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 Make a Sick Day Better

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As a bona-fide Type A personality, I struggle with the notion of being forced out of action by something as mundane as being sick. But it happens to us all, and sometimes, you just have to admit defeat and call in sick to the world for a day. Here’s my guide to making it as good as can be (NB: none of this is ground-breaking advice, but we can probably all do with a little reminder to slow down when we need to):

1. Ditch the guilt + woe. If you’re anything like me, sick days will inevitably induce feelings of guilt (“but I don’t have time to be sick! There is so much to do!” etc. etc.) or self-pity. Getting sick is your body’s way of telling you to slow down, so listen and do as it says. Guilt-free. (No one will congratulate you for forcing yourself to work when you’re an incubus of germs anyway)

2. Take care of yourself. Your body will be devoting all of its energy to getting better. Help it along by wrapping up warm, taking the medicine/remedies you need and getting plenty of fluids and healthy nutrients. Tea, soup and orange juice were invented for days like this!

3. Get cosy. You’re not leaving the house all day (really, no one else wants your germs), so get comfortable! Fluff the pillows, change into your favourite pyjamas, and fix yourself a tray of healthy snacks, tissues, medicine and supplies so you don’t have to move more than you want to.

4. Rest. You’re home for a reason, so give your body what it needs and spend the day doing as little as possible. Go straight back to bed after breakfast, have a nap every few hours or just rest as long as you need (no guilt allowed).

5. Indulge in a little escapism. There is no point even attempting anything energetic, so spend the day as peacefully as possible. When I’m feeling horrid, I like to escape with a happiness-inducing book, some light-hearted TV or an old-favourite movie (avoid anything too intense or cerebral, or you’ll just fall asleep anyway).

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Pictured: (Top) John Lewis bed // Marks & Spencer lamp // White Company bedding // Diptyque candle // Aerin fragrance // (Bottom) Warby Parker ‘Huxley’ glasses // Anthropologie monogrammed mug (a gift from Nicolette). 

6. Pamper. You’ll probably feel dehydrated, achey and flat, so a little nurturing won’t hurt. I try to take a long bubble bath (the heat eases aches and pains and the steam will help clear your sinuses), slather on a face oil before climbing back into bed (to combat parched, dull skin), and a healing balm to soothe dry lips and nostrils. A spritz of face mist during the day and a few drops of relaxing lavender oil on an oil burner also work wonders.

7. Tidy up a little. No matter how sick you are, wallowing will only make you feel worse. Open the window and spend five minutes collecting all the tissues, straightening your room and washing a few dishes. The outer order will improve your mood, if nothing else.

8. Indulge in small pleasures. Don’t waste your precious energy on anything elaborate, but now is the time to indulge in a few of your favourite small pleasures to cheer you up. I like to light a few candles (even if I can’t smell a thing, it lifts the mood of the room – just don’t fall asleep with them lit!), have a piece of dark chocolate and make a pot of my favourite Laduree tea. Such pleasures certainly won’t cure any ailments, but they will make you feel a little rosier.

9. Do one small task. even though I only take sick days when I’m so unwell I’m physically incapable of leaving the house, I struggle with productivity-guilt if I do nothing with my day. I find it helps if I do at least one tiny task. Now is not the time to do anything requiring sharp focus or decisiveness. Tidy a junk drawer, file a stack of paperwork or clean out your medicine cabinet.

10. Go back to bed! Just when you’ve spent the day resting, go back to bed and sleep some more. Hopefully, you’ll wake up feeling like yourself again (and if not: rinse and repeat tomorrow!).

How do you try to make the most of a sick day?

Love, Miss B xx

Pictures via my Instagram (because who whips out a DSLR when they’re sick?!)

Home Sweet Home

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Today marks a very major milestone for me: the Clever Boyfriend and I just bought our very first house!

Well, ‘house‘ is probably a polite exaggeration. Really, it is a teeny tiny apartment (which by Cambridge standards probably equates to a sprawling estate in other, less spatially-challenged cities), but it is right in the city, on the top floor, filled with light, minutes from the station (so I can be in central London within the hour), and even has a little balcony (roughly the size of a postage stamp) for planting herbs and having morning papers and brunch outside on weekends.

But, most importantly, it is all ours!

As a compulsive over-sharer, it has taken all my restraint to keep this quiet until now. But conscious of how drawn-out and boring these things can be, and for fear of things falling through at the last minute, I didn’t want to share the news until we’d signed that big stack of paperwork (so.much.paperwork).

We complete and collect the keys next week, and then have less than a week to move, set up, and gather an entire house worth of furniture, fittings and accessories before we leave our current place (all while holding down our day jobs). The timeline and ‘to do’ list gives a mild control freak like me palpitations (eg. I don’t even know where to start with setting up a wardrobe system to fit the space…), but I am so excited to get stuck in and to turn that blank, empty canvas into a cosy little space that feels like our very own home.

I hope you won’t all mind me adding a new interiors section to the blog (to share the stages as I go, as well as new treasures I discover and love), but please do let me know if you have any comments, questions, suggestions for wonderful places to buy treasures for the home, or first-house-buying wisdom of your own!

Love, Miss B xx

 

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!