Monday, September 19, 2016

Upcoming Tropical City Holiday Capsule Wardrobe - By The Pool

This upcoming holiday we are planning to spend plenty of time at the pool, just chilling out. And with a pool like this at out hotel (Marina Bay Sands) you would have to be crazy to not want to spend a heck of a lot of time here!  The kids seem to alternate between being ridiculously excited, and a little bit scared; it is on the 57th floor after all!

I'm definitely excited, not scared, regarding the pool, but at the same time, wearing swimwear out in public always makes me feel incredibly self conscious. Planning out what I am going to wear always seems to help somewhat. Obviously, I have control issues!!  I'm not sitting on a mega yacht on the Med (I wish!), so super glam is not necessary, but a little bit of glam never goes astray.

By The Pool

For any beach or pool outing, I think the following seven items are your must haves.

  1. Swimsuit. Obviously the most important item! And finding one is never easy, especially since we are usually looking in the dead of winter with pasty skin, and perhaps a few extra kilos. I usually only take one swimsuit on a holiday, but since I plan to spend at least some of everyday at the pool, this time I am taking two. And, I struck gold with these two! The black and white one piece is from Lands End, and their claims of it shaping and enhancing really are true! This is a very flattering swimsuit, and the neckline and white trim make for a sleek but glam look. The second piece is from Myer, and the leopard print and cut is real old-school glam. It's also flattering, as well as being very comfortable.
  2. Sunscreen. The second most important item! If you want to look younger, then the very simple, inexpensive, non-invasive way is to slather on the sunscreen. I love the Anthelios range by La Roche Posay, and this Cooling Water Lotion one feels so light and fresh on the skin. Remember to reapply at least every 80 minutes, but also as soon as you dry off with a towel.
  3. Coverup. When staying at a hotel, you usually have to walk at least part of the way, in public, in your swimsuit, and while I'm actually by the pool I don't feel strange, I certainly do if I happen to be in a lift or a corridor, only in a pair of bathers! Yes, you can fall back on the hotel bathrobes, but I prefer to pack a light coverup. This is also a great solution for when you decide to grab a bite to eat at the poolside restaurant. I am packing a sheer black skirt coverup as it looks great, packs down to nothing and is so easy to slip on and off. I can't tell you where I bought mine, as it is at least 5 years old and the label has worn off, but the Jets one I've linked to in the collage looks like a great option. 
  4. Hat. An absolute necessity! Not only is a hat a stylish accessory, it is invaluable in helping protect your skin from aging and skin cancer. It amazes me when women I know spend literally thousands of dollars on their skin, and then go out in the sun without proper protection. Crazy, I tell you!!
  5. Sunnies. Again, style and protection in one. I prefer polarized lenses, but any good, UV rated pair will do their job. I love aviator styles for summer holidays, and my rose gold pair are just perfect against (faux) bronze skin.
  6. Flip Flops. We call them thongs here in Oz, but just to clarify, I mean the things that go on your feet!! Again, you could just wear the hotel slippers, but I'm telling you that you'll feel a whole lot more stylish in a simple pair of (nice, not grody) rubber flip flops.
  7. Tote Bag. Probably not a necessity, but makes your life so much easier. I received this straw tote in the summer limited edition POPSUGAR MustHave Box, and it is awesome! The leather handles really up the style stakes, and it is so nice and roomy, so you can fit all of your bits and pieces, like room key cards, sunscreen, and a great poolside read as well as your sunnies and coverup when you are in the water.
 I would love to know what you think I should take to sit by the pool!

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Upcoming Tropical City Holiday Capsule Wardrobe - On the Plane

In a few weeks, the family and I are off to a fabulous vacation in Singapore, and I Can. Not. Wait! While it hasn't really been that long since our last trip, we are all feeling like we really need a getaway at the moment, so it couldn't have come at a better time. But, as regular readers will know, half the fun of a trip for me is in the planning and packing stage, so as usual, I have been planning my holiday capsule wardrobe.

Singapore is always a funny one for me, packing wise; while it is a tropical location, it is a very cosmopolitan city, so I need my wardrobe to be suitable for the sticky and humid days, but not look as if I have just come from the beach. As such, I've planned my wardrobe around cooling natural fibres, but in shapes and pieces that won't feel out of place in a bustling and vibrant city.

As with any capsule wardrobe, the first place I start is with my colour palette. Be guided by what you normally wear at home - a holiday is not really the time to be busting out a full suitcase of bright tropical prints if all you ever wear is black - even if you look spectacular, I guarantee that you won't feel that way. In my case, my regular closet has pretty much evolved into a minimalist palette of black, camel/natural/beige, blush pink, navy and white. For this trip, I honed it down even further to just three neutrals: natural/beige, and white.

On the plane, my ethos is stylish comfort. Obviously, sitting in a cramped spot for hours is never going to be a barrel of laughs, so choosing clothes that are breathable, stretchable, and just down right comfortable becomes a necessity, not a luxury. However, and this is a big however, that doesn't mean you need to sacrifice some style. Think about all the celebrity pap shots you see at airports.

Granted, they have all just alighted from a spacious and luxurious first class cabin, but if you break down their outfits, they invariably follow the same outfit formula.

  1. Comfortable jeans or pants. This is where you need to consider your style of pants. I have a great pair of Blue Illusion Bengajeans that I would happily wear on a long haul flight, but a regular pair of skinny jeans, no way! For this trip, I am not planning to take any jeans (too hot!) so I am wearing my Eileen Fisher wide legged cropped washable crepe trousers. Made out of a stretch knit fabric, they are incredibly comfortable, but will get great use on the trip as well because they transition from casual to dressy with easy. Black leggings also make a great choice, IF, like Chrissy Teigan above, you wear a longer top - no one wants to see your butt hanging out!
  2. A relaxed and/or stretchy top. Again, anything with some stretch and some breathability is going to make your flight more comfortable, and leave you looking presentable at the other end. Obviously, stay away from anything that is going to crush or wrinkle! Personally, I like to keep this piece black, just to minimize the impact of any spills that may happen, especially travelling with kids. My pick is an Eileen Fisher viscose jersey tank - the fabric looks more polished that plain cotton, but feels like I am wearing pyjamas.

  3. Large scarf.  Not only does it add a touch of colour or pattern to a simple outfit, it can be a great solution when the weather is cold at one end and hot at the other. Also, planes are often freezing, so a scarf that can double as blanket is a great idea. For this trip, since it is only short haul, and we will be going from warm weather to hot weather, I have packed a light weight scarf, rather than a blanket weight scarf.
  4. "Third Piece". This third piece is what can elevate any outfit from ho hum to stylish. Whether you go for a cuddly long line wrap cardi that can act as a blanket on the plane as it surrounds you in warmth, a blazer or a light weight sheer kimono, this third piece really helps to complete your outfit, and if not needed while seated can be easily stashed in the overhead bin or your carry on bag. This time, I'm going the blazer route a la Jessica Alba above, in a natural coloured linen blend blazer from Blue Illusion. My top tip is, once again, look for something that doesn't wrinkle. This blazer is a linen BLEND and the the other fibres means that jacket will still look presentable even after wearing it on a plane for 5 hours. For longer flights, a knit or ponte blazer is probably a better option comfort wise.
  5. Slip On Shoes. Note, I've specifically said shoes, and not sandals! With travel security (necessarily) the way it is, it is highly likely you will need to remove your shoes at control points. This means a) for ease, you want shoes that slip on and off easily with no fuss, and b) you want to be wearing socks, so you don't need to walk bare foot over that dirty floor. This is a great time to wear your (stylish) sneakers so they don't take up room in your luggage, or else, a great pair of patterned flats, or a sleek ballerina shoe. I decided on a pair of leopard print espradilles, also from Blue Illusion; the colours match perfectly with my chosen palette, they are super comfortable, and they look great with pants, but also fab with dresses, of which I'm planning to pack two. Feel free to wear heels if that's your thing; I'll be honest, though, while I am a heels lover, trying to navigate through airports with two kids, a husband, luggage and with heels on ain't going to be a thing for me anytime soon!!

  6. Hat. I love carrying a hat so I have something to put on at the other end to cover up my flat airplane hair. You may not have this problem, but I have super fine hair, and the minute I hop on a plane, it doesn't matter what I do, what products I use, my hair ends up flat and lifeless and a little bit too oily for dry shampoo to rescue. Hence, whacking on a hat!

  7. Oversized handbag/backpack. But not too oversized! As a family, we still take one carry-on onboard, that carries my son's and my medications, toiletries, as well as a spare set of undergarments and our swimsuits, just in case out luggage gets delayed we are set for the first night and day. As well as this, the kids and I each take one backpack, to hold our inflight entertainment (iPads, headphones, snacks, colouring books etc). Travelling with kids, I prefer a backpack rather than a handbag as it keeps my hands free, and my backpack from Michael Kors is a great size and a fantastic colour.
So here is the collage of what I will be wearing on the plane so you can get a visual of the pieces put together. Most importantly, all of the items will be a key part of my holiday capsule wardrobe.

On The Plane

Linking to these great websites here

Monday, September 12, 2016

Mask Monday: Double Masking

Today for Mask Monday, we are dipping our toes into the trend of double masking. As long time readers would know, I firmly believe that facial masks are a cornerstone of my skincare routine, rather than simply a pampering luxury. And if you haven't added facial masks into your routine already, you couldn't have picked a better time, with almost every skincare brand  on the market going pretty mask crazy.

For the past few months, I have been pretty much firmly on the sheet mask bandwagon, just because they are so. damn. easy. Come on, sheet masks are the ultimate busy mum solution - tear open pack, slap on face, relax for 15 minutes while watching Netflix, pat in, go to bed.  Really just too easy. But perhaps too simple. Don't get me wrong, a sheet mask is a great fix, and wonderful for deeply hydrating your skin, but often, that is not all your skin needs, which brings me to the double masking that I tried last night.

Double Masking, like most beauty trends, seems to have come out of the Korean beauty scene, and can refer to two different techniques. The first type, which I used last night, is applying two different types of masks, on different parts of the face, at the same time. The second type is where you actually layer two different masks on on top of the other, which can be great if you want to use a highly active mask but are not sure your skin is up to it. For this method, which I plan to try in the future, layer your more active mask first, then apply a soothing/nourishing mask directly over the top.

Double masking, two places, same time

This technique is perfect for when you face is feeling somewhat unbalanced, or when different parts of your face has different needs. Obviously perfect for combination skin, but can be adapted for any type of skin that is feeling out of whack. Lately,  due to changes in medication, I have been feeling somewhat congested through the T zone and right across my chin/jaw area, so I wanted to utilize a purifying mask, but was concerned that it might be too drying for my cheeks that tend to be dehydrated.

On my T zone and chin, I used Sukin Super Greens Detoxifying Clay Masque, which combines a host of "super greens" with avocado, baobab and kaolin and betonite clays. In hindsight, I do feel I could have used this all over my face, as it was a very different clay mask to the ones I have used in the past. While it is a detoxing clay mask, it doesn't *feel* like one on the skin - it doesn't dry and crack like the ones of old - and while my skin felt clean once removed, it didn't feel dry or dehydrated at all, but rather, supple and nourished.

On my cheeks and under my eyes, I spread Dermalogica's Skin Hydrating Masque, a milky gel chock a block full of hydrating ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, squalene and glycerin. This is a pretty basic mask, (I don't mean that in a bad way!) with no spa-like fragrance or hi-tech ingredients, but it does what it says it does, and that is why I love it. PS: This mask is *amazing* for travel - on our last overseas trip which involved 17 hours of travel (one way!) I applied on clean skin every few hours, and I credit this mask with saving my skin from the dehydration dry cabin air usually causes.

So there you have my take on the double masking trend. Have you tried it? I would love to read your mask combos in the comments.


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