Saturday, 31 December 2016

LIFESTYLE | GOODBYE 2016


2016 has been a confusing year for most of us, with plenty of ups and downs along the way. But as usual I want to end the year focusing on the accomplishments I have made this year. So here are five things I am happy to reflect on from 2016!

1. Being part of a fantastic organisation and raising over 2.3million for The Princes Trust with my small ambassador team. 

2. Entering my 5th year of part time study with the OU and LSE studying BA Combined Social Sciences, still motivated still passionate and still dream chasing whilst working full time and mothering my blog.

3. Having intense therapy and not letting BPD or Anxiety get in the way of my dreams accomplishments and daily life. 

4. Being invited to Buckingham Palace for tea to meet royalty and get recognition for the work I have done. 

5. Having two new furry friends added to my little family and 
Adulting like a boss maintaing my own home and work life!

Happy New Year.
What are you proud of from 2016?

xx
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Sunday, 18 December 2016

BEAUTY | BEAN BODY COFFEE SCRUB

Its been a long time coming, but I have finally found the time to sit back, relax and put up this blog post. For ages I have heard about coffee scrubs and never really understood the hype. I mean coffee... on your skin? Maybe its because of how I grew up but this idea, this new craze, didn't really have me jumping for joy and running up and down the high street looking for coffee to slap onto my skin.  Or maybe it is because I have never been fond of that strong coffee smell, like who actually goes into a coffee shop and breathes in the coffee smell in the air and thinks... oh this is the life? Not me I tell you, it usually has the opposite effect, I pop in smell it in the air and feel sick. I guess you wont find me in Starbucks getting happy about a new cup and a caramel latte... Damn! I'm missing out on all those typical blogger goals. haha

Then suddenly one day, postman pat knocks on my door and hands me over a package. And there amongst the tissue paper was a gifted coffee scrub, not for me to try but a gift. So after sticking my nose up at the idea. I actually had a chance to see if I could be proven wrong. Of course I was more skeptical. Now three bags in (constant repurchasing) I can honestly say i'm no longer skeptical.... Since then the Bean Body brand has been my favourite to purchase as it has infused scents that makes the coffee not as strong.
The Bean Body coffee bean scrub helps to soften moisturise and hydrate rough, dry and dehydrated skin as well as treat stretch marks and cellulite. This product can certainly last longer than what you expect it too. I use this beauty to exfoliate my body up to twice a week. Rinsing myself down in the shower to ensure my body is wet and ready for the coffee granules to stick to my body, I use a few handfuls in order to get my whole body exfoliated massaging it into the skin in circular motions, I've noticed ive come quite accustomed to falling into a anti-clockwise routine.

Once fully coated in the peppermint good stuff I end up sitting on the edge of the bath watching something on Netflix to pass the time whilst the coconut oil, vitamin e and sea salt gets to work, as it suggests to let yourself naturally dry for up to five minutes. But I never follow the rules because I am a rebel, I constantly change up the waiting time depending on what ive got going on. Usually I find myself pulling out all the stops, avocado face mask on, deep conditioning hair treatment mask on and soaking my feet in a shallow bath to get rid of the crust. (Yes we all get crusty feet). And once i'm ready to move on I rinse off all the granules to unveil super soft silky smooth moisturised skin that even a new born baby would be jealous of,... take that baby.
Bean Body do have other scents and infused scrubs to their range so make sure to keep an eye out for them, So I guess I was proven wrong, (I'm not going to hype as it still has a lingering smell of coffee but it isn't as bad as I first thought) It definitely is a lovely product and as someone who suffers with psoriasis I am very cautious about what I use on my body, as it can cause my skin to become more inflammed or irritated and this done the complete opposite, calmed my skin and reduced the redness. What more could I want?  

Bean Body gets a 9/10 from me! You can find the range here

xx
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Sunday, 23 October 2016

LIFESTYLE | PREVENT CHAPPED LIPS THIS WINTER


Now the weather is definitely changing, and the cold breeze is starting to bite. Autumn will soon turn to winter, and we all know what that means. The big cosy jumpers, autumnal candles, thermal socks and leggings, and vampy makeup. Ever year is always the same for me, and I'm sure I am not alone when jack frost visits and leaves everyone with frost bite and chapped lips. This year I am changing the game, this year I have looked into products that can help us beat the chap. 

We all have a few beauty favourites that we reach for every year, those holy grail products you reach for in the bottom of your draws and the back of the cupboards you just need to dust off. Through the summer months I never really have an issue with keeping my lips moisturised and chap free, but during winter I tend to find it trickier. Over the years I have learnt (which I'm sure most of you are thinking... well done Einstein) moisture is key, lip scrubs and lip balms make all the difference. Of course you can make your own lip scrub at home with brown sugar, honey and a drop of olive oil, But I have an even tastier alternative.... 

Heard of LUSH? Who the hell hasn't, unless you have been living under a rock you would know all about bath-bombs, bath products themed around seasons and the amazing sugar scrub that can be purchased online and in-store. LUSH Sugar Plum Fairy, is one not to be messed with, this sweet remedy gently exfoliates dead skin leaving your lips extra smooth. But that's not only the best bit, once you've got rid of pesky crust you're then free to lick off the excess sugar scrub leaving you with the taste of blackcurrant and orange. What more could you want?

Now that your lips have benefited from a light exfoliation and are hydrated by the orange oil that is infused in the scrub, I never go anywhere without a lip balm of some sort, from Nivea to Carmex and from Carmex to EOS, you will always benefit from keeping one of these little beauts in your handbag or pocket. I remember when EOS came out and it was a frenzy across the world amongst all bloggers a couple of years ago, and please believe it still is! How could it not be? Many of us are a big fan of US products because there are so many we just cannot get are hands on, although Target.com is my secret american loophole to by not only lip balm but more! EOS comes in many flavours and varieties but that is not only what makes it so good, its the long lasting moisture it gives to your lips. 

Finally to keep those chapped lips at bay, if you're like me you are ready to put some lipstick on to add colour to your lips. Majority of the time I am a sucker for matte lipsticks but once it gets colder I try to steer clear of matte finishes and tend to reach for a creamy finish, similar to the Rimmel Moisture Renew.The Rimmel Moisture Renew is a moisturising lipstick that comes in a variety of colours, and its unique selling point that has got bloggers talking about this product, is how hydrating it is to the lips. Moisture Renew has a creamy texture which I am fond of, leaves lips super soft and ready to pucker up.  

Goodbye Chapped lips

xx
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Sunday, 25 September 2016

BEAUTY | AVENE HAUL

Avene has been a product I have used for a number of years now, if I had to estimate probably around four years. I was first introduced to them by accident then got to know more about the brand and their products during a blogger networking event. Over the last few years, I have suffered with psoriasis all over my body and although I have been prescribed ointments and creams to help soothe irritation Avene products have also worked wonders.  
The time came when all my skincare products had finished, is it just me or does this happen to everyone, everything you have seems to finish at exactly the same point? So I just had to go on a splurge in Boots, and whilst I bought my usual cotton pads, face wipes, sprays and other toiletries, I headed over to the Avene stand to get a few of my usual's and a few things I hadn't tried before. 

My Avene shopping list consisted of:
Eau Thermale Avene- Tolerance Extreme Creme
This is something I always need for my psoriasis and eczema, especially at this size that can just pop into my handbag. It is so rich and hydrating I would recommend it to anyone who wanted something for dry skin that is thick and keeps you moisturised all day.
Eau Thermale Avene- Tolerance Extreme Mask
I don't suffer with psoriasis on my face but from time to time I get dry skin, so make sure to keep this product stocked in my bathroom for when I need a holy grail product to give my skin life again. The mask doesn't leave your skin dry, it is recommended to leave the mask on for five minutes but I have found myself leaving it on for twenty minutes and boy does it do wonders for hydrating my skin. The mask is very thick which can be a bit daunting to some but really is worth it.
Eau Thermale Avene- Tolerance Extreme Emulsion
Avene Emulsions is probably my favourite from this haul, it is so hydrating but not as heavy as the cream so I can actually use it on my oily combination skin type when it is needed. This product is one that I can use morning and night, and is a constant repurchase product. Very worth the hype and the product. 
Eau Thermale Avene- Hydrance Optimale*
Now this is something I was sent and boy was it not a good match, the hydrance optimale is meant to be a hydrating skin tone perfecter and I was told it was meant to be suitable for all skin tones, which I was already hesitant about... How can one product match every skin tone....hmmm? So once the product turned up at my door, I eagerly tried it on and was seriously disappointed. Mainly because I was left grey and ashy. Even on a second and third attempt I was still turning into a ghost version of me that I met previously whilst trying this product.  
All of these products can be purchased from Boots.com,  And that;s it the end of the haul!

xx



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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

BEAUTY | SIMPLE BEAUTY HACKS TALK

I read so many do's and don'ts on the internet and never ever know what to listen to. Most of the time, I read them and start to get bored with all these different approaches to makeup and beauty. So I thought i'll share with you guys a few beauty hacks I have learnt that have worked really well for me, not only because I'm the biggest Scrooge but also because it has actually worked and saves me from spending a lot of money.

1. Is This My Colour?
Too many times have I been hunting down Pokemon foundation and ended up left unable to find my shade, and too busy to sit and talk to someone at the counter for them to semi guess my shade with their poor training and really bad store lighting. What I have learnt in the few years I have upped my makeup game from oxidised orange to beautiful brown is to test my foundation on my neck in three shades that I think will best match me. The reason to do this on your neck is because that way your foundation can be applied to the whole face matching your neck colour. For WOC it is apparent that our faces are generally slightly darker than the rest of our bodies, so in order to insure a perfect match this is the best option. Secondly to add to that, never wait for it to oxidise in the store, take a step outside- see how it sets in the natural lighting... Has it gone grey and ashy? Is the undertone off? Or does it look like you didn't even apply makeup to the area. If your answer is the last one then viola there you have it. 

2.  Easy Peasy Primer
When times get hard and the pennies just wont stretch for me to repurchase a primer, I change up my makeup routine. And if you are someone who experiences oily skin, oily tzones or has combination skin then maybe you should to. For us primers and anything that will mattify our skin, is our best friends. So if you should find yourself lost in confusion of what to do, stop picking up the heavier moisturisers and opt for a light hydrating lotion or gel mattifying moisturiser. 
I personally opt for doing combination of options. For example; using the Simple light hydrating lotion- aiming to keep my skin moisturised but not overdoing it, followed by using the Simple oil balancing cream to help matte my skin, unless I have a mattifying gel moisturiser. Finally if I can I prime my face with my primer, but if not the first two steps work just as well. Just make sure you have your translucent powder to get that shine off the tip of your nose when the end of the day is approaching. 

3. Condition, Condition, Condition!
Big afro curly hair like me? Well I have always had constant battles with my hair, its normal especially when it comes to wash day... Ladies you know what i'm talking about. The best way to keep it curly luscious bouncy and tame the frizz is it to condition. And I mean condition in every single way you can. When your washing you hair maybe think about co-washing, using a conditioning hair mask, or a leave in conditioner at the end. Throughout the week I have my own hair crack *shout out the reference from Beauty Shop* which is a mixture of hair oil and conditioner that just helps my hair to keep itself looking fresh with a quick fix and making sure it retains moisture especially with the amount of sun we have been experiencing in London recently. Keeping our hair in check takes constant maintenance there is no dry shampoo for us ladies, lets keep that for our weaves! 

And that's it ladies and gents. Three simple HACKS.

xx
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Sunday, 28 August 2016

BEAUTY | SUMMER TIME FINE FT. TEMPLE SPA GOLDENTINI

Being a WOC, it's not likely you would find me falling in love with a product that some may associate with tanning or bronzing of the skin. But after being contacted to review Temple Spa's Goldentini Oil, that is said to be suitable for all skin types and skin tones, I thought why not give it ago. 

I have been using Goldentini for a few months now, especially in the lucky and wonderful weather that has been gracing London, and can honestly say it is certainly something I reach for when I want to add a subtle amount of glow to the skin. This product does work for POC, in particularly it leaves me looking sun-kissed and radiant. Together with my Sally Hanson Airbrush Legs these two products go together like a power couple! The first time I was able to fully embrace Goldentini at full force was when I headed off to a few festivals, after getting ready I just applied a small amount to areas of my body where the sun would naturally greet my skin and give it a beautiful bronzed glow on my caramel complexion, particularly focusing on my collar bones, shoulders and of course my legs. 

Temple Spa's Goldentini retails for £25, which is pretty affordable as a little goes a long way. The 50 ml bottle is essentially a body bronzing cocktail that nourishes and moisturises the skin, leaving it with a lustrous sheen, ensuring you are left radiant by the help of it's photo reflecting agents. The oil itself is lightweight and non-greasy that melts into the skin.
Since using the product I have received a few comments on what I have been using to achieve these results. and most of the time I would love to keep it a secret but on this occasion. its the perfect product to use in this summer weather to leave you looking summer time fine. And with these results I just have to share my beauty tips and tricks. Now that the festivals have died down and Carnival has swiftly approached us I know exactly what I will be whipping out again, yes you guessed it... THE POWER COUPLE. Not only do I wear Goldentini for big events and when I want to feel amazing, but it can be used for any occasion (birthdays, dinner dates, festivals, family gatherings- any moment when you want people to compliment you on your ravishing skin). 

Let me know what products you use, to get your glow on!
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Sunday, 10 July 2016

LIFESTYLE | FIRST DATE ETIQUETTE

2016.
What exactly is a date? The 1950's driving to go see a movie and being back home by 11? Or the 2000s hanging out together at the park eating ice-cream or down the arcade just to be in each other's company.

2016? What exactly is a date in 2016, and I'm not talking about going to get a cheeky nandos. Nor am I talking about having your date broadcasted on snapchat for your love news reports.

I've always been a girl who likes creature comforts, so a perfect date for me would be to come over, watch some movies, bake cakes together and order a takeaway. Pretty chill day right?!? Or that's what I thought.

But I want to open up a question, this is for everyone reading this right now. When has it become acceptable for people to assume going to someone's house means having sex? Where and how was you raised to assume that? To expect something that has not been offered?

Now your all probably wondering how I know this. Well this was me a couple of months ago.... And after this "date" finished, without getting what they had expected, I haven't heard from the person since. 

Which made me think about the actual characteristics of people. And let's not forget after five months speaking you still didn't know my name or could get it right.

As we all do, we sit with our friends and discuss things that have happened, and then I thought this definitely should be a blog post.

The things is I know polite people exist, but it comes to a point where I wonder how can you put on a pretence just to get in a bed? Or get your **** wet? And it comes down to self esteem and morals no?

So let's start over. When I think about first dates, I think personally it is about getting to know one another, our likes and our dislikes. What I hope for from a person is common decency, manners and politeness. Talking about interests we share, and values we may hold. You know getting to know each other intellectually before physically.

A date doesn't need to be fancy nor extravagant. It's the little things that count right?
So I think what I'm trying to say is first dates should be fun and chill without any hidden expectations or persuasions.

Can we have a little bit of what the older generation had. Without constant interruptions of ping noises from your iPhone and paying attention to what's right in front of you.

Let's try and do it old-school, and maybe starting out as friends could turn into something more. These times relationships don't last five minutes and it's sad that our generation is so lost within this society. I think the older generation know something we don't know.  Maybe we can all learn something from them.

xx
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Wednesday, 6 July 2016

EVENTS: PEGASUS BEAUTY SHOWCASE 2016

Pegasus beauty showcase graced us with their annual showcase of all the latest launches from the brands they represent. I was invited to come along and get a sneak peak of new and upcoming launches in the near future. I headed down to the event after work meeting up with camera-woman Sarah from SRFTaylor, and arrived a little after 5pm. As expected the showcase was packed of many people eager to see the launches, get their hair, nails, makeup and even their eye-lashes did. 

Whilst we was shown around each section, I couldn't help but try and jot down as much as possible in order to remember what was being said. Brands such as Novalash, Soft & Gentle, Rapid White, Weleda, Collection Cosmetics and much more, was ready and waiting by their displays to discuss new collections and launches. 
The showcase had a Trends report by Anna-Marie Solowij and Helen Yeardsley, the talk was open to all attendees. I thoroughly enjoyed the talk and the fact I was able to know a little more about how skincare and health beauty have developed over the years and what to expect with trends over the next few years.  The talk opened my eyes to how women are consuming beauty products, for example more than half of women using products are now using products with natural ingredients over the past year. 
Post coming soon in more detail sharing the Trends Report!
Thank you as always to Pegasus for the invite, thank you as always to the lovely Amy for being so welcoming- it is always lovely to see you!
Be sure to see upcoming posts about these new launches in reviews, favourites and many other styled posts to come in the near future. 
xx
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Sunday, 26 June 2016

EVENTS | SL EVENTS: BLOGGERS BALL 2016

And of course the lovely Scarlett has pulled it off again. This time with the ever exciting and well anticipated #BloggersBall! Bloggers and Vloggers alike have been eagerly awaiting for this day and it finally arrived, trekking down to Piccadilly Circus I met with Sarah from SRFTaylor and Mariah from StarlaSays. We bobbed and weaved through tourist crowds and the few street performers trying to catch our attention and reached our final destination, DSTRKT.
The bloggers ball commenced at 2pm and was expected to finish at around 4:30, it was held in the swanky lounge and restaurant area of DSTRKT. The venue was modern and refreshing with the restaurant area holding majority of the stalls and brands. (the more vibrant and lively of the two sides) whilst the lounge had a more relaxed, cool and collected vibe giving a chance for us all to bask amongst the ambience. It was a lovely opportunity as always to meet new bloggers and brands, and have a well deserved catch up with friends. 
The afternoon was full to the brim of bloggers and brands, as soon as 2pm hit the brands was ready and waiting to talk to us all without breaks. Brands such as Exuvience, Vatika, Chin Up, So...? and Bravura came out to play for the day, as well as many many more. 

By 3pm my mouth began to get dry from all the talking, legs started to wobble and we needed a good old rest in the lounge (not to mention our bags started to weigh us down too). After having a few drinks at the bar and a final mooch around networking and handing out business cards we was all ready to hit the hay. 

Thank you Scarlett for the invite and I look forward to the next one!
xx



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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

BEAUTY | BATTLE OF THE BATH OILS

Oh how I have missed doing posts like this, I honestly don't think I have written a battle post for over two years now. Everyone who reads my blog knows that I am a huge massive fan of Temple Spa, but I promise you this post is not going to be in any way, shape or form biased. 

So what is this all about..? After I meeted and greeted Mr Postman I unwrapped the package like it was Christmas morning all over again, and there hidden amongst the bubble wrap was the Kneipp: Arnica Joint & Muscle Rescue Bath Oil and the other tucked under the tissue paper and courtesy card was my bae Temple Spa: In Good Spirits- Energising Bathing & Massage Oil. Seeing both of these products lying on my bed was giving me plenty of excuses to do nothing and relax in countless amounts of baths with bubbles, candles and netflix. And that's just what I did! What? I wanted to make sure you guys had a nicely reviewed post of the two products, this is definitely not me rubbing it in your faces that I was able to pamper nearly every other day in the last two weeks. :)
Kneipp
So what do we know about the brand Kneipp?
Kneipp are a high quality medicinal product and nutritional supplement brand. The brand also dabbles in body care and bath products such as the Rescue Bath- joint and muscle oil.

What they say about the product?
The herbal bath oil is said to be specifically used after physical activities in order to relieve joints and muscles. Kneipp oil is infused with active ingredients such as arnica blossom and aroma intensive essential pine oils. these active ingredients help to calm joints and destress muscles from aches and pains. The whole body can benefit from its revitalising and soothing effects as well as leaving skin moisturised and soft.

How much does it cost?
The product can be bought for £9.95 from online stores such as graftonsbeauty.co.uk or feelunique.com.

My experience of using the product?
Of course I had to let you all in on what I thought of the product, otherwise it wouldn't really be a battle now would it. If you are looking for some bath time healing, massage therapy, or something to soothe the ache and pains of the body then this little beauty is a miracle in a bottle.  I don't know why but I am subject to many strains and cramps in my legs, so I first started using the oil to massage the muscles to get rid of the cramps. When I first started to use it in this way I thought it was lovely and the scent made it easy for me to fall asleep....But boy was I wrong, the best way to use the Kneipp body oil is in the bath before bed, when you are looking to wind down after a long day at work! This has helped with my restless nights and although it is specifically for muscle and joints its perfect for every single part of the body, and helps me to fall into an easy sleep. 
Overall what can I say? The price is amazing and the product even more so... It's a no brainer 10/10
Temple Spa
So what do we know about the brand Temple Spa?
Temple Spa is a brand recognised worldwide, in spas and stores around the globe. They specialise in luxurious skincare, body and bath products, giving you that spa feeling in the comfort of your own home.

What they say about the product?
In Good Spirits is an energising bathing and massage oil infused with over 30 Mediterranean essential oils including mandarin, lemon, grapefruit, ginger and peppermint, that works together to restore hydration levels to the skin and elevate your mood.

How much does it cost?
Temple Spa In good Spirits bath oil can be bought for £24.00 from their own website Templespa.com.

My experience of using the product?
This product right here is certainly a treat, I love the smell and love how fresh it makes me feel after I get out the bath, but I'm not sure I would say I'm energised from it.
The brand suggests it raises energy levels, I do find myself feeling fresh, hydrated and 'in good spirits' in particularly for my mood. But I do prefer to use the bath oil as a treat for relaxing or pretending I am having a spa day. Although £24 is not the most expensive financially, being the frugal little buyer that I am, I do prefer products that are a little more affordable. Me and bae have had a long relationship and so far I have yet to find a product that I do not like. When using the In good spirits oil, I could stay in the bath honestly all day imaging that I am a mermaid.
Overall... Although I do feel like a mermaid in the bath tub, and fresh to death when I jump out into my towel, it certainly would be a 10/10 if it was a little bit more accessible to everyone. So for that it's gotta get a 9.5/10
The Winner? KNEIPP
Kneipp Arnica Joint & Muscle Rescue Bath Oil, I have to be honest it was fairly close to make a decision. And as much as I would like to indulge in luxurious products and remain loyal to bae, Temple Spa is not easily financially accessible all the time, and the Kneipp bath oil is just as good. Luxurious product at affordable prices.

xx
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Sunday, 12 June 2016

LIFESTYLE | FIELD DAY FESTIVAL 2016

Yesterday myself and the bestie, headed down to the Field Day Festival at Victoria Park. Field Day is a yearly weekend music festival  hosted in the borough of Tower Hamlets. We headed down on the Saturday to see some of our favourite artists such as Little Simz, Mabel, Kelela, Mura Masa, James Blake and Nao!!!! But the list goes on and on. 
Check some of the artists here.

Jumping in a car with Addison Lee as I had a discount code for the day and a specific drop off point for all us festival goers, we was more than ready to get well and truly involved with all the festival shenanigans. The day and evening was horribly muggy and humid but that didn't stop us from getting really excited when we could hear the bass from the outside, Even though we was so close to the venue, it took us and many others ages to find the actual entrance....*due to no signs or arrows to signpost us* but alas after walking round and round we finally found the entrance! Bags searched, and tickets scanned we had made it.

We walked all around the festival to get our barrings, who really wants to read a map at a festival? Not me! As always we found the food court and seating area first and made sure we had a proper look at what we could be tucking into later in the day. There was so many food stalls and trucks scattered across the field, we was so spoilt for choice- sushi, Indian, Chinese, American, Caribbean, basically anything and everything you could have wanted.
A few of my favourite songs that I listen to on the daily I was able to experience live, and it was GREAT.
Mura Masa: FireFly
James Blake: I Need A Forest Fire
Can we just take a moment though.... I literally had the chance to see Mura Masa and Nao live. Hold on... one more minute- im still gassed, it was lit. And James Blake left me in a trance no joke. I will defo be heading back up to Field Day next year considering how good it was this year (minus the prick idiot who kept annoying all the girls with his drunkness and stank attitude throwing his weight around). If you can't handle your drink, then please don't drink until your mature enough, or stay home thanks :)
The night ended as everyone rustled up to the main stage to see the phenomenal James Blake, and his hypnotizing voice. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day, the atmosphere, food and tunes.... And of course how can I not mention the mud and the pouring rain! I love the whole vibe that a festival entails and it wouldn't be a proper festival without getting muddy and wet from the rain.
Until next year Field Day <3

Photos Courtesy of my bestie @ SRFtaylor
xx
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Wednesday, 8 June 2016

BEAUTY | OXYGENETIX REVIEW*

Writing posts about foundation, is probably one of my favourite things to do whilst blogging. We are all so aware of the lack of diversity amongst foundations in our everyday high-street stores, so when it comes to looking for a foundation that embodies your true colour you know its a keeper. If you are like me, than many of you probably started your make-up journey in the same stores as every other girl, hitting up MAC was the ''IN'' thing and only then did you start to broaden your search for the perfect foundation. For those who are looking for a foundation reference, I wear MAC NC55 or NC50 Studio fix fluid depending on whether we are in winter or summer.

I was kindly sent over two samples to try from Oxygenetix, by using the same MAC reference you are all familiar with they popped two shades in the post for me, ''Honey'' and ''Coco''. So I was excited to give them a whirl, and see if they was anywhere near providing me a perfect match. I have heard nothing but good reviews about the coverage, longevity and colour match. Another reason I really wanted to give Oxygenetix foundations a try is because of their breathable formula and their wide range of shades, as well as the foundation being suitable for acne sufferers. 
First: Honey | Second: Coco
Oxygenetix foundation is suitable for most skin types, including sensitive skin and of course acne prone blemish skin. The brand has two formulas for their foundation, and the one I was particularly interested in was the Acne Control version. This formula by Oxygenetix is infused with 2% salicylic acid which helps to calm acne build up and calm/sooth the skin as well as improve the appearance of the skins complexion. This percentage of salicylic acid was completely what sold it to me and I had never heard of another brand that had this unique selling point. 

The first time I tested out the foundation it was apparent even before doing a proper swatch, or test patch on my face that Coco was going to be way too dark for me. Whilst Honey was a better match (and the swatch blended perfectly on my arm) due to my face being slightly darker than my body, it came across slightly light and needed buffing into the skin. A few times I tried mixing both of the shades with other concealers and foundations I own to try and create the perfect colour. Neither foundation was technically the perfect match for my skin tone, Honey being a little lighter than what I needed (so a shade down close to honey would be perfect) and Coco was completely off being darker and more red toned. 

I have been using the foundation and trying it out in different ways for around three/four weeks now, as I wanted to make sure I could get an accurate representation of the foundation, my expectations and the reality of it. I wanted to ensure I could find the best ways that worked for me. For application I  tried the recommended way of applying the foundation by using my fingertips then by using a blending sponge. But after a while I found that simply using a foundation brush worked very well with application, ensuring I didn't have too much formula and not all the formula was being wasted (by being sucked up by the sponge).
Foundation first attempt blending
Second attempt at blending and set with translucent powder
The foundation itself has amazing longevity, as you are all aware I suffer from really bad oily skin amongst my t-zone. And this causes problems regardless of what foundation I use, and I find I have to blot and powder a couple of times within the day. But I can honestly say that this foundation does not slip or slide or go patchy within a few hours, even in some of the hot weather we have been experiencing in London this little beauty keeps my face looking somewhat put together. The oxygenetix foundation in my opinion is medium coverage that can be build-able, but I do wish it had more of a fuller coverage as that's just personally how I prefer to have my foundations, as I like to cover up my deep acne scars and blemishes. But my gosh it certainly is breathable- I'm not sure if that comes hand in hand with it being medium coverage, and potentially if the coverage was fuller the breathable factor may disappear. But when wearing this foundation through the day, I know its on my face of course but it doesn't feel heavy like some that I have experienced before. And for an added bonus point the acne control science behind the foundation is a godsend, I have not reacted at all from this little product, all I need to do now is find the perfect shade! <3

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Wednesday, 1 June 2016

LIFESTYLE | UPDATE - WHERE HAVE I BEEN?


Hey guys, so you are probably wondering where have I been, why have my blog posts been so sparse? Where are the reviews, beauty posts, and lifestyle journals??? But I am back now ready to answer all those questions!

After going into full time work last year and living really far I am up from 6am till 7pm, then once I get in from my job, I would go straight into my studies for uni (yes I am still studying my degree and I'm loving it). So by the time it would hit 10pm I would hit the hay as my body gets super tired.  Now uni is done for the year I am now ready to put more effort into my blog and not just blog, as and when I have time to spare. Although blogging is something I love it is still my hobby and other areas of my life come first, but boy have I missed it! 

My fourth year of uni really took its tole on me, and kept me up late into the nights with worry and stress over essays and assignments, I would fall behind schedule regardless of being a super organised person, and found myself sleeping when trying to study. It was a very hectic year, but somehow two weeks ago I managed to get my final assignment of the year in on time, done and dusted. So fingers crossed when the results come out I pass this year...

As many of you know, I cannot speak much about work due to confidentiality, but it has been going well and I can see myself flourishing more and more as the days go on. I am starting to see myself fall into a solid routine, up to date with all the knowledge and I am beginning to become the person people come to when they need vital information. No longer am I a newbie in the workplace. And I cant wait to see what the next steps and experience in the role brings me. Sorry to be so vague but in short I am happy with my job.

 With both of these areas of my life having its own deadlines, pressures and my own expectations on how things should be done, I would be lying to you all if I said it has all been a walk in the park. I have had very difficult times in the past few months- particularly struggling with my BPD and generally my self esteem and how I see myself. They have led me into episodes of darkness in which I felt I couldn't get out of, but with therapy and having a good network and team around me it helped me climb out of that hole. I am now feeling a lot stronger and stable at present but cannot tell you how much I appreciate my job and how understanding they have been, my best friend for always being my rock and my family of course. 

So here we are, June 1st 2016 feeling ready to go. Half way into the year, still open to what life has in store for me and where my yellow brick road will take me next. 

xx
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Sunday, 8 May 2016

LIFESTYLE | HARLEY MEDICAL DERMAQUEST & INNOVATIVE TREATMENT I-LIPO

With the good weather gracing us in the UK it was the perfect day for Harley Medical to invite bloggers and vloggers alike down to their clinic in Harley Street to reveal their new skincare range, non-surgical treatments and a chance for us to try a few of them out.

I headed straight to Harley Street from work, and managed somehow to arrive only an hour into the event. I was met by the amazing team at Pegasus and got chit chatting to the lovely Amy (obviously we are best friends)! 

It had been a full on two or so years since I last stepped through the doors to have my final last set of Medical Microdermabrasion. (Please see my first experience in 2013 here or check for it in the search bar, where I wrote about my skincare journey) I was able to get another skin check to see how my skin has changed since my last treatment two years ago.  Luckily my results wasn't too bad, my results showed that my old acne scarring increased my age- other than that my skin seems to be ageing just fine PHEW. The team at Harley Medical was kind as always and was able to chat with me about my skin concerns and how best to improve it, such as keeping hydrated throughout the day. 
Harley Medical- DermaQuest
Harley Medical has launched DermaQuest's advanced skincare range to all of their clinics nationwide. DermaQuest products have been tailored to suit all level of skincare concerns and ensure there is something for each individual. The innovative range by DermaQuest is enriched with botanical stem cells, peptides and vitamins to help hydrate and protect the skin ensure it is cared for in the highest of standards. 

DermaQuest consists of a few different collections:
The Essentials Collection formulated for all skin types to nourish, protect and balance the skin.
Peptide Vitality Collection formulated for ageing skin.
DermaClear Collection formulated to combat different stages of acne.
SkinBrite Collection formulated to banish dark spots, under-eye circles and hyper-pigmentation.
Sensitized Collection specifically formulated to care for sensitive skin.

The new range comes at the same time as Harley Medical introducing the new range of treatments available at the clinic. 
  • DermaClear Salicylic Peel £125 for 45 minutes to treat inflammation, acne and soothe breakouts.
  • DermaClear Modified Jessner Peel £150 for 45 minutes, used to actively treat symptoms and precursors of acne to eliminate future breakouts.
  • Peptide Vitality TCA Peel £195 60 minutes ideal for aging concerns, helps to fill in lines and wrinkles.
  • Peptide Vitality Power Peptide Resurfacer £99 for 60 minutes helps to accelerate the shedding of dead skin to aid age management.
  • Power Pumpkin Resurfacer £99 for 60 minutes an advanced resurfacing treatment using pumpkin pulp to aid age management. 
  • SkinBrite Peel £140 for 45 minutes to help battle sun damage, inflammation and hyper-pigmentation.
Prior to the event I had been comfortably using Harley Medical's old skincare range, and was always a fangirl of their 'Gentle Cleanser' and their 'Replenishing Exfoliator'. So I am looking forward to trying out DermaQuest and sharing with you all exactly what I think. Thank you Harley Medical for gifting some products from the Essentials range.
Harley Medical- I Lipo (Xcell)
Many of you know I have been on a healthy lifestyle journey that had to be put on hold due to health complications and needing to control other aspects of my life. This year I was able to start back on my journey and lost two pounds in four weeks which is good for someone with a thyroid condition. Whilst at the Harley Medical event I was able to put my name down to experience I-Lipo treatment. 

What is I-Lipo I hear many of you saying... I-Lipo is a clinically proven, pain free, non-invasive, non-surgical treatment that aids in fat reduction, body shaping, cellulite improvement and skin tightening. The treatment works by going through three stages that lasts up to 45 minutes per session. The first stage targets fat cells, the second is a lymphatic massage to move fat cells to lymphatic drainage points  and the third stage stimulates the cells to boost collagen to tighten skin. To ensure best results a course of eight treatments is recommended but it is all dependent on the person and the target area you are trying to address. 

My Experience
I was taken downstairs in the clinic with one of Harley Medical's wonderful staff (I wish I could remember her name because we had a right old chinwag and she was so so kind). I went through normal routine of filling out forms and talking about my medical history. Prior to the treatment my waist measurements was taken down- as I was focusing my treatment on my stomach (my sworn enemy). I was then asked to pop onto the bed and given some sexy goggles and step 1 commenced. 

Step 1: Target and Empty Fat Cells
In every persons body regardless of what you weigh, there are fat cells that roam aimlessly around the body. Step 1 uses laser therapy to break down fat molecules so the body can use as energy and so that it can be sweated out. Weirdly I found this part pretty relaxing and during the procedure was happy conversating with the nurse. Sticky pads were placed around my stomach and the closest point to my lymph node (which was my groin), the laser warms up and starts to break down fat molecules.
Step 2: Lymphatic Massage
This isn't a normal massage, a vacuum tool is then used to encourage the release of fatty cells and toxins, and are influenced to move towards the lymphatic drainage points in the body (mine being my groin). This can be a little uncomfortable at times due to the repetitiveness but wasn't as bad as the nurse had first suggested. Apparently I was a trooper. Many can experience some bruising after the treatment which should fade within a week (luckily I was fortunate enough not to experience any bruising but slight tenderness). 
Step 3: Stimulate Fibroblasts and Boost Collagen
The last step uses radio therapy technology to stimulate blood circulation to support the breakdown of lipids, and collagen to tighten skin cells and tone the body. By this stage I had thoroughly enjoyed my experience of I Lipo and it was made even better with the staff that I had.

During the mid point of the treatment my measurements was taken again and I lost 3 cm off my stomach. Is this even real I thought- but trust me it was. The nurse gave me an after care leaflet and it  suggests to get an hour of exercise in to reap the full benefits of I Lipo, so that is exactly what I did. 
A week on from the treatment I lost a further two pounds in two weeks and four pounds within six weeks, which I couldn't have been more thrilled with.
You can find more before and after pictures over on the Harley Medical website here, below shows the effect I Lipo can have on completion of eight treatments. Results can differ from person to person, but after my experience is definitely something I am considering doing again when my finances look a tad bit healthier. 

(Note- this picture below is not me haha)
Thank you again Pegasus and Harley Medical for inviting me down to learn about the new ranges, and personally having my own experience of I Lipo.
(Image sourced from Pegasus)

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Wednesday, 4 May 2016

BEAUTY | TEMPLE SPA DEEP CLEANSING MELT

Firstly I am sure we all know each other here, this little space on the internet where I share my jumbled thoughts. So I am sure we are all familiar with the brand Temple Spa (TS), if you're not let me give you a bit of background information... For the past few years (a little over three now) I have religiously been using products from Temple Spa, my skin is different on every area of my body, so there is only a few skincare products that seem to work for me. My body comes under the normal skin type category but I have always suffered with psoriasis which can make things difficult, and my face is technically acne prone-combination/oily but even then I suffer with dry patches- so you can see my frustration.

Thus when I was introduced to a few TS products that worked really well I couldn't get enough of the brand, and now I love their products. Recently I have been trying their deep cleansing melt to remove impurities, blackheads and makeup whilst locking in moisture. Let me just say, firstly this product is specifically for those with a dry/dehydrated skin type (which I am not) but I still did reap some of the benefits from this product. 
The cleansing balm is a self contained facial in a jar, combined with gentle exfoliating beads and enriched vitamin complex ingredients to ensure deep cleansing. The cleansing melt gets to work as soon as it touches the surface of the skin and penetrates deep down into the layers of the skin in order to remove dirt and unclog pores, whilst maintaining a high level of moisture not stripping the skin of its natural oils. TS leaves skin feeling dewy and nourished ensuring that you have a natural glow.
Although as mentioned before my skin type is a little in-between categories, I found that in areas that I experience oily residue, such as my Tzone the cleansing balm would leave me overly moisturised. But using the balm on my dry patches, it has worked wonders. They have got smaller in size and are less irritable so easier for me to deal with. (I bet you can imagine my night routine uses a lot of products to get the right combination hehe, well I have a post coming soon based on my night routine). I am particularly fond of the cleansing balm as it has fit in easily with my routine and I know this little jar is going to last me for ever because you only need a pea sized amount, but use it quick as it literally just melts in your hands. 
If you suffer with dry/dehydrated skin this is definitely a product made for you, if you have a skin type more like mine then I would suggest keeping an eye out for my next beauty post! Just kidding- I use the cleansing melt most nights to ensure my skin stays in a good routine, but tend not to use it in the morning. To me this product is more of a luxurious pamper evening product and is perfect just before you go to bed, to restore, smooth/soften and lock in moisture so you are ready for the next day.

This is certainly a product I will hold onto, and one I would recommend if your searching for a luxury skincare product that not only feels like a facial but a good old pamper session too!

W: Temple Spa

xx
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