Laura Rebecca Smith


September brings the feeling of a fresh start. Rediscovering old favourites like denim and knitwear. Meeting friends to catch-up over warm drinks. Setting good, progressive intentions for the next few months. Slowly replacing warm evenings spent outside with warm evenings indoors. Spending your days surrounded by soft textures in your wardrobe and living spaces. Looking forward to getting home and being cosy. 

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With different countries jumping on and off the quarantine list we're now looking slightly closer to home for our holidays and have chosen the option of 'Staycation' instead. Whether you've decided to visit a city or to spend time at the seaside, what you pack is just as important as ever.

You may have booked a city break because you want to visit all of the iconic cultural landmarks you've seen in magazines or visit the restaurants and bars you've heard so much about. When it comes to fashion, city breaks are a great time to elevate your look and pick effortlessly elegant pieces that reflect the charms of the city like Mango's puff sleeve midi dress. ASOS's cat eye sunglasses will make sure the sun stays out of your eyes so you don't miss a single sight while these tie-leg sandals will leave you blister-free even after a long day walking.

On the other hand, a few days spent by the seaside eating fish 'n' chips soaked in salt and vinegar and watching the day go past on a sunny, sandy beach calls for a more relaxed choice of clothes. Your must-have piece has to be an oversized shirt that you can wear from am to pm and can cater for any weather condition, just like Arket's poplin shirt. A strappy crinkle-textured bikini allows you to tan as possible while a simple baseball cap and large round sunglasses will easily hide your delicate face from that mid-day sun. 

Wherever you may decide to go for a few days, the most important thing is you come back feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and that you've had a proper break from everything we've been going through together.

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When it comes to picking my outfit for the day I have a rule where I can't wear more than three colours at a time. I'm not sure where this rule comes from and I wish I could break it but I actually feel physically uncomfortable if I try to. However, neutral colours help me to feel more relaxed about bending that rule and that is why it's one of my favourite colour palettes. I also love neutrals because they are classic, sophisticated and luxurious. An effortless outfit can easily be put together with these colours. My favourite way to wear neutrals is by wearing sharp strong tailored pieces, light silky feminine dresses or scrumptiously soft separates that I can relax in. While some may call them boring, to me they're the perfect addition to any wardrobe.

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We usually have to travel far away for the temperature to hit over 24 degrees, but at the moment we're being treated to our own tropical climate during this heatwave. Finding skincare products that work during this rare time are super important as the increased sun rays and sweat puts extra strain on your skin. 

The most important product to have at the ready is a sun cream that throughly protects you from the UV rays. Now-a-days there are products that offer much more than just protection and are tailored to different skin types or needs. La Roche-Posay's Anthelios fluid helps those who are extra sensitive to the sun and Nivea's UV Face cream defends against ageing and pigmentation. Also being specifically for the face, it reduces your chances of getting the dreaded suncream spots.

One trick for surviving the heatwave is a refreshing cooling spray. Herbivore's Rose Hibiscus Face Mist not only leaves you feeling refreshed, it hydrates and helps your improve your complexion. Another important thing to remember is you need to remove all of the products you've worn throughout the day to ensure your skin stays clear and glowing. Alpha-H's triple action cleanser is packed full of anti-oxidants and botanicals that clears away all of the days dirt without bring too harsh on your skin.

Finally, finish off the day by moisturising thoroughly. After a long day of being in the sun and the heat your skin will be craving that level of care. Evolve Beauty's Citrus Blend lotion is not only deliciously fragranced and nourishing, it also has Aleo Vera which calms down any damage done by the sun. It's best to use a different moisturiser on your face as it has different needs than the rest of your body and The Ordinary's Natural Moisturising Factor serum caters to those requirements perfectly. Lastly, treat your lips to some important TLC with Drunk Elephant's Lippe Balm to get them looking plump and hydrated again.

Images: @giorgiatordini@veravanerp, @lisaholdshteyn@ariviere, @lisa.olssons, @hannaschonberg, @lilymontasser

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As everything slowed down after the last few months, we were given the chance to realise that sometimes it really is the small things that can make all the difference. One example of that is our lingerie. Sometimes we can overlook updating or investing in our lingerie in favour of buying a new dress or bag - after all more people are likely to see it. 

But to me an outfit is really made when you know you're wearing  a luxurious, beautiful pair of underwear that feels both comfortable and special. It can be an instant confidence boost! A bra, body or bottoms made of delicate lace with intricate stitching, finishings and straps is exactly what your underwear draw is craving and what you deserve to be wearing.

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Fresh lemons in your morning tea and evening gin. Lounging around for hours on end. Reuniting with friends over an alfresco dinner. Enjoying the August heat. Warm gold details against sun-kissed skin. Making up for lost time. Never leaving the house without your sunglasses. Time moving so slowly it almost stops. 

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Officially we've been in 'lockdown' for 125 days now and during this time our important purchases have been litres of hand gel, investing in a proper skincare regime and finding the comfiest and most-forgiving loungewear sets. Very quickly we settled into the 'new normal' but as life begins to get back to something that resembles what we left behind, it's time to remember the forgotten joy of dressing up.

Quite honestly I have missed the amount of time and effort we put into dressing. Planning your outfit days before an event, giving yourself more hours than you ever needed to get ready and the excitement of adding the finishing touch. I'm very excited to wear the sparkles, voluminous sleeves, red lip and rich material again very soon.

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As the sunshine returns and holidays become a slightly more realistic option, it doesn't seem like such a strange idea to start buying some swimwear. For those of you who don't want to spend a fortune on loads of different designs and prints, I would recommend investing in one or two great minimal pieces that would work in any location. Black, white and neutral colours gives you the freedom to wear it with a pair of denim shorts on the beach, with an oversized dress in the city or with stacks of gold jewellery. Don't let the simple colour palette put you off - change it up a bit with asymmetric and plunging necklines or feminine or athletic bikini tops. 

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