Sunday, 12 March 2017

My French style and I...

Hello lovelies!

Today I'm chatting about style.  Style is one of those things that's quite difficult to define.  We live in a world where everyone craves being stylish and influencers make a fortune from wearing brands and sharing their style.  I've never considered myself to be stylish, but I've always been one of those people that wears what they want.  Although I love fashion (Vogue is my bible) and I always keep up to date with trends, I don't necessarily try to reflect that through my style of dress.  I like to think I have my own style, and certainly as I've gotten older,  I've felt myself really start to hone my own-I wear what I like and what suits my mood each day, and I love designer labels, but I try to mix the few pieces I have up with high street and vintage buys.  I think your style is seen best through the eyes of others; people have always commented on my clothes and my style, but I don't read too much into it; I like that they've noticed! I never try to imitate, and nor should you!

I've read lots of style books, and my favourites are usually by French women, or by those who have lived in France or have spent a lot of time there.  I've always loved nautical colours (red, white and blue-navy in particular!) and even when I was younger, I favoured them over other choices.  Navy has always been my go to colour and with a pop of red lipstick it can look amazing!  Now I'm in my early thirties (bloody hell, how did that happen?!)  I'm finding myself falling back into my French style; I feel confident in a Breton style top, tapered trousers and a pair of Converse.  Let's face it, if I wasn't English, I'd love to be French!  I love the country, particularly Paris and Cannes, and I love the French way of life and aesthetic.  I hope that one day I can retire there! the point of this post I hear you cry?  Well, I have quite a few outfit shots to share and when I put them side by side, I realised just how much I've started to favour this dress code.  There's something about Spring that makes me come over all nautical...

It's finally the time of year where I can wear my Levi's Paris Saint Germain jacket (to be honest I've hardly had it off my back since the sun started to shine!).  I've also been wearing lots of neckerchiefs again, which work really well with this jacket; it's too warm for a scarf now anyways!  I have an enormous Vivienne Westwood neckerchief collection (coming in a post some time soon!); the very first designer piece I ever bought was one of these neckerchiefs and they've been a firm favourite ever since (they retail at around £15-£20...or at least they used to!).  I'm also loving them paired up with my ever growing collection of Breton-striped tops (blogger cliché anyone?!).

 This top was £10 from Zara!

My other obvious Parisian/French style staple is my love of the trench coat.  I once owned a vintage Burberry version, but had to sell it on when I lost quite a lot of weight a few years back.  Since then I've been loving this one from Zara.  Zara are a great go to place for trenches; they come back in stock every season in a variety of lengths and colours, and are a good second to the must have Burberry heritage version (and over £1000 cheaper!).  I also have a Michael Kors trench in navy which is a beauty too!  Here I'm styling it with some of my other Français faves; my neckerchief, a Breton top, my Converse and my Louis Vuitton Neverfull (my favourite handbag!).

Photo credit Miss K Everyday-trench love in the Durham sunshine... 

If all of the styles books I've ever read are to be believed, then another great staple is a well-made pair of shoes.  These leopard-print and leather beauties are by Ugg and were a snip at £30 from a recent trip to York Designer Outlet.  I've been wearing them with everything!  They're perfect for glamming up daywear, when it's sometimes impractical to wear heels.

Another style choice is a well made tailored jacket.  I often choose blazer/suit jackets to smarten up outfits or to give a look a 'business edge'.  My favourite is my one from The Kooples (yes I know, another French choice!) which again was a bargain reduction at £80...

But if I fancy a more 'on trend' style jacket, I'm happy to choose a high-street brand like this newbie I've worn to death from Primark...

...which I picked up for £25.  It reminded me very much of last season's Burberry and is always a great conversation starter!

I've started to use my Instagram account to post my outfits each day, but I wanted to collect them all here to share with you too.  I'm really interested in what things influence people's style, mine is obviously my love of France, but I'm sure there are lots of other contributing factors too!  I'm not a style guru or anything; but I love putting outfits together and similarly I'm interested in what influences your style choices, please let me know in the comments below :).

Thanks for coming on my style journey,

Until next time,




Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Forever Living: A beauty review...

Hello lovelies!

Today I'm covering beauty, a topic that I don't discuss often on Coco, but when I was approached by my lovely work colleague Nicky to sample some Forever Living products for review, I was dying to see what she had in store.  Forever Living is a company that I knew very little about, so I decided to do a little research before I tried out the goodies.  All FL products contain Aloe.  There are over 400 species of Aloe in the world, but it's Aloe Barbadensis Miller (to give it its Sunday name) that FL are interested in.  Known for it's soothing qualities, 'Forever Living' cultivate ABM in plantations in both the Dominican Republic and Texas to create the best form of Aloe Vera to use in their amazing products (if you want to read more about their Aloe story, you can do so here).

Okay, so you've got the gist of what we're dealing with here, so let's have a look at the products:

The massive box of goodies I was given to play with!

I'm not normally one for pampering myself, but because I had so many goodies to try I decided to take the time to use them properly and spread them out over a couple of days.  I started out easy and went with the eye make-up remover, hand and face soap and the moisturiser.  

The eye make-up remover was lovely.  It was really soothing around the eyes and didn't cause any stinging.  I have quite sensitive eyes and skin, so I was pleasantly surprised with how kind this product was to my face.  The moisturiser sample I had was also pretty amazing; the products are all very rich and high in quality, so I found that whatever I was using went a long way, less is definitely more!  My favourite of these three (and probably my favourite product of all), was the hand and face soap.  It smells absolutely unbelievable; think of the best smelling baby soap your mind can muster and you still won't even come close to the scent of this little beauty!  One pump's worth was enough to wash my hands and face, so if you were buying this product you certainly wouldn't have to repurchase it very often.

A single pump's worth of hand/face soap went a very long way!

After that little mini beauty regime, my skin went to bed happy and woke up feeling just as nice; no irritation from these products!  

Shampoo and conditioner samples (a full size bottle retails at £14.71 for 296ml)

During my morning shower, I decided to try out the samples of Shampoo and Conditioner.  My scalp is usually where I suffer most with my sensitive skin;  I regularly have to change shampoo as my scalp is easily irritated, so I was a little sceptical about how these products would affect me.  Again, both products are quite rich; there was more than enough in each little sachet to cover my short hair and I'm also pleased to report that I didn't suffer from any irritation after using them-success!!  If I was buying any Forever Living products, these would probably be the ones I would choose; my hair felt lovely and soft after using them and it's rare that I find a shampoo which leaves me itch free-I'd definitely recommend it for all those with sensitive scalps!

The final products I tested from Nicky's Forever Living box of goodies, were the Aloe Activator and Mask Powder.  A teaspoon of each product mixed together and applied to the face with an old make-up brush, creates a powerful tightening face mask dubbed 'Botox in a box'.  I don't often use face masks, so I decided on my second night of pampering to give this one a whirl!

Mask Powder £17.09 for 29g and Aloe Activator £11.99 for 118ml

The face mask ingredients mixed together...

...and applied.

Once the face mask is applied, it is advised to lie-down for up to thirty minutes to let the product have it's full tightening effect.  I couldn't believe how tight it made my skin before I took it off...


...I looked like a burns victim and I couldn't even move my mouth to smile!!! It was quite possibly the weirdest sensation I've ever had on my face; but thankfully after the thirty minutes, and with a little help from the hand and face soap, the mask removed easily and I could move my face again!  After removal, my skin was quite red and blotchy, which Nicky explained is part of the tightening process; the mask stimulates the blood vessels under your skin which causes the redness.  I followed, as advised, with the Aloe Nourishing Serum (£34.69 for 118ml) which was delectable on the skin and helped to cool my face down.  My skin felt amazing afterwards!

A little serum goes a long way...
...and my face soon returned to normal!

I wasn't a huge fan of the face mask-I didn't like the burning sensation under my skin, but I can see why people would swear by it!  At thirty-one, I'm quite lucky in that I still have quite youthful skin (I pray to the gods of skin that this will continue!)  so there's not really much yet in need of tightening, but for those slightly older than me, I'd definitely recommend the mask (the effects can last up to forty-eight hours after one treatment!!)

So to the verdict...

I was really very impressed with the range of products offered by Forever Living, and the quality of each in turn.  My favourite product was definitely the Hand and Face Soap, but I didn't really have any major complaints about anything that I tried; I was pleasantly surprised with everything.  The products in the range are quite pricey, but I found that with each one I tried I only needed to use a very minimal amount, so when you consider cost per use, they are very good value for money.

Need to know more?

Forever Living isn't available in the shops, but if you are interested in purchasing any of the products or trying out some samples for yourself, you can contact Nicky by visiting her website here.  

Thanks Nicky for letting me have a play in Forever Living land!  I was given these products for reviewing purposes but all opinions are my own.

Thanks for reading,


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