my lips feeling tacky. So I’ve had my ear to the ground for recommendations for a really hydrating, creamy lip balm with a bit of a healthy looking peachy glow for the summer. Enter Chanel’s Les Beiges Healthy Glow Hydrating Lip Balm. Chanel’s new limited edition collection Les Beiges is all kinds of lovely. I now have my eye on the Multi-Colour SPF 15 / PA++ Face Powder in Mariniere No. 01

Maybelline Dream Sun Bronzing Powder and Blush Duo – For the time being I’ll be whacking this powder on my face instead. This bronze/blush duo is an absolute winner and super easy on the wallet. The larger bronze section works really well on my skin-tone for light contouring (although I’m still very much a beginner in this area) or all over the cheeks for a subtle sun-kissed bronzing. The blush is a particularly gorgeous pick me up pinky peach and the two combined give you that ready for the world, healthy looking complexion. You know the one.

Bobbi Brown Sheer Powder Brush – I’ve been getting into brushes recently having not used them at all in the past and it’s fair to say I’m converted. Having the right tools to do the job makes all the difference. This month’s addition to my dressing table’s brush pot is the Sheer Powder Brush by Bobbi Brown. She’s great for brushes and this versatile powder brush pops things on in a pretty much invisible way. No cakey, powdery layers on the surface of the skin to be seen with this bad boy. I use it mostly for setting powder but it’s an all-rounder, so good for bronzer and blush too.

 

F O O D :

Manolya’s Helva Tahin Brownie – If you’re a regular reader of this blog you may have seen my recent post, Manolya Bakes. Manolya Isik is part of team SMUG and bakes many of the sweet treats we serve in CAFE SMUG. She’s recently been to Istanbul and bought back the most delicious halva. Luckily for me she used some of it to make up a batch of her helva tahin brownies a la Ottolenghi.

Taste of London – Danny and I were invited to Taste by one of my favourite people in the world, Gemma Bell. Gemma has her own PR company gemmabell.com and she’s the right person to knock around with at these sorts of events! We enjoyed delicious food expertly prepared by three of Gemma’s clients (these also happen to be some of my favourite restaurants in London) The Clove Club, Koya Bar and The Modern Pantry. In my opinion the tastiest dish to nibble on while roaming around Regent’s Park in the sunshine, was the Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Pine Salt from The Clove Club. The Pork Belly from Koya Bar was a very close second though. Thanks Gems!

Burnt Aubergine with Tahini recipe by Ottolenghi – Yotam Ottolenghi’s second mention in this blog post. Can you tell I’m a fan? (And he’s another one of Gemma’s clients!) I made this dish for the first time ever last week for my parents and it went down a treat. It’s great fun just burning the aubergine straight on the flames of your cooker top. Feels kinda naughty. Tastes utterly delish. The recipe is from my favourite cook book of all time – Plenty.

 

O T H E R :

Nike Women’s 10K Run – This was absolutely a highlight for June and has gotten me back into running. You can read a little more about it in my post Fitness Files – June. Maybe I’ll do the Hackney Half next year!?

SMUG Turned Six – I’m so pleased with and proud of what SMUG has become and achieved in the last 6 years. You can read about the lovely birthday event we held in store and the new exclusives we launched here. Special props to Ruby Taylor and her amazing Fruity Portraits and to Sipsmith for all the Gin! I’m excited to see what we can manage in the next 6 years.

 

 

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may favourites

:: by Lizzie

 

This is where where I pull together my favourites in design, fashion, food, beauty and everything in between for the month of May.

 

F A S H I O N :

House of Holland Hannah Dress – I love a dress that feels ‘special’ and like you’ve made an effort but is casual and comfy too. I’m not so good at the glamorous look so am always on the hunt for beautifully made dresses with gorgeous detailing that I can wear for special occasions but that still feel me. This one fits the bill perfectly.

Pippa Lynn Camo Duster Jacket – Having been on the hunt for the right duster jacket for some time, I came across this bad boy at Urban Outfitters. It’s nuts but it kinda works and is great fun to wear. I’ve been pairing it with an asos leopard print midi dress and black jellies for the clashy look but it also works really well over skinnies and a simply vest.

Eve Bracelet by A.P.C. – I’m a huge A.P.C. fan and particularly enjoy their accessories. I was pretty excited to be able to combine my love of the brand, big bangles and graphic representations of fruit, all in one piece, with this smile inducing bracelet.

 

F O O D :

Berber and Q – My new favourite restaurant opened under one of the Haggerston railway arches only a month or two ago. The ingredients are predominantly Middle Eastern but the recipes draw inspiration from the American BBQ movement. Expect grilled and smoked meats cooked over charcoal, mezze from the East, music from the West, beer by the growler, cocktails, pickles & pita. Their Rosemary Lemonade is particularly amazing, and of course I love the lamb.

 

B E A U T Y :

Now I know I mentioned these beauty items in my Travel Skincare post but it wouldn’t be fair to leave them out of my May Favourites as they’ve totally changed my beauty routine. I’ve loved using them all through May and will continue to do so throughout June and the rest of the summer I’m sure. I’d really recommend every single one of them.

Super Facialist by Una Brennan Vitamic C+ Brighten Skincare – I’ve been using the Dark Circles Eye Cream, the Glow Boost Skin Serum and my favourite, the Skin Renew Cleansing Oil and my skin really does feel brighter and altogether better. The orangey fragrance is lovely too.

Colab Dry Shampoo – This is a revelation. No white streaks or heavy residue just fresh smelling, clean looking hair. Rio is my favourite from the collection.

Rimel London Lasting Finish Primer – I’ve not really gotten into primer before but at the recommendation of Vivianna Does Makeup I thought I’d give this low budget option a whizz and it’s a really nice product. Defo preps my skin nicely for what’s going on next and keeps my makeup in place longer. I’m going to crowbar in an extra May favourite here and say how much I’ve been enjoying (Vivi)Anna’s blog on all things beauty and suggest you give it a look.

Nars Yokio Kabuki Brush – This was one of my special treats/splurges in May and I can really say it was totally worth it. I’ve not used brushes much in the past and so didn’t quite understand how amazingly well the right one could do a specific job. This Nars blush brush deposits and blends just the right amount of pigment onto the apples of your checks for the perfect natural healthy look. It’s pretty much fool-proof.

 

O T H E R :

San Giorgio Hotel Mykonos – My long weekend in Mykonos was my absolute favourite part of May. Beautiful design, delicious food, super chilled vibe. We loved it! Hotel review with lots of pics coming very soon.

Orange, Banana and Coconut Juice – I’ve been well into breakfast smoothies since April and I’m really noticing the difference in my skin and general health. My May favourite comes from a blog I follow, Hello Natural. Take a good look at her blog for lots of recipes, DIY and beauty advice. This orange, banana, almond milk and coconut water combo is so refreshing and is a great option if you don’t have a juicer.

Stock Flowers in Peach – Okay, so, if I was a flower it would totally be Peach Stock. I didn’t even know stock came in peach until this May and I’m totally in love with them. They even have pale yellow colouring right at the heart of each bloom. My perfect colour combo and flower shape. Happiness in a vase.

 

 

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my travel skincare and makeup

:: by Lizzie
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I’ve been getting a little more into skincare and makeup recently. Ever since I started wearing makeup I’ve been a Simple Cleanser and an Avene Moisturiser girl. I’ve never toned and I don’t use makeup remover as my cleanser has always done the trick. Now I’m in my 30s I’ve decided to try to take better care of my skin and enjoy pampering myself in the process. I like to alternate having either a facial or massage each month so the experts are involved (I go to Mirela Health and Beauty in Islington and Pauline is my therapist), but here I wanted to share with you what I’ve added to my daily skincare and makeup routine and also how to pack this larger collection of concoctions for a weekend away.

 

T H E  D E C A N T E D  L I Q U I D S  A N D  O I L S :

Many of the skincare items and holiday necessities I use come in bottles over the 100ml mark. But do not fear, I had a great time in Muji buying these little bottles and tubs to house my favourite liquids and oils.

 

Shampoo – John Freida Sheer Blonde Highlight Activating Moisturising Shampoo

Conditioner – Faith in Nature Coconut Conditioner

Makeup Remover/Moisteriser/Lip Balm – Biona Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil

Cleanser – Super Facialist by Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil

Oil – Aesop Damascan Rose Facial Treatment

 

Normally I’m someone who likes sets and pairs or collections so it’s perhaps out of character to have a shampoo and conditioner not designed to go together. However I find the Sheer Blonde Shampoo looks after my ombre highlights but still gets my locks feeling really clean and the Coconut Conditioner, which is completely natural, moisturises the ends much better than anything else and doesn’t leave my hair feeling heavy. I’m really enjoying coconut products for skin and haircare, particularly raw organic Coconut Oil. Amazing stuff. So very good for your hair, skin and great in cooking too. Healthy glow-inducing stuff.

 

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T H E  U N D E R  1 0 0 m l  B O T T L E S  A N D  S P R A Y S :

Here are the other bits that I squeeze into my allotted square transparent ‘liquids bag’ provided by the airport.

 

Eye Cream – Super Facialist by Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Brighten Dark Circles Eye Cream

Dry Shampoo – Colab Dry Shampoo in the fragrance Rio

Tined Moisturiser/SPF – NARS Pure Radiant Tined Moisturiser SPF 30 in Alaska

Deodorant – Sanex Dermo Sensitive Lactoserum 24H Anti-perspirant

Primer – Rimmel London Lasting Finish Primer

Concealer – NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla

Serum – Super Facialist by Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Brighten Glow Boost Skin Serum

Moisteriser – Avene Skin Recovery Cream

 

I’m trying Una Brennan’s Super Facialist range for the first time. Never before did I realise I should be using an eye cream and a serum along with my moisturiser, so these are very new to my routine, but my skin seems to be really liking them. Or at least my nose is – I love the orangey smell of the vitamin C in all the products. That extra vitamin C must be doing me good no? Colab Dry Shampoo is also new on the menu and I would go so far as to say it is, for me, life changing. It’s such a relief to find a lighter, softer, cleaner dry shampoo (I used to use Baptise) which doesn’t leave a residue of white powder all over your hair. Another great find is Nars Creamly Concealer. It well deserves all the hype it gets on the beauty circuit. The perfect concealer. I’ll be keeping it in my makeup bag forevermore.

 

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T H E  N O N – L I Q U I D  M A K E U P :

These are the bits that are safe in your case or handbag that don’t face airport restrictions but that you do probably want to restrict up to a point for a holiday break.

 

Concealer – Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer in Sand

Powder with puff – Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder in Soft Sand

Brow shaper – Maybelline Browdrama Sculpting Brow Mascara in Medium Brown

Bronzer – Soap and Glory Solar Powder

Lipsticks – NARS Lipsticks in Barbarella and Roman Holiday

Blusher – MAC Sheertone Blush in Peaches

Pressed powder – Bourjois Healthy Balance 10 Hr Unifying Powder

Mascara – Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Blackest Black

Eye liner – Revlon Colourstay Liquid Liner in Blackest Black

 

I throw these products on for a bit of colour and definition. I have slightly sparse eyebrows in some areas and as well as filling in they need a bit of holding in place. Maybelline’s Browdrama does the trick perfectly. An all in one brow product that’s very easy on the wallet. The NARS lippys are my absolute fave. Creamy and sheer enough that you can whack them on without a mirror. I have two powders on the go at the mo. Bourjois Healthy Balance for dusting over to set the make up leaving a ‘glow’ and Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish for dabbing on as the day wears on and the ‘glow’ gets too glowy!

 

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T H E  S E N S I B L E  B I T S :

 

Toothbrush – Muji Travel Toothbrush

Face cloth/muslin – The Body Shop Muslin Cleansing Cloth

Hairbands – Boots Thin Hairbands

Razor – Gillette Venus Snap Womens Portable Razor

Cotton wool pads – Boots Cotton Wool Double Faced Pads Round

Cotton buds – Johnson’s Baby Cotton Buds

 

A lot of Boots love here but let’s face it they do this stuff so well. The standout product for me here though is the Body Shop Muslin Cloth. I have sensitive and sometimes dry skin which needs exfoliating but gets very red if I go to hard on that front. The simple addition of this cloth to my daily routine gently exfoliates my skin while washing off my cleanser. I love a multi tasker!

 

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T H E  B R U S H E S :

Powder brush – NARS #20 Blush Brush

Contour/Bronzer brush – Real Techniques Contour Brush

Buffing brush – Real Techniques Buffing Brush

Setting/Concealer brush – Real Techniques Setting Brush

Blusher brush – NARS Yachiyo Kabuki Brush

 

These little bad boys have been the biggest change in the beauty stakes on my dressing table. Some are a bit of an investment but I can honestly say they have made makeup so much more satisfying and easy to apply and have opened up a whole new world of blushers, contouring and concealing that I didn’t think could work on my skin/face. The NARS Yachiyo Kabuki Brush deposits exactly the right amount of blush to the check and blends it to perfection. No skill needed. And it’s bloody gorgeous which doesn’t hurt. My wash/makeup bag of choice is by Rosie Moss. Check out her designs, some of which are exclusive to SMUG here. If there’s anything you think I’m missing do let me know. Comments box coming very soon.

 

the spring nail colour edit

:: by Lizzie
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I often find that Sunday is the best day for a bit of me time/pampering. I usually manage a lie in and a nice breakfast either in or out and, if we don’t have plans to see people, often a take a turn around the park and spend most of the day chilling in the flat. Sometimes I repot cacti and succulents on the balcony, sometimes I bake sweet treats in the kitchen (blog posts coming on both in the near future) and others I give my hands a bit of love and take the time to shape and paint my nails.

 

As spring is trying desperately to arrive I’m feeling in the mood to do this a little more regularly. Spring is the best time for nail colour no!? Whether playing it casj in jeans and a t shirt or floating around in something pretty, a pop of colour on the nails defo brings a smile to my face.

So here’s a little run down of my top 5 faves for spring. All available to buy now (I had to cut a couple of great ones no longer on the market so as not to be tease). Some of them are stars of the nail varnish world that you may already own, others might be a little more random or at least newer kids on the block.

 

1. Porchester Square by Nails Inc – I recently purchased my first ever bottle and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to pick some up. Famed for being the perfect putty nude it really is a timeless classic. I’d been using Barry M’s dupe Pit Stop in their Speedy Quick Dry formula which is amazing too but a little more mauvey which makes me prefer Porchester.

 

2. Absolutely Shore by essie – I’m loving almost white nail varnishes at the mo and this essie number in a super pale apple colour is my favourite. Fresh and understated, it’s a very gentle way into the pastel on the nails world if you’re normally a red or nothing kind of gal. I also really like Nails Inc’s ‘The New White’ polish collection and have been wearing a lot of Swan Street which is similar to Absolutely Shore but less apply and more duck eggy.

 

3. Geranium by essie – Now this one is probably my favourite nail varnish of all time. It’s the ultimate orangey red. Great all year round but particularly perfect for spring if you’re moving on from a darker, more plumby red that was your winter go to. Like everyone I have many more reds in my drawer than any other nail colour, but this is the best. I kid you not. Buy it now.

 

4. Peaches and Cream by Nails Topshop – The next two colours are a little more quirky I guess but I’ve found them both to work rather nicely on my skin tone. If you don’t know about Nails Topshop varnishes then you should get down there asap. Fun and fashionable pops of colour for only £5 with polkadot packaging. What’s not to love? Peaches and Cream is my go to spring pastel nail colour. I’m finding that Peach and Mint are very much my colours of choice in the design world too at the mo. See our edit of HAY Kaleido Trays at SMUG for example. I’m loving a bit of apricot/peach. More on mint below…

 

5. Road Rage by Barry M – Another easy on the wallet range is the Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paint collection which I mentioned above. Only £3.99 a bottle and the quick drying formula is amazing. It makes painting your nails so much easier. This refreshing mint colour does take three coats but by the time you’ve finished your tenth nail your first is ready for it’s next coat. Easy peasy. I’m planning on getting hold of a bottle in Eat My Dust which is a pale cornflower blue which I have a feeling I might love even more.

 

Other nail oriented favourites include OPI base and top coats. I particularly like their RapiDry Quick Drying Top Coat. And I find Essie’s Good As Gone Clarify Nail Polish Remover to be streets ahead of any other. The colour comes off really easily with one wipe and nails aren’t left feeling dry or damaged. Well I think that’s everything. Which colour will you be reaching for today? Having tested out the colours on my nails for this post I’m  almost temped to stay techni-coloured!

 

 

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lauren moffatt spring summer 2014

:: by Lizzie
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New York based fashion designer Lauren Moffatt is one of my absolute favourites. Trained in Fine Arts, the Philadelphia native left her job as a graphic designer and launched her women’s ready to wear brand in 2000. For the first two seasons, Moffatt produced her collection from her home – a 31 foot sailboat docked on New York’s Hudson River. Just based on that she’s kind of my hero.

 

Although she now works out of a proper studio in Chelsea, Moffatt’s love of fine art and modern design, as well as her unique sensibility for color, texture and detail continue to be cornerstones of her aesthetic, establishing her as one of the most coveted independent women’s designers.

 

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Above you can see my favourite pieces from her new collection – Spring Summer 2014, and you can view the full collection here. Florals, bretton stripes, matching jacquard peach culottes and cropped tees, floaty summer dresses – what more could you ask for? A stockist in London I hear you cry!? I’ve only ever bought pieces in New York but I hear Couveture in West London occassionally carries here work. You can of course buy online direct from Lauren Moffatt herself at laurenmoffatt.net

 

And as if that wasn’t enough, here’s a little something to get you looking forward to the chillier months of the year – a sneek peak of Lauren Moffatt Fall 2014!

 

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hilary grant knitwear

:: by Lizzie

Hilary believes that everyday items should be beautifully made and I rather agree. Designed, knitted and hand finished in Scotland, Hilary Grant’s collection of scarves, hats and gloves combine simple, classic styles with bold patterns in sophisticated and compelling tones. Made from a soft 2 ply lambswool, Hilary Grant’s pieces are wearable, practical, playful and of the utmost quality – designed to be cherished and enjoyed winter after winter.

 

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SMUG launched Hilary’s 2012-13 collection last winter in our Islinton store and the mushroom dash circle scarf that I bought at the time is still cherished and enjoyed and will continue to be, I’m sure, winter after winter. The things is, now SMUG has received the 2013-14 collection with it’s beautiful cinnamon and vole colourways, it wouldn’t seem quite right for me not to chose another scarf to cherish and enjoy winter after winter.

 

SMUG is lucky enough to have two Hilary Grant exclusives in our trademark mustard, or picalilli as Hilary likes to call it. You’ll only find these designs at SMUG which makes them extra special in my book. Hilary Grant’s pieces offer the perfect unity between beauty and utility. Wearable and well-crafted, they are designed to bring a little joy to even the most gloomy of winter days.

 

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Our exclusive Arrow Circle Scarf in Piccalilli and Pom Scarf in Cobble & Piccalilli are availble in store at SMUG and online at www.ifeelsmug.com along with the pieces from Hilary’s 2013-14 collection.

 

what betty wore no.2

:: by Lizzie
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Outfits worn during September 2013 in Paris for Design Week.

 

Outfit 1: Multi Plum Geometric Silk Dress – Urban Outfitters, Tan Leather Sandals – Topshop, Brown Cats Eye Sunnies – Topshop, Wooden Bangle – Vintage, Half Moon Tan Leather Handbag – APC

 

Outfit 2: Black and Putty Patterned Onsie – Topshop Petite, Navy Martina Geek T Bar Sandals – Topshop, Wooden Bangle – Vintage, Trio Handbag in Emerald – Celine

 

Outfit 3: Jersey Pocket Dress – YMC, Brown Cats Eye Sunnies – Topshop,  White Jellies – JuJu Jellies, Wooden Bangle – Vintage, Trio Handbag in Emerald – Celine

 

Outfit 4: Navy Scalloped Vest – Topshop, Vintage Sweetshop Skirt – Blitz Vintage Department Store, Silk Multi Patterned Patch Work Jacket – Vanessa Bruno, Navy Martina Geek T Bar Sandals – Topshop, Trio Handbag in Emerald – Celine

 

Outfit 5: Bretton Oversized T – Topshop, Patterned Chinos – H&M, White Jellies – JuJu Jellies, Wooden Bangle – Vintage, Half Moon Tan Leather Handbag – APC

 

Outfit 6: Billie Jean Jumper – Lauren Moffatt, Peg Trousers in Navy – YMC, Tan Leather Sandals – Topshop, Half Moon Tan Leather Handbag – APC

 

Outfit 7: Dress – Aztec Scoop Back Sundress – Asos, Jungle Flowers Jacket – French Trotters, Navy Martina Geek T Bar Sandals – Topshop

 

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what betty wore no.1

:: by Lizzie
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Outfits worn during May and June 2013 in New York whilst on honeymoon.

 

Outfit 1: Navy Round Neck Wool Coat – APC, Indigo Blue Stretch Skinny Jeans – Urban Outfitters, Bretton Top – Gap (hidden), Navy Martina Geek T Bar Sandals – Topshop, Navy Floral Socks – Gap, Sari Fabric Chuckra Scarf – Egg

 

Outfit 2: Black and Putty Patterned Onsie – Topshop Petite, Navy Martina Geek T Bar Sandals – Topshop, 1007 Dark Turtle Sunnies – Culter and Gross

 

Outfit 3: Scoop Back Jersey Dress – YMC, Straw Trilby – Topshop, Cream and Tortoise Shell Wayfairers – Urban Outfitters, Peach Jellies – JuJu Jellies, Wythe Hotel Tote (on loan)

 

Outfit 4: Navy Scalloped Vest – Topshop, Vintage Sweetshop Skirt – Blitz Vintage Department Store, Navy Woven Leather Sandals – Topshop, Half Moon Tan Leather Handbag – APC, Acrylic Tortoise Shell Sunnies – Urban Outfitters

 

Outfit 5 (as Outfit 4 but with the addition of): Silk Multi Patterned Patch Work Jacket – Vanessa Bruno, Felt Camel Bowler Hat – Topshop, Sari Fabric Chuckra Scarf – Egg

 

Outfit 6: Tri-blend Short Sleeve T in Atheltic Grey – American Apparel, Putty Peach and Black Patterned Trousers – H&M, Felted Wool Fedora in Camel – APC, Navy Martina Geek T Bar Sandals – Topshop, Half Moon Tan Leather Handbag – APC, Wooden Bangle – unknown

 

Outfit 7: Berry and Polka Dot Dress – Urban Outfitters, Navy Woven Leather Sandals – Topshop, Sunnies – Culter and Gross, Red Acrylic Bangle – unkown

 

Outfit 8: Black Buttoned Drawstring Dress – Vanessa Bruno, Sari Fabric Chuckra Scarf –  Egg, Peach Suede Heels – Dorothy Perkins, Cream and Tortoise Shell Wayfairers – Urban Outfitters

 

Outfit 9: Vintage Floral Playsuit – Camden Passage Market, Navy Martina Geek T Bar Sandals – Topshop, Acrylic Tortoise Shell Sunnies – Urban Outfitters, Red Acrylic Bangle – unkown

 

Outfit 10: Red Silk Shirt Dress – Alexander Wang, Navy Martina Geek T Bar Sandals – Topshop, Cream and Tortoise Shell Wayfairers – Urban Outfitters, Embroidered Vinatge Clutch – The Wealden Times Fair

 

Outfit 11: Navy Scalloped Vest – Topshop, Indigo Blue Stretch Skinny Jeans – Urban Outfitters, Silk Multi Patterned Patch Work Jacket – Vanessa Bruno, Felted Wool Fedora in Camel – APC, Navy Martina Geek T Bar Sandals – Topshop

 

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