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 like to think that I take really good care of my skin after living my teens and early 20s not really paying much attention to it at all about it. Back then I’d just happily put on allllll the make-up and barely take it off!
Nowadays my skincare routine is my self-care thing and I actually really enjoy it, I take my time with it, it feels indulgent and I can make my skincare routine as long or as short as I want to.
My routine changes depending on what my skin needs at that particular time, so I sometimes add products in or swap products for others.
My Spring skincare routine adds in lighter products because the harsh Winter has gone and my make-up is lighter too, but that’s for another post. In Spring, I also need UV protection but more hydration because of the heat.
Skintype: My skin is probably referred to as combination as I experience the odd hormonal break out now and then but can get dry in places.
Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel £11.00- For gentle but effective cleaning this cleansing gel from Avene has long been in my bathroom cabinet. It helps to balance my skin brilliantly. When the weather starts getting warmer I need to really clean my face in the morning, I’ve probably had a small person
stealing sharing most of my bed from the early hours of the morning, which has made me hot. Make-up looks much better when you’ve done a good skin prep and that for me starts with really clean skin. (It’s also available at Boots and is on 3 for 2 at the moment and also comes in 100ml which I take with me when I travel here) or
Elemis Gentle Cleanser £28.00 – which is a foaming cleanser which I prefer when my skin isn’t necessarily on the oily/blemish prone side this is a very gentle foaming cleanser and doesn’t leave my skin feeling stripped. This removes make-up really well.
Garnier Micellar Water £1.99- I use Garnier Micellar Water for sensitive skin water in my Spring skincare routine twice a day. I like this one one as it’s one of the first micellar waters I’d heard of. I love that I can buy it anywhere (in with the weekly shop) but annoyingly, the bottle is usually 125ml which means it can’t go in carry-on. So I use other brands when I travel. I use micellar water after I’ve used the Avene or Elemis foaming cleansers to remove any last bit of eye make-up and to remove actual cleanser residue from my jawline and hairline.
Side note: If you have blemish prone skin I recommend
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% £5.90 – My skin has a tendency to be on the dehydrated side so in my Spring skincare routine, I like to keep it hydrated by using a hyaluronic acid under my moisturiser. It helps my skin look and feel plump. The prices of these products from The Ordinary are amazing plus they’re actually really effective – this product is about £5.90 direct from ASOS (be quick, because it sells out fast on there) or otherwise you can get it from Deciem directly or Amazon for about £11.00 on Prime (I have no idea what I’d do without Prime in my life).
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue* £40.00 – This is one of my favourite eye creams, I like my skincare to feel like it’s actually doing something and this eye cream helps reduce puffiness, smoothes, refreshes, reduces dark circles, improves wrinkles and gives skin energy. I look forward to putting it on, I really like the consistency.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream £70.00 – I have been using this moisturiser for at least a year and I think it’s such an effective moisturiser that really keeps my skin moisturised all day. It’s also not full of perfume which is really important to me. I love the smell of certain products but I’d much rather the smell comes from the ingredients than added perfume. This is a great all-round moisturiser regardless of your skin type it also has SPF 15 my skin looks dewy and plumped up after using this.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50 £16.50 – (not pictured) This is one of my favourite SPF products, its super light and is really good if you have skin that is sensitive to the sun or products in general. You definitely need a moisturiser over the top of this as (see below). Poppy and I both suffer with eczema occasionally which we manage well and we have found that La Roche-Posay products are particularly good for us.
Bobbi Brown Cleansing Oil – £10.00 for 100ml (not pictured) this is a great first step for melting away make-up including eye make-up. This isn’t effective to remove make-up on it’s own but it does give a good head start. This one from Bobbi Brown is nice and gentle. or I also like to use
Foreo Night Cleanser – £30.00 this is an oil-based night cleanser melts from a gel into a milk. This cleanser removes impurities, makeup and pollutants for a clean and supple skin afterwards. It removes everything but the oil means your skin isn’t stripped.
Clarisonic Cleansing Brush £130.00 or the Foreo Play Cleansing Brush £39.00 – I use either of these according to where I am. I don’t tend to travel with the Clarisonic as it’s quite bulky. My Foreo Play is much more portable (it’s about the size of a golf ball). Using a face brush is so much more effective at cleansing your face than just using your hands. I will alternate using a brush and using an exfoliating product, I never both in the same day.
Lancome Gel Eclat £23.00 – The Elemis Foaming Cleanser I’ve mentioned is really gentle. this one from Lancome is not necessarily ‘gentle’ but it is probably the best cleanser I’ve listed here. If you wear lots of make-up this will literally leave your face feeling squeaky clean.
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution – This is one of my favourite exfoliators, it’s another sell-out product that removes the top layer of the skin to give brighter appearance, decalog pores and give skin a more even appearance. What’s not to love.
— after exfoliating — The product you put on the skin after exfoliating really matters, your skin will really absorb the product, so at least once a week I use a sheet mask after exfoliating. Some of my favourites are the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask £18.00 – helps my skin looks healthy, glowing and refreshed. If my skin is congested I’ll use Dr Jart Clear Skin Lover Rubber Mask – it really calms my skin down and gets rid of breakouts.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue – Same as above, the Charlotte Tilbury Magic eye Rescue, I use a bit more at night so it can sink in.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Night Rescue – I rave about this on my Instagram Stories, I love the consistency as this is actually a balm. My skin feels really hydrated and firm in the morning. Because I put The Ordinary Retinoid on over the top this prevents my skin getting dry.
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% – (not pictured) Another great product from Deciem, adding a retinoid has duel effect for me. Retinoids are amazing for preventing ageing and they’re also great for blemishes and hormonal acne. Win:win.
Trilogy Organic Rose Hip Oil – I alternate this with the Retinoid. Rose Hip Oil is loved by celebrities, models and Royals (David Gandy and Kate Middleton are both fans of Rose Hip Oil). It hydrates, plumps and firms skin. I have just started using the light blend* of this oil which is a swap of the original blend for Spring and I this one is great. Evens skin tone and prevents ageing, and it helps that it totally organic and natural – its a great treatment oil.
As much as we’ve been moaning about the weather recently,
I pray it will get warmer soon so you need to be prepared.
As with managing eczema, some creams and emollients will work and others won’t, it’s a matter of trial and error.
There are two types of sunscreen:
Many people with eczema find mineral-based sunscreens to be less irritating to their skin but this won’t be the case for everybody. Some people with eczema fair better with sensitive, fragrance-free sun scream instead. You need to find out what works for you and your child.
You’re advised to test on a patch of skin 5-days before you go out in the sun or on holiday and see how the skin reacts. It could sting or irritate the skin and you don’t want to be stuck abroad without a suitable alternative.
At the bottom of this post I’ve included some tips for managing eczema whilst in the warm weather or on holiday, that you should consider in addition to a suitable sunscreen for babies and children with eczema.
Here are a few sun creams I’ve found online that are fragrance-free, intended for sensitive or eczema prone skin or are mineral-based. From experience, I’ve found that some of these products aren’t available in stores, so my advice is to shop online.
We have personally used this*, the one above is the baby formulation. It’s slightly thicker than the kids version and goes on white as a guide as most baby sun care products do. This worked well for Poppy without irritation.
We have also used this formulation, less thick than the baby formulation and is one of our favourites. Definitely needed 2 of these for a 10 day holiday last year.
Also comes in SPF 30+ here
Also comes in a version for Toddlers, here
I will be adding more sun cream for babies and children with eczema as I find them. If you have any reviews of these creams, please do share.
For more details about the National Eczema Society you can call them on 0800 089 1122, email email@example.com. or visit
The above post is not to be considered medical advice, and nor are you to use the information contained in this post instead of seeking medical advice from a qualified medical practitioner. Please contact your GP or the National Eczema Society if you have concerns regarding your skin or the effective management of eczema.
The trench coat is one of the most versatile pieces in your work wardrobe. It’s a wardrobe staple that you can wear forever.
My first ever trench coat was the Burberry Gabardine trench, I have literally had it forever. We all know Burberry and Aquascutum are well known veterans when it comes to trench coats. Here are some from the high street and beyond for you to consider for this season.
With life the busiest it’s ever been and with so many ways to get distracted, spending time planning your day and preparing yourself up to be productive is one of the best ways to spend your limited time.
Lots of us are trying to squeeze lots of things in to our already busy day. Things we’re trying to organise, fit in, balance and figure out, so there needs to be some kinda method to the madness if you’re going to be productive instead of feeling like you spent your day doing nothing significant to speak of.
The truth is that I was a terrible procrastinator. I knew exactly what I had to do, but I used to put things off and leave things ’till the last minute. Procrastinating isn’t going to help you achieve anything you want to. So I have spent a lot of time learning about why people procrastinate, how to beat procrastination and as a result, I learned how to be more efficient with my time.
I read books, I listened to podcasts, I spoke to people that I considered to be one of those ‘super efficient’ types, I read blogs and most importantly, I then put what I had learned into practice.
Taking action instead of procrastinating and repeating this a few times over finally meant that I have learned a new habit and I although I still procrastinate from time to time, I feel like I know what I am doing.
I recently wrote one of my most shared blog posts, 6 Scientifically Proven Ways to Beat Procrastination – I wanted to share with others what had worked for me, how I’d really learned how to stop procrastinating and get sh*t done.
When you become an adult and you set out in the world on your own, unless you have paid for a life coach or enlisted the hope of an accountability partner, there is nobody breathing down your neck or cheering from the side lines, encouraging you to get things done. This can be a blessing and a curse. We all want freedom, but sometimes without some pressure we can all just coast and not get on with what we know we should.
When you’re trying to make it in your chosen career, working to create a successful side hustle, or learn a new skill, or achieve a goal – it’s all down to you to take action.
If you don’t get what you want done then guess what, nothing happens. Nobody is asking you where that piece of work is, nobody is emailing asking where you have got to with x, y or z and there are no KPIs to to report against. Nothing. If you don’t work, it doesn’t get done and then it’s just you – with no outcome and the thing you want still sitting on your “someday” list.
So seeing as I have goals I want to achieve, my beloved Poppy and husband that I want to spend time with, I had to figure out how to spin lots of plates.
Think about a successful person you know. Now think about what makes that person successful and you’ll likely discover that actually, they do not have super powers or anything necessarily remarkable about them (unless of course you are Beyonce?!). But the things that’ makes them special is that they have clearly defined their goals, have used their time efficiently and have created a habit out of managing their time well to move closer what they want, and have continued to take that action consistently.
“use their time efficiently”
“create a habit out of it”
“do this consistently”
But nothing happens overnight or without effort. We live in a world where everyone wants things instantly. It doesn’t happen like that. One of my favourite quotes is:
“If you look really closely, every overnight success took a really long time”.
I’ve found that learning to use my time efficiently was achievable when I decided to put my mind to it. Creating a new habit after years of procrastinating was tough. Managing my time efficiently and taking small steps towards what I want over and over again is challenging, but I’m doing it gradually (inbetween spinning all of the plates).
Another one of my popular posts, How I Set New Years Resolutions I Actually Achieve is a good read if you want to get started with goal-setting.
You also don’t have to do this on a grandiose scale, this planning can be for the day. Decide what you want to achieve that day and get on with doing it. The act of planning on it’s own will have a huge impact n what you actually get done, trust me.
How many times have you said or heard someone say “I can’t do A, B and C because I’m doing X, Y and Z”? I’ve heard this so many times and I’ve definitely said it myself a few times. The truth of the matter is that we all make times for the things that we want to do.
Do the maths. Calculate how you spend your time that doesn’t help you to achieve your goals:
– Watching Telly/Netflix/YouTube
– Scrolling through Instagram/Facebook/Twitter
– Chatting with friends about nothing in particular on WhatsApp/Phone/Facetime
I was definitely spending at least 2 hours a day on WhatsApp(!), a couple of hours watching the telly and the rest of the time on social media, doing not very much. This was in-between parenting or trying to keep on top of the household laundry/cleaning.
Review where you are spending your time and decide what’s really important to you and prioritise those things.
Turn the commute or driving time into a useful time when you can either get something done or learn something.
I’ve been “reading” books and courses using Audible and have been listening to podcasts for years. They’re a great way to use otherwise ‘dead’ time when I’m driving, walking or at the gym. Just think, the radio plays the same music and lengthy adverts over and over again, so switch it off and learn something or catch-up with what’s going on in a specific niche related to your goals and really use that time the best way you can.
This is my podcast co-host Mel’s favourite tip on how to be more productive and I’m inclined to agree. She doesn’t go grocery shopping and she doesn’t cook. I’m not quite there, but here are the things I have outsourced:
The idea is to spend your time doing the things you WANT to do and will bring you closer to your goals and not the things you HAVE to do. Also, it’s ok that some things just don’t get done. If things aren’t outsourced and still don’t get done, it’s fair to say that those things aren’t a priority to me and that’s ok.
Steven Covey the author of ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, has a great method to help you categorise the tasks that are on your to do list and determine the priority in which you do those things.
The age-old to do list is a good productivity tool, but not on its own. Without a proper system behind it, a to-do list is a never ending, out-of-control reminder that you’re not ticking things off quickly enough before a whole bunch of new things just get added to it.
Prioritise those things on this list and have more control of the never-ending to-do.
Before you organise your day, it’s definitely a better use of your time to find out how best you work before setting yourself up for some sort of unworkable structure. Instead of dragging yourself out of bed at 5am if you’re going to be miserable for the rest of the day because you’re not a morning person, figure out if you’re more likely to be productive at different times of days than others.
I’m a morning person, but because Poppy wakes up early if I do, it doesn’t really work for us logistically. So I have to be a night owl and get stuff done when she’s in bed.
Lots of people say ‘start before the sun comes up’, but that also means going to bed at a reasonable hour, you can’t burn the candle at both ends (trust me I’ve tried, don’t).
It sounds so simple, but it’s been so beneficial for me to create a routine with the effect of eliminating some of the morning stress and start the day off on the best foot possible:
– I get all of Poppy’s uniform ready the evening before (I’m pretty sure all parents of school-age children do this?);
– I plan my own ‘uniform’ in my head for the next day (and
pray make sure it doesn’t need ironing!);
– I write out a list of the things I want to get done work-wise the next day;
– I also write out a list of personal to-do’s that I want to get done the next day; and
– I sort out what I’m doing for lunchtime next day (Do I have time to go out for lunch and catch-up with someone? Or will it be working lunch?)
I have actually used this system on and off since my exams and it works incredibly well and builds discipline.
If you haven’t already heard of it, the Pomodoro technique was created in the 1980s by Frances Cirillo and gets its name from the old style tomato timers (Pomodoro means ‘tomato’ in Italian) and this is the process:
The breaks are like a carrot and you feel like you’ve earned those moments of doing nothing during the day (for checking Instagram).
Let’s face it, there are so many things to be distracted by, not getting distracted should actually be rewarded with more than just a break to scroll through Instagram. Sometimes I feel like it deserves a bottle of champagne!
I worked at a large corporate where I had a colleague there who always stayed late. She was the first one in the door and the last one to leave. Everyone thought that she was super keen and really committed to her job. One evening when we both happened to be staying late, I recall her saying “just because I’m here late, doesn’t mean anything, I may I may not be very efficient or I may take longer to get my head around things…”.
This always stuck with me. Although I didn’t know exactly why she stayed (it really didn’t matter to me) her reason for staying later than the rest of us could have been for a number of reasons and not all of them were positive. She said so herself.
Don’t subscribe to presenteeism. Aim to be more productive not more busy. Forget what people around you may or may not be saying. Work smarter and not harder by having proper systems in place that help you get more done in less time by figuring out what works best for you.
There are people are there that are a hell of a lot more busy than you or I and they figure it all out somehow. Find out what you need to improve on and get on with learning how to improve it. We all need to start somewhere.
These are some of the books I’ve read and recommend reading some of these for more detail on how to be productive:
This is where I am at the moment, I was thinking of posting my daily schedule and actually listing how I fit in the blog and a work day, Poppy, making dinner, spending time with my husband and self care – if you guys would be interested in that, leave me a comment below or drop me message somewhere on socials.
Trousers – Zara, here
Jumper – Zara, sold out, on eBay here
The freedom to work from home is one of the perks of working in the 21st century. Regardless of how you’ve come to be working from home, having a home office beats working from your bed any day.
I’m in the process of designing my home office; when you move into a new home, the living spaces and bedrooms take precedence, but now the home office I need has to come next.
I want to create somewhere the inspires creativity and helps me to focus. I can’t yet decide between the lovely dark blues that are so on trend at the moment and something light and airy that will reflect light.
These images were found on Pinterest, whilst reasonable effort was made to find the owner’s it was not possible to attribute the owners for all images, despite conducting Google Searches of the images.If any of these images belong to you please email firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can properly credit you.