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 season and stop by your local farmer’s market for a bounty of local autumn produce. I love stopping for a hot chocolate and s’mores, 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

Summertime Pursuits

Here in England, we have been blessed with the longest, warmest summer I can recall since I moved here. The sun has been shining solidly for a month, the days are long and hot and the balmy evenings are made for languid, outdoor lazing in parks or by the water. Many of my happiest memories have been made in golden summer moments, so I plan to make the most of every sunny day for the season. Here are a few of the ways I’ll be spending the summertime:

1. Take a trip to the seaside. Growing up in Australia, most mornings started with a swim in the sea or a weekend at the beach, so to me, it just wouldn’t be summertime without a few seaside adventures. If you don’t live near the coast (as I don’t in Cambridge), then make a road trip out of it and take a weekend trip to the seaside for sunshine, sand and ice cream.

2. Throw a garden party or picnic. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden of your own, then gather all your friends and throw a summer garden party. Otherwise, pack a basket of snacks, a bottle of champagne and some fun activities and head to the park for a fabulous picnic. Bonus points for a round of croquet or bocce on the lawn.

3. Master a signature summer cocktail. You don’t have to be an expert mixologist, but everyone should be able to serve up at least one signature cocktail. Master a drink or two that you love (mine is a rosewater and lychee or pear and elderflower martini) and have your friends around for a summer cocktail party.

4. Wear bright lipstick. Summer is the perfect time to have a little fun with your makeup. Move on from Spring’s pastels and try bright colours you wouldn’t normally wear. I’ve been playing with bright pink lips or cobalt mascara paired with dewy sunkissed skin, messy buns and my favourite summery perfumes.

5. Go on a boating adventure. When the sun is shining, there is nowhere more pleasurable to be than on the water. If you don’t count someone who has a yacht among your friends (and if you do, lucky you!), then hire a rowboat or a punt, take surfing lessons or go wild swimming in a lake for an adventure on the water. If all else fails, then don your favourite swimsuit and your biggest shades and spend the whole day at the best pool you can find. I’ll be punting in Cambridge, rowing on Regent Park lake or having a pool party in Cambridge.

6. Have fun outdoors. I figure that when the temperatures are soaring, exercise might as well be fun. Learn to salsa dance, play tennis, take up surfing or go for a hike. I’ll be taking my Pashley out for long bike rides around Cambridge.

7. Watch jazz or theatre in the park. In summer, I’ll take any excuse to be outside on balmy evenings, so I include my cultural outings in this. Most cities have a wonderful programme of outdoor cinema, jazz, theatre, performances or festivals in green spaces. I’ll be going to the rooftop cinema at The Varsity by the river in Cambridge, jazz on the lawns at countryside estates with my family and watching Shakespeare in the gardens.

8. Pick your own strawberries. To me, one of the best things about summer is the abundance of delicious fresh fruit and produce (I’ve been practically living on a diet of cherries and nectarines the past few weeks). Head to a pick-your-own farm and fill a basket with sun-ripened berries or cherries and eat them just as they are or turn them into homemade jams and tarts.

9. Go to the zoo. Spend a day doing the things you used to love doing as a child. Go to the zoo, the aquarium or the funfair. Buy an ice cream, go on the rides and smile at the animal enclosures. I’ll be going to the Friday night lates at the London Zoo for monitors and monkeys.

10. Eat lobster + champagne. Head to the coast or marketplace near you for the freshest summer seafood, then throw a simple yet luxe lobster and champagne dinner party. Perfect!

Now, if anyone needs me, I’ll be having a picnic in the garden…!

What are some of your favourite activities to do at this time of year? I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer so far!

Love, Miss B xx


Springtime Pursuits

Here in England, it feels as though spring is only just bursting forth from the drabness of the last days of winter. Yet in truth, there is less than a month until summer begins, and I’m determined to squeeze in all my favourite spring activities before the new season begins. This is my favourite time of year; all fragrant blossom-lined streets, long days and golden sunsets, spring cleaning and fresh new beginnings. Here are a few of my favourite spring pursuits (or how I will be spending the next few weeks before embracing the glory of summertime):

1. Be a flower girl. More than anything, I love springtime for the beauty of nature’s grand explosion of flora. The first fragrant narcissus and jonquils, pretty puffs of cherry pink blossoms on the trees, carpets of sweet bluebells on woodland walks, streets lined with heady lilac trees, and the English gardens coming alive with the sweetest-smelling blooms of every colour. I’m going for sunset walk to see all the prettiest flowers in the neighbourhood, picking handfuls of wild daisies, buying myself (or someone I love) a bunch of the most blousy pink peonies I can find just because, fill my house with flowers and stop to smell the roses, always.

2. Love where I live. I can’t think of a single place that isn’t improved by the beauty of late spring, and there are few better times of year to fall into a deep love affair with your city. I’m vowing to explore new neighbourhoods where I live, try a new place for brunch, try to find the best coffee (or eggs florentine, martinis, ice cream, live jazz…) in town, take long walks past all the prettiest places, take photos of my favourite sights in all their spring glory and play tourist for a weekend (and when in doubt, pretending I’m playing out the opening scenes of a Woody Allen film).

3. Freshen my look. In my book, it’s entirely acceptable to float through spring in a wardrobe of white dresses, tanned skin and pastel hues. I’m packing away the coats and cashmere for the season, swapping my burgundy lipstick and dark manicures for a dewy glow and pink cheeks, adding a pop of colour and pretending I’m the girl in a Coppola perfume commercial.

4. Spring cleaning. Whether you approach the act of spring cleaning with satisfaction or disdain, there is no denying the pleasure of a freshly-spruced home that sparkles from top to bottom. I’m throwing open the windows, putting on my favourite tunes and spending a day cleaning, scrubbing, dusting and polishing everything in sight. I’m sorting through my wardrobe, bathroom cabinets, and cupboards and culling anything that isn’t loved. There’s is something so liberating about getting rid of anything that makes you feel drab.

5. Primp my place. After all that sprucing and de-cluttering, I’m taking the time to add a few things that make me smile; a beautiful new lamp, some crisp new linen, a few new Diptyque candles, some statement pieces and finally hanging some pictures on the wall.

6. Go outside. When the weather is this perfect, it feels a terrible shame to waste a moment of it indoors (especially in England, when you never know when the blue skies might suddenly turn drab). I’m meeting friends for al fresco picnics in the park for dinner with a side of sunshine, going for bike rides down country lanes, heading to rooftop bars in town for after-work cocktails with a view, and taking a rowboat out on the lake (you’ll find me rowing on the Serpentine).

7. Spread a little sparkle. Everyone seems to be a little bit friendlier when the sun is shining. Amplify the happy feelings of spring by trying to do one good deed everyday for no reason other than to make someone else’s day a little brighter. Smile at strangers you pass on the street (because happiness is infectious), send a ‘just because’ package to a friend that you know will make them smile, volunteer for a good cause, pay a compliment to someone, and practise random acts of kindness often.

8. Try something new. What is something you’ve always wanted to try, but have never quite got around to doing? Why not revisit your ‘bucket list’ or New Year resolutions to master one skill or another and tick at least one thing off. Enrol in a language class, try a completely new cuisine, ride in a hot air balloon, learn to dance the meringue, go to a polo match, learn to bake macarons.

9. Watch the clouds float by. Luxurious lazing, or taking time to dream, is highly underrated. On a glorious spring day, I just want to lay under a canopy of trees on a sunny day and soak in the loveliness of spring. Because sometimes the best plans are no plans at all.

10. Have an adventure. Where do you want to go this weekend? Gather up your friends and take a fabulously weekend trip somewhere. Plan a scenic route, compile a playlist, pack some snacks, put down the sunroof and just drive off into the sunset (bonus points for ‘glamping’ under the stars at your destination). The only rules: a sense of fun and adventure! I’m heading to Brighton for fun fair rides, striped deckchairs and ice cream beside the seaside.

Now, if anyone needs me, I’ll be punting on the River Cam

What are your favourite things to do at this time of year? I’d love to hear!

Love, Miss B xx


Wintery Pursuits

This week, the first snow has fallen, Cambridge is resting beneath a powdery blanket of snow, and I am officially in wintery mode.

I always think there is something so magical about this time of year; the peacefulness of the English countryside frosted in white, the sound of the Cambridge college chapel bells ringing out against the lamplit cobbled streets, bundling up against the chill in snuggly layers, and the excuse to spent cold, dark evenings hibernating indoors in style. These are a few of my favourite ways to spend the season:

1. Indulging in all the most wonderful festive traditions. Deck the halls (or at least your own living room), go ice skating at an outdoor rink, listen to carollers singing outdoor, drink mulled wine, bake gingerbread, and snuggle indoors with hot chocolate and the most wonderfully cheesy holiday movies you can find.

2. Spending chilly evenings at a wonderfully grand old theatre or concert hall. Each year since moving to England, I look forward to the English National Ballet performing The Nutcracker (my very favourite ballet) at the London Coliseum, and this year is no different. My favourite Christmas tradition (I feel like an excited small child being read the most wonderful bed time fairy tale as I watch the ballerinas leap and twirl around the stage).

3. Play in the snow. If the snow falls where you live, make the most of it; build a snowman, have a snowball fight, take pictures of your favourite spots beneath a fluffy white blanket and wear your sparkliest jewels and snuggliest layers (but don’t forget the sensible footwear!).

4. Spend an entire weekend blissfully hibernating. When the weather is too cold and grizzly to fathom venturing outdoors, practice the art of blissful hibernation instead. Light your favourite scented candles, put on your favourite tunes, take a bubble bath, drink champagne and watch back-to-back Audrey Hepburn movies.

5. Throw a fantabulous soiree. Host a small but darling dinner party (complete with whimsical party favours), a movie marathon (with a popcorn bar), a board game night (with retro snacks and scrabble boards) or an afternoon tea party for your girlfriends.

6. Try a new recipe. I love putting my stove to good use on cold evenings (all part of the blissful hibernation) and have been baking homemade bread, pears poached in red wine and goats cheese tartlets. Delicious smells make a house feel like a home!

7. Indulge in decadent small pleasures. In winter, when hidden beneath thick, wooly layers, the temptation can be to hop out of bed and into the nearest warm clothes. But in my book, there is something so luxurious about slathering on a layer of decadent body lotion and slipping into the most gorgeous, silky lingerie I own (it’s all the more special because only I know it’s there).

8. Upgrade everyday essentials. As with the above, there is something wonderful about your everyday essentials having a touch of the fabulous about them. I’m gradually replacing all my tights, tshirts, sweaters, nightwear and other ‘ordinary’ wardrobe essentials with beautifully silky versions that feel a little more indulgent (hello, cashmere socks on icy days!).

9. Send a flurry of snail mail to friends near and far. Who doesn’t love getting post that isn’t a bill? Make your dear friends around the world smile with some delightful post in the mailbox. Hand-write a letter, make a list of all the things you love about them, spray it with your favourite perfume, pop in a few things you know they will adore and pop it in the post.

10. Do one thing in your own city you’ve always meant to try. It might be a wonderful museum you’ve always meant to visit, or a restaurant you’ve longed to try, or a neighbourhood you’ve never visited. Last weekend, I was lucky enough to go to the annual Carols from Kings service with the Clever Boyfriend (who is now a fellow at Kings College) – a beloved Cambridge tradition that I would watch on the BBC every year on Christmas Day with my family – and it was even more magical and moving in person and reminded me to always play tourist in your own city.

And with that, I’m off to put on my Ratpack Christmas album!

What are some of your favourite wintery adventures? I’d love to hear!

Love, Miss B xx

P.S. Just a reminder that you can now find me on Pinterest (I even have a board dedicated to my favourite wintery pursuits).