Editor’s picks: Monday fashion treats

30th October 2017 / Abbie Tanner

Whether your weekend was firework-filled or spent in cosy pubs, dragging your arse out of bed this cold Monday morning was no doubt a struggle. So why not kick-start your working week with a good old fashion fix? Ease yourself into Monday with these 6 stylish buys…


& Other Stories Jumper – £49


Topshop Coat – £65


Saint Laurent T-shirt – £275


Free People Dress – £108


Next Boots – £38


Miss Selfridge Dress – £49
















It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas! 5 candles that will make you feel festive

5th November 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos

It’s November so we are now officially allowed to talk all things Christmas. It’s the season of gift-giving moans, Mariah Carey blasted three times an hour on the radio, mince pies for breakfast and prosecco fuelled mid-week drunken catch ups (our favourite part!). We’ve picked our top five festive candles, so not only will it sound and look like Christmas, but it will smell like it too…

NEOM, Limited Edition Christmas Wish, £30

Made with 100% natural vegetable wax, this blend of 13 essential oils including mandarin and cinnamon will help you to de-stress and relax.


Why do we love it?

The mandarin notes give it a vibrant freshness. Traditional yet original.

ESPA, Winter Spice Candle, £45

ESPA launched this hand-poured candle over a decade ago, and it’s still everyone’s favourite!


Why do we love it? 

Spicy aromas of sweet orange, clove, cinnamon and ginger made us instantly think: mulled wine.

Molton Brown, Fabled Juniper Berries & Lapp Pine Single Wick Candle, £42

Nothing less than pure elegance but with that Christmas touch… ahhh good old Molton Brown.


Why do we love it?

Musk notes make it smell a little bit like a unisex, sexy perfume. Our choice for ‘Netflix & chill’ nights in.

Elemis, Joyful Glow Candle, £27.50

Warming aromatics of vanilla, orange and cinnamon: this is exactly what Christmas should smell like.


Why do we love it?

As anything that comes from Elemis, it’s soothing and calming. The perfect relaxing bath companion!

 Jo Malone, Green Almond and Redcurrant Christmas Candle, £120

The mixture of warming cedarwood and tonka finished with redcurrant and green almond is not your typical festive blend, but this different twist on a Christmas scent is surprisingly refreshing.72

Why do we love it?

If you are looking for something to lift your mood after a cold wintery day, then this is your festive flicker.


Erica’s food files: Rawduck, Hackney

4th November 2017 / Erica Cohen

It’s safe to say, the London brunch scene is going through a particularly large growth spurt at the moment, landing splat bang on every self-respecting Insta feed within the M25 area. From weekend boozers to high-end and bottomless, it seems there isn’t a kitchen insight that doesn’t offer a lazy breakfast of poached egg or avocado toast.  But if like me, you’re a) lazy and b) after something a bit different from the usual brunch fare, then Rawduck could be the bird for you.

It was Sunday and I was meeting up with Your Style Vault’s very own Gabriela and our pal Alice for a little catch-up.  Hangry and late, I skimmed the menu and decided to go big! I feel going big on food ordering is a skill only a few have the sheer greed and audacity to really pull off, so I thought why change the habit of a lifetime?

I ordered the hispi cabbage kimchi, green onions, coriander & brown rice broken eggs, as you do.  It was different and delicious, the kimchi was perfect and the eggs not too heavily seasoned or overly spiced.  The girls had sunny fried eggs, coconut rice, chilli sambal, cucumber & roasted peanuts and wild mushroom & cavolo nero galette, fried egg & parmesan. We were not left disappointed, hungry or craving avo toast!


Rawduck does simple, wholesome, grown-up food and it does it well.  Serving up sexy British with a hint of Mediterranean through the week, Rawduck’s weekend brunch menu is an altogether more exotic affair with Korean and Indian influences.  Expect chillied eggs, seasonal kombuchas and kimchi rice bowls. Oh hello! As an added bonus, their fermented drinks and foods are all made in-house, not bad for a humble Hackney eatery.

The service is friendly and efficient; the atmosphere cool and relaxed.  The long wooden tables lend themselves to a casual bite with friends or even meeting new friends across the table from you. You’ll also find fresh flowers, biodynamic wines and their very own ceramics range available to buy after your meal.  Alternative weekend brunching at its best!


It’s all in the eyes … how to pull off the hottest trends of 2018

31st October 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos 

Now that Fashion Week is over, it’s time to take a look at what beauty trends we will be going crazy for in 2018. As seen at the Moschino, Mugler, Marc Jacobs and Chanel shows, graphic liner is set to be the next big thing in make-up. Whether it’s the classic ’60s ‘cat-eye’ look or a rectangle colour line high on the upper eyelid; to get in on the action you’ll need a steady hand, a light touch and a selection of hero beauty products. Ready?

Step 1: start from the skin

Applying an eyeliner to puffy, dehydrated or wrinkly skin can be a recipe for disaster. So before you draw attention to your eyes get them party-ready with the right skincare products. It’s important to look for ingredients that have potent antioxidants, which protect from free radical damage and promote collagen production, for example, Hyaluronic Acid. It helps to smooth the surface of the dry skin, improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, hydrates and firms.

Try: Radara Eye Patches

eye 1

These innovative eye patches promise to repair, rejuvenate and replenish the crow’s feet in 28 days by using micro-channelling technology and specially formulated hyaluronic acid serum to penetrate to the deeper layers. Welcome to the future, where science meets beauty!

Step 2: make it last with an eye primer

Apply an eyeshadow primer to create a colourless, smooth canvas that will not only help your eyeliner glide on easily but also guarantee that the line stays in place all day. Without it, greasy eyelids can cause shadows and eyeliner to get that “creased” effect after few hours. Nothing worse than smudged, panda eyes that make you look exhausted!

Try: Kiko eye base unifying eye base 

eye 2

This creamy mousse texture gives a comfortable feeling and leaves an invisible, feather-light veil that will cover any signs of tiredness without drying your eye area. We can confirm, your graphic liner will stay in place all day, untouched.

Step 3: Brighten your look

This is the job for an under-eye concealer. But be careful when choosing one – the concealer you use to hide under-eye darkness is not the same one you use to hide blemishes.

Go for orange or peach tones to combat the darkness under your eyes, which usually has some purple to it. Pick one shade lighter than your skin to create a wide-awake look. Dot a tiny bit of a product to the inner corners of your eyes – that will instantly brighten up the whole eye area . To blend it in, use your ring finger, as it’s your weakest and will apply just the right amount of pressure, without pulling and stretching a delicate skin around your eyes.

Try: Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Concealer 

eye 3

A light, reflective formula is what you’re looking for – this one is made of 32% of water, blends easily and contains flexible pigments that blur imperfections. Perfect for those who are not 20 anymore (ahem!) and struggle with mimic lines.

Step 4: Here comes… the eyeliner

Perfect winged eyeliner seems like a mission impossible sometimes. But, like with everything else in life, practice makes perfect. If you are a beginner with shaky hands, then go for a more forgiving pencil. Start by making dots along the upper lid and simply connect them. Don’t go all the way to your tear duct – your eyes water naturally during the day and you will end with smudged eyeliner.

However, to achieve a graphic line or a perfect flick, go for a liquid version. A felt tip pen gives you the highest chance to create smudge proof, precise line, even if you are not a pro yet.

Try: EYEKO skinny liquid eyeliner

eye 4

Created by Eyeko’s style expert Alexa Chung, this award-winning pen is designed to create both thick feline flicks or subtly defined lines. Brownie points for long lasting power!

Step 5: Cherry on top – Mascara!

Nothing opens your eyes better than good as few swipes of mascara. With this particular look, curl your eyelashes first, apply it to closed eyes and focus on the outer edges for the WOW effect.

Top tip: If your eyelashes are naturally quite long and you feel like you’ll get stray mascara marks on your upper lid, hold a piece of card up over your lid to protect it from marks.

Try: Urban Decay Troublemaker

eye 5

This new baby from Urban Decay does it all, it volumises and lengthens while perfectly separating eyelashes, the brand promises it to be sex-proof too (we’re yet to try!). We are also big fans of the brush – it grabs on to all those short lashes.



Editor’s picks: Monday fashion treats

30th October 2017 / Abbie Tanner

If you overdid it celebrating Halloween this weekend then the last thing you want right now is Monday morning. Well, we’ve got just the pick-me-up! There’s nothing better than a good old fashion fix to kick-start your working week, so why not ease yourself into Monday with these 6 stylish buys…


River Island Boots – £75


Topshop Coat – £85


Kitri Jumpsuit – £125


& Other Stories Dress – £89


Warehouse Jacket – £89


Reserved Dress – £29.99











Have you heard of the ‘bright smile’ diet?

29th October 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos

It can help you make friends, win that job, pull that hot guy or even get you a free coffee at Pret. A beautiful, beaming smile makes you look happier and appear more attractive – it’s your golden ticket to success.

According to the British Dental Association, teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure in the UK, but before you spend hundreds on whitening strips, toothpaste and treatments, how about starting with your diet. Bacteria absorbed from food can not only leave stains and yellowing, it can also cause tooth decay, so we’ve asked our experts to tell us what to eat to perfect that million-dollar smile.

Dr Krystyna Wilczynski, a cosmetic dentist at the Hyde Dental Practice and facial anaesthetist:

Say ‘YES’ to:


Studies show that eating cheese can raise the pH level in your mouth and reduce the chance of tooth decay. It also contains calcium, which is fantastic for enamel strength.

Pumpkin seeds

Packed with nutrients and vitamins, they contain zinc, iron and magnesium which strengthen tooth enamel and prevents decay.

Green Tea

It has been known to reduce bacteria and the toxic products they produce in the mouth. Tea is also rich in fluoride – the most well know tooth strengthener.


Raw broccoli (instead of steamed or roasted) can act as a natural toothbrush to remove external staining on teeth. It also contains high levels of iron, which can help reduce acid erosion leading to the discolouration of teeth.


They are not only low in calories and perfect for snacking but also contain malic – a natural tooth whitener!

Dr Richard Marques, celebrity dentist:

Say ‘NO’ to:


The nation’s favourite snack is full of starch that turns into sugar in the mouth. This then gets trapped between the teeth and creates bacteria which causes plaque, so always be sure to floss after indulging.


It can get stuck in the tiny spaces between your teeth causing a build-up of plaque.

White bread

It contains simple carbohydrates including sugar which dissolves in the mouth, which then creates erosive acids when you chew. Rinse with a mouthwash after consuming and use dental floss to prevent build-ups.


They are surprisingly acidic, which can cause tooth erosion and damage to the enamel. If eating them raw, always consume with other foods such as in a salad, as this will not directly expose your teeth.

Balsamic vinegar

It’s deeply pigmented and full of acid, so will stain the teeth and cause erosion. Drink a glass of water after you eat anything containing vinegar to help clear any lingering acids.



You can do this! How to get through the last week before payday

25th October 2017 / Abbie Tanner

How we long to be one of those people in the office that come payday declare, ‘oh, do we get paid today, I totally forgot’. Eugh. Well until then, take note of our top 9 money-saving tips to see you through the final leg. Some might say, it’s the survival of the skintest…

Waitrose do free coffee!

Skint or not, we all need our coffee fix, but those tasty Starbucks mount up if you treat yourself on the daily. The answer? Get a Waitrose card. With every purchase you get a free tea or coffee, so pick up a single banana for 20p, then grab your free caffeine hit on the way out. No Waitrose near your office? OK, there must be Pret, so why not flirt your way to a free hot drink (they’re allowed to give away free tea and coffee if they see fit!). However, if your flirting skills are as bad as ours, they do filter coffee for £1. Treat yourself.

Make your own lunches

Be organised because when you’re on a budget, preparation is key. Sunday nights should be spent meal prepping, so get your Monday to Thursday meals on lockdown. Then come Friday, when the pay cheque gods rock up, you can get your arse back down to the local overpriced sushi bar. Until then, it’s canned Tuna salad. Joy!

Yellow labels are the answer

If food prep isn’t for you then we have a few other tricks up our sleeves: M&S love a yellow label. Time it right and you can get your lunch (and dinner) for a fraction of the price. Just keep your eyes peeled for a member of staff and their sacred reduction gun.

Top tip – catch Itsu half hour before they shut to bag their delicious sushi meals for 50% off. That’s dinner sorted then!

Walk it

Check your route to work, can you walk any of it? If not all of it? If you can save the pennies AND workout at the same time then that’s a win-win, right?

Work out for free

On the subject of exercise, did you know that there are SO many ways to work out for free in London. Take Our Parks, a new initiative bringing group exercises to your local parks, there really is no excuse!

Be cultural, it’s free!

London might be an expensive city to live, work and play in but there are endless options to get out and explore for free (reason 3527485635 why this city is one of the best places in the world). London is home to some of the most iconic museums and, they’re free to get in! So from The V&A and Natural History Museum to The Tate Modern and National Gallery you can get your art and culture fix for nothing.

Top tip – If contemporary art isn’t quite your bag but gorgeous views are, then enjoy the London skyline at the Tate Modern viewing platform, again ALL for free.

Turn your phone off and lock your door

Sounds dramatic but if there’s ever a time to say, ‘I can’t come out’, it’s the week before payday. Turn it into a positive! Spend your evenings – once you have walked the 25 miles home from the office – snuggled in bed. It’s a chance to catch up on those ITV dramas your mum has told you about, or how about that Netflix series they were discussing at work? Don’t worry, it will be a few more days until you can pop that prosecco and blast your hard-earned cash in the pub, but until then, Netflix and chill is the answer. There is the other ‘Netflix ‘n’ chill’ option, a much better way to pass the time and ignore those money worries if you ask us…

Did we mention prosecco?

Thirsty Thursdays can still be a ‘thing’, just make them an ‘indoor thing’. Get your skint butt down to Lidl ladies, because their prosecco is £5.79 and it’s bloody lovely (trust us, we’ve tried it). Let the normal hungover Fridays resume.

Get your salesperson’s hat on

If you know you’ve got a super busy month that’s bound to leave your overdraft aching, then get savvy. Enter, eBay. Without knowing it, you’re probably sitting on a small fortune. It’s either a case of finding pieces you forgot you had (which basically feels like shopping) or, making some hard cash on clothes/shoes/bags that you (let’s be honest) probably won’t end up wearing again. You know what they say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure…

Enjoy the tips! If you can live by these ALL month, the possibilities are endless. Imagine, that plane ticket might just be closer than you think…







The shower that kickstarts your day

19th October 2017 / Abbie Tanner

It’s the first thing in the morning, your alarm goes off and in a zombie-like state, you prise yourself out of bed. If you’re anything like us, once you’ve avoided the urge to hit snooze, you head straight to the kitchen – it’s coffee time.

Coffee IS good for you! It’s rich in antioxidants which can boost your brain power, help lower risks of type 2 diabetes and it’s a powerful energiser. It also makes for a great exfoliator…

Here at YSV, we’re all big fans of pampering, and like any pampering process, exfoliation is a must (professional tanners over here). More and more beauty brands are turning to coffee as their main exfoliating ingredient – no surprise really, caffeine is cellulite’s number 1 enemy. Another reason why coffee is a popular scrubbing choice is that it’s natural. Not a plastic bead in sight.

We’ve chosen our top 3 scrubs to get you feeling revitalised; so banish the microbeads and choose coffee instead, it’s kinder to your skin, better for the environment, and you’ll love that uplifting hit in the shower. What’s not to love?

Optiat Scrub – available here

What does Optiat say?

Siblings William and Anna Brightman founded Optiat in April 2016, after a series of events led to them conceiving the idea of a body scrub created with used coffee grounds. William explains:

“Having received a cafetiere for Christmas, I began making my own morning coffee. However, I realised that post-brewing, the freshly brewed grounds had to be thrown away. With more than 55 million cups of coffee drunk every day in the UK, this represents a big waste problem. Indeed, it turns out that more than 500,000 tonnes of coffee grounds are sent to landfill every year in the UK alone! I saw an opportunity to change this.”


What do we say?

Tried and tested by YSV’s editors, this nourishing scrub genuinely leaves your body feeling silky. Leave on for a few minutes before rinsing off for super smooth results. They are great for gifting too so if you’re stuck for stocking filler ideas, these scrubs are the answer!

Bean Body Coconut Scrub – available here

What does Bean Body say?

Ideal for eczema and psoriasis, the blend of Himalayan pink rock salt and demerara sugar buff away dead skin cells, helping eliminate blackheads and breakouts or a smoother, more refined finish.


What do we say?

It’s all about the smell on this one, anything with a coconut scent and we’re sold! It’s also great on the face as well as the body.

Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub – available here

What does Frank Body say?

Australian made and owned, this is the scrub that made Frank Body famous. A natural blend of coffee, oils and vitamins give you the best exfoliation of your life & banish dry skin forever.


What do we say?

The scrub that got us hooked on using coffee in the shower! We’ve never looked back.


Editor’s picks: Monday fashion treats

23rd October 2017 / Abbie Tanner

And just like that, it’s Monday again.

There’s nothing better than a good old fashion fix to kick-start your working week, so why not ease yourself into Monday with these 6 stylish buys…


Monki Jumper – £30


Reserved Trousers – £24.99


& Other Stories Jacket – £125


Warehouse Dress – £46


Sam Edelman Boots – £140


Weekday Leggings – £30











Smells that ring bells: why do scents bring back memories?

22nd October 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos 

Whenever I pass a man on the street who is wearing the 90s classic, CK Obsession aftershave, my mind flashes back to my very first boyfriend. A whiff of freshly baked doughnuts and I am instantly transported to my grandma’s flat, where we used to eat warm, rose jam doughnuts on Sundays. Everyone has certain scents that take them back in time, proving there’s a strong connection between smells, emotions, and memories.

For some reason, smells can trigger memories faster than words, pictures or even sounds. Dr Becky Spelman, a psychologist at Private Therapy Clinic says, “as babies, we come into this world with blurry vision, poor coordination, and an inability to interpret the sounds we hear around us. We are guided to our mother’s breast through the sense of smell, which is perhaps the most fundamental of all our senses. As we grow and develop we learn how to speak, listen and gain an understanding of the world through touch, sight, and hearing. Our sense of smell seems to become less important, and yet, smell more than anything can evoke a memory and a strong emotional response as it’s linked to our instincts and the days when we relied on our mothers for everything”.

According to scientists, smells go into the emotional and memory part of the brain, whilst words go into thinking part. This could explain why memories brought back by smells feel nostalgic rather than specific and detailed.

Dr Spelman adds, “our memories tend to hook highly emotional moments onto smells which can trigger all of those feelings whenever they are encountered. These strong experiences will meld with their associated scents, and every time you encounter those scents, you will be assailed with memories”.

What smells trigger memories the most?

So how can we trigger the greatest memories from the past? Is there just one unique fragrance or smell?  Nick Gilbert, fragrance expert at Olfiction says, “every single person is different, with their own scent associations based on their own experiences and memories. So it’s not that any particular notes tend to be more impactful to the majority of us”.

However, there are smells that most of us will associate with our happy childhood. Erica Moore, fragrance evaluator at Fragrances Of The World explains, “certainly, we can generalise that the smell of vanilla, for example, which is most commonly associated with baking, cooking and sweet food such as chocolate will provide positive scent memories.  Cut grass, coffee, fairy floss (or sugar) and wood-smoke are also notes that rate highly as preferred scents.  Perfumers and marketers often weave these notes into fragrances to appeal to happy childhood”.

Lots of us have strong relationships with older, classic fragrances just because our parents or grandparents wore them. “Children from the 60’s may recall their parents smelling like patchouli, 70s children may have a similar experience with fragrances such as Charlie and 80s children will no doubt smell Opium or Lou Lou from the next suburb”, says Moore.

There is no doubt, smell associations are really powerful. “When I used to sell perfume, a lady came into the store and sprayed Youth Dew onto a card and almost instantly burst into tears. I just gave her a big hug and let her cry, and eventually, she told me her mother used to wear it and she had died a few weeks ago” says Nick.

Memory-triggering perfumes


39Jo Malone, Blackberry and Bay Cologne – £44


Chanel Cristalle EDP – £57 

41Guerlain Herba Fresca EDT – £39.49

42YSL Black Coffee Opium EDP – £50 

43LA Fumee, Miller Harris EDP – £105 






Sleeping beauty: products that work while you sleep

20th October 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos

We all need sleep to re-energize ourselves, but 8-hour ‘beauty’ sleep is also important to restore skin. Nothing screams ‘another sleepless night’ more than dark circles and a tired, dull complexion.

‘When you sleep, your body goes into repair mode. It allows your skin to restore and rebalance itself. Levels of adrenaline drop and the body will start to produce the growth hormone – this is when the repair and growth processes kick in’, says leading Oculoplastic Surgeon and Aesthetic Doctor, Maryam Zamani.

You might be finally switching off and getting ready to sleep but your skin is just waking up: it’s time for a cell renewal and regeneration! That’s why this is also the best moment to give it all support it needs to recharge. With this in mind, we’ve chosen our top 5 overnight skincare products which all work their magic once the lights go down…

Multi-Action Overnight Treatment, Perricone MD, £89 – available here

Best for: nourishing


In this rich, creamy treatment Perricone MD has combined his most patented sciences with natural ingredients. Alpha Lipoic Acid minimizes skin’s visible imperfections, including fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores, while improving skin texture. Added coconut oil and squalane (derived from olives) help to nourish and fortify the skin’s lipid barrier, while copper, magnesium and zinc energise your skin.

DREAMDUO Overnight Transforming Treatment, GLAMGLOW, £42 – available here

Best for: plumping


This two-step overnight treatment is packed with plumping ingredients so you can wake up, looking fresh and glowy. Green Coffee provides an instant hydrating recharge that reduces the appearance of fine lines and charges the skin with essential vitamins while Hyaluronic Acid and Green Algae provide intense hydration during your dream cycle. Your two steps to that red-carpet-ready complexion.

Ferulic + Retinol Eye Cream, Dr Dennis Gross, £59 – available here

Best for: smoothing


The eye area is where you can first see the signs of ageing as well as effects of sleepless nights. This little gem contains ferulic acid ( a potent antioxidant) and retinol that re-texture skin for a firmer-looking skin while also improving the look of dark circles, fine lines, and sagging.

Radiance & Renewal Mask, MZ Skin, £110 – available here

Best for: brightening


Created by Dr Maryam Zamani, this refining mask instantly brightens dull and tired-looking skin, smooths lines and target pigmentation. A 10% concentrate fruit acid complex stimulates cell turnover, refines pores and helps to eliminate pigmentation to brighten and restore luminosity. Thanks to its subtle smell and luminous texture you can now transform your bathroom into the most luxurious SPA, every night.

Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules, Estee Lauder, £86 – available here

Best for: calming


Tiny capsules, huge results! This powerful recovery concentrate calms the look of irritated, stressed skin and strengthens its barrier thanks to ChronoluxAI technology. Its rich formula based on plant oils and antioxidant-rich plant extracts are ideal for those with dry and thin skin. The Advanced Night Repair range has been around since the eighties and it’s still one of the best-selling overnight treatments out there. That says it all!






I’m feeling supersonic, give me gin… and tonic?

19th October 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos

In 2016 Brits drank record amounts of gin; in fact, there were 40 million bottles sold (woah), which beat the sales growth of beer and even our dear friend, Prosecco!

gin flatlay

Of course, the obvious and perfectly paired choice of a mixer is tonic water. We wouldn’t dare imagine a summer (or autumn, or winter, or spring…) in the UK without a good old G&T, accessorised with a freshly squeezed lime.

However, to spice things up a little bit and keep our relationship with gin exciting, we’ve decided to experiment and have put together five fabulous gin cocktails that don’t include tonic!

Just in time for the weekend…

Pink Fizz

35ml gin / 15ml grenadine / 150ml champagne or prosecco

Carefully pour each constituent into a glass in order to ‘layer’.  You should be able to keep the syrup at the bottom, neatly separated. Serve in a flute.

Best with: Kirkjuvagr Gin, 43%

A unique blend of local botanicals from Orkney, including Ramanas Rose, Burnet Rose and Borage. Producers have also used traditional Orkney bere barley in their recipe.


40ml gin / 20ml lime juice / 20ml framboise liqueur / ginger ale to top up

Pour the gin, lime juice, and framboise into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with ginger ale, garnish with a lime wedge.

Best with: Tanqueray no. 10, 47.3%

Very subtle yet fresh aromas of grapefruit and a great blend of juniper, vanilla and lime. Slightly sweet, this combination creates a long-lasting flavour and a hint of spice at the end.

Gin Mojito

50ml gin / 7 leaves of fresh mint / 25ml sugar syrup / 50ml apple juice / 2 slices of lime

Clap the mint in your palms to release the aromas and place at the bottom of the tall glass. Add line and sugar syrup, muddle gently. Fill the glass ¾ full with crushed ice and add gin and apple juice. Add mint leaves.

Best with: Fords Gin, 45%

The mix of 9 botanicals starts with a traditional backbone base of juniper & coriander seed that’s balanced with citrus, floral (jasmine) and spice.


40ml gin / 1 nectarine / 20ml pineapple juice / 1 tsp honey

Mix all ingredients together with crushed ice in a blender. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with a slice of lemon and fresh lemon balm leaves.

Best with: The Botanist, 46%

Rich and mellow in flavour thanks to sweet delicate menthol, apple mint, spring woodlands, juniper, coriander, lemon and orange peel, honey, coconut from gorse, wild mint and summer meadows.

Strawberry Smash

45ml gin / 3 strawberries / freshly ground pepper / soda water to top up

Muddle 2 strawberries and a good twist of freshly ground black pepper, fill the glass with ice, stir in the gin and top with soda. Garnish with a strawberry.

Gin: Bloom, 40%

Enriched with a bespoke blend of honeysuckle, chamomile and pomelo botanicals, this is a perfect gin for refreshingly light and delicate cocktail.





How to be a girl boss: Bridget O’Keefe from Blush + Blow

18th October 2017 / Abbie Tanner

Your Style Vaults meets… Bridget O’Keefe


Here at YSV, we’re all for shouting about awesome women, especially those like us; in their early thirties, London-living, career-minded and juggling a multitude of passions and side hustles. So naturally, after reading about Bridget (founder of Blush + Blow – Fulham’s hottest blow-dry and beauty bar) in the likes of Harper’s Bazaar & Grazia, we HAD to chat to her…

YSV: So, how did Blush & Blow begin – does the salon have something that sets it apart? What was the moment you realised you wanted to embark on launching your own business?

Bridget: With a background as a makeup artist and blow dry enthusiast I realised a gap in the market for a Blowdry bar with a full beauty offering. There are lots of wonderful blow dry bars in London, as well as many amazing beauty salons, but none that have combined their offering, and so Blush + Blow was born. I realised that launching my own business was going to be the only way I would be able to work in an environment that was customer focussed, technically great and satisfied the gap in the market. Blush + Blow is somewhere you can go for a fun, friendly, and professional experience with you, the customer, at the centre of our focus.


Image credit: Blush + Blow

YSV: Who was a big part in helping you launch the salon? Who inspired you?

Bridget: My father is my true inspiration. He has taught me how to be a girl boss and held my hand every step of the way. Given that I work in the beauty industry, it’s not hard to surround yourself with women in business and through osmosis, I have become a big believer in empowering woman both in business and by making them feel sassy with every visit they pay us. Jess Psaila who runs our PR agency, Gloss + Glow, is another support that I couldn’t do without. Her belief in my brand and tireless effort at growing it has been humbling!

YSV: You literally do everything, is multi-pampering something your clients do? Come in for hair, nails and beauty all in one hit?

Bridget: Totally! We always try to find out why our clients are with us for their visit. There are generally three answers: to be pampered, to escape their lives or to be in and out ASAP. For the latter, we are able to do blow dries and manis, lashes and waxing and makeup and hair all at the same time. We get that there are lots of busy girls out there so we try to limit their time with us so that they can get in, get glammed and get out into the big bad world to slay it with great hair and sparkly nails!


Image credit: Blush + Blow

YSV: How do you use social media? Do you find it has had an impact on your success?

Bridget: Social media is hard to ignore in any industry, especially the beauty industry, so keeping my finger on the pulse is so important to make sure you are getting noticed through an informative, attractive and different news feed. I do love Instagram, to the dismay of my poor boyfriend, who has reluctantly given in to being an Instagram husband.

YSV: What was the best piece of advice you ever got? And, the worst? 


The best piece of advice I was ever given was that I get to decide how to react to anything in life, with friends or men. It is so empowering to be able to master that!

The worst was being told that I could pull off a bob hairstyle.

YSV: You have been featured in some top publications; from Harper’s Bazaar to Grazia and Metro! Give us the lowdown on your most favourite client/job. 

Bridget: My most memorable and therefore favourite client I ever had was actually when I worked on the counter at Chanel. I will never forget her! She was middle-aged and had never had her makeup done by anyone before. She was the sort of person who had the wrong colour foundation and a few samples from magazines floating around in her makeup bag. She was going out for lunch with a friend who convinced her to pop into Chanel. I chatted away whilst I did her face and when it came to the big reveal, she couldn’t believe how beautiful she felt. The feeling of being beautiful is all that matters, regardless of how you look to anyone else. She came back at the end of my shift that day and told me that she was approached by 2 separate strangers that afternoon who told her she had the most beautiful smile. I was so touched by how I had affected her confidence. The magazines are great but ultimately I get the biggest kick from making women feel invincible and sassy!

YSV: When you’re not working, where do you like to hang out in London?

Bridget: Growing up in South Africa I am used to being able to do everything outside so when the weather is good I take advantage of it and take my dog out to Wimbledon common for a walk in the summer months. In winter you will find me in a pub with a roaring fire and a glass of red wine.

Discover more about what Bridget O’Keefe can do for you HERE.

Follow them for their latest Instagram updates HERE.


Editor’s picks: Monday fashion treats

16th October 2017 / Abbie Tanner

It doesn’t matter whether your weekend was filled with autumn walks and cosy movie nights or late-night parties and boozy brunches, either way, Mondays are still a struggle. Hands up who’d rather be hauled up in bed with a cuppa? Us too! So, until three day weekends are an official thing we’ve decided to bring some sartorial cheer to the beginning of your week with these 6 stylish buys…


Reserved Coat – £59.99


Tommy Jeans T-shirt – £35


Givenchy Silk Scarf – £120


Finery Jumper – £119


& Other Stories Boots – £125


Raey Dress – £180






Erica’s food files: Opso, Marylebone

16th October 2017 / Erica Cohen

You know those nights when you go and see a special screening of Sister Act in a candlelit church with a live gospel choir?  No, neither did I, till my friend Koh suggested it.  So I was having one of those all singing, all dancing, very cheesy and slightly embarrassing movie nights and we needed some food! We decided on Opso, whose Greek meze menu is enough to make even a fasting nun salivate.

Opso which means ‘delicate morsel of food’ in ancient Greek is all about social laid back dining.  Opso’s modern Greek tapas is a concept that sits very well with me, as you can order everything you fancy, without feeling like a massive fatty, because you’re sharing it. So with our heads full of gospel and sassy one-liners, it was time to order an ungodly amount of Greek food. Praise the Lord!

We started with some classics; Tzatziki, Taramas and Pitta Bread.  Now, these may sound somewhat basic but holy moly, they were the stars of the show.  The generous portion of grilled pitta bread which had been made in-house, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with herbs, was warming and wondrous.  The creamy taramas, came with chopped red olives and herbs and was a reassuring pale pink as opposed to the luminous pink that prevails in most establishments.  The tzatziki was a curious paste-like texture topped with dill and cucumber, again, these little touches helped elevate this humble dip into a dreamy Mediterranean marvel.


We moved on to the Mac n’ Cheese from the Greek Street Food selection; a filthy, glutenous mix of traditional hylopites pasta with smoked cheese and corn béchamel and all served up in a street food takeaway box, very cute.  We coupled this with Handmade Spanakopita and Pastourmas which didn’t disappoint, the spiced cured beef perfectly offset with the chive oil and coriander.  We then drank beautiful cocktails while I entertained Koh with my misguided musical theatre ambitions.  We agreed the only thing holding me back from becoming a West End star was the outfit.  It was simple,  I just had to find the perfect pair of leggings and I was good to go.  We left on a high, full of false expectation and authentic Greek cuisine. Head to Opso if you’re hungry for a life on the stage or just simply a tasty Mediterranean meal made of high-quality ingredients. Amen to that!

Average meal with starters, 3 mains and dessert: £24

Address: 10 Paddington St, W1U 5QL, Marylebone, London
Telephone: 0207 487 5088
For reservations e-mail: reservations@opso.co.uk

Monday – Friday
Lunch: 12pm – 4pm (last order 3:30pm)
Dinner: 6pm – 11:30pm (last order 10:30pm)

Brunch: 10am – 4pm (last order 3:30pm)
Dinner: 5pm – 11:30pm (last order 10:30pm)

Brunch: 10am – 4pm (last order 3:30pm)
Dinner: 5pm – 11pm (last order 10pm



Wine + dinner = winner!

13th October 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos

Some say you become an adult when you get your first 9-5 job. Others, when you move in with your partner or start to enjoy staying in. In reality, that breakthrough moment is when you actually bother to spend time choosing wine for your dinner, instead of going for that £5 bottle of Blossom Hill.


So as a prime example of full-time adulting, we now know choosing a wine that pairs well with your meal can turn a great dinner into a fantastic one. The question is, which one? With help from James Hocking, Director of Wine, The Vineyard Cellars & The Vineyard hotel, we have chosen a selection of food-friendly wines to go with some of the most popular dinner choices…


James says: ‘Syrah and steak are a match made in heaven’.

Our choice: Bushland Shiraz NV, Australia, Aldi, £4.59

Of all the red wine grape varieties, one of the most versatile and tasty is syrah, which is also known as shiraz. Our favourite shop (self-claimed budget queens right here), Aldi sells this rich in dark fruits flavours and vanilla oak aroma bottle for… £4.59. Sorry, is that two bottles clunking away in your basket?

White Fish and seafood

James says: ‘Chardonnay is just great with seafood’.

Our choice: Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay, Chile, Tesco, £13

Light yellow in colour, rich and vibrant, there is no question that Chardonnay is the nation’s favourite wine. This affordable bottle serves up tasty white pear, mineral notes and toasty hazelnut. Deeply concentrated with a silky texture and a fresh, long finish. Warning: you most likely won’t be able to stop topping up.

Roast Dinner

James suggests Cabernet Sauvignon, which matches well to all the different elements of your classic sunday roast.

Our choice: Katnook Founder’s Block, Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Australia, £11.99

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most recognised red wine grape varieties. The wine is dry (not sweet) and has a high level of tannin, which is why your mouth dries out when you sip it. This particular South Australian deep red wine is packed with notes of plums and redcurrants, with a smoky savoury finish. What’s not to love?


James says: ‘Roussanne/Viognier. These aromatic white grapes are just the thing to match to creamy pasta dished’.

Our choice: Marananga Dam Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, 2016, Australia, £15.00

Good old M&S offers this lifted, floral and fragrant dry white wine with richness and a superb length of flavour. Full of texture, the combination of flavours will inject a little bit of class to your basic carbonara.

Shepherd’s Pie

James says: ‘The lightness of Pinot Noir works so well with this British classic’.

Our choice: Daydream Pinot Noir 2015, Australia, £9.99

A bright, vibrant red wine, gently aromatic, with notes of red fruits, violets, spice and wood smoke. You will be able to trace some strawberry notes and plum flavours too. An uber elegant option for under a tenner: winner!