Evening and chill.

Tips on how to chill out | www.itscohen.co.uk

How to Chill The Fuck Out

It's been a long ol' process, learning how to chill out. I'm not 100% there yet, but I've been learning how to let go and generally stop being a ball of stress at all times. I still get massive FOMO and let tasks build up, but these are the small steps I'm taking on the daily in order to make sure that I have my shit together and keep functioning like a, well, functioning human being.

Plan to wake up early.

Massive disclaimer here: I am not a morning person. I find my prime hours of activity are between about 8 and 10pm. That said, I am slowly weaning myself onto a normal person's bodyclock.
When I wake up early, there's a weird sense of accomplishment that I get from completing tasks and activities before I've started the commute to work. This means that I don't feel like things are unachievable by the time my PC's booted up, as I've already started to boss the day. Do you see my logic?
I say "plan to" rather than "do it", because there's no way I'm waking up at 5.45am every single day, even if my alarm's set that way. Even if you snooze your alarm, it's totally a-okay because no one's that good at life every day.

Antipodes Aura manuka honey mask | www.itscohen.co.uk
Antipodes manuka honey mask | www.itscohen.co.uk

Treat yo' self.

Whether it's Fat Friday (definitely a "thing") or an evening of having your phone on do not disturb and catching up on the Real Housewives of Cheshire, everyone needs a lil something to look forward to.
For me, I like to indulge in an evening out of the loop. As said above, I live in a constant state of FOMO. I say yes to a lot of things, just in case I miss out on a funny story or one of those you-had-to-be-there-moments. I look forward to an evening out every once in a while where I can vegetate in front of my laptop, watching youtube videos while I treat myself to a skin treatment and sort my nails out.
I've been a long time fan of Antipodes, so when they got in touch a few weeks back I knew that these guys would have something to help on one of my chill out days.
Today is the last day of Organic Beauty Week (I know, who knew that was a thing?), so I've been testing out their Aura manuka honey mask for just over a week. I've been having quite a few issues with my skin recently due to a new hospital treatment, and this little tube of goodness has been helping to settle my skin regardless. It's very gentle and the results aren't dramatic, however long term use has shown rejuvenated skin and a less patchy complexion.

How to chill out | www.itscohen.co.uk

Take ten minutes to develop a routine.

Morning and night, there are little things that I can do on autopilot. Once you've developed a routine, you don't even have to think about what you're doing, meaning you get some time to think whilst still doing something: multitasking like a pro.
For me, this is my skincare routine. I talked about my evening skincare routine a while back, and it's just gradually progressed, new item by new item, to a very similar one today. Both in the morning and the evening, I take a good ten minutes to cleanse-serum-moisturise my to-do list. As I go through the motions, I work out that day's plan of action and work out my priorities.
Once I've got it sorted in my head, things are a lot more manageable.

The Casual Vacancy, by JK Rowling | www.itscohen.co.uk

Switch off at least one evening a week.

From reading a minimum of two books a week when I was at university, things came to a stop. Or rather, things fell off a bloody cliff. When we drove home from Liverpool, I just stopped reading. From being that weirdo bookworm kid who used to read a book on her walk to school (not good when you're as clumsy as me, fyi), it was odd to have gone cold turkey.
However, I've recently been getting back into it, and it's definitely helping to clear my head further. The internet is an absolute overload of content and conversation, and it's easy to get sucked into trying to catch up and add your own voice all the time. Rather than getting sucked into that hammed up hamster wheel all the time, I've been taking one night out a week to get stuck into a story and concentrate on that one thing fully.
Recently I've read the Miniaturist by Jesse Burton, and now I'm onto the Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling. Next on my list is Tess of the D'Urbevilles, which I recently salvaged from an old unread reading list pile.

If you've got any more tips on how to chill out, definitely let me know @rebeccacohen on Twitter. Other than that, here's hoping that everyone's doing a-okay.
Because, as always, there's nothing worth crying over, unless it's a video of baby pandas.

And so the the story begins: city dweller.

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Making a rented house a home

What I started with:
A bed, bedside table, teeny tiny wardrobe and beautiful windows.

What I've added:
Pink velvet cushion, bell jar base lamp, pink lampshade, make up rack (which is technically a spice rack, but you just try and stop me) and stone base candle holder: all c/o Laura Ashley.
Roberts radio (which was a very kind birthday present), Homesense vase, M&S photo frame (I bought it in the January sales, so there might be 1 or 2 hanging around), and cards from lots of lovely people.

Bedside table essentials:
Evermore London candle, M&S candle holder, Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream, Caudalie vinosource eye cream, Kiehl's moisturiser, Morris & Co hand cream, good books and a couple of issues of Stylist magazine.

After weeks and weeks of staying in airbnbs, who would've thought I'd actually end up here? Everyone's had their moments of homelessness (or is that just my friends and I?), but I moved into my new place in Ancoats with Laura almost two months ago and it's finally starting to feel like a lil corner of Essex in Manchester. As I moved up with my faithful suitcase in tow, I didn't cart up all my belongings in one go, which meant I had to do one thing: go shopping. Obvious things aside (me carting a duvet and pillows back from the Arndale centre was a sight, I'm sure, it bloody felt it), there were just a few things on my list to make things feel a little bit more like home. As anyone who knows me is well aware, I'm a big ol' fan of the guys at Laura Ashley. I often pop into their shop in Chelmsford to get away from Missoula's DJs the hustle and bustle, and love making mental lists of Things I Need, and pinning them for later. Turns out, they look just as perfect in Manchester as they did in Essex, and I was lucky enough to be sent a few pieces as a little housewarming (flatwarming?) present.

I won't chat for too long, but if you want to hear my tips on how to decorate a rented place then hop on over to the Laura Ashley blog.

Rise 'n' shine.

Get ready with me...

As someone who sees YouTube as a purely "watch this when you're too tired to comprehend words" pastime, it's hardly surprising that I'm going to take a YT tag and make it with still photos (not entiiirely true, there is a gif included) rather than sick a camera in my face and start haphazardly filming. Regardless, consider this bandwagon limply touched jumped on.

6.30 am - alarm rings.

6.31 am - alarm snoozed.

6.40 am - wake up.

6.45 am - shower. Current favourite shower gels in rotation are Soap and Glory's 'Sugar Crush', Lush's 'Hot Toddy' (i.e. I still have some left over from Christmas) and Rituals' 'Yogi Flow.

7.00 am - time to cleanse. I never use soap on my face as I find it far too drying for my skin, instead preferring to use a cleansing face wash. Right now I'm favouring Neal's Yard's 'Orange Flower Facial Wash'.

7.02 am - brush teeth. But do you really need to see a photo of my toothbrush?

7.06 am - first things first. I'm a serum lover, I'll admit it. I recently received Antipodes' 'Hosanna Intensive Hydrating Serum' from the Nutrition Centre, and it's doing a damn good job. It took a while to really see any change, but give it a week or two and you'll notice your skin looks brighter and continued use is really helping to make it look like I get eight hours sleep a night.

7.08 am - moisturise. If I love serum, then moisturisers take things to a whole new level. I start with the Body Shop's 'Vitamin E Eye Cream' and 'Vitamin E Intensive Moisture Cream', and then dab Elizabeth's Arden's 'Eight Hour Cream*' onto problem areas (for me, my nose and persistent spots).
*This isn't a cream, it's a gel. One of life's many, many lies.

7.15 am - potter. If there's one thing I've noticed all twenty-somethings enjoy doing, it's aimlessly pottering. It's the BEST. Extra points if you can turn it into a brew break.

7.25 am - make some bad life choices. Run through enough outfit changes to make Katy Perry bow down.

7.35 am - make it up (literally). I'm as far from a beauty expert as you'll ever get, but I seem to get by with my on point eyeliner flicks.

7.50 am - add a leather jacket, grab your season ticket and get to the train station.

Growing a pair.

Benefit Brow Zings: £24.50's worth of need-this-in-your-life, surrounded by stuff you probably don't need.

As it was Valentine's day yesterday, it only seems apt to talk about the most important couple in my life (after Breana McDow and Matthew Helders, of course): eyebrows.

It's hardly a surprise that the girl who spends a large proportion of her life between Essex and Liverpool has a fascination with the face framers, but it took me until the age of twenty-one to realise just how crucial the bad boys were to making your face look just so. After watching Jazmine painstakingly paint hers on using all manner of techniques including spit, I thought there had to be some kind of worth to this massive exertion of effort. I popped into the Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar, came out with a little grey bag containing Benefit's Brow Zings, and I've never looked back.

At just under £25 this isn't exactly cheap, but if you consider I used it nearly daily for a year and a half before it ran out the cost per use is minimal. It comes with two brushes (which are a bit naff, but I'm yet to find ones I like enough to replace them with), teeny tweezers, a subtly-coloured wax to be applied first and a powder to fill in your brows with afterwards. I use the light shade, and have got no idea who dark is aimed at, as this one's pretty deep. Since Eloise wrote her review, they've changed the wax formulation to it having hardly any pigment, so you needn't worry about it being too red-toned for you.

The first time I tried things out things didn't go too successfully. Since, I've learned that I prefer a much thinner arched shape, which extends outwards, this being quite a good example. I'm hardly an expert at it, but would recommend cleaning your brushes regularly as product build-up means it can be pretty tricky to get the exact shape you want.

If I can stick with something for two years and not have any inclination to look elsewhere, it's clear that this is true love - and who am I to play with brows at this time of year?

My evening skincare routine.

my evening skincare routine
soap and glory body butter
vichy pureté thermale cleanser

Every time I write a beauty post, I like to reaffirm that I am not a beauty blogger, know absolutely diddly squat about make up, and instead tend to fill my "reviews" with sarcasm and test products in a rather obscure way. I only really religiously read two beauty blogs (looking at yours, Kate and Ellie), and instead form my decisions about what I put on my face by what happens to be on offer when I head into Boots or am feeling reckless browsing Feel Unique. I have, however, found a few products which I absolutely adore, and thought you guys might be interested in something of a little insight as to what I do on autopilot when I'm absolutely cream crackered.


On a normal night, I'll use the Bioderma Micellar solution (or whatever it's called) first, then double cleanse with my Vichy Pureté Thermale cleanser. The Bioderma is absolutely amazing at removing make up, and despite its claims of being for sensitive skin I do find that it dries mine out a little. I did try to use the Vichy one on its own, and it tends to be the one I throw in my gym bag as it's a pretty secure little tube that won't explode in my bag, but I wouldn't say it's the best at removing make up, but better at actually cleansing the skin. When I use the two together, they kind of equal out, and my skin feels squeaky clean without needing any extra moisture (but don't worry, I do moisturise too!).
Of course, my favourite Liz Earle cleanse and polish is still included, but I don't really use this every day, I instead use it when I feel like my skin needs that little extra bit of lovin' or if I've got the extra time.


I don't tone (can't be bothered, and I've never seen any benefits when I've tried samples of the stuff. Remember the whole "not a beauty blogger" thing), and instead skip straight to the moisturising step. I use Lush's bubblegum lip scrub when I remember, but I probably won't repurchase as it's pretty easy to make your own. I will give it its dues though, it smells and tastes amazing, and has lasted me absolutely bloody ages.
I then use the Kiehl's ultra facial moisturiser which I picked up during Glamour shopping week and therefore had 20% off. It really is super moisturising, but I'm kinda disappointed (and annoyed with myself for not noticing till I got home) that it doesn't have any SPF. Thankfully my BB cream has some, but I much prefer my moisturisers to include it so if I fancy being reckless and going make up free I don't have to worry about exposure to the sun.
When it comes to the rest of me, I'm a bit of a sucker for Soap and Glory's products. Not only is the packaging pretty and it smells amazing, it's also pretty good at what it promises to do. I frequently use the righteous butter body butter and heel genius foot cream to try and combat my horrifically dry skin. During the summer months I try to look less see through by using the Palmers natural bronze cream. I'm a long time fan of their normal body cream (I'll probably repurchase it when all my other body creams and butters have run out) and it's pretty cheap when you pick it up from Wilkos, so was excited to try out the bronzing version when I got a small bottle of it in a goodie bag. Once that had run out, I went to buy the full version as it doesn't smell as bad as other tanning products (although it does tend to hang around for a little bit), and builds up naturally and subtly, whilst still being as moisturising as the normal one.

So, this may not be the post to end all beauty posts, but it's the routine I've fallen into, and I don't think it's doing all that badly. Do let me know if you'd like to see more of this kind of thing, if not it's more than likely I'll leave it a year until the next one (again).

ps, don't forget to enter for your chance to win a Lilylulu kimono!

I call this the traveller's chant.

what's in my bag blog post
marks and spencer leather bowling bag
easyjet iphone app
what to take with you on a flight

This one's for all the nosy parkers! I love reading "what's in my bag" posts, but have never written one before. As I've recently moved to Munich, I had to do some pretty cutthroat packing, and my fedoras didn't make the cut, even though the kitchen sink almost did. Hand luggage is always tricky (Shini's post inspired me to write my own!), so I thought I'd give you a bit of an insight into what I decided were the most important items to have on me at all times.

Leather bowler bag: £43, Marks and Spencer.
You've definitely seen this one before. I love this bag, and I use it enough to reflect it. It's leather, burgundy, and sufficiently roomy enough to house my camera (which would've been photographed, had I not been photographing with it) and every other "necessity" that winds its way into my possession on a daily basis. And it has a shoulder strap, which is the bag equivalent of clothing having pockets.

iPhone 4S, and telephone box case: £2, Primark.
Although I'm yet to get myself a German sim card (Handykarte in german, in case you were wondering), my phone's definitely coming with me. I've loaded it with the MVV and Munich Metro apps in some vain attempt to help me know where I am, and the EasyJet one means that I don't have to worry about losing my boarding pass, which is a legitimate concern for someone who is not used to waking up early and has a flight at 7am. And it has AM (plus B-sides) on it. 

One of those "I didn't realise I needed this till I got it" items, this tablet has become my go-to piece of technology. Although right now I use it mainly for reading (come on guys, free books without having to leave the house, this is the dream), I've sorted it with Munich maps and tourist information. As my phone's getting a little weatherbeaten, the speed of this is appreciated, and the bigger keypad helps with my essay-length facebook message tendencies.

Purse: Luella (old and battered), with Costa, Nando's, and debit cards, and pounds/euros.
This was the first designer piece I ever bought, I was about sixteen at the time. Heavily reduced (I think it was about £70), I still love it now, even if it's seen better days. You can kind of see in the first picture that it's split into two halves, which I'm treating as my GBP/EUR sides, and is pretty handy for making sure I don't mix currencies. The cards bit is self-explanatory, because everyone needs caffeine, chicken, and the ability to pay for it.

Make-up: Benefit powder and eyebrow kit, Optrex eyedrops, Essie nail varnish, Bourjois eyeliner, and Vaseline.
I'm not one to cake on the make-up, but these are the bare essentials that I'd be pretty annoyed if I lost. I've bought another eyeliner to take with me in case of emergency, and it really would be an emergency if it ran out. The eye drops are a familiar sight for anyone who wear contacts (holla), as I find that any foray into air conditioning/public transport/cold weather/hot weather dries my eyes out, so I'm sure at some point during the flight I'll come into contact with one of these instances.

Disposable camera: ebay.
Ah, the holy grail! I love my DSLR like a child, but film photography will always win when it comes down to nostalgia. I haven't posted a disposable camera round up for a while, but I'll make sure to post one at the end of the year at least. As part of my very lovely leaving gift, Jazmine included one for me to take with me, so I'll have at least one to develop when I come back!

Post written in collaboration with Argos

Shake it, break it, make it bounce.

my beauty essentials
Liquid eyeliner: £6.79, Bourjois Liner Clubbing. Concealer: c/o Benefit Fake Up. Lipstick: £14, MAC Ravishing. Eyebrow kit: £23, Benefit Brow-Zings, via Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar. Mascara: Soap and Glory Thick & Fast, free with Elle. Exfoliator: Boots Botanics Microdermabrasion Polish. BB Cream: £23, MAC Prep + Prime. Blusher: mum's Avon one from years ago. Cleanser: £15, Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. Lip scrub: £5, Lush Bubblegum. Micellar cleansing water: c/o B01. Pore-reducer thing: free!, Benefit Pore-fessional. Lip balm: Vaseline. Shampoo and Conditioner: won in Duke of York Square's twitter competition, Liz Earle Botanical shine shampoo and conditioner. Base coat: Essei Rock Solid. Top coat: Essie good to go. Eye drops: £3.79, Optrex. Moroccan argan oil: £5, Organix. Final Shine spray and Straight and Smooth spray: c/o ghd. Day cream: Boots Botanics.

If I think I don't use that many products, then I don't understand how beauty bloggers can fit half their stuff in the bathroom! I tried (a long time ago) to do a review of liquid eyeliner, and I haven't been back since as I really don't think I know enough to give a reliable opinion. Although I love a bit o' cleanser (liz earle, I love you), I know what I like, and I stick to it, and the above photo is documentation of what I use on a daily (ish) basis. Whether it's something pretty like lipstick, or something basic like eye drops (no matter how good your lenses are, mine are from Optical Express, I think, never underestimate how much screens can frazzle your eyes), it's rare for new products to make it into my make up bag, and I rely on the few beauty blogs I do read, such as Kate's, to help me whenever I do decide it's about time to shake it up a bit. A while ago I got an email from Fran at Best British Bloggers who asked if I'd be interested in receiving a few hair styling products, and I thought I'd accept the challenge of creating a simple up do, if only to do more to my hair than wake up and flatten it with my hands. So, ladies (and gents, maybe), grab yourself a cuppa and a hairbrush, as I present to you the Iggy Azalea ponytail.

ghd straight and smooth review
one brush your hair. If you're anything like me, then this is Big Deal. Once that's out of the way, spray some heat defence spray in, and wait for it to dry.

quick easy hair
two straighten it. I personally work in layers from the nape of my neck till I reach the crown. Just make sure you get the bits that'll sit on the top of your head straight, so you don't have flyaways later.

recommended ghd products
three 2:13.

how to create a perfect ponytail
four flip your head upside down and smooth your hair into a ponytail on the top of your head. Once upright, use a brush or comb, whatever's easiest, to make sure it isn't bumpy. Secure with a hairband.

autumn 2013 hair
five cover that bad boy in hairspray. Don't breathe, for health and safety reasons.

ghd final shine spray review
six just add a touch of shine spray - it helps with the finer hairs that your hairspray didn't get.

iggy azalea hair how to
Ta-dah! This is possibly the simplest style you'll ever have to "create", and I've been doing it since I was about six and able to hold a hairbrush.

17 Tattoo Me Eyeliner: an endurance test.

Don't worry - I'm not about to foray into the realms of beauty blogging permanently! I couldn't tell you the difference between brushes, or even how to put foundation on (I don't use it due to it taking too long, and I don't "do" high maintenance). But what I do know is liquid eyeliners. Forever wishing I was a teen in the sixties like babes Bardot and Birkin, I wear winged eyeliner daily. I don't have a loyalty to a particular brand, instead experimenting with whatever happens to be on offer or receiving good reviews at the time. I thought the best way to put the eyeliner through its paces would be to see how long it would last on a slightly longer than normal night.

House parties are well known for how little sleep you get, so the promise of a "tattoo" style eyeliner seemed like the perfect solution to any smudge based disasters. Being the guest of honour (I refuse to be called anything else, I now live with the hostess), I ended up going on a trip to various supermarkets to find plastic shot glasses from 2pm. I put on the eyeliner at about 5pm, as you can see in the fourth photo. A night of out-of-tune singing (for which I take full credit), vodka jelly, and "rassing", ended in sleeping on a sofa for a couple of hours circa 6am, and an horrific car journey back that afternoon. As you can see in the fifth and sixth photos, the eyeliner is pretty much still in place, having only smudged slightly onto the upper lid, which I'm quite happy with considering it'd been on for nearly 24 hours. On a "normal" day, it doesn't smudge, unless I put it on too soon after moisturisingIt's quite difficult to get off compared to others I've tried, and, now it's nearing the end of the tube, the product has started to get quite "gloopy" (technical language), but it still works just as well. I like the brush, opposed to some others which use nibs or felt-tip style points. Overall, I'd say it's pretty good at what it promises to do, and I'd definitely use it again. And it's a fiver, which is a bonus.

Are there any eyeliners that you'd recommend? I'm on the hunt for my next favourite!


Hello, I'm Rebecca: social media exec, new-ish coffee drinker and loafer-wearer.
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