Skincare Routine (Backed by Science!)

The beauty industry is overwhelming.  It's difficult to form a skincare routine when being fed dramatic claims by various brands.  What's true and what's an over-exaggeration? On top of that, we feel compelled to dish out as much money as possible because it's assumed that a higher priced good is better for our skin but this is far from the case.  Therefore, I wanted to share my current skincare routine with scientific evidence to explain why I use these products and changes I've experienced, without having to break the bank.   Products are mentioned in order of application. 

Disclaimer: I am not a dermatologist or a doctor, I am simply imparting the knowledge I have gained through researching skincare ingredients and products.  On top of that, I do not want to influence your decisions.  If you want proper advice, seek a professional such as a dermatologist or your GP before changing your skincare regime or including new products into it.  

Morning Routine


Fragrance is known as a hit or miss in the beauty industry.  Fragrance has no functional property and is present to mask the natural scent of a product which may smell too medicinal to the user. Fragrance can cause a sensitising reaction on the skin: mild to severe. Similar to exposure to sun damage or pollution, the effects appear over a period of time. (1) Luckily, this product is fragrance free! On top of that, there are very few ingredients in this product so it is less likely to cause irritation or sensitisation of the skin. Interestingly, this also contains niacinamide which is a common component of many skin brightening creams.  Therefore, it may aid in dark circles and brightening the face in the process.  Freederm face wash is gentle and cleans pores and removes makeup and excess oil without the need for vigorous scrubbing.  Personally, I apply the face wash and let it sit for a few minutes before washing it off.


Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 (niacin) with an amide group.  It is said to prevent any itchiness or irritation of the skin, protect against UV rays (but does not negate the use of Broad Spectrum SPF), prevent excess oil, and brighten the face. (2)  It is readily absorbed by the skin and body. It is considered safe to use and rarely results in adverse reactions.  (3) A study by Bissett et al in 2005 conducted a clinical trial with a sample size of 50 white females (note: this is a poor representation of a wider population) where they applied the 5% niacinamide to one half of the face and control to the other for 12 weeks.  The found improvements in: skin elasticity, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, red blotchiness, and skin sallowness (yellowness).  (4) Kawada et al in 2008 found that, in a randomised control trial, 64% of 30 participants had significant skin improvements (p <0.0001) with reduced wrinkle grades in tested areas. (5)  Draelos et al in 2006 conducted a study using 2% niacinamide in a double-blind, placebo control trial.  It aimed to see the effect of niacinamide on sebum excretion rates which tends to lead to comedonal and inflammatory acne lesions.  After 2-4 weeks of application, the sebum excretion rates significantly reduced in those who used 2% niacinamide compared to the control group. (6)


Vitamin E is a potent lipid-soluble antioxidant.  Here is a link to a post I did discussing free radicals and the role of antioxidants.  As a result, vitamin E is said to be antitumorigenic, photoprotective (but does not substitute broad spectrum SPF), and stabilises skin barriers. (7)  It adds an extra layer of protection against sun damage when used in conjunction with Broad Spectrum SPF. It is rare for Vitamin E to cause allergic contact dermatitis. (8) In conclusion, vitamin-E is said to have anti-aging affects by preventing photo-induced ageing.  This in turn prevents atypical pigmentation and wrinkles. (9).  


CereVe has gained a lot of recognition as a medicated skin care despite being an over the counter product.  It is said to be beneficial for dry to very dry skin due to the inclusion of ceramides.  Ceramides are epidermal lipids that are part of the stratum corneum which forms the outer layer of the skin. (12)  Thus, it helps to restore the skin's natural barrier against pollution, irritants, and aids in retaining moisture or hydration. (11) There is no point drinking 2 litres of water if you don't have a proper barrier! Spada et al in 2018 stated that use of a ceramide-based cream improved skin hydration (P<0.001).  At 24 hours, the skin hydration was significantly better than the placebo and three non-ceramide based creams (P <0.05) and reduced transepidermal water loss (P< 0.001). (10) Finally, ceramides are found to improve various skin assessments (decreased water loss, improved skin smoothness, and increase water content of the skin) after four weeks of use in individuals with sensitive skin conditions.  (13) Alongside ceramides, this product contains hyaluronic acid which has various benefits I discussed here. 


My post here discusses the benefits of Broad Spectrum SPF and how to determine the strength you require.  This sunscreen does not result in ashiness when used on top of a separate moisturiser.  

Evening Routine


See above.


See above.


This is slightly pricier in comparison to the other products however a pea-sized amount is more than enough to cover the face and its advised to use retinol 3-4 times a week max.  Retinol is also known as Vitamin A1.  It is converted to retinoic acid and retinal in the body.  Kong et al in 2018 found that four weeks of retinol usage increased epidermal thickness, upregulated two collagen genes (collagen type 1 and collagen type 3), and significant wrinkle reduction after 12 weeks of use.  (14) Shao et al found that topical retinol showed anti-ageing affects through increasing epidermal keratinocytes proliferation (skin cell division and production), dermal endothelial cells by increasing vascularity and proliferation, and through the activation of dermal fibroblasts, it improves extracellular matrix homeostasis.  (15)  Applied retinol is said to reduce wrinkles and induce hyaluronic acid production by stimulating the activation of all three hyaluronic acid synthases (genes which make hyaluronic acid).   Thus, participants had reduced wrinkles, skin ageing, and improved skin moisture. (16)  Dhaliwal et al in 2019 found that retinol significantly decreased wrinkles, photoaging, and hyperpigmentation. However, caution should be exercised and one should gradually build up retinol tolerance as participants were found to experience scaling and stinging. (17) Finally, Riahi et al also found that the use of topical retinoids aided in improving photoaged skin. (18)


See above. 

And that is my entire skincare routine! Although a few products appear expensive, they are long lasting (3 months before needing replacement) with significant results.  I noticed that my skin has been a lot more even toned and I've not reached for any foundation or concealer in the last month.  My entire routine does not take longer than 10 minutes in the morning and evening.  I allow a few minutes between each product for it to set and soak appropriately.  

References:

1. Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1,410-1,419

Bibliography:

Aging, March 2012, pages 166-175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77-80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821-832
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement pages 1-43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446—475
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, issue 4, pages 191-202
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, issue 11, pages 789-798
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, issue 4, pages 191-202

Favourite Pink Occasion Dresses

When it comes to occasion-wear, the world is your oyster.  Not only is there an array of cuts, structures, and lengths but also shades to choose from.  Most individuals opt for a little black dress, but pink is more my colour.  I have curated a list of my personal favourite pink dresses that are on sale.  



Have you seen a dress better suited for a princess? The dress has cleverly used two shades of pink to help accentuate the waistline.  On top of that, the Cinderella neckline and horizontal pleating perfectly contrasts the larger, more bellowing pleats of the frock which elegantly drapes over the body.  It is lined with a silk-like material to ensure opacity.  I wore this to my university's ball and stood out like a sore thumb, but life is too short to not play dress up.



Although this isn't the exact dress I own, Lauren by Ralph Lauren is a beautiful dress line that produces garments that suit formal business events alongside balls, dances, or parties.  These midi dresses hug the waist and hips far more than the Chi Chi London dress, drawing attention to your curves without stretching the fabric.  They have a matte satin finish which catches the light wonderfully; looking brilliant in pictures. 



I do not personally own this dress but nothing says pink and classy quite like Ted Baker.  If my wardrobe had to consist of only one brand, I would pick Ted Baker without hesitation.  Maxi dresses scream femininity and have a natural grandeur aura.  They look effortless yet stunning on anyone.  The balloon sleeves and large pleats of the frock demonstrates this without fail.  



This dress looks like art.  From the puffed sleeves to the gold and lilac brocade weave pattern, this dress is breathtaking to me.  Brocade differs slightly to embroidered dresses, as the pattern appears woven into the fabric instead of raised.  Thus, it illustrates the artistic and ornamental nature of such material.  Though I normally shy away from midi/mini dresses for occasions, this is too beautiful to pass up.  When I received this dress in person, I noticed that, despite the length, the dress still keeps its sophistication making it appropriate for most occasions.  

5. H and M Puff Sleeved Brocade Top with Flared Satin Skirt


If the above dress is too dramatic or eye-catching for a particular event, you can pair the sister brocade top with the flared satin skirt for a more subdued yet equally alluring duo.  The skirt pulls the pink from the top to draw emphasis on the brocade pattern's gold and lilac.  This makes the top the statement piece and both the top or skirt can be paired and styled separately to achieve differing appearances.  

Puff Sleeve Brocade Top £34.99
Flared Satin Skirt £29.99
Thank you for reading!

Fashion Favorites Vol.3 | Winter to Spring

This post is long overdue. Without a doubt, my favourite fashion period is the seasonal transition from winter to spring.  I can continue to wear my beautiful jumpers whilst simultaneously incorporating floral and pastels into my day-to-day outfits.  Here are a few of my current go-to garments that you can still snatch up on the high street!

NB: I am very blessed to get sent items to review/wear and I would only mention the products I truly use and like, returning those which aren't my normal style.

Topshop IDOL Cream Floral Print Layered Mini Skirt


£26.00 from £29.00

This print resembled Paul & Joe's skirts, so much so, that it's hard not to love.  When paired with the cami pictured underneath, it is easy to fake the appearance of a mini dress.  Nonetheless, the skirt can be paired with a cream, purple, or even green jumper for the cooler spring days; making it the perfect year-round piece.

Topshop IDOL Ivory Floral Print Ruffle Cami Top


£15.00 from £22.00
Similar to the skirt, this is a stunning floral pattern.  It's art. It's simplicity and the subtle v-neck line makes it a spring staple.  It can be paired with a cardigan and high-waisted white jeans or trousers to transition from the colder winter days.  The top is far longer than the picture depicts so can be styled in accordance to your comfort. 

Topshop Dennis Pink Mules

£20.00 from £22.00

Mules have received the reputation of being too 'office' or 'vintage'.  In my opinion,  mules are elegant and classy for everyday.  They're comfortable and fail-proof for any outfit.  Surprisingly, I have very few pink shoes in spite of my deep love for the colour.  These are perfect for those floral spring dresses but can also dress up jeans due to the miniature heel.    

Zara Printed Top

£25.99

This is the top that has dreams woven into its fabric.  It's a breathtaking print with hues of pink, blush, and red.  Although cropped, similar to the Topshop shirt, it does come down reasonably below the belly button. When paired with high-waisted pieces, the mid-drift is not visible.  Thus, if you have a more modest wardrobe, this can still be a potential addition.  It may look uncomfortable but the inner lining is soft to the touch.

Zara Puffy Bermuda Shorts

£19.99

Nothing says spring quite like a crisp white garment.  These shorts have asymmetrical pleats and is double lined to give the appearance of a skater skirt instead of shorts; allowing us to prevent any potential flashing when out and about.  The fabric is satin with only a subtle reflective finish. 

Adidas Essential 3-Stripes Women Leggings

£9.99 from £24.99

Anyone who knows me knows, I hardly purchase workout gear.  Nonetheless, M and M Direct is the best online outlet for designer brands at high-street prices.  Never in my right mind would I spend £25 on workout leggings because I rarely move a muscle.  On the contrary, I can imagine why someone would for these leggings as they are exceptionally figure flattering and the high waist band just adds to that effect.  Despite being thin, they are not transparent by any means so it is perfect for anywhere and any work out.

Pindydoll Woman's Co-Ord Set

£9.99

Are we seeing a theme with crop tops?  This cute two piece co-ordinate transitions from the gym or dance studio to loungewear (my personal preference).  The only downside is that the lining on the inside can be quite itchy but after a few washes this feeling subsides.  At £10 for two pieces of clothing, what can go wrong? 

Henleys Womans Trainers in Black and Bright Pink

£6.99

£7 for a pair of trainers is daylight robbery.  I usually wear them to dance practice  (hiphop especially) where the floor might not be forgiving on the feet.  They are extremely lightweight and act as great shock absorbers; supporting the ankle and fascia of the feet. Albeit this isn't my first choice print, it's a very small price to pay (literally) for the quality. 

H and M Jacket with Gathered Sleeves

£34.99

Blazers are a classic and chic raiment.  It was only in the last year did I begin to wear blazers more often.  Frankly, I was convinced they're too uniform or corporate for everyday but how wrong I was.  Blazers are the feature piece to any outfit: jeans with trainers or tailored trousers and moccasins, these jackets won't fail you.  In defiance of being a traditional spring piece, anyone looking to freshen up their wardrobe should look into investing in blazers.  My closet has a tendency to look very young and youthful but so a jacket certainly matures any outfit.

H and M linen-blend top

£17.99

If you know me, then it's a fact that my favourite textures are boucle, tweed, and linen.  Linen is the epitome of 'Sunday Market' vibes.  This top is a very simple silhouette with balloon sleeves, elasticated at the hem.  The ruched neckline adds a further touch of femininity.  This can be paired with jeans, skirts, or the ankle-length twill trousers I mention below.  The cream colour is brilliant monochrome; allowing it to be paired with other shades such as brown, stones, beige, or pastels.  

H and M Ankle-length Twill Trousers in Light Beige

£17.99

There are very few moments where I feel cool, and wearing ankle-length trousers is one of them.  As someone that generally shies away from tom-boy-esque clothes, something about capris length pants is extremely stylish.  These trousers can be rolled up to your mid-calf, which is my personal choice.  When worn at the ankle, they are far more baggy. Nonetheless, they assimilate wonderfully with my existing girly style.

H and M UK Crinkled Jersey Dress in Powder Pink

£19.99

This beautiful milkmaid jersey dress in powder pink couldn't be more me.  The material is light, feminine, and airy, making it perfect for those summer strolls. Synched at the waist, this figure flattering dress is a spring essential.  

& Other Stories Oversized Wool Blend Workwear Shirt

£120

If you're unfamiliar with the brand & Other Stories, they are owned by H and M and have been known to be a timeless clothing brand with high quality pieces (and high prices to match).  Monochrome is a branch of my aesthetic. Although this is is described as a shirt, it is in fact a lightweight coat with the shape and structure of a formal dress shirt.  Given the wool, it is ideal for baring those cold winter months but is suitable enough for breezy spring days.   This is an investment piece without a doubt, but its versatility means it can be worn all year round.  





   



Recipe | Spicy Peanut Chickpea Curry Bowl

I've never been blessed in the culinary arts but this recipe is a glorious combination of nutrition and taste.  The intent was to create a Buddha Bowl but it quickly turned into a curry.  Nonetheless, it is delicious and had to be shared.  It contains my favourite ingredients: chickpeas, peanut sauce, and spice so it was a sure success to me.   As mentioned in my previous recipe (click here for Stir Fry with Ramen Noodles), I find frozen vegetables easier to use as they are long lasting. Hence, this is more of a Buddha Bowl inspired curry than an authentic Buddha Bowl.  If you wish to use fresh alternatives, feel free to do so.  It's the perfect lunch and meal-prep recipe if you're like me and struggle to plan ahead.


This picture makes the dish look very basic but my fancier bowls weren't clean.

Total time taken: 30 minutes
Recipe Feeds: 2-3

Ingredients

Base:
Quorn Meat Free Pieces*
1 Canned Chickpeas
1 Cup Frozen Peppers
1/2 Cup Frozen Mushrooms
1/3 Cup Frozen Spinach
1/3 Cup Frozen Chopped Onions
 2 Garlic Cloves
2 Tablespoons Sunflower Oil
1 Avocado

Flavouring: 
1 Tablespoon Amoy Peanut Satay Sauce**
Chilli Flakes or Chilli Powder*
Paprika*
Salt
Black Pepper
Lime

*Starred Ingredients are Optional 

**Vegan Alternative: Smooth peanut butter, Soy Sauce, Lime, Coconut Milk, and Water (depending on desired viscosity) heated in a pan for 5 minutes.

Method:

1. Heat up the sunflower oil in a pan at medium heat before adding the salt, black pepper, chilli powder/chilli flakes*,  onion, and garlic; stirring for 2-3 minutes

2. Add the frozen peppers and frozen spinach and continue to stir for 2-3 minutes. 

3.  Add the frozen mushrooms and Quorn meatless chunks and close the pan to cook for 5-7 minutes.

3. Add the drained chickpeas and the peanut satay sauce and cook for another 5-7 minutes until the Quorn Meatless Chunks and chickpeas are cooked and hot.  Keep stirring to prevent any food sticking to the pan. 

4. Top with sliced avocados and drizzle with lime.

Happy cooking!



My Favourite Global Health Books

Whenever I get DMs or emails, a majority of them ask about how one can pursue or enlighten themselves on the topic of 'Global Health'.  This is challenging as the phrase is an umbrella term for a truly multidisciplinary field.  However, these books are fantastic for those wanting to dip their toe in the water to learn or improve their understanding of global/public health without cracking open a textbook.   

The Health Gap by Sir Michael Marmot



Sir Michael Marmot has been one of many leading the conversation about social determinants of health and their impact on health and wellbeing.  He pioneered the Whitehall studies that analysed the prevalence of cardiovascular disease and mortality amongst British civil servants. Thus, coining the term 'Status Syndrome'.  His writing emphasises on how the definition of health is contextual and the innate requirement for health systems and policies to address this unmet need.  As stated in his book, we treat patients in our clinic and put them back in the very environment that made them sick in the first place. 

Pathologies of Power by Paul Farmer



This is a slightly heavier read in comparison to 'The Health Gap' but equally as phenomenal.  Paul Farmer is one of five individuals that founded the 'Partners in Health' nonprofit health care organisation.   It aims to develop and provide access to appropriate healthcare for poverty-stricken nations.   The book can be difficult to swallow when learning about the heart wrenching conditions and environments of the world's most under privileged.  Nonetheless, what makes this a written masterpiece is the underlying optimism and hope.  Farmer explores potential solutions with evidence and examples on how we can improve the situation of many helpless people through realistic approaches.  He, too, highlights the importance of policy and how lack of access to care is a breach of human rights.  

The Great Influenza by John Barry



This is easily one of my favourite books.  The approach that John Barry takes in depicting the history of the 1918 Influenza resembles that of a thriller novel. Despite the slow start, this biography of one of the greatest pandemics in history builds momentum as we learn about the key players in public health during this time, the impact of this infection, and the importance of research and development.  Many of these lessons are applied in similar situations today.  In light of the 2019-nCoV (Coronavirus) outbreak, this book actually forewarned why we may soon be experiencing another viral epidemic when published in 2009.  If you have a keen eye for infectious disease and epidemiology, this is a terrifying yet brilliant read.  

Fighting for Life by Sara Josephine Baker



Dr Josephine Baker was Physician and Public Health/Medical Inspector Civil Servant with a particular interest in migrant health within the New York population.  In addition to this, she worked to improve the health of children - especially those succumbed to urban poverty.  Dr Baker campaigned the hiring of nurses in schools, the importance of preventative medicine, and tracked down the infamous Typhoid Mary.  Mary Mallon was a cook that transferred the Salmonella enterica pathogen and thus typhoid fever via being an asymptomatic carrier.  Not only is this an autobiography which explores the presence and impact of social inequalities, but acknowledges the difficulties women faced in championing change, then and now.  Public health and woman empowerment - can you think of a more dynamic duo?

And those are my top books for the moment.  These are comprehensive for those who simply want an engaging read or those pursuing the field.  


Happy reading!

Designer Trends on the High Street | Spring Summer 2020

It's that time of the year where we begin to transform our winter wardrobe to welcome the warmer seasons.  Whilst exploring the fashion runways and magazines, I am noticing a lot of peculiar trends which are easy to manipulate into day-to-day outfits.  There are some that may seem difficult to imitate, nonetheless, I will be discussing subtle ways we can incorporate a breath of fresh air into our closet.  Usually I only discuss what was seen by designer brands during fashion week or otherwise, but this time around I will be demonstrating high street replications of these trends so it is more accessible to my readers. Let's greet the new decade with a new look!

Puffed Sleeves. Puffed sleeves are my kryptonite.  Not only are they elegant, but they can have the ability to elevate an otherwise simple look.  They are feminine and work to dress up a pair of jeans or complement an office pencil skirt.  Hence, making them perfect for various events.  

Brands: Zimmerman, Erdem, Marc Jacobs 

H and M Wide Sleeve Blouse: £12.99

Balloon Sleeved Jumper: £12.00

Broderie Anglaise.  Anyone who knows me is fully aware that my wardrobe is tainted with broderie anglaise blouses and dresses.  The classic lace texture and style is hard to miss.  Due to its evident regality and femininity, it is an obvious staple in my closet.  This summer, we will see it hitting the shelves as wrap dresses or cover ups for the beach, mini bodycons, and even embroidered on coats. 

Brands: Kate Spade, Zimmerman, Erdem

Religion Sheer Broderie Anglaise Jumpsuit: £26.00
Pretty Little Thing Broderie Anglaise Belted Shorts in Red: £11.00
Dorothy Perkins Ivory Broderie Top: £7.00
Vila Petite Blush Tilly Dress: £40.00
Not quite Broderie Anglaise but beautiful lace nonetheless

Polka dots.  Is there anything more 60s than polka dots? They are youthful and an easy pattern to pull off for those who struggle to deviate from monochrome garments.  Wear it as a skirt to really embrace the Swinging Sixties or as a blouse to inject fun yet work-wear vibes.  

Brands: Gucci, Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs 

Blush Spot Print Shirred Neck Top: £15.60

H and M Dress with Smoking: £24.99

H and M Fine Knit Jumper: £17.99
Dorothy Perkins Grey Spot Print Collar Jumper: £26.99
Dorothy Perkins Black with Beige Spot Print Skater Dress: £42.00

Dorothy Perkins Black Polka Dot Print Pleat Midi Skirt: £32.00

Top Shop Ivory Spot Embroidered Jumper £39.00

White Summer Dress/White Out. Wearing white is parallel to wearing a plain canvas. It provides room for the wearer to paint the picture they wish to illustrate to the world through accessorising or matching.  It can easily be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. 

Brands: Valentino, Khaite

H and M Dress with Belt: £24.99
H and M Lace V Neck Dress: £24.99
Quiz White Sam Faiers Crochet Bodycon Dress: £18.49


White Textured Mini Shirt Dress: £39.00

Trench Coats.  This is a British Staple.  For that classic wardrobe, a trench coat is a sure must.  The army button detail and synched waist is projects a preppy yet put together appearance for anyone wishing to feel like luxury.  And you can do it without breaking the bank!

H and M Trench Coat: £49.99




Dorothy Perkins Camel Rain Mac: £27.50
Dorothy Perkins Neutral Longline Suedette Mac: £20.00 
River Island Beige Faux Leather Blocked Belted Trench Coat: £85.00
And that's my top 5!  I absolutely love these trends and have many similar pieces already in my wardrobe.  I hope the use of high street brands has made this information far more informative than my previous blogposts about this topic.  Thank you for reading!

Fashion Favorites Vol. 2 | Elegant Patterns

Happy New Year!  It has been months since I have last posted due to a very hectic term.  I found myself having little time to rejuvenate every evening that it led me to have immense writer's block.  Nonetheless, my wardrobe has expanded slightly with a few more statement pieces that is perfect for this season's transition period.  

River Island Brown Monogram Cape Jacket 

This cape/jacket is a statement piece.  If you are like me and tend to reach for monochrome and patternless apparel, exploring with print in this manner is the best way to dip your toe in the water.  Preferably, the cape looks more sleek with a predominantly black or dark outfit due to the black trimming on the jacket.  However, one can easily wear white or browns to accentuate a very fashion-forward appearance.  This cape screams 'look at me'.  Most of my outfits are rather subdued but I find that individuals never fail to comment on this as it sticks out like a sore thumb.  Given the price drop from £65 to £30 this is an investment worth the cash.  



£30.00 from £65.00

H and M x Richard Allan Collection

It has taken all my self control to not splurge when witnessing this collection.  The 1960s was a period of elegance and art.  We would see pops of pattern in scarves, printed swing skirts, head bands, and even shoes.  It is so easy to get sucked into monochromatic wardrobes (which I am guilty of) and forget the power and sophistication of pattern done right.  I have lusted over Richard Allan's scarves but given it's price point, I admire from afar.

Richard Allan is a designer of the 1960's; producing luxurious silk scarves in London.  The infamous square scarf was a staple of the Swinging Sixties.  Now, the brand Richard Allan has collaborated with H&M to give rise to more affordable yet timeless chic garments.  Personally, these pieces look like contemporary art. 

There are only a few more pieces left in the line but the prices have dropped to under £15 so I recommend taking a peek!

Shop the entire collection here: H and M x Richard Allan 



Wide Trousers £7 from £17.99




Skirt with Belt £9.00 from £24.99



Satin Skirt £12.00 from £24.00

TopShop Long Sleeve Pontelle T Shirt

I love basics.  Often times my outfits look incomplete or do not appear cohesive because I am pairing heavy pieces together.  Balance is key.  For example, I tend to wear pinafore dresses and prior to these T Shirts, I'd match them with plain jumpers.  Unfortunately, I was drowning in my garments: I looked as though I was suffocating.  As a result, having thinner jumpers or long sleeved T shirts such as this creates the perfect basic.  The black Pontelle T shirt is a soul mate for the cape I showed above from River Island.  Surprisingly, I noticed that many of my friends and colleagues had the same basic from TopShop in various colours; demonstrating its popularity.   They pair well with printed skirts or trousers, acting as a layering piece, or even on their own with jeans for a casual yet chic vibe.  It is light weight, fitting like a glove with a subtle lace-scalloping detail which doesn't take away from the versatility of the piece. They come in various colours such as dusty baby blue, red, black, and white.



Long Sleeve Pontelle T Shirt £12

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