7 Ways to Welcome Autumn with Bobbi Brown

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Outside, the brisk evenings are drawing in and there is the palpable feeling of change in the air. As the leaves begin to fall and autumn announces its arrival, I suddenly desire  a few new pleasures; cosy cashmere to snuggle into, a refreshed beauty aesthetic and a little luxurious glamour. I’m thrilled to team up with Bobbi Brown (one of my favourite everyday beauty brands) to celebrate the new season.

1. As the temperature drops and the seasons change, so too do I crave a few changes come autumn. For me, the easiest way to transition my look for the season is with an overhaul of my beauty bag. I switch my fresh summer fragrances to those with a little more depth, step up the hydration, and tweak my makeup look. Pastels are replaced by warm hues, and my everyday bronzed eye becomes a little more smoky and sultry. My favourite go-to is the Bobbi Brown smokey nudes palette; I’ll wear a contoured 60s eye for day, a smudgy, smoky look for evenings, or a molten metallic for parties.

2. As with the changes to my beauty look, each season I look forward to refreshing my wardrobe. Girlish pieces are pushed aside in favour of a slightly more sophisticated, classic aesthetic, summer’s floaty white blouses and lace dresses are paired with tuxedo jackets and polished accessories, and a neutral palette is offset with a singular pop of colour in the form of fuchsia nails or berry-stained lips (I like Creamy Matte lipstick in ’Bright Lily’).

3. Make the most of the last warm days of the year with a gloriously lazy weekend filled with all your favourite simple pleasures. Team a chic neutral beauty look (try with your favourite weekend uniform for a leisurely brunch and a walk around the neighbourhood with someone you love.

4. Treat yourself to a few fabulous dates with your girlfriends. As the nights draw in, I like to retreat to cosy, glamorous haunts where I can get dolled up (a smokey cat eye using inky black kajal liner is always appropriate in this scenario) and linger over good conversation and a marvellous cocktail or two.

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5. Make the most of the harvest and stop by your local farmer’s market for a bounty of local autumn produce. I love stopping for a hot chocolate and smokes, buying armfuls of flowers, and going home with a basket of plump figs, apples, blackberries and pumpkins and turning them into something delicious.

6. Transform your place into a cosy, inviting retreat. Invest in a few new home comforts  (I like those to aid luxurious hibernation; scented candles, divine bed linen, gorgeous lighting and a good supply of tea and books), spend an afternoon organising your wardrobe and beauty cabinet, and add a few fresh flowers in each room. Invite your friends around for an old-fashioned movie night/slumber party, or host a cocktail party for a few of your nearest and dearest. Just add a swipe of red lipstick (Creamy Matte lipstick in ’Heart’ is my current favourite) and a swinging soundtrack.

7. Play tourist around town or take a trip to the countryside to see all the changing colours of the season. Go for a long bike ride, visit an apple orchard or pumpkin patch, tour a historic home, and jump in piles of crunchy leaves.

Love, Miss B xx

P.S. Stay tuned for my tutorial on how to achieve the perfect smokey nude look for autumn using the new Bobbi Brown collection.

This post is in partnership with Bobbi Brown

How to be Fabulous Each Morning (in 15 Minutes)

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I don’t know about you, but during the week, I never have the luxury of being able to take my time getting ready. If I want more than half an hour to get ready, then I have to either forgo sleep or get to the office late (and frankly, I’d rather lie in bed for those blissful ten minutes after my alarm goes off than spend time styling my hair). Needless to say, I’m by now an expert in getting out that door as quickly as possible, without turning into a frazzled, grumpy mess.

The secret to leaving the house feeling your best? Leave ten minutes to do your makeup (more if you can spare it) and always do a few things that feel leisurely and fun, no matter how rushed you are (for me that’s taking a few minutes to put on a soundtrack to listen to while I’m getting ready, make a quick + healthy breakfast to have while I’m doing my makeup, and always remembering my lipstick, perfume and jewels: those finishing touches that make me feel ‘done’).

Here’s how I do it when I’ve got 15 minutes flat:

One minute: Turn on music that makes me want to have a dance party in the bathroom (hello, Motown!). Brew coffee/put fruit in the blender. Jump in the shower (Jo Malone shower gel starts the morning off right), brush teeth + sing badly.

Four minutes: Quick face routine + slather on body moisturiser (+ sunscreen if it’s summer). Get coffee/juice, giggle at my boyfriend’s silly jokes.

Six minutes: Dry shampoo (Batiste is the best bargain in my beauty arsenal) + quickly run a GHD or tongs through the front and ends of my hair. Twist hair into a bun while it’s still warm to set while I’m getting ready.

Eight minutes: When I’m short on time, I focus on perfecting my complexion and adding a pop of colour. I start with BB cream all over + long-wear foundation and concealer where I need it.

Ten minutes: Add a glow (I like Nars illuminator around the cheek/browbones, down the bridge of the nose and on the cupid’s bow), lightly buff bronzer into the cheekbones/temples/jawline) then a pop of peachy blush on the cheeks.

Eleven minutes: Add a flick of liquid liner (I’ve tried them all, and this Stila marker version is absolutely the best; foolproof and SO fast), fill in brows and a wash of pearly/bronze shadow if you have a moment.

Twelve minutes: Spritz on perfume (this Jo Malone version is my current favourite), undo hair (shake out waves or pin back into a loose undo), and get dressed in something that makes you feel fantastic.

Fourteen minutes: Add a dash of sparkle (if in doubt, add a statement necklace or a pair of fabulous earrings). Do a twirl + turn off Motown soundtrack.

Fifteen minutes: Grab handbag, do a quick outfit check, smile and go!

In transit: Add a coat of mascara and a pop of bright lipstick on the bus/train/at the lights if you ran out of time at home (ie. these are the only two acceptable steps to do in public; never your whole makeup routine). Write your ‘to do’ list for the day (be sure to include something just for you/that makes you smile). Spend the morning being pulled-together + fabulous!

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Pictured (L-R): Nars ‘Turkish Delight’ lipgloss // Anthropologie monogrammed mug (from Nicolette) //  BaubleBar earrings c/- (similar style available at Shopbop) // Nars ’413 BLKR’ illuminator c/- // Nars ‘New Attitude’ blush.

Do you have any tips for getting-fabulous-quick each morning?

Love, Miss B xx

P.S. By popular request, I’m bringing back Beauty Wednesday each fortnight. Do you have any requests for future beauty posts? Let me know in the comments below or via Twitter / Instagram!

Beauty: Diptyque Fragrance

I have spoken before about my deep love for beautiful perfumes and fragrances (regular readers may remember this post), but I don’t think the fact can be overstated.

I’m not sure about you, but I find something so wonderfully luxurious about the act of spritzing on a favourite smell as the final flourish when getting dressed (or, for that matter, undressed) each day. A seeminigly small act it may be, but it is, I believe, the one that most imparts the personality of the wearer upon the passerby. Few things are are as sensual and as emotionally evocative as our sense of smell. After all, we attach more feelings and memories to scents than any other sense and thus subconsciously judge strangers by how their smell makes us feel, so it is important that the fragrance you choose to make your own is one which evokes a trail of happy memories in your wake.

Needless to say, it’s important to get this right.

Constantly in pursuit of the perfect bouquet of fragrance (whether for myself or my home), I’m never one to turn down the wisdom of the experts. Diptyque is one of my favourite brands full stop (I wear their perfumes year round, and their divine scented candles are one of my favourite small luxuries for the home), so when I heard about their fragrance fitting service I leapt at the invitation.

Which is how I came to find myself perched on a stool in the charming little Diptyque boutique on Brook Street a little while back. I was meeting with Diptyque’s manager who couldn’t have been more lovely (we ever shared the same Australian-transplanted-to-England accent), and we began with a casual discussion that took in everything from my favourite colours, to the type of clothes I liked, to my favourite memories and the smells they evoked (the smell of orange blossoms in the sun in my childhood backyard, blousy garden roses and tiny violets in my mother’s garden, fresh mint and basil in an English herb garden…).

I then smelt a collection of single-note fragrances (in the form of Diptyque’s candles, each with their labels hidden so that my preference could not be influenced by my perception of the names of each one), grouped into three fragrance families (spicy, green/woody and floral). I already had a very clear idea of what scents I did and did not like, so it was reassuring to have this reaffirmed, with a few I wouldn’t have thought of myself added to the mix. In case you were wondering, I like white florals with a hint of sweetness and perhaps a fresh green undertone (but I can’t bear overpowering spicy, woody smells).

I was then taught how to layer fragrances which, for some reason (and despite already owning several Diptyque fragrances), had never occurred to me. But when you comine two different scents, they somehow elevate each other to become even more beautiful. I’ve been playing with this ever since (with seemingly endless combinations), and people are always stopping me in the street to ask what perfume I’m wearing (a wonderful boost for the ego, I tell you!).

Good combinations to try: start with a woody or a fresh green base and a layer a floral or citrus scent on top. I’ve been favouring Diptyque Neroli (orange blossom) with Olene (jasmine and narcissus and white spring florals) on top which smells heavenly for warmer days (or grey days when I’m craving sunshine) and either Eau Rose (delicate pink rose petals and fresh green notes) under Do Son (a heady tuberose and white floral), or Philosykos (fruity and woody fig tree) under L’Ombre dans L’Eau (blackcurrant leaves and Bulgarian roses) for cold days when something warm and luxurious is required.

I’d love to hear how you layer your favourite fragrances, and how you pair different scents with different seasons or occasions.

Love, Miss B xx

Diptyque offer complimentary fragrance fitting consultations (approximately 30 minutes) at all of their boutiques. I visited the little store located at 37 Brook Street, Mayfair.

Beauty Wednesday: Date Night Beauty

Whether you should find yourself single, in a relationship or just taking a look at the menu, there should always be room for the kind of dates that give you butterflies in your stomach and make you want to put on the most wonderful dress in your wardrobe. Even though I’ve been with the Clever Boyfriend for over seven years (!), every Friday evening we completely clear our schedules, get dressed up and have a weekly date night.

When you’re dabbling in a little flirtation, you want to look your best (of course); as though you’ve gone to a little effort (it’s only polite, after all), but like you didn’t really have to try very hard (because you’re just naturally that pretty and radiant). Here’s how to master date night pretty via a few of my favourite beauty tricks:

1. Perfect: Keep skin fresh and clean. I like a BB cream (I’m currently obsessed with Estee Lauder’s excellent version) or a tinted moisturiser with concealer just where it’s needed. Avoid heavy foundation (you don’t want to look like you’re wearing a mask) and too far from your own skin tone.

2. Glow: For a little extra glow, I use a subtle tan such as Institut Esthederm Self-Tanning Face Cream (applied the day before so there is no telltale smell) which means you need less makeup, and an illuminator blended invisibly around the cheekbones, brow bone, down the bridge of the nose and on the cupid’s bow (to highlight the lips). Avoid anything glittery; you want to look naturally radiant. Benefit’s High Beam or Moon Beam of Clarins Instant Light Skin Perfector give the best natural glow.

3. Colour: Add a pop of colour to your cheeks and lips for a pretty flush. Avoid obvious bronzer or lipstick and stick to tinted lipbalms (bright lipstick can seem scary to the gents) and a pink, peachy or rosy blush or cheekstain (as a guide, a shade close to the colour you naturally blush will always be flattering).

4. Eyes: Make sure your eyes are worthy of longing gazes and emphasise your lashes. Apply a wash of neautral shadow in a pale champagne or taupe to subtly draw attention to the eyes (I like Mac paint pot in Bare Study followed by shadow in Koi for contouring the socket line). Follow with a flirty flick of liquid liner (Stila’s Stay All Day felt tip marker is the easiest to apply and will literally last all night) and a coat of lengthening mascara and finish by grooming your brows to frame the face (I like Suqqu’s brow palette or Benefit’s waxy brow pencil for filling in any gaps).

5. Finish. Finish with a mist of setting face spray to keep everything flawless and budge proof (you don’t want a smudge of makeup all over his collar when you kiss goodnight, after all). I love Jurlique Rosewater Mist (which makes your face smell like rose petals) or Urban Decay’s All Nighter setting spray. Paint your nails a pretty nude colour for sweet hand holding. Squirt a favourite perfume (Marc Jacobs Daisy is always a man-pleaser) wherever you want to be kissed.

Just add a gorgeous outfit and a flirty smile and you’re ready to hit the town on the arm of your dashing date.And because I treasure you all, I’ve pulled together a date night beauty kit filled with all my favourites (pictured above) thanks to the nice people at eHarmony for one of you to win. The prize (worth £135) contains: Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume (to smell gorgeous), Benefit Bad Gal mascara (for fluttery lashes), Mac blush in a pretty petal pink (for a flirty flush), Essie pastel pink polish in Muchi Muchi (for the prettiest hand-holding manicure), Benefit Moon Beam highlighter (for a radiant glow) and Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector (for kissable lips).

To win, leave me a comment telling me why you want to win (and if you have any special dating or beauty tips I should know about). For bonus brownie points, follow A Girl, A Style on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram (@agirlastyle) or Bloglovin‘ (make sure you let me know which of these you’ve done in your comments).

Fine print: I’ll select the winner on September 10th, so please be sure to include your email address so that I can contact you to post your prize. Entry is open to UK residents.

Do you still make time for date night? I’d love to hear your favourite flirty beauty tips!

Love, Miss B xx

* Edit: This competition is now closed. Congratulations to Becky on winning!