Winter Skincare Saviour Routine | Beauty

winter skincareMy Winter Skincare Saviour Routine

Ok, so it may officially be autumn, but I’m already thinking about my winter skincare routine. Winter can be tough on all of us. The combination of lack of sunlight, harsh wind and rain, and cold weather is not ideal. It’s fair to say that we all suffer a little at this time of year. As someone with sensitive skin, I’m always cautious about taking extra care. So I’ve put together my My Winter Skincare Saviour Routine.

Winter Skincare for… Eyes

  • FaceD – Instant Effect Depuffing Eye Mask | Buy
    • One of my favourite eye masks for reviving tired, puffy eyes.
  • Trilogy – Age-Proof CoQ10 Eye Recovery Concentrate* | Buy
    • This caffeine eye roll brightens, lifts and refreshes. It also keeps me going during the day when my eyes need a pick-me-up. A saviour for someone who works in front of a screen full-time.
  • Ren – Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift* | Buy
    • I love eye creams, and I’m always after the next wonder product. This gel-serum not only lifts, but dramatically brightens the delicate eye area too.

winter skincare

Winter Skincare for… Face

  • Sephora – Precision Pore Cleansing Pad | Buy
    • I use this in my daily routine. It works to invigorate the skin and clean pores, helping to exfoliate and soften the skin.
  • Caudalie – Grape Water | Buy
    • I use this as a toner, to set my make-up, and to sooth my skin. Wonder product!
  • Omorovicza – Oxygen Booster* | Buy
    • This oxygen-rich serum works to revitalise, replenish and hydrate lack-lustre skin. This is one high quality product.
  • Elemis – Biotec Skin Energising Cleanser | Buy
    • A gentle, deep-cleansing wash, for refreshed looking skin. This smells amazing, and treats my skin good.

Winter Skincare for… Body

  • Balance Me – Rose Otto Body Cream* | Buy
    • My skin tends to get dry around Winter, and sometimes I suffer from eczema. So this ultra soothing cream for dry skin is perfect.
  • Pai – Rosehip Bioregenrate Oil* | Buy
    • This is the ultimate multi-tacker. Perfect for the body, or face. Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil can be used to improve: dry patches, flaky patches, blemishes, dull skin tone, fine lines, scars, and sun damage.

winter skincare

Winter Skincare for… Hair

  • Aesop – Nurturing Shampoo  | Buy
    • Great for dry or damaged hair. I haven’t been let down by an Aesop product yet!
  • Aesop – Colour Protection Conditoner | Buy
    • This conditioner contains UV-protective Sunflower Seed to prolong colour retention and Hydrolyzed Oats to hydrate and soften chemically treated or damaged hair.
  • Grow Gorgeous – Cleansing Conditioner* | Buy
    • Forget shampoo. Forget conditioner. This does it all in one…make that 11-in-1. It combines foamless cleansing and deep conditioning in one step to rebalance the scalp and restore hair. I like to use it once a week.

winter skincare

Leave your winter skincare recommendations in the comments.
Don’t forget to check out more of my Beauty posts.

Cafe Kitsune Paris: A Love Affair Between Tokyo & Paris

cafe kitsune parisCafe Kitsune Paris | Coffee & Pastries | Metro: Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre | Map

What is one to do with a spare afternoon in Paris? Spend it like a true Parisian of course, and lounge around beautiful architecture and gorgeous people, all whilst sipping on a coffee. That’s exactly what VA (Chopstickpanorama) and I decided to do during our whirlwind visit to Paris recently, at Cafe Kitsune Paris.

Cafe Kitsune Paris

We found the cafe located along Galerie de Montpensier. An old arcade which still has it’s original, vintage shop fronts and fittings. Nestled inside an old fabric shop, Maison Kitsune has found the perfect setting for their oh so chic Paris cafe. We took a seat at their outside tables, as inside is pretty cramped and not really made for sitting in. Everything about Cafe Kitsune Paris has been thought out to the last little detail, from the tree lined park, to the signature tables. If you don’t feel like a true Parisian whilst you’re here, I’ll eat my hat!

カフェキツネ – パリ

The cafe boasts a wide selection of coffees and teas to order. I was so pleased to see London based Workshop Coffee Co being used at the cafe – it’s nice to discover a familiar name when travelling. VA and I ordered a flat white and an iced latte – both which made for a good cup of coffee. Cafe Kitsune Paris also offer the occasional pastry too. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to grab some cake, or one of their iconic fox biscuits, which mimics the brands logo (kitsune is Japanese for fox). Hurry up though, Maison Kitsune’s cafes are known for selling out of their food offerings quickly.

How does the Paris cafe compare to the Aoyama, Tokyo cafe?

I personally prefer it. The location and vibe is much more relaxed, and it fits in with the brands aesthetic perfectly. If you’re looking for somewhere with good coffee, delicious food, and a stylish setting, Cafe Kitsune Paris is it.

You can find Cafe Kistune Paris at Galerie de Montpensier, 75001 Paris, France
Unfortunately Filles du Calvaire cafe has now closed, so this is the only remaining Cafe Kitsune in Paris.

Check out more: Travel Diaries & Recommendations

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Atelier September: The Perfect Copenhagen Brunch?

copenhagen brunchThe Perfect Copenhagen Brunch?
Atelier September Cafe & Interiors Store | Website | Map

One of the first things I do when I spend a long weekend in a new city is find out where I can get brunch. As a fan of Scandinavian food, this task was made even more exciting when I travelled to Copenhagen last week. After consulting several books (500 Hidden Secrets of Copenhagen), my Cereal Guide and a few blogs, I had a decent list at hand. At the top of this list was a creative space with a difference – Atelier September.

Atelier September: The Perfect Copenhagen Brunch?

Atelier September is perfectly located a short walk from Copenhagen’s city centre, and just down the road from the popular area of Nyhavn. The cafe boasts bright, clean, spacious interiors at the front of the store, whilst hidden inside the back is a small interiors store/creative space – for all your Danish homeware needs.

The cafe opens at 9am on a Saturday, and since I’m an earlier riser when I’m travelling, I headed over for opening time. I always think the popularity of a place can be seen through the dedication of it’s customers. We arrived around 9:05am and there were only two tables left at this point.  Luckily we grabbed a window seat, so we could people watch…and you know, perfect lighting for blog photos.

The food

For breakfast, you’ll find eggs, rye bread, cheese, granola and fruit on the menu here. It’s simple, but perfect for starting your day on the right note. Lunch time sees a selection of cheeses, hams and breads. Not too different from breakfast, but a great selection none the less.
I went for rye bread and egg. The rye bread was fresh, and the best I’ve had to date. I really loved that the boiled egg was still runny inside, and it complimented the rye bread well. It might sound and look like a simple breakfast, but it was delicious. The perfect start to my Copenhagen travels.

The coffee

As for beverages, Atelier September really excels at bringing variety to the table. Options include fresh pressed juices, matcha, soda, green tea and coffee. I like to start my day with the hard stuff, so I went for a cappuccino (no flat whites here!). I have no complaints.

Does Atelier September offer up the perfect Copenhagen brunch?

Definitely, especially if you’re like me and you don’t always want to over-indulge. If you do, that’s fine too, I’d just suggest you order a couple of dishes. As for value for money, we paid around 140 Krone (£16) for two coffees, and two egg & rye bread breakfasts. That’s not bad when you break it down, and when you consider that you’re brunching in Copenhagen (it’s not a cheap city). The staff here are helpful, and offered us an English menu when I asked about an item on the menu (my Danish is limited to DuoLingo). Afterwards I chatted to the manager about how she wanted to visit London, and how she fell in love with Copenhagen and moved there. If a cafe has good staff, it will go far. And it’s definitely part of the success behind Atelier September. If you want a real Danish experience, head here. It’s a serious contender for the best Copenhagen brunch.

You can find Atelier September at Gothersgade 30 1123 Copenhagen
Check out more: Where to Eat

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Where to Eat in London: 155 Bar and Kitchen

155 Bar and Kitchen155 Bar and Kitchen | European | Website
155 Farringdon Road, Clerkenwell, EC1 3AD

Weekend brunch is almost a ritual for the typical Londoner. Whether it’s with your significant other, your friend group, or even a quiet one by yourself, it’s the perfect way to spend a morning…or afternoon. I’ll admit, I’m a serial bruncher. I do it at least once a week, so you know I’m seriously knowledgable. I just love it.

Where to Eat in London: 155 Bar and Kitchen

I like brunch even more though when I can pair it with window shopping. That’s why 155 Bar and Kitchen was the perfect location for me. Attached to trendy lifestyle store Clerkenwell London, 155 Bar and Kitchen offers up European food from breakfast to dinner. The stylish interior blends perfectly with the vibe of the restaurant.  I’m such a sucker for a good looking restaurant.

Of course I was there to brunch, and what better way to do it than with  a bottle of prosecco? Ok so we didn’t just dine on bubbly. In fact we tried a couple of dishes and shared them:

  • 155 Waffles
    At 155 your Belgian (the best in my opinion) waffles come with a choice; bacon & scrambled egg, or berries and cream. Savoury and sweet is my jam, so I went for bacon and egg. The waffles here are homemade, and are the perfect mixture of crunchy outer, and soft inner. Whilst the bacon and egg help even out the sweetness of the waffle. It’s truly a match made in heaven.
  • Classic English Breakfast
    This has to be the prettiest English breakfast I’ve ever seen. And that’s definitely the weirdest sentence I’ve written for a while. There wasn’t too much food, nor was it greasy – two of the main sins of a full English. In summary, not only did it look good, but it tasted pretty damn good too.
  • The coffee
    As always, a brunch spot is nothing without good coffee. If you fancy a bit of caffeine alongside your prosecco – coz you should totally get prosecco too – then don’t fear, 155 does not disappoint on this either.

Final thoughts? 155 Bar and Kitchen is a ridiculously cool and sleek restaurant, perfect for any foodie. Because guess what? It’s all style, and a hell of a lot of substance. If you’re in Clerkenwell, this seriously needs to be on your list of go-to places. And if you don’t? Then get off your sofa and head there straight away!

Check out more: Where to Eat in London

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Aoyama Flower Market Tea House | Tokyo Travel Diary

Aoyama Flower Market Tea HouseAoyama Flower Market Tea House | Cafe | Map
5-1-2 Minamiaoyama, Shibuya, Tokyo

Have you ever walked into a place and just been taken aback by its sheer beauty? That’s exactly what happened to me when I first walked into Aoyama Flower Market’s Omotesando branch, during my recent visit with Nicole. The flower shop is well known, with outlets across Japan. However this particular location is nestled in amongst the high-rises of Aoyama, and only a minute walk away from Omotesando tube station. Perfect for my inner mori gal.

Aoyama Flower Market Tea House: Concept

The concept behind Aoyama Flower Market’s tea house is quite simple; a greenhouse. Yes, it may sound boring, yet it’s anything but. Think blooming flowers, ivy crawling along the walls, and a botanical inspired menu. That’s exactly what you’ll find here. The idea of “living with flowers everyday” was on the mind of AFM’s interior design team when they opened this plant haven. And boy did they deliver!

The Menu…

The menu here is pretty simple in terms of ingredients. You’ll also find alternating seasonal specials, which are based on particular flowers or holidays. As you can imagine most dishes are vegetarian and vegan friendly, however there is the odd meat dish on the menu; for those who just can’t go without. You won’t find any coffee on the menu either, only tea. So how did I get on as a coffee-loving, meat-eater?

  • Sakura Plate – Special
    We visited during sakura season, so naturally the menu reflected this. Not surprisingly you can often find cherry blossom flavoured (slightly reminiscent of rose) products and dishes at this time of year. This dish in particular included sakura jelly, chiffon cake, sakura ice cream and cream with meringue “mushrooms”. I personally loved the taste; subtle and sweet, with a nice mix of textures. This dish was perfect for me!
  • Fresh Mint Soda 
    Gimme mint any day! Normally I drink a lot of mint tea, but I decided to cool down with something slightly more refreshing – and fizzy – this time. I was brought some optional syrup for my drink, which I didn’t add. However it’s perfect for those with a sweet tooth. I didn’t get a photo of my soda, but I did snap one of my friend’s mint tea, which was just as pretty!

Final thoughts?

This is a popular place, so be prepared to wait. As a Londoner I don’t mind doing this, in fact it’s second nature when it comes to finding a decent restaurant. To be fair we only waited around 20-30 minutes, but you may need to stand if the few waiting chairs in the cafe are taken.

If you fancy some time away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, Aoyama Flower Market Tea House is an incredibly relaxing, comforting spot to visit. From browsing the store for plants and flowers, to enjoying some sweet treats in the restaurant, I really enjoyed the food and atmosphere here. I’d definitely recommend it, and it’s certainly somewhere I would go back to on my next visit to Japan.

Check out the rest of my Japan Travel Diaries (including Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo) here.

Aoyama Flower Market Tea House Aoyama Flower Market Tea House Aoyama Flower Market Tea House Aoyama Flower Market Tea House Aoyama Flower Market Tea House

The Beauty Expert Collection – Rose Edition

Beauty Expert CollectionThe Beauty Expert Collection – Rose Edition*

Beauty boxes have almost become a staple in the beauty game. However over time people (including myself) have become tired of the novelty of not knowing what you’re going to receive. Sometimes you just need a bit of stability in your life. You know what I mean?

So when I was gifted The Beauty Expert Collection – Rose Edition, I was excited to know just exactly what I would be receiving.

The Beauty Expert Collection – Rose Edition

  • Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil (30ml)  Restore, regenerate and intensively condition lacklustre skin with this rose-scented fruit and seed oil blend. Super potent in concentrated fruit hip oil, with twice the regenerative sterols and five times the carotenoids of seed oil, feed your skin with the most essential nutrients.
  • Monu Gentle Cleanser (180ml) – Perfect for those with dry, irritated or sensitive skin types. The fresh infusion of rose and geranium essential oils deliver a relaxing aroma, while the wheat germ, peach kernel and coconut oil provide the skin with the TLC it deserves.
  • Ark Body Beautiful Conditioning Oil (250ml) – This gorgeous multi-purpose beauty elixir can be used as a massage, bath, body and hair oil. Containing sweet almond oil, abyssian oil and sacha inchi-seed oil, this unique blend rejuvenates your senses and ensures your skin receives maximum results.
  • Balance Me Rose Otto Body Cream (200ml) – Hydrate, firm and protect skin with this luxurious body cream. Rich in skin-quenching ingredients, including arctic cloudberry and organic aloe vera, this exquisite mix is then blended with softening rose otto, palma rosa and rose geranium.
  • Korres Japanese Rose Shower Gel (250ml) – Refresh and awaken your skin with the irresistible scent of delicate rose petals. Energising wheat proteins help form a protective layer on the skin to maintain the skin’s natural moisture levels, while antioxidant enzymes enhance the overall immune system of the skin.
  • REN Keep Young and Beautiful Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift (15ml) – This ultra-lifting, firming and replenishing eye cream instantly lifts and brightens the entire eye area. The powerful cocktail of ingredients helps target signs of ageing, crow’s feet and expression lines – resulting in a smoother, tighter and revitalised appearance.

Is The Beauty Expert Collection worth it?

This is always a difficult question, but it’s one that’s on anybody’s mind when it comes to buying a new product. Especially when that product is a beauty box – sorry, beauty bag. One of the main differences – and draws – of TBEC is that you know what you’re getting; 6 full size rose themed beauty products.

Personally I’m a fan of Ren, Balance Me, Korres and Monu. So seeing these brands in the bag automatically told me that I was getting something I knew I’d love. It also showed me that Beauty Expert know what they’re talking about – these are some awesome brands! The addition of a couple of companies I didn’t know of was also nice, as it means I get to try out some new products, and hopefully fall in love with some new brands.

So let’s look at this logically. The Beauty Expert Collection – Rose Edition, comes with 6 full sized products, suitable for all skin-types… oh and it offers up £134 worth of full size products for only £50! Yeah I do reckon you’re getting your moneys worth.

You can purchase The Beauty Expert Collection – Rose Edition at Beauty Expert.
Read more beauty reviews and recommendations here.

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Get Your London Freakshake On, At Soft Serve Society

london freakshakeSoft Serve Society* | Ice Cream, Tea & Freakshakes | Website
UNIT 35 BOXPARK, 2-10 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6GY

Last year one unique, insane, ginormous, sweet sweet dish, broke the internet. The freakshake. Piled high with cake, cookies, chocolate and more. People were going crazy for this milkshake on steroids. However at the time, they weren’t available in the UK. Luckily for me, I live in London – undoubtedly the food capital of England. And of course it was only a matter of time before London picked up on the trend…and made it their own.

Get Your London Freakshake On

So where do you get your London freakshake on? At Soft Serve Society of course! The new eatery has opened in one of Shoreditch’s favourite retail destinations, Boxpark. Offering up soft serve ice cream, cotton candy cones, sundaes, freakshakes, tea and more. If that wasn’t all, there are nods to the owner’s favourites, such as matcha and chiffon cake (homemade by the way).

Luckily I was invited down to try some of their menu, with my friend Vanessa. As concise as the menu is, it’s still pretty tough to choose just one thing. So of course Vanessa and I went for a few. And shared, coz clearly we’re not animals. We chose:

  • Matcha Freakshake
    I was so eager to finally try a freakshake, so when I saw my favourite flavour on the menu, I knew I had to have it. You’d be surprised at just how devourable this really is. Most people would suggest eating it between 2, I say go all out and keep it for yourself. It’s that good! The chiffon cake is airy, and the pocky/cookie and cream are the perfect dipping companions. The milkshake itself carries the perfect hint of green tea; sweet and surprisingly light.
  • Matcha Madness | Soft Serve Sundae
    A must for any matcha/green tea fan, especially if you want something slightly more portable than the freakshake. The sweet azuki beans are the perfect compliment to the slightly bitter (but not too much) matcha. Whilst the mochi adds texture alongside the soft serve. Basically it’s got flavour, it’s got texture. It’s the perfect sundae.
  • Espresso Yourself | Soft Serve Sundae
    I loved the sprinkle of coffee on top of the sundae. It added a slight crunch, and a shot of flavour. Any coffee fan (aka me) will adore this sundae. Out of all of the sundaes we tried, this is the one I can see myself buying on a regular basis.
  • Where’s My Honey | Soft Serve Sundae
    This one is for the sweet toothed out there. The oats and waffle add some extra oomph, but personally I would prefer something with a slightly bitter or salty topping, as the honey and soft serve are pretty sweet. But I know not everyone is down for that. If you love sweet stuff, this is for you.

Overall I loved Soft Serve Society. The draw may be the freakshakes, or the cotton candy ice cream, but it’s a lot more than that. This is the perfect addition to any foodie’s Summer.

Check out more: Where to Eat in London

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