Beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog for modern, ambitious and career-driven women looking to have a balanced, contented and magical life.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

The Future Direction of My Blog - What To Expect Going Forward

the future of blogging

I love writing. Whether it is technical reports for work or posts for the blog. There is something therapeutic about it, and I see it as a way to tell a story. 

My journey and passion for writing will not have evolved to where it is now if not for the continued support from you who keep coming back weeks after weeks to this blog. To those who had taken the time to leave comments, thank you! The interactions and engagements give a sense of belonging and togetherness. It is what I truly enjoy being a part of this community. 

As with everything in life, we grow, change and evolve. It is all part of the process of moving forward. So today, I wanted to share with you the future direction of my blog and what you could expect from theflairsophy going forward. 

Format & Layout 

If you're a regular reader, I am sure you will have noticed that this blog had a facelift last week. It is the second time that I had changed the format and layout of this blog and it was done as part of its ongoing growth and improvement. But more importantly, I wanted to give you a more welcoming feel when you land here and a more enjoyable navigation experience as you explore its content, be it old or new. 

Contentwise, I have narrowed things down to three genres - Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle. Everything that I had written previously and will be going forward that relates to general life tips and advice, places explored and travel experiences will now be housed in the Lifestyle category. 

Posting Schedule

At the beginning of 2006, I made a commitment to posting on a weekly basis - on Sunday. Today, I am proud to say that I have successfully kept to this commitment (bar the very few times when I was away on holiday with the family). As my readership grows, it is only natural that I feel encouraged to write more so you have fresh content to come back to. 

But as you know, I run this blog on the side of my full-time career. While I don't want that to be an excuse or a hindrance, I need to acknowledge the limitation it posed in order for me to find a feasible solution so that I stay true to this blog's manifesto: 

"Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle blog for modern, ambitious, driven women looking to have a balanced, contented and magical life"

So from October onwards, I am moving my posting schedule from Sunday to Monday. I have debated and given this so much thought as I question the availability of time to read blog posts on the first day of the week. But I finally feel ready to give it a try. This change is all about wanting to give you more but without sacrificing content quality in the process of doing so. By shifting my posting schedule to Monday, it means I have an extra day at the weekend to simply to do so.

But I am also conscious that this change means I am taking away the weekly content that you could leisurely read on Sundays. So to make up for creating a hole in your weekend routine, from October onwards I will be posting on Saturdays too! The Saturday posts will be curated as a weekly round-up of news and articles that had caught my eyes during the week covering a wide range of topics. This means not only you will get your weekend content a day earlier, but also the breadth of materials to read will be expanded too. The format will be intentionally short, sharp and snappy, a perfect balance between giving you fresh content but without getting in the way for you to proceed with your weekend plans.

Giveaways 

We have now entered the final stretch of the year. It is often the busiest time of the year as we all want to hit the milestones that we set ourselves at the start of the year. 

But let's not forget, we also have Halloween, Thanksgiving and of course Christmas to look forward to. 

And in the spirit festivities and continuing on from the theme of giving, I will be hosting a number of giveaways leading up to the year-end. You can expect them to be announced here and if we are still not friends on the 'gram, let's be friends as there will be giveaway announcements there too. So watch the space!

I am feeling rather excited at these changes now that I've written them all out here. I hope you are excited as I am too! Feel free you leave any further thoughts you may have as I am all ears for new ideas. x
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Sunday, 16 September 2018

3 Easy Ways to Break Your Work Week

Easy ways to break your work week

One of the perks of having a full-time job is annual leave. It is certainly one of the benefits if not the benefit that I am grateful for and fully treasure as a working professional.

In the past, I often associate taking annual leave with going away for a holiday. I felt it is a total waste of my annual leave to spend it in London.

Don't get me wrong. I am completely on board with going away. It is great! Not only a change in scenery is great for relaxing, reflecting and resetting your mind but also a fantastic way of exploring new places.

But sometimes all you want and need is to be away from your office desk, break away from your daily routine but still want to feel that you've accomplished something useful. As you know, it is often the little things that make a difference.

So today I thought I'd share 3 easy ways to break your work week.

Sign up for a class to learn a new skill

Whatever your interests and passions are, whether to learn more about photography, cake decorating or mastering the wing eye-liner look, I am sure there are classes that you could sign up to. If you've been wanting to pursue a new passion, learn a new skill, but can't find enough time to squeeze all that at the weekend, take a day off and stop using lack of time as an excuse.

There are many short courses available out there. I learned tremendously about camera setting and photography over a 2-day course in London. I learned about the anatomy of body movements which helped deepen my Pilates practice in one day. Ultimately, this was the course that sparked further interest in me becoming a qualified Mat Pilates instructor. Heck, I've even taken a day off to sit for my Grade 5 Piano exam! Whatever it is, learning a new skill especially if it is not related to your day job, is a great way to keep the mind going.

Spend time with visiting friends

I am blessed that I have friends scattered all over the world but it does come with a challenge. While technology such as WhatsApp and FaceTime have been helpful to maintain the friendship and keep in touch, there is nothing quite like spending time together, face to face. So whenever my friends visiting from abroad, I am always more than willing to take a day off to spend time with them. We often start with brunch and simply wander around the city afterwards to fill up the day. Coffee and cake break often involves in this situation. 

Cafes and restaurants are less busy during the week which means we can take as much time as we want to enjoy our meal. There is no rush to leave the table for the next person in the queue. This quality time spent together, albeit, only a day, often leaves me feeling happy and contented afterwards, it almost felt like I've been away on a holiday.  

Book in a 'Me Time'

Whether it is a facial, massage or a personal shopping session. Do it. You, your body and mind totally deserve it. 

I once attended a personal styling session and was advised that the best time to shop and update your wardrobe is during the week. New stocks are in, shops are less busy, and the merchandise is neatly laid out in store. 

Weekday shopping will change your experience. You will have the mental clarity to stick with the fashion vision board that you've created. If you need ideas or opinions, you will also get more attention from shop assistance as they are not being pulled in multiple directions from other customers. 

What's your take on this? Do share below as I am always open for new ideas on easy ways to break my working week. 
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Sunday, 9 September 2018

What's in my everyday make up bag?


whats in my make up bag

You would probably have seen in the news this week what most people think of women who put on make up on the train. Who knew the majority of the public has such strong reaction, opinion and views about it!

The subject is debatable depending on who you talk to. To me, it is a personal choice. I personally don't put on make up while on the tube. Partly due to the short commute that I have and secondlyI'd like to look pulled together before stepping out of the house. However, I am always curious to see what products were used whenever I see someone doing so during my travel. 

So I thought if I am keen to know what other women carry day-in-day-out in their make up bag, you may be curious too about what I have in my everyday make up bag!
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Sunday, 2 September 2018

The Power of 'Asking' - How It Had Worked in My Favour and It Could Work for You Too

the power of asking

Just ask.

Two simple words which are not practised often enough.

I genuinely think that 'fear' is the main reason why people often don't ask for what they want or need. However, this fear is only a mind-game that is playing in your head, and what if I tell you, more often than not when you ask, the response tends to be a positive one. Even if the answer is not what you were hoping to be, what have you got to lose? At least you now know the answer and you could explore other options.

Today, I thought I'd share my experiences of 'asking' and how it had worked in my favour. Hopefully, it will give you the nudge and encouragement to do the same if it is something that you have been thinking about, but not quite have the courage to pursue.
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Sunday, 26 August 2018

Miami, Florida - The Sunshine State

miami florida

Do you agree that it is the best feeling in the world when Sunday arrived and knowing that you have another day off work? Yes, it's the Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK, and I for sure will not be experiencing Monday blues tonight.

Personally, I was planning on doing as little as I could possibly get away with during the three-day weekend. While I may not be joining the majority of UK travellers on the road or at the airport, all eager and excited to get to their holiday destinations, I do have a wonderful trip to look back to and reminisce while I lounge around in my pyjamas sipping a cup of coffee.

It's Miami, Florida.

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Sunday, 19 August 2018

The Ordinary - What Worked and What Didn't For Me


As a person who is beauty and skin care obsessed, it is unsurprising that my bathroom cabinet holds more products than an average person would typically have. Not to mention that it takes considerably a long time for me to use up all the products because you know, 'One face' and all that jazz.

But my counter-argument is always all in the name of research. Otherwise, I'll be none the wiser.

Since the first purchase of The Ordinary products about a year ago, a few more items had made it from the store to the basket to my bathroom cabinet. Some items work rather well for me and a few didn't make a difference which I think is fairly normal as our skin needs are different and tends to react differently to different products.

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Sunday, 12 August 2018

The Dior Saddle Bag - What I Think of Them?


If you're a fashion lover and a crazy handbag lady like me, you will have heard about the Dior Saddle bag. It is one of the most iconic and recognisable bags of all time. Even more so, recently when Maria Grazia decided to relaunch the Dior Saddle bag in July, and the fashion world went completely crazy.

The original Dior Saddle bag was first launched in 1999 when John Galliano was at the helm of the House of Dior. It was seen on the arms of many 'It' fashion girls in the late '90s and early 2000. It was also featured in the SATC series, carried by non-other Carrie Bradshaw.
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Sunday, 5 August 2018

My Birthday!


One of the things I love about my birthday month is the fact that it is in the summer season. Daylight, sunshine, long days - the choices of how I choose to celebrate my special day is endless. This year, in particular, we've been blessed with amazing summer weather in London; I guess it also depends on which camp you're in. I have friends who are absolutely done with this sweltering weather. But for me, I choose to embrace this heat as long as the sky is blue, the sun is shining and most importantly, it's dry! I simply don't cope well when it rains because it's just one big mess!
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Sunday, 15 July 2018

Summer Spotlight - The Past, The Present and The Future


Hi - I am back! And yes, things were rather quiet in here. But here I am about to share what I had been up to, what are the things that are currently occupying my life and what I have plans for the future.
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Sunday, 10 June 2018

New In - Valentino Rockstuds Ankle Strap Pump

I know I am super late to the party. Mainly because I never knew that I am a studs kind of girl. However, over the last few months, I have been lusting over the Valentino Rockstuds Ankle Strap Pump.
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Sunday, 3 June 2018

June - General Life Update


Could someone explain to me how is it that it's June already? Didn't we just experience the unexpected 'Beast from the East' in March?

But who am I to complain? The weather has been glorious and it genuinely feels like we are in for a good summer this year. Apart from the occasional rain, I feel like I've had proper sunshine since April, which is a lot to be grateful for when you live in England.
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Sunday, 27 May 2018

Bicester Village - A Luxury Designer Outlet Accessible From London

 If you are anything like me - loves shopping and luxury designer goods - chances are you would have already heard of, if not visited Bicester Village, the Designer Shopping Outlet in Oxford, but easily accessible from London. But if for any reasons you haven't, then you are about to be introduced to the wonderful world of shopping for luxury designer goods at a slightly discounted price.
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Sunday, 20 May 2018

NOLA - New Orleans, Louisiana

One of my main highlights from the month of April is the trip to New Orleans, Louisiana. Not only because it was my first time there, but also, a very much needed and welcomed break as I was already at the brink of a burnt out given the last holiday I took was back in October 2017. Yes, I had time off work during Christmas and Easter but I stayed in London during both occasions as there were too much going on the work front.

I didn't know much about New Orleans - my travel buddy wanted to include it as part of our trip and I went along. I went with zero expectations and was completely ready to soak up new experiences that the City has to offer.

The trip definitely improved my prowess of the City. It has so much to offer - a mixture of history, culture, music and food - which is amazing!
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Sunday, 13 May 2018

Medium Classic Lady Dior Handbag


Could we please take a moment and appreciate what a stunning masterpiece this beauty is? She is the latest addition to my handbags family.

Considering that Dior is the first luxury designer that I became aware of and that it is my favourite IT bag, I can't believe it had taken me this long to find the perfect the medium-sized Classic Lady Dior bag.

The wait may be long but it she the perfect one for me.

And here's why.
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Sunday, 6 May 2018

My Happiness Boosts


This post is entirely inspired by the one published on The Elgin Avenue. After reading her article I totally got on board with the simple concept of 'happiness boosts' and upon reflection, I came to a realisation that happiness boosts are often little things that make me happy and content.

So today I thought I'd share my very own list of Happiness Boosts.
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Sunday, 29 April 2018

Ways To Inject Healthy Habits Into Your Life


If one your resolutions was to be healthier this year, and you feel like you haven't up your game enough, don't be disheartened by the lack of progress. Instead of continuing procrastinating, these are some small steps you could take to kick the ball rolling. I am a true believer that you don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.
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Sunday, 22 April 2018

How I Plan What To Pack For A Holiday


Seeing that I have an upcoming holiday at the end of this month, I thought I'd do a quick round-up and share a few tips on how I plan what to pack for a holiday. This method is personal to me and has always worked in the past. If there are things that have worked particularly well for you, feel free to share below!
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Sunday, 15 April 2018

Why SLGs Are Great and What I Use It For















Small leather goods, otherwise commonly known as SLGs are not only useful but also can be an affordable way to start your luxury designer items collection. I remember perfectly, the first luxury designer item I purchased was a Christian Dior Long Wallet. They are functional and are not as expensive as buying classic designer bags. So if you have a limited budget to play with, SLGs are a great place to start.
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Sunday, 8 April 2018

Beauty and Makeup Wish List


 
No matter how happy I am with my beauty and makeup routine and collection, there are always a number of beauty and makeup items floating within the beauty and makeup market that make me itch wanting to give them a try or to add to my almost insatiable love and passion of beauty and makeup products. Don't get me wrong. My current skincare routine is working very well for my skin and it comprises of products that I cannot live without. Not only that, following from my recent makeup reorganisation, I also know that I have more than enough makeup to last me a lifetime. But there are still so many products on the market that I haven't tried! #firstworldproblem

While I have gotten better with the concept of delayed gratification, I still struggle to let the desire to procure them go completely. I guess if you can't take your mind off it after so so long, it is probably time to give it a go? So today I thought I'd share my beauty and makeup wish list.
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Sunday, 1 April 2018

Makeup Storage/Organisation and What I Learned From It


Happy Easter! Whatever you have planned for today, and whether you're spending Easter with your friends or family, I hope you're having a fantastic time.

Easter is often associated with new life and a new beginning, regardless whether you are celebrating it based on your faith or not. A change in season also springs to mind (pun intended) as daffodils start making appearances in parks, gardens and the neighbourhood. If you are anything like me, you often feel the need to reset your life (it sure feels like a second new year) and declutter your possessions.

And that was exactly what I did on Good Friday. Not quite the full-blown Marie Kondo method, but simply throwing away old magazines that have been accumulating dust underneath the coffee table and some unused plastic containers in the kitchen.

I recently purchased the silver and brushed blue chest of drawers from Brissi. It was my first purchase from the brand, and I am very delighted with both the item and the service. As soon as I set my eyes on it I knew it will be the perfect set up for my makeup storage/organisation. I've been in the market for one for a very, very long time and I have been very adamant not to get the standard unit from Ikea as I wanted to find a piece of furniture that is not only functional but also has a bit of character. This chest of drawers which is from their China Club/Shangri La collection and is inspired from the old Chinese screens' patterns is absolutely perfection, and definitely ticks off my requirements, with an added bonus as it was on sales too!

When it arrived I was beyond excited and pretty much started my makeup storage/re-organisation/decluttering process almost immediately. Today I thought I'd share my five take aways from the organisation process.
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Sunday, 25 March 2018

Chanel Bags - My Personal Collection


Spring has sprung and the clock sprung forward this morning. Albeit I wish that I hadn't lost an hour of my life, it's an inescapable cycle that we go through every year. So instead of feeling negative about it, I thought today I'd share something that always makes me very happy.

It's my personal collection of Chanel handbags.
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Sunday, 18 March 2018

A Round Up of My Week | Cycling, Tower Bridge and Alumni Event

Today's post is a slight departure from my usual ones, but seeing that I had a rather interesting week last week, I thought it's worth capturing it here. Furthermore, I feel like posting something chatty and laid back today and I hope to give you a little insight into my life and what I was up to recently.


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Sunday, 11 March 2018

My Top 5 Favourite Healthy Snacks


When it comes to wellness there are two main things that I personally believe it and I try to practise these as much as I can. This is purely my view and my approach. Other people may think differently and have other perspectives. After all, I am not a dietitian or a nutritionist.

Firstly, you are what you eat. What you put in your body is important as it affects your performance, both on a day to day basis, even more so when you are working out. Your body needs the energy to perform, and energy comes from good quality and nutritious food.

Secondly, balanced is key and everything in moderation, including portion control. It's OK to have the Kit Kat, but maybe just have one of the single portion size rather than the family size and eat everything in one go or on your own.

When I started my wellness and healthy eating journey a few years ago, I did it out of respect for my body. I believe that it deserves all the nourishment and until today, I have not cut out any food groups from my diet. I simply eat clean most of the time and I try as much as I can to cut out processed food from my diet.

Today, I thought I'd share 5 healthy snacks that I am currently obsessed with. These are my support system and have been successful in keeping me away from the office vending machine to battle the 4pm energy slum.
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Sunday, 4 March 2018

Home Update Ideas


Believe it or not, I've been living in my current apartment for more than 5 years now. It makes perfect sense why in the last few months I have started to develop a strong desire to update a few pieces that I have. While last week didn't feel like Spring at all in London, thanks to the #beastfromtheeast, isn't it funny with every new season we often feel the need to either update or spring clean our lives, be it our wardrobe or our homes.
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Sunday, 25 February 2018

My Favourite Morning Routine - Easing Into the World


I always consider myself not a morning person. And I am ok with that.

I love my bed too much and often struggle to get up in the morning. I always wonder how do some people go to the gym first thing because to me, waking up to be at the gym or any fitness classes for that matter is the worst motivation to leave the bed. But each to his or her own. 

Whenever I have a scheduled meeting at work before 9am, it stresses me up so much that I ended up not having a good night sleep, fearing that I would oversleep and be late for the said meeting. It goes without saying that the interrupted sleep made me groggy and tired in the morning which then leads me to continue believing that I am just not a morning person.

Having said that, over time I have noticed something.
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Sunday, 18 February 2018

The Perfect Trio for Evening Skincare Routine


If you have been reading this blog, then you would have known that the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum and the Clinique Night Turnaround Revitalising Moisturizer are a must in my evening skincare routine. But recently, I have included another product as the final step in my evening skincare routine.
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Sunday, 11 February 2018

Chinese New Year | Where to Eat in London


This Friday, 16 February 2018 is Chinese New Year, an important festival in the Chinese calendar. It marks the start of a new year following the lunar cycle. This year is the Year of the Dog; there are 12 animals all together as such the full cycle completes once every 12 years.

One of the main traditions of Chinese New Year is the family reunion dinner, which is held on the eve of the New Year. It is deemed as the most important family get-together meal of the entire year. It is often held at the house of the most senior family member of the family and all children and grandchildren are expected to be present. Married females will follow the husband for a reunion dinner with his side of the family; a non-negotiable long-standing known tradition. Hence historically, Chinese families are known to favour sons over daughters as sons will carry the family surname and will be home for the annual reunion dinner. 

As Chinese New Year often comes not too far after the Christmas holiday, my friends and I do not have the privilege to return home and celebrate with our families. As a result, friends become our away-from-home family. Every year, we meet up for our Chinese New Year luncheon at a restaurant of choice. So today, I thought I'd share my most frequented restaurants in London to satisfy the Chinese/Oriental food cravings.
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Sunday, 4 February 2018

Pilates - An Overview and Why I Love It


If you had seen this, this and this post, you would have known that I was undertaking a Pilates teaching course late last year and two weeks ago, I got my test results and I passed! I definitely stretched myself a little too much towards the end of last year to the point that I could only find time to sit for the Pilates theory test on Christmas eve (I had completed the practical application test earlier). Hence why my result was slightly delayed due to the Christmas - New Year holiday season.

With this new qualification, I decided to add another category to this blog - Wellness - to bring more topics to the mix because I often find the blogs that I enjoy reading the most are the ones that cover a variety of topics. I hope the broad genre covered on this blog will appeal to wide range of readers, as there is a little something for everyone. I also believe the word 'Wellness' is sufficiently broad to cover myriad topics including fitness, healthy eating, self-care and mindfulness as an avenue to share my thoughts on these topics as I progress through on this journey myself.
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Sunday, 28 January 2018

Florence, Italy | My Favourite Spots

Seeing that we are already at the end of January 2018, I thought it is about time that these photos which I took while I was in Florence in July 2017 see the light of days.

Notwithstanding that Florence is relatively small and compact, it still has a lot to offer. There is plenty to see and they can be easily done by foot. The three main highlights for me were the Firenze Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery and the Boboli Gardens.
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Sunday, 21 January 2018

New In #4 - New Year's Skincare Haul


Unlike other fashion items, skin care products don't go on sales often. Having said that, there are instances when you will see me making a beeline to beauty counters to stock up on my can't live without beauty products. And those instances are when I am at the airport in the duty-free shops, when department stores do special beauty promotions, and when brands offer gifts with purchase.

During the recent sales, I have stocked up on a few of my beauty favourite items and today, I thought I'd share what I bought recently with you. It is a small haul but it's a mixed bag of products that I am repurchasing and trying out for the first time.
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Sunday, 14 January 2018

New Year's Afternoon Tea At the Intercontinental The O2


While most people kicked off 2018 with resolutions to eat healthily, cut-off sugar and booze after the Christmas period binge, I did the complete opposite.
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Sunday, 7 January 2018

2018 Beauty Resolutions


Happy New Year! I hope you had a great start to 2018.

Seeing that this is the very first blog post of 2018, I think it would be rude if I proceeded without mentioning new year's resolutions. I am all for resolutions as we all need that something extra to look forward to, to work towards, to challenge ourselves so that, one day, when we look back, we can see how much we've achieved and how far we've come along. The key for me is always setting realistic targets so here are my three 2018 Beauty Resolutions. Nothing too crazy...
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