Friday, 17 April 2015

The 'Promote Health, Not Size' Tag

Hi all! Happy Friday! Firstly, I know it looks like I haven't posted I'm over a week now, but turns out Google just decided to delete my posts so don't blame me, blame them. I think (and very much hope) its sorted now though so regularly scheduled blogging shall commence now and hopefully this post doesn't disappear without a trace or explanation. 

The rather fabulous Amy from the blog 'Gnar Mosh' recently tagged me to do the 'Promote Health, Not Size' body image tag. Originally developed by Rebecca Marie (read her blog here), it does exactly what it says on the tin, aims to encourage body image that centers around heath and not purely based on size. Thin people can have a negative body image and fat people can have a positive one sand it's shocking just how infrequently our society ever acknowledges that.

Truth be told, my personal body image isn't, and never has been good as such, and I'm far for a vision of health, but I try to promote this image as best I can, because as someone who teeters on the edge of 'plus size' I feel it from both ends. I'm too fat for 'normal' fashion and I'm not fat enough for 'plus size' fashion. I use the word 'fat' flippantly of course, although I do think the word itself needs an image revamp. Why is being fat bad? Why can't we admit to being fat? Or worse, why when we do admit to being fat, do people feel the need to weigh in (no pun intended) with 'ooh no, you're not fat, you're curvy, voluptuous, whatever'. No sweetie, I'm fat, and if I can decide that about myself, I sure as hell don't need you to correct me because you've been programmed by society and the media to automatically associate 'fat' with 'bad'.

I do believe health is important, but that doesn't always equate to your BMI or your weight size. You can be fat and healthy, you can be thin and healthy. A crazy suggestion - you can be mentally healthy while physically unhealthy and as long as you're enjoying your life, why not? 

Anyway, enough rambling from me, let's crack on with the questions, shall we?

What does a positive body image mean to you?
I'd hard to say. I initially started to write 'being happy with your looks and body' but I reconsider. I don't think a positive body image is about being happy, I think it's about being content in knowing your body, knowing what you like about yourself (and perhaps dislike) and being able to accept them or decide to change them and still enjoy life without your physical insecurities taking over.

How do you look after your body?
Truth me told and as cheesy and overly-deep as it may sound, my body is second only to my mind. My mind and my mental health will always be more important than my physical health. I do try and eat reasonably well, everything in proportion and be active when I can be etc., all the usual, but it's not my top priority, my mind is. Sorry if that's not the right answer!

What are the bare essentials that you need to feel happy and healthy?
Okay, so I interpreted this totally different to Amy did (you can read her post here), but hear me out anyway! 

Personally I think it varies - what I need to feel comfortable at work is entirely different to what I need to feel comfortable on a night out or a lazy day or a date. Generally speaking, I don't feel happy about how I look if I'm wearing something too tight or uncomfortable, or something that's just not 'me', which can be difficult to put your finger on. Also, if I go out with absolutely no makeup on, I feel bare and vulnerable. In the past 4 years, I've only been out of the house once without my eyebrows on and while some may find that shallow or self-obsessed, I've had enough turmoil and unhappiness with my appearance in the last, especially in my teens, that i now know what I need to feel good so I'm not going to be made to feel bad or indulgent for doing that.

How do you celebrate your body? If you don't, how could you?

I think blogging about arguably superficial topics like beauty and fashion and also having a strong passion for womens' rights and feminism has been a great help in encouraging me to celebrate my body and my physical being more openly. They've both taught me that it's okay to take care of yourself and take pride in your appearance and liking things about yourself is great, despite what society teaches us women. 

What helps you feel comfortable in your own skin?
I think having felt uncomfortable in my own skin for most of my childhood and teenage years and comparing myself to other people all the time, I didn't ever feel good enough. Why is she thinner? Why is her hair straighter? Why is her skin clearer? I'd always be able to find something about other people that I wish I had. But I think that with age, meeting new people and shaping a life after the toxic environment of school and teenagers, most people learn that it's really not all about being thin with straight hair and clear skin. Those things are great, but being kind and genuine and reliable and a good friend and funny and smart and having morals and a good worth ethic and a positive attitude are all more important. Plus, I might not to as thin as some people and even now that still sometimes drags my mood down, but then I remember, I have thick hair and big eyes and long nails and great boobs. We've all got good things and we've all got bad things, and it can be hard to focus on the positives but looks aren't everything, and changing how you feel about your looks is a hell of a lot easier than changing the looks themselves. Plus, there's only a certain amount anyone can ever achieve with good looks. Pardon the cheese, but it's about the inside stuff too.

Share a body image story or experience that is important to you
If you caught this post recently, and if you follow me on Twitter, you'll know I gave up two of my biggest diet vices for Lent. I use the word 'diet' in the literal sense of the word, meaning 'what I eat and drink' and not being 'on a diet'. These two things were chocolate and energy drinks. Short of cutting out carbs too (love me some bread and pasta!) those two things are pretty much the reason I'm overweight, but I can't complain because I choose to eat and drink them. However, it sometimes feels like you can't control what you eat and drink, I'm sure everyone who has or does struggle with their weight or body image can relate. Deciding to, but more importantly sticking to giving them up taught me that what I consume is completely within my control. That might sound obvious and daft, but it's an empowering realisation I feel.

Finally, share a picture of you looking happy and healthy! 
There's a few I want to included here for different reasons...

In this photo, I must have been...15? I can't remember exactly. As I said, my feelings about my physical appearance during my teens weren't especially positive, but I remember when this photo was taking, it was a Summers' day, I was out with my friends, enjoying being young and care-free. I was very conscious of  photos too, I would flip out if someone put a bad one of me on MySpace (yep, I'm that old!) and the thought of anyone seeing an unflattering photo of me really upset me, far more than it should have. I remember this photo very specifically though, it was someone I didn't talk to much who took it and I pestered her to send me it as I was so desperate to could put it as my profile picture. I thought I looked so cool in it.

This photo was taken when I was in 2nd year of uni, just before going to see Katy Perry. Hence the wig! I don't love the photo, I know I look blotchy and drunk and my teeth look yellow but I still find it so funny and I can appreciate now that although it's not flattering, I can still like it. I look genuinely happy and anyone can tell just by looking at it that I was having a great night and comparative to my teen years, that's a huge step forward in self-acceptance.

The final one is last Summer at Radio 1's Big Weekend. When I heard Big Weekend was coming to Glasgow, I was absolutely buzzing, but not as much as I was when I got tickets for both days. It was such a good weekend - great music, amazing friends and lots of bruises and hangovers, but nothing but fantastic memories. Given, last year my body image wasn't bad as such, but it was quite a stressful time and I really needed that weekend of care-free fun and forgetting about everything else and I think that fun shows in this photo and that it's a great reminder that enjoying life and surrounding yourself with good people can help strengthen your body image hugely.

I'm not going to tag anybody in particular, but I'd love to read anyone's else's interpretations of the tags, and thanks again to the lovely Amy for tagging me! 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Spring Wishlist

As much as I love Winter boots, chunky scarves and black clothing, I'm really getting quite tired of Spring taking so long to start. The shops are full of Summery pieces, pastels, florals, sandals and swimwear and I know I'm more than ready for some nicer weather but unfortunately it's still horrible and cold and rainy outside, silly Scottish weather. While a girl can dream, I thought I'd throw together a Spring Wishlist of pieces I'd love to add to my S/S15 wardrobe - enjoy!

1   |   2   |   3   |   4   |   5   |   6   |   7   |   8   |   9

Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paints - £3.99 each
It seems like every time I visit Boots or Superdrug, Barry M have a new collection and their latest one of a range of quick drying pastel shades. I love the muted tones and the checkerboard packaging but mostly I'm a sucker for any quick drying nail products. Ain't nobody got time for that!

Zara Pastel Blue Structured Back Pack - £39.99
I've been toying with the idea of a back pack for months now. A girl I work with wears one all the time and pulls it off so well, every time I see her with it, I want one but then whenever I try one on, I feel like I'm going for a mountain hike. This adorable little pastel one from Zara though might just be a game changer though. It's small enough to not look like I'm off to climb Everest, and its long straps mean it can be worn as a shoulder bag too. I also love the combination of powder blue with gold hardware.

Topshop Ombré Button Up Shirt - £38
This is my kind of Summer top, light and flows but still cover my arms which I'm not the biggest fan of. I can imagine this looking very laid back but still chic with some ripped skinny jeans, tan sandals, a floppy hat and round 1960's sunnies.

Kate Spade iPhone Case - £27
Although I'm very paranoid about my screen breaking so envelope my phone in a flip case at all times, I just love this Kate Spade one. I feel like often, phone cases take over and are just too gaudy and showy for no reason but this one is just the perfect amount of quirk while still be understated.

New Look Orange & Black Heeled Strappy Sandals - £25
I can't quite pinpoint what I love most about these. Is it the quilted straps? Is it the burnt orange colour? Is it the chunky heel? Ugh, I don't know, it's just all amazing. I think these look look much more expensive than they are too. Can't you see these in Aldo for £70? No no, they're good old New Look for only £25.

The Hackney Watch by Olivia Burton - £70
I've fancied myself an Olivia Burton watch for ages, I think all her design as so simple and minimal but very classy. The latest one I'm lusting after is this dusky link leather with gold hardware, wouldn't this just be dreamy with a tan? Heart eyes emoji!

ASOS Silver & Turquoise Cuff - £10
Silver, tribal inspired jewellery is my one fashion love at the moment and while I'm not normally a fan of s cuff, this ASOS one might just be enough to change my mind. Such a statement with such minimal effort, just my style.

H&M Floral Organza Skirt - £18
One of my favourite Summer staples is a full midi skirt, usually worn with a plain tshirt tucked in and sandals for day, heels for night. This H&M one is just perfect, I adore the scalloped edge and the floral isn't too bright and Summery, you couldn't definitely still wear this in Winter. 

Accessorize Floral Beaded Clutch - £60
Finally, this clutch is an absolutely trophy piece. Just feast your eyes on that embellishment! I don't have anything to wear this too yet, but I think it's be amazing for a Summer wedding or even a prom. Just need an occasion now!

What are you lusting after for the (hopefully) warmer months ahead?

Monday, 30 March 2015

My MAC Lipstick Collection

Ahh MAC lipsticks - most beauty enthusiasts will have at least one in their collection, although often more. I didn't buy my first MAC lipstick until after I started blogging and now I some how have a 15 strong collection - oops!

I've done a MAC lipstick collection before when it was much smaller (reminisce here!) but it's more than doubled since that post nearly two years ago so I thought I'd do an updated version. You might noticed that from my original collection, 2 are missing. I sold 'Cyber' on Depop as it just wasn't for me (read more about that here in my disappointing products post) and I lost 'Diva' on a night out.

Violetta   |   Up The Amp   |   Flat Out Fabulous   |   Rebel   |   Morange

Violetta - Amplified Creme Finish
Probably my most daring MAC shade, Violetta is a lovely cool toned purple with a slight metallic shimmer. Admittedly, I've only worn it a few times since I bought it back in December, but I do love it, it's a great statement shade.

Up The Amp - Amplified Creme Finish
A more wearable purple, warmer in tone and creamer in consistency. 

Flat Out Fabulous - Retro Matte Finish
A purply pink which I personally find surprisingly easy to wear and I love that it's matte. What I love most about Flat Our Fabulous is that it's a strong bright pink which isn't too Barbie-ish.

Rebel - Satin Finish
One of my favourite vampy lip products, Rebel is a plummy purple which is really flattering on pale skin and a great long-lasting formula.

Morange - Amplified Creme Finish
A true orange and very much of Summery colour, I love it but find it hard to wear unless I'm tanned.

Costa Chic   |   Chatter Box   |   Pink Nouveau

Costa Chic - Frost Finish
A pearly coral, another very Summery colour, perfect for a more toned down orange lip look. I wore this the other day for the first time since last Summer and it's definitely a good way to add a spring vibe to your makeup.

Chatter Box - Amplified Creme Finish
A mid pink with a very slight coral undertone, I like wearing Chatterbox when I fancy something a bit different without going for a full-on bold lip.

Pink Nouveau - Satin Finish
Another mid pink, Pink Nouveau is quite similar to Chatter Box but it's a matte finish and is a little cooler in tone. 

Cream Cup   |   Snob   |   Creme D'Nude   |   Velvet Teddy   |   Brave

Cream Cup - Cremesheen Finish
Cream Cup is quite similar to Brace although a little cooler toned and less brown. Personally I don't find it as wearable as Brave for day to day but whenever I do wear it, I really like it. 

Snob - Satin Finish
Always a shade I forget to wear, but when I do, I love it. Snob is a cool lilacy pink which I think looks great with a really simple and feminine look, minimal eye make up and fresh skin.

Creme D'Nude - Cremesheen Finish
The only one in my collection which I regret purchasing has got to be Creme D'Nude. I thought it'd be a great every day nude but it's far too light for both my skin tone and the natural colour of my lips so it just looks too harsh on me.

Velvet Teddy - Matte Finish
My latest edition to my MAC lipstick collection and a gift from my lovely mummy, i've only had it a few weeks. I have a full review of it coming up next weekend, but I can already tell it's going to be one of my most worn shades. It's apparently THE Kylie Jenner shade and is great for that browny-nude 90's look.

Brave - Satin Finish
Well I think we can all tell by the tiny little stump and the face that the MAC branding has worn off the silver tube that Brave is most definately my most worn shade. It's a perfect dusky pinky nude, my ideal 'my lips but better' shade.

Viva Glam - Matte Finish
My only lipstick from MAC's Viva Glam range, it's the original shade, a browny burgundy colour and once again, matte.

RiRi Woo - Matte Finish
While I may be one of the very few MAC lipstick collector who doesn't have Ruby Woo, I do have RiRi Woo - the Rihanna version of it from her 2013 collection. It's a classic matte red with blue undertones which is great for making your teeth look whiter and I just adore the rose gold and pink packaging.

So there we have it lovelies, my full MAC lipstick collection! What do you think? I'm always open to suggestions for new shades to try, especially lesser known ones so if you have any you think are a must-have, let me know!

Friday, 27 March 2015

March Favourites

It's nearly the end of the month, need I even tell you what today's post is going to be? March Favourites of course!

Primark Nectarine and Lemon Blossom Jar Candle - £2.50
Although I normally detest Primark's square jar candles cause they always leave wax in the corners (fire burns in a circle, don't put a candle in a square container!) I couldn't not buy this scent. It's very citrusy and Spring-like but it's one of those candles you can smell even when it's not lit which I love. Plus, for a citrus candle, you'd imagine it'd be in a yellow or lime container, right? No no, this one is a really sleek slate grey which I much prefer. I think I'm going to stock up on tea lights before this scent is gone, and hopefully they'll be less wasteful!

Primark PS Love Your Skin 8 Hour Deep Hydration Face Mask - £1.50

If you say Monday's post, you'll know I'm all about this face mask at the moment. I won't ramble but you can read all about it here if you so wish.

Patesserie De Bain Sweet as Chery Pie Hand Cream - £3.99
I've featured this already this month too (here and on Instagram @fp_sd) but I feel like I need to mention it again cause I've been using it constantly. I'm not normally a fan of cherry scented things but this isn't too sweet. It's really rich and cream and I've been putting it on about 5 times a day!

L'Oreal Color Riche Nail Polish in 'Flashing Lilac' - £4.99
Can we just take a moment to discuss this nail polish? I'm not a fan of super girly pinks but I love a bright pink nail and this is my currently favourite. I wore it on my toes on a night out recently and got so many compliments, and I can't wait for this to be my staple nail colour through the Summer. I love the tiny little bottles too, they're really handy for travelling or just tossing in your bag.

Bourjois Bronzing Primer - £7.99
I recently rediscovered this in my makeup collection having only been used a few times and I wonder why I ever decided to toss it into a drawer without a second thought. It's somewhere between a mousse and a cream in texture that is really lightweight on your skin and blends in beautifully. I've been using it with a beauty blender for contouring or mixed with foundation if I've got fake tan on, it really is a great all rounder and I feel bad for neglecting it for so long. Oh, and it smells like chocolate so what's not to love?

Tesco's Custard Cream Spread - £1.99
Weird favourite of the month - don't judge me. Why I love this so much I'm not entirely sure. I don't like custard cream biscuits and I don't really like spreads either but this stuff is so addictive. I've been eating it with toasted waffles and it's my new, albeit not very healthy, favourite breakfast.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
If you follow me on Twitter, you will already know if this obsession, Netflix newest original series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Written by Tina Fey and starting Ellie Kemper, John Hamm (*heart eyes emoji*) and the amazing Carol Kane, it really is a TV gem. If you like sharp comedy, bang up to date pop culture references and the odd bit of satirical dark humour satire, get it added to your 'Must Watch' list now - you won't regret it. Oh and it's got the world's catchiest theme tune too!

Until next time...

Monday, 23 March 2015

Primark's PS Love Your Skin 8 Hour Deep Hydration Face Mask

When it comes to beauty, I believe there are certain products that are worth a splurge. Foundation, skincare, lipstick) while there are others that can be just as good whether they cost £2 or £20 - nail polish, mascara, eyeshadow. Skincare in particular is an area I try not to scrimp on as I know you usually get what you pay for. 

However, when I was away for the weekend in Liverpool last month (more about that here!) my skin was left extremely dry after a long, hot train journey and the very limited skincare products that I had with me just didn't cut it, so I wanted to pick up something to give my skin a little boost without spending a fortune - come on down, Primark's PS Love Your Skin 8 Hour Deep Hydration Face Mask at the complete bargain price of just £1.50!

I've had quite a few of Primark's makeup products and for the super affordable prices, have been pretty impressed so I thought I'd give their skincare a try - what's to loose for £1.50, right?

First off, the packaging. It's cute and simple, which is what's to be expected from a budget line and for a hydrating product, I think the clean white and blue is great. It comes in a 100ml squeezy tube - yep, £1.50 for 100ml, you read correctly!

The product itself is a thick opaque white cream which is expected to be really heavy on the skin but it isn't at all. Although to comes out as a thick cream, it melts quickly with the heat of your fingers as you apply it to your face leaving a light layer. It recommends leaving on it for 5-10 minutes but I always ere on the generous side when it comes to skincare so I'd say 15 minutes is best. It smells really fresh and clean, which although I like, I understand it could border on 'clinical' for some people. 

Unlike any face mask I've ever used before, this pretty much disappears on the skin. From thick opaque cream at first application to near enough invisible by the end. Once sunk in, I've been using Garnier's Micellar Cleansing Water to remove it. 

For the price I am so impressed at how much I can feel and see a proper different to my skin - feels plumper, fuller, more awakened and rejuvenated. Admittedly, the effects aren't super long lasting, I've been using it every 3 days but for a budget product, I think it does exactly what it says on the tube and certainly does hydrate my skin. Personally I'd say this is more of a morning mask, before applying makeup to waken up your skin, but depending on your skincare routine and preferences, I see no reason why you couldn't use it at night instead or even as well.

Have you tried any of Primark's Hydration Skin Care range? 

Monday, 16 March 2015

My Hand Luggage Essentials

Happy Monday all!
Tomorrow, I'm up while the moons still out to catch an early morning flight to London for the day. I'm going to my work's head office to see the preview S/S15 collection and hear all about it from the design team and the creative director - I'm super duper excited! In preparation for that, today's post is all about airport flight essentials - enjoy!

Hand sanitiser
Planes, airport, trains and the London Underground. It's going to be a day of germs I'd imagine so hand sanitiser is a must. Right now, I'm loving the Soap & Glory Hand Maid.

Anxiety Medication
As someone who's terrified of flying, my anxiety medication needs to be near by. The only thing worse than a panic attack is a panic attack at 10,000 ft. so it's always good to be ready.

Lip Balm - Burt's Bee's
Hand Cream - Patisserie De Bain
I've said it before and I'll saw it again, nobody should ever leave home without these two items in their handbag, I personally consider them daily essentials. Flights are especially drying for lips and hands, so all the more important for tomorrow.

Power Bank Portable Phone Charger
I think we all know an iPhone battery simply does not last all day, especially when that day starts at 4:30am! This little device is a stroke of genius - Finding a table near an electrical socket in Starbucks is all well and good, but this allows you to charger your phone while on the go, from within your pocket or handbag. All you do it charge it up beforehand using your iPhone chargers and it holds enough power for another 4 chargers - a long day essential.

Since I got my iPad from Santa, it's barely left my side. I'm flying with Ryan Air so I'm not hugely confident that our flight will have Wifi but it's still handy to have to keep me busy - writing blog perhaps!

Notebook - M&S
Pen - Tiger
Always useful to have on hand, especially for a works' thing, who knows what I'll want to jot down?

Well duh - you can't take a flight without it! My case is from eBay (here) if you're interested.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Debenhams S/S 2015 Preview Event*

So last night, I went to my first blogger event in ages - the Debenhams S/S 2015 press and bloggers preview & fashion show in the stunning Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow. I love Debenhams, it's a great one-stop-shop for high street favourites like Oasis, Miss Selfridge and Warehouse, all the best high end beauty brands and designer ranges at purse friendly prices from the likes of Henry Holland, Preen, Julien McDonald, Ben de Lisi, Todd Lynn and Patrick Grant. What's not to love? 

The event consisted of capsule looks at the designer collaborations for S/S 2015, from womenswear to lingerie, swimwear and menswear, the biggest upcoming launches from the beauty, skincare and fragrance world as well as champagne and nibbles. Once everyone has had a browse, we were treated to a fill blown fashion show with all the the Spring Summer trends.

And for a fashion event, why not toss in an outfit of the night? Big thanks to the lovely Diane from the blog 'Living In A Dream' who I met for the first time last night for photographing my outfit!

Coat - H&M
Shirt - Pop Boutique 
Jeans - Primark
Brogues - Kurt Geiger
Handbag - Vivienne Westwood
Necklace - Forever 21
Watch - New Look

And to round of a fantastic evening, the extremely generous folks at Debenhams treated us to a fantastic load of beauty treats, everything from Elizabeth Arden skincare and Burts Bees lip balm to Armani perfume and Korres shower gel (all full sized!) as well as an amazing voucher to treat ourselves for something special for the season ahead!