7 July 2016

My No.7 Colour Match Experience


I’m a div when it comes to base make-up, seriously.

I roughly know what products are, what they are supposed to do and where on my face they are supposed to go but my application is sloppy and I'm still unsure what is best for my sensitive, combination skin. I mean, my knowledge is growing after binge-watching YouTube tutorials over the past few months but I'm still only a few levels up from the girl in year 10 with a cakey, orange mask for a face.

In fact, up until a year ago I was still applying my foundation with my fingers. 

Oh, who am I trying to kid, I still apply my foundation with my fingers when I'm short on time. I also enjoy a make up wipe on occasion for convenience. Don't judge me

Anyway, that's enough about my beauty incompetence for now. With my wedding on the horizon (IT'S ONE WEEK TODAY) I thought I would seek some guidance about what I need to create a flawless base, so I put the question to a make-up savvy mate of mine. 

She gave me two golden nuggets of advice; to ensure that it matches my skin tone with fake tan on, as I'm going to be wearing it on the day and to make sure that whatever I buy is SPF free because the SPF properties in the make-up are designed to reflect light - good for stopping skin burning to a crisp, not so good for photography as it can give off a slightly 'ghostly' appearance.

Armed with that knowledge I decided to pop down to No.7 at Boots to give their match made service a go in the hope that I would find the miracle product/s to make me look picture perfect on my special day.

For those of you that haven't seen the adverts on the telly or are just unsure what this colour match service is, it's basically a free consultation service that No.7 offer where they match your skin tone to one of their 17 skin true shades. 

They do this by holding a little contraption against several areas of skin on your face. The gadget assesses the colour values of your skin before matching you up to the best likeness in their range. All within a matter of minutes. Clever stuff really, I haven't a clue how it works. I loved how quick and non-invasive it is - you don't even need to remove all of your make up to be matched, just a few small areas, and then they patch you up when you're done.

Now, here's the funny bit. Despite my best effort to obtain a sun-kissed glow on my face by giving it it a generous coat of fake tan the previous day, I still matched to the shade 'warm ivory'. Yep, sad isn't it. Cooee 100% English rose over here.

After you've been matched you are quizzed about your skin type and what sort of coverage you desire. They needn't have bothered asking me, as they only do one that's SPF free, the No.7 airbrush away foundation. A medium coverage, buildable formula designed to glide over the skin for a smooth, velvety, finish.

Sounds good right? And it was. She applied the product sparingly to my entire face and when I was handed a mirror to have a look afterwards I could see that my skin tone looked more even and my pores were much less visible. And that was with one thin layer! 

Best of all there were no tell-tale lines separating my face and my neck.

Impressed with the foundation, I asked the assistant if there was anything in their range that could tackle the bane of my beauty life, my pesky dark under eye circles. She was quick to recommended the No.7 instant radiance under eye concealer; a liquid concealer with a built in brush applicator. After finding the shade that complements 'warm ivory' she applied it on top of the foundation, blending it seamlessly. It instantaneously brightened up my eyes, making me look like I had just necked three expressos.

So yeah, needless to say I took both over to the counter, pronto.

I'm yet to give these products a proper run for their money but I had a really positive experience with colour match. I think it's a great option for people that have a hard time knowing what make-up colours they should be using to make the most of what they've got naturally.

No.7 also have blusher and lipstick in their colour match range which I would like to explore in the near future as I'm forever trying to 'wing it' by picking colours I like, rather than what would suit me. 

To be honest, if the sales assistant had been a pushy type she probably could have parted me with more of my cash sooner.

Have you ever used any No.7 products? If so, are there any you would care to recommend?

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4 July 2016

Social Anxiety || Struggling To Be Myself


I started writing this post the other day when I was feeling incredibly anxious and emotional; the worst that I have felt regarding this 'issue' of mine for some time. Seriously, the only thing that soothed my overactive brain was looking at pretty photographs of where I shall be holidaying/getting married in a weeks time.

So yeah, I wasn't sure whether to finish this post off and put it out there to the world or to delete it and bury the feelings because it embarrasses me. It embarrasses me because I'm an independent 24, nearly 25 year old woman and simple things like mingling with new people should be a breeze, like it seems to be for most people my age.

Still, I can't run away from it. I can't pretend it's not there just because it's not always there. I'm hoping that if I talk about it then more people can gain more of an insight into what it is I (and many others) go through, because at the moment the only person in my life who knows how severe it can be is Ed, and that's only because he's witnessed it with his own eyes.

The problem with social anxiety, the very nature of the beast is that the sufferers are unlikely to want to speak up and shout about it from the rooftops. In fact, it often masquerades itself as shyness.

This is what I wrote the other day after a bout of anxiety. Be kind, please.

If there is one piece of advice that is always given to someone when they are nervous about meeting people for the first time it is, ‘just be yourself.’ Often followed by a rather patronising ‘you’ll be fine’ accompanied by a sympathetic nod and meek smile.

It sounds like the most simple thing. I mean, you are you and that's been the case since you were born, right? You can't physically BE anyone else. You have your own quirks, your own unique identity that you've built up throughout your existence. In theory, being 'yourself' should be the easiest, most natural thing in the world.

But what if a massive part of who you are is being crippled by constant self doubt and fear of what others around you think about you? Worrying that they will think you're stupid or boring? What if you can't help but sit and evaluate every-single-thing that you've said out loud, for ages after the words have left your mouth? What then?

Being myself is hard. It's something that I find myself constantly battling with in my life.

You know how (most people) have a filter wedged between their brain and their mouth that stops them from saying inappropriate things at inappropriate times? Well, it feels as though I have about 5 of these filters, each with teeny tiny holes and as a consequence, sometimes nothing gets through. Or, whatever does come out is likely to be disjointed and scrambled.

As a result of this I'm often perceived as the 'quiet one' which is really frustrating because, if you stuck around long enough to see the filters lift, you would see that I'm not. Far from it in fact. My mind has more thoughts whirring around it than your average Jo/e - I have plenty to say.

But, being perceived as quiet isn't even the worst thing because yeah, I am quiet when thrown among a louder group of people, I can't argue with that. The worst thing is the numerous other assumptions I've had about me and my personality.

Posh, rude, stuck up. All these things have been said about me yet they couldn't be further away from the truth. It really bugs me, upsets me even. I mean, you get judged for what you say and do but it seems that you get it just as bad for what you don't say or do. And people rarely stick around to have their judgement disproven. 

I can't win. I know what I feel isn't rational but I can't help it. I just want to be liked for who I am but yet I can't seem to reveal the real me.

Anyone else here feel the struggle?

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28 June 2016

Making My Home Summer Ready With Ocean Loans


Okay so this is like, my 9th attempt at writing this post. 

I wish I was joking.

I just can't seem to get it flow or even make sense. It keeps coming out a bit, well...bitty. This probably has something to do with the fact that my brain has turned into mush trying to process everything that is going on at the moment.

They say baby brain is an actual ailment, well what about bride brain? Is that a 'thing' or nah?

I don't think it helps that my head is still slightly fuzzy from Saturday's hen do shenanigans either. 

Make of that what you will but it may or may not have involved copious amounts of alcohol and I may or may not have spent most of yesterday (Sunday) in my pit, feeling sorry for myself.

So please bear with me whilst I try and unscramble my thoughts and put them down into something worth a read.

I shall start with the backstory. Last month a very exciting email from Ocean Loans marketing team popped into my inbox, asking if I would like to take part in their latest project. A project which aims to bring our homes to the fore this Summer. To give our beloved houses some TLC for the new season.

As part of this project they very generously offered to gift me £50 to splash out on homeware of my choice to sass up a part of my home and make it Summer ready. 

Obviously I said 'ERM HELL YES' because 1. homeware is my favourite thing to spend my money on and 2. I bloody love the concept. I mean, we spend time, dollar and effort trying to make ourselves 'summer ready' (sometimes to no avail - looking at you wax strips) so why not do the same to our living spaces, our homes, where we spend a huge chunk of our lives?

I decided to solely concentrate on mine and Ed's bedroom as being mostly grey and white, it was screaming out for an injection of colour.

Because, to me, that is what Summer homeware is; bright, vibrant pieces that help turn your living space into a lush, subtropical paradise for when y'know, it's a little less than tropical outside.


Here's what I bought:



Initially I was going to get a bright patterned duvet set and then try to find bits and bobs to go with it but, after a lengthy discussion with my Mum (she's an interior design guru) we decided that a better, more cost-effective option would be to buy white bedding and then jazz it up with some funky accessories.

Plus, you can't beat fresh white bedding can you? it's so inviting, it brightens up a room instantaneously and it's really easy to dress up for different seasons.

This white duvet set from George home is amazing value for money. In my opinion the pintuck detailing adds interest and makes it look more plush and expensive, like something you may find in a hotel. 

Okay so the material itself is a tad on the thin side but it is 100% cotton so it is soft against the skin.



This weave design multi-coloured throw is the epitome of Summer. I love how the vivid colours look entwined together; they contrasts beautifully against the crisp white bedding.

The quality of it is amazing too for the price. It's thick and really soft, much softer than it looks. 



Well, it would have been a sin not to buy the matching cushion. Again, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and also the size - it's much bigger than I thought it would be. 

Scatter cushion, it is not.



I really feel that this fluffy cushion helps to bring the whole look together as it draws out the teal in the throw. It also adds more texture and depth and again, it's a decent size to rest your head on.

It's super soft, tactile and such a steal at £5.99. 



It was actually my Mum who spotted this gem lurking on the shelves of B&M. We both liked the bold chevron pattern and agreed that with it's cute little slogan it was perfect for this project. 

It's also a useful thing to have lying around the house, ready for serving up sandwiches, bbq food and the likes.

Again the matching mason jar is a fun, usable piece. The flamingo motif ties in nicely with the flamingo lights that we wrapped around the bed frame.








What do you think of when you think Summer homeware?

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