Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Lee Stafford Hair Growth Range | Review

Lee Stafford Hair Growth Range from £6.99 -  Remember back in October when I thought it would be a brilliant idea to cut all of my hair off? I do and I've regretted it since about October 15th, it's not that I don't like my hair short, I just really prefer it long and find it so much easier to style and wear the longer it is. I tried the Lee Stafford Hair Growth range a good few years ago when it was barely on the shelves 5 minutes before it sold out and honestly didn't really notice much difference, a month or so ago now I asked the faithful twitter friends what I should try to help my hair grow and there was a wave of people suggesting this to me so I thought I'd give it another whirl. Now, disclosure, I also only wash my hair once a week, have it tied up 5 or 6 days out of 7 and haven't actually had it coloured since December, but this is the first month that I've actually noticed that my hair has grown. If you look at this Instagram photo, you'll see that I compared my hair now to back in October and was actually really shocked at how long it's got. This time around I didn't bother with the mask as I don't really have the time and used to find the fact that it's in a tub a bit of a faff, so I went for the treatment spray instead as it's a lot less time consuming and far more convenient. My only downside of this product is that it is quite expensive for the amounts that you get and how quickly they all run out, luckily as I only wash my hair once a week they've still last me well over a month but I think if I were to wash my hair more often, I wouldn't be able to afford to buy them for any long period of time. I have a couple of other products that I want to try out next on my hair to see if they make a difference too so I guess it'll be interesting to see whether I still notice a difference in my rate of hair growth. Overall, I'm glad I made the investment to dip back into Lee Stafford and although I can't afford to keep it up all year round, I do think I'll keep coming back to it every now and then for a little boost. 

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Monday, 30 March 2015

New Job / Spring Wishlist

1. Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Cleanser, Toner & Makeup Remover £20.45 - I've wanted this for some time now, after a BA used it on me in store, I then went back a few weeks later and asked to purchase it but was given the lotion instead. I've never bothered to repurchase as it's quite pricey but I'd love to finally get my mitts on it!

2. Liz Earle Clean & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser £15.50 - This was my holy grail cleanser for almost all of 2014 however when it ran out I just couldn't afford to replace it. Something I'm really looking forward to is being able to spend that little bit extra on my skincare again.

3. Origins GinZing Eye Cream £23 - I've always wanted to give this a go as I've not yet found my perfect eye cream however at £23 it's not cheap incase it doesn't work. I'm going to make it my mission this year to try and make sure I find my holy grail in every product.

4. Clarins Hydraquench Day Cream £35 - I wore this on and off when working at Downtown and it was light enough that it sunk it quickly but still very effective at keeping any dry patches at bay. I don't like a thick moisturiser in the day but especially during colder spells my skin needs something heavy duty and this seems like a perfect happy medium.

5. Zoeva Rose Gold Luxury Set £55 - It seems like a big investment but when you break it down to just over £6.80 per brush it's really not at all, I've been making do with my brushes for about a year now but the last good ones are starting to wilt on me so it's time for something new!

6. Jimmy Choo Eau De Parfum £68 - I've become an avid lover of perfume recently and anything deep and sexy has got my name all over it. This perfume is heavy enough to satisfy me but not too heavy for every day wear and soon became my go-to every morning on the perfume department.

7. ABH Pro Series Contour Kit £38 - Contouring is something that I'm really starting to get into and I want to develop my skills at, I've seen other contour palettes around but this definitely seems like the cream of the crop and has so many fantastic reviews.

8. Clarins Everlasting + Foundation £27.50 - My Friend on the Clarins counter at my old work was kind enough to give me some samples of this and I instantly fell in love, it's not quite as dewy as my usual offerings but it's nice to have a change and gives a lovely velvety finish.

9. Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Foundation £33 - You may think that if I bought the Clarins Everlasting+ I wouldn't need the Chanel one too as they do give a similar finish, however I fell in love with this so much when in Barcelona that I don't think I'll be truly satisfied until it's mine.

10. Giorgio Armani Si Intense Eau de Parfum £95 - Where I may have said that the Jimmy Choo perfume was perfect for day, this one would be be ultimate night time perfume. It certainly is extremely intense and it just lasts and lasts and lasts. It smells so sexy and dark and is my favourite fragrance at the moment.

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Thursday, 26 March 2015

Bobbi Brown Corrector | Review

Bobbi Brown Corrector £19 - Probably around a year ago now I had a crazy splurge in Nottingham and seemed to buy up everything that the counters had to offer me, having always struggled with my under eyes and hearing good things about what Bobbi Brown can do, I went and let the girl loose on my skin. Although on counter it looked fantastic, once I'd walked out my friend pointing out that it wasn't actually blended in very well, which I'm glad she noticed else I would have looked stupid for the rest of the day. I was convinced to buy both the corrector and the concealer it which cost me a small fortune and unfortunately for this little one, I don't think it was worth it. I do use the concealer, and my review on that is coming up next Thursday, however the corrector never really gets a look in. I'm vowing now to try it again and only use it with my ByTerry Touche Veloutee which will be much lighter on top, however when used with it's sister concealer, it's all too cakey under my eyes. I can feel the products sat there and if I do my usual powdering underneath (it feels very uncomfortable if I don't) then it just looks a mess. Less is definitely more in times like these. I will strive to use this up and give it another go, so look out for another review in the future if I change my mind on it. But I shan't be repurchasing, well done to the girl for convincing me enough on counter to purchase, however for £19 I expect a lot more than this delivers, unfortunately. 

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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Vo5 Plump It Up Mousse | Review

Vo5 Plump It Up Weightless Mousse £4.19 - When I got my hair cut short I was super worried that I wouldn't have many options in terms of styling it and although I've previously shied away from mousses, finding that they leave my hair feeling sticky and heavy, when I saw this offering from Vo5 I thought it was worth a try. The £4.19 price tag didn't exactly leave me with huge hopes nor would it make me too disappointed if it didn't work, but I was wrong to doubt it. As with any product of this sort, if you use too much then you will get a product build up but if you use a reasonable amount then it just gives my hair that little boost that it needs to have some oomph. I tend to only really wear my hair curled (via straighteners) or straight (weirdly, also via straighteners) so this helps me make my hair stand out when I want a little bit extra. I also find that I can make my curls last two days with the help of this. Although my sister uses something similar and just roughly blow dries it to achieve a messy beach wave kind of look, I don't seem to have been blessed with those same genes and find that it doesn't really add a lot to my hair other than volume at the roots. Overall, I'm glad I bought this and I do bring it out as and when I want my hairstyle to stand out slightly more but as an every day product, I'm just far too lazy and it doesn't work the miracles I desire. 

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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Stila "In The Light" Palette | Review

Stila "In The Light" Palette £25 - I'll admit before I started working for Stila I'd never used any of their products before and my only saving grace was that I had heard of this little beauty from time to time. Obviously until I got to have a play with it myself I didn't appreciate just how lovely it is and how much you can do with it. You can never have enough neutral palettes in my eyes and although to my Other Half they all look exactly the same, one simply cannot be lived without. This is my perfect every day palette, costing just £25 it's pretty purse friendly considering you get 10 shadows and a smudgestick worth £13 on it's own. I won't go into the smudgestick much in this post as I have a dedicated one all about them coming up soon, but you get an exclusive colour with every palette that Stila do in their "In The..." range and this is a beautiful matte dark brown. A brilliant alternative to standard black that lasts and lasts. Back to the colours, although at first glance there may seem like one or two that you wouldn't use, it comes with a handy look book (that I've managed to lose) that teaches you how to get the most out of each and every colour. When I first saw it I thought Bliss (middle top) would never get a look in but now it's my most used product. With this you can either create the most subtle of looks for work (I sometimes just use bare, top left, on it's own to matte my eyelids and hid any imperfection) or you can really glam it up and use the shimmers and darker colours to create a full on smokey eye. It's hailed as a dupe for the Naked palettes (although I'm not sure I've decided which one, it's my perfect mixture of them all) but is an amazing £11 cheaper and you get the eyeliner. Honestly, this makes a wonderful gift if you're not 100% sure on which colours they'd use as there's bound to be something in there for them, and it's a lovely inexpensive treat to yourself too! 

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Monday, 23 March 2015

The Relationship Tag

Any of you who know me will know that J is a massive part of my life, I've always been a sucker for revolving my world around my other half and to be honest, it's not done me too badly so far. He's a massive influence on me and my life so this seems like a lovely way for you all to get to know us and him a bit more!

Where did you first meet?  
We met at our mutual workplace at the time, he was actually on a week's holiday but came in for some reason anyway and it was my first day so we were introduced quite formally and I've not been able to get him out of my head since. 

What was your first meeting like? 
It was awkward to say the least as we were being introduced by someone else and I think when you have that initial attraction it always feels a bit strange. I remember thinking I really wanted to get to know him more and spend time with him and apparently he thought I was really cute. Obviously we saw a lot of each other from then on and everyone knew that we liked each other. 

How long have you been together? 
About 8 months now, which isn't long but it's been very intense and once you know, you know. 

The first kiss? 
Haha, well. I was out at a meal when I text him to say I'd left my ex for him and I was all his so he asked what time I'd be leaving and we met in a layby near my house so that we could talk face to face. Not the most romantic of settings but I guess we couldn't even wait until the next day to actually be together. 

What is your favourite quality of his? 
How good he is for me, he is the ying to my yang and we fit each other like a jigsaw. He works so hard to build us a future and it's such an admiring quality to see in a man. 

What is your favourite physical feature? 
Probably his face, I can read him like a book and I love it when I catch him watching me doing something. His arms are lovely too and I always appreciate being snuggled up in them after a long week apart. 

What would be your ideal trip away as a couple? 
We went to Barcelona in January and it was just the right amount of history and shopping for us. I think we'll enjoy lots of city breaks in the future as we like to explore and see things and obviously, I like to shop. We'd just prefer it to be a touch warmer next time. 

Have you met his family? 
I haven't met his Dad's extended family yet but I've met everyone else (I think). They're all super down to earth and welcoming and have always made me feel 100% comfortable. 

Do you have plans together? 
I am a planner by heart so we certainly do. We're focusing on his career for the next few months but April is when we're really going to start house hunting for somewhere for us to rent and we're both pretty certain that we'd like to start a family sooner rather than later. 

What is your favourite memory together? 
This is so hard. We have so many. We love nothing more than cuddling up watching Breaking Bad together but are also a fan of walks around the lovely countryside that we live in. We've made quite a lot of memories together already with trips to London, the Seaside, Barcelona and all over Lincolnshire. The other weekend we had a lovely trip over to Nottingham to do some shopping and then on the Sunday we walked around Belton House before a lovely roast dinner back at home, which is quintessentially "us" and made me beam all weekend I was so content and happy. 

Let me know if you've done this tag too as I'm super nosey and love reading things like this! If you've got any other tags let me know too as they're so fun to do! 

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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Becki The Explorer | Guest Post

Hi Guys! 
Welcome to the first post of my Guest Post series, today I'm lucky enough to have the lovely Becki from The Explorer, if you like a mixture of restaurants and adventures, then she's your lady! If you'd like to take part yourself and share your work as well as some love for other bloggers then either read the blogpost on my Guest Post Series or email me rebeccajshepherd@live.co.uk!

Over to Becki...

Okay, so I’ll start as I mean to go on; when I started blogging, like many, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I just wanted a platform that I could put my journey down onto and that I could look back on later with a smile on my face and a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart. I wanted a place to store my memories, and a blog seemed like the perfect place! After a month or so it stopped just being a platform to document my life on and started to become a bit of an obsession. I had rekindled an old flame in my love of writing and the challenge of photography stole my soul. 

But here’s the thing; when you start blogging there’s this thing that happens…this thing called statistics. You read about them on other blogs, blogs that tell you what to do and what not do on you blog type blogs. Clearly statistics are the most important part of blogging, surely that’s the reason we started our blogs…to become a two bit interweb celebrity?! Suddenly this overwhelming desire to see my stats go up erupted from nowhere I started to obsess, and I mean obsess, about the fact that the lack of stats was a reflection on my writing and photography skills, obviously.  

At this point I hadn’t quite found my way into the blogging community. I didn’t have a clue that Twitter was the way forward in communicating with other bloggers, and in all honesty I didn’t realise what kind of network there was out there. Though the blogging community is big it’s kind of like Narnia; you don’t really know it’s there until you fall into it. So, my obsession with statistics had no direction to go in and I ended up in a total tailspin, leaving me to – in a tear stained, desperate state – reach out to another blogger. A blogger I had found by accident, she was the sole blogger on my twitter feed. I was reaching out to a person, an actual human who, in my head, could have been an old man sat in a sweaty vest leering over young girls (this was obviously not the case as I do not live in an episode of CSI), and who had every potential to knock me down. 

It turns out everything was fine! Sophia was very helpful, she explained to me about twitter chats, most prominently the #lbloggers chat, and that’s all I needed to move forward. Suddenly my eyes were opened to this whole new world of bloggers, nice bloggers, kind bloggers, helpful bloggers. I was instantly welcomed into the community and very quickly grounded from my stats storm. 

The blogging community is a strong, powerful and sometimes overwhelming. The helping and being supportive is the very backbone of it. There are people out there that actually do want to see/hear/read what you have to say, and they really do want your opinions too. Sometimes I get a bit despondent with it all; the blogging, the community, the chats….they all start to seem a little lack lustre and I start to disconnect a little. But it’s in these moments that the blogging community pulls me along and breathes fire back into me. 

Finding the blogging community really prevented me from losing my blog, it stopped me from hitting the giant delete button on it all, and whilst that bears no impact on the community itself, it has a great impact for me. And sometimes isn’t that all we need?

I love the fact that I am a blogger and I have blogger friends, even if I have never met them face to face. And, to show the love I want to say a big thank you to (and, tell you to go and read) these amazing blogger’s and their blogs: 

So to Sophia at Tattooed Tealady (link: http://www.tattooedtealady.com/ ): thank you for being my first touch of kindness from the blogging world, 

to Kerri from Crumbs in the Bed (Link: http://www.crumbsinthebed.com/ ): thank you for being my touch of sanity in this sometimes crazy blogging world, 

and to Alex from On Serpentine Shores (link: http://www.onserpentineshores.com/ ): thank you for keeping my head in the wanderlust clouds, giving me a touch of home, whilst keeping my feet firmly on the sandy ground. There are so many bloggers I want to mention but these three are my top three (but if you fancy being naughty with me take a look at Patisserie Makes Perfect (link: http://www.patisseriemakesperfect.co.uk/, My Name is Yeh (http://mynameisyeh.com/), and Gingerly Pale (Link: http://gingerlypale.blogspot.co.uk/) too!)

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Thursday, 19 March 2015

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder | Review

 Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder £3.99 - Do you ever look about at your makeup bag and think "Jeepers I've been using and buying this product for ever and a day!" No? Maybe? Well that's exactly what I've done with this little bad boy recently. I've dipped my toe into more expensive offers and none have worked any better than this beauty. I think Tanya Burr first recommended this in a video way back when over two and a half years ago and I've just kept on buying it over and over ever since. It's only £3.99 so doesn't break the bank in any way, shape or form and lasts absolutely ages. The only downside is that they tend to break before they run out and due to the round shape, when you start to hit pan, you need to go and buy your replacement because any day now it'll break and become messy and hard to use. I possibly do waste 10% is of the product each time due to not being patient enough to use it once it's broken up but because of the price tag, I really don't begrudge throwing that last bit away and starting on my new one. I pop this on first thing in the morning under my eyes and on my temples (I have combination skin and my temples are my only oily spot) and it keeps oil at bay all day and doesn't make my undereyes look cakey either. Win win win! Although I may waiver from time to time in the future and try out other products, I can see myself always coming back to this, it does everything that I want a setting powder to do and is available in almost all local supermarkets making it super easy to pick up as and when you need a replacement. 

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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner | Review

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner £13 - I have been on a search for the perfect black liner for far too long now with every offering either being too grey or drying out far too quickly. When I first came across the Stila Liquid Eyeliner at work I was about as hopeful as ever that it would actually be any good in the long run, but luckily I was able to try it out a fair few times before I purchased it for myself. All I can say is, it is fantastic. A fair few of their products have taken me by storm and this is definitely one of them, it has a super sharp nib that means I can create a super fine line and disperses the perfect amount of product that I can create a cat flick without having to press on too hard. I've had mine for around three months now and it's certainly still going strong (longer than I can say for some offerings) and the one I have in store is 6 months old and still perfectly wet. It doesn't go grey half way through the day either and what's more, it's waterproof. Meaning I can go swimming or to the gym and still have it perfectly in place. I've rarely dared to try a cat flick or winged look in the past for fear either the tip will wear off or it'll just cause far too much unnecessary stress, but they are now a fairly regular thing in my makeup look due to this little bad boy. Overall, even though I've now left Stila, this is something that I will be making an effort to repurchase as soon as I need to.

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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Benefit Roller Lash Full Sized | Review

Benefit Roller Lash Full Size £19.50 - I know that I reviewed the mini version of this which you can read here, however I do think that the full sized version differs ever so slightly and warranted it's own review. I'm never usually one to fall into the hype of products or to buy things as soon as they're released. I'm very much a wait and see how people actually get on with products before I take the plunge. However after trying out the miniature sample of this and loving it so much, I decided this was one to make an exception for. You do need to concentrate when applying this mascara, so much so that when J started to dance around for some unknown reason the other day whilst I was applying it, I did end up with it all over the top of my eyelid. Not 100% the fault of the mascara as I have really long lashes anyway so this does happen now and then if I'm not careful but still slightly annoying none the less. I do also find that the full sized version is a lot more "wet" than the sample was, so you do have to be more careful with it that it doesn't go everywhere and due to the wand being longer, it's not quite so easy to control, but I often find that brand new mascaras are too wet for my liking personally. My only real gripe with this is that you pretty much have to apply it in a certain way to get the benefit from it, and sometimes when you're in a rush, you don't want to have to consider which side you're using where. In which case I would probably reach for my Stila Glamoureyes over and above this, but when I've got that extra minute to spare, this one gets my vote every time. The price of Benefit Mascaras always makes my eyes water slightly but that's mainly because I hated They're Real. Hopefully this offering will last a long time and be worth every single penny!

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Monday, 16 March 2015

New Job Wishlist

I am super lucky that today is my first day in my new job, it's something I wasn't overly confident that I'd get as it's such a perfect fit for me as an individual and is going to impact J and I in such a positive way. As with all new jobs or school years it must mean new stationary so I thought I'd put together my wishlist for my new role!

1. Happy Jackson Lunch Box - £7.99

2. Ted Baker Rose Gold Touchscreen Pen - £25

3. Finsbury Personal Organiser from Filofax - £125

4. A6 Paperchase Diary - £3.75

5. Polka Dot A4 Exercise Book from Paperchase - £6.00

6. Emma Bridgewater Black Toast Pencils - £4.00

7. Portobello Pen Pot from Paperchase - £7.00

8. Portobello Memo Notes Block from Paperchase - £6.00

As you can see, the most of it is from Paperchase with the Ted Baker Pen being from Temptation Gifts although I've seen them in a number of different shops. Of course the filofax is available from a number of places or from Filofax directly. I love walking into a new job with all new stationary but I'm always wary of looking like the office geek turning out a bag full of bits and bobs on my first day so other than a notebook and a diary and a few pens, I'm going to keep it simple for a little while!

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Sunday, 15 March 2015

Just Add Ginger | Guest Post

Hi Guys! 
Welcome to the first post of my Guest Post series, today I'm lucky enough to have the wonderful Jackie from Just Add Ginger feature her work below, I've been a fan of Just Add Ginger for a long time now and I really recommend you check out her other work. If you'd like to take part yourself and share your work as well as some love for other bloggers then either read the blogpost on my Guest Post Series or email me rebeccajshep herd@live.co.uk!

Hello Everybody! 

Firstly, I'd like to say a bog THANK YOU (see what I did there?) to Becka for having me guest post on her lovely blog. For those of you who may not know me, my name is Jackie (my blog alias is Ginger,) and my blog is Just Add Ginger. So....there we go...now we are properly introduced! 

When it comes to beauty products, I am a total girlie girl. I am a sucker for pretty packaging, sweet scents and cute branding. I just can't help myself. So when I spotted the Original Source Raspberry & Cocoa Shower Gel winking at me on the shelving as I did my weekly grocery shop, I knew it had to be mine. 

I'm definitely more a bath than a shower girl. But in the mornings, when I stumble downstairs bleary eyed and grumpy, a steaming hot shower really sorts me out. And it helps to have products that pack one hell of a punch scent-wise to fully wake me up and get me ready for the day ahead.  

The Original Source Raspberry Cocoa is by far one of the most beautiful shower gels I have ever purchased. The raspberry scent is just beautiful. Not too sharp or overpowering at all. And the slight hint of cocoa cuts through, complementing the fruitiness to perfection and creating a delicate balance of berry and sweetness. For us girlie girls, or fans of the sweeter scents, this is simply heaven for our nostrils. Neither of the notes are artificial (which I'm very glad - artificial chocolate-y smells can be a bit too sickly.) It really does smell like you are surrounded by chocolate cakes or chocolate-covered raspberries. It is absolutely divine! It's a scent that lingers on your skin for a while afterwards. I'm always catching a whiff of it and thinking "Boy do I smell good today!"

The consistency of the shower gel is quite runny, which for me isn't a bad thing. It comes gliding out of the packaging and builds up a really lovely lather on your skin that is neither too foamy no lacklustre. It does mean however that if you are still half asleep and not paying attention, too much product will come zooming out and either be too much, or end up washed away down the drain. So use sparingly and with caution when it comes to this! 

The packaging is quintessentially Original Source. With a snap lid at the base, the product is always easy to distribute, even as it's coming to the end of its life, and the width of the bottle is comfortably hand sized for easy grab-a-bility. The only thing I wish the bottle did have was something to hang it by in the shower. It would make it just that touch easier to reach for and use. But that's just me being extra pernickety. 

I am so happy that Original Source have extended their range of shower gels. Having heard so many things about the new scents in the past, I'm so happy I bought this one and gave it a try. It has made those sleepy morning showers much more bearable. It leaves my skin soft, squeaky clean, and smelling sensational.

For more information about all the range of Original Source products, please visit: 


Before I go, there are three blogs that I think you all should go and check out. I'm not the best person at keeping track of my blog feed, but whenever I see a new post alert appear for these blogs, I immediately click the link. 

BETHANY WORRALL: http://bethanyworrall.com/
GLITZEEGLAM: http://glitzeeglam.com/

LYDIA ELISE MILLEN: http://lydiaelisemillen.com/ 

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Friday, 13 March 2015

Fitness Friday #6

Hello Guys!

Welcome back to the 6th instalment of Fitness Friday, I know that technically this is the 5th post but I want to keep it numerically correct in terms of weeks and I was so poorly last week that I couldn't bare to take my progress photos. 

So this is the first time that I'm going to look back at where I started and compared how far I've come, I feel a lot better in myself and a lot healthier and I've noticed that I just cannot physically eat as much. My progress is fairly slow and steady but I'm not too bothered as long as it's going in the right direction. If you want to see where I've come from then visit my first post here. 

Where did I start from?
10 stone 6

Dress Size
10 (uncomfortably) / 12

& Where am I now?
9 stone 13lbs

Dress Size
A "big" 10
Over half a stone in 6 weeks is something that I'm very happy with, as I said earlier it's slow and steady and only 1lb per week but it's maintainable and I haven't had to change a huge amount to achieve it. I'm still more comfortable in a 12 in some clothes such as tailored trousers but considering most of my weight in on my backside, I'm not too bothered. All of my tops are now definitely a 10 and my 12 jeans are just far too baggy. 

How am I doing it?
I actually stopped using myfitnesspal about 3 weeks ago as I was getting a bit obsessed. If you don't already know then I finished my teenage years as an anorexic and bulimic so watching my food is never something that's easy for me. I was aiming for the app to tell me I wasn't eating enough and that's just not healthy. Instead I now listen to my body, I don't eat out of boredom anymore and if I do snack it's on a yoghurt or an apple. I also stop when I'm full, it was my Mum's birthday on Wednesday and we went out for a meal where normally I would have scoffed three courses easily and still been able to snack once I got home however truthfully, my starter filled me up and I was a tad disappointed that I couldn't enjoy my Game Pie. Using the myfitnesspal app has made me aware of how many calories are in things though so it's taught me a valuable lesson even though I no longer use it. 

I'm really proud that I've been super consistent in going to the gym 3 or 4 times a week, I start a new job next week so it's going to be challenging to begin with but I am determined. I'm also trying to shock my body every time I go, it's easy to fall into a routine that your muscles become use to but I like to keep pushing myself. If you follow me on Instagram you'll see that I upload pictures of what I've achieved on the treadmill and I now always do Speed Interval training and try and go for that bit further and longer every time. I'll go more into my gym routine next week but I'm trying to continually push myself and never take the easy option. 

Now for the photo evidence, I think that I can see a difference in how I look but I suppose the proof will be in whether or not you guys do too. 

On the left is me 6 weeks ago and on the right is me today. Not quite the huge difference I was hoping but my stomach looks more defined, my legs look more shapely and my waist definitely looks smaller. Looking at these photos helps me see where I need to keep working on which is sit ups to get those abs better and squats to tone up my thighs. I do also think that my arms look slimmer and although you can't see it here, I feel like I've lost a lot of weight in my face. I really hope that in another 6 weeks I can come back and say I've lost another stone in total so keep your fingers crossed for me! 

Please do let me know if you have any fitness/weightloss or workout posts as I love reading them and find them so inspiring! 

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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water

Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water $20 - Whenever I go abroad I always ask what I should buy from Sephora however once I'm there, I'm totally overwhelmed (and underpaid) and can never choose what I should purchase. Before my last trip to Barcelona back in January I watched one of Fleur De Force's Youtube videos where she mentioned this cleansing water and how easy it was to use. I *think* she hailed it as better than Bioderma (although don't quote me on that) and it went straight to the top of my list. I actually wandered around one of Barcelona's three Sephoras before being able to find this and convinced James that of course I needed the larger one as who knows when we'll be in a country with a Sephora again?! He promptly wandered off to another shop and left me to rummage but once I found it, I never wanted to let it go! I was going to wait until I got home to use it but I just couldn't contain myself and opening it straight away. Boy, was Fleur right, it removes even waterproof makeup with ease, the pump on the top means that there's no awkward pouring out and loosing product everywhere and it leaves my skin feeling clean and refreshed. I actually only really use this in the morning now (as a cleanser) and feel like it does enough. The only thing I will say is make sure that your cotton pad is pressed firmly over all of the pump else you will lose some product from either side that seeps out. Although I think I'll run out of this long before I'm anywhere near another Sephora (why oh why isn't there one in the UK?!), I will actually keep the bottle and dispense any other micellar or cleansing waters I have into it as it saves me no end of time and faff in the mornings. It's 100% worth the money (although not worth the expensive shipping) and I wholly recommend you pick at least the smaller size up when you're next in a Sephora blessed country. 

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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Nair Argan Oil Shower Power Cream* | Review

Nair Argan Oil Shower Power Cream* £4.99 - I am always looking for quicker, kinder and more simple ways to remove hairs from my legs, with J away during the week it's something I am happy enough to skip but come Friday morning some serious de-fuzzing has to happen and fairly quickly. I've had this strange thing recently where my legs have been uncontrollably itchy without being dry and I had put it down to using razors, so I was super excited to try this hair removal cream that contained the wonder product that is Argan Oil amongst some other goodies. Whilst it didn't last in the shower (they never, ever do), it didn't overly irritate my legs and still managed to dissolve the hairs. I do think that hair removal creams produce better results long term as the skin doesn't get damaged in the hair removal process meaning less chance of ingrowing hairs and skin irritation. The problem with my legs hasn't stopped since using this but I think that's a different issue that's going to take more than a bit of moisturiser to sort out. The only downside to hair removal creams is the waiting around whilst they work and the fact that you can't really touch anything. Oh, and the smell...

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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Stila Stay All Day Vinyl Lip Gloss | Review

Stila Stay All Day Vinyl Lip Gloss £18 - I'll have to start this review with a confession that I purchased the wrong shade when I bought this, although I had tried Merlot and loved it for an extremely vampy look, I was really after Scarlet which is a much more deep yet classic red. Moving on from that, the product itself is really rather good. It's quite tacky to begin with at first which I know would put a lot of people off but that goes reasonably quickly and you're left with a semi-glossy but extremely opaque colour. A problem I often have with glosses is that they just make my lips look wet but with no colour, however these Vinyl offerings from Stila offer a very high pigmented colour. Merlot is a beautiful deep red that makes for a very striking vampy look during the winter, admittedly it probably won't see the light of day now that Spring/Summer is *hopefully* approaching us as it's definitely a winter colour for me. Combined with a simple cat flick and a killer contour, this makes me a very chic look that will definitely turn heads. The other thing I love about these is that whilst the gloss may wear off, the colour doesn't and compared to the matte versions, you can sort of, resmudge the colour to keep it all over your lips instead of the dreaded moment when it rubs off on the inside and you're just left with some sort of harsh outline. I don't wholly think they're worth the £3 jump from the matte sisters as personally I prefer a matte colour if I'm going dark so that I know it won't budge or smudge all over my face but I'm glad that it's in my collection for days when I'm feeling a little bit braver. 

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NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette Giveaway

If you follow this blog you'll know that I've recently been lucky enough to be offered a new job and because of that, a rather nice pay increase. As this blog is such a large part of my life and has kept me going through some pretty naff times, I wanted to give back to you lovely lot and do yet another giveaway. This time it's for the much coveted NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette. It's simple enough to enter and is going to run from now until the end of April (my first payday from my new job!) so you've got plenty of time to get lots of entries in! Good luck gorgeous x

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, 9 March 2015

Job Interview Survival Guide

It does feel fantastic to finally be able to get this blogpost up and tell you all that I've been job hunting for a little while now, it's something that I find really, really daunting after being unemployed for 2 months over 2 years ago so I try and make sure that everything goes ridiculously smoothly and I don't overlook anything. Here are just a few little tips that I always follow prior to a job interview that make me feel calmer and more prepared and then after if my handbag survival kit that I always carry on me.


1. Prepare - They will likely ask you why you want to work for them and having a precise answer makes them know that you mean it and have genuinely looked into their company.

2. Be early - I normally like to be in the carpark 25/20 minutes early and then walk in 15 minutes prior to my interview. I also leave double the amount of time I usually would, you never know if there might be an accident or roadworks!

3. First impressions count - Can they see the carpark from their office? I also try to ensure that my car is clean and that I am courteous when driving on their property. Let other people pass in front of you, take your time driving around and abide by any speed limits and just think how you're representing yourself.

4. Dress Smartly - I have never turned up for a job interview in anything less than smart black trousers and a nice top, and I prefer to wear a smart dress and blazer. Even if you know you'll be wearing jeans once you start, it's nice to make an effort unless they state otherwise.

My Interview Handbag Essentials.

1. Lint Roller - Living with two dogs, you can put something on that's brand new or clean from the wash and still turn up with the odd dog hair attached, especially if you're wearing tights. I always generally carry a lint roller on me anyway but I won't leave for an interview without one as they help to make me feel polished and presentable.

2. Natural Nails - This is purely personal preference however darker nails are far more noticeable should they smudge or chip and it's always sods law that it'll happen as you pull into their carpark. My essential items are all about creating as little for your to worry about as possible whilst still looking your best so I like to go for a nude or natural nail look so it's less obvious should the worst happen.

3. Smelling of Roses - I either turn to Lanvin Me or Signorina for my job interview, Lanvin will still be noticeable after you leave and Signorina is a very classy and pretty fragrance. You don't want to overpower them as soon as you walk in but obviously you want them to think you smell nice.

4. Minty Fresh - Possibly a little obvious but I always carry polos or chewing gum on me and make sure I have some just before I walk in, you want to present yourself as well as possible and on my last interview I had to do a job shadow that meant sitting next to someone for an hour. I don't want to be worrying about what I had for lunch when I'm trying to relax and make a good impression.

5. Blend away - I don't know about you, but whenever I'm on my way to an important meeting, date, or interview I always notice that one of my eyes isn't as blended as it could have been. For that reason, I'll always carry a MAC 217 in my handbag to quickly fix any mishaps, once you're in your car and on your way to the interview it's normally too late to fix any makeup mishaps so I find it gives me peace of mind that should I have made a mistake I can easily fix it on my way.

6. Tweezers - This might sound like another weird one but I genuinely sat a little down the road from my last interview and found some more pesky eyebrow hairs that I hadn't managed to get. This isn't exclusive to job interviews as I find I can always see more when in my car than at my dressing table but as I've said before, I like to feel 100% polished and ready for my interview so being able to quickly nip away any pesky strays before I go in.

7. Lip Perfection - I never, ever go for a bold lip when attending an interview for many reasons. I want to be remember for being right for the job and that reason only, not because I rocked up with a dark purple lip and had half of it on my teeth. And I can't be doing with sitting there worrying if that's happened. The Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector's are perfect for a job interview in my opinion as they give you a hint of colour and a natural sheen without you having to worry that it'll end up all over your face.

8. Softly Softly - How do you start a job interview? If you're like me it's always with a handshake to everyone in the meeting. I've had many a handshake before from people with rough hands before and it's not pleasant. I always exfoliate my hands prior to a manicure anyway and then ensure I use my Clarins Hand & Nail treatment just before I leave and usually as I pull into the carpark. It's your first point of contact with them so it needs to be perfect.

As I said earlier, this is all purely my opinion. I like to wear a dark or bold lip every now and then but I know that when I do, I worry if it's smudged or gone on to my teeth and when in an interview environment I need to be able to focus on what I'm saying rather than if my magnificent makeup has gone astray. It may sound bad but first impressions really do count and they will take all of your appearance in very quickly so I like to make sure it's as fuss free whilst still looking pretty and classic as possible. Chipped nails, unkempt eyebrows and the odd dog hair can be distracting for the interviewer and they want to be confident you'll represent their company well and will take as much pride in your work as you do in your appearance. It all equates into building a picture of you as a person in a rather short space of time so you want to make an impact for all of the right reasons!

My beautiful Friend, Chloe, has recently written a similar post from the perspective of the employer that you may also find useful if you're considering going for an interview. Check it out here.

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Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Lipstick Drawer | Guest Post

Hi Guys! 
Welcome to the first post of my Guest Post series, today I'm lucky to have Nikki from The Lipstick Drawer feature her work below, if you'd like to take part yourself and share your work as well as some love for other bloggers then either read the blogpost on my Guest Post Series or email me rebeccajshep herd@live.co.uk! Over to Nikki...

"My blog is mainly beauty though I write
reviews on hair, fashion and books and include some of my drawings. I live
in london. I love cats, dance and art deco and graffiti."

Contouring is definitely having a moment, I mean who doesn't want cheek bones a la Kim Kardashian? Contouring uses light and shadow to create the optical illusion of angles. Shadows (and dark cool colours) make things recede so that they look further away or pushed back while light brings things forward and makes them more prominent. The goal of contouring is to create natural looking shadows that happen to slim the face and emphasis the hollows in our cheek. While foundation can make the face look flat, contouring makes the face look 3 dimensional again. Contouring and highlighting go hand in hand but this post will concentrate on contouring the face and cheeks.

Photo credit Ed Kavishe fashionwirepress

Many people confuse contouring with bronzing. Since contouring is about creating angles by creating a shadow, you need to choose colours that have a little grey in them to mimic the colour of a shadow such as taupes and cool browns. You can create angles with warm brown bronzers but this will give more of a tanned look and won't be as effective in creating shadows. You don't need to use specific contouring products, eye shadows work just as well- though I would recommend going for high end brands because they generally last longer on the skin. You can also use a darker foundation either one or two shades darker than your skin tone. Make sure the product is matte.

For light skin tones I suggest Mac Harmony blush, Nars Matte Multiple in Altai and Vientiane  Illamasqua Cream pigment in Hollow. For medium to olive skin tones Ben Nye Contour Powder & cream,  Urban Decay eye shadow Tease (which is in the Naked 2 palette), MAC Coquette eye shadow (Dupe for Kevyn Aucoin.) For all skintones Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Contour Palette, Mac Sculpt Defining powder, Kevyn Aucoin sculpting powder .

There was a time that I used to stay up until the early hours researching make up brushes (yes I was that obsessed- you could call it brush porn if you like.) Generally speaking if you're using powder then brushes with natural hairs pick up more powder, for creams- synthetic brushes are your best bet. Although there are different types you don't have to buy them all, one or two should be sufficient. Here are my suggestions whatever your budget.

There are 4 main types:

1) Angled Brush
I think this is one of the easiest brushes for contouring and one I would recommend for contouring newbies. This is because it basically does the placement and blending for you. Holding the brush from your ear with the highest point of the brush furthest away from you brush towards the mouth. This doubles as a blush and contour brush. I have Zoeva's and they do come up small which is great for small faces or detailed work but if you don't have a small face then Mac 168 would be better. Examples High End Hakuhudo J511, MAC 168  Low End Zoeva 127 and 128 and  Sigma F40 brush.

2) Small Tapered Brush & Small Short Blush Brush 
Small tapered brushes give more precise definition and are fairly easy to use, as long as you put in the shadow in the right place. They can be used for highlighting and blush too. A short small blush brush can work as well and would save you buying another brush. Tapered brushes high end Nars Yachiyo Brush and low End Real Techniques contour brush, core collection, Elf Small tapered brush, Small blush brushes high end Mac 129 Brush low end Sigma F05 brush,

3) Japanese Ita Brushes
Probably the most sought after contouring brush is the Nars Ita brush. This has a long flat wide handle and a shortish narrow brush. The low end dupe is Everyday Minerals Itahake brush. You angle the brush on it's end and brush from in front of the ear, across your cheekbones but stop short of the mouth. This brush gives a nice sharp line but then needs to be buffed out a lot, and I mean a hell of a lot. I recommend Real techniques buffing brush to do this. At a pinch you could use the short brushes in Benefit's boxed powders. These Ita brushes are for those who are already good at contouring or have a lot of time to do their make up.

4) Long handled smaller Ita Brushes
These are similar to the ita brushes but the long handle gives more control. The Illamasqua brush has a firmer brush head to give you more control and is best for cream products. Again these are good for creating a sharp line, you place the brush so it sits under the cheekbone and brush along it. However you still need to buff the contour well and so I recommend this for those already good at contouring. High end Ilamasqua Blush up Brush Low end Real techniques Flat Contour brush.

Places to contour: 
Temples on forehead,
Directly underneath the cheekbones, 
Underneath the jaw. 
(Sides of the nose)

The easiest way to apply contour is to imagine drawing a number 3 along the side of your face- this will slim the face and create cheekbones. Using a small tapered brush/short blush brush/angled brush (holding the brush so the widest part is at the top) coat the brush evenly in product, for powder this may mean shaking off the excess.  First brush along the top of the hairline. Stop before you take the brush in at the cheeks. Using your fingers prod your face until you can feel your cheekbone. Then take your brush (use the Ita/long handled Ita here if you want) and place it at the point where your cheekbone meets the ear and brush underneath the cheekbone.  Do not apply product further than the centre of the eye. Prodding your face is better than sucking your cheeks in for the 'fish face' as this tends to place the contour to low and too close to the mouth. Next take the brush along the jawline and underneath the chin. Repeat on the other side. Blend using a buffing brush (real techniques is good) or a beauty blender. To complete the contour some people also like to contour their nose to make it look thinner. For this a small fluffy brush is best (Royal and Langnickel brush C445 or Mac 217) brushed along the each side of the nose. 

The three bloggers that Nikki would like to share the love with are:
- Make Up for Dolls by Siobhan  (I used to sit for hours poring over her brush collection) I'm surprised she doesn't have more followers she deserves to as it's a great blog. Makeup For Dolls
- Make Up Monster- I love that she also includes opinion pieces on current affairs i.e... domestic violence suffered by Men when that Solange & Jay Z video went viral) I trust her as she always gives her honest opinions on products and I love the fact that she always replies to each & every comment. Makeup Monster (despite following her for 2 years I can't find her name on the blog or social networks she just calls herself an Irish beauty blogger.)
- Make Up Savvy by Fee- A great bargain hunter! Her nail art is amazing too. makeup savvy

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