Workwear 101

Let’s face it, office-appropriate dressing can be something of a minefield. What is “appropriate” varies enormously from workplace to workplace. Strutting past the water cooler in a silk pyjama suit and statement heels might earn you sartorial points of a Monday morning in a creative office, but leave the cleaners sweeping up the entire third floor’s dropped jaws in the corporate world. Part of the joy of working in a creative industry is the workwear freedom that comes with it. So, this time around, our advice is aimed at the white-collar world, where getting it right is key, and getting it wrong can be a bit of a disaster.

workwear-fashion

First up, it really pays off to build your working wardrobe around some hardworking classic staples. Think of these foundations as an exercise in utter simplicity, Clare Underwood-level simplicity, because it is from here that all the good stuff can follow (prints, colour and personality), without undermining office acceptability. Having a handle on the staples lets you amp up the volume on days when you feel like it, and keep things sober and appropriate when the type of work day demands it.

claire-underwood-fashion

Time and time again, simple staples and accessories will finish your conservative looks neatly – and also appropriately anchor your more adventurous outfits. They offer up conservative, corporate touch points, and allow you to play with prints and textures. Arm yourself with fine block-colour merino or cashmere knits in charcoal or heather grey, navy, black and camel (every season, Cos line their rails with simple knits in a variety of necklines), and crisp white and light blue shirts. Choose a structured, subtle bag with clean lines in navy, berry, forest green, black or camel. If you’re feeling adventurous, a leather backpack with simple, clean lines can be a chic and practical option.

workwear-knits

Discover the game-changer that is owning a pair each of black, nude and navy courts. (This may sound a tad dull, but these shoes will be interchangeable with everything you own and bring your more adventurous outfits down to earth). For classic heels, the best of the bunch can be found at Gianvitto Rossi and Manolo Blahnik, with high streeters LK Bennett and Zara offering up some great options too.

workwear-shoes-courts

Make some space in your wardrobe for a selection of “no-brainer” dresses. When paired with heels (simple or fun) or chic super flats, the no-brainer dress can be reached for in the morning with no extra engagement of your pre-coffee brain, and relied upon 100% to make you look like you know exactly what you’re doing. Focus on the cut and shape first – if these are classic, nearly any colour or pattern will work.

workwear-dresses

For the best examples of these hero-dresses, look no further than J.Crew and Boden. Here, classic shapes (crucial) are combined with fun prints and interesting textures. They are also fully lined and made from fabrics that hold their shape. Pop over a tailored (see below) long line or box-cut boucle jacket and you’re good to go.

boucle-jackets-workwear

For a corporate wardrobe, there is just no getting away from the fact that tailoring is a must. It has transformative powers in both boardrooms and meeting rooms, particularly if your base outfit is more casual. It does so much of the hard work on the rest of your wardrobe’s behalf, pulling together your whole look.

blazer-workwear

For an ode to the power of tailoring, look no further than Olivia Palermo. When asked about the secret of her flawless style, she repeatedly highlights the importance of tailoring as a cornerstone of her personal style successes. The best fit on the high street comes courtesy of Reiss (an OP favourite, natch). What’s more, their already brilliantly well-cut pieces can also be altered to suit your body shape.

olivia-palermo-work-style

Massimo Dutti have the confidence to offer up colourful tailoring options, bringing much welcomed variety (and femininity) into the typically navy or black suiting arena. Their current collection also features a beautiful dark grey cinched-in wrap suit jacket that will add something fresh to your jacket collection.

massimo-dutti-blazers

Now, nothing injects more joy into workwear than a dash of something a bit more unexpected. Prints can absolutely work in the office when paired with your classic courts, simple knit or a crisp, collared shirt. H&M and Zara have cornered the market lately in affordable, printed cigarette trousers. Courts in a fun print or a punchy shade can add an unexpected touch to your classic dresses or tailoring. Love a collarless cropped jacket? Why not try it in metallic bouclé instead? Out of the ordinary, printed or colourful pieces may only last you a couple of seasons, but with your classics close at hand, this shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

bright-workwear7

Put simply, the best way to approach your working wardrobe is with one eye always on the classics. When you’ve mastered these, prints, trends, colours, shapes can be embraced and then moved on from when the time is right – allowing you to have fun with your workwear, show your personality, and keep your wardrobe ever-evolving, whilst always striking just the right tone.

cos-jumper-office

Cos Round Neck Wool Jumper          Cos Round Neck Wool Jumper

nude-pink-leather-bags-workwear

Whistles Regent Soft Leather Tote          Jigsaw Blake Leather Backpack

Mansur Gavriel Sun Leather Crossbody Bag

j-crew-workwear-dresses

J.Crew A-Line Dress          J.Crew Bracelet Sleeve Dress

J.Crew Monday Dress          J.Crew Cap Sleeve Dress

workwear-shoes-zara

Zara Mid-Heel Shoes          Zara Contrast Mid-Heel Shoes

boden-workwear-day-dresses

Boden Aurelia Ottoman Dress          Boden Sixties Jacquard Dress

Boden Marisa Dress

cos-knitwear

Cos Twisted Detail Jumper          Cos Long-Sleeve Cashmere Jumper

leather-handbags-work

Launer Judi Leather Tote          Saint Laurent Cabas Rive Gauche Leather Tote

3.1 Phillip Lim Ink Leather Pashli Tote

hm-cigarette-trousersH&M Spotted Cigarette Trousers          H&M Patterned Cigarette Trousers

H&M Cigarette Trousers

courts-shoes-office

LK Bennett Fauna Metallic Leather Courts          LK Bennett Fern Monochrome Printed Courts

massimo-dutti-workwear-blazers

Massimo Dutti Navy Blue Suit Jacket          Massimo Dutti Boiled Wool Blazer

Massimo Dutti Blazer With Tie

court-shoes-workwear

Manolo Blahnik Fawn Suede Pumps          Manolo Blahnik Black Suede Pumps

boucle-chanel-style-jackets-workwear

Massimo Dutti Short Ecru Jacket          Zara Tweed Jacket

Zara Metallic Fabric Blazer

reiss-womens-tailoringReiss Murphy Jacket          Reiss Hanako Jacket

Seasonal Showering

We know it’s essential to do the whole daily top to toe moisturising thing, but EVEN if you’ve got your central heating on full blast, it’s pretty nippy (ahem) at this time of year. So what to do? Sure, you want smooth, soft supple skin, but slathering on moisturiser post-shower is something only people with dubious sanity or a serious insensitivity to chilly temperatures would do over the colder months. Brrrrr! The solution? We love a bit of multi-tasking, so it’s all about finding a supercharged body wash which does the hard work for you.

shower

Pick something rich and nourishing, packed with skin-loving ingredients, and take a little extra time to really work it into your skin. Scented shower oils work well as they’re amazing for deep hydration, while indulgent shower creams will soften and leave skin feeling velvety smooth. Save the money on heating and spend it in the shower instead. Now there’s maths that makes sense!

best-shower-oils

Neom Real Luxury™ Bath & Shower Oil

Aromatherapy Associates Inner Strength Bath & Shower Oil

Diptyque Do Son Shower Oil

L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil

luxury-shower-oils

Espa Lemon, Ylang Ylang & Tonka Bean Body Wash

Le Labo Neroli 36 Shower Gel

Aesop A Rose by Any Other Name Body Cleanser

Jo Malone Peony Blush Suede Shower Oil

best-shower-creams

Elemis Sweet Orchid Shower Cream

Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris Shower Oil

Rituals Sakura Shower Oil

Roger & Gallet Rose Gentle Shower Cream

indulgent-shower-creams

Laura Mercier Crème Body Wash Ambre Vanillé

Maison Francis Kurkdjian À La Rose Scented Shower Cream

Kiehl’s Fig Leaf and Sage Skin-Softening Body Cleanser

Aerin Tangier Vanille Body Wash

shower-moisturisers

Ameliorate Skin Smoothing Shower Cream

Clarins Eau Ressourçante Bath and Shower Milk

Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser

Derma Remedy Intense Dry Skin Therapy Body Wash

Nostalgic Delights

What Mr William Curley doesn’t know about chocolate, cakes and desserts probably isn’t worth knowing. The prodigious Scottish chef has been named Britain’s Best Chocolatier no less than four times. He’s also a member of the Relais Desserts: an elite association of the world’s best pastry chefs. Suffice to say, Curley knows his stuff. His latest book – Nostalgic Delights – is an ode to “classic confections and timeless treats,” and it’s a must-read for Bake Off fans and sweet-toothed foodies alike. From walnut whips and curley wurlies to fudge doughnuts, Hobnobs and even Jaffa Cakes, Nostalgic Delights offers a haute patisserie take on some of our favourite childhood flavours.

william-curley

Curley ensures that every single recipe is clearly explained and illustrated, making Nostalgic Delights an accessible pleasure for even novice pastry chefs, keen to create something to wow friends and family. And recipe-wise there’s everything from the must luxurious take on Bounties and Snickers to biscuits, ice cream, cakes, marshmallows, desserts…. We could go on, and on! There are also simple, easy-to-follow recipes for ‘basics’ such as salted caramel, choux pastry and praline paste – alongside explanations of how to temper chocolate and create showstopping chocolate decorations. This is a book to linger over – with nostalgia – before taking the plunge and trying one of the recipes out for yourself. So we’re delighted to get you started with this Nostalgic Delights recipe to tantalise your tastebuds – for the Ambassador’s favourite, no less: hazelnut rochers….

chocolate-rochers

This evokes memories of a tower of gold-wrapped chocolates, reserved only for special occasions. I can picture my mother presenting a plate of these on Christmas day, for them only to be devoured within minutes; it really was a luxurious treat. I have used Amedei Gianduja in the ganache for this recipe, which is made with the best Piedmont hazelnuts, giving the chocolates a lasting creaminess. This recipe makes 80 chocolates.

For the Praline Ganache:

 
320ml (11fl oz/1⅓ cups) whipping (pouring) cream
1 vanilla pod (bean), split and scraped
40g (1½ oz) invert sugar
300g (10½oz) Gianduja chocolate, finely chopped
160g (5½oz) dark (bittersweet) chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
55g (1¾ oz/3½ tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

rochers

For the Nutty Chocolate:

 
500g (1lb 2oz) tempered milk chocolate
250g (9oz) roasted nibbed almonds

rochers-recipe

To finish:

 
100g (3½oz/⅔ cup) whole roasted hazelnuts
200g (7oz) feuillantine wafer, crushed
Edible gold leaf

You will also need:

 
A piping (pastry) bag
12mm (½ inch) nozzle (tip)
A dipping fork

chocolate

Make the Praline Ganache…

 
Put the cream in a saucepan and scrape in the seeds from the split vanilla pod (bean). Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Strain the infused cream into a clean saucepan, add the invert sugar and bring to the boil.

Put the chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl. Pour the boiled cream over the chocolate and mix until emulsified and a ganache consistency is formed. Add the softened butter and mix well until fully incorporated. Leave to set at room temperature for about 1–2 hours.

william-curley-chocolate-recipe

To assemble…

 
Put the Praline Ganache in a piping (pastry) bag fitted with a 12mm (½ inch) nozzle (tip). Pipe small bulbs of the ganache onto a silicone-lined tray.

Put a whole roasted hazelnut onto each bulb of ganache.

william-curley-chocolate

Pipe a larger bulb of ganache on top of each hazelnut and leave to set for 1 hour in a cool, dry area.

Make the Nutty Chocolate…

 
Temper the milk chocolate and add the nibbed almonds. If the chocolate thickens, warm it slightly.

To finish…

 
Roll each bulb into a sphere and coat in feuillantine wafer.

william-curley-rochers

Use a dipping fork to dip each prepared chocolate sphere into the Nutty Chocolate. Place each chocolate on a silicone-lined tray to set for 1–2 hours in a cool, dry area. Decorate with gold leaf to finish.

These chocolates will keep for 1 week stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry area.

william-curley-recipe

Recipe and images extracted from Nostalgic Delights by William Curley, photography by Kevin Summers, published by Jacqui Small.

Records & Rebels, Tea & Cake

The combination of culture, cake and a glass of Champagne is one which never fails to win us over. A delicious celebration of one of our favourite decades of the last century, the Jumeirah Carlton Tower’s Swinging Sixties Afternoon Tea is inspired by the Victoria & Albert’s latest major exhibition, You Say You Want A Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970. The museum’s acclaimed show is a fascinating insight into the era-defining significance of the late 1960s, encompassing fashion, film, art and music. And those cakes?  The Jumeirah’s sixties-themed tea provides an excellent excuse for an afternoon of culture and wandering round the V&A. Or perhaps it’s the other way round!

mary-quant-sixties

Opening in 1961, the Carlton Tower was London’s first tower hotel – and one of the places to hang out, with international stars staying, not to mention legendary 1960s designer Mary Quant using the location’s roof as a backdrop for her photoshoots.  Served in the Chinoiserie lounge, the Jumeirah Carlton Tower’s afternoon tea starts off – as all good things should – with a glass of chilled fizz (we like the wonderfully afternoon-appropriate Laurent Perrier rosé) and an elegant dish of fresh strawberries.

swinging-sixties-afternoon-tea

Next up are a trio of savoury delights – the three-tiered prawn cocktail sandwich and duck liver parfait on soft brioche are particular highlights. It’s easy to forget your afternoon tea technique here and overindulge on the sandwiches, but fix your eye on the prize – those spectacular sixties-themed cakes! Our favourite was undoubtedly the Yuzu Really Got Me: an aromatic yuzu curd tart with Italian meringue topping, while the Swiss Rock ‘n’ Roll is sure to please chocoholics, and the sweet Strawberry Cake Forever is a delicate twist on the traditional Victoria Sponge.

swinging-sixties-cakes

Of course, there are freshly-baked scones served with jam and clotted cream – and an ample menu of teas to accompany. The Jumeirah’s staff will be happy to replenish sandwiches, cakes and scones – you need your strength to take in all that culture, right? While you’re there, do make time to visit the hotel’s very own miniature exhibition – organised in collaboration with nearby Harrods. Bringing the fun of the 1960’s to life, the show features photographs snapped at the hotel itself, alongside archive images and even a fantastic sixties minidress.

1960s-fashion-photography

The distance between the Jumeirah Carlton Tower and the Victoria & Albert is just enough to help walk off those sandwiches – just try not to be swayed by the temptation to call in to Harrods on your way there…

Available until 20th November, the Swinging Sixties Afternoon Tea costs £55 which includes a glass of Laurent-Perrier Brut champagne and a ticket to the V&A exhibition (worth £16). For more information or to reserve the Swinging Sixties Afternoon Tea, call +44 (0)20 7858 7185 or email JCTdining@jumeirah.com.

RIH Drinks

Do you fancy some tea in your G&T? We’re very partial to a good cup of tea, and we’ve never been known to say no to cocktails, so spirits made with the finest blends of tea sound like a truly magnificent idea. Meet T.E.A. – short for Tea Enriched Alcohol. Offering something just a little different, T.E.A. is an award-winning British spirits brand using premium loose leaf tea and a melange of botanicals to add an unusual – and delicious – edge to cocktails. Do Earl Grey and Jasmine teas sourced from Sri Lanka and Assam pair beautifully with botanicals including rose petals, coriander, bay leaf and orange zest? Certainly. Do they work in vodka and gin? Of course.

t-e-a-cocktails

The artisan spirits brand produces just 120 bottles per batch in special copper stills, and – just to make things even more premium – removes the ‘heads’ and ‘tails’ every time. The result? Each bottle contains only the ‘purest heart’ of the batch, meaning a really smooth superior spirit. All of T.E.A.’s spirits have won awards at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition – so the industry insiders think they’re pretty darn good too!

early-grey-vodka

So, how to drink T.E.A.? To really taste the complex flavours, we’d recommend trying them with soda, tonic or just ice. Even better? In cocktails, of course! The brand actually has a rather intimate little bar tucked down a side street in London’s Soho where you can try a selection of cocktails created by T.E.A.’s resident mixologists – and with a concise menu of bar snacks on offer too. Alternatively? Get your shaker on and mix up a few pre-dinner drinks or host your own little cocktail party chez vous. What do you fancy? How about a twist on everyone’s favourite classic Italian cocktail: the Negroni?

tea-enriched-alcohol

You can make this cocktail with either vodka or gin – the latter is used traditionally, but actually either works well shaken with the bittersweet flavour of Campari and a hint of aromatic elderflower. T.E.A.’s Earl Grey Vodka is what we’ve used here – and it makes for a very, very moreish cocktail, garnished with a few fresh berries and served extra chilled over lots of ice.

t-e-a-vodka

30ml T.E.A. Earl Grey Vodka or Gin
20ml Campari
20ml Belvoir Elderflower
Berries to garnish

Fill the shaker with ice and all the ingredients, then shake. Serve over ice. We can tell you now, you’ll probably want to make more than one!

 

For more information on Tea Enriched Alcohol including cocktail recipes and stockists, see the brand’s website. You can also find T.E.A. cocktails at the Urban Tea Rooms, 19 Kingly St, London W1B 5PY.

RIH Eats

It’s the restaurant that’s been raved about by foodies and restaurant critics, and won an impressive number of awards despite only having opened in 2014. We’re talking about – of course – The Palomar. If you’ve been, you’ll know all about the spectacular “food of modern day Jerusalem” it serves, the buzzing ambiance and the chefs knocking back shots of arak at the kitchen bar. And now, just a couple of years on, comes the Soho eatery’s much-anticipated cookbook. According to sources, even Ms Natalie Portman has been itching to get her hands on a copy of The Palomar Cookbook

shakshuka the palomar

And it’s no surprise. After all, the team describe their recipes as “easy, fun, quick and simple to create, always beautiful to look at and utterly delicious to eat”. Who doesn’t want some of that? Plus it’s a true reflection of the experience you’ll have dining at The Palomar, in fact. In The Palomar Cookbookyou’ll find restaurant favourites like Polenta Jerusalem-Style, Octo-Hummus and Shakshukit, alongside simple recipes for the beautiful mezze – the “meal before the meal”, as they so aptly describe it! The Palomar is all about “heritage with a twist; modernity with lasting style,” according to its creative director, Layo Paskin. So we’re delighted to publish an absolutely delicious recipe from the book right along those lines: the New-Style Shakshuka. Enjoy!

  • salt
  • 1 small cauliflower, broken into 3–5cm evenly sized florets
  • 50ml (2fl oz) olive oil
  • 1 aubergine, cut into 2cm cubes
  • pepper
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp toasted and ground cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp toasted and ground coriander seeds (optional)
  • 2–3 garlic cloves, sliced, or very finely chopped
  • handful of fresh oregano leaves
  • 200ml (7fl oz) or water
  • 1 courgette, shaved into ribbons with a peeler
  • 8 eggs
  • handful of chopped parsley to garnish

 

 

new style shakshuka palomar

Start by placing a large pan of water on the hob with 2 tablespoons salt added and bring to the boil. Blanch the cauliflower florets for 2–3 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a large pan over a medium-high heat, add the oil and then the aubergine cubes. Now this is important: make sure you season every ingredient that goes in the pan with some salt and pepper and a little of the chilli flakes, cumin and coriander (if using) to ensure that your shakshuka bursts with flavour — you can mix the dried spices (but not the salt) together to make them easier to add each time.

shakshuka recipe the palomar

Cook the aubergines for about 5–7 minutes until they have a nice golden colour. Then add the cauliflower florets, garlic and oregano, season as before and cook, stirring, for 3–4 minutes.

Crank up the heat, add the stock or water and scrape the base of the pan with a wooden spoon (that’s where all the flavour is) to deglaze. Leave the stock to boil for 30 seconds, then add the courgette shavings and the rest of the spices. Break the eggs gently into the sauce and drag the egg whites.

the palomar cookbook

Lower the heat and cook for about 10–15 minutes until the whites have set but the yolks are still runny. Season the yolks with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the chopped parsley and rock on.

From the Octopus Publishing Group, The Palomar Cookbook is available to buy online here. For more information and to book at the restaurant, see The Palomar’s website.

Couture Cocktails

From now onwards, there’s only one way we want to test out new perfumes. Trying scent at the beauty counter is all well and good, but the Hotel Café Royal has come up with something really rather special. The decadent London hotel has partnered with Parfums Givenchy to create a capsule collection of cocktails – inspired by the iconic French brand’s super luxe L’Atelier de Givenchy scents. Do we love perfume? Bien sur. Are we partial to cocktails? Do you really need to ask…

cocktails givenchy

Served in the Hotel Café Royal’s sophisticated Green Bar – all marble tables and glossy deep emerald tiles – the collection of cocktails includes ten creations inspired by Givenchy’s chicest fine fragrances. It’s a unique adventure, a different way of experiencing cocktails and perfume – and a must-try for scent aficionados and mixology enthusiasts alike.

hotel cafe royal green bar

Of course, we’re aware of the connection between the senses, but the magical link between how we experience aromas and flavours is really brought to life in this unusual experience. It’s all thanks to Derren King – the Hotel Café Royal’s resident Bar Manager – and a man who’s truly passionate about mixology. Working closely with Givenchy, King has poured hours of research, expertise and creativity into replicating the French label’s luxurious fine fragrances in beautifully-crafted, thoughtfully-prepared cocktails.

Parfums Givenchy Cocktails

Don’t expect to look through a menu, you’ll choose your cocktail once you’ve explored the ten glass jars placed in front of you – all filled with brightly-coloured scented buttons. Nope, this isn’t your average cocktail bar! Will you choose a woody, oriental-inspired Gaiac Mystique – with rich notes of amaretto and almond contrasting with a sharp-sour hit of pomegranate and lime? Or perhaps a light, floral Chypre Caresse; light, bright citrus scents blending with Peychauds Bitters and aromatic maraschino concluded with a flourish of Prosecco? We’ll have both, please.

hotel cafe royal givenchy cocktails

Sometimes it’s hard to remember where the scent begins and the cocktails ends as the two really are so similar that senses are almost instantly muddled. We didn’t manage to work our way through all ten, but suffice to say that – in the name of good journalism – we’ve road-tested enough to assure that whatever your usual scent of choice, there’s a cocktail you’ll love here. And sometimes the perfumes that you definitely wouldn’t choose to wear, actually result in the most delicious cocktails.

givenchy cocktails hotel cafe royal

The velvety, sensual, smoke-tinged Oud Flamboyant, for example, is a delicious mélange of Coconut Noir iced tea, whiskey, honey, flash-flamed cinnamon and kumquat. Not a scent you might ever opt for – and certainly a curious blend of ingredients, but a complex, extremely moreish cocktail. There’s ten of them to try – and you’ve got until the end of September to enjoy the experience. Whether you love perfume, cocktails – or just want to do something new and different, this is an unmissable treat.

For more information and to book, please contact the team directly on +44 (0)207 406 3310 or via email restaurants@hotelcaferoyal.com. You can also find out more on the Hotel Café Royal’s website.

High Street Beauty Buys

Can you get radiant, flawless skin for less than a tenner? Banish even the trickiest imperfections for under £5? How about creating the perfect eyeliner flick for the same price as a glass of wine? Done, done and done. From the foundation that makeup artists swear by to the lipstick that gives luxury brands a run for their money, these are the high street beauty products that really work – and don’t involve flashing a credit card. The best budget makeup? Right this way…

best budget makeup

Best Concealer

 
Easily blendable, highly-pigmented and long-lasting – if you’re concealing blemishes or covering up imperfections, you want a concealer that does the job. Collection’s Lasting Perfection Concealer ticks all the boxes – plus it’s water-resistant and transfer-proof too. One of these award-winning concealers sells every every 58 seconds in the UK, and costing less than a fiver – it’s absolute steal.

collection lasting perfection concealer

Best Highlighter

 
We’re big fans of the high street favourite’s brightly-hued lipsticks, but it’s Topshop’s Glow Highlighter that’s really competition for the luxe labels. Highly-pigmented, glitter-free and long lasting, this imparts a subtle glow wherever you apply it – think eyes, cheekbones and decolletage. The soft rose gold colour flatters all complexions, with a gentle swipe leaving skin looking radiant and beautifully glowing.

topshop glow highlighter

Best Mascara

 
From False Lash Effect and Masterpiece to the iconic 2000 Calorie, when it comes to mascara, Max Factor is the brand that impresses again and again. For OTT volumised glamour, we love the award-winning False Lash Effect, and you’ll find 2000 Calorie in many a makeup artist’s kit bag, although with a super-precise brush to really define lashes, Masterpiece gives a professional look with a non-spendy price-tag.

best max factor mascara

Best Foundation

 
Beauty editors, bloggers, make-up artists – ask any of them for a glowy, flawless foundation on the cheap, and Bourjois Healthy Mix is the name you’ll hear again and again. It’s the ‘your skin, but better’ foundation that really looks natural, healthy and radiant while evening the complexion and banishing blemishes. This also feels fresh not heavy – and lasts amazingly too. You’ll wonder why you ever spent more on foundation.

 bourjois healthy mix foundation

Best Lipstick

 
Can you have too many lipsticks? Definitely not when it comes to Rimmel London’s Kate Moss collection. The range of colours is impressive as the price, with something to suit everyone – whether you love a traditional red, oh-so-now plum tones (107), an eye-catching fuschia or wear-everywhere nude. Long-wearing, satisfyingly hydrating and with real colour depth – if they’re good enough for Kate…

Kate Moss Rimmel lipsticks

Best Eyeliner

 
L’Oréal Paris Super Liner Perfect Slim. This is just so good – it does everything you want an eyeliner to do, and nothing that you don’t! It’s easy to use – even if you’re shaky of hand – meaning that precise lines or flicks are perfectly achievable, no need to be a makeup pro. This is a deep, intense, pigmented black, so you only need one line, once. And once in place, it stays put until you remove it, with no smudging, flaking or drying.

L'Oréal Paris Super Liner Perfect Slim

Best Powder

 
If you’ve not come across ELF’s eye-wateringly cheap cosmetics, you’ve been missing out. Their prices are almost too good to be believed, but the brand gets rave reviews from bloggers, editors and make-up artists with stunning regularity. From ELF’s Studio line, both the compact Studio Perfect Finish HD Powder and the loose High Definition Powder give truly professional results, banishing shine, setting makeup and giving skin a “soft focus” HD finish.

ELF studio definition powder

Best Primer

 
Minimising pores, fine lines and blemishes, evening skin and helping your foundation to last longer, Revlon’s PhotoReady Perfecting Primer has a silky-soft texture that leaves the complexion looking velvety-smooth. If you don’t usually use a primer, try this once and you’ll be hooked – it really does give skin an air-brushed look.

revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer

Best Brows

 
We’ve been known to snap up basketfuls of Sleek Makeup’s products on the regular, and there’s honestly pretty much next-to-nothing that disappoints. And the brand’s multifunctional Brow Kit get unanimously good reviews whether you’re someone who likes a bold brow or prefers to keep things au naturale. Pigmented wax and powder allow you to create shape and set brows, while tweezers, brushes and a mirror make this kit ideal on the go. Kudos for the impressive range of colours too.

sleek eyebrow kit

Best Eyeshadow

 
Brilliant staying power, saturated colour and a decent range of shades, when it comes to top-rated budget eyeshadows, we love Maybelline’s EyeStudio Color Tattoo 24hr Cream Gel Eyeshadow. From neutrals to brights to all you need for a sexy, smoky eye, these are fantastic value for money. Sweep on with your fingertips and blend out with a brush – the cream-gel formula is totally foolproof, and it really does last and last.

MAYBELLINE COLOR TATTOO 24HR CREAM GEL SHADOW

RIH Drinks

A fresh zing of mint and lemon, aromatic soft apple and elderflower flavours and the unmistakably delicate, crisp flavour of cucumber – plus some killer artisinal gin. Sweet, sour and incredibly refreshing served icy-chilled, this cocktail is pure summer in a glass.

summer cocktail

And aside from the Elderflower & Cucumber Flavoured Gin – which can be ordered online – there’s no obscure ingredients or complex mixology involved. Even better, this is a cocktail which you can make quickly – and in quantities should you be hosting a garden party or having people over for supper one summer evening. The flavours are wonderfully clean, fresh and seasonal – somehow this cocktail tastes even better outside too!

summer cocktail recipe

Based in North Yorkshire, The Little Red Berry Company hasn’t stopped winning industry awards since it launched in 2011. The artisan spirit company specialises in delicious liqueurs, made by hand with locally-sourced fruits and fresh produce. The liqueurs are traditionally made, by steeping the fruit and sugar together with spirits, and – even served simply with tonic – the flavoured gins are a revelation for any gin fan.

The Little Red Berry Company

Makes enough for two

50ml Elderflower & Cucumber Flavoured Gin
3 Granny Smith apples
Bunch fresh mint
1 cucumber
1 lemon
Tonic or soda water to finish

apple cucumber elderflower cocktail

Blend or juice the apples with a generous handful of mint leaves and the juice of half a lemon. Strain (if you’re using a blender) and taste, adding more lemon juice if you prefer a sharper flavour. Pour the Elderflower & Cucumber Flavoured Gin into a cocktail shaker with the fresh juice and shake with ice to combine. Taste – adding more lemon or gin if required. Fill two highball glasses with ice and pour over the cocktail, topping up with a little soda water or tonic. Garnish with sprigs of mint, and slices of cucumber, lemon and apple.

summer cocktail recipes

For more information on The Little Berry Company and to see stockists near you, see the brand’s website. You can also find The Little Red Berry Company products available to buy online via Not On The High Street.

marble chopping board

Oliver Bonas Marble Chopping Board

cocktail accessories

Fever Tree Tonic Water

John Lewis Paloma Highball

Elderflower And Cucumber Flavoured Gin

Our Exclusive New Skincare Columnist

Teresa Tarmey. Chances are you’ve heard the name (if you read Vogue, Tatler, Vanity Fair et al- we won’t go on). And if you haven’t? Well you’ve certainly seen the results on the red carpet. We don’t like to name drop, so we’ll just pop a few pics of the celebrities who regularly enjoy (or are rumoured to…) Teresa Tarmey’s facials here. Pretty damn impressive, we think you’ll agree – and that’s just the people we’re allowed to tell you about. Offering results-driven facials which really do deliver, Tarmey’s built up a reputation as the go-to facialist for flawless skin since she first opened her doors in West London, providing in treatments to the great and the good – all in the utmost privacy, of course.

teresa tarmey celebrities

More recently, Tarmey has opened a beautiful flagship salon in Westbourne Grove, with facials combining the latest clinically-proven technology and a holistic approach including her signature facial massage – using lymphatic drainage techniques to lift, plump and firm skin instantly. So we’re delighted – and very excited – to welcome Teresa Tarmey on board as our latest columnist, answering your questions on skincare. But first – a little bit about the dedicated skincare expert herself…

How did you get started in your career?

 
I started 20 years ago and been obsessed ever since. At the start of my career I was a beauty therapist with the perfect skin. When I hit 20 I started with acne out of the blue which is when I started to become really interested in skincare and facials, as opposed to the other traditional beauty treatments.

teresa tarmey facials

The best thing about being a facialist?

 
Being able to make a difference to not only people’s skin but also to their confidence and how they feel when they leave the salon – that’s what I really love about this.

One question everyone always asks you? And what’s the most common skincare mistake?

 
Clients always ask about skincare as opposed to treatment first assuming that they can fix things by simply putting on a product. Yes the product helps but it’s also about lifestyle and what they put into their body. Biggest mistake would also have to be about the sun. Not protecting and burning the skin is an absolute disaster in my eyes.

sun protection anti-ageing

How often would you recommend having facials?

 
We have to remember that facials are a treat, especially when it comes to aesthetics and the treatments I do – with mesotherapy, chemical peels and LED therapy, for example. I aim to get visible results that last and provide more than just a short term fix. People tend to come and visit me about once per month for a results-driven course of treatments that we work out together, to suit them and address their concerns.

Top anti-ageing tip?

 
Top anti-ageing tip has to be don’t purposely put your face in the sun and always protect your skin with an SPF.

drink more water

Where can you cut corners with skincare? Any decent cheaper brands?

 
Something I always tell clients is “if you could buy in a bottle what water does to your skin, you’d pay thousands”. Drinking enough water is the answer to many skin problems – and it’s cheap as chips! My favourite cheaper skincare product has to be Simple Facial by Simple.

Your five can’t-live-without beauty products?

 
● Water – yes, it’s that good
Heliocare SPF 50 Gel
NeoStrata Ultra Smoothing Cream
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash

teresa tarmey london

Now’s your chance – do you have a skincare question you’d like to put to Teresa? Pop your details below and if you’re lucky, you’ll get the answer to your query! Yes, it’s pretty exciting to have exclusive, direct access to an acclaimed facialist, but that’s how we do things around here….

For more information and to book facials with the lady herself, see Teresa Tarmey‘s website.