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HERE COMES THE...BRIDAL EDIT

 

With so many styles, lengths, cuts, shapes and designers to choose from, picking your wedding dress can seem a daunting experience to embark upon. Here comes the…Bridal Edit – the UK’s first curated wedding dress finder, bringing hand-picked designers to each bride-to-be, baring their style in mind.

Boho, traditional and everywhere in between, it’s a collection of bridal brands old and new ensuring a style to swoon over. Sheerluxe (my favourite blog) sat down with The Bridal Edit founder Laura Shepherd to get her top ‘bride tips’

  

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE BRIDAL DESIGNERS CURRENTLY?

It’s all about British labels right now. Charlie Brear for her stylish cuts and insanely beautiful fabrics; Naomi Neoh for her passion and dedication to the romantic bride, her dresses never fail to make me swoon; and Kate Halfpenny for pushing the boundaries and always bringing a smile to my face.

 

WHAT'S THE NEXT TREND?

Bridal separates aren’t going to disappear anytime soon – you can mix and match your favourites and create different looks throughout the day. Wow-worthy backs are still big next season too; never forget the back – it’s just as important as the front of the dress.

There’s also a ‘no rules apply’ movement happening. Adding denim and leather jackets has become a great way for brides to inject their own personality into their look.

 

ANY TIPS FOR NAVIGATING PINTEREST?

Search by style to help narrow down the looks you like. Connect with your favourite bridal labels (via The Bridal Edit) and follow their boards for inspiration – not only will you see all their dresses, you’ll also find out what inspires the designers, and this might just be what you’re looking for. 

 

WHO DO YOU FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM?

Coco Wedding Venues is great for finding your perfect wedding venue.

B.LOVED is our go-to UK wedding blog for brides.

Prezola is the ultimate wedding gift list site for British brides and grooms.

 

ANY TIPS FOR SHOPPING FOR A WEDDING DRESS ON A BUDGET?

All designers have sample sales and so do their retailers. Sign up to newsletters or follow their social media platforms to stay in the know and find yourself a bargain.

 

WHAT ARE THE GOLDEN RULES FOR WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING?

Research – You’re entering the world of the unknown. Find out what’s available on the market for your style and budget. Connect with your favourite designers and boutiques via social media platforms such as Instagram and learn a little more about them.

Plan - Based on your research, plan. Identify the boutiques you wish to visit, don't just stay local – if there’s a designer you really love, make the journey. Give yourself enough time too, ideally you need to be making final decisions around six to nine months in advance, so plan your visits accordingly. If you do your research carefully, three boutiques should be a good number to visit before making the all-important decision. 

Squad - Whilst it might sound like a good idea to take a whole entourage, boutiques prefer less guests. The more people, the more opinions – remember your dress is your decision at the end of the day. You only need the professional guidance of a bridal stylist and a few guests to make the experience special.

Visit TheBridalEdit.com

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MAKE UP TIPS FROM A PRO

Celebrity makeup artist and green beauty guru, Katey Denno – is no stranger to the madness of New York Fashion Week, including the challenge of getting runway makeup to play nice under pressure and on a variety of skin types. Katey spills some of her top secrets for the Chalkboard Mag, including getting just the right amount of glow, rocking a bold eye without looking like a (sexy) raccoon, and keeping it all in place…

 

Although it’s been a few years since I worked New York Fashion Week, I remember vividly those times backstage when the atmosphere felt like a mix between an emergency room, a carnival and a mad artist’s studio.

The energy is palpable and – with anywhere from 14-26 hairstylists and makeup artists each trying to wrangle models into chairs, carry out the art direction as it came from the lead makeup or hair artist, and maintain some level of a calm and upbeat attitude – it’s one of those experiences that feels more like a dream than an actuality.

I learned a number of tricks-of-the-trade during my years working NYFW, from other artists and from the depths of my imagination, because, sometimes when you’re in the trenches, inspiration strikes in the form of lipstick.

 

GLOW VS. SHINE | When you want to glow in just the right places, but you’ve messed up and put too much face oil on that just isn’t absorbing, take one ply of a tissue, or a sheet of oil-blotting paper, wrap it around the pointy side of the beauty blender and target specific areas to remove that crazy excess shine from just the right places (and to be clear, those areas would be the middle of your forehead, your nose, the space on either side of the bottom of your nose, and center of your chin).

 

FALSIES REFRESH | If your strip eyelash starts to buckle when you blink or peel off at one end and you don’t have time to pull it off and fuss with reapplication, reapply the glue, wait for it to dry down a bit, grab a toothpick (not a cotton swab) to dip into lash glue, and then wiggle the tiny droplet of glue where its needed, smearing it along the base of the false lash, without disturbing your amazing eye makeup creation.

 

TWEEZE YOUR LASHES? | When you’ve just opened a new mascara and applied one too many coats only to find that the formula is different than what you’re used to using and it’s super gloppy and causing your lashes to clump together, there is hope. Before lashes have dried, use a Tweezerman lash comb to instantly separate lashes, starting at the root and combing through. It’ll remove excess clumps and help to fan ‘em out all pretty-like. I didn’t think this was so much of a pro-tip, but I’ve recently been surprised by how many people don’t have one of these amazing tools in their makeup kit!

 

MIX YOUR MASCARA | When the lashes of the model sitting in your chair aren’t as thick as the models sitting on either side of you, but the look is ‘model’s own lashes –no fake lashes,’ there is an old makeup artist’s trick that’ll help. Apply one coat of mascara from root to tip, on curled lashes (if they’re long enough to curl, that is). Then apply your eyeshadow, making sure to be a little messy in your application, so that some loose shadow falls onto the lashes, thus clinging to the one coat of mascara, and acting as a thickener. Once you finish the eye makeup, apply two more coats of mascara to the coated lashes, and you’ll see an obvious difference.

 

AMP-UP EYESHADOW | Sometimes you buy a powder eyeshadow for the boldness of color or pieces of gold or blue sparkle in it, only to find out when you apply it, it barely shows up on your skin – regardless of your skin tone. One pretty sure fire way to fix this in a flash is to fill a tiny container, or your palm, with a few drops of water, dip your brush into the water, drag it onto your shadow, and then press what you’ve picked up onto your lid. It’ll intensify the color payoff and help the shimmer particles to adhere.

 

LINER AS LIPS | When you can’t find lipstick that matches your favorite lip liner, use your liner to line and color-in your lips, and then go back and do it again; coat with a layer or two of your favorite lip balm, and you’re good to go (plus it’ll probably last longer than if you’d just used the lipstick)!

 

GEL YOUR BROWS | When your eyebrows are wild and each hair has a mind of its own and you need them to cooperate and all lie down facing the same way, together, having a fancy eyebrow gel on hand isn’t a must. Grab any hairspray you have on hand, or any balm (think: non-petroleum version of Vaseline) and apply sparingly, with your finger, or – even better, an eyebrow spoolie – to tame your brows in a flash.

 

SOFTEN YOUR SMUDGE | If you favor that ‘morning after’ messy, smudgy, sexy, black eyeliner look, but have found it difficult to recreate because you’re too much of a perfectionist, you’re not alone. Makeup artists have struggled with this forever. One of my favorite tricks is to use a soft, creamy dark-black liner, have the model scrunch her eye closed, get that pencil inside the scrunch, and gently drag it from corner to corner. Blink a number of times before the liner ’sets,’ to messily transfer product from top to bottom, and back again, and then use your finger to smudge it, (removing some with your finger is generally a good idea) a bit into a shape that’s slightly upturned on the outer corner (an upturn is generally the most flattering shape on all eyes). It’ll look a mess, but once you coat your lashes with mascara and step back from the mirror, you’ll see just how ‘morning after’ it really looks. Keep a cotton swab on hand in case you need to remove any more.

 

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ARIES

September may still evoke that familiar ‘back to school’ feeling, however this year it represents a wakeup call you simply can’t ignore. This has the potential for exciting new beginnings. On the 5th an apparently chance encounter leads to a unique makeover, which you’ll see is much more than skin deep. You're on a self-fulfilment quest with all kinds of repercussions for work and lifestyle routines. Your vitality levels, including your capacity for fun and some seriously hot loving, will reach new heights if you recognise what you really need. Yet for once – even you – can’t expect instant results. After the 15th a valued prize will be in sight, and by the 23rd anything is possible concerning an irresistible new person on the scene.

 

TAURUS

You may start the month feeling slightly jaded as a result of recent commitments, but this is about to change. After the 7th you will be offered an opportunity which could reboot your zest for life and banish some of the more negative feelings you have been grappling with. The key to success now is seeking fresh inspiration from untried and untested sources. This may well mean exploring creative avenues and injecting a playful spark into your love life too, whether you are single or attached. Make the most of an adventurous approach to collaborations of all kinds. After the 20th innovative thinking will pay off in style and you’ll also realise that appreciating yourself fully is the key to a relationship breakthrough.

 

GEMINI

There are many advantages to getting back to basics this month, which will be evident as early as the 3rd. And it’s more enjoyable than it might sound as an antidote to August’s social demands and output of nervous energy. Steps to simplify your life will lift your spirits in miraculous ways. This may mean going back to your roots in one way or another, and paying special attention to any overlooked relationships. You’ll also gain a great deal by digging into your family history – a revelation midmonth could take you by surprise. Engaging with loved ones openly and intimately is a vital ingredient in September’s success. Then, by the 25th, what once seemed like a pipedream may be more realistic than anyone had thought possible.

 

CANCER

You are subtle and considerate in your dealings with others, however from the 4th it’s time to speak your mind directly. This will prove to be the best way to handle someone whose behaviour has been troubling you for a while. Seize your moment and enjoy this no-nonsense approach, as you’ll make major headway in more than one area of life. However, any potential conflict shouldn’t be allowed to get out of hand. On the 19th an exotic offer is another positive sign but will require you to go with the flow. As you make sense of all the exciting, if complex, developments during September, you’ll also solve a home/work dilemma. When you have accomplished this, be sure to celebrate a significant sense of achievement. You deserve it.

 

LEO

From early September the spotlight falls on the assets and projects that really matter to you. Be sure to focus on your key personal priorities. If recently you have been dragging your feet, now you must go for what you want without hesitation. Around the 11th you will know that you are embarking on an important adventure and should appreciate your own resources and talents. After the 19th on-going cash affairs will need to be tackled and it becomes obvious that money represents deeper issues than you may have thought. Understanding this thoroughly will ultimately be liberating. At the same time an unexpected gift will take an unusual form, and you won’t necessarily know its full meaning at first… allow this to unfold.

 

VIRGO

However reticent you are about being at the centre of attention, now you can’t avoid having the spotlight trained on you. You have earned this, so try to enjoy it. Various people have expectations of you, but none of these are as high as those you place on yourself. From the 11th take a deep breath and be sure to put yourself first for once, as midmonth marks a special turning point and is in fact the fresh start you really need. However, from the 25th it’s also important to stay grounded, as close encounters will deliver all kinds of surprises. Glamour and entertainment are definitely on the agenda, while your innate common sense will be vital to pin down your personal achievements. Expect to rediscover a few forgotten, yet genuine, treasures too.

 

LIBRA

Being a social butterfly suits you much of the time, and recently it has introduced you to all kinds of new people and opportunities. But if this hectic activity has been a bit too much, September presents the perfect conditions to take a back seat – you can even be a hermit for a while if you feel like it. Great results will come without you needing to strive to achieve them. Intriguing action unfolds behind the scenes and later you’ll know how to maximise this beautifully. After the 18th sharp thinking will also get to the heart of a dilemma, and you’ll need to improvise a little… even some chaos at work will have its upside. On the 23rd you’ll realise that you have made some dazzling progress where it really counts.

 

SCORPIO

Your capacity to interpret the undercurrents in situations has been invaluable this summer. Having x-ray vision and solving the deeper mysteries in life is one of your fine gifts, but there is no need for this to become obsessive or to allow yourself to get bogged down. From early September breadth of vision and forward thinking will lead to what you most need to know. By taking a leap of faith and staying open-minded you’ll embrace inspiring new influences and contacts. Networking is at the crux of personal and professional victories, and you’ll only know the full extent of this after the 22nd. When you're on a roll, no one can deny your charismatic impact. Enjoy indulging a romantic fantasy too, but beware of getting totally carried away.

 

SAGITTARIUS

A positive and fun-loving attitude makes you popular, and this autumn should offer up the kind of exploits you most relish. However, from the 8th you are also poised to make headway when it comes to your career, plus other long-term goals and aspirations. Around midmonth being a little cautious in your decision-making will not cramp your style. Some misunderstandings at home may arise, so being focused will become increasingly important. After the 21st you’ll attract attention from someone you admire, and at the same time you’ll be able to impress them as much as you want. Intimate distractions in late September will keep you on your toes – of course you’ll throw yourself into this, but don’t for a moment let it derail you from your mission.

 

CAPRICORN

Follow your heart when it comes to your dreams and ambitions – nothing will stand in your way if you decide to pursue a project you have held back on until now. With a little discussion and planning you can achieve a great deal, and will see a breakthrough as early as the 10th. No matter how determined you are to hit specific targets this September, it’s also important for you to explore unknown ground and take off on adventures that you cannot control or predict the outcomes of. Just roll with the changes as they arise. From the 21st you’ll experience the benefits of being flexible and will find that you actually thrive on this. Your courage and spontaneity will result in someone special taking you very seriously indeed.

 

AQUARIUS

Your inventive mind and capacity for rational thinking always play a special role in your approach to life. However, now is the time to plunge more instinctively into the underlying emotional complications of certain relationships, professionally and personally.  Around midmonth a series of ‘eureka’ moments will have the power to open your eyes to a whole new take on romantic life too, while at the same time you'll sense that you have met your match in more ways than one. You will rise to this, and even the inevitable confrontations will prove to be highly therapeutic. However, at the same time, look out for someone who harbours hidden agendas. Remember, you have the imagination to outwit anyone.

 

PISCES

This September, collaborations of all kinds will reap rewards. This will require you to be assertive in terms of what you need and what you find acceptable from other people. Personal relationships will be at the top of the agenda from the 7th, although understanding someone else’s motives can seem like heavy duty detective work. However, you will overcome the challenges posed and may well taste sweet success by midmonth. Once again, your powers of perception will prove to be an amazing talent and you’ll learn so much by observing other people’s behaviour. By the 29th a unique character will also have insight into what you need, and in one way or another you may well find you are being swept off your feet.

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GOALS

 

Personally, I’m not a big fan of the whole five-year plan thang but it’s definitely a good idea to have some goals in mind. Whilst most of mine include ‘drink more ginger’ and ‘look like Elle Macpherson one day’ there are a few easy steps to keep your (slightly more realistic) goals in check.

 

YOU'RE IN CHARGE

It’s your life and you call the shots. For sure, there are some things that are beyond your control, but most of the time you can jump in the drivers seat and put your life in gear. You decide which talents and skills to develop, who you hang out with, where you live and what career you stick with. So, take responsibility for your thoughts and your actions, push yourself and embrace those risky moments. 

 

HAVE A VISION

Creating a vision board can help visualise what’s in your mind and make it a more physical, visual aspiration. Make a mood board or collage of pictures, phrases and anything else that resonates with you and your life. Visual reinforcement can be a powerful tool, a bit like Pinterest but a permanent reminder of what you want to achieve. 

 

A LITTLE COMMITMENT

Commit to what you want and you’ll notice you’re starting to attract the people, resources and opportunities you need to make your dream come true. 

 

EMPOWER YOUR MIND & BODY

Reading something empowering, watching empowering videos, listening to some Yonce as well as snacking on superfoods can go a long way to getting your mental state straight. Blueberries, kale, quinoa, broccoli, chia, strawberries, salmon and cranberries all trigger a ‘peak state’. 

 

YOUR ASSOCIATION AFFECTS YOUR ELEVATION

Don’t underestimate the impact of the people around you. They can either build you up or drag you down, so find a team of supportive friends who are positive people. 

 

JUST DO IT

Planning is essential for most things in life but acting on those plans now -is vital. Get to it, these things won’t come if you don’t put yourself out there. Don’t postpone, don’t make excuses, life’s all about growth and momentum so go forward in life and take those steps to get you started in the right direction. 

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MAKING MEDITATION PART OF YOUR ROUTINE

 

MAKE IT YOURS

Listen to your body and mind; are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you need to relax before work, after, or both? Switch up your practice and see what feels right for you. You don’t have to spend an hour sat cross legged in order to meditate, meditation for you could be sitting quietly for ten minutes whilst focusing on your intention for the day.

 

CHOOSE YOUR TECHNIQUE

There are many different types of meditation, but for those with busy lives and hectic schedules, Vedic meditation is ideal. The technique was developed for people with chaotic lives and doesn’t require practitioners to stop thinking and sit still. Instead, simply sit comfortably in a chair with your eyes closed, and allow your mind to become increasingly quieter.

 

DO IT ANYWHERE

One of the best things about meditation is that it is free and portable. You can do it sitting up in bed before your morning cup of tea, whilst you’re waiting for you dinner to cook, or on the train to work – making a morning commute more bearable.

 

COMBINE IT WITH YOUR ROUTINE

Meditating in the morning is a fantastic way to start your day and ensure that you're operating with a more focused, creative and productive mind. Don’t have time? Meditating in the evening helps clear the body and mind of stresses you’ve picked up throughout the day and improves your sleep quality, so you’ll wake up feeling truly refreshed. Find what works for you.

 

THINK ABOUT THE BENEFITS

We set aside time for things we view as beneficial, so keep the effects of meditation in mind. As well as boosting overall wellness, it can help you navigate difficult situations and manage stress. If you're having a particularly demanding day, escaping to a meeting room or the park at your lunch break for a meditation session will leave you feeling revitalised and refreshed, improving your efficiency and concentration. 

 

KEEP IT SHORT

If lengthy meditation sessions work for you, then carry on, but for beginners, they can often be daunting. Twenty minutes is the ideal length of time, but start with whatever feels comfortable – five minutes is doable for most – and work up to twenty.
 

HOW TO GET STARTED

Find a quiet space where you can sit up with a straight back, be still and not be disturbed for around twenty minutes. This could be sitting up in bed, on your commute or in the local park.

Begin silently repeating a mantra (a Sanksrit sound) in your head for the duration of the meditation – try ‘So hum’ or ‘Om’ to start with.

End your meditation with two minutes of breathing without using the mantra.

When meditating, use a watch rather than your phone (technology over-stresses the nervous system) to keep an eye on the time. 

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PRIOR PLANNING & PREPARATION

 

A very wise man once told me about the 7 Ps...Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents a Piss Poor Performance...and ever since that day I do my best to live by that method. Granted, when my sisters ask me if I'm free next month for lunch, more often than not I reply 'I'm not even sure what I'm doing this afternoon!'

But there is one thing that keeps me in check and that's a good list. A list to me, is my version of the 7Ps. Every morning, as I sit down with my black coffee and ice cold triangles of watermelon chipped from the back of our temperamental fridge that thinks it's a freezer, I write my 'to do' list. Even if it's much the same as the day before...'must Tweet and Instagram...walk Django (our Rhodesian Ridgeback)...decide what to cook for dinner'...without fail, I write my 'to do' list. In chronological order, of course. 

So, to help you frantic brides to be, I've put together a wedding stationery timeline. A step-by-step, month-by-month guide to when you should be licking stamps and sealing envelopes. Look scary? Chill your bones. I'll cut you a deal. I'll take care of the bits listed 'design invitations, etc' all you need to do is confirm the RSVPs and deal with the dreaded seating plan.

 
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HELENA CHRISTENSEN & HER BEAUTY HABITS

 

CAN’T TRAVEL WITHOUT…

My dog, Kuma.

 

IN A PINCH I…

Put on bright red lips and my hair up in a loose bun.

 

ALWAYS IN MY EVENING CLUTCH:

Phone and Strangelove perfume oil.

 

OBSESSION OF THE MOMENT:

Swimming in cold harbor water.

 

BEAUTIFYING SNACK/MEAL:

Peruvian vegetable soup and pasta alla Genovese.

 

BEAUTIFYING DRINK:

Raspberry juice is my favorite.

 

FOR ULTRA-GLAMOROUS EFFECT:

Shimmery eyes and smudgy dark brown eyeliner.

 

PERFECT POUT:

Chanel’s lipstick in La Fascinante, for lips (and cheeks).

 

BEAUTY TOOL:

Harry Josh Pro Tools curling iron.

 

WEIRDEST BEAUTY HABIT:

Using coffee grinds and papaya flesh as exfoliators on the body.

 

IN THE SHOWER I KEEP…

Lots and lots of conditioner and a body brush.

 

ON MY BEDSIDE TABLE…

Lumity’s Night Formula and a book.

 

ONCE A MONTH I…

Make time for a proper, professional facial.

 

AFTER A LONG-NIGHT OR ROUGH WEEKEND…

I drink as much water as I can possibly consume and eat a few burgers.

 

ON LITTLE SLEEP I RELY ON…

Nimue Skin Technology Rejuvenating Mask.

 

MOST TREASURED BEAUTY TIP…

My two very obvious tips are hydration and sleep. But also, keep your skin glowing, don’t cover it with too much foundation or powder.

 

FOR GLOWING SKIN…

Lots of hydration, mists and facial oils.

 

MY GO-TO DIY RECIPE OR SMOOTHIE RECIPE:

I drink all sorts of juices I make myself, mixing cucumber, aloe vera, parsley, mint, apple or pear. They make me feel refreshed and clean.

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LIFE  |  WORK

 

Even though I’m writing this after another 14 day stint without any time off…the balance between life and work and getting it right is super important. Important for your self, your health and even your wealth.

 

Productivity needs to be nurtured and can only reach its full potential if you take time out to rest. For sure imbalance is normal, it’s near enough impossible to get it right, but have a little read and see how to at least manage the scale.

 

 

ACCEPT YOUR IMBALANCE

 

Truth is, there’s no such thing as a perfect work-life balance, and the more you try to get it bang on - the more pressure you’re putting on yourself and chances are that will backfire. The main thing is to find your motivation and focus your energy on it. If your motivation is a big house, nice car and fancy shoes then you’re going to have to put in the hours at the office…if your motivation is your relationship, growing a family and keeping in touch with friends - then you’re going to have to put a little extra time into your ‘life’ category. All-important, is that this is a conscious decision and you’re not doing it out of guilt.

 

 

BE CLEAR ON THE 'LIFE' SIDE OF THINGS 

 

Work is generally more defined, you start work at 9, you have lunch at 1, you have to get that report out by end of play Friday, you might get a promotion in August and there’s your bonus in December – everything is fairly laid out ready for the taking. Life can be a little more hazy, you put things off and priorities often change. So try to set yourself a rough, realistic, schedule for life – meet with your mates once a week, cook Sunday lunch every Sunday and make these non-negotiables.

 

 

PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE

 

If you definitely can’t find the illusive ‘balance’ – at least learn to switch off from time to time, literally. Your phone is always there, in your hand, in your pocket, on your bedside table and as much as you can physically leave work we generally always have something physical that resembles work around us – our mobiles. Emails can wait until tomorrow and Instagram will be there in morning so switch it off, put it down and take note of what is actually happening around you.

 

 

WORK SMART

 

At the start of your day, write down three things that you definitely need to get done by the end of the day and do the hardest one first. If you can get through the three things you wrote down, anything else you manage to get done is a bonus and you’ll feel that smug feeling of having a super productive day…then you can treat yourself to a bit of wine time, extra time in the gym or whatever it is that floats your life boat.

 

 

PERFECTION HAS POTENTIAL BUT IT'S NOT ALWAYS PRACTICAL

 

You should never actually achieve perfection, if you do it means you won’t feel the need to strive for more. Just be happy with it, that’s praise enough. If you can actually stand back from whatever situation your reviewing and say ‘actually yeah, I’m pretty happy with that’ then you’ve done all you can and you’ve satisfied that need to get it right.

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HOW TO LOOK STUNNING IN ALL YOUR SNAPS

 

GO NATURAL

Shadows are only going to highlight features you don’t like, from wrinkles to imperfections. Lorna says natural daylight “is most flattering for skin and complexion” – facing a window or open door is your best bet.

ELONGATE

Want to look taller and slimmer? Lorna suggests tilting the camera upwards to elongate your shape. “I often ask people who take my pic to crouch down a little when they point and shoot.” Just ensure they’re standing a safe distance from you to avoid the double chin.

TWIST 'N' WIND

Front-on shots can sometimes look boxy, whereas a distorted angle will give the illusion of a tiny waist. Angle one of your hips towards the camera, and put your hand on your hip nearest the photographer to emphasise your curves.

CROSS YOUR ANKLES

If you are forced into a front-on shot, crossing your ankles will automatically make your legs look longer.

PROPORTIONS

Whatever is closest to the camera is, of course, going to look bigger, so practice posing with your least favourite body parts set back. Hate your legs? Lean forward a bit.

TONGUE IN CHEEK

If you often fall foul of a double chin, learning to push your tongue against the roof of your mouth could be the answer. By forcing everything upwards, your neck and jawline will look slimmer. 

STRAIGHT UP

Everyone knows good posture looks best, so make a concerted effort when posing for pics to unroll those shoulders and lift your head high.

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BEAT THE BRIDAL BLUES

Here are some of the challenges, and the tips, for brides-to-be:
 

 

BRIDEZILLAS ARE MADE, NOT BORN

It’s supposed to be the happiest time of your life – and you want it to be – but planning a wedding is like working a second job as a project manager. You have to find the time to tend to a multitude of details as part of an already busy schedule while managing a plethora of people, family anxieties and demands, your groom, your emotions and an array of tricky wedding dynamics. 
 

A bride has to include stress management, self-nurturing and time to chill out as an integral part of her wedding planning process. When you feel the stress building, take time out, go for a walk, slip into a movie, get a massage, go for a manicure, write in a journal, do something un-wedding. You have to love, honour and cherish yourself if you want to be loved, honoured and cherished by someone else!
 

 

EVERYONE'S GOT SOMETHING TO SAY

And you are not alone in feeling you can’t win. You may be showered with congratulations and gifts, but you are simultaneously bombarded with unsolicited advice, wedding horror stories you don’t want to hear, and negative vibes from well-meaning friends and relatives.

People tend to see your wedding as a chance to fulfil their own needs and family dynamics erupt in every which direction because as the clan prepares to gather they begin to act out what it’s all about for them – not you! The issues are classic – mum wants it to be the wedding she never had, sister or best friend wishes it were her, your groom is afraid to stand up to his family. 

A Bride has to clarify the wedding she truly wants, be assertive and set clear boundaries that no one can penetrate with words or attitudes. Learn the power of saying NO!
 

 

STIRRING UP EMOTIONS

The process itself sets forth a period of growth and change that can be very confusing and nerve -wracking. Once you decide to marry you will begin the process of getting ready for marriage, and unresolved emotions about parents and family, past loves and concerns about the person you have chosen will come to the surface to be explored.

A bride can embrace the awareness that she is embarking on a journey of evolution from one part of life to another, and recognise and address the emotions and fears that arise. Trust they are natural and pay attention to any issues that might require support or counselling.

It is important to stay on top of your emotions and be honest with yourself during this time. Don't sweep things under the rug.

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HOW TO THROW A PARTY...PROPERLY

 

CANAPÈS YOU SAY?

Too busy getting glam to spend hours slaving in the kitchen? No problemo. Canapés are quick to assemble, easy to serve and everybody bloody loves them. Opt for wooden boards or a nice big Neptune serving plate and watch, as your guests can’t get enough of these tiny little culinary treats.

 

BOOK A BARTENDER

Don’t spend your night pouring drinks and keeping everyone topped up with a tipple. Bring along a professional bartender that way you’ll have fancy cocktails and concoctions to impress and you’ll be tipsy too!

 

DÈCOR TO SET THE SCENE

Let’s not deck the halls, but making a little effort with a centrepiece or two will go a long way. Go all Dolce & Gabbana and get creative with some lemons for a summery feel, plus you can pop them in your G&T when the night starts to get spirit…ual.

 

GOOD LIGHTING IS EVERYTHING

Add an atmosphere and make sure you cheekbones are picture perfect with some strategic lighting. Tea lights add a romantic feel, whilst lanterns will create an exotic element to a themed party.

 

PRESS PLAY

All the candles and floral niceness will be wasted without some tunes to back up the background noise. I always search for ‘Ibiza Chill’ or ‘Stay See’ on Youtube for a mellow start. Set your music to play a playlist so you can forget all about it and avoid an awkward Eastenders stranger entering the Queen Vic silence.

 

START EARLY

When the sun’s out and the summer is in full flow, everyone is keen to get on the rosé nice and early. Invite people round well ahead of dinner (making the use of those canapés), and party well after sundown.

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HONEYMOON HAIR

 

You're glowing with that fresh faced newlywed (morning after the night before) kind of skin, but your hair is battling the sun, sea and sand...the struggle is real. Here's the plan for honeymoon hair that will hopefully be roughed up and ruined in no time at all thanks to a cheeky beach romp with your new husband!

 

RELAXED BEACH WAVES

Give salty strands an extra boost with a quick spritz of texturising spray to create undone beach waves with plenty of surfer girl cool.

 

EASY HALF BUN

A half top-knot combined with a beach wave. A simple look that requires minimal effort, as easy to create as it is cool to wear.

 

PLAITS NICE

A perennial summer staple, whether you’re a halo, French or fishtail kind of girl, plaits are the foolproof yet stylish way to nail beach chic.

 

THE GO TO TOP KNOT

A messy top knot is a poolside go-to – sweep long locks up into a high bun and secure for a quick and easy sunbathing solution.

 

SCARF SAVIOUR

Protect hair from harsh UV rays with a light scarf. Not only is it beneficial for maintaining your colour, it looks super St.Tropez chic too.

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FOOLPROOF WAYS TO STYLE FLOWERS

 

There's something very special about the sight of fresh flowers around your home, either by your bed, on the kitchen counter top, or decorating your dining table. But, I'm no good at flower arranging, thankfully Sheerluxe have put together their 5 foolproof ways to style flowers making your home photo shoot ready - like something straight out of a Neptune Home catalogue. 

 

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PEONIES

Probably Instagram’s most snapped bloom; peony season only lasts through to July, so make sure get in on the action fast. The stems that start out as tightly wrapped balls and bloom into mille feuille-esque petals look best in big bunches and styled in a simple vase. Add a little eucalyptus leaf for a hint of green, which works beautifully against the pretty pink hues.

 

HYDRANGEAS

A favourite for weddings, the sheer size of these blooms mean you only have to buy a few for them to look good – thankfully, as the price does rack up. Stick to the golden rule of odd numbers – we like three of five – and style them individually in a row of recycled glass vases or as a group stacked on top of your favourite coffee table books.

 

COW PARSLEY

You may not be familiar with the name but you will have seen this delicate foliage everywhere. And ideal choice if you prefer a neutral or monochrome colour palette, these dainty white flowers look just right in an oversized apothecary vase.

 

RANUNCULAS

The cool girl’s alternative to roses, these rosette-style blooms look best bunched in big groups. For a classic look, choose white and style in a simple bowl, or go for a more vintage, rustic vibe by stacking individual stems in mini bottle vases.

 

STOCKS

Stocks offer a spicy, clove-like scent so not only will they look gorgeous but they’ll make your home smell great, too.  A tall jar vase is a must to complement their tall stems and keep them standing upright but we love the idea of lining it with lemon slices for a look that belies even the most amateur of flower arranging skills.

 

 

 

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THERE IS A WAY TO BEAT STRESS

 

Body Signaling: I’m hungry!

You Responding: Not now, I’m busy… we’ll eat later.

Body Signaling: Ahh, I’m tired!

You Responding: Now? It’s 6 p.m… it’s too early, we’ll sleep later.

Body Signaling: I need to go to the bathroom!

You Responding: Can’t… in the middle of something very important… we’ll pee later.

 

These are all ways we are shutting down our nervous system without even realising. Alongside the stresses of work, relationships, finances, deadlines… etc, there is a whole other level of stress we put ourselves under that shuts down our nervous system and adrenals. If things don’t go the way of your nervous system, then it just shuts down, it says, “Well, if you don’t want to listen to me then I’ll barely work for you.” That’s when we have sudden crashes, starvation modes, sudden urges to use the restroom… etc. Alongside all this, we fill our bodies with caffeine, energy drinks, zero food and stress, putting a huge stressors on our kidneys, which uses our adrenals to give us more of that desperate energy we’re looking for.

The worst part of all is, when we put our bodies in overdrive like this, we waste our precious adrenal energy to give us the energy to stress. This makes us older faster; no one wants that.

 

7 WAYS TO HEAL A STRESSED NERVOUS SYSTEM

 

EAT ON SCHEDULE. Putting your body on a schedule gives it comfort and trust in you. Build that relationship with yourself.

 

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY’S SIGNAL. Give yourself a week or two to really respond to what your body needs and see the difference it creates in your life. If your body is signalling sleep - go and rest, take a nap, go to bed early and honour this.

 

START YOUR DAY WITH WARMING FOODS. When we wake up our body, just like a car’s engine begins revving up, we start building speed with our metabolism. If we pour an ice-cold almond latte in our system, it’s a big no-no. We want to encourage the speed with heat, even if that cold drink feels so refreshing. This will also help to avoid that 12 o’clock crash.

 

SLEEP BEFORE 11PM. There’s a system to the organs in our bodies – each organ has a time for its peak performance. At 11 p.m. the liver is in charge, so what happens is that the liver stores the blood, meaning it gives a home to our blood. At 11 p.m. the blood needs to rest, so if we keep ourselves stimulated past 11, the blood doesn’t get good rest and we wake up tired and feel tired the rest of the day. Also, in Chinese medicine, we believe that our emotions reside in our blood, so this is also a good opportunity to take control over emotional issues by sleeping before 11.

 

HYDRATE. The easiest way to provide the body with oxygen is to hydrate. Oxygen gives us energy, reduces inflammation and keeps things functioning. If plain water is difficult for you to consume all day, I found that very light tea is great too. Make sure the tea isn’t sugary and is actually a little bit bitter such as a light green tea. Green tea is a natural body cleanser.

 

BE NICE TO YOURSELF. Every time you’re about to say something that disconnects you from your highest self, stop yourself and be nice. Create a good relationship with yourself, stay in your power and don’t give it away to anyone. This keeps your stress levels down.

 

TRY ACUPUNCTURE + HERBS. Acupuncture immediately resets your nervous system, It’s what we need when we’re stressed and tapping out our adrenals. Herbs replenish the body, blood and energy with natural elements that truly help heal by nourishing our entire system.

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A GUIDE TO DESIGNING A BESPOKE ENGAGEMENT RING

 

Is it expensive to design your own engagement ring?

When you think bespoke, you automatically think high value – and whilst this is true in some respects, commissioning a bespoke engagement ring doesn’t necessarily mean it will be more expensive. Choosing bespoke is about more than a price tag, it is driven by a desire for distinctiveness and your idea of what’s perfect. The actual price will vary based on materials and method, but most customers find designing their own rings invaluable.

 

Is there a starting price for commissions?

Part of the beauty of choosing bespoke is that you can set the budget to some extent; our portfolio comprises engagement rings that range from £2,000 to £25,000.

 

And how long does it usually take?

Around eight weeks from design to completion, depending on the intricacy of the design and how soon it’s required.

 

What’s the process?

You’ll start with a consultation so we can understand the story behind the commission before we head to the drawing board to bring these ideas to life. Once the design is approved, we use highly skilled British goldsmiths who have years of jewellery expertise to create each piece. Clients are in control, sharing their ideas, overseeing the design process and hand picking each gemstone.

 

What should you consider when designing an engagement ring?

The most important thing to remember is that you’ll wear the ring every day for the rest of your life, so the design has to be something you’ll still love in 50 years’ time. When going bespoke you can ignore convention and trends, instead, capturing your own style. Often couples share the experience together, to create a ring inspired by their relationship – reflecting their favourite pastime or with a hidden message. 

 

Materials

Always remember: colour and quality are important. Whether a sapphire or a diamond, the colour should be meaningful and, above all else, of the best quality for you requirements. There are endless possibilities but with expertise and guidance, sourcing the right stone is simple.

 

That said, we recommend avoiding fragile or softer gemstones as they will wear too easily over time. As a rule, engagement rings are made from superior precious metals, such as platinum, 18ct gold or a combination of the two. Both have benefits but platinum takes the crown as far as we’re concerned, due to its high polish.

 

Inspiration

Be bold and brave when designing the ring. Think about what inspires you, what your personal style is, whether you favour traditional or avant-garde jewellery. Fashion periods you love can also be a useful indication of what you might want – set out your vision and ideas and trust the experts to turn them into a beautiful piece of jewellery.

 

What styles really stand the test of time?

New interpretations of classic designs aren’t likely to date, but as a general rule, going bespoke gives you the freedom to create something truly unique, so design something that tells your story.

 

Can you remodel inherited jewellery or loose gemstones?

Absolutely! Breathing new life into a treasured heirloom gives extra sentimentality and history to a ring, adding yet more individuality. And this isn’t just confined to engagement rings; inherited jewels can be transformed into a bespoke bridal suite or celebration rings. 

 

Is it possible to design a ring that could be added to further down the line?

Yes – whether it's eternity rings, stacking rings or jacket-style rings, there are any number of opportunities to embellish the original piece, and each addition can be tailored to perfectly complement the engagement ring in fit as well as style.

 

How to get a bigger end product with a small budget

Adding shape and proportions to the design is a clever way of creating a standout piece without necessarily incorporating a large diamond or gemstone. Always keep your budget in mind and ensure whoever you’re working with is aware of this, they’ll know how to design what you want within your limit.

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LIVING WELL WITH ELLE

 

She has always been my mind, body and soul inspiration - a beauty icon at just nineteen and decades later still one of the most stunning women on the planet, Elle Macpherson gives us her list for a life well lived (and how to look dayum fine whilst you live it).

 

THIS SEASON IN 3 WORDS:

Self-love, gratitude.

 

MY UNIFORM THIS SEASON:

Zimmerman summer dresses, Hermes slides.

 

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE:

Freshly made almond milk, organic eggs, fresh produce from the local markets.

 

NATURAL BEAUTY TIP:

It’s nothing revolutionary, I know we’d all like a super secret product, but my secret is water, water, water! To stay hydrated from the inside, I drink at least three litres of water every day, sometimes more if I have done a hard workout. I know that if I nourish my cells from the inside it will show on the outside.

 

3 DAILY WELLNESS HABITS:

I wake at around 5:30 a.m., I set my intentions for the day, I try to be kind to myself and check in, to understand how I am feeling in my body and my mind. I try to take about 30 minutes every morning to meditate. It helps keep me stay balanced and feel strong and confident.

I always sip on hot water and lemon before I eat breakfast to kick start my metabolism.

I take two teaspoons of The Super Elixir Alkalizing Formula every day in 500ml of filtered water without fail. The difference it has made is extraordinary. My skin is never dry anymore, it looks plumper, and has something which has been called ‘the alkaline glow.’ The skin is a great barometer and can show how you’re feeling inside.

 

ALWAYS IN MY DAY BAG:

Smart phone; headphones (in case I get the chance for a walk); a notepad and pen – I find it’s better to jot ideas down as I have them rather than letting them swirl around in my head; nude lip gloss; my wallet and keys (of course).

 

HEALTH HABIT THAT CHANGED MY LIFE:

A few years ago, following a health scare, I needed to look at a more balanced way of living. I was feeling really run down, despite living what I thought was a healthy lifestyle and taking an array of synthetic supplements. I learned from my nutritional doctor, Dr Laubscher, that by reducing acid-forming foods and replacing them with nutrient packed vegetables and fruits, the body can return to an alkaline state, rid itself of toxins and allow the digestive system and liver to rest and recuperate.

For the body to work optimally, the pH of blood sits in a narrow range of between 7.35 and 7.45, which is slightly alkaline, and the body does everything it can to maintain this value. So it’s quite simple: Eat more plants, less animal foods and to help along the way, take an absorbable bio-live alkalizing greens blend such as The Super Elixir. It’s the only daily supplement I take now, no synthetic tablets.

 

WORKOUT I LOVE:

I am all about variety right now. I am learning to listen to my body, to really understand what it is I need that day. Some days it might be a yoga class, other days I might have more energy and feel like a boxing or bootcamp session.

 

ON MY BOOKSHELF:

I’ve just bought Australian author Sarah Wilson’s book, First, We Make The Beast Beautiful. It’s all about how she deals with anxiety, which I feel like is a really pressing issue for a lot of people.

 

RECENT INSPIRATIONS:

My boys inspire me every day. My eldest just piloted over NYC at night – so proud of him.

 

CAUSE THAT’S CLOSEST TO MY HEART:

CLIC Sargent fights tirelessly for children and young people with cancer, often when they feel they can’t.

Youth Focus is an independent West Australian not-for-profit working to stop youth suicide. Youth Focus works with young people aged 12-25 to help them overcome issues associated with depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicidal thoughts through the provision of free, unlimited and professional face-to-face individual and family counselling and other mental health services.

 

MY CURRENT MANTRA:

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

 

TO STAY HEALTHY ON THE RUN I…

If I know I am going to be on the go all day, I’ll pack our Nourishing Protein travel set with me – it’s in convenient sachets so I can make a shake on the go with almond milk to tide me over ’til the next meal.

 

HEALTHY RECIPE I RELY ON:

I am loving the breakfast smoothie bowl recipe below by Alison Wu.

 

ZUCCHINI NOURISHING PROTEIN SMOOTHIE BOWL

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 frozen zucchini
1/2 cup strawberries
2 Tbsp raw cacao nibs
2 Tbsp raw almond butter
1 cup hemp milk (or any non-dairy milk)
1 Tbsp chia seeds
4 ice cubes
1 scoop THE SUPER ELIXIR Chocolate Nourishing Protein

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients and blitz.

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THOUGHTFUL WAYS TO USE CRYSTALS IN YOUR WEDDING

 

Every bride wants to shine on her wedding day – mind, body and spirit. A simple, but special way to bring the best vibes to you and your loved ones is incorporating healing crystals into this oh so special ritual.  So, fall in love with these beautiful ideas of how to use crystals to add even more soul and meaning to your big day.

 

 

LINE THE AISLES

 

Similar to setting the energy with a crystal altar, you can also set the tone by placing a crystal at the end of each aisle. Not only is it an elegant way to mark the aisle with a colourful adornment, it also elevates and unifies everyone with the same vibration. Connected in the resonance of love, your attendees will feel one with the spirit of celebration.

 

 

CRYSTALS FOR YOUR BRIDESMAIDS

 

While the day is all about the bride and groom, those who are joining you – and helping to make this occasion all that it is – should know the gratitude you feel at having their presence close. Rose quartz is a stone of the heart and surrounds you with the energy of love, so why not take a moment with your girls before the ceremony and gift them a crystal to surround them with your love.

 

 

WEDDING BATH RITUAL

 

A few days before your wedding, pick up some flowers that represent love to you. On the morning of the day before your wedding, ideally when the sun is out, fill your bucket up with water. Hold the flowers over your heart and say:

 

Healing flowers, please infuse my mind, body and soul with the grace, beauty and magic that resides within the energy of Mother Nature. I ask my guardian angel and love angels to surround me now. Please cleanse me of any fears or wedding jitters that I may be holding onto in my conscious or subconscious mind. Raise my vibration to its highest frequency of love. I am love. Thank you, thank you, thank you and so it is.

 

 

SOMETHING BLUE - CELESTITE

 

‘Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ is a tried and true wedding tradition. With something blue in mind, this is a chance for you to get creative and bring this saying to life with a little crystal energy. A celestite crystal carries high-vibrational, calming powers to uplift your energy and relieve any nervousness before you make your way down the aisle. Wire it into your wedding bouquet, use a Celestine stone to make a hairpiece or sew a stone into your dress.

 

 

CRYSTAL PLACE SETTINGS

 

Mark each attendee’s place setting with a small crystal that will also be their take-home gift. Atop the card scribed with their name, set a crystal that you have infused with positivity. In turn, it will release that elevated energy back into the environment of your reception.

 

 

CRYSTAL CENTREPIECES

 

Whether you choose a large size or the petite size, crystal geodes make the perfect centrepieces. They have two halves that fit perfectly together, representing the couple coming together to their new partnership. On an aesthetic level, the tiny crystals that line the geode sparkle and glimmer when they hit the light. On an energetic level, the calcite or quartz constantly work to cleanse and clear the energy of your wedding space to increase the flow of positive energy. 

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HOW TO BE HAPPY

 

No matter who we are or what we do, we could all use a little more happiness.  And you’ll be pleased to read it’s not as difficult as you might think to turn that frown upside down. By developing a few simple habits we can boost our happiness levels significantly, here’s how…

 

SHRUG OFF NEGATIVE COMMENTS

Refusing to accept negative comments is one of the most positive things we can do. At the end of the day criticism is all about the person delivering it – generally those who criticise others reserve even more criticism for themselves. So, even if they are being really harsh to you, chances are they’re harbouring some sort of self-hate in there. A negative comment will only affect you if you allow it.

 

 

STOP CRITICISING YOURSELF

When you look in the mirror as soon as you wake up and pin point all the bits that you hate. Too many of us start our day this way and it truly does nothing but damage. This destructive dialogue will continue through the day if you let and will only build. So, be kind to yourself, train yourself to start with positive thoughts about yourself and most importantly forgive yourself if you make a mistake.

 

 

SOAK UP THE PRAISE

As a country we are notoriously crap at accepting compliments, but we really do need to break the habit of batting away nice words. All too often we let the bad words in and turn away the good ones. No more! Embrace the positivity and accept the kind energy into your life.

 

 

KNOW THAT YOU ARE ENOUGH

Some want to be funnier, more successful, wealthier, more loveable or just better looking.  Even those that are already all of the above are not immune to the feeling of not being enough. Because, if you keep moving the finish line every time you get close to it, you’ll struggle to feel that sense of achievement. Reaffirm the phrase: ‘I am enough, I have enough, I have always been enough and I will always be enough.’ Over and over again, say these words to yourself in the gym, when you’re walking the dog, or whilst you’re on your way to work.

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AN INTERVIEW WITH BOBBI BROWN

 

Bobbi’s new books Beauty From The Inside Out dives deep into the topic of beauty in terms I can most definitely relate to: from the benefits of yoga and mindfulness to beautifying recipes that us glowing with confidence. See Chalkboard Magazine’s interview with Bobbi listing out the empowering style rules that she lives by…

 

This season in 3 words : Health confidence and simplicity

My uniform this season : Same as always – jeans, a navy sweater and Stan Smiths.

Healthy dish/recipe I rely on lately : Chocolate, collagen smoothie with coconut milk

Always in my fridge : Pellegrino and fresh lemon juice

3 daily wellness habits : Hydrate, move my body and breathe

To stay healthy on the run I… Always have packets of healthy snacks

Natural beauty tip : Coconut oil is the best to remove makeup. Pinch your cheeks to give them an instant and perfect flush

Always in my day bag : My iPhone and sunglasses

Health habit that changed my life : Walking 12,000 steps a day

Workout I love : SoulCycle

On my bookshelf : Joan Juliet Buck’s Price of Illusion

Recent inspirations : Gloria Steinem

Cause that’s closest to my heart : Women’s empowerment

My current mantra : Do what you love

 

 

Bobbi Brown interview with Chalkboard Magazine - http://thechalkboardmag.com/beauty-from-the-inside-out-by-bobbi-brown

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RAVISHING RHUBARB RECIPES

 

Delicious in just about everything, whether it's sweet, savoury or somewhere in between, rhubarb is now in season until June. It's distinctive tart taste and punchy pink colouring can spruce up a salad, bring a whole new level to baking and add a sophisticated sort of drama to your desserts. Pink is not normally top of our list, but rhubarb crumble undoubtedly is so give these unique recipes a try and put a bit of blush into dinner time...

 

Raspberry, Rhubarb & Almond Paleo Bars | Bakerita

 

Rhubarb & Lemon Baked Cheesecake | Delicious

 

Spring Salad & Rhubarb Vinaigrette | Chatelaine

 

Cardamon & Rhubarb Creme Brûlée Tartlets | The Boy Who Bakes

 

Spiced Rhubarb & Quinoa Salad | Abel & Cole

 

Rose & Rhubarb Layer Cake | Vikalinka

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