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A bloggers best friend is…. I mean, a bloggers best friends are their photographer and a good pair of sunglasses. I just discovered a website selling tote bags that display the phrase ‘big sunglasses hide all sins’ which I have to agree with except this season I prefer them small and mostly round ; )

I enjoy photography and mostly shoot the still life shot’s for this blog myself I’m also prone to the odd nature shot for my instagram page. For the fashion posts a good photographer is a must but on this occasion Christian Roman was busy on another project and I had to take the portrait for this post by myself. An afternoon in my garden running between the front and the back of a camera made me appreciate the speed and direction that working with a pro brings.

My latest collab is with German brand Willems Eyewear. I received three models of their special edition ‘B-Zero’ collection. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I opened the box and saw the three beauties staring up at me. Here I am wearing Newquay which evokes fond childhood memories of summers spent running around (often naked) on the beaches of Cornwall. My sister lives in Cornwall, not far from surfers paradise, Newquey. I’ve been meaning to plan another visit and I think I will except this time I’ll be clothed and sporting my favourite new sunglasses.

 

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My appreciation for natural oils has transitioned from the occasional laid back date to an exclusive relationship. My bathroom shelf holds an impressive selection of essential oils ranging from RODIN to VINTNER’S DAUGHTER. With open arms I welcome the latest edition – BUTTER ELIXIR. From the picture you will see I have the face elixir, plus the hair and body oil. The nourishing and comforting face oil contains a blend of apricot, rosehip, argan and rose oils. The hair and body combines almond, argan, lavender and chamomile. I’m using these as my bedtime oils as they are rich and nourishing which aids in the skins nighttime regeneration. I find the rose oil in the face elixir and the lavender in the body elixir super comforting and relaxing, another reason to use them at night yet there’s no reason not to use them both day and night. The natural fragrance in these products is noticeable but not overpowering in my opinion. Both absorb easily and leave my skin soft and nourished.

I’m a supporter of independent brands, founded by nice people who give a damn. Butter elixir’s founder is no exception, I can tell she’s a cutie from her portrait on the website. And my interaction with the brand during the arrangement of this collab was lovely – it’s nice to be nice. For this reason alone I recommend you give them a try, especially if you appreciate the benefits of natural oils.

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In today’s post I’ve opened up my gym kit to show you my tried and tested essentials that are both stylish and practical.

I recently started back at the gym after a very long break and it feels great to be training again. I’m not one of those people to put on weight when I don’t work out, it actually has the opposite effect and I end up looking skinny which leaves me feeling unhappy with myself. I’ve been jogging for a while which is great but I see the best results when I combine the cardio with weight training. A couple of gym sessions per week with some jogging outdoors make the perfect combination for my body and mind.

1 ONLY & SON’S T-SHIRT & SHORTS. The t-shirts are slightly longer in the body which is perfect as they don’t rise up when I’m stretching or using a foam roller. The shorts are also great as they have a draw string waist and zipper pockets. Zipper pockets are an essential for me when I’m jogging as I always take my i phone and this prevents it falling out and getting smashed.

2 DR JACKSON’S 01 SKIN DAY CREAM*. This is a great all-natural brand which means the moisturiser is lightweight, it allows my skin to breathe whilst providing SPF 20.

3 SUSANNE KAUFMANN DEODORANT STICK*. I only use all-natural deodorants because ingredients such as aluminum which are found in regular deodorants can be harmful. Their aren’t many effective all-natural versions but this one is excellent plus is smells great and it comes as a stick rather than a spray.

3 ASICS Trainers and perfect for running as they provide good support and the quality is always good. This is definitely my go-to workout brand.

4 SALT. EYEWEAR*. These sunglasses are from their latest collection and whilst they look cool they are also great for jogging when the sun is out. These frames are super lightweight yet hold firmly in place.

5 LOUIS VUITTON KEEPALL BANDOULIERE 45. I’ve had this bag for around 4 years and it’s hardly worn even though I’ve used it so much. I often take it on weekends away, especially if I’m flying with just hand luggage. It also makes a great gym bag as it fit’s everything I need. Definitely worth the money.

* Whilst I received these products as samples I’ve only featured them as they are an actual part of my gym kit.

I’ll admit that when it comes to fragrance I’m a total snob. If I’m gifted a bottle of Chanel Bleu or Dior Homme Sport it’s likely I’ll pass it onto someone else. Preferred brands? Byredo or Frederic Malle. I guess I’d compare fragrance to wine as both are so personal to the individual and once you’ve had the good stuff there’s no going back. The German brand Brooklyn Soap Company are known for their range of natural grooming products which I featured last year. I just received a sample of their latest addition The Woods eau de parfum. The packaging is both functional and aesthetically pleasing as it shields the liquid from daylight which degrades the fragrance over time. It smells really, really great as it’s rich, complex and luxurious which I like.

NOTES

Top: Mandarine, Black Pepper, Fresh Ginger, Bergamotte, Tyme.

Heart: Absinthe, Iris Absolut, Red Pepper, Nutmeg.

Fond: Myrrhe, Amber Musk, Benjoin Siam, Cashmir Wood, Incense.

Created by French perfumer Mark Buxton it’s clear that care and skilled craftsmanship has gone into this product. Fragrance is a difficult market to enter and the guys at Brooklyn Soap Company have pulled out the stops to make this something special. Understandably the buyers at Colette snapped it up.

 

 

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Whilst watching the British TV show Mr Selfridge I was admiring the glasses worn by actor Jeremy Piven. His were reading glasses but when I saw a pair of shades in a similar style by OBLYK I knew I had to try them. Completely handcrafted in Italy this frame is from their latest collection, Graffiato. I was into round glasses anyway but these shades push the style further and I think they look rather dapper.

Photography by Christian Roman for lookin good feelin fine.