Thursday, 11 December 2014

White Christmas

It's really no secret that my favourite colour is white. I'm not even sure that white technically classes as a colour, but I don't even care. I. Am. Obsessed.
It seems that the intensity of my love for this colour has grown over the last six months and I have spent every spare penny I have on furnishing my home with as much white, off white and cream as I can get my hands on. 
Without meaning to, I have transformed my place into a kind of Parisian Palace; everything has a clean, fresh and slightly shabby-chic vibe to it. When looked at individually, the things I bought appeared to have no place or partner to match with in my home. But when viewed collectively, everything has fallen into place in such a way that the mis-matched pieces of furniture, varying hues of white and little touches of vintage glamour seem to compliment each other and tell a little story of a life I'm not sure I've lived yet.

So much is my joy of all things white and rustic, I have sourced a few of my favourite things out there on the high street this winter to share with you.

After years of telling myself white bedding was a silly idea (copious amounts of coffee drinking and endless nights of failing to remove make-up), I have finally succumbed to the lure of a fresh, crisp white bed. I recently invested in a feather and down duvet, and coupled with a beautiful white bed set my bed has become my new favourite place in the world. Not that it wasn't before, but, you know. 

I'm not usually a candle fan, but I do believe if you're going to do something, you should do it well. Cue good riddance to an endless supply of tacky paraffin wax candles that leave black marks on your (white) walls and make you feel a little light headed from the overwhelming sickly smell (we've all been there), and welcome in luxury organic candles. I'm not going to lie; they're not cheap. But the price you pay for one of these natural wax candles is more than outweighed by the benefits; a clean burning flame with natural properties and scents proven to relax and calm without overpowering smells or toxins released into your home. The wax also burns evenly and the burn time is longer which ultimately gives value for money. My favourite brand for organics is Neom, but if anybody else out there is stuck on where to look, I'd definitely recommend Jo Malone for some of the nicest looking and smelling candles I've seen on the market.

duvet set pictured; from £45 for a double, The White Company
candle picture; Vanilla & Anise Home Candle by Jo Malone, £40
all lanterns; The Hanging Lantern Company prices from around £2.50
vintage Parisian clock; £22.99, The Range
underbed storage basket;  £15, Laura Ashley 
wooden love letters; £2.99, Dunelm Mill

That clock is going on my wall soon, the perfect statement piece on blank walls.

I am a girl who stands by a good old fashioned dressing table. And I'm not saying that you should necessarily have an old fashioned dressing table, but if there's one place vintage, shabby-chic furniture looks at home, it's the bedroom. I have one not dissimilar to this one, but thanks to good old ebay, I probably didn't pay anywhere near as much as some of the beautiful and bespoke pieces you find in furniture stores. And I'm yet to find a decent stool to go with it; sadly this beaut from Laura Ashley comes as a pacakage deal and therefore a mismatched beech chair with a white (sun-damaged) cushion on it will have to do for me for now. Le Sigh.

Going along the 'Is everything expensive or am I just poor?' line, one thing I've always wanted is a real sheepskin rug. Fluffy, white, soft....Why are these things so darned expensive? I also want a real cow-hide rug for my living room, dyed zebra-print, but until Santa comes round with a big sack of money to fill my stocking with I have settled for a fluffy faux fur rug for the bedroom and a zebra print rug for the living room. We can but dream.

sheep skin rug; £129, and bedset (various £'s) Dunelm Mill
dressing table; Laura Ashley
candle; Tranquility by Neom, £45
metal hanging heart, wicker heart, butterfly; all Dunelm Mill
christmas hanging lantern; The Hanging Lantern Company

I have found that with white furnishings, the key to not letting things look too 'clinical' is to add warmth with wood, wicker and other textures such as fluffy pillows, throws or rugs in beiges, creams or off-whites. As with anything, everything in moderation is key. I'm trying to remember this mantra and it is proving difficult, but I guess I've found that with this theme, it doesn't matter if everything matches or not; it all adds to the vintage and slightly rustic charm. I'll never stop loving white though, it's a 'colour' I hope never goes out of fashion.


Monday, 4 August 2014

Love is all you need

So I photographed my first ever wedding last weekend. Albeit my brothers wedding, he still had to put an intense amount of trust in me to undertake this mammoth task.
I have massive respect now for the people behind the lens on what is bound to be the most important day of many people's lives, and I have to say it was much harder work than I had initially anticipated. But I don't regret accepting the job for a minute, as I can proudly present my work for them today after hours of editing and stressing out behind my computer screen.

Lots of people say they want a "relaxed" vibe on their big day, "lets not worry about the small details". Although I know behind the scenes Sean & Yvonne worked tirelessly to pull this day together, the day really was nothing more than a pure reflection of who these people really are. Married under a big oak tree outside the grounds of a beautiful mansion in the Brecon Beacons in Wales, there were no seating plans, no restrictions on what the children could join in on; just these two, dancing down the aisle to "Pencil full of lead" by Paolo Nutini and walking into their Wedding Breakfast drinking champagne from the bottle.

Proof that really, all you need is love. 


Monday, 12 May 2014

Clarins overload part 2

As usual my resistance when it comes to Clarins is non-existent, especially when they have such amazing offers on. At the moment if you buy any two full sized products then you can take home four free products from a selection including moisturisers, exfoliators and refiners. 
Back in October I tried the body lotion for the first time and was so impressed, I decided to use two of my free products on it! It smells so clean and fresh and makes my skin really smooth and soft; so mostly what you want from a moisturiser but without the heavy, stickiness that can be left behind when using other heavily perfumed products. The body exfoliators and gentle facial refiner are both good bathroom staples so I grabbed those as well.

But the thing I really want to talk about is this:

Since starting my new job as cabin crew I had found that the air conditioning in both the training rooms and the aeroplanes was causing my skin to over compensate, making me look constantly like a shining beacon of light. I decided to get hold of really good quality face powder and although I wouldn't normally buy my make up from Clarins I decided to give this one a bash and I am uber glad I did.
I've had it on good authority that pressed powders should be avoided, as the oils used the keep the powder together can affect the foundation on your face, so I went for a loose powder and this stuff is like talc. Using a brush, I apply a little over my make up everyday and far from ageing my skin or making me look like a dried up old bag it feels silky smooth and I am genuinely happy with how long it lasts. I've had ten hour days up the air and not had to re-apply this gold dust once, and my skin remains resolutely shine free. 
Once again, well done Clarins.


Saturday, 3 May 2014

Before Christmas, I wrote about the launch of The House of Peroni, which opened in Portland Place for one month during November.

On Thursday 1st May, London's fashion and design community joined the ranks of Italy's most creative artists and designers for the re-launch of the House, which opened in it's new home on Lincoln's Inn Fields, Holborn. 
I was lucky enough to attend the opening night in order to present my findings prior to it going public just yesterday, and having seen it all first hand I would strongly recommend that is is well worth a visit while it is open throughout the month of May.

The House itself is set in an absolutely stunning three storey town house and all three floors have been beautifully transformed to reflect the immersive, fashion forward creative talents from Italy's pioneering chefs, mixologists and designers. 

This May, the House is inspired by 1963; a transformative year when Italian style became renowned across the world and the year that Carlo Peroni created Peroni Nastro Azzurro.

This 'Cut-Out' Wardrobe by Vivetta is a reflection of the female sentiment of the 1960's and deliberately mirrors the female shift in significance of that time. The interactive dressing up box is made up of Vivetta's SS14 collection and is directly inspired by the 1960's colour palate and iconic Italian Lenci Dolls.

The "Dress from 1,000 Angles" is a Wapping illusion inspired by fashion in 1963 and represents the changing dynamic of fashion in the 1960's. The dress is unwearable and is underpinned with a red ribbon; a deliberate choice by Barone as Peroni Nastro Azzuro's iconic ribbon is blue.
The walls of this room are adorned with the work of Barone's collaborator, Manuela Corti, who worked with resin and geometric elements to piece together a tapestry of mirrors across the walls.The mirrors emulate the shape of the windows from the 1963 Fiat 500 and encase Barone's dress throwing the viewer into a maze of distorted proportion and colour. Pretty nice.

Probably my favourite feature of the evening - each floor of the House of Peroni has it's own beautifully designed bar where mixologists created some of the most deliciously unusual cocktails I have ever tasted - and all included a dash of the infamous Peroni beer. 

On the top floor was a wonderful invention called the Ribbon Table, with a concept entitled "Dine with a Stranger". Designed by Andrea Morgante, the Italian dining experience is embraced with a continuous flowing table shaped like a ribbon. Andrea invites diners to eat side by side but not in the conventional linear fashion. The curvatures of the table mean guests can interact with more people than if they were simply sitting side by side. 

In the room next door to this was a tribute to the 60's style dining experience in all it's retro glory.

The pioneering Italian chef's created some fun and imaginative dishes reinvented by Italian Culinary Collective Bottega Wapping who now have a cult following in London's East End. From the pieces I sampled- I like. 

Optical illusions and loud music are always good when you've got a drink or two in your hand. "RGB Landscape No. 63" is an installation combining a fascination with technology and a love for aesthetics. The 3D wallpaper changed colours and represents three aspects of Peroni Nastro Azzurro; Red for Rome, Peroni Nastro Azzurro's birthplace, Green for the ingredients that help make the beer and Blue for the Atlantic on which the Rex won the famed transatlantic Nastro Azzurro trophy that went on to inspire Carlo Peroni to create Peroni Nastro Azzurro in 1963.

Peroni Nastro Azzuro is still to this day, made using the finest Italian barley and maize grown by farmers across several generations. Similarly, the materials used in 'The Collection" (pictured above) all derive from Italian origin. Materials such as glass, metals and polymers each reflect different aspects of Italian craftsmanship and design culture.

Apart from the amazing food and cocktails at the opening night, my favourite concept of the evening was the above pictured 'Beautiful Rubbish' by Francesca Pasquali. 'Sixties Spiderballs' is an installation that looks for a relationship between materials and the forms they create. Is what you see real or artificial? Does it mean something, or nothing at all?

If you do nothing else this month then for the love of God, get yourself here. Experience it, enjoy it, and most importantly, share it. 


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

After years of trial and error I have finally found the cure to a "bad eyebrow day" - in the form of this little stick of wonderment...

Admittedly, getting a professional to thread and tint my brows prior to the application of this little beauty definitely helped, but I kid you not (and I am the fussiest person when it comes to make up) this pencil is a life-saver, and from all accounts they are selling like hot cakes.

Priced at £16.99, Billion Dollar Brows is a universal shade suited to most skin types and hair colours and unlike other pencils on the market the benefits of this product include not having to sharpen it and as it is softer than a standard pencil it does not give a "harsh" brow line. It also has the effect of thickening the brows as it is applied and effortlessly blends in giving a truly natural, seamless effect.

bdb - officially now the only thing I cannot live without in my make up bag, including the touche éclat!

Credit to Becky @ Icons Eyelash and Eyebrow Bar.

© Sophie De-Roe
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