Mens Lifestyle

Samsonite Cityvibe Laptop Backpack

June 3, 2015

One thing that everyone needs is a quality backpack, as a freelancer I work in many different offices across the city and always have to take a load of equipment with me.  Therefore I wanted something lightweight, dark in colour and something that also had multiple pockets and ideally durable for international travel. This is when the Samsonite Cityvibe came in.

Samsonite Cityvibe Laptop Backpack Review

The Samsonite Cityvibe comes in varying sizes, which is great as there are so many different sizes of laptops. I went for the 13 – 14 inch bag, it is the perfect versatile bag, having four main compartments and it is really good for securely transporting my Macbook Air from place to place.

Samsonite Cityvibe Backpack Review

Within the other three sections it has dedicated pockets for your mobile phone, another slip pocket for a tablet and dedicated zip pocket for all those annoying cables you have to carry around with you. There is a huge amount of space for adapters, converters and other essential like headache tablets, keys and even some packed lunch.

Samsonite CityVibe Backpack

If you travel or are a bit worried about your prized possessions in your backpack there is a lockable zipper at the back, so you can add a small travel lock for additional protection. The backpack is very lightweight and great if you travel or commute longer distances for work.

One extra thing that makes the bag stand out other than it not looking like a business laptop bag is the side pockets which easily hold bottles of water or cola.

Samsonite Cityvibe Backpack

I was actually commended on my backpack the first day I used it so even got thumbs up from a colleague and could be used more casually. I absolutely love this backpack and would definitely recommend.

Samsonite CityVibe backpack Review | The LDN Diaries

The Samsonite CityVibe 13-14 inch laptop backpack is priced at £85.00 and available at www.samsonsite.co.uk.

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What's On

What’s On

June 1, 2015

Around The World In 50 Lipsticks

This month at Heathrow Airport you might stumble upon a 20ft sculpture of the Statue of Liberty in Terminal 5 made using bright red lipstick, chosen as New York’s most popular shade in a report by beauty expert Alice Hart-Davis. The report revealed the most popular lipstick shades in 50 cities across the world. Aswell as the statue they also have commissioned a micro-sculpture to carve miniature world landmarks into actual lipsticks including Big Ben, Burj Khalifa and the Eiffel Tower. You can also vote to win a lipstick a day.

Find it at Terminal 5, Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport Lipstick Sculptures

Kopparberg Urban Forest returns to East London

Kopparberg’s Urban Forest pop-up festival returns to East London from the 10th June until the 12th July. The festival will see a handful of DJs and live music perform, with street food and of course delicious drinks from Kopparberg all in Hackney Wick. The line-up so far includes Katy B, Miss Dynamite, Chromeo, Slow Club, Submotion Orchestra, The Cuban Brothers, Trevor Nelson, Norman Jay, DJ Yoda, Citizens and many more! Street food and drinks will be provided from Frozen Fruit Cider Bar, Le Bun, Mama’s Jerk Station and Buffalo Joe’s. The festival is free and open to over 18’s only, every Wednesday to Sunday.

For more info visit www.kopparbergurbanforest.com.

Kopparberg Urban Forest Festival

Patek Philippe Watch Art Exhibition

If you are a fan of watches then make sure to visit the Patek Philippe Watch Art Grand exhibition. The exhibition will celebrate Patek Philippe’s tradition of high-precision watch manufacturing, an insight into the company’s 175 year history as well as its heritage in the domain of haute horlogerie. Visitors will have the opportunity to discover the world of the last privately family owned Geneva watch company from the inside. It’s free of charge to visit and will run until the 7th of June. Open weekdays and Saturdays 9am – 7pm and Sunday 10am – 6pm. No booking or tickets required.

Find it at the Saatchi Gallery, Duke Of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London SW3 4RY

Patek Philippe Watch Exhibition

Simone Krok’s Paradise Lost Exhibition

Artist Simone Krok exhibition, Paradise Lost opens on the 5th of June until the 18th at the Waterloo Gallery 223. Paradise Lost will feature a series of extraordinary and elaborate sculptures inspired by ancient religious traditions. The works explore themes around creation, the fall of man, the loss of human innocence, the transition into violence and the precarious nature of human free will.

Find it at Gallery 223, 137-139 Lower Marsh Street London, SE1 7AE.

Simone Krok Exhbition

SECRET CINEMA Presents Star Wars : The Empire Strikes Back

Starting this week from the 4th of June – 27th September Secret Cinema returns with Star Wars : The Empire Strikes Back in a secret London location. There will also be a Secret Nightclub which will be inspired by the theme. Nightlife seekers will be given mysterious instructions such as dress code and props guidelines. The location will be discoverable only through a telephone line. With live music and sets from special secret DJs.

For more info on both events visit www.secretcinema.org.

Secret Cinema Star Wars

Beauty, Body, Face, Skincare

Holiday Ready At Privet Body

May 30, 2015

Privet Body is a beauty salon like no other. Based in Notting Hill, not far from that  famous bookshop, Privet Body offers so many brilliant beauty treatments in one of the best settings I have ever seen. So how can a salon be so brilliant? Well first of all it is laid out like a garden, a peaceful and beautiful tranquil area. Each treatment room has a unique touch to it, for example you have the Luxury Log Cabin, the Tool Shed for those more manly treatments and The Writer’s Hut decked out with typewriter.

Privet Body Notting Hill Review

To get myself all prepped for holiday I was having one of their Bonsai makeovers. These are a collective of at least 3-4 treatments in one visit. I went for the ‘Sunshine A Go Go’ which is just what you need before holiday. This includes a St Tropez spray tan, a full body exfoliation and also a 30 min Murad facial. All the facials here are done with Murad products, which I had tried a couple before and loved so was looking forward to having this.

Privet Body Notting Hill

My treatment started in The Potting Shed, this treatment room was decked with plant pots, seeds and other garden-esque bits and bobs. You really do feel totally taken away from the outside world here which I loved, it was horrible and rainy yesterday too so it was nice to escape. My ‘Sunshine A Go Go’ started with the Murad facial, this was so lovely and I also got to find out a lot more about the products and got recommendations on them for my skin type. I never felt like I was being pushed products or anything like that, just some really good advice. It was also really targeted to my skin type rather than being a general facial.

The Log Cabin Privet Body

Log Cbian Privet Body

Next up was the body exfoliation which again was using Murad products. Using the AHA cleanser with exfoliation on the body, which is a product I do have and a great tip to use it on the body not just the face.

The Writer's Hut Privet Body

I was now all ready for my tan and was taken to the The Orangery. This is the perfect spray tanning area with plenty of room. I always felt comfortable throughout the experience and was asked exactly how dark I wanted to be and if I was happy with it. I actually much preferred having someone spray the tan on me than a spray machine, the result was so much better. I was now a lovely golden colour.

I am so happy with the St Tropez tan and feeling pretty bikini ready now. I also picked up a couple of Murad products that I am looking forward to putting to the test and hoping they can target my skin concerns.

Privet Body Murad Products

If you fancy getting summer ready too, the Sunshine A Go Go is priced at £110 for a full body exfoliation, St Tropez spray tan and Murad facial. Privet Body offers so many beauty services for women and men, you can check out their selection on the website.

Find them at 214 Kensington Park Road W11 1NR.

Fashion, Style Guide

How To Dress For A Job Interview

May 29, 2015

You’ve finally done it, nailed that BIG interview for that BIG job in the big smoke. You really want this job, it means you get to live out your dream and move to London. Ok I’ll stop with the dramatics, the big question is what do you wear?

I have put together two types of interview outfits for two very different career roles. The first we have a very smart outfit if you were attending an interview for say solicitor jobs and roles in London and the second is more media based for media ad agency or creative type roles. This in turn is a slightly more casual outfit.

So let’s start off with the smart. Ultimately I always think you should dress smart for an interview, but for law, finance type roles this is a complete must. Definitely opt for a suit, this can either be a trouser suit or a skirt suit, depends what you are most comfortable with. You can always pair a skirt with a blazer but just make sure the colours of black match – I know I have been victim to this! I think one of the best high street stores for work wear is Zara, they have a fantastic selection of smart clothing and it’s really reasonable too. Just because you have to stay smart doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish.

What to wear to an interview smart outfit

I always recommend a black suit, mainly as it’s of course professional, but also it hides any dangerous sweat marks, this is a nerve-wracking experience for most of us after all. I love this crepe skirt suit from Ted Baker, now on sale at House of Fraser. Keep jewellery to an absolute minimum, it just distracts from you, so keep it simple like this charm bracelet (luck is on your side). Shoes go for a leather court shoe, definitely cover those toes, choose a pointed toe and if you can do wear a heel, it will give you the height and just make you feel instantly more confident. If you want a pop of colour, go for it in your handbag.

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For a media type role in London I have found you can even go to an interview in jeans and no one will bat an eyelid.  For this however I would recommend a very fitting and smart pair, so no boyfriend jeans or anything like that. I also recommend doing your research to see if this would be acceptable. This in turn can be tricky and so I always think going slightly smarter is better just to be safe, aka avoid the denim. You can then gauge the vibe from the first interview and then dress accordingly for the second. Fingers crossed.

What to wear for an interview in London

Go for a skirt, but make sure it’s knee-length. Don’t be afraid to go for something patterned, it will show your personality and creative side. I like this simple look, a midi skater skirt, with long-sleeved jumper, necklace and smart bag. It’s smart enough for an interview but also a little bit more casual too for the role you are going for.

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Beauty, Body, Face, Hair, Make-Up, Skincare, Travel

Travel Beauty Essentials

May 28, 2015

I am off on holiday to Kefalonia this Sunday and as you can probably tell I am super excited! I cannot wait to just enjoy the sunshine and actually have some time off. Don’t worry there will of course be plenty content to read whilst I’m away, but I am officially going to try not to work. As even when I take time out I do end up working.

Now when I’m packing, my beauty products are the one that do weigh the suitcase down slightly, I really do not travel light. I just need a lot of stuff, if you could see my bathroom cabinet you’d know that this is just a snippet of what I’ll be taking. So I thought I’d pick out the best beauty bits and travel essentials to inspire you when packing your own this summer.

MAKE -UP

When it comes to make-up I don’t wear much on holiday, a touch of BB/CC cream with SPF and then I probably wear a little more in the evening. I picked up a great tip for packing from Lily Pebbles channel, she says to pack your make-up with the thinking in mind that you’re putting it on your face, so what comes first etc. I loved this tip as it really helps not to forget anything.

Make-Up Travel Essentials | YSL Lip Palette & Bobbi Brown Eye & Cheek

These two palettes were sent to me from World Duty Free and I love them, they will be perfect for taking on holiday. Firstly you have the Bobbi Brown mini eye and cheek set, lovely eyeshadow colours, very neutral and the blush is a gorgeous pink. Secondly you have the Extremely YSL for Lips travel set, I adore this so much, the colours are gorgeous and it comes in a cute pink carry wallet with applicator brush, which is a great handbag size for when I return home. Both of these are exclusive to duty-free so put them on your list for the airport.

Make-up wise I also love Rodial’s Glamsticks, these are so amazing. They come in a variety of colours, I will be taking the Just Daisy which is a dark nude/pinky colour, perfect for holiday. They are so moisturising on the lips with cocoa butter and vitamin E, plus they smell of coconut. Great for a treat on the lips in the evening after a day in the sun. Even though I’ll be sunbathing I like to stay bronzed especially for evening, I like this NYX Tango Bronzer. Unlike its name it is definitely not tango orange and is a lovely colour, there is also a mirror and brush underneath, so handy.

Make-Up Travel Essentials | NYX Bronzer & Sleek CC Cream

As I said I like to wear a BB or CC. I normally go for a BB during the day with SPF, or try something like Vichy’s Mattifying Face Lotion SPF 30 if you suffer from oiliness/shine. In the evening I’m going to be using this Sleek CC cream, I have been trying it recently and it’s simply amazing. It gives such a fantastic coverage but is so light, the effect is like foundation but much more glowy, smooth and of course lightweight. I love it!

HAIR

Hair I keep really simple on holiday. I’ll no doubt be packing a few headbands for sunbathing, plus of course shampoo and conditioner. I love these Trevor Sorbie Volume Shampoo & Conditioner travel sizes, as sometimes I find travel shampoos are so small and they don’t even last the whole trip, so these are great sizes. Lee Stafford also has two perfect travel sizes in dry shampoo and dehumidifier, a must for any hot weather and less Monica from Friends outbreaks. I’ll no doubt take a curling wand too, just to jazz my hair up a little and I always find the waves stay in a couple of days.

Hair travel essentials

IN-FLIGHT ESSENTIALS

For in-flight, if you are a nervous flier definitely invest in Sure’s Maximum Protection Stress anti-perspirant. I have been using this recently and it’s amazing, you will not sweat at all I swear. If you do then sorry, I really am on that claim, but I have found it brilliant. Make sure you keep your breath fresh too, CB12 do a travel size of their mouthwash keeping your mouth feeling clean, especially good for long haul. Nothing worse than brushing your teeth with the gross aeroplane tap water. I also have Rodial’s travel size stemcell range, in-flight  I take the Glambalm, which has so many uses and great for dry skin, you can apply it on eyes, elbows, face, hands, anywhere! It is so multi-purpose. I like to fly with no make-up on so I’ll apply the Rodial Stemcell day cream also.

In flight travel essentials

Another essential, I never thought I would need until I discovered them. Thalgo’s hyaluronic eye patches, slip them on and relax for ten minutes then whisk them off and eyes will feel instantly refreshed. A great one for just before you land. Click here for more in-flight beauty tips.

FACE & BODY

Again I will be taking the other two parts to the Rodial Stemcell travel set, these are the oil and cleanser. This is one of my favourite skincare ranges, but it is expensive as a collective so being able to take travel sizes is perfect. I always find moisturiser on planes, just disappears into thin air if it’s in the hold too so I never want to take a full size if it’s quite an expensive one. For body Nip & Fab’s Shimmer Leg Fix is lovely, perfect for after sunbathing and into the evening as it has a lovely shimmer, or apply it over your SPF in the day if you are off to a pool party. Of course I can’t travel without a razor, the Wilkinson Sword Intuition is a good one as it’s so light, small enough to pack and the head has a moisturising bar which means you don’t need soap or shower gel, perfect!

Travel Beauty Essentials Nip & Fab Leg Shimmer | The LDN Diaries

DON’T FORGET!

The most important beauty essentials are of course SPF. My favourite SPF is Reimann’s P20, unlike when I first saw this I thought it was only SPF 20. I was so wrong. One application of this really does last all day, even with my worrying and probably reapplying, you don’t need to. It comes in a lotion and a spray, it’s not sticky and dries clear too. For after sun I have Garnier’s soothing hydrating lotion, it is so cooling on any sun burn which fingers crossed I won’t be getting. Lastly don’t forget insect spray and a lip balm with SPF. These are so essential and I couldn’t live without one on holiday now, some favourites include Dr Organic’s which come in all different flavours, Hurraw! and if you suffer from cold sores or sun spots on your lips get Herpatch, a great way to stop sun lip blisters.

Holiday Essentials SPF

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Lifestyle, Tech

10 Pinterest Tips For Bloggers

May 27, 2015

Recently I attended a Pinterest blogger masterclass at Pinterest UK headquarters. This was a really insightful class and was really great to learn lots of information on Pinterest and how I can utilise it for my blog. I had read lots of articles recently about Pinterest and so it was really great to hear it from them themselves so I knew what I was hearing was right.

I of course, didn’t want to keep all this new-found knowledge to myself, so I decided to put together my top Pinterest tips for bloggers. And even if you are not a blogger most of these still apply and will help you improve your Pinning.

Firstly Pinterest is not a social network it is as they like to call it a ‘discovery tool’. You can search on Pinterest using key search terms and let’s face it you always find what you are looking for. Whether it’s an inspirational quote, festival fashion, pretty swimwear or maybe celebrity style inspiration, Pinterest is living and breathing content and images.

10 Pinterest Tips For Bloggers

Top Tips For Bloggers Using Pinterest 

1. Be Descriptive

The most important thing I took away from the class was to always use descriptions on your pins. This is something I am guilty of not doing. I see a nice pin I like and I just re-pin it. Not any more however. Make sure you give your pin a relevant and descriptive description. This will help the pin show up in search and people to find you and your boards. Here is an example of a pin that has performed well, this is a pin from my swimwear board, simply it’s a floral bikini and it’s been repinned 207 times so far since adding this description. Shorter descriptions tend to perform better, so keep it simple.



2. Give Your Board A Title

This may sound obvious but there are a lot of boards out there without a valid name. A valid name, well make sure your board name reflects what the board is about. It’s all well and good to have a ‘My Style’ board, I am guilty, or a’ Mum’s Fav’s’ but no-one is searching for those terms. Give your board a relevant title just like you would the individual pins.

3. Hashtags Don’t Work

Whilst you want to be descriptive, stay away from using hashtags on your pins. The reason – they don’t work or do anything so just stop OK.

4. Vertical Pins Work Well

When you are looking through Pinterest, go on head to your feed now. What images stand out to you? Yes it’s the vertical ones. Images with a vertical aspect ratio tend to perform better as they flow more throughout the feed. These also show up better on mobile when using the app. As a blogger put together vertical images that promote your content. Don’t use more than say four images on each and keep text to a minimum. I love this raspberry limoncello example, look how much it stands out on my feed.

10 Pinterest Tips For Bloggers - Vertical Pins | The LDN Diaries

5. Create Exciting Pin Content

Did you know you can pin animated gifs and videos on Pinterest? These can add a fun and interactive element to your boards. Maps are also a good way to create an interesting content board. You can create a map by creating a board and choosing the map option. Then ‘Add A Place’ and with each pin you can add a location to it, so it will pin it on the map. An example of this is my London board which is where I have pinned places I have visited on the blog. I also have a Barcelona and New York version.

6. Add The Pin It Button

The Pin it button you may be familiar with. This is a ‘Pin It’ button you can find when you hover over images on sites. Hover over the below image now and you will see in the top left hand corner a red ‘Pin It’ button. This helps your readers to pin your images straight to Pinterest. And if you click it, you’ll see a little message I have left for you in the description *the anticipation*. You can get your own Pin It button through Pinterest or use a WordPress plugin like I have.

YUM Strawberry Cheesecake! If you think this is a tasty treat then why not pin it to one of your boards?  Otherwise let's get back to the tips...

7. Make Your Blog Pinable

For your readers to pin your content it needs to be pinnable. Make sure your images are high-resolution and are optimised for size. Images that are 600 pixels wide will look best on Pinterest. Plus any images must be at least 100 x 200 to be able to be pinned. Similarly when you are being descriptive on Pinterest, be descriptive on your blog images. Make sure you give images on your blog alt tag descriptions, as when people pin from your blog this is what will come up if they don’t change it. Which I reckon the majority of readers won’t.

8. Add A Cover Image

Unfortunately no matter how pretty your profile is, the majority do not look at your profile. So even though they look pretty in the symmetrical and colour co-ordinated order, this doesn’t really affect your performance on Pinterest. However DO make sure your board has a cover image. This will entice people to click on your board when it comes up in search.

Pinterest board cover images | 10 Pinterest Tips for Bloggers

9. Specific & Timely Boards

The more selective your board the better it can perform. So instead of a general fashion board, why not create separate boards, for example types of fashion, ‘Denim’, ‘Suede’ and maybe even something random like ‘Jelly Shoes’. The more unique is better. You just don’t know who is searching for these terms. Popular boards on Pinterest right now include men’s style and white bathrooms. Also think of content to pin around timely events e.g Halloween. If the holiday is coming up pin this a few months before and place it at the top of your boards. Google crawls the page from top to bottom so hopefully will bring up your content.

10. Use Rich Pins & Verify

If you are a blogger, which I am guessing you are if you are reading this. Then make sure you verify your website/blog. You can do this once you sign up for a business account on Pinterest (it’s free). This will give you access to insights and stats to see what people are pinning from your blog. To get analytics and verify your website click here. Don’t worry you just need to add a small piece of code to your site and you will get a lovely verified tick on Pinterest like me. You can also see what people have been pinning from your blog by going to https://www.pinterest.com/source/(add your own blog url).

Pinterest Profile The LDN Diaries | 10 Pinterest Tips For Bloggers

Rich Pins are also a good way to help promote your content on Pinterest. These make your content show up on Pinterest with lots more details. For example if you had a recipe on your blog and had a rich pin, on the pin it would show the ingredients and recipe below the pin. The types of rich pins are film, recipe, article, product and place. So for most bloggers we would use article. You can sign up for rich pins by clicking here and following the instructions.

I hope these tips help you maximise your Pinterest potential. You can follow me on Pinterest at pinterest.com/theldndiaries.