Sunday, 29 November 2015

HOLLAND & BARRETT SHOWCASE

Thursday I was invited down to the Holland & Barrett Showcase, at the swanky Ice Tank in Central London near Shaftesbury Avenue. Heading to the event straight after work I managed to beat the rush hour which meant a long peaceful tube ride in a empty train carriage #win! I arrived at the venue around 5:30pm and was greeted by the ever so lovely ladies from Pegasus, then showed around the venue by the team of HB to have a butchers at all the latest's products that they had to offer...From ever so tasty food and healthy snacks to beauty products. 
This event by far has been one of my favourites of the year, with food and cocktails flowing, and the DJ's music pumping, the atmosphere was so chilled and full of laughter it was a pleasure to be there. Throughout the day live cooking demos were taking place in the kitchen, and I even got to speak to Joe Wicks (The Body Coach) the main man himself! From nibbling on healthy delicious food to sipping champagne, there was even the chance to get your nails did and get a massage! Who wouldn't want to pamper themselves after a long hard day at work... This was such bliss.
I had a blast reconnecting with brands I was familiar with such as Dr Organics, Weleda and Amy's Kitchen and meeting and learning all about new brands such as Saaf, the new HB Free From range and Skin Salvation (perfect for my eczema prone skin)- reviews to follow soon. Also keep an eye out for Honestly Healthy: Alkaline Super-boost and Choc Chick who I have a particular interest in. I was really really glad I popped down for the evening due to changing up my diet I had the chance to find where I could source food and products for my ever so fussy and sensitive intolerant stomach.  Holland & Barrett are certainly leaps ahead when it comes to the Free From ranges, and I don't just mean food and snacks! Did you know HB also sells sex products such as lube suitable for Vegans? No well you learn something every day!
Overall I had a blast, and I can't wait to share with you all some of the products I have been trying and also some of the nibbles I have started to love which will feature in my next 'Bootcamp' series. Thank you again Holland & Barrett for gifting me a spiralizer which of course will be featured on the blog very soon with some recipe ideas and for the other bags of goodies!

W: Holland & Barrett

Apologies for the low quality pictures, I forgot to pack my camera and after work all I had on me was my phone.

xx
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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

WINTER ACCESSORIES | NEW LOOK

From time to time I tend to dabble in a few fashion, favourites and wishlist posts, so with the changing weather that has suddenly graced us in the UK, I thought it was only acceptable to put up a post on 'must have' winter accessories. I thought it would also be more interesting having them all come from the same place, so I thought...Why not start off with one of my favourite clothing stores- New Look. 

I am a big fan of cover ups, whether that be grandma cardigans or funky kimonos, I will always be wearing one or the other. Now that it is getting extremely cold with the lead up to Christmas it is essential to have something that can be worn dressed up or dressed down. This cute piece by New Look will certainly keep you on trend as well as warm through the winter months.  I have also wrote this down onto my wishlist, when you live on your own and you got bills to pay- heating can't be left on all day like nobodies business, so I try to cut back on bills by wrapping up well with good pieces of clothing and if I'm indoors something extra cosy, thick and something I can lounge in. 

Even though I may be 24, I am a big kid at heart. These slippers have caught me straight away and now I want them. But in general slippers are a very good investment come winter time, everyone wants to keep their feet and toes toasty. And just these few things can make you feel extra comfy and add those home comforts. Every year I like to invest in some new slippers like these that have character and show just how childish I really am.

Will Faux Fur ever go out of fashion? No! Every blogger and their mother owns a faux fur something, and for me I like when they come as attachable and detachable accessories- so I can wear it when I want, and change up my style in seconds. Why else has it jumped into this post you say? Well because it keeps us all warm obviously, no-one wants a cold neck or chest, this accessory is always going to be something that stays on trend in the winter months. 

Okay... So maybe I added this accessory mainly because it was super cute- not necessarily because it was winter appropriate. With the blustering winds and freezing temperatures an umbrella like this may not be strong enough to battle the windy tides. BUT my main reason was to get across having a stable and strong umbrella during winter and its perceptible down pour!

Socks, Socks, Socks in general is a winter accessory I can never have enough of, I absolutely love socks maybe because I have a strong hate for feet. This one has just got to be short and sweet and I guess it kinda speaks for itself. Comfy cosy warm socks.

This scarf is absolutely beautiful, I am a big fan of the check print but sometimes the tartan print can become a bit overdone and it can be seen everywhere you turn. This is a nicer alternative of colours for Autumn and Winter, as well as having colours that compliment each other very well, Of course a scarf was going to be added to my Winter accessories list and out of all the ones I scoured on the New Look website this was by far my favourite. 

These boots is all about the colour and the cut, I love the shape of these boots and especially the navy colour, it is so boring seeing the same old black boots that everyone is wearing. The navy colour adds a touch of colour and character and I think ankle boots never actually go out of style and can be worn all year round. This too was my favourite on the New Look website and I do prefer boots that have zips, which adds space to get my thick ankles into the booties. 


What do you think of the New Look accessories?

xx

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Sunday, 22 November 2015

RAINY DAYS AT BLACKPOOL*

Everyone loves a little break away from their usual routine, and when I was offered the chance to pop up to Blackpool for a little break away it couldn't have come soon enough. Two weeks ago I was able to travel up to Blackpool and spend two nights at the South-shore Travelodge. 

DAY ONE
Waking up extra early on an average day is nobodies idea of fun, but on this occasion it had to be done. Heading towards Euston station with your luggage and half awake best-friend is always a challenge but knowing we would soon be away from our usual routines had us venturing out into the gloomy cold English weather. We reached Euston station not quiet on time and had to get the next available Virgin train for our adventure.... Curse you sleepy eyes and slow body, Goodbye reserved seats. table and charging points.... Hello unallocated seats and cramped surroundings. Why did I not know that Virgin trains shut their doors two minutes before take off haha. As you all know anxiety and I are literally soulmates he's always giving me a nudge in the wrong direction, to the point my anxiety started to climb with not knowing where to sit and my next plan of action. 

The journey from Euston to Preston was around 3 hours and the train from Preston to Blackpool South 45 minutes. If your not good at travelling, this definitely wouldn't be your idea of luxury. When I travel I get motion sickness so usually I just sleep continuously and miss the lovely countryside surroundings. 
Arriving nearly half an hour before check in, the staff at South-shore Travelodge greeted us and were ever so friendly, gave us information on the local area and let us know about breakfast and dinner. Katie was definitely making sure my stay was as comfortable as can be and was giving that 5* customer service. Before dropping my case and collapsing on the bed I managed to get a few snaps of our room before completely dozing off into dreamland, My health conditions make travelling very difficult and make me so so fatigued that the four hour journey took all of my energy.

Waking from my nap, we headed down for some much needed dinner, nothing else was going to get done as it was completely pouring of rain outside and the winds blustering. One thing I can comment on is that whilst asleep I heard absolutely nothing, apart from some of the cars passing by due to my room being on the side of the main road and busy traffic (hotel right next to the football stadium). The dinner menu was a variety of quick dishes, similar to that of a Weatherspoons- from hotdogs and chips to lasagne and garlic bread. On my first night my dinner was cold in the middle after ordering food, but the staff were very reassuring and kindly offered me something else free of charge without any fuss to fix the issue promptly. And with that I opted for a good old Cheeseburger and fries which was perfect! Dinner is available from 5 till 10pm, with hot snacks being able to be served 24hours a day.
I finished the night by getting into bed and finishing some uni work, because the hotel was so quiet I was able to get on with the work. If you have read this blog for a while you would know I study with the open university and it is all based online so I always need the internet. Travelodge offer 24 hours of WiFi for £3!!!! Only £3 Amazing. So it was easy for me to buckle down with some work and then unwind with some Youtube and Netflix on my ipad till I nodded off to sleep. If you are looking for complete peace and tranquillity having your room on the side of the highroad is probably not he right place for you. 
DAY 2
Waking up bright and early and again to pouring rain, myself and the bestie made our way down for the 7-10am breakfast slot.  Jumping into some extra cosy clothes we headed downstairs to an empty lounge searching for something to eat. With our booking we had also had breakfast all paid for beforehand, for breakfast you could opt for a Cooked breakfast or a Continental breakfast- in which case you was able to go up and serve yourself. I beamed for the cooked breakfast filling my plate with bacon sausages, beans and toast, with a cold glass of apple juice. Full breakfast was £7.95 and Lighter breakfast £5.75 with kids able to eat free. 
Travelodge give quiet a wide range of breakfast options which I particularly liked, with brands that you are familiar with. 

Cooked Breakfast
Toast/ Bacon/ Sausages/ Scrambled Eggs/ Mushrooms/ Tomatoes/Veggie Sausages

Continental Breakfast
Kellogs Cereals/ Yeo Valley Yoghurts/ Fruit Salad/ Croissants/ Quaker Oat Granola

Hot & Cold Drinks
Tea/ Coffee/ Fruit Juice/ Water/ Herbal Tea
After popping downstairs for some good old breakfast, we popped back upstairs to get ourselves ready for the day. The hotel has such a laid-back and cosy atmosphere, at no point did I feel out of place as the hotel was filled with travelling business men and women, and elderly men and women having a little holiday- I'm pretty sure we were the only young people in the joint. 

With the pouring rain all morning and lunch, plans of exploring Blackpool came to a halt and instead we decided to lounge around the hotel till the weather eased up....Which it didn't. We couldn't go down to the beach as the weather was that bad nor could we even go for a walk.
Later in the day even though the weather was still abysmal we managed to call a cab and go explore a little of the town and the Houndshill shopping mall. Shopping and getting a few snaps and stopping for lunch we managed to mingle with the locals and buy a few treats for our friends and family- and by treats I mean rock candy, biscuits, keyrings and fudge. We were unable to go up into Blackpool Tower as it was currently closed due to refurbishment but none the less it was lovely to be out for a few hours. 
After shopping and walking around we called for our cab and returned back to the hotel. Getting some uni work out of the way , we decided to have a girlie movie session and tuck into a few of our snacks whist watching some movies. And gosh weren't we lucky we returned when we did as the weather had taken a much worse turn. 
We popped down for dinner sitting in our now proclaimed spot, opting for the same burger as yesterday with the addition of bacon as I wanted to play it safe. I was somewhat disappointed as I wasn't able to swap my chips for garlic bread instead, but the staff was unable to cater to this slight change in the menu- which left me having to technically pay more then I would  have liked to, then headed to bed. 
DAY 3
Day three, I was glad that I would be heading home as I started to run out of ideas of things to do in the hotel.  As we had to check out at 12pm we headed down for breakfast early, packed our bags, cleaned the room and headed off to the station for the train and the long journey back home to London.

PROS: Overall the facilities at Travelodge were certainly above average, the staff were friendly and approachable and I was able to get a decent nights sleep even regardless of the traffic. The breakfast range is perfect, very good service and very affordable prices. Calm atmosphere and the rooms were clean (minus the shower curtain had yellow stains). For me the bed was absolutely perfect but for my bestie sharing the bed with me, the firm bed actually gave her stiff neck and back. When the rooms became very hot in the night staff was able to provide fans. 

CONS: The cleaning staff on the other hand of the hotel, whilst napping at times, you could hear them shouting to each other from different rooms which wasn't very pleasant. 
The dinner meals, didn't give you a wide option, and for the price you could possibly get more elsewhere- which I would have if it wasn't pouring of rain and the winds weren't trying to take me away. 
Due to Blackpool no longer being in season for attractions, there was very little to do. And with the weather being a misery you wouldn't really want to either. Everything was closed, so if you are looking to travel down to Blackpool for a family holiday or getaway March-October is the time to do so. 

Thank you Travelodge for having me!

xx

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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

GORGEOUS NAILS AND FEET

Ever since I popped into Boots a few years ago, to pick up my usual favourites I always make sure to have a pop around the store to check out what's new in the skincare and beauty aisles. After mooching around for a few minutes, my eyes were caught onto the Scholl Diamond Pedi and at the time I hadn't heard much about it, so I decided to pick it up with my other purchases.
After trying out my pedi for ages, I just can't go back to my usual routine, I had stepped my game up of achieving beautifully smooth skin on my feet (maybe a bit TMI). How had I not heard of this product before… I am a beauty blogger, in a blogger community and hadn't heard of this product as of yet. Then a couple of months ago I recently offered to review the Micro Pedi Nano, and of course I just had to say yes.

The Micro Pedi Nano is a intuitive stylish and chic product, that is perfect for popping into your handbag or even your travel luggage. This miniature device exfoliates and removes hard dry and tough skin, whilst being gentle to my feet leaving them visibly smooth and soft in seconds.
Not only does it do the job but it does the job right!!! And it comes in three stunning colours, vibrant pink, cobalt blue, and zesty orange, certainly colours of the summer. Originally brought out during the summertime I believe this product is perfect all year round, it's a nifty little gadget that is soo easy to transport wherever you go, and not only that gets rid of tough skin in the jiffy. A bit more facts about the Nano Pedi, is that it has a unique antibacterial flex+ micro mineral roller, that rotates at an amazing 30 times per second (now that's fast). The Pedi does require two AA batteries, to work… Obviously! But if your looking for where to buy this products you can purchase it on the website at an unbelievable price £19.95 is definitely worth the money, RRP £29.95.

This post is starting to turn into a Micro Pedi reunion, now this next product wasn't sent over to me but I just had to add it to this post. The Micro Nail Elegance is like the cousin of the Micro Pedi range, again another product that works on batteries, this little beauty has easily become my new favourite toy and has been for a while. The nail elegance is the perfect gadget for nail care, it is a electric nail polisher that buffs and helps to bring back your nails natural shine in seconds. I have definitely seen an improvement in my nails and their glossy appearance, I have never been a fan of those buffer blocks you use when doing your own manicure… (Maybe that's because I'm a little lazy, maybe it's because I'm impatient-who knows) but this does everything with ease, no mess no fuss just buff. A little bit more facts for you – the nail elegance battery power enables the rollers to rotate at a whopping 360 degrees, and at 1800 times per minute. Now this one is a little bit more pricey at £29.99 but it does come with two extra smooth rollers, and four extra shine rollers and of course the two AA batteries. So far one of my favourite things about the product, is even when I don't have any nail polish on it looks like I have a top coat on, and my nails shines for dayssss!


xx

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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

DON'T BE SO SENSITIVE

Many of us continually use products for our lifetime because we used them as we were growing up, they were the products our parents used, and the products their parents used. This is obviously apparent, not only with the products we buy but with everything we do in our daily lives as well. What I mean by this, is that, in regards to the things we buy- it is because of repetition and what we saw as we grew up. In this case growing up in my household of five we were always using the brand Colgate – now I know you're like wow.... this is the longest post intro for toothpaste… But I don't care, it is true that we stick to what we know, until obviously I moved and started living on my own I ventured and found my own way, own doctors, own dentist, own opticians… You see the pattern.

I was introduced to Sensodyne first by my dentist, in which he told me that it would be better for me to use. (May I just add that my dentist KJ is a superhero… No literally he's a superhero- I never ever feel my fillings being filled) anyway after being introduced to Sensodyne, it is something I reach for continuously. Having sensitive teeth can be a killer sometimes – biting into ice cream *pain*, drinking a cold drink *pain*, or even sometimes just biting into hot food…*pain*... All you sensitive lads and lasses know what I'm talking about, but I have come to find that Sensodyne has actually helped with my sensitivity.
I've been using the Sensodyne True White mint toothpaste that is actually quite refreshing (but really what more can I say about toothpaste – this post wasn't to tell you that I like to brush my teeth, it was to tell you that Sensodyne has helped reduce my sensitivity). With this I have also changed my toothbrush to a soft/medium brush to ensure that the bristles of the brush are not too hard on my teeth and gums, (I also wanted to add that- as much as my gums can bleed due to the hardness of the brush I use – it does not mean "Mr advert on the telly" that I have gum disease it just means that my teeth and gums are sensitive...Thanks!)
I have even started using mouthwash – yes I didn't use mouthwash before and what? I used to find mouthwashes really harsh, and they would leave my mouth feeling hot and prickly, I can't really explain I can only tell you how it felt. The Sensodyne long-lasting sensitivity care mouthwash in cool mint does the job though, it's protecting and strengthening my sensitive teeth without it feeling like its on fire!

Now my teeth don't catch feelings, and are not so sensitive!

xx
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BEAUTY FAVOURITES

It has been awhile, since I have done a beauty favourites. So today I wanted to share with you some of the beauty products I am currently reaching for, the selection is a combination of both new and old products, some which have been sent to me and some of which I have bought myself over a period of time. Beauty favourites are one of my favourite posts to read in the blogging community, as it shows me what is out there. This selection of beauty products I am sharing with you today have been some of my favourite products I have been using for years.
COVER FX
Ever since I was introduced to Cover FX Liquid Foundation, I have been a fan of the brand. I was first introduced to Cover FX when researching brands that cater to women of colour, you may remember this in my "The struggles of being a woman of colour". My particular shade is in G80, the foundation has a natural finish and is oil free. I have found this foundation to be very easy to work with and doesn't need constant blending, neither does it need to be continually touched up throughout the day. It is a lightweight foundation with medium coverage that is build-able, if you need extra coverage over those blemishes. My main reason for why it has landed into my favourites is because it is the perfect match to my skin-tone, as you all know I am a NC50/NC55 shade in regards to Mac foundations (with yellow undertones) so sometimes it is very hard to find a foundation that matches the exact shade to my skin-tone. But with this product I have found no problems.
FASHION FAIR
You are all familiar with the brand Fashion Fair, (well you should be anyway if you constantly read my blog) if you are not then... I have no words. Again another brand that was featured in my 'women of colour post'. The two products that fall into this favourites post today is the Fashion Fair Air Pressed Powder highlight compact, and the Fashion Fair Eye-Shadow in Safari Brown. The highlighter compact in Air reminds me of the light golden sand you would find in the Caribbean – with its cool tones and golden iridescent shimmer this product is the perfect highlighter for every skin tone. The Safari Brown eye-shadow has easily become my eye-shadow of choice for a natural everyday wear, it is a lovely deep brown colour with hints of copper that also glisten when applied to the eyelid. Both of these products were used in one of my recent posts "An affair with Fashion Fair", in which I showed step-by-step how to use and recreate the look. These two products I use together over and over again without hesitation, and I have no idea what I would use to replace them if they were to be discontinued – Fashion Fair please do not discontinue these products ever!
GOSH
I have had the GOSH Extreme Mascara for the longest time and only recently have I pulled it back out of the box, I think a lot of the time people underestimate products that may be more affordable – in this case I am talking about the Extreme Mascara by none other then one of my favourite high street brands GOSH. The mascara is amazing,the bristles of the brush enable my lashes to be coated with a deep dark black formula that not only lengthens but thickens my lashes, giving it the appearance of false lashes. How have I left this product in the box for so long? Which has now taken proud place on my dressing table and is the mascara I reach for on a daily basis. Not only are GOSH affordable but a well known and reputable brand! Cheap, Cheerful but forever Stylish.
TRILOGY
Now where do I start with this one, the 'Make Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm' is the product you have to have this year, if you haven't already got it, then make sure you are good so Santa can place it under your Christmas tree – or if you don't believe in Santa, then maybe put it down on your wish list for your parents, sister, brother, or significant other...you get the drift!
The Trilogy 'Make Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm' (with rose-hip, mango, coconut) has easily become the product I reach for to get rid of all my make up at the end of the day. It has replaced all of those make up wipes I have been using time and time again, and ever since I got my hands on this beaut, I can't put it down. Doesn't that tell you something? Not only does it smell amazing and feel amazing, it leaves your skin soft/nourished, hydrated and clean. I will soon (in the next week or two) be doing a complete full review of this product as I don't think, just this paragraph will do it justice, I want you all to see the full benefits of exactly what the Trilogy Cleansing Balm can do!
MAKEUP REVOLUTION
I have spoken about the Make Up Revolution London "Ultra Blush Palette" on the blog before, the particular palette in question is the blush palette in "Hot Spice". The palette enables you to have five blush matte shades, one shimmer shade, and two marble shades that act as highlighters. The thing I absolutely love about this beauty (and actually all of Make Up Rev products) is the affordability and the sleek professional look of the brand, (the packaging is always on point and the make up itself flawless). I am still yet to purchase more from the range but will do in due course! If you haven't yet tried Make Up Rev then you're crazy! Where have you been? What have you been doing? I'm pretty sure every blogger and their dog (probably a pug *rolls eyes*) owns something from this brand.
TEMPLE SPA
I have always been a fan of Temple Spa products, whether it is affordable and in my price range is another story. But alas I was able to get my hands on the Temple Spa "Look On The Bright Side – Instant Radiance Booster" highlight, this is definitely one of my products that I won't be sharing with anyone... Now you know there have been times when your friend comes over, or your mum comes to visit and you're like you can borrow this and you can borrow that, but there ain't no borrowing this time. LOL.
The 'Look On The Bright Side' highlighter comes in the most gorgeous packaging I have ever seen, the highlighter gives you instant radiance to the skin and is so easy to use, I have a hard time of putting it down.
AVENE*
If you have been following my blog for a while now, you will know that there are brands I am particularly fond of, one of those brands being Avene and its Eau Thermale range. If you remember I recently wrote a post about an acne cream that made me have a horrific break out, it was these three products that helped to restore my skin back to it's normal self – by normal I mean not overly blemished with boils and instead, just it's usual combination/oily blemish prone skin. The trio of products I have been using are from the Avene Eau Thermale range:
1)The Cleanance Mask
2)The Cleanance Mat
3)The TriAcneal Expert
Each of these products has helped to make my skin smooth, and get rid of the boils and acne I was experiencing, which brought my skin back to life. Using the TriAcneal in the evening has helped to get rid and reduce imperfections, and reduce old scarring. The Cleanance Mat has been a godsend for controlling my terrible oily skin, which I use morning and night. And the Cleanance Mask has done what it says on the tin- using it three times a week it has helped smooth my skin, and in my opinion reduced my pores so I produce less oily residue throughout the day.
COLLECTION COSMETICS*
And lastly in my favourites is the Collection Cosmetics "Conceal & Light Like A Pro" palette that every blogger has been talking about. This product is the perfect palette for beginners, and not only beginners but those pros out there too. It contains eight shades that will help you conceal, highlight, and brighten features just like a professional MUA. In each section the cream to powder shades offer ultimate coverage to hide imperfections or blemishes. The concealer shades can be blended together to suit any skin tone (in this case I use the lighter brown colours and the main brown colour), the yellow/highlighter shade helps to brighten dark circles under the eyes, whilst the green concealer if applied in red areas of the face, can help neutralise and even out skin tone – insuring for a flawless finish. The purple shade in the pallet helps to counteract shallow, dull areas and helps to brighten the skin. This little compact is a perfect little kit to have in your make-up bag or on your dresser, it is affordable and won't break the bank. This is exactly why it has made my beauty favourites alongside the other phenomenal products.

And that's it, that's a wrap. These are literally the products that I am raving about every single day and using like mad, if you don't believe me, why don't you just go out and try them for yourself :-)

Let me know what you think of the post! Stay tuned for more reviews and beauty news in the future.

 xx
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