Dressing For The Long Hot UK Summer

Dressing For The Long Hot UK Summer

Well, this isn't a blog post title I ever thought I'd be writing! UK summers can be many things, but  long and hot? Honestly, sustained periods of properly hot, sunny weather just don't happen here. At least not since 1976, so I'm reliably informed, but I wasn't born then so it doesn't count!

So far, the summer of 2018 has been incredible, and I've been loving getting out and about and enjoying it. For someone like me, who feels cold at the faintest suggestion of a breeze in the air, it's been really refreshing to not have to think about taking some sort of cover up with me everywhere I go over these past few weeks. Dressing has felt so effortless, just like being on holiday!

Summer 2018 OOTD

That said, what I've been wearing at home is slightly different to what I would wear on holiday, even if, for once, the temperature is pretty much the same. While I might feel perfectly comfortable in denim shorts and a vest top in a beach resort, it's not something I would dream of wearing around a UK city. Perhaps it's just me, but at home, I feel much more comfortable in something a little more covered up and a little more polished.

Finding multi-tasking clothes - those that suit both a beachy holiday vibe and my usual environment - is always a bonus, and I've been lucky enough this summer to snap up a few pieces like that, such as this button down dress from Topshop and this lovely Zara Midi Dress too. However, I've also been enjoying putting together outfits for this unusual UK heat that I probably wouldn't wear on holiday. Like this one, for example.

What to wear in the UK in Summer

The Top

What can I say? It has oversized tortoiseshell buttons! I have made no secret of my love for this trend and having seen this gorgeous Topshop blouse all over Instagram I just had to have it. The asymmetric fastening adds a touch of interest to an otherwise simple piece, the relaxed fit is perfect for the warm weather and it looks just as pretty worn loose over jeans as it does tucked into a high waisted skirt. Not only that, but it washes like a dream and doesn't need ironing, which just makes me love it all the more!

The Skirt

I've had this H&M denim skirt for a while now, and it has been so incredibly useful. Just like a trusty pair of jeans, a denim skirt works with pretty much anything and they have long been a staple in my wardrobe. I still enjoy a classic denim mini on occasion, but I love the longer length of this one, which makes it that little bit more wearable on a day to day basis for me, especially here in the UK. H&M currently have this very similar skirt in stock if you fancy checking it out.

Rose Quartz And Sterling Silver Necklace

The Finishing Touches

First of all, I just have to mention this beautiful, delicate necklace* which I was very kindly sent a few weeks ago by Daisy London. I adore dainty jewellery, and this tiny rose quartz pendant on a pretty bobble chain is the perfect piece to complete any outfit and to wear every day.

Hand crafted in sterling silver, it is part of Daisy London's Healing Stones range, and, as well as looking beautiful, it carries a deeper meaning too. Rose quartz is a symbol of unconditional love, and has long been believed to promote the strengthening of bonds within relationships. How lovely is that?

Necklace from Daisy London Jewellery

Daisy London has a mouth-watering selection of Semi Precious Gemstone Jewellery to choose from, and each piece has its own particular meaning and its own positive energy to impart to the wearer. Definitely worth a look if you're in the market for new jewellery, or have a gift to buy.

In addition to the necklace, I'm wearing my Olivia Burton watch - a piece I'm still loving and which adds a touch of luxe to any look, my cream circle bag from Topshop (now sold out) - which I am sure you are all sick of seeing by now, and my H&M espadrille wedges. Again, these are old, but the same design is available in a different colour.

This outfit has had a ton of wear over the past few weeks, and I for one am hoping I'm not back in jeans and jumpers any time soon!

What have your favourite outfits been lately?

Kate x

*Gifted item. Some links may be affiliate links. This poses no extra cost to you, the customer. All opinions, as always, are my own.

New Hydrogel Sheet Masks From Skin Republic

New Hydrogel Sheet Masks From Skin Republic

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me gleefully unboxing the subject of today's blog post a couple of weeks back. Blogger mail is always wonderful to receive, particularly when it's surprise blogger mail, and even more so when that surprise just happens to be something you really need. This was the case when Skin Republic sent me the four new sheet masks from their hydrogel range. I was just recovering from a tummy bug (or possibly food poisoning - whichever it was, my love affair with sushi has officially ended) and my skin was looking dehydrated and in serious need of some TLC. So it's fair to say I was delighted when I opened up the package and found this lovely treat inside.

Sheet masks for brightening and nourishing

Skin Republic make all kinds of sheet masks for every skin concern you can think of. They make cleansing and purifying masks, hydrating masks, lifting and toning masks, brightening masks, nourishing masks and more. They even make masks for your décolletage, hands and feet. I've tried quite a few in the past and been impressed with the vast majority of them, but this was my first time trying the hydrogel range.

Hydrogel Sheet Masks

Unlike the more traditional, paper-like sheet masks, the hydrogel masks feel more... well, gel-like, and according to Skin Republic are designed to "act like a second skin, locking in the nutrient rich serum to leave your skin hydrated and glowing." In terms of application and usage, all four of them are exactly the same. After cleansing, you remove the mask from the sachet and peel off the paper backing, apply to your face and leave for 30 to 40 minutes. Luckily, the masks stick quite well, so you can walk around and do other things during this time. When you're finished, you simply peel off the mask and pat any excess serum gently into your skin.

I found all of the masks to have a fairly light but pleasant scent, and to be slightly cold on first application, but not at all unpleasant to wear. I have the world's tiniest head, so I can often find sheet masks to be a poor fit on me, but these are split into two pieces so I was able to overlap them in the centre and create a much better fit, which was great. While all the masks are designed to give you hydration and glow, each one has its own particular ingredients and intended benefits, so below I have provided a brief summary of each one, together with my own findings after trying them.

Seaweed Hydrogel Mask*

Skin Republic Seaweed Hydrogel Mask

Claims: - Targets the visible signs of ageing for a more youthful and luminous complexion. Seaweed is packed with anti-ageing actives which visibly enhance skin's elasticity and suppleness. Chamomile Flower and Peony soothe skin, helping to reduce redness leaving skin glowing.

I found: - My skin looked so healthy after using this mask. It was definitely radiant and glowing. This would be a lovely one to use before an event.

Green Tea Hydrogel Mask*

Skin Republic Green Tea Hydrogel Mask

Claims: - Protects skin and prevents damage caused by environmental pollutants. Green Tea is packed with powerful antioxidants helping to fight against premature skin ageing caused by free radicals. Chamomile Flower soothes skin and helps reduce redness. Skin is left nourished and protected.

I found: - I could see that my fine lines were smoothed, and my complexion felt noticeably softer too.

Collagen Hydrogel Mask*

Skin Republic Collagen Hydrogel Mask

Claims: - Instantly reveals a radiant, glowing complexion. Nutrient packed Sea Minerals nourish and hydrate. Collagen and Argan Oil help reduce the visible signs of ageing. Skin appears smooth, plump and more youthful.

I found: - Again, my fine lines looked smoothed out, probably a little more so than with the Green Tea mask. My skin also felt firmer.

Retinol Hydrogel Mask*

Skin Republic Retinol Hydrogel Sheet Mask

Claims: - With Retinol to support natural collagen, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and increase skin's elasticity. Radiance boosting Peony, Jojoba and Hyaluronic Acid replenish lost moisture and reduce the appearance of sensitivity for firmer, younger looking skin.

I found: - I definitely felt as though my complexion looked rejuvenated after using this mask. My skin looked more even in tone and nicely plumped.

Skin Republic Hydrogel Sheet Masks are £6.99 each and are available from both Superdrug and Look Fantastic. If like me you are always on the lookout for little skin boosting treats to keep in reserve for times of need, I can definitely recommend these.

What masks have you been enjoying lately?

Kate x

*Gifted item. All opinions, as always, are my own.

June Favourites

June Beauty And Fashion Favourites 2018

I could panic about it being halfway through the year, or I could just be happy about this beautiful summer weather we're enjoying in the UK right now and share my June Favourites instead!

It's mostly beauty this month, plus one fashion favourite.

Other than that I've been loving the warmth and sunshine, barbecues and a glass of wine in the garden, and - surprisingly - the World Cup! My husband is a football fan, so he loves these big tournaments. Rather than complain about there being a match on every night, I've been taking an interest, and now I'm the one telling him to hurry up and get home with the drinks and snacks in time for the game. I don't even know who I am any more.

You can watch the video on YouTube or right here if you prefer. If you like what you see, I would love it if you subscribed to my channel too. I am inching my way towards my first 100 subscribers and I would love to achieve that before the summer is over.

What have your favourites been this month?

Kate x

The White Zara Midi Dress I'm Currently Obsessed With

The White Zara Midi Dress I'm Currently Obsessed With

If you saw my last video, you'll have seen me try on and buy this Zara midi dress. I love white dresses in the summer, and despite the fact that I bought this one less than two weeks ago, I already know it's going to be one of my most worn pieces throughout the warmer months. At just £29.99, it was a steal, yet its elegant cut and interesting design details mean it looks anything but. So why am I so obsessed with this dress? Let me count the ways!

It's Elegant

White Zara Button Down Midi Dress

There's just something about white dresses, especially in summer time. They always look so pristine and chic. Add to that the midi length, shirt style cut and clean lines of this one and you have a timeless classic on your hands. Yes, I do love a ruffle and a frill or two, but sometimes you need something a little more fuss-free in your wardrobe, and this fits the bill nicely. It's also subtly sexy, with the v-neck and asymmetric split.

It's Practical

Zara Summer 2018 Dress

So yes, this dress is white, but it's that kind of "just off white" that makes it that little bit less scary than pure white, if that makes sense. You still get the chic look, but it's just that little bit more forgiving when it comes to getting the occasional mark on it. It's also a nice sturdy fabric, while still feeling light and cool, and I find the cut of it very practical for the UK summer too - you have some sleeves, you're that little bit more covered up - it's definitely still very wearable even if the weather is slightly cooler.

Speaking of wearable, this dress is the perfect balance between smart and casual. You could easily wear this out to dinner yet you wouldn't look out of place running errands in it either. Definitely one to grab and go for all sorts of occasions.

It's On Trend

How To Wear White Summer Dress

I've made no secret of the fact that I'm obsessed with this season's button down trend. In fact, I wrote a whole post on button down dresses a few weeks back, so you should definitely check that out if you love them as much as I do! This is a gorgeous example of that trend, and I love the fact that these buttons are asymmetrical rather than running straight down the middle of the dress as you might expect. It just adds that little extra "something something".

It's Effortless

How to accessorise a white summer dress

Not only is this midi dress easy to wear, but it's an outfit in one. Just grab shoes, bag, shades and a bit of jewellery and you're good to go. I've opted for gold toned accessories to add a little touch of luxe, but tan or earthy tones would also work beautifully.

It's Affordable

Button Down Dress Trend Summer 2018

Did I mention that this dress was £29.99? That's definitely a bargain for a useful piece like this that will see you through the warmer months both at home and abroad! And if you like the idea of it in super on trend mustard yellow, that version is currently on sale for £19.99.

How to look chic this summer

Dress - Zara, Bag - River Island, Sandals - Topshop

Have you found any gems in Zara lately?

Kate x

Some links may be affiliate links. This poses no extra cost to you, the customer. All opinions, as always, are my own.

Come To London With Me

Vlog 3 - Come To London With Me! Blogging Events, Burgers And Shopping In Zara

I had a couple of really fun days last week. Another invitation to a blogging event in London, which was the perfect excuse to go and stay with my sister. Even better, I got to bring her along to the event with me, and of course we found time for a spot of shopping too! I still have a lot to learn about vlogging, but I'm loving doing it, so I hope you'll enjoy this little glimpse into my adventures!

Watch the vlog on my YouTube channel or right here if you prefer.

What's your favourite way to spend a couple of cheeky days off?

Kate x

L'Oreal No Makeup Makeup Range - First Impressions

L'Oreal No Makeup Makeup Range - First Impressions

It's unusual for me to go out and buy (almost) an entire makeup range in one go, but having seen L'Oreal's gorgeous no makeup makeup featured on several blogs over the past couple of months, I just couldn't resist. Featuring a BB Cream, bronzer and peachy blush as well as seriously Instagram worthy highlighters in both palette and liquid form, the whole range promises to give you a beautifully natural and effortless, "I woke up like this" glow. As that is pretty much exactly what I want to look like, particularly in the summer time, and because the products looked so pretty across my social media feeds, I didn't think too hard before giving into the hype. I've only been trying these out for a little while, so this will be something of a first impressions post, but no doubt my favourites will feature in some upcoming makeup looks I'm planning on putting together over the summer months.

Bonjour Nudista Skin Tint BB Cream

L'Oreal Bonjour Nudista Skin Tint BB Cream

Nicely packaged in a pretty, lightweight and portable tube, this looks like the perfect base to take away with you on a summer holiday. It's available in 5 shades (Light, Medium Light, Medium, Medium Dark and Dark), and offers a breathable formula, light coverage and a luminous glow.

The shade Medium Light is a good match for my skin tone, and the product feels beautiful to apply, almost like a face cream. Unfortunately, no matter how much I put on, it seems to disappear into my skin like a face cream too, providing me with a coverage so sheer I might as well not have bothered applying it (or indeed buying it) in the first place. It's a shame, as it looks like such a pretty product, but while I am much more a fan of lighter base products these days than I used to be, I still like them to provide at least some coverage. So, unfortunately, I am not a fan of this one.

Glow Mon Amour Highlighting Drops

Glow Mon Amour Highlighting Drops in Bellini

This versatile liquid highlighting product is available in two shades, Champagne and Bellini. With it being summer, I opted for the warmer, decidedly golden goddess like Bellini. Housed in a not particularly travel friendly glass bottle with a messy drop applicator, it is nevertheless a beautiful product, offering all the peachy, shimmery goodness anyone could want. You can use this in a variety of ways, but my current favourite is to add a couple of drops to my foundation to add a subtle, all over sun-kissed glow.

L'Oreal Bonjour Nudista and Glow Mon Amour Swatches

Left, Bonjour Nudista BB Cream in Medium Light, Right, Glow Mon Amour Highlighting Drops in Bellini

Back To Bronze Matte Bronzing Powder

L'Oreal Back To Bronze Matte Bronzing Powder

This is described as a soft matte bronzer with no shimmer or glimmer, perfect for adding a natural bronzed glow to the skin. The colour is warm without being too orange, and looks beautiful dusted over the high points of the face as an all over glow. It's quite pigmented, so a light hand is needed, but I think it would also be a great product for contouring with if that's something you like to do. A really nice useful bronzer to keep in your stash.

Life's A Peach Blush Powder

L'Oreal Life's A Peach Blush Powder

A gorgeous warm blush that actually smells of peaches! Again, this is heavily pigmented and a little goes a long way, but it really does look so beautiful on. Along with the bronzer, I've been wearing this a lot since I got it. The two together give the most gorgeous, healthy summer glow. If you're not into the highlighters so much, you could skip those in favour of these two products in order to create that warm, bronzed look without the sparkle.

L'Oreal No Makeup Makeup Packaging

L'Oreal La Vie En Glow Highlighting Powder Palette

Just like the liquid highlighter, this highlighting palette is available in warm and cool toned options. I went for the warm, and I love it! You can wear all four shades together for a super glowy look. I have tried this and kind of love it, but it is a little too much for everyday wear for me, so I will save it for my next date night. For a softer glow, the two lighter shades are beautiful and very wearable, and I can see all four working as eyeshadows too, although this is something I have yet to try. If you are a highlight fan then I would definitely recommend this, as there are so many lovely options for combining the different shades together.

L'Oreal La Vie En Glow Highlighting Powder Palette Warm Glow Swatches

La Vie En Glow Highlighting Powder Palette in Warm Glow. From top - Sundust, Blazing Gold, After Love, Bronze Kiss

The BB cream aside, I have no regrets about buying any of these products and I'm sure I will be getting plenty of use out of all them throughout the warmer months. If you're looking for some new makeup to give you that natural, glowy, beach goddess glow this summer, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend L'Oreal's No Makeup Makeup range. The best thing is, it won't break the bank either, so more money for bikinis!

Have you tried any of these products?

Kate x

Some links may be affiliate links. This poses no extra cost to you, the customer. All opinions, as always, are my own.

Summer Haul - H&M, Topshop and River Island

Summer Haul - H&M, Topshop and River Island

I finally got around to filming a haul! There are a few things here that I've bought with holidays in mind, and others that should see plenty of wear throughout the UK summer too. I've also filmed this video in a different location from the other sit-down videos I've done so far. I think the light is much better here, plus it's easier for me to set up and film in this room. On the other hand, there is a slight echo, and as I have already received some criticism for my sound quality in the non-echoey room, this might be somewhat irritating, in which case I apologise! Do let me know what you think. If the echo is a problem then I will see if there is something I can do about it.

I hope you enjoy the haul. Let me know what your favourite piece is and what you've been buying/looking for so far this summer. And if you like the video, I would love it if you subscribed to my channel for more.

Till the next time!

Kate x
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