Wednesday

Your Heatwave Toolkit

Long time, no blog.

I recently met a very well-travelled Swede who advised me I ought to venture to Tulum, Mexico. That night, following several Scandi shots, I decided to Google Tulum in all it's glory. Lush and sun-drenched, it looks like paradise... bar one teeny, tiny detail: it's absolutely scorching, with temperatures regularly topping 35℃.

As a Scottish blonde with translucent skin, I don't do well in such high temperatures, so imagine my horror on discovering that our holiday spot this year (Sonoma, California) is actually hotter than Mexico. 40℃ to be precise. 100°F. I don't really deal in Fahrenheit, but all my American pals (i.e. the lady in WholeFoods who couldn't get enough of my wide-brim hat) tell me 100°F is unheard of.

Pretty. Damn. Hot.

So I'm writing this from California, absolutely melting under the 9am sun, in order to share some of my heatwave hair and beauty essentials. Some old, some new, none borrowed, coz that's ew.

First up: the base. Most of us go for a lighter base when summer comes around: DoubleWear is all well and good in the winter, but seems a bit heavy when stuck on the Central Line in July. In the warmer months, most prefer something a little lighter, with a touch of SPF for brownie points. Some, blessed with smooth, even skin tone and no acne scarring may just plump for tinted moisturiser (lucky little devils).

Personally, I like something with buildable coverage and a smooth, matte finish. However, when a heatwave hits, another problem arises – the make-up slip. Y'know, when your foundation melts like a 99 Whippy on a hot pavement (a 99 cone that probs cost you £4) and everything else follows.

Okay, that's a tad dramatic, but in these climes you need something with staying power. Something downright magical like Armani's new Power Fabric Foundation. Sure, it's spenny, and will cost you more than new trainers, but I like to think it's worth the splurge. It is light as a feather and silky, yet somehow covers every single flaw. I actually forgot I was wearing make-up at one point. I set mine with the Chantecaille HD Perfecting Powder and it doesn't budge all day long. Even when left in the car without air-con, panting like a dog.

If you prefer something lighter, I'd suggest trying La Roche Posay's Effaclar Duo+ Unifiant tinted moisturiser, with a touch of NARS Soft Matte Complete concealer (the absolute best concealer I've ever tried) to hide any blemishes.

When it comes to skin, the most important thing, in any climate, is SPF. I think everyone should wear SPF 30+ every single day – it'll save you thousands on fillers in the future. My personal favourite is the Clarins SPF 50 UV Plus Anti-Pollution Day Screen. Used as a primer, the translucent fluid smoothes out the skin without clogging pores. Plus, it doesn't leave a chalky finish, which is unheard of for a factor 50. If we're talking body, I love Coola's Eco-Lux SPF 30 Pina Colada tropical mist. In this kind of heat, you do not want to rub in a thick, creamy lotion, you just want to spray it on and know you won't burn. Coola's ultra-fine spray screens have got it down.

On the subject of spritzing, we need to talk about the mist. Not only is The Mist a Stephen King novel and movie adaptation analysed in my high school Media Studies class, it's also an essential component of any heatwave tool kit. A cooling spray is a beautiful, beautiful thing. There are a few I'd recommend in a heartbeat.

Due to my sensitive skin, any fragranced product renders me ruddy-faced which is why I adore the bliss Triple Oxygen Radiance Restoring spritz. In a word, it feels FRESH and doesn't irritate my skin at all. In a heatwave it is heaven in a bottle, but it's also great to have on standby when you're hungover. Consider it a Berocca for your face. If you can handle natural oils and fragranced products, try Jurlique's best-selling Balancing Rosewater Mist, which smells like a spa treatment, or Caudalie's cult Beauty Elixir spritz. Both will leave you feeling super zen, when all you want to do is plunge into a pool of ice.

Last but not least (yes, this lengthy post is almost over), you simply must have a protective lip balm. Speaking from experience, there are fewer sunburns stingy-er than the lips. For me, you can't beat Jo Malone London's Vitamin E Lip Conditioner, which I shamelessly stole from my dad. It's nourishing, a little glossy but non-sticky, and boasts SPF 15 to keep your pout in tip-top condition. Perfecto.

If, somehow, you do get sunburnt lips, I'd enlist the Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil. Putting oil on your lips sounds, to be honest, a bit gross, but this product is actually amazing and not even remotely oily – I'm slightly addicted to the mint one. It's glossy, nourishing and protective, though it can leave lips a tad sticky. Some people don't mind that, some do. Either way I'd suggest trying giving it a go.

One last thing. If, like me, tanning does not come naturally to you, I'd suggest trying the James Read Tan Accelerator gel. I will sit in the sun all day, come out a little red and scorched, then apply a layer and suddenly I'm gold (ish). It's essentially a gradual tan-aftersun hybrid, amplifying even the softest sun-kiss. To go further, add a touch of the NARS Laguna Liquid Bronzer to your foundation, or try Kevin Aucoin's Matte Bronzing Veil in Desert Days, which is the best colour I've used. It's golden, rather than brown, so doesn't look dirty on the skin.

Okay, I'm done, for now. If you've made it to the end, well done. Sit back, relax, treat yoself to some nice new beauty products and maybe some ice cream?


Thursday

BYREDO UNNAMED


So, I’ll dive straight in with a product I’m currently obsessed with – Byredo Unnamed Eau de Parfum. Now, anyone who follows me on Instagram or has seen my dressing table will know just how much I adore Byredo fragrances. Created by Ben Gorham, Byredo is the innovative Swedish brand behind some of the most modern and stylish scents around.

Saturday

Strike a Pose

Voga
At long last summer has arrived in London. I don't know about you, but when the weather is so glorious, I can't abide staying indoors – I literally just want to be outside all the time, particularly when it comes to working out.

Don't get me wrong, even the most sweltering conditions will not deter me from my bi-weekly Psycle classes, but all other indoor activities are off the cards for however long this heatwave continues (I'll give it three days, four tops.)

Thank goodness, then, for all the al-fresco fitness classes in the capital this summer, my pick of which has to be Vogue d'Argent at the Coq d'Argent roof garden in The City.

A feelgood fusion of yoga and Vogueing, Voga is all about stretching and posing to an 80s beat – think yoga with a whole lotta sass. It's genuinely one of the most fun workouts I've ever tried, made all the better by the gorgeous surroundings of the Coq d'Argent roof gardens.

The perfect way to spend a Sunday, there's only one more Vogue d'Argent session to come this summer, a Madonna Party Class on 31st July kicking off at 11am, so I'd snap up a ticket now (£20 here) before they're all gone.

Don't just stand there, let's get to it, strike a pose there's nothing to it.

The Hamptons Top Three

Sunset in Southampton


Ever since I first visited the US, I have considered myself a California girl. Sure, NYC has its perks, Chicago’s a hoot, but if someone gave me the choice I’d always settle on the Napa Valley. Until I visited The Hamptons, that is.

The Hamptons is one of those destinations met with a bit of an “ooh-er” whenever mentioned, and to be totally honest, I had no idea what to expect when I headed there earlier this year. I’d heard it mentioned in copious US series’, but I’d never considered it a particularly desirable holiday destination, but – trust me – this one’s worth a trip.

Even if you’re just headed to NYC for a break, if you can, I urge you to book a stay in the Hamptons for a few days at the end of your trip. There’s so much to love – here are just a few of my favourite places from my recent trip: five very convincing reasons to visit The Hamptons.

Sunday

Tahiti Time

Image courtesy of NARS
Things are hotting up, so it's high time to get your glow on.

If like me, you're stuck on home turf, then you're just going to have to fake it. Thankfully, good old NARS has a solution – its new, Tahiti bronze collection.

Based around the bestselling Laguna bronzer, the limited edition line-up includes glistening body oils, scented shimmering powders and my new hero product: the liquid bronzer (a snip at £28).

Often on pale skintones, bronzing powders can look flat and dirty. A lightweight, silky formula, the bronzing liquid is much easier to work with, blending seamlessly to create the illusion of sun-kissed skin. Add a couple of drops to your foundation for a hint of warmth, or layer it on top of your base and dust with translucent powder for a flawless finish.



Saturday

Move your fabulous Frame

It's that time of year again... Skies are blue, temperatures have soared to the blistering heights of 15°c and pretty pink blossoms are populating everyone's Instagram feed.

Sun's out, tums out, and beach body blitzes are (apparently) all we can talk about.

To be totally honest, there are few things more boring than someone banging on about their new diet, so I urge you to buck the trend and focus on fitness instead. Anyone can be skinny, it takes a hella lot of work to be strong.

Step forward, Frame. One of my favourite London studios (with a terribly handy outpost coming soon to Victoria), Frame has always championed a healthy, balanced lifestyle with fun classes – SkiFit or 80s aerobics, anyone? – and a whole host of events and workshops with major players in the industry. What's more, last year they joined forces with Whistles to launch a collection of trend-led activewear to slot seamlessly into your lifestyle.

Thursday

She's not like a regular mum – she's a cool mum

1. Byredo Loose Lips Candle £50 here
1. Orelia disc lariat pendant £18 here
3. Alex Monroe for Liberty pineapple pendant £150 here
4. Byredo Blanche EDP £90 here
5. Illesteva rose gold sunglasses £140 here
6. Meli Melo Aloe silk scarf £150 here
7. Malone Souliers rainbow sandals (LOVE this brand) £545 here
8. Kate Spade recipe journal £45 here
9. Fornasetti Flora candle (the cool way to do flowers) £115 here
10. Rogues brogues exclusive to Harvey Nichols £170 here
11. Luxe City Guides Europe gift box £35 here
12. Anya Hindmarch rainbow shoulder bag £695 here
13. Carven skirt £240 here
14. Delfina Delettrez multi-stone earring £450 here
15. Iosselliani gold-plated earrings £95 here



2
Mother's Day is just around the corner, but it's not too late to make your lovely mum's day as special as possible.

I don't doubt for one second that your mum is every bit as chic as you are – so make darn sure your gift matches up.

The golden rule for golden children? If you wouldn't want it yourself, it simply isn't good enough for mum.

If you've left it a touch too late to buy a present, you can get creative with experiences for Sunday. Why not arrange an at-home Champagne Afternoon Tea with finger sandwiches, homemade scones and an assortment of scrumptious cakes and sweets? Or maybe you could spoil her silly with a beautiful bouquet and a spot of brekkie in bed?

Pop over to my Pinterest for lots of recipe ideas.

P.S.
Keep your eyes peeled over the coming days for Sugarfina at Harvey Nicks. Launching exclusively this month, you can expect Bento-style boxes choc-a-block with Champagne gummy bears, Kir Royale truffles and chocolate-dipped bacon toffees. Perhaps, you could write Mum and IOU? She's such a sweetie, after all.
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