Sunday, 30 October 2016

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Cushion Foundation

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Cushion Foundation

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Cushion Foundation

Cushion makeup seems to be everywhere at the moment - easy, portable compacts where the makeup is soaked into a cushion and applied with a sponge by pressing down on the cushion to save the hassle of separate bottles, brushes and mirrors. Loads of high end brands have jumped on the trend, which started in Korea, and I've even seen some start introducing cushion blushes. So I was especially excited when The Body Shop brought out their version of the cushion foundation because I knew it would be affordable but still deliver amazing results.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Dragonfly Tea Masterclass

When I was feeling rundown and full of cold, an invite to a tea masterclass with Dragonfly Tea seemed like the perfect cure! The event was in celebration of Dragonfly Tea's 15th birthday and the launch of their new Tea House collection.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Paul & Joe Autumn 2016 Launches

Paul & Joe Autumn 2016

I have to admit, when Autumn came around I wasn't impressed. So many people were Tweeting about how they were excited to start sipping pumpkin lattes, whip out their scarves and boots and start wearing berry lips, while I sat there, miserable, cold and still in denial that summer is over. But after finally accepting that Autumn is here I am actually pretty excited because there are so many amazing new beauty launches at the moment with the change in seasons!

Just one of the collections I'm loving at the moment is the new Autumn range from Paul & Joe. I am already a huge fan of Paul & Joe's packaging - you can mix and match different cases for lipsticks and powders and their foundation bottles look beautiful on dressing tables - and the products don't disappoint either.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Small Changes You Can Make for a Healthier Lifestyle

So let's face it, Winter is pretty much here. Summer is over and so is my summer body, if I ever had one to begin with. It's cold, we all feel like crap and all we want to do is hideaway under a blanket until the sun returns. But deep down I know that doing that will make me feel worse, so instead I'm trying to take baby steps to be healthy, positive and get some happy endorphins flowing.

By no means am I a health expert or someone that spends hours at the gym each day or cuts out gluten, dairy, meat, sugar or any kind of other fun stuff from my diet. I've been lucky to get away with being naturally slim my whole life so I never saw the point in making an effort to eat healthy or exercise - why eat a carrot instead of a chocolate bar when chocolate won't make any difference to my weight?- but then I recently realised how unhealthy I was starting to become. Firstly, my skin was terrible, I was constantly bloated because of my poor diet and I could rarely concentrate at work and felt sluggish during the day. Changing this didn't mean a complete overhaul of my lifestyle, but just small tweaks that had a great effect in the long run...

Get Moving

Exercise doesn't have to be scary and it certainly doesn't have to be something you perceive negatively. Find something you enjoy and stick with it. I prefer working out in groups for motivation and encouragement, which is why I love the WeTrain sessions in London. I've also recently joined The Castle Centre gym, part of Everyone Active, and attend their group fitness classes after work.

If you can't afford a gym membership or find it difficult to slot in classes with your schedule, the best thing you can do is put on your trainers and go outside. Some people hate the idea of running but you don't need to push yourself - just go for a walk and maybe even break out into a jog. I enjoy running but would never class myself as a "runner". Nevertheless, don't be put off by anyone else. I run a few times a week and go entirely at a slow pace but you always feel a million times better for it afterwards.

I also find the best motivation is to set yourself a challenge or sign up to something in the near future and work your way up to it. Next year I will be running the London Winter Run 10k in February. I haven't run a 10k in a LONG time, but knowing I will have to do it in a matter of months is giving me the motivation I need to start preparing for it. 

As part of my preparations I will be attending a run club led by fellow blogger Elle from Keep it SimpElle (you can find out all about the running club here). If you fancy entering the London Winter Run, there will be opportunities to win a space during the run club or if you sign up directly you can get £3 off with the discount code SIMPELLE3

Swap snacks and up the Veggie intake

One of the simplest moves you can make to your diet is to add more vegetables. I recently went to a walk with nutritionist Alice Mackintosh who said your plate should usually be about half vegetables. Even buying bags of frozen peas and peppers and throwing them into my chilli or spag bol when I'm cooking is a great way to get an extra portion of veg.

I love to make smoothies first thing in the morning and you only need a small amount of ingredients for a delicious and healthy smoothie. My favourite is spinach, banana and coconut water. Instead of buying fresh coconut water I recently tried out Coco Minerals from Proto-Col, a powder form of the coconut water drink. It is packed full of vitamins and minerals and you just add a scoop to water to make a rehydrating drink. It is a much cheaper alternative than buying regular coconut water!

Proto-Col also have a supplement called Green Magic which is a powdered fusion of natural super foods, providing you with the nutritional equivalent of seven portions of fruit & veg.

Kick the bad habits

While it's good to treat ourselves once in a while and have 'cheat' meals, it's also important to look at where our bad health habits lie and try to cut them out. Eat chocolate every day? Try to cut it down to a couple of times a week? Rarely cook and opt for takeaways and ready meals? Start planning your meals for the week and set aside time to bulk-cook and prep your meals in advance. Are you a smoker? Try to kick the habit. There is plenty of support available and while you are in the process of giving up a lot of people find vaping is an alternative that helps them to quit. Vapelux is a site to buy e liquids online uk.

*sponsored post

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

An evening of productivity with Powwownow and Alice Mackintosh

As a typical 20-something I find most of my days are spent trying to juggle my full-time job, writing my blog and having a social life while still managing to find the time to look after myself and eat healthily.

Which is why the conference calling service Powwownow, who promote flexible working and being productive in any surrounding, invited me along to an event with nutritionist Alice Mackintosh last month to find out all about the best brain-boosting foods to help provide extra energy and nutrients.

Alice, who is from The Food Doctor Clinic, talked us through some of her top recommendations on what to eat to improve memory and stay alert, focused and energised - something I definitely need when I spend the majority of my day in an office and am prone to getting that 4pm (*ahem* 11am) slump.

Some of Alice's top tips included:

  • Keep your energy balanced by eating three meals a day and never skip breakfast. Watch out for sugary breakfasts and opt for porridge / overnight oats, granola, salmon or eggs instead
  • In terms of carbs, choose wholegrain over white carbs wherever possible and ensure that carbs only take up a quarter of your plate. The rest should be protein and veggies!
  • Get your sugar balance right. Sugar spikes your blood sugar levels which can cause energy and concentration to dip.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Squash and flavoured waters don't count! Coffee can stimulate the mind but will heavily impact blood sugar so replace with matcha or green tea.
After Alice's talk we then tucked into some delicious food and had a chance to mingle with fellow bloggers. I met the lovely Sarah, Monica and Tanya and had a great time chatting away to them! We were then very kindly given goodie bags full of treats to help us boost our productivity levels - I had a notebook for all my planning and organisation, some little chocolatey nibbles, a great book by Grace Marshall called 21 Ways to Manage the Stuff that Sucks Up Your Time and a sample of  Equi Fundamental, a powder supplement for energy and wellbeing. It contains green tea as well hormone balancing and energising superfoods. I can't wait to add it to my morning smoothies!

Thank you Powwownow for a great night and to Alice for sharing your tips! You can read more of her tips here.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

The Fullest Coverage Foundation You Will Ever Use!

Until I had my makeup done at the Rodial counter in Harvey Nichols earlier this summer, I had never tried anything from their makeup range. Rodial is best known for its skincare collections, however, I was soon converted and fell in love with practically everything on the makeup counter! One product in particular I was drawn to was the AirBrush Make-Up Foundation.

I always thought MAC Studio Sculpt was the fullest coverage foundation I'd used (although I was never a fan of the strange chemical / wallpaper paste smell...)  until I'd discovered this little gem from Rodial!

Friday, 14 October 2016

Spa Experience Old Street Review

Photos: Spa Experience

A few months back I went to Spa Experience's relaunch event and was very kindly given a voucher for a free treatment at one of their many salons in my goodie bag! After having a manic few months afterwards and moving house twice it completely slipped my mind, so when I rediscovered the voucher in one of my drawers it seemed the perfect time to get a massage (lots of stress from moving = lots of tension in my shoulders!)

I chose the Experience Back, Face and Scalp Massage at the Old Street branch in Ironmonger Row Baths, Islington. On the day I accidentally ended up taking the wrong route on the tube so I turned up 20 minutes late in a complete sweaty, flustered mess (not ideal when you're just about to have a massage) but my therapist was so welcoming and understanding she completely put my mind at rest and I instantly felt relaxed when I stepped into my treatment room.

On arrival I was given a glass of orange juice, which was very much needed, and then the therapist got to work getting rid of all my aches and knots! Unsurprisingly, as soon as she touched my shoulders she commented on how tense they were. I know I am guilty of having bad posture and my shoulders often get tight so there is a lot of work needed on them and she completely eased out all the tension in my back, while still managing to keep the massage relaxing and comfortable.

Like most people my 9-5 is very busy and I am often at events in the evening so I rarely get time to myself to switch off so it felt amazing to just lie down and do nothing for a while and for the first time in ages I actually managed to completely switch off my mind!

After working on my back, neck and shoulders I then had a face and scalp massage, which was ultra relaxing. If you go for this treatment I would recommend going makeup free as I found it a little odd having oil applied to my face on top of my day-old makeup as I had just come straight from work, but luckily I haven't had any breakouts from it since.

Once my treatment had finished I was then brought a cup of orange sorbet to 'cleanse the pallet', which was such a nice surprise. I was given the option to use the sauna and thermal spa afterwards but unfortunately had forgotten to bring my swimsuit with me - so much sure you take one along and make full use of the facilities.

I left the spa feeling 100 times calmer, soothed and more relaxed and felt like I was walking on a fluffy cloud as I made my way back home.

Spa Experience was previously known as Spa London but rebranded earlier this year, mainly to refleft the fact it is no longer just in London. It is part of Better Gyms so is based on the concept of making day spas accessible and affordable for everyone, while still remaining luxurious - something I'm a big supporter of! Spa Experience has branches across the country with six in London and others in Hertforshire, Surrey and Somerset. They have a range of treatments including massages, hammam scrubs, tanning, waxing, manicures & pedicures and even prenatal and men's treatment so there truly is something for everyone.

A huge thank you to the Spa Experience team for a wonderful massage - I can't wait to rebook!
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