AGE: WHAT'S THE OBSESSION?

societys-obsession-with-age-danielletc.jpg

I'm writing this as a soon-to-be twenty-three-year old. I still get asked for ID. I have the seemingly ingrained, Gen Y subconscious fear of not being "where I should be" at [insert age]. I also have the annoyance with myself and others to think that such a timescale even matters. Usually the latter wins. I suppose we're conditioned to think it does, as we're measured by our age so often it's become central to our identity. Our culture is obsessed with time. Cognitive dissonance and being human at its finest. 

 

A typical 'article': photo of Gisele at 19, alongside photo of Gisele at 40, with the strapline, "Gisele hasn't aged at all". Gisele, the supermodel, basically a good genetic anomaly. 'Clean', money and stress-free living and a trainer helps, too. What's with the fetishisation with those that appear younger than they are, then making an article of it? Clickbait? Lazy journalism? 

Even someone that's racked up numerous acting accolades and been honoured by the Queen can't escape our obsession with age. Dame Helen Mirren's response on today's This Morning*, to interviewers commenting that she looked really good for 70 was, "it's all a lot of make up and nice hair ... I do look my age!", lightly adding, "your editor told you to say that didn't they!?". I have to admit I agreed with her, she looks my preconceived idea of 70. I also agree with TM, she looks great. However this emphasises the you-look-great-for comments and probably what viewers were thinking, too: the ironically outdated idea of how I or we think a "stereotypical" 70 year old looks. 

The adage 'you're only as old as you feel' comes to mind. 'You still feel the same at fifty as you did at twenty'. Besides the typical going grey, and muscles aching that you didn't know you had per se. However there's a whole host of people that defy and take it in their stride, too. 

 

At the ripe age of twenty-two and coincidentally not being famous, thankfully, no one is scrutinising my every move or pore. (There are old social media posts to highlight that.) However I think I've figured some things out (don't quote me). Things like, the family and friendships I value; when to stand my ground; a skincare routine... I jest. Sort of. But as I am told on the occasions when I have a mini meltdown about the aforementioned 'timescale': you never stop learning, so no, you won't ever have it all figured out. You may be getting older, but you run your own race.

What else do I know? I'd like to have Helen Mirren's frank pride at seventy.

 

*A quick Google for this interview lists articles mainly titled, "Mirren shocks presenters by swearing on live TV". The TL;DR? It was 9am and she said "pissed down with rain"... Hold your horses, Ofcom.

HERO PRODUCT: CLARINS GENTLE EXFOLIATOR BRIGHTENING TONER

clarins-exfoliator-brightening-toner-review-danielletc.jpg

The Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Brightening Toner is a product that I've featured a few times on this blog since first purchase. Fast forward eighteen months: in short, it has become the one skincare product I would (and have) wholeheartedly recommend to others.

(I even traipsed around every Clarins counter in Birmingham to find a sample for a friend...)

Despite the relatively lengthy name, it summarises the product's results pretty succinctly. It contains glycolic, salycilic and tartaric acids; the AHA/BHAs derived from fruit extracts, that together work a treat on exfoliating dead skin, and in small concentrations, are suitable for all skin types. (However as with any product, test with caution on your own skin type.)

After washing my face in the evening, I apply a near 20p sized amount to a cotton pad, sweep all over the face (avoiding close around the eyes, just preference) and décolletage. The toner applies silkily and always feels refreshing. I don't use this every evening, but usually at least twice a week, if not more, depending on my skin.

Come morning, and even if my face is having a breakout, my skin always appears clearer and brighter. Mind you, I do crave a morning cleanse quick to rid the left over residue. But that's just me.

I would perhaps go as far to attribute this toner (combined with 2x cleanse a day and an overall improved diet) as the reason my skin has improved tenfold in the past year. By improved I mean, I still get the odd hormonal breakout as these usually can't be helped, or as a result of indulging in wine/cheese/you know the drill - but a generally clearer complexion.

Clarins have sneakily increased the price, however I purchased my most recent bottle from allbeauty.com, for £6 less than the current RRP.

BLOC HOTEL, BIRMINGHAM

I've visited Birmingham a number of times, yet the Bloc Hotel and its concept had never crossed my radar. The Bloc Hotel is a contemporary hotel, built on a minimalist concept, and bedecked with monospaced Bebas Neue.

As they state on their website: "not everyone wants to spend lots of time in their hotel. Most want to explore ... and eat out. Most people don't even want to unpack." Now that, I can relate to. So they rid the room of the unnecessary: a bulky wardrobe, a table, and ulitilise a smaller space (the length of a king size bed): a wall-mounted plasma TV, a bathroom akin to a stylish wet room, fitted with a dual waterfall shower and frosted glass to mimic more space. 

As designers, my boyfriend and I were impressed by the branding applied throughout, moreover, the attention to detail at every turn. 

It was also nice to see Bloc supporting local bars, restaurants and coffee shops by listing suggestions in the hotel flyer, and all within walking distance of the hotel. Taking advantage of the guest discount - and craving Italian - we ate at the Pasta di Piazza in the evening. The atmosphere was relaxing, and the bolognese? Delicious.

Bloc Hotel apart-hotels are based in Birmingham and London Gatwick. www.blochotels.com

Have you stayed at a Bloc Hotel?

 

Side note: some reviews complain of the rooms feeling claustrophobic, however we ensured to book a room with windows to avoid this. There are also 'accessible rooms' with more space available. Overall we had a comfortable stay and intend to book again in future.

This is not a sponsored post.

pasta-di-piazza-birmingham-danielletc

IN MY MAKEUP BAG S/S 2015

spring-summer-2015-makeup-high-end-danielletc.jpg

It's been a whirlwind six weeks since I last opened Squarespace to blog. In the midst of it all, there's been a few additions and replacements within my make up bag. Even withstanding the unexpected heat that's graced the UK the past weeks. Not complaining.

BASE

I saw through the last drops of my long-lasting base and caved in to the infamous NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser. I wasn't unhappy with the former but the colour did seem to oxidise and turn a little darker over time. The shade Finland is my perfect match; paired with NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (in Chantilly), both of which have creamy formulas that sit well with each other on the skin. A lightweight, my-skin-but-more-radiant base that I've come to covet.

I'm also still obsessed with the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ Gel-Cream I purchased and repurchased since last summer. I wear it every day, but on days when I don't want to wear any foundation, this smoothes over the complexion, with just a little concealer required.

EYES

When it comes to eyes, it's been all about filled in brows, a slick of mascara and rarely an eyeliner in sight. The HD Brows Foxy palette remains in my arsenal, however I swapped my very loved (tatty) Eyeko lash curlers for NARS lash curlers, and they pip them ten times over. From the superficial: the matte black finish, to the result: curled without dents and pinching. Followed by Benefit Rollerlash for a fluttery finish. 

LIPS

And lips. I'm still all about the red lip. I've trialled a lot of lip liners, however my current fave for on-point pillarbox red is No7 Precision Lips Pencil in Red and Rimmel London Exaggerate Lip Liner in Red Diva for formula and longevity. 

Since it's purchase, MAC's Lady Danger is my shade of choice most mornings. Some people feel naked without eye liner, I feel almost that way sans Lady Danger. The transformative powers of a bold lip are real

What are the S/S staples of your make up bag?

KIKO LIP EDIT

KIKO stocks a diverse range of skincare, nail polish and make up, namely those infamous eye shadow sticks.

Upon it's recent arrival to Oxford, I was drawn to the lip products. Naturally, like a magpie, I gravitated towards the reds, before reminding myself, do you really need another? Probably not.

Straying to the darker hues, I picked up an Ultra Glossy Stylo lipstick in 812 and Smart Lip pencil in 711 to match. Personally preferring a matte formula, I chose the berry shades with my mum in mind. I also purchased the Lip Balm with SPF15. However, fancy packaging aside, save your pennies. Besides softening the lips a little, it doesn't do a great deal else. 

After swatching and wear, the star of the trio is definitely the Smart Lip pencil: pigmented, even on the softest application, not to mention the array of shades and formulas available.

Have you tried any KIKO Milano cosmetics?

PHOTO DIARY: LONDON

Despite a few incidences with the apartment we stayed in in West Kensington, a weekend spent sightseeing (spotting Gogglebox's Sandra), shopping (popping in to every beauty hall), laughing and plenty of eating was the perfect way to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday.

My main three recommendations would be:

+ The Ice Bar, W1B 4BN If you haven't been, it's worth a visit. Forty minutes of cocktails in ice glasses, marvelling at the ice interiors and club music. Perfect in the recent hot weather!

Cafe Football, Westfield, E20 1EN Obviously my OH's recommendation, but even if you know next to nothing about football (me), you'll still love the decor and enjoy the hearty portions. We both ordered an 'All for One' from the football themed menu and not only was the food well presented, but tasted amazing too. We intend to make another visit.

Sign up to SRO Audiences As big comedy fans, we're signed up to the SRO audiences mailing list and frequently receive invitations to watch TV recordings for free. As you would expect, most are London or Manchester based so we can't always make them at short notice, but we managed to snap up tickets to watch Jason Manford record at ITV studios, having only applied the previous day. It's always a great evening out, especially if you're on a budget.

The next time I visit I intend to hit up Homeslice!

Have you visited any of these? What are your must-sees in London?

FINDING MY SCENT

the-white-company-night-edt-review-danielletc.jpg

Choosing a fragrance is a very personal decision and for me, the celeb endorsed aisles of Debenhams just don't cut it. We've all been there, particularly as teens: picking up the latest floral concoction because someone we quite like is the face of it and it smells nice. But not unique, to you.

Fast forward to the present and I think I've found my kinda scent. I'm by no means an expert but I do know I like to wear musky, woody, somewhat masculine scents. Which in the average consumer's terms translates as notes such as sandalwood, cedarwood, patchouli and amber. 

My current fragrance love is The White Company's Night EDT. Part of their AW14 collection, I blogged about it on its imminent release, liked it, but have since loved it and have worn it almost every day. The mix of pomegranate, cassis and patchouli make a rich, sensual evening-suitable scent as the name depicts, however I find it adds a little somethin' and is appropriate for any time of day.

Considering my penchant for such scents, I think my next stop is Jo Malone - any recommendations?

What is your scent?

DANIELLETC REBRAND

After months of deliberation, I've made the move to Squarespace! I was fond of my little old template on Blogger, but it was time to start afresh, clean up the code and get on board with responsiveness for my blog.

The Squarespace interface takes a little getting used to, but is fairly intuitive once you grasp the basics. Designing, editing code and importing/editing my Blogger posts didn't take as long as I'd expect and in fact, I managed to complete the swap in about eight or nine hours.

I will probably still make a few amends here and there, and it's possible there's one or two broken links (if so, I apologise!) but I hope you like the new look danielletc!