Ooh La La I Love France.

Dordogne-France

I do. It is my favourite place in Europe, maybe even my most favourite place in the whole wide world. I love the language, I love the food, I love the wine……it’s just all so very romantic.

Some years ago I discovered the most beautiful chateau I had ever laid eyes on whilst browsing on-line, Chateau Les Merles in the Dordogne area. I had always concluded that it would be cost prohibitive and although I sent off for the details never really considered that slightly out of season might be considerably cheaper.

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Fast forward to March this year and we finally caved and booked the holiday destination of my dreams for the second week of June. (Notice how I said my and not “our”?, that husband of mine is a generous so and so.)

And then the fear set in, you know the kind when your expectations are raised so high you are almost guaranteed to be destined for a huge fall? THAT. Not to mention the fact that it had been so long since I had been on a proper “actually going to have time off and not get involved in RMW whilst I’m away” break that I am embarrassed to say I kind of got a bit stuck in terms of what to pack.

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The weather was predicted as changeable, some sunny days some not so much, bit of rain, a couple of scorchers, days when you might actually need some kind of knitwear. Jeez, how do you outfit plan for that without taking your entire wardrobe?!

I didn’t fair so well if I’m honest, quite a few items remained un-packed and others got worn so frequently I wish I had taken similar pieces so as not to feel I was wearing basically two looks in rotation (I was.)

And I don’t know about you but I often go away with the intention of putting together alternative hair and make-up styles only to discover that actually, I would rather spend any available time with my head in a book and my toes in the sand rather than trying to shade my socket line or elaborately plait my barnet.

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I shouldn’t have worried on the location front, Chateau Les Merles was (is) the most breathtaking place I have ever seen in real life. When we arrived in the main courtyard I was so overwhelmed I promptly dropped my handbag on the floor and went all a bit teary and delirious.

I hope the other guests realised this was a reaction to awesomeness, not disappointment/one too many glasses of Pinot Grigio on the plane.

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On the fashion front I have only the following advice from my recent experience:

Blue skinny jeans. Take some, they look quite glam with high heels and a simple vest top. Never underestimate how chilly it can get at night either, my pale pins do not look all that attractive with goose bumps. I wear Baxter for a more casual look and Leigh for the super skinny and super softness, both at Topshop.

A fancy little jacket/cardi, as per above, keeps out the chill and dresses up your look in seconds. I bought a lovely little lace number from The Kooples before I went away – it’s my husbands favourite.

Cute Loose T-shirts. Ace if it’s humid as they are (obviously) not clingy. I like designer Zoe Karssen as her slogans make me laugh, plus they are a great length for tying in a knot at the back at the base of your spine whilst still not exposing your midriff. Unless you want to of course.

At the moment they have some great Zoe Karssen bargains at The Outnet.

Brightly Coloured Bangles. I’ve worn mine to death this summer already, I like clashing colours such as mint green, orange, bright pink and red all worn together at the same time. I also like plastic ones, preferably cheap. I bought mine at New Look.

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Now then, make-up and skincare, I feel much more adept in this area (officially a fully fledged cosmetics junkie/product whore etc). Firstly and foremost folks PROTECT YOUR SKIN FROM THE SUN. Not only am I fair-skinned I was also diagnosed with a rather serious “wake up and stop using sun beds” melanoma on my right calf at the grand old age of 25. That’ll teach me.

As a result I don’t really sunbathe. That’s not to say I don’t spend anytime in the sun – of course I do, everyone needs vitamin D. What I do make sure is that I use plenty of protection, seek shade often and wear a big hat (I don’t want premature wrinkles either thanks.)

I am of course well aware that everyone looks healthier with some colour, especially whilst donning a bikini. I slather on Dove’s summer glow nourishing lotion for a few days before departure and that seems to do the trick (I’ve tried nearly all of the daily tanners and this one, at least for my skin, has been the best.)

I also would recommend a really brightly coloured bikini, perhaps this is a really obvious suggestion to some – I hadn’t tried it before though. I bought an almost neon peach ensemble from H&M for about a tenner and it definitely enhanced the little colour I did have. This was also my husbands favourite, which is typical considering all my other swimwear is way fancier.

Oh and purple shampoo, I use this anyway – I like my hair to be ash rather than golden. Whilst in the sun I use it every time I shower (it says on the bottle it’s a weekly treatment but I don’t mind a few lilac highlights.)

All of my other essentials are listed below, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts/recommendations in the comments box if you have a minute lovelies.

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1. Bare Minerals Concealer at John Lewis – Let me start by saying I don’t actually rate Bare Minerals usually in terms of their various powders actually on my skin as foundation. Sorry BM lovers, I’ve just never really faired that well from a durability perspective, a few hours in and my mug looks like a very shiny dinner plate. This little gem however is epic as an eyelid primer/general redness remover AND it has spf 20.

I dab it on with a concealer brush right up to my brows and in the very inner corners too. I use the shade “Well-Rested” which is fortuitous as that’s exactly how it makes you look.

2.Hawiian Tropic Sun Screen Spray at Boots – I have tried so many sun creams. Expensive luxe ones, especially-for-sensitive-skinned-souls ones, ones that have sexy shimmering particles in them that make you look all lithe and stuff……and not a single one has been that great. I usually have some kind of adverse reaction or find they are just too thick/slimy/leave permanent oily marks on your bikini.

Hawaiian Tropic will leave you scented much like a cross between a synthetic pineapple and a bounty bar. This is not all bad, I personally quite like the fragrance. And the consistency is reasonably light, but at the same time really quite moisturising. It doesn’t bring me out in strange bumps and thus far my swimwear has remained grease streak free.

It is also cheap.

Bonus.

3. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector at Space NK – I actually don’t really wear foundation, and never on holiday. For evenings I just like a bit of illumination and finely-milled powder on my T-zone. This skin perfecter is lovely, I dab it on the bridge of my nose, my cheekbones and across the top of my forehead (where you would naturally catch the sun.). I use the shade Moonstone which has a slightly golden tint and works well on my banana-hued skin.

It also has Spf 25 which is handy if you fancy a bit of day-time glamourama.

4. Lancome Long Lasting Softening Concealer at John Lewis – An oldie but a goody. This stuff is waterproof, has spf 12 and doesn’t emphasise fine lines. I dab it on with my finger but you could use a brush should you fancy it, very pigmented so a little goes a long way – a tube lasts AGES.

5. Me Me Me Dew Pot at Superdrug – Oooh this stuff is ace. And about a fiver for a seemingly bottomless pot. I daub it across my eyelid in a rather haphazard fashion and it never fails to look polished. Not entirely budge proof admittedly but set it with a wee bit of powder shadow (MAC rice paper is my daily go-to) and it won’t move an inch.

I have the shade “Hollow Haze”, a pretty champagne gold.

6. Vaseline Spray and Go Body Moisturiser at Boots – I discovered this only recently and I LOVE it. I don’t know about you but after a long shower where I have removed sand/sun lotion/a days worth of sweat the last thing I want to do is load yet more product on. But I have to – because my epidermis is annoyingly dry.

I am partial to a bit of Coconut body butter a la the Body Shop but this spray is so quick and easy and sinks in before you can say the word espadrille.

There are a couple of different varieties available, I have the yellow bottle with extract of oat. I know oats are supposed to be very soothing and all, I just like this particular version as it smells clean and fresh. Which is most pleasant. Especially if you have spent most of the day with an aroma of fake fruit/the taste of paradise/general club tropicana.

7.MAC lipstick in Flamingo at Selfridges – Ok so I feel a bit mean recommending this (frankly awesome) colour as it’s limited edition and sold out after like 24 hours or something. You can get it off ebay though (provided you are willing to pay a premium) and it will brighten up your face better than sunshine. Kind of a nude mixed with coral mixed with a bit of neon. Random but undoubtedly immense.

8. Becca Beach Tint at Space NK – This cheek and lip stain lasts a long time even in humid conditions. It looks uber natural and when you might be looking a bit tourist-peeky by the pool a dab on the apples of aforementioned cheeks will make you look all awake and healthy. Promise.

I have the shade Lychee which is a bright blue pink, again suits my yellow undertones perfectly but there are plenty of other rosy and peachy varieties to choose from too.

9. Bare Minerals Natural Suncreen Spf 30 at John Lewis – Ok so now I look like a prize idiot. After my previous “I don’t really rate Bare Mineral……” outburst this, along with the concealer is freakin’ genius. You basically brush the imperceptible powder over your entire face then do a bit of buffing action…and that’s it. Doesn’t make you look all flat and matt, kind of gives you a nice glowy effect whilst eradicating any obvious resemblance you may have to a chip pan.

And there we have it you gorgeous lot you, everything I can possibly share from my French adventures.

As I’m a nosey mare (and frankly, any excuse to buy new things) as I mentioned above, I would really appreciate it if you could share your holiday essentials with me in the comments section below.

Feel free to ask any questions/tell me what I should be packing for my September America road trip (this means a smaller than usual suitcase right…am I allowed to take my hair dryer?!!)

Big Ooh La La Love

Charlotte xxx

Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.

52 thoughts on “Ooh La La I Love France.

  1. Oh Charlotte. What a lovely distraction to my ‘wedding design brochure making madness’. I am now going to spend the afternoon googling France like a mad woman for mine and Daniels up and coming holiday.

    I am awful at picking what to wear when on holiday and then get really angry at myself when I’m away for, like you, rotating the same outfits that I just end up loving.

    I’m also really fair and like you have tried so many of the gradual tan moisturisers. Dove has always been the best for me and meant I don’t end up looking like an orange.

    Lovely post and I am in LOVE with the pink bicycle.

    xxx

  2. Oh Charlotte – you’ve just brought my memories of Nice flooding back. I wish we were back in France. I think you should employ me as some sort of roving reporter of European weddings and fashion. I’d be dead good!

    So yes, we were honeymooning down the road from you on the Cote d’Azur and it was just stunning. Excellent fashion choices, especially en Francais when you want to look stylish and non-touristy at all times. It was absolutely scorchio so found that really light and simple summer dresses were the way forward with some good accessorising. H&M as always is so good for summer clothes! Hair was a nightmare to keep frizz-free so I had an Aveda sun protection spray which took care of my peroxided parched barnet.

    Essential make up kit item became my Benefit ‘Stay Dont Stray’. Not sure about anyone else, but I’d spend time applying eyeliner and shadow only to get that horrible creased line thing where your sweaty lids have destroyed all the hard work. Stay Dont Stray kept it all as it should be!

    Oh and GIRL… you are HOT!!!!!!!!!! xxxxx

  3. Oh Charlotte – you’ve just brought my memories of Nice flooding back. I wish we were back in France. I think you should employ me as some sort of roving reporter of European weddings and fashion. I’d be dead good!

    So yes, we were honeymooning down the road from you on the Cote d’Azur and it was just stunning. Excellent fashion choices, especially en Francais when you want to look stylish and non-touristy at all times. It was absolutely scorchio so found that really light and simple summer dresses were the way forward with some good accessorising. H&M as always is so good for summer clothes! Hair was a nightmare to keep frizz-free so I had an Aveda sun protection spray which took care of my peroxided parched barnet.

    Essential make up kit item became my Benefit ‘Stay Dont Stray’. Not sure about anyone else, but I’d spend time applying eyeliner and shadow only to get that horrible creased line thing where your sweaty lids have destroyed all the hard work. Stay Dont Stray kept it all as it should be!

    Oh and GIRL… you are HOT!!!!!!!!!! xxxxx

  4. Oh how I love the beauty fash posts!!!
    And side note you are seriously rocking the bikini abs and arms lady!! I am hoping my fifteen times a week Jillian Michaels efforts will get me 10% of that toned!!

    So I am really pleased about the sun lotion recommendation as I really struggle to get one that isn’t uber shiny or smelly or like white face paint…I favour the high factor also.

    I am beyond devastated that the lipstick has run out but I do have a bright pinky one I got from collection 2000 called pink tart and if you tone it down a touch for daytime bit looks pretty fab.
    I also have been dabbling with some MAC bronzers which is new for me as I have always been a bit afraid, I have got the matt bronze for more contouring purposes and then a shimmer bronze for a touch of shimmer on the cheekbones/collar bone any bones I have that stick out….not many!

    I am loving YSL touch éclat foundation however in this heat have taken to wearing one of these BB creams instead of foundation which is a cheapy seventeen one but is super smooth and gives a nice dewy finish whilst toning my red cheeks down a touch.

    I am tempted to try out some of those BM products now you mention them but am put off by the fact they are powders and my skin can get sooo dry and caky on my face with anything powdery…however I may try it!

    And I also love for nails the duck egg blue nails inc colour I had put on for my hols but can’t remember the name for the life of me…and I am also coveting Chanels Distraction polish which is very summery and nice, and their shimmery illusion d’ombre eyes in Emerveille gives a bit of sparkle for daytime shimmer…

    Wow I cannot wait to read all the comments these are my fave posts ever!!!! And having had to have a poorly tooth removed today much to my dismay I need all the excitement I can get!

    xx

  5. …just off to purchase all of the above ready for my first post baby holiday in november. Must be sure not to forget the smoaking hot body…

  6. Epic Post Mrs. O’Shea 🙂 I feel about Mallorca/Spain as you do about France – especially the wine!

    My recommendations:
    * Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, it removes and gentley exfoliates all of the suncream/sweat/sand off of your face
    * Nails Inc Nail polishes in Carnaby Street (Yellow) or Warwick Way (Teal) or Portobello (Neon Orange) all guaranteed to make your hands/feet look that little bit more tanned!
    * Clinque High Impact Mascara – light to use, give maximum length and volume and is really easy to remove!

    I’m very gutted about that MAC lippie as I saw the image and thought ooo that looks nice 🙁

  7. Hello sexy ladies!!!!! you do realise I am a complete selfish sod and write these posts mainly so I can get muchos information on what to buy for my next holiday via your comments? 😉

    @Sophie – Dove rocks, and it don’t smell too biscuit-like either I find. You MUST check out the Dordogne area my love, it is so darn beautiful. If you don’t want to stay at Chateau Les Merles (but are in the area) they have a beautiful restaurant you can eat at, menu was amazing.

    I’m sure your wedding brochure will be ace!

    @Karen – If a roving reporter job comes up you will be first in the queue my love! And what is this stay don’t stray? like a setting lotion? Can you use it on your brows? Not only do my eyebrows bleach in the sun they also go a bit nuts – my beautician (and friend) “Perfect Kelly” (names so as she is indeed PERFECT) calls it my “mohican brow”, honestly they do the strangest things in the heat!!!!

    Summer dresses – have you tried Boohoo?! I am like 5 years behind with this on-line store but bloody hell, their maxi dresses are fab. And they have like 15% off at the moment which makes them about £8.50 each?!!!

    @Alex Mrs M – Who is Jillian Micheal?! Do I need to know about this person?! thanks though sweet – I have been working very hard at my pilates. Am a bit scared of my instructor – I feel the need to be a good student!

    I also have pink tart!!! And another one you need to try (I introduced it to both my friend Perfect kelly mentioned above and my friend Lisa who now both wear it ALL THE TIME) is Kitten Pink by Gosh. It’s cheap and a suits all pink/coral shade.

    I love duck egg blue on nails – and mint green, I currently have barbie pink but am coveting a cooler/more pastel hue!

    Charlotte xxx

  8. @Charlotte I am now going to spend all afternoon looking up Dordogne and it’s surrounding areas. I went to Nice last year and have been dying to get back to France. There shouldn’t be any arguments from Daniel, as he is obsessed with cheese and bread 😉

  9. Charlotte – your holiday looks amazing. Such a gorgeous place!

    I can second the Vaseline ‘spray & go’ moisturiser – I’ve got the cocoa butter one. It smells like a dream!

    I must know however, is the sizing for Zoe Karssen standard would you say? I have my eye on this beauty: https://www.donnaida.com/tops/t-shirts/zoe-karssen-new-york-girls-tee-27489.html but really unsure of what size to buy!

    Lastly, my can’t-live-without-on-holiday product has got to be Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Brick in beach…such a fitting name too!

    xoxo

  10. @Hels Bels – *waves* – Loving the nail recommendations! have always toyed with the idea of trying a neon orange, I have recently bought a neon bag so obviously they would match, yay!

    So sorry about Flamingo 🙁 but I can recommend as per my response to Alex above GOSH lipstick in Kitten Pink, not quite the same but has a similar “brightening” effect on your face.

    Charlotte xxx

  11. Charlotte I think your mean – 1. due to wedding saving we can’t afford a holiday (thank the lord for this heatwave) and you tell us that you are having two amazing hols this year!!! 2. tempting me with all these products before payday!!lol!
    I share your sentiments and feel exactly the same about Italy, hence why we’re getting married there 🙂
    Love all your recommendations and have made several notes of the things I think (seriously since I’ve started reading this blog, almost a year ago now, I’ve filled two work note books full of little notes and references – I hope my boss doesn’t lift them for a flick through)

    I really recommend eyelash extensions for holidays, they are expensive at £40 but for me they are amazing. I always feel naked without mascara on and so with these I feel more confident during the day around the pool or out and about, plus in the evening with a bit of eyeliner you are good to go without worrying about smudging or streaking!
    Also love Dove everyday moisturiser, by far the best and it gives a really natural bronzed look! Particularly good if you are freckly, my mum wears it year round and people always comment on what a good colour she has!
    For a deeper colour I’ve used an Ambre Solaire gel tan that I found in medicare for £1.99 and it is amazing and wears off wonderfully!
    Also had a gelish french polish done for my brother’s wedding and I’m not used to having nice nails so they are literally distracting me at my computer and in almost two weeks I only have 2 minor chips!!
    Oh I’ll be reading all the comments all afternoon now xo

  12. @Alex Mrs M @Charlotte – 30 Day Shred!!! It KILLED me. Good on you girl, I used the excuse of ‘my knees are old’ not to carry on with the torture.

    @Charlotte – Boohoo is fab indeed! However I cannot wear maxi-dresses for fear of looking preggo. TK Maxx came up with the goods for me too this summer. Gotta love the gold label. NO IDEA what your brows are up to!!! but Stay Dont Stray is a primer, just gives the lids a really good base summer make up. I got a little kit with tiny versions of all the summer essentials, it was perfect.

    @Becky – where you off lady? your body is and always has been smokin so no worries there. Baby or no baby! xxx

  13. @Katie – Oh no, now I want that T-shirt too…..I would say they come up big. I am a UK 6 so take the XS but it’s very generous. I don’t mind a baggy fit but do tie it in a knot at the back for a more “dressy” look. I must confess I didn’t whiff the cocoa butter one, I’ll have to try that next time! and my sister LOVES her shimmer brick too 🙂

    @Helen McG – Believe me, these holidays have been a LONG time coming, we’ve still not had a proper honeymoon and have only taken small breaks in the last 4 years or so….poor me eh? 🙂

    I LOVE Italy too. What a beautiful destination for a wedding my love. I have always fancied trying eye lash extensions – I do have them dyed blue/black before holidays so I don’t look completely weird without make-up on but it would be nice not to have to wear mascara at all. And gel – I bloody LOVE gel, I have a manicure often and usually go for pink or coral shades in the summer and grey/brown mink in the winter.

    Charlotte xxx

  14. Now then, in previous summers, in fact every single one that has gone by since I was 11, I have never dared to bare my legs. Seriously. I love a dress come winter (thank the lord for black opaques) but I spend the run up to summer in the search for the perfect lightweight trouser that isn’t those linen numbers that they sell hundreds and thousands of each year in M&S – my mum is a very stylish lady but I am not 30 yet and don’t need to be dressing like her just yet…previously, Zara and RIver Island have had a pretty penny out of me in the lightweight trouser department but this summer….as it was the first holiday with older man…..I was determined to get the pins out….

    After much searching, the perfect short was found – they’re Monsoon silky numbers, are very floaty and come in black and khaki silk. THink they are called Kiera and come in at around £29 each….I bought three pairs as they fall at just the right point on the thigh and teamed with Kurt Geigers plastic, nude studded sandals. I was quite happy to stand and be photographed in them on the designer shop street in Capri and after studying photos from every angle possible I maybe don’t after all have the dreaded Coleen legs….only maybe….

    Have also thoroughly enjoyed the plain ‘Rihanna’ long line vests this summer from RIver Island. They come in loads of colours – white, cream, a dark grey, a grey marl, black etc. and are lovely and soft without being made from that clingy fabric that sucks itself to the back of your bra strap….However, their main selling point is that they are truly a long-line vest meaning that you can safely wear them with leggings without being concerned about revealing too much ‘shape’ if you get what I mean!!!!!

    Now, after just moaning about M&S love of a linen trouser I do have to say that their LImited COllection range is often a bit of a style secret…although do take that with a pinch of salt as it’s either bang on form or terrible. However, this year my most commented upon holiday top came from there…although i did add a big black chunky necklace and studded belt….Basically when i popped the holiday photos up on Facebook it went down a storm….I think alot of the LImited COllection stuff can look a bit like someones aunty trying to be cool but if you accessorise it right….Anyway, this was the top and it’s now in the sale:

    https://www.marksandspencer.com/Limited-Collection-Floral-Peplum-Top/dp/B0031AOM1E?ie=UTF8&ref=sr_1_77&nodeId=342626031&sr=1-77&qid=1374674238

    FInally as i sense i am getting boring, for any northern lovelies – Claudia Pink jewellery in Liverpool…..Gaga’s stylist has just been in and basically bought the shop out (or so they say) but her jewellery is all one offs and pretty darn fabulous! She does bejewelled panther necklaces and whilst it’s still a bit 1990s I do love my ‘ban the bomb’ sign….and seeing as Millie Mackintosh has just worn one I am thinking it is acceptable again.

    Oh and just as a last word of warning….for those lovelies who want lovely white courts ala Claudia Winkleman but was refusing to buy the £160 Kurt Geigers…the RIver Island version at £50 seem very attractive. They are not. They hurt like hell. Steer well clear!

    xxxxx

  15. Oooooooo nothing quite like a bit of fashion/beauty distraction while at work! (Shhhhhhhh!)

    We’re off on our ‘proper’ honeymoon in just under 6 weeks (not that I’m counting or anything!!! 😉 ) and I NEED a beautiful new wardrobe for the trip, obvs! Well….this will be my first holiday in the sun as Mrs M!!!! I need to remind the Mr why he married me & all that!
    We’re off to gorgeous Morocco – 4 nights in Marrakech & 6 nights in the coastal resort Agadir………..I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!
    Seriously, I am deliriously excited! And just think of all the amazing shopping I can do in Marrakech!!! (Yup, Dave is slightly terrified of this bit!!! haha)

    Anyhoo………being a conscientious traveller I am well aware that the country has slightly different views and I am planning on making sure the way I dress in no way offends any of the lovely Moroccan people!
    So currently I am obsessing over maxi dresses! And maxi skirts, I have the most gorgeous pastel patterned, pleated beauty from none other than….Primark!
    I am also desperate to find myself the perfect kaftan to go over my bikini (which I am yet to get!!!) for the perfect ‘just hanging by the pool’ look – so any suggestions for this would be extremely welcome!!

    As for make-up: I am definitely in the no make-up during the day camp. I can’t think of anything worse than feeling hot & sweaty on the face from too many products. Plus the constant re-applying I would need to do! Urgh……so not worth it!
    But for evenings I will probably be taking my Clinique CC cream. I have started to use this more than my normal Clinique foundation as it is slightly lighter (although not as light as tinted moisturiser!) and still helps cover the constant redness I get!
    Am loving the look of that Dew Pot, so may HAVE to get myself one of them!

    Also, having bought a load of Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Skin sun protection I discovered that I CANNOT use this on my face! One spray & I wanted to rip my face off! Handily I still had some Simple facial sun protection which my face is much happier about. So will be stocking up on some more of this. It is a high factor (think it’s SPF 50) BUT when you’re as pale as me there is nothing you won’t do to stop yourself ending up rocking lobster chic!!!!

    Fab post, lovely. And some fab pictures! Although they are making me want to go on holiday RIGHT THIS SECOND!!!
    Oh and can I just say…..Mrs O’Shea – looking F.I.T! 😀
    xxx

  16. @karen you little charmer you. I was dead happy with the old bod before I went and got preggo but now I appear to be a totally different shape altogether…which is slightly mortifying me. So, I need to go on the hunt for some new and lush/flattering bikinis and I shall report back on my finds 🙂

    Also im allowed back to the gym anytime now and I shall be working hard to get ‘The O’Shea’…she’s torally the new Miss McPherson isnt she?

  17. @Charlotte – I forgive you then, you definitely deserve the holidays, I’m just jealous and incredibly bored in work lol! Can’t wait to hear all about your American adventures later too!!

    Yea I’m definitely a convert to the gelish manicure, one day when I’m rich I’ll have the most perfectly manicured nails at all times! It’s amazing just how much more I’m pointing and talking with my hands with these french manicured beauties!
    Quick question – do you use the bare minerals under your eyes as well?
    xo

  18. @Pamela – I think I need this trouser?! I have had my J Brand “flight pants” for about 3 years (in grey and khaki) but they are kind of on their last legs. Plus they are the wrong side of too casual – i.e. they are too casual, even with heels.

    I am very partial to a long-line vest and have not investigated this “Rhianna” style, I bought about 4 white ribbed ones from COS though, I wear them with EVERYTHING. But they do only come in limited colours, I very much fancy a coral, do RI do a coral?

    And the shoes!!!! How funny, have almost press “purchase” on the RI white stilettos a number of times, worried with my hair I might look a bit um….cheap. But now I guess I can’t have them because of the pain factor? Mr O’Shea will be pleased!

    Charlotte xxx

  19. @Pamela – howling at your full on fashion essay.

    Firstly, AS IF you have inadvertently put me in the same age bracket as yer ma!!!

    Secondly, Claudia Pink is a cracking shout. Love her stuff (some of it)

    Thirdly, you know that dark denim dungaree affair you had on a few weeks ago? LOVE THEM. But I can’t ever legitimately wear them as I’m 35 and my usual mantra of ‘if Kate Moss can do it then so can I’ is quickly wearing thin.

    @Becca – I love Morocco!! Marrakech is fabulous and Agadir HILARIOUS. I went there with my mate Debs and had to hook up with a couple of French boys for protection (long story), the men are crazy! Dont go to any nightclubs. Seriously. I’ll share that story with you elsewhere. So jealous it is proper scorching over there! xx

  20. @Charlotte – God you’re FIT O’Shea!

    I had an epic task packing for the honeymoon. Didn’t cross my mind when booking a multi destination holiday! More on that later though. Work is getting in the way right now 🙁

  21. @Rebecca – Bless you, I bet you don’t look like a lobster! Just wear a cowboy hat pet – it keeps the sweat and the sun off your face. Glad the simple lotion is working, I tend to find the more “sensitive” they claim to be the worse the reaction I have (!) but without banging on – the Bare Minerals stuff REALLY does work wonders. Maybe go in and get them to try some on your face? wear it for a few hours to see if it reacts.

    Dew pots are a MUST 🙂 just a few seconds to apply. And on the no-makeup thing, I have my lashes dyed as mentioned in a comment above, makes a lot of difference.

    And did you see my comment about Boohoo.com?! SO many maxi dresses, so cheap…so little time to buy them ALL!!!!!

    Charlotte xxx

  22. @Becky – You have the best body of any pregnant woman I have ever seen. FACT. Lolly and I were like…..um, how does she do that?!

    @HelenMCG – Not really pet no, but you can – it is designed for that. I tend to wear the lancome only but then my skin is uber dry, I might try the BM to set it though.

    @Karen – I also use the “If Kate Moss can do it at her age……..” mantra 🙂

    @LynseyB – Did you buy the All Saints dress?!!!!!

    Charlotte xxx

  23. @Karen – eeek! Will steer clear! And yes, have heard the men can be a little crazy!
    Am just glad we didn’t go straight after the wedding as I don’t think I would’ve coped with the weather then. Although I do know it’s gonna be pretty darn scorchio in early September!

    @Charlotte – I will indeedy be taking come hats! Have a gorgeous navy & white large floppy hat and my Glasto straw trilby (bought at the Glasto mini-moon this year after burning my head!! D’oh!!)
    I get the whole sensitive thing – it is like a flipping lottery with it all – I used to only ever use Simple skin care on my face and then one day….nope my face hated it! But luckily the suncare stuff is OK! And I am sure I used to use the Garnier Sensitive stuff on my face all the time when I was younger!!! Ridiculous!
    Maybe I’ll pop into BM and try that stuff out (although when I used their foundation powder stuff I just ended up looking like a scaley pale monster!!! hahahaha!!)

    And yes, finally got my eyelashes tinted for the first time for the wedding and LOVED it! So will definitely be doing that for the ‘moon!

    Also ladies – you’ve all mentioned getting Gel manicures for the summer period, but don’t you find that the suntan lotions wear the manicure & it ends up peeling off really quickly!
    Had a gorgeous red sparkly number done for the wedding but after 5 days at Glasto plastering myself in sunscreen, they had all started to peel off! Very sad, when the reason for gel & not normal manicure was to have cute nails for Glasto!!!!!!!! 🙁
    xxx

    ps. am now off to check out the Boohoo dresses! 😀

  24. Love the lipstick!

    I’m one for keeping it pretty simple for holiday. Bronzer (Hoola), a little Nars Organism (specks of gold in there), I have a light gold bronzey eyeshadow from mac (dont know the name) and mascara and a little brown kohl. Lips – a light pinky lipgloss.

    Suncream – not particuarly fussy really.

    Loved it when I was on minimoon and had eyelash inserts as they make you feel made up before you put a scrap on!

    Also found that since I quit the fags, my skin is so much better and can get away with minimal coverage. (Concealer for spots)

  25. @Abi – good for you quitting smoking young lady, I’m glad you can actually see a difference too. I used to use Hoola, it was a really good colour and not glittery, can’t remember why I stopped using it for the life of me.

    How long did your lash inserts last?

  26. LOVE these beauty posts, Mrs O 🙂 FYI, loving my C2000 Satin Bow after your cheap and chic post a while back, esp when mixed with Tease from Topshop. Ta!
    Next time you are France-bound, head for Chateau Claire de Lune in Biarritz – absolutely stunning, with THE most gorgeous views from their pool 🙂
    Rebecca – Marrakech is BEAUTIFUL! You will love! Enjoy 🙂

  27. @ Charlotte – my lash inserts lasted 3 weeks the first time I had them on but two weeks in this time and I’ve lost a few – I think it’s because whilst having my make up done for my bro’s wedding I had a little bit of mascara on the outer edges and I think this might have weakened them, plus I may have been a bit heavy handed taking off my eye make up.
    I’ll definitely be getting them on for my wedding and honeymoon.
    @Rebecca I’ve never had a gel polish for hols, but that’s a real shame if they slide off easily because of the suncream!
    ps. Enjoy Morocco – I’m sure it will be amazing, and the markets will be amazing for shopping!xo

  28. @MrsA – I’ve missed your face! I think C2000 was one of my best recommendations – so many folks have mentioned how much they love it. Now then, what is this “Tease” you mention?!

    @Helen McG – Well 2 weeks is still good going, enough for W-day and a ‘moon 🙂 My friend Kelly has them and says mascara )or perhaps it’s the removal process?) means they don’t stay on as well.

    Charlotte xxx

  29. @Charlotte – You have misread me Mrs O’Shea, the KIera numbers are shorts – I actually got my pins out! Real live legs exposed to the sun! THey are ruddy fabulous though and also served me very well this weekend in Padstow!

    Alas, I don’t think RiRI has ventured into the world of coral longline vests….but we can always hold out….and avoid the white RI shoes at all costs. Honestly, I trolled myself round Covent Garden in them with a face like fizz all evening….in fact, they were such hard work I think they even induced some kind of sweat….NOT attractive in any shape or form.

    @Karen – the dungarees I rocked in London town are actually super lightweight black pair (again from RIver Island). I have had the legs altered so I can wear them with ballet pumps during the day. THe little white tee with frilly sleeves was a French Connection number from a few years back…and you can deffo wear them!!!!!!!! They are actually quite smart / sport luxe up close so you can avoid looking like a nine year old child….although that tends to happen to me in most things….

    I have just bought the Leigh jeans Mrs O’SHea speaks on with printed white flowers all over them….honestly, I look like I have escaped from primary school.

    x

  30. I’m also off to France (and Spain) on my H-moon in T- 13 days and so packing begins this Sunday so thank you Charlotte for all of these fab tips!! I’m a massive fan of the bright coloured bangle and necklaces – Etsy has some great cheap handmade ones, I got a huge flourscent yellow one which I love!

    Has anyone else opted for the one-piece option? My pre-wedding weightloss didn’t really go quite as I planned so having some stomach anxiety but I did find this great website with retro 50s looking swimsuits in loads of colours and patterns if anyone else has similar worries to me: https://www.forluna.co.uk/

    Have been contemplating lash inserts for my W day – is it worth it? x

  31. Pilates….that makes you this fit?? Why how hard is it I may have to try it out! I thought you were still doing the ballet stuff and that was the result…
    Jillian Michaels is indeed she of biggest loser USA and also has the 30 day shred and numerous other DVDs I have purchased, involves plyometrics and lots of cardio,strength and abs circuits…makes you sweat like a good un! No need for the gym anymore, I got some handweights a mat and occasionally still run outdoors but all the rest is inside!
    Love it!
    xx

  32. @Pamela – I clearly need these dungarees as well, link please? 🙂

    @Ashley – One pieces are so chic, I am definitely getting on for my next holiday, plus they look lush with a maxi skirt. And please post a link to these bangles – I need them!!!!

    @Alex – I had to put ballet on hold for a while because of my stupid foot ( I broke it in December) as I can’t do some of the main moves – I found I was sitting out of quite a bit of the class so decided to try pilates (some similarities) until I am fully fixed.

    It’s hard to start with, the concentration on what you should be doing with which part of your body as much as the actual moves themselves at first, it can be…frustrating. But once you get it you get it, then it comes a kind of “way of life” – I do it almost every day and find myself “engaging my core” even when I’m brushing my teeth (!)

    A few of my friends are currently doing “Insanity” which sounds like what you are talking about, sounds sweaty!!!!

    I’m thinking of quitting the gym, it’s such a waste of money for what I use it for – I do most of my pilates at home or in a local class.

    Charlotte xxx

  33. Sounds interesting…is it physically hard work? Like do you feel tired out and sweaty etc…it is clearly suiting you anyway you look celeb toned! I may try it but I struggle with patience if I can’t do something straight away. I cancelled the gym as it was also wasting money when I can sweat and work harder at home and enjoy the great outdoors instead of the treadmill…I never thought of dvd’s as being any good until this. Yeah insanity is similar thing I have seen that too but just love Jilly she makes me feel like she actually is watching me and can kick my arse…only been doing it everyday for just over two weeks and can really tell I am getting fitter and toned…watch this space for hot bikini shot a la O’Shea next summer 😉 xx

  34. @Alex – another Jillain-er….seriously….she is the best isn’t she! Honestly, I have been doing Jillian since around April and I now have abs! Seriously, the man (who works with proper athletes and footballers) was pretty sceptical at first but even he is impressed with the results! And its only 20 minutes….although in this heat it’s been a killer! My fav bit is when she shouts at you and there is something subliminal in there because when I don;t do it I get Jillian guilts!

    @Clare – aaaarrggghh I can’t find them either, must have sold out….check Ebay??

    @Charlotte – The dungarees are sold out in black but they also do them in white…I wanted them in white but mum said I’d look like a painter and decorator. https://www.riverisland.com/women/playsuits–jumpsuits/dungarees/White-smart-dungarees-640295

  35. @Charlotte Disappointingly the ones I had for the wedding lasted about 2 weeks. Still thought they were fab though! Would invest again. I’ve also had them dyed before and find that also helps make you feel ‘Made up’ with not a lot on

  36. @Alex – I find it hard now I’m doing it properly and I push myself every class to last that little bit longer, I also kind of switch off completely when I’m doing it at home – play some good music and just lose myself in nothing-ness, it’s quite amazing! For cardio I tend to use the cross trainer on a very low resistance so I don’t build bulk. I also walk a lot and if I’m feeling a bit sluggish I’ll do some interval training/running, not for long though as I find it boring and my knees are wrecked 🙂

    @Mrs A – I”M BUYING!!!!!

    @Pamela – only 20 minutes a day? is it cardio or just toning stuff? I’m seriously considering white dungarees now, are you sure I won’t look like a painter and decorator too?! MY hair might match?!!!

    @Abi – I actually have my lashes dyed often, I find my mascara looks better (I don’t need as much?) and I swear it makes them thicker?! something to do with the swelling of the hair follicle/shaft or something scientific like that!

    Charlotte xxx

  37. I was on a shoot in Italy earlier in the month and picked up some Sublime Sun suntan lotion by L’Oreal. I’M totally in love (move over, pina colada smelling stuff from Ibiza). It’s fab. It smells great and the best thing (and I’m not a girly girl) is that it gently sparkles a soft gold.
    Needless to say when I got back home it was appropriated buy my five year old. Now SHE sparkles and smells great (and expensive) but does she have to wear it in bed? Sheesh!

  38. Whop whoop for France. I am checking out this venue right now, it looks amazing and your pics are way cool. What are you Americano plans? We are in the middle of planning a west coast trip so would love to tit-for-tat on accom and places to hit up. I am obsessed with pics of hotels, restaurants and the general desert like vista of Palm Springs – i will be getting my flamingo ready and going there for defo! Anyone else got any West Coast tips? (i know this is NOT a holiday forum!)

    Can I quickly say that what you said about your planning numerous different make-up and hair looks made me roar – i also do that ALL THE TIME! End up taking a shed load of hair frou frou and different make up bits and bobs only to end up walking around the place (any place) with wet hair and no make-up.

    There are loads of amazing suggestions here – i love it!! Question! What purple shampoo do you use? I am using Kevin Murphy at the moment – it is pretty good but as a DYE hard (see what I did there!) blonde, i’m always on the hunt for amazing purps shampoo.

    Here are a few of my holiday faves

    KERATASE ELIXIR ULTIME HAIR SERUM – an amazing hair serum that is a lot lighter than Moroccan Oil (I haven’t tried the light version of MO mind you) it smells amazing, keeps hair sleek and nourishes. Who doesn’t want that?!

    CHRISTIAN DIOR SHOW WATERPROOF MASCARA – black, actually waterproof, thickens and is amazing!

    ELIZABETH ARDEN 8 HOUR CREAM – always amazing and quadruples up as night cream, sun burn cream, lip gloss, eye balm, mascara… it is seriously amazing!! They also do the scent free stuff now too so you don’t have to clash your smells (pineapple and coconuts!)

    Tons of girly love xxx

  39. hi Charolotte i love this post im pale also what dove one did you use the fair/medium or medium/dark before i purchase it for the first tiem ever….!!!!!!!!!!! thank you in advancex

  40. @LucyTurnball – ooh that sounds lush! Will have to investigate 🙂

    @NIcola – I think I can feel a road trip post coming on – I’ll look into it sweets. The purple shampoo is the one’s Granny’s have used for years, touch of silver? dirt cheap (at Boots) and the best one I’ve found. It’s the weekly treatment shampoo but I just use it A LOT. Certainly more than once a week!

    @Abigail – You are cute x

    @Sinead – Hello fellow fair lady! I use fair/medium my love, I don’t moisturise before hand and make sure I let it soak in for a good 10 minutes before dressing. I find 3 nights on the bounce works a good colour (it’s never going to make you “bronzed” but a bit golden is better than nothing!) good luck x

    Charlotte xxx

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