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Gwen Stefani

Lifestyle

The Essential Beach Bum Accessories Guide

July 25, 2012
After several amazing sun filled days at the incredible Petit St Vincent, a private island in the Grenadines, I am feeling more in touch with my Californian roots than I have in a while. I was in desperate need of vitamin D filled UV-rays and time to unwind on what I consider to be some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. 
Sure, I now live in London and don’t go to the beach as much as I used to in Cali, but a Californian girl never forgets how to pack the perfect beach bag! Whether you are spending the day at the beach building sand castles and decorating them with conch shells…
…or sunning yourself by a pool or on a sailboat peacefully sailing in the sea… 

…there are a few essential accessories that every beach bum needs, and I am going to share mine with you. So, without further ado, here are my list of beach essentials that are always in my beach bag:

Burt’s Bees Sun Protecting Lip Balm with Passion fruit 

If you haven’t treated your smackers to Burt’s Bees before, then it’s time to start! The tingly yet soothing sensation when you apply this lip balm will turn you into a Burt’s Bees customer for life. Even better, this sun protecting lip balm has SPF 8 and a hint of passion fruit, which tastes like a refreshing rum punch. Sun protection has never been so tasty!

Vita Coco Coconut Water
It is common knowledge that being in the sun dehydrates you, but you might not know that coconut water can rehydrate the whole body at rapid speed, thus being the ultimate hangover cure. I am convinced that Rihanna, now the face of Vita Coco, lives off this stuff. How else can she go out every night and still look fresh faced in the morning? Bring a bottle of coconut water with you to the beach to stay hydrated – your body will thank you for it!

Kérastase’s Elixir Ultime

When it comes to hair care I swear by Kérastase products, thanks to my good friend Johne Barretta’s recommendation. If you’ve had your hair color ‘enhanced’ before, then I don’t need to tell you that sun exposure not only lightens your highlights or hair dye, but it also dries out your hair. A couple of drops of Kérastase’s Elixir Ultime on your damp locks will ensure your hair stays as well nourished and “mane-tained” as Kate Middleton’s. Rub a small amount in your hair at the beach to channel Kate Bosworth’s beach babe messy mane in Blue Crush – back in the day when she had curves and didn’t just feast on raisins!

Cali Cool Beach Attire
I like too many beachwear brands just to pinpoint one or two of my favourites. I’ve told you before about my obsession with Gwen Stefani, but you have to admit, she can really pull off the glam rocker chic beach look, right? When beach heat, sunscreen, and sand are combined, the outcome can be a fashion disaster. Think loose layers, Havaianas, shades, and a swimsuit that wont leave you with regrettable tan lines!

I Love My Muff Wipes

I know what you’re thinking, I had a good chuckle when I was sent a sample box of I Love My Muff wipes – brilliant marketing, no? If you are transitioning from a beach day to an evening beach bbq or full moon party, then you’re probably going to need a bit of freshening up! These biodegradable sanitizing wipes will leave you feeling as fresh as a daisy as you stroll down the beach, the waves crashing at your feet…

Nars Monoi Body Glow 
I’m not too fussed when it comes to sunscreen, as long as I don’t burn, have to apply every 5 minutes, look like I’ve been dipped in a can of white paint, or smell odd. My girlfriend Mathilde introduced me to Nars’s Monoi Body Glow, which really does “create glowing, healthy looking, and naturally fragrant skin,” just like it promises on the bottle. Lather this fragrant body oil all over and prepare to smell like a tropical dream come true. After a day at the beach, your skin will love being pampered with this moisturizing oil, which I just cannot get enough of! 

Nars Illuminator in Orgasm
While we’re on the topic of Nars products, it would just be wrong for me not to mention Nars’s Illuminator in Orgasm – you really can’t go wrong ordering a product in this shade right? Just a dab of this shimmering liquid cream makes your skin look as if you’ve been touched by a glistening sun god. After a day on the beach, apply this illuminator on your cheek bones and down your shins to enhance your tan and your now sun-kissed complexion. 

Aloe Vera

Aloha aloe vera, aka your best friend after you have seen too much sun. Most sun worshippers apply aloe vera after realizing they resemble a lobster, but packing a bottle of aloe vera after sun in your beach bag and applying at the end of your beach day will not only treat a sunburn right away, it also moisturizes your skin and helps retain your tan for longer. So even if you don’t feel burnt, lather yourself in this soothing goodness! The more pure the aloe vera the better – I am a big fan of the organic aloe vera products sold at Whole Foods. If you can find it, tear a stem off an aloe vera plant and cover yourself in the yellow colored liquid sap found inside the leaves. This remedy is the crème de la crème of soothing and preventing a sunburn – thank you mother nature!

Are there any products you can’t live without on the beach? If so, let me know because I’m always open for suggestions! Throw in a good book, a beach playlist, and a cooler of refreshments, and you are all set for a day of beach bliss. Can’t you already hear the waves as the cool ocean water laps at your feet? 
Hope you are having fun in the sun at the beach this summer! 

Blondon,

xoxo 
Lifestyle

Blondes Run Faster

February 29, 2012
If someone told me to run a half marathon a year ago, I would have laughed and said that I only run for taxis. Turns out I underestimated myself, as in January I caught the running bug and ran my first half marathon in Brighton ten days ago. The Brighton half marathon is a lovely course for a first ½ marathon, as there aren’t too many hills, the crowd is ridiculously friendly, and even the sun came out in mid-February!
A nice 13.1 mile run looking out at the Brighton beach
My marathon highlights included seeing a blue-haired granny wearing a flowered moo moo cheering runners on from the sideline, fellow running friend Marcus running in a skin-tight bright pink male leotard, and of course bumping into Katie Price’s very indiscreet whip at the finish line..  

Obviously good old Jord wore a matching pink outfit to go with her Rover
Several of my girlfriends have asked how on earth you go from running to catch a cab, to running a ½ marathon in a short amount of time. I am far from a running expert, but here are some tips and tricks I learned along the way, while training for my big Brighton run.
Running Attire
Just like every new hobby, you usually end up needing new kit to go along with it. After signing up for the ½ marathon I smugly jogged on over to Sweaty Betty, which I think of as the UK equivalent to Lululemon, and treated myself to some practical yet attractive looking dex (slang for spandex in Cali). Once I was kitted out in bright colored dex, it only seemed appropriate to get some fun Nike trainers to go along with the ensemble. I opted for the Nike Women’s Dual fusion ST2 – pictured above. I definitely recommend buying a pair of good running socks as they really make a difference. Also remember to keep your toenails trimmed when frequently running, otherwise you will end a run only to realize that you are missing part of your pedicure. Gross I know, but something you certainly don’t want to experience!
Motivation 101
I’m sure it won’t surprise you when I say that you need to get motivated to put down the pack of crisps (aka potato chips), get off the sofa, and start pounding the pavement! Fret not if you aren’t an early bird, now that Spring is around the corner and it isn’t pitch black outside at 4:30pm, it is easier than ever to log some miles after work. Once you are in your running gear, try to remind yourself what it is that is going to motivate you to finish your run without stopping today. Maybe it’s the skinny jeans you want to fit back into or knowing how amazing you are going to feel at the end of your run. Ever since I was in the front row at a No Doubt concert I like to envision Gwen Stefani’s rock-hard rock star abs when I need some motivation. I’ve created a Pinterest board just to help give me that extra boost of motivation before runs – feel free to take a look and follow it here – and yes, I know this board makes me look like a massive lezza (UK slang for lesbian, which I just love saying), but if it motivates me then it might motivate you too! 
Running Apps Are Your Friend
Being a bit of a technology nerd, I am obsessed with the iPhone app Nike+ GPS, which tracks all your runs and has athletes like Lance Armstrong cheering you on. I love running around London, but I have definitely got lost on more than one occasion and used the GPS on this app to help steer me back on course. If you use Nike+ GPS, then don’t forget to create a powersong playlist to help give you that extra smack of encouragement. Mapometer.com is also a great website to plan out your running routes. 

The Perfect Playlist 
There is nothing I like more than running to all my favorite tunes and if you’re like me, then running or working out without music is just agony. Creating the perfect playlist to keep you jazzed up during your run is essential in my book. I am a big fan of listening to No Doubt, Lady Gaga, Fanny Pack, Rihanna, Britney, Katy B, Robyn, Madonna and basically any type of pop music to get me pumped up. When it’s time for your cool down, try Lana del Rey’s new album, Mariah Carey, Third Eye Blind, Bob Marley, Red Hot Chilli Peppers or David Gray. I’m always open to music suggestions, and love to listen to new music, so if you have any favorite tunes to run to let me know!
Accept Sweets From Strangers – Really!
I didn’t really know what to expect on the day of my ½ marathon, but I was happy as a clam carbo-loading in the run-up to the big day. One bit of advice I was told, and definitely found true, is to try to find ‘a good bottom’ that is running at your pace and follow that bottom! I found my silver haired fox/Anderson Cooper look-a-like ‘bottom’ to follow until he suddenly started to seriously pick up the pace at mile 8. I was also advised to accept any Jelly Baby candies, Lucozade drinks or gel I was handed while running, as the sugars give you a much-needed boost and the drinks help hydrate you. So, forget what your mama told ya and accept candies from strangers. 

One of the best things about running a half marathon is knowing you can eat whatever you want after without feeling remotely guilty. If you are ever in Brighton, I highly recommend Bill’s, where there is always a line out the door for a reason! After the best shower of my life post ½ marathon, I hightailed it over to Bill’s to have a seriously delicious and well-deserved meal.
Bill’s in Brighton – one of my favorite spots
Ten days after my ½ marathon I am trying to keep the running buzz alive, and have even signed up for another race in April. Call me crazy, but I think I would even try to run the London Marathon if the 2012 ballot wasn’t already closed. It’s also about as challenging getting a spot in the London Marathon as it is to get an invite to Will & Kate’s pad for a Sunday Roast. Never say never though!