clerkenwell design week best bits

:: by Lizzie


Just in case you didn’t make it to Clerkenwell Design Week this year, or if you did and want to swap best bits, here’s the low down on what I liked the most at CDW15.


F A R M I L O E  B U I L D I N G :

Usually my favourite place to start, mostly because I love the building, but it’s also probably the biggest part of the event. Dubbed ‘Design Factory’, the contents of the Farmiloe Building during the event is a good mix of a few newbies along with the same old faces you’d hope to see. You can take a look at the full Design Factory list here. The majority of stands are furniture based but there are smaller scale collections of prints, stationery, terrariums (you couldn’t move for terrariums this CDW – blog post on planting your own coming soon), lighting and even glasses in the ‘retail’ section upstairs. Favourites in the building included Stella Works, Pinch and Dyke & Dean with their Lighting Pick ‘n’ Mix offering. Dyke & Dean sell a fair amount of marbled enamelware too which is right up my street and happens to be coming soon to SMUG so keep your eyes open for that.


O L D  S E S S I O N S  H O U S E :

A brand new venue for CDW15 and a building I had never been in before, Sessions House is absolutely stunning. It’s rarely open to the public and you wouldn’t necessarily realise what you were missing from the outside. Extremely impressive and crisply painted vaulted ceilings meet exposed and roughly plastered walls, telling a tail of many years, layers and colours. Culturally conscious brands such as Timorous Beasties and Gubi were selected by Icon to be in their ‘House of Culture’ as it was named. Nice collections but the building definitely stole the show. If you ever get a chance, peek inside!


I was a little disappointed with the Vitra Jean Prouvé Retrospective which was my next stop. I was hoping for vintage originals and lots of story telling but was greeted with newly launched ‘classics’ and a printed timeline. The free cup of tea and the little cork pinboard and desk shot (avec terrarium) pictured above sort of made up for it.


A D D I T I O N S :

Dedicated to small design pieces and interior accessories, Additions, housed in St James’s Crypt was a important spot for me to visit. Matt Pugh, long term SMUG designer, showed his new collection as well as some old favourites. Our SMUG exclusive Matt Pugh Owl in Pale Blue had been featured in Stylist’s Style List that day and Matt had a copy opened to the correct page on his stand. Good timing eh? Also worth mentioning are Not Another Bill who have been doing the rounds recently. I saw them first at Pick Me Up earlier in the year. They basically send you (or a friend if you sign them up) beautiful presents in the post at prearranged regular intervals. What’s not to love? I’d sign up myself if it wasn’t for the fact that we seem to sell almost all of their gift options at SMUG. I’m sensing the founders and I have rather similar taste!


Slightly off the beaten track, but well worth a visit, was a lovely accessories pop-up led by M.Hulot. The shop included beautiful work by Eleanor Bolton (and M.Hulot of course), both of whom are SMUG designers, so I stopped by for a good look and a chat. Another brand involved in the collective was Herb Lester Associates who ‘look for the usual and unusual’ in their beautifully designed travel guides. I own several and would highly recommend them for you next trip to Paris, New York, Lisbon etc etc…


C D W  P R E S E N T S :

Every year Clerkenwell Design Week presents new design projects and street spectacles, commissioned specially for the festival and featured prominently around Clerkenwell. Below is an image of Verve, a Johnsons Tiles intervention along the entrance to the Farmiloe Building which was rather lovely. My favourites this year though were Glaze on St John’s Square by architects Cousins & Cousins, a more low key wall mural by Monotype entitled ‘Celebrate’ and the perfectly pastel Vita Contemplativa by Gruppe (all pictured in the slideshow above).


Also pictured is the small flower garden/intervention along the side of Borne & Hollingsworth Buildings in Clerkenwell which I saw on my journey home. I thought it particularly inspiring as I’ve been working away on replanting our balcony this spring. More to come on that soon.




my travel skincare and makeup

:: by Lizzie


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.




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.




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!




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!




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.


my top 5 stands at Pulse 2015

:: by Lizzie


In my line of work you go to quite a few trade fairs and see a LOT of new designers work, week in, week out. So when I made my trip to Pulse 2015 I thought it might be interesting to do a round up for the blog of the stands that I thought were designed and curated the best. In short, my favourite 5 stands. The designers/makers/distributers below deserve big props in my opinion for standing out from the crowd and curating their wares in delightful ways. So, in no particular order my top 5 stands are…


1.  W I T  S H O P


“WitShop are Jakob Creswell-Rost and Freya Hawtin. A design duo who formed in Leeds in 2011 after meeting while studying a degree in Furniture. WitShop design and manufacture design-led stationery and homewares.”



2.  I N K  B A N D I T


“Founded by independent designer Claudette Tinsley, Ink Bandit’s collection of fun and vibrant products combine illustration with contemporary design and inspired by a love of nature, folk art and awkward humour.”



3.  E K A T E R I N A  T R U K H A N


“Trukhan draws her inspiration from everyday life, long walks in parks, mid-century illustration and the books she had when she was a child.”



4.  C O R B Y  T I N D E R S T I C K S


“Corby Tindersticks aims to create fun design and illustration for kids and grown ups.”



5.  M E N ‘ S  S O C I E T Y


“Men’s Society source, style and design the very best in men’s gifts for their clients ensuring that they have a tailored, unique and fast selling gift collections.”



To shop the SMUG edit from Men’s Society click here.







the spring nail colour edit

:: by Lizzie


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!




may day bank holiday round up

:: by Lizzie


I think it’s about time I started really getting into the world of blogging. I’m loving reading other people’s inspiring and entertaining posts. It seems pretty often what I enjoy most is reading what others with similar interests to myself are up to – be it those in the design world, beauty and fitness (keep your eyes open for more of that on The Smuggler), cooking, fashion or gardening. I’m really enjoying vlogs (video blogs if you didn’t know), monthly favourites, recipe posts etc etc and thought I might give it a go myself. You’ll still be able to find regular news on my Islington Lifestyle Store SMUG, Interviews with Designers, Area Guides and more on The Smuggler but I thought I’d try to give readers a bit of an idea of what I’m doing ‘in-between’. Bear with me as I learn the art of making my funny old life bloggable. Hopefully along the way you’ll find something interesting.


So, the  M A Y  D A Y  B A N K  H O L I D A Y  R O U N D  U P  is blog post number one in this new vein of form. (I quite like it when people do that caps and spacing thing. That was my first time. Such a novice!) Anyway… I thought as we (me and my husband Daniel who’ll probably come up a fair bit in these blog posts, much to his dismay) had a fairly jam-packed weekend planned for the May Day bank holiday, maybe I’d share it with you.




S A T U R D A Y :

The first bank holiday weekend in May happens to be our wedding anniversary. Well Star Wars Day, May the 4th, is the exact day so we try to take it off work. We are big Borough Market lovers so popped over to London Bridge on the bus for lunch.

We each had sausage rolls caked in tomato ketchup (a bit of a tradition), I then moved on to a fresh juice. I’m really getting into juices and smoothies at the mo and am having them for breakfast often. I’ve been inspired by Deliciously Ella (as have lots of you I’m sure) and have been making them at home on the regs. I picked up a Passionfruit, Banana and Orange juice from Total Organics which was delicious! Here’s a similar recipe if you fancy making one yourself. Danny then chowed down on a Pork Belly Sandwich from Roast – a firm favourite in the Evans Gleadall household. After purchasing some Parmesan cheese, chocolate covered banana and honey cashews we hopped on the bus back North.

I had to go in to work briefly to cover lunch breaks and was delighted to be greeted with the news that our recent HAY order had arrived. I’ve been looking forward to the Marble Erasers arriving in particular. The lovely Sarah Strang popped by to see me and we had a juice downstairs in the yard at CAFE SMUG. After a quick catch up it was time to meet up with Danny and get to the framers. For our first wedding anniversary a year ago we bought ourselves a print at Pick Me Up which we still hadn’t framed so decided to try a framers we’d noticed on Stoke Newington Highstreet. I’m planning a blog post on framing and framers so keep your eyes open for that. Drinks at the Clapton Hart for Eleonora’s birthday and a ‘Leviticus’ Curry at my brother’s house finished off day one nicely.




S U N D A Y :

Sunday was full of meeting up with friends and eating food. The perfect combo. We started the day with a delicious brunch to celebrate our friends’ Linus and Tehila’s engagement at the Zetter Hotel in St. John’s Square. Their restaurant which is great for breakfast/brunch is now called Grain Store Unleashed which is a bit of a weird name but the food and service continue to be solid. I had a fruit salad followed by American pancakes with maple syrup and bacon. You can see the full menu here.

We then nipped along to meet other friends Lydia and Krystle (or Birdie and Power Nap as we like to call them) at Pick Me Up in Somerset House. Peter Judson and Hattie Newman were favourites. No purchases made this year but a nice time was had by all. After Toblerone and Salted Caramel Cupcakes at Primrose Bakery, we made our way to Shepherd’s Bush for dinner at Ben and Knomes’s house. (I told you there was a lot of eating). A superbly cooked salmon and asparagus carbonara was followed by freshly baked Vanilla Madeleines – all by Knomes who is a super duper chef and professional baker. With full bellies and happy hearts we headed home for some eps of Entourage and bed.




M O N D A Y :

Our actually anniversary started with a big old lie in, followed by an epic and beautiful walk, a nap (my favourite thing to do on a day off) topped off with a wonderful dinner at one of our favourite restaurants Trullo. I’d really recommend the walk which we started at Gillespie Nature Reserve very near Arsenal tube and took through Finsbury Park and along to Highgate Wood. It’s called the Parkland Walk and you can take it all the way to Alexandra Palace if you fancy it. Lovely walk. We bussed it home. Obvs. Bit much to do both ways. Clissold Park, where we live, is currently home to a fun fair which means – ice cream vans! I had a ‘Bunnies’ (Mr Whippy with two flakes – who knew?!) Lovely day. Lovely dinner. Lovely weekend. Thanks for reading.