Sunday, 16 August 2015

Staying fit and fab with Urban Energie

In cities like London, there’s temptation on every corner.

I sign up to newsletters that tell me about new bar and restaurant openings and when I miss something, friends are the first to let me know about the latest ‘bottomless brunch’ with its lengthy menu and as much prosecco as one can quaff in a two-hour timeslot. And these are just the treats I pay for – sometimes, I’m lucky to be invited to go and review restaurants. Part of my day job in advertising revolves around being social, which often includes lunches and dinners. I’ve never been very good at refusing canap├ęs, even when I was serving them for At Your Service (it’s a wonder the guests had anything to eat with me around!).

Then there’s the woman at work whose baked goods rival those of any Bake Off contestant I’ve seen so far. Anytime any of my colleagues travel anywhere, exotic treats return and appear on the breakfast bar, to be walked past and lusted after with every loo trip (which is many, if you’re drinking nearly enough water). I’m certainly not complaining, I love trying new things and being fortunate enough to eat lots of yummy food, but what’s a girl to do when faced with all this temptation and ever-tighter jeans? Buying the next size up is a slippery game that only ever ends one way. I want to do something about it before it becomes unhealthy.

So, keen to readdress the balance, and sit comfortably at my desk without popping my straining top button, I got in touch with Jack Braniff, sports nutritionist (CISSN) and PT. Jack runs a company called Urban Energie and is devoted to helping his followers ‘get lean.’ I used to take Jack’s gym classes and also signed up to his emails on a friend’s recommendation. The advice he offers is practical (read: you can still get tipsy at the weekend) and is designed to be easy and relatively simple to introduce to your life. Email him to sign up for his updates.

Jack describes himself as a Jack of all sports, which I would definitely agree with. He’s one of those all-rounder types who, along with offering exercise and nutrition advice to his loyal followers, has also done yoga in India and trained under the guidance of an Olympic weightlifter. He’s getting into mountain climbing now and is planning to climb Mount Blanc this month. Casual.

Just this morning, I started Jack’s Lean Body Coaching course, a systematic seven-step plan to get Jack’s help and expertise and join a supportive group. The course includes videos from Jack – they’re a great way to get an overview of what each section entails. There are all sorts of great additional PDFs on here, one of which is Jack’s ‘Get Lean Cookbook’ – a great start for your new healthy diet.

I joined the private Facebook group yesterday and can already see the benefits of somewhere to talk about the programme with other ‘Leaners.’ I think this could actually be really good fun.

It’s only day one for me, but I’m feeling really positive and am looking forward to seeing some results over the following month. The jeans are feeling looser already…

If you’d like to learn more about the Lean Body Coaching Course, you can do so here. Follow Jack on Instagram for healthy food and exercise updates and to attempt to keep up with him.

This is Jack! 

Friday, 14 August 2015

A new regime with Vichy

I do love product launches. I love seeing all the shiny new bottles on display. I love the prospect of trying something new. I love finding out all the science and nature facts that make each cream, gel, lotion or powder the new ‘best thing.’ I especially love it when these products come from a brand I already trust, like Vichy. I’ve been using their products for a while now and honestly, my skin has never looked better.

Last week, at the Rook and Raven gallery in Soho, I attended a showcase of the latest Vichy products. Some bottles were futuristically displayed in tall vases of bubbly water. Some stood proudly atop their pillars and others were surrounded by stunning fresh flowers. The whole effect was quite breathtaking –nicer than some of the art I’ve seen in that gallery before!

Some of the Vichy product ranges have become quite familiar to me now, and I was excited to find out if there was anything new to try from the Dermablend range. I wrote about it back in April last year and have been especially please with the results I’m getting from the concealer and powder. The Dermablend counter was manned by famous make-up artist Claire Ray. With 18 years of experience belying her youthful appearance, Claire has painted the faces of Take That, Westlife and Sienna Miller and she’s Vichy’s brand ambassador for this year and next. Claire was really lovely to talk to and I fully trusted her when she colour-matched me to shade 15 for a Dermablend foundation. I can’t wait to try this, it should be arriving soon. I’ll keep you posted.

Since the event, I’ve been using Skin Sleep from the Idealia range at bedtime and the matching Smoothing and Illuminating cream after my double cleanse and serum in the morning. My skin feels lovely and soft. Twice a week, I smother a bit more on and leave Skin Sleep on as a mask at night.  The ‘double cleanse’ phase of my skincare regime is new – advice I received at the Vichy event. Now, I use a cream cleanser to remove my make-up and city pollution before removing my eye-makeup with my favourite oily Boots Botanics formula. Then, I wash my face again with Vichy Purete Thermale FreshCleansing Gel and pat dry. I just love that fresh face feeling.  

I’m going to put together a product review of my favourite new Vichy products soon, so you can treat yourself to something new and shake up your skincare regime too – I’m a firm believer in mixing things up to get the best results.

Products! Products!

I get colour matched by Claire Ray

Becky gets colour matched

The foundation I'm going to try

The amazing Vichy pharmacy in the Rook and Raven

Amazing products!

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Rose-tinted Glasses

Coming up Roses

I know I’m a bit late to the rose gold party, but I just had to share some recent gifts/purchases/things on my wishlist!

My best friend Sarah gave me this beautiful Monica Vinader bracelet for my 30th bracelet, it’s engraved inside. Monica Vinader often offer free engraving which adds a lovely, personal touch to your gifts. I adore this bracelet and rarely take it off. 

I love these flip flops! The second I slid them on my feet I knew it was love. Aren’t they a pretty colour? My boyfriend has a pair (black, not rose gold) and he’s had them for 10 YEARS. Very promising because I want to wear these forever.

The one I own is actually gold and tortoiseshell but I quite fancy adding a rose gold one to my collection.

I love the simplicity of this Calvin Klein necklace, available at Ernest Jones. I think it would look great with a strapless dress and tanned shoulders.