Hurrah, top marks for me, please, because I’ve managed to do the monthly favourites in the month they were the favourites of! And if that’s not the most confusing, possibly grammatically inaccurate sentence you’ve ever read then I don’t know what is.
I have two interiors favourites, a snazzy little cardigan (counts as fashion) and a couple of brilliant beauty bits that have made me scrunch up my toes with delight. Let’s get going:
M&S Animal Print Cardigan, £17.50 at M&S here*
My first favourite has had many (three) admiring comments in real life and hundreds (about a dozen) online but it’s not the mass adulation (“lol”!) that has made me love it. It’s just a really neat, soft cardigan that provides a welcome splodge of print on a dull day. And at £17.50 you just can’t go too far wrong. With high-waisted jeans, with a full skirt and nipped-in waist? Just add pearls…
My second is a tricky one to give any real information on: it’s the floor-to-ceiling storage in my new bathroom. I still haven’t managed to actually clean the bathroom windows properly and so the “reveal” pictures of the whole thing are slow to happen, but as wood is more forgiving in photos than glass I’m happy to show you the cupboards!
The carcasses are made from brown Valchromat, which is a coloured MDF and well worth looking at if you want your cupboards to be anything other than white on the inside and don’t want to have to get them painted. The doors are made from Sapele that has been waxed down to a deeper and richer colour and the grain is just beautiful.
I’ve been yearning for good bathroom storage for years and years – somewhere to put all of the products I’m currently trying out, as well as the solid favourites – and now that I have it, I just can’t believe my luck. It’s like opening the doors into beauty Narnia every time I go in there, and so much easier than rootling through a million sample storage boxes. It means I’m beginning to try more stuff but that also I’m becoming more organised about singling things out to write or talk about. Expect lots of new beauty content after a bit of a hiatus!
Victoria Beckham Posh Lipstick in Pout, £38.50 here*
I’ve mentioned this particular lipstick before, I’m sure of it, but it’s so pricey that I don’t think I’ve made too much of a song and dance about it. However, it’s precisely the colour (just a hint of pink) and texture (glossy, balmy plumpness) that I love and so I’d be doing you a disservice not to mention it. I have to say that the Beauty Pie lipsticks* are very similar in texture – I just need to find the right shade! On it.
Mauli Sacred Union Scent, £68 at Space NK here*
I say something very rude about the effects of this hair and body oil in the video below. You should watch it to find out exactly what. But to give you a hint, every time I dab it on after my nightly bath I’m almost guaranteed…a good time. It’s like it has some sort of magical seduction powers. I don’t think Mr AMR (need to find another name for him now that I’ve retired the “A Model Recommends” branding!) even notices the scent itself, it just seems to have subliminal effects.
Anyway, putting that particular benefit aside, it’s also just a gloriously grounding and relaxing blend of oils and I was pleased as punch that Mauli sent me a bottle of it. I had previously been using a teeny sample for many years, so that gives you an idea of just how potent the stuff is – I’m now sorted for life, I think!
Umbra Flip Hooks, £19.03 at Amazon here*
I loved these flip hooks so much that I went back and bought four more. Well, three more flip hooks and something that looks a bit like pan pipes. All in the warm, rich wood tone that matches what we’ve done with the rest of the house – I do like a materials tie-in!
The flip hooks are metal and they either sit flush into the solid back bar or you can flip them down to hang things. They are so brilliantly made and finished, really robust but also very stylish and elegant. There are loads of different colourways and lengths of these flip hooks – check the link above for some, and the one below for others. There doesn’t seem to be one site that does the whole range together, I had to go to the Aspen site to find the walnut and brass that I show in the video.
Umbra is such a great interiors brand – they do beautifully designed accessories that would normally just be boring and functional. Like bins, mirrors, hooks, towel holders and so on. Some of their stuff reminds me a bit of Alessi, but overall it’s less quirky than that. Highly recommended, all of it. You can find their website with all of their products here, I bought my brass and walnut ones at Aspen here.
The post 5 Fashion, Beauty & Home Favourites | September 2021 appeared first on Ruth Crilly.
My five favourite beauty, fashion and lifestyle products this month include some boots for stomping in, a dress for vamping in and a face cream that moisturises so deeply it’s slightly unnerving. Watch the video below if you fancy listening to me chatting through my favourites or carry on reading for the quiet, work-skive-friendly version.
I kickstart my favourites this month with a really exciting one for me, because I loved this product and brand so much that I’ve actually invested in the company. (Hence the AD disclaimer.) The product is a very high-quality supplement called Heights and it has been specifically formulated to support the brain – braincare, if you will. Now I know that the issue of supplements divides people and so if you’re not a taker then please feel free to scroll on down to just below where there’s a picture of me wearing a dress and looking sultry/dead behind the eyes.
I’m pretty selective about the vitamins/supplements I take and well aware of the noise around the fact that so many of them are – quite frankly – shite, but I’ve also had some noticeable health successes (for want of a better phrase) when I’ve consistently taken certain vitamins and supplements that have been recommended to me.
You could argue that it’s coincidental and obviously it’s anecdotal, because I haven’t been part of any trials or studies, but off the top of my head: my recurring cystitis is massively alleviated when I’m consistently taking D-Mannose, I don’t get my awful mouth ulcers so much when I take Vitamin B12 and making sure I keep up my Vitamin D intake is a priority for me since 2014 when I was tested and shown to be drastically deficient. (All of these were recommended to me by doctors or consultants both privately and through the NHS.)
I think that I’m healthily cynical about the vitamins industry as a whole but feel as though I’ve had enough positive experiences with good quality ones to be open to trying something new. And I loved that the Heights Smart Supplement targeted the brain and the health of the actual organ itself, which wasn’t something I’d thought of before. The capsules (you take two a day, anytime, and they’re fine on an empty stomach) contain all of the Vitamin D I need to take, the Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin B12 and then a careful selection of highest quality vitamins and minerals that help to support the brain.
If you’d like to give them a try then I have a 25% discount code for the monthly plan – use code RUTH25. It works out cheaper the longer the plan you subscribe for, but I did a few months first to see how I got on. Please do let me know what you think if you try them, I find the whole concept so interesting – you can read more about Braincare here.
Next favourites on my list this month: two fashion items. Stompy boots and vixen dress. I have some events coming up for work and wanted a dress that was noticeable (cue bold print) but not too blousy (enter stage left the long sleeves and high neck). There’s something slightly gothic about this Reiss dress* and I really like the autumnal colours in the print. I would never usually go for a high neck but I think that it works so well with the gathering over the chest and across the back – I think it’s really flattering.
Stompy combat boots aren’t perhaps the natural pairing for a printed maxi dress, but I’ve been experimenting with ways of getting more use out of evening/occasion dresses and going down the “Lily Allen circa 2006” route seems to be quite a successful one. Fancy flouncy dresses with trainers. Pretty maxi dresses with hard boots. There’s a proper blog post coming out imminently, but for now, behold the “Stomper” (aptly named) boots from Russel & Bromley:
They’re so beautifully made. Expensive, but worth every penny in terms of build quality and the fact that somehow they still manage to look quite dainty. Initially I was vexed by the laces up the front, because nobody has time for laces, but they’re actually dummy ones and the boots have zips down the sides. Marvellous.
You can find the Stomper boots online here.
Two beauty products now. The Jo Loves Fragrance Paintbrush in Pink Vetiver has been in the favourites before, more for the scent itself than the scent delivery system, but after a few little nights away here and there I’ve noted that the paintbrush is actually quite a nice way of applying perfume. It seems more luxurious than a rollerball – slightly cooling, and the brushstroke is sensuous – and there’s something a bit more enticing about softly stroking a fragrance on. It’s great for travelling with as it’s lighter and sturdier than a glass bottle and handy if you’re in a crowded train or plane and don’t want to spritz perfume on everyone within a five metre radius.
The Paintbrush is here* online and is £40 for 7ml for the initial packaging. Yikes! That’s £5.70 per ml. However the refill set is £35 for 21ml which is much more purse-friendly at £1.66 per ml. For comparison’s sake, the 100ml fragrance in a bottle is £1.15 per ml. I don’t think that the extra is too horrendous considering how convenient the brush is, especially for travel!
You can find the Jo Loves Pink Vetiver range here*. Pink Vetiver is absolutely gorgeous, by the way. I can highly recommend it as an autumnal fragrance that still has sparks of a summer evening. It’s spicy and slightly exotic with a sort of musky masculinity – pink peppercorn, ginger, vetiver and cardamom. Really quite addictive.
Last on my favourites list but absolutely not least: the new Triple Hyaluronic Acid Deep Moisture Miracle Cream from Beauty Pie (online here*). This cream promises deep hydration and boy does it deliver. It’s not quite so dramatic as the Supreme Cream (renamed Power Elixir Moisturiser, here*) but the lightweight gel cream packs an amazing punch in terms of hydration and the effects are noticeably long-lasting. If you’re after a heavyweight moisturiser with a lightweight texture and no greasy residue then this is your bag – suitable for all skin types, it’s perfect for plumping out those crepey lines of dehydration.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Beauty Pie membership system then read my post here; you subscribe to a certain plan and then have a spending allowance. The products are one price for the non-member and another, much lower, price for members. For this cream, the £60 equivalent price (they compare the product to similar luxury products on the market) is brought down to £15.57 for members. Add on membership and postage and you still have a very high-end face cream for significantly less than you’d pay elsewhere.
That’s the idea. It makes more sense once you get your head around it and Beauty Pie’s skincare is so consistently good that it is worth getting your head around it!
If you use the code RUTHSENTME* then you can get an extra £50 spending allowance on sign-up, so make sure you get your bonus if you take the plunge. Some of my most-used favourites are in this post but I would absolutely, unreservedly recommend the new Hot Oil Double Cleansing Balm, here* online.
That’s my favourites done and dusted for this month – I’m toying with the idea of moving this feature into the middle of the month so that the title still feels relevant and timely. What do you think? I sometimes think that once the month has moved on I don’t want to read anything about the previous one. It’s like going backwards. Let me know your thoughts!
Please excuse the filming conditions in this month’s favourites video: firstly a wasp came in to the bedroom (probably trying to escape the building dust in the rest of the house) and then I didn’t have anywhere to put all the crap that was on the bed, because there was so much other crap all over the floor. So I look as though I’m filming mid-house-move, or after I’ve just unpacked from a very long holiday.
I’m neither mid-house-move or recently back from a long holiday. To be quite honest I’d take either of those options over the reality because it would mean that respite was on its way or that I had just missed eight weeks of drilling and sawing. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel and it’s all completely self-inflicted so I’m not complaining – just accounting for the low-budget filming location!
This month’s favourites include sporty trousers, a toilet wipe that’s not an actual wipe and a really, really brilliant idea for a wedding gift list. Or birthday gift list. Or any sort of gift list. Keep on reading – or watch the video further on down the page if you’d prefer to hear my dulcet tones punctuated by loud hammering.
Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer £19.00 at Cult Beauty here*. This has become my most-used mascara and I will be purchasing another when it runs out, which can’t be too long now because I use it all the time. It has a little primer on one end and that fills out the lashes and makes them look longer and then a black mascara to go over the top. It just works so well on my fine, straight lashes and I can forgive the extra bit of faff for such a polished final look. I actually enjoy the extra faff, weirdly…
I’m very pleased with my new side-strip joggers from Me+Em (online here*). They’re flattering and go with pretty much anything, from a casual t-shirt to a smart silk shirt. The mantra always used to be, with sport-luxe, “dress them up with heels”, but sod that. I’m trainers all the way. My ankle bones seem to be made of chalk, now, and cannot cope with the stress of very high heels. It’s something I need to work on. Because I do love the lift of a good, sexy heel…but at the same time quite like not having to worry about breaking my neck getting out of a taxi.
Anyway: the trousers. The side-stripe is elongating, the fabric is just on the smart side of “smart casual” and the tailoring is clever, making the joggers look cool and sporty but pulled-together all at the same time.
The Wipe-Free Wipe
This is clever: a toilet wipe alternative that involves no actual wipe. Wype is a gel that you apply to your normal toilet paper for a freshen-up, rather than using those wet wipe toilet tissues that come in the little sealed packets. (With the seals that only actually seal for about a week and then the wipes all dry up.)
We’ve never really been a wipe-using household, apart from when the kids were babies, but I have always wanted a bidet and so this is the next best thing! Ha. A hell of a lot cheaper and easier than having a bidet installed. (I did want one of those shower toilets but got bored of researching them and also worried that the kids would have far too much fun with it.)
You can find Wype on Amazon here* – it’s £9.99 for a bottle, which equates to about 200 wipes. Non-scented, nothing extra to dispose of and the aluminium bottle is infinitely recyclable.
The Hot Oil Cleanser
Beauty Pie Double Hot Oil Cleansing Balm (Beauty Pie here* – £12.10 with membership, £50 without. You can get an extra £50 spending allowance with the code RUTHSENTME)
Oh this is just glorious. A really luxurious, slippery oil-balm that you can massage over the skin for minutes and minutes with it getting warmer and oilier every second… I love it. It reminds me a lot of Darphin’s Aromatic Cleansing Balm (see review here) except that it isn’t fragranced with essential oils or otherwise. Same dry-skin-pleasing slip, without the fragrant frills. So often these unctuous balm cleansers come heavily fragranced (which personally I love, because I’m a sucker for anything that makes me feel as though I’m in an exotic hotel spa, somewhere hot) and this is a great option for those who want the function but not the smell.
The Gift List Tip
I read a brilliant thing in an interview recently – it’s actually quite an old interview, with Laura Jackson for House & Garden magazine here. In it, Laura talks about how she got her wedding guests to each bring a copy of their favourite book. So they now have a bookshelf filled with the favourite books of their closest friends and family. Brilliant for the recipients and relatively straightforward and inexpensive for the guests. I love this idea.
Three beauty heroes, an excellent cookbook and one of the best presents I’ve ever been given: how much better could a monthly favourites video be?
Here’s a quick rundown of the first four items on the list but you’ll have to watch the video to see the fifth. It’s so cute. I do have a tearful moment at one point…
My first beauty love this month is Le Labo’s cult fragrance Santal 33. It’s spicy, warm, woody, leathery (but a hint of expensive leather, not a male stripper’s oud-soaked leather thong type leather) and just so incredibly sexy. I’ll never do it justice with words, so give it a try next time you pass a stockist. Or if you ever see a gift with purchase that has it in then nab one – the little 15ml sample I have was either from a gift or the Liberty calendar and its RRP is £58! You can find it at Liberty or Cult Beauty here*.
Next on the list, Murad’s incredible Intense Recovery Cream, online here*. It’s almost medicinal in its colour and texture, it feels like the sort of thing you’d use in extreme situations, but it’s absolutely gorgeous on very dry or overcooked skin. And by overcooked I mean too many acids, too much retinol, too much piling on of everything willy-nilly. This is instant relief and you notice a difference overnight. Standalone post coming up, I’m sure.
La Roche-Posay have launched a really lovely facial sunscreen. They are champions when it comes to good sunscreens but this one is a departure from the light and milky Anthelios: the Hyalu B5 Aquagel SPF30 is part of the intensely hydrating Hyalu range and it really, really leaves skin properly quenched. Or drenched. Whatever the term would be. It’s unbelievably lightweight, fresh in feel and I can imagine it’ll be a huge hit, especially for those with oily/combination skin who want a light touch but still require a load of moisture. Find it here at Boots*.
Last mention before you watch the end of the video (I know you’ll skip to it, it’s fine): Table Manners by Jessie and Lennie Ware. It’s such a good recipe book – I’ve cooked two things already and have a dozen or so more bookmarked. The photos are a delight, I love the little anecdotes on every page and you can really tell that the two of them (mother and daughter) love to cook and love to eat. Find it online here*.
Everyone seems to be enjoying my more eclectic mixes of favourites, rather than exclusively beauty, and so this month I give you everything from interiors to – er – linseed. You need to watch the video, really, to get the proper lowdown on the linseed, but I’ve waxed lyrical about my other favourites below.
This has been on my wishlist for years – I have a sort of ongoing “fantasy” wishlist with things on that I don’t really need, but would really very much like. It always has some improbably-priced art on it, a bit of jewellery that I know would be a waste as I’m not a big jewellery-wearer, and then the odd ridiculous dress that would never get worn. But I’ve always wanted a bit of Liberty-print dressing gown because a) I love the prints and b) I know it’s something I will wear daily.
And here it is. This is the Rachel Tana Lawn robe and it is almost brilliant enough to wear as a robe, at a ball or something. I love it. The shoulders are perfectly cut with a bit of a glamorous edge, the cotton is crisp as anything and the print just brings me absolute joy. Yes, pricey, but I’m hoping to get decades – decades I tell you! – of use out of it.
You cand find the Rachel Tana Lawn robe online at Liberty here*.
Oh God, the story behind this flaxseed is for another time entirely. Honestly, it’s so long and drawn-out. But to precis it: a urologist looking into my weird old bladder (I feel as though I always need a wee when I don’t) said that sometimes slow bowel movements can affect your bladder. Or something. Anyway, he recommended a bit of flaxseed every day to “get things moving”. (One of my most hated terms and also subjects.) I’ve been taking these on my porridge or yoghurt every morning. They don’t seem to taste of much – annoying texture as they get in your teeth, but one must endure.
Charlotte Tilbury Hyaluronic HappiKiss
Have you always wanted the high-laquer shine of a lip gloss but not the stickiness and for all of this to be in a convenient, mess-free stick rather than a tube? Here you go then – Charlotte Tilbury’s Happikiss, which is online here*. I’ve been using Crystal, which is a barely-there pink, but there are a few different shades. I’m not sure that intense colour is the aim with these, it’s more the outrageous levels of shine and the impressively moisturising formula. Seriously, I still feel the effects well into the evening after just one application!
If you could bottle sex then this would be it: Amber from Laboratory Perfumes. I’ve narrowed down my favourite “masculine” scents to three now and I’m going to do a video on them. I won’t reveal too much but I can say that none of them are really from mainstream brands, it’s all rather niche.
Anyway, Amber is, as I said, sex in a bottle. Which for me is the scent of an incredibly skilled MI6 spy/assassin who has just finished trekking through the desert, hunting down an evil overlord. Sleeves rolled up, tanned forearms, he’s very cross about the fact that the evil overlord has nabbed the controls to the missile launcher, yet he still has enough energy to think about a quickie on the hot sand. Actually not on the sand, that would be a gynaecological nightmare.
Mad About The House Planner
Last of the “faves” for this month – the new planner from Kate at Mad About The House. This is Kate’s third interiors book and they’ve all been bestsellers for good reason – if you’re thinking about doing any sort of home renovations, re-jigging of layout or even just decorating then you need to read her books first. They are here* online and they are easy to understand, totally non-judgey and – almost uniquely for interiors books – free from titillating house images. Why would that be a bonus? Because her books don’t presume to either know your style or dictate it – you read her advice and your own imagination runs free, without being led by images of rooms you think you should be creating. She guides rather than tells.
The planner continues along this vein and it’s more of a workbook than an actual book – there are sections with great advice, with lists and so on, but the majority of it provides spaces to mess with floorplans or mock up colour schemes and the whole completed book forms a really lovely keepsake to remember the befores and afters and so on.
A lovely idea. The lady can do no wrong if you ask me! You can find the new planner online here*.
And that is it for March – do watch the video if you feel like you need to experience a small injection of springtime; I filmed outside and the birds were singing and the brook was a-babbling. Light at the end of the wintery tunnel…
Two posts in quick succession this week – ambassadors I am really spoiling you! Total misquote there, but if you were born earlier than – I don’t know, about 1985? – then it’s pretty much mandatory to reference the classic Ferrero Rocher ad if you ever use “spoiling you” or “spoiling us” in a sentence. True fact.
If you have no idea what I’m on about, regardez. It’s simply exquisite.
I could do a whole post about this advert and how ridiculous adverts were in general when I was a child, but I need to save that for another day. I’m time poor this week, but thankfully (and unusually) energy rich. It must be the prospect of the schools reopening! Anyway I’m typing like the clappers and working my way through a backlog of posts that need tidying up before my motivation wanes.
February favourites. I’ve tried to keep it eclectic for you again and so we have wood flooring samples alongside cable-knit tights. I know that you appreciate a little variety. I’ve listed the items below the video pane for those of you who want to skim through. If you want to follow my interiors and renovation updates then you need the @casacrilly account on Instagram, here.
YSL Mascara in Brown – is amazing, find it here*: https://bit.ly/3qfC8bY
Flooring samples are from Kahrs in Louisiana and Oregon, they send them for free and you can find loads of places that stock them online!
Hush dress, bought this a few weeks ago and they still have stock*: https://bit.ly/3tpQlWi
Cable-knit tights, again bought a few weeks ago and still in stock here
Robot hoover bought from Amazon, it’s this one here*: https://amzn.to/3qIuhUH
Shirt is by Me+Em, find it here*: https://bit.ly/2O6hgGp
Five favourites from the month of January, in the year 2021, which will surely go down in history as the longest month on record. It’s like when they say on the weather forecast, “the temperature will be at around eight degrees but will feel like two” because of the wind chill factor or whatever it is. Well this month has been thirty one days but has felt like a hundred and thirty one. I thought that it was February about two weeks ago!
My least favourite things of the month have been, in no particular order: homeschooling, making up a Betty Crocker Vanilla Sponge Mix that was inexplicably in my baking cupboard (you mix the powder with oil!) and getting back on my Peloton exercise bike after a two month hiatus.
I’m not a big exercise fan. I do it because I want to retain a good fitness level, not because I’m one of those people who gets a kick out of it; I do walk quite long distances every now and then, and that is all very well and good, but it doesn’t exactly get the heart pumping. The only reason I even remotely tolerate the Peloton is that I can get it done and dusted in twenty minutes, no faffing around in gym changing rooms (if gyms were even open) and trying to find a car parking space and all that nonsense.
I have a thing about gym changing rooms. Did I ever tell you about the time a woman was drying her muff in front of me with a hairdryer? You can tell that it was a good while ago, because who sports a muff now? Nobody, that’s who. Everyone, seemingly, is bare as a burger down there. I feel quite left out with my seventies ‘do.
I digress: this is supposed to be about favourites, not un-favourites, and so let’s get cracking. If you would rather watch me chat this through then scroll down the page immediately and click play on the video screen!
My new glasses. Crikey, these have been a rigmarole. I wanted some the same as Rosie Byrne’s in the TV series Mrs America (she plays Gloria Steinem) and it has taken me five months to track down the right ones, with a central bar and retro feel.
As everything is closed, I had to order them online, get them posted to check I liked them and now I’ve sent them back again to have – get this – light-sensitive brown-tinted ultra-thin prescription lenses put in. I know! I’m going to look like an actual walking time capsule from the seventies.
My glasses are these Givenchy frames – I bought them from Fashion Eyewear in London.
A couple of beauty favourites now, things I’ve used over and over to the point of mild obsession. I had a little flutter yesterday when they weren’t in their usual place in the bathroom and didn’t calm down until I realised I’d been shooting them for this video and they were in the spare room on the windowsill. The first item is the brilliant Discoloration Defense Serum from Skinceuticals, £85 here*, which is pricey in comparison to general beauty pricing levels but not for a Skinceutials product. This helps tackle dark spots and discolouration and worked a treat on my patches that came up along my cheekbones last spring/summer. There’s a whole post about that here if you want to read more!
The other beauty bit is Dermalogica’s Active Clay Cleanser (£35 here*) which does a great job of keeping skin clear and deeply-cleansed with absolutely no aggressiveness or tendency to dry out the skin. Great for those who are suffering a little with congestion from wearing a mask or being stuck inside eating Jelly Babies for two of their meals a day or combination of both, it’s a soft alternative to using one of those proper deep-cleansing clay masks and a lot more pleasant and convenient to use. Just apply a layer, let it sit for a while (I do thirty seconds) and then remove with a warm flannel. I use it every other night when I’m in the bath and have become quite attached.
Sleep Salts from Aroma Active Laboratories, £15 here*. Now I know I’ve been very vocal about the benefits of buying Epsom Salts buy the 20-kilo and adding your own essential oils (please read my detailed post here, if you want to save some money and have the world’s most relaxing bathing experience) but these pre-mixed salts have a very clever aromatherapy blend going on. Not surprising seeing as though the brand-behind-the-brand is It absolutely knocks you for six, so don’t use them before you’re about to go to your job in, I don’t know, heavy engineering or open heart surgery. Do use them, however, if you’re constantly anxious and find it hard to unwind before bed. They are the business.
Back to fash-un and this remarkably simple-but-clever jumper from Me+Em. It doesn’t have to be this particular jumper, it’s more a category of Me+Em jumpers called “all the ones with the removable snoods”. What a great idea! You start the day off by putting on a jumper that to the rest of civilisation looks like a roll neck, or polo neck, or whatever it is called when your jumper has one of those big, high necklines that tickles your chin. It’s chilly, you want full coverage, the neckline makes you feel cosy and great. But by 10.30am the neck is pissing you right off, for want of a more polite phrase – it’s making you feel claustrophobic and itchy and generally so irritated that you can’t function. No problem – you can whip that neck right off! The knitted one, obviously! So these Me+Em jumper+snood combos are an incredibly good idea. And with the heavier weight jumpers the snood part just sits atop the jumper, anchored by its own bulk. No buttoning needed.
You can find a whole load of examples on their website here* – deep breath, they’re definitely an investment, but the quality, cut and general execution of everything Me+Em make is just superb.
This photo is completely unrelated to the video content but it’s been a while since Mr Bear has pulled one of his classic “unamused” faces here on the blog and so I hope all is forgiven. Also I have taken to filming my Youtube videos on my iPhone, for ease and because the microphone is so much better than on any of the snazzy expensive cameras, but it means that I keep forgetting to take thumbnail pictures to use for the posts.
So cat it is. And a witch’s hat.
Five favourites for you again and it’s a relatively eclectic mix of vintage chairs, mad dresses and beauty products that have wowed me. You can find links and more details below the video pane!
@teenytinyemporium on Instagram for vintage finds, Vichy Neovadiol Rose Platinum Eye Cream*: https://bit.ly/321a4Q5, Living Proof No Frizz Vanishing Oil*: https://bit.ly/3mH0UAq, SpaceNK Beauty Joy Gift*: https://bit.ly/2VjWoi0 Maje Dress (Sold Out) from The Outnet*: https://bit.ly/3244xsd
In what might be considered the rebrand of the century, the monthly 5 Beauty Favourites feature has now become…
…5 Favourites. It took me a hell of a long time to come up with the new title format and so please do show your appreciation in the comments below. Ha. In response to your overwhelming positivity on the matter (and also my own ever-increasing boredom) I have expanded the monthly favourites to include things I’ve loved from all manner of categories. Food, clothing, lifestyle, interiors, health; the list will, I am sure, go on and on.
And so I bring you 5 Favourites: September 2020 (catchy!) with something for just about everyone. There’s a video at the bottom of the post if you hate reading words and there are words for those who hate the sound of my voice. If you’re a glutton for punishment then you can read the post and watch the video!
Favourite 1: The Peloton
At time of filming I hadn’t had the new Peloton Bike+ delivered and so here I refer to the original home spinning bike which has had its price cut to a still quite astonishing £1750. It’s eye-watering, I know, but it would be no exaggeration to say that this futuristic exercise bike has completely changed my fitness life. In that before I had the Peloton I was doing nothing towards my health and fitness and now I can cycle almost six miles in twenty minutes.
I bloody love it. I actually look forward to getting on the saddle, choosing my class (or you can join live ones) and working so hard that my vision goes blurry. I love it so much I’ve returned the original Peloton and gone for the new one which is even more hideously expensive, but with both the adults in the household using it daily and looking and feeling a million times better for it, I can’t actually think of a better investment we’ve made in recent years.
I’m about to do a review video on the new Peloton Bike+ so make sure you’re following on Instagram – you can find my video on the original bike on IGTV here.
Favourite 2: Clipper Sleepy Tea
It’s not actually called Sleepy Tea at all, it’s Sleep Easy, and it smells a bit like old cow dung when you open the foil pouch, but persevere and you’ll find a delectable bedtime infusion with orange, chamomile and valerian. I think I’ve tried the majority of sleep teas on the mainstream market and this is my repeat buy – I do like the Tea Pigs one for the big lumps of actual apple and whole blossoms inside the bag (it’s like someone has wrapped up a fairies’ tea party in a hurry!) but Clipper’s pips it to the post.
I like to drink a mug of it whilst I’m in one of my special Epsom Salt baths. Double whammy. I can’t even read a sentence of my book when I get into bed before falling asleep!
Favourite 3: Louis de Poortere Antiquarian Rug
I’ve bought four rugs from Louis de Poortere now but this is the largest and most extravagant – it needed to be because the floor it covers is in “the new room” and is quite expansive. But it’s absolutely one of my favourite home purchases since we moved to this house – it’s amazing how some pattern and warmth can suddenly pull a room together and make a large space feel cosy.
You can find this particular rug online here, they do loads of different sizes. It has a traditional, slightly distressed feel to it but it’s actually new. Which usually I’d hate, but I couldn’t be doing with trawling through loads of old rugs to find “the one” that just happened to be a) authentic and b) the right size and c) the right colour! I like buying second hand and I’d say that way more than half of my furniture and home stuff is vintage but sometimes I have to draw the line…
Favourite 4: StricVectin Daily Reveal Pads
You’re going to be hearing a lot about these one-swipe wonder pads – they’re seriously impressive. They contain four different exfoliating acids for that immediate look of brightness we’re now quite familiar with, but the difference is that they also leave your skin feeling really moisturised. They have that instant “fresh” feel that you tend to get with acid peel pads (usually the alcohol evaporating) but just seconds after you finish wiping your face, the skin develops an almost oily layer. Not greasy or unpleasant, but certainly enough that I wouldn’t bother with serum and moisturiser afterwards!
The ultimate one-step facial, then. I think they’re great – you can find them online here*; they’re £39 for 60 pads which is a few months’ worth if you use two or three times a week, which would be my personal preference.
Favourite 5: Simple Protect n Glow Rest & Reset 72h Hydrating Gel
A cheeky little bargain for you; I think that this little pot of lightweight, fresh-feel gel moisturiser is as good as the pricey ones. Thing Moisture Surge on a budget. If you hate oily or heavy face creams but have skin that’s slightly dehydrated then give this a try, it’s a pretty safe investment! Ditto if you want something to layer on beneath your SPF. You can find it at Boots here*, it’s £6.99.
Fancy a quick blast through the beauty things that have wowed me recently? Well buckle up, team, this is going to be quite the ride!
I’m exaggerating, obviously, because it’s just a post about beauty favourites so there are never going to be any significant potholes or humpbacked bridges to throw you out of your proverbial seat. I just feel as though I need an inventive and enticing way to introduce the post because beauty feels so…vanilla after all we’ve been chatting about recently. You know, tick removal and having sex with mermaids. As Mr AMR said to me last week: how do you ever go back to normal content when you’ve written about underwater love with a sequinned penis?
(You can read all about the intricacies of merperson sex here.)
But I take pride in my professionalism and so I’m going to try my hardest to get back to business – exemplary eyeshadows, exclusive perfumes and a conditioner that’ll leave your hair silkier than a mermaid’s. Although NOT a mermaid who’s been in an aqua-aerobical tryst with King Triton.
(In fact why would mermaids even have silky hair? Surely the salt water plays absolute havoc! I bet it’s a full time job just keeping it detangled. You’d be there at your clam shell dressing table all day sorting that mess out and don’t even get me started on the amount of moisturiser you’d need for your shrivelled up skin.)
Anyway, back to the favourites: I’m particularly fond of this little collection. A whisper of lace, a hint of sparkle and a whole bucketful of quality essential oil. Sounds like a recipe for my kind of party!
I don’t even know what I mean by that. Here’s the video, but carry on reading for the full post.
My first favourite of the month: the John Masters Organics Honey & Hibiscus Conditioner, £29 here*. I mentioned a mask from the same range a while back and that’s glorious too, but I actually think that the conditioner pips it to the beauty post. It’s quicker, more convenient and leaves your hair just as smooth and silky as the reconstructor treatment. No residue, easy to rinse off, gorgeous smell. It’s just exemplary.
Then the Aromatherapy Associates Shower Oil, £26 here*. You can’t get better than the original, hero product that this brand makes (confusingly called Aromatherapy Associates Bath and Shower Oil); it’s just aromatherapy perfection. One tiny capful of the concentrated oil blend into a warm bath and you’re transformed into whatever improved state the bottle promises – deeply relaxed, perhaps, or lightly revived, depending on which version you choose.
But for those who don’t have a bath, the original is a bit of a faff. You get around the lack of standing water issue by patting a small amount of the oil onto your chest and “inhaling the scent”, but really. It’s a (literal) booby prize in comparison to the real deal, the instant bath-to-spa experience.
And so the new dedicated shower product is a welcome launch – it cleanses and allows you to enjoy the benefits of the aromatherapy blends all at the same time. There are fewer scent versions but the all important and very best one is present – Deep Relax – and for me that’s the only one that matters!
I think my favourite-favourite this month is the beautiful Quentin Monge x Atelier Cologne launch. Atelier Cologne have done quite a few amazing collaborations but this one has really excited me – Quentin Monge produces some of the most recognisable, iconic illustrations in the world and his design for the Clementine California fragrance is so unbelievably cool. This is a proper collector’s item – I can imagine people in 2065 unboxing their pristine Quentin Monge perfumes and making a video for whatever futuristic video platform that exists in 2065.
“GUYS!” they’ll say. “Oh my God, Granny found this awesome box of beauty stuff from the olden days and look at this bottle! I think the woman in the illustration is, like, lying in the sun? Which is weird, but they used to do weird shit back then. LOL. Like go to these places to all eat together, on the same table, in the same room. I think they were called restrooms. Or restaurants. Whatever.”
The fragrance can be bought alone, as a large bottle, or as a very beautiful gift set including a large 100ml bottle, a 30ml bottle and a leather travel pouch. The gift set is £153 at Selfridges here* and the 100ml fragrance is £98 here*. The scent is, as you can probably imagine, very orangey but in a light and sexy way. Incredibly wearable, utterly delicious.
Talking about incredibly wearable and utterly delicious, this month’s favourites round-up includes a wonderful independent lingerie brand called Attollo. Attollo first got in touch with me a couple of years ago when I was talking about annoying bra sizes on Instagram. I kept getting measured in department stores as 30G (I had just stopped breastfeeding, I think!) or 30FF, yet they had very little to offer me in those sizes. It sort of seemed pointless, really, to tell me I was that size. Why give someone a size that isn’t catered for?
So there wasn’t much out there for me at all – a handful of styles I liked – and when Attollo got in touch to say that they actually specialised in small back sizes with large cups I was delighted to see that their bras were dainty, sexy and didn’t have inch-wide rubber backed shoulder straps.
It’s proper treaty underwear – luxury lace, exquisite detailing and flattering longline cuts that make you feel a million dollars. Go and have a meander around on their website – the range is small but everything it needs to be.
Finally, some cream eyeshadows that wowed me and therefore went straight into my permanent makeup bag. Trinny London’s eye2eye cream shadows are well-pigmented, slide on softly and easily but set well and stay on all day. I’ve tried them before and loved them but I usually steer towards the muted neutral tones; a little line-up of terracotta and peachy shades landed on my desk the other week and they instantly struck me as being perfect for late summer. Burnished, sizzling reddish metallics. Vaguely reminiscent of the sun going down on an exotic beach that most of us are too nervous to visit.
I tried Fortitude, a metallic burgundy and Courage which is a deep pinky copper. Both look outrageously good, even splodged on and smudged with a fingertip. You can find them here* – shadows are £18 each and the cream formula makes lids look fresh and sheeny rather than flat and powdery.
Here endeth my monthly favourites sermon – remember that (if you have a spare hundred hours or so) you can scroll back through all of my favourites over the past DECADE by clicking here.