Sunday, 23 September 2018

Let's Talk Beauty...

Let’s talk beauty....

It’s a new topic over here, but wanted to update you on how my skin has changed quite a bit since moving back from Sydney. It’s only been the last year that I’ve really experimented with foreign products on my skin. I suffered from acne as a teenager, and it flared up after an allergic reaction to a face cream. It lasted throughout my university days and really hit my confidence. The cream I was prescribed would overly dry my skin (it would crack around my mouth and was so painful). I tried a light laser surgery and dermabrasion at about the age of 21 once my skin calmed down. I saw a slight difference in my skin, but as time went on I noticed my acne scars more and more. 

It was only after an ablative laser treatment in Sydney I really saw the difference in my skin. The ice pick scars were hardly visible after months of healing. I stuck with a chemist own cleanser and SPF (Australian QV brand), and was scared to put anything else on my skin. That was 3 years ago and I’ve slowly been trying and testing new products.  

I have to be honest and say I have been overwhelmed trying new products in the UK, and it’s taken me the last 5 months to really get into the swing of a good facial routine each day with products that work for me. The climate is completely different here and I was always under the assumption I had combination skin, but after seeing a few facialists here in the UK, it’s apparent I actually have dry skin. This shocked me! 


I have been on the hunt for a new cleanser for the last few months. Some had that ‘squeaky’ feel which I hated and some just didn’t clean my skin deep enough. Last month I received a beauty box with tester sizes from Look Fantastic with a 30ml Eve Lom Creme Demaquillante Cleanser. Straight away I googled reviews and to my surprise I couldn’t find a bad one. It’s a cult brand, and the cleansing process is time consuming each night but your skin will thank you for it. It melts away make-up with the following gentle ingredients: 
  • Clove Oil (has antiseptic properties to encourage clear skin)
  • Eucalyptus Oil (helps drain away toxins)
  • Hops Oil (tones)
  • Egyptian Chamomile Oil (softens and soothes)
  • Cocoa Butter (conditions) 
After massaging into the skin, you wipe away the days make-up with a warm muslin cloth. It even removes waterproof mascara. Finish off with cold water on the skin to tighten up your pores. 

I only used this cleanser for a week before I fell in love with it! So naturally I have also added the Morning Time Cleanser to my routine which is less time consuming and makes my skin feel moisturised and clean. 


So I’ve been through my fair share of moisturisers since moving home. My current go to is The Ordinary’s Natural Moisturiser, but still on the hunt for a good night cream! I recieved a sample of La Mer's Moisturizing Soft Cream which I actually really liked so will probably add that into my evening routine.

Serum wise, I alternate each night between Rodin Luxury Face Oil, and Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair face and eye. I was using both products in Sydney and feel they sink into my skin a lot more in the UK so feeling more of a benefit. If I need a little glow on my face, Vita Liberata do a nice subtle face tan which comes in serum form and glides on. Each day, I am also using the La Mer Lip Balm which I am sure I will see such benefit from when the weather gets a bit colder! 


I loved Jo Malone in Australia, it’s definitely more of a household name in the UK and the majority of my friends and family wear their scents. It’s taken me a while to find my autumnal perfume, I tend to opt for more woody tones. I always wear different perfumes in summer and winter. I love coconut or fig scents in the warmer months (I’ve worn Maison Louis Marie No.4 for 3 summers) but my new go to scent is Velvet Rose and Oud from Jo Malone. My best friend is obsessed with Jo Malone fragrance combining. In case you're unsure, this is when you match a different moisturiser to the scent of your perfume which compliments all the notes. 

Thanks to my bestie I was introduced to the Pomegranate Noir Body Crème and now I have my mum obsessed, she has already made me aware this is what she wants for Christmas this year! Although tan can't really be classed as a scent, I beg to differ. Chanel L'Eau Tan is an absolute game changer in regards to the best smelling glow on the market and also the most natural. Plus the bottle is to die for, the perfect stocking filler (too soon?)

I hope you’ve enjoyed my first beauty post. I have been wanting to write this article for some time, but felt my skincare regime was not quite there, whereas now I am actually happy with it. I can finally say I have found my groove in the skincare world with what works for me. It’s very hard to know what’s right for you. After all, we are inundated with the next best product that will transform your skin. I can assure you all the views in this post are genuine. I still have a lot to learn, but hopefully continuing with Hydra Facials (I now go to Beyond Medi Spa in Harvey Nichols) and continuing to educate myself more and more surrounding this area will help. 

On a side note, I regularly watch Emma Hoareau's (from Lolita Says So Blog) Instagram stories and she also has some really informative articles on her website. After my Hydra facial I was educated about Glycolic acid and Vitamin A, which Emma covers on her website on her acids article. Hoping to add these 2 into my routine this month, I am still reading reviews on different brands so will come back to you when I have tried them at home. 

Photography: Yours truly

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Relocating: Four Months On

After seeing the response from my post in April about moving back to the UK, it only felt right to update you on how things have been going so far. I left my full-time social media job in Sydney to put all my energy into Style Structure. I’m settled in my new apartment, styling and designing my space exactly how I want it. I signed the lease on my place for the high ceilings and natural light - both important when you work in the creative industry. Working from home has it’s highs and lows (I miss being the office chatterbox!) but one thing I have really gotten back into is cooking more. I live in the centre of Cardiff, and it’s all too easy to fall off the bandwagon eating out and opting for the quick and unhealthy option. If I’m not travelling or photographing, I spend the rest of my time in my office, my home. So chef Helen needed to up her game going from office lunches in Sydney to healthy quick and easy solutions back in Cardiff!

I have literally gone from a fridge shelf in a shared house in Sydney, to a nice big Samsung fridge Freezer here! It’s surprising how living alone and working in the same space fills the fridge more than I could imagine. I tend to do my weekly food shop with my mum, but get fresh produce in every few days. Go to meals include Spaghetti Bolognese and homemade Chilli Con Carne because these dishes last a bit longer and can be frozen. Also great if I have a last minute meeting in London I need to attend. Fresh salads like spinach with poached chicken is usually what I am preparing for lunches, but I also love putting together a super quick charcuterie board with olives, cous cous and peppers. I’m getting back into green smoothies, and trying to include more protein into my breakfasts to stay focused (eggs and fish). After all, food is the fuel to creativity so it’s important to take breaks throughout the day.

The one thing I tried to practice the moment I stepped off that plane is stick to a ROUTINE. I’m still without a coffee machine, so try and make an effort to go for a walk to get one each day. It also gives your mind the mentality you are ‘on your way to work’. I am making an effort to cook three meals a day, attending gym classes in the evenings and trying my hardest adhering to a 9-5 schedule. The latter is always difficult as social media doesn’t sleep, but I have found doing these 3 things help a lot. 

I can’t wait to share more about my move back to the UK, and photograph creative projects at home. I know it will be happening a lot more come winter! 

This post was brought to you in partnership with Samsung Home Appliances
Photography and creative direction by yours truly.


Tuesday, 7 August 2018

The Royal Lancaster Photo Diary

Nestled outside the gates of Hyde Park, The Royal Lancaster Hotel doesn't disappoint. Walking distance to good coffee shops, great shoot locations and the tube just around the corner. It's my home from home when visiting London. Don't forget to order room service....


Wednesday, 1 August 2018

The Paris Instagram Guide

If you’ve been following along over on Instagram, you would have noticed my Paris trip has come to a close! I’ve visited three times in the last year and each trip doesn’t disappoint. This trip was a little different to my previous 2 trips with my tripod. It was a girls trip with Hannah Crosskey from A Fashion Fix blog and we had an absolute blast! It’s one of my favourite cites to photograph, and due to popular demand I have put together a guide to the city for anyone that is gracing the streets in the near future. 

Where to stay? 

Each Paris getaway I have experienced a new area, and this trip we had the pleasure of staying at Hotel Bourg Tibourg which is located in Le Marais. The location is conveniently located a short 5 minute walk to the 1 line on the Metro (yellow train) which will connect you easily to major tourist attractions like The Louvre, Saint Michel and with a quick change to The Eiffel Tower. This is the best way to explore Paris and trains are frequent. I can confidently say Paris has one of the best subway set ups for any major city. Download the Paris Metro app to navigate around and buy the 10 book tickets as it will save you money buying each train ride individually. 

Le Marais is one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods in Paris. Quaint coffee shops, cool boutiques and a handful of museums are all located in walking distance from the hotel. I visited The Pompidou years back, and to this day was still my favourite museum. It’s a lot more interactive than most and they always have cool contemporary exhibitions on. The view from the roof cafe is a hidden gem!

The ‘Instagram Spots’ 
After numerous trips, I have a handful of locations that are winners every time. To get the ‘it’ shot I believe a big factor is rising at sunrise to capture the image efficiently without the crowds. Hannah and I were waking up at around 5am, and were photographing until about 11am. This gave us the afternoons to go at a leisurely pace, kick back and people watch from our favourite cafes. If you are not a morning person you will struggle at this, but the more you get your ass out of bed to produce magical sunrise work it gets easier, and in turn motivates you more the next time.

The Eiffel Tower is accessible from numerous Metro stations, but I always jump off at Concorde. There are multiple locations to shoot around here, but start by walking down the steps towards the river. The locations in today’s post are on the bridge crossing The Seine, and a cobbled street across the river called Rue De L'Universite. (If you wanted to miss out the first part catch the train to Bir Hakeim to be on the correct side of the river). We were lucky to have a sunny morning so the light play was phenomenal but literally lasted about 10 minutes at around 7:15am. Perfect warm light I literally live for so, this made me so happy!

Tuileries Garden is perfect for something a little different to your usual cafe shots. It’s peaceful and super quiet in the mornings and is only a short walk from The Louvre. It’s also a great place to take a book and have some time out, or even take a journal and write down your thoughts. There's a Ferris Wheel nearby so take a second outfit in your handbag so you can change to get a completely different backdrop.

The Louvre opens at 7am (including the outside area) so we were the first in there to capture these shots. We were actually 30 minutes too early so decided to wander around for a little bit! Be mindful it’s closed on Tuesday’s. Make a booking at Cafe Marly. They do the best Club Sandwich and vanilla hot’s a must! You can book online and I have only ever requested outside seating when I arrive. Staff are super friendly and for such a busy cafe it never feels rushed. Avoid 2pm onwards, it's a lot quieter in the mornings.

Rue Saint-Honoré is located behind The Louvre and has great shopping and cafes. Just a warning, coffee is not cheap in Paris and cafes don’t open early like in some countries! You can pay up to 12 Euros a cup so you have been warned (but so worth it to use their bathroom as a changing room!) I photographed at La Rotonde Cafe on my trip last September which you can view here

The Peninsula Hotel. If you want to splash out, this is the place to dine for lunch! We chose Le Lobby, and sat on the terrace as the weather was glorious. I have to say it was the best meal I have ever had! I opted for duck and melon to start and lobster bisque tagliatelle for main. Hannah had Beef Carpaccio. If you’re a Pinterest girl like me you may have stumbled across the glass restaurant on the top floor - L’Oiseau Blanc. You have to book at least four weeks in advance to secure a table. They also have a beautiful rooftop with views of the city so make sure you head on up for drinks after lunch. 

Place Vendôme. I first shot this location all the way back in 2014! You can see the post here (cringe!) All the high end designer shops Carrie Bradshaw would die for are located here: Chanel, Dior, Van Cleef and Arpels to name a few, and if you are feeling super fancy head across the street to Hotel Costes for a cocktail.

Montmartre. Jump off the train at Anvers and take a right uphill towards The Sacre Coeur. The streets are cobbled and winding so make sure you have sensible footwear on! There are many locations on the walk up and I particularly like the cafes just to left of the carousel. I didn’t venture there with Hannah on this trip, but shot here back in March. See the post here. There are numerous art shops and painters towards the Sacre Coeur and none of the cafes or shop owners had any issues me taking my pictures outside. 

Pont Alexandre III. Again, we didn’t shoot at this bridge on this trip but photographed here with my tripod back in March which you can view here. This is the bridge with the gold ornate details and you’ll see the Eiffel Tower in the distance. 

Cafe Kitsune is located in the gardens of The Royal Palace, and what I love most about this place is the merchandise you can purchase - from coffee cups, to the coffee beans to tote bags. They are constantly collaborating with new artists, so each visit feels a little different.

There are so many more photogenic spots in the city but I have tried to condense all my favourite spots into one post. Feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions about visiting Paris. Like any major city, be aware of pick pockets and if you have a camera on you make sure it's inside a bag away from sight. I’ll be making these travel guides more frequently in the coming months. I have some fun trips planned so look out for them!
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