Thursday, 19 April 2018

Helpful Apps for Living in London

Did you know I moved to London recently?!?! I don't know if I mentioned it? Anyway, I have absolutely no sense of direction, and my geographical skills leave a lot to be desired so I wanted to share my most useful apps to those who are planning the big move, or are 6 months in and still feeling like an international student... You're welcome!


Such a good app to download once you've settled in and you're ready to start exploring! You just search for a location (Clapham, Shoreditch etc) and the kind of vibe you want and it recommends places to go. Options include things like beer gardens (v.v.v. handy in this weather!) date night (gathering dust on my phone, not gonna lie) new openings, gigs, pop ups, vegan etc etc! It also shows what's on each week, so you're spoilt for choice!

My life saver! Seriously, if you are ever in London, even if you’re just visiting, you need to download citymapper. It’s free, and you simply type in your current location and destination, and it shows you how to get there via tube, train, bus, how long it would take in and Uber or walking. It tells you where to change, which line to get and whether its northbound or southbound, and even notifies you when to get off. Life saver.

If you’re into the theatre, Today Tix is a free app which offers discounted tickets. You can only book for the upcoming month, but the discounts are huge, and the seats are decent too. (Wicked for £18.50!) I’m dying to see the Woman in Black, Lion King, Matilda and Chicago! hint hint)

Movebubble makes it super simple for those wanting to find a rental property. The app allows tenants and agents to chat 24/7, without the need to make loads of calls and send multiple emails. It also means you get responses outside of the usual office hours, (which is so convenient, especially when you want to spend your lunch hour enjoying the sun instead of being on hold to a letting agent for hours.) Simply search the area you're interested in, and it brings up loads of gorgeous furnished and unfurnished properties. The main things I was looking for was a big kitchen/dining room and lots of wardrobe space, and I got it!

You will have seen your fave fitness influencers (me included, duh) checking in at boujee fitness studios around London, but did you know a single class costs £20?! I know. £20 for a 45-minute boxing class. Insane. That’s where Class Pass comes in! They do amaaazing deals for first-timers. I paid £30 for 100 credits (each class varies from 5-14 credits depending on how popular it is) when I signed up, and the current offer is 30 credits FREE! Go go go!

What apps have you downloaded to help you survive in the city?

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

The Best Hair Products for Blondes

Being blonde is hard work. If it’s not spending 3 hours getting a full head of highlights (and then having a small meltdown at the bill) it’s scouring beauty reviews online for the latest products, spending the evening with your head wrapped in a Tesco bag to keep your deep conditioning treatment on, or scrubbing purple shampoo off the bathroom walls. (Are you REALLY blonde unless you splatter your neon purple haircare up the walls every time you have a shower though?)

I’m naturally veerrrry dark brown, and as much as I miss having naturally thick, long hair, I love being blonde too much to go back. I’ve had it bleached so much over the last 4/5 years that I once went into a hair salon and the stylist took one look at my hair and asked ‘has it always been that thin?’ Safe to say I was MORTIFIED. And promptly left the salon in absolute shame. (Also, HOW RUDE?!) 

As it’s so damaged, I have had to ramp up my maintenance, which has meant I have tried and tested nearly every product in the book. (I call this ‘market research’ when my mum tries to bollock me for spending all my money on expensive products.) Like with make-up, and with new treatments coming out almost weekly, this is likely to change, but I will keep sharing my favourites as I find them!

Don’t be put off by the colour! It is VERY bright purple. I use this every two weeks or so as a toner to keep my colour looking fresh. It makes it soooooo soft afterwards as well- bonus!

Not had chance to get a salon appointment in a minute? (Or in my case, 6 months). This power couple removes any brassiness and those horrible yellow undertones and gives your colour a boost of freshness. Careful you don’t leave it on for TOO long though (I go with about 5 mins with shampoo, slightly longer with conditioner) or you will end up with lilac hair. Unless you want lilac hair, then leave it on as long as you like!

I have used this forever, and will probably continue to use it forever. I add one of two pumps to towel-dried hair and it brushes through like a dream. It really makes a difference when I don’t use this- it comes with me EVERYWHERE!

I use my GHD’s straighteners or my Cloud Nine Waving Wand on a daily basis, so having something to protect the ends is so important! A tiny bit of this goes a long way.

Amazing for when I cba to put my extensions in! This is perfect for adding body and texture without weighing it down.

Not pictured, but also v. good for blondies are Philip Kingsley Elasticizer (also comes with a delightful Coconut Breeze scent here), John Freida Sheer Blonde Brightening Shampoo and Conditioner, Tangle Teezers (life savers!) and the Dyson hairdryer. (The less heat you put on your hair the better- and this dries it in rapid time!)

What haircare products do you swear by?

Monday, 9 April 2018

Where to Get Lash Extensions in London and How Much Do They Cost?

If there was only ONE beauty product I could wear for the rest of my life, it would be eyelash extensions. Well, eyelash extensions or bronzer. (This bronzer, to be precise.) They just make me feel so much nicer, and my make-up routine takes a fraction of the time it used to. Well, my daytime routine does, I still enjoy trowelling it on at weekends.

I get asked so many times if I’m worried about damaging my natural lashes, how do I find out the best place to get them done, are they safe, am I worried that I’ll get addicted etc etc, so I wanted to share my tips to anyone who’s tempted to invest (and yes, it is an investment!) I’ll start with the easiest question: am I worried I’ll become addicted to them. No I’m not, because I already am. And I’m 100% ok with that! Now on to the rest…

Hybrid lashes- a mix of volume and classics

How do I know they won’t damage my natural eyelashes?
If you go to an accredited technician, they will have been trained to apply the lashes safely and professionally. The 1-1 method means each synthetic lash is bonded to each natural lash, so it will grow out naturally as your own eyelash does. You shouldn’t see or feel ANY clumping and they shouldn’t feel heavy (I can’t even feel mine at all, they’re weightless!) so if you feel any discomfort, get them removed, or go back to the salon to get them sorted. A standard set of classic extensions takes about 60-90 minutes, and volume takes around 90+ (depending on how full you want them) so if your appointment is taking any less time than this, question it.

Where do you get them done?
I get mine done by the lash queen herself, Shareen. (Check out her Instagram here, or Facebook page here.) If you are London local and can travel to Purley, then you need to book in. she’s won multiple awards, lives and breathes lashes, and always creates the exact look I want, so I wouldn’t trust anyone else with my lashes now! When you’re looking for a new tech, check out their work first. If they only have a handful of examples of their work, I would probably look elsewhere, and remember to see if they have an official training certificate and insurance.

How are they such a game-changer?
Where do I start?!?!?! I always get an extra 20 minutes in bed, I look half decent when I’m doing high intensity training in the gym (which is a HUGE benefit, especially in London because everyone is so beautiful and every gym studio is like a cult so I don’t wanna be the ugly newbie), and I don’t have to bother with sticking on false lashes every day like I used to. 

Can you still sleep/shower/wash your face properly?
No, I don’t shower for the whole 3 weeks I have them on until I get them infilled. *eye roll* Honestly, I get asked this so many times it baffles me. Yes, I shower every day, FYI, but I just take more care around my face. Instead of lathering up my wash with cleanser and washing it off with my hands, I use a my Magnitone MicroFibre Cleansing Cloth around my eyes. With regards to sleeping, try not to sleep directly on your face, at least for the first few nights as you will manipulate the lashes and they will look like a squashed spider. The more you get lash extensions, the more your body will adapt to sleeping in a position that won’t crush them.

How much do they cost?
This is completely dependant on your location, and experience of the technician you choose. In London I would say you’re looking at £80-£120 for volume, and £50-£70 up north.

If you could only have one beauty product or treatment for the rest of your life, what would it be?