Sunday, January 11, 2015

#beautypost: Brew-tiful Skin. DIY Coffee Body Scrub

I don't know about you but my days don't function too well without my morning cup of coffee, not to mention the other three daily cups supplied by my java obsessed, V60 brewing boyfriend. You'll find me, brew in hand, at the dining table scrolling through the mornings latest Instagram/Pinterest feeds. Most often I'm waking up my sleepy eyes looking at other people's coffee pots and other foody whatnots but recently coffee has caught my attention for a completely different reason.

With the New Year here and ready to give me a kick up the bum, I needed a New Year's resolution that I could actually try and stick to and no.. if you're thinking that this is leading to me telling you that I'm quitting coffee, that just isn't going to happen. 

I don't think my other half would ever, ever forgive me.

No, this year I'm doing the most predictable thing... I'm going to get my skin and body in better condition and shape. Yes, living abroad takes it's toll on my physical situation.... as soon as Friday (most weeks I don't even wait until then) comes I eat and drink like I'm on some sort of weekly occurring holiday. And with a 3-month trip to South America on my horizon, I've never had a better excuse to cut down and get into better shape. I can't see myself stopping completely with the food-cocktail fuelled weekends but I suppose I can curb a few of them and between these 'mini breaks' I'm going to try my best to exercise more, eat a little smaller and greener and give my skin some well needed TLC.

So where does coffee come into this? 

I've read tonnes of things about how good coffee is for the skin and it's benefits and results. I also found Frankbody... a coffee scrub that's all over Instagram for all the right reasons and I almost bought it. That's when I realised, why buy when you can make? To be honest, the Frank range is quite affordable, starting at £11.95 a pack and up depending on the ingredients you're after, but for a fraction of the price and a little project to play with, I've made my own coffee scrub, face and body friendly. Please don't try this until you've tested a patch of skin first.

Here are some benefits of using coffee on your skin that might distract your mind from the not so appealing appearance of this scrub...

Health benefits of using coffee on our skin
Coffee grounds, when applied onto our skin, work as a great exfoliant whilst not being too harsh unlike some scrubs that include beads and seeds. Exfoliating our skin improves the skin's circulation and removes any dead skin cells, giving our skin a much brighter, softer glow and because of this it can really help to ease the appearance of blemishes, scars caused by acne and stretch marks.

Coffee not only affects above our skin but underneath as well; the caffeine in coffee helps temporarily eliminate the appearance of lumpy, bumpy cellulite so say hello to plump bums and thighs. Now, I've had a good scour on the internet and sadly the word temporarily isn't used lightly... doctors say that this elimination is best up to 2-3 hours after use and then returns back to normal. But all isn't lost... the circulation improvement that I mentioned earlier is the trick to eliminating cellulite on a more permanent basis.

Coffee also holds tonnes of antioxidants which eases inflammation and swelling... yes, this includes our puffy morning eyes when used on a regular basis. These antioxidants also keep premature skin ageing at bay caused by our terrible daily bad habits and those pesky UV rays... (the colourant in brown sugar is also extremely helpful in protecting our skin from the sun's UV)

This might not be your thing and the results will probably vary from person to person but when it's this easy and cheap, surely it's worth a go at least once... no?

3 parts coffee grounds
1 part sugar
Squeeze of lemon
Small drop of water (enough to make a thick paste) On this occasion I used to left over green tea

When your scrub is ready to use start from feet and work your way up to neck or face, rubbing in circular motions. Wait for 5-10 minutes and jump in the shower!
I've read it's better to keep away from soapy products when washing the scrub off as it removes any oils that have been left on your skin by the coffee. It's a messy job but so worth it.
Scrub away!

  • You can use fresh or used coffee grounds however we use a whole load of coffee each day so for me it's 100% worth using old grounds. Waste not, want not.
  • Whether you use white or brown sugar is completely up to you as both have there benefits and both are common in shop bought scrubs however, brown sugar is much softer on the skin which works better if you're planning to use this scrub on your face too. If you want a stronger scrub for your body only then go for it with white sugar.
  • If you find your scrub is way too runny then just add a few straws of kitchen roll for 5 minutes or so. Once removed, you'll be back to a thick paste... scrub saved!
  • Remember, if you want to keep your scrub for longer than a day then make sure to store it in a cool, dry place and keep it air tight... this way it will last 1-2 weeks.
Now why can't I hear your shower running?

Friday, October 24, 2014

#stylepost - Got Flair?

A short post to show some appreciation for my recent love of anything seventies..
AKA A Leandra Medine tribute

Anything involving:
Flared pants
Oversized sleeves
Fluff and fur
Suede mini skirts 
Off the shoulders
Bare eyes and a parting straight up the middle

Send any wide legged trouser suggestions this way.... 

Trouser Pull & Bear ¦ Top COS ¦ Sandals ZARA ¦ Faux Fur Stole ASOS ¦ Necklace Monica Vinader
High Waisted Jeans Topshop ¦ Top H&M



#stylepost - TGIF

A collection of odd bits from the internet this week...

Jeanne Damas + a multi-colour dream coat + a pink Mustang
A very happy Friday

Sunshine - Rye Rye ft. MIA
The Bling Ring, Sofia Coppola (2013)

All photos via Pinterest

Thursday, October 16, 2014

#lifestylepost - Thinking Inside the Box... Curated Packages

I love surprises.
You love surprises.
We all love surprises.

They're there to say thank you, I love you, congratulations... there's a million reasons for a surprise, however big or small, but the 'no reason' reason is just my favourite.
Thanks to the grow in on-line curated packages we can now treat ourselves and the ones we love to little boxes of goodies for... I suppose... no reason at all.

Now, we've officially approached the hump of October.
Darker nights, shorter days, lazier Sundays.

So if the whole 'no reason at all' idea isn't quite doing it for you then think of it this way... It's getting to that time of year, just before the sparkle of Christmas... as soon as we clock out, we feel ourselves homing towards the sofa a little more often, that cosy, old jumper we had to peel off ourselves last Winter has once again become our new best friend and baking, red wine and some sort of new TV series are our new found hobbies. No? Just me? Ok, well...this is of course inevitable and I do kind of like it but a little parcel to yourself or someone under the same roof every now and then can do no harm and can definitely add a little more excitement to your day, week, month... you choose.

Just have a look at my favourite picks... you might think I'm an easily pleased, crazy lady right now but I'm sure you'll be standing right next to me after a quick scroll.

A little on the expensive side and in high demand due to well known writers, influential bloggers, chefs and even musicians picking themselves as curators. If you choose the right curator for you I do think the price is worth it over 3 months as a personal treat to yourself.
Prices range from $25-$100 every 3 months and you can choose who curates your box, along with a note explaining each item. 
Current curators include Nina Garcia, Pharrell Williams, Rosario Dawson, GQ and Food52.

International shipping and parcels starting at £19.
Tell them your preferences and receive a monthly parcel from independent artists and designers.

The food parcel idea isn't too new but living away from home, it's nice to buy bits and pieces to keep in the cupboard for the days we've had it up to here with paella (that was simply to make a point... that will never happen... long live Paella)
UK based and monthly prices start at £20. Fine foods, delicious snacks and craft beers... which leads me to my next site...

4. Beer52

For £24 a month Beer52 will deliver to your door 8 bottles of craft beer chosen by experts.

And last but not least... Turntable Kitchen. 
Something that I was a little confused with at the start but after a look at what they actually do I think their idea is quite fresh and dare I say it... quite a cute idea.
With their pairings box you receive 1-2 premium recipes, 3 seasonal recipes, tasting notes and yes... a digital mixtape + 7" vinyl to pair new music to your recipes.
Pairing boxes are priced at $25 a month with international shipping available.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

#stylepost - Hair play... Flowers and Hoops

It's fair to say that I'm a one hair style kind of girl. 
Maybe on a Monday morning my hair will see a ponytail but not the big, bouncy, volume type... no... It's a lot more like the 'I didn't wash my hair last night' kind... And maybe once every blue moon I'll venture to a plait.

Because of this some might say lazy habit with my hair I'm always on the look out for hair accessories but however much I love the hair scarves, cottons bows etc. number 1 they just don't suit me and number 2 I can't master the hair scarf trick... trust me, I've tried plenty!

So browsing on the internet this week I've found two dream accessories that are wiggling their ways into this seasons trends.

Firstly and least likely for me but oh so dreamy is the hair rose from Dolce and Gabbana at MFW.
It being a tribute to Spain is enough for me to love it as well as the matador inspired outfits and Flamenco polka dots on show giving me flashbacks to Cordoba, feria and sevillanas.
Loosen the buns, downsize the flower and wear with something simple and I think the hair flower could work day-to-day.

Second of all a little less romantic and something I can't wait to try out are the Aeon hair rings by Regal Rose. They're Rodarte SS15 for us tame ones and they're inexpensive... €14 on Asos for international buys and from £8 on REGALROSE.COM. They come in both gold and silver and pack size depends on the hair length you have. For people like me that wear their hair down come rain, snow or sunshine and need a bit of a mix up when it comes to Friday night hair then they look perfect. 

As soon as pay day comes, they'll be in my basket.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

#stylepost - Charlotte Simone '14 Faux-ever Fur

The faux fur trend isn't exactly new right now... it's been hanging around for the past few Winters in silky forms of jackets, hoods, headbands, stoles and scarves and it's never really appealed to me until the British based designer Charlotte Beecham and her brand Charlotte Simone caught my eye this LFW.

Although not exclusively a fur brand, in fact her ultimate focus is to 'reinvent the scarf' from fur to knits to woven fabrics, Charlotte Beecham does do a cracking good faux fur scarf. Unfortunately, a large handful of the scarves are available in real fur but since that's not for me I've drawn up a wish list of the faux friends to those. 

I usually find that when a designer stocks faux it somewhat feels cheaper and cheated and doesn't live up to the quality of what it should be but even Charlotte herself has said '...while I understand that some people choose fake fur rather than real as a lifestyle choice, I really didn't want to offer it just as a cheap alternative. It needed to be as beautiful as real fur - and in some styles it actually looks better." 2013.

Taken from @charlottesimone_ Instagram 

So from a freshman in Paris to her time at NYU to September's LFW these scarves have soared. Big on my wishlist are the most obvious.. The Popsicle... the stripey + khaki style is my favourite. Although for a more affordable style and a little less sought after I am a fan of the slimmer looking (not too sure if it actually is slimmer) Candycane... the blue style teamed with the H&M black maxi coat would be dreamy with Autumn.

Warning: Look at your own risk... with Harvey Nichols current 15% off promo code AW14SHOW you will want to buy one


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