May 11, 2015

Fashion | Get Ready With #HMLovesProm

All clothing H&M Loves Prom Collection* | H&M jewellery* | Benefit mascara* & eyeliner | NARS foundation | Laura Mercier primer | Marc Jacobs Lola | Illamasqua eye palette

Thinking back to this time 6 years ago, I was in the midst of scheming all things sixth form ball, aka prom. I refused to use the word way back then. In fact, I wanted to pretend like I had nothing do with it. It was merely a right of passage. I did not want to put on a princess dress or spend hours doing my hair and make up.

Has no one else ever heard of plaiting there hair the night before to save valuable sleep time? No, just me then. While my dressing up, faffing around for ages on menial hair and make up routine attitude hasn't changed, looking back, if I could go back and do it again, I'd change a fair few things. I'd scrap the black and white for one day and go HAM princess style - think pink tulle, sparkly shoes, hair extensions and whatever other girly things available to us out there. Because, if there's one day where you can dress up like a princess and not look like a bit of a dick, it's prom night. And unlike me, you probably aren't/won't date a guy in the year below and get to #fail the whole saga twice.

Here are my top tips for getting prom ready - experiences and lols from mine included.

Screw it, be a princess

See above but seriously, bar your wedding day, your princess days are over and any other day in tulle is no longer acceptable. Embrace it.

Blow the budget

Get your hair done in a fancy salon. Splash out on a MAC makeover. Real talk - you've just finished some of the hardest exams you're likely to encounter, only to go on to university to face some more, you deserve it. Hire a tacky limo in an ironic way, swig champagne in the back, pretending you are you're favourite celebrity, singing along to Taytay Swift at the top of your lungs with all your closest girl pals.

No date?

Again, see above.

"I buy my own diamonds and I buy my own rings" - Destiny's Child weren't the greatest girl band of all time for no reason, y'know. Besides, Single Ladies is bound to get played at some point. Single ladies unite.

Forget your phones and make memories

Sorry to get all old on you but I'm from a time before smart phones existed to capture every single moment to upload imminently on Facebook/Snapchat/Instagram. I stand by the fact that I have absolutely no photos of most of the best nights of my life.

Do not drink too much before/during/after

There are no nights that involve getting too drunk and having the best time of your life. Something always goes wrong or you never know, you and your friends might just end up circling the male staff. By circling, I obviously mean attempting to bump n grind horrified teachers who've known you since 11, in front of your boyfriend/date. One of you may end up in A&E. No, but seriously...

April 19, 2015

Beauty | Transeasonal Skincare Savers

Aesop face cleanser & exfoliant | Aveeno body moisturiser | L'Occitane bb cream* | Benadryl tablets

One of things that keeps us Brits on our toes is the forever changing weather. While it's not as extreme as a lot of places, it also isn't not rare to experience a couple of seasons in a day. This is a killer for anyone with responsive and sensitive skin. In between seasons, and when the weather can't quite make up its mind, is when my skin starts to flare up, especially on my face.

From foundation to moisturiser to eye cream, I'm prone to having to having an allergic reaction to almost everything. My face comes up in a rash and goes puffy and there's absolutely nothing I can do about it except ride it out and try and find a product that can help ease the swelling. When you don't know what's causing something, it's almost impossible to find products to fix it and trying to cover it with foundation only irritates an allergic reaction. Along the way, I've finally found some products that help prevent a transeasonal skin nightmare.

Aesop Cleanser & Exfoliant

Hands up, who else is an Aesop obsessive? As I've worked my way through their products, it's become obvious that not everything suits everyone. The volume shampoo and conditioner leaves my hair pretty limp. The cleanser by itself usually makes me break out but combined with the exfoliant, it clears up any pimples and eases any swelling caused by irritation. It's recommended that you only use it a couple of times a week but I find myself using it almost daily. The tea tree has a winning soothing and healing effect that I haven't found elsewhere.

L'Occitane BB Creme*

Skincare brands that move into make up always seem to create wonderfully gentle products. If I find that I really have to wear make up during a flair up, it's important to use something that won't irritate my skin any further. The L'Occitane BB cream is a god send. It's light but offers enough coverage to even out any odd skin tones.

Aveeno moisturising lotion

I love having unbearably dry skin that's prone to eczema - said no one ever. Sometimes it pays to do away with the fancy, expensive brands and stick to ones that do just what they say on the bottle. Aveeno is another lifesaver for all over the body.

Benadryl hayfever tablets

Pills, pills, pills (sing it in your head to Destiny's Child's 'Bills' and then we'll be on the same wavelength. Whether it's a headache or some other ache and pain, I try pop as few as possible. Except  allergy tablets. No, I don't have hay fever but they work wonders for skin irritations too. Best to nip the condition in the bud before it even rears it's head and taking one of these daily is something that really helps.

April 14, 2015

Lifestyle | Bench #LoveMyHood 24 Hour London Guide | Night

Bench skirt & jumper* | Levi's jacket | Nike AF1s*

Most nights start south, whether it's predrinks at ours or a few out in Peckham, then we jump on the overground east. If you happen to fancy following suit, these are the places I'd suggest heading:

Rye Wax
SE15 4UJ

Rye Wax can be found in the basement of Bussey Building - another of my south east favourites. However, unlike Bussey, Rye Wax is more of where the party begins, rather than where it ends. The new space  is a record store but it also has a bar/cafe area. There's a happy hour from 6-8pm where two cocktails will only set you back £8 or you can purchase three Redstripes for a tenner.

Bar Story
SE15 4QL

It's 9pm and things are starting to get a little turnt up. You aren't quite ready to make the leap to Shoreditch yet so, where next? Bar Story sits under Peckham Rye station and bar Frank's in the summer, it's my favourite place to sit and knock back a few, whether it's inside or outside - there's fires to keep you warm outside in the winter. It's simple and it will only ever be whatever you make of it but it's certainly one of Peckham's finest.

Shoreditch House
E1 6AW

Shoreditch House is reserved for those who've battled the panel to gain membership so, apologies in advance for including this one if you aren't a member but honestly, I couldn't not. It's more than likely that you can find a friend of a friend (of a friend etc) who is a member and who can get you in anyway. I've become beyond obsessed with the Eastern Standards. There's many a bottle of wine has been shared, before gorging on the sweets free for all in the hallway, ending in throwing around some shapes in the library.

Dance Tunnel
E8 2PB

Dance tunnel does what it says on the tin. It's small and it's darker than dark. If there's anywhere I feel completely comfortable letting loose, it's in this place. Probably best to get down before 3am though as doors usually shut around then and punters head off to their next venue/chicken shop/night bus home.

Polo 24 Hour Bar

If a Kingsland Road chicken shop isn't quite your scene but you're looking to refuel from a big night, Polo 24 Hour bar is a good alternative. It's a mix up between a greasy spoon cafe and a retro bar. Whether it's another cocktail at midnight, a 2am pie or a fry up come 7am, Polo 24 Hour bar is the place to head to.

Disclaimer: This is part one of two posts written in collaboration with Bench. Check out their #LoveMyHood competition to win a VIP trip to a festival in Spain with £500 spending money and a year long supply of hoodies at