“Blink” Travels: Flying- travel in style

Since the beginning of the year I seem to have been on a pretty regular round of packing and unpacking suitcases, double checking I have my passport and triple checking all of my flight details. It’s been a wonderful time of travelling for clients, on research trips, on mini adventures and to spend time with far flung family. The next trip is all about spending 2 weeks doing as little as possible as I head away for my Summer hols. To make sure I have the speediest journey from home to sun lounger (with cocktail in hand), I have decided to opt for a hand luggage only flight.

With a bit of careful planning this doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on any of your luxuries or outfit changes, although to be honest I plan to pretty much be living in my bikini. A big tip from me is to choose tried and tested favourites from your Summer wardrobe, work with a pretty tight colour palette and then add in some bold accessories to help you make a small selection seem like a full Kim K’s closet of choices.

First you have to get your travel outfit right. I like to choose something that will get some wear through my hols too. I pretty much always choose jeans. Stretch Jamies from Topshop are a fav and really comfortable even for long haul.  This time I’ll be wearing those jeans with a kinda Chloe inspired swingy top from H&M. That way I start to get my holiday vibe going, and it also saves it from getting creased in my carry-on! My go-to handbag is this small but beautifully detailed fringed clutch from Oasis. It’s big enough for my wallet and all important documents but small enough to make sure I can see everything in it at a glance (I’m a bit of a checker).

My Summer holiday travelling outfit: Topshop jamie jeans, H&M top and Oasis clutch bag. Blink `London fashion blog, travelling in style, summer holiday

My Summer holiday travelling outfit: Topshop Jamie jeans, H&M top and Oasis clutch bag.

If the airline is getting sniffy about one bag only per passenger I know that I can easily stuff this weeny handbag inside my carry-on suitcase. Actually as an aside, I would always suggest you quadruple check what number and size of bags your airline allows so you don’t get caught out. I found this table from Purple Parking really helpful as a good reference for that very thing.

My Summer'15 favourite sandals, fashion blog, Blink London, wedge sandals

My Summer’15 favourite sandals

Next is the shoes. I am in love with these nutty metallic gold wedge numbers. Perhaps you saw my video of them on Instagram? Well, wearing them not only makes my outfit more fabulous, it also frees up a ton of space in my suitcase. You see, not just a pretty face!

My 'carry on' beauty must haves!

My ‘carry on’ beauty must haves!

And talking of a pretty face, when working just with carry-on luggage and the volume restrictions you have to be extra smart. I use my Heidi Klein pouch as the clear bag required for liquids, and then when I’m away it reverts to its intended purpose as being a wet bikini bag. Having this pre-packed means no fuss for the security check. Any of my holiday favourites that come in small enough bottles get to come with, and then once you’re through security you can stock up on anything bigger in duty free.

I always fly makeup free with a generous slathering of moisturiser. Once safely in the air, I give my skin a freshen up with a Simple Micellar cleansing wipe and then pop on some Rodial Dragon’s Blood face mask (it doesn’t show so nobody need know!). You’re about to inflict lots of sunshine, seawater and aircon on your skin so my number one piece of advice is to ensure you’re maxed out on moisturisation from start to finish of your trip. I them swoosh on a bit of bronzer, mascara and a dash of lippy just before landing (no need to frighten the locals).

So there you have it, my plan to a happy and stylish holiday, even when travelling light. Roll on my departure date! For more of our posts about our travels, take a look here.

“Blink” Music: Lion Babe ‘Wonder Woman’

Here’s our Music Monday post and it’s so hot off the presses there’s no video yet. Keep an eye out for one though as it’s sure to be very cool.

This is Lion Babe, an American duo made up of producer/multi-instrumentalist, Lucas Goodman, and singer-songwriter, Jillian Hervey (who is gaining additional notoriety for her amazing lush locks). There signature funky sound has been enhanced on this track by the inclusion of Pharrell Williams‘ skills producing and contributing vocals.

I love Hervey’s vocal tone as well as her femenist vibe- reminding me lots of Eryka Badu but in a less incesey way, although just as super cool.

This band is looking to go far in 2015 with this accessible yet innovative sound. ‘Wonder Woman’ is taken from their debut album which is dropping imminently. Watch out for it as based on this, I think it’ll be a goodun.

Half of Lion Babe, Jillian Hervey (image with thanks to Pinterest)

Half of Lion Babe, Jillian Hervey and her famous hairdo (image with thanks to Pinterest)

For more new music, just look here.

“Blink” 2015 Predictions: White part 2- structured

Blink London 2015 prediction: structured white

Blink London 2015 prediction: structured white

Blink London 2015 prediction: structured white

Blink London 2015 prediction: structured white

Blink London 2015 prediction: structured white

Blink London 2015 prediction: structured white

We also feel strongly for white in a dense, solid, calm, defined, repetitive, constructed way across every aesthetic area of our lives, our surroundings, our clothes, our makeup and our belongings. We especially like this approach to white for Autumn Winter.

For more inspirational posts, look here. For more on colour, look here.

Many thanks to Pinterest for the images.

“Blink” Stylish Steals: & Other Stories, Beauty

It’s about time we treated you to another ‘Stylish Steals’ post, and this is one that we have spend many hours and few quid investigating thoroughly for you. Believe me, it’s been our pleasure! This is all about the fabulous beauty products from & Other Stories. I will kick things off by sharing a pic of my own stash with you, backing up this recommendation with the fact that in the short time since this brand landed, it has now pretty much taken over my make-up bag.

 & Other Stories, makeup, Marc Jacobs, makeup bag,

My personal stash of & Other Stories makeup

Not only are these products a fabulous price, they are also incredibly high quality. The colours are all highly pigmented meaning that a little goes a long way. The formulations are innovative and easy to apply, feel great on the skin and wear well. I had so many compliments when I started using their ‘Kick Pleat Red’ cheek and lip tint that several girlfriends immediately bought into the same product.

& Other Stories, makeup, Blink London

& Other Stories beauty department

& Other Stories, beauty, makeup lipstick, Blink London

& Other Stories beauty department

The array of colours, finishes and product types is very impressive and constantly being updated. The in-store staff encourage you to try, giving you expert advice which I personally found invaluable, especially when stepping into the new and slightly scary world of eyebrow powders. At these prices you can buy that new, slightly bonkers nail polish colour without thinking about it too much. It is both playful and brilliantly chic. The perfect combo deal for any make up brand we think.

We spotted some scented candles on our last visit into the Regent Street branch and I can’t wait to get a few of those home. Just to test them for you, obviously! For more beauty posts, take a look here. If you’re into reading about more Stylish Steals, then this is the place for you to click.

“Blink” Retail: Selfridges gets Reflective

We spotted this very clever theme in Selfridges’ designer womenswear department. What a cute way to label the mannequins and then the blown up version of the compact looks really striking too. Never short on innovation in product or display, Selfridges are looking really outstanding just now, and this also subtly reflects (ahem…) their current focus on the concept of beauty with the Beauty Project.

Selfridges designer womenswear department

Selfridges designer womenswear department

Selfridges designer womenswear department

Selfridges designer womenswear department


“Blink” Stylish Steals: We’re hot for Ruby Red

It’s about time we shared another of our discoveries with you, beyond the world of fashion but very much in our world day to day. Stylish Steals is the category where we slip you the intel on some amazing products that we’ve either discovered by chance or been introduced to. They cover all variety of things, but what they have in common is that these are all things that perform well above their cost. In other words, money well spent, bargains and well, stylish steals!

Ruby Red products

Ruby Red products

Ruby Red for sure falls into this category. A new addition to our bathroom shelf, and one that we will be stocking up on across the range. This is a London based skincare brand whose formulations are all based on traditional apothecary, enhanced beyond standard performance with genuine therapeutic skincare benefits. Supporting our opinion that this year old label is doing some very good work is the fact that they are already stocked in Fortnum & Mason as well as Planet Organic. You can also buy directly from their online shop.

I’ve been enjoying slathering on one of their hero products, the Reviving Body Cleanser. As this is all natural, with no chemical nasties, I wasn’t expecting much on the bubbles front so I started off with an extra big serving onto my sponge. The next thing I knew my bathroom had been transformed into a citrus scented version of an Ibiza foam party rave up!

I’ve been following this delicious shower gel with a thorough rub down using their Renewal Shea Skin Cream. It takes some warming up in your hands to make this rub-on-able, but the effort is so very worth it. I must admit to a fashion-based chaffing injury after wearing a ridiculously heavy necklace to London Fashion Week. I had even given my precious pot of Creme de la Mer a try at soothing my sore skin, to no avail. This Ruby Red product has me chaff-free in a matter of two days application. If you suffer from sensitive, dry skin or just enjoy an indulgently rich body cream, I can’t recommend this highly enough.

The only question is, which of their products to try next? Hmmm…

“Blink” Stylish Steals: Baby Lips

Great timing to share this with you as these are the perfect prep for an excellent Valentine’s pout, as well as helping you with the post Valentine’s chapped lips if you manage to score lots of good snogging!

I must thank my lovely fashion protégé, Amy, who brought these gorgeous Maybelline Baby Lips lip balms to my attention as well as helping me capture the perfect shot of them.

Maybelline Baby Lips

Maybelline Baby Lips

At a couple of quid each (we picked ours up at Boots) these are a steal for sure. The formulation is smooth and super moisturizing, yet light. Each brilliantly bright colour tube has a different scent, and most with a slight hint of a tint. I love the graphic styling with it’s cool 80’s vibe, and I love their sweet smells that bring to mind those bonkers novelty scented rubbers (erasers to our American friends) that were all the rage in my school days. That’s a few quid well spent on a product that works, as well as a cheap ticket for a trip down memory lane.

For more stylish steals, just take a look here. If you’re into beauty, then have a look here.

“Blink” Stylish Steals: Nip+Fab = Brilliant Beauty Bargains!

Here’s the third in our series of ‘Stylish Steals’. It’s the spot where we feature all of those amazing discoveries that punch well above their weight in price versus performance, impact and quality. In other words, smart shopping and a bargain too. It’s an eclectic mix of products, but all of them share the fact that they enhance our lives on a daily basis, and leave us feeling rather smugly clever while doing it!

We move on to beauty today. Not a day goes by without the new must have, you are not a true woman without this, you will be a wrinkled prune if you don’t buy it, ooh those bags dear, life enhancing wonder cream being foisted upon us. I know this because I am highly suggestible when it comes to skin care and beauty, never knowingly left behind when there’s a new innovation to be slathered all over. In addition to my suggestibility, I also have very sensitive skin so sometimes these new anti-aging solutions only make me look younger because they give me a rash that could be mistaken for teenage zits… Oh the joy.

With all of that in mind, it is with great pleasure that I share one of my recent skin care crushes with you. These products actually do what they say they’re going to do. These products are really well priced. These products work for me and my sensitive skin, without scrimping on the impact and benefits. These products are available from my retail guilty pleasure, Boots. I am talking about Nip+Fab, the accessible line from Rodial founder, Maria Hatzistefanis. And in particular I am talking about their brilliant glycolic line.



Lets start with a quick note about what glycolic acid can do for you. It’s a naturally derived, active ingredient that helps to shed those dead surface skin cells, revealing fresh, peachy and glowing skin underneath. The first Nip+Fab product that I added to my routine was the Glycolic Fix exfoliating pads. If you’re feeling a bit sallow, maybe you have a bit of a break out or just generally need a bit of help looking perkier, then a quick swipe with one of these pads with do the trick. The pack says to use them once or twice daily, but actually I only use them two or three times a week, just before bed so that they have the whole night to get stuck in renovating my chops.

After enjoying the benefits of the pads for a while, I noticed that they had a glycolic scrub. Yes, I could be accused of looking for a harder hit after being drawn in by the pleasure of using the pads… This scrub, when used in combination with my Olay Pro-X Cleansing System brush, is almost like administering a home version of microdermabrasion! This is serious stuff with the triple action benefits of glycolic acid, salicylic acid as well as the scrubby micro-beads. As a side note, it also smells deliciously of grapefruit. This stuff really works, delivering a polished, clear skinned face that is perfectly prepared to receive your favourite serum or moisturiser, which will then work better for you too.

As a good marker for a product’s effectiveness, what could be better than receiving compliments? Well, I can tell you that I have received quite a few of them on my fresh faced appearance, and not only from people who wanted me to buy things from them or who need a favour from me. Result!

“Blink” Retail: Etat Libre d’Orange à Londres Est

I’m a very sensitive-nosed person and so scents are a very important thing to me. I’m in a long standing love affair with Jo Malone‘s Red Roses and Diptyque‘s L’Ombe dans L’Eau (every lady has a day and an evening scent don’t they?). It would take something pretty spectacular to change what have been my signature scents for several years now, but I think perhaps I might have found a new contender!

When I was in Paris in September I came a cross a store that was new to me. I was first drawn in by the bold pop art style graphics and after crossing the threshold I was totally immersed into the world of Etat Libre d’Orange, avant garde French fragrance house. This is a burgeoning market and barely a week passes without us learning about a new brand of premium scenting products. Well, these guys have approached their craft in such a unique and innovative way, from the environment to the names, and of course to the scent themselves that I think this is a stand out label that will soon be as well known as that other French scenting institution, Diptyque.

The store in Le Marais (69 rue des Archives) is a quirky combination between vintage pieces and super shiny, glossy imagery. The scents are neatly arranged on a central table and the very knowledgeable staff are on hand to help you navigate through the varied and brilliantly composed scent offer.

Etat Libre d'Orange, Paris

Etat Libre d'Orange, Paris

Etat Libre d'Orange, Paris

Etat Libre d'Orange, Paris

The young man who was helping me understand whether I was feeling more ‘Fat Electician’ (vertiver, chestnut cream, olive leaves, vanilla, opoponax, myrrh…) or ‘Putain des Palaces’ (rose absolute, violet, leather, lily of the valley, tangerine, ginger…) happened to mention that the label had just opened their first outpost in London, so upon returning home I made my way over to Redchurch Street to have a look at the new store.

Etat Libre d'Orange, London

Etat Libre d'Orange, London

In stark contrast to the Paris store, this East London shop, designed by Shed, is quite clinical with a touch of the laboratory about it. It feels utterly appropriate for the area, and also the innovative and cutting edge nature of this brand. I love the simplicity and functionality of the space which utterly puts the perfumes at the centre of the experience. I met with Heba, who masterminded the brand’s arrival in London. She helped me to navigate around the scent options a little further and encouraged me to step away from my usual rose based choices. Heba described ‘Fils de Dieu’ to me and I was utterly entranced. It sounded more like a recipe for a wonderful Thai curry than the composition of a perfume, featuring ginger, coriander, lime, shiso, jasmine, rice, cardamon, cinnamon and coconut. I braced myself and allowed Heba to spritz me up.

Fils de Dieu, Etat Libre d"Orange

Fils de Dieu, Etat Libre d"Orange

As I carried on with my day, letting the scent settle with my skin’s chemistry (never choose on first sniff!) I loved this perfume more and more as it developed. The start was like the smell of tropical holidays with coconut mainly coming through, along with sweet floral elements. After about 20 minutes the coconut had stepped back to allow the deeper elements to emerge with musk and amber giving this a very sexy edge. I think I have found my new scent addiction so I will be back on Redchurch Street this weekend to make a purchase. I mean who could resist a perfume that’s described with the statement “de la confusion des genres a la theorie du sexe des anges” which translates as “the blurring of a theory about the sex of angels”. That is poetry in a bottle.

For more retail news, take a look here. For more beauty inspiration, look here.