Sunday, 30 March 2014

Have you discovered...? Foundation!


It's the fourth instalment of the #Haveyoudiscovered project. This week it's all about foundations, if you'd like to take part then all of the information is here.

MUA Undress Your Skin Illuminating Foundation £3* - Desperately wanting to be a NARS Sheer Glow dupe is the MUA Undress Your Skin Foundation, it does a pretty good job if I'm totally honest and for £3 it's a blooming' good cheap alternative! I love MUA and 99.9% of it's products because they're such good value. This foundation is my go-to if I'm only going out of the house to go to the supermarket or if I'm staying in but don't want to remain bare faced. My no-make-up-day foundation if you will. It does give sheer coverage that lasts me pretty well throughout my errands and will last at work if I use a good primer. It blends well and does have a "second skin" sort of appeal to it. As I said previously it's only £3 so it's definitely worth the gamble if you're unsure. The tube has lasted me a long time as well. I use my Real Techniques buffing brush to apply this to my face and with that get a nice amount of coverage that will last a reasonable amount of time. I wouldn't go so far as to saying it's a NARS Sheer Glow dupe but it's definitely well on it's way. More of a Maybelline Fit Me dupe? An even cheaper dupe for a dupe if that makes sense! I will say however, that I reach for this more often than my NARS Sheer Glow as it's easier to apply in my opinion.


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Friday, 28 March 2014

Soap & Glody Solar Powder Bronzer

Soap & Glory Solar Powder Bronzer £11.00 - Until I started blogging, I genuinely wouldn't have known that Soap & Glory produced make up, that's probably my fault for not scanning the shelves hard enough and admittedly only really enjoying their products when I was bought them around Christmas time. A bit mad really as I always adore their body washes and lotions and potions and the fantastic packaging that they come in, but for some reason I'd never reached to buy them for myself. I actually won my first Solar Powder Bronzer on eBay, probably in amongst a bundle of other things that was then ignored for a few months. When my life was split into two homes I rather nicely was forced to dig out substitute products and this one was my "Laguna Bronzer for my Grandma's House". I do not miss my NARS Laguna Bronzer during the week. Gasp. This blends so well, is the absolute perfect colour to lightly contour my cheekbones on a work day and it so quick and easy to apply. As soon as I was getting low on my old one, I had to repurchase it before I ran out completely. Although I do think it's a little pricey, I didn't think twice about buying it as no other high street bronzer has come close. I might even stretch so far as to say this was a Laguna Bronzer dupe! I'm so tempted to try so many other Soap & Glory make up products, please do recommend me your favourites to go and look at. Oh and the packaging is so cute!



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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Oqibo Purifying Cleanser & Toner

Oqibo Purifying Cleanser & Toner* £23.65 - When a brands contacts you and asks how they can help with your skincare routine, you automatically feel valued and very, very excited. At least I do anyway. When Oqibo and I first started corresponding (something that has blossomed into a fantastic relationship now with the wonderful Beth) I had just started swimming and had just that day put out a tweet asking if I should be changing anything in my skincare regime. I asked Beth what she recommended and her offering was fantastic. This purifies my skin once I'm out of the water and levels it back out again, I was finding that my skin was getting extremely tight and dry due to all of the chemicals in the water despite my endless time in the sauna afterwards and this has solved the problem. Once I'm out I'll use this all over my face, applying it in little circular motions and then I'll just wash it off whilst I'm in the shower. Immediately my skin feels healthier and rebalanced and nowhere near as chemically-fied. Another fantastic bonus to this is that it's a cleanser and toner all in one. I'll admit when I go swimming I usually don't get out until 9pm and the last thing that I want to be doing at the pool is a full on skincare routine so this is perfect and does the job all in one go. I simply pop my moisturiser on once I get home and I'm good to go to sleep. I'll admit I haven't tried this away from the pool yet so I can't really comment on it's performance as a stand alone cleanser & toner, but if it's performed so well under those circumstances, I presume it'll cope brilliantly normally!

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Monday, 24 March 2014

Makeover Monday #3

A love letter to myself. 

Oqibo have partnered up with The Jersey Company to create Happy. Remarkable. You, a professional skincare and health blog. They've recently asked me to create a love letter to my body, so rarely do we appreciate what we have and focus on what we don't or what we'd rather and it's been challenging and refreshing to write my love letter. It's less about my size as during this Makeover Monday series I've not been afraid to tell you that I'm not happy with that, but more about what is beneath all of that. I would love for you all to get involved and whether you are comfortable in posting it on your blog or not, just take 5 or 10 minutes out of your day to sit and think about what you do like about yourself and your body, you'll be amazed at how much you can come up with ....

"Dear Body, 

This is somewhat more of an apology and a thank you than a love letter, size wise I've let you down recently and let my greedy chops turn you into something that I never wanted you to become, but you've never let me down. 

You didn't let me down when I thought my heart would burst at our very first meeting with heartbreak, not the usual boyfriend breakups that most experience, when one of our nearest and dearest was so tragically taken. It took me a long time to heal mentally, but physically, you carried me through. 

You didn't let me down when my heart got worse, except instead of emotionally it was physical this time and something really wasn't right. But you carried me through and no matter how many doctors or consultant who said I wouldn't get better, you fixed me and made life bearable again. 

You didn't let me down when I starved you for so long, so many (especially with the dicky ticker, too) would have given up, as we know all too well from losing our dear Auntie Janet. I abused you and wanted you to waste away but you persevered and held on until I saw sense. 

You didn't let me down when you had all you ever wanted, then taken away from you so suddenly. Things could have gone so horribly wrong and there could have been so many more complications, but you've fought through and given me the chance to try again when the time is right. 

You didn't let me down when I tried to end you, I pushed you so far to the edge that I felt myself go, but you dug in your heels and kept me here. Even when I was fighting you the hardest and willing you to give up the most, you didn't let me down. 

Words cannot ever describe how thankful I am to have such a strong body when my mind has been at it's weakest. Although you may not look how I want you to, that is my doing and certainly not yours, and let's face it, it's not that bad... I know you'll do your best throughout me pushing you to get into shape and I know that you won't let me down. 

Yours forever.

Becka."

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Sunday, 23 March 2014

#Haveyoudiscovered...? Primer


Welcome to my third week of the #haveyoudiscovered project! If you'd like to join in or know more than click here to read my introduction post. This week it's all about primers.


Artdeco Eyeshadow Base £8 - This was the first eyeshadow primer that I ever owned, I got it in a beauty box last summer and it was promptly shoved to the back of my drawer until we move house. Isn't it funny how the best products usually start life in that way? I love this product for so many reasons but the reason I've decided to feature it in this series is because I've never heard or seen any other Artdeco products before and after browsing the web whilst writing this post, there are lots of things that I'd like to try! You need the tiniest amount of this, I've probably used it 10 times or more and you can see how little I've used up. I literally just wipe my finger over the top and I've got enough to cover my whole eyelid. Not only does it cling to my eyeshadow and make it stay around all day, but for a no-eyeshadow day it mattifies my eyelid and removes any veins, meaning that I don't have to faff with eyeshadow every day. This makes any of my eyeshadows last all day at work and I often reach for this over my Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer! I've neglected it a little recently so this series has definitely made me rekindle my love for it! It's not too expensive either, at just £8 for one pot or £14 for two, and as I said previously, it'll last you a very, very long time!


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Friday, 21 March 2014

Baylis & Harding Fair Trade Range




Baylis & Harding Fair Trade Range* £12 total £3 separately - As soon as I saw an email header with the words "Fair Trade" I was drawn in, I love anything fair-trade (which is, of course why I eat so much Dairy Milk Chocolate) and I also love Baylis & Harding, win win. I loved this trio so much that I've actually gone out and purchased it for my Mum, she always ends up with Baylis & Harding products because they're just too fantastic to not pass on or buy her some of. When I think about it, I've been buying my Mum Baylis & Harding since long before I started blogging, that's true love right there. All three products contain honey in them and are, of course, fair trade to the people who made them. In the trio there is - Cleansing Honey Body Wash, Nourishing Sugar Syrup and Honey Body Butter & Hydrating Honey Hand Wash which are all fab for your skin, leaving it soft and smoothed but smelling so good that I can't help but keep on sniffing my hands afterwards! A body butter is right up my street now, If you've read my Makeover Monday's post you'll know that I've recently put on some weight which has left me with, quite frankly, horrid and painful stretch marks. Therefore I've been lathering myself in this every night since and hopefully I'll see a difference soon although I know it'll be a long process. 

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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Tantastic Self Tanning Mousse

Tantastic Self Tanning Mousse £18* - When spring rolls around the corner I always immediately yearn for a deep golden tan and usually turn to my old and trusted St Tropez to do the job. Last year I branched out a little in terms of fake tans and this year seems to be going the same way. I'm a sucker for a good fake tan and adore how it makes me feel and so whenever I am so kindly offered a new formula to try, I jump at the chance. Tantastic Self Tanning Mousse promises to give you an Instant Rich Golden Colour that lasts up to 5 days. Pretty impressive. A lot of tans have taken to giving you a guide colour now which I love, Lee has to come in and fill in the blank bit on my back and it's so much easier if he just fills in the white bit rather than guesses. The smell is nice too (for a fake tan) and I didn't lie awake at night craving biscuits because I smelt so much like one. It also didn't transfer onto my white pj top or Mother-In-Law's cream bed sheets which is always a winner for me. Now to the downfall ... the colour, for you paler ladies out there then this may be perfect for you as once I washed it off, I genuinely couldn't tell that I was tanned. Lee reckons that he could tell slightly but in all fairness he was probably just trying to make me feel better. I'm not tanned naturally although I'm not pale either (does that even make sense) and I did two layers of this one after the other. In future I will turn to this but possibly only during spring and autumn when I don't want my tan to be quite so dramatic and I'll definitely do a good amount of layers. 

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Monday, 17 March 2014

Makeover Monday #2

My Goal: To have my 2012 body back.

If you read my Makeover Monday #1 you will have read that it wasn't going to be all about weightloss and dieting, well I didn't lie and don't worry - it isn't. I just wanted to publicly (don't ask me why) start my journey by noting down all of my measurements and letting you guys know the exercises that I currently do and plan on doing to get myself healthy and fit! I also said last week that I never, ever weigh myself, I always say it's because weight doesn't matter, it's how you feel and I totally stand by that however as I just said, when I get to a point where I'm really happy with myself I'd quite like to compare it to where I started. So I took the plunge on stood on the dreaded scales then whipped out my tape measure and noted down the horrid numbers staring back at me. 

Starting Point
Weight - 11st 6lbs
Waist - 30"
Hips - 36"
Bum - 40"
Thigh - 26"
Dress Size - 12

I don't have any set goals at this moment in time other than to comfortably be a size 10, weight etc will just come with that too but I don't really know what weight I'd have to be in order to be a size 10 so it's difficult for me. I'd quite like my 26" waist back but I think that'd be one step too far as I want to still enjoy my life and food too. 

My "Gymspiration", I used to look like this so I can again

So on to my routine...
  • Swim - At the moment I swim, a lot, about 4 or 5 times a week, however whilst it's been great for getting my breathing better and my general strength up over the last 3 weeks it doesn't make you actually lose weight very fast as it's more for toning and muscle therapy so I'm toning it down to twice a week as well as another work out. 
  • Bike - Lee and I have just started going out on the bikes at least once a weekend for around an hour and a half, we're hoping to buy a house in the next village so quite like to bike out to see that and stop by the pub on the way home.
  • Gym - My gym routine has been the same for a long time and that's because I feel that it works, it's one that my old personal trainer set out for me and it's what I was doing when I was at my most trim two years ago. I cycle for 20 minutes on the hill setting (else I get bored) trying to keep at 100rpm or just below and am pushing myself up on the resistance every week. I then walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes or again, until I get bored. Luckily my new gym has TVs in front so it's helping me. I know that I only walk but I do it on the steepest incline and vary from level 6 to 7, so I actually walk faster than some people in my gym run but for some reason as soon as I break into a jog my shins are in agony and my breathing goes pete tong, so I'll stick to walking, I can totally feel it working on my bum too! Then I finish on a high and go on the cross trainer, I've only been back for 3 weeks so I can only last for 10 minutes but that gets me really sweaty and totally out of breath.

Future Improvements
  • Pilates - As of hopefully this Wednesday I'll be taking up pilates, my sister in law does it and I quite frankly want to poke her eyes out as she's so slim even after having her baby! My sister also does it and her core muscles are fantastic and I've never seen her stomach so flat, so I'm hoping that this once a week teamed with swimming twice a week will tone me up nicely. 
  • Gym - I need to push harder, go more often and switch it up from swimming, as I previously said I've recently had a bit of a reality check that if I really want to lose weight and get back to how I used to be then I need to cut back on the low impact swimming and go harder on the higher intensity gym routine. I'll never be one for working out until I collapse as I have a dicky ticker and that would be unhealthy and unwise so unfortunately I have to know and work within my limits but I do plan on pushing myself a lot more and going more frequently. 
  • Diet - I've recently started taking supplements that I'll tell you all about in a later post but I'm really hoping that they'll transform my eating habits. 
  • Toning - At the moment I don't really do anything other than cardio so I'm going to start doing the 7 minute work out once I get home from the gym. I hate doing weights etc in the gym as I always feel silly without a PT telling me what to do and I can't really afford the sessions at the moment. It'll also give me chance to recover from the cross trainer as I really push myself on that before I go home. 

We can do this. 
I've seen so many fellow bloggers all on a mission to lose weight at the moment and I know that at times I'll need people to be there for me so, if you're trying to do the same and ever need a pick me up, some advice (not that I'm a professional) or some support feel free to find me on any of my social media and I'll chat away to you. I love a good natter whilst I'm on the bike in the gym so I'll talk until the cows come home then!



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Sunday, 16 March 2014

#Haveyoudiscovered...? Skincare

Want to take part in my #Haveyoudiscovered series? All of the info is here, just drop me a comment, email or tweet and I'll add you to the list!


Hello & Welcome to my first official post on the #Haveyoudiscovered series, all about skincare. As I've said in my introduction it doesn't have to be about completely unheard of brands or products, it's just things that you think are fab but don't get enough recognition or just aren't shouted about enough. With that said, my two skincare products of choice are from a pretty well known brand, Elemis, I just don't see this line of products or these two products in particular raved about half as much as I should, you often heard about Elemis' anti-ageing range and as fab as it is, I love this line of products as it's specifically designed for my skin's needs. I'm currently discovering slightly newer and less heard of brands so I may well update this in a few weeks.. I'll let you know if I do. 

The Elemis Fresh Skin* range answered my skin prayers when I first started blogging just over a year ago.. there were products galore for helping with acne or spots and plenty offering anti-ageing properties, but nothing for those in between. I don't have particularly problem skin unless I really abuse it, yet I'm only 21 and feel that most anti-ageing products are slightly premature on me. This is why the Elemis Fresh Skin range is perfect, It's aimed at teens to twenties and whilst there are some products that help with spots (of course they all do really in a roundabout way) it's not totally geared towards that. I particularly love the Skin Glow Exfoliating Face Wash. I love a good hard exfoliator and one without beads just leaves me feeling like I've not done anything. This has loads of tiny beads that really get down into my skin and lifts the dirt. The Mandarin and Aniseed leaves your skin glowing, smooth and bright. If you're like me and don't particularly suffer from bad skin yet aren't quite ready for the anti-ageing products yet, then this line is definitely for you. I shall see you next week for my "Primer" post and don't forget, just send me a tweet, email or comment if you want to join in this project yourself! 

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Friday, 14 March 2014

#NottsBloggerMeet










Firstly I'd like to thank everyone who came along to the #NottsBloggerMeet, When Sophie & I first started talking about meeting up in Nottingham and then arranging a meet up, never did I think that it would be so popular! I had a fab day and luckily the weather held out for us. The food was fantastic as it always is at Zizzi and even paying went without a hitch (I was panicking that it would be super complicated). I'll do a more detailed post on the goody bag next week when I've had time to rifle through it myself but another massive thank you to all of the brands who contributed.

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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The Bakewell Soap Company Luscious Lips Balm!



The Bakewell Soap Co Luscious Lips Balm £3.45*- I was extremely lucky to receive this lip balm in my goody bag from the East Midlands Blogger Meet all the way back in 2013 and It has been consistently my favourite lip balm ever since. I cannot stand lip products that taste too strongly of something as a. I'll just lick it all off and b. they should be focusing on the product. This has a teeny tiny taste to it and a lovely apple smell. But more importantly, it works so well. I wanted to bring you this review at the end of winter (I hope, hurry up spring) so that I could let you know how it kept my lips through the harsher months. I suffer really badly with chapped lips, they don't get red and sore but they are constantly dry and no matter what product I use or how much I use it, they never get any better. I worry about wearing lipstick the night before as they always look terrible... This saved me. I still have to remember to use it well in advance and keep up with it and make my lips look their best but it really does work. Straight away my lips feel soft and smooth and for just £3.45 you really can't complain. This has not left my handbag since I got it, and now I have a new handbag you have to be pretty good to make the cut and even better to last so long! I've just seen that they do a Palma Violet one, you know what the next webpage I'll be heading to is.. See for yourself here.

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Monday, 10 March 2014

Makeover Monday #1

I've been struggling to know how to word this post and many of the ones to follow, I hate looking as though I take what I have for granted as believe me, I don't. However as it stands there are a number of things surrounding me that I would like to alter and I feel as though my life is about to go through a bit of a transformation. The most obvious and prominent area being my weight, if you hadn't guessed. I'm a size 12 and the biggest I've ever been in my life, I know that that's below the national average and many would love to be a 12 but I'm just not comfortable and more importantly, none of my clothes fit and I can't afford to buy new ones! My blog will also hopefully be undergoing a transformation, not particularly looks wise but there are some new things that I would like to introduce and some things that I already have. Hopefully Lee and I will find a house that we can buy soon and thus I will go back to being the doting housewife that I know how to be and not the lazy weekend-only girlfriend I've sadly become. My eating needs to get under control, I eat larger portions than Lee and a two course meal will no longer fill me up when we're out but I have some exciting things to share with you that I hope will bring that back into line. Other than that there are only a few little things that will contribute such as new products, techniques and treatments that will hopefully make me a better version of myself and my life easier/better/healthier.


So this is me now, I can't tell you how much I weigh because I genuinely don't know - I never weigh myself but I'm a size 12. I've ripped both of my size 10 skirts and my size 10 trousers give me stomach ache so there's no more kidding myself! As you can see I'm in my swimming costume, I've recently become a little bit addicted to swimming going up to 6 times per week but I'll talk more about that later! Next week will be Makeover Monday #2 where I'll be uploading a comparison photo of three weeks after the one above, what I've been doing so far and new things that I'm trying to make me lose weight. If you don't know already, I suffered with Anorexia until 3 years ago (Lee literally saved my life as I was too embarrassed to be so fussy in front of him) so the reason I'm putting all of this out there is to try and maintain a positive mental attitude and to keep me in line to keep things safe and healthy! Unless you've been through it, you won't understand how difficult it is to diet properly when your demons are telling you that more unsavoury methods got me so thin (and unhealthy and to the point that me not getting better was spoken about...) so quickly in the past.

So that is the reason that I'm putting this out there. Not to make anyone who is a size 12 or over feel bad before I get that onslaught that many seem to get and not because I think I'm huge or fat. Simply because I want to lose weight and I want to do it healthily and if I'm 100% honest I'm going to need all of the help and support I can get. 

Hardest and most honest post I've ever written over. 

xo


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Sunday, 9 March 2014

Have you discovered...? Series Introduction!


Hello and welcome to my first post of the "Have you discovered..?" Series! I wanted to create a new series as I hadn't seen many floating around recently and thought what better than to create one where we can all share products that just don't get enough praise! It's all about products and brands that are unsung heroes in our collections!

Feel free to join in any time, I'm trying to keep everyone posting at 7pm on a Sunday so that we're all doing it together. Don't worry if you feel like you can only do a few weeks, there are a lot of categories and I understand that not everyone will have a product for each of them! Just join in when you can! Apologies to anyone who I've not managed to email yet, if you want to join in on the mailing list then pop your email below and I'll add you to it -that way you'll get a reminder each week of what the topic is!

Soo the weeks are as follows...
9th March - Introduction
16th March - Skincare
23rd March - Primer
30th March - Foundation
6th April - Concealer
13th April - Powder/Blotting Methods
20th April - Bronzer
27th April - Blush
4th May - Highlighter
11th May - Brow tool
18th May - Eye Shadow/Palettes
25th May - Eyeliner
1st June - Mascara
8th June - Lip Product
15th June - Haircare
22nd June - Nail Care
29th June - Bath/Pamper Products
6th July - Beauty Tools
13th July - Storage Ideas
20th July - Fashion Brands
27th July - Round up & Giveaway!

I know that the line-up has changed since the email that I sent, I realised that I'd missed some big things out that I thought had to be included! As I said - I understand you may not have a product for every single week but hopefully everyone will have something for at least one that we can share!

I look forward to reading everyone's posts and hopefully finding loads of new products that I might not have otherwise heard about!


Are you joining in the #Haveyoudiscovered series? Don't forget to use the hashtag ;)

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Sunday, 2 March 2014

Happy Sunday!


Hello All! I just wanted to drop a quick blog post today to say Happy Sunday and that I hope you've all enjoyed your weekend, week and year so far! 2014 is shaping up to have the usual highs and lows which are unfortunately unavoidable in any given year that this universe will throw at us. Lee & I are determined to make this year our best yet and we're both making some hugely positive steps to make that happen. Nothing that is truly worth waiting for is ever that easy but all of this waiting it really making me more dedicated. I also think that it's hugely important to pace yourself. I've recently started doing a degree. Lee and I are about to celebrate our 3rd year anniversary and we've already viewed houses and are pretty set on what we want to buy. I'm also on a huge health kick that I'll explain all about next week and I'm more focused on being successful and growing myself at work that I ever have been. I recently started to miss horse riding and looked into loaning or even buying one again before I stopped myself. I love horses, I always have and I always will, but now is not the time. All too often I see some of my dearest friends both in and out of the blogging community that crumble because they simply take on too much and don't focus on what's important. I'd lose any time to myself and everything would become rushed if I took on another responsibility and I'm not even 100% settled in those I'm currently doing! 

The point I'm trying to make is, enjoy your Sunday, enjoy your week and enjoy your year. Don't overdo it, people will probably respect you a heck of a lot more if you simply say "sorry I've got too many responsibilities that I want to dedicate myself too" than for you to take on yet more things and do everything half-arsed. 

I also want to say a huge "Thank You" to the lovely people within this blogging community who I do now call my friends, for letting me vent, for letting me help you when you want to vent, for congratulating me when I've achieved and consoling me when I've needed it. If you're new to this community and are worried about putting yourself out there. Don't be. We're a lovely bunch and there's always room for one more.

I love you all!


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