Philosophy #CleansePeelTreat

Processed with VSCO with n1 presetPhilosophy is a brand I’ve mentioned on Dawndancers before. This is one of my favourite skincare brands, for the simple reason that the products I’ve used so far just happen to work for me. Imagine my excitement when Philosophy kindly sent me my own Cleanse, peel and treat set.

Despite wearing factor 50 face cream daily, my post holiday skin is a little sun damaged so I couldn’t wait to treat my skin to some TLC. I open the box and I’m greeted with a 3 step skincare set, cleanser, exfoliator and a moisturiser. The packaging is simple and clean. From my experience with this brand, they tend to focus on the product and quality rather than the packaging. Apart from some positive, thought provoking quotes which are greatly appreciated when I’m taking my 6am shower each morning.

Processed with VSCO with h3 presetThe first step is to cleanse, I’m using Purity. A cleanser that dissolves makeup leaving behind a clean canvas. I closed my eyes and massage into my skin and eye area, my mascara comes off completely with no hassle. This cleanser isn’t foamy by any means but it does remove all traces of makeup After a splash of water, my skin feels prepped, moisturised and ready for the next step.

The idea behind the microdelivery resurfacing peel is that it works like a very mild chemical peel. Chemical peels can be VERY pricey and downtime could possibly be required. Microdelivery Contains skin brightening vitamin C and skin peptides, it smells fresh and zesty, the scrub is yellow and ever so slightly gritty. NO MICROBEADS are used in this product which get’s a big thumbs up from me :). The scrub applies like a paste. I don’t rub in too much at this point as it’s quite abrasive, I lightly massage into my skin and wait. This is a satisfying product to apply. I then wait for a minute until I apply the lactic acid activating gel. My skin turns warm when contact is made and I begin massaging into my skin in circular motions focusing on my chin, nose and forehead but avoiding the eye area. I leave it on for about 5 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. This product is the most effective I’ve used for improving texture, removing bumps and dead skin.

I’m left with the smoothest skin of my adult life! All I want to do is touch my new skin but I restrain myself (I break out if I touch my skin too much). I actually put this on my boyfriend who also couldn’t stop touching his face. I had to make him understand why skin care is so awesome..and now he does. 😉 My skin is glowing, looks brighter and my pores really do look minimized. I don’t know if this is because there’s less oil/shine of my face which enlarges the appearance of pores but there’s a noticeable difference.

The next day my makeup applies like a dream and I am more than happy with the results. At £59.50 it is pricey but compared with the cost of getting this done professionally and the amount of uses you can get from one pack, it’s a product well worth investing in.

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Processed with VSCO with h3 presetHope in a jar is a rich, lightweight moisturiser, with a whipped texture, it smells fresh and applies nicely. By this point my skin feels gloriously smooth, renewed and bright. This product is for dry skin though so I’m not sure I would use it in the day on my oily/combo skin. I think I would be more suited to the Hope in a jar for all skin types.

Once again I’ve fallen in love with Philosophy, the microdelivery Peel will be taking permanent residence in my bathroom cabinet (hidden from my boyfriend of course).

Back to basics

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Jason WU’s bottle design is the real reason I purchased the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. Most know him as the fashion powerhouse behind many a red carpet look, I know him as the genius behind some of the most beautiful dolls ever created, fashion royalty dolls. If you’ve not checked out his work then please do. Caudalie beauty elixir makes a great base for makeup. I have been using this after my morning cleanse to wake my skin up and over my makeup throughout the day for a dewy, radiant glow. The main ingredients are orange blossom, rose, organic balm mint and rosemary. The mint & rosemary stands out as the most prominent scent making it a really refreshing product to use for a quick pick me up. I bought this smaller version from Space NK.

After sticking to the same concealer for the last 5 years (Benefit’s boing which is great by the way), I thought it was time to branch out and be a bit more adventurous. Becca aqua luminous perfecting concealer is weightless, water rich and contains subtle flexible pigments infused with light technology to conceal & blur. My favourite feature is the angled applicator for precision application which prevents product waste and helps the cream glide on smoothly.

Clinique high impact mascara is one of my 3 favourite mascaras, benefits bad gal lash and Lancôme’s hypnose. They all give great results but this is my go to mascara. I’m a big fan of the brush, I don’t seem to have any eyelid accidents with this one and the brush is soft and chunky and loads up just enough product to give me thick, full lashes.

BareMinerals Prime Time BB Primer-Cream Daily Defense Lotion with SPF30 is another essential product for me. I use this everyday! Even if it’s the only product I use. 1-2 pumps leaves an almost sheer layer that blurs my pores and mattifies oily areas. Although this is a primer, it can most definitely be worn alone. It does apply a little oily but is soon absorbed and your makeup will glide on like a dream.

If you’re the kind of person who loves Spicy, zesty and uplifting scents then you will fall in love with this perfume. Many times when I’ve made a green Thai curry, I’ve been chopping away at my ginger and lime thinking…Mmm, this is one of the most perfect combos. It inspired me create my DIY Lime & Ginger body scrub . Origins Ginger essence is a perfume I’ve purchased for many years and never tire of. Spicy Ginger is the dominating aroma perfectly balanced with Bergamot, cool Lemon and Lime. This scent is positivity in a bottle, awakening me on the chilliest of mornings and inspiring me to get up and go.

5 tips to a good nights sleep

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As I’m typing this, my eyes are half closed, I might very well still be asleep – Who knows. It’s 8am and I’m in work at my desk wishing I were at home sleeping..

Some people can get by fine on 6 hours sleep, not me. I need at least 7. After 8 hours I feel sluggish at first but more productive and generally happier throughout the day. Me and my guy got into this habit of going to bed around 10:30 then watching videos online until at least 11:30 (I did it last night too- doh!). This makes getting up at 6am unbearable. I’ve had to be strict with myself and change my routine. being a night owl, this has proved difficult as my creativity comes at night when I’m about to drop off to sleep.

I’m working on making a few changes to my routine, on the days I’ve followed this advice, the next day has been a better one after a good sleep.

Turn off the tech – This is probably an issue most people face in the modern world. Switching off is hard when you have the world at your fingertips. Honestly, it will make the world of difference. Not only does the light from a TV suppress melatonin, but many programs are stimulating rather than relaxing. This can leave you sleeping light, waking up throughout the night will leave you grouchy and sluggish in the morning. Create a bedtime ritual, read a book, write, let your body know it’s time to switch off.

Costa Coffee were kind enough to give me a thermos flask, this inspired me to fill it with green tea each morning. I enjoy taking it with me on my way to work. Green tea is naturally high in caffeine rather than the sugar packed additive ridden coffee drinks. If you’re used to your creamy coffee then this can be a hard habit to kick. Getting out of the “I deserve this because I’m tired and need it to focus” mind-set and being mindful before making that choice is an important step. Having a camomile tea before bed can help you to relax.

Try to exercise before bed. Make sure you’ve allowed yourself a good 2 hours of rest before bedtime. Work on stretches instead. If there’s 2 of you then give each other a massage using a relaxing aromatherapy oil. I use this one from the Body shop.

Avoid eating before bed – I’ve had some of my most terrifying nightmares when eating before bed, I guess that’s why they say cheese will give you nightmares (cheese can take up to 5 hours to digest). Although I enjoy a good dream, I don’t like feeling knackered the next day.

Just breath, sounds simple doesn’t it? it’s actually quite difficult to breath yourself into a relaxed state. Many of us breath shallow most of the time. Try inhaling and exhaling. As you inhale for 3, feel your lungs expand and your stomach rise. As you exhale for 3, feel your lungs empty of air and your chest lowering, Imagining your body sinking as you do this.. As you focus on how your body feels your mind will slowly begin to empty of everything. That folks, is a basic meditation technique.

If you’re struggling to relax then pay a visit to The Honest Guys’ You Tube Channel. This is the video that taught me how to meditate. The Honest Guys is my go to channel when I’m feeling stressed or just want to clear my mind.

 

Healthy gluten free nutty flapjacks

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I’m a self confessed serial snacker. Sometimes fruit just won’t cut it when the afternoon slump hits. These flapjacks are packed with goodness and keep my cravings at bay all afternoon. Be warned though, these delicious snacks are high in fat – good fats of course! they also make a great before or after a workout snack.

I certainly don’t eat enough nuts so this is an easy and more interesting way to incorporate them into my diet.

Pumpkin seeds – Are a rich source of magnesium, zinc, omega 3, are anti inflammatory and contains tryptophan (this contributes toward a good nights sleep)

Brazil nuts – 1 brazil nut provides your daily recommended amount of selenium, High in Vitamin E – great news for your skin, hair and nails!

Macadamias – are a rich source of Vitamin A, iron, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folates. Macadamia nut oil has a high content of palmitoleic fatty acids. This is a nutrient that can delay the process of cell and skin aging. It also helps strengthen the hair follicle meaning less split ends.

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What you need:

1 300g bag of gluten free rolled oats

2-3 ripe bananas

half a cup of Coconut oil

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

2 tablespoons of honey

You don’t need to add these next bits but I like to –

Smash up some Brazil, cashew, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds and Dried cranberries. You can even break up some dark chocolate to add to the mix if you want a sweeter treat.

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Wack the oven up to 180 degrees, melt your coconut in the microwave for 30 seconds until it’s a liquid. Add your oatssliced bananas, honey, vanilla paste and coconut oil to a big bowel and dive straight in, smushing the mixture together with your hands. Kneed away so your left with a big ball of fudgy squish…satisfying. Go ahead and add your nuts, seeds, whatever you choose to your mixture. You kind of have to mould it into a big ball so the nuts can’t escape. Use the remaining drops of coconut oil to grease your baking tin. Press your ball of goodness into the tin and pop in the oven for 30 mins..

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Once they’re slightly browned and baked through, remove from the oven and slice into squares (it’s easier when it’s warm and I use my pizza wheel to do this) Leave to cool until they’re ready to eat. There are so many variations of this you can create, you can be as minimal or extravagant as you like. Enjoy!

London and afternoon tea with the hen

I was recently appointed Chief hen and bridesmaid to my longest childhood friend. I was over the moon that she asked me but I was also terrified that I wouldn’t be able to deliver a fitting hen doo for my best girl. I am one of the most disorganized people in the world. My mate is classy, Chic and chilled, I wanted a celebration that reflected that. All I know is that I wanted something a little different from willy straws or L plates.

I booked afternoon tea at the Celtic Manor, The setting was elegant and relaxed.

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I found a ‘posh’ black hen sash from Chaplins in Bristol and snapped up a gorgeous classy boho style embellished veil in Ann Summers, I found some of the cutest mini tiara slides in Wilkinson’s that everyone adored!

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The summer berry afternoon tea was superb. The cakes were delicious and afterwards we had a whole second course of melt in the mouth scones with jam and clotted cream. It was excellent value for money.

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Shoes – New look

Skirt – New Look

Embelleshed top – Miss Selfridge

Loose blazer – Zara



 

Some London pics from the weekend..

Eyeing up the pretty pastries in lauderee..

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Laduree breakfast feast.

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We then went onto Harrods where we spent the rest of the day…Really. I’ve never spent that long in any store before (not even Ikea). I went into a trance and could no longer think for myself as I was seduced by the stunning interiors, brands and mouth-watering food at the food hall.

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Zara floral jacket

Unnecessary lighting – want!

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I am in awe of this decadent packaging. Has anyone purchased these lipsticks? The design is incredible but the shape and size is a little impractical. More of a dressing table trinket than an on the go lip colour.

Becca Champagne pop

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So I finally cracked. I bought what seems the most raved about highlighter in the world. BECCA’s Shimmering Skin Perfector. A beautiful apricot-gold pressed powder that when applied actually looks like a cream. This product is loved so much, it started off as a limited edition but now has a permanent place in the Becca collection.

The rose gold Packaging is quite minimal and luxurious but what you’d expect from a luxury product. The compact features the brushed silver branding with Becca engraving.

This powder is so finely milled it has an almost buttery, creamy consistency, in one sweep my cheekbones are left with a peachy/golden sheen. Perfect if you want to achieve that ‘Instagram glow’ in seconds. I feel like champagne pop will definitely better suit darker and olive skin toned ladies but with the right foundation and primer this suits us alabaster skinned girls just as well. My only qualm with this product is that it enlarges my already prominent pores but then all highlighters do. If I didn’t have oily skin and enlarged pores then this would be a dream product for me.

Because this product goes on quite heavy, I would recommend using a fan tail brush to lightly dust above your cheekbones for the day time. I’ve seen a few reviews stating this powder shows up as orange or yellow. I definitely don’t see that. For me it changes depending on the lighting. In the sun it shows up a deep golden, in regular daylight it gives me a lovely dewy glow. The first picture (above) was taken in regular light and the last (below) was taken in direct sunlight. Let me just add that I am VERY impressed with this product. The price is something that originally deterred me from purchasing this product but now that I own a compact of my own, I don’t regret it one bit. 🙂

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Regular sunlight..

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Direct sunlight…

Places | Lemonfest

Processed with VSCO with f1 preset It’s a rare thing to find a small festival these days. I’m not so much of a fan of the biggies like Glastonbury. Boom Town, Snowbombing and Love saves the day are more my kind of festival. I went to Lemonfest on a whim, A good friend of mine mentioned she was going so I couldn’t not go! (The very friend that took this delightful photograph) I’d never heard of this festival before but that made me want to go more. When I checked the line-up, which included the Hot 8 brass band, Cyantific, Beardy man and Kiko Bun I couldn’t let this one pass me.

Screenshot_20160726-125703Arriving at this festival was 100% stress free, there was hardly any traffic, we even got ushered into a parking space by a polite young fellow. My mind was firmly set on the alcohol tent where a small stage stood hosting lively folk and country music, I had to refrain myself from line dancing! They had a great affordable deal on their official Lemonfest cider which unfortunately didn’t hit the spot for me but a few members of our crew thoroughly enjoyed! I stuck with my classy gin and tonics 😉 Drinks prices were what you’d expect from any music festival.

From the tent we saw some commotion brewing so headed towards the main stage where what I originally thought was a Christian band preaching the love of the lord. Oh geez I thought…(no offence to Christians..). That was until they burst in song and dance. These guys seriously know how to put on a show, I have so much respect for artists who go all out and put their everything into a show, these guys are high energy, theatrical and guaranteed to get the party going with their dramatic renditions of classic, yet surprising track list. We had a chat to them after their set and they were so lovely.

IMG_20160726_124643Half of the Church crew

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Kiko bun

I got to feel like a Pirate (the storybook kind) for an hour while kinda line dancing along to the violins of Mad Dog Mcrea

Beardyman was hilarious as usual with his witty lyrics. By this point of the eve, we were a tad tipsy so found everything OTT funny! Check out his Ted talks here

Food wise I was impressed. We had some african comfort food before moving onto the best Mac and cheese I’ve had this far into my life. It was divine. It tasted like I’d just been handed a home cooked meal in a carton. Me and my guy just mmm-ed and oooh-ed in approval at one another until we’d devoured it. Definitely not what I expected at a music festival.

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The evening was a bit of a different vibe but still a good atmosphere, the drum and bass tent was filled to the brim with kids aimlessly jumping around so we swifty moved on to the house tent.We went as a group of 8, 4 of which were my friends family members, they were over 50 years old and had a great time. The toilets were a dream (almost) compared to the usual festival toilets, This is probably due to the festival capacity being a lot smaller. There was hand sanitizer people…Yes you heard correct! I also enjoyed that it was a one day festival Highlights – The talented Beardyman was hilarious with his clever lyrics, The hot 8 brass band got us all dancing, the hedonistic Legs akimbo – the church mesmerised! I’ve now discovered some new artists who I wouldn’t have necessarily seen before. I can see Lemonfest getting bigger and being one of the ones to watch out for.