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Wednesday, 4 December 2019

A "SUSTAINABLE" LIGHT-WEIGHT DOWN JACKET

At the moment, the most worn piece in my wardrobe has been a black, nylon, light-weight, padded jacket with a hood.  Although it's light-weight, the down padding has made it warm enough in cold weather over warmer layers.  So it's been a jacket for all seasons, come rain or come shine!  As I bought it 4 years ago and it's been my everyday jacket, it is beginning to get a little worn and jaded and I had been looking for a possible replacement.  I decided to buy this one below - like many of my clothes, it came from H&M!       


Light-weight Down Jacket from H&M

Again, this is a lightweight down jacket with the shell and lining made from nylon (polyamide).  Although it is a fitted style, I  find that it's roomy enough for warmer clothes underneath.  The jacket fastens down the front with press-studs and the small stand up collar can be folded in and secured with a press-stud to form a v-neck.
Light-weight Down Jacket front details


I found the jacket hanging up in H&M's Sports section (it certainly looks good with sports leggings and athleisure pieces) but it doesn't actually come from their Sports collection.  It's part of their Everyday Fashion range and also bears their Conscious and Premium Quality labels.  Now the reason for it being one of their Conscious pieces is because the filling consists of 70% recycled down and 30% recycled feathers, so it is part of their efforts to support sustainabie fashion.For me personally it has a sustainable quality in that I will be wearing it such a lot and for a very long time!😊

I would also add that it is easy to pack the jacket into the small storage bag supplied (10x22cm) - really handy for travel.  It doesn't have a hood like my old jacket, so in cold or damp weather, I'll be wearing my beanie with it!  

H&M offer a recycling scheme for customers.  Just take along a bag of old clothing (they don't have to be H&M clothes) and you will get a £5 discount voucher off a  minimum spend of £25. 

The item featured in this post was NOT GIFTED.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

STYLISH GLASSES FOR PETITE FACES

I think that when I was young, I probably took my good sight for granted. Now I am very aware that sight is a precious gift to value and that we should look after our eyes. We are advised to go for routine eye tests, protect our eyes from the sun by wearing good sunglasses 😎and to be careful with our use of screens.💻📱. The last one is easier said than done when we have desk jobs or are bloggers!

Even those of us who are lucky enough to be born with good sight find that when we get to about 50, very small print begins to seem smaller and we are holding the newspaper or book a little further away!  Soon we are going to need reading glasses.
 ☹️🤓

I don't need to wear glasses or contact lenses for long sight but I definitely need glasses for reading or close work.  Whilst there are lots of ready made reading glasses in the shops, (okay perhaps for the quick glance at print when out and about), it's advisable to go to the opticians for an eye test and get properly prescribed lenses that exactly suit our individual needs. Anyway, an optician can spot problems that may be developing in our eyes or even notice indications of other health problems as our eyes can be a mirror of our general health. 

It was time for my routine test and I had been aware recently that I was straining to read some small print etc, even with my glasses on.  So I went along to my opticians, Chatoo in Kensington.  They are excellent, well established opticians offering expertise in eye testing, glasses and contact lenses and carry a good selection of frames, including designer brands. A very thorough  test  revealed that the close sight in my right eye was a little worse and I needed a slightly higher prescription for just that eye.

Chatoos recommended thinner lenses which are not only lighter and more comfortable but look more attractive. They also advised an anti-reflective, scratch-resistant coating.  I thought it was well worth spending a bit extra for those benefits.

Now for new frames.  I'd kept the same very expensive designer frames for ages but they were really worn out now.  I was shown a range of attractive frames by a Danish brand called NIFTIES, especially designed for "fine facial features".  By this they meant slim, narrow or even petite faces.  "Nifty" means stylish and smart so the essence of their brand is "small and chic" - I like that concept!!! 😍

I chose these brown tortoiseshell effect frames below.



I liked the slightly cat eye shape, which gave a little lift to my face and the size seemed just right for my small proportions.


The sides look nice too - gold and tortoiseshell effects.  The glasses come with a nice NIFTIES hard, protective case.


I'm really happy with my new reading glasses and it's so much easier and more comfortable to work now!




NOT GIFTED

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

FAUX FUR AND PEARLS

A faux fur, or teddy bear jacket, was a must have on my list of new pieces to buy for this Autumn/Winter, so I was very pleased with this black, faux fur, hooded jacket I found at Primark.

Black Faux Fur Jacket with a hood from Primark

I thought it was just right for me because it wasn't too long or bulky and the shoulders were not too big and overpowering.  It seemed to be in proportion to my size. It buttons up neatly and invisibly inside with large press stud buttons.

Now the first winter chill is beginning to hit us, this snuggly and hooded jacket is very inviting.  

Inspired by the very pretty Miu Miu collection for Autumn, I was also looking for some pearl and gold earrings.  At Accessorize, there was a very tempting "3 for the price of 2" offer on a selection of items.  I bought a pair of gold/pearl drop earrings, gold hoop earrings with little pearls and a fine gold/pearl chain necklace.  (These pieces are of course inexpensive costume jewellery and are faux gold and pearl!) 


Gold & Pearl Drop Earrings, Gold & Pearl Hoop Earrigs, Gold & Pearl Chain, all from Accessorize

Whilst at Accessorize, I also bought a pair of Uber Skinny Alice Hair Bands in Black and Tortoiseshell effect (sold as a pack of two) - another nod to the Miu Miu look!



Hairbands from Accessorize

Inspired by my favourite designers, I have been building my look for the season with inexpensive little pieces from the high street.


None of the items mentioned above were gifted.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

LITTLE BLACK BASICS

In my last post I wrote about my essential black basic - black skinny jeans.  Here's the link if you would like to see it:

http://www.petite-panache.com/2019/09/black-jeans-new-basic-for-autumn.html

I've now been back to H&M to buy three little basic black tops:-

Black Fine Knit Cardigan from H&M Divided
Above: I love this cardigan with long sleeves, a v-neck and nice bone buttons down the front. Made in a soft, fine polyester/viscose knit,  it has a silky texture and is slightly transparent. The shape is unusual - dropped shoulders, quite full and flaring out prettily at the back.

Black Turtleneck Top from H&M Divided/Basics
Above: The short, fitted, turtleneck top with short sleeves is made in a soft cotton jersey.  I really like this worn under the cardigan.


Black Henley Style Top from H&M Divided/Basics
Above: A  ribbed cotton jersey top with long sleeves and a round Henley style neckline with a placket and press-studs.

I think these are good tops to mix and layer with other pieces in my wardrobe.

I often look at the accessories in Primark, especially the bags and when I saw this black mock croc mini bag with silver clasp, it seemed just right for my fashion mood this season.

Black Mock Croc Bag from Primark

The strap can be worn double as a short shoulder bag, or longer to wear cross-body.

What else do I want to wear this season? Little hairbands, pearl and gold earrings, gold chains, pearl and diamanté jewellery, a faux fur or teddy bear jacket (preferably with a hood) a jumper in a colour other than black!  I'll wear these with my basic black pieces.  I'll be writing some more soon, so please stay posted! 

None of the items mentioned above were gifted. 

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

BLACK JEANS - A NEW BASIC FOR AUTUMN

Now it's getting dark earlier, it's raining and it's beginning to feel like Autumn. 

Naturally, I've been busy looking at the season's new trends!  It's a real mixed bag of styles this time. Although there's 80's and Neon (especially at Saint Laurent), Punk and Rock Chick, there's the contrast of the "bourgeoise" look (like Hedi Slimane's collection for Celine), evocative of the classic side of the 70's and 80's.  This style includes ladylike blouses and shirts, knee length boots in soft leather or suede, tweeds, crocodile cross-body bags, loafers....... I liked the Miu Miu campaign (capes with hoods, feminine hairbands with little bows and pretty pearl drop earrings) and also "Édition Noire", a new collection from The Kooples,  Paris - iconic black basic pieces in "chic rock" style, (very much in tune with my own personal style).


So you can take your pick or "pick and mix".  By that I mean taking favourite little pieces from different styles and adding them to basics, to create a personalised look.


Let's start with my own "Édition Noire".  I needed a new pair of black jeans and I bought these Super Skinny High Waisted jeans from H&M's Divided range. 



H&M Divided Super Skinny High-Waisted Black Jeans
Made in super stretch denim (64% cotton, blended with polyester and elastane) they really fit well.  They have a zip fly and button and fake front pockets,
Front detail
real back pockets,
Back Pocket Detail

 and the legs are super-skinny.  They will definitely be a vital basic in my wardrobe.

In my last post on my new Autumn makeup:


http://www.petite-panache.com/2019/09/noir-et-blanc-de-chanel.html

I was thinking about a rose nail polish.  When I was in H&M, I saw their Rose Umber nail polish and it was just what I had in mind.  


H&M Nail Colour in Rose Umber

H&M offer a very good selection of colours at a very reasonable price - £3.99 for 8ml. I found it easy to apply and it stays on well too.

I buy most of my basic black pieces from H&M's Divided range.  This is partly because I find that their sizes 6 or XS usually fit me perfectly.  Being very petite, I find that their small size seems to be in proportion to my height as well.  Also their basic black pieces are usually just what I'm looking for style wise.  Now I will be looking at their tops - probably my next post!

No items mentioned above were gifted. 


Tuesday, 3 September 2019

NOIR ET BLANC DE CHANEL

September is here and it's now time to think about Autumn.

I usually begin easing into Autumn with some new makeup, to set my mood for the season.  So it was off to the CHANEL beauty counter, to look at their beautiful new Autumn makeup collection, NOIR ET BLANC DE CHANEL.  As the name suggests, black and white shades are prominent for eyes and nails, teamed with bordeaux, dark berry and deep rose colours for lips.  The theme is a contrast of light and dark shades, sparkling and matte textures.  I thought this was a perfect look for the cloudy autumnal days and darker evenings ahead.  

As some of these new products are limited editions, it made sense to buy my favourites quickly.  I came home initially with two little boxes containing an eyeshadow and a lip gloss.  

Ombre Première Top Coat 317 Carte Blanche & Rouge Coco Gloss 816 Laque Noire

The eyeshadow, OMBRE PREMIÈRE TOP COAT in 317 Carte Blanche is white with sparkling silver and is irridescent and luminous.  It can simply be worn on it's own or over the darker eyeshadows in the collection. 

Ombre Première Top Coat 317 Carte Blanche 
The lip gloss, ROUGE COCO GLOSS in 816 Laque Noire looks black in the stick but when applied to the lips, it becomes a dark berry shade.  This is a very shiny gloss and has a moisturising and plumping effect on the lips.


Rouge Coco Gloss 816 Laque Noire



I then decided to go back and buy a lipstick in the collection - ROUGE ALLURE VELVET EXTRÊME in 128 Rose Nocturne, a lovely rich, deep rose shade.  This lipstick has a matte texture but is very soft and moisturising.

Rouge Allure Velvet Extrême 128 Rose Nocturne

To complete this look for eyes, CHANEL suggest their existing black eyeliner,  STYLO YEUX WATERPROOF LONG-LASTING EYELINER in 88 Noir Intense,  I already have this excellent eyeliner in my makeup bag and I find it glides on easily and stays put.  As part of this collection, there is a limited edition option of the eyeliner in white -  949 Blanc Graphique.  There is also a new black mascara, LE VOLUME ULTRA-NOIR DE CHANEL 90 Noir Intense, that gives a kohl effect.

An important feature of the collection is a transparent, shimmering gel, LE GEL PAILLETÉ, which is designed to add light to the face and parts of the body.  This is a lovely product but I actually find that I can use the silvery eyeshadow to add highlights and sparkle to my face.

Finally for nails, the two new limited edition colours in LE VERNIS are 713 Pure Black and 711 Pure White, which strikingly complete the look.



So my new makeup look for Autumn 2019 is going to be silvery shimmer and sparkle on my eyes (a little of this added perhaps as highlights on my face), black eyeliner and mascara and lips painted with dark berry gloss or matte rose lipstick.  I haven't made my mind up yet about nail varnish - I'm not sure about black or white for my hands.  Perhaps a rose colour or a dark wine or berry would be good?

I'm really looking forward to wearing my new makeup and creating a look of contrasts - light and dark, shine and matte.  

NONE OF THE ITEMS FEATURED IN THIS POST WERE GIFTED

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

LA ROCHE-POSAY AT THE ALLERGY AND FREE FROM SHOW

In my last post, I wrote about the recent Allergy and Free From Show at the Olympia London.

La Roche-Posay are known for their gentle skincare products, specially formulated for sensitive skin and allergies. The brand played a prominent part at the show and their stand attracted many visitors.

La Roche-Posay at the Free From Show

At last year's show, I went to an excellent talk about sensitive skin and allergies, by  Dr Justine Hextall, a consultant dermatologist.  The event was sponsored by La Roche-Posay.  I heard that they were sponsoring her talk again this year, and that she had some interesting updates, so I was very keen to go to the Learning Centre to listen.


Dr Justine Hextall - Taking Questions from the Audience

Dr Hextall began by saying that sensitive, irritated skin and actual allergies were often confused. Irritation could be avoided by using products free from preservatives and perfumes and keeping to a simple and gentle skincare routine.  A gentle cleanser, followed by the right moisturizer (look for one with ingredients like shea butter and glycerin) to suit you, could make all the difference.  She also mentioned a new La Roche-Posay product - Toleriane Ultra 8. This is a fine mist spray that hydrates, soothes and protects and can be applied at any time, even over makeup.

Dr Hextall then told us something very interesting about eczema.  Although a child of two parents with eczema has a higher risk of developing it, if their skin is looked after when they are very young, this can be prevented and controlled.

She explained about skin barriers.  They are  less tolerant as we age and it is important to hydrate and protect our skin barriers when very young and older as poor barriers result in irritations.

Finally, Dr Hextall dealt with summer related allergies and irritation.  She gave some good tips on dealing with pollen and hayfever and also spoke about sunscreens that could cause irritation. Whilst it is essential to protect skin from the sun, she advised us to look for products that were free from preservatives and perfumes. She recommended La Roche-Posay's Anthelios sunscreens.

So the golden rules are soothe, hydrate and protect!  La Roche-Posay had given me a couple of small sample tubes of Toleriane Ultra Fluide (a light moisturizer for normal or combination skin) and a little sample bottle of Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser (a wipe-off cleansing milk), just enough to try for a few days.


LA ROCHE-POSAY Products
I applied the Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser with my fingertips and wiped it off carefully.  It removed my makeup and cleansed my skin gently, leaving it feeling soft, hydrated and comfortable.  The ingredients include glycerine and La Roche-Posay Thermal Water. 

I then applied the Toleriane Ultra Fluide and this again left my skin with the same soft, hydrated feeling.  Here the ingredients include shea butter as well as glycerin and La Roche-Posay Thermal Water. 

My overall impression of these two products is that they are both very gentle, perfume free, with a clean feeling.  Although they are both hydrating, they are not oily or greasy.  I would certainly call them soothing and hydrating.

I was also given a leaflet about Toleriane Ultra 8, the new spray mist mentioned by Dr Hextall.  I haven't had an opportunity to try this new product yet but I shall be looking in Boots to see if they have a tester for it. It sounds very interesting because it is formulated to soothe and repair the skin barrier.   


The products mentioned above were NOT GIFTED.  These very small, not-for-sale, samples were offered to all members of the public to try. 
















Saturday, 13 July 2019

MY VISIT TO THE ALLERGY & FREE FROM SHOW 2019

Last Saturday, I went to the ALLERGY and FREE FROM SHOW at the London Olympia.  I always look forward now to this annual event, where brands display their products (food, drink, skincare, makeup etc). They offer products that are free from ingredients that can affect people who suffer from allergies or intolerances or have sensitive skin.  It's an ideal show for those who need food and drink that is gluten and/or lactose free or have skin prone to eczema.

The Allergy and Free From Show at Olympia London

In the morning, I enjoyed the Blogger's Meet-up. This was an opportunity to meet other bloggers and some of the exhibitors, who offered tasters and samples of their products.  I am not a food blogger and I really came to the show to learn about beauty products, so I didn't accept many of the food gifts that were being offered to us. 

However, I couldn't resist a Schär Gluten Free Seeded Loaf and a pack of Sproud Barista, a plant-based milk alternative.  
Whilst I am under no obligation to feature these 2 products in my blog, they were gifted to me as a blogger, so I am referring to my review of them below as :

GIFTED: Sponsored feature

The Schär Gluten Free Seeded Loaf is a lovely little sliced loaf containing flax seeds, sunflower seeds and millet seeds.  It is gluten and wheat free and made specially for people intolerant to gluten. Also, it is lactose free and suitable for Vegans. I would add that it is a source of high fibre and low in saturated fat (0.2g) and salt (0.29g) - that's per slice.


Schär Gluten Free Seeded Loaf 

Schär Gluten Free Seeded Loaf 

I enjoyed eating this wholesome bread as it was, but I also found that it was delicious toasted with my low fat olive spread and honey on it. 

SPROUD BARISTA M*LK comes from Sweden and is made of protein from dry yellow peas. It's milk free, gluten free, soy free, Vegan. It contains calcium and vitamins, and saturated fat per 100 ml = 0.3g, salt per 100 ml= O.2g.


Sproud Barista


Sproud suggest serving the "m*lk" warm and frothy with coffee - Cappuccino!  That was lovely but I also enjoyed it just added cold to instant coffee. I liked drinking it on it's own too and it was even good with my organic Swiss style muesli for breakfast.  With its creamy texture, it really is a good alternative to milk.  

Although I am not gluten or lactose intolerant, sometimes I find it's good for my stomach and digestion to have a break from those ingredients.  I would certainly buy these two excellent products and suggest them to people who are gluten and lactose intolerant.

The only beauty brand represented at the meet-up was La Roche-Posay, who offer very good skincare products. I was given some tiny sample tubes (offered to all visitors) and my attention was drawn to a new product.  I will be writing in detail about La Roche-Posay's skincare products in my next post.

After the meet-up, I enjoyed looking around the show and tasting some of the food displayed on the stands.

Then it was time to go to the Learning Centre to listen to Dr Justine Hextall's talk on sensitive skin and allergies, sponsored by La Roche-Posay. I was looking forward to this as I was so impressed by her talk last year.  This time, Dr Hextall added some very interesting updates to her advice.  I will write about her talk in my next post about La Roche-Posay.


Now it's time for a coffee break - a nice cup of Decaff coffee with Sproud!

The Schär loaf and Sproud Barista were GIFTED.


Friday, 5 July 2019

CLINIQUE ALL ABOUT EYES Rich - What To Do About Dark Shadows Under the Eyes

In my last post, I wrote about my favourite foundation and mentioned that it helped to cover the dark shadows under my eyes.  Here's the link if you would like to read it: 


I have always had a slight problem with these under eye shadows, especially if I went short on sleep, but sadly these things have a way of getting worse as we get older.  I have been using CLINIQUE ALL ABOUT EYES (Rich) for some time now and have found that it helps to alleviate the problem.  Recently, I used up my little pot and didn't replace it for a few weeks, just applying moisturizer to the area. I  soon noticed the deterioration both with the shadows and in the condition of the skin around my eyes! So of course I went out to Boots and bought it again!


CLINIQUE All About Eyes Rich
CLINIQUE ALL ABOUT EYES (Rich) is a moisture-rich eye cream formulated to reduce the appearance of dark shadows, lines and puffiness around the eyes. It is 100%  fragrance free, something I always look for with eye skincare products. I apply the cream am and pm, as recommended by CLINIQUE, with a "gentle patting motion".

I find that as soon as I start to use it, there is an immediate improvement, but it really makes a difference when applied regularly and consistently.  I would emphasize that it does need to be used regularly and consistently.

In the past, using this cream and covering the under-eye area with the right foundation was sometimes enough. Now, concealer has become very important too!  I'm always looking at different concealers and they seem to be improving in quality and selection.  Currently, I am using an inexpensive one - Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - which I think is very good and excellent value at £4.19.  It goes on smoothly, covers well without being noticeable or forming a cakey texture, it doesn't settle in lines and it does last well. It's good for covering other blemishes on the face too. 

 I'm always interested to hear about concealers and hints on dealing with dark under-eye shadows, so I'd love to read your comments in the Comments box below.

None of the products mentioned above were Gifted.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

CHANEL VITALUMIÈRE Satin Smoothing Fluid Makeup

I always find it exciting to buy new makeup for eyes, lips and nails at the beginning of a season, especially from my favourite designer brands, where colours and textures reflect the mood of their new fashion themes.  When it comes to basics like skincare products or foundation, once I find the right one, I tend to use it for years, until the product is discontinued or my skin develops different needs.  Of course, as a beauty blogger, I am always interested to look at new products and try them out.

For some years now, my foundation has been CHANEL VITALUMIÈRE Satin Smoothing Fluid Makeup in Clair (20).

CHANEL VITALUMIÈRE in Clair (20)

VITALUMIÈRE comes in a pump container and is very easy to apply. CHANEL recommend just dabbing it on the face and blending it in with the fingertips.  It really does go on easily and smoothly.  

Although it is very moisturising, it doesn't create oiliness.  It contains special ingredients like extracts of walnut and liquorice, which seem to lift tired looking skin and give a youthful appearance.  The effect is smooth, luminous and with a healthy glow.

VITALUMIÈRE has a light texture but it gives a medium coverage.  I find that applied under my eyes, it covers, lightens and reduces the appearance of my dark shadows. Also, to some extent, it definitely softens and fills out my lines.  Added to all this, it contains an SPF 15 sun filter.  To me, VITALUMIÈRE is a makeup, treatment and protection all in one!

There's a good range of shades from pale to dark (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80). I wear 20 Clair, a light cream beige that's not too pale and not too beige.

I would suggest that VITALUMIÈRE is a very good fluid foundation for normal to dry skin and especially beneficial to mature skin that needs a little extra help!

The product mentioned in this post was NOT GIFTED.