The Highs and Woes of Skincare : My New Routine

The Highs and Woes of Skincare : My New Routine


when i was younger, i surprisingly (despite my awful diet because i’m a fussy human to this day here), always had pretty good skin. it wasn’t until further into my teenage years, when that ol’ chestnut -late puberty- and hormones kicked in, that i began to run into some issues. that, and most probably using crappy £1 make up products, wipes and washing my face with whatever available foamy product was for-the-taking on the sink. 

i’ve never had acne as such, but becoming an adult (as much as i still like to pretend i’m not because oh lord is it a struggle) did bring me a whole load of random pimples on my forehead which i didn’t ask for, and i do react pretty rapidly to meds, vits and perhaps *occasionally* going overboard on the chocobons or accidentally sleeping in my makeup (we’ve all been there, kkkk? :| )

all of that aside, the thing that’s bothered me above all else is those damned dark circles which have set up camp beneath my eyes. being anaemic since childhood, combined with being a questionable sleeper in my latter years, has certainly not aided this and i was verging on making that desperate decision between ‘i need help’ and ‘do i embrace that i am officially half panda?’.

well, when panasonic decided to offer me some new tools, plus the advice of skin expert, louise thomas-minns as part of their ‘shaped around you’ campaign, i bet you can guess what i went and did ... i took it.

now i’m not here to sit and preach about the importance of skincare ‘cause you all know that by now and you also all probably have your certain routines and go-to’s. but what i loved about this campaign is that the whole idea is based on how these panasonic products can help enhance and seamlessly fit into your existing lifestyle. because change is great an’ all but us humans are a little scared of too much of it ...

i’ve been testing two products for a couple months now, and whilst initially skeptical over how much the micro-current facial enhancer (pictured left) and facial steamer (right) could actually do after not noticing a great deal of change within the first few weeks (i actually had to ask for a deadline extension, one : because i was pretty damn ill and looked like a zombie, whatever i tried and two : because i wasn’t convinced i’d noticed enough to write home about), the comments from both friends and strangers, online and in-person, helped me realise how far my skin had actually come. 

it’s amazing how much of a harsh critic somebody who looks at their own face daily can become without taking a step back to look at the bigger picture. 

the 3-in-1 micro-current facial enhancer, as the name suggests, comes with three skin-saviour settings which work alongside your usual toning and moisturising products :

purifying ~ a subtle heat and alternating current which helps to open pores and remove any stubborn dirt/grease, which wouldn’t otherwise want to let you live, with minimal effort (= more time for productive things like shopping and netflix)

moisturising ~ after applying your personal pick of face cream, the current helps to push its moisture-providing ingredients deeper down to where they’re most needed, making the most out of the product on which you choose to spend your pretty pennies 

cooling ~ my favourite of the lot. it’s like a refreshing spa sensation which soothes, tightens and firms your lovely face. this has been my dark circle saviour and leaves me feeling and -according to my colleagues- looking rather radiant too. i honestly think it would help me chill in the midst of a stress-fest (which occurs far too often these days, ty life)

speaking of spa sensations, the facial steamer is literally an at-home, mini version of that. whilst i don’t use this as often, when you live in london (one of the highest polluted cities in the world, please pray for our lungs), it’s a handy little machine to have about the house, whether you’re wanting a thorough facial detox or a quick pick-me-up after a cocktail-fuelled weekend. simply add water and you’re good to go. 

if only that rule applied to everything in life ...

on top of these, louise advised i also exfoliate less. yes, less. i became so obsessed with glycolic pads that i’d apparently been over-exfoliating, which was most likely making me break out more and adding to the oiliness mumma blessed me with in my t-zone. learn something new everyday eh?

so there you have it. all the improvements with minor changes ~ the updated skincare practice which is keeping me panda-free and radiant in winter.

you don’t need to alter your entire routine to make a difference!

~ this post was sponsored by panasonic, however all opinions, anecdotes and rambles belong to yours truly
The Gift of Gifting : Keeping Christmas Personal

The Gift of Gifting : Keeping Christmas Personal

in collaboration with Accessorize

as i write this, i’m sat reminiscing on the fact that it’s november, and last night, i was in a restaurant which was unashamedly blasting paul mccartney’s ‘simply having a wonderful christmas time’ and my sister and i were unashamedly singing along. 

as i write this, i’m sat thinking about twenty-seventeen, the things i’ve achieved and the people i’ve met. the ups and downs - of which there have been plenty - and of the year to come. which, might i remind you is no longer than just over a month away. ha. hahaha. i’m not laughing out of sheer terror of how fast time flies … i promise …

my mum asked me what i wanted for christmas this year and do you know what, it took me over a week to get back to her and all i could think of was a plant. i just LOVE plants. i’ve already got a name for it too, despite the fact it doesn’t even exist yet. it’s cornelia, if you were wondering (thanks, sis for the inspo) but that’s a whole other story which is heading a little off-topic so we’ll save it for a later date i guess. see, everyone always said there’d be a time where we’d struggle to think of anything we want and for me, that time is now more than ever. well, there’s always the less-than-feasible options of a happy, peaceful world, 10/10 health and a bit more sunshine in the UK but whilst my mother is a wonderful woman, even she isn’t as much of a miracle worker to provide that.

being bloggers, we’re surrounded by ‘stuff’. everyday, new parcels. every event, another goody bag. and with risk of sounding like the number one, most first world problem-er ever, having so much stuff means everything does just become ‘stuff’. am i making any sense? it’s bloody lovely stuff, might i add. and i still have to step back and take a sec to assess how all of this even became a thing but i never want to lose sight of what a gift really is. the thought which goes behind it. what it means to the giver and the receiver. the feeling each person gets when it’s exchanged and the memories it might hold, or those it’s yet to create. that is what turns aforementioned ‘stuff’ (last time, i swear) into something special.

so i cleared my mind, thought long and hard, and with the help of Accessorize, styled up a selection of products i’d love to be gifted myself, followed by an edit for my sister (who seems to have featured multiple times in this post - hey girl), thinking about our personalities, interests, connections and needs. you’ll soon learn from my choices that the extent of our similarities stop at humour, sensitivity and the ability to blend in, natively, to almost every warmer-climated country we vacate to …

shop my selection

whilst my picks are a lot more understated, alix would always opt for bolder tones and patterns. when it comes to fashion, i seem to associate her style with ‘chunky’. not the most flattering term, i know but bear with me (sorry hun). be it boots, scarves, jewellery, she’s more of a ‘go big or go home’ gal, whereas i’m a ‘minimal is the motto’ sort of human … though i did throw in some dainty ear jackets because she recently surprised me and set her sights on a pair of similar ones i wear on the reg.

the backpack and coin purse offer practicality. something i know is always a primary focus for her. she likes to carry around the contents of our fridge for when she’s peckish, so a small bag just wouldn’t suffice. and yes, we do now have co-ordinating coin purses, just like we have matching zodiac mugs in our flat. we come as a pair now we’re back to being housemates (plus, i really just wanted to remind her of when mum used to dress us up in the same outfit and she’d death stare me for cramping her pap-worthy style, hehehe).

the bougie galaxy bra (which i am one hundred percent stealing for myself) is another continuation from the zodiac mugs. and no, i cannot get through one day, blog post or minuscule social interaction without mentioning astrology. would you expect any less? 

we sort of have this tradition in the blankson flat that when we FINALLY, at some point in the week, see each other (clashing schedules + london life = r.i.p. sibling socialising), we grab some sort of chocolatey substance, sit together for a catchup, and i read us our horoscopes. i’m sure i’ve mentioned this before about our random laughs and cries together - sometimes struggling to differentiate the two. it’s all lovely and enlightening really and i wouldn’t change it for the world.

still trying to convince her to get these matching constellation tattoos however … a subtle reminder in the form of cute lingerie … will let you know how that one goes.

shop alix’s selection

although i don’t yet want to admit it, i can’t lie when i say the festive feeling has officially begun to hit me. perhaps if it’s yet to get to you, this’ll help spark up some inspiration. either that, or you can whack on some paul mccartney and see if that does the trick. it’s seriously infectious.

is it too early to wish you merry christmas? ;)

~ this post was sponsored by Accessorize, however all opinions, styling and rambles belong to yours truly
Reasons To Be Thankful For Winter

Reasons To Be Thankful For Winter

confession: i'm a summer baby who loves the winter but hates being cold. and is cold A LOT. like more than the average person. as in, i got christened 'e.t.' in the office because i'd sit there with a blanket wrapped around my head whilst everyone else would be thanking the lord for desk fans, suppressing their need to self combust. 

people say you're either a summer or winter lover. sunshine and shorts or crisp leaves and coats. my mother would vouch for the former. she's a warm weather soul through and through but i, however, would lean more towards the latter (the african half of me screaming internally as i make that admission)

jacket // superdry



don't get me wrong, i love a little heat as much as the next girl. the moment those sun rays hit your skin, that golden glow illuminating buildings in the early eve. the smiles. oh lord, the smiles. you've never seen london quite so happy than when everyone is stripped down to practically their skivvies and sweating pools all over the tube. there's nothing like dehydration and perspiration to bring a city together.

as humans, we'll always find something to complain about. and as british humans, it's usually the weather. conversation starter or under-the-breath mumble - you don't have to wait long, post wake up, for it to be mentioned.

with that in mind, i wanted to show some love to winter. since usually, the colder seasons bring abundantly more complaints and disdain. there are a lot of things i appreciate in winter, so i figured the interweb (and world) would never be short of some love sharing ...

here are a few of the reasons why i'm thankful winter :

time. call me crazy but there's something about summer that, for lack of better words, *shits* itself away in an instant. in winter, the world seems to move a little slower. we have more minutes to breathe. more moments to take in what's around us. 

comfort. food and fashion. in winter, everything is all the more inviting. coming home, out of the cold to all of the carbs and hearty cooking. going out into the cold, in more layers than probably necessary. richer colours and thicker fabrics. COATS. all of the coats. i've been waiting months, before now, to find the perfect puffer. each purchase, prior to owning this one, passed straight into the grateful hands of my shopping-hating sister. 

social soirees aplenty. invites come rolling in thick and fast. and whilst i'm a homebody who thinks beds are the best thing since sliced bread, there's something about the 'holiday' season which brings a new lease of social life. everything seems that little more special. perhaps because they require more effort to attend. 

crisp mornings. these need no explanation. we all know that feeling. fresh air filling your lungs. the subtle warmth of sun rays kissing your face. dew. for the first times in our lives, we can actually appreciate DEW. because we know we don't have to sit on it like we did as kids ...

hot drinks. umm, hello seasonal specials. it's your time to shine. it's the time where coffee shops bring their a-game and PSL fans can finally spice up their insta pics (get it ? ;)). i'm more of a soya hazelnut hot chocolate fan myself. but tbqh, sometimes the cute cups convince me more than their actual content. 

friends and family. colder seasons seem to bring people closer. even more so as christmas and the new year approach. i long to be around my loved ones. to rekindle old friendships. to connect with those i value.

what things make you thankful winter ?? writing these have made me all warm and fuzzy inside, so i hope they evoke some excitement in you also ...

photography by alix

~ this post was sponsored by superdry, however all opinions, styling and rambles belong to yours truly
Three Childhood Traits We Should All Practice Today // Timex x Peanuts Collection

Three Childhood Traits We Should All Practice Today // Timex x Peanuts Collection

remember those reminiscent sayings which have graced conversational topics for decades? you know, the ones talking about 'the good old days' and 'childhood nostalgia' where we all just think back to our fave times? times with less stress and more smiles. big dreams and little cares. where the world seemed just that little bit sweeter ... 

certain people or places or programmes take me back to those moments. certain sayings and songs and scents. specific objects. 

this timex watch was one of them. the moment i found out timex had designed a collection with peanuts, that cute, piano theme song started buzzing about in my head (reminisce with me here pls) and i knew i needed one. and i knew exactly which one i wanted.

... for the record, charlie brown came in a close second but for this gal, nothing beats that smiling black and white pup, and i used to carry around a stuffed snoopy toy as a kiddo so y'know ~ loyalty calls.


i am wearing

blazer | loavies (similar here)
jeans | weekday
bag | celine
sunglasses | celine

with that in mind, i got thinking about why we always revert to the past as a 'better time'. what about the past made it superior? what about our childhoods was that much more special and why can't we bring forth those qualities into the present? 

we talk about wishing we were young again but what if it's our outlooks we need to alter? the way we approach life and not how far through it we've gotten. 

there are so many traits about myself as a child, and which we all carried as children, which i still admire now i'm in my ripe twenties (don't ask how i got here 'cause that's a whole other existential crisis). traits which we often took for granted because we were just 'young' and 'didn't know any better' but i realise, looking back, how much i value them in a fellow human (and in myself when they sometimes rear themselves to the surface from deep down under) nowadays. so i wanted to chat about my personal favourite and most highly regarded three ...

one: courage.

remember as a child, everything you'd approach was done fearlessly? you'd try, and you'd fail, and you'd try again. you'd fall down and cry a little but then carry on as if nothing happened ... as though you hadn't taken 90% of the skin off of your kneecap (true story ~ i was an accident prone youth)

whilst i've always struggled in social situations (even pre-anxiety i was practically a mute around strangers), i'd still throw myself into anything and i wouldn't be embarrassed about it. the kids around me would ask questions and approach people and would never be afraid to look silly. 

that kind of determination is valuable. that reluctancy to fail and willingness to continue.

two: forgiveness.

i've spoken about this previously ~ how forgiveness doesn't need to be for the other person, but mainly for yourself. being selfish is sometimes acceptable. 

as children, perhaps through naivety, we would forgive easier, because we had less experience in understanding the effects of people's actions. now that we do, it's more important than ever to try to forgive more. for our own sanity. because harvesting negativity is only going to affect ourselves.

you know that quote about holding onto anger? comparative to drinking poison and expecting it to hurt the other person? well it's not wrong, i tell you (buddha usually isn't though is he)

adulthood is one big, giant stress ball as it is ~ ain't afraid to admit it. i know i'd rather have one less thing on my list to be bitter about ... (hi relationships, council tax and house bills, i'm sorta indirecting you here)

three: open-mindedness. 

when i was younger, nothing was off-limits, failed or impossible and everything was worth my time. 

time ~ that four letter word which brings so much order, yet so much panic with its existence. perhaps we're more aware now that we've got less of it, so we have to be stricter. but shouldn't less time mean we want to experience and learn as much as possible, in as many ways we can before it's too late?

open-mindedness is actually something i've been pretty good at in everyday life, when it comes to others. it's when it comes to myself and my own brain, i struggle. see, as the years have racked up, i've gradually began the downward journey into a worried and bumbling mess (thanks, mom). and let's just say worry + an open mind /= harmony. 

let us all remember why i was so set on getting that cliché 'que sera, sera' tat when i was sixteen. and what it actually means. 

whatever will be, will be. 

see, my teen self might've been basic but at least she's helped out her future self ... and hopefully some of you guys too.


as we flash back to 'fresher' times, i felt it only fair to provide more context on baby liv. y'know ... so you can get the full experience from this blog post (and remember my curly, crying face forever)

what childhood traits do you wish you saw more of now you've grown up? and which timex x peanuts character would you choose?


~ this post was sponsored by TIMEX, however all opinions, styling and rambles belong to yours truly
How To Alter Your Outlook on Life in a few Simple Steps // (Styling the Trench Coat with Jack Wills)

How To Alter Your Outlook on Life in a few Simple Steps // (Styling the Trench Coat with Jack Wills)

it's september. the season is changing. and so are the latest trends in fashion. 

(just in case you too got caught up in the rollercoaster whirlwind of life and aren't quite sure how we got here because i'm 99% sure it was only yesterday i hazily, a few gins down, was inwardly proclaiming that 2017 was gunna be my year ... i.e. that thing we all say at the start of every year to give ourselves hope and pretend like we can actually pull ourselves together instead of whining about how quickly life shits itself away)
I Overcame My Anxiety and Flew to Amsterdam On My Own // Bloomon Floral Festival

I Overcame My Anxiety and Flew to Amsterdam On My Own // Bloomon Floral Festival

first off, i want to say that i no longer feel embarrassed about the title of this blog post. no longer feel like i need to play it down by saying 'i know it sounds dumb but ...'. we're past that and i know i'm not alone. and whilst there's still a vast percentage of people that may not *yet* understand it; i know most of you reading this will ~ whether you experience anxiety first hand or have friends, family and loved ones who are going through it. i don't feel the need to isolate or patronise anyone by saying 'it may not be a big deal to you' because it's a big deal to so many of us and to be quite honest, i now know more people who suffer with mental health issues than those who don't. all because we're now less afraid to talk about it and share our experiences. it's not an embarrassment. it's not a flaw. oh lord is it a hindrance but there's also the most incredible sense of achievement when you take even the smallest steps to getting through it and actually feeling proud of yourself. in some ways, that's quite magic.