A Pamper Session with Panasonic

I love a good pamper session, even more so when it involves a trip to a salon. My hair is so fine and awkward that I never quite know what to do with it. I’m always keen to learn new ways to style it, so any products that might help me in my eternal struggle for the perfect do are alright by me. Enter Panasonic and their new range of beauty products.
Last week I was invited along with Sabina & Julie to a press day with Panasonic at The Drawing Room salon just behind Liverpool St station. We were there to find out all about the new Panasonic beauty products range. I was intrigued as Panasonic are a brand I know and trust, and used almost everyday whilst I was living in Japan. I had never put Panasonic and beauty products together in my head, but when I thought about it, it made sense. When I arrived I was greeted with warm smiles from the Panasonic team, before being whisked away for my pampering. The Drawing Room salon is inside a beautiful Georgian house with original features, making it an incredibly relaxing and decadent location for a makeover. I was offered a drink and immediately seated in one of their luxurious chairs whilst my stylist prepped my hair. This is where I admit that I have a dark sordid secret when it comes to salons…I adore having a head massage whilst my hair is washed. Ok, so admittedly it’s not very sordid, or dark, but I think it’s a secret pleasure for most of us. After my glorious head massage and wash, I was sent back upstairs to have my hair styled. Oskar decided to do bouncy waves in my hair, which meant a quick dry with Panasonic’s Nanoe Hair Dryer followed by some twisting and twirling of Panasonic’s new straighteners. Et voila! My hair was complete.  

I was incredibly impressed by Panasonic’s new beauty range, especially the hair dryer. I usually let my hair dry naturally to avoid heat damage and wiry/dry hair. However the Nanoe dryer dried my hair super quick and left it feeling soft and smooth. Credit also goes to the straighteners. Have you ever put your straighteners on, come back and felt like they’d been dropped into the fires of hell? Well the Panasonic hair straighteners don’t do this as they keep a constant temperature, which is also better for your hair. Both products worked wonderfully on my annoying hair, and left it voluptuous and healthy looking. I’ve been using the same well-known brand of straighteners, and a lack of hair dryer, for years. However both these products have left me wondering whether I should be brave and make a change in my haircare routine.

You can buy Panasonic’s beauty range from Boots.
The Nanoe hair dryer is currently on sale with £40 off, whilst the straighteners will be available to buy soon.

Miso Tasty

I miss Japanese food, or should I say I miss cooking Japanese food. When I was living in Japan I didn’t think twice about the ingredients and products I had available to me. Now I realise just how lucky I was. The food is incredibly delicious, with a variety of amazing flavours, and it’s healthy to boot! Japan is the only country I’ve lived in where I’ve eaten everything I wanted and lost weight. I felt healthy, which is the most important thing to me. Miso is a very traditional, healthy ingredient in Japanese food and is something I’ve eaten and cooked with many times. So when Miso Tasty contacted me about an press event come dinner party, I jumped at the chance to attend.
When I arrived I was greeted by an enthusiastic group of people and my own personal place card, in the form of a miso spoon. A lovely touch! Bonnie (the founder of Miso Tasty) told us all about the brand and it’s origins as we nibbled on veggies that we dipped into different types of miso. As we sipped sparkling sake (even better than regular sake), we were told about the different fermentation processes, and why each miso tasted as it does. If there was a wine tasting of the food world, it would have been this. My favourite was the hatcho miso, which we were told is the champagne of the miso world (and is the only miso eaten by the Emperor of Japan). Trust me to pick the most decadent and expensive of the selection! Bonnie then served us our own bowl of miso, along with a variety of ingredients such as: smoked salmon, noodles, tofu, spring onion and more. I have only ever had miso soup by itself, or with mochi at New Year, so I thoroughly enjoyed trying something new. Next we were served saikyo miso grilled black cod and smoked salmon (to die for!) with an aubergine-miso dish. I didn’t want to intrude on the veggie/vegan option so I didn’t try it but it looked good. The coleslaw (made with tahini and miso) was void of mayonnaise and still managed to be creamy. In fact it’s probably one of the best coleslaws I’ve had! I felt like eating all of the fish and coleslaw, but controlled my urges, which I’m sure my fellow diners were very happy about. Finally, we were served freshly baked gluten-free miso cookies…it might sound odd, but these were beyond delicious. We all snuck a few home too. 
Miso Tasty showed me that whereas their miso soup may be great for eating on the go, or as a healthy lunch option, you can also make a meal out of it. I had actually tried Miso Tasty’s soup before and was impressed by their use of miso paste, over other brands who usually opt for powder. The lovely company added to the atmosphere of the evening, but in the end the food was the star of the night. Every dish left me wanting more, and wondering how on earth they had managed to seal so much flavour inside. I’ll definitely be using my Miso Tasty to create some of the delicious recipes I tried during the event, and for some of my own creations.

You can find Miso Tasty in Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Whole Foods.

South Beach Swimwear Summer Event

South Beach Swimwear Summer Event

Last week I attended the South Beach Swimwear Summer Event. It was held at one of my favourite Shoreditch hideaways – The Love Shake. The bar has a 50s pin up, all-American vibe, making it the perfect place to host a bikini extravaganza. I was lucky enough to spend the evening in the wonderful company of V.A, her friend Mai and Lorna. We browsed South Beach’s latest collections, whilst sipping on delicious milkshake cocktails (yes they are a thing, and yes you MUST try one) and nibbling on hot dogs (ketchup and mustard on mine, thanks). All was done with perfectly manicure talons – thanks go to Rosie who decked out our nails in designs inspired by some of the bikinis. I went for a red, blue & white striped combo, reminiscent of Jean Paul Gaultier and Summer’s spent frolicking by the French Riviera.

Now I could hardly tell you about the event and not mention the wonderful designs that were on show during the evening. South Beach have outdone themselves with bikinis, shawls and bags to make any beach lover drool. My personal favourite was the parasol print above, that also came in a underwired bikini top (Davina Top) with matching high-waisted bottoms (Dulcie Brief). The 50s film siren inside of me is desperate for them. South Beach get another thumbs up from me as they allow you to purchase your bikini tops and bottoms separately. That means there won’t be any size blunders for those of us who aren’t one size all over. It also allows for some creative input; so if you’re not the type to go matchy matchy, you have the option of playing around with prints and colours.

I also found out during the event that South Beach sell loungwear as well. I fell for one cheeky little number in particular that looked as sexy as it did sweet – yes those two can definitely go together. Unfortunately it isn’t up on the site yet, but once it is I shall make sure to share it with you all.

You can visit South Beach for all your bikini needs this Summer, trust me.

House of Cuckoo at Taylor Taylor London

When the invite for a food event at a hair salon dropped into my inbox I almost spilt my tea. If you ever need to get into my good books, just give me a plate of food or the latest beauty product. Anyway, back to the topic at hand! I arrived at Taylor Taylor’s new Portobello Road salon and was immediately reminded of what makes their salons so appealing: the decor. Decadent chandeliers, gold detailing and a peacock so magnificent you have to see it in person. Suffice to say, I was in awe before I was even handed my Bellini – yes this salon also offers cocktails to it’s clientele. I was then shown through to part of the salon where I was greeted by smiling faces and cupcakes upon cupcakes. 
House of Cuckoo is a company run by two fabulous women who happen to also be mums. Chieko and Carolyn wanted to offer their children tasty treats that were also good for them. So instead of battling at meal times, they started baking cupcakes with various vegetables, yes you heard me right vegetables. Since then they have gone on to take the cupcake world by storm and are now selling their cupcakes in select Waitrose stores. Now let me tell you, these cupcakes are really something else. I never thought I’d say I enjoyed pea or cauliflower in a sweet dish, but after just one bite I wanted more! Each delicious morsal convinced me that these two lovely ladies were onto something pretty special. I love trying new things and if you do too, you must check them out. My personal favourite is the Butternut Squash & Almond.
Now I did mention Taylor Taylor before and you’re probably wondering why we were even at a salon in the first place. That’s because we were offered blow dries from a range of styles. I chose a sleek straight look, whilst others such as Jesse went for full on glamorous curls. Ashley did my hair whilst I sipped on a green tea cocktail, and chatted with me about the best burger places in London (she recommends Honest Burgers). My final look left me feeling super stylish and my hair was incredibly silky and shiny. Before I left I was given a hair consultation and some products to compliment my hair type (expect reviews soon!). The staff are brilliant at their jobs and are incredibly chatty and friendly. I must head back soon!
Thank you so much to Sarah from The Prosecco Diaries for planning & hosting the event.
House of Cuckoo can be found in select Waitrose stores and are available for parties, weddings etc. 
If you want something special or just need a trim you can book into one of Taylor Taylor’s salons.

Photo Diary: The London Coffee Festival

On Saturday I headed to the London Coffee Festival with Nuffnang. That probably sounds a bit odd as I don’t drink caffeinated drinks, right? Well I wanted to find out what other options were available, such as decafe etc. However the rest of the Nuffnang crew had avoided coffee all morning in preparation. Luckily for me I wasn’t let down and there was much more than just coffee on show. There was art, food, music and even fashion stalls on display.

I headed round with some of the girls to get all the info on the exhibitors. Amongst the various brands there were more than a few that stood out for me: One Water, Sprinkled Magic Cupcakes, Impossible iPhone Printer, Novus Tea, Nut Shot Peanut Butter, Joco Reusable Cups, and Evoni Design.

Yes, I do feel bad that I headed to the coffee festival and couldn’t fully enjoy the coffee. However I did catch some amazing smells, and I even had a cheeky little latte at one point. It was a day of laughs, learning and discovery, and I would definitely recommend it.

You can find out more at The London Coffee Festival.

The Secret of Avène Eau Thermale

On Thursday I was invited to breakfast with my favourite skincare brand – Avène.
They had cryptically told me that I would be finding out the secret behind their products.
As the brand has made such an impact on my skincare routine I couldn’t wait to find out.
Amongst the gorgeous bouquets of flowers and delicious food were some new products.
Avène is now releasing their ‘XeraCalm A.D’ range, which is aimed at those with eczema.
As someone who suffers from eczema from time to time, this came as a delightful surprise.
But wait, didn’t I mention a special little secret? Well luckily for you I’m going to share it.
So what is the secret of Avène?
The lovely representative told us that it is all down to nature. A long time ago, the founder of Avène found a spring that had special healing properties. The locals also knew about it and used it to bathe in and to help ease their skin conditions. It sounds as though it could be something from a fairytale, right? At least that’s how I imagined it. 
Now, do you remember your geography children? Then you might recall how springs come about. Rain falls down into the soil and makes a magnificent journey through the earth before creating a spring. It is this process that allows Avène to gather their eau thermale, as it rises from a hot spring under the earth. The water in this spring takes all the minerals and a unique microflora ‘dolomiae’ from the earth and soil. This process takes over 50 years, so the eau thermale in all your Avène products really is special. It is a science that the Avène team have been working on, and perfecting, for many years. Luckily for us they are now sharing their secret, so we can all benefit!
So it’s no wonder why Avène’s products are soothing, anti-free radical and anti-irritating. It’s amazing to think that a spring discovered in 1736 is still helping us, and our skin woes today. Avène have put a lot of research, thought and care into their products and I love that about them. I also think it’s wonderful that the eau thermale in their products comes from a natural spring. How many people can say they use the water from a thermal spring in their skincare routine? Their products aren’t only for those with eczema or sensitive-skin, anyone can use them. If you want to be converted, like I was, then you need to try out Avène. 
You can purchase Avène’s new range from selected Boots stores, from April 2014.

Video & Photo Diary: Look Again SS14 Press Day

A few weeks ago I headed to the Look Again SS14 Press Day. I apologise for the tardiness of this post, but I was waiting on a video. Yes, that rather slick, classy video at the top was well worth waiting for. It features some of my favourite picks from the current SS14 collection. I also talk about the lovely Stacey Solomon, the new face of Look Again.
No, I didn’t spend my entire day giggling obnoxiously to a camera crew. I also met up with Lorna of Studs & Dreams, and Georgina of Georgina Does. Both are lovely ladies and the perfect company for any kind of blogger event. We caught up over champagne as we checked out the stunning items on show. The collection was put together perfectly and the pieces chosen very well. My personal favourite out of everything had to be the Lipsy Floral Chiffon Dress. It certainly wasn’t easy to choose though, surrounded by so many gorgeous items. We also chatted to Stacey Solomon about the collection, and yummy canapés. She was so sweet, and I loved that she changed into her favourite outfit later on.
If you fancy checking out some of the lovely items in this post you can find them on Look Again.