The Trousers You Need In Your Workwear Wardrobe

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The days when I travelled to an office every day for work are a distant memory now, my place of business having been home-based for a number of years. However, I can well remember the eternal struggle of maintaining a decent workwear wardrobe.

The office I worked in wasn't a power suit and stilettos kind of place, but looking smart and put together was important. I also needed to concentrate on documents while sat at my computer for long periods of time, and as we all know, that's difficult to do if you're not comfortable. I was constantly on the lookout for pieces that would tick both boxes, and I also wanted them to be affordable. After all, no one wants to spend their entire pay check on clothes to wear to the office!

How to style paper bag trousers for work

If I was still in that job, I can say without a doubt that I would be racing to buy up these H&M paper bag trousers in every colour available (they come in black and beige as well as this checked version).  As office wear goes, in my opinion, these are about as perfect as it gets. With a tie belt to cinch in and accentuate the decorative, pleated high waist detail, and a tapered to the ankle cut, they are a really nice looking piece. Effortlessly chic when paired with a fitted turtle neck and loafers, you could easily up the smart factor by styling them with a crisp white shirt and a pair of kitten heels for an important meeting.

Are they comfortable? 100% yes. The soft fabric and loose fitting style means you can sit down at your desk and focus without being constantly distracted by restrictive clothing. You might as well be wearing pyjamas.

And finally, the price. At an incredibly reasonable £19.99, the question is, can you afford not to buy them?!

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What's your typical office attire?

Kate x
H&M Try On Haul (Pre Autumn)

Just as I start to give up on summer it seems there might be a new spell of clement weather around the corner! Even so, the shops are starting to gear up for the new season, and I thought a little mooch around H&M might be in order. I picked up a few interesting and super affordable pieces to style up and show you, all with the transition of summer into autumn in mind. Hope you enjoy the haul (you can watch here on YouTube if you prefer) and do let me know if you're starting to think about new season clothes yet!


What was your favourite look?

Kate x
Meet Your New Transitional Hero Piece: The Linen Blazer

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My love for blazers goes back years. I'm the type of person who feels the cold easily, so cover ups of every kind have always found a loving home in my wardrobe, but blazers are a particular favourite, mostly due to their magical ability to transform the most basic of outfits into something polished and put together.

When I saw this slimline linen number from Zara, I instantly knew it was going to be the perfect transitional piece. At £69.99 it was something of a splurge, but well worth every penny. For one thing, it's beautiful quality, with a silky lining and a very flattering cut, relaxed and yet tailored at the same time. The linen fabric is light enough to feel appropriate for the end of the summer, but substantial enough to provide some protection on chillier evenings. As for the neutral beige colour, it fits perfectly into my wardrobe.

I can see myself taking this away with me on a late summer holiday, to pull on over gauzy dresses when the sun has gone down and the air gets a little cooler. It also works perfectly at home as day to day wear, taking my habitual uniform of jeans and t-shirts from scruffy to stylish in one simple step.

Outfit with linen blazer from Zara

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Are blazers a staple in your wardrobe?

Kate x
Ark Skincare: The Brand Promoting Beautiful Skin At Any Age

This post contains gifted products and affiliate links, which are marked "AD". Read my full disclaimer here.

Way back in 2014, when my blog was just a few months old, I was invited to my very first blogging event. Part of London fashion week, with complimentary manicures, superfood smoothies and canap├ęs, the whole thing felt very exciting. I was lucky enough to meet a friendly group of fellow bloggers there too, which made the evening even more special, and I still look back on that event as one of the best I have been to since I started this whole online adventure of mine.

Why this little trip down memory lane, I hear you ask? Well, one of the organisers of that event was a brand called Ark Skincare. I can remember taking home a goodie bag with some of their products to try, and I can also remember how much I enjoyed those products. Beauty blogging being what it is, countless other brands have graced my bathroom cabinet since then, and I never did get around to trying anything else from Ark, even though I fully intended to at the time. So when they got in touch  a few weeks ago to offer me new products to try, I didn't hesitate. I couldn't wait to see if I still liked the brand as much as I did the first time around.

Ark Skincare: The Brand Promoting Beautiful Skin At Any Age, Vegan And Cruelty Free

Vegan friendly and cruelty free, one of the most interesting things about Ark Skincare is that they base their different ranges on age rather than skin type. Age Protect is designed for those in their teens and twenties, Age Defend for the thirties and forties and Age Defy for the over fifties. Each range offers cleansers and moisturisers with the optimum combination of vitamins, minerals, lipids and anti-oxidants for your age group, providing you with a solid base from which to build your skincare routine.

Once you have the core products most suited to your age, you can then add to them to create your own bespoke regime. Individual skin concerns, such as pigmentation and dull skin, blemishes and excess oil, sensitivity and redness, etc can be addressed by shopping Ark's Skin Perfecters range, while Skin Essentials like Pre-Cleanse and Makeup Remover, Reverse Gravity Eye Cream and Hydrating Beauty Mist provide all the finishing touches you could want.

Ark Skincare sent me the Pre-Cleanse and Makeup Remover from their Skin Essentials range, as well as the Conditioning Cleanser and Replenishing Moisturiser from their Age Defend line designed for my age group.

Pre-Cleanse And Makeup Remover (AD)

Ark Skincare Skin Essentials Pre-Cleanse And Makeup Remover

I've really been enjoying using this as a change from my usual micellar water, and have been finding it just as effective at removing makeup. Formulated from a multi-fruit lipid blend with Omegas 3, 6 and 9 and containing Grape Seed, Avocado and Kiwi Oil, the product nourishes while dissolving grime and feels like a very light oil on the skin. I've mentioned before that my skin doesn't always appreciate oil based cleansing on a long term basis, so I've not been using this every day of the week. As a result, my complexion is reaping the nourishing benefits of this gentle cleanser without my oily t-zone having the chance to become irritated. In addition to the main ingredients, Margosa Leaf Extract helps to curb the spread of bacteria while Zi Cao (an Ayurvedic herb) soothes sensitivity.

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Ark Skincare Age Defend Conditioning Cleanser

Ark Skincare Age Defend Conditioning Cleanser

This is probably my favourite of the three products as it's such a pleasure to use. The gel-type consistency that my skin always seems to favour, it also has the loveliest light and natural fragrance to it. The ingredients include Moringa Oil, rich in Vitamins A and C, as well as Kiwi and Passionfruit Lipids which provide moisture boosting Omega 3 fatty acids. Powerful antioxidant Blue Lotus assists with skin firmness and elasticity, while the combination as a whole helps to calm redness and soothe sensitive skin. I've been using this morning and night for a while now, and it always leaves my skin feeling clean but not stripped, and beautifully balanced.

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Ark Skincare Age Defend Replenishing Moisturiser

Ark Skincare Age Defend Replenishing Moisturiser

Top marks to Ark for the use of the airless jar packaging! I always like it when brands use these for cream based products as it gives me more confidence that the product will remain fresh until I've finished using it. Just like the cleanser, I've been using the Replenishing Moisturiser twice a day and my skin has been loving it. It's creamy enough to make my complexion feel like it's getting the hydration it needs, yet light enough to absorb easily and let me press on with makeup application. It contains Co-enzyme Q10 as well as Shea Butter and Olive Oil to provide plenty of moisture, and wrinkle plumping peptides including Matrixyl to help soften the appearance of fine lines. It's a fantastic moisturiser for anyone in their thirties or forties to have in their collection as a daily staple. My skin feels soft and looks smooth, and I love that I can just reach for this on a regular basis and know that it's working for my skin without having to think too much about it.

So, five years and hundreds of brands later, do I still rate Ark Skincare as much as I did before? No... I rate it more! I love the concept of age-based skincare, especially as you can still address additional skincare issues within the scope of their product range. The products themselves have been working very well for me and just as before, I'm keen to try more. I just have to make sure I actually get around to it this time!

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Have you tried Ark Skincare? What are your thoughts on skincare designed for specific age ranges?

Kate x
Peasant blouse from H&M

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I'd like to introduce you to my latest obsession - the peasant blouse. A piece of clothing with which you can make a real style statement, yet appear totally relaxed at the same time. I ask you, what's not to love about that?! Tuck it into mom jeans and add flat sandals for everyday chic, or pair with an A-line skirt and sky high wedges for a smart-casual night out look. Going on holiday? The peasant blouse also makes a beautiful beach cover up. Throw it on over your bikini and add distressed denim shorts when it's time to head back into town.

My blouse is from H&M and currently on sale, but just in case you feel like browsing a few others, I've listed some of my favourites below. Enjoy!

 White Peasant Blouses


White peasant blouses from the high street
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 Patterned Peasant Blouses

Patterned peasant blouses from the high street

Is there a peasant blouse in your wardrobe? If so, I'd love to know your favourite way to style it!

Kate x
The Prettiest Summer Nail Varnish Colours from Kure Bazaar

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Kure Bazaar is a brand I've featured on the blog before. I was introduced to it back in spring 2018 and quickly fell in love with its beautiful shade range and caring, kind-to-nails formula. Containing Bamboo and Vitamin E to help strengthen and repair nails, the varnishes are also vegan and free from nasties such as formaldehyde and parabens, meaning that you can wear them on repeat without worrying about damaging your nails. This is great news, especially as the new summer shades are totally irresistible! I was very kindly sent three of them to test out, and I can honestly say they are some of the prettiest colours I've ever had in my collection.

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The Prettiest Summer Nail Varnish Colours from Kure Bazaar - French Rose Glow

French Rose is one of Kure Bazaar's best sellers and reportedly a favourite of Meghan Markle. The new Glow version is the same shade, only more intensely pigmented and with an ultra shiny gloss to it. A perfect soft pink, you can layer one to two thin coats of this for a beautiful sheer finish, or build up several more to achieve something more opaque - if you are careful enough and have the patience, that is! This is ideal to wear as an every day summer colour, or all year round. Your nails, but better.

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The Prettiest Summer Nail Varnish Colours from Kure Bazaar - Sereno

I'm not drawn to blue shades of nail varnish that often, but when they're as pretty as this, I will happily make an exception! Easier to build to an opaque finish than the others, this stunning cornflower colour will make a lovely change from the pinks and corals I usually wear through the summer months. Blue never looked so feminine!

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The Prettiest Summer Nail Varnish Colours from Kure Bazaar - Rose Milk Glow

The Prettiest Summer Nail Varnish Colours from Kure Bazaar - Rose Milk Glow

My favourite of the three, Rose Milk Glow is very similar to French Rose Glow, only slightly brighter and possibly a little more flattering on my fair-to-medium skin tone. This one looks really beautiful with a tan! Again, it's a more pigmented and shinier version of Rose Milk, another bestseller for Kure Bazaar and another favourite of Meghan Markle. I've gone for a semi-opaque finish here, but just like with French Rose Glow, you can veer either side of this depending on how many coats you apply.

You can shop the post below if any of these varnishes take your fancy. After all, if they're good enough for the Duchess of Sussex...!

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What nail varnish shades are your favourites in the summer?

Kate x
001 Skincare Alpha Paradise Cleansing Dew

This post contains gifted items, which are marked "AD". Read my full disclaimer here.

Thanks to some truly lovely PR packages, which were waiting for me when I got home from an extended stay with family recently, my skin has been enjoying some delightful summer treats over the past few weeks. Two are from Dr Botanicals, a tried and tested (and much loved) brand, while one is from a brand I hadn't heard of before - 001 Skincare, an unexpected but very welcome surprise. All three have proved such a joy to use that it would have been rude of me not to share, so here are the details!

001 Skincare Alpha Paradise Cleansing Dew (AD)

Oil based cleansers and my skin aren't always the best of friends, so I was somewhat wary of trying this product and have only been using it two to three days a week, relying on my trusty micellar water to remove makeup the rest of the time. So far it hasn't had any adverse effects, and I'm thrilled about that because it is such a wonderful product to use - this cleanser is worthy of a place in the fanciest of spas! First of all, it smells like a dream, due to its combination of jasmine, neroli and yang ylang oils. I can't resist a beautifully scented product and anything with jasmine in it is going to get my attention! It also feels nourishing, soothing and softening on the skin. Anyone who dislikes a stripping effect from their cleanser will love this, as it honestly feels like you're moisturising your skin rather than cleansing it. Yet it's also very effective at removing makeup. I tend to use a separate eye makeup remover, but other than that this will do the job very nicely, while caring for your skin at the same time. Cleansing your face never felt so luxurious.

Dr Botanicals Cocoa & Coconut Superfood Reviving Hydrating Mask and Lemon Superfood all-in-one Rescue Butter

Dr Botanicals Cocoa & Coconut Superfood Reviving Hydrating Mask (AD)

I love a cream mask that's super hydrating. Used two to three times a week as a sleeping mask, I always find I wake up the next morning with plumped, baby soft skin. This rich offering from Dr Botanicals is a perfect example and a very welcome addition to my collection. Containing cocoa and coconut, it has a very faint fragrance to it that is reminiscent of both those ingredients - good enough to eat! Feels deeply nourishing on application yet sinks into the skin surprisingly quickly, leaving you looking perfectly rested the next morning. 

Dr Botanicals Lemon Superfood all-in-one Rescue Butter (AD)

There couldn't be a nicer product to use in summer than this one. I've been using it as a hand cream but it's also a handy little multi-tasker, perfect to use on cuticles, elbows or just anywhere you might have dry skin. Like the cocoa mask, it manages to be both super rich and fast to absorb, and doesn't leave the slightest residue on the skin. As for the fresh lemon scent, it's divine and so perfect for warm summer days. I'm absolutely loving this one and think I will feel quite bereft once I've finished it!

Don't forget, if you fancy checking out the Dr Botanicals products or indeed anything from the Dr Botanicals website, you can enter the code KATELOUISE for a 20% discount at checkout.

What beauty products have you been loving this summer?

Kate x
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