Saturday, 31 January 2015

Dreaming of Spring




Although it's colder than ever in the UK right now and Spring is still a few months away, I can't help but feel excited for my favourite season. The pastels and floral prints that are currently adorning the high street have reminded me how much I love S/S fashion, so I decided to put a little wish list together. Here's what I picked out:

Heeled sandals, £28, Topshop. I know these might not be to everyone's taste, but personally I love them! I'd pair them with skinny jeans, a pretty blouse and a slouchy cardigan. 

Rose gold midi dial bracelet, £85, Olivia Burton. I've never really been a watch person, but I've fallen in love with Olivia Burton's range recently. Her designs are so dainty and feminine. It's my 24th birthday in a few months so I might pop this on my wishlist. 

Floral skirt, £22.99, New Look. I think this may be the year that I embrace the midi skirt! I've always steered clear of them in the past as I'm scared they'll make my legs look short. However I think this one is so pretty, and such a bargain too. I'd pair it with tights and boots for now and a crop top and sandals come summer.

Coat, £89, Topshop. I'm really into tailored coats at the moment as I think they look so stylish. I love the colour of this one - it's perfect for Spring.

Work bag, £39, Accessorize. Don't Accessorize do the most beautiful bags? I think this looks so much more expensive than it is and would go great with any outfit.

Xen-Tan Scent Secure, £14.45. I was browsing Feel Unique a few days back when I spotted this. It's described as an 'oil-free moisturizer which locks out the unpleasant smells associated with fake tan products'. Although I love my fake tan (especially during the warmer months), I can't stand the way it smells - no matter which one I use I'm always left with the same horrible biscuit scent. I've never come across a product like this before - it's currently on sale so I might have to treat myself!

What's on your wishlist currently? Are you excited for Spring?

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Chivalry Isn't Dead



I ordered Love Letters of Great Mena book put together by Ursula Doyle - a few weeks back while browsing Amazon. I have a weakness for pretty covers and thought it would make for some lazy bedtime reading. A pretty self-explanatory title, the book is essentially a collection of love letters written by the likes of Henry VIII, Victor Hugo, Mark Twain and Napoleon Bonaparte. At the beginning of the book, Ursula Doyle addresses the belief that social media/text messaging has killed romance, and that people don't write love letters in this day and age. She then goes on to suggest that, although a quick text doesn't quite hold the same level of meaning as a thoughtfully-worded letter, men don't have to be literary geniuses in order to surprise their loved ones with a romantic gesture. And I completely agree with her. 

I often hear women say that chivalry is dead, and men don't make as much of an effort as they used to. I admit that I've been known to moan at my boyfriend for not being romantic enough, and my friends and I have ranted about how we've not been treated to any homemade, candlelit dinners. I think from a young age girls are often led to believe that a man will show you how much he loves you by surprising you with endless bouquets of red roses and huge romantic gestures. As we get older we of course learn that's not the case, and that the majority of the time it's the little things that really count. 

A few days back my boyfriend and I went out for lunch and when the waitress came to our table, he let me order first. I suddenly realized that he always does this - even if he chose his main ten minutes ago and I'm still pondering over the menu. It's such a small gesture that often goes unnoticed, but still a kind, gentlemanly thing to do. Call me an old woman but I think things like this, as well as having the door opened for you or having your chair pulled out, never go out of fashion and will always be seen as romantic in my book.

I've had boyfriends in the past who have sent flowers to my house, taken me on surprise dates and written soppy messages inside Valentine's/anniversary cards, but have also lied to me constantly or ditched me for their friends. When I look back at such relationships I don't think about these romantic gestures with a smile; I'm just reminded of how miserable I was and how glad I am that these people aren't part of my life anymore.

Some people love being romantic and wearing their heart on their sleeve, and that's great. With others it's not really their thing, and that's fine too. It's not just men either - while I like receiving flowers and soppy comments, I'm sure there's a lot of women out there who don't. Everyone is different. I just think it's important to remember not to measure someone's love by the amount of bouquets they shower you with or kisses they put on the end of a text. If your other half is loyal, respects you, makes you laugh and gets along with your friends/family, he's probably a pretty good egg, even if he hasn't brought you breakfast in bed yet or forgets Valentine's Day.

So, if my boyfriend is reading this, I want him to know that I'm not bitter about the fact he hasn't penned me a love letter. Instead, I feel grateful for all the other ways he has shown me how much I mean to him. While many people are keen to believe chivalry is long gone, I firmly believe it still exists. Although our great men aren't exactly jousting for our affection or writing us sonnets, they've proved that they can still make us swoon - whether it's making the bed while you're in the shower, bringing you a cup of tea or letting you order first in a restaurant.

And for all those who are yet to be convinced, remember that although Henry VIII wrote Anne Boleyn a few love letters, he also charged her with witchcraft and treason before having her arrested and chopping her head off. No one wants to be with a bloke like that, do they? 

Friday, 23 January 2015

January Beauty Buys



With the festive season well and truly over and an endless amount of deadlines ahead of me, it's safe to say I've succumbed to the January blues. Although I don't want to wish the year away, I'm definitely ready for Spring/Summer - my two favourite seasons! I can't wait for the weather to warm up and the nights to start drawing out. However, it seems like the cold is here to stay for a few more months, so I decided to cheer myself up with a spot of shopping. With Valentine's Day just around the corner I thought it was the perfect time to indulge in a few beauty bits - here's what I picked up:

Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanner. I've heard so many good things about this product and have been meaning to pick it up for ages. While I fake tan my body on a regular basis, I usually leave my face as I'm worried I'll break out. However, this is nice and gentle on the skin and doesn't contain any chemical nasties. I just smooth some onto my face before bed using a cotton pad and it leaves me with a healthy, bronzed glow. It's perfect for when I want a bit of colour but don't fancy wearing a full face of foundation. 

MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation. Although I'm usually loyal to my Estee Lauder Double Wear, the recent weather has left my skin feeling dull and parched. Therefore I've been on the lookout for something a bit more moisturizing. On paper, Studio Sculpt sounded like my perfect foundation so I was eager to try it out - luckily it delivered! It's a gel consistency which means it blends beautifully, and doesn't leave my face feeling tight and cakey. It has a medium to full coverage which is perfect for me, and lasts all day on my skin. The squeeze tube is great for travelling too and means I make much less of a mess when I'm applying my base!

Sudocrem. Not the most glamorous of products, but something I continue to repurchase over and over. Although this is usually linked with babies and nappy rash, I find Sudocrem perfect for soothing spots. I've been suffering from a few breakouts recently due to hormones and what not, so I've been popping a thin layer of Sudocrem on my face before bed time. It really helps reduce redness and dry out any blemishes. Amazing stuff!  

Organix Argan Oil of Morocco. I purchased on a whim while browsing the aisles of Boots a few weeks back. A weightless dry oil, this claims to help hair 'glow' and reduce the appearance of split ends. I've been using it on and off since I bought it and I'm not blown away - while it does a nice job of taming fly aways, it doesn't provide any nourishment or leave my hair looking particularly shiny. I probably wouldn't repurchase.

Sanctuary Spa 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask. This is a proper pamper product and I've been really enjoying using it when I want a bit of me time. Described as a 'warming charcoal treatment for perfectly clean and purified skin,' this really feels as if it's getting the gunk out of your pores, as disgusting as that sounds! It heats up when it comes into contact with damp skin which feels so relaxing - perfect for bath time.  Due to this being aimed at an oilier complexion, I was concerned it would leave my face feeling a bit tight and dehydrated. However, it does exactly the opposite! Every time I use this I'm left with skin that feels clean, soft and full of moisture. I'll definitely be repurchasing.

What beauty bits have you been treating yourself to recently?

Sunday, 18 January 2015

The Benefits of Drinking More Water (A 2014 Resolution)



We are all reminded on a regular basis about the many benefits that come with drinking plenty of water. I for one used to be absolutely rubbish at keeping my body hydrated, and would survive on caffeine and endless bottles of diet coke. At the beginning of last year I decided that this needed to change, and throughout 2014 I made a conscious effort to drink at least 2-3 litres of plain water a day. I can happily say that I managed to keep it up, and it made a world of a difference to my health and well being! Initially I was just hoping to nourish my dry skin, but over time I noticed other positive changes that I wouldn't have expected. Who knew a bottle of H20 could be such a bladdy miracle worker?! 

No more headaches. I used to get headaches on a daily basis that would often leave me squinting in pain. At the time I thought it was a side effect of my pill, but now I realise it was because I was so dehydrated. As soon as I started drinking more water they subsided - now I hardly ever get them.

Fuller for longer. I've noticed my appetite has shrunk considerably over the past year, whereas before I would constantly pick at food and never really feel 'full.' Believe it or not, thirst can often be mistaken for hunger! Although I love my grub I no longer feel the need to snack excessively, which in the long run has helped me maintain my weight. 

More energy. For years I'd often feel lethargic and sluggish during the day, even if I'd had eight hours sleep the night before. Some afternoons I'd be so low on energy I'd feel shattered just walking up the stairs. Drinking more water has helped me feel much more alert and clear-headed. 

No hangovers. This ties in with the first point, but I thought it was worth a mention regardless. I'm sure you're all aware that too much alcohol dehydrates you, which is what leaves you feeling sick and headach-ey the morning after a night out. I always used to get so poorly when I drank - I would literally be bedridden for 24hrs! As my body was always so dehydrated anyway, a few too many vodka cranberries meant a recipe for disaster. Without sounding too much like an NHS ad, ensuring I drink plenty of water before and after a night out now means I haven't had a bad hangover for over a year!

Less bloating. Feeling bloated - especially after I'd eaten - used to be a daily occurrence for me, and I was worried drinking lots of water would make it worse. However it's seemed to have done the opposite. Even though I get a 'food baby' after a big meal, for the past year my stomach has generally felt flatter and much more comfortable. Hurray! 

Diminishing the appearance of cellulite. I always used to be quite lucky with cellulite, until a few years ago I started getting some on my stomach and around the back of my thighs. Although it's never really bothered me too much, I was still thrilled to notice my skin has been looking a lot less 'bumpy' in recent months. After a quick Google search, I discovered that drinking enough water is one of the best ways to minimize the appearance of the dreaded C word. 

At first I thought it'd be a pain remembering to drink 2-3 litres daily, but I actually find it really easy. I keep a large glass of water by my side every morning while I'm doing my makeup, and take a reusable bottle with me to work/uni. If I spend a day off at home, I'll just take regular sips while I'm blogging or watching Netflix. It's become such a habit for me now I don't even realise I'm doing it! Tap water is free in most restaurants too so I'll often ask for a glass if my boyfriend and I go for a meal. 

Making sure you drink enough obviously goes hand in hand with a balanced diet/exercise, and while I probably still eat too much chocolate, I can't believe the difference such a small lifestyle change has made. I'd recommend it to anyone as the benefits are endless! If you're not a fan of the taste of plain water you can always throw some fresh fruit in (I've been replacing my morning cup of tea with hot water, lemon and honey and it's delicious) or ice cubes made with sugar-free juice.

As well as contributing to good health in general, water is widely renown for it's beauty-boosting properties. It's a well-known fact that what we put into our bodies is reflected on what's outside, and while various creams and oils can make a considerable difference, I don't believe any product will nourish your skin/hair/nails as well as water can. Your body will thank you for it! :) 

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Goodbye, 2014


SOURCE

A very Happy New Year to you all! I hope you all have an incredible evening, whether you spend it curled up in front of the fire in your pyjamas or out chugging champagne. Due to lack of funds and sheer laziness I'm opting for the former this year, which I'm completely content with! Usually I make an effort to go out, but tonight a few hours of relaxation sounded much more appealing.

2014 was a bit of a weak year for me in terms of blogging (I think I published just over 20 posts in total - not good) so one of my resolutions will be to up my game and be much more consistent. I think the tumbleweed is down to me having become such a perfectionist. I take photos and draft up so many posts but they don't get published because I'm not 100% happy with them. I'm so self critical! However, I've not been completely MIA - I still read my comments and check my Bloglovin' feed on a daily basis. Hopefully 2015 will bring with it many exciting opportunities which will give me the inspiration I need to blog more regularly!

On that note, I'm off to spend the remainder of my lazy evening listing blog post ideas and scoffing my weight in Black Forest Gateau (my mom's specialty). I hope you all spend the last of 2014 in good spirits surrounded by your loved ones. A big thank you to everyone who reads my blog and I hope you'll continue to visit in 2015. See you next year! *raises tea cup* x