Luxury Travel and Lifestyle Blog

Fashion Favourites: Culottes

When I was a child, my mother used to dress me in culottes for school. She tells me that it was because I didn't want all the boys looking at my pants but I know the real reason. At 4 years old, I was already more fashionable than I knew- but there was one problem. I hated my culottes with a passion. Grey, square and shapeless, I was literally the only girl in the whole school who wore them. All of the other girls would be dressed in their checked dresses, pleated skirts or neat pinafores looking pretty and feminine, then there was me - a red-faced, bushy-browed, culotte-wearing child who could've been mistaken for a homeless boy.

Fast-forwarding to 2016, culottes are everywhere and now, I can't get enough of them! Gone are the days when I wanted to cry over them. Instead, I'm constantly rearranging my wardrobe making way for my newest, most beautiful pair. One might say that I'm a little bit obsessed but I'm okay with that. If one item can make you feel so sophisticated, flatter your bum, make your legs look longer and nip you in at the waist, why wouldn't you buy them in all colours and styles?!

This season, culottes are the sassiest alternative to dresses and skirts and they're perfect for the UK's unpredictable weather. Dress them up, dress them down, add some texture, go pattern crazy... style them however you like, the options are endless. Whatever you decide, it'll be one of the best fashion-related decisions you'll make in your lifetime.

So on that note, here are a few of my favourite pairs on the high street. Enjoy!

Floral Culottes - ASOS £40

You can't get any more feminine than florals and these culottes are just my style! A big, vintage floral pattern with a modest character, they add a lovely burst of colour to an outfit without stealing the limelight. Light and summery, these culottes will see you right through to high summer. Perfect if you don't fancy getting your legs out but still want to feel gorgeously girly.

Black Culottes - Miss Selfridge £35

Black doesn't have to mean boring! These culottes are a fashionably fresh way to update your staple black trousers - comfort and style in one. My favourite way to wear them is with a fitted top to emphasise the waist and contrast the wide legs. They may not look like the most casual pair of culottes but they're still easily dressed down, so if you're feeling ultra-relaxed, don't be afraid to team them with your trainers.

Black Printed Culottes - Primark £12

For a relaxed look that is still bang on trend, these culottes are ideal. They're cute, super comfortable and really affordable. With a tie waist, flattering crepe fabric and a subtle print, these culottes will keep you cool and composed this summer. Pair with flat sandals or trainers for ultimate casual comfort.

Culotte Jumpsuit with Sash Detail - Warehouse £75

I fell in love with this jumpsuit the minute I saw it. With wide culotte legs, a pulled in sash waist and a high neck, it flatters everywhere! The tailoring is strong yet feminine and it makes for a chic, sophisticated outfit (I recently wore it to the #BloggersBall). As well as making you look amazing, this jumpsuit is so comfortable to wear and the colour is perfect for spring / summer.

Hair Rehab: Aquis Lisse Luxe Long Hair Towel

“People always ask me how long it takes to do my hair. I don’t know, I’m never there.” - Dolly Parton

When I was a child, I accidentally cut my own hair. I was going through that phase where I was bored of practicing hairstyles on my doll's head and wanted to take it to the next level. Thinking I was a hairdressing prodigy, I cut away at my lovely long locks - only to regret it seconds later. Turned out, my hairdressing ability was more on par with Edward Scissorhands than Nicky Clarke... I'd literally hacked at it, right in the middle of length, so my hair was completely ruined. I've always been a goody two shoes and didn't want to get in trouble, so I hid the clump of hair under my parents' bed, as if they'd never notice. Of course, they did notice and there was only one way to fix it. 

I had to have a bob. 

Since that moment, I've tried to be good to my hair. I've only had highlights once, I've never fully dyed it, I protect it with products and oils as much as I can and I wash it every 4 days. Rightly or wrongly, protecting my hair is always at the top of my priority list. So when I came across the Aquis Lisse Luxe Long Hair Towel, a revolutionary hair towel designed to reduce damage and frizz, I was rather intrigued. 

Years ago, I was told that towel drying your hair was bad for it but I never really gave it a second thought. When hair is wet, it is delicate and stretchy, so rubbing it with a regular towel can cause damage to the hair's cuticles, creating friction and frizz. The Aquis Lisse Luxe Long Hair Towel is made with a unique, absorbent fabric that keeps the hair cuticles smoother, ensures hair retains moisture naturally and cuts down on drying time. 

So, is it worth the bother?

Yes! My hair is so long and thick that washing and drying it is torture - it takes such a long time. But since using my Aquis Lisse Luxe Long Hair Towel, my hair dries quicker, smoother and with less flyaway frizz. It absorbs excess moisture faster than any other towel I've used before, which means it takes less time to blow dry. 

Before Aquis, it would take me over 30 minutes to blow dry my hair. After Aquis, that time is reduced to 20 minutes. It might not sound like much but that's 10 minutes less that my hair is exposed to heat every time I blow dry it. Another thing that I love about it is it's really comfortable to wear; it's light, easy to wrap around your hair around and doesn't pull on your neck! At £35, it's quite an investment but if you love your hair and want quicker drying, smoother locks, it's definitely worth it.

What are your haircare secrets?

Fragrance Favourites: Day To Night

"A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future" - Coco Chanel

I was on the tube recently when I caught a brief, passing whiff of a perfume worn by the woman opposite me and immediately, a memory flashed. I started looking around with the anticipation and joy of seeing one of my best friends (who lives over 100 miles away) but to no avail. Yet, I knew what the catalyst was for this sudden longing for my friend. Gucci Rush.

My friend has worn the same perfume since I met her 13 years ago and whenever I smell it, I think of her. That is the power of perfume. It can be something spritzed over your body once to make you feel fresh, never to be sprayed again or it can become an intrinsic part of your identity.

For me, perfumes present so many opportunities and different scents bring out different aspects of a personality. So, here are 4 of my favourite fragrances and how they translate to me in the modern world.

There is no way to dumb this down. Carolina Herrera 212 VIP is just like sex in a bottle. Fact. With sweet chocolate top notes and a base full of woody, musky gorgeousness, this scent oozes power, femininity and sensuality and I wear it at all times of the day. On those days when my sassiness level is lower than average, I hold my head up high, reach for my beloved 212 VIP and I feel positively fierce. I'm hypnotised by its scent-sational charm and I'm not afraid to say so. But what I love most about 212 VIP is its staying power (seriously, I've got clothes that still hold the scent after they've been washed!). A good spritz in the morning will see you right through to the evening - with you still feeling as confident and sexy as ever.

The sweetest perfume in my fragrance favourites, BOSS Jour Pour Femme is a light-hearted floral scent inspired by the light of the morning sun. With notes of grapefruit flower, lime, freesia, honeysuckle and white birch, it has a very colourful and citrusy composition but is not overpowering in any way. Its floral freshness wins me over every time and it's a great scent to wear day to day. I keep this one in my dance bag for a quick refreshing spritz after class. Granted, it's not powerful enough to be anybody's signature scent but it's simple, elegant and fresh.

BOSS Nuit Pour Femme is the "Little Black Dress" of perfumes with a very versatile and complementary scent. Featuring a modern composition of feminine florals blended with heart notes of violet and jasmine and rich, woody base notes, it is designed to put the essential finishing touch to your perfectly put together look. Although it doesn't have amazing staying power, I find this fragrance very sensual, alluring and rather mysterious. Its black, sleek bottle is as sophisticated as its scent - and I can't help but feel seduced by this light and unimposing perfume of the night. However, I tend to wear BOSS Nuit during the day / early evening as it doesn't have the heaviness that I like in an evening perfume.  

When a perfume bottle looks as pretty as Marc Jacobs Daisy, it's hard not to be attracted to it and for me, it was love at first sight - but not only because of its aesthetics. The name Daisy holds a great deal of sentimental value to me as it was my great grandmother's name. Naturally, I became drawn to it and thankfully, the scent is as lovely as the bottle and name suggests. Fresh, floral and feminine top notes of strawberry and violet with a deep, musky base, it gives an air of sophisticated yet youthful charm wrapped in warmth. As you can see, my bottle is running rather low but no matter where my nose takes me, Daisy will always be up there with my favourite fragrances.

Do you have a favourite fragrance?

    Home Improvements: Scents and Sensibility

     “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”  - Aristotle

    This may be a very obvious statement to make but when we sit / think / work / eat / relax in an environment that we're comfortable in, we feel happy and untroubled. Life's all about harmony. When we feel at one with our surroundings, we can go about our business with a clear, focused mind

    But what makes a space inviting to someone is subjective. Some people may be tuned into temperature, while others may be concerned with colour scheme. Me? I'm a little bit obsessed with the scent of a room. I'm a sucker for a scented candle, an interesting incense stick, a gentle reed diffuser or an organic essential oil. You name it, I've probably already got it (and it's probably already doing its thing in one room or another). So, when I came across Organic Aromas - an American brand that sells unique essential oil diffusers - I just had to try one out for myself. 

    Organic Aromas are dedicated to enriching and improving people's lives using a unique form of aromatherapy. They stock a beautiful range of ornate, glass diffusers that nebulise using the Bernoullis Principle, meaning that no heat or water is required which maintains the holistic and therapeutic properties of the essential oil. 

    When my package arrived, I already knew where my new friend was going to live: my office. This is where the magic happens but working from home can often mean unavoidable stresses / distractions / children and it can become difficult to create a calm, motivating environment. For this reason, my desk was already surrounded by a sea of Neom candles, but I decided it was time for a scent adjustment in my work zone. 

    With a gorgeous custom-blown glass diffuser and a hand-carved hardwood base, the Radiance Essential Oil Diffuser is the most stylish diffuser that I have ever seen. It's practically a piece of art; its smooth shape is reminiscent of nature and the elements, which adds to its calming effect. But not only does it have beauty, it has substance too. The diffuser also comes complete with Organic Aroma's Signature Blend essential oil, a plug with a universal adapter (so no foreign electrical worries) and pipettes for cleaning. 

    As it comes to life, the lovely rainbow-coloured LED lighting sets the mood as the beautiful scent fills the room. On the base of the diffuser, there is a handy 'volume' switch to control the oil. I find that it diffuses rather quickly, so I prefer to keep it on a low level. 

    And there you go. One heavenly scented, calm room.

    I still love scented candles, incense sticks and reed diffusers, but the Radiance Essential Oil Diffuser has shown me essential oils in a new, Bernoulli-powered light - and I would definitely recommend one for your own space.

    Me, My Kettlebell And I

    I try my best to lead a healthy lifestyle (without depriving myself of treats, of course) and I find that when I'm good to my body, my body's good to me.

    When it comes to working out, I love exercising but I don't believe in spending hours stuck in the gym if you don't enjoy it. When the enjoyment is removed, exercise becomes a chore and motivation gets lost. Then you're back to square one, feeling deflated (and probably waisting a lot of money on a gym membership that is gathering dust in your purse). 

    I believe in listening to your own body and working out a fitness routine that's right for you, whether that's lifting weights, practicing yoga, busting out some Zumba moves or just taking a short walk around the block to get your heart rate up. Exercise isn't just about seeing the physical results; it's about how it makes you feel - before, during and after. If it's making you feel anything but happy, content and the kind of tired where you want to do it all again, be true to your body and re-evaluate what;s best for you.

    I like my exercise regime to be varied but one of my favourite workouts is my kettlebell routine. Kettlebell exercises are so special because they offer a total body workout, with the benefits of resistance training and cardiovascular conditioning. This short series of kettlebell movements gets me lovely and sweaty in minutes. It's quick, tiring and I get exactly what I want from it; strong, lean muscles that improve my day-to-day mobility.

    So, here's a breakdown of a few of my favourite kettlebell movements and how to perform them correctly.

    Kettlebell Swing
    This is a great move for your core, glutes, hips, legs and shoulders. Start with your feet hip width apart and hold the kettlebell with both hands between your legs - arms straight. Lower yourself into a squat position. As you exhale, press your weight into your heels and swing the kettlebell up to eye level.

    Goblet Squat
    This move targets your flutes, hamstrings and quads. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your toes slightly pointed out and hold the kettlebell by the horns (where the handle meets the bell). Sit down between your knees, keeping your chest up and your back straight. Go down as low as you can while keeping your feet flat on the floor. If your heels come up, widen your stance. At the bottom, push your knees out with your elbows then push back up through your heels and stand tall.

    PliƩ Squat
    This squat works wonders for your inner thighs and glutes! Stand with your feet wider than your shoulders with your toes pointed out. Hold the kettlebell in two hands so it hangs between your legs. Keeping your pelvis and upper body straight, lower your body until your tights are parallel to the floor. Don't worry if you can't get there - work towards it!

    Russian Twists 
    This is the perfect exercise for your abs. Sit with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold the kettlebell with both hand close to the chest. Lean back to a 45 degree angle and rotate the torso from left to right, twisting at the waist. If you want to increase the difficultly level, lift your feet off the floor.

    Kettlebell Windmill
    This move is a fantastic total-body move and great for targeting the obliques and sculpting the waist. Stand with feet slightly wider than your hips, left foot pointing straight and right foot pointing out. Press the kettlebell overhead with your left arm with your palm facing upwards. Keeping your left arm straight at all times (I keep my right arm straight too facing down towards the floor), push your hip out to the left and slowly lean to the right until your right hand brushes the floor, making sure that you look up to the kettlebell. Pause for a moment then return back to your starting position.

    Figure Eight
    This movement targets your arms, shoulders, back and core. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and in a squat position. Keeping your back straight and your glutes engaged, hold the kettlebell in your right hand and swing it back between your legs, switching hands. With the kettlebell now in your left hand, swing it around the outside of your left leg  and bring it back through your legs, switching back to your right hand.

    Kettlebell Lunge
    Lunges are great for working your core, glutes and legs. Stand upright with your right foot forward in a wide stance, making sure that your knee does not extend past your toes. Hold the kettlebell in your left hand with your arm close to your side. If you prefer, you can hold the kettlebell in two hands against your core, keeping your elbows in at the waist. Lower your left knee until it almost touches the floor, then slowly straighten it again to complete the rep.

    What are your favourite exercises?

    Professional Blog Designs by pipdig