3 brunch-worthy outfits for now

13th October / Abbie Tanner 

Here at YSV, we’re certainly ones to over indulge in a boozy brunch, and luckily for us, most of our friends will say the same thing too. Hey, who doesn’t love a bloody mary just gone 11am! Glam Friday and Saturday nights have been replaced (only just) by fizz-fuelled mornings spent Instagramming our avo on toast – it’s official, weekends are for brunching.

Let’s be honest, prosecco and bacon is a great kickstart to your day – especially as it’s about to get too cold to go out past 8pm. Our advice? Start early, finish early! Sounds fun, right? But, what do you wear? It’s got to be a perfect hybrid of an outfit that’s not too dressy, yet not too casj… what does that even mean? Don’t panic, all you need to think about is what’s on the menu, we’ve got the brunch-ready looks, covered…

Clash your prints on top and keep the bottom classic

Who knew polka dots and leopard print look so good together. Style the loud pairing with classic mom jeans and loafers for casj style with an edge.

brunch 1

L-R – M&S Coat – £89Gucci Slipper – £495 / Debenhams Bag – £19.99Topshop jeans – £40 / La Redoute Shirt – £25

Just rolled out of bed but with a polished finish

Hoodies and biker jackets are one of our favourite combos. Keep your trainers fresh white and add a statement earring for an outfit that’s got this season written all over it.

brunch 2

L-R – River Island Jacket – £120 / Raey Cami Top – £120 / Mango Earrings – £9.99 / Next Jeans – £32 / Topshop Hoodie / Adidas Trainers – £69.99

Skirts that work from AM to PM

A corduroy skirt is one of this season’s biggest buys. Layer with a gorgeous chunky knit and finish with classic knee-high boots so if brunch plans turn into pub plans you’ll fit right in.

brunch 3

L-R – La Redoute Jumper – £59 / John Lewis Earrings – £29 / Miss Selfridge Skirt – £28 / Topshop T-shirt – £16.99 / Office Boots – Was £125, Now £80 / New Looks Bag – £9.99

 

Abbie

 

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Glow baby glow! The best foundations for autumn.

12th October 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos

As an ex-makeup artist and absolute beauty geek from my early teenage years, I dread to think how many bottles of foundation I have actually tried in my life. I also happen to be the ‘lucky’ owner of oily and acne-prone skin, which means I’ve spent years caking on layers of powdery formulas thinking that’s the key to great looking skin.

Now, being in my 30s, all I want from my foundation is a natural glow, that ‘no make-up’, ‘I woke up like this’ look. I haven’t found ‘the one’ yet, but I’ll know a good one when I get my hands on it! (just to be clear, I am still talking about make-up, not men… ahem). Let the search begin… (again, still talking about foundations here, ahem)

So, to save you time and money, I’ve put together the top foundations available out there to get you that radiant skin (and I want them all!). You’re welcome…

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Cushion Compact SPF 35 – available here

What does Bobbi Brown say?

The weightless, soft-focus liquid foundation delivers an instant glow. What’s the secret? It’s the capsule technology and airtight packaging that helps preserve the formula’s freshness and longevity.

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Packed with skin-boosting ingredients like Pink Silk Tree Extract and Caffeine, the multitasking formula also rejuvenates and re-energizes skin, while helping to protect it with a moisture-infused anti-pollution barrier and high-level SPF.

Why do I love it?

Cushion compacts are game-changing for many reasons. This one is not only very convenient to use ‘on the go’ but also its liquid formula gives you a very natural finish. Bonus: it doesn’t settle into fine lines.

Guerlain Lingerie De Peau Aqua Nude – available here

What does Guerlain say?

This new Lingerie de Peau foundation is using the Aqua Plump technology. It acts on the water channels in the cells, distributing water evenly over the entire surface and at the heart of the epidermis to boost hydration. A long-wear polymer adjusts to the curves of the face to lastingly protect makeup from sweat, sebum and water.

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Perfect for moisturising, this new foundation has less weight and gives you that fabulous “no make-up, make-up” look.

Why do I love it?

Guerlain products are what we call ‘high tech beauty’. You can always be sure all ingredients have been tested and won’t do any harm to your skin. With this foundation, your skin will actually feel hydrated and plumped.

Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation – available here

What does Laura Mercier say?

This is Laura’s longest wearing foundation of flawless full coverage and 15 hours of wear fused into one weightless mesh formula. High-performance wear that’s sweat, humidity, water and transfer resistant. Colour stays true all day and won’t oxidise. Instant oil control, immediately and throughout the day. Matte finish that is never dull, flat or cakey.

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Why do I love it?

We’ve never thought you can have your cake and eat it: natural glow AND a matte finish. Thanks to Laura’s new baby you won’t have to top up with a powder to take the shine away. No idea how they did it but we are loving the look!

Too Faced Born This Way – available here

Born This Way is an oil-free foundation that diffuses the line between makeup and skin. For coverage so undetectable, you can’t see the makeup and you can’t see imperfections— all that’s left is naturally radiant skin. It’s infused with a potent combination of Coconut Water to naturally replenish moisture levels; nature’s resilient Alpine Rose to brighten the skin’s appearance and promote elasticity and Hyaluronic Acid for a smoother, more youthful appearance.

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Why do I love it?

Massive brownie points for ingredients – both Hyaluronic Acid and Coconut Water can help with hydration. It blends in easily and one layer is enough to cover your imperfections. Impressive!

Oxygenetix – available here

This high-end foundation is the most breathable foundation on the market, with a combined 160 years of expertise behind its revolutionary formula. It has real skin care benefits, provides flawless coverage and delivers an unparalleled, oxygen-enriched formula that allows the skin to breathe more than any other foundation brand.

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The prime ingredient in the product is pro-healing, patent-pending CeravitaeTM a super-charged oxygen complex that promotes collagen cell production and connective tissue growth to promote youthful and smooth skin. It is also natural Aloe Barbadensis gel based (not water-based like most foundations, that often attract bacteria to the skin), which provides anti-bacterial qualities, while astringently removing dead surface cells.

It contains skin-loving ingredients Vitamin E, Grape Seed Extract, Green Tea, Hyaluronic Acid, Salix Alba Extract (avonoids) and Glycerin to soothe, heal and replenish moisture loss.

Why do I love it?

Water resistant, smudge-proof and so good for the skin that sleeping in it will not aggravate it. Next time you ‘forget’ (read: pass out) to take your make up off after a night out, you won’t have to feel guilty anymore!

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup – available here

With a demi-matte finish and light-diffusing spheres to help blur imperfections and wrinkles and look like you’ve been professionally retouched, this buildable formula perfectly complements your complexion and provides medium to full coverage with a flawless finish.

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Urban Decay loaded this oil- and paraben-free formula with nourishing ingredients: anti-wrinkle peptides, Litchiderm™ (derived from lychee fruit) to protect skin from dehydration, stress and aging, Sodium hyaluronate that holds and attracts water for smoother, softer, more youthful-looking skin and Japanese green tea and vitamin E to fight free radicals and promote collagen production.

Why do I love it?

It’s easily buildable so you can go from a very light to full coverage, without looking like you’re wearing a mask. It also comes in 24 shades, so no more tanned face/white neck situ!

 

Gabs

What to wear if you work from home

9th October 2017 / Abbie Tanner

Working for yourself has never been more prevalent than now; our obsession with online has created a boom in freelancers which means most people’s offices are their bed, kitchen table or local coffee shop.

Working in your pj’s does sound like the dream; no reason to slap on foundation, brush your hair (or is that just us?) or worry about being stuck under someone’s armpit for the daily commute. However, if you’re as fashion-obsessed as we are then working from home leaves little to the imagination on the outfit front. Trying not to fall into that sweatpants rut is tough – it’s the first thing we do when we get home, so a whole day spent in them does sound divine. But isn’t that what Sunday’s are for?

So, if you want to get those creative juices flowing, what should you wear for that bedroom-come-office situation? We’ve picked the perfect work-from-home outfit choices: cosy jumpers, cashmere joggers that would be totally suitable to answer the door in (another WFH perk, you’re always in to sign for your online shopping!) and relaxed boyfriend shirts for that smart but casual vibe should a skype call be in the diary.

Don’t worry we don’t want to totally swipe away those comfy leggings but just show you that creating a working from home uniform will definitely be better for business.

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H&M Wide Trousers, £39.99, available here

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Topshop Jumper, £65, available here

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M&S Cashmere Joggers, £99, available here

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Ugg Slippers, £79.99, available here

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Whistles Cashmere Jumper Dress, £199, available here 

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ASOS Cardigan, £32, available here

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ASOS Boyfriend Shirt, £26, available here

 

Abbie

Erica’s food files: Super Speedy Shakshouka

9th October 2017 / Erica Cohen

Ingredients:

1 carton of chopped tomatoes

6 free-range, organic eggs

2 garlic cloves

A small bunch of coriander leaves

45g of feta

1 heaped teaspoon of ground cumin

2 flat teaspoons of brown sugar

Ground black pepper 

1 small fresh, thinly sliced hot chilli (stems, seeds and ribs removed)

Total cooking time: 8 minutes

Serves: 3-6 people 

Shakshouka means ‘mixture’ in Arabic and is a dish of poached eggs in a spiced tomato sauce. Its’ origins can be traced back to North Africa, where its popularity quickly spread throughout much of the Middle East and Spain.  As such, it has many different variations, as each Middle Eastern and North African country put their own special mark on this tasty breakfast classic.  Whichever way you have it, Shakshouka is utterly delicious, nutritious and surprisingly simple to make.  This is a take on my dad’s sliced potato version which he would make for us when we little.

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Shakshouka is a spicy little one pot dish, which makes it really easy to prepare, perfect if you’re having one of those lazy, hazy Sundays, with a side of a hangover.  Traditionally Shakshuka is cooked and served in cast iron pan or tagine, but if you don’t happen to have one of these handy, fear not, a large pan with a lid will do the trick just as well. My recipe only takes 8 minutes to make, I KNOW!!  Less time slaving, more time scoffing! Woop!

So, let’s begin…

1 – Pop the pan on a medium heat and pour the tomatoes in.  Add the sugar and chilli and stir.

2 – Crush the garlic gloves.  If you don’t have a garlic crusher, just chop them up thinly. Then add them to the pan together with the cumin and stir gently.

3 – Crumble in the feta and season with black pepper

4 –  Break the eggs into the pan, taking care not to crack the yolks. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to the lowest setting.  Cook for a few minutes until the egg whites are barely set and the yolks are still runny.  You can always check in on them if you’re not sure how they’re doing.  The yolks should look white and give a bit of a jiggle if you gently shake the pan.

5 – Sprinkle on the coriander leaves.  Take off the heat and serve hot and direct from the pan.  Serve with some freshly toasted pitta bread to mop up the yolky gorgeousness, olives or even some natural yoghurt and devour!

Top Tip!  Spoon some of the tomato mixture over the whites of the eggs, this will help it to cook quicker, whilst keeping the yolks nice and runny.

 

Erica

10 tricks to help you de-stress

7th October 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos

I swear I spend most of my spare time looking for my Oyster card. It begins on route to the station, then after a few minutes, I have to stop, drop my bag on the floor, look for another five minutes only to eventually find it hidden in my jacket pocket. FFS. It goes without saying, after all this kerfuffle, I usually miss my train. It boils my blood, makes me want to shout and scream. And I am not even a stressful person!

Thank God, I am not the only one. We sweat the small stuff more than ever. According to a recent study, things that send us over the edge include; lack of parking spaces, the printer showing ‘error’ when you are in a rush (office rule number one: never show your printer that you are in a hurry – it can smell fear) and discovering that you are out of the toilet paper whilst… sitting on a loo.

Add on top of all of that, there are real problems to deal with; like work, money, relationship drama … well, life IS pretty stressful, eh?

Ok, breathe in, breathe out. We’ve put together 10 top stress-busting tips:

Go out 

Brisk walking = more endorphins, which in turn, can reduce stress hormone levels. To de-stress yourself make sure you chose nice, green surroundings. Why? According to scientists, it allows your body to get into a state of meditation, it’s called ‘involuntary attention’ – the surroundings can hold your attention but your mind will start to drift away and calm down.

Go green

Green tea is an excellent healthy mood booster. It contains some caffeine that can give you a bit of a ‘kick’, but it also contains the amino acid called theanine. This magic ingredient boosts dopamine concentration in your brain which is responsible for rewards and pleasure.

Top your magnesium levels

Magnesium – often called the original ‘chill pill’ or ‘nature’s tranquilliser’ – regulates your nervous system and can help you to relax. Stressed to the max? Munch on foods loaded with this powerful mineral: almonds, avo, dark chocolate or pumpkin seeds.

Write it down

Do you feel like you are losing control over the situation? Make a list of what is and what is not a priority, then cross things out, one by one. Learn how to say ‘no’ if you feel that you have taken on too much. Your health must be your priority number one!

Runners high

Although going for a run is probably the last thing you want to do when stressed, your body and mind will thank you for it later. After working up a sweat you will get a sense of euphoria, all down to your endorphins, the feel-good chemicals, that will literally get you ‘high’!

Get a plant

Houseplants are definitely a thing in 2017. But apart from being trendy and beautiful air purifiers, they can also reduce anxiety – particularly chamomile, jasmine and lavender.

Stop snacking

Stressed? Three beautiful words always bring a relief: chocolate, coffee and crisps. However, although these foods may give you a temporary lift by raising your blood sugar, in the longer term they will act against you, by putting more strain on the adrenal glands, as they try to keep your blood sugar balanced. Avoid those sugar crashes and stick to snacks that don’t raise your blood sugar too quickly – peanut butter on some oatcakes (or, enjoy it straight out of a jar).

Have more sex

Those who have regular sex as well as plenty of hugs and kisses, tend to be much happier than those who don’t. No brainer. Why? It boosts your oxytocin levels, known as ‘the love hormone’ that induces feelings of optimism and increases self-esteem.

Eat yourself happy

Did you know that almost 60% of our brain is made up of fat?! And Omega-3s are the ones that build cell membranes. Unfortunately, even though they are essential, you don’t produce them in the body, so have to get them from food instead. Try to eat oily fish twice a week or snack on nuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds – fatty acids are great ‘brain’ food and can help fight mood swings.

Chew some gum

Scientists from Australia discovered that chewing gum can reduce the stress hormone cortisol in saliva by 16%. Every little helps!

De-stress starter pack

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L-R – REN Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Bath Oil / Moleskin Notebook / Twinnings Green Tea / Pip & Nut Almond Butter / Nike Trainers / Ultra Magnesium Tablets

 

Gabs

This is forever fashion’s favourite print

5th October 2017 / Abbie Tanner

Whether it’s a statement coat, a sassy pair of ankle boots or a 70s-inspired neck-tie, if it’s in leopard print, you’re pretty much sorted for many seasons to come – especially, now it’s autumn. There is a line with leopard print – think luxe not trashy – and to get it right, it’s all down to how you wear it. So, shove your gingham aside ladies, it’s time for this fashion classic to roar (sorry, we couldn’t resist).

Clash it

You CAN clash it with other prints, just keep it neutral – we love a leopard print skirt with a Breton stripe or a slogan tee.

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Maje Skirt, £155, available here

The statement

Make a statement with it! In this case, it’s all about a coat. Owning a leopard print coat will see you through many autumn/winters. Trust us.

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Monki Jacket, £65, available here

Best foot first

Wear all black and top it off with a leopard print boot. They have a rock star edge and will become a no-think outfit for A/W.

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Office Boots, £89, available here

Just a touch

If leopard print is just not you (yet), why not ease yourself in with a bag? Be it a slouchy everyday number or a small cross-body, it’s a cool way to complete most outfits.

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Skinnydip Bag at Topshop, Was £28, now £22, available here

Abbie

Words of wisdom on why turning 30 is seriously fabulous

28th September 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos

It’s funny how everyone has a different opinion about turning 30. For teenagers, the big 3-0 simply means ‘old’. In their heads, by that age, people have everything figured out: career, relationship and a big house with a garden and dog. It seems so far away, they can’t imagine it happening to them. For those in their 20s, turning 30 is a bloody scary moment: no more sleepless nights and 2-day parties, spending your wages on 3 pairs of shoes and surviving on super noodles, no more trying to get through days in the office on horrendous hangovers. It feels like a cut-off point in life. ‘By the time I am 30…’, everyone keeps promising, what will they finally achieve and who will they finally become.

By the time you are 29, the fear of ageing is so real that you will desperately try to hold on to your 20s by doing things that every 22-year old would be proud of. New tattoo? Tick! Purple hair? Why not! Quit your ‘adult’ job and go travelling? Yolo! You’ll probably find yourself dating someone who is too young to remember what a Walkman looks like? Damn you super hot 25-year-olds…

So, is it really that terrible? Should we cry into our birthday champagne flute? We’ve asked 8 amazing women to tell us what happens after the clock strikes. And, thank god, it sounds pretty damn promising! Maybe life does begin after 30…

“Don’t be afraid of change. Embrace it. Every time I have made a big scary decision and taken a risk to change something, it has been for the better. Even if not immediately.Gemma Harris

Change is good. Trust the magic of beginnings. The fact you aren’t where you want to be should be enough motivation. Leave the comfort zone – there are far better things ahead”. Gemma Harris, co-owner of Lineup Media

“You will become more confident with each birthday. By the time you hit your forties, you’ll genuinely stop caring about wanting to fit in, pleasing others (but not yourself) or what other people think about you. You will never feel so liberated”. Busola, journalist. 

“The thirties is when you find your true love, excel in your career, move into your dream home and have a beautiful baby. What is not to like? It’s a decade when everything comes together and all struggles in your twenties finally cease and it all starts to make sense. Enjoy entering the most exciting decade of your life”. Emma, Founder of EBWPR.

“Don’t settle, and don’t worry about it. Focus on self-love and everything will work out in the end. In words of Steve Jobs, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards”. Joules, PA.

“This is your prime time – you are in control of your life and make the most of it. Use this power to make better choices for your health, career, love life — anything you want. Walk away from anything that upsets you, bad habits, companions or situations”. Sylvia, mum of 3.

“Embrace it – you will know your worth and you will find out what is it that you actually want from life. You will finally stop worrying what others will say or think about you. Make the most it”. Anna, dentist.

You will see life in a new light! There wasn’t a lot that I understood about myself until I hit my thirties – true story. Natasha, Beauty PR

There was no magical and sudden change, but throughout this decade I’ve found myself relating to my nearest & dearest, the world, my possessions, my passions and ME in a completely different way. Your inner world will become richer, life will make more sense, and you’ll be surer of who you are, what you want… You’ll experience a gorgeous clarity and purpose that will continue to grow as you age – exciting! Natasha, Beauty PR

Oh, go on then, bring on my thirties, I don’t like odd numbers anyway…

Gabs

 

Erica’s food files: Ember Yard, Soho

2nd October 2017 / Erica Cohen

I’d just returned from a surreal 5-week eastern European adventure, having eaten a lifetime’s worth of goulash, sausage and potato dumplings. I was back in London, looking forward to trying some different taste sensations whilst catching up with friends.  This essentially involved a week of eating my own body weight in world food, and several gallons of Aperol Spritz, (clearly, not ready to embrace winter just yet).

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My friend Lottie suggested Ember Yard, part of the famed Salt Yard Group, in our old stomping ground of Soho for a little catch-up.  Its fresh take on Italian and Spanish tapas was just the ticket for my welcome-back-to-London-dining supper.   We started with some dishes from their tapas menu (plates from £5 – £11) and then worked backwards with some sides from the charcuterie and bar snacks menu. Did I mention they have their very own custom built Baroque-style grill, for authentic Mediterranean cooking over charcoal and wood?  Jazzy, right?

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I went for the Sea Bass Carpaccio, which came with stunning bright green chive oil, smoked tomatoes and anchovies.  The saltiness of the anchovies, encased in a light tempura, was the perfect partner to the clean and light sea bass.  Lottie’s choice of Cornish Plaice, Mussels and Sea Aster was an Instagramable dream topped off with a gorgeous saffron dressing. We chose their light and limey Blanc de Morgex, the notes of citrus worked wonders with our fishy dishes. We shared the Courgette Flower which was stuffed with Monte Enebro goat’s cheese and drizzled ever so delicately with honey (I’m assuming from the fanciest of Spanish bees?)

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Curious to sample their bar snacks, we opted for their Chips and Smoked Chorizo Skewers which came with a dreamy saffron aioli.  The unsalted chips had a distinctly un-chip like flavour which may be due to being fried in Iberico pork fat as opposed to regular oil – they were different and delicious all the same.

Service was quick and staff are clearly masters of the menu, suggesting and advising based on our personal foodie preferences. The same menu is available throughout their two-story restaurant and the kitchen is open till midnight Thursday-Saturday, which makes it the perfect place for a late night post-theatre treat.

Word of warning, do not go to Ember Yard ravenously hungry, even going by their 3 plate each suggestion, we could have happily kept eating.  Indeed, Ember Yard is all about incredible taste combinations and savouring the flavour of their fresh, locally sourced creations.  Our night of tapas and travelling tales did not disappoint!

Salt Yard Group is a member of the Sustainable Restaurant Group; all 5 of their central London restaurants have been awarded a two-star Food Made Good Sustainability Rating.

 

Erica

 

 

9 things your skincare expert wants you to know

26th September 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos 

If you are a woman in your late 20s or 30s, chances are, you’ve tried hundreds of skincare products in your lifetime already.

Every season we are bombarded with new trends. In the last few years, we’ve gone from being obsessed with hot cloth cleansing and whacking coconut oil on our faces and hair, to spending hundreds on snail serums. Surely, all those changes can’t be any good for our now overloaded and confused skin.

So, what SHOULD we do when it comes to our skincare routine? We’ve asked 3 of the UK’s top experts to share their top tips with us:

Stop over-exfoliating 

“Although it’s crucial to remove dead skin cells to speed up cell renewal and to stop skin looking dull, using a heavy scrub too often can damage skin the skin’s protective barrier. This can lead to premature ageing and can leave skin very sensitive. Swap your scrub for a chemical exfoliant such as Glycolic Acid instead that will plump whilst buffing away dead skin. Start by using it a few times a week and build up to daily use to minimise the risk of irritation” suggests Dr Stefanie Williams, dermatologist and founder of Eudelo clinic.

Don’t forget about your neck

Debbie Thomas, celebrity facialist says, “The neck and décolletage are just as important as the hands and face as these delicate areas are often exposed to the sun and free radicals. Regular application of a targeted cream to these areas with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and peptides can help plump and eradicate signs of ageing. Don’t forget to apply SPF to these areas as they are often forgotten!”

What’s mine is mine

According to Dr Maryam Zamani, leading aesthetic Doctor and founder of MZ Skin, “when buying/using eye make-up products, it’s important not only to keep your cosmetics clean but also to not share them! Toss old makeup and do not use mascara that have dried out. Try to use the mascara 1 mm away from the base of the lash so that it’s only on the lash, not the root of the lash.  Be careful with the colour of the eye products, particularly if you are using any reds – they often contain significant allergens.”

Gone are the oil days

Coconut, rosehip, castor, argan … you name it, we’ve tried it. But are oils really worth the hype? “Oils are an unnecessary addition to a skincare regime. Instead find a serum containing Hyaluronic or Lactobionic Acid that will work to infuse skin with moisture and encourage skin to hydrate itself, leaving long-lasting results,” says Dr Stefanie.

 Not taking makeup off before bed

Dr Stefanie explains, “Overnight, skin goes through an intensive regeneration process and a layer of makeup, or otherwise unclean skin, will clog pores. You’ll wake up with tired and dull looking skin!”. If it becomes a habit on Saturday night, you will regret in future. “This damage may not show up instantly but accumulate and promote early signs of ageing”, adds Debbie.

 Can’t touch this!

Unless you are a skincare expert, keep your hands away from those pesky spots. “Not only will squeezing spread bacteria to other areas of the face but, if done incorrectly, will push the bacteria into the spot further down, often causing infection. Instead, try using a salicylic acid product or pressing a warm, clean damp cloth over the area and, if the whitehead is ready, it will pop by itself” Dr Stefanie recommends.

Unless you wash your hands beforehand, touching your face can wreak havoc on skin, causing breakouts, spreading bacteria … Seriously, JUST DON’T.

 Special care area

Never forget to apply eye cream! “Eyes are often the first area that shows signs of ageing and so twice daily application of eye cream is a must”, Debbie adds.

Using too hot water

Although steamy hot showers can be a wonderful pleasure, they can have a negative effect on your skin. Dr Stefanie says, “Very hot water can strip skin of its protective oils, leaving it dry and tight”.

Not using sunscreen

The one thing everyone should be doing is applying an SPF daily. It’s crucial to protect skin all year round to maintain a youthful complexion and to keep pigmentation at bay. Debbie explains, “It’s important for all skin, ageing or otherwise, to be protected from the sun by use of an SPF and an Antioxidant serum. Up to 80% of skin ageing is caused by UVA damage! I always recommend an SPF 30 Daily and SPF 50 if you’re outside for the day. Although this won’t correct any existing ageing, it’s the best way to protect skin from future ageing.”

Sleep is the answer

Sleep deprivation wreaks havoc not only on your mind and body but also on your skin. Dr Maryam explains, “Chronic sleep deprivation can cause premature ageing because of the release of the stress hormone, cortisol.  It can break down collagen, an essential protein in the skin that creates suppleness and elasticity.  Too much cortisol causes sallow, lacklustre skin and makes fine lines and wrinkles more prominent”.

 

HERO ingredient

If you are going to invest in one product, choose the one with retinol. Debbie says, “It can penetrate all the layers of the skin, prompting fast cell turnover and exfoliation. In turn, it helps to repair photo-ageing, brown spots, reduce the appearance of large pores, smooth skin and boost collagen production. Retinol is a very active ingredient and can cause some irritation when first used, so start with every 2nd or 3rd night for 2-4 weeks then use it every other night, and when comfortable, use every night.

 

 

Gabs

Have you tried the colour of the season yet?

28th September 2017 / Abbie Tanner

With it reigning supreme at Alexander McQueen, Prada and Max Mara, red made its stand as THE colour of the season. Whether you indulge in a statement red coat, go bold in head to toe, or experiment by clashing it with pops of purple and pink, it’s the shade to be seen in.

The fiery hue had a grown-up edge for AW17; it felt refined and polished, making it a great choice for both workwear and off-duty looks. Not just reserved for those sparkly Christmas party dresses!

So, with autumn in full swing and the colder temps of winter just around the corner, we’ve picked our favourite high-street buys to bring your wardrobe bang up to date – and there’s nothing more uplifting than a rich injection of red…

Hats off

Making your accessories red is an easy way to tap into the trend. Choose a beret and nail Parisian chic whilst you’re at it too.

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Zara Beret, £12.99, available here

Keep it classic

A red coat is an ultimate statement piece and the easiest way to jazz up the simplest of outfits.

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New Look Coat, £34.99, available here

The LRD

A little red dress is almost as necessary as a little black dress. This strappy UO number has been all over Insta and we can see why (heart eye emoji!). The beauty of this one is that you can layer it over a roll-neck and tights when winter really hits.

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Urban Outfitters Dress, £42, available here

All knitted out

There’s something so satisfying about buying a new-season knit and this Mango beauty is one of our faves.

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Mango Sweater, £35.99, available here

Fanciful frills

Frills are a lovely detail to make a top feel more dressy, if it’s got a fluted sleeve then that’s even better! To complete the look add a cold glass of prosecco.

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& Other Stories Blouse, £59, available here

Wear the trousers (and make ’em red)

Wide-legged and red! What more do you want for lovely late autumn style? We’d pair these with Stan Smiths, clash the red with a teal sweater and finish with a cool biker.

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River Island Trousers, £42, available here

 

Abbie

 

 

 

Would you trust your dentist to do your botox?

26th September 2017 / Abbie Tanner

Your Style Vaults meets… Dr Krystyna

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Getting, and looking older is always at the top of our discussion list (the prosecco-fuelled weekends probably don’t help), so anything – be it surgical or non-surgical – to help us fight the hands of time is always a win in our eyes. We’re obsessed with the latest beauty hacks, getting enough sleep (well, except at the weekend!) and how to make the most of what we’ve got.

In the market for Botox? Finally, want to give in to teeth whitening? We say go for it. If it makes you feel better about yourself then why not make fewer trips to the pub and turn those drinking tokens into beauty tokens – the after-effects will be so much more rewarding than a hangover, that’s for sure.

Once the funds are saved, choosing the right procedure and clinic is a MUST, so if you’re treating yourself to new dentist work or a subtle lip-filler, then treat yourself right and DO YOUR RESEARCH. Enter Dr Krystyna… a fully qualified dentist with a passion for cosmetic dentistry, Botox and dermal fillers. As a member of The British Dental Association, the Royal College of Surgeons Faculty of Dental Surgery and the International Team for Implantology, she is trusted professional. 

We wanted to pick her brains about why choosing a dentist for facial aesthetics is always the best route…

YSV: How did it all begin?

Dr K: Being a dentist was always my passion, both my parents were dentists and they inspired me to study the profession myself. Once I had finished my dental degree and began working in practice, I realised I was able to expand and pursue other avenues within the profession. I naturally gravitated towards facial aesthetics and cosmetics because I wanted to be able to offer people a service that enhanced their appearance. I find it very satisfying to offer my patients opportunities to advance both their dental and facial cosmetic issues and improve their personal confidence as a result.

 

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Image credit: @drkrystyna

YSV: Why are dentists best placed to offer facial aesthetics?

Dr K: The truth is dentists are actually ideally placed to perform facial aesthetics treatments since we have undergone 5 years of undergraduate training focusing solely on the face! The intensive training and education of a dental degree give the most specialised understanding and surgical skills to undertake facial cosmetic treatment. We have an in-depth knowledge of oro-facial anatomy: musculature, blood supply, neural supply and function so can be precise with the application of cosmeceuticals and neurotoxins. We can fully control and remove pain through anaesthesia. Risk factors are also minimised through the technical skill of dental training with empathy and sensitivity to provide the best care for every patient being ideally met in a dental practice environment.

YSV: Any advice for someone looking to embark on facial aesthetic treatment?

Dr K: My advice is to take the time to find a reputable practitioner who is appropriately qualified. Ensure the clinic is clean and safe, and the materials used are licensed and registered. Worryingly, there are a lot of fake clinics which could lead to disastrous consequences. Would you really want to risk it for a cheap deal? 

YSV: What treatments do you offer?

Dr K: The Dr.Krystyna clinics offer a wide range of high quality, bespoke dental cosmetic and facial aesthetic treatments. Tooth whitening, Invisalign clear braces and composite tooth bonding are all available to get you to that winning smile. Botox/Anti-wrinkle and dermal filler to treat all areas of the face and neck to give people a more natural, youthful appearance or to enhance one’s lips, cheeks or chins. I also can use botox to combat excessive underarm sweating and jaw clenching habits!

YSV: What’s the diff between botox and fillers?

Dr K: Botox and dermal fillers do different things but can be used in complementary fashion. Botox is a muscle relaxer and dermal fillers, as their name implies fill lines or can be used to add volume. Botox is injected into the muscles that cause wrinkles and relaxes them to reduce the signs of ageing. Dermal facial fillers, on the other hand, are used to add volume to the skin and lips to hydrate and plump. Botox lasts up to 6-9 months whilst fillers last between 12-18 months depending on the area and type used.

YSV: As a London-based girl boss, where do you go to enjoy your free time? If you have any that is!

Dr K: Well, I’ve recently become a founding member of The Curtain Hotel so spent the summer on their rooftop! Some more of my fave bar and restaurants include The Ace Hotel, Village East, Bistrotech and The Hoxton Hotel. I also like to go to Boxpark in Shoreditch for casual weekday hangout. 

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Image credit: The Curtain

YSV: What’s the future for Dr.K?

Dr K: Ideally, I would like to expand and build the Dr Krystyna clinic and brand itself in the London, Surrey and Essex areas. I aim to become an approachable and trustworthy name which provides clients easy accessibility to the treatments they desire. 

Discover more about what Dr Krystyna can do for you HERE.

Follow the clinics latest Instagram updates HERE.

 

Abbie

 

10 things to get you through a booze-free October

Wednesday 25th September / Gabriela Czwarnos

Guilty as charged, I do love a drink (or five). Whether it be my favourite prosecco on summer days (and nights), gin and tonic when I am ‘OUT OUT’ or an espresso martini, well, I guess just for LOLs. If you have a big group of friends, and what’s more, love meeting new ones, it takes an ocean of booze to survive weekends.

Not feeling sorry for myself, but frankly my good old Halifax has been stretched to the max lately and my poor liver can’t handle the party as well as it used to. So here, at the Vaults, we are doing Stoptober (https://www.gosober.org.uk/) and saying goodbye to booze for 30 days. No jokes.

It seems impossible, so to help ourselves and anyone else out there who is swapping their wine for tea, we’ve put together some top tips of how to survive the hardest 30 days of year… you’re welcome!

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Tell it to EVERYONE

According to The American Society of Training and Development, if you commit to others that you will do something, you have 95% more chances to actually stick to it! So, go on, tell your family, friends, and work mates. Also, chances are that they might stop the usual Friday nagging “go on, let’s go for a one!”.

It takes two

Let’s face it, you will need all the support and help you can get. Find yourself another brave soul that wants to stop drinking for October and text them whenever you feel like you want to give up. You can set a report time (7pm, also known as a wine o’clock) to give each other a pep talk call.

Join the gym

Since your Friday evenings are now freed up, as well as those Saturday mornings that are usually wasted on hangovers, you might as well get fit. Gyms and classes are usually empty on Friday nights/Saturday mornings and that leaves you with no excuses. Make sure you choose pre-booked classes, where they charge you if you don’t show up. Money is always the most powerful motivator.

Go on, treat yourself!

I swear this is what my credit card whispers to me when I am hesitating at Zara’s till. Quitting drinking is simply removing a comfort from your life, which – if not replaced – will probably affect your motivation. If you usually stay for three G&T’s after work on Friday, you are allowed that new top at the end of the week. Simple as that!

Boost your endorphins

There is an actual research that proves the obvious: alcohol does make us happy. How? It releases feel-good chemicals (endorphins) in a part of our brain often referred to as the ‘pleasure centre’. Since you are not allowed to boost them with a glass of wine look for alternatives. Scientists got some good news for us here: that includes having sex (it not only boosts your endorphin levels but also releases the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin, which makes you feel all warm and jolly), gorging on chocolate (cocoa contains mood-boosting substances) or… lighting a vanilla candle (researchers found that this specific smell can help ease anxiety and make you feel more relaxed).

Out of sight out of mind

That wine bottle left in the fridge will be staring at you and calling your name, trust me. Get rid of any alcohol that is left in the house. There is absolutely no need to test your willpower right now.

Stay busy

Never leave your mind unattended, most likely it will start wandering off towards stupid ideas, like going for a drink. Join an art class, start learning a new language, go rock climbing, get sucked in a new boxset … whatever you do, just STAY BUSY. This is a perfect opportunity to do all those things you never got around doing.

Mocktail, anyone?

Most of us are ‘social’ drinkers – let’s face it, what else would you do than meet for a drink with your friends? There are many non-alcoholic options that will make you feel like you’re OUT OUT without getting tipsy. If you are a fan of gin just go for a tonic water with lots of fresh lime. Carry a small squash in your handbag and ask a barman to fill a wine glass with ice and soda water. Don’t forget about a straw. If it looks like a proper drink hopefully it will trick your mind into thinking it actually is! Every little helps.

Think: rewards

The rewards for surviving a month with no booze are endless.

Number one: health

You will sleep better as alcohol can disturb the two crucial parts of your sleep – Slow Wave Sleep, which helps your body to reboot, and REM Sleep, which is the part when you learn and remember.

Alcohol dehydrates your body generally, but you will see it first on your skin as it will worsen the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It is also packed with sugar, which causes the skin to sag and triggers spots (famous post-drinking acne). ‘Wine Face’, anyone?

Let’s not forget about your liver. That little trooper breaks down alcohol into carbon dioxide, water and fat. When you have one too many, the fat can build up, causing a “fatty liver”. Fortunately, the problem usually disappears when you stop drinking excessively.

Number two: money

Three drinks on thirsty Thursday and a night out on Saturday can easily add up to at least 100 pounds. Times four, it adds up to quite a nice sum – just enough to book tickets to Bali.

Number three: weight

If you didn’t get your summer body this year (yet), Stoptober is your best bet. Alcohol is packed with empty calories and sugar so it can easily ruin your healthy diet and fitness regime, one bottle at a time. To give you an idea, 3 glasses of wine (large, of course) are about 450 calories. Same as a Snickers or a double cheeseburger. Also, let’s face it – no one tucks into a salad after getting home tipsy. Add your after-party fast food binge to a bottle of wine and you will end up probably doubling your daily calorie allowance.

Make friends with non-drinkers

… ok, forget that we all know that’s just not going to happen.

 

Gabs

 

This week we tried: Barrecore

25th September 2017 / Abbie Tanner

Here at the Vaults, we enjoy the feel-good factor that comes with exercise; the rush of endorphins, the physical changes, the increase of energy. However, the dragging-your-arse to the gym factor, hmm not so much.

Running into oblivion on a treadmill isn’t our favourite way to burn those cals so we’re always on the hunt for awesome new workouts that are not only result-noticing but enjoyable.

Enter, Barrecore. A favourite with Victoria’s Secret models such as Jourdan Dunn, Eva Herzigova and Arizona Mews, Barrecore classes fuse yoga, Pilates and ballet techniques with gentle weight-training exercises to elongate muscles and create toned physiques. And with founder Niki Rein, proclaiming that ‘in just a couple of weeks of taking 2-3 sessions a week, clients see fat melting, metabolism boosting and mood improving results’, we can see why this trendy workout has become super popular. And after a few classes, we can totally vouch for that.

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It’s a fast-moving and efficient workout that yes, made us hurt, but in that weird enjoyable way – it was a class that has us yearning for more. The enthusiastic instructor and her incredibly toned body were so encouraging (seriously, her abs), that holding tricky poses for a little longer seemed possible.

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If you’re wondering whether previous dance experience is necessary then fear not, it’s ultimately still a fitness workout with only 20% being dance-based movements. This is easy to follow choreography that focuses on getting your body leaner, stronger and longer. Something that we can really get on board with. We’ll be rocking those crop tops in no time. Maybe a bit extreme, but you get the idea.

They have studios nationwide so why not see what’s near you. Book your first class HERE, you won’t regret it.

 

Abbie