Here is a quick look back on the past year, the various episodes.
Last night I was kindly invited along to the Spring Fashion Fix event happening at my favourite shopping centre, Birmingham Bullring. Running from 12pm until 8pm, the day was centred around getting the four step Fashion Fix you need to be on-trend this Spring, whilst treats treats from your favourite shops and restaurants with bespoke offers and activities throughout the day.
Umberto Giannini were on hand throughout the day, offering complimentary appointments at their pop-up dry bar, which they offer regularly in-store for £20. The staff were offering fabulous hair-ups and blow-dry looks to those who’d been quick enough to snap-up a slot, and I chose to have an up-do just before the fashion show started. I am utterly useless at trying to do things with my hair other than straightening it, and letting it dry naturally, so this was a great opportunity to try something different. The stylist ran a French plait up the nape of my neck, backcombed the top up to Amy Winehouse-esque heights and then finished it all off with a classic top-knot. Pretty, huh?! Urban Decay were also offering make-overs, and the star of Nails By Rosie was show casing polishes from Topshop, Claire’s and Urban Decay to create nail art inspired by SS14 trends, of monochrome, pastels and bolds.
The five key trends of SS14 are ‘Pretty Things’, featuring all things cute, floral and pastel; ‘Sports Luxe’, incorporating traditional sportswear styles and upgrading them for classy, everyday looks; ‘Going Global’, where tribal prints, interesting textures and clashing colours comes into play; ‘Monochrome’, the classic, reinvented for 2014 and ‘Colour Palette’, bold brights and crazy neons to carrying your straight through ’til Summer. There were several catwalk shows throughout the day, teaching you how to adapt the new season’s trends to suit your colouring.
The super fantabulous Emily Jayne was also on hand for complimentary colour consultations, to get rid of the urge to wear black and grey all year round, find out which colours suit you best, and how to combine them for the perfect colourful capsule wardrobe. Turns out I was perfectly dressed to suit my colouring, as I fall between the Light and Soft palettes, which is conveniently perfect for this season. Emily also offers bespoke colour and style consultations from her studio; more details of which, along with lots of reviews, fashion news, and advice on how to wear colour can be found on her website.
It was such a fun night, great to catch-up with Emily and Alev, and the folks from Urban Decay in Debenhams, Hotel Chocolat and Kiehl’s in Selfridges gave us some awesome goodies to see us into Spring, which I’ll show you soon (apart from the chocolate…I kind of ate it). Also, can we all just take a moment to appreciate how much the male model looks like Dave Franco? Bravo Bullring, bravo!
First up, the ‘Beeswax & Banana’ variety, an all-natural product like most of the Burt’s Bees range that is super thick and super moisturising, and one which I’ve actually just finished…no mean feat when you’re a self diagnosed hand cream hoarder like myself! The formulation boasts added aloe vera and vitamin E to moisturise dry skin and beeswax to help seal and shield your hands from the elements. I suffer from dry skin, especially in and around my nail beds all year round and this was a miracle worker for me over the winter, my nails now are probably the longest and healthiest that they’ve ever been. My favourite aspect however has to be the cream’s sweet smell of banana and custard; who doesn’t want to smell like a childhood dessert?! (The answer to that should be no-one, by the way). When rubbed in however the banana sadly fades slightly, leaving behind a more dominant scent of the beeswax, but one which is still pleasant nonetheless. I’ve recently repurchased this to make the most of an offer that was on in Waitrose, and I’m super happy to have it back on my bedside table.
Nu3 recently sent me the ‘Almond Milk’ variety to try out when my first pot of ‘Beeswax & Banana’ ran out, and it has launched a similar love affair. It has a pretty similar formulation, except this time made with sweet almond oil alongside the vitamin E to nourish extra dry skin, along with Burt’s Bees’ signature beeswax to lock in the moisture. Both of the creams are ever so slightly greasy, and due to the glass packaging I tend to use these at night with some cotton gloves, as they’re not very handbag friendly, instead sticking to my all-time favourite (and subsequently most-repurchased) Neal’s Yard Bee Lovely Hand Cream for use in the day. If you were a fan of The Body’s Shop’s Almond Range back in the day, you definitely need this in your life.
If I were have to recommend one, I’d definitely pick the ‘Beeswax & Banana’ variety, purely for the scrummy scent, although both are exceptional, giving me baby soft hands after just 2 or 3 nights of light use. To summarise, I love you Burt, and I love your bees, keep up the good work.
After a terrible night’s sleep (or lack there of, having gotten in so late the night before), and missing breakfast for the 3rd time, I quickly changed into my swimwear, threw on a sun dress and what seemed like 50 million layers of suntan lotion, fearing Round Two of the sunburn from hell. We headed out of the JW Marriott to our taxi, ready to take us back to the Royal Phuket Marina for our last outing of the trip, a speed boat trip to the islands around Koh Phi Phi.
Much like the excursion to Krabi on our second day in Thailand, we met the rest of our travelling companions by the main marina, picked up our snorkeling gear and flippers, and stormed ahead of the crowd to try and secure the seats at the bow of the boat; five minutes later, mission complete! As there were fewer people on the trip this time round, we had the front to ourselves, making for a much more comfortable journey, free of hairy Austrian men and their beer bellies.
Our first stop of the day was Bamboo Island, a picture perfect strip of white, oddly squeaky, sandy beach, to the east of the main Phi Phi archipelago. Geology fact of the day (much to my excitement at the time), was that the sand squeaks because it’s so pure, and so well rounded, the calcite-covered quartz grains rub against each other when you walk on them! *ooh, science* We stayed here for about an hour, enjoying the sunshine and taking our first snorkel of the day. As the area was so close to the beach, there was little to see other than some shoals of tiny silver fish, even though the water was perfectly clear, so I headed back to shore for a spot of sunbathing (avoiding my back, of course!)