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Honey has been a natural miracle worker for years, though many people do not know just how great it is.

Manuka honey comes from New Zealand and is becoming a popular household product across the globe. Able to protect your skin from damage caused by bacteria and infections, this honey is a great product to have to hand, and face and wherever else you like!

Honey has always had an anti-inflammatory quality to it, causing pain and inflammation to lessen quickly when used on cuts and sores, but what’s great about Manuka honey is that you are able to choose the level of intensity of anti-bacterial components. This is marked as UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) on the tub. It is recommended, that to be considered as strong enough to work on damaged or irritated skin, there should be a minimum rating of 10UMF.

However if you are just starting out with this product, you can also try a slightly lower UMF such as 5+ or 8+. It is best to start off at a lower UMF, just to help you find out your skin’s tolerance, for we all know that no two skins are the same!

Although a lower UMF might not treat wounds and inflammation as well, it will still work as a great face mask! Simply lather the honey onto cleansed skin, wait 15mins and then wash off with lukewarm water for super soft skin.

You can buy Manuka honey in almost all local food-stores, but make sure you do not use normal breakfast honey, for it will not have the same effect! If you go to Holland and Barret or any other organic stores, you will also be sure to find it there, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice, for they will surely be able to help!

So whether you are dabbing the honey on the affected areas of your skin or by using it as a whole face mask (one which will not make your eye water and also tastes great!), Mauka honey will turn your life around!

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Summer Staples = Winter Wardrobe

summer

Most of us make the major mistake of putting away our summer clothes when the colder weather starts to set in, but nothing could be farther from practical. There are a wide variety of ways in which you can use your favorite warm weather pieces even through the snow, cold and chilly winter wind.

Short Shorts & Mini Skirts
This is the most obvious of the lot. Instead of packing your ripped denim hot pants or ultra short party skirt into boxes, invest in a few pairs of black, gray or brown tights to layer underneath. The tights don’t even have to be a neutral color; a pink floral printed skirt can be paired with pink tights for a bright pop of color.

Playsuits & Jumpsuits
The same theory applies to short playsuits; wear a layer of leggings underneath to keep warm, and if the playsuit or jumpsuit is short- or no-sleeved, simply wear a long-sleeved top or sweater underneath or on top. A thick jacket also looks perfect over a long, flowing jumpsuit.

Midi Dress as Maxi Skirt
Short beach dresses with an elastic band on the top can be pulled down to the waist and used to cover your legs as a winter-ready maxi skirt.

Capris in Boots
3/4 long pants don’t have to go to waste in the winter because they expose your ankles; they can either be tucked into ankle boots or worn under knee- or thigh-high boots. You won’t be able to tell that they aren’t your standard long pants!

Good luck, and long live warm-weather vibes!

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fashion week circus

Photo credit: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

The major fashion weeks of the world are a biannual event; February to prepare for autumn, and September to prepare for spring. This in itself needs an explanation; normal folk might ask ‘why would you show winter clothes right when spring is starting?’ and vice versa, and the fashion folk will have an answer for you: designers need to prepare for what will go into mass production well in advance, and so they have about half a year after their collection shows to put their products onto the market.

That’s all well and good, but what isn’t is the fact that Fashion Week is no longer about viewing beautiful pieces of wearable art and the steps that take them from the runway to tables in stores. What used to be editors and buyers attending shows for practical purposes has become a frenzy of celebrities, bloggers and any other ‘it person’ you can name parading around in the most ridiculous garb in order to get a good street style shot and their 6 seconds of fame. It’s not even 60 seconds anymore:  our society moves far too fast for that now.

While the main aim of Fashion Week used to be to showcase the hard work and creative vision of designers, it has now become all about hashtags (#MBFW or #fashiongirlproblems, anyone?), taking photos of food during between-show breaks and after-show parties, selfies and front-row fame. The selection of people who pay attention to the actual clothes has dwindled down to a miniscule percentage. Whilst the shows are going on, at least 90% of the audience can be seen looking down at their phones, either making transport plans to get to the next show or Instagramming everything in real time.

But nobody lives in real time, and the days of appreciating the art of fashion are long gone.

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Penelope’s Favourite Hummus!

homemade hummus

Trying to think of healthy new food options can be challenging; it’s boring to eat the same salads and veggies all day every day, and coming up with new delicious entrees can be enticing but annoying.

Hummus is something that can be used in so many different ways. This Mediterranean chickpea mix can be used as a dip for pita or chips, as a spread for sandwiches or as an accent for a delicious veggie burger. It’s also super simple to make; you can make a large batch and keep it in the fridge or freezer for enjoying later.

Make some hummus for friends to seem like a top exotic-cuisine chef!

Ingredients:
–  1 can chickpeas (do not drain, you use the liquid too!)
–  2 spoons tahini
– 3 cloves garlic
– 2 spoons olive
– lemon juice
– chili flakes

Step 1: Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can.
Step 2: Combine ingredients in blender and blend for 3 minutes
Step 3:  Add liquid from chickpeas and blend for about 5 more minutes (until you see it’s smooth)

Serve with warm pita or dip with cold veggies, and you’re ready to get cool and yummy!

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No-Poo (Stop Before you Scroll)!

no-poo

There are a lot of weird beauty trends that float around the internet, but this is a solution that can actually make your beauty routine a lot easier.

Your hair is your crowning glory, and good hair days make everything in life better. It’s the worst when your hair is oily, and even if it doesn’t look bad, just the feeling of having fatty locks can make your head feel heavy and put your mood down in the dumps.

Often, the reason for overly oily hair is the use of shampoo. Shampoo actually dries out your hair by stripping it of its natural oils, and so your scalp tries to compensate by overproducing extra oil. This is the reason that washing your hair every day with commercial shampoos can cause damage; you’ll then need to wash your hair every day to keep the oil away, and this is definitely no fun.

So get ready for the solution: baking soda. The newest idea to keep your hair healthy and fresh is a mixture of baking soda and apple cider vinegar. This may sound crazy, but it’s easy, cheap and simple to do:

1) Mix 1 spoon of baking soda with 2 spoons of the vinegar
2.) Apply to wet hair, just like you would with normal shampoo, scrub and rinse
3) You can choose to add coconut or lavender oil to hair to get rid of the vinegar smell

The first week or so may be a hard transition time for your hair, for it to get used to this new routine, but don’t despair. Give it a little time and you’ll have infinitely happier and healthier hair!

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Insider’s Tip: July Winner!

insiders tip winner SHE'S DRESSING UP

Hello you tan summery beauties! Today is an especially fantastic day, because we are finally able to tell you who the winner of last month’s Insider’s Tip is: Nicola of She’s Dressing Up! Congrats Nicola! This lucky girl will be featured on insidefruits for the entire month of June, and will also receive a stylish new patterend backpack to see her through the rest of the summer and the transition to autumn!

If you’ve haven’t heard about Nicola or She’s Dressing Up, then you’re surely missing out. She started her personal site in 2008 after admiring tons of style sites already online, and then decided to show off her own. And we’re super happy she did, because her style is something worth staring at!

On She’s Dressing Up, Nicola not only shows off her own style, but also makes cool collages and outfit sets of lustworthy pieces that should belong in all of our wardrobes. So not only is she an inspiration herself, but also hunts, gathers and collects inspo for all her readers!

Congratulations again Nicola! Keep up the beautiful work you display on She’s Dressing Up!

On a slightly sadder note, due to the technical difficulties we have been experiencing, there will be no Insider’s Tip this month. :(

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to bag splurge or save

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A designer bag carries the same things as a normal one does, but it also carries reputation and status. However, is that enough of a reason to spend 3 months worth of rent on a tote of leather with a little high-end insignia on it?

The Chanel Boy, the Givenchy Antigona, the Celine Nano; all of these names have one thing in common: they are an instant symbol of ‘chic’. Speaking about seeing the latest un-affordable accessory already puts you on a certain level of fashion know-how, and actually having one swinging from the crook of your arms puts you on a pedestal. Girls who know all about these bags but can’t afford them will look at you with envy, and girls with the same tote will eagerly try to decipher if yours is fake or not.

Purchasing one of these beauties has lifetime value; it is not just a purchase, it is an investment. But when we really stop to think about it, is this investment worth it? For the price of one Chanel purse, we can afford a wide variety of more affordable dresses, shoes and accessories. For the price one Louis Vuitton, we can pay the rent for two months.

It’s no doubt that status and popularity are important in today’s society, but buy a ‘big-buy’ bag because you actually find it beautiful, not just to gather fashionable friends and foes because of the vehicle you tote your things around in.

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5 Things We Love About Summer!

Things-we-love-about-summer

Summer is awesome, agreed? Sunshine & blue skies… what’s not to love? Summer is definitely my favourite season by far! I’ve put together the best things about summer for you, which will surely put you in a summery mood if you’re not quite there yet : – )

1) Lemonade! Who doesn’t love lemonade? Nobody drinks lemonade in the winter, so enjoy it while you can! You can also easily make your own from scratch, which is a fun summer activity (and it tastes soooo good!). Experiment with different fruits like mango or kiwi to give your lemonade a little more oomph.
2) Swimming! Of course you can also swim indoors in the winter, but it’s not half as fun, is it? You also won’t get a tan. Going for a swim either on your own or with friends is such great fun and if you squeeze in a few laps you’ll have done a bit of exercise as well.
3) Summer salads! As the temperatures soar, pork chops and gravy are probably not going to make you feel so great. When it’s hot outside our bodies yearn for fresh and light cuisine that doesn’t weigh us down (a.k.a. lots of fruits and veggies). Enter summer salads! There are thousands of different salads you can make, and Pinterest is sure to give you all the inspiration you need : – )
4) Skirts & dresses! Of course you can also wear skirts and dresses during winter, but it’s just not the same. You have to wear tights and boots, and it just doesn’t have that carefree and relaxed quality.
5) Sandals and painting your toenails!  Colourful toenails make us happy and that’s a fact. Choose strong corals or neon yellow hues to really get those summer vibes going. Opt for sandals so everyone can see your happy summer feet : – )

What do you love about summer? Let me know in a comment below!

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The Birkenstock Trend

The Birkenstock Trend

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Ok, don’t freak out! I know Birkenstocks were once pretty much the least cool shoes on the planet (except for Crocs maybe) and words like ‘chunky’ and ‘ugly’ come to mind, but things have changed. Bloggers around the globe are incorporating Birkenstock shoes into their outfits and strutting their stuff in these comfortable and functional shoes; without looking like hobos or hippies, I might add. Birkenstock now equals street style chic and if you’re not convinced, let me give you some styling ideas for the coolest shoe on the block at the moment.

1) If you’re a little unsure whether you like this trend or not, you might want to start off with a Birkenstock-inspired shoe instead of the real thing. These can be a little more elegant and a little less ’functional’.
2) Keep the rest of your outfit relatively elegant. I’m talking feminine jumpsuits or flowing dresses. Your Birkenstocks will look great as a contrast.
3) Birkenstocks don’t have to be beige or brown. Opt for pink, green or blue to really make a fashion statement this summer.
4) I know they’re pricy, but designer Birkenstock-inspired shoes are also an option. Check out Marni or Givenchy- they interpreted the Birkenstock trend really well (in my opinion). Think fluorescent materials and exciting colours. Basically: a luxe reinterpretation of the classic Birkenstock.

So, what do you think? So hot or so not?

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Summer 2014 Beauty Picks

summer_beauty_picks

Summer is my favorite time of the year, and I also feel that my skin really enjoys this season. Humidity keeps it hydrated and dewy, and the sun gives it a healthy glow. I don’t have to worry about a dull complexion or deal with dry and flaky skin. I love it! A few beauty products are perfect for this time of the year and give you that wonderful glowing and sun kissed look, so I’m going to share some of my favorites with you here…

1) BB Cream: Choose a light formula that will give you just enough coverage without making your face feel cakey. You won’t need to use foundation and most BB Creams already contain SPF, which is an added bonus.
2) Bronzer: If used wisely, bronzer can give you such a great sun kissed look. Make sure you don’t go overboard. I know it can be tempting, but it looks really awful (and orange). Check out some tutorials on YouTube and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
3) Highlighter: A good highlighter can be a lot of fun. It adds a little sparkle to your face and underlines that healthy, summery glow. I tend to put just a little bit of product around the corner of my eyes, which I think looks really nice. Again: YouTube is your friend here!
4) Body Lotion/Body Butter: Pick scents like coconut, mango or orange to really get into a summery mood. The Body Shop Coconut Butter is my personal favorite at the moment and I can highly recommend it : – )

Do you have any favorite beauty products this summer? Let me know in a comment below!

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