BEAUTY & LIFESTYLE BLOG

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Brushegg

Cleaning makeup brushes can feel almost like a chore if you do not know how to do it properly. I could never seem to get my brushes clean and ended up ruining countless makeup brushes in the process. 

Recently, I came across a makeup tool called a 'brushegg' which I have to admit honestly saved my brushes from the damnation that I was putting them through. I purchased my brushegg off eBay for around £2.99. It makes the whole process of cleaning brushes much easier - especially when you have to deep clean them, which I believe should be done at least once a week if you use makeup everyday. 

There is a little space to put two fingers to hold the brushegg in place, then I apply either baby shampoo or a anti-bacterial shower gel (one that smells nice) to the ridges on the brushegg. I then dampen the brushes slightly in water - avoid going near the end of the brush where it's glued in place as this can cause the hairs from your brush to fall out - and then in circular motions move your brush around the ridges. Do this a few times until you're happy they rinse them again in water. 

You will see the dirt come out of your brushes almost immediately. Once you're happy with the result get a flannel or small towel and place your brushes flat onto it. This way you're avoiding any potential damage as no water can fall down the handle of your brush effecting how they are moulded together. 

I know there are a variety of ways to clean your makeup brushes, but this way works for me which is why I wanted to share my new found knowledge. I hope this helps!! 
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Sunday, 17 January 2016

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation

I have been contemplating purchasing this foundation for months now, but at £29.50 for a 30ml bottle justifying the cost is the main reason I have refrained from purchasing this until now. Charlotte Tilbury is one of my all time favourite brands. It's one of the only beauty brands that I can always guarantee that 1) I will get my moneys worth and 2) the quality is unbelievable.

Magic Foundation provides full coverage and is so easy to apply. The creamy texture is smooth and you do not need to use a large amount to get the look you want. I purchase shade 7 which is very close to my olive skin tone. In winter I would probably use a blend of 6 and 7 as my skin tends to be lighter - which can't be a surprised because in the UK all we get is rain!
I normally struggle with finding the right foundation. It's not the shade that causes the problem, it's how my skin reacts to the chemicals within the foundation. The majority of foundations that I have tried break me out in spots. There is only a small handful that I can use that match my combination skin perfectly. Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation is one of them.

I am not surprised that so many people fall in love with this foundation. The coverage is exceptional and blends so well. I like to use a beauty blender to apply which I find easier to get an even spread.

The foundation is dewy and hydrating and doesn't dry out your skin. One thing I have noticed is that I do not need to use a primer with this as it lasts such a long time on it's own and also doesn't block my pores. However, I do use a translucent powder on top to keep it looking fresh for longer and this also helps my blusher stay on my cheekbones for long.

I would definitely recommend this foundation, but ensure you choose the right shade - £29.50 isn't money you want to just throw away.
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Thursday, 14 January 2016

Flash by Jimmy Choo


You all know how much I love my perfumes. Which is why I just had to tell you about my latest purchase. I was recently introduced to a new perfume - Flash by Jimmy Choo - which is officially one of my new favourites - and that's saying something. The classic feminine scent is nothing like any of my other perfumes. It's sweet but with a soft spice undertone and it has somewhat of an elegance about it. 

Jimmy Choo is never a brand that I would usually buy into, fashion or otherwise. I guess I just haven't ever considered that their fragrances would be any different to the thousands of other luxury brands out there. It's not until I smelt this on a friend of mine that I realised how beautiful it actually is.  

THE PACKAGING
What can I say, this perfume comes in a sparkly box - it's a white box with silver glitter covering it. The feel is awesome and it's very feminine and glamourous. The typography is sleek, simplistic yet creative and the overall style portrays the name perfectly. 

THE BOTTLE
I purchased a 100ml bottle which carries some weight to it. The bottle is a light lavender/blue colour with risen glass which forms the bumps - I do not know the right terminology for this glass work. The bottle shape is easy to hold and it's a suitable shape and size to throw in your bag. It's a simple style but works very well. The glass bottle reflects the light which is almost like a flash which I love, I think it's clever and reminds me of Hollywood glamour for some reason. The overall perfume portrays class and luxury which is in sync with the scent. 

How would I describe the smell?
This part I always find difficult because I think it probably smells different to other people. However, to me it has a light floral scent with hints of fruit. There is also a tinge of spice which makes the overall scent classy and elegant. It's sweet but not sickly sweet. It's truly a stunning smell and is perfect for both day and evening use. I don't think you need to spray much as the fragrance is strong and long lasting.

I purchased my bottle from feelunique.com and it cost £61 for 100ml. I recently found that Amazon are selling it at half the price, so I would definitely recommend shopping around. 
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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Top 3 health tips for 2016

Is anyone else sick of hearing the whole 'New Year, New You' spiel that everyone seems to talk about in January? I have read countless blogs and seen numerous social media posts that say the same thing. 

I think the most annoying thing is most people do not stick to their goals. As soon as January is over, the concept of being a 'better you' flies out the window as old habits kick in. Now, don't get me wrong, it's important to strive for something, but how realistic are the goals we set ourselves?

I am no different, every year I set myself goals and 9/10 times I go back on what I promised to myself. This is why I decided this year will be different. I have set myself targets which are more realistic and easy to follow - for me anyway. I am on a mission to feel better about myself and to take care of number one. I feel that concentrating on my health is key to not only being a better person but also feeling like one.


Here are my top 3 health tips for 2016

YOU'RE WHAT YOU EAT
Have you ever heard the saying you're what you eat? The main reason people fail at being healthy is their lack of understanding of food. My goal for 2016 is to eat better. This does not consist of calorie counting or diet. This is more focused on understanding what food I am putting into my mouth and how this will affect my body.  Eating the wrong types of food can have an enormous impact on your weight gain, and it can also cause illnesses such as diabetes if you're not careful. 

I have been addicted to sugar since I can remember. My intake of delicious sweet treats is far beyond what the average person eats and as I've gotten older, the more I have seen this addiction take a toll on my body. Not only did I gain weight, It also affected my skin, and how I felt throughout the day. I felt sluggish and unmotivated. I couldn't think as clearly and the more I ate, the more I craved. My skin was greasy and I would break out in spots. Which at 26 isn't the best look or feeling. 

My ultimate decision was to cut down on my sugar intake and get regular exercise. In the last two weeks I have cut down dramatically, swapping fizzy drinks and tea to hot water and lemon and also cutting out eating sweets in the week. I have allowed myself a 'cheat day' which is either Saturday or Sunday depending whether I fancy eating any chocolate or some form of treat. I have already seen a difference, my clothes fit better, my skin looks better and I have more energy. 

My plan 
  • Breakfast - usually Weetabix with skimmed milk - no sugar!! 
  • Snack - x1 banana and a handful of grapes 
  • Lunch - jacket potato, salad - this varies depending on what's happening with work
  • Snack - x1 satsuma
  • Dinner - this varies, but if you would like to see the type of food I make leave me a comment below and I will write a few posts on recipes etc.

Gym - Monday, Wednesday and Friday

The idea is to not deprive yourself if you fancy something sweet, but it's more about cutting back and exercising more. The more you learn to love yourself, the more motivated you will feel to continue.

GET IN THOSE 40 WINKS 
Sleep is one of the most important elements to have a healthy lifestyle. They say at least 7 hours sleep each night is necessary for your body to heal so you can function correctly the next day. I wake up at 6am each morning, so I try to get to bed around 9:30 each night. I usually read a book until around 10:15 before I turn the light out. I find that this gives me ample time to settle. I am such a cranky person if I do not have enough sleep and I physically cannot function correctly. 

My suggestions
  • Read a book before bed - this will help drive you to sleep and relax you before bed
  • Do not look at your phone before bed, this only distracts you and wakes your brain up
  • Turn the TV off - I know many people like watching TV before bed (my boyfriend included) the noise and light from the TV will not help you settle, so ensure you turn off the TV at least 30 minutes before you plan to sleep. This should help you to relax and allow your brain to turn to sleep mode. 
  • Have a notepad by your bed - this is for those bedtime thinkers. I always find it's hard to switch off when you have a lot on your mind. By having a note pad, you can write everything down which should help settle your brain from all that creative thinking.

STRESS LESS 
This is potentially the hardest, especially if you're naturally a stressor. Stress can bring on so many issues with your health, so finding the right solution for you to stop stressing is crucial. I am rather a stressful person. I can openly admit it, I am a stress-head. If something is bothering me it will start to slowly build until I feel like I can't cope with it any more. I worry about the little things and all the things that I can't even control, I've always been this way and I guess I always will be. It's just the way that I am. 

However, I am trying to teach myself that it's not worth stressing over. I have tried man =y methods to help decrease stress within my life and here are my top tips..

10 ways to stress less
  1. Talk about it! Communication is key when you're stressed. If you talk it through with someone logical you may find a solution and realise it's not worth stressing over. 
  2. Dance it out! Exercise is always a good way to de-stress. Even if you just dance around your living room, you may find that you relieve that tension you have. 
  3. Hug it out! I always find that a hug makes me happy and I feel secure and loved. 
  4. Look for new opportunities that challenge you! You may just need a change of pace.
  5. Go for a walk. A change of scenery might help clear your mind.
  6. Focus on the good things in life!
  7. Get a good night's sleep, try going to bed 30 minutes earlier.
  8. Take a deep breath and really consider what you're stressing about!
  9. Focus on what you can control, not what you can't. 
  10. And lastly, try to smile! Do you know that it takes more muscles to frown that it does to smile! Give yourself a break. 
I hope you found this post useful and I hope you all have a very healthy 2016.
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Monday, 11 January 2016

Goodbye 2015

I rarely write this style of post, more long form and detailed. Probably because I don't want to bore you and because I think blogs with more depth and detail take longer to write and need more consideration.

I have been waiting for the right moment to upload this post and as always, I delayed it thinking it needs work.. but finally here it is. I wanted this to be the first post of 2016, you know, that first post to start the New Year off with a bang - unfortunately that didn't happen! This is the first year that I have shared this style of post. Maybe it's because more has happened in 2015, or because I finally have found my rhythm. Balancing blogging, vlogging and work is a challenge and any of my fellow bloggers with 9-5 jobs will understand, there just isn't enough hours in the day to write as frequently as I would like to - which I honestly wish there was as I love doing this. 

Another big reason for the delay is because I have been waiting for SPRUCENEWS to be finished - as you may have noticed, a few things have changed on here...But of course, SPRUCENEWS will always be a work in progress for me as I always want to make it better and I will keep updating my site so it's more user friendly for you guys. However, I hope you like it! 

The old SPRUCENEWS
2015 was an amazing year for me, of course like everyone I have had some ups and downs (nothing major) but the daily stresses of life. However, I am all about focusing on the positive and there have been some amazing highlights for me which I wanted to share.. 

My nephew Teddy (Gary's sister's son) 
Teddy has got to be one of the cutest babies ever. He is so calm and happy, I just love spending time with him - yes, I am feeling kind of broody now! He is 5 months old and has just learnt how to roll.. amazing.

My niece Ariyana (My sister's daughter) 
Ariyana is my beautiful niece who was born November 23rd! She fills me with so much joy and love I am consumed by her. I have never been prouder of my sister and Ari is such a precious little girl! Happy to be Auntie Rocket once again.

When old friends meet again
I caught up with two very good friends which was so lovely! I haven't seen these girls in over five years and they haven't changed! They are still wonderful and thoughtful as they have always been. Honestly, I have found that when you get older, you find out who your real friends are. It's those who stick around and stay by your side. These ladies will be very much apart of my life and I'm so glad I know them.

Gary's best friend got married (he was best man) 
Another personal highlight of 2015, not as much for me, but for Gary. We were privileged and honoured to watch his best friend Joel and beautiful Daniella say their vows in September! The venue was incredible and both the bride and groom were perfection. I was so pleased and proud! Gary was best man and he was standing side by side with his best friend and brother (from another mother) Joel. I cried, and I'm not usually such an emotional person with real life events - anything on TV and I am a wreck, yes I know, pathetic. However, I was honoured to be invited and be apart of their special day and also thankful because I was with the bride and her bridesmaids as they got ready for the day so I was very much apart of it all. Gary also gave his best man speech which I know he had been working on throughout the year to make sure it was perfect and he raised the roof (I cried here also). 

YouTube and me
By the end of 2015 I reached 350 YouTube subscribers! I am so grateful and happy, over the past year I have had so much support from everyone and finally things are starting to progress which is such a big deal for me. Both my channel and my blog have gone from strength to strength in such a short space of time and I hope it continues to grow and I hope that you all enjoy the content and videos I produce. 
That 9-5
In April of 2015 I started a new job. I had been looking for sometime and finally I found a position that suited what I wanted to do. I rarely talk about work and I don't think I can share much on here about it, however, what I can say is that I have produced some awesome publications which I am proud of and I work with such an incredible team. #ContentQueens

I could be here forever listing all the amazing things that have happened in my life in 2015. Overall, I have to say it was an awesome year, challenging at times but I cannot complain with my life and I am lucky that I have some incredible people to share it with. 


Thank you all for your love and support! You make everything so much easier (emoji smiley face)

Roxanne xx

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Friday, 1 January 2016

Body image



I can openly admit that there are many things about myself that I would love to change. Or maybe I should say there are many things about myself that I dislike. It's crazy how we perceive ourselves and how others see us. There are things that you might hate about yourself, that others may love about you. But for some reason we are never happy.

I don't think there is anyone in this world who is 100% happy with their body image and if they are, well I would love to find out what their secret is. Instagram filters do not count.

It’s like we live in this augmented reality, where everyone is so wrapped up in what they see in the mirror that they overlook the important things. The fact that I can highlight this issue doesn't make me any different. It doesn't change the reality that we are just hateful to ourselves. I am guilty of self-hate. There are parts of me that I wish were smaller or more toned, or even bigger. The list continues. But where has this rooted from?

The media doesn’t help. With celebrities all finding new ways to stay young through plastic surgery, or freak diets that make you slim in 3 days. Then there is the Kylie Jenner’s of this world who chose to have lip fillers at the age of 17. It really doesn’t set the best example. It just confirms that we are so self-conscious and so focused on looks that we see past the crucial elements of what makes us who we are.

I agree to a certain extent that social media is to blame. I can imagine that this has impacted this issue – but I don’t think it has made things worse. The way I see it, is that I think social media has only opened our eyes to the reality that the human race is image conscious. We only see it more because there are more selfies, more videos, more statuses… just more of everything we were ignorant to when this wasn’t available.

Now the younger generation are more open to things -  they have more access to everything.

As a YouTuber and blogger, I find that it's important to set an example. I know that I am nothing major in this YouTuber world, however, those people that do watch my videos should be made to feel beautiful for who they are. I also think that if we congregate together to find a way to love who we are, then it's worth trying.

There is so much hate in the press - so many stories of bullying and suicide all caused by others hating others and also hating themselves. It makes me both angry and sad that this is what it comes down to. How do we make a difference?

I know it’s a contradiction that I am saying love yourself for who you’re, yet I myself have the same issues. I know that as a beauty blogger – makeup is the core focus, and I know that many people believe that it is yet another mask to hide insecurities. Maybe you’re right.

However, I find that makeup enhances your natural beauty, it doesn’t change you. For me, it’s more of a confidence boost rather that a permanent fix. There are bloggers and YouTubers and celebrities that are promoting body change and plastic surgery and honestly, it makes me mad. I think that yes, sometimes we hate the way we look, but were we not created in this way for a reason? This is who we are... why is that so hard to accept?

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