Girl’s Night In; Rewarding Me Time

Thursday, 5 March 2015

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Throughout my late teens and early twenties, I thought a weekend that didn't involve some kind of nightclub, bar crawl and being on the dance floor until the early hours was basically a complete write-off. As someone that loves getting glammed up I'll probably always enjoy the occasional night out, but these days I do tend to favour nights in more. Whether it's the cost, the disgusting toilets or looking after 'that' friend who doesn't know their limits when it comes to alcohol (we all have them, and if you don't then you're that friend!) getting the girls around for a night in instead seems like a pretty easy choice. It's less expensive, there's no queuing involved and the whole event can take place in your pyjamas- what's not to love about that?

Play a Game
We all know that after a couple of drinks everyone becomes the worlds best singer and dancer, so be why not put your skills to the test? If you've got a Nintendo Wii and some singing/ dancing competition games definitely utilise them! The neighbours will probably hate you by the morning, but watching recordings back the next day is just priceless. Online Bingo is a good option too, many websites offer bonuses to new players; for example, it’s possible to get £10 free at 32Red and a free £32 first deposit bingo bonus so there’s nothing to lose by giving it a try. Almost all big name bingo sites offer promotions to sweeten the deal so it is worth shopping around before settling on a site. Online gaming is not just for men and this is being reflected in more and more new game developments. 

The perfect start to the night, comfy pjs, face masks and mani- pedis all round. Probably best to leave things like eyebrow reshaping and hair dying for a more sober occasion, my friend went home with one waxed arm once after a girls night in; I have no idea why we didn't think to do the other one.

If you want more of a relaxing, quiet girls night in then a film night is always fun. A great chance to re-watch cheesy chick flicks with some scented candles on the go and a glass of Prosecco- what could be better?

You could set up a 'Come Dine With Me' type of competition where you each cook a course and score each other, or all pitch in to make a tasty meal. Things like fajitas, nachos and tacos are a good choice as it's less formal and you're all able to just help yourself. If it all goes drastically wrong or if cooking isn't really your thing, there's always the option of ordering a trusty Dominos!
What are your girls night in essentials?

My Current Foundation/ Powder Combo from Glo and Ray

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Glo and Ray have got to be the first makeup brand in quite a while to catch my interest; in all honesty it's been ages since I've been in the market for new makeup. My obsessions have moved on a little over the past year, plus I'm so happy with most of the products that I use I don't have much incentive to go out and buy and try new things. However one exception to that and part of my routine that I'm always changing up is my base/ foundation. I've just never managed to get it quite right, and always repurchase something different every time I run out in the hopes of finding 'the one.' If you read this post you'll know that I was really impressed with new makeup brand Glo and Ray's products, and so it seemed like a good place to continue my hunt for the perfect foundation.

 Glo and Ray Colour Correction Luminous Base Foundation
I don't know about you, but from the name of this I imagined a really light coverage with a dewy finish which is definitely not the kind of base product I'd normally go for. However I was hugely impressed with this, the coverage is actually really good and although it's described as 'luminous' it doesn't translate to being oily or greasy looking in the slightest. While the shade might be a little on the dark side for me (although that's nothing new when it comes to foundation) the colour adapts really nicely and leaves the skin looking beautifully even. I have a pale face with horrible rosy cheeks, and so a product that can even it out while still being lightweight is no easy achievement. In fact I'd go as far as to say this is the best base product I've tried in a really long time. I know people have mixed feelings about BB, CC etc creams (Estee Lauder have now brought out an EE cream....wonder how far they can go with this!) but this is great and the 'CC' colour correction properties are definitely not a gimmick.

Glo and Ray Lumicent Pressed Powder
To set the CC foundation I've been using Glo and Ray's Lumicent pressed powder, a gorgeous finely milled pressed powder that applies to the skin like silk and gives a nice subtle glow without a chunky glitter particle in sight. I think you have to be careful with pressed powders that claim to luminise as they're generally loaded up with sparkle (which lets face it, is not a look any of us have been aiming for since the year seven schol disco) but this is perfect. Applied with a big fluffy brush it sets the foundation really nicely without making the skin look flat or cakey; Glo and Ray describes the finish as 'natural matte' which I think is dead on. These are higher end products which is reflected in the quality as well as the price tag, however if you're a fan of luxury makeup and feel like treating yourself you won't go far wrong with this little combo.

What's your favourite foundation/ powder combo?

Five Ways To Reduce Hair Fall

Sunday, 1 March 2015

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Despite being a common problem, hair fall can lead to an enormous amount of distress. As women our hair is never 'just hair'- it's part of our identity and can be a huge factor in how confident we feel (it only takes a bad hair day to prove that!) I often go through phases where it seems like more hair than usual is falling out, and while so far my hair loss has always resolved itself it never fails to stress me out and has meant I've done a lot of research on the subject. It's difficult to know what's normal when it comes to hair shedding; experts state people shed on average 50-100 hairs a day, but what if you're noticing more than this? Fortunately there are a few things you can try.

1. Nutrition/ Nutritional Supplements
 Our hair, skin and nails are a direct reflection of our health status. If your diet is lacking in something important this will be quick to show in your hair as either porosity, slowed growth or hair fall. It's a well known in the cosmetic world that folate/ folic acid helps with hair growth, but you're going to want to go for foods that are high in: protein (hair is made of 85% protein and is a major factor in hair quality and greying speed), iron, omegas, selenium and b vitamins. If you're noticing an ongoing problem with excessive hair fall then a well balanced diet including food groups such as protein, carbohydrates, good fats, fruits and plenty of water per day might help.

2. Hair Products
Beauty manufacturers are recognising hair fall in women as a common problem, and over the past few years there have been loads of products released onto the market. From scalp lotions to thickening shampoos, there are tonnes of options in just chemists alone. The last thing you want when you're already experiencing hair fall is even more loss due to breakage, and so it's important to make sure you're keeping the hair you have strong and protected; I'll always recommend deep conditioning treatments and oils because they're so effective used in most cases once a week. Brush gently, use a heat protectant and go easy on the styling tools- at least until you have a better idea of what's causing the problem.

3. Massage

Massage is incredibly relaxing and can help bring down stress levels, There's no actual proof that it alone encourages hair growth, but the placebo effect of taking care of the hair and making time for yourself is a plus. You can gently massage your scalp yourself either when applying an oil treatment or just when you're washing your hair.

4. Breathe
Stress can lead to poor nutrition due to loss of interest in food, exacerbate existing problems related to hair loss such as hair pulling- and all in all mean you're not looking after yourself and your hair as well as you could. While you can't force yourself to stress less (if only it were that easy!) there are a number of lifestyle changes you could think about making in order to help get your stress levels under control. Yoga, meditation and deep breathing exercises are a great way to centre and calm yourself after a busy taxing day. You can even find fifteen minute relaxation routines on Youtube to do before bed each night.

5. Contact a Specialist
 If you are experiencing a persistent and aggressive hair loss that is impacting on your hair density, it's well worth contacting a professional. I know girls who have gone to their GP about hair fall in the past and have been sent away and made to feel a bit silly, being dismissed in this way really is the last thing you need at such a stressful time. GPs often put conditions of the hair down to stress when they actually aren't sure at all; it could be hormonal, psychological (in the case of hair pulling) illness such as anaemia or a number of other factors. So my advice would be to contact a specialist such as Sussex Trichology (website/ Facebook); unlike a GP a trichologist specialises in hair and scalp problems. Your GP may be helpful and agree to blood test, however trichology expert Shuna Hammocks is also a phlebotomist so could carry out private blood analysis. They're able to empathise with you and not just dismiss you as being silly or dramatic, and will take the time to get to the bottom of the problem. A specialist will understand how devastating hair loss can be, and will able to treatment tailor a plan with your condition, medical history and lifestyle in mind.

Do you have any questions about your experience with hair loss?
Expert Shuna Hammocks will be happy to guide

Repairing Dry, Bleached Hair With Moroccan Argan Oil

Saturday, 28 February 2015

The last couple of months have been very much about hair repair for me. After dying my hair jet black in a moment of courage/boredom back in November, I began to regret it pretty soon afterward and decided to start the process of lightening it again. Unfortunately I've been through this before (numerous times actually- I'm such an idiot!) and so had an idea how to go about it without completely frazzling my hair. But with any lightening process that involves hair dyes, strippers and bleach it of course was left feeling a bit dry and sorry for itself. Luckily there's a magical ingredient on the market which can rejuvinate the driest of hair, and that little beauty is 100% argan oil. Whether you just want to maintain the condition of your hair or give it a new lease of life like I did, this is the stuff you want.

There are loads of products out there containing argan oil these days, from shampoo and conditioners to repairing masks and oils. But one thing you have to be careful of is that lots of these (especially in cheaper products) contain such low amounts it's probably not going to do a whole lot of good for your hair. What you need is something like this from The Moroccan Argan Oil Co; it contains 100% pure organic argan oil, from a source that uses an extraction technique that's centuries old in order to get the best properties from the oil. The packaging of this is gorgeous, the amber coloured glass protects the top graded oil from UV rays- and the pippette dropper style top is handy for dispensing just the right amount. This is definitely a lot different from the 'argan oil' type products I've used before, for a start it's actually a lot heavier. Having such fine hair this isn't something I can run through the ends after washing as it leaves it looking quite greasy, however I like to generously apply it through my hair on days that I'm not doing anything and leave it on in the same way I'd leave on a conditioning treatment. On thicker hair this would probably be great as a post-wash oil but for me I need something lighter for everyday use and treat this more as a mask/ treatment.

I've been using this for a few weeks now and it honestly has made all the difference to the condition of my hair. As soon as I wash it out I can feel that my hair is significantly softer and my hair has felt a lot less dry and brittle. If you've recently bleached or dyed your hair and aren't sure how to go about repairing it I can't recommend this enough, £13.99 for 50ml is such a bargain too especially considering how most highstreet hair oils that probably don't even contain argan oils cost around the same. Plus as it's 100% pure oil it can also be used on your face, body, hair and nails.

Do you use argan oil in your routine?

Creating Your Dream Bedroom

Friday, 27 February 2015

Do you dream of creating your perfect bedroom? I know I do, and it's definitely something I've put a lot of thought into over the last year since moving house. Your bedroom is like your own personal sanctuary, it needs to be relaxing and calming in order for you to get a good night sleep and retreat from the world at the end of the day. Achieving your dream bedroom doesn’t need to be expensive, and you can easily design an idyllic haven choosing to spend extravagantly or very little at all. Here are a few ideas to bear in mind when you're thinking about putting together your dream room.

Choose Your Theme 
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If you're designing a room from scratch or hoping to do a complete overhaul, my advice is to first decide on the theme- what kind of look are you going for? Shabby chic cottage, romantic boudoir, glamorous high fashion, modern minimalist or industrial chic? This will determine your colour palette and overall look of the room. Pinterest is perfect for inspiration; as soon as you know what theme you want to go for you can search for room ideas based on this. Pick and choose the different elements that you like from each in order to create your dream room.

Add Cosy Accessories
Regardless of the theme you've gone for,  romantic accents are the perfect addition to any bedroom. These are things like soft lighting and sumptuous textiles such as cushions, rugs and throws. Whether it's chunky knitted textures or soft sheepskin, these bring the room together and make it look cosy and comfortable- the perfect environment for a peaceful night's sleep.

Work With Your Space
Apartment living is becoming more popular in the UK, especially if you live in a city. Before I moved into my current house I lived in a flat for three years, and so have first hand experience on how difficult it is creating a room that looks pretty while still being functional. A more minimal look definitely works well in smaller spaces, choose furniture that has strong clean lines and go for block colours rather than patterns which can look overwhelming. Light and bright colours will open up the space, and effective storage solutions keep everything looking neat and tidy.

Invest In Quality
When it comes to furniture you can't go wrong by investing in solid, high quality pieces as they'll last for many years and will work even when you change up your decor.  Things like a super king size sleigh bed, matching bedside tables and a solid wardrobe are worth spending a bit more on. You can always improvise when it comes to the smaller pieces and accents (and use them to change up the entire look of a room) whereas good furniture will still look great regardless of whether you change your theme later down the line.

What would your dream bedroom look like?
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