Cocktails, Chanel and LFW

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So this post is slightly overdue (just a little). The month of September was crazily busy, exhilarating, and a little bit exciting too. For starters I said goodbye to the dreary town of Teesside  - to old friends and family, before making the journey down permanently to The Big Smoke. After arriving and settling into my room on the 17th floor overlooking scenic views of The Shard and a dazzling London skyline - it all seemed to become real. In the space of a month I'd managed to secure a full-time job working for an incredibly vibrant fashion brand, and booked my one way ticket to London. 

The weeks that followed consisted primarily of unpacking and decorating my blank canvas of a room into a plethora of pastel pink, sparkles and mandatory Rose Moët (the three best things in life - fact). Alongside 22nd Birthday Strawberry Daiquiri's, overindulging in drinks at Cafe de Paris, Selfridges splurges, taking in our Roof Terrace views up on 18th, London Fashion Weekend and the awe-inspiring Chanel Mademoiselle Prive and Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibitions to name but afew.

It's safe to say I've well and truly caught the "In love with London" bug, and feel like I've resided here for years - when in retrospeck it's been just under 4 weeks. I'm excited to see what the future brings for my 3 years here and I'll definitely be blogging updates with any new adventures/obligitory cocktail fiasco's.

xo, S
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Luscious Locks & Glossy Nails | DryBy London

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I'm a girl who's all for one-stop Salons where you can indulge in multiple hair and beauty treatments all under the same roof, without the hassle of booking separate appointments at multiple locations. Whether that be Hair Colouring, Lashes, Brow Treatments, or just a simple Express Mani. One treatment I'm keen to try out is the infamous 'Salon-finish Blow Dry'. My hair itself is shoulder-length, layered and blonde with added hair extensions - which makes the task of daily hair-styling not so straightforward. And lets not even talk about the ritual of sectioning, curling and getting it to stay perfectly in place for special occasions! So the concept of achieving that "Red Carpet A-List" look in 45 mins and under £30 from the hair connoisseurs over at 'DryBy London' sounds particularly enticing!
Founded by Budapest-born and now London-based sisters Krisztina and Anita, they took their main inspo from the Blow Dry Bars of New York and the iconic women of 5 fashion-forward Cities, incorporated their own unique style on it complete with full 'Hair Menu' (below), and ultimately opened up just off Regents Street in London's Fitzrovia - to bring the Celeb and Socialite favourite treatment to the heart of the City.

"From the sexy, rock chick hair of London, to the beach waves of Rio, to the sleek Upper East Side's styles for ladies who lunch, DryBy introduces its first capsule collection of five classic hairstyles, inspired by the world's chicest style capitals. We've finessed our menu of timeless yet modern looks to suit a spectrum of tastes, whether you like glam, tussled and cool, or that slightly more polished look."

Along with Hairstyling, DryBy offer couture-worthy Express, Luxury, Shellac and Spa-style Manicures with the option of bespoke nail art. Geometric shapes, lines, exposed cuticles and glitter-tips are just a few of the popular designs. Appointments are available to book directly online through their website, or on the App once launched. I for sure will be booking in for an Express Mani with obligatory added glitter, and maybe 'The Rome' Blow Dry for glossy, luscious locks to rival even the styles of Victoria's Secret angels!

Manicures start at £21 up to £45, and Blow Drys £28-£98 depending on specific treatment.

Is a complete styled blow dry something you'd try?

FouDryBy’s founders are the London-based sister duo Krisztina van der Boom and Anita Puluczkai.
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Backstage Beauty | Elie Saab

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Floor-length gowns drenched in delicate appliqué, sequins and embellishments on a bed of lace and silk threads - it can only be Haute Couture Spring Summer '15 by Elie Saab. If our bank balances could suffice, we'd gladly take every single mesmerising dress from the runway collection and wear them to any occasion that deemed appropriate.. But a girl can dream!

Backstage, the makeup looks were kept fairly understated and minimal, allowing the spotlight and attention to be kept on the ensembles themselves. 
A clean beauty base with slight contouring, accompanied by graphic black liner and a hue of grey shadow on the eyes. Brows were kept natural-like, and if anything brushed up to create texture. Lips were slicked with a sheer shade of coral, perfectly mimicking the sunset shades of the SS15 collection. 

Recreate the look with our two favourite makeup products of the moment - NARS Sheer Glow foundation to create the perfectly prepped model-like complexion, and YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in 'Peach Passion', the pretty encasing kinda makes up for the £25 price tag, but we love it!
Which makeup trends will you be trying this upcoming Spring/Summer season?

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The City Guide | New York

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Next in my City Guide Series is obviously, New York New York. The non-stop City that never sleeps (..and it's true). I ventured over here last year as part of my 21st Birthday celebrations and can honestly say it was an unforgettable experience! If you're a shopping aficionado, whether it's Topshop or Tiffany's, and love the bright lights and even brighter eccentric atmosphere - The Big Apple is a place to definitely put firmly on your 'to-do' list.

Times Square
As cliche as it is.. to truly encapsulate the tourist cultural atmosphere of NYC, Times Sq. is a definite must. I fondly remember sitting on the infamous red steps near to the theater ticket office with a Cotton Candy Frappe in-hand, and just being completely amazed by the vast buildings, tall structures, sparkling lights and glowing advertisements (which are equally as stunning in the daytime as they are in the evening). Forever 21 and MAC are perfectly situated next to each other for the fashion & beauty obsessives among us, and the blocks are scattered with several CVS and Duane Read stores, which are perfect for stocking up on U.S cosmetics (and obligatory Reese's pieces treats) to take back home.

Tip - Booking a hotel in Times Square may seem a little pricey at first, but if you're yearning for the true New Yorker tourist experience, I would highly recommend doing so! You're in with the constant hustle and bustle, and nothing is ever too far away. Central Park being only a few blocks away was handy too. We stayed at the Novotel Hotel on 52nd Street, and with a terrace bar overlooking the lively atmosphere of Times Square, it meant we could sip on cocktails & indulge in entrées with the view of Midtown Manhattan without even leaving our hotel - perfect!

The Press Lounge Bar, Hells Kitchen
As I'm sure you're aware by now, Rooftop/terrace bars with a view are my favored bar of choice. Don't get me wrong, anywhere with Strawberry Daiquiri's on the menu is a winner, but when the bar features a view overlooking an entire city or is remotely scenic - I'm there! When I discovered The Press Lounge prior to flying out, I vowed to make a visit at some point of our holiday. 230 Fifth is on my list to visit next with their magical view of the Empire State building, attractive menu's bursting with brunch options, and their iconic 'Little Red Riding Hood'-esque capes to keep their clientele warm and cozy high above the NYC skyline on chilly evenings!

Artists and Fleas, Chelsea Market
Dainty bracelets, necklaces and jewels that closely mimic those of the hugely popular brand Sydney Evan - which I'm especially obsessed with, can be found here. Along with handmade crafts, antiques, vintage-find clothing pieces and homemade delicacies from all over the world. The hugely popular Pamela Barsky, creator of the iconic make-up bags sloganed with her quirky "My lipstick is redder than your lipstick" and-the-like quotes is based here at Chelsea Market. Also, an obligatory trip to Artichoke Basille's pizza - facing just opposite, is a must. (The pizza slices are infamously about the same size as your head, so calorific but so good).

Staten Island Ferry
Everyone loves a freebie, so when I found out you could see the New York City skyline sailing outwards towards Staten Island (and passing the Statue of Liberty on the way) - any time day-or-night, completely free of charge, of course I jumped at the chance. We took our place on the outside viewing platform of the Ferry to truly take in the scenes of the midnight black sky in contrast to the vibrant lights of The Big Apple. It was so stunning and I would definitely take a few trips back and forth if we were to head back there again. Albeit busy, it was a magical experience and one not to miss.

Tiffany & Co. - Fifth Ave
This deserves it's own category, for the sole purpose that it's every girls dream. A wonderland of carefully crafted Diamonds, intricately embellished jewels, and the infamous Engagement/Wedding rings *insert heart-eyed emoji*. As you'd expect, the store is completely immaculate and preened to perfection, with the staff being so welcoming, whatever the occasion for your visit. The tiniest details don't go unnoticed, even down to the careful packaging of your purchase(s). I could happily spend all day in here just yearning over the dreamy Princess Cut Diamond rings.

Other places of interest included Kate Spade on Fifth Ave, The 9/11 Memorial Site, Magnolia Bakery, Sephora and The Rockerfeller Center.

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The City Guide | London

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Once September arrives, I'll be beginning to get accustomed to everything that London has to offer me. Travel, university, socialising.. (and mandatory cocktails) to name but a few. I've already began writing down various rooftop bars on my list to visit, lets call it my version of tourism. So I thought I'd round together a few of my favourite hotspots in the City, and why I especially love them.

Covent Garden - The haven for all Beauty-Boutique-lovers and the like. Chanel, Dior, Bobbi Brown and Burberry are just a few of the luxury cosmetic houses the main plaza has to offer. Covent Garden also happens to house THE best cocktails at Maxwells (take my word for it, happy hour is a definite advantage), sugary sweet goodness at Laduree, and for all your makeup artistry needs - Charles Fox / Kryolan. Just take the lift up to the street level when you're on the tube, and avoid the 193 steps!

Oxford Street - The Mecca for every shopping enthusiast. Topshop flagship store, Selfridges, Debenhams, Forever 21, and the plethora of cafes/souvenir stores just add to the tourist-friendly atmosphere of London. Just off Oxford Street is the wondrous New Bond Street; home of the luxurious Chanel Boutique, Michael Kors, Burberry and of course Victoria's Secret (a firm favourite).

Camden - The hipster/kitsch/anything goes paradise - with several markets, shops, food stalls and an overwhelming cultural atmosphere. Whatever you're looking for, it can surely be found here. Camden Lock is a picturesque spot for a cocktail or two outside in the Summer too.

Chelsea - If the hit E4 show makes you want to visit the London borough of Chelsea, I couldn't recommend it more. (With the bonus of maybe bumping into Mark-Francis, obvs). Everything is so quaint and scenic, and the abundance of quality restaurants and cafes are an added perk. My favourite pick is No. 11 Pimlico Road, a few friends and I went for a New Years Eve dinner there and it was incredible! Next on the list is the infamous Bluebird cafe.

Where are your favourite London hotspots?

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The Luxury Beauty Wishlist

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One of my favourite past-times is scouring the Selfridges and Harrods websites for their latest 'new-in' and exclusive collection Beauty picks, adding them all to my shopping basket and then trying to make the total price seem acceptably reasonable. Then I click the 'x' and my beauty dreams are shattered. Just me..?

YSL Palette Collector Lumiette de Jour - The prettiest make-up goes to YSL, always. I mean just look at the sequin-encrusted packaging.. divine.

Clarisonic Mia 2 - Always one to try out new skincare, I'm a little late on the Clarisonic hype (I think it's the price tag that means I haven't made the purchase sooner!) But having heard so many good reviews - I may have to cave in and see if it lives up to the high expectations. 

YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer - I don't necessarily need a new primer, but it was the sparkle-infused formula of this that first enticed me. As long as it doesn't make your face look 'Edward Cullen discoball-glittery-esque', then I may have to try it! 

NARS Creamy Concealer - Dark circles aren't my best friend, and unfortunately I'm stuck with the worst of them. I rely on an orange based colour corrector to counteract them on a daily basis, but this NARS Concealer claims to be the highest of the high coverage, and with 'creamy' in the name, this might just be the answer to my undereye prayers.

YSL Touche Eclat Blur Perfector - Pink. Gold. YSL. Love. Need I say more?

Tom Ford Lipstick 'Spanish Pink' - If I had to splurge on a luxury lipstick, it would no question be this beauty by Tom Ford. 

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noir Perfume - Another to add to the ever-growing dressing table collection, I love the feminine illustration on the front of the glass bottle. The combination of sparkling bergamot and raspberry make the scent sound like a dream.

Dior Lip Glow - A product I don't usually use in summer, but a lot in winter! Lip primers/balms; just another quick step to add to your makeup routine, and ensures your lips are soft, supple and lipstick ready. This Dior product would definitely be my luxury brand pick.

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Lace Lingerie Lusting

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Like the typical girly girl, I'm besotted with anything Victoria's Secret and Boux Avenue related, their stores are a one stop haven for all of your lingerie and nightwear needs. But topping VS and Boux are the more exquisite and luxurious brands; Agent Provocateur for instance. A tiny insight into their ranges at displays some of their new and pre-existing collections, along with beautiful intimates from Elle Macpherson, Stella McCartney and the incredibly stunning La Perla.

 All of their lingerie pieces speak for themselves - most often featuring satin and lace, adorned with intricate embellishments on a palette of mauve pink, neutrals, black and vibrant red. The eye-watering price tags may be a little off-putting, but for true luxurious style and when you're wanting to channel your inner supermodel, these would be my definite lingerie staples if my bank balance would suffice!

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Loving Lately | The Blog Edit

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Trailing the internet and social media in the form of sourcing outfit, beauty and lifestyle-related inspiration only ever leads me to two places; Blogs and the ever addicting - Instagram. Here's my two cents on the Blogs that have been taking the upmost of my attention and the ones I've been especially loving lately..

As a huge addict of 'Laguna Beach', 'The Hills' and spin-off 'The City', Lauren Conrad & co. were my ultimate 'look-up-to' hair, beauty and style icons back in the day. I could watch re-runs of any of the above for hours upon end; with each new episode unraveling more drama, makeups and breakups from my favourite California & New York City socialites than the previous. (If it wasn't Audrina confessing her love/hate relationship with Justin Bobby, it was the unforgettable 'Speidi' wedding with the dramatic departure of LC.. I was well and truly addicted).

Fast forward to 2015 and the cast having all gone their separate ways, say Hello to 'The Lo Down' blog; the wondrous brainchild of no other than Laurens BFF - Lo Bosworth. The Lo Down is a one-stop haven for lifestyle, fashion, food and beauty posts from Lo herself, and other fashion-forward alike authors. I'm a huge lover of all things New York, and having relocated there herself, the posts dedicated to finding the best Manicure Salons or cosiest Cafe's in NYC are only making me want to book a one-way flight over there with little intention of ever coming back! Along with the blog, Lo also features a lot of view-worthy content over on her YouTube channel; showcasing chic hairstyle tutorials, season-friendly beauty picks and yummy dessert recipes to name but a few.


FROW at Runway shows, hot on the heels of Paparazzi at her Paris, New York and Milan Fashion Week debuts, and globe-trotting from one prestigious city to another all in the name of fashion - at only 20 years old Kristina Bazan of 'Kayture' leads the fast-paced and incredibly inspiring life the fashion aficionados among us can only dream of.

Just a tiny glimpse at Kristina's social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat) portrays an insight into the endless incredible global success and adventures she embarks on every day. The trademark hashtag she most often uses - #kaytureonthego is very apt. and the perfect way to describe Bazan's non-stop lifestyle. With effortless 'city girl' style and her signature winged-liner that even a make up perfectionist would be envious of, 'Kayture' is a definite favourite and daily go-to for lifestyle, travel and fashion musings.

xo, S
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Prada, Daisy & YSL | Current Favourites

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Prada Candy Florale - I purchased this in New York subsequently lusting after for it for months - the Prada store on Fifth Ave is a dream and I was a little too ecstatic to finally get my hands on it.. (whilst yearning for the Saffiano totes and their $$$$ price tags.) The scent is sweet, feminine and self-explanatory - floral. With heart notes of Peony, Top notes of Limoncello and Base notes of Caramel and Musk, it's my current firm favourite.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream - In my opinion, the cutest form of any perfume - rollerball. I really wish we had these more readily available in the UK as I'd probably be stocking up on a few of my favourite perfumes! I was a huge fan of the 'Daisy Eau So Fresh' scent, but I'm finding myself reaching more for the 'Daisy Dream' rollerball lately - easy enough to pop in your bag & touch-up during the day without hoarding a huge perfume bottle around (and the possibility of it being smashed - heartbreaking just thinking about it..)

YSL Babydoll Mascara - If anything, it was the gold packaging that enticed me.. but as ever, anything remotely YSL related is bound to be a winner. After curling my lashes with my trusty Shu Uemura's, I apply one coat of this, leave it for a minute then apply another for the ultimate clump-free finish. I find the formula doesn't transfer or give you that unattractive 'spider lashes' look, and feels pretty lightweight as a mascara when worn. I'm almost completely out of this beauty, so will definitely be on the lookout for the next high-end (snob) mascara soon!

What are your current loves? If you have any recommendations let me know!

xo, Stephanie
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A peek into London Fashion Week

Last week whilst in London, I had a little wander round to Somerset House where this years London Fashion Week was primarily being held. We people-watched for longer than deemed necessary, had our hearts set on some of the ensembles fashionistas and socialites alike turned up in, and sat amazed at the swarms of photographers surrounding those who donned an especially daring or bold outfit.

A lot of trends dominating the cobbles of Somerset House were the likes of knee-high and thigh-high boots, which I'm especially loving at the minute. I'd team mine with a grey slouchy jumper-dress and oversized cosy knit cape. (I'm still lusting after the personalised shawls from Burberry A/W14, monogrammed with your own initials)
Other trends saw the chic return of camel waterfall coats teamed with roller-neck tops, bright pops of faux fur, sheer tees and a lot of minimalistic monochrome outfits. Amongst the sea of accompanying accessories; classic Chanel Le Boy and Celine Trapeze bags, and the ever-beautiful Rockstud heels a la Maison Valentino.

I'm already looking forward to the next instalment of London Fashion Week in September!  Which was your favourite LFW show of them all? Mine would have to be Bora Aksu AW15, where lilac hues met floral appliqué!

xo, S
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