Wardrobe Picks – Levi’s Tee & Blazer

While selecting items for ‘wardrobe picks’, it became clear that the foundations of my wardrobe are laid in denim. A good pair of jeans and a t-shirt will take you pretty much anywhere these days so it makes sense that the bulk of my sartorial budget lies in an array of crops, skinnies and kick flares. Or, at least it did. I’m kind of feeling that I’ve been on something of a style sabbatical these past two years – growing and raising babies has left me, shall we say, a little jaded in the fashion stakes. I’ve emerged from my baby induced haze into a world of ‘mom-fit’ jeans, uber high-waists and stonewashed denim, all of which I have to say, I’m loving the look of. Getting that look right, on the other hand, is taking a little more time and thought than my pre baby days necessitated. Take the mom-fit jean. In my pre baby days, this look would have been deliciously ironic and easily replicated. As a mother, on the other hand, you walk a fine line between that nonchalant, stylish nod to the 90’s and actually looking like a frump who hasn’t adapted her style since 1994! These dark indigo high rise skinnies are a pretty safe option but they are super stretchy, super comfy and super flattering. Another trend that seems to be riding high is the logo tee. Now traditionally, I’m not a huge fan in plastering myself in logos – I usually prefer the more subtle approach. However, it’s grown on me (as trends have a tendency to do). The original Gucci version is the Holy Grail but as much as I love a good t-shirt, £320  does seem a little steep for what is essentially a trend piece. This Levi’s tee is a design classic and isn’t so ‘in your face’ that you would feel in any way self-conscious wearing it on a daily basis. I’ve finished my look with a classic navy blazer from By Malene Birger (ancient, must be seven years old if it’s a day…the power of a good blazer) and box fresh Adidas Gazelles!

Wardrobe Picks - Levi's Tee & Blazer | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Wardrobe Picks - Levi's Tee & Blazer | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Wardrobe Picks - Levi's Tee & Blazer | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Wardrobe Picks - Levi's Tee & Blazer | jessicarhoades.co.uk

‘Wardrobe Picks’ is becoming a regular feature on jessicarhoades.co.uk. Find all my Fashion Posts HERE

JEANS – Me & Em (Available Here In Black)

BLAZER – By Malene Birger (Similar)

T-SHIRTLevi

BAGJem + Bea

TRAINERSAdidas

SUNGLASSESRayban

BRACELETSMonica Vinader & Dinny Hall

NECKLACEMissoma

*this post contains affiliate links* 

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My Guilty Pleasure – Romance & Rakes

I have a secret and I hope you won’t judge me too harshly! I love to read (no, that’s not the secret). As a child reading came as naturally to me as breathing. In school, I was given free choice of the extensive libraries and my imagination was allowed to run wild. From Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton to Jane Austen and J.K Rowling, I was a real life ‘Matilda’ and didn’t care who knew it! I lived for English class, tales from Dickins and Shakespeare and poems by Blake, I revelled in the imaginary worlds into which the writers pulled me, the warm sense of comfort from truly enjoying the place to which your mind takes you. But, I digress, I told you I had a secret to share, and here it comes. For all the truly brilliant writing, the skilled intellectual stories, woven with grit and honesty, my guilty pleasure (such as it is) is that I love nothing more than a good old fashioned bodice ripper! I need a hero (as Bonnie Tyler so eloquently put it). A rake on horseback, arrogant and handsome! I need a heroine, strong and beautiful! I need a villain, discovered and brought down at the last moment! I need passion, I need history and (preferably), I need a grand society wedding with a detailed description of the bridal gown to bring events to a satisfactory conclusion!

Now I suppose the purpose of this long winded ‘explanation’ of my guilty pleasure is to point out that my choice of reading material is exactly that…my choice. I hold an A Level in English Literature (an A grade but you know, who’s getting defensive) and a degree in Law…I am certainly capable of reading something, shall we say, a little more intellectually challenging. However, the simple fact is, I choose not to. The sheer excitement and escape I get from a good historical romance is unparalleled and I’ll be damned if I’m giving that up to immerse myself in psychological thrillers, or gory horror stories…I get enough of that from The Daily Mail website (another guilty pleasure but let’s not get into that)!

My Guilty Pleasure - Romance & Rakes

In a recent interview, Radio and T.V Presenter Anita Rani said that there is so much culture and literature in the world that you simply don’t have time in your life to waste it reading ’50 Shades of Grey’. This got me thinking (and stewing, definitely stewing). It was about time I launched an impassioned defense of cheesy ‘mum porn’ and put my ‘affiliations’ out there. So Anita…I wholeheartedly disagree. How can something that gives this much pleasure (not physical pleasure, get your minds out of the gutter) possibly be a waste of my time or indeed my life? Now, ’50 Shades Of Grey’ wasn’t my favourite (not enough in the way of ballrooms and breeches for me) but, the millions that EL James is now sitting on tells me that perhaps, just perhaps, I am not alone in this ‘peculiarity’ as some would term it. I am absolutely certain that there are other smart women (as opposed to teenagers who I suppose would be the traditional demographic) out there who secretly enjoy a harmless slice of escapism!

Now my plan was to present you my three favourite authors but in all honesty, I can only come up with two that make me tingle from fingers to toes. Both authors (particularly the second) have enough material to keep me going until approximately 2056. Does the fact that they churn out these novels at breakneck speed concern me as to their quality or the care in which they are written? Does it heck. In my eyes, they are nothing short of brilliant! My name is Jessica and I am a hopeless romantic! I am no longer prepared to bashfully stand by feeling guilty about my guilty pleasure! Life, Anita is indeed too short!

Jane Feather

Jane Feather is the US based New York Times Bestselling Author of the ‘Duncan Sisters’ Trilogy aka, where my guilty pleasure began! I don’t want to get too far into the ‘meat’ of the books…I’ll leave that for another day if, as I suspect, there are more hopeless romantics out there who would enjoy a series of book reviews on this topic! This trilogy focuses on three High Society sisters (one book for each sister) who take the running of the household finances into their own hands after their father loses his fortune on a bad investment. They are set in Edwardian London and have a strong Suffragist storyline woven through. Essentially, each book sees a sister meet her match, finding love in the unlikeliest of places. I cannot count how many times I have re-read these books (I’m sure Anita Rani would be hugely disapproving of the many hours I’ve lost to this particular trilogy)! There’s just something about the period details and the strength of these three women who lived in a time where the odds were stacked against them by the simple fact that they were born female.

My Guilty Pleasure - Romance and Rakes

Favourites

Stephanie Laurens

Stephanie Laurens, another New York Times Bestselling Author is the woman behind The Cynster’s! A little bit of context. The Cynsters are a family – a very old, noble family, the head of which is The Duke of St Ives – Sylvester aka ‘Devil’ Cynster. Oof I’m getting all the feels just thinking about it! The first book lays out who the Cynsters are, placing them within society in the period not long after the Napoleonic Wars. The following books tell the tales of his brother and male cousins before moving on to his female cousins. All have one common thread…Cynsters are fated to marry for love. This fact seems to be accepted readily by the female family members and vociferously challenged by the males (funny that)! Now clearly there are other facets to these books. It can’t all be bodice ripping and declarations of undying devotion! There’s plenty of mystery, intrigue and yes the occasional murder to keep you on the edge of your seat and coming back time and time again, devouring novel after novel. Stephanie Laurens has enough content to keep me going for, well let’s just say quite a while…a cursory glance at her website lets you view the Cynster ‘family tree’ and with each and every member having their own tale to tell and new generations coming along faster than you can say ‘love & marriage’ I am relieved to be able to say, she’s got my guilty pleasure covered for some time yet!

My Guilty Pleasure - Romance & Rakes

My Guilty Pleasure - Romance & Rakes

Favourites

My heart lies with the Cynsters. I so want to be a Cynster! I love each and every book on its own merits but yes there are a few stand outs…

  1. Devil’s Bride(the original, the seminal!)
  2. The Cynster Sisters Trilogy – Viscount Breckenridge To The Rescue, In Pursuit Of Eliza Cynster, The Capture Of The Earl Of Glencrae
  3. The Curious Case of Lady Latimer’s Shoes & The Masterful Mr Montague (both Cynster spin offs)
  4. Devils Brood Trilogy – The Lady By His Side, An Irresistible Alliance, The Greatest Challenge Of Them All
  5. What Price Love?

(Don’t you just love those titles! Cheese central in the best, most entertaining way!)

So, if I haven’t completely and utterly embarrassed myself can I humbly ask for your thoughts? Are you partial to a bodice ripper? Maybe an action packed crime caper is more your cup of tea? Do you have any romantic recommendations for me based on my (perhaps too revealing) account of my own guilty pleasure? Let me know in the comments below but please, be kind…it’s an affliction!

Let’s Get To Know Each Other…20 Facts About Me (Hopeless romantic and all)!

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Wardrobe Classics – Pink Trench & Denim

I love to click the buy now button. Nothing gives me a bigger buzz than a good online shopping haul. But, sometimes you just need to say enough and wear whats in your wardrobe. My style leans toward the classic and I put a lot of thought into each and every purchase I make. In my head I need to satisfy a kind of ‘longevity’ criteria – will I still want to wear this in 3 months, 6 months, a years time? Is the quality such that it will still be around in years time? With the exception of some ‘high end’ accessories, most items in my wardrobe aren’t what you would term ‘life purchases’ (although  I do have a life, lust list on the go for those, ahem, special occasions) but they do have a timeless quality to them. I love to wear denim, lace camisoles, biker jackets and blazers – all have that slightly nonchalant style – easy, comfy and chic.

Pink Trench & Denim | jessicarhoades.co.uk

About The Look

Pink Trench (Zara) – bought while I was pregnant in the summer of 2016. It’s soft and fluid and just perfect as a lightweight cover up both with denim or over a dress. Find similar HERE

Denim (Gents Levi’s) – I touched on these in my last Hundred Pound Haul post. These are the most recent purchase from this look and have really freshened up some of the existing pieces in my wardrobe. Sometimes it’s not the item per se but (as with denim and jeans in particular) an updated fit and colour wash can really modernise your look. Find them online HERE

Silk Camisole (Massimo Dutti) – I love pairing something inherently feminine like a slinky lace cami with boyish denim and a tough leather belt. Timeless and a little bit sexy! Find Similar HERE

Boots (Topshop) – bought back in 2015 these haven’t seen the wear that they deserve mainly because I fell pregnant quite soon after I bought them and the heel is really quite vertiginous! Find Similar HERE

Belt (origin unknown) – I seem to have had this forever and it goes with everything. Really simple, a little bit rough and tough – if you don’t have something like this in your wardrobe you need to fix that situation asap as its such a no brainer! Find Similar HERE

Bag (Louis Vuitton) – Bought in 2003 after my A levels a classic bag is where you can really go to town and indulge in a ‘life purchase.’ (Read about how I shopped my wardrobe and rediscovered my ‘Louis’ HERE) Find Pre-Loved HERE

Bracelets (Monica Vinader & Dinny Hall) – These I wear most days -my gold bracelet stack is a work in progress! Find HERE (Monica Vinader) & HERE (Dinny Hall)

Sunglasses (Rayban) I have multiple pairs of Rayban Aviators (and have also been known to steal Mr. R’s)! Simply the best shades on the market – they’ll never go out of style (and if they do I don’t care – ill be up there rocking a pair with the best of them)! Find them online HERE.

Do let me know if a regular outfit post is something you would like to see.

Pink Trench & Denim | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Pink Trench & Denim | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Pink Trench & Denim | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Pink Trench & Denim | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Pink Trench & Denim | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Pink Trench & Denim | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Pink Trench & Denim | jessicarhoades.co.uk

*this post contains affiliate links* 

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The Sleepyhead Baby Pod – A Review

No sooner have you got your head around the fact that a squishy little person will be joining your family than you are bombarded with a list of gadgets, pieces of kit and so-called necessities that you simply ‘must’ purchase. Some (a cot, a car seat, a pram) are a given. Others (baby gyms, swings, and motor powered bouncy chairs) are lovely to have (if you have a 5000 room storage facility – seriously where are you supposed to house all of this stuff)? but perhaps not a necessity? I’ll be honest – as soon as I became pregnant I fell hook, line, and sinker for The Sleepyhead Baby Pod! It looked the dog’s bollocks (all Scandi and stylish) and would fit perfectly into my Snuzpod Bedside Crib (that’s one for another post but needless to say a whole lotta love is involved)! Put simply, the Sleepyhead Deluxe+ was without any hesitation my most used and most loved piece of baby kit! So much so, nearly we one year on we have moved seamlessly onto the Sleepyhead Grand – this is gonna be one heck of a lovefest!

What Is The Sleepyhead?

Put simply, The Sleepyhead is a portable pod in which the baby can sleep, rest or play. I’ve found that both sizes have fit comfortably into my cots of choice (the Snuzpod Bedside Crib for the smaller pod, the Mokee Mini Cot for the Grand) and made everything seem just that bit more snug and comfortable – perfect for delicate little people!

The Sleepyhead Baby Pod - A Review | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Sleepyhead Baby Pod - A Review | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Pro’s

  1. Portability. I’m sure many new mums can relate to feeling so out of your depth in those first few weeks? Consequently, I spent an inordinate amount of time with the one person who would make it all seem not so scary and overwhelming – my mum! The Sleepyhead travels like a dream. We spent so much time on the road and the fact that we could pack a bag and simply throw the pod into the boot of the car made life in those early days so much easier! No faffing around with a great hulking Moses basket and no worries about where to put the baby when you’re out and about – it’s literally like having their bed with you wherever you go! Even when you’re at home with the baby, The Sleepyhead travels the whole house from the bedroom to the kitchen to the bathroom (I used to put it into the (empty) bath while I had a shower so she was always able to be with me)! We recently went on our first family holiday and, yep you guessed it, The Sleepyhead (Grand) came with us. As I’ve said before (check out all my mum & baby posts HERE), our sleep situation isn’t brilliant at the best of times so the fact that we could take her actual bed with us was such a weight off my mind! The pod literally slipped into the travel cot and we were ready to rock and roll! (n.b You can get actual travel bags for both size pods but we were able to pack ours into my dads travel golf club case)!
  2. Security. When the baby arrives you literally can’t get over how teeny tiny they look in the big wide world. They’ve gone from being all squished and cosy to this tiny dot that’s swallowed up by everything around them. The Sleepyhead just seems to give a lovely cocooned squishy oasis for a delicate bundle with no worries that they will knock their head or get a limb trapped down some random nook! As Luna got a little bigger and could hold her head up, I used her Sleepyhead as a playpen where she would sit and look at a book or play with Tombliboo! Now she’s so much bigger and in her own cot but the peace of mind that The Sleepyhead continues to give me is priceless!. Example. A few nights ago I had to wash the cover of The Sleepyhead and it wasn’t dry in time for bedtime (more on that later) so she went to bed ‘au natural’. I  couldn’t settle…she was all over the place and I had visions of her standing up (her new party trick) and falling back and hitting her head. Long story short, she spent the night in bed with me (luckily Mr. R was away working)!
  3. Looks. It’s a good-looking piece of kit make no mistake and the variety of covers you can now get is insane – there is literally something for everyone! I would definitely advise getting at least one extra cover, particularly for The Sleepyhead Deluxe+ (the smaller of the two) as, you know babies…there’s a lot of explosive sick and poop potential in those early weeks and months! We bought the smaller pod with the classic white cover and went on to purchase the ‘Mod Pod’ and the ‘Silver Lining’ covers, both of which I absolutely adored! When the time came to purchase the ‘Grand’ we bought it with the ‘silver lining’ cover as I had loved it that much! After 8 months continued use, the ‘Delux+’ pod is still pristine – ready and waiting if we are lucky enough to be blessed with baby number 2!

The Sleepyhead Baby Pod - A Review | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Con’s

Urrgh, I really can’t think of much negative to say when it comes to The Sleepyhead. The cost. Yes, it’s pretty expensive – prices start from £120 for the smaller pod, £180 for the larger pod and £48 for spare covers (£85 for the grand). However, I can honestly say that considering their continued and sustained use, they are both 100% completely and utterly worth the money and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to all new mums and dads! The only other drawback that I can see is that you can’t tumble dry the covers so you do need at least one spare for when the inevitable accidents occur! It’s a little bit of a faff putting the whole pod back together again after washing but I’ve found a foolproof method that makes this slightly arsey task completely bearable – make it the Mr’s job! (insert thumbs up emoji)!

The Sleepyhead Baby Pod - A Review | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Well, you can’t say I didn’t warn you it would be a love fest! I can honestly say that The Sleepyhead is my most loved and most used piece of baby equipment. There, quite literally has not been a single day since Luna was born that The Sleepyhead hasn’t seen some action – I can’t even say that about the car seat, the pram or the cot! To me it’s a complete no-brainer, a true essential and absolutely should be at the top of every expectant couples shopping list!

The Sleepyhead Baby Pod - A Review | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Have you used the Sleepyhead? Are you giving it all the heart eyes (like me) or do you prefer the traditional Moses basket? I’d love to know your thoughts!

Find the Sleepyhead & Accessories Online HERE

*NOT sponsored just bloody love it!

*this post contains affiliate links* 

 

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Why I’m All About That Base – How To Create a Flawless Complexion

My skin and I have gone through some tough times. As a child, I can clearly remember my mum bribing me (with sweets, t.v…who knows?) if she could ‘just nip that blackhead’! Clearly, I was blemish prone from a very young age! I was never what you would describe as acnaic, nor was I prone to eczema or redness. But, the misery I felt when I looked in the mirror caused a very real complex that, if I’m honest, has never truly left me. My skin has always tended towards the oily and I am particularly predisposed to blackheads, milia and a general unevenness of texture. These issues have seen me sat in a doctors waiting room more times than I would like to count in furious pursuit of a flawless complexion. I have been prescribed The Pill, Zineryt (a topical antibiotic that I used for literally years without realising that antibiotics have little to no effect on skin problems) and a particularly harsh and drying Benzoyl Peroxide gel. I should at this point make clear that at no time did I have actual acne. As such, doctors didn’t seem to really know what my problem was and yes, I felt dismissed and at times was made to feel like a vain and silly little girl (one doctor (male) told me that I really should stop wearing make up if I wanted good skin…patronising much)?As I’ve gotten older, my skin has improved though it is certainly not perfect. I wage a daily battle with blackheads, milia and nowadays a few fine lines thrown into the mix! But, with age comes both wisdom and experience and so I thought today I would share my thoughts and some tips as to how to achieve a flawless complexion in real life on real skin (i.e not the unobtainable airbrushed standard we are bombarded with daily)!*

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Start with your skin

The first and biggest tip I can give you when in pursuit of a flawless complexion is to start with the health of your skin. This is the boring bit. If you aren’t already, try upping your intake of water and fruit & veg, cutting back on the booze and it should go without saying that smoking is a big no! My second tip is to visit the blog of skincare expert Caroline Hirons and read every ‘cheat sheet’ that applies to you. I discovered Caroline’s brand of no nonsense skincare advice when I was preparing for my wedding and I haven’t looked back.  Thirdly, get yourself into a good cleansing routine. If right now you are relying on face wipes or micellar waters I can guarantee you will see the biggest difference by simply taking a little extra time in the mornings and evenings to look after your skin. (And really why wouldn’t you? Your skin and your face are visible to everyone and everything 100% of the time. Isn’t it worth giving it a little love)? Finally, I  personally have seen amazing results from taking (quite large quantities of) fish oil. Yep, sounds repulsive but taken with food it really isn’t that bad and does seem to have quite a magical effect on the texture of my skin!**

Getting The Foundations Right

So, you’ve upgraded your skin care routine and overhauled your diet, whats next? I wrote about my Post Pregnancy Skincare Routine HERE where I talk about what goes into prepping my skin but I have a few stand out products that I simply adore for helping me create that flawless complexion.

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

  • Hylamide Glow Radiance Booster – Since having the baby I have come to rely on this little bottle of sunshine on an almost daily basis. Hylamide is a (very watery) pre-serum serum that is essentially a fake tan (albeit a very, very, very gradual fake tan). It’s pretty much fool proof in that it gives no streaks whatsoever (it really is super subtle) but it’s the glow that’s the real selling point here. After a couple of days use, I can look in the mirror in the mornings without recoiling in abject horror – that ladies and gentlemen is a game changer in my sleep deprived mind!
  • Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme + Global Anti-Aging Wake Up Balm – This is my go to product after I complete my morning skincare routine. It’s a little bit of a skincare hybrid. Part serum, part moisturiser, part primer, part highlighter. You can absolutely use this on its own on no make up days or, as I prefer, as a bit of a pre-prime before my make up. I like to think of this as bridging the gap between the end of my skincare routine and the beginning of my make up application. Simply put, this does what it says on the tin and together with the Hylamide creates a pretty passable impression of actually having got some sleep.
  • The Body Shop Instablur – This is the only primer thus far that I have managed to get away with. I find many silicone based primers bring me out in little whiteheads but this one (miraculously) doesn’t. The visible difference in my skin from an application of this wonder product is nothing short of magic. It literally blurs and mattifies the skin creating the most immaculate base for applying make up – and make up that lasts. For a girl with oily skin tendencies, this is indeed the stuff that ‘flawless complexion’ dreams are made of!

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Getting The Right Foundation

I love a foundation. I don’t seem to hear that very often as BB, CC, DD, EE creams are all the rage these days. However, as someone with a bit of a skin complex, a full coverage foundation was always my go to. Now, that’s not to say that I want to look caked in the stuff – a great big tide mark around your jawline is so not sexy! I have three hero bases in my stash…

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

  1. Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Make Up SPF 10  – This is the UK’s No1 Foundation and I wholeheartedly agree with the masses! I know a lot of bloggers seem to dislike this formulation, deeming it to be too heavy and dare I say cakey? Personally, I absolutely adore this base and love how it glides on and evens out the surface of my skin. You only need a small amount and it takes a little more ‘working in’ than other bases I’ve tried but the effect is so worth the time you put into the application. The other plus for the Double Wear is that it just DOES. NOT. BUDGE! You absolutely need a good skincare routine in place with this product as it definitely requires a double cleanse to remove it in the evenings. Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation is available to purchase online HERE. I wear shade Ivory Beige.
  2. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation – I fell in love with this absolute beaut of a base when I was trialing products for my bridal make up look.  At the time I was reading an awful lot about certain ingredients in SPF causing ‘flashback’ in photography so I was on the hunt for a foundation without sun protection (harder than it looks believe me) that would still create a flawless complexion. This creates the softest, dewiest most ‘luminous’ (funny that) base you can imagine and together with my trusty skin prep products the final finish is just dreamy. (FYI I ended up with a mix of the Estee Lauder and the Giorgio Armani for my final bridal look – if anyone would be interested in a wedding day beauty guide then please do leave me a comment). Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is available to purchase online HERE. I wear shade 5.25.
  3. It Cosmetics Full Coverage SPF 50+ CC Cream – I know, I know I said I wasn’t into CC creams but hear me out. This does not behave like your average CC cream – the texture is reassuringly substantial and you do get an excellent yet surprisingly lightweight coverage for a product that boasts not only full coverage but also a very high factor sun protection (and we all know how claggy those can be)! Now I absolutely would not recommend this as your go to sunscreen if you are heading to the beach in the South of France. Firstly, full coverage make up on the beach? Eww, that’s just not my bag at all! Secondly, I would have to question how well this would work as a dedicated SPF. As I mentioned in my review of the Tili Beauty Box (read about that HERE) as I’ve gotten older I have become religious about protecting my skin from the sun but I really don’t enjoy the feel of an SPF on my skin on a daily basis. This is where the IT Cosmetics CC cream comes into its own. It is literally my perfect day to day base as it affords me the protection I feel I need for the British seasons (minimal) with the full coverage look I love! Like the Estee Lauder Double Wear, it takes a little extra buffing into the skin but is so worth the extra time for the final effect. It Cosmetics CC Cream is available to purchase online HERE. I wear shade MEDIUM.

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Juicylicious (I don’t think this is a word but I’m going with it)

When I was a teenager sat in that doctor’s waiting room I would have laughed in your face if you had told me that one day I would be seeking ‘highlighters’ and products with ‘glow giving’ properties. “I don’t need any help in the ‘glow’ department” I would have said while pulling my powder compact out of my bag and dabbing furiously at my T zone! Aint time a funny old thing? These days while, yes I still love my powders and yes, I still seek to ‘mattify’ my skin, it’s now very much on my own terms. As you get older you realise that hey a little bit of shine might actually be o.k. Maybe I won’t end up looking like I’ve been hanging around the fryers in the local chippy. In fact, it might even (whispers it) give a more youthful finish to my look. 99% of the time I choose to mix some form of highlighter into my foundation. At the moment its Charlotte Tilbury’s ‘Wonderglow’ which gives a beautiful, subtle sheen to my base. I follow this with a sheer dusting of the Charlotte Tilbury ‘Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder’ – super light, non-cakey and with a slightly illuminating finish that keeps the whole look fresh and dewy.

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Bronze, Pop, and Highlight

Onto the final flourishes in my pursuit of a flawless complexion. I’ve prepped and plumped, juiced up my chosen base and set with a sweep of finely milled, brightening powder. At this point, I will usually bring out the bronzer. Now bronzers often get a bit of bad press. Yes it’s easy to go overboard, yes you can end up looking like your style icon is Madge from Benidorm but there is nothing like a few strokes of a carefully chosen bronzer to bring life to your epidermis. Ditto blush. I love nothing more a quick pop of blush (coral in summer, pink in winter) to take you from peaky to perky! O.k now we really are at the finish line…highlighter. Highlighter is the hero product of our time. The effect of a few dabs on your cheekbone, above your cupids bow or in the corners of your eyes can be simply mesmerising! At the moment I’m using the highlighter from the Charlotte Tilbury ‘Beauty Glow’ Face Palette which is a-maze-ing. A great highlighter, in my opinion, is an absolute must for anyone in pursuit of that flawless complexion.

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Wow, this has turned into a bit of an essay! I hope you’ve found this look into my make up routine helpful and can see how you can maybe take inspiration to try and create your own flawless complexion. We are all different and what works for one might be a complete nightmare for the next person. It’s all about trial and error but after a lot of years hating the skin I was in, I finally feel at peace with it and importantly I feel I have learned to work with it in order to make the best of what I have. Lumps, bumps, blackheads and all. I’ve purposely omitted the concealing stage of the routine as I kind of feel that deserves a post in its own right – how to conceal the effects of one too many sleepless nights (leave me a comment if that’s something you would like to see)! What products do you use to create a flawless complexion? Are there any tricks you have learned to create that elusive perfect base? Leave me a comment below, I would love to hear your tips and experiences.

 

*all observations and recommendations are based on my own skin type and my own experiences. If you are in any doubt please refer to your doctor and where possible test products before using on your skin.

**always consult a doctor before adding supplements to your diet.

*this post contains affiliate links* 

 

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The Hundred Pound Haul…The Massimo Edit

I feel I should begin this post with an apology and a caveat that I use the word ‘haul’ in the loosest sense of the word. Round two of the Hundred Pound Haul and we’ve already made a, somewhat elementary, blunder. As it turns out, Marks and Spencer was an excellent choice for our first go – attainable and affordable enough to get a decent ‘haul’ for the set price of (yes you guessed it) one hundred pounds.

(If you haven’t already, get up to speed on the idea behind the Hundred Pound Haul HERE).

The Hundred Pound Haul - The Massimo Edit | jessicarhoades.co.uk

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen that we recently returned from our first family holiday to the South of Spain. Traditionally us girls tend to go a little crazy in the ‘Massimo’ Boutiques (they’re literally on every street corner down there).  It’s just so bloomin chic and designer-esqe but at great prices! To cut a long story short, whilst in the throes of sunshine and sangria, we decided that a dedicated ‘Massimo’ hundred pound haul would be just the ticket for our second go…what could go wrong? I’ll tell you what went wrong. You see, as stylish and as (relatively speaking) affordable as it is, you ain’t gonna get much of a haul out of our self-imposed hundred pound limit! Consequently, (and not really wanting to dip our toes into the sales) our ‘haul’ has become more of a ‘two piece pick’ of the new season styles. You live and learn and we will try to do better next time (hangs head in shame)

About Massimo Dutti

Some of you may, some of you may not know about the wonders of Massimo Dutti. As a northern gal, it’s not a brand we stumble across very often (which is why I take every opportunity afforded to me when in Spain). A Spanish brand through and through, Massimo is from the Zara family – the chic big sister to Zara’s playful brand of fun and flirtation and I seriously cannot get enough of it’s cool paired back aesthetic!

The Hundred Pound Haul - The Massimo Edit | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Hundred Pound Haul - The Massimo Edit | jessicarhoades.co.uk

My Picks

  1. White Cotton Shirt – You quite literally cannot go wrong with a crisp white shirt. There’s just something so ‘Cindy Crawford’ about that all American, denim and white shirt combo. Incidentally, I have just purchased a pair of gents Levi 511’s which, when paired with a white shirt just makes me come over all 90’s Supermodel! (disclaimer…In no way am I so delusional that I believe I actually look like Cindy, Christy et al – just let me put that out there). This is a shirt lovers dream…stiff cuffs, side splits and that arm detail takes it to a whole other level while remaining ‘office appropriate’. Post baby I generally take a UK size 10-12. I purchased the shirt in a size 12 which I would say is pretty accurate but it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s definitely a slim fitting piece.
  2. Velvet Bow Front Mules – My very first pair of designer shoes had a kitten heel (Prada circa ’99). When I bought them I was envisaging Audrey Hepburn, silk headscarves, the Riviera. Unfortunately, when I look back at pictures, all I can see is a slightly dumpy teenager, unshakably confident that she was a dead ringer for Victoria Beckham! (I mean really…Victoia Beckham in kitten heels? As unfailingly chic as she now undoubtedly is, this was unheard of in the 90’s)! I digress. The point of that story was to illustrate that since those Prada kitten heels, I have shall we say, rather lost my liking for that style of shoe. This shoe shouldn’t do it for me…shouldn’t but it does. What can I say, the romantic in me sees these as some kind of modern day ‘Slipper and the Rose’ (does anyone remember that film? Oh, so good! ) Cinderella shoe. On the  Massimo Dutti website, these are called the ‘Black Slingback, High Heel Court Shoe with Bow Detail.’ Now quite clearly they are neither a slingback nor a high heel (although I suppose the latter does depend somewhat on your interpretation of the word high). I can assure you that they are indeed, as the pictures show, a (surprisingly comfortable and easy to keep on) kitten heeled mule (no slingback). I take a UK size 5 and these fit perfectly.

The Hundred Pound Haul - The Massimo Edit | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Hundred Pound Haul - The Massimo Edit | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Styling My Picks

When I began to envisage styling the look, my immediate inclination was to pair both picks with classic faded jeans. This high-waisted, fitted yet relaxed style is so very current that it gives, what is essentially a textbook look, a very modern and dare I say it, ‘cool’ edge. Now, this is by no means the only way in which you can style these pieces. Velvet is an obvious winner for winter – I can see the mules looking so chic paired with cropped tuxedo trousers, a simple tee and a blazer. The shirt to me is crying out to be paired with leather – a slinky pencil skirt, a killer pair of leather leggings or a classic biker jacket slung over the shoulders. On the other hand, the shirt would be a great addition to a classic workwear wardrobe.

The Hundred Pound Haul - The Massimo Edit | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Hundred Pound Haul - The Massimo Edit | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Hundred Pound Haul - The Massimo Edit | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Stand Out Pieces

Being only August (and really quite muggy) it’s still quite difficult to get a real feel of the new season. That being said, leather (in all its guises) is always a winner for trans-seasonal dressing and Massimo always excel with their offering of buttery soft bikers and swing jackets. Unfortunately, leather would have been somewhat in excess of our budget for this particular haul but do check out Massimo’s leather collection if you’re in the market for a splurge!

  • Shop New Season Leather HERE

Next Up

So, lesson officially learned…choosing an upper-level high street label for a hundred pound haul was short sighted, to say the least, and we very quickly came a cropper. So, with that in mind, we have decided that for the next haul we are going to move away from fashion and have a go with makeup. (I cannot even tell you how excited this makeup junkie is about this one)! We’ve also made plans for both an ASOS and a dedicated accessory haul. Is there anything or any particular store you would like to see? Leave me a comment below, id love to hear your suggestions.

CLICK HERE to read about our first hundred pound haul

*this post contains affiliate links* 

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