Monday, 12 August 2019

Meet Your New Transitional Hero Piece: The Linen Blazer

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

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Ark Skincare: The Brand Promoting Beautiful Skin At Any Age

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.

Replenishing Moisturiser (AD)

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

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Currently Loving: Peasant Blouses

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
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