Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Fitness: Metcore at Form Studio in Notting Hill

When I heard that a new fitness studio opening in Notting Hill was promising to be a 'one stop shop for your fitness everything' I signed up straight away! Last Sunday I popped down to the Form studio with high expectations and I was not disappointed.
(spot the tangerine blogger ;p)

The brand new and exclusive workout concept METcore takes reformer Pilates to the next level in a dynamic 50 minute workout. Designed to fit perfectly around your busy lifestyle, the classes are specifically structured to make the best of your precious time by combining the strength training of Pilates with HIRT (High Intensity Resistance Training).
At the heart of the METcore workout, Form Studios is proud to be the first London fitness studio to introduce the MOTR - an innovative and versatile piece of fitness equipment, proven to challenge the core muscles more intensely than any other form of Pilates.

The class began with a warm up using the MOTR to get us used to balancing on the large tube. This was then kicked up a gear as we began to do more dynamic movements such as squats and lunges while maintaining balance. Following this we incorporated the straps attached to the side of the MOTR to get a full body work out. One of my favourite moves was a sumo squat with one leg on the MOTR followed by circling your arms up above your head with the straps as you push up to stand tall and raise one leg up sideways (like a star jump). This one definitely helped to get my heart rate up! Other moves included donkey kicks with one knee on the MOTR and your foot in the strap to provide resistance and side leg lifts and circles, which burned so much (happily letting me know that even the laziest of my muscles was engaged).
While many movements concentrated on the arms and legs the challenge of balancing on the MOTR was great to make sure the core was involved at all times. This was not your average Pilates class, and though I recognised the foundation of some of the movements being on the MOTR made it that much more fun and challenging. This section definitely works to improve flexibility, build strength, develop control and endurance, improve coordination and balance. The emphasis is on alignment, breathing and developing a strong Powerhouse (core). As someone who has had a myriad of back problems I found these extremely helpful, especially as my form was gently corrected to make sure I was well positioned.

The last part of the class was the SPEED 8 cardio blast incorporating High Intensity Resistance Training (HIRT). This section lasted 8 minutes - 40 seconds of maximum intensity exercise, followed by 20 seconds of rest, repeated non-stop 8 times. This form of exercise is scientifically proven to boost aerobic and anaerobic capacity, more than an hour of steady cardio. The bursts of intense, fat burning, cardio conditioning exercises used the SkiErg (Nordic skiing simulator), TRX (suspension training), and Kettlebells (functional training). During this period not only do you get an amazing, fat burning cardio boost, but your body will also receive an all-natural, anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing chemical release! A powerful cocktail of all natural hormones that rebuild and repair your body and brain. Sounds pretty fantastic!
I was lucky enough to have Elissa, the founder of Form, taking our class. Apart from being absolutely stunning she is a wonderful teacher. Most of us were novices and she made sure to show us each move in detail, while being super enthusiastic and really encouraging. Due to my awful sense of balance I struggled with a few of the movements and Elissa was really helpful while getting me back on track. She gently corrected our form when we needed to lift a little higher or go a little deeper, but she made us feel like we were doing really well throughout with her constant encouragement. One of her favourites being 'You look gorgeous girls' which is very far from what I am usually told while working out and sweating, but it definitely helped to keep me positive and try that little bit harder!
I would love to return to Form for more classes as I really felt that I had worked muscles I hadn't worked before in my normal gym routines. I also really enjoyed Elissa's guidance and found her to be extremely inspiring and motivating! If you are interested in trying out Form I would definitely encourage it... especially as your first class is free so there is absolutely nothing to lose!!
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Saturday, 14 March 2015

Review: Veet Spawax Stripless Warming Kit

Spring has finally sprung! I have been so excited to see some sunshine this week, however it has made me think that I may not be able to hide under black tights forever... With the temperatures going up it may be time to show a little more skin, which definitely means paying a little more attention to some body parts that have been left as nature intended for too long. As work has been super busy I haven't had a chance to book any waxing appointments and instead opted to try out the new Veet Spawax in the comfort of my living room.
The Veet Spawax Stripless Warming Kit is designed for easy at home waxing on all body parts (except the face). The kit comes with a warming tower (which lights up when plugged in) and 6 wax disks infused with lily and sugar fig. I used it on my lower legs, for which you would normally need 4 discs (I used 5 as I'm sure the recommendations didn't include my 5"10' frame).
The discs took about 40 minutes to melt. The warming tower should be left on even after the wax has melted as it does not overheat and actually regulates the temperature so the wax stayed melted, but not too hot.
Using the spatula provided I applied a layer of wax (the thickness of orange peel) along the hair growth, making it thicker at the end to create a tab that is easy to grip. I waited for the wax to cool and set for half a minute and then pulled it off in the opposite direction to hair growth. It was super simple to use!
The Veet SpaWax Stripless Wax Warming Kit is available for purchase in Boots for £39.99. Refills containing 6 disks are £8.99 here.
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Thursday, 12 March 2015

OOTD: Lace and Lime

While scrolling through the Topshop website recently I noticed a very familiar looking lace skirt, which is very similar to one I absolutely loved wearing on my honeymoon last Summer!
It's such a gorgeous, versatile piece that can easily take you from day to night. In the photo above I paired it with a simple green camisole, similar to this one from Oasis.
Topshop's latest offering is a lovely cream lace number that's perfect for Spring! You can find it on their website here for £75.
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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Review: NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

I have been in a little bit of a foundation rut over the last few months. My skin was not cooperating and to gain some sense of control I went back to some old favourites. However, I had heard so many great things about NARS' new foundation I decided that it was worth giving it a try and I am very happy that I did!
The new NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation has been designed to give full, yet natural looking coverage, which feels weightless and lasts for 16 hours. The special Even Tone Technology is designed to instantly neutralize redness and dullness, while working long-term to reduce the appearance of discoloration for more even, uniform skin. Gold and green pigments optically manipulate how light reflects off skin's surface, evening the complexion for instant luminosity. Green pigments negate redness on contact, while gold combats dullness.

This foundation works really well for my combination oily skin. It provides medium to full buildable coverage, while not looking or feeling heavy. The formulation does feel quite 'dry' and reminds me a little of the YSL Teint Radiance, giving a matte finish. A little definitely goes a long way! It wears well throughout the day and though it didn't keep my oil at bay for 16 hours after applying it at 7am it still looked good at 8pm, although a lot more dewy.

Have you tried the new NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation?

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Sunday, 8 March 2015

OOTD: Reiss

With the lovely weather we have been having in London on Friday I finally felt brave enough to hang up my Winter coat and take my new jacket (originally puchased in the Christmas sales) out of hibernation!
I love the light grey colour as my recent grey obsession continues. It's fitted really well, which makes it perfect for work, but it's thick enough to protect you from the City wind (and if you have stood next to the Walkie Talky building  you will know what I mean)!

The Porter fitted coat is currently on sale in Reiss for £95 here.
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