VANITY FAIR – RED OR DEAD

Missed me? I’ve been working my beehind off on some huge back-to-back client projects, 7 weeks in London, and boy am I glad to be back home on the farm. This morning I found out that one of the big projects I worked on (and one that I’m the most proud of) was a success and the company won the account we were pitching for. Big news in my ‘real life’ work world, so tonight merits a drink or two to celebrate!

But, enough about work, let’s get back to the pretty pleasures in life. There are big changes on the horizon, next week I’m trading in my brunette/ombre locks for something altogether more wild…

Red Head

Yup, I’m going red, and I’m going ALL the way!

The first thing I did once I’d decided to make the change was to poll my twitter and facebook friends to find a really good colourist. While I dye my hair at home 99% of the time, when making a big change like this it’s always best left in the hands of the professionals. When the lovely Natasha, Deputy Editor at Elle, name checked the colourist that had taken her from brunette to red head and told me how wonderful she was, I was sold. So, I booked myself in for a consultation (I’ll tell you who and where once the deed is done!) and off I went.

These are the pictures that I showed my colourist during my consultation, I wanted her to know that I don’t want wishy-washy red-ish hair, I want FIRE! Go big or go home is my motto when it comes to these things. While I often skip the 24hr patch test with home hair dyes, this is something I’m not cutting corners on. I’ve had a few hair scares in my time, and it’s taught me to scope out the stylist you’re considering to make sure they’re listening to you, and in turn being honest with you about what your hair can or can’t take.

So, I’m all booked in. Next Tuesday is The Day. I’ve already edited and restocked my make up bag in preparation for my new look, and ordered some John Frieda Radiant Red shampoo and conditioner to keep the colour looking hot for as long as possible (I know there’s going to be a lot of upkeep involved, but I’m up for it!)

So, watch this space - I’ll be sharing the before and after with you, as well as the highs and lows of being a red head. And if you have any advice for maintaining red hair, I’m all ears.

 

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VANITY FAIR | NUDE PROGENIUS TREATMENT OIL

Nude proGenius Treatment Oil - Coquette & Dove

I’ve been a big fan of Nude since the brand launched in 2005. For years I was a devotee of their facial cleansing oil, and still use it when I travel, or when my skin is feeling particularly sensitive. I was also a big fan of their lip balm which, unfortunately, they don’t seem to make any more.

After a few years without Nude in my life, I recently decided to invest in their Natural Radiance set. I’d been wanting to try the ProGenius Treatment oil for a long time in the hopes that it might be kind to my rosacea-riddled skin, but could never quite bring myself to spend the money. This way, I got a half bottle of the oil (15ml), a travel bottle of the cleansing oil (and that stuff really lasts) and a travel bottle of the Radiant Day Moisturiser.

After only a few days I was completely hooked on the oil. Used sparingly morning and night, my skin drank up this oily cocktail (10 precious oils make up the magical formula) and glowed from within as a result. My complexion was (and still is) noticeably clearer and softer, and when I apply a teeny bit (patting it into damp skin after a shower) before I put my make up on, the result is radiant and not at all oily. Of course, my skin is looking so much better as a result of using it that I rarely wear more than mascara and lip gloss when I leave the house. Happy days!

Like the  facial cleansing oil, a little goes a long way, the teeny bottle lasted me a good 3 months, so in my mind it’s very much worth the investment, and I’ll soon be investing in a big bottle (and decanting into the teeny one for traveling, perfect.) I also rub any residue after applying into my cuticles, or if I’m going to bed, add hand cream and give my digits a little treat.

The Radiant Day Moisturiser wasn’t quite up to the job of hydrating my dry skin on a day-to-day basis, but I do keep it in my permanently packed wash bag for my frequent trips to California where it’s perfectly suited to those super hot days where anything else just ends up as an oil slick all over your face.

So there you have it, rosacea friendly, multi-tasking, skin beautifying goodness.

 

 

 

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TOWN MOUSE | TAKING THE WATERS AT BATH’S THERMAE SPA

Bath Thermae Spa

The end of last week was a bit of a roller coaster round these parts. Tragic news coupled with two very special christenings made for a weekend of high emotion, both good and bad. Lucky, then, that the sister and I had planned our Bath trip for the aforementioned christenings with a little R&R in mind.

After we’d checked into The Queensberry and sated our travel-induced hunger with sandwiches and tea in the lounge, we headed out onto the crowded streets of Bath armed with our spa packs (robes and towels thoughtfully supplied by the hotel so that we didn’t have to bring our own or hire them at the spa) and accompanied by our good friend, the fabulous Miss Mead.

Anyone who knows me can attest to my love for Jane Austen, so imagine my delight when discovered it was the day of a Jane Austen costume parade. Fine (and not so fine) muslins drifted by, accompanied by waistcoated men in top hats and whiskers. I was in Austen heaven!

When we arrived at the Thermae Spa there was a queue, it was Saturday afternoon after all, but what we were told would be a 30 minute wait passed in no time, and we were soon in the high-tech locker rooms changing into our swimsuits. We made a beeline straight for the open-air pool on the roof, stepping out into the mild autumn air and low afternoon sun. The pool was BUSY, but we weren’t put off, groups of friends bobbed together in the water, chatting and laughing, couples clung to the railings around the side, deep in conversation. We quickly found a spot and a couple of noodle floats to perch on and settled into gossiping, exchanging news and stories and ‘people watching’.

I absolutely loved the atmosphere, the constant chatter and laughter contrasted with the serenity of bobbing around in the hot water seemed to relax me in a way I hadn’t really expected. And it all felt very ‘Austen’, like we were in a modern day assembly rooms, taking in the scene and society of the day, seeing and being seen.

After an hour of bobbing we headed downstairs to the steam rooms, 4 self-contained pods centred around  a huge thermal waterfall shower. Each room is scented differently, and we chose our first room based on the green lights around the edge, guessing it to be a menthol-y room and we were right, eucalyptus and mint hit us with a refreshing jolt as we walked in. After 10 minutes we decided to try the other rooms, but found them all to be very synthetic smelling (I’m guessing they don’t use essential oils) one of which almost made me wretch the second I walked in, and decided to give them a miss.

Our visit to the Minerva Bath was also short-lived, the leisure centre atmosphere did little for us, and so we headed back to the roof for a final dip before we left.

All in all, I loved our visit. It was just the tonic for this frazzled mouse, and the buzz of the crowds, softened by the warm water and the pleasure of the conversation with my sister and Catherine was just right. At £26 for a 2 hour visit, the spa is not cheap, I’ll admit that I did baulk a little at the price when we first arrived, but as we walked back up the hill to our hotel, I was quiet content to have paid it.

 

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NOTES ON STYLE | J.CREW SS14 NYFW PRESENTATION

I am an autumn girl through and through. It’s my season. The colours, the clothes, the weather – it’s all me. And then I see the spring/summer collections and I start wishing the days away until I can wear crisp whites and citrusy florals. There’s no pleasing some people.

 

J.Crew Spring Summer 14 SS14 NYFW Coquette and Dove 1

New York Fashion Week has just drawn to a close, and as usual, there were some spectacular collections presented. One of my favourites was J.Crew, who continue to develop their ‘style over fashion’ collections to produce clothes that women like me REALLY want to wear. Some fashion week collections are pure escapist fantasy. I’d no sooner consider wearing the pieces than I would moving to the Australian outback and farming sheep.

J.Crew Spring Summer 14 SS14 NYFW Coquette and Dove 2

But J.Crew seem to have found that happy place between clothes I feel I already own, and clothes I feel I could be brave enough to wear (well,maybe not the floral bermuda shorts, I REALLY don’t have the legs). But that coat, above left, heck yes! And the trousers. And the shoes. And the high-low mix in the outfits below? Yes and yes!

J.Crew Spring Summer 14 SS14 NYFW Coquette and Dove 3

Matchy-matchy bermuda shorts and shoes? Call me crazy, but I’m loving it.

J.Crew Spring Summer 14 SS14 NYFW Coquette and Dove 4

The outfit below right is pretty much my idea of perfection. In fact I think I’ll be wearing a variation on that theme tomorrow, because spring is just too damn long to wait.

J.Crew Spring Summer 14 SS14 NYFW Coquette and Dove 5

 

All images via style.com

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INTRODUCING THE COQUETTE BRIDE

Welcome

Today I am pleased as punch to be launching The Coquette Bride. As you may or may not know, I have been involved in the wedding industry in one way or another for a loooooong time, most recently as the Creative Director of an online wedding magazine. Sadly, that venture wasn’t to last, but the silver lining is that I now get to do weddings my way – bold, beautiful, classy and ooozing style.

The Coquette Bride Facebook

–{ images, from left to right: Dan Lecca via Stylelist, Unknown, Trent Bailey, Anairam, Jose Villa, Hamda Al Fahim.}–

This won’t be your average wedding blog, there will be so much more than just lots and lots of beautiful weddings. You can expect fine design, exquisite florals, beauty and fragrance, finds for the fellas and of course, divine dresses…

OUtfittedcd

–{ See the post for details and credits }–

And it’s not just the blog that will be serving up the magic juice, you can follow The Coquette Bride on FacebookTwitterPinterestTumblr and Instagram as well.

So, if you’re currently planning on hitching your wagon to someone else’s, I hope you’ll pop over and take a look around.

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SHOP STYLE | MUST HAVE – ASOS OBI BELT DRESS

Coquette_3903

Sometimes a dress comes along and you find yourself wondering where it’s been all your life. This obi belt dress from ASOS is one such dress. Although it pains me to share the secret, I think you all deserve it…

Sleeves, just below the knee, as little or as much cleavage as you fancy, classic black, printed or show-stopping geranium (they call it red), self-wrapping/tying (so you can let it out a bit after one too many cinnamon rolls), smart enough for a wedding, casual enough for Sunday lunch at the pub… need I go on? It’s a true wardrobe staple and if you don’t buy one in every colour I shall think you a simpleton.

 

Coquette_3902

black | oriental print | geranium

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SUNDAY SUNDAE + NEWS

Yowser, what a week! I was styling all day on Wednesday on a shoot for a mammoth project I’m working on over in the wedding world. I’ll be telling you LOTS more about it very soon. But it won’t be on this blog, it will be on (drum roll please…) THIS one!

Introducing

That’s right, you can’t keep a good girl down! I’ve grown too fond of the beautiful dresses, magical moments, sparkling jewels and perfect paper confections to just let them all go after two short years. Things will be a little different this time around, but I can promise you that you’re going to LOVE what I’ve got up my sleeve. If you’re a wedding industry supplier and you’re interested in finding out more, you can get in touch via email, otherwise, keep a weather eye on the horizon, there’s something special on the way!

In the meantime, here are a few fabulous finds to brighten up your Friday…{roll over and click to find out more!}

Hope you’ve had a good one folks!

x

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SHOP STYLE | JOIE DAY DREAMING LOAFERS

Joie Day dreaming loafers If these almond-toe loafers from Joie aren’t autumn perfection, then I don’t know what is. Throw them on with skinny jeans and a fine cashmere knit or crisp white shirt and you’re good to go. They have just a little something of the Sloane Ranger about them, but in my eyes that makes them all the more covetable. We all want to channel our inner Duchess now and then (we just don’t always admit it!)

Plaid | Tweed | Houndstooth

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THE WORK OF RYAN PICKART

dianasm

Lately I’ve become a little obsessed with the work of artist Ryan Pickart, in particular the painting above, entitled ‘Diana’. I’m in love with the textures and colours he uses, and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want Diana’s ruffle sleeved dress?!

And there’s something about his women, with their alabaster skin, flushed cheeks and mournful eyes…

I only wish he sold prints of his work, I’d be snapping them up!

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SHOP STYLE | WEDNESDAY WISHLIST

Wednesday Wishlist

Crepe Blouse | Black Heels | Necklace | Cross Body Bag | Pink Palette | rings | iphone Case  | Jacket

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