Saturday, July 27

Finding Me

"Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results." - William Nelson

I've been really unsure whether to post this but sometimes, writing things down and sharing them makes me feel a whole lot better. As a warning, I'm an emotional wreck and currently seeing the negatives in lots of situations. For example, it's a Saturday night and I'm home alone, not something I'm used to. This makes me feel uneasy, extremely lonely and I don't know how to enjoy my own company. My good friend Tamsin pointed out that actually, alone time has a ton of benefits and I should try to see them. This made me realise that I haven't been looking positively at anything lately, so I thought I'd share them with you and how I'm going to change that. If I'm honest, this post is more to help myself rather than anyone else, but I hope you read with an open mind and remember, I'm not normally like this!

Two weekends ago, whilst most people were soaking up the sunshine, I spent the majority of my Saturday creating a video. I had a splurge of inspiration and decided I was finally going to do a fashion 'lookbook'. I put together five outfits, filmed, photographed, edited and exported the whole video during that day, but something was holding me back from uploading it. I then re-watched the video and started to really criticise myself. I was unhappy with all the clothes but most of all, I was really unhappy with the way I looked.

Now by all means there is nothing wrong with the way I look but definitely with the way I feel. I'm curvy and I'm an average size 12-14, but I currently weigh the heaviest I've ever been. My clothes are tight, I suffer with stretch marks, chaffing between my thighs and I'm unhappy about it most days. As I'm nearing 20 next year, looking back I've actually been really unhappy with my body through most of my teenage years. When my parents divorced a few years ago, I comfort ate which has become a bad habit ever since. I appreciate I don't need to loose that much weight, even a stone would make a huge different, but I'd like to feel more comfortable in my own skin.

My biggest problem with managing my diet and weight, is trying to find something that actually works for me. I understand its just about eating healthily and exercising more, but that's my problem, I'm so lazy and unmotivated to do either.  I've tried and failed many times to change how I feel, and I'm extremely frustrated with myself that I loose motivation and give up so easily. So to change this bad attitude and negativity I was feeling, I decide enough is enough. I couldn't moan to my family and boyfriend any longer because whatever they told me I managed to ignore, and began to realise that the best person to help me, is me.

Last week, I visited a 'women's only' gym which has a '30 minute circuit' you can easily complete. They host classes like Zumba and offer a 6 week programme monitoring my fitness, health and nutrition. I went for an induction and even the day before, I had thoughts of phoning and cancelling. It's just so much easier for me to find excuses, rather than accepting the problem face on. I managed to go and really enjoyed it, so I'm signing up to the programme to see if it's something that would work for me before committing to an annual membership.

I can't rely on this gym changing my life and I'm scared I'm not going to stick to it, but at least it's a start. I know I'm not alone in feeling the way I am, but obviously my clothes don't look nice anymore  after gaining weight. Each morning has become a real struggle of continual outfit changes and time wasting, while I try to squeeze into my old summer clothes and find something decent to wear to work. I'm a bit of a hoarder, so when we moved house, I thought I'd take all my belongings with me (most of them unnecessary) and shove them into my beautiful new wardrobe. With that in mind, my draws and cupboards have been filled with junk ever since, and it was starting to stress me out. One evening last week, my Mum and I literally grabbed bin bags and storage boxes and went through the whole lot. It took a few hours, but she was really ruthless with me and I managed to see the floor and rail again.

It's amazing how a wardrobe clear-out made me feel a whole lot better. I didn't realise that clutter could upset me so much! The great thing is, I'm going to take all my junk to a carboot and make some money to help fund my new gym membership and a new wardrobe of clothes. This was the best start to getting me back on track.

I then pilled a list together of problems which were also upsetting me. This contained managing my eczema, visiting a dentist about my wisdom teeth, problems in my relationship, organising my work load better and getting my hair cut and styled again. I know these are completely little things, but you won't believe how writing them down and assessing what I'm going to do about them has made me feel. 

I am fully aware that I'm a lucky girl with great opportunities and an amazing support system surrounding me. My life is filled with wonderful things, so it was upsetting me that I was feeling this way. There is just no need for me to sweat about small stuff, and I've really learnt lots about myself. I mustn't be ashamed and hide how I feel but embrace problems, no matter how big or small, before they escalate and I dig myself into a bigger hole than I started with. I don't want this to come across as pretentious or me moaning about petty little things, because compare to others, I just don't have a right to. It's literally just me accepting how I've been feeling and doing something about it. 

I'm now going to enjoy the rest of my Saturday night in. It's not lonely, it 'me' time, something I desperately needed. I'll keep you updated on my new gym, any weight loss and of course share the progress with you. I'm honestly not sure how my family and friends (especially my boyfriend!), have managed to put up with me like this for so long, but I'm so glad they did, I'm really lucky.

Adiós old me, starting a new chapter in my life.

"If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges" - Pat Riley


Monday, July 15

Benefit Giveaway!

It's been almost a year since I last did a giveaway, so I wanted to say thank you for always being supportive both via my blog and YouTube. I've been putting this giveaway together for a very long time now, featuring products I personally think will work for almost everyone. Benefit are a brand I've loved and worn since I first started out with make up. My mum and I have been to their counters to buy They're Real together, had our eyeshadow touched up by the MUA's and I've always loved their fun, quirky packaging. Look out for a post I've got coming up with my top favourite Benefit products because trust me, there's at LEAST 5 that live in my make-up bag that I love. I've been fortunate enough to attend many events by Benefit too, they're a brand that really appreciate their customers and bloggers opinions. So, here's your chance to win £90.00 worth of their make up, including the brand new Stay Flawless Primer!

Here's what you could be in the chance of winning:

Boo Boo Zap - £13.50 (Full Size 7.4ml)
Fake Up Concealer (Shade Medium) - £18.50 (Full Size 3.5g)
The Porefessional Primer - £24.50 (Full Size 22.0ml)
Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer - £24.50 (Full Size 15.5g)
Bad Gal Lash Mascara - roughly £9.50 (Sample Size 4.0g)

And here's how you can win! Just follow the simple steps via the Rafflecopter below, all you have to do is follow my blog and you'll gain extra entries if you follow me on YouTube & Twitter too. Make sure you check out the terms & conditions as unfortunately, this is only open to the UK due to posting/shipping costs and guidelines. Don't worry, I'll be hosting an international giveaway in the future!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck! Giveaway closes Monday 29th July 2013 at 12pm.
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Saturday, July 13

Battle Of The Brow Kits

Somehow since January, I've accumulated four different brow kits which range in price, design and quality. I thought I'd put them all equally to the test to discover my favourite and wether its worth spending more or less on a brow kit. Brows are a pretty personal thing, some people may prefer a pencil and others may like a powder like me. To keep this little test fair, I used the same brush and didn't use the wax if the kit came with one, because I personally can't be bothered to sit and do wax and powder. 

1. Sleek Brow Kit

I bought this a very long time ago in Superdrug and for a while, I absolutely loved it. Affordable and compact, this is great for travelling and stays on all day. It comes with two small brushes and a pair of mini tweezers, but they were shocking for application and I even lost the tweezers a few weeks later. I tried to work with the wax and fill in with the powder, but I didn't like it. The packaging also gets dirty really easily, it's quite disgusting!
Overall, I'd give this a 6/10, cheaper alternative to Benefit.

2. W7 Brown Bar

I was kindly sent this to review but I'm going to be honest, it let me down. It came with an excessive amount of packaging, but inside were three stencils and different sized brushes which was quite nice. There are 4 numberd shades in the set, I went for number 2 and although a good colour match, the quality was poor. Chalky, didn't last very long and was hard to work with/blend. I wouldn't recommend this. It's also the only palette without a mirror which I found really handy in the other sets.
Overall, sorry but a 3/10. I liked the stencils though!

3. HD Brows Kit

I received this in a goodie bag and when I first tried this I actually didn't like it, mainly because I didn't think the colour match was very good for me. However, I've been using this every day for over a month and absolutely love it. The comments I've received on my videos and twitter have been so lovely, everyone asking what I use! The set came with little brushes (I threw these out) and 4 shades, which are wearable as alternative highlight colours or for setting black shadow. The powder is really easy to work with to create a nice brow shape, and the packaging is sturdy but larger than the others. 
Overall, 9/10. My favourite.

4. Benefit Brow Zing

As you can tell from image 4, this set is almost identical to the Sleek one. The packaging is a lot nicer, and also came with mini brushes/tweezers, which are better quality than the Sleek ones. The wax was softer and easier to use, but when I tried the powder alone, it wasn't as good as I expected. Therefore, I think you definitely need both products to create a nice defined shape. I did enjoy using this, and this colour match was nice, but it wasn't quite as good as HD Brows.
Overall, 7.5/10, lovely packaging and high quality.

Normally, as brows are NOT meant to be looked at close up, I'll leave you with this snap of me with the winner... HD Brows! I'm not an expert and I can never get them to be perfectly equal, but I've enjoyed this more than the others. In second place, I'd give it to Benefit, then Sleek and finally W7. Filling in brows is becoming a popular part of everyday make up, with more and more woman shaping their face and creating their perfect brows. I'm sure there are loads more on the market, what do you use on your brows? Let me know!

Wednesday, July 10

Summer Designer Wishlist

After a long weekend in the sunshine, I spent lots of time flicking through fashion magazines and scrolling the internet. I've accidentally fallen in love with a few pieces and created this little 'wish-list', to see what kind of things have caught my eye from Harrods.

At IMATS a few weeks ago, I spotted lots of people wearing black leather jackets. I absolutely  love how you can throw one on and change the whole look of an outfit. It's now my mission to find the perfect jacket as I've never owned one! This Love Moschino has gorgeous gold hardware and contrasting red trims, absolutely beautiful and great for day or night.

You know a product is probably good when you start recognising the name and packaging in videos and blog posts. I haven't smelt Bronze Goddess by Estee Lauder, but I've heard amazing things. I believe its part of their Summer 2013 collection and Limited Edition, so definitely worth grabbing a bottle. 

Ray Ban's are such a hyped sunglasses brand but every year, I find myself searching their latest designers and end up buying similar but cheaper pairs. I'm usually let down, screws going loose and the lens scratching easily, so I think it's about time I invest and get myself some classic Ray Bans.

I absolutely love these wedges. Kurt Gierger never disappoint me with their endless styles of gorgeous shoes, and these are perfect for me. They aren't too tall and the brown leather would match with many summer outfits. 

After Mulberry, Marc Jacobs bags are some of my absolute favourite, and the new season collection is gorgeous! They offer bags in this same colour, but in many different sizes and styles. Classic, sophisticated and again, perfect for day or night.

As I live by the sea, a gilet is an essential in my wardrobe. I love my Jack Wills one but have recently been drawn to Joules' gorgeous floral lining and button detailing. While white might be impractical, it'll look gorgeous with a bright dress in summer or jeans and riding boots in winter.

So there we have it, a few key pieces I've got my eye on recently. Be sure to keep an eye out for future posts and haul videos, you never know what I might buy!

*This is a sponsored post. It does not hinder my opinions and the links are for your reference.
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