And So She Returns…

Well hello! It’s been a while. Almost three months, in fact, since I last sat down fingers to keyboard to write up a blog post. The intention was never to take such an elongated hiatus, but taking a step back while I acclimatised to a new working week was the best thing I could’ve done – both emotionally and physically.

For eight years I worked to the beat of my own drum: my own schedule, my own priorities and my own choice work-life balance; the ability to say yes or no to opportunities that came along, rather than feeling backed into a corner or withholden to corporate tape and process. But over time, inevitably sped up by the unpredictability of a global pandemic, the freedom I so thrived upon became more and more claustrophobic – because the control I once had was completely removed and left my head in a constant spin, thanks to the lack of clarity, certainty or stability I craved.

And so I started to think it was the right time to jump back into a full time position – albeit one that offered the flexibility, autonomy and entrepreneurial spirit I knew I would flourish in. It took a while (almost a year in fact) to find the perfect role, but I finally did… And honestly, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Over the last three months I’ve had to adjust quickly to no longer having the time to nurture this blog and populate my channels as frequently as I once did, for they’ve had to take a backseat while I settled into the day job. I fully intended to take a temporary step back (juggling a new job, a part time client and an online presence is too much for anyone!) but those first few weeks snowballed into many more, and before I knew it it’d been three months.

But you know what? It’s been a blessing in disguise, to take an unintended break, for now I’ve rekindled my passion and rediscovered my love for a space that has grown and evolved over the last eleven years.

It no longer feels like a chore, to open my laptop screen of an evening or weekend or take photos of products I’ve been loving, which is honestly what it had evolved into over the last few years. When a hobby transforms into a career there are so many amazing positives, but when you put monetary pressure upon something that was previously driven only by the need to be creative the edges become more than a little fuzzy. I felt I *had* to write, I was *obliged* to take photos, and the pressure was always on to find new revenue streams.

For all the collectives and groups out there telling you to stop making money for other people and follow your dreams – I get it, I support it and I encourage it. But also, there’s no getting away from the fact it’s not a lifestyle that works for everyone and it’s not always sustainable in the long term. There’s no shame whatsoever in giving it a go for a while, and then changing your mind down the line; it’s braver, in a way, to admit when things aren’t quite working out and you’d rather have the stability of a monthly pay cheque.

I gave it eight long years, and they were wonderful. But the time was right to take a step in a different direction – for my own mental wellbeing as much as my bank account.

For the first time in a long time, I’m excited about breathing life back into this site and to create content just because I want to. No pressure to be ‘commercial’ and no accountant niggling in the background asking if this year’s profits will be up or down; just me, my laptop and an empty screen.

I’ve got a lot to say. I hope you’re ready.

Photos from one of my favourite shoots last year – in a sunflower field near my house.


Monsoon Floral Midi Dress | £99.00 | SIMILAR HERE

Kurt Geiger Pearl Sandals | £35.00 | SIMILAR HERE

The Importance Of Wearing SPF Every Day Of The Year (Plus 4 Of My Current Faves)

A decade ago wearing SPF outside of the summer holiday period would’ve been as foreign as double cleansing or the Insta-Brow; sunscreen was something saved for those few weeks a year that the UK was graced with sun (or were lucky enough to visit a beach,) when we rummaged around to find that sand-encrusted bottle that we last bought at the airport. Oh how times have changed, with many of us uncompromising when it comes to daily protection. Our understanding and attitude towards damaging rays has changed hugely in the last few years, but we’re collectively still a little bit misinformed about the negative impact the environment can have on our skin – and why we should be wearing our daily dose of sun protection.

UV rays are widely recognised as the number one cause of premature skin ageing, and they’re present every single day of the year – even if it’s grey and cloudy. Exposure to UV rays and pollution can wreak havoc on our skin, right down to its DNA; in fact it’s suggested that 80% of all signs of visible skin ageing are due to environmental aggressors, and therefore to a certain extent preventable. The rays can cause damage to our hydration levels as well as destroy collagen and elastin fibres found in the deeper layers of the skin, all of which is bad news if you want your complexion to look its best.

SPF should be a product we all use daily in order to protect against accelerated ageing and pigmentation issues, but it’s also even more vital if you’re using AHAs, Retinol or Vitamin C – all of which speed up cell turnover and thin the skin, meaning it’s easier for UV rays to penetrate the surface. It’s a part of my routine that I refuse to compromise on, adding it as the last step in my skincare even if I’m only planning to pop out to the shops, and I definitely believe it’s helped me to remain fresh faced throughout my thirties.

I have high standards when it comes to beauty, but even more so when it comes to SPF; these are the four that I currently have on rotation, but they’re also the four that I’ve used for so long that I’ve gone through multiple bottles. I’d thoroughly recommend any one of them, and know you’ll find your perfect match here to suit your needs and budget…

SunSenseUK Daily Face SPF50 (£20.99)

Made in Australia, offering the highest SPF allowable, Sunsense is suitable for all skin types (including sensitive skin.) Fragrance-free, oil-free and non comedogenic (it thankfully won’t block pores), the formula is super lightweight and enriched with Vitamin E & B3 to help improve skin texture, tone, hydration and elasticity. 
Not only does it work beautifully under makeup, but thanks to a subtle tint it helps to perk up the appearance of your skin when worn alone. This is my newest discovery, but it’s been a firm favourite for months now and a great affordable buy.

ARK Skincare Skin Protector SPF30 Primer (£36.00)

Incredibly lightweight, not at all greasy and suitable for any age, this works as a lightweight moisturiser and makeup primer too. I tend to layer this either over my usual serum and moisturiser, or if I want a lighter skincare regime just pop this on alone – either way, it helps to keep my skin protected and hydrated while ensuring my makeup lasts all day long. Containing Vitamin E for antioxidant protection, Shea Butter to nourish and protect against free radicals, and vitamin-packed Sunflower, this is one that’s worthy of the hype and award wins. In my opinion it’s the ultimate lightweight SPF, which is why I’m already on my third bottle!

IMAGE Skincare PREVENTION Daily Ultimate Protection Moisturizer SPF50 (£53.00)

With a sweet lemon-sherbert-esque scent, this oil-free moisturiser glides over skin to leave a velvety smooth finish that’s touch dry in seconds. A little really goes a long way so be careful not to squeeze too much out of the bottle, but the texture is beautiful and the hydration boost it provides is amazing; it was love at first try for me, which is why I’ve been using it for about 18 months. What’s special about this is the ‘micro-sponge technology’ that absorbs surface oils and gives skin a flawless, shine-free finish, ensuring a long-lasting makeup result and complexion that glows. Although this is expensive, it’s a worthy investment – and the bottle is huge so it lasts an absolute age.

Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF50 (£60.00)

The super lightweight tinted formula is perfect for layering, offering a quick-dry finish without any unwanted greasy residue. Not only does it protect from UVA and UVB rays, but pollution and blue light too, making it great for those in-city days when you need added resilience against the elements. A little really goes a long way, offering instant colour correction with a dose of brightening Vitamin C; this is some serious skincare and a really easy to use SPF, so it’s no surprise that I’ve gone through at least two of these already.

Any one of these would be a welcome addition to your skincare regime, and any one would offer you the protection and skin result you desire.

It’s hard to choose between them… Which is why I’ve got all four on pretty much constant rotation!

Which would you choose?