5 Beach Essentials

I know what you're thinking, it may seem a little early to be thinking of hot beaches, vacations and summer. However, since we're coming up to spring and the weather is perking up, I wanted to share my 5 beach essentials that come with me every time I venture to swim, sunbath or just chill in the sand. Today I'm collaborating with the lovely people at Home Away have kindly created a gorgeous graphic of my beach packing essentials, illustrating the stuff I just can't go without. I'm sure you've seen collaboration posts like this before, but if you haven't, be sure to check out my PR page for more insights. So, what are your beach essentials?
We all know that sunglasses are absolutely crucial, especially on a hot day, but I also tend to carry them almost everywhere I go; you never know when you might need them. If you read my sunglasses edit a while ago, then you'll know I'm a big fan of rounded ones, my latest being a classic pair of brown RB2180's by Ray Ban. They come with me everywhere and on a day out to the beach add a chic edge to any simple summer look.

If I'm wearing a swimsuit (current one on the wish list is a Lisa Marie Fernandez bikini, as seen on Tanya Burr) I like to wear a light Kimono or throw-over. I love how they perfectly accompany any swimsuit/bikini and just complete the look. ASOS stock my favourite Kimonos and there are so many to choose from, you're spoilt for choice.

If I'm looking for some beach entertainment I'll either listen to music or, in most cases, bring along my current favourite book. I still adore Alexa Chung's 'It' and love reading it on long journeys or relaxing days out. What is your favourite book to read on the beach? The more obvious beach essentials include, of course, a trusty pair of flip flops and sunscreen.

Other little things I like to bring, that aren't necessary super essential are headphones, a facial mist and a clutch bag to carry them all in. I love going to the beach and feel a lightweight bag is perfect for packing all I need. On my travels I would love to one day go to Spain, Brazil and explore the parts of France that I haven't already! America has also always been a dream destination for me, Florida especially, the beaches Panama City look utterly gorgeous. Where are your dream holiday locations?

What are your favourite holiday destinations? What are your beach essentials?

Skincare Diaries: Current favourite masks

I love to mix and match with my skincare, especially when it comes to masks. Two times a week, usually on a Wednesday and a Sunday, I like to detoxify my skin with a mask followed by a really nourishing balm cleanser (usually Emma Hardie's Moringa Cleansing balm). In today's skincare diaries I'm featuring my current favourites that I'm always coming back to, the most reliable of the bunch and the ones that make my skin feel the best. If your mask isn't doing anything for your skin, even if it's been raved about or is meant to do radical things, theirs no point in using it. What are your current favourites?

Botanics Ionic Clay Shine Away Mask

I feature a lot of Boot's wonderful Botanics range here on my blog because I simply love what they've come out with and how good their products are for the skin. My most recent discovery within the range is there Ionic Clay Mask, which I had to give a try because it's especially designed for oily skin.  It's not a very strong mask so it won't start stinging after a while, which is why I like to use it on Wednesday for a milder midweek detox. The key ingredient is Willowbark which is said to natures 'champion clarifier' and, something I definitely love about it, is a natural source of Salicylic Acid. With almost no other ingredients, this all natural clay mask is such an affordable (only £6.99!) yet must have addition to my collection.

Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask

You'll probably notice that I'm currently a big fan of clay/charcoal based masks, I have no reason for it but right now they're the types of masks the are really getting the job done. I've always been a faithful user of Origin's Clear Improvement Mask (among many others) and it's yet to be ineffective for my skin. The beauty of mixing and matching is that no one mask becomes overused. The obvious key ingredient here is the Activated charcoal which is said to draw out all the horrible pollutants we pick up day to day and radically purify the skin. It also contains White China Clay and Lecithin which both also absorbs the unnecessary dirt and toxins from the skin. My only bug bear with this mask is that it's awfully hard to remove from the skin and leaves an horrible mess in your sink and flannel! This mask is a fairly strong, fast acting mask so I like to use if for a thorough Sunday skin detox.

Merumaya Mud Marvels Mask*

One mask that's a very hot top right now is Merumaya's Mud Marvels Mask, which I personally featured here recently as a new addition to my skincare collection. Since then I've found myself going back to it more than some of my older favourites, simply because the formula and the results are to die for. This mask is an AHA gold mine for the skin and whilst its deeply cleansing, its also super gentle. It's fast drying and really easy to remove with a flannel, which thankfully doesn't stain! If you're looking for a deep detox you can leave this mask on for a little longer until you feel a tingling sensation on the skin, or leave it on for a little less for a more gentle, light detox; its hugely versatile.

Sudocrem Skin Care Cream*

You may be wondering why Sudocrem is appearing in the mask category, and I myself was rather confused when I heard it could be used as a mask as well as a moisturiser. This classic, skincare essential was always in my mind a great moisturiser for the body whenever you needed a little more for you skin than a basic body lotion. However, I like to use Sudocrem with my Botanics Clay mask; on the T-Zone I apply the clay mask (because I have quite an oily T-Zone) and on the rest of my face iI apply Sudocrem. It's great for spots, dry areas and parts of skin that need a thorough hydration. Don't knock it till you try it!

I'm always looking for new masks to try and implement into my skincare routine so if you have any recommendations feel free to let me know! Some of the mask I'd like to try next include Charlotte Tilbury's Godess Skin Clay Mask, Omoroviza's Deep Cleansing Mask, First Aid Beauty's Red Clay Skin Rescue Mask, and Origins' Original Skin Retexturing Mask with Rose Clay. What masks do you want to try next?


What's your face mask routine? What are your current favourite masks?



*Press gifted sample, for more info visit my disclaimer page.

Why you shouldn't delete old blog posts, no matter what.

I deleted my first ever blog post yesterday because quite frankly I was astounded at how bad it was.  What's more is that I was just about to delete another when I stopped myself, took a deep breath and really thought it through. I've been blogging for almost two years now, and there comes a time in a bloggers life when they look back and lament about their bad writing style, shoddy pictures and often useless attempts at coding. 

When I look back it just reminds me of how I used to write like I had 1000 years experience in everything, and the awful pictures taken on my mums old Canon compact camera that I thought were works of art. Don't get me wrong, I'm still learning and improving everyday and I'm certainly no expert but since starting my blog I've gained a lot more understanding for photography, writing and just how to be a better blogger. Looking back can make you cringe a lot, but there's no reason to delete the past just because it's embarrassing. Have you ever deleted an old post? 

Whilst an old post might make you run for the hills, there's a lot of good that comes out them too. 
  • You can inspire new bloggers. When I first started my blog I often felt put down by how great other peoples blogs were and how amazing their pictures looked. Despite that, I managed to persevere because I saw so many others striving for what I was striving for, and also looking back at so many successful bloggers' first posts showed me there was hope
  • At the end of the day, what you wrote can still help someone out. One of my most popular posts, over a year ago now, was a post comparing Babyliss Pro straighteners to GHD's (post here). Even though when I read it now I just have a million problems with it, the traffic its gained showed me that it wasn't all that bad to other people. If you're a beauty or style blogger especially, old posts can still have valuable tips and help that people might stumble across and use to this day. 
  • In more complex ways, they can help you drive constant traffic to your blog. They may not look so great but because they've been out on the web for a lot longer than your latest posts, they've had more time to reach a wide audience around the world. I did a post a long time ago about my experience using Mary Helen Bowers' Ballet Beautiful workout series (post here); it wasn't very well written and most of the pictures weren't even mine (I linked back of course) but it's had more hits than any of my other posts. It's had time to reach front page on google searches and time to gain a lot more traffic for my blog. The same can be said for your old posts, it might just be an old post that earns you a new and faithful reader. 
  • It's a symbol of your progression. No matter how much they make you cringe, to other people, seeing your improvement and change throughout the years is hugely inspiring. Those posts will always have your mark on them, no matter how much your blog and you have changed; they're just little mementos to what once was. Why get rid of memories?

Ever deleted your old posts? What do you like about looking back?

Current must have Loyalty Cards

I splurge way, way too much on all kinds of things relating to beauty, fashion and homeware (H&M home is life right now), but mainly beauty. The advantage of this, of course, is I have quite a few memberships and advantage cards for all my favourite stores. Loyalty cards make you feel just that bit more a part of something, especially when sometimes you can spend the money you've gained from being so loyal. What are your current favourite loyalty schemes?
If you're a regular Space.NK shopper then you'll be no stranger to over indulgence (it's so hard not to overspend in Space.NK); with the N.dulge scheme you recieve 1 point for every £1/€1 you spend until you reach 100 which then entitles you to a N.centive reward worth £5/€5. 100 points may sound difficult to reach, but trust me, it is not. You'll be knee deep in skincare and makeup at the same time as being entitled to free goodies galore. As with many loyalty schemes you also get some lovely birthday gifts, exclusive invitations and previews of awesome products others don't know about yet!

Boots is like a second home to me, I've had their Advantage Card for so long now and its probably one of the best schemes I've been on. On this scheme you collect 4 points for every £1 you spend, with 1 point equivalent to one penny. That may not seem like much but overtime you'll collect enough money to buy many things in store and online. There are also many points events where earning is doubled and sometimes even tripled with certain deals, products and seasons. 'It all adds up!'
On the high street, getting all my favourite beauty brands can be such a struggle, even Boots don't do all the ones I love. Debenhams however, has one of the biggest ranges of brands (apart from Sephora of course) and it really pays off to be a member of their Beauty Club. As well as always earning points and rewards, which unfortunately Debenhams don't specify the amounts, you also get a plethora of other exclusives. Free samples, make overs and more are available to all card holders. Whenever I go shopping for makeup and skincare, I like to try before I buy because they tend to be very expensive, especially foundations. With this scheme you get your makeup applied for you so you get to see what it looks like before you purchase. 

Although I've been shopping at Sephora for what feels like a lifetime now, I've only just began my 'journey' through their reward scheme which through endless shopping will take you through from Sephora White to eventually reach Sephora Gold. Once you reach your first 200 points you'll receive a new Sephora Black loyalty card and a free gift. After that, every 200 points will be worth one gift until you reach 1500, which then entitles you to a Sephora Gold card. Along with free gifts, birthday surprises, exclusive access to sales and special preview with Sephora Gold you get private sales, prestigious gifts, VIP privilege and even the ability to cut queues in store, which is definitely a great reward seeing as Sephora is always packed. 

I have to make a special mention to The Body Shop who's card I didn't include because mine has expired and since I've been travelling a lot lately, I haven't had the chance to renew it yet. The Love Your Body Club card is a hugely generous, yearly reward scheme thats free to join at any time. Birthday gifts are always forthcoming and 10 points for every £1 is one of the best out there. I can't wait to get back on this member exclusive scheme. 

(For more info on my purse, check out this post!)

What are your current favourite loyalty schemes? Have any of mine?

My Current Skincare Tools

My skincare routine is constantly changing, but one of the only things that hardly changes in my entire beauty regime is my skincare tools. I find that once you establish a skincare routine and know exactly what types of products you're going to be using, it's essential to have the right utensils to make the most out of them. It couldn't be easier after that! What are your current skincare tools?

Chocolate Bar Vs. Naked Palette 2 | Beauty Compared

"Eye's are the windows to the soul"
To be honest with you I've become a little obsessed with eye shadow palettes lately, to the point where I'm making way to many impromptu purchases that at the end of the day may not be as necessary as I once thought. However, two things I definitely don't regret buying where Urban Decay's Naked 2 Palette and Too Faced's Chocolate Bar. I do admittedly own a few more palettes, including Naked 2's little sister Naked Basics 2, but these two are definitely my favourite ones of them all. In today's Beauty Compared post, I'll be comparing my current holy grail palettes and hopefully decide which one I love the most. This is going to be very difficult. What is your current holy grail eye shadow palette?

Starting with none other than the Naked 2 Palette; I purchased this one first out of the two, so I've had a little bit more time to work on looks with it and establish which shades are my favourite. 

Fallout?

I feel like once it's on my eye lid there's hardly any fallout during the day, however when applying the shades with my eye shadow brush it's quite difficult not to lose some of the powder; one swipe of your brush and there's too much left over so it's often wasted. My only bug bear about the formula. 

Pigmentation?

Urban Decay's eye shadows, in my opinion, are not short of a pop of colour when you add them to your makeup look. They're extremely buildable and have a consistent colour intensity that I love. 

Range of shades?

With 12 shades to choose from there's always something new to try out and it would be a little greedy to want even more, however sometimes I do find myself wishing for a few more which is, of course, where my chocolate bar comes in handy. 

But overall you can't complain, with 12 gorgeous pigmented shades and many looks to play around with, Naked 2 is up there with the best. 
My latest eye shadow addition is of course Too Faced's, a new favourite brand of mine, Chocolate bar which has a few more surprises than what you'd think.

Fallout?

The quality of the powders in this palette really shows; I have no issues with fallout at all and when applying I don't feel like any of the product is wasted unlike the Naked 2 palette. 

Pigmentation?

The Chocolate bar is admittedly slightly less pigmented than Naked 2, however slightly is the key word, it's still lovely upon application and only looses a slight bit of it's original intensity.

Range of shades?

Obviously the Chocolate bar takes the crown when it comes to its range of shades with 16 unique and versatile shades to choose from. As well as being extremely buildable, there are also a few base shades to work with so you can mix and match with different colour palettes for your eye makeup each day. There's always a shade(s) you don't use and for me it's the very very light pink shade which I'm sure later on down the line I'll figure out a way to use as much as I do the others!

Overall the Chocolate Bar is a welcome addition to my eye shadow collection as well as one of my most frequently used. For those of you who've never tried it before, it's not just called the chocolate bar because its design is in the shape of a chocolate bar, in fact each eye shadow contains a small percentage of 100% cocoa powder so not only is the formula extremely unique, but the entire thing smells like the most luxurious milk chocolate (I'm getting hungry just thinking about it). The only downside is you'll definitely crave a real chocolate bar after using it. 

So, having compared all the categories I saw fit to compare the two eye shadow palettes with (if you have any others, let me know), I think I can make a decision. Based on my love of both palettes for different reasons, I had to think about how often I go for each one and how much I like the shades available as well as, of course, their formulas. Therefore if I had to chose, my favourite would be Too Faced's Chocolate Palette, despite being my latest edition to my collection, it's simply won my heart over, time and time again. 

What is your favourite of the two? What is your current holy grail eye shadow palette?

Monthly Mustreads No.5

For the fifth edition of my Monthly Mustreads series, I am featuring two of my absolute favourite books of the moment. Aside from fantasy novels, fashion, beauty and lifestyle books almost always grab my attention. Reading is an essential part of my daily life, but if I'm really going to take it seriously it has to be based around a topic I love. This month I've been obsessed with Garance Doré's Love Style Life and adding to my coffee table essentials, Phaidon's The Fashion Book has been a must. What is your favourite genre to read? 
If you're not familiar with the world of Garance Doré and her seemingly effortlessly glamorous life, then you have been missing out. She started out blogging about style and beauty, and once she became established she also began publishing her illustrations. Her world famous blog has a gamut of beauty and fashion posts along side some gorgeous illustrations adding her own flare to everything she's passionate about. She's more than just a french woman, she's an encyclopaedia of fashion, a creative inspiration and a constant traveller. Imagine all that in one book.

Love Style Life is her blog in further depth, with style advice, beauty guidance, life advice and her take on elegance. She may be french but this book is not your typical 'How to be Parisian'. As she's well travelled her style has evolved; New York is a huge part of who she's become. She even has a chapter devoted to things New Yorkers do that she does, and this tailor made style with twists of American luxe and classic french embellishments, makes her overall style so unique and interesting. 
What you can expect:
  • Fashion, and lots of it (including her love of Zara)
  • Her beauty essentials
  • Tips and anecdotes about the crazy life she leads
The unexpected:
  • Love and all it's tribulations
  • Actual blogging advice!
  • Diary entries
  • Conversations with people who inspire her
I absolutely adore this book, and take it with me everywhere. For me it has just the right amount of glamour and realness to make it relatable, and everything in it (the inspirational quotes, the plethora of advice and the stories) make for a book I can't put down, and one that I will refer to for a lifetime to come. As Garance is french, and I speak french, I went ahead and bought both copies just because I love it that much, incase I was missing out on something. Do you own a copy of Love Style Life?
The Fashion book has been a book I've wanted ever since it came out; its a classic coffee/bedside table essential for anyone who loves fashion and wants to know more. You're most likely familiar with this books older sibling, the huge hardback version, but I went for the mini to keep things simple. First published in 1998, The Fashion Book is a constantly updated fashion glossary featuring everyone and everything that created and inspired it. 

What we think we know about fashion today is not enough to truly understand why fashion is what it is now. Style is constantly evolving but also constantly looking back at what once was. This book takes you back to the origins of style that we are familiar with today and is a thorough education on what's behind the runway shows and photo shoots, but also what inspires change in the first place.
What you can expect:
  • Designers upon designers
  • People you haven't heard of before
  • Essential fashion terminology 
  • What goes in to making those iconic fashion campaigns 

The unexpected:
  • Art that inspired fashion
  • Textile designers
  • Photographers
  • A whole lot of Naomi Campbell 
If you're a fan of fashion and endless pages of inspiration, I strongly advice you pick Phaidon's The Fashion Book, mini or not, it's an essential. It's not really a book you read all at once;  you can use it for reference, spur of the moment inspiration, coffee table entertainment and I can imagine it would also be very helpful to anyone studying fashion.

What are current favourite books? Read any of mine?

February Birchbox Unboxing

Whilst I still can't believe it's February already, I'm not complaining when another Birchbox comes to my door! This month I received 2 exciting new hair care products, 2 skincare goodies and a makeup gem. The beauty of subscribing to any beauty box service is getting the chance to try all new products each month, but it also helps you adjust to the seasonal product transition, which in this case is winter to spring. I couldn't love Birchbox more, especially this month. What have you received this month? Which subscription service are you signed up for?
I think I own about three Micellar waters at the moment - Vichy, Bioderma and of course Garnier's - but they're so helpful to me that I can never have enough. Last minute skincare routines, quick makeup removal, extra cleanses and even refreshing your skin during a no makeup day are some of the many uses I get out of them. This month I received the cutest little bottle of Absolution's L'Eau Soir et Matin Micellar Water which is said to purify, soften and tone the skin perfectly. Unlike most micellar's it smells so nice and soothing; it's made up of 99% natural products of which 60% are organic. I'm going to be traveling a lot next month, so this little bottle will definitely help me out. (Full price: £25)

Polàar's Night cream was a pleasant surprise to see sitting in my box; I've had the opportunity to try this cream before and I've loved the feel and richness of it. They promise a lot for just a simple cream and indeed believe your skin will get smoother and smoother use after use. If your skin needs a destress, revitalisation or regeneration you'll find this cream is perfect for you. My skin always glows when I use this cream, and its not too cakey and thick whilst still holding in all the moisture your skin needs. (Full price: £35)
Haircare also means a great deal to me and its not often I come across a shampoo like this one. Rich's Miracle Renew CC Shampoo smells like something you'd get from the strawberry range at the body shop and looks like silver space jelly, but most importantly it promises probably the widest range of benefits I've ever read. Boasting a unique, multi benefit system, this shampoo can 'cleanse, repair, strengthen, moisturise, volumise, smooth, add shine and body'. Sound too good to be true? I definitely think it'll be unlike anything I've tried before, but it's certainly set the bar pretty high. (Full price: £10)

Speaking of seasonal transitions, this month Birchbox have provided Number 4's Jour D'Automme Thermal Styling Spay for styling and setting wet or dry hair with ease. It can be really difficult to keep your curls in or keep your hair looking effortlessly smooth and straight, hours after styling without several touch ups and extra sprays during the day. This high performance hair care product is supposed to eliminate this difficulty and deliver long lasting styled hair thanks to an even spray all over the head at any part of the styling stage. This may be exactly what I'm looking for! (Full price: £20)
To add to my growing matte lipstick collection, Birchbox sneaked in a little vibrant lipstick by the brand LOC in the shade Uncorked. I'd describe uncorked as a red/oxblood colour and once completely dry, it takes on a firm, powerful matte finish. As well as the gorgeous colour, I love the feel and design of the product with its seal tight cap and its appropriate size makes it so easy for on the go makeup. LOC is a Birchbox own brand and have a vast range of vibrant shades to choose from that will all stay on yet remain flexible and nourishing for the lips. A gorgeous new makeup bag addition. (Full price: £5)

Tried any of my new Birchbox additions? What have you received this month?

New in body care: Lush Edition

It's the beginning of February and I've only just started using all the cosmetics and products I received for Christmas 2015, and recently I've been using some gorgeous new body care items, courtesy of my best friend, from Lush. I'm a huge fan of Lush products and going to any one of their many stores is truly a sensory paradise. Some people don't like strong smelling (flowers, fruit etc) products, but I love them. If you remember from last Christmas, like many people, I had an abundance of Lush's hugely popular Snow Fairy shower gel which became my absolute favourite for its sweet bubble gum scent, but this time around I'm equally as delighted to be using my new set. What have you recently picked up/received from Lush?
'You've got to get up every morning with a smile on your face. With a little helping had from this shower gel'

Shower gel is a crucial part of my daily beauty routine, and since I'm just not a bath person, I can't really take advantage of bath bombs or products like that. Beautiful is Lush's vegan Apricot infusion shower gel with notes of peach and a shimmer of gold. I love the fruity combo, it smells gorgeous and as always, it lathers wonderfully. What makes this shower gel a little more special, albeit festive, is the little specs of shimmery gold which I think was a wonderful touch. It contains some essential oils, Lactic acid and even Myrrh. 'You're as beautiful as you feel' with this gorgeous shower gel. 
We all know as far as body lotion goes, Lush basically takes the crown. I'm yet to find any other brands, apart from The Body Shop of course, that have such amazing lotions. The best time to hydrate your skin is after a shower and making sure its the right hydration is crucial. As part of this gift set, Celebrate (another Vegan product), is a citrusy haven. Unlike some body lotions it doesn't cake the skin with a thick layer, it absorbs quickly into damp, sometimes even dry skin and leaves a lovely Lime and Orange flavour behind. The hydration comes from the Almond Oil, Cocoa Butter, Brazilian Orange Oil, and Lime oil; its such a moisturising citrus experience. 
'Cherry on top'
When I first got this gift I thought this little pink cube was indeed a bath bomb, however it turns out to be Lush's Rub Rub Rub Body Scrub. You may have seen the news that went viral about a girl who misused her Lush bath bomb and turned a bright shade of pink which whilst somewhat funny, shows you must know your stuff before assuming how to use it! Thanks to the handy #Whatsinsidecounts booklet which came with this set, I was able to get all the info I needed on this body scrub. 

It literally has a cherry on top, and is a sea salt based dissolving scrub for baths or showers. You just take little chunks from it and exfoliate the skin. Unlike the more strong smelling products, this scrub is very lightly scented with some beautiful tones of Orange Flower, Sakura Flower, and Jasmine. As soon as I smelt it I could tell it was a flower based scrub, but it also includes an array of hydrating ingredients like Sicilian Lemon Oil, Cupuacu Butter and Organic Illipe Butter. I've never used something like this before, but so far my skin has been softer and more hydrated than ever before.

Tried any of my new Lush products? What are your Lush favourites?

Just Launched: Merumaya Gentle Exfoliating Toner

If you're a regular reader then you'll know that I love the toner stage of my skincare routine, or more specifically the acid toning part. After exfoliating or cleansing morning and night, the most important part is to tone immediately afterwards, to get all the goodness from the toner into your open pores. When it comes to Acid toning, for me it's important to balance my skin and not over tone with harsh chemicals, however at the same time get the most out of its liquid exfoliating properties. Recently I've been trying out Merumaya's newly launched Gentle Exfoliating Toner; their new high performance, Natural AHA toner with the Merumaya difference. What's your current go-to toner?
My regular toning routine is just simply a swipe all around the face with a cotton pad, then to finish I spray my face with a hydrating toner to lock in the goodness. Over the last week I've been exclusively using Merumaya's Gentle Exfoliating Toner* in order to see just how it changes and/or affects my skin in the place of my regular ones. I've definitely noticed a significant smoothness and freshness after use, and as the bottle promises you do feel fabulous. Ingredients wise, you can't go wrong with AHA's (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) their benefits include removal of dry skin, a more even skin tone and easy, more effective application of your next products. 
On the less technical side of things, the smell of this toner is utterly delightful, it's not like some others that just smell of a complete chemical bomb; this really makes you feel confident that you're using something truly beneficial. There are also anti ageing qualities to this toner thanks to the Hyaluronic Acid, giving a healthier more youthful glow to the skin. Looks wise, I love the bottles matt finish and the top of the bottles design makes it so easy to distribute onto a cotton pad and you won't waste any precious liquid!

I'm a huge fan of Merumaya and their message, which recently is becoming more and more important. #Beautyhasnoage has been Merumaya's tag line for quite some time inspiring women everywhere, check out the video below where Maleka explains a little into it's prominence to her brand.


What do you think of Merumaya's new toner? What Merumaya products have you tried?

*This post contains a press gifted item, for more info please visit my disclaimer page.

Five Unexpected Winter/Spring Wardrobe Favourites

We're no stranger to fashion guest posts here on A So Called Beauty Blog and to add to the repertoire,  today Sarah Allen is talking about some unexpected Winter/Spring favourites!

Why let your wardrobe be bland? This season try stepping out of the box and adding some fun flair to your closet. If you're brave enough to give it a go, you won't be short on ideas. There are plenty of trends out right now that are pushing the envelope. Check out a few of the ones that are sure to garner some attention. 
Backpacks
This one is just downright convenient. Instead of carrying a purse around this season, swap your essentials (and then some) over into a backpack. A summary of Burberry's latest spring line highlighted their waterproof nylon backpack as one of their top designs. Just as with purses, you bag choice is a personal preference, but you can't go wrong with a neutral shade of black, brown, or tan in leather or faux leather. 

Flat Mules 
Flat mules, also known as slip-ons and slippers, are a great alternative to the traditional ballet flat. Better still, they're as casual and comfy as the bedroom slippers they're named after. As this article explains, the shoe's uncomplicated, regal design is best represented with simple colours or patterns, free of unnecessary jewels and details. 

X-silhouette Tops
Fall and winter saw a resurgence of the off-the-shoulder trend, and now the look is getting another makeover with the x-silhouette. The design uses a small amount of fabric around the neck to hold up the bodice while keeping the shoulders bare. The limited coverage makes it ideal for warmer months, so try the trend in a brighter, spring shade. You can see more of the design from the latest round of spring fashion shows here

Western-inspired Boots
This season and next you can expect to see a lot of Western-inspired boots. Whether it's a pair of suede booties adorned with fringe, or all out cowgirl boots, this fun footwear is already popping up on and off the runways. Play up the look with a fringe purse and plaid top, or keep it low-key with skinny jeans and long-sleeve blouse or a casual dress. This site's collection of designer women's boots can give you some added inspiration on which styles will go best with your wardrobe. 

Slip Dresses
Instead of hiding your slip dress under your clothes, make it the forefront of your outfit. This slinky frock can give any gal a confidence-boosting, ultra-feminine facade. Obviously, you'll want to layer it when it's cold out, so try it underneath an open peacoat or cardigan with a fun scarf, or throw it on over a pair of pants. You can reference this guide for more information on how to wear the trend this winter and spring. 

Fashion is supposed to fun. The next time you're in the mood for some retail therapy, try something a little outside the box. You never know what might turn into your next go-to fashion favourite!

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