Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Seven Steps to Beating Blogger's Block Seven Steps to Beating Blogger's Block




So we have all been there. Those days when blogging feels a whole lot like hard work. You've lost a few followers, your page views are down and you just can't think of anything to say. Its a horrible feeling but it happens to us all - so here are my top tips for battling blogger's block. Please note however that these are just ideas. These are not rules. There are no rules in blogging. We are all our own bosses. That's the joy of it. The following is just a list of some things I think might help you if you are suffering from Bloggers Block. I hope that it does x

Before you start reading, get a notebook and pen and as you read, jot down every idea that comes to you, no matter how daft it seems.

1. Think about whats happening in your life. What is stopping you blogging? 
Getting married? Start a wedding series. 
Moving home? Do some homestyle wishlists and mood boards. 
Going to Uni? What about a Uni Style post? 
Super Busy at work - Do a series about getting organised.

2. Even if its something less positive, say you are struggling with anxiety or your friends are being biatches - there's a blog post in their somewhere so write it down.

3. Everywhere you go take your camera and take photos of everything you do. It could all be a blog post. Face of the Day, Outfit of the Day, Cocktail Review, I would love reading them all...

4. Spend a day off mooching round the shops, looking at whats new. Try stuff on, talk to the sales assistants and get swatching, then come home and write a hot trends post.

5. Buy a pile of magazines and read them from cover to cover, including the adverts and editorials. Copying is bad but taking inspiration and learning from the professionals is great.

6. Talk to your readers like friends, cos thats what we are. If you are looking forward to something, tell us about it. Share your plans, your hopes and your dreams. And don't forget your memories.  Tell us where you've been, what you've seen and experienced.

7. Write about what you have. Shop your stash, write about your blogging set up or make up storage.

Now look at the notebook page. Hopefully by now you have half a dozen ideas at least. So off you go, wave bye bye to bloggers block and get writing.


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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Hair Care - the Blonde Edit Hair Care - the Blonde Edit

Earlier this month I made a life changing decision. I didn’t get married or decide to have a child (been there, done that - TWICE!)  - it was something much more radical than either of those, I made the decision to go blonde.
The decision to change my hair colour from darkest brunette to any shade of blonde was a huge one. For years I had ignored those who said that blondes had more fun. I told myself that dark hair was sexy, deeper and more mysterious than blonde. I poured over photos of my favourite dark haired celebrities, like Emma Willis, Alexa Chung and Kim Kardashian. I was inspired by their makeup, hairstyles and fashion. But then Kimmy went blond. 


And I loved it. 
And I wanted some of that.
I found myself searching google for images of dark haired celebs that had taken the plunge. There are soooo many -  like Cheryl, SJP, Cameron Diaz and Kiera Knightley. And they looked great. I was convinced. I could do this.
So the next stage was deciding what shade of blonde. 
Back to the internet I headed. I spent hours, no DAYS, searching for images of every shade imaginable - caramel, honey, golden, beige, ash, platinum - I could not decide. I had almost decided to wimp out and stay dark when I chanced upon this picture of Kelly Brook - described as Blondette, this was the hair colour I had been looking for, it was the perfect blonde for natural brunettes like me.


Off I trotted to the hairdressers with the picture saved on my phone. To achieve the look I wanted, I needed a full head of foil highlights, using three shades, caramel, honey and beige and a LOT of bleach. I am not going to lie, I was super nervous throughout the process but I needn’t have been. A couple of hours later, I was strutting out of that salon swishing my hair about like a hair ad model. 
I absolutely loved it. What do you think? 


But I said at the start of this post that this decision had been life changing and I really did mean that. It is not just my hair that has changed, it is so much more.
My makeup choices have changed. For nights out I find myself doing a nude lip and smokey eye - a la Bardot - MUCH more often and for the day I am liking a much more natural look than before with lots of light bright pinks.
My wardrobe choices have changed too. I find myself adopting a more monochrome look - as a brunette, I often felt dowdy dressed in black but now I love it, it really makes my hair stand out.
But the change goes even deeper than that. I actually feel more extrovert as a blonde, more confident and much more attractive. 
But the rule is that for every positive there is a negative and there is definitely a negative here. Such a drastic change of hair colour could have left my hair looking brassy, brittle and coarse. And that is NOT the look I was going for. 
What I needed was some professional quality hair products to keep my newly golden locks, salon fresh. Unfortunately my bank balance was sorely depleted by the hairdressers bill but I knew the solution. 
Click Fragrance is one of the UK’s leading online retailers of cheap beauty essentials. I have been a customer for ages now and love that they sell a huge range of haircare, skincare, makeup and perfume all from leading brands at heavily discounted prices. I went straight to their website and scrolled through looking for the perfect products. Click Fragrance had a huge choice of haircare brands to choose from but when I saw they stocked TIGI I was sold. TIGI is made by hairdressers for hairdressers so I knew they would have the products to keep my hair looking salon fresh. I chose a Shampoo and Conditioner from the SFactor range which is aimed at women who want celebrity results from their haircare - smooth, shiny and glamorous. 
With Click Fragrance everyone can get A List hair at Z List prices. 
To read more about my transformation and the products I chose to keep my hair looking salon perfect, read my article for the Click Fragrance blog here.
Or to check out their HUGE range of over 4000 products at cheap cheap prices head over to Click Fragrance here.






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Healthy Hair Growth - an Old Wives Tail Healthy Hair Growth - an Old Wives Tail







I have super thick hair which is coarse and inclined to frizz. Doesn't sound very attractive does it. On the plus side it can hold a curl, grows fast, and has always been strong and very healthy.
Until recently that is.
My hair is naturally the darkest of brunettes but as I have got older, I have had more than my fair share of silvers showing so for the last decade, I have been using a box dye every month to get rid of them. As the years have passed, the colour has built up and my hair has became dull and lifeless.
Deciding that I wanted a change I poured over hair magazines and pics of celebs online and after much deliberation, I decided to go Blondette. Believe me when I say it took a LOT of bleach to lift a decade of monthly box dyes but I am really pleased with the colour.


Unfortunately all that bleach left my hair quite brittle and damaged. To improve the condition I got quite a few inches cut off but I like my hair long so I am keen for it to grow. 
It was time to start treating it a bit better.
I asked on twitter for recommendations - I was looking for a treatment that would really nourish my hair - and got a message from the lovely Lily at Old Wives Tail who offered me the opportunity to try one of their products. 
Old Wives Tail is a small hair company selling handmade organic hair care products with absolutely no additives or chemicals. Their declared aim is to nourish your hair back to life with a unique blend of oils. Their main lifetime goal is to eradicate animal testing in the beauty industry and 10% of their profits go to charities that save animals being tested upon. 
Sounds great, right?
I went to the company website here to have a wee look and was really impressed with the range of oils and masks they offer, not to mention some of the prettiest hair accessories and head pieces I have ever seen. Lily offered me my choice of treatments but it was just too hard to choose so I told her my hair woes and she prescribed for me, the Argan and Rosemary Organic Oil Treatment. 

Now this isn't a budget product.  At £13.99 for 100mls it is decidedly high end but I have been using Argan Oil and Moroccan Oil, so I'm used to paying for quality oils and make no mistake, the quality of this is second to none. 

Ingredients - Argania Spinosa (Argan) Nut Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Karite Butter Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil.

Put simply it contains Vitamin E enriched organic Argan oil and Shea butter to smooth and strengthen the hair and prevent breakage with organic Rosemary Oil to stimulate the scalp and encourage healthy hair growth.

How luxurious, how hardworking, how effective !!!

The product is solid at room temperature - like coconut oil - but melts when rubbed between the fingers. I applied a liberal coating to damp hair, put it up in a bun and left it on overnight.  In the pot the product smelled like cough sweets which I was a bit worried about. I did like the smell but I didn't want my hair smelling like a packet of Fisherman's Friends. I needn't have worried though. In the morning when I shampooed it out in the shower there was no trace of oil left in my hair and no lingering smell of menthol. 

From the very first time I used this product I was thrilled by how soft my hair felt. As someone who has always had really coarse hair, it feeling soft is pretty rare and really special - and it really really was.

Each time I have used the product since, the condition of my hair has just got better and better. It genuinely looks and feels markedly healthier after just three treatments. 

I am about half way through my little pot now and can honestly say I will be repurchasing when it has finished. It may be a little more expensive than a supermarket brand but it is cruelty free, made from the finest organic oils and super effective.

Highly recommended!


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Sunday, 24 August 2014

Pampering Sunday - My 12 Step Facial Massage Pampering Sunday - My 12 Step Facial Massage




As summer comes to an end, one of the things I am not looking forward to is the way winter makes me look and feel. My skin hates central heating, and so for me winter means tired sallow puffy skin with blocked pores. Oh and don’t forget the red eyes and nose that comes with the winter sniffles. Sexy!

One thing that always makes me look and feel better is going for a facial and the best bit is that heavenly moment when I lie back with my eyes closed while the therapist works her magic on my face. Bliss! 

But a facial massage is not just for relaxation. Massage improves blood circulation and muscle tone, and encourages all those nasty toxins to drain away. Done properly it should leave your skin brighter, tighter and decongested - and your nose and sinuses will be clearer too.

Now if I was a celebrity or lottery winner I would have a facial every week but until then I make facial massage a regular part of my pampering Sunday - beauty at home routine.

If you want to give it a try - here is what I do.

Before I start, I clean my face thoroughly and wash my hands. Then I pour a few drops of  facial oil into the palm of my hands and rub them together to warm it up. I use about three or four drops - not too much, I am going for precision here so I don't want to be sliding about. 

I do a two step treatment which begins with a pressure point massage to release all the rotten toxins that have built up.

1. I take the first two fingers of each hand and put them behind my ears, just in that little hollow behind my ear lobes. I press firmly and circle my finger tips moving down to the collarbone. I do this three times.

2. I place the three fingers of each hand in the middle of my forehead, press hard for 5 seconds then release. I then move my fingers slightly out and do it again all across my forehead finishing at the temples.

3. I then put the same three fingers on the bone under my eye and again press firmly for five, working my way down to my jaw.

4. Next I put my middle finger above my top lip and do the press and hold for five movement all the way round to the corner of my mouth. I repeat this a couple of times. 

5. Finally I put my thumbs under my chin and the knuckle of my first finger on top. I nip the skin between my thumb and knuckle for a count of 5 and release. I do this all the way up my jaw-line finishing under my ears.

I then move on to a regular massage which helps all the toxins that have been released to drain out of my face.

6. I curl the fingers on both hands into claws. I place the backs of my fingers into the hollows under my cheekbones. I circle the knuckles firmly and slowly as if I am kneading dough, moving gradually up my face to the front of my ears. I do this two or three times.

7. The last time I keep my knuckles at the front of my ears and massage in the hollows under my cheekbones using the same circular motion. I do this for about a minute

8. Then I put my middle three fingertips at each side of my mouth and firmly push diagonally up and out, past the corners of my eyes to my temples. I do this for about a minute

9. I put the same fingertips under each of my eyebrows and push up splaying my fingers out as you go. Again I do this for about a minute.

10. Then starting from the tear duct, I very gently run my middle fingers all along the bone under each eye out to my temples smoothing out any little creases as I go. 

11. Finally I put your first finger below and my middle finger above my jaw bone on either side of my chin then push up towards my ears. If you are doing this right, your middle finger will end up in the hollow in front of your ear lobe with your first finger behind it. Gently press in and out for 10 secs. I repeat this last move maybe five or six times and I'm done.

12. As always, I rub any excess product on the backs of my hands. 

I know these instructions sound super complicated to read but take your phone, tablet or even your laptop into your bathroom, prop it up beside the sink and give it a go. Its amazing how instinctive a lot of the moves are. Once you've tried it a few times, you will easily get the hang of it. 

Your skin may look quite pink and feel a bit tingly after a massage - don't worry that means you're doing it right. I tend to do this full routine every Sunday as part of my at home facial which I wrote about here. It slots in perfectly after my toner and before I start with my masks. I also do a short version of it as part of my nightly skincare routine and have really noticed a difference in my skin.

If you want to really treat yourself this Sunday then give yourself a top to toe spa makeover - with the help of my guides to a salon perfect manicure here, pedicure here, fake tan here and facial here

And if you haven't tried facial massage before, then go on give it a go. Sundays were made for pampering after all x

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Saturday, 23 August 2014

Style a la Francaise with JD Williams Style a la Francaise with JD Williams



I love a bit of a challenge so I was excited when I was contacted by the people at JD Williams who invited me to take part in their World Fashion event. All I had to do was put together an outfit from their range inspired by my favourite country in the world.


JD Williams stands for James David Williams who founded the company in 1875. They were the first company in the UK to have offer their customers the option of mail order and became the UK's leading direct home shopping company. They have continued this successful formula of offering good quality, value for money, fashionable clothes for men and woman whatever their size on line as well as operating over 20 successful catalogue brands.

I went straight to JD Williams website and started to browse. There was no shortage of inspiration. As a proud Scot, I was tempted by a really cute little tartan dress here, this fabulous lace dress here reminded me of holidays in Spain watching flamenco dancers twirl, but in the end, when I thought about World Fashion, one country stood out above all others - France! 


I have spent many holidays in France and am always struck by the effortless style of french woman. A beautifully cut blazer, a well pressed pair of jeans, the perfect pair of boots - that was the look I wanted, and JD Williams delivered.


I chose my items in the red, white and blue of the French flag - do you know that it represents the blood of the martyrs flowing down the Seine? 


The jeans I chose were Joe Brown's Awesome Fit Bootcut Jeans here. Don't you just love a good quality pair of jeans? The quality is fantastic with a real weight to the fabric and enough stretch to accommodate a fabulous french dinner. The sizes run quite large on these so I would suggest you size down.

To go with the jeans I chose this blazer - isn't it just the most gorgeous shade of red? It is made out of a miracle fabric called Ponte. I hadn't heard of ponte but it is like a heavy jersey which has enough give, to be super comfortable but it holds its shape and doesn't fade or crease. And did I say the blazer is fully lined?

In these first few pictures I wore the blazer and jeans with a stripy top and really liked the smart but casual look that gave. 



I added the beret for a little je ne sais quoi, lol.

Then to show the versatility of a blazer and jeans, I ditched the beret, switched the top for a white camisole and added heels and a clutch et voila! I am ready for that yummy french dinner.




If you are interested; the stripey top is from Chinti and Parker, the camisole from River Island, the clutch from BHS and the watch is of course by Michael Kors. 
And the beret? I found that at the bottom of a drawer.



Makeup wise, I kept it very simple. Strong brows and a red lip - Lady Danger by Mac to be precise.


All in all JD Williams delivered the perfect shopping experience. Good quality stylish clothing delivered straight to my door. They are currently holding an end of season sale with up to 70% off so it is a good time to check out their website here.



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Thursday, 21 August 2014

What I Love (and Hate) about Blogging What I Love (and Hate) about Blogging




Loves

  1. Boredom is a thing of the past. Long gone are the days where I wasted hours on end watching dodgy TV and muttering about how I had nothing to do. Since I have been blogging, I always have SOMETHING to do whether that be making lists, doing research, taking photographs, writing content or promoting posts.
  2. I always have an excuse to spend money. Whether it be beauty products, skincare, style or technology, if I want it I can always justify it on the basis that I absolutely NEED it for my blog.
  3. I always have someone to talk to. And not just anyone, but someone who really understands about my blog and what it means to me. The blogging community is without doubt one of the most supportive I have experienced in any aspect of my life.
  4. Every stage of my blogs development has brought with it a huge sense of accomplishment. As it has reached each milestone I have felt such pride in my blog and in myself. The knowledge that I have built this little blog from nothing gives me such confidence not just as a blogger but in every aspect of my life. 
  5. Blogging has brought with it so many opportunities to meet people and to learn new things. A perfect example of this was the photography workshop I was invited to. Who knew I would ever find myself running about Glasgow on a Saturday afternoon, in the rain, taking pictures of pigeons?



Hates

  1. I can never ever ever ever ever just relax and watch dodgy TV. There is always SOMETHING to do whether that be making lists, doing research, taking photographs, writing content or promoting posts. 
  2. I never have any money. Whether it be beauty products, skincare, style or technology, there is always something I absolutely NEED it for my blog. My bank manager hates me.
  3. Blogging has introduced me to the darker side of the internet. So far I have been lucky. I have had unflattering photographs reposted and made fun of and I have encountered some mean girl type cliques on twitter but some of the vitriol I have seen directed at other bloggers has been quite disturbing. 
  4. Despite the huge sense of pride I feel about what I have created here, it can be really hard not to compare myself to other bloggers who are younger, more attractive, have whiter furniture and better clothes than me. When I have my sensible head on, I know thats not why people read blogs but sometimes its hard not to wish.
  5. Blogging has presented me with so many challenges, so much to learn. Who knew when I started this little blog that within the year I would be editor, writer, photographer , stylish and promoter - so much to learn.



So there you have it - the black and white, good and bad, ying and yang of blogging. There’s one thing for sure though - no matter what the ups and downs, highs and lows, positives and negatives of this little hobby of mine - it has become my passion and I hope to be blogging for a very long time to come.
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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Weightloss Wednesday - Nutritional Advice from the Health Sanctum Weightloss Wednesday - Nutritional Advice from the Health Sanctum


Pound of Fat

So this week I stayed the same. Despite knowing I slipped off the wagon a little, I am disappointed but am determined not to lose my way. To keep myself motivated I have reposted the image of the grossly wobbly pound of fat. I have now lost 25 of these with another 25 to go. 


So this week I have had another two sessions at the Health Sanctum and would like to introduce you to the lovely Farah - the other half of the partnership that owns the salon. After my session on the Flabelos on Saturday, I was hooked up to the Techno Shape and as I walked and had my tummy fat gently pummelled away, Farah and I got to talking about nutrition.
The ladies behind the Health Sanctum are two super bright, highly driven, inspirational and inspiring women who have, amidst their busy lives, devoted decades to the study of health and fitness. As we chatted about how I had approached my weightloss, Farah gave me several key pieces of advice.

Cut Down on Sugar
I use the MFP to count calories but while Farah is a fan of the app, she recommended I concentrate less on counting calories and more on cutting sugar. Farah told me that sugar is addictive - it causes blood sugar to rise, and then crash, leaving the body craving more. She promised that if I cut it out - my sugar cravings would soon be a thing of the past. Farah told me to cut all white and beige carbs from my diet - that is sugar, potato, pasta, white rice and bread. Although brown versions of these carbs are healthier, Farah recommended they play no part in my daily diet. Instead if I felt the need for a starchy vegetable, I could eat sweet potato. If I wanted rice or pasta, I should try Quinoa or Bulgar Wheat. Once a week though - to prevent my body adjusting - I should have a carb fest. One meal a week where I could eat as many carbs as I chose. Sound like fun? Yes it did to me too. If you still need convincing, listen up. Increased blood sugar leads to fat being stored round your tummy - so thats where the dreaded muffin top comes from. And that fat round your middle gathers internally too - all around your organs, like your liver, spleen and your heart.

Increase your Protein
Farah recommended I increase my protein to replace the calories from the carbs I am not eating. The body uses protein much more efficiently than carbs which are stored as fat. Also, protein keeps the blood sugar stable which prevents hunger and food cravings. And protein helps the body build and repair muscle, what's not to like?

No More Low Fat 
Farah explained that fat is not unhealthy and that cutting out fat is no way to lose weight. In fact, fat is essential for good health and does not make you fat - sugar does. 

Vitamin C
Farah recommended I supplement my diet with high doses of vitamin C. Not only will that protect me from any bugs that are going around but it will actually help my weight loss and make me look slimmer. She explained that fat cells are permanent, but swell as they fill up with a mixture of fat and water. The water is stagnant so as well as making us look bloated, it is pretty bad for us too. The vitamin C though, encourages the fat cells to empty themselves of the water - good for our appearance and for our health. 

Omega Oils
Farah also advised me to take high levels of omegas which can be found naturally in fish, eggs, wholemeal breads, cereals and edible oils like rapeseed oil. Most Brits though get less than a third of the recommended dose of omegas so if in doubt, take a supplement. 

Coconut Oil
Finally Farah talked about my favourite - coconut oil. I have of course written a few posts about coconut oil - here, here and here. Farah recommended that I use only coconut oil to cook with. The reason for this is that unlike many other oils, coconut oil is stable and even at high temperatures, doesn’t go rancid. Despite being a saturated fat, coconut oil lowers bad cholestorol, boost immunity and even raises your metabolism reducing fat. A nutritional superhero!!!

As I left the Health Sanctum that morning, I did so having exercised and toned, but more than that, I had learned a huge amount about diet, health and nutrition. That really is what's special about this place and its owners. These ladies care about their clients and take a truly holistic approach to their health and wellbeing. I am only half way through my course but already I have gained so much in terms of fitness and nutritional information. 
And information is power!
This week I am going to concentrate on following the advice given to me at the Health Sanctum and am hoping for a better weight loss next time.
If you are from the the West of Scotland and have any concerns about your health, fitness, nutrition or just general wellbeing, then why not let the amazing ladies at the Health Sanctum help you too.

Contact them through their website here.
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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

A Skincare Haul - By RBrand A Skincare Haul - By RBrand

RBrand Skincare

RBrand Age Defying Milky Cleanser

RBrand Cucumber Toner

RBrand Pomegranate Toner

RBrand Superhydrating Moisture Lotion

RBrand Lipgloss

Your skin starts ageing the day you are born so everyone, regardless of age should treat their skin with the greatest of care. Much as I believe this to be true, I can't deny, my interest in skincare has got stronger the older I've got. Since I have turned 40 though it has become something of a passion and I am always looking out for the latest innovations that the beauty industry has to offer.
When I was contacted recently and asked if I would like to try a new skincare line aimed specifically at mature skins, it took me at least a nano second to agree. Fast forward a week or so and I was squealing with delight when I received a whole range of skincare products from a new range called RBrand. RBrand was created by a real life Wonder Woman, Terri Ray, an award winning Hollywood stuntwoman. Her need for products which would see her both bullet proof and red carpet ready was the inspiration behind her line. Blending science and beauty, her skincare is said to provide the building blocks responsible for maintaining the structural and functional integrity of the skin as it begins to mature.
As always with skincare, I put the range at the front of my stash and used it exclusively for three weeks. This allows me to really get to know the products and the effect that they have on my skin.
Before I get into the specific product reviews I have to say I was a little disappointed with the skincare packaging. (I am NOT talking about the lipgloss here. I will come back to that later.) This skincare is not a budget line and I would have hoped for slightly more from the presentation. The bottles remind me of squeezy ketchup bottles - is that too rude of me to say? Maybe it is - I will come back to this later.

Lets look at the products themselves. 

Age Defying Milky Cleanser - As the name suggests this is a light cleansing lotion. My usual cleanser is a balm so this was new to me but I actually really liked it. The formula which contained Vitamin E and shea butter, was light and non greasy. I found I needed to apply this cleanser twice at night to remove my makeup and to be honest it didn't cope all that well with my mascara but it did leave my face feeling clean, soft and comfortable and I enjoyed using it. To be fair this product didn't claim to be a makeup remover and as a cleanser, it did the job.

Cucumber Toner - I am not a Toner user. In fact, the only toner I have used in the last decade is the Clarins exfoliating toner which contains fairly high levels of acid to resurface. This is a totally different type of product. It smells of Hendricks gin (the cucumber one), quite delicious and feels really fresh on the skin. Packed full of skin loving botanicals this product smooths and tightens the skin, but very very gently. I really liked this product applied with cotton pads but it would be even more delightful sprayed onto the skin on a hot summers day. 

Pomegranate Toner - This was my favourite of all the skincare products, another toner but this one concentrated on nourishing, smoothing and hydrating. It smelled quite delicious and was a joy to use. Perfect for all skin types but particularly skin like mine which has been damaged by the sun. This product will definitely keep its place near the front of my stash.

The Super Hydrating Moisture Lotion - This product contains white tea and is said to lock in moisture and leave the skin super hydrated. It definitely did hydrate my skin but to be honest I just wasn't that impressed. It did the job but it just left me feeling a bit meh. And that I think is where the packaging comes in.

To really love a skincare product, for me, it needs to stand out from the crowd. Something has to be special, it needs to smell great, be packaged luxuriously, have an unusual delivery system, something about it needs to make it feel special to use. These skincare products had none of that. They did the job, no question about that, but if it was my company and I was selling expensive skincare products, I might put a little more thought into the presentation.

But I have saved the best till last. It is of course the Sugarlips lipgloss. Now you all know that much as I love lip products, I am not a huge fan of lip glosses. But just look at this little tube of gorgeousness. With its lid studded with glittering crystals, the packaging of this is gloriously girly. And the product itself is a triumph. It may look like a lipgloss, it may apply like a lipgloss, it may shine like a lipgloss, but it feels like a nourishing, non sticky balm. And I love it. So much so, that since I have had it, I have used it INSTEAD of lipstick at least half a dozen times. And I have definitely enjoyed all the envious looks I've had when reapplying.

So what do you think? 
Am I wrong to be influenced by packaging? 
What do YOU look for in high end skincare?

If you are interested in purchasing your own Sugarlips or any of the skincare or beauty products from Rbrand, check out their website here.


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Sunday, 17 August 2014

Pampering Sunday - Three Simple Steps to the Perfect Sunless Tan Pampering Sunday - Three Simple Steps to the Perfect Sunless Tan

A Beginners Guide To Fake Tan
Source


Before you get started, make sure you have picked the right product for your skin. For the pale skins amongst you, a gradual tanner is best so you can slowly build up to a perfect golden tan. If you don’t have one, just mix a little self tan into your favourite body moisturiser for the same effect. If you have medium toned skin, you can use a mousse. liquid, spray or gel formula for the perfect finish and if you are lucky enough to have dark skin then a lotion will give the most intense result of all the formulations.

Now let’s get on with getting it on…

Step One - Preparation
You know the old saying  - Poor preparation leads to piss poor performance - well this could have been written about self tanners. 
Preparation is key! 
48 hours before - wax
24 hours before - shave
The night before - scrub, scrub and scrub again then apply a rich moisturiser.
On the day - moisturise again, this time using a lighter lotion but paying particular attention to your elbows, knees, heels, feet and any other particularly dry bits.
If you are tanning your face - apply vaseline to your eyebrows and hairline.
If your toenails are bare, apply a quick coat of polish. It doesn’t matter what colour - you will be taking it off later and any staining with it.

Step Two - Application
Put on a pair of latex gloves. You can get them from any chemist. They are thin enough not to get in the way of precise application but will still prevent those tell tale orange palms.
Work from the top down - face, body, arms then legs. 
Once you are finished, add a little moisturiser onto your gloves, rub your hands together then wipe over your legs onto your feet. This will transfer enough colour onto your feet to blend them in without leaving them orange and streaky. 
Next take off your gloves, add a little tan onto a cotton pad and wipe over the backs of your hands. Again when you are finished, add a little moisturiser and drag over the fingers.
Leave to sink in for half an hour or so then take a tanning mitt - if you don’t have one, an old towel or facecloth will do -and gently buff your skin from the top down. This will remove any excess product that would otherwise cause streaking.


Step Three - Maintenance
To keep your tan looking fresh, moisturise with a lotion every morning. 
DO NOT USE OILS - oils will break down your tan.
On the second day, and alternate days thereafter, gently scrub to encourage your tan to fade evenly.
On the 7th day - repeat steps one to three.

So there you have them - my three simple steps to the perfect sunless tan. What are your top tips for self tanning?

If you have some time on your hands, check out my previous Pampering Sundays posts  - here, here and here
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Friday, 15 August 2014

The Concert Tag The Concert Tag


Oh I love live music and I love tags so when I heard one of 
my new favourite bloggers Lauren who writes An Impatient 
Scottish Girl  had tagged me in the concert tag, I couldn't wait
 to get started. I quickly realised though that this tag above all
 others would really show my age but oh well, let's get 
started...

QUESTIONS

1. What was your first concert and how old were you?

My first concert was David Bowie in the Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh... how cool is that? No idea what age I was but I was a total fangirl - still am to be honest!

2. What was your best concert?

If I am honest the first may have been the best but I have had a few other highlights.... Siouxsie and the Banshees, Morrissey, the Stranglers, Nick Cave, Orange Juice, Texas - yup showing my age but how lucky was I to live through that golden era of music….

3. Have you ever been a VIP and met the performer? If so, who? 

A few when I was Ents Crew at Uni - Nick Cave, Big Country, even Gary Glitter lol 

4. Who would you love to see in concert? 

Beyonce, Avicii, Sam Smith

5. What is your go to outfit for a concert? 

Jeans, boots and a hot little top,

6. Last concert you went to?  

I saw a few different bands at the Merchant City Festival in Glasgow recently - good times!

7. Future concerts? 

Nothing planned but hoping to go to Glastonbury next year.

8. Which artist/group would you love to meet?  

Adam Lambert, I just love his spirit.

9. Would you go on stage and sing a duet with your favourite artist?

After a few beers probably!

Who do you TAG?


I tag the bloggers behind Gin or Gymn, Paige's Preferences♡ and HaileysMakeup to do this tag xx
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Thursday, 14 August 2014

Mac Lipstick Review - Relentlessly Red Mac Lipstick Review - Relentlessly Red

Mac Retro Matte Lipstick Box

Mac Relentlessly Red Lipstick Box

mAC Lipstick Bullet

Mac Relentlessly Red Lipstick

Mac Relentlessly Red Lipstickand swatch

Okay so I know that the last thing I NEEDED was another Mac lipstick, especially not another red Mac Lipstick and absolutely definitely not another retro matte red lipstick from Mac. I already have and adore the very blue toned Ruby Woo and of course my beloved orangey red So Chaud but I think you will agree this one is quite different and quite lovely and very me.
Relentlessly Red is described as a "bright pinkish coral matte"  which is very strange because for me it is definitely red but a very pinkish red which I love. It's a bold, bright lipstick to be worn on days when you are feeling strong and sassy or when you want to look as if you are. It is very matte, very drying but very worth it.
Oh and it lasts and lasts and lasts...
How could I resist?
How can you??

Read my reviews of GirlAboutTown here, Morange here, Flat Out Fabulous here , Impassioned here and Plumful here
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