A British lifestyle blog

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Halloween

Halloween
Halloween is fast approaching and with it comes the one night where it's socially acceptable to wear fancy dress. Whether you decide to take style tips from Cady Heron or Regina George - the high street has a lot in store (literally) to ensure you're the best dressed.

Tutu Dress - boohoo: £25, Lace Ear and Face Mask - boohoo: £12, Skeleton Dress - boohoo: £15, Lace Bralet - New Look: £9.99, Velvet Lace Shorts - Topshop: £36, Slogan Tee - New Look: £7.99, Black Stone Spider Collar - Topshop: £30, Feather Cape - Topshop: £100
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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

My Everyday Skincare Regime

everyday skincare I probably don't take as good care of my skin as I should. To be honest there's so many lotions and potions out there that quite frankly, it's intimidating - and can be quite costly to constantly splash out on the latest product for it to do nothing. I've also got quite sensitive skin and have had a reaction in the past to a high end brand (not going to name and shame as I know a lot people who use this and it's fine for them so in this case it's not them, it's me.)

So before I digress any further, here are my go-to everyday skincare essentials. These are products that I've stuck to for years - I'm quite brand loyal if something works for me, and it will take a lot of convincing for me to switch alliances. If however you know of a great product then feel to give me a shout as just like having the same haircut for years upon years, I may be stuck in a rut and not realise it...


Face wipes


I think these divide the beauty nation. I've read some people saying how bad for your skin these are and I do partially think "yep, I see where they're coming from" but then the lazy side of me comes out (especially so after one or two drinks) and all I'm thinking about is the quickest way to get 'my face' off. I'm a strong believer in removing your make-up every night - my sister not so much. I read once that if you don't take it off it ages you by 10 years. This was probably a lie or a huge exaggeration but I'd rather not take that risk - you only get one skin etc. So it's the first thing I do in my skincare routine before I go to bed and before I put my make-up on in the morning. I'm going to contradict myself in what I'm about to say - but I'm really not brand loyal when it comes to which make up wipes I use. Sometimes it's because I've read something good about one brand, one packaging catches my eye whilst shopping or I'm simply sharing my friend's - it's nothing scientific so I guess I'm a captive audience - make up wipe brands take note! One thing I can't comprehend are the ones that are really dry - what is that achieving apart from feeling like I'm wiping my face with a tissue - girls you know what I mean! I also use my make-up wipes to remove any smudges or errors when applying my eyeliner or make-up in general. Double the use. So until someone convinces me how bad they are and what I can replace them with - they're with me for life.

Clean and Clear Deep Cleansing Lotion + Make-Up Remover Pads


The both of these go hand in hand as I can't use one without the other. Again with the make up remover pads - I don't go for one particular brand as I find they're a bit like tissues - they all pretty much do the same job but with different price points. I usually get a big pack from either Waitrose or Superdrug. Onto actual products, this Clean and Clear Cleansing Lotion is specifically for sensitive skin so great for me. Don't let the blue liquid put you off - it's not as bad as it looks. It has quite a strong smell but it's fresh and nothing off putting. Each time I use this I probably use two to three make-up remover pads worth to ensure that any traces of make-up not taken off with my wipes is taken off with these, and to then cleanse my skin once it's make-up free. I find these have an instant effect on my skin. It feels and smells really clean, my skin is silky smooth and it feels toned and tighter. Whilst I'm not saying it will keep me looking young forever, for now it's not doing a bad job and my skin seems to really benefit from using it. It retails between £2.50 and £3 depending on where you buy it from. It's on offer quite a lot for under £2 or on a 3 for 2 at Boots or Superdrug if you fancy a try. Although I'd quite happily pay full price for it as it's not costly and it does the job. Plus I'll take any excuse to build up my Boots Advantage Card points...

Simple Kind To Skin Moisturiser


Simple are definitely a brand that I'm loyal to based on the ingredients of their products. I flit between two of their moisturisers - the 'Kind To Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturiser' and the 'Kind To Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser.' There's no tactical reason for this - I think it genuinely was a case of me once picking up the wrong one, not realising and ever since repeating the same error. They're both great moisturisers and are again really reasonably priced at under a fiver. The light moisturiser tends to get better reviews both from customers and press pieces - because sometimes rich moisturisers can be too rich. I don't have a favourite as such - when my skin's a bit drier than usual I'll go with the rich one and when it doesn't need as much moisture I'll go with the light one - simple as that. The light moisturiser I would say is better for day to day use as I find it sits better under my make-up but I don't always wear it under my make-up, as I'm worried that my foundation will slide off. Maybe I need to spend more than 10 minutes on my routine every morning but when it's a choice between bed or beauty, the bed will always win.

Vichy Normaderm 3 in 1 Cleanser, Scrub and Mask


I've included this product in my everyday routine even though I don't technically turn to it everyday but it is one of my skincare essentials so I thought I'd throw it in for good measure. I realistically use it between one and two times a week. Usually before a night out, after a long day at work or when my skin just needs a treat. It's the most expensive 'frequent' product I use but compared to some other brands it's not expensive at all and as it works really well for me I can definitely justify the price. So as the name suggests you can use it as a cleanser, scrub or a mask. I pretty much only ever use it as a mask and leave it on way past the allocated time. I'm not condoning you do the same - always go with the recommended time but for me nothing bad happens so I just go with it. I smother it all over my face and let it work its magic. You can feel your face instantly tighten as with any mask but as soon as it's off my skin feels so smooth and so soft, as well as really clean. I did write a full dedicated review of this product here if I've missed anything off.


So that's pretty much it. I leave myself 10 minutes everyday to do my routine and apply my make-up. This is usually for week days only because I commute to work so every second in bed is precious. During the weekend I can indulge and apply my make-up at a more glacial pace. I love reading these and being nosy so feel free to link yours below or recommend me any products I need to try.


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Saturday, 4 October 2014

Learn To Say Yes

learn to say yes
First off please excuse the cheesy accompanying photo to this post - my only other option was to hold up a sign with the title but my neighbours already think I'm weird so I didn't want to further their suspicion as to why I snap photos of what I'm wearing. Some days I'm tempted to go around and explain that I'm not vain and I'm a fashion blogger and like many, we take photos of outfits - but I digress...

I pride myself in being a positive person. I always like to see the good in every situation which is partly down to my nanna who was one of the most appreciative persons in my life. She didn't take anything for granted and took pleasure in the tiniest things in life. I brought her a newspaper and it was like I'd got her a diamond ring and seeing her family bought her the greatest joy. Sometimes it really is about taking it back to basics and valuing what you do have as opposed to what you don't. Which is one of the reasons I'm writing this post. I never really get too personal on here bar my birthday post but that was four months ago so I can deal with dishing out my emotions a couple of times a year. I also always remember Zoe's post on this a couple of years ago - you can read hers here.

When I look back at my life three + years ago I was nowhere near as positive. I didn't look forward to things, struggled to be positive and pretty much shut myself away from the world and said 'no' to a lot of things. I empathise with my friends and family around me at that time as I'm sure I wasn't a barrel of laughs to be around. I'd turn down invitations, opting instead to spend time alone rather than with friends. I'd rarely go out and just stayed at home with my own company - which I'll add at this point - there's nothing wrong with this - I just did far too much of it at the time. 

I can't exactly pinpoint what 'turned my life around' but I'd say it was a mixture of the people around me and change. I firmly believe that the people I had/have around me are among the reasons I'm so happy now. Not all of them are still around which is sometimes hard to deal with going from having said person in your life all the time to being a stranger with memories, but I also believe that everything happens for a reason. Some people are just chapters in your life - they're not meant to be there until the end, and until you learn to accept that you'll never carry on with your story. Starting this blog also helped me change my energy from negative to positive. I wrote about my university experience here so I won't delve into it too much now, but having this blog did keep me going as it gave me something to focus on and improve on to get results. 

Getting invited to my first London event, hundreds of miles away from home and walking into a room not knowing anyone - the old me would have run a mile. Was I scared? Hell yes but that's how you know you're alive. I always joke that I like to 'feel the fear' as once you overcome it the feeling is incredible. Climbing the Sydney Harbour bridge - terrifying, but I did it. Interviews, walking down the aisle as a bridesmaid, going away by myself - even answering the phone were things I would have freaked out about and possibly never would have done all those years ago. 

So now I always try to say yes to whatever comes my way (within reason of course), because what's the worst than can happen? You don't like - so you'll learn from it. At my old job as a waitress, before I worked there I was very stubborn in terms of trying food I hadn't had before, but when I started working there the chef pretty much got me to try everything which also subconsciously kicked off the whole 'saying yes' to life. 

Whether it's a small thing like applying for a job or a big thing like skydiving - just do it (not sponsored by Nike by the way). It's a complete contradiction that life is short as it's the longest thing you'll do but you only get one of them so make the most of it whilst you're here. I know I'd rather look back and be happy at the things I've done and what I've achieved, rather than regret the things I didn't get round to doing. Travel the world, move jobs - do whatever makes you happy. I'd rather be spontaneous and make a mistake and learn from it then have dozens of 'what ifs.'




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