Wednesday, 19 April 2017

#TheGlowUp

2010-2017
When I originally posted this photo on my Insta-story, I was flooded with messages like 'OH MY GOD' and 'WTF' and 'THAT IS NOT YOU?!?!' Oh, and my personal favourite- 'What's the award for, Most Improved?' (Not gonna lie, it really made me laugh!) Well, guys, it really is me! (But thanks for all those massive confidence boosts.......! Hmm.)

I found the photo on the left because I was seeing people all over Twitter posting their #GLOWUP photos, so I dug deep into my old Facebook photos and found this one of me back in LA. EVERYTHING about the photo makes me shudder- the orange arms and fingernails, the Jesus bracelet (why were we all so obsessed with those?!) the face that looks like I have swallowed two baby elephants, the birds nest on my head, the obvious absence of both my eyebrows, and the most worrying part- WHERE ARE MY LIPS?! They look like a pair of anchovies, which isn't helped by that horrendous chalk-pink Barry M lipstick that we all obsessed over, even though it made our teeth look green. 

The photo on the right was taken about two weeks ago. And clearly a LOT has changed. I get asked on Twitter and Instagram all the time about the work I've had done, so here goes: I've had my lips plumped with about 4ml of filler (give or take...LOL) I've gone blonde, had teeth whitening, I've had a nose job, had my eyebrows microbladed, I've a convert to semi-permanant eyelashes, I've learnt how to apply make-up and I've lost weight... Just a few things then!

This isn't going to be a preachy-'love yourself for who you are'-'you are unique don't ever change'- kinda blog post, because I honestly believe if you aren't happy with something- change it! If I didn't get my nose done when I was 18 I would have spent the last 6 (nearly 7- yikes!) years unhappy with the way I looked. And this had a direct effect on my confidence, which had a knock-on effect to my social skills and how much I saw my friends, acted around boys, etc. So even still to this day I whole-heartedly say that it was the best decision I ever made. And yes, before you ask, my parents DID pay for it. Not because I'm spoilt, but because they want me to be happy. 

Oh God, this has turned a bit preachy hasn't it?!?! Would you get any work done? Or have you? Leave a comment below if you want any more lifestyle/surgery posts!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

The Importance of Good Photography in Blogging

I have never had a talent for photography. Selfies, yes. You only need to take one glance at my Instagram to see that I've got my 'good side' and flattering angles down to a tee. However, when it comes to lifestyle photography: flat lays, scenic shots, outfit pics and all that, there is a LOT left to be desired.

I would spend hours reading tutorials on how to make my flay lays looks perfect, or which angles to take products shots of, and failed miserably every time. I mean, maybe 3 out of the 600 I took would make the cut, but there was still something missing, and I wanted to be posting photography on my blog that I was genuinely proud to say was mine. Bearing in mind at this point, all my photos were taken on my iPhone 6S.



It was only earlier this year, in January, after I was invited to a swanky dinner at The Mansion in Leeds that I seriously considered upping my photography game. 9 out of 10 bloggers currently own an Olympus Pen so I knew that was the one I wanted (#bandwagon #bothered) and it was also the camera we had access to at work, so I borrowed it for the event. The photos were unreal- and seriously put my iPhone pics to shame!!!! In fact, I was genuinely mortified that I had been using my phone for blog photos for all these years. The clarity and quality and focus and just everything was 10000000x times better, and I received so many compliments on the blog regarding my photos so I bit the bullet and bought my own.



Just look at the difference between the quality of these photos.

iPhone photo:


Olympus PEN photo:


A pretty pricey investment at around £400, but in my option, an absolute no brainer. Since getting my PEN I have had so many more brands contacting me to work with me, and I actually enjoy having little photoshoots in my bedroom when I am photographing a new product or creating a gift guide. I also don't mind splashing out on props and backgrounds because I know they are going to make my pretty photos even prettier! I'm still working on my actual photography skills- they are going to take some improvement!- but if you are on the fence about investing in a quality camera then go for it! Your skills will improve rapidly and you will really notice a positive difference on not only your blog, but your Instagram, Twitter, FB, Pinterest, everything!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Does Eyebrow Microblading Hurt? My Treatment with K.B Pro

For anyone who doesn't know what microblading is, it's a semi-permanant cosmetic procedure where the technician 'tattoos' on your eyebrows, but in tiny brush strokes so it mimics your natural hairs. As opposed to tattooing which is more 'blocky'.

I am fortunate in the fact that my office is based in the same building as the K.B Pro Training Academy, so you can imagine the amount of fleeky (soz, had to) brows I am surrounded with on a daily basis. Before I started my new job I had never really thought about getting my eyebrows microbladed, and it was kind of a rash decision two weeks ago, stemming from a conversation with a colleague because she was getting hers done, and before I knew it I was booked in!


The lovely Jordana began by asking what look I wanted to go for, thickness, length, shape of the arch etc, and then she colour matched me with the perfect shade of brown. Next she drew the outline of my new brows on my head (using what looks like a protractor or a maths compass) and she was ready to start!

Despite the 8 galleons litres of numbing cream I slathered all over the top half of my face an hour prior to my treatment, I could still feel EVERY INCISION of the microblading pen. (And you guys know how honest I am about the pain of lip fillers and Crest strips!) It hurt. Like, not unbearable pain, but SO uncomfortable. She went over each brow once, applying more numbing cream after each eye, so when she came back to do the second round(?) I couldn't feel a thing, so that was a relief! The only weird thing is that you can hear the pen dragging across your head, like a scraping sound which is slightly odd. She then went over each brow again just to do a few top-ups, and I was done! The whole thing took about an hour and a half, however the actual microblading only took about 45 minutes, the other 45 was spent drawing and discussing to make sure everything was exactly how I wanted it.

The aftercare process is pretty extra- I can't get them wet for a week. A WHOLE WEEK. How the hell am I gonna have a shower? I'm going to have to get my housemate Beth to give me a sponge bath or something. Obviously I voiced this concern to Jordana and she told me just to be extra careful in the shower, don't stand directly under the showered etc etc, which I am completely used to anyway as a regular lash extension wearer. 


This photo was taken the following day, and I'm not being bigheaded (well, maybe slightly) but OH MY WORD HOW AMAZING DO THEY LOOK?!?!?!?! I am a microblading convert. I was imagining them to form huge scabs overnight and for me to wake up looking like an extra from 'The Hills Have Eyes' but they look so perfect. even with no make-up on, they have made such a huge difference to my face. I can't wait till the weekend so I can see how they look with full face glam!

Tempted to get yours done? Microblading by K.B Pro starts from £495. Get in touch with Jordana here.

Follow my Insta-stories to keep updated with me and my beautiful new brows!

Monday, 3 April 2017

Princess Nails at Q61 Beauty Salon in Leeds

On Tuesday I was invited to Q61, a beauty salon in Leeds city centre, for an evening of pampering. I was sent over the menu of treatments beforehand, to select the two I would be receiving on the night. Not gonna lie, it took me about 3 hours to narrow it down because I wanted everything! Eventually I settled with the Q61 Signature Manicure and a classic set of eyelash extensions. Originally, I wanted to get the matching pedi, but A) the weather has been about -1 degrees with torrential rain all week, and B) I wasn’t prepared to get my toes out, especially in a room full of bloggers with fancy cameras. My second toe is already long enough without being snapped through a HD lens, thanks.


I arrived to a champagne reception, which was an instant hit! Aside from the bubbles, I was really impressed with the modern interior which was decorated with balloons and big, fat cupcakes everywhere. (Is it really a blogger event without cupcakes, though?!) I was introduced to Jade and ushered upstairs for my first treatment: lashes. She kindly removed the dregs of my Russian Volumes and although we had less time than would usually be needed for a classic set of lashes (limited to 30 mins per treatment) Jade still managed to apply a subtle set of extensions. As a huge fan of volume lashes, I would love to go back for the 'Glamorous' set in the near future.

('scuse the double chin)
I used to swear by acrylic nails. Between the ages of around 17/18 to 23, I was never seen without my long, stiletto nails. (Sharp enough to kill a man, I tell ya!) In fact, they were so sharp I don’t think I ever wore tights throughout that time frame as it was impossible for me to pull them on without shredding them. In fact, I’m surprised I didn’t blind myself. Anyway, now I’m all ‘au-naturale’ (LOL. Well, my nails are) I have managed to grow my own real nails to a decent length, so I couldn’t wait for my luxury manicure. Sharday was absolutely lovely! I’ve been in so many nail salons where I’ve just sat in silence while the nail tech gets to work, but it is SO BORING. In fact, Q61 have an in-house trainer who takes care of the staff, and really makes a point of how important it is to chat and build rapport with clients, and it really showed! I went for a gorgeous, princess-y frosty white gel glitter, and it is AMAZING. Like, the photos do not do it justice!

In-between lashes and nails I managed to grab a quick chat with both Helena and Michael, owners of the salon. They are SO lovely and I love how laid back and down to earth they both are! Michael told me about how the idea to open a salon stemmed from when Helena received a poor salon experience pre-honeymoon. On returning, they bought a city centre property, renovated the whole thing, and fast-forward 15 months down the line look at them now! I wish them all the best and I can’t wait to come back.

For more information on Q61 studio, or to book your very own princess mani visit their website here.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

My Thoughts On: Wearing Makeup to the Gym

I see SO many indirect tweets these days like 'oh my god just seen a girl wearing a full face of make-up in the gym what an idiot!' (Or words to that effect, usually the language is slightly more flowery) It's a weird one, because you obviously go to the gym to work out, which involves sweating, and who would want to sweat with a thick layer of foundation on? It should be a no-brainer, which is probably why I see so much outrage on social media when someone is spotted in spin class with make-up on.


Well, that person sat in spin class wearing a full face is me! (Front and centre, of course.) Of course, everyone is allowed to have their opinion, and I've probably been the victim of a secret Snapchat questioning why the hell I've got slap on for the gym, but how is that effecting YOUR life? And why do people get so outraged and feel the need to tweet snidey things about it? I remember years ago when someone from our college tweeted something like 'can't take girls who don't tie they hair up in the gym seriously' and me and my friends were howling. I had to use all my willpower not to tweet something sarcastic back because I just thought what a ridiculous statement!

 I like to (try and) look nice, and obviously I'm not gonna specifically contour my face to death before a sweaty cardio session, but if I'm coming straight from work, which is usually the case, yeah I'll keep it on. Sometimes I bring a makeup wipe if I know I'm gonna be sweating from every crevice (soz bout the TMI) but if I'm doing weights or something pretty low intensity then I don't mind keeping it on. 

The fact I usually have full volume eyelash extensions on probably makes me look more done up than the average person before a night out (lolz) but if it makes me feel good, then what's the problem?

What are your thoughts on make-up in the gym?