Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Next AW14 Preview


 
Have you been to Next recently? It is an absolute treasure trove of on-trend pieces, essentially everything you need for AW14, from white minimalist backpacks to shiny brogues and buckled boots. I visited the team at Next during the AW14 preview at the charming Ham Yard Hotel in Soho to have a sneak peek and I was totally blown away. I wanted everything!
 
 
 
The collection features lots of sumptuous textures so it was great to get up close and appreciate with the soft knits and faux fur. Soft pastel pinks with scattered embroidery, lashings of lace, cool grey knitwear and super glam leopard print faux fur coats were my stand out pieces.
 
 
 
The collection is supplemented with really strong accessories; huge plaid scarves in camel shades, minimalist, structured bags and the shoes… Colourful, patterned courts added a real splash of colour while minimalist single strap sandals are amplified with architectural heel detailing. Next has really hit the nail on the head this autumn/winter, the collection successfully translates the key AW14 trends into a really wearable collection.
 
Here are my top picks from the AW14 collection:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Competition: What's your Angel Addiction?

Have you caught the latest campaign for Thierry Mugler's iconic Angel perfume? The exceptional Georgia May Jagger stars in the campaign, which explores the addictive universe of Angel, described as "a fascinating world made of dreams, imaginary journeys, sweets and sensual delights". As an Angel wearer, I can totally vouch for the evocative nature of the perfume,; vanilla, chocolate and patchouli base notes make for a sensual and potent scent.
 
Recently, the team at Thierry Mugler approached me to share my most cherished addictions as part of the Angel Addiction campaign. To me, addictions can either be short-lived, heady and intense or more long term, spanning years. I want to share a few of my own addictions with you and would love to hear yours too!


 
My earliest addiction was ballet. I started lessons when I was 3 and carried on for about a decade. I went to class religiously, practised hard and passed my exams with flying colours. I've recently picked this addiction up again, though not quite with the same determination and ferocity.
 
My second addiction is family. Simply put, I wouldn't be me without them. Although we’re spread across the globe, we speak so frequently that we don’t really feel the distance. My third addiction is sleep followed closely by bubble baths, between working, blogging, working out and travel I tend to burn the candle at both ends so pampering is very necessary, especially weekend lie ins.
 
Macaroons are irresistible little bites of deliciousness that you can't help but become addicted to. Laduree do the best macaroons in London but when I'm in Paris I head straight to Pierre Herme. Thankfully my yoga addiction cancels out the macaroon addiction!
 
When it comes to fashion addictions, mine are definitely shoes and jewellery. Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world. Add a sprinkling of jewels and she's an unstoppable force. Fashion has the power to change how you feel, the right heels make me walk taller and with more purpose.
 
I hope you've enjoyed reading about my addictions. I have a special competition to win a full size bottle of Thierry Mugler Angel, just share your #AngelAddiction as a blog comment or on Twitter or Instagram. Make sure you include the hashtag #AngelAddiction and @Mugler and @Reena_Rai. The competition closes on Friday 24th October 2014.

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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Welcome to The Cambridge Satchel Company townhouse

  

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the opening of The Cambridge Satchel Company’s shiny new flagship store, which is a stone’s throw away from the iconic Covent Garden Piazza.
 
The term flagship store doesn’t really do the space justice; the store is actually a six floor townhouse with two sprawling retail floors in addition to a showroom and space for the head office.
 
The basement features an adorable beach hut which is some to their bespoke embossing service. The store also features a lounge area for bloggers and editors to work or relax with free wifi – hello new blogging spot!
 
The store also features limited edition pieces, like the ‘Metallic Mini’ collection.
 
 
The party was a very British affair, we drank English sparkling wine, ate Chelsea buns and Neal’s Yard cheese while gin cocktails were served in antique china cups at the secret tea party.
 


 

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Learning about beauty at ASOS #BeautyChat

 
 Just before LFW kicked off, the ASOS team invited me over for a little beauty chat. If you haven't caught any of their #BeautyChat Google Hangouts yet, keep a (smokey) eye out for them. They invite their favourite beauty bloggers into ASOS Towers and host a super fun, interactive Q&A for half an hour to solve all of your beauty conundrums.


 When I popped down, the impossibly beautiful Patricia Bright was hosting the Beauty Chat and gave out tons of expert advice; mauve lipstick was her top AW14 beauty trend, primer is her secret weapon for making make up stay put all day and she couldn't sing Charlotte Tilbury's praises high enough. I learnt a ton and it's always great to get an unbiased opinion when it comes to beauty, I trust real people over magazines any day.


I also got a chance to play with ASOS' gorgeous AW14 beauty collection. There were lovely pieces from Model's Own and Nars as well as Ciate's adorable advent calendar, the best way to count down to Christmas. Here are my top 5 beauty buys from ASOS:

Ciate's mini mani manor is SO adorable. Featuring 24 mini nail treats including 15 mini paint pots, 8 nail effects and 1 full size paint pot, this is the ultimate nail treat.


As a frequent traveller, the In Transit set by This Works is an absolute godsend. I always go make up free on flights and usually bring some nourishing treats so my skin has a bit of a pamper to counteract the altitude and horrendously harsh AC. This kit has a lovely moisturising lotion as well as a muscle relief cream with a rollerball, perfect for long haul flights.


When it comes to lipstick, I'm a little bit of a Mac addict. Ok, a lot of a Mac addict. I branched out and tried out a Nars lipstick earlier this year and I was pleasantly surprised, super pigmented and also quite hydrating, it lasts all day without drying my lips. I went for Catfight which is a subtle pinky mauve colour but I am definitely going to invest in statement matte red lipstick as soon as my Mac Russian Red runs out.


While I'm a fan of natural nails, I'm really over squoval nails but growing slightly pointy, oval nails is almost impossible. I love House of Holland's falsies for Eylure and this bold more-is-more set are my current obsession. Go hard or go home.


One of the downsides of constantly gallivanting around London is not reaping the benefits of getting a proper eight hours of sleep. I fake a good night's sleep with regular exfoliation to keep my skin bright and Eyeko's blue mascara, my secret weapon due to its eye brightening effect.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Introducing Triumph's Magic Wire bra



If there happen to be any men reading this, hurry along and skip this post. Its contents don't concern you, this is solely for my ladies, k? Right, now that it's just us girls, let's talk about the necessary evil that is bras. You might think calling those little (or large) supportive contraptions a necessary evil is a tad harsh but they are bloody uncomfortable, no matter how pretty they are. Kate Moss infamously stated that "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels", well I don't think anything feels as good as taking your bra off after a long day.

I feel like I need to share a story with you. I have a group of blogger gal pals that I usually catch up with over dinner, unlike Kate we all love food. Over the last 5 years, a lot has changed. Lots of house moves, job changes and relationships coming and going, all discussed at length over delicious food. The one constant is what we discuss as the meal winds down and we prepare to leave; rushing home to take out bras off. I won't mention names but one of us was so uncomfortable that her bra was removed before she even got home. Now, I'm not that adverse to bras but I have been known to close my eyes and sigh with contentment when I take mine off, whether my bra is from Boux Avenue or Agent Provocateur.



 When I was invited to a little shindig my Triumph to celebrate the launch of their new Magic Wire bra which claimed to use silicone and mesh stabilisers in the place of pesky underwire, giving you all the shape and uplift you need but without a pesky wire digging in. I have to admit, I had my reservations but as I listened to the Triumph team talk about how many years the bra had been in production and the results of their trial, I was intrigued. I saw several different sized models showing off the beautiful bras which all looked like they were being supportive and doing the job but it's only when they cut through the silicone underwire with scissors that I thought this might actually be the real deal, a comfy bra which does the job.



I met with one of Triumph's expert bra fitters to get fitted and test out the Magic Wire. Now, this is where I have a little gripe about the lingerie industry. I'm not a standard size, I have a tiny back size and I really struggle to find many places which go down to a 30. I've learnt to go up to a 32 back size and go down a cup size to compensate, which is exactly what I did with the Magic Wire. That tiny gripe aside, the bra fitted really well and it actually felt like I wasn't wearing a bra. It felt as light as air but I felt well supported, it was a revelation and I was loathed to get back into my old bra. It feels amazing on and it does the job, so pop over to the Triumph website and treat yourself to the most comfy bra in the world.

Bra c/o Triumph.
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