Friday, 20 June 2014

Summer Ballin'


Last weekend I attended my University's Summer Ball and it was such a beaut night. I went with my best friend Sara and some of my course friends. Sara and I both got spray tans the day before from a cute little place in Leeds called 'Little Spa' in Burley and the woman who did them was SO nice. We got the darkest colour and they do an offer of 2 spray tans for £20 so me and Sara got them for a tenner each! So much cheaper than down south, in Salisbury I swear I paid up to £30 for my prom spray tan.


Sorry for the cringy selflies, but just trying to show my make-up here! I used the No7 Stay Perfect Foundation in 'Honey' mixed with a tiny bit of Bourjois CC Cream. Benefit Hoola as a contour and Watts Up as a gold highlight on the top of my cheekbones. For concealer I used Collection's long lasting concealer with Seventeen's Phwoar Paint heavy duty concealer on top and down the centre of my nose. I'm wearing the Kardashian's lip-set in 'Natural' on my lips and the Urban Decay Naked Palette on my lids- not sure what shades I used to be honest but wanted a goldy shimmery look! Finially I filled in my brows using Brow Zing's and am wearing Ardel's Demi-Wispies as eyelashes (the best fake-eyelashes ever ever ever) with Benefit's They're Real! mascara. I also just left my hair natural as I'm trying to grow it!
THE DRESS!
So I'm obsessed with this maxi dress from Zara. I thought it was a perfect summer ball dress as it was floaty and light but I could also wear this on holiday. At £49.99 it was quite expensive but I just fell in love with it! It comes in 3 colours now- the blue pictured above, cream, and in a light green. I think it's so flattering as well as makes you look slim while it has a low back and quite low front so you can show some skin.
And we got glitter tattoos...and sent classy snapchats...


And went on fairground rides.. :)
Pre Summer Ball, posing on the street...

Overall it was an amazing night and made me love University of Leeds even more! I've made so many good friends and got quite emotional I won't be with so many of them next year. Uni is one of the best experiences of my life though so if anyone is thinking about it, doooo it!

Thanks for reading and please subscribe :)
Lots of love!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Summer Beauty Favourites 2014!

Summer Beauty Faves
Tangle Teezer/ Fake Bake Flawless tan/ L'oreal Fibrology Shampoo/ Dove Summer Glow body moisturiser/ Bourjois CC Cream/ Kardashian Lip-set in Natural/ Benefit They're Real! mascara/ Benefit Watts Up!/  Benefit Hoola Bronzer/ Benefit Brow Zings.


Hi everyone! Today I thought I'd write about my current summer beauty favourites, the products that I'm reaching for a lot at the moment and what I'm raving about.

Firstly, the Tangle Teezer and the L'oreal Fibrology shampoo are literally making my hair grow and look nice at the same time which in my opinion is a miracle. The hairbrush itself is just amazing as it doesn't pull on your hair at all which minimises hair fall-out and I actually lost this the other week when I moved back from University to home and I had to use a regular hairbrush and that's when I really noticed the difference- I will never go back! Also, I wrote a post on hair growth recently, but the Fibrology thickening shampoo makes my hair look bouncy and thicker without any need for me to blow-dry or style it using heat, meaning my hair is growing longer much quicker. 

Secondly, fake tan is an important product for me and as the skirts and shorts come out in the summer, I'm grabbing the bottle more and more. However, I do really want to build up a natural tan if I can, so whilst I am obsessed with Fake Bake's Flawless Tan (which comes with the most amazing mitt and applies like a dream) the Dove Gradual Tan keeps my skin moisturised and I think doesn't interfere too much with getting a natural tan so I'll be using this more before I go on holiday. Fake Bake or Xen Tan are the fake tans I grab the most when I want to look super bronzed before a night out (I'll be doing a full post on comparisons and reviews of different fake-tans soon). 

A lot of people have been complimenting me on my eyebrows recently, and I'm putting that down to my new faaaave eyebrow product by Benefit- Brow zings. I know it's been around for ages but I don't know what I was doing without it quite frankly because it's so easy to use. The product itself has the wax which you apply first with the little slanted brush followed by the powder and it also comes with a mini pair of tweezers. It's made my eyebrows look defined as well as natural- I aim for Kylie Jenner eyebrows! It's available in 3 shades and as a brunette I use the shade Medium. 

Furthermore on Benefit Make-Up, I'm loving 'They're Real' mascara (enough said about that one?) it's the number 1 selling mascara in the world for a reason and while I don't think it lasts a great amount of time before drying it makes my eyelashes longer than any other mascara potentially bar Lancome Hypnose Star, and it's pretty resistant. The Hoola bronzer I will never get bored of as it is a matte olive-brown colour and a fave when I want to contour. I pair it with the Watts-Up gold highlighter on my cheek bones and I have such a nice glowy bronzed summertime look. 

Lastly, as a lighter foundation this summer I am mainly using standard Garnier BB cream or tinted moisturiser, but when I want a bit more coverage I love the Bourjois CC cream. Whilst this product hasn't got a wide range of shades, it's dewy and light finish makes my skin look fresh and doesn't dry it out. To complete the look I am OBSESSED with the Kardashians lip set (surprise surprise), as those ladies all have amazing lips and lip make-up is said to be what has transformed Kylie Jenner these days. I love the lip-stick in 'Natural'- it comes with a double ended product, one end is a lipliner and the other is a lipstick and then you apply the famous 'honey stick' on top. I'm going to do a full review or make-up tutorial on the Kardashians look soon where I'll cover this in more detail but I think one of the only places you can grab this is feelunique.com and I really recommend it.
Just showing off now, but it's definitely top-down weather!
Thanks for reading and I hope you're enjoying your summer!
Lots of love x



Friday, 6 June 2014

Weight Loss- What's Worked For Me



Hey guys! Today I wanted to do a post on how I've personally lost weight this year, after being asked how a few times. I've lost a stone and a half since the end of last year so it has been a steady and gradual process but I believe that's a good thing as it's weight that should stay off for good, rather than a quick fix diet which eventually means you'll put the weight lost all back on! 
I'm nowhere near the skinniest person in the world, but I wasn't too overweight to begin with...at my heaviest I was near 12 stone and at 5'9 thats right at the very end of 'healthy/overweight' border on the BMI scale but I just wasn't confident with my body and knew I could be healthier and look and feel better. I had some bad habits I needed to kick.
I'm also not a nutritional expert but I just want to write about what I've done and what has worked for me aside from the usual healthy eating and exercise (which it fundamentally HAS come down to)- there are just some specific things that I've done which I just wanted to share as I feel they've been easy to stick to and has lead me to getting the best results! Plus I've included my favourite alternative healthier snacks as well as my fave things to have for breakfast and dinner.


1. Give up white carbs and switch them to wholegrains. Wholewheat noodles, brown rice, brown pasta, brown bread...they're so much better for you as contain more fibre which keeps you fuller for longer as well as containing less sugars and more easily broken down by your body = less is turned to fat! (at least that's how I see it...)

2. Stop eating after 8pm LATEST. Lots of celebs swear by the 'no carbs after 4pm' rule like Imogen Thomas who lost her baby-weight that way. But that's a bit extreme for me and find it sooo hard to give up carbs at dinner time, so just cutting out food from 8pm altogether means that there's no food in your stomach overnight to turn to fat.


3. Try to make your plate look like this when you can. Even when I make a stir fry I try make it mostly veg with wholewheat or rice noodles and then add the protein. I think one of the major things I used to get wrong was portion control- even if I was eating something healthy I'd probably be having a lot of it, so keeping portions low and only eating until you're satisfied rather than full up is key.



4. Here's the big one. What I literally swear down has helped me more than anything...giving up meat. Long story short I read in an article that Cheryl Cole used to follow the blood type diet (lol) and was like yeeeeah why not try that- love Chezza. Anyway as blood group A, the diet states that your body can't break down meat protein as effectively and can more easily break down veg and carbs whereas if you're O then its the opposite and you can break down meat protein easily but not carbs. SO as A, I immediately decided to become a pescatarian as I loooove fish anyway and I didn't think I'd really miss red meat. Chicken was definitely harder to emit and I must admit I have caved now and again but I'm relatively new to this and sometimes I'm weak :| (ahem Nandos...). it's actually mostly easy though and really cuts calories, for example in Wagamama all the prawn dishes are lower calories than the chicken and also lower in fat. I'll often ask for no chicken and extra prawns in my Yaki Soba or get the Prawn Kare Lomen which is AMAZING. Swapping chicken to prawns cuts over 150 calories according to the Wagamama's nutritional information on their website. I realise giving up meat for some people is just not going to happen but all i'd say is avoid processed meats like ham like the plague and also have knowledge on the best and worst meats (e.g Lamb takes the longest to be broken down by your body, and turkey is the leanest). So have a tuna steak for steak night instead of a beef sirloin and cut the calories without compromising on taste! 



 5. I've been generally more active. As well as walking to uni and back every day I try and go to the gym as much as I can (totally slacked over exams though) and also did spinning, zumba and pilates. Spinning is a bitch but really effective as it's interval training which apparently is the most effective form of exercise for weight loss! So even now as the gym i'll make sure I push myself SO hard for 30 seconds on the bike then rest, then do it again. I think this is more effective than slow and steady over a while but all personal preference. I'm also trying to do 50 sit ups a night and only over the past week been introducing squats when I read it was Victorias Secret model Candice's body secret!

6. Drink water!!!! I don't do this enough. But hey I'll tell you to do it anyway as we all know we should drink more. Green tea is also a great metabolism booster I just despise the stuff but my housemate Katie is obsessed, so worth a try?! An alternative if you hate green tea too is the extract which you can buy from health-food stores like Holland and Barrett. 



7. Cut out alcohol when you can. Also go for lighter options like G&Ts with slimline tonic or Vodka Lime Sodas rather than a glass of wine. I realise this is hard living the student life!

8. Lastly, try living 80:20. It's impossible to just give up all your favourite foods and not treat yourself and this is why only 2% of diets work (says trusty Cosmo!) so I try and eat well 5 or 6 days of the weak and don't mind having that cheeky domino's on a saturday night.


Breakfast:
In the summer I'm loving low fat greek/natural yoghurt with berries and granola. SO yummy.

For a more substantial and filling breakfast I love either scrambled eggs or beans on toast with brown bread, adding no extra milk, just lots of seasoning! 


Lunch:

My housemate introduced me to this salad and you can buy it from Sainsbury's for £2. The dressing is like pesto and it's always fresh and fills me up more than I thought it would! SO yummy and a really good 'on-the-go' lunch. 

Perfect for lunch or dinner- TUNA. Tuna is great as full of healthy oils and low in fat and calories. It also tastes amazing served with salad or on a bed of stir fry veg.


Dinner:

Most evenings I seem to find myself grabbing the king prawns and making a stir fry as it's so quick and easy to do. Sometimes i'll use Quorn instead but i'll have either wholewheat noodles or rice noodles. I find it's such a good way of getting 5-a-day, and the plum and hoisin sauce is the best one!

Mushroom Stroganoff is such a favourite of mine and i've converted all my housemates making this! (hey Sara ;) ) Mushrooms are like no calories and so tasty with onions garlic, paprika, veg stock and a tbsp of low fat creme fraiche. serve with brown rice or even quinoa and it's delish! I always add chicken if i'm making it when my boyfriend's round as well and just add it to his afterwards!


Snacks:
Obviously fruit and carrots and humous are the best snacks to have but these are snacks that are healthier alternatives to crisps and chocolate bars that we all crave. I personally can't cut out all bad things from my diet (and tbh if you live to the 80:20 rule you're fine!) so if i'm really craving something i'll grab these instead...
Me and my housemates' new obsession. Nakd Bars come in so many different flavours and are gluten and dairy free with entirely natural ingredients just pressed together. At between 90-120 calories they are a slow release of energy to keep you satisfied for longer than a cadburys dairy milk would. I want to try the cocoa orange one SO badly as apparently it tastes just like Terry's Chocolate Orange and the Cocoa Delight one is the BEST as it's just like a chocolate bar except actually good for you?! Such a weird concept. I also recommend the banana bread and the apple pie...and cocoa mint...and rhubarb and custard...*drool*




Pop chips are not 'healthy food' by any means, but they are the best alternative to ordinary crisps that I've come across. They're 'popped' rather than baked or fried and claim to use all natural ingredients such as just salt and pepper to season and flavour the chips. An entire bag is so much lower in calories than a bag of Doritos and while not pictured, the salt and pepper flavoured ones are the best! 
 Thanks for reading and hope it was helpful! Like I said, I'm not an expert but all this is what i've read, researched and what has actually worked for me. I still have another half a stone to lose until i'll have my dream body I reckon but I don't like getting hung up in it and refuse to give up my fave foods as I'm such a foodie! Bought my first pair of size 10 Topshop jeans yesterday though, so i'll keep this up and keep you updated!


Thursday, 5 June 2014

Tips for Fast Hair Growth!


I'm baaaaack! It feels like absolutely ages since I last blogged, but i've been so overwhelmed with work and exams over the past month I literally hadn't got a spare moment! Now that my second year of uni is over (eeeek) I can get back to blogging, and I'm really excited about it. The first thing I wanted to talk about is hair growth...
So this time last year, I got a really bad haircut. Reeeeally bad. It was at a salon in Leeds which offered 45% student discount and I thought I'd be getting a simple trim and shape but the hairdresser unfortunately hacked into my hair, gave me super short choppy layers, and I'm pretty sure my hair looked in a worse condition than before I walked in! Ever since, I've been hoping my hair would grow back long again without doing much but I've had no real luck, until about a month ago where I started a whole new haircare routine and my hair is growing back SO much faster than it ever has.

Argon Oil, Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo, Loreal Elvive Thickening Shampoo, Macadamia Hair Mask, Batiste XL Dry Shampoo, Herbal Essences 'Bee Strong' Conditioner, Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance Leave-in-conditioner. 

Using the products pictured above, I feel like I'm able to grow my hair super fast whilst not compromising what I had before when I was treating my hair unhealthily (Hair drying, straightening...HEAT!)

1) Number one rule for growing hair: avoid heat. Taking away the use of heat on my hair has been the biggest change in my hair care routine, but the most important one and what I am accrediting the majority of my results with. My hair isn't even curly but it has a slight wave to it and it means that those short layers like to flick out and I always try to straighten them to 'blend' them in with my longer hair. I've been straightening my hair though since I was about 14, whilst also blow drying it every time I wash it (about every-other day). I'm finding that if I wash my hair earlier in the evening rather than in the morning or just before bed and leave it to air-dry whilst sometimes running my fingers underneath it and brushing it a few times upwards to get air into it, it'll dry in a nice style and not even be too flat (the main reason I used to blow dry it in the first place!)

2) When in the shower, I've been using one of two shampoos- firstly, Alpecin caffeine shampoo. I picked this up from Morrison's for around £4.99  because my friend said her dad started using it (it IS advertised for men...) and it made his falling out hair grow back, so she used it and it made HER hair grow so fast so if it worked for them, I wanted to try it! You're meant to leave it on your head for 2 minutes and it does leave a tingly sensation which makes me think it's working, but the only downside is that it has nothing in it to make your hair 'nice' if you know what I mean- so when I use it, my hair seems a lot more lifeless than when I use other shampoos. My other favourite has to be the Loreal Elvive Fibrology Thickening Shampoo. Girls with fine hair everywhere rejoice please because oh my gosh this works amazingly, makes my hair full of bounce and body when I really did think it wouldn't work. Whilst this shampoo doesn't say it makes your hair grow- my hair appears thicker and therefore it looks like there is more of it! Plus it's inexpensive too ;)

3. Conditioning my hair for a good 2 minutes in the shower has also been super important, I used to use the Aussie 3-minute-miricle deep conditioning treatment until that ran out which is really good, but at the moment I'm using 'Bee Strong' by Herbal Essences which I do think is improving the strength of my hair, meaning my hair isn't getting as many split ends and coming off which is definitely a problem with having fine hair!

4. After I come out the shower, I squeeze the excess water out with a towel and brush it with the best brush EVER (see pic below)- the Tangle Teezer. This brush doesn't pull on your hair at all and completely detangles it, leaving me feeling it's just so much kinder to hair than your bog standard brush. 

5. After I'm out the shower I use Argon Oil, applying a small amount in the palm of my hands and applying it to the ends of my hair. This helps keep it in a really good condition while making your hair super soft and glossy. If I want an even greater conditioning effect i'll also give it a quick all over spray with Aussies 'miracle hair insurance' leave-in conditioner. 

6. Macadamia Hair Masks have been raved about by sooo many beauty bloggers so I'm just going to join them here and say that this mask makes dry and damaged hair so soft and restores health again. Perfect for over styled or dyed hair which is sometimes frizzy, I think that using this treatment just once a month has made a difference. Healthy hair = hair growth!

7. Lastly, I'm just going to say to not be afraid of getting a trim- I was so against it about a month ago because I so desperately wanted it to grow and nothing to be cut off but it honestly looks so much better whatever length it is when it's healthier and more even, so don't be afraid! Swear it has grown sooo much quicker since too. Also, I'm trying to tie my hair up to keep it out the way and so i don't play with it but my hairdresser told me that tight ponytails and stuff can be really bad for your hair and weaken it at the point where the hair tie is around your hair- so when you tie it up try do it loosely so not to damage it!
I'm going to invest in some multi-vitamins for healthy hair, skin and nails to see if that makes any more of a difference too, keep eating a healthy diet and just generally treat my hair like a piece of silk until I can have long hair without being tempted to wear extensions!

A month ago- me and my friend Ellie, I'm on the right- hair just above bra length (and straightened!)


A month later- I'm on the right again with my beautiful Hannah! It's grown a good inch at least, it's looking longer here and it's left au natural, wavy and not straightened.  

Let me know what you think and any tips for you growing your hair! Thanks for reading :) 


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