You may have noticed I missed Friday Faves last week – there was no huge reason, but I only had one thing that jumped out at me as a favourite (don’t worry, I saved it for this week as I’m still in love with it!) so I didn’t want to scrabble around for filler. All killer, no filler, that’s what I say. I said that once.
Good week: It was my birthday on Sunday and my lovely husband organised such an incredible day. We went to Camden to buy Crosstown Doughnuts and coffee, walked down by the canal in the sun, then sat in Regent’s Park to people watch and stuff our faces. Then we went to London Zoo! I’ve only ever been to Zoo Lates which has a VERY different (read: drunk) vibe so this was lovely. And it wasn’t that busy so I didn’t even have to elbow small children out of the way to get to the penguins. My favourite animal was definitely the sloth – he was chilling out eating a salad and looked so happy. Then we went to Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour which is an adorable chintzy, tiny bar where they make the most incredible – and potent! – gin cocktails. I was smashed after one French 75! After that we staggered along to the Hawksmoor for a lovely evening of food, wine, and nattering. We ended the night in The Porterhouse which is somewhere we used to go a lot when we first got together so it felt very nostalgic. All in all, it was the perfect day.
Bad week: I had to miss two work events due to Endometriosis pain. It’s so frustrating to deal with something so unpredictable and I get such bad FOMO! I’m registering with the new doctor’s surgery next week so hopefully I can chat to them about it.
The first of my Friday Faves is the one I saved from last week and it is still a fave this week: this dot-to-dot book. If you’re a fan of colouring books, or even if you found them a bit stressful because you’re not very creative or worried you’d mess up the shading (I feel you), then this will be right up your street. The images are so intricate and detailed. And because you’re only working on tiny bits at a time I find it really focuses the mind. I’ve been doing it just before I go to bed so that I’m avoiding my laptop and phone and it’s definitely helping me to switch off.
The lovely Andy Millward kindly invited me to try the Cosmedix Benefit facial at the wonderful The Well Urban Spa in Clerkenwell. I’d never been there before but it is absolutely dreamy – all Scandi pastels mixed with kitsch palm tree patterns (so instagram friendly!) I ended up being in the appointment room for two hours because Andy and I couldn’t stop nattering. He’s so friendly and incredibly knowledgable: I not only left with glowing skin, but also advice on diet, supplements, skincare and lifestyle. The Benefit facial is a retinol peel that combines vitamin C and vitamin A to gently exfoliate, reduce redness and support sensitive skin. I know that the word ‘peel’ can be terrifying and put people off, but this is a facial designed for sensitive skin and rosacea prone skin in particular. In Andy’s own words “Because it’s acid-free, it’s super gentle. It uses encapsulated Retinol (vitamin A) to normalise skin function and reduce inflammation. Vitamin C is used for its antioxidant benefits. It’s a precursor to collagen production and helps to strengthen capillaries.” He also used LED light therapy (using blue, red and near infrared wavelengths) which provide anti-inflammatory, healing and regenerative benefits.
During the treatment I felt tingling and warmth but nothing that provoked a flare up. Afterwards, my skin was red but considering how much it had been touched over the course of the appointment, I expected a lot worse! On the left is how I looked immediately after the treatment, and on the right is 10 minutes later. If you zoom in (it’s rare I’ll encourage that!) you can see that the bits of redness still visible in the second picture are actually broken veins which obviously never disappear. So the results are even better than they appear there. I am a total convert and now just need him to clear a space for me in every single London trip so I can look like this all the time!
I’ve never used anything from PÜR before but after trying the PÜR Eye Polish in ‘Caviar‘* I may need to check out some other bits and pieces. This is a very fluid-y cream eyeshadow that sets to a matte and (pretty much) indestructible finish. Caviar is the most beautiful smokey khaki shade with a ton of gold glitter for extra drama. I used the provided silicone applicator to swipe the product onto my eyelid and then quickly used my finger to smudge it into an intense smokey eye. You can see the results HERE.
I finished The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender yesterday and I was so sad that it had to end! It’s such a wonderful and surreal story told in such an offhand and casual way. I want to give you examples to show just how surreal but I don’t want to ruin any of it! I think the genre is often referred to as ‘magical realism’ which I definitely need to look into more! If you have any recommendations similar to this story please let me know.
And finally a song that has been on repeat in my house, keeping me motivated and feeling like I could take on the world: M.I.A ‘Only 1 U’. If you need a bit of a boost today then this will definitely do the job! You’re welcome!
What are your Friday Faves this week? Your recommendations are always wonderful and so appreciated so go to town in the comments.
*PR sample. Links may be affiliate. For more information please see the Disclaimer tab at the top of the page.