BEAUTY & LIFESTYLE BLOG

Monday, 12 December 2016

My engagement story

Yes, you have just read that title correctly!! I am officially going to become Mrs Newson. After four beautiful years together, Gary got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I know for a fact, that pretty much every woman I know has dreamt of this moment, myself included. I have to say, is was an even better reality!


As much as I share quite a lot about myself through my site and in my videos, I try to keep Gary out of everything as I think he deserves to have a private life. However, he has given me the thumbs up with sharing this news and letting you know how it all happened!! 


It was around 7am in Mauritius, we were up early everyday for breakfast on holiday so I didn't think much of it when Gary asked if I would like to go for a walk on the beach. So I threw on anything I could find and headed out with our towels. 


We found nice space near the sea and laid out our towels. Before we got to the beach, Gary said he had a present for me! Which was sweet, I wasn't expecting anything. Now, when Gary buys me gifts, he's extremely practical so it's usually something for the kitchen or chocolate - because he knows me so well! 


Gary said I needed to close my eyes and hold my hands out - which I did after plonking myself down on my towel. Gary was like, No no, you need to stand up for this, which I did find unusual but still, nothing clicked. 


He then told me to open my eyes, I did and he was down on one knee. He had my ring held out and I just burst into tears. He said, will you marry me - at this point I was still sobbing which he replied 'is that a yes? 


I can't tell you what went through my mind. I remember thinking how brave he was, and how much of a big moment this is. I was so proud of him and I felt so lucky! I have never been after a fairytale ending, nor have I imagined a blockbuster moment when it came to my proposal. But Gary made this so special for me. It wasn't cheesy, or embarrassing - it was real. I have never loved Gary more than I did in that moment! He is such a wonderful and caring person and he did it perfectly. It's a great story to tell the grandkids.. And who said romance is dead! 
Share:

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them



I feel sort of emotional stepping back into the the magical mind of JK Rowling. After growing up watching, reading and loving Harry Potter and everything that is Harry Potter. I feel almost sentimental watching this film as if I am going to see an old family member or I have found something I had lost years ago. 

It's a wonderful feeling and I am glad that at the age of 27 I still feel this way! 


So, what's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them really like... 


It's weird, because when I see Eddie Redmayne I always imagine him as other characters from his films. Usually in the form of the Danish girl or as Stephen Hawking. He is a phenomenal actor and really brings a character to life. 

So, as soon as I saw him in this film as the lovable character Newt, I was immediately drawn back into the world of magic. I love it. He plays a character that reminds me very much of Ron Weasley and Hagrid combined, slightly vulnerable, adorable in his nature but also brave when he has to be. 

Let me start from the beginning and work through the film. 

Fantastic beasts is set in New York City in the 1920's I believe. Eddie Redmayne plays a British Wizard called Newt Scamander who is going on an adventure to seek out new magical creatures. He is writing a book (which is a part of the required reading at Hogwarts 70 years on) on these marvellous creatures as he feels that there is a huge lack of understanding within the wizarding community which is why they are being killed. His goal is to change the perception of magical beasts and in turn stop them from becoming extinct.

However, at this moment in time, there is a dark magic that resides in New York which is causing problems between magical folk and muggles. 

So when Newt gets to New York he immediately finds himself in trouble, a few of his magical creatures somehow escape from his tan leather briefcase and begin to roam the streets of the city - causing mayhem along the way.  

On his hunt to find them to put them back in the briefcase, he meets a No-Maj or better known to us as a muggle, called Jacob - played by Dan Fogler. Jacob is such a wonderful character and for me, played an essential role within this movie. He brings the comedy to the film which is just wonderful. Without giving any spoilers, Newt and Jacob build up a friendship of sorts, and Newt introduces the world of magic to Jacobs life - which in those times, was unforgivable and punishable by law. 

Whilst Newt is trying to find his beasts, he meets Porpentina, better known as Tina (played by Katherine Waterston) who is an Auror in the Magical Congress. This is the American version of the Ministry of Magic. 

Tina finds out what Newt is up to and reports him to the Magical Congress to face his punishment. The reason being is there has been something sinister roaming the streets causing issues for both No-Majs and wizards alike - something that magical folk are blaming on a fantastic beast. However, when doing so Tina's background story starts unravelling and you soon realise that she has a history of her own. 

When you get to the magical congress, you meet Mr Grey - played by Collin Farrell. You see him when the film begins in true Harry Potter style - lots of carnage and mystery, but this is where his character really starts to form and the film keeps unravelling after this point. 

Overall, I love this film! There is a real feel good factor about it, but also keeps you wanting to learn more. It's more adult than Harry Potter and I feel as much as kids will enjoy it, it's been made for adults. I would recommend watching Harry Potter before hand. As much as you may enjoy the film being in the dark about the wonders of witchcraft and wizardry, there are certain hints about where this movie is going and your knowledge of the HP films will come in handy. 

For instance, Dumbledore is mentioned, and so is Grindelwald - however, this movie has a huge focus on Grindelwald (no spoilers here). These are characters you will only know by watching the films or reading the books. I think you will have a greater appreciation for the film if you do.

I would rate this movie 8/10! Definitely recommend it in 3D also. 
Click here for the trailer so you can discover more for yourself. 

This is the film review for Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. I have written this review in a way where I have provided a summary of the film without sharing any of the spoilers! Those bits I think you should discover for yourself by going to watch the film! I hope you enjoy the read.
Share:

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

YSL Shocking Mascara


I have always wanted to try one of the YSL mascaras, but at £25 a pop this isn't a product I would ever purchase lightly. I think £25 is quite a lot of money to spend on a mascara that you're not sure you will even like. Plus, you're only buying the name - sorry YSL, but it's true. 

It's great if you can afford to splash out on expensive beauty products, but you have to be realistic with your budget. I'm saying all of this, yet I still own one. However, I didn't buy this, Gary did, to treat me which is extremely sweet and I am one lucky woman.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
When I first applied this mascara, I have to admit I wasn't so impressed. The mascara was clumped to the bristles of the brush and I couldn't apply it on to my lashes without it going everywhere. I had to wipe the brush off with a baby wipe and start again. After doing so, it worked wonders. 

It really does fill out your lashes, which is difficult for me to notice usually as I have such long thick lashes anyway. I think this is due to the shape of the brush, which is rather unusual, it's twisted which I believe helps to create that volume affect. 

I must admit you do feel this mascara on your lashes, it's weighty but not unpleasant. I think due to the length of my lashes, only going over them twice is sufficient enough. On a positive note, it does brighten your eyes and the black is so intense. 

I think this is perfect to wear on a night out, but not day-to-day. 

PACKAGING
The packaging looks so luxurious. I love the gold and the shape of the tube. It's honestly stunning and rather weighty. I love the font and the overall appearance. It represents YSL so well. 

MASCARA REMOVAL
Removing this mascara was simple to do, however, I was using my Charlotte Tilbury eye makeup remover which is strong stuff. I don't feel this will come off so easily with drugstore remover - or it will smudge everywhere. Definitely worth testing out I think. 

AFTER THOUGHT
The mascara is long lasting and I do like it. However, I do feel that spending £25 on this is costly and not worth that amount of money. Especially in comparison to other drugstore mascaras that work so well. I do think this is due to the thickness and length of my lashes. I feel that if I had shorter, thinner lashes it would be much more impactful and worth purchasing. 

So, overall it is nice but I wouldn't reach for it everyday. There are better mascaras out there!

YSL SHOCKING MASCARA VIDEO REVIEW
Share:

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Decadence by Marc Jacobs


I have been on the hunt for a new fragrance for a while now after finishing my fabulous Flash by Jimmy Choo.

When I came across Decadence, I wasn't sure at first. I went in and out of Boots three times trying to make up my mind as to whether I liked it or not. It wasn't until I sprayed it on to my skin that I thought it was lovely. I don't think spraying perfume on those sample strips of card are at all helpful. 

Now, after just over a month of using it, I can honestly say I have fell in love with this perfume. It's just so womanly and rich. I like sweet scents, but this is simple, elegant and refreshing.

Ingredients
I researched the ingredients and this perfume is quite the concoction. The top notes include plum, saffron and iris. Bulgarian rose, samba jasmine and orris root from from the heart of the perfume, while the base includes warm liquid amber, vetiver and papyrus wood.

Sillage
The sillage is great. It just lingers in the air and you can walk in and out of a room and still smell it. Really impactful and I have had so many compliments about this fragrance. It just fills the air so wonderfully and melts into the skin perfectly

Longevity 
I would say Decadence last for around 5/6 hours. It's one of those fragrances that melts into your skin, so when you think the scent has faded someone surprises you and tells you how nice you smell. 

What it smells like to me...
When I picked this up I could smell what I thought was vanilla. It has a richness and sweetness about it which I adore. You can definitely smelly the fruitiness and the woody undertone which is perfection. Not too sweet, a perfect fragrance for autumn/winter.

Overall, I think its a wonderful perfume. Definitely one I would recommend to all my friends. It's sophisticated and womanly and makes me feel sexy. I will definitely purchase this again once I have run out. £77 for 100ml - I cannot complain! 

Watch my review video here 
Share:

Friday, 8 July 2016

Moving on up

Adios, Au Revoir, Ciao, Auf Wiedersehen, Bon voyage, Sayonara, farewell... 



Today is officially the end of an era.. I am leaving my current position to start something new and fresh. 

It's been an interesting journey to say the least and has given me the experience I needed to move on up - is anyone else singing M people right now? 'Moving on up, time to break free... nothing can stop me...'

No? Just me then... Anyway, moving swiftly on.

Progression and development is key, and I think anyone who is career driven and aspires to be better will agree with that statement. This is one of the main reasons for my farewell, and also because I think going on a new adventure, meeting and working with new people as well as learning new things is extremely exciting and worthwhile. 

However, it's still very sad to say goodbye.


We had a team picnic which as you can see, we had far too much food and not enough mouths to feed. It was honestly lovely, and very different! Which I like, you know me... I have got to be different. 

I am going to miss my girls the most. I think people make a company and when you have gained some fantastic friends like I have - Shell, Sammy, Josie & Karen #NameDrop - it's sometimes sad to think I will not see these people every day. 


However, this isn't something that can stop you from fulfilling your dreams and making the most out of life. I have gained some lifetime friends and I will forever be thankful to those people who have made my time a pleasant one. 

Thanks for the memories :) 
Share:

Thursday, 7 July 2016

The negative side of life

After throwing a few fucks, shits and nobs directed at the woman in the car in front of me, I realised I was going crazy. 



My 35 minute drive to work turned into an hour and 10 minutes as the woman in front of me decided to let every Tom, Dick and Harry cut in. Then for some unknown reason, she just didn't like the speed limit and decided driving 30 in a 60 was just OK!


I had a meeting at 9 am and I was so close to being late for it. I think my blood was boiling because I had it in my mind I would get into work early to settle into my day and I clearly wasn't going to be. 

My mood went from bad to worse as my stomach started grumbling. My 08:30 morning porridge was clearing not happening and to be quite frank, I was pissed off about it. 


Which may be the reason I was directing my anger to the woman in front, who I still think is a complete moron who cannot drive. I am definitely the wrong person to mess with when I am tired and hungry. 


Two weeks on from that incident and it's still on my mind.. what is wrong with me?? 


I get road rage every now and again when people - who clearly shouldn't be allowed behind the wheel -  decide to fuck up my drive to work. I don't know whether it's my age or whether it's because I had plans that day, but something really struck a cord with me. 


I have been thinking about it over and over again, and I have put it down to negativity. Which is what I want to talk about today. I always try to create positive vibes, but honestly, it's friggin difficult at times. 


Everyone gets these moments, even those people who tell you to spread the love and positivity to the world can be arseholes at times - surely! 


Not that I am by any means justifying my actions, I know my aggression was misguided and completely out of order. But, I think that's just me being human. I am an emotional person, mostly laughter and crying - when I am happy and sad. I am hardly ever angry and it takes a lot to push me that far. 


I think we all have a breaking point and people always pin aggression and sadness to negativity which I have to say is a load of bullshit. 


I agree being positive is the best way to think. I find that I am always in a better place when I think positive thoughts and I like to believe that life is good. But then you also have to be realistic, we all have bad things happen to us, we all go through shit and we all feel down at times. I think having negative thoughts is life


I think being negative is just a part of being human, but seeing the positive side to things will definitely bring you more joy out of life. 




Share:

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Holiday essentials checklist

Ensuring that you have all the fundamental items you need for your holiday requires you to be savvier and organised than you might think. 

Photograph taken by Ryan Chand 
This may be different for men - or not. But as a woman, I have essentials for various parts of my trip, from the plane all the way to what I would wear to bed. 

I'm not sure if I'm too organised, and I know that the 10 to-do lists that I write myself in the upcoming weeks to my trip are rather extreme and potentially unnecessary. Which is why, I decided to write My Holiday Essentials List. This hopefully will help you too and well you can just print it off as your very own checklist. 


Share:

Monday, 16 May 2016

Hair removal solutions


I have suffered from dark patches on my underarms since I can remember. They have not always been this way. It all started when I began shaving. Over the years, it has gradually gotten worse and is now a problem I really want to fix. 

I have read so many stories about other women trying to deal with this issue and there are some women out there who have just embraced it and no longer find it a problem.

Unfortunately, I am not one of those women. I am extremely self-conscious and try not to wear many sleeveless tops due to this. I was told that this issue was caused by shaving. So, I decided to take action. I researched and researched and tried so many remedies that people have suggested from lemons, cucumbers, and potatoes - yes, I said potatoes. Apparently, they are all bleaching agents and can over time remove the patches.

I tried them all, and they didn't work for me. Maybe I didn't try them for long enough, but my patience was wearing thin.

 I then thought, maybe trying another form of hair removal would help. So I tried hair removal cream by Veet - this burnt my underarms. It was so bad, I couldn't put my arms down without being in agony. I think this was due to an allergic reaction - not sure if anyone else has experienced this before? 

Needless to say, I will never be trying hair removal cream again. I then went on to wax strips, this was okay, but not a long-term solution and annoyingly, they never removed all the hairs. Plus, I found trying to pull the strip off myself was awful because I was anticipating pain, so I don't think I pulled it off quick enough. 

Finally, I decided to buy an Epilator. I have heard many things about these little contraptions - both good and bad. The bad comments were always how much it hurt to use them. However, there were a variety of people who suggested that they were good and easy to use.

I purchased mine from Boots. I clearly was having some luck as they were on offer. I bought mine for £49.99. I think this has been the best thing I've ever bought for hair removal. It's amazing for my underarms and has really helped. My underarm hair doesn't grow back for two weeks. There isn't much pain and the patches have faded. I couldn't be happier and I think eventually, the patches will fade even more. 

I would definitely recommend this product if you suffer from dark underarms and hopefully, you will find it helps you too. 

Share:

Monday, 25 April 2016

Chocolate Concrete


Chocolate concrete was one of my most favourite desserts as a kid. I use to have this with custard at primary and secondary school and it was delicious! It's a great treat to take with your lunch - although, it's filled with sugar so if you're dieting - STAY AWAY :). 

My dad also use to make this at home as a treat for us all, and it was always an exciting time as myself and my brothers and sister LOVE it. If I can describe the taste, it's a mixture between a chocolate brownie and a shortbread biscuit. 

If you do choose to make this quick and tasty dish, I would suggest you eat it with either custard or ice-cream. However, you can eat it without anything and it's equally delicious and worth making. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 160g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 175g sugar (granulated)
METHOD
  1. Preheat oven to gas mark 3/170'C or 160'C (fan oven)
  2. Melt the butter (This can be done either on the hob or microwave), add the sugar and mix well using a wooden spoon 
  3. Add the flour and cocoa and mix well until you have a stiff consistency
  4. Beat the egg and gently mix into the flour mixture
  5. Put the mixture into a greased 30cm x 18cm baking tray, gently press into the corners and flatten into the tin
  6. Sprinkle with a little water and place in the top half of the oven for 35 minutes
  7. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sugar
  8. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then cut into required size pieces and place on a wire tray
Enjoy! x
Share:

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Kiehl's Ultra Moisturiser SPF 30

I was introduced to Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturiser by one of my colleagues at work. I have been looking for a great face cream that I can also take on holiday with me and get the coverage I need from the sun.

I have combination skin, so finding a face cream that will both nourish and nurture my skin, but also refrain from making me oily is a difficult find. I have used this for over two weeks and I can honestly say, it's perfect. It is light and easy to use. It doesn't make me greasy and provides me with the protection that I need.

I have trialled so may facial creams and have found that there are a rare few that can achieve what Kiehl's has. It's affordable and worth every penny.

Another bonus is that this is now my go-to sun cream. It's going to be great when I go on holiday and not get a rash on my face - which is what usually happens when I use sun cream.

The only negative about this product is the packaging. Which let's be honest, is ugly! It looks like a medicine bottle and if this had not been recommended to me by a friend, I wouldn't have thought it was any good. Not quite sure why Kiehl's wouldn't make more of an effort with this. However, who cares about an ugly bottle when the ingredients are amazing.


Check out the video review here.
Share:

Sunday, 3 April 2016

8 Apps worth having

Spring has arrived. I cannot believe how quickly this year is flying by. 2016 has been incredibly busy already, so planning my time has never been more crucial. The one thing I felt I fell behind on the most in 2015 was organisation. My blogging schedule and also my videos never seemed to go up on time and I would go weeks on end without actually uploading anything. 

This year, all that's changing! I have no excuse for last year, I just let everything get away from me. My plan for this year is to focus on both my blog and YouTube channel and produce some epic content for you all. To help me achieve this, I have downloaded a variety of apps to get me both organised and keep me in contact with you all.  Of course, some of these I had already, but others I was introduced to at the beginning of this year and they have changed my life - okay slightly drastic, but they have helped a great deal.


Instagram:
Yes, we all use Instagram - this has been a fantastic app to share what I'm up to. Whether there is any new content on my blog, or whether I have a new video to upload I always post a picture on my page to show you guys. I also use Instagram for my health and fitness, sharing food ideas and updates about my gym progress. It's all about be focused and loving who you are. 


Share:

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Editors reading list

There is nothing like finding a good book to get lost in. I am huge lover of reading brilliantly written novels, regardless of the genre. I thought it would be great to share some of the books that I have loved reading over the past few years. 

This is just a few that I have loved and as you can imagine, it would be an incredibly laborious task to list every book I have ever read - we would be here for days. So, I decided to highlight just a few of my favourites that would be worth your time. 

Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian 
This is a novel which takes you into the life of a badly abused young boy named Willie who finds safety and love when he goes to live with a lonely man - better known as Mister Tom, during World War II. The basis of the story is truly riveting, complex, and extremely emotional. Yes, it's a children's book, but in many ways, adults can learn a thing or two about compassion, history and ways of the world. My favourite book, and one that I couldn't put down. 

Scandalous by Tilly Bagshawe
Read my review here

One Day by David Nicholls 
This book takes you on a journey of a love story that spans over twenty years. When Dexter and Emma meet on the night of their graduation in 1988, their one night of good sex isn't long lived.  However, this connection appears to be more than what it seems and you witness snapshots of their relationship  on the same day of each year (July 15th). There are big fights, new love, old love, sex, laughter, tears and of course, missed opportunities. It's honestly one of the most devastating books I have ever read, with twists and turns that are so unexpected. Such a fabulous read. 

Bone Collector by Jeffrey Deaver 

This book is about Lincoln Rhyme, who was once a brilliant criminologist. Known for his genius work in the field of forensics, until a tragic accident left him bed ridden and broken. However, all this changes, when a serial killer challenges his mind to a terrifying game of 'catch me if you can'. When New York's finest are unable to figure out the clues, Rhyme and police detective Amelia Sachs must step in to assist.  Gripping, dark and worth the read. 

Along came a spider by James Patterson 

The classic thriller that launched the Alex Cross series. There are so many things happening within this book, that it's hard to put down.  There's a missing child,  a family of three who are  brutally murdered and the thrill-killing of a school teacher. So much to take in, it's compelling, excellently written and honestly brilliant. 

No country for old men by Cormac McCarthy 

A horrific chain of events which all start with bullet-ridden bodies and a case filled with money. Things start to unravel and you can guarantee it was never going to be smooth sailing. A thrilling book, with brutal outcomes. 

The lovely Bones by Alice Sebold 
One of the worst events that could ever happen to a family - the death of a child. However, this story isn't just sad. It's devastating. You read the story of teenage victim, Susie Salmon, who takes you through the details of her death from her own little space in heaven. She describes every sickening aspect of her murder as she watches her family and the murderer intensely. Witnessing her family grieve and want justice - with little information to go on, and her murderer looking for his next victim. 

Such an intense and heart-wrenching book. Gripping and very detailed.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Reading pages of Amy's diary, you follow the story of a married couple with a problematic relationship. Endless series of lies, deceit, and inappropriate behaviour - mixed in with a missing person and potential murder investigation. Hot in the media and with pressure from the police, evidence begins to mount up against Nick Dunne - but is he a killer?  

Twisted thriller which will keep you glued to the pages.
Share:

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

As women get older


When does it all start to change? 

Have you ever consider this question? I was recently having this discussion with a few girl friends at work, and we came to the conclusion that we did not know. 

It's not just a fashion thing, although, this is what originally triggered my curiosity and questions. Personally, I think it starts off small. So small that we hardly notice the switch. Style changes, such as when you start believing that skirt or dress is too short for you. But at what point does this mentality kick in? 

I am 26, and already there are things that I do differently, it's partly due to the maturing process, but there is also something else - JUDGEMENT. 

It all started over a casual chat about Topshop - surprise surprise - my once favourite fashion store is now one that I hardly shop in due to the lack of good finds and the fact that the majority of clothing I now see within the stores are made for overtly skinny 12-18 year old's. This general chat escalated into what we think we can and cannot wear now. When did a group of 26 year old's start feeling self conscious about how we dress?

I almost feel prudish when I speak about this, because I would love to wear a crop top and feel confident. However, the thought of having my slightly flabby midriff out makes me shudder. Maybe it's all to do with confidence. 

I then started to flick through my Facebook - why oh why did I ever think it was cool to wear a belt over my clothes - what the fuck. Apart from realising that 18 year old me had no fashion sense, I also realised that in the last 10 years there has been a switch. 12 - 18 year old's are now wearing clothes that 20 - 30 year old's would wear. There is no longer a barrier between us - apart from the crop tops, they can have those. 

I think children are no longer children - well at least they do not act this way, they have become overly sexualised and have a broad platform to showcase this. To be quite honest, I feel sad. Having a childhood where you're treated like a child is something I treasure. The change in society has made a grown-up child more acceptable.  

Due to this, I believe that women in their mid 20's are being forced to mature quicker. Not necessarily in personality, but in other ways. We dress older to set ourselves apart, then more developments happen which are more to do with age - taste buds change, that fruit cider changes into red wine or G&T and then bam - I'm practically 40.  

Okay, that's a slight over exaggeration and there is nothing wrong with being 40. However, I think I have found an answer to this laborious question - well at least one answer as there are no doubt many. 

So, when does it all start to change? 

I think you change when society does. I think social media is a key influencer and I think we as women change, when our surroundings change, this can be due to confidence, marriage, children or general lifestyle choices. I am a firm believe that you're only as old as you feel. So therefore, we age when we start to feel older which inevitably triggers change. 
Share:

Friday, 4 March 2016

10 things to do in New York

New York is one of my favourite cities in the world. I have had two awesome experiences and definitely want to go back to the big apple one day. There is so much that you can do when you're there and so many incredible sights to see.
I wanted to share some of the amazing things that you can do in New York. I have only chosen 10 tourist hot spots for you to explore, however, there is so much to see and do that it's worth doing your research. 


10 THINGS TO DO IN NEW YORK

  1. Times Square 
  2. Brooklyn Bridge
  3. Statue of liberty and liberty island 
  4. Rockefeller Centre
  5. Empire State Building 
  6. Grand Central Terminal 
  7. American Museum of Natural History 
  8. Central Park 
  9. Yankee Stadium 
  10. Bronx Zoo 
I haven't placed them on here, however, New York is filled with amazing restaurants and bars. I thoroughly loved the shopping experience - surprise surprise, so I would suggest if that's what you're planning to go for, then take plenty of money. I think I spent a mini fortune on clothes, beauty, food and sightseeing. It was definitely worth saving for. 

I travelled at Christmas and in the summer and both times have their individual benefits and perks. I also booked a few tours which were great as they shared New York culture and some of the fun aspects of such a renown city - for example, I was able to see where some of the big films and series were created such as Home Alone 2, Friends and Sex and the city. 

When I travelled at Christmas time, I stayed on 3rd Avenue which isn't a bad location and not too far from all the main attractions. However, when I travelled in the summer, I stayed at the New Yorker Hotel and this was situated on 5th Avenue which was a hot spot for tourists because it is a 5 minute walk from Times Square. 

At Christmas I took £500 spending money which lasted me five days, and in the summer I took £700 which lasted me all week and this was three meals per day, all the tourist costs and also shopping. I think if you're really wanting to splash out, I would take more. Please remember that you cannot drink unless you're 21! 

I hope you found this small review helpful. New York is definitely a city worth visiting and I would fly back tomorrow if I could.
Share:

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Let's talk cold sores


First of all, lets clear up what a cold sore actually is and ways of which people can unfortunately develop them. According to the NHS website (medical website in the UK) cold sores are small blisters that develop on the lips or around the mouth. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus. The strain of herpes simplex virus usually responsible for cold sores is known as HSV-1.  There are two types of herpes, which many people get confused about. HSV-1 is developed around the mouth - which is a cold-sore, and HSV-2 is genital herpes. 

There is so much negativity that surrounds a cold sore and yes, it is a form of herpes. Now, before you start passing judgement when you see someone who suffers with this, you need to learn a few home truths. 

I have been at the brunt end of negativity and bullying when I was growing up due to this matter and this is simply down to sheer ignorance and lack of understanding.  

So, lets get a few things straight! It isn't just through sex that you can catch herpes. I have suffered with cold sores since I was 2 years old. Cold sores are extremely contagious and my mother has been a long sufferer of this. 

The herpes simplex virus – or "cold sore virus" can be easily passed from person to person by close direct contact. After someone has contracted the virus, it remains dormant most of the time. However, every so often the virus can be activated by certain triggers, resulting in an outbreak of cold sores. These triggers vary from person to person.

My personal triggers are stress and nuts. I have to stay away from almonds and chocolate coated peanuts such as M&Ms. I have found that as long as I stay healthy and refrain from eating certain foods, I rarely have a cold sore. 

No contact
If you do suffer from cold sores, or know someone that does please ensure that you:

  • Never drink from their cup when they have a cold sore
  • Never use their face towel 
  • Don't use their toothbrush - this is gross and you shouldn't anyway
  • No kissing or oral sex
  • No touching the infected area - this can cause your cold sore to spread and also impacts the healing process
Of course, this is only between the 7-10 day healing process, because it is contagious. At any other time, it is fine. I would suggest throwing away your toothbrush after you've had a cold sore as germs and bacteria will be on this, and I would change your bedding also as your face will have been on your pillow. It's best to be cautious and avoid developing another cold sore. 

The best medication for cold sores 
If you suffer from a cold sore on the odd occasions like myself, then using the following treatment can help:
  • Zovirax - best cream I have ever used and gets rid of cold sores quickly. Ensure you apply immediately as soon as your start to feel a tingle
  • Blistex - I use this all of the time, this not only helps cracked lips, it also prevents cold sores 
  • Ice cubes - helps with the swelling, itchiness and also numbs the pain 
  • Paracetamol - in case you get pain when you have a cold sore, it's always useful 
I would suggest applying cold sore cream with a cotton bud and washing your hands immediately after to avoid spreading. If you suffer more frequently with cold sores I would consult your  doctor as I do believe you can get stronger medication to help. 

I hope you found this post useful! 



Share:

Monday, 1 February 2016

Frugal February


This February I have decided to cut down on spending! My outgoings as of late have become rather erratic and I have been wasting money rather than saving it. February marks my month for change. 

Not only have I started the 52 week challenge this year (which is a saving scheme where you save £1 for every week in the year - for example (1st week:£1, 2nd week: £2) By the end of the year I will have saved £1.378. I have also decided to cut out a lot  of frivolous spending.

February is a trial month as I want to see where all my money goes which is why I will be giving myself a weekly allowance. This will cover - food, petrol and whatever else I usually do in the week - whether this is go out with Gary or with friends. I have so many big things that I want to do this year, and saving is essential to achieve this. 

My dad has always urged me to save, he would say for a rainy day. I wish I listened to him once I started working, this would have been a huge help to me now if I had just saved 10% of my wage each month I would be in a better position now. I feel like I have so much catching up to do and although I didn't start this early, it's never to late. 

Here is my list to help cut down of spending
  • Budget for each week - petrol, groceries and also a weekly allowance
  • Watch cash flow - calculate bills
  • Unsubscribing from GlossyBox - February will be my final box as it is free due to the points that I have collected over the past few months
  • No clothes, no shoes and no accessories- this is going to be hard because I love to shop
  • No impulse purchasing 
  • Stick to a shopping list when grocery shopping 
  • Sell all unwanted clothes on eBay 
  • No eating out unless it's within budget 
  • 52 week challenge - target £1,378!! 
If you have any saving tips you would recommend leave me a comment below!! 
Share:

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.
Share:

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. 
Share:

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.
Share:
© SPRUCENEWS | All rights reserved.