Saturday 27 July 2019

Five Ways To Look & Feel Your Best

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If you're struggling when it comes to looking & feeling your best then don't worry, there are many simple things you can do to improve the way you see yourself. Although you may feel as though you've lost your way when it comes to your physical or mental health, it's important you do everything you can to find yourself back on your feet. When we're feeling down, it's dangerously easy to let our healthy habits slide & in the end that will only make you feel worse. Whilst it may seem incredibly difficult at first, there are lots of things you can do to ensure you're feeling better in no time. With that in mind, here are five ways to instantly boost your self-esteem:

Do Your Hair & Makeup More Often
One of the easiest ways to look & feel your best is to ensure you're doing your hair & makeup as much as possible. You might not be leaving the house or going anywhere special but getting yourself ready is a great way to boost your mood. It's been proven that feeling good about your appearance can help when it comes to mood & positivity so if doing your hair & makeup helps you to feel good, you should definitely be doing it as often as you can. Taking some time to go through your skincare regimen & complete your morning makeup routine will make you feel so much better. Who cares if you're only popping to the supermarket? Throw some glitter on your eyelids & embrace your glam side, even if you just need a fresh loaf of bread!

Go For Regular Appointments At The Salon
On a similar note, going for regular trips to the salon can really help when it comes to boosting your mood. Whether you have your hair done or you get a fresh set of acrylics, there's no better feeling than walking out of a salon after being pampered. If you can't fit regular salon trips into your monthly budget, you might want to think about how you can recreate the salon experience at home. Foot spa machines can be incredibly affordable & make you feel like you're getting a luxury pedicure when you're just sat on your sofa. If you want to go one step further, invest in a LED lamp & do your own gel manicure at home.

Consider What Will Make You Feel Better About Your Appearance
Another important thing to consider when it comes to looking & feeling your best is thinking about what is going to make you feel better about yourself. Whether this means focussing on body positivity or undergoing cosmetic gynaecology, it's important you're thinking about whether or not these are changes you want to make. For some people, going through with cosmetic procedures is the only way they can feel more comfortable in their own skin. If you're unsure, speaking to someone you trust about how you're feeling might be worthwhile.

Surround Yourself With People That Make You Happy
A great way to ensure you're always feeling your best is to surround yourself with the people that make you happy. Spending as much time as you can with your family & friends will always make you feel better. Plus the happy memories you make with these people can help you to get through tougher times. If someone makes you unhappy it's perfectly reasonable to cut them out of your life. Toxic relationships can be so unhealthy, it doesn't matter whether it's a family member or your boyfriend. Similarly, unfollowing people on social media that make you feel bad about the way you look or your life in general is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. After all, comparison is the thief of joy.

Practice Self-Care Where Possible
Finally, it's important to practice self-care whenever possible. Mindfulness is a fantastic therapeutic technique that is vital for proper self-care. It involves being more aware of the present moment & allows us to notice habits or negative thoughts that don't serve our wellbeing. Mindfulness is especially useful because it ensures that we use self-care for the right reasons. Without a mindful attitude, we may use self-care as a form of distraction to avoid our feelings or put off doing important tasks. Self-care can take many forms & it doesn't have to be incredibly fancy. Sometimes it can be something as simple as getting dressed, brushing your teeth or washing your hair. If you do want to partake in something more indulgent, take the time to enjoy a hot bath, read a good book or go for a long walk - you may be surprised just how much of a difference it can make to your mood.

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Friday 26 July 2019

Bravura London Moisturisers

Bravura London Azulene Moisturiser Glycolic Acid Night Treatment

Hardly a week goes by without the launch of some new skincare products. These launches can be difficult to ignore because it's only natural to want to try something new & improved. As a beauty blogger I love trying new things, especially when it comes to skincare so it can be quite rare to come across a product that I will continue to repurchase again & again. I change up the actives & serums constantly but one thing I have stuck with for a very long time is my moisturiser. These two little pots of joy come from Bravura London. They have a perfectly curated range of skincare products designed to treat the problems that come with many different skin types. I love the First Cleanse Oil for removing my makeup & their chemical peels are simply fantastic. I don't use as many of their products as I used to ever since The Ordinary came along but I have stayed loyal to their moisturisers for several years.

Bravura London Azulene Moisturiser

Bravura London Azulene Moisturiser (£10.20 / 50ml)
A quick search through my inbox revealed that I first bought this moisturiser back in 2016 & have repurchased it a countless number of times over the past three years. If that doesn't tell you how much I love this product, I don't know what will! It's a really lovely way to finish off your skincare regime whether you have normal, oily or combination skin. I sometimes switch to their Collagen Moisturising Cream during the Winter when my skin gets a bit drier but for the most part, this particular moisturiser is the best thing for my personal skincare needs.

The blue colour of this moisturiser comes from one of it's most important ingredients, azulene. This is a natural, botanical extract from chamomile flowers that helps to soothe sensitive skin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties to prevent the formation of blackheads & blemishes. Don't let the colour put you off, the Azulene Moisturiser looks completely normal once you've applied it to your skin. If anything, the ever so slight blue tint makes your complexion look brighter & less sallow. You only need to use a small amount of product so each jar tends to last me quite a long time. This light, emollient cream is fragrance-free but in my opinion, it smells a tiny bit like marzipan. The Azulene Moisturiser has an aloe vera base so it never feels heavy or greasy. In fact it has stopped my skin from producing as much oil, probably because it has helped to keep everything properly hydrated. It absorbs quickly & feels really comforting. Along with azulene & aloe vera, this moisturiser features rosemary, sage & hop extracts to help calm irritation & heal the skin. The combination of hazelnut, wheatgerm & avocado oils provide lightweight yet effective hydration without clogging pores. This is why it's such a great product for my blemish-prone skin.

I use this moisturiser every morning without fail because it helps to keep excess oil at bay & has an almost matte finish. Yet it still provides all the hydration that my skin requires. The Azulene Moisturiser makes a wonderful base for makeup. It works really well with the rest of my skincare routine & doesn't cause pilling. The soothing formula has helped to prevent breakouts & reduce redness. It leaves my skin feeling softer, smoother & a whole lot healthier. I also use it at night because those healing properties are always welcome after some chemical exfoliation. You can mix it with a few drops of something like rosehip oil, argan oil or squalane for some extra hydration. This simple trick turns the moisturiser into more of a luxury treatment to really pamper your skin before bedtime.

Bravura London Glycolic Acid Night Treatment

Bravura London Glycolic Acid 15% Night Treatment (£17.40 / 50ml)
Although I do mainly use the Azulene Moisturiser mixed with a facial oil at bedtime, I'm also a big fan of this moisturiser that has been supercharged with glycolic acid. I adore Bravura London's chemical peels as they are extremely effective but they can be a bit of a faff to use. Sometimes I'm just way too tired to do my full skincare routine at night even if my complexion is crying out for help. When I'm feeling lazy I just wanna wipe off my makeup with some micellar water, pop on a tiny bit of moisturiser & jump into bed. But that's probably not the best thing for your skin. So to combat my chronic idleness, using a rich moisturiser infused with a high percentage of glycolic acid means I get some much needed exfoliation & nourishment at the same time. I've tried moisturisers with acids in before but none of them have been quite as effective as this one.

The Glycolic Acid 15% Night Treatment is ideal for dry, mature or problem skin. It's particularly good for blemish-prone skin that gets too dry when using gel moisturisers or oil-free lotions. However it should be avoided if you have really sensitive skin. The cream is quite thick & luxurious with a lovely buttery texture. You only need to use a tiny amount & have to massage it in really well. It doesn't smell quite as pleasant as the Azulene Moisturiser but the scent soon dissipates after application. I find that it can make my skin sting a bit when first applied, especially if I have any active spots but it doesn't cause irritation or redness. After a couple of minutes it melts into the skin & makes my face feel incredibly soft. It also kills off any blemishes, clears blocked pores & fades scarring. I honestly noticed a difference after just one use as when I woke up my face was glowing. When you first start using this moisturiser, you should only apply it every other night so that your skin can adjust to the high acid content. Over time the glycolic acid in this moisturiser will make your skin look smoother & scars will become less noticeable. As well as exfoliating the skin, it stimulates the production of collagen which will give you a more youthful & plumped up complexion. It also allows your moisturiser to penetrate the deeper layers of skin to provide some truly intense nourishment.

Another way I like to use this moisturiser is as a targeted blemish treatment. You can just apply it directly on top of any congested areas to quickly tackle any pesky spots. Many fast-acting spot treatments tend to dry out the skin & that often makes things look worse, especially if you want to conceal it with makeup. Just like the Azulene Moisturiser, the Glycolic Acid 15% Night Treatment has aloe vera & safflower oil as the two main hydrating ingredients so it will keep your skin feeling perfectly moisturised whilst banishing blemishes. This product really does make your skin look clearer overnight & it allows you to streamline your skincare routine so you can get even more beauty sleep. Brilliant!

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Wednesday 17 July 2019

How To Become More Body Positive

Self Love Brings Beauty Body Confidence
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We all beat ourselves up about our bodies & our looks from time to time but for some people, it can be a real issue. Living with a negative image of ourselves can really get us down. It can cause us to withdraw & avoid social situations. When trying on clothes, we might think that an item doesn't fit or suit us & that we need to change ourselves instead of society. It can cause people to lose their sense of self & can affect their confidence in every aspect of their lives, including at work or in personal relationships. We are constantly bombarded with images of what we should look like through advertising, TV, film, social media & celebrity culture. Magazines run articles about dangerous fad diets or how to fit into this outfit & it can make us feel as though if we're not doing these things, there is something wrong with us.

Breaking out of this cycle of low self-esteem can be very difficult but it is certainly achievable. The types of thinking associated with having a negative body image can be contagious & hard to stop. We all need to be a little kinder to ourselves when it comes to our appearance. It's not merely a case of not putting yourself down or thinking positively. It involves changing our entire outlooks and using new inclusive language & phrases to evoke a greater sense of self-worth. This may seem like a challenge but it's one that's definitely worth the effort.

The Human Body Is An Amazing Thing
You are an amazing person. Allow yourself to take that thought in. Everyone on this planet is unique & there are so many things about you that are special to you. You will have personal qualities, talents & abilities that you should be proud of and you will have features that you should be proud of as well. Focus on celebrating these instead of dwelling on the things that you don't like about yourself.

Dressing To Feel Good
Shopping on the high street can be frustrating, looking at mannequins with impossibly small figures & clothes racks full of items that don't go much higher than a size 16. It can leave you feeling frumpy & like there's nothing you could possibly look good wearing. However there are plenty of companies that specialise in plus size clothing that is designed to make you look & feel good. Shopping for clothes online can be a much less stressful experience because you can try on clothes in the comfort of your own home & there's a much better selection available.

Avoid Comparing Yourself To Others
Looking at others & thinking that they are perfect can spell trouble for our minds. We can often fixate on elements of another person & subsequently compare ourselves to them. But in truth, you don't know how that other person feels about themselves. They may be racked with self-doubt & they will probably have hang-ups surrounding parts of their body too. Set your sights on becoming the best version of yourself, no one else matters.

Think Health Goals
Changing up your diet & exercising is absolutely fine. In fact, making sure you're getting plenty of the right nutrients and enough exercise to keep your heart & body healthy is definitely recommended. But when we've got a problem with our body image, we often focus on trying to lose weight or change something about our bodies. It's not the best reason to do something. Doing it for health reasons is far more productive & a lot more beneficial.

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Thursday 4 July 2019

June Favourites

NYX Bare With Me Spray, NYX Tinted Skin Veil, Revolution Fast Base Concealer, NYX Matte Liquid Liner, Fenty Setting Powder

NYX Bare With Me Prime Set Refresh Spray
My love for NYX has well & truly been rekindled with the launch of their Bare With Me Collection. I picked up a few different pieces from them last month & the first item that really impressed me is their Prime Set Refresh Spray. This multitasking spray can be used before, during & after the makeup application process. It's infused with aloe & cucumber extracts so it's ideal for sensitive skin. It primes your skin for makeup, helps your makeup to last throughout the day & adds a hit of hydration whenever you need it. You get a whopping 130ml for £10 so it's really good value for money, especially when compared to Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray & it'll keep your makeup in place just as well. I always use a spray such as this when working with powders to stop them from sitting on top of the skin. If you spritz a bit on top of your cheekbones before applying highlighter, it really makes the pigment pop & allows you to buff in the powder to perfection. One thing I don't like about this product is the spray nozzle. It seems to spurt out randomly rather than giving you a nice fine mist. I often end up with more of it on my t-shirt than on my face! I like the spray itself but I think I'll probably decant it into a different bottle.

NYX Bare With Me Tinted Skin Veil
The next product I bought from the Bare With Me collection is the Tinted Skin Veil in Vanilla Nude. My skin has been pretty good lately so I wanted something really lightweight with minimal coverage for those super hot days when I don't want to wear a ton of makeup. This stuff fits the bill perfectly & works as a fantastic base when you just want to lightly even out your complexion. Like most foundations, I think it looks best when applied with a BeautyBlender but this is the kinda product you can quickly smear on with your fingers when you're in a rush to leave the house & you'll still look great. It looks very natural & allows your skin to shine through whilst covering any redness. The finish is quite matte but I think that adds to the whole natural appearance & means that it doesn't break down on the skin. It stays put for a surprisingly long time & even survived the recent heatwave. I picked up Vanilla Nude which is the lightest yellow toned shade & it's a pretty decent match. It actually has more of an olive undertone but it works well to correct any discolouration in my skin & blends in seamlessly. I just really love this product. It's so easy to use & helps you to look a bit more put together with hardly any effort. It's a lazy girl Summer staple.

Revolution Fast Base Concealer
Revolution have two foundation ranges that I really love - Conceal & Define and Fast Base. If you haven't tried the Fast Base Stick Foundation I highly recommend it. I was interested to see how its concealer counterpart performed especially as this concealer is only £3! The packaging is very similar to the Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer with the round fluffy applicator on top. This concealer provides lightweight buildable coverage & is ideal for brightening up dark circles. The formula is very creamy & easy to blend with just your fingers. You can easily pop this in your handbag for touchups throughout the day using the small cushion applicator. I really like the coverage & it delivers instant radiance with a really smooth, natural finish. This is one of the cheapest concealers I've seen in the likes Boots or Superdrug but it's actually one of the best. Think Touche Éclat but at a fraction of the price!

NYX Matte Liquid Liner
Another NYX product that I've been loving is their Matte Liquid Liner. I usually prefer felt tip pen style liners & was previously using their Epic Ink Liner. However the nib started leaking weirdly & began to dispense way too much product. The liner kept bleeding when I applied it & would sometimes run into my eye which I did not appreciate after spending an hour on my makeup! So I decided to pick this one up instead because I saw this gorgeous look by Alyssa Marie Artistry where she used this particular NYX liner. The Matte Liquid Liner comes with a fine tipped brush so you can get a really crisp line & a sharp wing. The liner is extremely pigmented & dries down to a fully opaque true matte black. It's really long lasting, doesn't smudge & doesn't make my sensitive eyes water. I thought the brush would be difficult to work with because I'm so used to felt tip liners but I've had no problems with it at all. It's a great liquid liner & I'm much happier with this product than the Epic Ink Liner.

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Setting Powder
I've been dying to try some products from Fenty Beauty for so long but I could never decide what to buy first. I finally got the chance to play with their products in person when they recently launched in the Trinity Leeds branch of Boots. I had originally planned on getting the foundation but the finish is way too matte for my liking. In the end I came away with the Instant Retouch Setting Powder in Butter mainly because NikkieTutorials raves about it. I've been using translucent powder for a while but I wanted something with a bit of pigment to help brighten up my dark circles. Butter is a light yellow colour so it's a great match for me & adds just a touch of colour for a flawless finish. The powder itself is so finely milled & feels silky soft on the skin. I don't think I've come across such a superfine or lightweight loose setting powder before. It literally feels as light as air. It also has a subtle sweet scent which I really like. Once applied it has a blurring effect on the skin, hiding pores & smoothing over fine lines. It sets my foundation & concealer really well whilst airbrushing my skin to perfection. The finish is matte but not cakey at all. You can reapply it throughout the day & it'll keep your skin looking fresh. I've worn it out in the blazing sun, felt sweat pouring down my forehead & my makeup hadn't budged an inch. This setting powder is everything!

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