A quick little beauty post to break up the contact lens content. I mean, I’m verging on becoming an eye blogger at this point. There are two or three posts on laser eye surgery to come yet and who knows what eye-related things I’ll find to write about after that?
Sunglasses? Lash growth serums? I’m sure the world is my proverbial oyster.
Anyway, here are a few of the things that are nearly always in my travel bag – bits and pieces I find useful or that save space. Most of my travelling is domestic and for one or two nights at a time and so it becomes almost a competition against my own self to see how small and light I can make my luggage. If I can fit everything into one large handbag (ie a spare pair of knickers, cotton nightdress and some toiletries) then I feel really very pleased with life. Here we go then – there’s a video further on down the page, too, for those who like to have a voice on in the background while they do the dishes…
Elizabeth Arden Retinol Capsules
These are the biggest space-savers – serums in capsules. Throw two into your makeup bag and you have the treatment part of your skincare routine sorted. Arden do these in various forms; Vitamin C, Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid and a barrier strengthening one so there’s something for all concerns. I love these. The retinol ones are currently on offer, quite spectacularly, here*.
Sali Hughes Daily Exfoliant
A new fixture in my travel bag, this daily exfoliant is ever so gentle but used regularly gives a great glow and helps to keep my skin clear. The big bottle is brilliantly priced. Find it online here*.
Soft Silicone Ear Plugs, Noise Cancelling
Not a beauty item, or a mini, but I forget myself once I start filming! These ear plugs (orange weird-looking things in the photos above) are very well-priced compared to the Alpine ones that I use for sleeping. They’re not noise-obliterating, but I like them for muffling ambient sound if I’m trying to work and I’m on a train or in a hotel bar or something. I don’t like listening to music or podcasts when I work because I find them distracting so these are always on hand. Find them here*.
Le Labo Santal 33
Possibly the most expensive travel mini known to man, but it’s my favourite perfume and I wouldn’t ever get it as a small size again, I’d buy big (or put it on my Christmas list!) and refill from that. It’s just one of the loveliest, sexiest perfumes I’ve ever smelled – warm, woody, slightly smokey but with a light touch. Find it at Liberty here*.
Aromatherapy Associates Bath & Shower Oils
You only need to buy these in a small size once: it’s more to discover and find out which oil blends you love, then you can invest in a full-size bottle and know that you will always have spa-level, mind-transporting bathroom moments gloriously on tap. I have been a mega-fan of AA oils for as long as I have been beauty blogging – Deep Relax and Equilibrium are my favourites – and they truly do what they say on the bottle. You only need a teeny bit at a time and so the little sampling bottles are perfect for holidays or short breaks. Just top up from the big one when you’re home! Find the discovery set (and full sizes) here*.
It’s favourites time, but this time they’re supercharged. The first favourite thing has changed my life and I’m not being dramatic and clickbait-y about it, either; the second favourite is a book that had me audibly cheering as I read it (in just two sittings) in bed last week. The rest of the favourites are also brilliant but it was the first two that inspired my latest video (bottom of the page) and therefore this, the accompanying post. And so without further ado:
I’m sick of saying and writing the word Waterfall; the video took me three attempts, then I spent an hour editing it, now I’m writing about it. I’ve said Waterfall more times in the past day than in the entire rest of my life. But all is forgiven because honestly, these little chewable D-Mannose tablets have changed my life.
You know how I had constant cystitis? You can read the odd post here and there, I think I tailed off with talking about it because it was frankly depressing and I had a cystoscopy which was horrible and I just didn’t want to share anymore, but – in short – it’s something I had suffered with since late teens. Triggers include winter, sitting down for long periods, not sitting down for long periods, getting a cold back, sex, any alcohol, no alcohol, no sex, holidays, breathing. You get the picture.
After numerous tests, both NHS and private and with no discernible outcome, I had just resigned myself to a lifetime of antibiotic bouts and not being able to drink wine and/or have raucous sex. But two of the things I had been recommended by both consultants was to a) up my fibre and b) try out regular intake of D-Mannose. I tried with the upping of the fibre but the D-Mannose intake was one of those things I – for unknown reasons – resisted. I think it was maybe because the cheap tablets I had were SO big (I have to break them in half) and when I wasn’t actually getting any cystitis warning symptoms I’d simply forget to take them.
Well after my third consecutive cystitis knock-down before Christmas I was desperate to find a way to reduce the occurrences. Also one of the courses of my usual antibiotics had failed to work, which terrified me, and so I ordered a whole load of different D-Mannose products to try them out. Powders, pills and these: the Waterfall Peppermint chewable tablets (here*).
Now I don’t really know whether they are any better than the others out there on the market, in terms of strength or ingredients, but it’s the pure fact that they are like a sweet that keeps me eating them. I have six a day and increase it on the rare occasion I’m going to be doing one of my “cystitis danger activities”, and because I have them on me, whether they’re in my handbag or on my desk or in the car, I know I’ll remember to take them.
They are very pricey compared to my usual ones but – touch wood – I haven’t had a problem since mid-December. Not only that, my usual “irritable bladder” symptoms, – ie always feeling I need to go for a wee, a constant feeling of dread, etc – have almost entirely disappeared.
All of this is completely my own experience and obviously I’m not even remotely a medical expert or advisor, but it’s actually not an expensive outlay to give D-Mannose – regular and consistent taking of D-Mannose – a go. You can get far cheaper options than the Waterfall peppermint ones, it’s just that they make me take them more regularly. Because it’s like chomping sweets. Which has been the gamechanger, I think.
(Realise suddenly chomping six more sweets a day has its own drawbacks but they’re not big. And anyway, preferable to constantly feeling as though your bladder is about to self-combust.)
Anyway, give D-Mannose a Google. There’s plenty of NHS stuff about it – it’s basically a sugar that stops E-Coli bacteria from growing in the urinary system. I wish I had taken it more seriously years ago, it would have saved me a hell of a lot of aggravation and upset!
You can find the peppermint tablets here*.
Enough of my bladder and urethra, though – let’s talk books!
Rarely have I read a book that resonated with me more. Which is weird because (mild spoiler alert) it’s about a mother who is turning into a dog. But of course that’s not really what it’s all about: it’s about losing your identity in stay-at-home-motherhood and (whispers!) boredom in stay-at-home-motherhood and it’s also all about the trade-offs and anxieties and losses of identity for mothers who don’t entirely stay at home, or who are barely at home. It’s a raw, almost feral examination of transformation after childbirth and also of inequalities in relationships with regards to childcare and nurture and – oh God, just read it.
There were parts that didn’t resonate with me, of course, but there were entire passages, pages, chapters that just had me agog with how accurate they were and how in any other hands the subjects being discussed would perhaps make the protagonist sound ungrateful, spoiled, self-indulgent, mad, all of the above. But you just know what she’s about. It’s great. I loved it and have been recommending it to all of my friends, even if most of them have given me an odd look and said ‘wait, you’ve only just read Nightbitch?’
Nightbitch in paperback is online here*
Alas, sold out now in black but there’s an incredibly funky lighter one here*, I’ve found my perfect chunky winter cardicoatigan. It has distinct seventies ski lodge vibes, which is a vibe I can get along with, and it was from The Outnet so had money off. Always a bonus.
You may recall that I’m on a constant search for good long cardis – just found this post from years ago! – because they are so versatile and a dream for lazy dressers like me. I think my love of cardigans will follow me to the grave.
I’m massively pleased with my latest haircut. And I know I’ve said this for the past few, since it’s been shorter, but it’s something of a new era for me. I’ve finally managed to get past my obsession with having to tie it up all the time. I’ve become accustomed to the feeling of it hanging loose and the odd tickle around my face no longer irritates me quite so much. Interestingly I’ve also had less stress headaches since I’ve stopped pulling my hair back into a bun for 90% of the time.
Curing my own ailments, one favourite at a time!
I get my hair done at The Suite in Bath – usually by Mathilde but currently with Cassie Permial, if you’re in Bath and want to ask for her! Both are brilliant.
Final favourite, or “fave” or “favorite” depending on your age and geographical location: the Support Equilibrium Bath & Body Oil from Aromatherapy Associates. It’s just gorgeous. I’ve always been a die-hard Deep Relax blend person (and so is my Mum, we both find it so effective when we need to de-stress and get a good sleep) but recently I started experimenting with other blends and Support has almost immediately placed itself right up there with Deep Relax on my leaderboard.
It’s far more floral and optimistic than Deep Relax but still with a very grounding, deep sort of base. Ooh, I’ve just Googled: it has Frankincense in it! No wonder I bloody love it. Anything with Frankincense usually worms its way into my stash quite quickly.
Harrods currently have this on sale, for some reason – no idea why as it’s full price elsewhere but I’m not complaining! It’s £38.50 instead of £55 here*. AA oils are expensive but for a reason: I haven’t found any better for the bath and body yet and I’ve been testing hundreds of them over the course of thirteen years.
Added to my bargain basement Epsom Salts (here*) it’s the best luxurious bathing experience money can buy! I like to think that the savings on the salts justify the price of the oils, but in fact the oils are so good they need no justification and you need the teeniest bit each time.
Marvellous: here’s the video for extra info and enthusiasm and drama.
Some lovely, melty-textured makeup bits that’ll see you through the rest of summer and take you nicely into Autumn.
Oh God! The A-Word!
I hate myself for even using it, because the summer months are what I live for, but all good things must come to an end. Also, the summer holidays stress me out more than they ever relax me, September is always a welcome break. I still think of September as being a new year and a fresh start – empty notebooks waiting to be filled, the smell of unworn plimsolls. Is anyone else still stuck in their school years, decades on?
Back on topic: these are all relatively new makeup launches and (apart from the annoying fiddly cap on the cream eyeshadow) make near-perfect additions to any makeup bag. Highlights include a brilliant tinted sunscreen (one that could easily replace your sheer foundation if you were after an all-in-one summer weather multi-tasker) and a cream bronzer that buffs into the skin to give the most beautiful, diffused colour.
Read on for all of the details or, if you’d prefer to watch me talking and applying the products, scroll down to the video at the bottom of the page.
I think that this tinted sunscreen is one of the best beauty launches of the year. There’s a whole rave about it in my previous post about SPF top-ups but, in short, it’s a sheer skin base with full SPF50, UVA and UVB protection and it comes in lots of shades. It’s easily doable to apply the recommended amount to your face (1/4 teaspoon) without it looking overdone or claggy and I don’t find I need a separate moisturiser beneath it.
The coverage is by no means “full” but if you’re after the ultimate all-in-one skin product with colour, minimal coverage and full sun protection then this is it. Find it at Space NK here* – it’s £38 for 50ml.
If you prefer your skin to look naturally sunkissed rather than obviously bronzed then Charlotte Tilbury’s new cream Sun-Kissed Glow bronzer (£42 here*) is a solid investment. It’s as pricey as Chanel’s Les Beiges version but has the same soft-focus effect when buffed into the skin and comes in four shades rather than Chanel’s two. This is sophisticated bronzing that seamlessly melds into your makeup base rather than sitting on top – if you’d like to see it in action then watch the video at the bottom of the page. It’s such a lovely, grown-up effect.
You can find the Sun-Kissed Glow bronzer online in all four shades – I wear shade two, medium, but in winter I could be tempted to notch down to shade one and apply more copiously. It’s nicely buildable.
I like this very summery highlighter. It won’t be for everyone, especially not those with oily or combination skin, but if you love a sheeny finish to your makeup and also a bit of movement, where the skin and the makeup all look flexible and natural rather than set in place, you’ll really like it. It almost feels more like a luxury body product than a face one – it smells unbelievably nice and comes in a little bottle with a pump – but tap it onto cheekbones and you can instantly see how it adds a gorgeous non-glittery glow.
I tried all shades of this but I think Midas is the best on me – it has a slight warmth that works really well on summer skin. See video below.
This is a great summer-autumn eye colour and the cream formula blends in so nicely. Not sure that the tube with the tiny cap is very user-friendly and you need to squeeze out the tiniest amount of product otherwise all hell breaks loose but this would last you a long, long time even with daily use.
I love the shade “Flare”, which has just the right degree of beigey-warmth beneath the shimmer; you can do a brilliant one-shadow eye look with this, it highlights in all the right places. See video for application.
The shade name Bungalow really tickles me. It’s a very unglamorous-sounding word, like bungle. But the shade itself is lovely – the perfect amount of pink to make it pretty but with a neutral edge to keep it subtle. The gloss formula is marginally less sticky than your usual gloss, which is something to celebrate – I’m wearing it as I type and I’ve had it on for around five hours. Granted I haven’t eaten or drunk anything or even spoken to anyone, but it still has all the sheen and colour and feels ever so slightly – really very slightly, – tacky rather than sticky. It’s a good ‘un if you like your glosses but hate having small insects stuck to your lips all day.
Find it here online.
Hello! It’s been a while. The month-long pause to “write a book and spend quality time with the family” seemed to very quickly and easily turn into a three-and-a-half-month break from the blog that has proved quite difficult to come back from. I was planning a bit of a honey I’m HOME! post at the end of January but that’s still lying in the drafts folder, and life got hectic – we had a wall knocked down (on purpose), then another three walls got knocked down (also on purpose), then we all got Covid (very much not on purpose) – which just about brings you all up to date.
And so a smooth segue from the last post – Festive Favourites – to this post, which is called Early Spring Favourites. At least there’s a seasonal theme. I’ve actually decided to update and upgrade the monthly favourites so that they’re a little more pulled-together, less random. Rather than finding my five favourite things each month, I’m going to wait until some sort of interesting category or motif strikes me; for example it could be my five favourite UK hotels. Or my five favourite recipes of all time. (Ooh! That’s a good one!)
For now, though, let’s get all springtime optimistic with my 5 Early Spring Favourites. I have to admit that the theme here is tenuous and I actually didn’t explain very well in the video how on earth some of the favourites were related to early spring, so hopefully my accompanying write-up will finish off the job. If you’d like to skip straight to the video then feel free – it’s at the bottom of the page.
1. Clinique Even Better Refresh Foundation. A rediscovery after I spent a day sorting my makeup archives, this is the perfect sort of makeup texture for early spring. It’s lightweight and very fresh and glowy, like the effect you’d maybe get from a tinted moisturiser, but it has better lasting power than most tinted moisturisers. Shade-wise I have CN28 but could actually go a smidgen darker, they have a much wider range of shades in their Even Better foundation. You can find this online here*.
2. RAB Thermal Leggings (online here). I did quite an extensive test on three pairs of leggings for my Instagram page (the video is here) and these RAB Power Stretch Pants beat the others hands down. I mean, with a name like Power Stretch Pants how could they not win? At absolutely everything? They sound like an eighties New York stockbroker.
The reason they’re included in Early Spring favourites? Should be self-explanatory if you live in the UK, but for those who aren’t familiar with our temperamental, mostly-disappointing climate, in springtime (or indeed summertime) it can be boiling hot one day and snowing the next. With weeks of grey drizzle either side. And now that turning on the heating is as expensive as staying at The Dorchester it makes sense to layer up.
The RAB Power Pants are made of very thick fabric with a fleece lining; they feel like a dry and cuddly wet suit. Full disclaimer: I don’t think I’ve actually ever donned a wet suit because I only swim or go near water when I absolutely have to and I certainly never fully immerse. But I imagine if there was a cuddly version it would feel like RAB thermal leggings.
3. My new sliding bedroom doors! They have completely transformed the roof terrace outside the bedroom making it a space I want to spend every minute in. On. Just in time for spring. For anyone interested (niche content alert) the doors are SMARTS aluminium Visoglide Plus with 35mm sightlines. (Basically the “frame” you see down the middle is quite slim so that you don’t cut the view too much. Although from this angle you see the depth of the frame on the one on the right, too, so it looks wider. It’s not.)
I could talk about glazing until the cows come home so do hit me up with questions if you have any. Honestly, I’ve had so many experiences with glazing companies – mostly bad – that I am glad to help if I can…
4. Margaret Howell Anglepoise, bought from John Lewis here*. Not remotely related to springtime, is it, but I’ve wanted a proper Anglepoise for years. I like to be able to spotlight whatever I’m doing on my desk and it amuses the geek inside me that I can angle the lamp in so many different ways! Easily pleased.
Anyway, I’ve been waiting for a colour I liked – they often do collaborations – and the Margaret Howell collection had quite retro colours.
5. Oh look, this one is very spring-appropriate: my Liberty nightie. I love it despite the kids laughing at me and asking whether I was off to a ball.
Five and six years old and I’m getting mocked already! I used loyalty points towards this and at time of publishing this it’s in the sale – you can find it here*. I have a real thing for Liberty print nightwear but only allow myself to peek at it when they have a good event on.
I’m clocking off for Christmas now, but not before I present you with this month’s favourites video. It actually straddles two months (oh, how I’ve always longed to use the word “straddled” in a non-sexual sentence!) because I missed November’s favourites out completely. (It’s my birthday at the end of November and I always forget to film in advance.)
I’m about to sign off for at least a month, I think, in order to a) have a proper Christmas break with the kids and b) attempt to birth some form of book, or at least a good few chapters of one. Seize the day, and all that – if I don’t knuckle down and do it next year I fear it’ll never happen.
So: festive favourites. Five things that have tickled my fancy when it comes to getting into the Christmas spirit, including a massive tree, a dramatic tulle skirt and, er, some wellies. It’ll all make sense when you read on – and please see video below for visuals!
Festive Favourite Numero Uno: The 10ft Vermont Spruce from Balsam Hill
Good lord I had a right old rigmarole with this artificial tree business. You can follow the journey on Instagram here. The first two trees, in true Goldilocks style, weren’t quite right. The third tree finally arrived….but only half of it! Who sends half a tree? Balsam Hill, that’s who.
This little (large) problem was overshadowed, however, when the tree was erected in all of its realistic glory. I’m quite taken aback by how much I love it. I can highly recommend the Balsam Hill Vermont Spruce if, in years to come, you decide you want a non-dropping tree that you can keep forever. (I have to have a fake one as I start shooting Christmas content around seven or eight weeks before Christmas.)
The tree I bought is here but they do have far less expensive options, especially if you’re not buying a gigantic one. The needles are really very convincing and it’s pre-lit with so many lights, way more than I would ever bother to put on. You could almost not decorate it and it would still look great.
Festive Favourite Number Two: Muck Boots
We are now, seemingly, a Muck Boot family. I’ll admit that they look slightly less, er, chic than some of the trendy brands by by God are they comfy. Neoprene-lined so that your feet don’t get cold and with soles that feel on a par with Nike Airs for bounce level. You can find all of their styles on their website here and they also stock them on Amazon here* if you’re in an almighty rush to get something for someone in time for Christmas…
Festive Favourite Number Three: Tulle Skirt
I went all Sex And The City and bought a grown-up tulle skirt and have no regrets. Hush keep selling out of this (it’s £99 here* online) but keep an eye on the page and do order if it takes your fancy, it’s exactly as nice as they promise. Although I would size down at least one UK size.
Festive Favourite Number Four: Desmond & Dempsey Pyjamas
I ordered these cotton pyjamas* for a shoot and could not have been more impressed with the service – really fast postage, the pyjamas were beautifully packaged (above and beyond!) and the quality is superb. The design I liked the most (here*) happened to be reduced in price, inexplicably, but I’m not complaining! I love that Desmond & Dempsey do shorts with long-sleeved tops; lots of places only do short-sleeved shirts with their short sets but I’m never that keen. They make me feel like I’m wearing a school uniform.
You can find all the Desmond & Demspey ranges online here*.
Festive Favourite Number Five: Huda Glowish Skin Tint (Press Sample)
For those who want that sophisticated candlelit glow on their face, there’s Huda Glowish. It’s really great. It’s tinted enough to actually wear as a tinted moisturiser but personally I feel it’s a little too glowy to wear without being tempered down slightly. So I use it as a primer with a very light foundation on top in the places I need it, or I dab it onto cheekbones and below the brows after I’ve finished my makeup. Or both.
It’s a wonderful alternative to highlighter for those who can’t abide the strong, shimmery or pearlescent line that some of the more dramatic highlighters can leave. Utterly foolproof and really amps up a glamorous look. You can find it at Cult Beauty here*, it’s £32.
Here’s the video if you’d like to see some of these bits and pieces in action; all that’s left is for me now to wish you all a very lovely Christmas and a joyful 2022. (Realise that with the current state of affairs that joyful might be stretching things a bit, but we can hope!)
Thank you so much for all of your support in 2021, I really do appreciate every read and every comment. You may have noticed that posts have been a bit more regular on here for the past few months: it’s a trend I’m hoping to keep working on next year. Which will hopefully please those who don’t use social media and only keep up with me here on the blog!
I’m back with this month’s favourite things, including (spoiler alert) the best book I’ve read this year, a rather festive jumper and an eyeshadow palette that costs less than a tenner but will last a lifetime. Read on, my friends, read on – the video is at the bottom of the page, for those who wish to hear my dulcet tones. And see the festive jumper in real life.
Hush jumper, online here*
My first favourite is the newest: this jumper was delivered about an hour before I filmed the video and it was instant love. I like that it’s a looser knit than most Christmassy jumpers – it doesn’t feel too chunky or restrictive beneath coats. Which is a big issue for me when it comes to chunky jumpers; they’re designed to keep you warm but then you basically have to wear them as an outer layer because if you try to put a coat over the top you can’t move your arms.
Aveeno Spray, at Boots here*
Talking of moving your arms, this Aveeno After-Shower Mist cuts out a hell of a lot of unnecessary action when it comes to post-shower body lotion application. You just lazily spray at yourself and then, if you can summon up the energy, pat in the residue. And this is powerful stuff, this mist – it almost leaves a gloss to the skin, it’s so moisturising. No flimsy old watery scented spray here, it’s as good as a cream but, er, not in a cream. It’s also only £4.99 at Boots*!
Soho Home Greyson Lamps, online here
I procrastinated too much over these lamps and then they sold out and I kicked myself. Then I found them on Liberty (who now stock selected items from Soho Home, as do Amara) and that is where my happy tale ends. I have to say, the maximum bulb wattage allowed in the lamps is quite dismal, so I have to read my bedtime stories half-hanging off the side of my mattress in order to illuminate the page, but apart from the fact that the most basic functionality of the lamp is questionable, they were an excellent purchase. Next month: a chocolate fireguard.
Bliss and Sorrow by Meg Mason – online here*
This is one of the best books I’ve read this year and I’ve read some absolute corkers. Shuggie Bain, A Little Life, Queenie, Exciting Times; I haven’t been voracious with my reading but nearly everything I’ve read has been startlingly good and so to say that Bliss and Sorrow is one of the best is no small compliment. It’s a mighty feat of a novel. I think because it’s just so enjoyable. It’s the sort of book you want to tell everyone about when you’re only two chapters in; there’s a laugh out loud moment on nearly every page and a sort of upbeat, sing-song tempo to the narrative despite the dark, upsetting undertones.
It’s dense with humorous sorrow. Is there such a thing as humorous sorrow? There is in this book. It’s sad event after sad, destructive event, but it’s so excruciatingly witty that you can’t stop reading. And that’s what I like – books that call me to bed and make me read by the – quite frankly pathetic – light of my new lamps.
Revolution Pro Eyeshadow Palette, online here*
This gorgeous eyeshadow palette is nine pounds. Nine pounds! Dense pigment, soft, easy-to-blend texture and the most startling array of shades. Each one, to me, looks like the surface of a planet. It’s just beautiful. The casing isn’t anything to write home about and there’s no mirror in the lid but…it’s nine pounds. Find of the month.
OK, here I am rambling away and careering through the house with my camera at weird angles – enjoy:
The post 5 FASHION, BEAUTY & HOME FAVOURITES | OCTOBER 2021 appeared first on Ruth Crilly.
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*.