Bridal Beauty Prep #3: Picking My Perfect Scent At Jo Malone London (And Top Tips To Fragrance Your Day)

As such a fragrance fiend I knew that getting my wedding day scent just right was going to be top of my priority list as soon as the big things were ticked off. I’ve always worn different perfumes dependent upon my mood, look, the time of year and even occasion, so it was never just going to be a case of spritzing on my current favourite: it was about finding the perfect accompaniment that would always remind me of this very special day as soon as I caught an unexpected whiff. And when you want something uniquely you, timeless, elegant and beautifully crafted there’s nowhere else to turn to than Jo Malone London. It’s undoubtedly become one of those brands I adore wholeheartedly over the last five years or so, and their fragrances adorn my body more than any other – whether that’s the classic Lime, Basil & Mandarin, the limited edition Tudor Rose or the refreshing Wood Sage & Sea Salt among others. What I adore about their perfumes is that they transcend trends or ages, instead providing an aroma that can always be treasured; and that’s exactly what you want from your bridal scent of choice.

In order to pick the perfect fragrance for my wedding day I popped along to their flagship store at Sloane Square for the full bridal treatment and experience, including a glass of champagne and a hand massage to make me feel pampered and bridal. Having someone to help you make decisions, provide suggestions and recommendations is well worth taking a few hours out of your day for, as is the knowledge that you’ll leave with a scent you’ll be counting down the days to wear.

THE CONSIDERATIONS

My personal tastes are very specific and they always have been: I adore citrus, fresh and slightly masculine scents, but detest anything too sweet or floral. Although I knew the kind of scent I wanted to wear, I didn’t want to adorn something I already had – instead choosing to make new memories and keep the fragrance as something super special in my mind. During a Jo Malone London bridal consultation you’ll be asked to share as many details about your day as possible: from the style of the venue, to colour schemes and your dress design, to the time of year and the kind of atmosphere you’re looking to achieve. This helps to set the scene and provides something on which to base recommendations, and makes you think about your wedding in a whole new way. Our big day is taking place in a barn in the country on a (hopefully) warm autumn day, which helped pinpoint certain fragrances that would work beautifully with the surroundings – it’s unsurprising we ended up opting for autumnal fruits and richly warming scents.

THE BLIND TEST

Undoubtedly the best bit of the process, this is where it gets fun! After you’ve discussed your likes, dislikes and theme for the day, your fragrance expert will pick out a selection for you to smell – both alone and in combination with complementary scents. With the names removed your mind is far open than it otherwise would have been, allowing you to choose the scents that you genuinely love rather than are preconditioned to like. We tried and tested a number of different combinations to enhance the base notes of my preferred perfumes, both on a fragrance stick and on my skin, finally settling on a combination that I adored and knew would work with my vision of the day perfectly.

THE FINAL CHOICES

So what of my final choices? I settled on a combination of English Pear & Freesia and the rather iconic Blackberry & Bay – which together provide a timelessly rich, fruity and elegant scent that I simply can’t get enough of. I’ve loved English Pear & Freesia for such a long time but always talked myself out of an impulsive purchase, so my wedding day was the perfect excuse to indulge; Blackberry & Bay was one of my first Jo Malone discoveries, but it’s been such a long time since I’ve worn it that it’s also like starting anew. Together they’re exactly what I envisioned, but would never have settled on alone… So thank you Jo Malone for helping me choose the perfect fragrance combination!

Although I knew having my scent just right was important, I didn’t realise how much of a role scent could play in the overall event – both in the lead-up and on the day itself. The whole experience left me thinking about new ways to infuse my day with the fragrance of autumnal fruit, while little tips have provided the perfect excuse to coat myself in even more Jo Malone concoctions!

TOP TIPS FOR FRAGRANCING YOUR DAY
1. Wear your chosen scent to your dress fittings, subconsciously associating the fragrance with your wedding day and wearing the dress of your dreams. (It’s a great excuse for a cheeky spritz too!)
2. Pop a fragranced soap in the same scent into the bag holding your dress ahead of the main event. It will subtly infuse the scent into the dress and make you feel even more fragrant.
3. Dot a few candles (or diffusers) of your main perfume around the wedding venue, so your guests get a subtle preview of what’s to come when you walk down the aisle.
4. On the morning of your wedding, wash using the corresponding shower gel and apply a complementary body lotion, helping to layer up the scent for longevity.
5. Spritz a little of your chosen scent onto napkins, menus and orders of service (or even the bottom of table cloths so they get a waft of perfume as they get up from the table.)
6. Ask your partner to spray a little of your scent onto his tie or handkerchief, not only so he smells a little like you, but so you complement each other perfectly.
7. To keep your beautiful fragrance lasting for as long as possible, spray a little into your hair (which holds onto scent a lot longer than skin.)
8. When the big event is over, wear the scent only during special occasions and anniversaries so you can treasure the memories made and associations with your chosen fragrance.
Have you any other top tips on choosing, wearing or styling your fragrance of choice on your wedding day? Which scent did you choose to wear and why?

(Or which scent do you think you’ll opt for, even if you’re not yet planning a wedding!)

SHOP THE SCENTS

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20 Years of 7th Heaven Dead Sea Mud Mask

20 Years of 7th Heaven Dead Sea Mud Mask

One of the biggest beauty trends of late is revisiting the 90’s and enjoying the tinge of nostalgia. So maybe you skip the body glitter (at least for now), call a few of your best friends, skip to the good stuff and have an old fashioned girlie sleepover. Now I don’t know about you but one staple of every childhood sleepover of mine was 7th Heaven Dead Sea Mud mask and lots of it.

20 Years of 7th Heaven Dead Sea Mud Mask

I’m sure you are more than familiar with 7th Heaven Dead Sea Mud mask – 2017 marks 20 years of the cult beauty product and I have no doubt that there will be many more milestones to celebrate as the years go by. If you have yet to try the iconic mask for yourself, the good news is that there is no time like the present as there is more than one variant and size to try.

20 Years of 7th Heaven Dead Sea Mud Mask

As someone with oily skin I have used 7th Heaven Dead Sea Mud mask for years – since my teens, as a matter of a fact, it was one of the first face masks I ever tried! For best results, it is recommended that you put aside a little time, once a week to pamper yourself, and apply 7th Heaven Dead Sea Mud mask to your face; the 175g tube size comes in very handy for this purpose as it allows for multiple uses. For travel or a quick treat, the sachet sizes are the perfect option.

20 Years of 7th Heaven Dead Sea Mud Mask
20 Years of 7th Heaven Dead Sea Mud Mask

So why do so many -myself included – call upon 7th Heaven Dead Sea Mud mask whenever their skin requires a little extra T.L.C? Well affordability aside, the ingredients quickly and effectively calm, cleanse and aid blemish prone skin – the Kaolin Clay is renowned for deeply cleansing and purifying the complexion, and is especially great for congested skin and blocked pores. There is also lavender to calm and soothe, alongside skin softening Dead Sea Salt – think of this as an instant facial, that will have you hooked from first use.

So maybe we leave behind hair mascara and over-plucked eyebrows where they belong back in the 90’s and agree that one of the best, feel good products that have stood the test of time is 7th Heaven Dead Sea Mud mask.

20 Years of 7th Heaven Dead Sea Mud Mask

Why not celebrate with a girlie sleepover of your own?

You can find 7th Heaven’s Dead Sea Mud mask in Boots, ASDA, Wilko, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Bodycare and Boohoo (RRP £1).

Or you can find the 7th Heaven Dead Sea Mud (175g) tube in Boots, Wilkins and Ocado (RRP £5).

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with 7th Heaven.

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Why Contouring Is Still Your Secret Weapon (The ‘Trend’ May Be Over, But It’s Quick & Handy Whatever Your Age)

SPONSORED FEATURE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH DANIEL SANDLER COSMETICS

2016 was undoubtedly the year we reached ‘peak contour’ with every blogger, celebrity, makeup brand and instagrammer embracing this simple way to add light and shade to the face. We all rushed out to stock up on anything and everything that offered a way to buff pounds off our cheeks, but according to the queen of contouring Kim Kardashian, in late 2016 the trend was officially over. However, six months later she’s launched her own range of products and has proved that contouring is still very much here to stay – even if in a slightly different form to what we’ve previously been used to. If you’ve been living under a rock (or just decided that contouring isn’t for you,) then this technique is simply a way of using light and dark to create depth and shape to your face; Kim herself has used it to essentially change her face shape, slim her nose and chisel those iconic cheekbones, while there are over 800,000 video results on YouTube that help you perfect the technique. It’s big news and even bigger business.

Although it can be scary (not helped by the fact Instagram is awash with 20-somethings piling it on like its going out of fashion,) if used effectively and subtly, contouring can be a secret weapon for anyone – whether you’re 18 or 80. It can help enhance your features, slim down ones you don’t want to focus on, add definition or even take years off your complexion. The modern and fresh way to embrace contouring is with less precision, a lighter tone and the focus being on adding a sunkissed flush to skin rather than depth that makes you look like Skeletor. “The basic principal of this technique involves highlighting and creating shade. Therefore, everything you highlight ‘comes forward’ and everything you contour ‘stays in the background’. So in short, you want to highlight your good features and contour the ones you want to hide,” says pro makeup artist Daniel Sandler.

You can even use contouring to add fullness to cheeks (which can often be lost as we age,) or conceal a slightly saggy jawline that’s not as defined as it once was. Personally I use contouring most days to help my complexion look fresh, to add definition to my jawline and add fullness to my cheeks; using an angled brush helps to aid application along the cheekbones and circular motions ensure there are never any harsh lines. To help even beginners among you, Daniel has created Sculpt & Slim (£26.50), an easy-to-use pressed powder dual-purpose contour kit that helps create the illusion of defined cheekbones and a slimmer face. With two universal shades and a super soft blendable texture, it’s super easy to use and doesn’t leave you feeling uneasy about creating so much contrast.

DANIEL’S TOP TIPS FOR PERFECTING THE ART OF CONTOURING:

1. Look for matte products that are slightly darker than your skin tone – but not too dark or it will look obvious and theatrical!

2. Choose the correct professional formula that suits your way of applying. Cream textures work well for those who like using fingers, whereas those who prefer brushes should use a pressed powder formula. Remember that using a synthetic brush to apply liquids or creams will create a more sculpted, contoured finish – whereas using your fingers will provide a softer, healthier glow.

3. Sweeping sculpting powder along the jaw line creates the illusion of a slimmer face; blend the powder softly down onto the neck to avoid a tide-line. Using a small eyeshadow brush, apply the same contour powder through the eye sockets to set back over-hanging lids. Gently shade around the sides of the nose to help it look slimmer, while applying contour under cheekbones adds youthful definition and reduces the look of puffiness.

4. Contrast against the sculpting by applying a light dusting of highlighting powder above it. This adds a ‘lift’ to your features.

5. Practice makes perfect and always apply contour in even light so you can really see what you’re doing.

6. If you over-apply when using powder, simply blend away any excess by sweeping some translucent powder over the mistake. If you over-apply when using a cream formula, use your foundation brush to blend and tone down the error.

The huge trend of contouring like your life depends on it may be over, but that doesn’t mean we all can’t benefit from a little subtle light and shade to bring out our best features. The key is to create an effortless look that’s blended beautifully, rather than creating strong contrast that can easily look dated… And finding products along the way that help us do that without breaking a sweat.

Are you a fan of contouring? Will you be embracing this effective and easy way to enhance your features?

Daniel Sandler’s Sculpt & Slim is priced £26.50 and available online.

If you want to get to grips with some of the iconic and best selling products from the range, then you’re in luck – because we’re giving one lucky reader the chance to WIN a goodie bag busting with all my fave Daniel Sandler makeup treats, including: Intense Volume Pro Mascara (£18.50), Instant Tan Bronzer (£22.50), Radiant Glow Highlighter (£29.50), Sculpt and Slim Palette (£25.50) and a 4 Piece Watercolour Customisable Kit (£49.50). In total the bundle is worth £145.50! If you want to be in with a chance of winning, just enter via the widget below. You’re welcome!

SPECIAL OFFER FOR LBQ READERS: Get 15% off Daniel Sandler Cosmetics when bought from the website. Just use code LBQ15. (Once per customer; code valid until 31st December 2017

Check out the full range of Daniel Sandler cosmetics on the website: www.danielsandler.com

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This is a sponsored feature in partnership with Daniel Sandler Cosmetics; all opinions are my own.

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Reddit Helped Clear My Pores? Skincare,

Reddit How to Skin Grit

There are many things I associate with Reddit but skincare is not one; that’s not to say there isn’t forums full of great advice, it is more to do with the fact I tend to read up on unresolved mysteries over all else. Well perhaps topping the weirdest-things -list -of -Reddit -discoveries is skin gritting – a new and novel way to eradicate blackheads, that many are currently heralding as the ultimate quick fix for the problem once and for all.

To the best of my understanding, there are two methods to skin grit:

A, what I’ve affectionately dubbed as the cleanse sandwich: first you cleanse, dry skin with an oil cleanser, rinse, dry and apply a clay based mask before following up with another oil based cleanse.

B, or the AHA/BHA cleansing method: you use either a AHA or BHA cleanser, allow to dry and then double cleanse with an oil based cleanser.

What both methods have in common is: a deep cleanse, a lot of oil and skin massage – simple but apparently effective. The idea is that by doing employing such steps, you bring any trapped dirt, grime and sebum, to the surface of the skin via the mask or cleanser, and by combining the emollient quality of the oil you will loosen and free such trapped “grit”.

Now I know you are have two questions: did I try skin gritting out for myself and was it effective? You can bet your Reddit-browsing-ass that I gave it a whirl; I decided to try the more traditional approach of using the mask and oil combination in the hope of removing any blackheads on my face. I’d love to tell you it was a hugely successful operation but the truth is not much happened (not a single “grit” in sight) other than my skin was treated to a papering evening of cleansers and general tender, loving, care.

Admittedly just about every article – including the original Reddit thread – states that you do have to apply the second oil cleanse with a certain amount of vigour, but -and this is a huge but (a lot like my own) – from fear of bursting callipharies, I was reserved in terms of pressure. I did work against the grain of my skin but may not have been as firm as I needed, to properly benefit from the technique. I also should mention I do go for regular facials and double cleanse every single evening, so perhaps I’m not the best candidate on that aspect alone.

All things considered I can’t say I’m mad at the technique; my skin was left feeling softer and had a peachy, plump appearance and glowed – much like after a pricey skin treatment. I’m guessing the thorough massage is to credit here? If you decide to try either method of skin gritting out for yourself, please ensure your skin is not easily sensitised; and please for the love of all things good, do not overly exert your complexion; broken calipharies are no joke and will require pricey laser treatment.

The things we do in the quest for better skin huh?
I do apologise that my photo has been created to suit this article, I promise I have “gritted” on more than one occasion with no avail, and a photo that does not make.

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