Monthly Pick of the Stores - January 2017

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Welcome to a new, regular feature on Camomile Contemplates:

Monthly  Pick of the Stores  

As a personal shopper I'm constantly reviewing,  editing and sourcing products for my clients.  Often I'll come across something fantastic that may not be appropriate for my client  but I  feel needs to be shared and loved......hence this post!

I am fortunate to live in London which, in my humble opinion, is one of the world's most amazing shopping destinations.  This month I scoured the West End for my selections but I'll try and do two things, conscious of the spread of my audience.  Firstly, I'll always look to put links in so you can purchase online if you wish.   All you need to do is click on the image which will open up the link in a new window.  Secondly, if it's not a London exclusive store then I'll list the other cities it's available in at the bottom of my post.  Finally, I travel a lot with my job so I'll work to cover a variety of UK and International cities, dependent on my location.

So, let's get started with January!

I'm one of those people who believes that there is no reason that January needs to be depressing, quite the opposite in fact.   The New Year for me is a wonderful chance for a fresh start.  A new look, a new workout regime, a newly organised life....the possibilities are endless.  My product selections this month centre around the New Year's Resolutions most common amongst my friends and family; (1) Getting Organised, (2) Active-ate Me (3) Invest in the Classics, (4) Self Preservation and (5) Because I'm Worth It.

Getting Organised

The Bullet Journal

As a passionate lover of organisation and a complete stationery geek, I've been watching the growing trend of the Bullet Journal for the past year or so. It was invented by a digital product designer,  Ryder Carroll from Brooklyn, New York.  The details are intricate yet easy to follow and there's lots of information on their website (http://bulletjournal.com).  In a nutshell, it's a practice of managing your life by year, month and day with total flexibility and personal customisation.   I'm loving it so far!  I decided to buy the Moleskin Dotted Notebook in Black in the XL size which I like because I'm a bit of an avid Moleskin Fan.  If you want a ready to go layout then you can buy the collaboration Bullet Journal have done with  Leuchtturm (see below).  The best thing is you don't need start any particular time so do some research and go for it!

Active-ate Me

Lululemon Activewear for Him and Her

Everyone's either doing it, thinking about it or pretending to do it......getting fit and healthy!  As a yogi, a keen runner and quite a fan of sportswear I've tried several different brands.  I like different ones for different reasons but my current favourite has to be Canadian brand, Lululemon.  Why? Firstly, their styling, fabrication and colour palettes are great plus the technical attributes perform highly (sweat wicking, waterproofing, insulation).  Secondly, they've teamed up with the University of Arts, London (where I'm an Associate Lecturer for the London College of Fashion) and Central Saint Martins to launch a print capsule designed by 6 selected students for the launch of the Regent Street flagship store - a complete triumph in my view.  Thirdly, they are all about community and present an excellent example of this in store.  The Regent Street store features a concierge, a cafe by Neat Nutrition, a workout space (they currently run a complimentary yoga class every Sunday morning) and a very cool interactive mirror giving store information and local running/cycling routes.  Finally, my clients will love the fact they offer both menswear and womenswear.  

For Women I was naturally drawn to the Central Saint Martins range.  The students' designs are printed on the signature 'Wonder Under High Rise Pant' and the 'Energy Bra'.  I loved the Twisted Tangle print by Emma Chopova and Laura Owena.   Available for a limited period online and in store.

For Men I  chose two products.  Firstly, the 'Einn Shell Jacket' in Greater Moor Check priced at £248.00.  The print was very attractive but I liked the fact this can be used to go to the gym, to wear home from the gym, to go on a run or to take part in a variety of outdoor pursuits.  It's waterproof yet has great ventilation, has minimal seams (making it very comfortable) and is easy to pack away.  Secondly, I went for the '5 Year Basic Tee' priced at £45.00.  I love a good basic and this really does do what it says on the tin.  It comes in 8 colours (black, classic green, dark grey ('heathered black'), light grey ('heathered white'), lakeside blue, teal stripe, classic white and medium grey), has great stretch yet a good recovery on shape after wear and wash and a lovely soft handle.  My clients love these for working out, chilling out and layering and most have them in several colours.

Invest in the Classics

The Trench  Coat, An  All-Year-Round Staple

Seasons are tricky things when it comes to fashion.  We are required to have at least two different wardrobes, if not four, to cover our year.  Therefore, it's to complete delight when we find the odd piece that we can use almost all year round.  One of these hero products is the trench coat.  It's one of those great pieces that is timeless and can be styled in so many ways that it justifies investment. 

My personal trench of choice is from British brand,  Burberry.  For Women, my selection is the 'Kensington Mid Cotton-Gaberdine Trench' in honey priced at £1295.  It's slightly tapered to the waist giving it a subtle femininity.  For Men, I chose the 'Sandringham Long Heritage Trench' in black priced at £1395.   It's also tailored to the  body so gives a sharp silhouette whilst being suitable to be worn as an overcoat.  If you purchase directly from Burberry you can elect to have your coat monogrammed with your initials for £100.

Self Preservation

Moisture, Nourish and Protect

Photo by egorr/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by egorr/iStock / Getty Images

The weather in the winter months can have a bit of a devastating effect on our skin.  Add to that the effects of the previous month's festivities and artificial heating and we're in a bit of a sorry state.  Many of us therefore are on the hunt for all things moisturising to combat our dry, dull and thirsty complexions.   I'm a little bit of a beauty-holic so I've done the leg work and am recommending four great products for those thirsty souls.

For your Face

My first product is the 'Lait-Creme Concentre' by  Embryolisse Laboratories.  This marvellous multi-action facial moisturiser is a beauty addict's secret and I've enjoyed many years scouring French pharmacies for it  before it landed in the UK.  Not only does it restore your skin but it adds a layer of protection against the environment, ensuring it protects all the goodness it's done.  An essential for all skin types and ages.  Use it as a primer on top of your own moisturiser as an extra layer of protection before applying foundation.  Available from Cult Beauty for £20.00.

For your Lips

My second product gets eyebrows raising thanks to it's cheeky name...'Original  Nipple Balm for Lips' by Dr. Lipp.  I first bought this from Space NK over 5 years ago and find myself returning for it every winter.   According to Space NK's website "Dr.Lipp’s original nipple balm for lips is a medically proven formula historically used by nursing mothers to soothe their sensitive nipples. Loved by London’s make-up artists Dr.Lipp is pharmaceutically acknowledged as one of nature’s most effective & natural skin moisturisers which helps heal even the driest & sensitive skin."  What I personally love about this product is it gives nice glossy finish and sits perfectly happily on top of a  lip stain if you need a little colour.  Get it.  Love it. Repeat.  Available from Space NK for £12.00.

For Your Hair

My third product is Davines Oi shampoo.  I was introduced to this by my hairdresser at Taylor Taylor Portobello Road two years ago and have never used anything else since.  It's an absolute miracle that someone with blonde hair that has been (too much) of a fan of bleach for over 20 years could have shiny hair.  Davines gives my hair a big kiss and a soft cuddle with every wash.  The conditioner from the same range is equally divine.  It's so good infact that my boyfriend has been known to 'borrow' some!  Available from Cult Beauty for £16.00.

For Your Body

My final recommendation comes with the authority of being 'recommended by dermatologists' which always feels good.  Eucerin was founded in 1950 and initially distributed exclusively by pharmacies as the holding company felt they were best placed to provide the right level of professional advice to customers.  My body lotion of choice is the Dry Skin Intensive Lotion 10% w/w Cutaneous Emulsion Urea.  It's a super thick yet fast absorbing moisturiser designed to replace the Urea levels, absent in  dry skin.  What I like especially about it is that it leaves a lovely silky sheen on the skin - a genuine healthy glow.  Available from Boots for £13.50.

Because I'm Worth It

I don't need but I want...

One lasting piece of advice I always give to my personal shopping clients is that fashion is fun!  Whilst I encourage investment in wardrobe classics and pieces that you'll wear regularly, there has to be space for some genuine luxuries that make you smile.   For me, it's the Liberty of London nightwear range in their signature prints.  I was lucky enough to receive a beautiful full length nightgown from my mum this year for  Christmas.  I feel exquisite in it.  The fabric is a beautiful quality of cotton, the cut is perfect and the pockets and waist ties are all in the right place.

The signature nightwear range includes not only long robes but short versions, kimonos (women only), long pyjama sets, pyjama short sets (women only), cami sets (women only), chemise (women only), eye masks and boxers (men only).  Selected prints are available in silk satin or the signature tanna lawn cotton.

For women, I've chosen the 'Silk Christelle Long Robe' with the matching Chemise and Eye Mask.  For men, I've selected the 'Strawberry Thief Cotton Long Robe' with the matching Boxers.  All  items come in beautiful gift boxes so you  can treat yourself or someone you love!

I hope you've enjoyed my pick of the stores.  If you  have any comments, please email me on kirsty@camomileconcepts.com. 

Thank you for reading and have lovely weekends!

Kirsty x