Klorane: A French Pharmacy Favourite

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Jane Birkin, Jane Seberg, Caroline de Maigret, Clemence Poesy… In my mind, when it comes to effortless style and seemingly natural beauty, French women will always come up le trumps.  I say ‘seemingly,’ as that well documented, and much envied, ‘je ne sais quoi’ our trop belle neighbours possess, is as much the direct result of the ritualistic use of reliable, high quality products as it is the dose of good genes they frequently are blessed with.

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 I think this is why us Brits have always incorporated a lengthy and joyous perusal in a French Pharmacy into any travel itinerary, and why we have suddenly seen so many more French products pop up on our shelves this side of the channel in recent years.  

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Despite now being able to pop to Boots to stock up on all my French faves, there are still few places more exciting to visit than a French Pharmacy.  Case in point; Last Easter, my girlfriends and I derailed our entire ski group in Courcheval, so we could visit a French Pharmacy… A little Après Skin before our Après Ski.  One friend, Emma, was raving about Klorane, and specifically their cult product, the Oat Milk Dry Shampoo.  Watching her purchase several cans, le FOMO kicked in and I also grabbed one myself. 

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In all honesty, up until this point, I had always assumed dry shampoo was a quick fix for greasy hair, used if running late for work, or for a quick freshen up at a festival… Given I have major OCD and wash my hair most days, I just hadn’t ever imagined dry shampoo being a staple in anyone’s beauty regime, let alone my own. The reality is, French women don’t wash their hair every day, believing that frequent washing can strip the scalp of nourishing oils, so prefer to wash their hair only a couple of times a week. 

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Launched in the ‘80’s and still considered the best in its field, Klorane’s Oat Milk Dry Shampoo decreases the need to wash your hair, and what I’ve found, is that it rather helpfully extends the life of my blow-dries.  Rather than leaving your hair feeling stiff, the result of others I’ve tired, the oat milk in Klorane’s Oat Milk Dry Shampoo seems to soften and protect your hair, even giving your doo some volume within just a couple of minutes. It took a while for me to relax into not washing my hair every day, but knowing that I’m looking after my hair and scalp, whilst also rocking some serious French chic, bed head vibes, it’s been worth it. Just pass me some red lippy and a Breton, already! 

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Above: Shake Klorane's Oat Milk Dry Shampoo well before use and spray evenly 30cm away from hair roots… Leave for 2 minutes and brush out thoroughly, et voila! 

Above: Klorane’s Oat Milk Dry Shampoo is also available in a mini size for touch ups and added texture throughout the day. 

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After discovering this total hair hero, I wanted to learn more about Klorane. In 1966, Klorane has a well-documented history in pharmaceutical ethics and is dedicated to protecting both plant heritage and the environment.  We all know I love incorporating more ethical purchases into my life, and it seems Klorane is putting the care in to the hair care, by donating a portion of its sales to supporting the activities of the Klorane Botanical Foundation

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Keen to try some more of Klorane’s products, I decided to give their Mango Butter Range a go.  Having spent a chilly few months in London hiding under a beanie, and being about to head back to Africa for Christmas, I felt my hair could do with some serious nourishment. 

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The Klorane Mango Butter Shampoo, and Conditioner, contain fatty acids that really act to repair your hair and bring back its suppleness and shine. 

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Klorane's Leave in Cream serves as a protective coat, making your hair easier to style. Oh, and I should mention, the smell… Ooh La La! Heavenly. 

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I’ve really been enjoying using Klorane’s Mango Butter Range twice a week, with interim touch ups using the Klorane Oat Milk Dry Shampoo.  My scalp is definitely appreciating being left alone a little more, and my hair is super shiny thanks to the oils I’m clearly allowing to hang out a little more. 

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Being now able to stock up on these affordable Klorane products within the U.K, rendering those heavy beauty hauls back from Paris on the Eurostar less necessary, has also been massively helpful (and now there’s plenty more room to smuggle back cheese…!)

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Klorane is available at Boots, Escentual, Birchbox, Look Fantastic and independent pharmacies.

In collaboration with Klorane

Photography: Eva Salvi

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Friday Feathers with Matthew Williamson

There is nothing, nooothing, that can put you in more of a party mood than one of Matthew Williamson’s signature cocktail dresses.  From the intricate, sparkling embellishment, to their ostrich-feather trimmed skirt, these show stopping, conversation starting, razamatazz inducing, form-fitting dresses are unashamedly feminine and oodles fun.  Some of my most frivolous and fanciful nights in London have been spent shimmying around in one of these fancies.  Ohhhh, the stories they could (but thankfully won’t) tell…!

I recently enjoyed the most unashamedly girly morning with the ‘Gown Gang’ playing dress up in Matthew Williamson’s new Belvoir Collection (see more here).  With Brown’s Hotel acting as our lavish host, Charlotte Tilbury’s team on hand to make us look our best, and an army of Jimmy Choo beauties standing to attention, I couldn’t help but try the Matthew’s latest, one-of-a-kind, Rose Lace Feather delight on to share with you.  Friday - Watch out, buddy!

Above:  Wearing the 9ct Gold Satao (RRP. £140.00) and the Silver Shina (RRP. £50.00) bracelets from my Tembo Collection with Auree Jewellery (100% profits of entire collection go to For Rangers and wildlife conservation across Africa - See More Here) and an Assya London Oriental Cross Ring (RRP. £195.00)

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TLC LOVES... Matthew Williamson Feathers

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Photographer:  Moeez Ali

Hair:  Secret Spa

Nails:  Sophie Gass

Smythson's Kingly Collection

Smythson will take your ol'canvas bag and raise ya… Their new, light weight and butter-soft leather Kingly bags have launched and are fast making those now tatty canvas totes hanging in your kitchen quite redundant!  Easy to carry around and designed to be rolled and unfolded without losing its shape, this bag is my perfect, and most chic, handbag overflow solution! 

I always carry two bags; one large, one small.  During the day, whilst whizzing around London, the large bag carries my Rose Gold MacBook, Smythson 2017 Diary and umbrella, leaving room for that last minute 1/2 pint of milk, and some sort of unnecessary Portobello Market curiosity bought en route home.  The small cross-body carries the essentials I need quick access to; My orange Smythson's Mara Card Wallet which also holds my Oyster card, my iPhone 6 Plus, Lipstick (currently I’m pouting with Tom Ford's 'Bruised Plum'), mints and keys. If I go straight out after work, I check in the large bag and I'm all set with the small.  

Available in their signature Nile Blue, contemporary silver and classic black, you can even have your Kingly bag personalised with your name, or favourite motif... I went for a unicorn - how sweet?!

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Photography: Tommy Clarke

Hair: Clo & Flo

Nails: Sophie Gass

Valentine's Gift List 2017 - For Her

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I feel sorry for Valentine’s Day, a rather sweet day of the year that gets an enormous amount of flack. Each year you can see it merrily approaching, brim-full of romance and possibilities, with a kick in its heel, glistening heart emoji-eyes, and a pink, oh so very pink, trail of fairy dust (or perhaps Gwyneth’s Goop-recommended Sex Dust?) in its wake… All to be met by an anxiety-ridden, Hallmark-hating, eye-rolling audience of cynics, all heading for the hills to hide, regardless of their relationship status. 

Now, I get it, if you’re single this can be a day, frequently fuelled by a bottle of dry white Lady Petrol, where you feel continuously reminded of your current lack of love, and if you’re in a relationship you can feel immense pressure to perform like some lame love monkey whilst spending a ludicrous amount of money. 

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However, in Valentine’s defence, I think it can also be seen as a day where we all can take a little Time Out from our frequently monotonous daily routines, and pay a little extra attention to one another, or friends, and even ourselves... Sometimes we sadly do need a reason, or a day each year, to remind us to do that. 

Spending a lot of money is not mandatory, as a little imagination and thought can easily be just as spoiling; some of the most memorable moments can involve the simplest of gestures and just some designated time to hang out. I am however, always asked each year for Valentine’s gift suggestions from panic stricken men, SOOO gentlemen, here are a few ideas guaranteed to put a smile on all those pretty faces, without a naff teddy bear or flammable set of red underwear in sight (don’t worry Ladies, I got yo’backs too…) 

Hover and click on the items for their direct links...

Above:  Jo Malone’s Valentine’s Day denim designed gift box is beyond dreamy.  The sets, which contain a 100ml bottle of Jo Malone Red Roses (a scent inspired by seven of the world’s finest roses) set amongst freshly cut blooms from florist Philippa Craddock, is available from Selfridges until Feb 14th (RRP. £130.00).

"The fire and excitement may be gone now that we don't go out there and sing them anymore, but the ring of fire still burns around you and I, keeping our love hotter than a pepper sprout."

Johnny Cash to June Carter Cash

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"I don't know how to tell you just how much I miss you. I love you till my heart could burst. All I love, all I want, all I need is you—forever. I want to be just where you are and be just what you want me to be. I know it's lousy of me to be so late so often, and I promise to try a million times harder, I promise."  

Marilyn Monroe to Joe DiMaggio

Above:  'Buy to Give' this Valentine’s Day by not only spoiling your loved one with jewellery, but also directly helping to fight against ivory poaching. Every purchase from The Tembo Collection, a collection of seven Masai bead inspired bracelets I designed with Auree Jewellery, sees 100% of the profit go to For Rangers, a campaign in conjunction with Tusk that helps the heroes on the front line of conservation in their fight against elephant poaching across Africa.  (RRP. £50.00 - £140.00)

"So My Lumps... You’re off, by God! I can barely believe it since I am so unaccustomed to anybody leaving me. But reflectively I wonder why nobody did so before. All I care about—honest to God—is that you are happy and I don’t much care who you’ll find happiness with. I mean as long as he’s a friendly bloke and treats you nice and kind. If he doesn’t I’ll come at him with a hammer and clinker. God’s eye may be on the sparrow but my eye will always be on you. Never forget your strange virtues. Never forget that underneath that veneer of raucous language is a remarkable and puritanical LADY. I am a smashing bore and why you’ve stuck by me so long is an indication of your loyalty. I shall miss you with passion and wild regret."

Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor 

"My mouth hasn’t shut up about you since you kissed it. The idea that you may kiss it again is stuck in my brain, which hasn’t stopped thinking about you since well before any kiss. And now the prospect of those kisses seems to wind me like when you slip on the stairs and one of the steps hits you in the middle of the back. The notion of them continuing for what is traditionally terrifying forever excites me to an unfamiliar degree."  

Alex Turner to Alexa Chung

ABOVE:  Treat someone special to a rooooomantic stay at the swoonsome Artist Residence in London's Pimlico. To celebrate Valentine's Day, this eclectic townhouse, my fave home away from home, is offering champagne and choccies on arrival, late checkout and a free room upgrade, all for £50 on top of their usual room rates between 10.02.17 - 05.03.17. (T&C's apply, subject to availability.)

#OOTD: 18.01.17

I do love an eclectic mix, but this particular concoction of leopard print, cashmere, pink and brocade might just be up there as one of my favourite clothing cocktails to date. 

I immediately fell in love with this woollen ASOS coat and the contrast of its powerful leopard print faux fur alongside the lady like dusky pink is elegantly eye-catching.  I have always loved Shrimps coats, and one day I willllll have one, but this one is so affordable (especially now, in the sale) and I’m mostly wearing it paired with complimentary berry colours and neutrals.  These plum coloured Donna Ida dungarees worn under an oatmeal cashmere Chinti and Parker ‘Good Girl’ jumper (now also in the sale) definitely let the leopard print details of the coat do all the talking/growling.

I’m wearing these brocade ASOS Hena Heels as much as I can, day or night, and even with some plain black socks if too chilly (which let's face it, it is!)  These have to be the most comfortable heels, and made from the most monarchical of textiles, there is something so brilliantly grand about them.  

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Photography: Ella Sadika

#OOTD: 28.11.16

In celebration of her tenth birthday, Donna Ida created the dungarees of my dreams; the Eliza’s!  Skinny, relaxed and in a coated plum jam colour (loves me some burgundy at this time of the year!) these dunga’s are perfect for my day-to-night lifestyle, pairing them with a cashmere jumper and trainers during the day, and a lacey top, heels and lipstick (I recommend Tom Ford’s ‘Bruised Plum’) by night. Another total Donna Ida hit, which also just so happen to match my Samburu Trust beaded ankles! Clearly meant to be!

Donna Ida Eliza Dungarees in Coated Plum Jam (RRP. £210.00)

I took my Eliza’s for a wee spin around ma’hood, wearing the new metallic threaded Bella Freud 1970 Instarsia Sweater (think, traditional Bella, but after hours) and my new, mini cross-body Meli Melo Rosalina, inspired by Sicily’s traditional wicker baskets - I'm obsessed. 

Meli Melo’s woven leather Rosalia collection come in a variety of shapes and colours (see full collection HERE) and I ummmed and aahhed over the light tan and the black in the mini size for over fortnight, visiting the store on Portobello around five or six times… I finally decided on the light tan and haven’t looked back since. Not only did I not own any bag in this colour, but I love how well it compliments the darker clothing I am emanating more towards, now I’m preparing for hibernation!

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(Click on the items for direct links)

Photography: Ella Sadika

#HFMFashionSpin

This London Fashion Week saw Hello! Fashion Monthly partner with Land Rover to produce a series of interviews with some of their FROW faves in between shows.  With champagne and delicious on-the-move snacks (beat THAT James Corden!) the crew picked me up after the Emila Wickstead show for a chat (above) with HFM Deputy Editor Jill Wanless about my favourite designers, the impact of blogging on LFW, my love of the British High Street…

This was one of my favourite outfits over London Fashion Week. I paired a velvet mustard top and full-length forest green skirt from Charlie Brear, with some Zara Leather Mid Heel Shoes and a Leopard Print Hill and FriendsTweency Chain Shoulder Bag, whist my friend Marissa Montgomery wore Sophia Kah

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Jimmy Choo's 20th Anniversary and Pret-a-Portea Book Launch

This year’s London Fashion Week ended on the most massive (sugar) high, with Sandra Choi hosting a beautiful afternoon tea at The Berkeley to celebrate Jimmy Choo’s 20th anniversary and and the launch of the hotel's Prêt-à-Portea book.

My table wing-women, and fellow bloggers, Peony Lim and Rosie Fortescue, and I were spoiled with raspberry filled, mini Moschino handbag cakes, Burberry trench cookies, and obviously a plethora of multi-coloured Jimmy Choo stiletto iced biscuits.

 "The Berkeley’s Prêt-à-Portea has become a well-loved institution for fashion insiders and we are thrilled to take this opportunity to celebrate a key moment for our brand and The Berkeley, with a fashionable take on the great British tradition of tea."  Sandra Choi

Below:  The room was brimful with not only champagne, but also some gorgeous friends, including Marissa Montgomery, Tamsin Egerton and Amber Le Bon - all, of course, rocking our sky high Jimmy C’s.

TLC LOVES... Jimmy Choo

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Matthew Williamson x LikeToKnow.it Summer Party

If there are two things we all know Matthew Williamson excels at, it’s making beautiful dresses and throwing faaaabulous parties. Upon returning from New York last week, I attended a summer party thrown by Matthew and the President and Co-Founder of RewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it, Amber Venz Box.

Held at the heavenly Clifton Nurseries, amidst great music, bongo drums and mahoosive bubbles (yup!) we celebrated Matthew’s high-summer 2016 collection, Mirage. Three exclusive #MWxLTK looks (each ready to shop via. Instagram that night) were also revealed that night, amongst the tropical flowers and tropical cocktails, worn by myself, Donia Ciobanu and Rosie Fortescue (below).

Below:  Marbilicous with Matthew's Artistic Director Georgie Macintyre and Business Director Rosanna Falconer.  Rowan Lewis' amazing floral installation was like being inside a floral piñata!

The evening ended in a lot of multi-coloured swooshing on the dance floor, the mass devouring of marbled chocolate and the releasing of hundreds of British butterflies into the wilds of Clifton Nurseries. FANTASTICAL.

Above (L-R):  Talking Heads with MW by some of his collection, with Venetia Falconer and Niomi Smart.

Above:  Where there be a giraffe, there be a Kelly!  #YouCanTakeTheGirlOuttaAfrica....

Above/Below:  Forever Blowing Bubbles with Venetia Falconer.

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TLC Loves.... Matthew Williamson's Mirage

TLC VACATION: Puente Romano Beach Resort and Spa, Marbella

After the most depressingly long hibernation, and several bouts of rotten flu, the shiniest of tickets came my way; an invitation to stay at the Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa on Spain’s Golden Mile, Marbella, where the sun shines for 320 days a year! HOORAY!  

Grabbing my friend Charlotte Cowen en route, I arrived at the most luxurious of hotels.  Designed to recreate an Andalusian village, the beachfront Puente Romano, with its endless array of restaurants, three swimming pools, Six Senses Spa and newly opened nightclub, La Suite, had everything both our mischievous and holistic desires required.   

Our room was found amongst the white-washed walls and baskets of geraniums of the grounds, and we were thrilled to find we had a gorgeous little balcony (room service locaaay sorted!) and adorable beach baskets and towels as gifts. 

Wearing: Daisy Mini Crop Set by Mochi.

Oh, I should also mention the giant plate of chocolate-dipped strawberries – soooo spoiling! 

The heavenly Six Senses Spa offers an array of treatments, and Charlotte and I were generously treated to a hugely relaxing Couple’s Massage (hilarious!) in one of the spa’s nine treatment rooms.  

The blue-tiled swimming pool, with its view of the ocean, has amazing waterfall-style windows, and the spa also features a hydrotherapy pool; a cold plunge pool; heat and ice experience showers with different types of water flow and mood lighting; herbal steam room; sauna and hammam. UTTER heaven, and you can see why people travel the distances they do to unwind and spend time being pampered there.

There is a gym and a tennis court on site, and the resort is also very close to Marbella’s old town, but given that there are nine (yes, nine!) restaurants throughout the resort, it is quite possible to spend your entire stay hopping from one to the other… I can think of worse ways to pass the time!  The Sea Grill (above) is right on the beach and where we were treated to an array of fresh seafood and sushi on our first night. 

Two-Michelin-star-holding chef Dani Garcia’s playful concept restaurant Bibo was where we spent most of the next afternoon (I’m not even kidding, we feasted for for what seemed hours – NOT that any of us were complaining!) With an imaginative menu and Alice in Wonderland’esq touches in abundance (even the list of cocktails were presented in the form of Tarot Cards, which I made each of our party choose from - best game ever?! #EveryonesAWinner) the beyond imaginative tasting menu left us defeated, but amazed (I’d fly back merely for another portion of his INSANE New York-inspired cheesecake!)

Wearing:  Gold Diamond Moon Charm Necklace and Gold Diamond Horseshoe Necklace by Missoma.

Mid-way through our amazing meal, Dani surprised us with the most amazing truffle treats in his kitchen...

We also enjoyed a delicious evening of sushi at UNI, several Turkish Delight smoothies at Rachel’s Organic Cafe (above, also my favourite spot at the hotel for sun bathing and reading) and a very healthy lunch at Celicioso, Marbella’s only 100% gluten-free restaurant (below).

Enjoying the sunset with Charlotte and our friend, the Fashion Director of Marie-Claire, Tanya Philipson.  The last time I was in Marbella was actually for Tanya's wedding, so it was great to see her, and this time with her gorgeous new son Archer!  Would you just look at those CHEEKS!!  Beyond edible. 

Wearing:  Dia White 70's Maxi Dress by Lily and Lionel.

You also might not expect to find Marbella’s hottest new club amongst the sub-tropical gardens of Puente Romano, but this hotel is full of surprises as well as palm trees.  La Suite held its glamorous launch party on our last night, and launch it we certainly did…!  With a mixture of old Roman architecture and ultra-modern touches, the club is the perfect addition to the resort and will no doubt, be well frequented by guests and local revellers alike. 

The next morning Charlotte and I were treated to breakfast (pancakes, naturally) on our balcony (I mean, this entire stay was such a romantic friend-moon!) and coconut water and lavender scented eye masks were brought to us to assist with our much needed R&R… I mean, next level thoughtful! 

Just the perfect little mini-break!  Thank you to all the lovely folk at Puente Romano! xx


TLC ON TOUR... MARBELLA SUITCASE:

(Click on the items below for their direct links)

The London Chatter was a guest of Puente Romano Beach Resort and Spa for two nights.