Friday, 26 May 2017

Are Silicon Sponges The New Beauty Blender?




I'm not going to lie, the moment I saw Nikki Tutorials cut up a bra insert in order to apply her foundation, I cam to the conclusion that was just a little too much effort for me... It wasn't until I spotted these silicon make-up sponges in Primark I figured it was worth a try. 

Let me get you up to speed if you have no idea what I'm going on about. Silicon sponges are the latest craze you will see filling up your Instagram. Umpteen videos and pictures of make-up fans using something that can only be described as a chicken fillet to apply their foundation. The benefits? An absolutely flawless finish without the waste you experience using a beauty blender or brush. Question is, does it actually work? Or is it just a bit of a fad?

Once I settled myself down to give this little experiment a go I thought I'd preform a different application for each side of my face. The first way was applying the foundation directly to my face then using circular motions to rub it all in. This didn't go very well if I'm honest, the foundation slipped all over the place and try as I might, it never absorbed into the skin properly. Perhaps I put too much product on? Or maybe the rubbing application wasn't the best way. The other half of my face was slightly more successful. I popped the foundation onto the sponge then dabbed in the product onto my skin. Now, the sound of the sponge hitting my face wasn't pleasant, and it took quite a while to blend in, but the end result was stunning! Honestly, I was shocked! 

Now that I gave the silicon sponges a go I can understand the internet hype surrounding them. The down side is that the application takes quite some time but you are left with a beautiful base that doesn't look cakey, which is always a personal triumph. So I guess I'm glad I grabbed that little £2 packet on the way to the till, especially as it's now increased my make-up tool collection without breaking the bank! 

Have any of you tried the new silicon sponges? How do you apply yours? I'd love to know. XO 

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Friday, 19 May 2017

How To Really Enjoy Happy Hour







Yeah, I know what you're thinking... How can I enjoy Happy Hour even more than I already do? Well, it's never happy the morning after is it? So instead of laying there feeling ropey and exclaiming how you'll never touch a mojito again, check out this little backup plan I've given a try.

I've been "out out" a bit recently... purely for research purposes you see and making the health supplement, AfterDrink, really work for it's money. I needed to be sure these tablets really did the trick....

That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it...

Ahem... 

Like I've already mentioned, AfterDrink is a health supplement packed full with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical extracts. All of which boost energy, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help support your liver's function, mental performance and reduces tiredness and fatigue. 

Sounds pretty good huh? Now, let me just address the elephant in the room (anyone else thinking of Dumbo getting tipsy off beer right now?) This product is not, a hangover cure. That sort of thing does not exist, but it will make you feel one million times better! 

It was one particular, hazy Sunday morning I woke up from a night out with my girls. I opened my eyes the slowest I could and braced myself for the glorious sunshine to burn my brain righ out of my skull....But it didn't... Not wanting to remind my body that I had over done it on the cocktails. I laid there for a little while, remembering the giggles from the night before without any agony. Don't get me wrong, I did feel a little fuzzy. But my head wasn't pounding and didn't have mouth as dry as Ghandi's flip flop. Could this be down to the fact I gave AfterDrink a go? How have these tablets worked their magic?

Let's talk about the science behind all this and what alcohol actually does to your body. I'll keep this short to keep your attention and stop you throwing paper planes from the back of the class. I won't sugar coat this, but alcohol actually exerts damage to the body every time you drink it and the more you consume will lead to a build up of reactive oxygen species, aka free radicals. Free radicals are nasty little buggers, highly unstable molecules that damage any cells they come across. Honestly, they would be on pub watch and in and out of the police station with drunk and disorderly charges. Combing this with dehydration, another known factor linked with alcohol consumption you are left feeling symptoms such as fatigue, headache, nausea, weakness and anxiety... in other words, hungover. 

AfterDrink is here to save the day and supplying your body with 26 ingredients all designed to give you that extra boost towards feeling a little more human again! You can take them as and when required, which I find particularly useful as I have the brain of a sieve. You also don't really need to be drinking the night before to take them either. Try them as a post gym pick me up, after long day at the office or perhaps a restless night dealing with a hyperactive toddler.  

So, there you have it, one way you can really enjoy Happy Hour, knowing this little bottle of magic has your back. Obviously this isn't me saying drink yourself into oblivion... but this is a good way to save yourself the trouble of feeling like death and wasting the rest of the weekend in bed. 

Don't thank me now, thank me later.... 

When you see me at the bar....

Doing more research obviously... 

Mine's a espresso martini. 

For more information about AfterDrink, take a look at their website here. Don't forget to give them a follow too on Facebook and Instagram @AfterDrinkUK. 

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Thursday, 13 April 2017

5 Current Beauty Favourites






First off, let's just take a moment to appreciate this weather! Glorious right? Second, has anyone else fished out your most comfy leggings in preparation for the Easter egg fuelled weekend? 

I do love to adapt my beauty and skincare to the slightest change in weather, so I figured I'd share 5 of my current beauty favourites with you! 

1. Subtle Glow 
I am loving the subtle glowing look I've achieved with the NYX Pro Foundation Mixer. Just adding the smallest amount to my base has given me a boost of healthy looking skin. I feel a lot more bright and fresh all in preparation for the temperature to rise as we creep into Summer! I also love to mix some of the Mac Prep + Prime Natural Radiance Base into my foundation too. Both products give fabulous, dewy looks to the skin, perfect! 

2. Spring Nails 
These new Avon Mark Nail Enamel are just what I needed. I always stick to dark colours during the colder months, so a injection of colour is just what the doctor ordered! I always feel pastels are somehow needed during Spring, especially during easter! The Mark nails deliver a super shine, gel finish. Brilliant, professional look which actually stays put too with no sign of chipping! 

3. Sun Kissed Hair 
Before you all freak, I understand my hair is far too dark to give the L'Oreal Preference I am Bronde kit, but that doesn't stop me from loving this product or it's results! I'm right in the middle of growing out my trusted pixie crop so picturing a Balayage 'lob' on me has become an obsession, I just wanna be Bronde like JLo.... 
If you are able to give this a go and feel confident doing it, then you go girl, if like me you have super dark hair, or aren't too sure how you'll tackle it, head off to your stylist for some advice. Now is the time for some hair TLC! 

4. Easy Tanning 
Fake tan and April Showers are a recipe for disaster really aren't they? I personally love having some colour when the sun makes it's debut but instead of the laborious task of tanning the night before, I love using Bondi Sands Liquid Gold. Healthy, golden glow in a bottle that you spritz on, rub in, dress and go.... No shower needed, no towels on the bed sheets, nothing, just a shot of gorgeous colour that looks natural, even, quick and easy to achieve! 

5. Don't Forget The Moisturiser 
As the weather gets warmer I find myself sort of, forgetting about moisturising my body. I do it religiously during the Winter, but seem to just ignore it as the year continues. Not good, so I reached for the Palmer's Firming Butter as a attempt to get it into my head that I can moisture and firm my skin at the same time. It has worked, and amazingly I sit and rub the product all over leaving my skin comfortable and smelling ever so chocolatey... how apt for this time of year! 

So there you have my current beauty favourites! 


What are your current faves? Anyone else tried these products mentioned? I'd love to know!

Happy Easter my loves. XO


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*the small print 
Some of the products featured were kindly sent for me to try. The opinions and wording however is by yours truly 

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Coming To Terms With Becoming a Single Mum


So, this post wasn't actually what I had in mind today. Try as I may, I just couldn't stop myself from writing it... I know that I rarely write about things that can be seen as too personal, but it's time to get real, we've known each other for long enough now... 

I won't get into the nitty gritty of why things didn't work out with my daughter's father, as I'd like to keep that sort of thing private, but the main part of these new circumstances was realisation that I was now a single mum. For some reason, that thought kept me awake at night for weeks.  

I would see these incredible single parents raising children alone and always feel such admiration for them. I was so certain that I would never be able to do anything like that. Coping with it all totally alone sounded like my idea of hell and would feel quite blessed to have my family together. 

Now that the shoe is on the other foot, I want to step in a time machine, go back to that past me, take off that shoe and slap myself round the face with it... repeatedly. What an absolute idiot I was to think that way! Of course I've been able to do it alone, and I know now that I'm doing a fabulous job of raising my daughter. But don't get me wrong, it has taken me quite some time to get to this point. 

When Zara's father and I first separated my paranoia was on some crazy, over drive. I couldn't do anything without thinking someone was judging me. With motherhood filled to the brim with contrasting opinions and very little positivity at times, throwing in the fact I was a single mum made me feel worse than ever! Don't ask me why, but being labelled as a single parent kicks up a lot of negativity from my experiences, and it's almost considered the worse thing possible. 

I felt as though I couldn't bribe my toddler with a treat to stay quiet, couldn't let her go out looking messy and defiantly not run riot at any parties or soft plays. In my head, if someone saw me with a naughty, crying, messy child, I was basically showing the world I wasn't coping. All because of this stupid stigma I had built up in my head about my new situation. I just couldn't shift the thought that people were looking at me, eyes full of pity and thinking "she's doing it all on her own, poor girl" not to mention, "well that's what happens when you don't get married first." Yes, I still have older generations say that to me.... usually when I don't really ask for their opinions... 

I honestly thought I was going to fail at the most important responsibility I had in the world. I was filled with so much self doubt that I was almost certain that this huge life change was some dreaded curse that will hang heavy round my neck forever. 

It wasn't until one sunny afternoon Z and I were strolling back from the shops, me with my arms full and Zara following behind, clutching the mushrooms she had insisted on carrying... We ended up bumping into a neighbour, after some pleasant chit chat, she looked down at my grinning daughter, she laughed and said "Isn't your mummy doing a great job with you?"
With that one simple statement, I was floored, my knees started to shake and my palms become clammy. I found myself opening and closing my mouth, like some sort of strange fish, I wanted to throw my arms around her and hug her so tightly she would have differently breathing. With just one simple sentence, this lady had managed to stop the stresses and worries that had been flooding my head for months. It was after that day that my paranoia and over active imagination basically took a chill pill. I have found I've relaxed and started to enjoy myself again, the fog has lifted and I feel as though I can proudly say "Yep, I'm a single mum" 

I must say that the dooming thoughts of doing it all alone no longer seem that scary either, the amount I do hasn't really changed, and if anything I get a lot more me time when Z is out and about with her dad. You could even call it some what relaxing, and I find myself finishing a cuppa whilst it's still hot a lot of the time too!

So, yeah I'm a single mum nowadays. Doesn't make me a bad person or some sort of failure. Instead it's given me a burst of fire in the stomach to reach for the stars, maybe even higher than that! I am blessed to have a beautiful, healthy little girl who is the light of her father and my own lives. She has taught me so much already and shown me I can be stronger than I ever thought I could be, physically, emotionally and mentally. 

I guess I wanted to get a little deep and meaningful today as I figured even if this post helps just one person out there, that will make my day. So if you're reading this, and you have or had the same thoughts and concerns as me, then this is a reminder to let you know you've got this. Don't you dare doubt yourself, I know it feels like utter crap now, but you'll impress yourself with what you can achieve. I mean, you're a mum for crying out loud, you're practically Wonder Woman already! 


There you have it, a little subject that is the most controversial I've written to date. Don't worry, there'll be something a little cheery up soon! 

Happy Hump Day my loves XO 

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Raising A Smile With Aquafresh


Red Nose Day is almost upon us, are you all set for Friday? Whether your donning a signature nose, sitting in a bath tub of baked beans, or popping some spare change into a box, it has never been easier to donate to this brilliant cause. 

Now, I always have every intention of pulling something out of the bag to raise the funds, but I can't fib to you all, time does get away with me. Which is why I love the fact that Aquafresh will be donating 10p from every pack of toothpaste sold to Red Nose Day. I mean, how great is that? They've done all the hard work for me and I can still feel happy with the fact I have donated. Good vibes all round! 

Donation aside, there is another little addition to your Red Nose Day toothpaste too, there's the chance to win a Bonkers Brush Timer.... I know what you're thinking, "Pardon? A what now?" 


A Bonkers Brush Timer is a very helpful little fellow who makes the task of teeth brushing a lot more enjoyable. I know from my experience when my daughter is over tired and teething, even mentioning the words teeth or brush result in a full blown, Oscar winning meltdown. It wasn't until I introduced her to our Bonkers Brush Timer that suddenly, teeth brushing was a hilarious event and now she grins and squeals "Teeeeeeeeeeeeeth" why she spies him, perched next to the toothbrushes. 

So what does this little guy actually do I can hear you thinking. Well, once all your toothbrushes are loaded with a good amount of Aquafresh Complete Care toothpaste, press the Bonkers Brush Timer and it will time you for two minutes of totally bonkers brushing, with toe tapping jingles, encouragement and count downs, all the way until your brushing is over! Now, once you've completed that, your tots, and even your own teeth have been cleaned properly and throughly for the correct amount of time needed in a super easy way! 
I can only say for myself here, but I know for a fact I brush my teeth a tad shy of the standard two minutes, and I know some people who take well over five minutes.... whilst leaving the tap running.... (huge pet peeve of mine, if you're one of those people, stop it now!) 

But anyway, I digress.. With thanks to Aquafresh and their comical Bonkers Brush Timer,  I can now breath easy and know that my family and I can grin our biggest grins with some well cared for teeth, which have also raised a smile for somebody else out there too! 

Have a look for the special packs of Aquafresh toothpaste, with a 10p donation to Red Nose Day, available in your local supermarkets, Boots and Superdrug. You can also take a look at their website here.


For more information about Red Nose Day, take a look at their website here 

Are any of you doing anything to raise some funds? I'd love to know XO 




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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Why Should Girls Get Their Nails Done?



Firstly, huge apologises for going AWOL these last couple of days...perhaps weeks... I've had some huge life changes going on and just as my choice of bed time reading suggests, I've been getting my sh*t together. 

Secondly, this post is totally up for discussion! I do enjoy a good debate, especially when it involves beauty. Just fancied passing on my opinion on the matter. So, why is it so important for girls to get their nails done? 

I've been late to the manicure party I must admit. It wasn't until I was expecting my daughter that nails began some what important to me and their upkeep was something I've become very interested in. Prior to my new love for a good mani, I would try a pathetic attempt at home. The idea of it all was enjoyable, choosing a shade, looking at various brands, even painting them. It wasn't until I'd look down at the nails I had painstakingly painted to find they looked like utter crap.... Honest to God, they were hideous. I'd spend the rest of the day trying to hide them...I know right, ridiculous, hiding your hands isn't the easiest thing in the world! 

So once I got over the fact I just wasn't a natural at DIY manicures, I set off on my quest to get myself some beautifully pampered nails. It was shortly after this I got thinking about how a manicure made me feel. Call me absolutely crackers, but somehow, I felt "put together" as though anything could happen, and I could handle it. Like I got my life sorted and could be one of these proper adults... you know the type... the ones that don't spill their coffees on a clean white shirt, don't get ladder in their tights or even lipstick on their teeth! Those adulter adults. Nothing like me, especially with the help from my toddler, who isn't happy until she covers me with snot and toast crumbs. 

It was on one particular, drizzly morning I was in the petrol station, sans daughter. I had embraced my comfy/rock chic outfit I had thrown on and faced the day, make-up free. You can only imagine just how naff I felt. It wasn't until I handed my card over that the cashier 'ooed' at my nails. They were just a simple oxblood red, but she did love them and after a couple minutes of girly chat I skipped my way out the door. Something as simple as having a well pampered and looked after set of nails somehow upgraded me from tired looking slob, to a woman who looked after herself. I felt so content and happy with that one compliment that the rest of my day continued to get better and better. Call me fickle all you like, but there is nothing greater than that boost you get from stranger that makes you feel good about yourself. 

I have also found that I seem to hold myself in a more sophisticated manner when a good mani is backing my corner. Perhaps it's something psychologically built in me to be more lady like, rather than my usual heavy handed self. It's also a different feel good vibe you have after leaving the hairdressers with a gorgeous, bouncy blow-dry. Imagine teaming to the two together? Somewhat euphoric I'd say! 

Of course, I'm not saying that booking yourself into your local salon or spa will solve all your problems. But I'm a great believer in the power of feeling good about yourself, will make everything else fall into place over time. 

So, to sum up, why should girls get their nails done? I would have to admit that out of the vast treatments available in the beauty world, to me, manicures are 10 little doses of self help, much like my new favourite book, Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight. Something so simple, that could basically become a daily reminder of some self belief and an extra boost to let yourself know, you've got this. 

Do any of you feel the same? Or perhaps any other opinions? I'd love to know XO 


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Thursday, 16 February 2017

How I Tackle Breakouts




I have suffered with breakouts for almost my entire life. Of course they have mellowed slightly as I've grown older, age aside, my skin still freaks every now and then. It's pretty easy to figure out the cause nowadays. Stress, too much partying and that time of the month brings them all out at once! 

So with this in mind, I thought I'd let you know the little tricks I do to kick those unwanted blemishes out the door! 

Make-up Free 
I made this mistake when I was younger. My face would become sprinkled with various pimples and I'd slap on a ridiculous amount of make-up in a sad attempt to hide them all. My poor skin would be screaming for air and usually resulted in blemishes lingering round for much longer and usually getting worse. So nowadays, my skin flares up, and I stay away from the make-up. I will cleanse and moisturise as usual but leave my skin the chance to just stay calm and left alone. Result, spots usually disappear a lot quicker. 

Don't Over Scrub 
Having blemishes regularly means for me to feel, well, grubby. The temptation to grab my strongest, roughest face scrub and grind it into my skin until I am pink in the face can become a little over whelming. I stop myself for this one reason. Harsh scrub will break spots, and broken spots will lead to bacteria spreading itself all over your face, resulting in yet more spots! Nasty cycle that can then become tough to break. So just give that scrub a rest for a couple of days, until the worse part is over, instead try a liquid exfoliate, Clinique and Pixi Glow provide the best, in my opinion. Oh, and this goes for squeezing spots too. I understand the satisfaction of ridding yourself of those pesky blemishes can feel fabulous. But squeezing again leads to the spread of bacteria AND scaring. 

Anti Blemish Lotion
La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo has become my absolute trouble skin saviour! This cream definitely packs a punch and rids my skin almost over night of any little buggers. It's so light and fresh on the skin that you can really feel it helping to sort out any skin problems. In just a mere two weeks, post "time of the month" blemishes are well and truly vanished. My skin surface appears smoother, I'm shine free and pores are unclogged. It makes me feel so skin confident I can leave the house without an inch of make-up on! Now that for me, is a triumph in itself. 

Topical Treatment
I'm not going to lie, the day I spotted Rosie Huntington-Whitley rave about the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, I felt like a total super model for even owning it myself. I got a bottle of this little magic potion in Liberty last year and it still amazes me, one year on. The product looks different to any other spot treatment out there, and you'll find it tempting give the bottle a quick shake. But the trick is to grab a cotton bud, submerge it into the pink formula that sits on the bottom. Then taking your soaked cotton bud, dab it onto any nasty blemishes. I like to do mine at night so by the morning my spots would appear calmed and reduced in size. Honestly, this stuff is amazing. It's no wonder all the big time celebs love it so much! 

Over Night Mask 
Kiehl's Cilantro & Orange Pollutant Defending Masque is a clever little product that helps to protect the skin from daily aggressors, leaving it replenished, radiant and just generally happy. I like to save using this until I notice blemishes starting to make an appearance. With the protection from the mask, I find my spots disappear a lot quicker with the helping, defending hand of this treatment.You can use the mask three times a week in the evening, apply a layer all over, tissue off any excess and wake up to some gorgeous skin! 
There's me thinking cilantro only benefited my cooking... 

So there you have it, how I tackle my breakouts! How do you tackle yours? XO 


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