Sunday, 30 October 2011

Top picks for Autumn/Winter

As the nights are drawing in and the weather here in the UK has finally made it's mind up and decided to be cold I thought it would be fitting to do another 'Top Picks' post focusing on my essentials for Autumn/Winter.

I'd also like to add that I have seen a lot of top picks recently and don't agree that all the products have to be overpriced exclusives from high-end stores, it's all about whatever works for you.  Having had my fair share of disappointing purchases over the years my 'top picks' focus on tried and tested products and styles.  
This is amazing for clump - free thickness and can be built up for ultra glam eyes or used as an everyday mascara.  Lovely fool-proof wand which gives an even application.  Perfect handbag essential.
Available from Boots £16.50  
If like me you have very sensitive oily/combination skin then this is great and works well as a make-up primer too.  Made of natural ingredients which is super kind to the skin it feels silky and dries instantly.
Available from Boots £7.99

If like me you wear layers during the colder months then a chunky knitted snood can instantly add warmth and texture to any outfit.  This chunky snood from French Connection is the perfect colour and can be worn over or under a jacket or coat
French Connection £18.00

I'm currently trying to grow my hair and there's nothing worse then for it to be exposed to rain, central heating and cold weather.  Aussie's 3 minute miracle works wonders in conditioning hair and leaving it soft and shiny.  I'm a huge fan of quick fixes. 
Available from Boots £4.69 

I bought these boots a couple years back and am pleased that Kurt Geiger's bought them back.  They're rugged, stylish and incredibly warm as they're lined with sheepskin.  They were perfect for the heavy snowfalls and a great alternative to Uggs (not practical in the snow at all) and Hunters (they're much more warmer).
Sadler from Kurt Geiger £190
I was bought this as a present from the new Rituals store that opened in Solihull (West Midlands), having never tried anything from the store I was pleasantly surprised.  The smell is incredible and lingers for days, the cream absorbs well and keeps the skin moisturised all day.  Perfect indulgence for colder months.
From Rituals and available online £13.50
I love this perfume, I bought when it first came out and think it's one of those rare smells which is suited for both Summer and Winter.  It's fruity, sweet and musky all at the same time.
Juice Couture by Juicy Couture £35.00 100ml

I know last time I posted my top picks I had a lot of comments from readers on their tried and tested favourites, would love to hear about them.   

Happy Reading xoxo    

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

We're going through changes.

After enjoying the last few days of a belated Indian summer here in the UK, the reality of shorter days and longer nights has hit me and I'm ready to adjust to a lack of melatonin, premature Christmas marketing and Autumn fashion.  I know this probably sounds like a dreary start to a blog post but on a more positive note I'm grateful that here in UK we have 4 seasons and that on 4 occasions during the year we adjust and adapt without really thinking about it, a kind of organic adjustment we've learnt over time.  

Change isn't for everyone though and I think quite a few people would opt against it if they had the choice.  I've come to realise this more as I've recently started working for world-famous chocolate brand Cadbury who, as most of you will be aware, got bought out by Kraft Foods over a year ago.  I'm fortunate to be surrounded by incredible heritage dating back to 1824 of one of the most revolutionary businesses built on Quaker roots (a Christian movement devoted to peaceful principles).  Having been bought out by Kraft Foods it's quite straightforward to appreciate the advantage from a business point of view but, of course, there's a deeper fundamental issue of 2 companies built from different viewpoints, cultures, morals and objectives combining their skills and working together.  

Apart from the obvious perks of being surrounded by chocolate all day (which eventually puts you off eating it by the way) I'm really enjoying being involved in the transition of one of my favourite brands and once again working with some bright and ambitious people.  

Brands are built on ideas, thoughts and beliefs and it's interesting how many have maintained these over the years, take a look at some famous brand evolution below:

Starting off as a mail order boutique famed for selling celebrity style dresses in the 1960's 

Maintaining the brands art deco logo Biba was revived when House of Fraser successfully bought the company which is now regarded as high end boutique

A subsidiary of Mars, Opal Fruits first came onto the market in 1959, the brand name was phased out due to the sweets being introduced in the U.S. as Starburst and the former name slowly being phased out over time.  Personally I don't think they ever tasted the same after the name change.  

Trained as a tailor in Germany, Levi Strauss started off selling tents to minors and then moved onto making hard-wearing workwear which had copper rivets to strengthen stress points on work trousers.  

Levi's are still known for their hard-wearing jeans but the brand has evolved from workwear to the denim of choice for young fashionistas and also has a large vintage following

Founded in 1858, Rowland Hussy Macy opened his first store specialising in dry goods and on his first day his sales reached $280, from then on Macy's enjoyed steady success.

Today Macy's is the world's largest department store and has held an annual Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in NYC since 1924 adding to it's contribution of American heritage.  An interesting fact about the logo is that the store's logo has always had a star in it which comes from a tattoo that Rowland Macy had as a teenager.

Even though I think change makes people ambitious and visionary I am a true believer that you need to maintain the same beliefs you had initially for a brand, business or idea to grow, evolve and be increasingly successful.  

I'll leave you with a great quote I found:

"We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves."