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!
Next in my ‘Trying On’ series I am reviewing the best strapless bras – both for comfort and for a good shape beneath clothes. It’s actually very hard to find good strapless bras; most tend to slip downwards over the course of the day (or night) and if they don’t then it’s because they’re so tight around the ribcage that you can barely breathe. Some strapless bras stay up but mould your boobs into one long “boob sausage” (official technical term), others give great shape and lift but drop dramatically halfway down your torso every time you speak.
Just for you, the viewer, I’ve jumped and jogged my way through testing to find the best strapless bras. This is incredibly important work. A tough gig but someone has got to do it! You’re welcome. I hope it’s useful. Watch the video, and read the reviews and links below:
Strapless bra shopping: possibly the worst that bra shopping can be. Thankfully strapless bras are not a lingerie item I’d typically wear every day – I usually employ the “services” of a strapless bra because I’m wearing something tricky – sleeveless, or low-necklined or some other heinously complicated thing.
And I’m usually only wearing aforementioned heinously complicated thing because it’s a special occasion – wedding, party or whatever. Why do we do it to ourselves? The one time you want to feel your best yet you also know you’ll be standing about for long periods or dancing very badly, after having eaten half of the wedding feast… And you think I know. What’s a party without some extreme physical discomfort? Let’s find the tallest heels and the most restrictive bra!
Anyway, here’s my low-down of the best I tried. The key things you want from your strapless bra: longevity and comfort. ie, you don’t want it to slip down over time and you don’t want it to dig in. Oh, it’s also nice if there’s a bit of subtle moulding to the cups of the strapless bra to give a smooth shape underneath clothes so I’ve mainly chosen smooth versions for this very reason. I’ve tried to also look for brands who cater for a wide range of sizes (harder than you’d think and I did throw a few wildcards in) and also those who make their bras in more than one “nude” shade – Wonderbra and Boux Avenue come out tops here…
This Wonderbra* strapless bra has a great shape. It feels really well engineered and it is made specifically to be a strapless bra rather than a multiway. You don’t always get a good uplift with a strapless bra but this one has and it is surprisingly comfortable. After a lot of dancing there’s a tiny bit of slippage but overall it’s incredibly impressive. This would be great for a night out – great uplift and relatively comfy.
There’s a little bit of uplift with this but more slippage than the Wonderbra. It is more like a t-shirt bra, definitely less engineering to it than the Wonderbra*. I can see me having to hoist it up repeatedly. It’s very soft and comfy though and comes in quite a few different shades.
Buy the Boux Avenue Straless Bra* in sizes 30-40, A-G cup.
The Freya strapless bra has a T-shirt shape and like the Boux* one it is also multiway, whereas the Wonderbra* is designed just as a strapless bra. It does stay on really well and is pretty comfy – I would say it’s a bit sturdier than the Boux one.
Buy from Freya in sizes 28-38 B-GG cup.
The Wacoal Halo is a lovely soft, lacy bandeaux top rather than your standard strapless bra. It isn’t as structured as the other bras and wont give you as much uplift however it is beautifully made and the prettiest of the lot. I’m not sure where I would wear it though?
Buy the Wacoal Halo Strapless Bra* in sizes 32-38 B-E cup.
M&S’s Lace Trim Push-Up is a really well structured strapless bra with a wide band at the back for support. The mesh and lace design is so pretty.
Buy the M&S Lace Push-Up Strapless Bra* in sizes 32-40 A-E cup.
The Bandeau strapless from M&S is very pretty but I bought it a size too small and can’t get it on! If you fancy it for yourself, in the right size, then you can buy it here*.
I also wear:
My personal favourites were the Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless Bra* and the
M&S Lace Trim Push-Up Strapless Bra* but overall bra brand winners have to be Wonderbra and Boux Avenue for their range of sizes and colours. They both have a selection of nude tones – four and three options, respectively.
I think I’ve found strapless bra perfection – or near-perfection, at least. The Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless Bra* does gives an incredible shape, doesn’t fall down and also allows you to breathe in and out.
AD info: no paid or sponsored content. All items paid for. Affiliate links are marked *.
I’m playing catch-up with this video-embedding quest – this Me+Em clothing try-on was actually first posted last month. I’ll get there in the end!
I’m not going to ever do particularly long blurbs with these try-on videos – they’re absolutely self-explanatory. So click, watch and enjoy! (It’s better for watching on a smart phone as it’s in portrait mode.)
Products tried, all Me+Em*: https://bit.ly/3xNZAle
Oh my God, my favourite thing – the pouf sleeve tee – isn’t there! Here’s the SKU, if you can find it and I’m just being dense then please let me know! SS21JT49000004010
Side-Stripe Jogger*: https://bit.ly/2U6GtEo
Pink Blouse*: https://bit.ly/2VMkKC0
Yellow Dress*: https://bit.ly/3z0Bns2
Black Shirt Dress*: https://bit.ly/3eii45h
You know the drill with these, by now: it’s a real-time (ish) try-on of my latest clothing order, this time from perennial favourite, Hush Homewear.
It wouldn’t really have been such a big order, but I have to get everything in both a size 10 and 12, because I sit between the two and never know how something is going to turn out. I actually think that Hush runs ever so slightly on the generous side, which means that more often than not I’m a 10, although I have to say that it was touch and go with one of the dresses – I kept it, and I’ve spent the week breathing in so that the middle button over my stomach doesn’t completely pop off!
Anyway, here’s the try-on; in case you’re curious, I kept the cashmere pink sweater (it’s just such a good shade of pink, really uplifting and non-twee) and the Sophie star dress. It’s rare I manage to find a cashmere jumper with a low-ish v-neck and so when one crops up I grab it. The low v’s are good over dresses and shirts, rather than a high round-neck that can make everything look a bit bunched up or matronly.
Links to items are below the video pane – enjoy! If you want captions on then just press the little CC. Although this one is captioned by Youtube so God only know what hilarity might ensue…
Leopard Sweater, £79*: http://bit.ly/32Cdkk6
Pastel Camo Sweater, £69*: http://bit.ly/32CS0es
Green Camo Sweater, £69*: http://bit.ly/3a8f3QC
Pink Cashmere Sweater, £135*: http://bit.ly/39c3IiC
Sophie Star Dress, £99*: http://bit.ly/2Trzgdk
Sophie Turtle Dove Dress, £99*: http://bit.ly/2Trzgdk
Leopard Kensington Dress, £75*: http://bit.ly/2PyhcNL
Me+Em Satin Trousers, £160*: http://bit.ly/2tSovYT
Me+Em Green Cashmere Sweater, £195*: http://bit.ly/2PycRKh
Adidas Primeknit Trainers (SO COMFY) £89.95*: http://bit.ly/2wXztO3
The leather jacket is a very old Whistles one.
I did an Abercrombie & Fitch order last week because the knees had gone through on my favourite skinny jeans. To be quite honest with you, I’m no longer sure that superskinny jeans are really the best cut for me anymore, but they seem to be the only jeans made stretchy enough to go around my doughy, highly-temperamental post-baby torso (I reckon it fluctuates in girth on an almost daily basis) and so I ordered a load more in the same cut and size.
And some shirts, and a vest top and a cashmere cardigan, and some henley tops, which are in a style called Soft AF, which I took to mean “Soft As F*ck” but then later realised that the AF stood for Abercrombie & Fitch.
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE: I’ve just been back on the site to check and it does say Soft AF! Not Soft A&F! Is this a sneaky little play about with words or did they just not want to bother with the ampersand? It’s not particularly on (wholesome American beach-loving young incredibly good-looking people) brand, is it, to call a range Soft As F*ck? (I’m taking the u out of fuck in case loads of naughty people end up here after searching bad words. It happened once when I did a review on that podcast, My Dad Wrote A P*rno. Even though I took the first O out of porno, I still got loads of dodgy traffic! The mind boggles. Something must have slipped the net…)
I just can’t imagine the people at A&F sitting around their boardroom table and coming up with “Soft AF”.
“What can we call this new really soft and cosy range? Bern? Chuck?”
“How about Soft As Fuck, Carl?”
Then again, maybe they are being all “down with the kids”. I know I am – that’s how I’m aware of what AF stands for in the first place! Check me the F out. I’m lit. When it comes to slang I am queen/qween, yas I am.
Anyway, before you all die of old age and/or feel the need to slowly smash your own face into your desktop, repeatedly, here’s the video. If you’re at work and supposed to be preparing a powerpoint presentation with the Q4 profits and losses then I highly recommend you just watch it with the sound off and skip through it at twenty second intervals. That’ll give you a good idea of what’s going on without getting you fired – it’s not the sort of video you need to listen to, particularly, though I do make some low-level quips that are probably about a two or three out of five on the funniness scale.
Cosy AF Long-Sleeved Henley (I wear size M)*: http://bit.ly/2RHIMtp
Coral Check Shirt (size small)*: http://bit.ly/36GOFex
Blue Plaid Shirt* http://bit.ly/36GOFex
Cashmere Boyfriend Cardigan*: http://bit.ly/2GKmHE0
Grey Lace Cami*: http://bit.ly/31gTMRM
Simone Super High Rise Jean Leggings, I wear a 29R*: http://bit.ly/2RCZJ8j
Grey Super High Rise jeans are here* http://bit.ly/37HDcwL