Femme Luxe Haul #2

Pink background, girl wearing light coloured dress with jacket

You’ll remember I previously collaborated with Femme Luxe, and I’ve been lucky enough to do so again!

Continuing in the vein of getting out of my comfort zone and choosing clothes which I wouldn’t normally go for has been really positive for my confidence. I’m noticing that I’m choosing things I’d never have even looked at before because I feel better about myself. Perhaps some of that is my consistent, healthy lifestyle I’ve written about here, but having more of a choice over different shapes and styles of clothing makes a difference.

Here’s what I chose:

Dark Blue Denim Bardot Top

“Take it off the shoulder this season and make a serious fashion statement in the Dark Blue Denim Bardot Top. Featuring a gathered front and puff sleeve, this bardot top is a summer essential!”

Femme Luxe Bardot Top

I wore this top with a plain black skirt and wedges on a night out in Cyprus, unfortunately didn’t take any pictures! It looks great but I didn’t wear a bra with it and to be honest I would have sized down if I could have (I chose size 12 but ran out of time to return). It is a really unique shape and something I’ll return to.

Black Polka Dot Ruched Puff Sleeve Mini Dress

Get the cutest look in our Black Polka Dot Ruched Puff Sleeve Dress. In elegant long sleeves and a cute print we know you’ll love this mini dress.”

Hmmm, not my favourite I have to say. The model on the website looks banging, but I ended up looking a bit like a spotty sausage. I got a medium (apparently 10/12) – but this size was so tight on my boobs it just wouldn’t have been possible to wear it out. 

Polka Dot Dress with long sleeves from Femme Luxe

There is some funny sizing on Femme Luxe so I’d just be aware. For example, the medium in this dress was 10/12, but a large on another item of clothing would be 12/14 and an M would be 8/10. I try to aim for size 10 where possible, but when the sizing isn’t consistent, you will get some ‘misses’ like this!

Black Cut Out Body Con Dress

Sorry, I can’t find it on the website now (I’ve linked to other black body cons from Femme Luxe, but you WILL have seen this dress on Insta.  Again, I wore it in Cyprus on a date night and I couldn’t believe how it made my body look. It isn’t a stretch material but it pulled me in in all the right places, and somehow made my girls look two or three sizes bigger too? Magical. 10/10 would wear again.

Femme Luxe Cut Out Body Con Dress Black

Looking forward to see what Autumn brings from Femme Luxe! You can visit the Femme Luxe website here.

BROMPTON BICYCLE X ELLA DELANCEY

I worked with Brompton Bicycles to bring their customers experiences and stories about owning a Brompton Bicycle to life. I edited long-form case studies into cohesive, easy-to-digest blog posts for the Brompton website as well as writing up company events and news.

The Jones Wedding Update – June 2019

Oh wow…how has THIS much time passed since my last update on our wedding plans?

I remember thinking that May 2020 was AGES away when we first got engaged. Now, we’re six months to Christmas (!) and I feel like we’re running out of time – we’re 100% not, though.

We’ve now been engaged for almost six months. I’m still really enjoying it and still haven’t got over it. I really can’t wait to marry William in May next year BUT I definitely think I’m going to miss being engaged. It’s so fun and exciting.

Here is what we’ve been up to over the last three months…

Had an engagement party

In the end, I had nothing to worry about and the party was fab. So many people turned up and we were just overwhelmed with all the love. I felt amazing and Will looked so handsome. My only regret is that I didn’t take any photos at ALL – I’ve got a few from other people but no group shots.

Couple at engagement party in Ealing

Met with the venue

We met with the venue last week, armed with about 100 questions that had been rattling around in our heads. We came out feeling much more chilled and with a better idea of how our day is going to be and what it’s going to look like. Our wedding planner Michelle is amazing – she knows everything and there are no silly questions!

Gave our notice of marriage

This was CRAAAAZY. This is where you go to the actual registry office to give your actual intention of actually getting married. It felt so grown up and formal (which I suppose it is). This is where you confirm the venue and time of the ceremony and they ask you a heap of questions to make sure your marriage isn’t forced, or that you could potentially be related!? We headed to brunch afterwards to celebrate and it was just the perfect Saturday morning.

Arranged our wedding party

I asked Lucy to be a Bridesmaid like one week into the engagement as it was such an easy decision for me. We then confirmed one witness. More recently, Will asked some of his closest friends to be Groomsmen. We still need to confirm the Best Man and one other witness, but it’s something we want to do face-to-face so I’ll hold off saying anymore until the next update.

Gypsophilia flower or Baby's Breath in differet colours including pink, blue, yellow and green

Tried on more wedding dresses

I know the exact style of dress I want and can see it in my mind – I just haven’t found it yet. I’m also really concerned I’m going to buy one then regret it. I do need to get a move on though, as I want to leave enough time for adjustments. I just want it to be RIGHT.

We’ve been doing a great job of working as a team whilst planning and still haven’t found anything we really disagree on (except perhaps Will’s choice of First Dance song – Jurassic Park? No). I’ve been practising my second name and have booked a few restaurants under the name ‘Jones’ – it’s SO strange but I’m loving it.

We desperately want to go on holiday as we’ve both been working really hard and planning for a wedding can be stresssssssful, but we’re also aware of money so need to have a break on as much of a budget as possible. Again, we’re doing great as a team for saving so hopefully we’re on the right track.

There’s still so much to look forward to and we can’t wait!

 

Femme Luxe Haul Review

– This post contains gifted products –

I made a few resolutions at the start of the new year. I’d had a crazy, stressful 2018 and had been on a jouuuuuurNEY with my mental health and anxiety. Luckily, I was finally coming out the other side and had amazingly just become ENGAGED.

Quite frankly, I was sick of feeling sick in myself. I don’t want to say all of my resolutions – although I might further down the line – as it’s all still a work in progress. However, one of them was to begin dressing more adventurously and trying to accept my body and face for how they are.

My general uniform is black jeans, heeled boots or AirMax, with a variety of different ‘nice tops’. I admire fashion from afar, often jumping on trends too late, usually at the tail-end of the item’s popularity. Part of this is confidence, but part of it is definitely because I just don’t have the ‘eye’ for fashion. A few of my friends throw outfits together without even blinking and look incredible, it’s a skill. I just either stick to what I know or half-heartedly copy my pals.

I digress. I wanted to start wearing things that I wasn’t used to and start loving myself more. I’m approaching 30 (shut up) and I won’t have this body forever; it needs to be enjoyed instead of covered up! In the age of fast fashion, things are becoming easier for Fashion Losers like me. Returns are super easy, so I can buy a heap of stuff and only keep what I enjoy wearing and the CHOICE of items is just incredible.

Femme Luxe black and white logo

Bold choices

I was approached by Femme Luxe to try out some of their new clothing range. I was delighted, of course, but found myself adding things to the basket that were things I was used to. I had to stop and make myself choose some items that I would have once admired from a distance. These clothes are likely to be standard for everyone else but I was super pleased with my choices.

The ordering process was easy and the items were dispatched quite quickly. However, when I checked the dispatch notice, I saw that a couple of items including a great pair of jeans were not on there. I double checked and I’d definitely ordered them. When I contacted customer service, I was told that the items probably weren’t in stock. That was confusing to me as usually the website is updated if something is out of stock. It wasn’t the end of the world, but it was a little disappointing that this wasn’t communicated to me.

Blonde girl wearing Femme Luxe khaki lounge set

Lounge sets for life

The first outfit I chose was a khaki lounge set. I’ve majorly relaxed my style since meeting Will. I used to wear heels everywhere and have a FULL face of makeup morning, noon and night. I didn’t even own a pair of trainers. He has taught me that I can be loved and be a great person to be around without all that. With that revelation came the age of Ella In Athleisure. God I love a lounge set with trainers.

This one was different though. It’s cropped. I’ve hated my stomach for as long as I can remember and often get caught in a little bubble of feeling gross about it. It’s not until I am shown a picture of myself that I can actually see that I’m not fat. Like, at all. N.B. This is a story for another day.

The set is really up my street – it’s not the most quality of fabrics but it definitely does the job. I’d say that the sizing is good – I chose a 10. The top was fine but the bottoms were a little loose on my legs. I’d probably size down next time. Although the top is cropped, the trousers come up high, so I actually felt much more comfortable than I thought I would.

This set was £31 but there are often great deals and discounts on Femme Luxe so keep an eye out.

Blonde girl wearing Femme Luxe khaki lounge set crouched on decking

Free the nipple

I have absolutely no problem getting the girls out and this black bodysuit was a winner when I first saw it. I think I’m going to wear it to Wireless with some coloured nipple pasties underneath. I like the backless look, too. It’s true to size, the size 10 was fine for me.

Girl wearing black lace bodysuit and zip leggings from Femme Luxe

I paired the bodysuit with the Femme Luxe zippered high-waist leggings. Unfortunately, the material is quite thin so you could see the body suit seams, which isn’t a good look. Again, I’d ordered size 10 which was a little on the big size for my legs, but fit nicely on the waist. I’d probably size down next time!

Blonde girl facing away from the camera wearing Femme Luxe bodysuit and zippered leggings

Femme Luxe verdict?

Femme Luxe has so much choice across the site and is definitely going to help me in making bolder fashion choices. Although there were a couple of issues with my items, the ones they did send arrived really quickly. The materials used are obviously not the best BUT, at these amazing fast-fashion prices, what would you expect?

I’m impressed enough to want to work with Femme Luxe again, so I hope I’ll be sharing a few more outfits over the coming months. Maybe I’ll get better at posing in my garden. Who knows?

INTERVIEW: Yoni femcare launches in the UK – what are you putting between your legs?

Yoni branded tampons on pink background– this post contains gifted products –

Yoooo…it’s your girl Ella, talking about her fanny on the internet again!

Are you surprised? Probably not.

When news of an organic cotton femcare company dropped into my inbox, I couldn’t resist having a look.

Yoni has now launched in the UK and is standing up to break the taboo around periods and asking women to question what products they are using each month.

Yoni was born when its CEO entrepreneur and co-founder Mariah Mansvelt Beck saw a specialist after going through a cervical cancer scare, who advised her to use cotton products. This led her to question, for the first time, her sanitary product choices.

Yoni’s tampons and pads are made from 100% organic cotton, with no chemicals, pesticides, or other synthetic materials added (which sets them apart from the majority of available supermarket brands.) In addition, it’s all recyclable and compostable packaging.

Have you tried the products?

Yes! On first sight, the packaging was lovely. On using the products, although they weren’t worlds away from what I’ve been used to in the past, I did have a sense of clarity that I knew exactly what they were made from and absolutely no guilt, knowing that I wasn’t contributing to plastic waste. I found them to be super absorbent and as good, if not better, than any supermarket brand.

I caught up with Yoni’s CEO entrepreneur and co-founder Mariah to ask some important questions.

How did you come to question the materials that make up our standard menstrual products and set up Yoni?

The seed for Yoni was planted in a personal experience. When I turned 30 in the Netherlands, you’re always asked to come in for a health check-up. I did so and found out a few weeks later that I was developing cervical cancer.

Luckily, I was in the early stages but I had to go in and out of hospital for the next 6 months and have a couple of procedures and operations. I kept asking my doctors, what can I do to further support my health?

One of my doctors advised me to stop using normal tampons and pads and start using organic cotton tampons and pads to prevent further irritation. Immediately, that was enough for me to want to make a change. So I started to look for the products and I couldn’t find them in my normal supermarket, so I had to go to special organic-minded stores.  But sometimes, I couldn’t find these products and was faced with having to use products I no longer wanted to use.

So, one rainy Sunday in Amsterdam, I went and had tea with one of my best friends from university, Wendelien, and we started talking about this and she asked me, well what are my normal products actually made from, aren’t they just made from cotton? So we got out the boxes of products that she had and we looked at the box and that’s really when the lightbulb moment happened. We thought, there’s nothing, there’s no ingredients listed on these products. For such an intimate product, that came as a surprise. I think for any hand soap, detergent, food product, all of these things, cosmetic products, you’ll find the composition of the product on the packaging. But for these products there was nothing.

A couple of months later, we gave up our jobs and set up a tampon company! We took a few months to research what these products are made from, but we had immediately had quite a strong vision of what the brand should be. 

For those who don’t know, what do the word yoni mean?

Yoni is the Sanskrit word for vagina. I knew the word and I needed to spend a weekend thinking about whether I was going to call my company Yoni. But it makes sense, it’s what we want to do.

Do you believe there is a stigma around menstruation – and why has it taken so long to tackle it?

If you look back in history, menstruation has always been a taboo. The word taboo is actually derived from the Polynesian language I believe and means “alongside menstruation” itself.

In all of the religions menstruation was in some way a taboo. I believe that’s because the female body and the female cycle was not understood. Something that is not understood could be seen as great and powerful but could also be potentially very dangerous. Something that is potentially dangerous needs to be kind of kerbed in. So you’ve got these rules or rituals that women needed to stick to or weren’t allowed to participate fully in.

It’s not even that long ago that even in Western culture there was the idea that if you were menstruating that butter wouldn’t churn, or if you touched the flowers that they would wilt!

How eco-friendly are Yoni products? Will they contribute to the one-use plastic problem?

We’ve always said with Yoni, if you really want to have the most, best environmental option that you can use in terms of your femcare products, then I would definitely say, use a reusable product.

However, we’re saying that we’re taking you on a step in the right direction using organic cotton, having cardboard applicators, and packaging that is biodegradable, or at least as much as is possible for right now.

Our products are made from organic cotton, which is an important choice because it’s hypo-allergenic, it breathes, which is what you do not have with a pad that has a plastic layer over the top. All of our products are all certified by the Soil Association. The backing of our pads and panty liners are made from a corn starch, which is biodegradable.

Have you always been so open about female sexuality and menstruation?

No, I don’t feel like I was in particular. I don’t feel like I was overtly private about these issues, but I definitely wasn’t the friend who always wanted to talk about my menstruation, not at all.

We came to this business from a very personal story and at the start I don’t think we were necessarily aware how taboo it was, what we were actually getting ourselves into, so I’ve grown into it.

For me, not everyone has to go on stage and talk about menstruation. Not everyone needs to parade their tampons in the office, but if you’re holding it with real shame and you feel it’s in some way limiting yourself, then that’s something we need to work on.

Yoni promotional image of tampon

Which taboos are you trying to break?

Yoni is looking to break the taboos around menstruation. My whole story of how the femcare industry up until now has really built themselves upon the taboo. It’s a problem, menstruation is a hygienic problem, it needs to be secretive. We have the solution, these are our products.

What we’re doing, using the word period and to have the word vagina on the packaging. To me, these are products for your vagina and therefore your period, so it’s nothing revolutionary. But, to have that on-pack is revolutionary. For some people this may be surprising and off-putting. But the intention is to actually start speaking about something that hasn’t been spoken about. 

Yoni products are available at Sainsbury’s, Planet Organic and the Yoni store – are you hoping to expand the availability of the products across the UK?

Yes, definitely. My aim and my belief is that organic cotton products should be made available on every shelf basically where you find femcare products. At this point in time we intend to get into more pharmacies and into other supermarkets and build it up from there.

What, in your opinion, is the future for femcare and the narrative on menstruation?

There are a number of things I’d like to see change about the femcare industry.

I’d like to see that every product that goes on the shelf should be transparent about the ingredients in the products. That’s something that I think the whole industry should be moving towards and that regulators and policy makers should be also helping the industry to move that way.

I’d like to change the whole narrative of the taboo around menstruation and so that you can have the conversation with your daughters, with your sons, your friends, with your healthcare providers and don’t feel limited in their being because of something that is part of them.