Saturday, January 31, 2015

Tattoo Inspo

Images sourced from Pinterest

I’m currently doing my research for my next tattoo, and I’m so so pleased to share these images with you guys because I’m so excited about this new ink. I’m booked in with Olly Furze at Stay True Tattoo in Ashburton, and he’s done some incredible work on lots of my friends and my boyfriend, so on everyone’s recommendation, I booked in for May 15th! I always said, I either want a boob job or a sternum tattoo, and now I’ve gone right off the idea of a boob job (just not my thing anymore, embrace the flatness!). I’m in love with the mandala lotus style; it represents everything I believe about a person’s relationship with the universe, and I think it’s such a gorgeous place to get inked. In Sanskrit, the meaning of a ‘Mandala’ is a circle which encompasses many virtues such as perfection, unity, eternity, and completeness. This Lotus Mandala tattoo aims not only to please your senses with its aesthetic appeal but to also be a source of inspiration for a wholesome life and meditation. I can’t wait!


Friday, January 30, 2015

Fashion Wishlist

I’m currently re-inventing myself as a sort of bohemian gypsy hippy. Spring is just around the corner (GO AWAY WINTER) and I’m definitely getting really excited to start wearing less clothes and heading for the beach. Winter is a time I can delve into my grungey side, but spring and summer let me reach for the whites, chiffons and crochets and become the gypsy princess I know I am inside. Here are my latest picks from Asos, Ebay and American Apparel which will hopefully be on their way to my house soon! 


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bleach London Reincarnation Mask

My hair is mostly a nightmare when it comes to dryness, split ends and frizziness. This means I’m pretty much always on the hunt for a miracle hair mask that will literally restore my hair’s life and lustre. I’m a huge huge fan of the Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque (review here) but as mine ran low, I looked for a new (and slightly cheaper) drugstore offering which would help to keep my hair in soft and silky condition despite my constant bleaching!

I picked up my Bleach London Reincarnation Mask from a larger Boots store for just £6, which is a really affordable mask considering how much I ended up liking it. Bleach London is a brand I’ve been exploring more and more recently. Now I’ve removed their temporary lilac dye from my hair (Review on Bleach London’s Violet Skies Dye) and returned to being blonde, I’m still enjoying their professional haircare products which are targeted at those of us who can’t help trying to murder our locks with bleaches and dyes! I have also tried their Live Forever Shampoo (review) and I’m looking into purchasing the Silver Shampoo to try too!

This mask really is a beauty considering the small price tag. It’s a gloriously thick and yoghurty mask in texture which spreads really thickly and generously over the hair. I use mine after shampooing AND conditioning because I really try to amp up the nourishment when I’m feeling my hair needs some TLC. Like I said, it’s really easy to spread and coats the hair in such a thick and creamy coating which I leave on for about 10 minutes while I do all my other bits and bobs in the shower. The tube says to leave it on for about 10-15 minutes, which is the perfect amount of time to lie back in the bath and relax for a while.

The mask promises to “Resurrect and hydrate thirsty, bleached or coloured hair and improve elasticity with this repairing and moisturising Bleach Reincarnation Mask. Enriched with sunflower seed extract and micro wheat proteins to give great shine, strengthen colour vibrancy and help reduce colour fade.” (Taken from Boots Website). Overall, I do like the mask and the results seem pretty solid. My hair does feel nicely nourished after I rinse it off, and it seems to feel stronger when I brush it and style it. It’s not a miracle product by any means, but my hair definitely feels softer, stronger and silky when I’ve used this; it restores some of the life back into my hair and I’m much happier after I’ve slathered a load on in the shower!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

La Roche Posay Effaclar 3-Step Anti Blemish System

I am SO SO SO EXCITED to be reviewing this product. Some of you might know that this is a facial cleansing set I’ve been after for absolutely ages; it’s a cult favourite and I’m forever on the hunt for skincare that will help me calm my spottiness and oiliness. Before this, I’ve tried Alpha-H skincare (review here), which I liked, Skin Doctors (review here) which was alright at the time, but not my cup of tea any more, and a vast range of drugstore offerings. Finally, for Christmas, my fantastic father bought me this 3 Step Anti Blemish System by La Roche Posay.

My skin has always been an absolute oil slick, especially surrounding my nose, chin and forehead. I haven’t ever really had acne, but I do tend to get really big and sore spots that are really hard to cover and can be painful. I like to do my research, and so when I was digging on Twitter, I came across La Roche Posay, a French skincare brand which uses water from a commune in France and has a pH balance of 5.5. Their products are soap free, paraben free, and promise clearer skin! I was sold, and put the Effaclar 3 Step Anti Blemish System at the top of my Christmas list.

Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel
Where do I begin with such a wonderful product? First things first; the cleanser is a clear, cool, thick gel that foams really easily using my hands. I only apply a tiny amount and lather it on my wet face with warm water. The gel is like no other product I’ve ever used to cleanse my skin with; I absolutely adore foaming cleansers over every other type, so this one is right up my street. This little baby feels so unbelievably velvety on my skin; completely soft, completely smooth and leaves my skin looking bright and refreshed.

Effaclar Clarifying Toner
This toner is, again, a wonder product and I’m enjoying using it as part of my skincare regime. After cleansing my skin using the gel, I swipe this over my skin using a cotton pad. The same goes for this toner; it’s velvety soft, smooth and doesn’t sting or make my skin feel tight. I wouldn’t say it noticeably reduced my pores because I don’t tend to have an issue with enlarged pores, but I do feel it cooling the skin and reinforcing the magical powers of the gel wash.

Effaclar Duo [+] Anti-Blemish Cream
This little tube of goodness is probably the star of this wonderful show! This is the third step of the regime, and I apply a small amount over my face with my fingers. The website claims that it reduces “the appearance of blemishes and unclog pores. It also helps to reduce the appearance of red and brown marks. Proven efficacy on the key signs of oily, blemish-prone skin, which include:- Blemishes- Clogged pores- Excess sebum- Uneven skin texture- Red and brown marks.” I have definitely noticed a reduction in the marks left on my skin from my huge, stubborn spots, and I have noticed my skin feeling matte and consistently clean throughout the day.

There’s so many things I adore about this range; the affordability and ease of access (you can pick it up at any big Boots store for £32), the proper results which you can see, the fact that it doesn’t take months to work, the way it makes my skin feel and how it maintains my clear complexion even when I returned to wearing makeup after a little makeup detox!
Over the short amount of time since Christmas, my skin has cleared up incredibly well, and I can’t believe that this product set is so effective and gentle at the same time. It’s tailored for sensitive skin, which I don’t have, but it’s gorgeous to have a product that’s so calming and soothing whilst also deeply cleansing the skin to reduce not only spots, but the appearance of marks and oils on the skin. I’m absolutely in love!

Usually, when I try a new product, I sort of still look forward to trying out a different one after I run out of the current product. This time, though, I’m putting this firmly on my repurchase list. I don’t feel like I need to look any further for my dream skincare! This is a fabulous set that has transformed my skin and given me so much confidence. I find myself going to work make-up free because my complexion is looking so good. It’s not very often you come across a wonder product, but I’m so pleased I have!


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Birchbox January 2015

January 2015 was the first time I’d ever bitten the bullet and purchased a beauty box. I’d been shopping around for at least a couple of months, but finally decided on Birchbox. Out of all of the rest (love me beauty box, glossybox, etc) Birchbox seemed to be the most luxurious, and of all the reviews I’ve read, the Birchbox contents look like they match me much better! Here’s what I received in my Birchbox for the HIT REFRESH January edition. I believe it was a fitness based, new-year-new-me type box, and overall I love the theme!

activbod Feel Great Shower Concentrate
This post-workout shower gel looks brilliant. I’m not really one for masses of exercise, but I am trying to stay fit and healthy, so I’ve been doing quite a bit of walking and the odd sit-up sessions. This gel works to restore your body and mind after a workout, and eliminates any gross smells. It contains “energising blend of sea minerals and green tea extract (and a touch of skin-soothing almond oil), this rejuvenating wash deeply cleanses and nourishes the skin”. It looks great! I had a quick sniff and it seems to smell lovely; like it would really wake you up after a gym session!

Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle
I’m all about leave-in conditioner type things now I’m blonde again. My hair needs some serious TLC and this leave-in treatment seems to be exactly what the doctor ordered. It aims to nourish, protect and make the hair much more manageable. This wonderful little bottle contains a vegan, paraben - and sulfate-free leave-in mist which conditions, detangles and minimises frizz, while safeguarding colour and adding shine. Can’t wait to give this a whirl on my dry hair now I’ve had it changed back to blonde!

Birchbox & Women's Health Exclusive Pilates Band (not pictured)
I can’t believe I forgot to include this in the images! I actually left it around my boyfriend Elliot’s head (believe it or not) as we were filming an unboxing video! This is a pilates band which you can use during exercise to increase resistance and build more muscle in a variety of ways. This kind of thing isn’t really up my street at all; I prefer to walk to burn off calories and build muscle rather than do set exercise routines. I’m not sure how much use I’ll get out of this, but it was good to receive!

Embrace Matcha Green Tea 
How perfect that I’d be sent some Green Tea in my Birchbox! I’m over the moon to have opened this up. I’ve actually been drinking green tea a lot recently; I have a box of Twinings in the cupboard but this Matcha green tea looks great. I’m always up for trying new things, and green tea is something that’s been becoming a part of my life more and more lately. I love its detoxifying properties and it’s a comforting hot drink to replace coffee and hot chocolates which are full of calories.

REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask
I can’t express how much I loved opening the Birchbox to see this amazing looking face mask in there. REN is a brand I’ve not ever heard of, but by the description on the Birchbox website, it sounds like it’s going to be absolutely awesome and sort out some of my skin’s issues. Birchbox says: “This bioactive peel mask renews the complexion in minutes with a cocktail of natural fruit extracts (passion fruit, pineapple, lemon and grape no less!) gently sloughing away dead skin cells to renew the complexion and remove impurities (blackheads begone!)”

Shaveworks The Cool Fix
This might be a little bit TMI but this is a product I’m so interested in. I do suffer with razor rash, especially during the summer and I’m trying to wear shorts. I think my skin might be a bit sensitive to razors, and in the past I’ve tried to use other products that might minimise the bumpy redness that comes with hair removal. I’d love to see if this product really works, because if it does, it’s definitely something I’d purchase in its full size.

stila lip glaze
My Stila lip glaze came in a baby pinky shimmery colour, which isn’t something I would have chosen. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t have bought a lipglaze anyway, because lipglosses just aren’t my thing at all. Having said that, I am excited to give this a go. I love Stila as a brand; I own two of their eyeshadow palettes and a face powder which I love. I’ll definitely try to incorporate this into my makeup routine just to see if I can pull off a glossy lip.

I’ve been so impressed by this month’s Birchbox, I’ll be continuing my subscription for the next month! What I love most is that they send things you probably have never heard of and haven’t tried before, but they give you just enough to test it out and tantalise you into potentially purchasing a full size. Top marks to Birchbox!


Monday, January 26, 2015

TRIANGL Bikini purchase - Milly Indiana Ice

Yes, it is the middle of winter, and yes I do have a major shopping problem. I’ve only gone and bought another TRIANGL bikini. You can check out the review of my last TRAINGL purchase here. I’m utterly and completely obsessed with these babies, but they certainly don’t come cheap. They’re around £72 for the bikini + shipping but as far as I’m concerned, these are the best of the best of swimwear.

TRIANGL bikinis are neoprene (yep, wetsuit material). I don’t know why this has taken the world by storm, but it certainly has. It makes for a thick, supportive and textured bikini. The bikinis all have an instantly recognizable black outline and straps, and unfortunately, I’ve noticed this has been being imitated and faked all across eBay and a few online retailers. Not to worry, though; I’d always purchase the real thing. The prices start from 79USD (about 52GBP) and go up to 89USD (about 59GBP), and since the business started, they’ve added a load of different styles. Depending on what kind of thing you fancy, you can get strapless, triangle top, balconette, leather-look, neon, metallic, zip up, tie up, hook up and much much more!

The next design I’ve chosen to add to my collection is the Milly bikini, a gorgeous balconette style top with the signature TRIANGL low rise brief bottoms. I chose the colour Indiana Ice, described by TRIANGL as ‘optic white’. I love the contrast between the brilliant white and the jet black piping and straps. I’ve purchased this with the top in a size xxs and the bottoms in a size s. The top is a moulded cup this time, and I’m really glad they’ve got a smaller size for this style as otherwise, my 32A chest would be far too small for the bikini. The bottoms are quite rigid, but true to size. My last pair of bikini bottoms from TRIANGL were a small, and fit perfectly, so I’m going with that size again.

I’m so excited for this baby to arrive. Shipping is a flat rate of 20USD, so it brought my grand total up to £71.91GBP! It’s not the cheapest for a bikini, but as I said, I’m not one for fakes, and these bikinis are so wonderful. They are more than worth the money.

Also, a huge part of this bikini purchase mid-winter is to motivate me to achieve my fitness goals! I’ve been getting really disciplined with food recently. When I’m standing at work in the pub next to the pork scratchings, I’m able to resist (somehow!). I love feeling healthier and like I’m nourishing my body while wholesome foods. I’ve even started throwing in the odd sit-ups sessions to try to tone up my abs. You know what they say! Summer bodies are made in winter.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Benefit Minis Review: Sunbeam, Posietint, Ooh La Lift & Dandelion

Here’s part two of my Benefit Funsize Flirts review! I reviewed the Primers in a recent post, and decided it was time to tackle the cheek products. I’m definitely a lover of ‘face’ makeup; so foundations and powders and blushes are definitely the things I get most excited about, and the range I got of little samples in my Benefit box were amazing.

Benefit Sunbeam
Let’s get this one out of the way. I really dislike Sunbeam. I don’t know if I’m using it wrong or what, but I can’t find a way to make it work for me or look good. It’s a liquid bronzer, which in theory sounds pretty cool, but unfortunately I can’t get my head around it. I apply foundation, then powder, then bronzer and blush, but with Sunbeam in the mix I get all muddled. I can’t apply it over powder because it goes gunky and horrible, but I can’t apply it before because the powder then blurs and covers it up. This isn’t a product I’d purchase the full size version of, unfortunately, and I know that this is a well loved Benefit product but I really didn’t get on with it I’m afraid!

Benefit Posietint
Posietint is similar to Sunbeam for me. Again, it’s a liquid product for the cheeks and lips but I struggle with the same problem as before. When do I put it on?! When it’s on the lips, I find it to be a bit shocking pink for me. Again, I wouldn’t bother picking this up from a Benefit counter in its full size. I don’t really understand these liquidy face products (I’m not a cream cheek product person either) so I’d give this one a miss in future. I’m glad I got to try a sample though, as I might have bought it had I not known I don’t get on with it!

Benefit Ooh La Lift
Enough of this negativity! Here are some products I actually liked! This is a creamy under eye brightener with light reflecting pigments which really works to wake me up. I love this one, and I’m actually gutted I’ve got so little as I do tend to reach for this most mornings. I like to dot this on my skin underneath the eyes over my foundation and blend it out with my finger. I immediately see a difference in the brightness of my complexion and I set it with a lighter powder to help it last longer. This is definitely one I’d like to pick up in the full size, and despite it being a little pricey, I love the effect it has on my tired skin in the mornings.

Benefit Dandelion
I’ve definitely saved the best until last here. It’s my favourite product from Benefit that I’ve ever tried. I love this beautiful girly peachy pink blush and it’s honestly the perfect shade for my skintone. It’s called a ‘ballerina pink’ and goes on sheer for a sweet tint of colour on the cheeks. I love how radiant it makes my skin look, and it blends out fabulously. Again, I’m gutted I got the teeny weeny sample size because I’m reaching for this one much more than even my beloved NARS Deep Throat at the moment! This is definitely one for the repurchase list and I’d be happy parting with the rather steep £23.50 to own the full size.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Current Beauty Wishlist

Even though my family completely and utterly spoiled me over Christmas, a girl can never have too much makeup. I couldn’t resist compiling this wishlist of the next lot of beauty bits I’d like to try. Obviously Makeup Revolution is really taking off at the moment, and I can barely check twitter without drooling over pictures of the latest eyeshadow and contour palettes. Illamasqua is a brand I already know and love, but there’s lipsticks and primers I’ve got my eye on, especially this rich mahogany shade of lip called Growl. I’ve taken the decision to become blonde again, which is going to take some upkeep and some extra TLC, so the Macadamia range (of which I’ve tried the deep repair masque) is probably the best of the best and I’d love to invest in the range!


Bleach London Live Forever Shampoo

Having booked my hairdresser’s appointment to finally get rid of the pastel purple for good, there’s no better time to review this little beauty by Bleach London. It’s their Live Forever shampoo, which aims to fight the fade and protect your hair colour for longer, which was exactly what I needed! I used the Bleach London colour in Violet Skies to achieve my lavender locks, and it fades quickly as it is only a temporary colour. I ended up re-dying my hair (£5!!) every time I wanted to wash it, which became quite an expensive habit! I looked online to find a solution and came across Bleach London’s own colour protection shampoo.

First of all, I really like the look of the packaging of Bleach London’s products; they’re really grungey and fun. I love the look of the screw tops and they last a good long while with their 250ml size. With regards to practicality, maybe these bottles aren’t the best for using in the shower, as it’s hard to re-screw the lid with a handful of product, but even so, they’re pretty! At £5 a bottle, they’re easily affordable and, as I mentioned before, they do last me a while. I bought mine from a larger Boots store as the smaller ones don’t tend to stock any of the Bleach London products.

As a shampoo, I really like it. It smells pretty neutral, it’s easy to lather up and rinses out without leaving any residue. I genuinely feel like I’ve got good clean hair after using it. However, when it comes to colour fade, I think it made a bit of a difference, but I can’t be sure. I built up a lot of dye on my hair after a while, and so I’m not sure if it was the shampoo preserving my colour or the fact that I had a lot of colour build up. Over time, though, I did notice the dye starting to fade, but it was noticeably slower than before when I was just using my Lee Stafford shampoo and conditioner.

I didn’t ever pick up the matching conditioner, but after trying the shampoo I’d say it would be worth a try! I don’t tend to gravitate toward colour protection shampoos though, as usually I’m blonde and require a more nourishing range, but I’m sure I’ll still pick this up every now and again because it’s a gentle but effective cleanser. Overall, a thumbs up from me!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Health Apps I'm Loving

New Year, New Me! I know a lot of us have made that pledge at the beginning of the month, and regardless of how determined we are at first, it’s always easy to slip back into your old ways. Whether you’re looking to lose weight or tone up, or to quit a bad eating habit, I’ve found a few apps I’m absolutely adoring.

My Fitness Pal (Free)
This app is for the obsessive among us (*raises hand*) and lets you log your calorie intake and exercise for the day. It’s got pretty much every food in the database and you can log in what you’ve eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and how much water you’ve drunk. You can also add in any exercise you’ve done which minuses the calories from your overall intake. It gives you a calorie goal in order to reach your target weight, and so far, I’m doing really well and using it as great motivation. For those of you who aren’t dead set on losing weight, it’s still a fab app to track what you’re putting in your body and can help you work out healthier ways of feeling full and experimenting with different foods.

30 Day Abs & 30 Days Squat (Free)
These are two little fabulous free apps which challenge you to complete a certain number of squats and abs exercises a day for 30 days. There are different levels of difficulty and you can work your way up to those Olympic athlete abs and that Kardashian booty. These are great motivators to get your squats and sit ups done, and they’re short bursts of exercise and don’t take long at all. Plus you don’t need any gym equipment and you can do them whilst getting your daily Jezza fix in your living room.

600 Calories (£0.99)
This app is absolutely wonderful. It’s a recipe app, bigger than any cookbook I’ve ever come across, and features a massive range of meals with 600 calories or less. They’re not boring foods either; they’re mouth-watering dishes like garlic and spinach linguine and creamy tomato tuna. There’s images to go with them, and you’re able to add items to your shopping list and favourite recipes. You’re given the method, yield and all the ingredients needed, and so far I’ve been so inspired. It’s really shaken up my cooking and I’m feeling healthier for putting more good stuff in!

Which health apps should I have a look at? Which have been helping you? How is your new years resolution going?

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