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SHOULD YOU CHOOSE YOUR OWN ENGAGEMENT RING?

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Why you should choose

We all care about what we put on every morning. We trawl through online stores and meticulously curate wardrobes that we love, carefully considering each piece and whether it’s worth the investment. And, we’ve all had that gift from family that wasn’t on your gift list. Freestyling can often, and quite rapidly, spiral into disappointment so my advice is, don’t risk it. If you’re getting married to an oil baron and you don’t care how the ring looks you care more about how much it cost…then sure go ahead and let his assistant pick out a bobby dazzler for you…otherwise why not take the pressure off him and choose something you both like.

 

 

 

Why your partner should choose

Gentlemen. If you’re wracked with doubt about choosing a ring, or your partner is dead set on picking their own, I’d still advise doing your best to be a little sneaky about it. Stroll the South Lanes of Brighton together looking in jewellery shop windows and getting an idea for what she might like, then swoop back a week or so later and buy the one she fell in love with. Or, if you’ve got one, opt for a family heirloom. It may not necessarily be her style but she’ll absolutely love the history that comes with it and the fact that your family has handed it down to her through the generations.

 

 

Whilst all other wedding traditions seem to be faltering, don’t let proposing with a ring be the tradition that fades.  

 

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MORE THAN THE BIG O

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It’s about more than the big O. A vibrant and deeply intimate sex life calls for building layers of intimacy – with our bodies, our partners, and ourselves too. This means that self-care is key.  It’s something we all want out of life the deepest form of connection through intimacy with another. But are we truly allowing ourselves to enter such an intimate state or are we secretly holding ourselves back? Giving your body is one thing, but giving yourself is a different ball game (excuse the pun) entirely. It’s said that sex is better with the person you love that’s because there is a level of knowing, trust, vulnerability and most importantly ecstasy that comes with it. So how do we create that sexual bliss…

 

 

BE VULNERABLE

 

Not fifty shades vulnerable, but opening your heart and welcoming your partner to your body. It’s in that moment that everything else is just background noise, you’re in your purest state because you’re open, exposed and present with someone. If you can let go and feel every sensation you’ll give yourself that vulnerability and in turn create a true connection.

 

 

KNOW YOUR NEEDS

 

We all think we know our body and it sounds so obvious but not many people really know their bodies and what they appreciate sexually – let alone asking their partner for what they want. Knowing what you like, how you want to be touched and even how you want to be spoken to is so important when creating that epic sexual experience. There is something incredibly sexy about a woman who knows what she wants and will openly ask for it. So think, how can you connect more to your body and think about what it is that you really want.

 

 

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

 

It’s no secret that when we’re at the peak of feeling good and treating our body well the sexier we feel. When you exercise and nourish your body, you’re more likely to enter an intimate moment with another level of confidence or freedom even. That sense of freedom changes the way you touch, kiss and even move your body – this is essential for that vibrant encounter.

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HOW TO DECIDE YOUR WEDDING STATIONERY STYLE

 

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Today we were thinking about how difficult it can be to decide what you'd like your wedding stationery to look like. It's easy to get caught up in a sea of beautiful invitations on Pinterest and just choose something that looks pretty, but we believe there's more to an invitation than beauty. Our focus is on intentionality when it comes to wedding invitations. We want your stationery to give your guests a preview of your wedding day in subtle and original ways.

First, think of every invitation you've ever gotten in the post. Did you throw it away? Hang it on your fridge? Did you tear it open, or treat it like a piece of art? Our goal is for each of your guests to fall so in love with your invitation suite that they want to call you immediately with their excitement over it. Once you're on board with creating something beautiful, we find the little things that make you who you are and gracefully weave that into our designs.

Some ways to include personality and the wedding "preview" into your stationery is by choosing an accent color, possibly reflecting your wedding colors. If your wedding is going to be very cosy and intimate, maybe include a heartfelt note to each of your guests. If you're hosting your wedding in an art gallery and you and your future hubby are art fanatics, maybe choose a vellum overlay on top of a beautiful, abstract painting or drawing.

There are so many ways to infuse yourself and your wedding style into your invitations, you sometimes just have to get off of Pinterest, ask yourself a few simple questions, and leave the creating up to the professionals.

See our list of 7 questions to ask yourself to decide your invitation style below, and please don't be afraid to reach out for any suggestions or advice.

 

7 QUESTIONS TO TO DECIDE YOUR STATIONERY STYLE

 

1. Do you like calligraphy or simple typefaces?

2. Do you like color or subtle neutrals?

3. Illustrations or keep it simple? (i.e. venue, crest, nature)

4. Extremely detailed & informative or pare it down & put the rest on the website?

5. Clean & modern or vintage & organic?

6. List 3 hobbies, personality traits, or unique things about you as a couple.

7. Use 3 words to describe your wedding style.

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WEDDING STATIONERY ETIQUETTE

 

WHEN TO SEND OUT SAVE THE DATES

6-8 months. Make sure to only send out save the dates to people who will be invited, without a doubt.

 

WHEN TO SEND OUT INVITATIONS

6-8 weeks. This gives out of town guests plenty of time to make travel arrangements. If it's a destination wedding, give your guests more time by sending them out 3 months ahead of time. We recommend beginning the design process 4-6 weeks prior to the date you'd like to send them out.

 

HOW TO CHOOSE A DEADLINE FOR RSVPS

2-4 weeks in order to allow enough time to give your head count to the caterer and organise the seating arrangements. 

 

INVITATION INFORMATION

Keep it simple. The invitation should only include the host names, the full names of the couple marrying, and the date, time, and location of the ceremony. Do not print extra information on the back of the invitation.

 

SPELL IT OUT

You should always spell out words, such as, "street", "apartment", or state names. Numerals under 20 should also always be spelled out.

 

REGISTRY INFO

You don't want to come off as asking for gifts, therefore we don't advise including your registry information on any stationery you send out. We do however encourage you to have close family and friends spread the word, as well as include these details on your wedding website.

 

DRESS CODE

You may include your dress code either in the lower corner of the invitation, on a details card, or on your website. Wording options include: Black Tie, Cocktail Attire, Casual Attire, etc. Whether you include dress code information or not, your invitation suite should reflect the formality of the event through the design and presentation.

 

DETAILS

Make sure to give your guests all of the information they will need to plan for your wedding. We suggest creating a wedding website as the mobile hub for all of these nitty gritty details, and printing the URL on your small detail card. If you choose to print the URL, make sure to include a list of information they will find on your website to encourage them to visit it. This is an easy way to save money on extra suite pieces, and also make it easy on your guests so that they have access to this information wherever they are. However, if you have a lot of elderly guests, you may want to consider printing all of this additional info on a larger detail card, or multiple cards since they are probably not as technologically savvy.

 

PLUS ONES

It is not required to include a plus one for every single guest you invite. Most guests should know if "and guest" is not after their name, they are not invited to bring a plus one. If you're having an intimate wedding, most guests should understand your reasoning.

 

RETURN ADDRESSES

It is customary to include a return address on the back flap of the envelope. This address should be whomever's is designated to receive the response cards. This address should be printed on your response cards as well.

 

RSVP POSTAGE

You should always include postage on your response cards. If not, you'll risk your guests not sending in their RSVP's due to the inconvenience of having to buy postage.

 

THANK YOU NOTES

Thank you's should be treated with a sense of urgency. Express your true appreciation in a timely manner by sending your gratitude within two weeks of receiving the gift.

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F*** OFF FLU

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With cold and flu season just around the corner, and Christmas weddings a plenty… the flu free experts share their golden rules for boosting your immune system. From the supplements to take to the nutrients to seek out, read on for their top tips...

 

POP A PROBIOTIC

 

“Countless studies have suggested probiotics can have a significant impact on our immunity. Bolster your defences come winter by taking a good-quality probiotic supplement daily, as well as plenty of fermented foods – think sauerkraut, kimchi, yoghurt and miso. Up to 70% of your immune system lies in your gut, so nourish it for optimal health.” – Shabir Daya, Co-Founder of Victoria Health Victoriahealth.com

 

EAT MUSHROOMS

 

“Mushrooms have been used for their immune-boosting effects for centuries. Research recently revealed mushrooms are a superfood – they’re packed with antioxidants, notably selenium, which helps to support the immune system and prevent damage to cells and tissues. Shiitake and reishi mushrooms are particularly effective.” – Rebecca Pilkington, nutritional therapist Rebeccapilkington.com

 

USE GARLIC

 

“Make an effort to add more garlic to your diet, especially in its raw state. Garlic has incredible anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects, which can kill bacteria and viruses. Something as simple as adding raw garlic to soups, pesto and dressings can really reduce the intensity and duration of a cold or the flu. If you can’t bear it raw, wait at least ten minutes after peeling before you cook it – this will allow the clove to retain more of its health benefits.” – Rebecca Pilkington

 

STRESS LESS

 

“Stress can have a huge impact on the immune system – when we’re stressed, this suppresses the immune system, making infection significantly more likely. Take time out for yourself on a regular basis – do more yoga, learn to breathe properly and stay mindful.” – Rebecca Pilkington

 

DITCH SUGAR

 

“If you feel a cold coming on, the most important thing you can do is avoid sugar, as this is damaging to the immune system and suppresses our ability to fight infection. Sugar also makes the body acidic, and an overly acid body provides the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and disease.” – Rebecca Pilkington

 

BOOST VITAMIN C

 

“Did you know the likes of peppers, kale, papaya, strawberries and brussels sprouts boast more vitamin C than citrus fruit? Vitamin C is vital during the winter months to boost immunity as it works to produce antibodies and boost the activity of immune cells. Remember that vitamin C is water soluble though, meaning it can’t be stored in the body so regular intake throughout the day is recommended – aim for at least 1000mg spread across the day.” – Shabir Daya

 

SWAP TO COCONUT OIL

 

“With an increasing amount of studies suggesting coconut oil may have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory benefits, it could be worth swapping your usual oil for coconut oil this winter. Packed with lauric and caprylic acid, coconut oil can help to fight off bacterial infections as well as yeast overgrowth (candida).” – Rebecca Pilkington

 

TAKE A MULTIVITAMIN

 

“Even if you have a balanced diet, it’s worth taking a multivitamin as a kind of insurance policy to protect the body – I recommend FoodScience Daily Immunity, £25.50. A balanced diet is tricky to achieve and assumes everything you eat is packed with nutrition; this isn’t always the case.” – Shabir Daya

 

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TOP TIPS FOR NEWLYWEDS

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MAKE TIME FOR EACH OTHER

Have ‘together time’ in the morning and evening to ensure you’re both getting the right amount of attention from each other and making the most of each others company.

 

 

SPLIT RESPONSIBILITIES

Split your chores where you can, prep breakfast together to make getting ready for work a little easier for both of you. It all helps to make it feel like there’s less to do around the home which in turn means you get to spend more quality time together.

 

 

SHARE YOUR SCHEDULE

Don’t be the guy that leaves your partner wondering why you’re late home from work again…her mind will be going mental with sordid affairs and secretaries in stockings. If there’s a big project going down at work let everyone know so as not to disappoint if date night doesn’t happen this week.

 

 

FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION

You turn down things and say no to commitments to make sure you get your work done, make sure you do the same for your partner if they’re in need of a little extra love.

 

 

ROUTINE, ROUTINE, ROUTINE

Now that you’re a team you need to adjust your routine a little to work for both of you.  So make sure your old ways are given a little refresh to make sure they’re not impacting your other half.

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THE HONEYMOON HOW TO

 

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The  flowers are sorted, the dress fits just right and the prosecco is on point next up the fun bit…honeymoon planning! Buuut not all is as it seems, turns out you can actually get it very wrong. Whilst you’re busying yourself with guest lists and cake , honeymooning is often last minute and a little less planned than perhaps it should be. Travel expert Melissa Biggs Bradley notes that few vacations come with greater expectations as she states,  ‘A honeymoon marks the official start of your married life and so seems to carry with it signs of what the future will hold.’ No pressure then!

 

 

GOING TOO BIG

One major mistake, Biggs Bradley says, is planning a trip that’s super adventurous or far-flung right after the big day. After days of intense emotion and one hell of a party, you’re likely to be fairly knackered – if you then have to jump on a long flight or settle straight into a safari, chances are you’ll end up snapping at each other and loosing your shit instead of getting lost in it all. Melissa claims she knows couples who slept for the first four days of their honeymoon because they travelled such a long distance after such an epic wedding week. Instead, Melissa recommends picking something easy-breezy and low-key or having a little buffer time between the wedding and a major honeymoon.

 

 

NOT COMMUNICATING

Marriage is all about compromise and it starts at the honeymoon. Granted it’s one of the easier and slightly more enjoyable compromises to be made but it still needs to be a conversation to make sure you’re both getting what you want. Surprises are nice…sometimes…but not on this occasion. Often the best honeymoons are built on the ideas of both people, each adding a flavour of what they like – an activity or a region to make one epic trip. If there’s just no agreeing, get a travel expert involved to help make the planning process a little more seamless.

 

 

NOT DOING YOUR RESEARCH

New is great, and a honeymoon is the perfect opportunity to head off and explore somewhere neither of you have been before – together. But be sure to do your research, couples who love super luxurious resorts should avoid a remote location with limited accommodation options, whilst more active folk just won’t enjoy two weeks on a private beach with little else to do but chill. The more honest you can be about what you both want the easier it is to book the right trip. So, ask what’s important. Hotel, location, activities or food?

 

 

EXPECTING THE WORLD

Of course your expectations for your honeymoon are high, and rightly so, but be sure to bring a relaxed attitude because travel doesn’t always go to plan. If it rains, or you loose your luggage, your marriage is not doomed it just happens - so try not to imagine a picture perfect scenario, as chances are real life won’t play ball. Be prepared with a few back up bikinis and board shorts in your hand luggage, that way if it all goes Pete Tong you can still head to the surf or relax on the beach whilst you wait for your bag.

 

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The A to Z of skincare & beauty

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A is for... AHAs

AHAs – also known as alpha hydroxyl acids – are chemicals that loosen the bonds between surface skin cells. When applied topically to the skin, AHAs allow dead skin cells to be whisked away. Look out for AHAs in anti-ageing creams and cleansers for glow-giving results.

 

B is for... BHAs

BHA – also known as salicylic acid – stands for beta hydroxyl acid and is a derivative of aspirin. Since it has the ability to penetrate the skin, it offers deep pore exfoliation as well as acting on the skin’s surface to reduce inflammation and fight bacteria. Because it's oil-soluble, BHA is great at clearing pores of sebum and dirt without manual exfoliation, making it ideal for tackling acne.

 

C is for... Copper

Copper peptides are found naturally in the human body – they have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and can promote wound healing and collagen stimulation. In skincare, copper is used primarily as an anti-ageing ingredient and can help to refine texture and reduce scars. Copper peptides perform best in serums, concentrates and creams as opposed to wash-off formulas.

 

D is for... Derma-Rolling

When done by a professional in-salon, derma rolling (also known as microneedling) tricks your skin into thinking it’s been wounded. Tiny needles are pushed or rolled over the face and neck to create controlled punctures, which supercharges collagen production. In short, the skin is forced to repair itself, leading to healthier, glowing skin the long run.

 

E is for... Expiry Dates

When it comes to expensive skincare products, it’s easy to justify the cost by thinking they’ll last you forever. The truth is – they won’t. Every skincare or make-up product you buy has a little symbol on it indicating how long it’ll last once you’ve opened it. If it says 6m, you should use it within six months of opening; if it says 24m, you’ve got two years.

 

F is for... Ferulic Acid

A powerhouse antioxidant, ferulic acid can help slow the ageing process by reducing the effects of damaging free radicals on the skin. It’s also thought to protect against sun damage, as well as regenerating damaged skin. It’s best avoided by very sensitive skin types and best applied directly to the skin in a serum.

 

G is For... Greens

Packed with vitamins A, C, E and B as well as iron, the likes of spinach, cabbage, watercress and kale are essentials for glowing skin. A diet rich in greens can also help blemish-prone skin as vitamin A can normalise the production of oil.

 

H is For... Hyaluronic Acid

This naturally occurring molecule is right up there in the anti-ageing stakes – it works to lubricate the connective tissues in your skin, keeping pores plump and hydrated. Our own reserves reduce as we age so applying this ingredient topically is vital for preserving a youthful glow.

 

I is For... Inflammation

Symptoms of inflammation in the body can be numerous and vague – ranging from fatigue to headaches – and your skin is no exception. Triggered by poor nutrition, pollution, sunlight and stress, dermatologists agree inflammation is the real culprit behind pretty much every skin issue, including wrinkles.

 

 

J is For... Jojoba Oil

Similar in structure to the skin’s natural oil, jojoba oil penetrates skin deeply to hydrate without clogging pores. If you struggle with blemishes and acne, make a bee-line for jojoba oil which, by mimicking the skin’s natural sebum, tricks it into stopping oil overproduction. It can even help to heal acne scars, too.

 

K Is For... Kaolin

A claylike mineral that absorbs excess oil, kaolin tends to be white in colour and is a great way to calm oily skin and deep cleanse the complexion. Kaolin tends to be gentler than other types of clay, making it a good choice for sensitive skin, though – as with all clays – overuse can lead to dry skin. Try incorporating it into your skincare regime once a week in the form of a mask.

 

L Is For... L-Absorbic Acid

We all know vitamin C is a skin saviour thanks to its antioxidant properties, but did you know l-absorbic acid is the most easily absorbed form? Particularly powerful when paired with hyaluronic acid (which boosts penetration), it’s one to look out for in anti-ageing formulas.

 

M Is For... Microdermabrasion

Best performed by a dermatologist, microdermabrasion is all about dead skin cell removal. The top layer of the skin is exfoliated by using a wand to spray on, and then vacuum off, extremely fine aluminium-oxide crystals. A newer form of the technology uses a vibrating diamond tip in place of the crystals.

 

N Is For... Niacinamide

A form of vitamin B3, niacinamide helps to strengthen the skin’s outer layers, improve elasticity and curb redness and irritation. Those with acne-prone skin should seek it out, as well as those concerned with anti-ageing as it has been shown to boost levels of plumping fatty acids in the skin.

 

O Is For... Oils

Facial oils are a great way to achieve smoother, softer skin and even those with oilier complexions can benefit – the skin’s over-production of oil is actually a sign your skin is lacking in oils to keep it hydrated. If you typically steer clear of oils thinking they’ll cause breakouts, seek out the right blends. Drier and more sensitive skins can get away with heavier blends.

 

P is For... Parabens

Parabens have gained a bad rap in recent years after research revealed a potential link to breast cancer, although the risk has yet to be fully proven. They remain the most commonly used preservative in the beauty industry, so if you want to avoid them, make sure your label doesn’t contain any of the following: methylparaben, propylparaben and ehtylparaben.

 

Q is For... Quick Fix

Even those with the perfect skincare regime should be armed with some quality quick fixes for when they're tired or on-the-go. Arm yourself with Sudocream to tackle breakouts, E45 for skin reactions and Lanolips Golden Ointment to soothe chapped patches.

OUR TOP TIP... Keep two spoons in the fridge at all times – when your eyes and face are feeling puffy, simply glide over the face to brighten and wake up the complexion.

 

R Is For... Retinoid

Retinol is a potent derivative of vitamin A, often found in anti-ageing formulas. Not only does it boost cell production in the top layer of the skin but also helps improve collagen production and can reduce the appearance of pigmentation. While many people are sensitive to retinol, retinoids – also called retinyl palmitate – are known to cause the fewest side effects.

 

S Is For... Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Found in the majority of beauty products – from shower gels to toothpastes – SLS is used primarily for its ability to create a lather when it comes into contact with water. If you suffer from sensitive skin, you may want to avoid SLS, which can cause irritation, including dryness, redness and eye irritation.

 

TOP TIP... For those who like their products to lather, SLS provides a deep clean although SLES (sodium laureth sulfate) is a gentler alternative.

 

T Is For... Tea Tree Oil

Despite being toxic when ingested orally, when applied topically tea tree oil has reported antimicrobial properties. Most commonly found in anti-blemish products, the likes of tea tree oils, treatments and cleansers are a quick and effective way to treat spots.

 

 

U is For... UVA & UVB

The two ultraviolet rays that reach from the sun to the earth’s surface, UVA and UVB rays are bad news for your skin. Over-exposure can lead to photo-damage and sunburn, which can lead to skin cancer. At the same time, UV radiation can trigger a loss of skin elasticity, thinner skin, wrinkles, dry skin, broken capillaries, freckles and liver spots.

TAKE ACTION... It’s nothing new, but wear an SPF daily to safeguard your skin.

 

V is for... Vitamin C

A supercharged antioxidant proven to boost collagen production, which is crucial for a youthful complexion, vitamin C can help to defend against free radicals (the particles found in pollution, smoke and UV rays, which are damaging to the skin). Dermatologists say we should be using a vitamin C serum from our early 20s – while it can’t protect like an SPF, it can help to minimise the damage deep down that you can’t see, making it a powerful preventative ingredient.

 

W is for... Water

Making up almost two thirds of our body, water plays a vital role in everything from regulating body temperature to keeping our skin and digestion healthy. And when it comes to skin health, drinking at least two litres is essential for a youthful complexion.

TRY... Keep your face hydrated throughout the day – especially if you work in an airconditioned office – with a plumping face mist.

 

X, Y and Zzzz...

Make an effort to get your beauty sleep – when we sleep, our skin goes into rest mode, repairing damage caused by the sun’s rays and harmful pollution. Adequate sleep will restore luminosity to the skin while improving tone and texture – there’s a reason beauty experts call it the best-kept anti-ageing secret.

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TO TAKE HIS NAME OR NOT...

 

It’s another one of those traditions that modern day society has begun to question. Personally I don’t find it archaic in the slightest, far from it in fact. However, there are some theories being thrown around as to why you might not want to take his name. So would you take your husband’s name?

 

 

YOU ARE YOUR BRAND

 

The old adage ‘making a name for yourself’ rings true here. If you’ve spent your career building up recognition around your name – especially if it’s quite distinctive – it can seem like a big step back to make the change. Keeping your surname allows you to retain the personal brand you’ve been working on for years. Alternatively, more and more women are taking their husband’s name legally, but keeping their maiden name professionally.

 

 

KEEPING THE FAMILY NAME ALIVE

 

For women with sisters and no male cousins, there can be an element of sadness to see the family name die out, or perhaps even pressure from relatives to carry it on. If you’re strongly attached to your family name, you may feel personally invested in seeing it handed down to the next generation should you have children.

 

 

THE SIMPLE LIFE

 

A major bonus of taking your husband’s name is that it can make general life admin, such as your finances, that bit easier. Equally, if you have children, some people find it really helpful or unifying to have a single family name.

 

 

OLD SCHOOL

 

For a lot of people, a wife taking their husband’s name is just the done thing in their family. It might be what you’ve grown up around and could feel like a natural choice, or maybe you think it’s romantic to merge your life and name with your partner’s. While it’s more acceptable than ever to keep your own name, there shouldn’t be any shame in valuing tradition either.

 

 

PERSONAL TASTE

 

In some cases, it can simply come down to taste or how a name sounds – does your husband’s name go with your first name? Some women can’t stand their family name and are eager to cast it off for a new start, while for others a surname can be strongly linked to their identity and might feel bereft at the thought of letting it go. Perhaps you’ll decide a double-barrel suits you best as a couple, or maybe your husband could take your surname. After all, why should it always be up to the woman? There’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

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WAKE UP, BEAUTIFUL

For sure we're all beautiful souls, inside and out, but sometimes that just doesn't cut the mustard when you've woken up with what you feel is a completely different face from the day before. Your lips look smaller, your cheeks are more puffy and you've developed wrinkles overnight, well no more. There are a few things you can do to wake up with better skin...

SLEEP ON SILK

“While it may seem extravagant, swapping your regular pillowcase for a silk one can really help to support your skin. Unlike cotton, silk allows the skin to slide, so it won’t pull or tug, which reduces crease lines and marks across your face, neck and décolletage. Plus, as a non-absorbent fabric, silk won’t deplete your moisture levels or absorb precious serums and night creams.” – Lisa Franklin, facialist 

 

GO FOR GOLD 

“If my skin needs some extra help, I’ll reach for Alpha H’s Liquid Gold, £33.50. Applied before bed, its AHA-rich formula gets to work on dead skin cells, penetrating deep into the pores for a deep cleanse and to eradicate spot-causing bacteria. If you suffer from a dull complexion or are prone to blemishes, try this a couple of times a week before bed but remember to pair with an SPF during the day as acids can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.” – Emma Day, make-up artist

 

KNOW YOUR INGREDIENTS

“When looking for a night cream, keep an eye out for formulas with a high concentration of hyaluronic acid and centella asiatica, which are great at boosting hydration and revitalising the skin overnight. Make the time to use a face mask at least once a week – they work wonders to lock in moisture and can help to stimulate the production of collagen for glowier skin in the long run.” – Dr Yannis Alexandrides, Founder of 111 Harley Street

 

CLEANSE SOONER RATHER THAN LATER

“It’s really important to get into a habit of cleansing and moisturising your skin the minute you get home, not just before you go to bed. If you get home at six and go to bed at 11, that’s five more hours of grime on your face. If you cleanse as soon as you get home, your products will have even longer to work their magic too.” – Lisa Franklin

 

ROLL OVER

“Sleeping on your back can make a huge difference to your skin in the long-run. When you sleep on your side, your face gets compressed into your pillow – when this is repeated night after night, it causes short-term creases which can develop into permanent lines.” – Abigail James, facialist.

 

GLOW FOR IT

“If your skin needs a subtle boost of colour but you’re wary of using fake tan, especially in the winter months, start adding a few drops of Hylamide Booster Glow Serum, £20, into your moisturiser a couple of nights a week. It contains melanin peptides, which gradually work to add a glow to the complexion – add a couple more drops for a deeper colour.” – Jessica Kell, make-up artist

 

TURN DOWN THE HEAT

“While it’s tempting to put the heating up as the temperature drops outside, lying in the heat for hours on end can wreak havoc with your complexion. Also remember to hydrate before bed – we lose enormous amounts of water through sweating at night which can dry out the skin.” – Dr Benji Dhillon, cosmetic doctor at PHI Clinic

 

LAYER UP

“If you want to wake up with better skin overnight, layer up on your skincare, and really invest the time in proper application. Double cleanse to remove makeup and spritz on toner before working an oil into the skin, making sure you’re massaging upwards and outwards around the face for a heightened glow. If, after 15 minutes, you feel your skin needs more moisture, don’t be afraid to add a small bit of moisturiser, again working it into the skin instead of letting it sit on top of the surface.” – Charlotte Connolley, facialist 

 

CARB FACE IS A THING

“To wake up with defined cheekbones, eat a high-protein, low-sugar dinner (try salmon and asparagus, a natural diuretic) and skip the rice pasta and potatoes. When your diet is high in refined carbohydrates, your features can take on a soft, doughy appearance. A handful of Brazil nuts or walnuts (rich in potassium and selenium) before bed instead can also help you fall asleep faster and guarantee adequate beauty sleep.’ – Nicholas Perricone, Founder of Perricone MD

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NATURAL HEALING

Living well isn’t just about fixing imbalances, it’s about fine-tuning our bodies to do what they do best: just be.

Join us on a journey as yogi and energy medicine master, Lauren Walker, teaches us how to activate the natural healing potential of our bodies – and it’s a whole lot more simple than you might expect…

When the body is in balance, it can heal everything. We’ve all read those miracle stories of overnight healing of cancers and other debilitating diseases; Western medicine has no answer for those miracles. The answer is: your own body!

Every day our bodies are detoxing and clearing disease patterns. A healthy immune system can handle almost anything you throw at it. But the problems happen when our immune systems are overtaxed.

So if you’re taxed, tired and stressed, how can your body do what it naturally wants to do? This is where energy comes in. Not just any kind of energy. But energy that is intelligently guided to help you come into balance, so you can heal. This type of intelligent energy is what we teach with Energy Medicine Yoga.

The first thing you need to do to activate the natural healing intelligence of your body is to start speaking to your body in the language your body can understand. Your body speaks in pulses and rhythms. Once you learn this simple language, your body will start listening to you and responding. Without having to learn the whole language, here are some basic things you can do to get your body into healing mode.

 

GET YOUR ENERGY MOVING FORWARD

 

+ Thump all over your upper chest with vigor, Tarzan style.

 

This speaks to all of your meridian systems, and specifically, your kidney meridian, which is the leader of the pack. Thumping on your chest like this gets your energy moving forward.

 

 

GET YOUR ENERGY CROSSING OVER

 

+ March in place tapping the right hand to the right thigh and the left hand to the left thigh. Do this ten times.

+ Brush your hands off and march in place, tapping your right hand to your left thigh and your left hand to your right thigh.

 

This crosses the energy over the midline of the body and is incredibly important to your body’s ability to function well. The body can’t heal if the energy isn’t crossing over.

 

 

CALM YOUR STRESS RESPONSE

 

+ Put your palm over your forehead.

+ Put two fingers into the hollow at the base of your throat.

 

These two holds help to diffuse the stress response in the body so you are calmer and can think clearly. They help keep you from going into fight-or-flight response at every little trigger — even the big triggers.

 

 

GET YOUR ENERGY GROUNDED

+ Walk barefoot on the earth.

+ Oil your feet.

+ Rub a stainless steel spoon over the bottoms of your feet.

All three of these things help to ground your energy, so it can be more easily directed to do the work it needs to do in the body. Once you start to activate, de-stress and ground your energy, it will start to work for you in ways you’ve dreamed of but never thought were truly possible.

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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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