Morning, little elves! Oh yes, brace yourselves, it’s officially December which means we are now unabashedly embracing all things Christmas (I’m not even sorry at this point either, how else are we supposed to drum up the enthusiasm to shop?!). However! Do not despair, because whilst some of today’s 10 ways do have a festive edge, we’ve actually got some gorgeous ways to reclaim Christmas for yourself. Yes that’s right you’ll be the girl who stole Christmas (back for herself!).
From ways to pamper your skin, to a fresh cut to wow everyone this season, we’ve got a gorgeous new jazz album (perfect for those cosy nights in!), an independent maker who’ll reinvigorate your enthusiasm for gift-buying, and while we’re on the topic of gift buying…
If you’ve got a bride-to-be in your life, or you are a bride-to-be, then this first one is for you!
One: Luxe Bridal Box
You guys. When the lovely Claire of Archive12 (the only Belfast bridal boutique you need to know about!) dropped us a line about her new project we were instantly besotted…
Yes, you heard me right! A luxurious gift-wrapped box of utter delights for the cool bride-to-be in your life; the perfect engagement or Christmas pressie.
So what’s in this incredible bride box?!
Inspire Weddings AW 17/18 Issue | A beautiful wedding magazine with all the best in modern bridal fashion and styling
Spacemask | a gorgeous cult-favourite eye mask… Babes, it self heats!
So Soy Candle | 15 hours of prosecco, pomelo + grapefruit scented burn time… It’s as delish as it sounds!
Copper + Solder Ring Holder | a must have for every bride-to-be, this unique handmade concrete design is insanely chic
4 Stella Hair Pins | handmade by Archive 12’s favourite accessory designer, Naturae Design. Blue pearls attached to silver plated combs add a modern glimmer to any tousled up do (only available in the Bride Box 12.1)
With two box options available (the 12.2 bride box has the same contents, simply minus the hair pins) and limited stock these babies are sure to fly, so get involved and spoil the bride-to-be in your life, or lay a very heavy hint your bridesmaids, ha!
And if you don’t already, go follow Archive12 on Instagram for daily bohemian luxe bridal inspiration.
Two: Now Listening
If you could take a bar of smooth Galaxy and melt it into a sound, it’d be the voice of Gregory Porter.
Rich, luxurious, silky, soul-filled vocals. We’ve been huge fans of his for a long time now, so when he released this gorgeous album of Nat “King” Cole covers we new it’d become a December favourite. If you like yourself a bit of jazz around the holidays, be sure to give it a listen, especially the album’s final track, a sumptuous remake of ‘the Christmas Song’ – it’s on repeat for me this December, for sure.
Three: Reclaiming Christmas
So I mentioned this idea in today’s intro, but we’re encouraging you to be the
grinch girl who stole Christmas (back!). Because, well, Christmas isn’t always quite the magical experience it was when we we kids, am I right? While it’s still beautiful, it’s arguably a lot more complex and not without a few stresses along the way usually.
So, to conclude a year that’s seen us grow into the art of Self Love a lot more, we’re reclaiming little bits of Christmas back for ourselves… How? Lemme tell you babe:
Digital Detox | yup we’re encouraging you to switching off for those key days. Tuning out, so you can tune in! I know we all love a bit of time on the ‘gram but taking a time off can make us all the more present, and the season so much more enjoyable! Bring back the #latergram we say!
Guilt-Free Chills | That’s right, step away from the to-do list, babe! And don’t you dare feel guilty about it either, it’s a holiday after all! Which means carving out some time for you to rest and recuperate.
Festive Rituals | no I don’t mean chowing down an entire tin of Quality Streets (unless that’s your thing), or watching the Queen’s speech (no offence, your Maj!), but try creating your own festive rituals. Whatever you don’t normally have the time to indulge in, but really want to; do that. A long wandering walk, an afternoon reading that book you’ve been trying to get to for the last 6 months, an entire evening pamper session… Whatever brings you cheer!
Four: Now Following
These guys aren’t a new follow for us, by any means, but they are a must follow: @freepeopleuk
Not just a gorgeous bohemian store, Free People are a tribe! Sharing ideas from some of their favourite boho babes, they’ll inspire your outfit, style your work space, heck they’ll even help plan your weekend!
For all the carefree, British bohemian vibes, hit that ‘Follow’ button!
Five: Christmas Cuts
That Christmas hair cut. Everybody gets it pre-booked (in like, what, August?!), so your locks are looking their freshest ready for the festivities, but what about making a change?!
Nothing breathes a bit of life into you like a new ‘do! And (while I’m living vicariously through this suggestion!) the jaw-skimming bob is a firm it-girl favourite this season… Mainly because it’s damn-near-perfect with a polo neck!
Blunt cut or with layers, with fringe or without… They’re all goers, and however it comes, we’re in love with this fresh cropped look.
Six: ‘Tis the Season to be Sugarin’
…Ok so while the title of this one might not be strictly true (I mean, winter’s not exactly renowned for it’s grooming necessity), we’ve just discovered sugaring and we’re obsessed. So, you know, had to
over share with you all!
Why sugar over shaving or waxing? Two key reasons:
One | with sugaring, you paste the sugar against the hair, but pull with the direction of hair growth, making it less painful, with the potential for less ingrown hairs, and (as the sugar isn’t as hot) it’s likely you’ll experience less irritation too!
Two | the paste is super natural: just sugar lemon and water and the same ball of sugar can be using for you entire body! Making it very eco-friendly and natural!
So find your local sugaring salon, or you could even have a go at making it yourself and perfecting your own technique using this tutorial, which is on my radar to have a bash at over the holidays! Eeek! Happy sugaring, sweets!
Seven: Independent Gifts
Hands up if you’re feeling fed up/exhausted/uninspired (insert any other down hearted adjective here) by the mainstream shops and their gift ideas… Yeah, me too!
So I turned to Etsy, and within minutes found this incredible London-based maker, Orenda Ceramics, and immediately fell in love. Not only did I fall in love with her products (earthy ceramics, though! Is there much better?!) and ethos (‘Creating Space for Conscious Living’), but I fell in love with the process all over again. Person communication, being able to recognise and congratulate an artist on their work, one off pieces, and the scope to create custom pieces with the designer…
There’s a reason people sing the praises of shopping independent! Even if its just a couple of your gifts, be sure to shop small, shop local and shop independent this Christmas.
Eight: Seasonal Sparkle
Because it’s December and other than festivals, it’s the one time of the year that all over sparkle is totally acceptable!
Whether you’re heading out to a party head to toe in a gorgeous red sparkly dress, or wanna add a bit of sparkle to a daytime outfit with this black sequin-covered turtle neck, or hey, even just a glittering scrunchie to sling your hair up into a top knot while you cook on Christmas day, sparkle is a seasonal must!
Nine: Snuggle Buddies
Ummm, so winter’s arrived here in the UK, huh?! We woke up to a thick heavy frost this morning, and did I hear mutterings of snow?! All good by me, as long as I’m prepared: aka I wanna come in to a crackling fire and a plethora of cosy blankets and cushions!
Now, while I can’t really help you with fire recommendations, I can help on the snuggly sofa accessory front, here’s our top cuddly pics to keep you cosied up all winter long:
Simple, but necessary this luxe cotton knit throw by Next is everything
And because nobody likes chilly toes, these cosy Toms Birch slippers are top of our Christmas list this year (so great that they give a pair to a child in need too!)
Ten: Gently Does it
We all love a good exfoliation, am I right?! Buffing away all those dry, flaky patches that winter has so kindly gifted you with *eye roll emoji*… But did you know you can buff too hard, and that you may well be doing so without even knowing?!
Yeah, neither did I, sister! The good (read: life saving) beauty bloggers over at Free People described some of the following symptoms of over exfoliating:
You look sunburnt | redness and puffiness are inflammatory responses, signalling that your skin is in distress. When you strip your complexion’s top layer too much, your immune system kicks in and “sends cells to repair the area of injury,” says Dr. Bickle. “Blood flow is increased to help carry these inflammatory cells to the needed areas.” The result: a swollen, blotchy face.
Everything you apply tingles | If the go-to products you normally apply suddenly start to sting, pause right there. “If part of your protective layer of skin is removed, your skin may be more sensitive to the environmental elements, allergens and irritants,” not to mention “the ingredients in topical preparations,” says Dr. Bickle. “If the skin is becoming too irritated, a balance needs to be found.”
You’re breaking out all the time | Wearing away and disrupting that outer protective barrier that helps to seal in moisture “may confuse your skin,” says Dr. Bickle. “For people with oily skin, their bodies may sense dry skin and send signals to up-regulate oil production, making skin oilier than before and more prone to breakouts.” Weakening this defensive barrier can also let in blemish-causing bacteria. Not good.
…I don’t know about you but a few of those definitely apply to my skin! The key use a super fine, gentle exfoliator (like Lani’s Coconut polish, or Herbivore’s exfoliating pink clay mask) and restrain to exfoliating a max of once a week, or even as little as once a month!
Have a peaceful, happy weekend, babes, and we’ll see you on the flip side!
Peace + Love