Handmade at Kew x In The Window | Interior

handmade at kewHandmade at Kew x In The Window

Kew Gardens is one of my favourite retreats in London (as you may know). However it’s quite a trek to get there, so I often need an excuse to go. Whether that’s friends inviting me, a photoshoot etc. Last weekend I was given the perfect excuse for my second visit in 3 months. An invite from In The Window, to visit their Handmade at Kew stall.

Handmade at Kew

Meeting designers in person is always eye opening. In The Window’s stall at Handmade at Kew allowed me to meet several of their designers, as well as learning more about their creative process. I met with Daniel Heath, Frame & Cover, and Peaceable Kingdom Cushions. For me, a product/brand truly comes alive when I can feel and see the passion behind it. So I loved hearing the stories behind the designs, products and brands. Of course it always helps if you have the designers on hand to show you.

Live The Story

This time I was able to do some screen printing with Daniel Heath – always a pleasure. As well as Peaceable Kingdom Cushions – gorgeous designs, on organic fabrics. Whilst we learnt more about In The Window’s new Press Spaces (for bloggers & press), whilst lounging in Frame & Cover chairs. Corinne (the founder) is so passionate about organic materials, and UK production. I loved that her outfit on the day mirrored her patterns – now that’s keeping to an aesthetic!

Handmade at Kew really reflected the values and concept behind In The Window, so it makes a lot of sense that the two would pair up. I loved interacting with the designers, as well as learning about all the exciting new projects coming from ITW. Definitely a day worth making the trek for.

You can find out more about all of the designers featured at In The Window.
Follow #LiveTheStory on Twitter and Instagram to find out more.

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A Love Affair with Italian Leather Shoes | Style

italian leather shoesA Love Affair with Italian Leather Shoes | Sandals by Lorena Paggi*

My press trip to Italy last October was something I will never forget. Discovering Fermo and the amazing artisan shoemakers of the region was enlightening. Since my visit I’ve definitely gained a new found love for Italian leather shoes, and a variety of new designers.

Italian Leather Shoes: Lorena Paggi SS16

One of the designers I visited during my trip to Italy was Lorena Paggi. Producing Italian leather shoes, bags and accessories, I fell in love with a pair of their brogues, and that was that. The brand had certainly left an impression on me. So when their Spring/Summer 2016 collection popped up on my Facebook feed I immediately clicked through. Dusky pinks, chunky heels and minimalist looks to name a few. These are stylish sandals with a difference.

Where to find them…

This is the question I asked myself…Lorena Paggi…and every social network possible, after I saw these sandals. The dirty pink shade was so perfect, and so perfectly on trend. The style is very me – minimalist, comfortable, high quality and stylish. You couldn’t ask for better. Lorena Paggi luckily saw my pleas on social media, as I desperately tried to find out where I could buy their new sandals. I can’t wait to wear these in Barcelona at the end of the month. And hopefully in London, but I don’t want to jinx this gorgeous weather just yet.

Unfortunately Lorena Paggi shoes are not available in the UK…yet! However if you happen to be in Italy or Eastern Europe/Russia, you will definitely be in luck. Keep an eye on their InstagramFacebook and Twitter accounts for more info.

Read more: Italy Travel Diaries

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ASOS Beauty SS16 Preview

asos beautyASOS Beauty SS16 Preview

I love a good preview, especially when it’s from one of my favourite stores. Even more so when it’s in a marble lined spa. Enter ASOS and their Spring/Summer 16 beauty preview. Whenever I browse the beauty section on ASOS I’m surrounded by well-loved brands, and new ones I’ve yet to fully discover. That’s part of why I enjoy shopping on the site so much. This press event was no different.

The Mondrian Hotel Agua Spa had been transformed into the irl ASOS beauty category. It was magnificent. Well I say the beauty category, actually we were getting a preview of the new products coming to ASOS beauty in SS16. Some of my favourite brands were present: Paul & Joe, Lottie London, Ciate, Lord & Berry… And also some new faces, like Nude by Nature and Frank Body. It was great to see such a variety on offer. What really impressed me most though was the curation. ASOS have done a stellar job of choosing affordable, high quality items. You really can judge a book by it’s cover with these, because the products  are all round winners.

My highlights of the preview were Lottie London (great brushes for the price), Nude by Nature (just gorgeous, inside and out) and Lord and Berry’s 2-step cleanser. I’ll definitely be adding these to my collection when they drop on ASOS.

Keep your eyes on ASOS Beauty for all these awesome products, and more!

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SHOW Your Best Side

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SHOW DRY Salon, Notting Hill, London

I love having my hair washed by someone. No I’m not lazy, and no I don’t have some kind of weird fetish. I just find it incredibly relaxing, and after a busy day at work it’s nice to indulge in some pampering. However, having my hair styled by someone else is another thing entirely. I have awkwardly curly, coarse hair, which I apparently seem to hide well. But once a stylist discovers it’s real form, all hell breaks lose. Ok so I may be overdramatising here, but a lot of stylists do find my hair hard to work with. For me, it’s easy. I’ve gotten used to it over the years and I know how to handle it/style it right (all those years have finally paid off). That’s why I like going back to the same hairdresser (once I’ve found a good one). So with this in mind I headed to SHOW’s new salon in Notting Hill with V.A for some hair pampering. Part of me couldn’t wait, and the other part was a little nervous…

My qualms were settled though as we walked through the ornate doors, and into the chic interior. The smell of roses and haircare products filled the air in the predominantly pink and gold salon. Everything was immaculate, from the displays of products that lined the wall right down to the bouquet on the reception desk. It took everything in me not to stand there with my mouth hanging open – this is a classy establishment Emma, don’t mess up. We were greeted by a cheerful member of staff who kindly introduced us to the salon and our stylists. We were taken downstairs for a quick tour before being whisked away to have our hair washed. At this point I came to realise that the smell that had hit me when I walked in was SHOW’s own haircare products; and boy do they smell amazing. It was thanks to this that my shampoo and condition was incredibly relaxing.

After heading back upstairs we were given a glass of bubbles each, and our stylists got to work. Unfortunately my stylist did comment on how awkward my hair was – another one defeated by the genes of my father. Thanks Dad. However she did leave me with soft, bouncy hair. I can’t really blame her for not being able to style it properly – as I explained my hair is very awkward – and the products did actually leave my hair feeling and looking good. As for V.A (with her lovely, approachable hair), she left with some gorgeous, enviable waves. I also saw several other ladies leaving with exceptional blow drys. Overall I can’t complain, and maybe next time I could go back with a bit more time and the same stylist would be more prepared to tackle my mane of hair…or I’d just go for an up-do.

You can check out the services on offer, and book an appointment at SHOW Dry.

Roller Lash is a Curl’s Best Friend

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Last week I headed to Benefit’s Curl’s Best Friend Parlour for an evening of beauty talk with some of my fellow Birchbloggers. We were also joined by some of the Birchbox team who greeted us with cupcakes and cocktails – forget curl’s, this place was a blogger’s best friend! We mingled in the 1950-esque Noir Bar, surrounded by glamorous ladies, and a mirror that spouted cheesy compliments (yep, that’s a thing). 

After some networking we were given a make-up masterclass by Lisa Potter-Dixon and Jessica Dinner. Lisa gave us some great tips on how to achieve the latest catwalk beauty looks, but it was the tips and tricks of the trade that I was after. Luckily the evening didn’t disappoint. Lisa told us several of her favourite beauty hacks, such as using Benefit’s Hoola to contour the sockets of your eye (to make your eyes look bigger) and using your lipstick as a 3-in-1 beauty tool (on your lips, eyes and cheeks!). After our mini masterclass we headed down to the salon to have our hair and make-up done. I tried out the new Roller Lash mascara, which Benefit claim to be made for people with straight lashes, and had some curls put in my hair. Unfortunately the make-up looked a little too harsh on me (life story of a pale person), so all photographic evidence has been burnt…and by that I mean deleted off my phone. I loved what some of the other ladies were having done though, especially Jpoppy’s gorgeous hair-do. All in all I got to meet some lovely bloggers and learn some new beauty tips, so I’d call the evening a success.

If you’re interested head over to Benefit and Birchbox to find out more about the new Roller Lash mascara.

OGX Hair Lunch at The Gilbert Scott Restaurant

Both food and beauty in one sitting…what more could I ask for? OGX must be able to read minds, as they recently invited me for a sneak peek of some of their up-coming launches, over lunch at The Gilbert Scott Restaurant. The venue for the press event was the perfect choice. TGS is a part of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, and much like it’s counterpart it is incredibly stunning.

We were sat in a private dining room lined with products from the OGX haircare range. I recognised some old faithfuls, and some new shiny products. I was impressed to see that some of the American team (OGX is an American brand) had flown over especially for the event. What better way to find out about a brand than through their own people? I’ve been using OGX’s shampoos and conditioners for several years. I even remember when they were called Organix. The ranges are fun and vibrant, and allow you to mix and match – something that most haircare brands don’t offer. We were given a small presentation on the brand and what we could expect from them in 2015. OGX always stay up to date with the latest haircare trends and ingredients, and their latest ‘Coconut Water‘ range mirrors this perfectly. They knew that people loved putting coconut water into their bodies, so why not on their bodies hair too? The shampoo and conditioner are currently available in-stores, however the Coconut Water Hydrating Oil will be released in January, and I know you’re all going to love it. The Lemon Highlights range is another sneak peek that you’ll find hitting UK stores in the new year. It uses coconut oil to give highlighted hair a healthy, shiny glow. It smells divine and I can only imagine how sun kissed hair will look after using it. Finally, we were told all about the Kukui Oil range, something that spoke to me personally – a shampoo/conditioner that reduces frizz and locks in moisture. There is a God! I’ve made a mental note to put the coconut oil and kukui products in my basket next time I visited Boots.

I’ll be reviewing some of the latest OGX products on the blog soon, so keep an eye out on here and in stores! You can purchase OGX products in Boots and Superdrug

East London Jewels at Parla, Boxpark

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If you’ve been reading my blog since my move to London then you will know my background is in jewellery. Well that love goes back a long time. As a child I would buy jewellery making kits with my pocket money; creating necklaces and bracelets for myself and my friends. I wish I had continued with my jewellery making during my teenage years, but instead photoshop and html took over. Naturally I have a lot of respect for those who design and create their own jewellery.
Parla is one of the latest additions to Boxpark in Shoreditch. A jewellery boutique offering sustainable Scandinavian styled creations by British, Swedish and Norwegian designers. Put Scandinavian in front of anything and I’m sold. Minimalistic yet distinctive, that’s my kind of style. I headed to the store last week for a press night where I was able to meet my favourite designers (of those stocked at Parla) Jenny Sweetnam and Clarice Price Thomas. Both were incredibly lovely and talked me through their collections and the inspiration behind their work. Their pieces are minimalistic and modern. Both work in sterling silver and gold, meaning the pieces are of the highest quality. I could go on and on, but instead I plan to talk more about both of them in my ‘Designer Spotlight‘ series.

If you like what you see, you can browse all of the designers and pieces at Parla.