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The Need for Change? Facials and Hair and Lifestyle? (Part 1 Facials)

I have been in a bit of a funk recently with looks wise.  If you know me (and I put my hands up) I simply am very lazy, incompetent and indecisive about skin care and my hair.  I do not do facial masks on a regular basis (yes I am that lazy) and the idea of going to the spa for regular facial treatments kind of give me goose bumps due to the usual immediate pressure to buy package deals.  (I understand that in the long run they might end up cheaper but call me a commitment-phobe with beauty and hair routines!)

Imagine my surprise when I came across a long established hair and skincare company called Paul Gerrard.  Situated right on Pottinger’s Street, in the middle of Soho, it fits with low key cool.  The main building is where the hair cutting and skin treatments are done but hold your horses guys…there is a barber’s (with an awesome retro look) right next door.  What made me relax was that it actually was a family business, Paul cuts hair, his mum has a jewelry store above the barber’s store (more later in another post) and the therapists and stylists have worked for years with him.  The tea lady is an institution and makes the meanest and tastiest coffee…

Ok back to facing my fears….I met a therapist called Gladys who was very welcoming.  I loved the simplicity of the spa…it felt cozy even though it was white.  I guess because most clients were long term clients and so the vibe was almost of friends.  Gladys led me to the treatment room  which is simple and strangely relaxing in its simplicity…no lots of pictures with price lists everywhere (eek a nightmare of mine).

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BEFORE: The Lighting was flattering…but my face was red and itchy and dirty…you could not see the blackheads…  :(

After double cleansing my face with Dermalogica products, the scary white light was switched on and she examined my face.  Gladys explained that the red patches I had been experiencing is probably due to my insufficient skincare routine (i.e my laziness) and a need to improve on my cleaning (double clean ideally) and to use the right face exfoliant.  The reason my skin was feeling red and irritated was because the dead skin was not been exfoliated away so the serums etc was not sinking into the skin where it needed the most.  Also my blackheads were pretty “established” (I cringed) due to my ad hoc cleaning routines.  She gave me a skin peel which came from a more for mature skin range for Dermalogica but she reassured me that everything else I can pretty much use the normal skin care.  After all the skin peels and extractions (removing blackheads), the mask was put on and I was given a lovely little facial massage as well as a tiny neck and shoulders one.

The end results…gone are the annoying dry irritating bits and a smoother skin with a gentle glow.  I am beginning to understand the need for proper skincare… FINALLY.

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Excuse the Spa Hair…But my skin felt soft, clean and blackhead free!!  I actually felt good within my skin.

To be honest, I felt great and now I understand the need to keep my skin clean (sounds like I was really grimy but I tended to take short cuts).  Also as I get older, I need to take care of my skin so just simply knowing I need to use the right products for the right uses is valid.  Gladys was great in answering any questions about products.  Also to get my used to cleaning and exfoliating, Gladys gave me samples of the two key products to try and to get into a mini routine.

Two things that excited me about the range of products that Paul Gerrard offers:

1)  The real St Tropez Fake Tan Range…

2) Black Chicken Organic Skincare

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Thank you Gladys for being gentle with me…I am trying and am becoming a convert to getting facials done at establishments.  If they are as relaxing and cozy as Paul Gerrard,  I am a fan.

P.S.  You know it is a good facial when deep down dirt in my skin is coming through as spots…the treatment was that good!!

Here are the details:

Address 
1st and 2nd floor
Wah Hing House
35 Pottinger Street
Central Hong Kong

Telephone
+852 2869 4408
Fax
+852 3759 5698
Email
info@paulgerrard.com

Reception hours are from:

9.30am – 7pm Monday, Tuesday
9am – 9pm Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
9am – 7pm Saturday

TO BE CONTINUED:  HAIR SOS…

I have no shame…I need help with my hair!!

Do not laugh but with the HK weather and my incompetence…I need a HAIR SOS…

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OUTFIT POST: Floral Clash…

First of all, a big thank you to Jack Wills HK and Plug PR for arranging the borrowing for clothes and who knew but my mum took the pictures – so thank you MUM!

Until British designer Richard Nicoll took ever the helm for Jack Wills, I had to admit that I totally thought of them as a British version of A&F – just not in my age range.  I admit continuously now that I was in the wrong.  Now I see suits, dresses, separates which I want.  And with a good print…you had me at brocade or “liberty print”.

The first of the outfit posts in collaboration with Jack Wills HK is called “Floral Clash”.  I saw this peach brocade suit and fell in love.  Unfortunately, it would be too hot for HK weather!  Definitely more suitable for the western suit.

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The suit in itself is such a bright statement that I pushed it further with a floral vintage blouse with a ruffled collar.  More romantic than the suit but in a cooler blue colour palette to help ground the vividness of the suit. Added metallic grey vintage YSL heels to give it a ladylike look and a thrifted grey suede bag with a fringe (so Summer 2015 trend!).

Focus should go on the amazing accessories that I have on.  The necklace is from a London brand called Moxham which is stocked in The Refinery at PMQ.  The necklace give modernity and a bit of edge to the romantic nature of the suit and shirt.   I am also wearing my faithful watch from locally based brand VOID.  All accessories including the bag and shoes are in silver/dark grey metallics to help balance the colour class of the clothes.

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The Moxam Necklace adds edge to the look but is not too “in your face”.

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In fact the Moxham necklace comes with a bracelet that detaches from the necklace

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Simple watch and grey metallic heels finish the outfit…

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I used the MAC is Beauty range with the pastels range of eyeshadow and lipstick.  Once again highlighting the focus on the clothing…

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BEAUTY: The Dog and I Share Our Common Beauty Treat…(Yes I Do Mean My 8 Year Old Male Chihuahua)

I had heard of coconut water and coconut oil being the go to products for the gorgeous models that grace our Instagram feeds and our glossy magazines.  Adriana Lima (one of the Victoria Secret’s “ArchAngels”) swears by a life time of drinking coconut water and Miranda Kerr (another one of those sickly gorgeous models) swears by a spoonful of coconut oil with every meal.  Now I love coconut water so that seemed easy (though a bit of a burden on the old wallet as in HK, we cannot literally pick coconuts from trees and machete them open) but the coconut oil posed a problem for me.  I bought some (ok it was the cheapest one so I guess I asked for it) but it quickly solidified into a white “cream”…actually it was thicker and harder than cream, I simply do not know what to call it.  Yes I am wordless for once.

So when I was given some Jax CoCo Extra Virgin Centrifuged Coconut Oil as well as some of the yummy flavoured coconut water, I have to admit I was a bit sceptical.  Bo, one of the lovely ladies from Plug PR who is a dog lover told me how good the stuff was for my grumpy old man chihuahua.  He has had a bit of a tough time and has sore pores and had been living a bit rough for a few months before I fostered then adopted him.

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Sad Edowan at Adoption Day

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Visiting the ladies at Plug PR

Bo advised that the coconut oil would be fantastic for Edowan’s sore paws (which he had from a serious infection he had when I first fostered him).  Not only would it be good topically for the dog but also topically for me.  I am a bit of a clumsy person and so I do get lots of cuts, bruises and unfortunately some bites from the little one.  I also tend to get dry itchy skin during seasonal changes.  Bo also advised that taking it would make Edowan’s general condition better.

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Edowan looking perkier…

The sample size was a small pot so I used it sparingly.  However, the major point I was immediately impressed with was the fact that it did not congeal into some horrid sickly gloop.  Sorry I still cannot think of the appropriate word.  Also the taste was natural tasting and not that strong upon tasting.  After a few days of putting it on my little cuts and also Edowan’s paws (I used it sparingly as the sample was small), I noticed a significant improvement.  Also Edowan loved the taste of it (it was more of a treat for him).  May be I was imagining it but his general condition did look perkier.  I also would consider adding it into my daily diet (especially if it helped me lose weight and gave me glossier hair!)

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The New Face of Jax Coco?

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The Miracle Product that the dog and I both shared…

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Please Jax Coco can I have a regular donation of Coconut Oil and Water?

On a side note, the flavoured coconut water (I tried banana and chocolate) was surprisingly yummy.  I was a little bit scared to try flavoured coconut water as I like it as it is.

For more information about the Jax Coco range and stockists, check the website (http://store.jaxcoco.com).  FYI they deliver!

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OUTFIT POST: It is all YELLOW…

Sorry Coldplay, had to quote from your classic song.

So I totally fell in love with these Dagmar culottes (yes am currently obsessed with culottes -who would have believed it?)  I loved the stormy mountain scene painted on it and knew that this was going to be a focal point for the outfit.  (Yes, there is a danger having attention on my thighs and crotch area but the print was so PRETTY!)  I was gutted that the matching shirt was unavailable in my size but looking back in hindsight, I think for my personal style, it may have been a bit too much.  (Too much print for moi you say?)

354A6633These Dagmar Culottes are AMAZING…

For the top.  I took a complete departure from my usual comfort zone.  I would generally pair these culottes with a simple black T or a black silk tank/shirt.  Vein kindly lent me some pieces which really encapsulate the sports luxe trend as they are made from stretchy jersey.  The jacket is also in a bright yellow which I was nervous about it as it was quite fitted especially around the arms but in fact I am happy Vein pushed me.  The jacket is also from Dagmar.  The big push for me was to wear the black singlet from BACK by Anna Sofie Back.  I have seen her brand on many of the big blogger including such people like Susie Bubble.  However, firstly, I am wary of something with a big strip of branding but also something that is super fitted.  In fact, it really is too much of the “street” style that I can never seem to get the hang of.

354A6609Pushing Myself Out of My Usual Comfort Zone was GOOD

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354A6663Keep Accessories Simple

So what accessories?  I kept it all simple with my VOID watch, Filippa K black flats and bag by Baum und Pferdgarten.  The trousers and the colour palate of yellow is so much that I wanted some simple accessories to ground the outfit otherwise it could have been a hot Scandi mess!

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All clothing and props apart from the lipstick (Thanks to MAC for my Heroine lipstick) and watch (VOID http://www.voidwatches.com) come from Vein in St Francis Yard.

Vein (address: Shop 301-302, Lee Gardens One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong telephone:2528-4988)

Vein on the Yard (address: 2 St Francis Yard, Wan Chai, Hong Kong telephone 2804-1038)

website: http://www.bvein.com

Photos once again by Bryant Lee (www.bryantlives.com)

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(Outfit Post) Life can be a Bunch of Roses…

This was my favourite outfit shoot out of the ones that I did with Bryant.  The simple fact was I was acting like myself and acting like a complete fool.  I know I won’t get prizes for my posing but it was felt so comfortable to act like a goof ball.  I also learnt a valuable lesson, a good prop is such a confidence booster.  A big shout out to Vein again for providing their clean white shop front for me to pose in front of and my prop which was “The Gentle Woman” with Bjork on the cover.

The pristine white back drop was perfect for the outfit I was wearing which was a rose print neoprene sweatshirt and skirt by one of my favourite brands Baum und Pferdgarten.  It was a lot of print and the  sweatshirt being in neoprene was a little bit bulky looking.  My mum does not like this outfit as she says it does nothing for my figure.  But I love it anyway simply for the print.  The collection has an amazing pair of trousers in the print which were sold out in hours on the brand’s online store and they have a coat in the print (disappointingly for me it really did not suit me.)  I kept things simple with my lovely black Filippa K black flats and hair slicked back and a fresh slick of MAC “Heroine” lipstick.  I think the silhouette (personally) would be more flattering if I had worn heels but that would have ruined the casual feel I was wanting to create – however it would be a simple fix to take the look into evening.  Only accessories was my trusty VOID watch.

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And then I got silly…but I learnt a good prop makes the difference.

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All clothing and props apart from the lipstick and watch come from Vein in St Francis Yard.

Vein (address: Shop 301-302, Lee Gardens One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong telephone:2528-4988)

Vein on the Yard (address:2 St Francis Yard, Wan Chai, Hong Kong telephone 2804-1038)

website: http://www.bvein.com

Photos once again by Bryant Lee (www.bryantlives.com)

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(OUTFIT POST) The Girl with the Blue Manolos

Am actually extremely nervous about posting this as for those who know me, I DO NOT DO outfit posts.  I just cannot seem to do it right.  A camera is put in front of me and I became the klutz, with the facial spasms.  Also to be honest, I have always been concerned about how fat I looked on pictures.  However 2015 is a new year and I need to break out of my comfort zone.  I was lucky enough to have scored the talents of Bryant (@bryantlives – check this boo out since going to the London College of Fashion, he is going from strength to strength and I am incredibly fortunate and proud to call him friend.)  Fingers crossed for this current shoot as the last shoot he tried with me, apparently I looked HORRIBLE that he could not edit any to give me some.  I had a horrid expression on ALL the pictures.  (I hung my head in shame….was I really THAT MEAN looking?).  It brings back painful Facehunter memories too.

Anyway, Bryant gave me confidence that he would get some pics for me and assured me with his new camera and his newly learnt skills, I would have some usable pics.  I took my mother and Edowan  as distraction.  Not sure how wise that decision was as the old adage “To not work with children or animals.”

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Edowan – the cliche of not working with animals.

I chose as one of the outfits to shoot my favourite trend currently: culottes.  As I wrote in a previous post, they are not the hideous monstrosities that were in the 80s/90s.  Though with my being a print addict, I might buy some of the originals!!

The current version of the culotte provides an easy alternative to skirts and smart trousers.  I chose for this outfit post, a pair of grey woollen flared culottes from Carin Wester.  I paired with a classic blue silk shirt from the HK success story of 2015 GRANA.  And because of the vivd blue of my shirt, I had an excuse to bring out my MANOLOS.  They are bright blue and not very practical but I love them and they add a bit of fun to the outfit.  Wear flats to make it more work/day appropriate.  Dress up even more by adding accessories.

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Edowan decided not to coopertate

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I love the pop of colour the shoes and shirt makes to the neutral culottes.

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Eodwan on guard…

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Need to Practice the Walking Business

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This shot shows how two simple things such as a bright blouse and heels can really make the outfit pop but not be inappropriate for work attire.

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Edowan and I need to work on our poses

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“Come of Edowan!”

I kept the accessories simple, I chose some dark metal rings from RebekkaRebekka and Maria Black jewellery and the pouch is from Baum und Pferdgarten which were kindly lent to me by Vein.

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Yes it was my sneak peak pic but I love the contrast between the clay colour wall and my outfit.

Finally….some detail shots of THOSE SHOES…and Edowan of course.

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Eodwan was not impressed by the Manolos

LESSONS LEARNT ABOUT WEARING THESE CULOTTES:

I love these Carin Wester culottes but if you are not careful they can make you look very large in the waist and bum area.  Make sure they fit right and keep the clothing simple. Make sure the hem line for the culottes are above the ankle and show the ankle off.  It was considered scandalous a few centuries ago!  As a larger woman, avoid pairing with the culottes with a baggy jumper or a neoprene big sweatshirt which are popular at the moment.  Trust me, you will look like a blimp with a triangle on your bottom!  If you have the stomach for it, a simple crisp cropped top would look fab with these culottes.

Oh and excuse the make up, I did it myself.  For those who want to know, I wore “Heroine” by Mac Cosmetics.  They just launched a new version which is matt and limited edition matching lipliner are currently available.  So go get some now.

A BIG THANK YOU to Bryant for being patient and taking my pics… check out his amazing work http://www.bryantlives.com.  And thank you Vein as always for lending me accessories and support.

So where to buy?

Everything apart from my Manolos and my Shirt are from:

Vein (address: Shop 301-302, Lee Gardens One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong telephone:2528-4988)

Vein on the Yard (address:2 St Francis Yard, Wan Chai, Hong Kong telephone 2804-1038)

website: http://www.bvein.com

My Manolos were bought second hand but you can join the GRANA movement but buying a shirt from them at:

Grana: (www.grana.com)

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Culottes Are Still Here…And They Are Cooler Than The First Time Round…

Culottes were the go to “IT” item for girls to wear in the 80s, 90s.  Generally above the knee in loose flower material (usually in a very bright pattern).

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Culottes were short in those days…

A classic teenage girl ensemble would include some ill-fitting culottes and the ubiquitous hat.  Do  you remember the TV show “Blossom”  well, her wardrobe probably contained a few pairs of culottes.

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Young Blossom from the then hit TV was a Culottes Princess

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Interesting floral or graphic prints were commonly accompanied by a vast colour wheel of colour!

Culottes NOW…

This version of the culotte is surprisingly easy to wear.  Here are some quick tips:

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  1. Keep things neutral.

Go for simple silhouettes and neutrals such as black, navy, white or grey.  Keeping it simple helps to keep it easy to wear with your tops but also gives versatility meaning that you can dress it up for more formal occasions or dress them down for casual outings.  Neutrals also means that you can make it work appropriate and have it as an alternative to suit trousers or skirts.  Wear with heels and a smart shirt or even a jacket.  Wearing it with open toed sandals or sneakers and a slouchy sweatshirt or sweater keeps it casual.

Heels makes this office appropriate or even as an evening outfit option.

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Culottes – A trend that is versatile.

2. Material Choice is Key

Unless you are a model or tall and with slender physique, culottes made in fabrics such as stiff satin or leather can be hard to wear.  Though providing a very strong statement look, it is not an easy look to pull off.

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Materials such as leather though striking can be hard to pull off.

Materials such as jersey, cotton mix, silk, wool or even denim are great options for the culotte.  For the culottes which are less wide legged, suiting materials are great and makes it a very suitable work alternative.

For summer months, go for lighter fabrics or even pleats if you are brave enough.

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Add a cropped top for the perfect summer look.

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Cropped tops, light fabrics and colours makes the culottes a perfect summer staple.

4. Proportions are Important

To keep the culottes modern and not an 80s/90s throwback, keep them below the knee.  Ankle to mid-calf are super flattering.

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Below the Knee is the optimum length.

MY PICKS:

I have found some great affordable culottes in a variety of styles.  Check out sites such as ASOS and Zalora.  Also Monki have a great denim pair which will not break the bank at under 300HKD.

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However if you want to spend some extra money, check out some of the Scandinavian brands such as Dagmar or Carin Wester which you can get from a store in Vein (one of my favourite stores in HK)

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Carin Wester

Where to Shop:

ASOS (www.asos.com)

Zalora (www.zalora.com.hk)

Monki (address: Shop L1/29-31, Langham Place, 8 Argyle Street, Mongkok, Hong Kong telephone: 3585-8026

website: www.monki.com/; www.facebook.com/monki.hk)

Vein (address: Shop 301-302, Lee Gardens One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong telephone:2528-4988)

Vein on the Yard (address:2 St Francis Yard, Wan Chai, Hong Kong telephone 2804-1038)

website: http://www.bvein.com

And here is a sneak peak of how I wear the new version of culottes…outfit post to be out soon!354A6577