Weekly Window Shop: Fabulous Summer Maxi Dresses

best summer maxi dresses

Another week, another online shopping obsession – this one sparked off by Miss Selfridge‘s Instagram page and a rather lovely dress they posted up. It got me feeling very impatient for the summer and then anxious that we might not get a proper summer (it happens) and then worried that I’d be stuck with loads of inappropriate, unwearable maxi dresses.

But let’s think positively and do some planning ahead; here are some of the prettiest, most flattering maxis for easy summer dressing. Just add oversized sunglasses and a pair of sandals – or, for springtime, cardi and Converse.

hush mandalay maxi dress

My favourite dress? The Mandalay maxi from Hush. I have a fair few of Hush’s floor-skimming numbers and they have been, without fail, my summer staples whether here in the UK or somewhere more exotic. This one, with its pristine white cotton, is so romantic and can be worn with or without straps. £65 here.best maxi dressesThen the Emelle dress from Ba&sh, a brand whose name pronunciation completely eludes me. Is it “bash”? Is it “bee-ay-and-ess-haitch”, or, indeed, as it’s French, “bu-a-ay-ess-ash”? Crikey. This dress needs to be seen on to be truly appreciated, so see pics here – I don’t like people appearing in my perfect product images! This has an open back (tres sexual!) and a bit of a seventies vibe. Find it on ASOS here, it’s £135.

best maxi dresses

The dress that launched a thousand online shopping hours, even though it’s a midi and not a maxi-dress (it looked like one in their Instagram picture, I thought): the Lace Cami Sundress from Miss Selfridge. £39. What an absolute steal. Stick this on with some flat nude or tan sandals and you’re pretty much done. You can find it here.

saloni iris dress

The Iris georgette dress from Saloni is a lesson in successful colour-blocking; no hard, geometric lines here, it’s all-flowing and a flattering way to wear contrasting tones. It does help that coral and taupe are two of my favourite shades (you’d only have to take a look into my lipstick and nail polish collections to see that) but the cut of this dress is just perfect. It’s £197 (was £395) here.

castaway dress french connection

Another romantic lace one – just make sure you wear a bra! Ha. You’d be scaring the locals in this if you forgot your undies.. The Castaway dress from French Connection has something of a vintage feel, the detailing is incredibly pretty. It’s a shame that it’s not cotton (lining is, outer is viscose) but I’d say it would still keep you nice and cool on a hot day. Find it here – it’s £130.

More Weekly Window Shops… 

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April Favourites

april favourites

There are perhaps a couple of familiar things in this month’s favourites video; the l’Oreal Revitalift SPF25 is a new discovery and the review very recent, so probably still fresh in your minds, and the Hylamide Glow, a liquid face serum that imparts the most gradual of gradual tans, was a firm favourite at the end of summer last year. I posted about it here, but it has made a spectacular return to my everyday beauty arsenal.

Toleriane Fluid from La Roche-Posay is another skincare staple that has returned to the fold – so light and fluid but intensely hydrating, it’s perfect for troublesome oily-and-dehydrated skin.  (You can find it online here.) Sticking to the lightweight theme, Murad’s almost entirely weightless Invisiblur Perfecting Shield is a broad spectrum sun protection that leaves  a sort of perfecting veil over the skin. It does have some of the dry, velvety-touch finish of a silicone-heavy primer, but not enough to set your teeth on edge.

Watch the video for the rest of this month’s favourites, including a mirror that can see into your soul (kind of) and the best nursing bra for breastfeeding women. I realise how niche that is, but I have bought four of these now and they are brilliant. Off you go, viewing goggles on…

Boden Sweater: http://bit.ly/1r4oKsP
Heidi Klum Nursing Bra, bought from:  http://bit.ly/1NFsqWw
SimpleHuman Mirror, bought from: http://amzn.to/214iJZw
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Fluid: http://tidd.ly/21fb7ad7
YSL Rouge Volupté Oil-in-Stick Shade 44: http://tidd.ly/dbf872
Hylamide Glow: http://tidd.ly/a35ffcfc
Murad Invisiblur SPF30: http://tidd.ly/cf8bc812
L’Oreal Revitalift Laser x3 SPF25: http://amzn.to/214izkV
Dale Pinnock Medicinal Chef, bought from: http://amzn.to/214iEow

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My Eucerin Skin Consultation | AD

eucerin skincare evaluation

Something you might not know about me, unless you’re a) my cousin Anna or b) Mr AMR: I love answering questions and filling out forms. Not tax ones, or those hospital ones you get before an operation and have to specify which organs you’d donate if you copped it, but just about all other forms. Online quizzes (“are you a control freak when it comes to raising your dog?”), passport renewals, dentist registrations (no heart conditions, no asthma, some diabetes in the immediate family); I get quite a thrill from spending five minutes writing things in blue or black ink and neat block capitals. Give me an in-room-breakfast ordering slip at a hotel and my heart rate just about doubles – all of those tick boxes! The options! I fill it in even if I have every intention of breakfasting in the communal dining space.

So it was with genuine glee that I accepted an invitation to have my skin analysed by the experts at Eucerin – they promised to ask me many questions (in reality there weren’t too many, the analysis – thankfully – concentrated more on professional assessment and scientific readings) and then put all of my results into a huge database so that I could compare my skin to other people in my age group. And if there’s one thing I love more than forms, it’s getting quietly competitive about my skin and how it compares to other people in my age group. I shouldn’t admit to that, but it’s true – come on, who doesn’t want to be told that they measure up well, or look younger than their true age, or that they have far less sagging or dark spots or creasing than they should have?

Of course there’s always the risk that things could slide the other way, and you leave weeping and promising yourself that you’ll wear sunglasses for the rest of your waking hours, baste yourself continuously in SPF50 and never smile again, but thankfully things went well and after having weird UV photos taken, getting my skin’s moisture and sebum levels analysed and undergoing a full inspection of my eye wrinkles and cheek pigmentation, I was given a verdict of “very good”. I had wanted a sort of “post-pregnancy” skin appraisal and had been expecting my face to be very dry and sensitive, but as it turned out, I had been doing pretty well keeping things moisturised and on an even keel.

So my skincare prescription that followed was more of a maintenance programme than anything drastically different, but that didn’t stop me, you’ll be pleased to know, asking about each and every Eucerin product that had been neatly displayed in the consultation room. I’ve used a few different products from the brand before, but didn’t realise quite how many skin concerns were catered for. Atopic dermatitis, hypersensitivity, acne, redness, uncomfortable dryness; there are specific, clinically-proven products for almost anything you can think of, all of them highly tolerable even for the most sensitive skin. Eucerin is a dermatologically-recommended brand who have been pioneering medical skin science and innovation for over a hundred years, so this shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but I hadn’t before grasped quite how targeted each range was.

eucerin hyaluron-filler concentrate

As I ploughed through the table of goods (probably being incredibly annoying because I kept leaving the lids off everything and putting bottles and tubes back in the wrong places) I found loads of very interesting products, including an AntiREDNESS Concealing Day Cream with greenish tint for neutralising the redness caused by rosacea; a soothing itch cream for use on irritated, even atopic, skin (AtoControl, it’s here online) and handy little mini-bottles of highly concentrated hydrating serum, Hyaluron-Filler, for plumping out wrinkles and making everything look that bit more youthful.

I’ve been using the Hyaluron-Filler Concentrate before my usual moisturisers and night creams and it is seriously hydrating. I’m always on the lookout for brilliant products with hyaluronic acid and this one is lovely – silky to apply, quick to absorb and completely non-sticky. Used before a BB cream or foundation it gives an amazing, fresh dewiness to the skin and it really boosts the effects of my face creams. I also like that the teeny bottles are travel-friendly. (It’s £31 for six at Boots here.)

eucerin eye creams aquaporin and hyaluron-filler

I was already using the eye cream from the same range (Hyaluron-Filler Eye Cream) and impressed with its moisturising prowess, but I learnt that it has a broad spectrum SPF15 too, which is a great bonus – many eye creams with SPF sting my eyes, but this one doesn’t. I would never have known that it even had an SPF if I hadn’t been told! And new discovery; the AQUAporin eye cream which is as fresh and light as the other is rich and creamy – brilliant for the summer months, especially as it has a cooling metal applicator.

eucerin sun protection

There’s a very comprehensive range of sun protection, all of it suitable for sensitive skin but with specialist products aimed at either blemish-prone or very dry skin. I like the lightweight, mattifying SPF50 Sun Fluid a lot; water-resistant, photo-stable, broad spectrum and with a formula that manages to be quite hydrating despite the non-greasy finish. I’ll be adding this straight to my “top lightweight SPFs” collection.

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Glamorous Weekday Makeup Testing: What, This Old Thing?

ruth crilly a model recommends

Oh, I did have a chortle to myself when I answered the door to a delivery man last week wearing a pencil skirt, sexy blouse, rollers in my hair and the makeup look above. Considering he’s used to seeing me in my pyjamas, it must have been quite a shock. He didn’t speak, except to ask me to sign for my parcel, but his expression was priceless. I felt like leaning against the door frame in my get-up and saying “what, this old thing? Just something I threw on…”

I had been having a morning of makeup experimentation, as I am wont to do if Mr AMR is off doing errands with the baby. It’s good to have a proper play with new things – I’m not sure you really get a feel for products if you just swatch them on the back of your hands or give them a cursory swipe over lips, eyelids, whatever… I try to use new makeup items as part of a look that I know I’ll photograph or put on video, so that the pressure is really on; if the texture of a lipstick is terrible or a bronzer is shockingly glittery or a mascara crumbles off after an hour then it simply doesn’t make the cut. I take it all off and start again.

ruth crilly model eye

Luckily this look did make it onto film and I’ll be doing a more refined version of it this week (eyebrows groomed, mascara more carefully applied) when I have a spare moment. I used the gorgeous YSL Touche Éclat Le Teint foundation in B20 as a base (I think I may try going a smidgen darker as I’ve been using my Hylamide Glow recently and I’m rather sunkissed) and then a bit of Max Factor Creme Puff Blush underneath my cheekbones. On my eyes, the wondrous Eyes To Kill shadow from Armani, shade 5 (more on this later on in the week, I’m having a very steamy love affair with it after a three year hiatus) and L’Oreal Paris False Lash Sculpt mascara. The liner was a chocolate brown one, I think it may have been Charlotte Tilbury but I have quite a few on the go…

ruth crilly a model recommends

Lips? Again, a separate post coming up, but this is the new Dior Addict Ultra Gloss Sensational Mirror Shine Hydra-Plumping Volume. Catchy. Actually, I’m not sure whether all of that is the product name, but regardless, this is one serious lip gloss. One coat and you get the “mirror shine”; two and you have the kind of glaze that would withstand armageddon. If you can’t wait for my review then you can find Ultra Gloss online here – I’m wearing “Nova”.

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The Brilliant Body Discovery Box.

Another box from Naturisimo, you know how much I love these. Being able to see the contents fully before you buy is a big win for me, and not having to actually subscribe, so you can choose a box as and when you please is another. This month Naturisimo have released their Brilliant Body Discovery Box, just in time for the warmer weather and holiday season. The box costs £12.95 but is worth £37 and features 9 items. They are:

The Hydrea London Exfoliating Bamboo Mitt – This soft mitt costs £7.50 and is made with eco-friendly bamboo. It’s gentle but still extremely efficient and can be used on both face and body.

Dr Bronners Rose Soap Bar – Who doesn’t love Dr. Bronners? This smaller sized soap bar is perfect for travel, or just cleaning your makeup brushes. If you haven’t experienced a Dr. Bronners clean makeup brush, you’re missing out.

Lola’s Apothecary Sweet Lullaby Bath & Shower Oil – My first time trying this brand, finally! This oil is beyond lush and smells divine. I love the little touch of some real lavender in there too.

Green & Spring Relaxing Bath & Shower Foam – This pairs with the Lola’s Apothecary oil incredibly well, they have similar lavender scents and I can’t wait to use them together in a bath for the ultimate lavender relax sesh.

This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle – Another product I’ve wanted to try for quite some time without having to splurge on the pricey full size. This tinted lotion gives a little colour to legs and helps even the skin tone (great for hiding any bruises apparently) for summer ready pins.

Pai Comfrey & Calendula Calming Body Cream – This huge sachet contains a generous amount of product, at least two uses I would say. Perfect for travel and especially good for emergency sunburn situations.

Inlight Food & Leg Balm – 100% Organic and extremely luxurious, this balm will turn even the ugliest of duckling feet into swans ready for sandals.

Jurlique Rose Hand Cream – One of Jurlique’s best selling products, this light cream sinks in quickly without any residue but leaves hands feeling quenched and soft.

Balance Me Rose Otto Body Cream – And finally, this rose scented cream is rich and hydrating, perfect for dry patches and keeping skin soft and smooth after sun, sea and sand.

All in all a great box for trying lots of new products before deciding on full sizes. I especially love the mitt, bath oil and soap and am really pleased I get to try the This Works product! What do you think of the contents? Would you rather have just 2-3 full sizes or lots of minis in a beauty box?

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