Luxury Travel and Lifestyle Blog

Summer Lovin': Battle Of The Body Scrubs

Exfoliating is a key aspect in maintaining healthy skin but full body exfoliation is often placed low on our list of beauty priorities. During the winter months, we can hide under our many layers of clothing if we've been slack in polishing ourselves to perfection, but there's absolutely no escaping a full body beauty regime in summer.

Throwing caution to the wind, we bare more flesh when the sun is shining to avoid overheating (obviously) and in a desperate attempt to top up our Vitamin D levels. If you're pale and interesting like me, sunshine is usually an excuse to strip off and work on that much-needed Ibiza base tan. You'd never know I was half Spanish with skin like this....

In order to feel confident in a semi-naked, summer-lovin' state, I have to have soft, smooth skin. That means investing in a good body scrub to buff away those dry, flaky imperfections. With thousands of different scrubs on the shelves, it can be a difficult decision.

What if it's too harsh? What if it's too soft? What if it leaves my skin feeling really dry? What if it irritates my sensitive skin? What if it's too expensive? 

Investing time, effort and money into a beauty product that doesn't give you what you need can be really frustrating. So, on my quest to finding the perfect body scrub this summer, I've tried and tested two new organic body scrubs from Australia's favourite all-natural beauty brand, Sukin, and here's the verdict.

Sukin Renewing Body Scrub with green tea and jojoba, £12.99 (200ml)

Although I drink green tea by the gallon, this is the first beauty product I've tried than contains green tea leaves. We're all aware of the health benefits of drinking green tea but it also has great benefits when used topically as an ingredient in beauty products. Packed full of miracle-working antioxidants, green tea protects the skin from free radicals, reduces inflammation, rejuvenates skin cells and prevents premature ageing - so no wonder why beauty brands are including this potent plant in their formulations!
I'd like to buy all the green tea in the world, please.

As well as green tea leaves, the Sukin Renewing Body Scrub also contains micro jojoba beads and ground walnut shells to gently polish the surface of the skin and rose hip oil, coconut oil and aloe vera to nourish the skin during and after exfoliation. With a fresh fragrance and lovely creamy consistency, the scrub requires minimal effort and in no way feels abrasive or uncomfortable. While stimulating the senses, it delicately buffs away to reveal soft, smooth skin and is an absolute pleasure to use. My skin felt softer for up to three days so I'd recommend using the scrub twice a week for enviably soft skin that you won't ever want to cover up.

Sukin Energising Body Scrub with coffee and coconut, £12.99

As a self-confessed coconut addict and the proud owner of an ever-growing collection of coconut-infused beauty products, my initial excitement to try this scrub was off the scale. And with coffee also making a long-lasting impression on the world of beauty, I was very curious to see what effect these two super ingredients would have on my skin.

As well as being a natural exfoliant, ground coffee is heralded for tightening and brightening the skin, improving circulation and reducing the appearance of cellulite. With additional ground coconut and walnut shells for a more effective exfoliation - and coconut oil, rose hip oil and vitamin E for hydration, the Sukin Energising Body Scrub is a refreshing and indulgent way to polish and pamper your way to beautiful skin. While seducing the senses with its beautifully rich long-lasting scent, the scrub stimulates and smoothes the skin, leaving it deliciously soft with a silky sheen. Being slightly more course than the Renewing Body Scrub, I would recommend only using it once a week to avoid irritating the skin.

The Sukin Energising Body Scrub was my favourite scrub of the two and it lived up to all my expectations. I may have been initially swayed by my love of coconut beauty products but regardless, it makes your skin feel wonderful! 

The full Sukin range is available from and select Holland and Barrett stores.   

Eating Happy: My Life On A Plate

There are people in this world who eat because it's necessary for survival. These people don't embrace the flavours of foods, they tend to be less adventurous at meal times and they stick to the foods they know they like. Then, there are others who eat for the sheer pleasure that good food brings, who explore with their mouths and who savour every bite like its their last one. I am the latter. I love food. I love the colours, the flavours, the textures, the smells - and the best part is that I get to eat a bit of that happiness every day.

Yet I recently experienced something that made me question my food choices, particularly concerning meat. Although I've never eaten masses of meat, I've always been a meat-eater and thought it a very important part of my plate. I love all components of a meal but I'd never feel full unless I'd eaten some form of meat. Over the years, I'd convinced myself that my meal wasn't 'balanced' without meat and never considered substituting it with other proteins.

But 8 weeks ago, I made the conscious decision to stop eating meat and to become a pescatarian. I thought that going meat-free was going to be quite a tough transition to make but I've realised that meat isn't the be-all-and-end-all of a meal. In fact, it has hardly disturbed my diet but has had such a positive impact on my body and mind.

So, I'd like to share some of my meal ideas with you and show you how delicious meal times can be without meat, starting with breakfast.

You may have heard it a thousand times but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. As well as providing you with many other benefits, it restores glucose levels after sleep and kick-starts your metabolism so your body burns the energy required throughout your day.

On a typical morning, I never used to eat meat for breakfast (although, a cheeky sausage sandwich wouldn't go a miss at the weekend). My day usually starts with some kind of eggs (poached eggs are currently my favourite), peanut butter and banana on seedy toast if I'm feeling lazy or a homemade smoothie.

As you may already know, I'm a huge fan of green smoothies. I think they're a great way to get a concentrated shot of nutritional goodness and very easy to prepare if you have busy mornings ahead of you. For a bit of variety, I mix my smoothies up all the time but my favourite at the moment includes mango. For me, mango is like sunshine. It's exotic, sweet and an absolute pleasure to eat. Just the thought of it makes me happy so what start a day any other way than happy?

How To Look Fashion Fabulous Without Religiously Following Trends

With fabulous fashion constantly popping up all over our screens, it's hard not to succumb to the lure of the latest trends. It's in our nature to want to look and feel our best but simply following a trend just because it's a trend may leave you feeling exposed and vulnerable. Yes, you may have the security of acceptance from your peers. Yes, you may feel like you fit in with the rest of the world but is conformity ever a good thing? Style is an art form; an expression. It defines you as an individual, your mood, your personality, your femininity and your fierceness. Fashion doesn't guarantee instant street style status; you have to look a little deeper within yourself for that...

We're all different; we have different body shapes and hair styles and skin tones and different ideas of what is 'fashionable'. So, identifying the fashion that speaks to us individually is imperative when thinking about our own style and using the high street to our advantage. The best dressed people understand how to work with current trends to suit themselves and they don't just let their clothes do the talking. Instead, their clothes remain true to who they are and also accentuate their personalities. They may choose to style an outfit combining vintage pieces, high fashion, hand-me-downs, handmade items or brand new buys - but whatever they chose, style overrides the 'fashion' and trends become just another piece of the jigsaw.

In fashion, trends are just that; a trend, a fad, a novelty so it's time to embrace the styles that we love, even if they are last season. Deep down, we all know the realities of keeping up with fashion trends - it's expensive, short-lived, time-consuming and altogether unattainable. So, here are my top tips to looking fabulous without religiously following the trends (and I can assure you, you will look just as gorgeous as if you'd just bought a brand new outfit from ASOS).

1. Spot the colour. Seasonal trends tend to focus on a particular colour palette, so keep your eyes peeled when you hit the high street. Some colours, like nude, khaki, grey and plum, are always a good investment as they make an appearance most years and nude makes for great transitional looks between seasons.

2. If in doubt, wear black. Black will never go out of style so if you ever feel like your current wardrobe is not inspiring you, black's your go-to colour. It's so versatile and as Karl Lagerfeld once said, "one is never over-dressed or underdressed in a Little Black Dress".

3. Recycle. Some trends have staying power, so invest in pieces that have been around before because they will definitely be back - I promise you. You can't go wrong with stripes, denim, checks or florals - so hang on to those last season favourites.

4. Choose the trends that flatter you. Sometimes, it's tempting to rock a certain look because it's fashionable but we have to be realistic. You will work a trend a million times better if you're true to your body (and your body will thank you for it too). Identify your favourite body part: your waist, legs, arms, boobs, bum - and accentuate it with your fashion choices.

5. Adapt trends to suit your style. If there's something on trend that ignites a fashion fire in your soul but is totally outrageous, wear it in a way that is comfortable for you. Take a seasonal texture, colour or pattern and work it into your look with accessories.

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