Monday, 12 October 2020

Lets Have a Catch Up - Where I've Been

I've been pretty quiet for the past couple of months and it is just mainly down to my mental health and things going on in my life. I have been struggling and there has been times that have been pretty dark. But, it's ok to not be ok and go through rough patches here and there, even though I feel like the whole of 2020 has been one massive rough patch.

I finally went back to work in August, can you believe that I had a whole FIVE months off!? The first couple of months I was off work were great, but then things got boring and I was itching to get back. It was weird being back, doing the same things but so different.

Liam and I headed to London for what would've been our wedding day and we had the best time! We got a train down that morning and opened our cards and gifts on the train. We stayed in a gorgeous hotel in Tower Bridge who were kind enough to upgrade our room so we had a beautiful view of London. We had booked the London Eye, so we headed there after dropping off our bags at the hotel and just had a chilled afternoon walking around London. Then, we went to The Shard in the evening for dinner. It was so lovely, however I feel like Liam and I didn't really fit in. It was very posh haha. We booked our table for around 7pm which was when the sun was about to set so we saw the most stunning view of London during the day and in the evening. It was just beautiful.

We are trying to buy a house. At the moment, it's difficult for first time buyers and it doesn't help that I have been part furloughed at work too. But, we are really trying our best and have everything crossed that we will be able to do it.

What's happening with the wedding? I'm not too sure myself. The numbers went back down to 15 from 30 and to be honest, I don't have much hope for a bigger wedding by June. Liam and I need to decide what's best for us but at the moment, we're not too sure ourselves. We don't know whether to bring the wedding forward and just go ahead with an intimate wedding or to just postpone again until 2022/2023. The thing is, we would like to be in our own home once we're married, so I think it'll all depend on what happens in the next few months or so regarding the house situation.

Lastly, I am back on Slimming World. I have properly been on it for about a month now and I'm not gonna lie, I've had a couple of weeks where I just gave up. It's hard for me to eat clean when my mental health is low but I'll get there. I'm determined to get my body back to how I want it.

I hope you're all doing well and taking care of yourselves.


Wednesday, 16 September 2020

My Travel Bucket List - UK & Abroad

travel bucket list

I'm not lying when I say that my travel bucket list is long. It's loooong and to be honest, I could probably add more places. I've had to turn my Pinterest travel board into separate boards for different destinations.

The Cotswolds
Lake District

Quite a few big cities around the UK are on this list - Manchester and Leeds have both been my top two to visit but I have never gotten round to visiting. I've been to Swansea in Wales once for a football game, and the views on the way there were just stunning and since that day, I've wanted to go back for a weekend away. The Lake District is actually very new on my list, since constantly seeing gorgeous photos on Instagram, I will definitely visit one day. 

The Maldives
The Caribbean Islands

Iceland is on the top of my list, I've been wanting to visit for a couple of years now, depending on the travel situation it'll be either next year or 2022. We were meant to have our honeymoon in Mauritius, we're meant to be there right now actually, but unfortunately the world changed that, but it's still on my bucket list. Bali is another recent destination I'd love to visit one day, the whole place just looks beautiful. America and Australia have always been my dream to visit since I was little. I've still never done Disneyworld, so that'll be a holiday with our future kids I reckon.

Have you been to any of these places yourselves? Let me know your opinions or any recommendations!
Tuesday, 18 August 2020

My Current Haircare Routine

my current haircare routine

A shampoo I've been loving at the minute is the Goldwell Rich Repair Restoring Shampoo. The clue is in the name, it's for dry and damaged hair and as mine is bleached, I definitely fit in that category. I love everything about this shampoo; the consistency, the smell, it works and the price tag - you can usually get it on offer on Salons Direct. 

Another shampoo I swear by is the Goldwell Blondes & Highlights Anti-Yellow Shampoo. It's a purple shampoo and I tend to use this once I've just had my hair done and it needs toning down, as well as when my blonde starts going dull and I want to bring a bit of life back into it - probably around five/six weeks after I've had it coloured. 
This shampoo, along with Matrix are the only purple shampoos that don't dry my hair out. I don't know what are in the rest of them that I've tried, but they make my hair so dry and really knotty after washing it. So finding two that don't make my hair worse off is amazing. 

The conditioner I've been using and loving is the BedHead Oil Infused Colour Goddess Conditioner. Around the start of this year, I had also been using the shampoo from this range, but because I have oily hair and the product itself is oil infused, it of course made my hair oilier at the root - so, I scrapped using the shampoo and stuck by the conditioner. It smells lush too, just like a warm, caramel/toffee smell.

I have been using the Schwarzkopf Blondeme Keratin Restore Mask for the majority of this year and I can honestly say it's the best I've used. I only need to use this mask once a week and a little really goes a long way with the product. After leaving it on for around 10 minutes, it really nourishes and hydrates your hair and makes it so much easier to detangle too. It smells gorgeous which also lingers in your hair after you've washed it off. 
You know when your hair blows in the wind and you sometimes get a waft of your nice smelling shampoo? Well, that's the same with this hair mask.

I've always used Schwarzkopf thermal protection sprays as they all smell amazing, work wonders and the majority of the time they're on offer in most places. But one I keep going back to recently is their Got2B Guardian Angel Heat Protection Spray. It protects up to 220 degree heat and can be used on damp and dry hair. When used on dry hair, it doesn't leave any residue, it dries in pretty quickly so you can easily get on and straighten or curl your hair straight away.

An oil I've been using on my hair for years is Wella Oil Reflections. I think it'll forever be in my haircare routine as it is honestly a magic treatment for the ends of the hair. I've actually made my mum use it for the past year as her hair never used to grow past a certain length and honestly, I've never seen her hair so long and so healthy. The ends also aren't as split as they used to be either which is incredible. Mum also recommends the Wella oil too!

What have you been using on your hair recently? Or have you tried anything I've been using?

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Four Ways I Deal With Stress

four ways i deal with stress

I was planning on writing up a life update blog post, but I'm going through a lot of personal stuff right now and even though I'm very honest and open with you all, I know a lot of other people have been struggling with stress and anxiety at the moment too, so instead of you reading a lengthy blog post full of negativity, instead, I want to share my four ways I've been dealing with stress and hope it can help some of you too.
This is a very new way I deal with stress. I never thought I would be saying this, but exercising really does help me take my mind off of things. Following a routine, I'm focused and with stress on my mind it seems to make me work harder too. 

Music has always been my therapy, and always will be. My earphones are my happy place. I don't really listen to anything in particular. If anything, when I'm sad, listening to sad music helps me - some of you might think that's absolutely bonkers. But, I feel like it's a way for me to connect to the song itself. It just works for me.

If things do get too much for me, I write down how I'm feeling as it helps to clear my head a little. I also write down to-do lists and spread things out over multiple days by importance. This has always worked wonders for me! Each day, I look at my to-do list and focus on what needs to be done on that particular day and nothing else.

Just breathe and focus on the present. I'm a nightmare for over-thinking into the future and what's to come. I've been worse since COVID has happened because our wedding, honeymoon, hen and stag do's, buying our first home and trying for a baby have all been put on hold and I have honestly been so stressed about it all. But, every day, I take about 5 minutes in the evening to just breathe and focus on my breathing to release the stress, even if it is for only 5 minutes. Also, telling myself that I'm lucky to be alive and healthy and to be happy with what I have at this moment in time.

How do you deal with stress? Is there anything else you'd recommend?
Monday, 13 July 2020

Accepting the Norm of Cellulite & Stretch Marks

products for cellulite and stretch marks

burts bees belly butter

products for cellulite

I remember being around 14 years old when I first noticed a few faint stretch marks on my hips and it really bothered me. I guess in your early teens, you do naturally worry about things like that.
As I've grown up, I have struggled with my stretch marks and wobbly legs. My legs have always been a huge insecurity for me, literally everything I eat goes straight to my thighs and since putting on a lot of weight over the past two years, my self confidence hasn't been great.

Since following Slimming World and doing regular exercise, I have noticed some very vivid stretch marks on the backs of my legs - from the backs of my knees going all the way down. So, I have since become even more insecure about my legs. I'm not going to lie to you, it really bothered me when I first noticed them, and to be honest, they still do bother me some days.

No matter how many creams and oils you buy and try, stretch marks are bloody hard to get rid of. Red/purple stretch marks are fairly new and dermatologists say that they are easier to treat as the skin is still in the process of healing. Whereas, white stretch marks are older and a lot more difficult to treat but laser is an option.

Of course, for my stretch marks I've been using Bio Oil everyday, sometimes twice a day. I've heard many mixed opinions on Bio Oil but it seems to work for me, especially if used correctly and consistently.

I bought the Burts Bees Belly Butter back in January after doing some research on best rated skincare products for stretch marks. It is actually highly rated by women who are pregnant. No, I'm not pregnant but I thought I'd give it a go as it was highly recommended for stretch marks on the belly during pregnancy. It absorbs super quick, however there isn't really a smell to it. I usually like a scent to my products but it's not the end of the world! It is a great little product, and I will continue to use it when the time comes for babies.

I have been using these products almost every day after showering since I noticed the stretch marks on my legs and I have noticed a big difference. They haven't completely disappeared but they have definitely faded really well, so I will just carry on using them during my weight loss.
celluliteI was in my late teens when I started noticing cellulite appear on the back of my thighs. It weren't that noticeable and didn't actually bother me as much as stretch marks did. My mum always said it was hereditary but honestly, I have seen very few women that don't actually have cellulite. Over the years I have found that regular exercise and a good diet really helps with maintaining minimal cellulite.

I had been using the Clarins Anti-Cellulite cream for years. I wouldn't say I'm in a consistent routine like I am with my stretch marks products. But, this really has worked wonders for me. It smells so nice and it does minimise cellulite and helps my legs to appear smoother. I feel like if I used it morning as well as evening every day, I would get a lot better results from it.

After hearing great things about this product, I purchased the Mio Cellulite Smoother at the start of the year and to be honest, I haven't touched my Clarins product since. This product smells like the strongest mint toothpaste you can get, but unlike the Clarins cream, you can feel this one working as it gives you a tingling sensation. But again, it gives the exact same results as the Clarins Anti-Cellulite cream.

I included both of these cellulite products in this post as they both work wonders. Even though Clarins is a better smelling product, I would rather be using a product that is half the price, and you can feel it working and gives the exact same results. And, if Mio ever discontinues, I would go back to Clarins, always.

I've only recently managed to accept that cellulite and stretch marks are completely normal, even though I still have some days when they bother me. Social media has had a huge impact on my self-confidence too. All these perfect, gorgeous and slim Instagram influencers, you've got to remember that majority of the time, their pictures are edited and filtered. Again, it's only recently I've learnt to never compare yourself to anyone else - on social media or not. You are you, and you should love yourself.

Pretty much everyone has stretch marks and cellulite, it's just being human. I now see stretch marks and cellulite as stories; growing up, weight gain/loss and pregnancy, all beautiful in every way and I believe that everyone should see it that way too.
Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Twenty Three.

23 things I've learnt in 23 years
*Dress was kindly gifted to me from Femme Luxe Finery*

It's my birthday! Today I turned 23 years old, how did this happen!? It doesn't seem right that I'm 23 already, getting married and about to buy a house. It's gone crazy quick and it actually scares me how quick the next 23 years will go. Here are 23 things I've learnt in 23 years.

1. Don't worry about what other people think
2. Make time for yourself 
3. My parents were right about everything
4. Mental health is important
5. Live in the moment 
6. Trust your gut instinct
7. It's ok to say no
8. Put yourself first
9. Don't compare yourself to other people
10. Accept who you are
11. Friends and family are everything
12. Take each day as it comes
13. Set goals
14. Everything happens for a reason
15. You can't please everyone 
16. Don't take life too seriously
17. Stop worrying about money
18. Skincare is important
19. Travel while you can
20. Music is my escape
21. Everyone has their own timeline
22. Do what's best for you
23. Don't give up

Here's to twenty three!
Saturday, 13 June 2020

A Birthday Makeup Look

birthday makeup

My birthday is in a few days and as my 23rd birthday will be a little different compared to other birthdays over the years, I decided that I'd still like to get dressed up and do my makeup how I usually would do on my birthday.

the brows
The very first thing I do is fill in my eyebrows, I use the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pomade in the shade 'Taupe'. Then to neaten up my brows, I outline them with the NARS Creamy Concealer in the shade 'Vanilla'. I find that this the perfect shade for me, it's not too light or too warm - so it's great for my pale days as well as when I have tan on.

the eyes
Moving onto my eyes, I smother my lashes in Revitalash Serum, it's honestly been a god send since taking a break from my lash extensions - the growth of my lashes in only 4 months is insane. Then, I prep my lids using the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer, it's been my fave for years and does its job, so will forever be my go to.
I've decided to use the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette as there's a decent range of smoky shades and shimmers. Using 'Foxy' as a base, 'Busted' and 'Snakebite' for depth in the crease and a mix of 'Half Baked' and 'YDK' on the lid. Using the shade 'Verve' as a highlight, I apply this in the inner corners of my eyes and underneath my brows.

the base
For my face, using my all time favourite, the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in the shade 'Stromboli'. Then going back in with the NARS Creamy Concealer in the shade 'Vanilla', to brighten the eye area I apply this under my eyes and on any blemishes and then blend the concealer out with a beauty blender. To add some definition, I use the Benefit Hoola Bronzer to contour my nose, cheekbones, jawline and the top of my head. After blending out the bronzer, I set the rest of my face using the Revlon Colorstay Pressed Powder in the shade 'Light to Medium' or 'Medium' depending on what shade of tan I've used. 

the finishing touches
Then, I apply my lashes. Being a lash tech whilst in lockdown, I actually made these curly, volume strip lashes myself. I've already tested them and they actually turned out so much better than I thought they would, so I'm well chuffed. However, if I didn't make my own strip lashes I would've used the Ardell Double Wispies.  To blend the strips in with my natural lashes, I use my all time fave mascara that I always end up going back to, the Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara and I also apply it to my bottom lashes too.

For my lips, I'm going with my go-to everyday fave. I line them with the MAC Lip Pencil in the colour 'Stripdown' and then go in with the MAC Matte Lipstick in the colour 'Honeylove'. It's honestly the best lip combo.
Lastly to set everything in place, I use the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray and just spritz it all over my face. This is another one of my all time favourites that I've been using for years, it just does what it's meant to.

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Tan-Luxe Face Self Tanning Drops

tan luxe face review

I have had this on my wish-list for a while and contemplated buying it for a couple of reasons. Number one, I had heard amazing reviews but also heard many negative reviews too. And number two, the price tag - it's £35 for a 30ml bottle.

When I tan, I used to tan my face using leftover tan from my mitt. But, because I wear makeup almost everyday and I cleanse and exfoliate regularly, it does fade ever so quick - usually within two days. I then have to rely on my foundation to colour match and if I do have a makeup free day within this time, well you guys know, I'm naturally super pale so I end up having a very pale face and a tanned body. So that's when I decided to give in and give this little beauty of a product a go. 

You'll be pleased to know that it ticks all the boxes, it is vegan friendly and cruelty free. 
The design of Tan-Luxe is a luxurious-looking glass bottle with a pipette dispenser. The bottle comes in a very good quality white case which is perfect to keep the bottle clean. You can purchase it in two shades - either light to medium or medium to dark. I got light to medium for a natural glow and I decided it was the best one to go with my tan.

I first tried this product out when I didn't have a tan, hoping for a nice glow and to look less ghostly - big mistake! As you don't see a difference straight away, it's easy to add more drops. The next day, I definitely noticed a difference. I had such a bad uneven line under my jawline and onto my neck that I had to apply makeup for the following three days to cover it.

Surprisingly it doesn't actually smell of fake tan. It smells more fruity and perfumed than anything. When I was actually looking up on the ingredients for this, raspberry seed oil is included which is when I clicked - it really does smell of raspberries.
The consistency is runny but more of a serum like consistency.  

tan luxe face self tanning drops

You simply add a few drops to your everyday moisturiser, serum or face oil and apply it like you usually would. The amount of drops depends on your target colour/glow. The application is really good, it feels like you're applying your moisturiser/serum like you usually do. One thing I will say upon applying, make sure to get right up and around the hairline, corners of the nose, right around the lips and eyebrows and blend it properly around your jawline and neck. You can't actually see where you've applied it so make sure you cover every little area of your face because you will notice if you miss any patches the next day.

It matches my tan so well. I use Bondi Sands light to medium and let it develop overnight for around 9 hours and with Tan-Luxe, I mix no more than 2 drops into my moisturiser. I couldn't even lie to you when I say the colour match is 100% perfect. I feel like you need a little play around with it for the first couple of weeks to see how many drops you need to get the right depth and colour.

It's hard to say how often I use this as I go by how my actual tan fades. But usually, I now apply Tan-Luxe to my face the same night I tan my body and then use it for the next two or three days when doing my skincare in the mornings. It fades out really nicely and in sync with my Bondi Sands tan. It doesn't end up going patchy either which is amazing.

It doesn't give off an orange colour at all. It makes me look more awake - especially if I'm having a makeup free day, it gives me a really nice glow. I struggle with tan going patchy and dry on my chin and nose after a couple of days, but with this face tanner it doesn't do that at all.

Overall, I'm so glad that I ended up buying this little gem as it is now included in my everyday routine when I have tan on.
Monday, 1 June 2020

10 Things I'm Going To Do When the Pandemic is Over

things i'm going to do when the pandemic is over

I've been thinking about what I'm actually going to do when the pandemic is over. I love routine, I've never liked change. As I've been off work for 11 weeks, I've now got myself into a new daily routine and thinking about going back to my old routine is making me feel anxious. I wrote down 10 things I'm going to do when the pandemic is over to keep my mind at ease and to look forward to in the near future.

Stick to an exercise routine
I have been doing so well sticking by exercising that I've actually grown to love it. I'm not sure yet on how I'm going to fit workouts into my daily routine when I go back to work as I work long hours and it'll be fully hands on but I'll manage it somehow.

Focus more on myself
This is a huge one for me because I have struggled with this for years. I have always put people first before myself which isn't always a good thing. It's definitely about balance.

See friends and family and give them an even tighter hug than I usually would
Before the pandemic happened, I wasn't appreciative enough of my friends and family. Now, I will cherish every single moment spent with them, hug them that little bit tighter and tell them I love them more.

Work my ass off
After moving our wedding, suppliers and honeymoon around, we have unfortunately lost some money. But, I am raring to get back to work and earn as much money as I can.

Support local businesses even more so
I can't even imagine how much small businesses are struggling right now. There are so many small local businesses in my city, it just makes me so sad how some of them haven't managed to survive it.

Go to London
I miss London. That is it. It's my absolute favourite place in the world. As soon as this pandemic is over, Liam and I will be taking a trip to London. It's only around a 2 hour journey for us too so it's not too bad.

Go to see Liam's Nanny in her care home
Liam's nanny has dementia and is in a care home and we haven't seen her for months. This will be the first place we will go when we are able to.

Finally get my hair done
Can you believe that I haven't had my hair professionally done since the end of January!? I was trying to find a new hairdresser but it was a struggle as I work the same days and hours as hairdressers so finding someone that worked on a Monday was proven impossible. So, my hair was already at 8 weeks before we even went into lockdown. Luckily, I'm trained in hairdressing so I have managed to foil the front and sides of my hair in the meantime until I find someone to fix my mess of hair.

Get regular massages
Leaning over doing lashes, nails, feet and other treatments all day every day really puts a strain on my back. I have always struggled with my back anyway but with my job, I struggle with it even more. I tried to get into a routine of getting a massage once a month but it didn't last long. I will definitely get back into having them, they really helped my back as well as help me relax, de-stress and sleep so much better too.

and lastly...
Go places without having to be cautious of social distancing
I think most people can't wait for this to happen. Honestly, I cannot wait for the day when eventually everything will be back to normal.
Saturday, 23 May 2020

Avon True Powerstay 24 Hour Foundation Review

avon foundation review

avon power stay foundation review

After a lot of hype about the Avon Power Stay 24 Hour Foundation giving a similar finish to well-known high-end foundations, I thought for only £10 I'd give it a go myself. This is the first time I've bought a makeup product from Avon, so I've been very eager to try it out.

First off, lets talk about the shade range they offer. You can choose from 18 different shades, which I think is amazing. I do admit though, it was extremely hard guessing my shade from a book and from pictures of swatches on Google Images. In the end, I decided on the colour 'warm ivory' and luckily it was perfect for me. 

The foundation itself is a manageable consistency - I'd say it's actually the perfect consistency I look for in a foundation, it's not too runny or too thick. I've tested applying this foundation with both a brush and a beauty blender and I would personally say that brushes work best. I find that once the foundation is on the skin, it doesn't take long before it dries. It gets harder to blend out, and for that reason I only do sections of my face at a time. When using a damp beauty blender, I found it absorbed a lot of product and made the foundation go patchy. Personally, I don't think the coverage is great and you'd need to use a lot of product to get yourself a decent coverage. 

By the end of the day, I have creases in my smile lines and fine lines as well as it looking patchy on my nose, chin and cheekbones. It's probably the worst foundation I've ever owned to go that patchy. The only great thing that it does for me during the day is control my oily skin. Usually I have to top up my powder to eliminate shine in my T-zone but with this foundation, my oily skin really didn't show through.

I was actually disappointed with this foundation, I thought it was going to be a bargain hit. If you like your foundation to be a really light coverage or you'll only be wearing it in the evening on holiday for a few hours, definitely go for it. But, it's definitely not 24 hour long wearing and it's not as good coverage as I'd of hoped.

Has anyone else tried this foundation before and have a different review on it? I'm intrigued to see other peoples opinions as I've seen so many great reviews - most 4 stars, prior to purchasing it.

Monday, 18 May 2020

How I've Changed as a Person Over The Last Eight Weeks

how I've changed as a person in lockdown

A lot has happened within these eight weeks and I have really changed as a person in that time. Lockdown has seriously done things to me, I've had a lot of thinking time I guess.

Firstly, I've learnt to appreciate things more. I will now cherish every single moment I spend with my family and friends. Sometimes you just need to take a step back, look at your life and see what you've got and who's in it. This has made me look at things from a different perspective, my eyes have opened up even more so now.
 Secondly, I've learnt that it's fine to have down days. It's perfectly okay to have down days anyway, but in a time like this even more so. The unknown of everything and not having much freedom can really hit you hard. I've had multiple days where I've just cried because I'm scared of the unknown, I can't go out and get away or spend time by myself.

I've been working on having a more positive mindset. Even though a lot of negative things are going on in my life right now, I've been trying to turn those negatives into positives instead. Better things will come soon. I've also been working on my jealousy. I've felt so nervous to admit this, but I am a jealous person and I feel like a lot of other people struggle with this too. I get jealous so easily - although not in a bad way that turns me into a horrible person. I keep my thoughts to myself and I've been managing to get over certain things that make me jealous as they come. Maybe it's not even jealousy, I think I just want what other people have in life.

I've got rid of negative people that were in my life. Very recently, I decided that I was sick of the amount of shit I have taken over the last few years by letting people walk all over me, I didn't want to be the girl that was talked down to anymore. Just because I come across as this timid, quiet girl, doesn't mean people can walk over me, make decisions for me and put me down. From now on, I'll be standing up for myself more and any negative people in my life will be cut out. Life is too short and I'm not letting negative people that make me miserable ruin it.

I've spent time looking after myself a lot more too. Beforehand, I wouldn't spend a lot of time looking after myself. I'm looking after my hair and skin so much better and I'm now in a routine. Nothing is a rush either and I have no excuse to not be bothered.

Finally, I've become an even stronger believer of 'everything happens for a reason'.
Monday, 11 May 2020

The Only Makeup Brush Cleanser You Need In Your Life

STYLPRO makeup brush cleanser review

For years I used to swear by my yellow bottle of Johnsons baby shampoo to clean my makeup brushes. However, when I visited the Olympia Beauty show back in September, I was given a little sample packet of STYLPRO makeup cleansing solution. You know me, I love trying out new products. So, as soon as I got home from London, I decided to try it out straight away and I haven't touched my baby shampoo since.

After using the sample for the first time, I was absolutely amazed, I'd never seen anything like it before. I headed straight to the STYLPRO site and ordered the 500ml bottle of cleansing solution for £20.99. It's a highly effective, deep-cleansing formula which removes oil-based products from your brushes really well. It leaves the brushes conditioned and super soft after every use.

 All you do is simply pour one capful of the cleansing solution to a bowl. It's a very oily solution but they highly advise you to not mix it with water or other cleansers, and not to rinse them with water after cleansing your brushes with the solution. Dip your brush in the bowl and swirl it about as you usually would do, then wipe off the excess solution in circular motions on a paper towel and repeat if you need to. After cleansing your brushes, the colour of the bristles come back instantly, they're super soft and feel almost dry.
My eyeshadow brushes only take one cleanse to get them clean again and my more stubborn foundation and concealer brushes take three or four cleanses each. Even though it's a pricey product, it's a much quicker way than I'm used to. It just makes a boring job super easy.

STYLPRO review

STYLPRO makeup brush cleanser

best makeup brush cleanser
Two brushes after they've been cleaned and two brushes before being cleaned.

You can use this cleansing solution by itself, like I do. Or, they also sell a bowl that spins when you insert your brush. Even though I had ordered from their website, I didn't actually know they sold this. Liam's younger cousin actually got the set for Christmas just gone and that's when I realised I had that same solution but without the bowl. She showed me how to use it and it just looked insane.
You pour the cleansing solution into the bowl, put on a silicone collar that best fits your brush size and turn the device on, let it spin your brush around in the solution for around 10 seconds, then lift your brush so it's out of the solution but still in the bowl and spin for a further 10 seconds to dry it out. Just like that, the brushes are completely clean, fully dry and fluffy again. It's a lot quicker than just using the standalone solution and doing it yourself. I will definitely be buying this at some point!

Have you tried this brush cleansing solution before? If you haven't, I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Lounging in Lockdown with Femme Luxe

As you can imagine, I'm forever living in loungewear at the minute, how can I not? With not being able to go anywhere and no reason to get dressed up, I am living for lounging around in my comfies. Femme Luxe Finery got in touch with me and very kindly gifted me a few loungewear pieces which I picked out myself.

The first set I picked is this Cailleigh stone cropped loungewear set*. This set comes in five other colours and I'm not going to lie, I was torn between stone, khaki, and black. The colour of this set actually looks a lot lighter on the Femme Luxe site. In person it's more on the yellowy side but I really don't mind because it still looks amazing and I'd probably say this is my absolute favourite out of the three I've picked. The inside of the hoodie and joggers has a thick, soft lining which is super cosy and comfy. I love that the hoodie is cropped too, you can use the drawstring at the side to keep it loose or bring it in tighter. The cropped look just gives the set that something extra.

femme luxe blog post

The next set that caught my eye was the Zuri black cropped cargo loungewear set*. I was drawn to it because it's different, I'd never seen a set like it before and I just really liked the style of it. The colour choice is slightly more limited with only three other colours to choose from. The style of the layered, cropped hoodie was what attracted me at first and with the zip and the collar, I personally think it's a cool and chic style. Like the first set, it has a drawstring to pull it tighter or keep it loose, you can also tuck the drawstring in or leave it out.

femme luxe loungewear

Lastly, is the Blake grey off the shoulder loungewear set*. This set has a really great colour range with six other colours to choose from. I was a little wary when I pulled this out of the packaging because I noticed the material was thinner and tighter than the other two sets. I was worried that my massive thunder thighs wouldn't squeeze into the joggers, honestly I was surprised when I pulled myself into them. Even though the material is thin, they're not see-through at all and as they're more on the fitted side than baggy, they have a really good stretch to them and I actually found them extremely comfy.

femme luxe bloggers

All three sets are just perfect and easy for lounging about the house, running errands on your days off, dressing them up or wearing them as a cute, comfy airport outfit. Currently, all of their loungewear collection is on sale, so definitely go and check it out.

*Products marked with (*) have been gifted. As always, my reviews and opinions are completely honest and my own. 
Wednesday, 29 April 2020

We've Postponed Our September Wedding.

we've postponed our wedding

Yes, you read that correct. We've postponed our wedding and here is the reason why...

Well, you can probably guess why we've postponed it. The awful C word? Exactly that.
I don't want to speak too negatively about what's going on in this crazy world right now, but this is life and unfortunately we've had to make a big decision and I feel like I should share what has been going on. It also helps me feel better getting things off my mind.

The past month has been one massive whirlwind, that's for sure. Liam and I have been through so many different emotions, we've received lots of different opinions and advice from friends and family too. There has also been lots of stress and many tears with it.

If you would've told me at the start of 2020 that in a few months time I'd be making a decision to cancel my wedding, I would've laughed, maybe even cried. Even though it feels like September is ages away, it is only 4 months away and things could go one way or another from now. I truly believe everything will have blown over by September but I also believe there will still be some restrictions in place. We had sat down multiple times and seriously thought about what was best for us to do. We were originally going to risk leaving our big day as it was and carry on as normal. But then we went into lockdown and our appointment to give notice of our marriage was cancelled and that's when it all felt a lot more real.
I hadn't even been for my first dress fitting or alteration, along with needing to get the bridesmaid dresses altered. Liam was still suit hunting and hadn't found any he liked for him and the groomsmen. Liam's stag do for the end of April was cancelled and mine at the end of May is still highly likely to also be cancelled. We agreed that everything was going to be one big rush by the time lockdown was going to be lifted.
We wanted to get married and celebrate our marriage as normal as possible. The main reason we made our decision is that Liam and I are very close to our families, so having them all around us and celebrating with us on our special day is so important to us both as well as their health. So we decided, if there's a possibility of large gatherings and/or vulnerable people not being allowed at weddings, we're not going ahead with ours.

When we first looked into moving our wedding with our venue, they were more than happy to help us, but they had limited dates for next year. After collecting around five possible new dates from our venue, we had to contact the suppliers that we already had booked for September to see what they could do. Most of them were very limited on dates and a few of them were already booked up for 2021, so this really made our final decision.
We were going to lose our photographer, cake maker and my hairstylist along with the deposits we had paid. We thought, if we leave it any longer, we're going to lose more suppliers and more money as well as finding it harder to get a new date and re-book new suppliers.

Even though we were extremely upset about the big decision we had made, all the excitement had suddenly come back knowing that we will definitely get our day, even if it is nine months later. So we looked at the positives; we can re-organise and plan our hen and stags again, everyone will be able to attend our wedding, we can definitely go away for our honeymoon and we can save up even more money to buy a house this year. Well, hopefully.

wedding postponed covid 19

Of course we didn't have to postpone our wedding, but we truly made the decision that we thought was best for us. I haven't written this to scare any other brides/grooms of 2020 away. I wrote this to purely get everything off my mind and of course, to let all of you know because you've been following my wedding planning journey. Also, I think it will be interesting to look back on in years to come. Everyone has their own opinions and every couple is different and I think that needs to be respected.

The lead up to your wedding is meant to be a really exciting time and we just weren't feeling excited about it anymore. Since postponing, it's like a huge weight has been lifted off of our shoulders. I'm so glad to say that we are both really excited again and enjoying even more planning.
We're so lucky to have the most supportive friends and family too.
Here's to the 3rd of June 2021.
Saturday, 25 April 2020

The Eye Cream Worth Every Penny

bobbi brown extra repair eye cream review

bobbi brown eye cream review

I have been a lover of the Extra Eye Repair Cream from Bobbi Brown for years and in all honesty, I think I will love it forever more. Every time I finish a pot of this cream, I repurchase it and repeat.

I used to be awful with skincare in the past. All the way through my teens, I used makeup wipes every day to rub off my makeup and never used any type of moisturiser, serums or creams. Looking back now, it honestly makes me cringe how I used to drag my skin with a wipe to get my makeup off, especially under my eyes as the skin is thinner and more sensitive.

A few years ago, after trying a sample of this eye cream, it changed my skin for the better and I massively improved in caring for my skin altogether. I still remember being stunned when I first used the sample pot because I literally noticed a difference within days. The fine lines in the inner corners of my eyes had reduced massively within only a week, and that's how my obsession with this eye cream started.

"This rich, concentrated cream visibly revives eyes - so you look extra well rested. A Bobbi Brown best-seller, this formula with peptides, natural plant oils, and humectants targets fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles, puffiness and dryness."

The cream itself is quite thick, although it sits very lightly on the skin - which is great for during the day, especially if you'll be wearing it under makeup, you don't want anything too heavy. I actually find that my concealer applies a lot better and looks smoother with this eye cream underneath as well.

A little really goes a long way with this product, a pot of this seems to last me absolutely ages and I use it every morning and night without fail. Currently, it's retailing at £48.50 and I strongly believe you get your moneys worth without a doubt. You only need a tiny amount of product, warm it up between your two ring fingers and gently pat it in under the eyes. On top of that, it absorbs fairly quickly too, so there's no waiting around to put your makeup on in the mornings.
It has really helped brighten up my eyes and reduced the appearance of dark circles as well as make my under eyes look more hydrated and firmer overall. It definitely does what it says, that's for sure.

Have you ever tried the extra eye repair cream or a good alternative?

Friday, 17 April 2020

20 Things To Do Whilst Staying at Home

 I'm not much of a social person, I never have been. To be honest, I've always preferred spending Saturday evenings in my pyjamas scoffing a takeaway and watching crap TV than going 'out out'. However, I'm now at the point where I feel like all of my days are merged into one. I got into too much of a routine and now I'm bored. So as the UK lockdown is set for another three weeks, here are 20 things to do whilst staying at home...

1. Bake
2. Learn a new language - I love Duolingo for learning Spanish!
3. Play a videogame - The Sims 3, Club Penguin, Habbo Hotel, Mario Kart on the Wii are just some I've been playing. I've even dug out my old Nintendo DS!
4. Follow a workout online
5. Give your phone a clear out 
6. Spend time improving your cooking skills or learning a new recipe
7. Start a scrapbook
8. Clear out and re-organise drawers and cupboards around the house
9. Read a book
10. Watch YouTube
11. Videocall friends and family
12. Get involved and experience TikTok - it's honestly so much fun and great for passing time!
13. Find a new series to watch on Netflix
14. Have a pamper day - paint your nails, toes, slap on a face & hair mask and have a chill in the bath.
15. Sort through your Pinterest boards
16. Spend some time colouring or painting
17. Clean your makeup brushes
18. Find an old series to watch - I've found all of my old box sets of Waterloo Road and I am so happy about it! I may also watch Charmed from the beginning too.
19. Learn a new skill - I want to learn how to do the splits, a handstand and French plait my own hair.
20. Listen to a podcast
Saturday, 11 April 2020

My Self Tanning Routine

my tanning routine

my fake tanning routine blog

I have experienced many years of fake tanning and tried loads of different products and techniques (quite a few dodgy ones at that). I have been using Bondi Sands for a few years now and I'd never go back to anything else. It's the only tan I've really proper loved and spend every last penny on.

I always prep the day before I want to tan. I hop in the shower, shave wherever needs to be shaved and then exfoliate my whole body to get rid of any dead skin cells. I either use a scrub from The Body Shop or one from Soap & Glory - both brands are great! If I have old tan on from the week before, I pump some of Bondi Sands self tan eraser onto an exfoliating glove and just go over my body which loosens the tan, then I lightly exfoliate over to remove the rest and then shave as normal. After drying myself off, I moisturise my whole body as I usually would after a normal shower.

Before applying my tan, I moisturise my chest, hands, elbows, knees, feet and ankles, just any areas that are dry and that tan would cling to. I do this about 20-30 minutes before I tan so it gives the moisturiser time to sink in. I've been switching between the Bondi Sands self tanning foam in light/medium and their dark foam. I used to use the dark tan all the time but because I'm so pale I had quite a few people say it looked too dark.

So I only now really use the dark one for an occasion or if I'm going out at the weekend (which is hardly ever!). The light/medium shade is the perfect colour for me, it gives me a healthy glow but nothing too drastic. I squirt two or three pumps onto a mitt and start at my feet and work my way up in circular motions. I usually have Liam about to tan my back for me, if not, I tie my mitt onto a clothes hanger with a hairband and reach around to my back, it works a treat!

 I'm not gonna lie, it does have a slight biscuity smell that everyone hates (apart from me), but it's not too overpowering like other tans on the market, you can also actually smell a twinge of coconut so it's not too bad.
Depending on what I'm doing on the day of tanning, I sometimes sleep in it or let it develop during the day. If I tan during the day, I leave it on for 3 or 4 hours and put on some loose, dark clothing. Or if I sleep in it, it's obviously left on for a longer amount of time, but to be honest it doesn't go that much darker.
When I wash it off, I don't use body wash I just rinse with the showerhead until the water runs clear. I then pat myself dry with a dark coloured towel.

I've never found the light/medium shade to have a noticeable fade, it actually fades out really nicely. Whereas the dark shade was a lot more noticeable. To maintain the tan, I very lightly exfoliate in the shower every few days. I also moisturise every day, especially my feet and hands. I have quite dry hands anyway, so I also use hand cream more often throughout the day too. In the summer I like to have more of a glow, so I tend to use the Bondi Sands Everyday Liquid Gold after a few days of applying my usual tan. It's a gradual tanning dry oil so it just boosts your tan and gives it a little refresh.

Are you a tanner? What do you use?
Sunday, 5 April 2020

Six Ways To Keep Yourself Motivated During COVID-19

how to keep yourself motivated during covid-19

Oh hey, I haven't been around for about a month or so and honestly, I've missed it. 
I've missed my little space on the internet where I can escape and take my mind off of things, especially now with what's going on in the world.
I'm not going to lie, I have really been struggling but I know everybody else is in the same boat. So, I have put together a list of ways to keep yourself motivated and positive during this time.

I've put this on the top on my list for a reason. I feel like I can't get anything done if I'm lounging around in my pyjamas. Even if I get changed into joggers or leggings and a hoodie, I feel much more awake and motivated than sitting in my pyjamas that I've slept in all night.

 Exercise is so important. Not only does it help you sleep better, it improves your mood and relieves stress which is what I think we all need right now, oh and you'll have that summer bod ready! If you didn't do exercise before this global pandemic, now is a great time to get yourself into it! As I haven't been able to go to my ballet classes and boxing classes for a few weeks now, I've really been missing them.

So, as well as prancing around the kitchen in my ballet shoes, I've also been doing home workouts. Every other morning (I try every morning), I have been out in the garden to do a 30 minute workout. I usually follow Courtney Black's workouts, she's been doing them live every day on Instagram. Cassie from Blogilates on YouTube is also amazing! Luckily, there are so many PTs on Instagram and YouTube to follow at the moment. 
I've even dragged out the Wii Fit, I forgot how much I loved that!

We've been very lucky to have gorgeous weather at the moment which is why I've been getting fresh air pretty much every morning. It honestly makes me feel so much more positive and it's extremely important to get that Vitamin D. Even if you just open a window, it'll do the world of good.

We're so lucky in this day and age to have so many fantastic ways to communicate with people. Especially with what's going on in the world right now, it's crucial to check in on friends and family to make sure they're all doing ok and to see if they need anything. On top of the worries about COVID-19, I've also been stressing about our wedding in early September. I'm praying that it'll all blow over by then but it's just the unknown and having zero control that I've been stressed about. When I have felt down about it, so many close friends and family have been supporting me. Never bottle up how you feel! 

I'm one of those overly-organised people, like when they have an idea they need to do it there and then. For example, changing the layout of the bedroom or redecorating the house - I get excited about ideas and like to get stuff done. I've found that putting together a weekly schedule has really helped me spread things out and actually get other things done as well as stopping my brain from going into overdrive.

I've had to take a few breaks now and then mainly from Twitter and Facebook. All the news, rumours and stories have been too much for me and I instantly go from being in a great mood to an anxious mess and admittedly, I've cried a number of times. 
Whether you delete an app or turn off your phone for a few hours, it's good to take a break.

I hope you've found at least a couple of things on this list helpful.
Take care of yourselves.