Monday, 14 December 2015

Avene, ageing and The Wardrobe Angel

After casting around online for my 'tribe' I stumbled across the 30+Blog Collective the brainchild of London Beauty Queen. Fist pumping all the way to London I went to the panel discussion a few weeks ago hosted in conjunction with Avene skincare. On the panel were Jane Cunningham (The British Beauty Blogger), Linda Papadopoulos, a leading Psychologist and Doctor Sam Bunting, cosmetic dermatologist.

Various charges were levelled at the beauty industry including:

  • Fetishing youth
  • Considering ageing to be a flaw
  • Patronising tone towards older women

So here's where semantics can get you into trouble - what constitutes an 'older' woman? Am I an older woman at the grand age of 35? Apparently so. I'm not a beauty blogger and honestly, I've never bought an anti-ageing product, I don't use eye cream and I have never considered Botox. I use Dermalogica face wash and Nivea moisturiser, I don't drink, I don't smoke and I watch my sugar intake. So in my eyes I reckon I'm in pretty good knick for 35. I have previously looked at anti-ageing products and just accepted the wording describing skin on the boxes purely because I didn't really think they applied to me:

tired, dull, sagging, wrinkled, lined

Then amidst the lively debate on anti-ageing I realised those products were targeted at me and a hella load of other women as well: this homogeneous mass of women over 30 at different stages of life, with different skin needs that the beauty industry has conveniently mashed together in 1 pot for ease. 
Jane Cunningham noted the lack of positive words to describe ageing skin translating into 'flaws' which those products would 'fix'. Claire Roper of  the blog Country Mouse Claire suggested turning those words around and tuning into the benefits of the products instead, highlighting the effects those products would have:

glowing, plumped, fresher, firmer

Bit of a difference, hey? I loved the take Avene had on their latest PhysioLift products which uses all the words above as well as this strapline:

Ageing skin is not a flaw
Ageing skin has specific needs

The blogger Patent Purple Life nailed the essence of the evening in her blog post Ageing is Normal which I urge you to read. 

Til next time...

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The Wardrobe Angel and CharmChuri Silk Scarves

Great scarf taste runs in my family; when my Nana died I inherited 2 massive boxes of her silk scarves which I promptly sorted through and lo! a Liberty silk scarf. My other favourite scarf is a leopard print one from a vintage shop in Soho, London bought for the princely sum of £5. Gift giving at Christmas can sometimes prove tricky: give me a scarf and I'm generally one happy Angel but how to choose? CharmChuri have the answer - colours, patterns, size and most of all superb quality make this brand a real Christmas winner.

Your chosen scarf arrives ready packaged in a luxury gift box hand-tied with twine (so that saves you from demonstrating dodgy wrapping skills!) and inside the scarf is nestled in tissue paper: I felt like I was receiving a really special gift. I chose the Sea of Flames scarf which has a beautiful density to it - not to fine so it will unwrap itself from your neck but just heavy enough so it retains the shape when you style it. And anyone who wear scarves can be inspired by the styling ideas Nitsha has put on her website.

You may occasionally find people expressing envy, This is completely normal with CharmChuri silk scarves. Just let it go and resume being fabulous.

CharmChuri is a London based brand with Thai heritage and has over 10 years experience of producing quality scarves. The branding also has a real sense of tongue-in-cheek about it which I loved. Above is the text from the note tucked inside the packaging.

The colour and texture of the scarf really 'pop' so I kept the rest of my outfit muted and flat textured. I wore Jamie Topshop jeans, Topshop boots, a H&M basic grey tee and an 80's double breasted wool jacket, belted with a Maxmara belt to show off my waist. I wore the outfit for a low key "girls gathering" in Leeds at the end of last month and each lady positively cooed over the scarf asking where it was from.

To visit the CharmChuri website and buy your Christmas scarf gifts please click here.

Til next time...

Sunday, 6 December 2015

The Wardrobe Angel goes to Denham

The Personal Shopping Suite at Denham, Leeds. Just as good as it looks!!

Shopping for denim can be an all encompassing nightmare - I have tried on many a pair of jeans in my lifetime and have settled on Topshop Jamie jeans as my go-to. Rue the day when they change or get rid of the style! There are so many factors that strike fear into the hearts of many a client when it comes to trying and buying jeans - the sizing varies so much from store to store, the "give" factor (fit fine in the shop then after 1 wash bag at the knee or give you a drop at the crotch) and the price to name but a few. So last week when I had the the almighty pleasure of a guided tour round the new Denham shop in Leeds I was a little sceptical - yet another denim brand promising the earth in terms of fit and quality? But I needn't have worried - the Denham crew have thought of everything to lay that denim shaped fear to rest.

Firstly they have a handy personal shopping suite which you can book in advance. That suite is then filled to the brim with Denham stock for you to try. Plus there are drinks and snacks on hand should shopping fatigue hit.

Secondly the staff are passionate, So unbelievable passionate. I don't think I have ever chatted about denim in such depth for so long before. They LOVE the stuff and their customer service is impeccable. I tried on some of the Needle jeans whilst I was there and before I even opened my mouth to say which size I was a pair of jeans was handed to me IN MY SIZE - man, they size you up good and proper! Plus they do in-store alterations so no trekking to the tailor with jeans in hand.

Thirdly it's not just denim at Denham: coats, jackets, jumpers, accessories and jewellery are on offer. Admittedly a lot of the jewellery is scissor shaped (the company logo) so unless you are a die hard fan I don't think you'd buy it but the stock is a capsule collection of wardrobe basics. A couple of pieces caught my eye - a wicked animal print jumper (the Nomad jersey) and a bomber jacket (Flight Boro Wool jacket) both had my name and signature style written all over them. You're looking at around £110 for a jumper so the equivalent would be Zoe Karrsen in terms of price. Plus the shop has a modern vintage feel with vintage trunks and succulents strewn on white tiled backdrops.

The brand originated in Amsterdam in 2008 and this store is the only stand alone store in the UK (talk about exclusivity). The products are infused with a passion for denim and an obsession with scissors - each pair of jeans has a pair of scissors sewn onto the back comprised of 691 chain stitches. As The Wardrobe Angel I only recommend shops and products which I would buy and use myself: Denham jeans are one of those products. The Needle jeans I tried on are high waisted skinnies - the Denham equivalent to Jamie jeans and I loved them - soft, stretchy fabric which sit high and shapes your bum - WIN.

Til next time...

The Wardrobe Angel

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Things I'm looking forward to #December

December - you beauty you. Here are my top 5 favourite things shaking my world this month:

1. Getting my oven cleaned. Yep - kitchen shaped WIN right there. Our oven is temperamental to say the least! When a recipe says 35mins at Gas Mark 5 on the middle shelf, in our oven it takes an hour at Gas Mark 9 so high up on the tip top shelf that the food comes out with the top of the oven imprinted on it. I read that getting it cleaned can help with cooking normally so I'm looking forward to experiencing the cooking magic after Oven Cleaning Services Leeds have been round.

2. Boxing Day walk  - clears away the cobwebs and over-indulgence from the day before.

3. Having finger teas - when me and my sister were small our favourite kind of meal was a meal we could eat with our hands. This has continued well into my adult life - fish and chips being my favourite chow down as the chips are just begging to be picked up sans fork. At Christmas there are so many leftovers that are best eaten cold, so why not save on the washing up and eat with your fingers?

4. Elf - how soon is too soon to watch the BEST CHRISTMAS FILM EVER?

5. New Years Eve - time to leave behind everything that didn't work, savour everything that did and step into a brand new year of possibilities and awesomeness.

Til next time...x

The Wardrobe Angel