Cyran is the founder and editor-in-chief of Corporate Style Story. She loves good pyjamas, good food and good company.
Cyran is the founder and editor-in-chief of Corporate Style Story. She loves good pyjamas, good food and good company.
I personally think that anytime past mid-November is holiday season. I know some stores have had Christmas decorations up since July (no names, Selfridges naughty!) and if you’re in the fashion or press industry then you will know that “Christms in July” is a real thing but for those among us who didn’t have to explain the Christmas tree to a child in the middle of Summer and doesn’t work in fashion, I think mid-November is the time when you have to start getting yourself into gear for the holidays.
So this is my list of all the beauty advent calendars that I have come across and that are available to buy now, I will add others as they are made available. One thing I will say is that they sell out very quickly so have to be quick. They’re usually such great value that you really can get such great products quite economically, plus when the children are all eating chocolate before 9am with theirs, you have a gorgeous new product to add to your bathroom shelfie.
I’ve also noticed that this year there are more “12 day countdown” advent calendars which look amazing. They are cheaper than the usual 25 day beauty advent calendars and still allow you to get involved in the festivities, so take a look at those too.
On the pricing, some of the calendars included are in excess of £300 (we’re looking a you Diptique and Fortnums) whilst there are others that are £45, and some of the 12 days calendars are around £25 so take a look and see what works for you and your budget.
Some tips for choosing your beauty advent calendar:
Also check out the ASOS 12 Day Countdown Calendar (£25.00)
The 2018 Amazon Beauty Advent Calendar contains a mix of 24 products from some of our most-loved beauty brands such as Elemis, Pai, Percy and Reid and Real techniques. Includes lots of full-sized products as well! One our favourites.
You can only get your hands on M&S’s advent calendar when you spend £35 or more on clothing, home or beauty in store. This was my advent calendar of choice last year, fantastic value for money, same goes for this year, check your stores availability online.
This is the first year of MAC’s beauty advent calendar, so we’re very excited. From perfect skin prep to dressed-up lips and statement smoky eyes, get ready to indulge in our treasure trove of shiny pretty things.
A 12-day calendar of full sized hand wrapped products, uncover a selection of classic products and new beauty must-haves, ranging from skincare and bodycare to makeup. Brands include Molton Brown, Elemis and Illamasqua.
At the more expensive end of the beauty advent calendars out there this year, but the Huda Beauty, NARS and Acqua di Parma goodies inside Harrods‘ beauty box are worth £680.
A limited edition collection of NYX products that include the soft matte lip cream and butter gloss, as well as eyeshadows, highlighters, powders and blush. Available at Boots and Inside you’ll find fan-fave formulas in 24 new shades, a limited edition collection of NYX products that include the soft matte lip cream and butter gloss, as well as velvety eyeshadows, highlighters, powders and blush, available at ASOS and Boots.
Sleek Make-up, Can’t Wait Another Day Advent Calendar, £35.00
This one is worth it including full sized products from favourite Sleek Make-up, great value at £35.
Decleor reminds me of leisurely spa days pure pampering, this calendar has been going for some time and each year the calendar is filled with customer favourites all of which are under 100ml so they’re perfect for travelling with.
I’ll admit, I’m that person that often offers up weird and wonderful software and apps to colleagues and friends that I’ve heard of if they’re asking. As far as I’m concerned, more often than not there will be technology that can help us manage day-to-day life better if we just know what’s out there and try it.
As I work in the technology industry, I do enjoy checking out new things to see how I can improve what I’m doing, be more organised or be more creative, so here is a list of the apps I can’t live without and those which I use on pretty much a daily basis. Some you’ll have heard of an others you may not have.
P.S. I haven’t included social media apps, because that’s just a given!
As the saying goes, “an elephant never forgets” and Evernote is top of the list of apps that I can’t live without. Think of it as your external brain. I’m a huge list-making fan so I really like how customisable the list-making functionality it is. Although it’s not solely a list making app.
You can copy and paste bits of websites, photos, squiggle in a list or project – anything you want. I have the app on my phone, I use the web version and its shortcut on my bookmark bar and they are all synced. I use Evernote throughout the day, its the default app I use to take notes on anything. My external brain indeed.
Alternatives if you’re not an Evernote fan: Trello
I started binge-listening to audio content about 4 or 5 years ago now, which corresponds with when Poppy was born unsurprisingly. Like most mothers, having a baby means that you don’t have any spare hands available to hold a book and hold t hold your baby, plus as a ew mum who has the time to sit down and read?! That didn’t mean that I stopped reading, I have been a keen reader my entire life and I usually read about 20 books a year and the majority of them are non-fiction – you can have a look here: Books I Love.
Audible is the best way of consuming books that otherwise you wouldn’t have time to listen to. I listen whilst travelling, driving, cooking dinner, tidying up and when exercising. It works with Alexa so you can play through the Alexa devices too – which is GREAT – “Alexa, play my book on Audible”, love it.
It’s a brilliant way to use otherwise ‘dead’ time and everyone from Tim Ferris to Holly Willoughby use Audible. If you’ve haven’t tried it yet, you can choose a book of your choice for free, below.
Who really likes having a purse full of receipts?? I for sure do not. It doesn’t help that I can’t ever find the receipt I need because there are usually so many to keep track of, if you don’t have a system you’re bound to lose them if they’re rolling around in your bag.
Expensify means that I can take a photo of the receipt and store it in the app so that I can attach it to an email and send it to whomever needs a copy of it – the finance department, my accountant, HMRC, whomever. You can also create reports and the app also has other expense management tools. The basic plan is free and brilliant and I’m happy that my documents are all stored in it safely, but I download the PDF each month with the information and send it to my accountant. Its clearly another app I can’t live without.
Spritzlet is a speed reading app that helps you to ‘spritz’ the internet. This is now how I read blog posts – it really will change how you consume information online, especially is you read a lot of blogs.
Download Spritzlet to your bookmarks bar and when you go to an article or a piece of content you want to read, click the Spritzlet app. The Spritz widget will pop up with the full text and you can read it however fast you choose, between 250 – 1000wpm. The red letter is intended to help your brain to actually ‘comprehend’ what its reading instead of just consuming individual words. I’m not sure of the science, but it works.
Time recording. Possibly the bane of most lawyers’ lives or anyone else that works on a time-basis for that matter. I haven’t had to record my time for a long time, and in all honesty recording time was one of the many reasons I moved away from private practice so early on in my career. However, as a freelancer I think its good-practice to understand where the bulk of my time is spent and for my clients’ peace of mind.
An unexpected benefit of using Toggl is that, funnily enough makes me more productive. Toggl has free and paid-for options and it’s definitely one of the apps I can’t live without.
Now when I tell you that an app has got me out of more situations than I care to remember, it’s this app. I hate traffic, can’t stand traffic and would rather drive around the ‘back-doubles’ than sit in traffic.
This app tracks other drivers journeys and presents to you a journey planner that takes into consideration what is happening on the road including how fast their travelling etc. User can also report what is happier on the roads, such as car accidents, road works, it’s the Facebook of sat-nav! Super easy to use too.
Love it or hate it and last but by no means least, Uber. Uber is available across Europe and of course the US, it has got me to the airport on time when other transfers have let me down, Uber has got me across the City when there are no black cabs to be found and has got me home after a rather late night out on the town with friends safely. It even got Poppy and I to school on time when the car had a flat tyre. Poppy now considers Uber a normal method of transport – “I think that’s our Uber Mama”, *points to random Prius in the road*.
Knowing how much your journey is going to cost you before you get in it is a bonus, as is sharing your ETA and location with someone you know if you’re travelling on your own – although I’m not talking about shared journeys, I haven’t used that feature and I’m not sure if I would. Find out how to share your location in an Uber here.
I love Uber, it’s definitely an app I can’t live without. Even if you prefer getting a black cab, public transport , for contingency purposes Uber is a must-have. It also helps that I can use it in most countries when I travel too, oh and lots of Uber drivers use Waze – win:win.
Before I started CorporateStyleStory.com I had some variation of this conversation with myself a number of times…
There are so many fashion bloggers out there, who wants to see another one? If I can even call myself a fashion blogger….
Why am I going so niche, who really cares about what they wear to work?
Ok, say there are a handful of people that do care about work wear, they are probably already following the super established work wear bloggers, why would they follow me?
I’m not a writer, my blog posts will be awful.
Ok… so imagine a handful of people read my blog, what if they don’t like what I have to say?
Do I really want to put pictures of myself on the INTERNET?!
I don’t know how to ‘do’ social media…
I have a demanding job, a young child and a husband, do I have time to blog?
Ok…. let’s say I put some photos out there, I manage to find some people who care about what they wear to work, they decide to follow me and read the blog; I enjoy writing and I’m happy with my style; I create content people may actually like….after all of that – blogging is really hard work, will I just throw the towel in after a while? Which probably means that I shouldn’t even start….
1. You need GOOD photos (that neither me nor Hubs knew how to take).
2. Presuming your fashion blog features you (as opposed to other people), you’ll need to put those photos online – ON THE INTERNET. FOR ALL TO SEE. (Scaryyyyy.)
3. People may or may not like those photos and yet THOSE PHOTOS WILL DETERMINE YOUR BLOGS’ SUCCESS. (Even scarier.)
So anyway, with all of these scary, self-imposed obstacles, I have managed to build and start my blog, grow my readership to tens of thousands of people, gain a social media following of about 20k, work with some great brands, meet amazing people and also be a Finalist in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards by Britmums twice in two years. I have continued to work full time and spend quality time with my family.
So if that wasn’t enough, here are the 5 reasons why I blog:
How to wear a jumpsuit to work? That is the question.
If you’re a fan of trousers, then wearing black or navy trousers to the office can quickly feel like Groundhog Day – there’s only so many times you can put a different spin on this outfit without it getting boring, really quickly.
This is where the jumpsuit comes in. Infinitely versatile, you literally just throw it on, pick up your bag and go. Perfect for the office and then after work drinks, the jumpsuit can be a real life-saver in the navigating-the-workwear-dress-code-restrictions.
With so many varying jumpsuit styles, there’s something for everyone and every work environment, but there are some rules:
When it comes to knowing how to wear a jumpsuit to work, in formal environments it makes sense to go for solid colours in either black, navy or white. Summer may allow seasonal colours and possibly prints (which I’ll come on to later), but the safer choice in a formal environment would be to keep your jumpsuit to these colours for work.
When deciding how to wear a jumpsuit to work, I have a few suggestions for wearing one to a formal office:
If you’ve followed me on social media for any length of time, you’ll know that I love polka dots – they’re so fun, and can be very flattering so a polka dot jumpsuit if a definite yes from me.
The trick with wearing a patterned jumpsuit to the office is to jeep the pattern small or dainty as opposed to bold or bright floral and still within the colour palette.
As much as I love them, these jumpsuits are definitely for creative environments where anything goes, nights out or on the weekends:
The office environment is changing and fashion is moving on and is allowing for women to have more freedom with what they wear to work. A smart jumpsuit with a blazer is enough in a smart casual office and is also perfect for a business lunch. Plan your accessories well and you have the perfect day to evening look too.
For those of you that follow me on social media (especially Instagram Stories) you will see that we take Poppy pretty much everywhere with us – that includes trips into central London, travelling and the occasional date night (when childcare is problematic, you know #parentlife).
So you may or may not be surprised to hear that this year we’re taking her along to our first proper music festival! And not just any music festival, but the biggest and best family festival out there – Camp Bestival.
I’ve wanted to go to Camp Bestival for such a long time and I each year I have seen people at Camp Bestival on social media having a blast, trust me its so well attended and everyone looks like they have an amazing time! So this year, that will be us and I’ll bring you all the behind the scenes content, including festival looks, music acts and all the other kids activities that I know Poppy will love. We are officially Camp Bestival Influencers for 2018 and we can’t wait to go this July!
Just check out this line up of music, activities, food and drinks, comedy and talks taking place at Camp Bestival from Thursday 26th July to Sunday 29th July 2018.
Why yes, there is a theme, this year its “Sets Sail” so expect nautical themed activities, acts and of course fancy dress. I love fancy dress and can’t wait to figure out our costumes. I’ll definitely be consulting Pinterest!
Are you on Pinterest? Follow me @CorporateStyleStory
Over the next few weeks, I’ll bring you posts and content related to Camp Bestival and how to make the most of the Summer Festival season, including where to stay, what to wear and what to do and check out at the festival.
I’m really excited, and I want to do our first music festival properly. If anyone has any suggestions or tips – please let me know, I want to make it amazing.
All tickets are subject to the Camp Bestival Ticket Terms & Conditions
Check out all the Camp Bestival information over on the website www.campbestival.net
Image credit: InthisLoop.com