Why it's healthy to change your surroundings, and how you can have the perfect skin wherever you are
I do believe that there is no experience in life more valuable than travelling and exploring new cultures.
But exploring these new destinations can have an effect on your skin too - and you would normally have no idea.
Without realising it, your skin can become clogged, dried out and stressed - but you don't have to let that affect your adventures anymore.
Social media fashion mogul Chiara Ferragni teamed up with SK-II and National Geographic for their 'Face The Wild' campaign, to take a trek through the Anza Borrego desert and show you how she fights the affects of skin dehydration, and how she fights all of this with SK-II's Facial Treatment Essence. Check out the video for yourself below!
If this product can work in one of the driest places on earth, then what does that tell you?
Forget about packing 2 face creams, 3 night creams and 4 oils in your toiletries bag... you only need one product now.
Your travelling experiences eating fresh coconuts and mangoes by the sea will be so much richer if you keep your skin in good health too!
Let me know what YOU think of the campaign below and what your secret is to keeping your skin in good condition!
Please note that this is a sponsored post with SK-II.
A couple of weeks back, myself and other bloggers attended a fabulous Charlie & The Chocolate Factory afternoon tea at the One Aldwych Hotel, organised by The Blogger Programme.
Upon arrival, we were seated and asked to choose a drink of our choice from the menu (champagne or Charlie cocktail). The Charlie cocktail is a concoction presented in a little glass tea pot with dry ice.
The afternoon tea itself is presented as an array of assorted finger sandwiches (my personal fave was the cucumber on tomato bread), along with a mini quiche and some other savoury bites. There is also a vegan or gluten free menu and we found the staff very accommodating for this!
Now for the sweet part... everyone's favourite.
The main attraction of the afternoon tea - rhubarb and custard candy floss, accompanied by lemon meringue pots, cake pops and milkshake.
The hotel itself is stunning and the perfect location in central London to enjoy a catch up over an afternoon tea - it's just around the corner from Covent Garden at about 3 minutes walking distance.
I loved meeting the girls and it's so nice to meet people that you just click with! The staff, including the chef who came out to greet us, were extremely pleasant and helpful and I know I for one will definitely be returning ;)
A few weeks back now, I went for my first session of laser hair removal on my underarms at Pulse Light Clinic.
I have waited a few weeks to do this post, purely so I can see the full effects of my first treatment - which now I can share with you guys!
Pulse Light Clinic is a leading UK specialist centre based near Tottenham Court Road, specialising in laser treatments including laser hair removal, tattoo removal and scar removal.
And let me tell you... LASER HAIR REMOVAL IS A GODSEND!!!
If you are annoyingly hairy like me, you will know the embarrassment of forgetting to shave your underarms all too well. All you have to do is lift up your arm, and BAM, it's there.
Except... I don't have this problem anymore! It is LIFE CHANGING.
Before your first session, you will attend a free consultation at the treatment centre where you will fill out a form and be assessed by a specialist. This will enable the specialists to determine a treatment plan for you (i.e. how many treatments you will need, the strength of laser needed, or if you are unsuitable etc). All of this is based upon your skin pigment and hair colour/thickness. Whilst at the consultation, you will also have a patch test to test for any adverse reactions.
Prior to arriving for your first session, you must make sure you are freshly shaved on the area of treatment. Laser hair removal works best on freshly shaven areas so that it is able to reach the follicles straight away. Wearing fake tan is also a no-go and avoid wearing deodorant on the treatment day if possible (although I know sometimes this can be unavoidable, so if not this is not a problem as it can be wiped off before treatment).
During the treatment, you must wear the protective goggles provided so that the laser beam does not damage your eyes.
I have an extremely low tolerance of pain (embarrassing, soz) so I literally find everything painful, however I actually did find this bearable. If you are like me, then I would recommend chewing a piece of gum whilst the treatment is being done as it really helped me, but you can also use numbing cream beforehand if you wish. (This is coming from someone that could only use an epilady for less than 5 seconds before screaming at it, and eventually got my actual hair caught in it... don't ask.)
The pain itself basically just feels like an elastic band being pinged at the area you are having treated, and where there is more hair then it feels a little more painful. For example, with the underarm, it doesn't hurt around the edges but hurts more in the middle where there is more hair. But once the treatment is over then so is the pain, it doesn't last. Over all I would say each arm took between 2-5 minutes so I was done within 10 minutes. Lunch break treatment perhaps?
Afterwards, you are told to only shave the area if needbe, DO NOT pluck it as the hairs will grow back thick and fast if you do.
I had my first session 4-5 weeks ago now, and I have only had to shave once. ONCE! And that was one week after the treatment. I'm not even close to needing to shave as the hair literally has not grown back. Not even a shadow.
Do you even know how much of a godsend this is to me? It's a bloody miracle!!
I am due to go back for my second session this week, so there will be a follow up post for that in a few weeks, which will include more information and details, and more photos.
Watch this space!
This one is for the indecisive ladies of the world!
If you're forever chopping and changing your make-up trying to find that perfect 'one' (don't worry, we've all been there - especially looking back at some make up DISASTERS), then I have composed a list for you of beauty things that I love. (obviously I don't wear every single thing on this list every day, this is just a list of things I use regularly but chop and change between daily)
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua - this is really light and for every day use.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation - can be worn every day if you like a heavier coverage.
Rimmel Argan Oil Mascara followed by Maybelline Volume Express Waterproof.
Manny MUA palette
Charlotte Tilbury - Colour Chameleon in Amber Haze
Charlotte Tilbury - Beach Stick in Moon Beach
Chanel - Les Beiges Bronzer
Benefit - Watts Up
Charlotte Tilbury - Wonderglow
Kylie Cosmetics - lip liner in Candy K
Kylie Cosmetics - lip gloss in Literally
Charlotte Tilbury - Matte Revolution in 'Very Victoria'
If you're here, you're probably wondering what my thoughts are on the Jivesse Collagen & 24 Karat Gold Face Mask, and whether it really works. So if you're thinking of taking the plunge and want to find out whether it's worth it - I have good news for you. It is.
I have to admit, when I first heard about this product, I was skeptical. I mean, who wouldn't be? Women have been trying to find the answer to visibly lifted, tightened and firmer skin for YEARS (the natural way, without having work done). The part that really swayed me though, was the price tag and the stockists. Retailing at £125 for a pack of 5, you can find it at Harrods, Selfridges or on the Jivesse website. Now I know for sure, that such well respected retailers like Harrods and Selfridges, wouldn't sell this product if it wasn't any good. If it's good enough for them, then it sure as hell is good enough for me.
The first night of my trip, I decided to try it out late before going to bed. I was exhausted from the early start and looked super tired, so I cleansed my face by removing my makeup and left it to dry for about 5 mins.
Once my face dried, I went and removed the mask from the packaging before use. I was actually incredibly surprised as to how moist the mask actually was, there was a lot of excess moisture and liquid which I was pleased about - I sort of expected it to be like every other mask and be pretty dried out.
As you can see from the picture below, it was covered in flakes of 24 karat gold. This I was also pleased about, as prior to opening it, I didn't expect it to have much gold in it at all.
I pressed the mask on to my face, and made sure it covered the whole area. I then left it on for 15-20 mins. It had a very cooling and soothing sensation when it was on my face, which made my skin feel instantly hydrated. I felt so relaxed and as it was late at night, I very nearly fell asleep with it on! Once I had removed it, I did what the instructions suggested - which was to not wipe any left over moisture off of your face, but to gently massage your face instead. I did this for 5 mins and then went to sleep.
When I woke up the next morning, I felt really tired because I hadn't caught up on much sleep from the day before. I was expecting to look in the mirror and look like a zombie, BUT my skin looked so awake! There was no trace of any bags under my eyes, my skin looked really bright, vibrant and refreshed, with zero sign of any cold, chapped, dull skin. With regards to tightness, it didn't give my skin that really tight, itchy sensation that some face masks can give you - but rather a youthful plumpness to it.
The results made doing my makeup so much quicker and easier, j didn't even need to wear highlighter!
I was so pleased with the results, that I decided to redo this routine every night before bed for the duration of my trip.
I really did feel this helped me to feel so much more hydrated and refreshed for the whole trip - especially when you're spending 12+ in a busy city with barely any chill time.
On the whole, I really would recommend these products to you, and I also 100% think these are a great investment, especially to your every day routine. Even if you don't have much time to dedicate to looking after your skin, this is a quick 15 minute fix that will leave you feeling like you've spent an hour nurturing your skin. A little goes a long way where your skin is involved!
You can find the face mask on Jivesse's website here: https://www.jivesse.com/shop/jivesse-collagen-gold-mask/
If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!
Please note this blog post was done in collaboration with Jivesse, but all photos and opinions are my own.
A while ago now, I was invited to Sopwell House for the day to try their afternoon tea and have a tour of the hotel.
Situated in St. Albans, it's approximately a 30 minute train journey from St. Pancras International in central London, and a short 10 minute drive from St. Albans train station.
(Be aware though that if you are travelling in by train from St. Pancras that contactless payment/Oyster cards are NOT accepted at St. Albans station and you will have to buy a ticket before travel. Even though I asked at the St. Pancras information desk whether contactless payment was accepted and I was told yes, which I then found out the hard way when I had to pay a fine, that it wasn't!)
The afternoon tea itself was particularly enjoyable, and we opted for the champagne afternoon tea. This included a glass of champagne each, a tea of your choice, 4 finger sandwiches per person, 2 scones pp with clotted cream and Tiptree Jam (this really made me happy, a little taste of home!), as well as an assortment of cakes and macaroons to share.
One thing that I found a really nice touch was that the staff were always offering us more sandwiches, scones and cakes etc. Sometimes (being the pig that I am) I want more sandwiches to balance out the sweet and savoury, but feel a pain in the bum to ask for more. The fact that these were offered to us made it much more relaxing!
The staff also could not be faulted. We were served by two very kind gentlemen who could not do enough for us.
After eating, we were given a tour of Sopwell House and the grounds of the hotel.
The rooms took my breath away - particularly the outside "Mews" area where you are able to have more of a maisonette style apartment with a hot tub in your own private "garden" area.
This whole area of the hotel can also be hired out for events such as wedding parties, so the whole entourage can stay in one area.
As well as hiring out parts of the hotel for wedding parties, the hotel also boasts a number of events rooms which have moveable walls, creating one large events room if need be.
Sopwell House has been a particular favourite for footballing events, with the England team having resided there on a number of occasions.
There is something for everyone at Sopwell House though - there is a full spa with treatment facilities, a gym, and a swimming pool. There is also a golf range near by for all you golf fanatics - hosts to the Ryder Cup!
Overall, if you are looking for a quiet, peaceful sanctuary to get away from the hustle and bustle of London, then this is the place for you. It is complete luxury in a scenic setting, and you don't have to travel far outside of London to get it.
Prices start from £154 per night for a superior suite, to £250+ per night for a Mews Suite.
For more information, you can check out the Sopwell House website here.
For a few months now, I have been testing out the SmoothSkin Bare IPL hair removal device on my legs.
SmoothSkin is a device which utilises light energy, flashing at 100 times per minute and aims to eventually replace your shaving routine.
For those interested in the technical side, a description from the SmoothSkin website of how the device uses light energy for hair removal can be found below:
"The light energy is transferred through the skin’s surface and is absorbed by the melanin present in the hair shaft.
There is no set time length for how long the treatments will take. No one person is the same and the time length for seeing results is all dependent on hair colour and thickness. These devices can also only be used on certain skin tones, so before purchasing I would recommend checking to see if you are suitable for using the device by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.
When using, you can either use in a gliding motion or a stamping motion. I found that the gliding motion was a much more time saving method as well as being more effective, however I would recommend either turning your head away from the product or wearing sunglasses whilst in use, as the flashes are very bright.
The SmoothSkin device is always used on cleanly shaven legs, so that no new hairs can get in to the light and cause damage to the product.
When using the device, I found it to be totally pain free (which is a miracle for me!), and it literally just felt like a warm/hot sensation on my legs (the more sensitive areas of my legs tended to feel hotter). SmoothSkin is the perfect device for those who are looking for a more permanent solution to hair removal but cannot stand the pain of an epilady device (don't worry, I've tried one and believe me the pain was unbearable, as well as the fact I also got my hair caught in it). The particular device I have tried retails between £170-£200, which may seem a little steep to some, however it is an investment and a one off price, as you will then be able to use the device as you please.
Unfortunately, this particular device hasn't really had much of an effect on me yet - however, I'm still trying with it so I am hopeful it will in the end. Like I mentioned previously in this post, it has a different affect on each individual and this by no way means that it won't have an affect on you!
If you'd like to read more or purchase a device for yourself, then you can visit this link here.
Disclaimer: I did receive this product in exchange for a review, however all of my reviews are 100% honest and completely my own thoughts.
I've been considering writing this post for a couple of weeks now, and when I tweeted about writing it, a lot of people seemed to be interested in hearing what I have to say.
Although I absolutely love blogging/influencing and I'm aiming to make it my full time job - it also doesn't come without its downsides and down days. As influencers, we all have them - we'd be lying if we said we didn't. Everyone thinks that blogging is just for the 'freebies' and is such a walk in the park, but when you get out of the days of the 'mirror selfie' and in to the realms of serious blogging, there's so much more that goes in to it that you don't see.
** WARNING: SLIGHT RANT COMING **
My number one (hmm... how would you say it...) gripe? I guess,
at the moment, is the clear and blatant lack of respect that some brands/pr companies/outreach companies have had for bloggers and influencers recently. Big name brands that pretty much try and bully someone, and it's not okay.
So I'll tell you about my experience first...
I recently worked with a big name brand (not naming any names, but ngl, I'd probs tell you if you messaged me and asked lol) over Christmas, through an influencer/blogger outreach platform.
Understandably, as a really popular brand - I was super excited (who wouldn't be?!). It was an unpaid collab, but tbh I didn't mind because of the brand it was. The first frustration though, was that I felt mucked around for months before the actual collab happened. It first came up in October, and it took them right up until nearly mid December for them to actually tell me the collab was going ahead. I informed them of the date that I was travelling to New York, and asked them if they would be able to get the items to me before that date - otherwise they would have to wait for the content to be done after Christmas. I had absolutely no idea where the items were for a week, no tracking information or anything, and they actually arrived less than 6 hours before I left for the airport. Frustratingly I could only take one of the items with me, as the other was so heavy it actually put my suitcase waaay over the weight limit (totally not prepared to pay £60+ each way for an overweight suitcase).
The photo of the first item was done and uploaded whilst I was away, with no problems at all, nothing was mentioned to me.
When I got back, it was 2 days before Christmas, so I photographed the next outfit in the days between Christmas and New Year. That content was also finished and uploaded to Instagram, no problems at all.
Then came the hassle.
The Weebly platform was down, meaning when I uploaded my images, it distorted them. I was really trying to do my best to sort it, and wasn't prepared to publish a blog post that wasn't perfect.
The blogger outreach then started harassing me for the post.
Although I couldn't manage to get the images fully sorted, I sent off the link to the post (mainly because I felt really insulted that she called me unfair - lol.)
After that, I then received the rudest messages ever from the girl dealing with it at the outreach company. Not only was it the complaining, but it was the way she worded it more than anything. She slated the fact I was wearing trainers in one of my photos (brand new Adidas Tubulars might I add! I'm sure if someone amazing and with a huge following like Sarah Ashcroft wore them, they wouldn't complain at her...)
She then complained about the fact that I had taken the second image outside my flat in London. Wtf? I could understand if they were super grotty or something, but they're brand spanking new buildings!! (there were no guidelines whatsoever on this campaign by the way) Some of the other girls on the campaign had taken their image standing in their bedroom or literally next to a plain white wall...
Then it was the fact I had only provided 2 images on my post. Again, they never said how many images they wanted. Some other girls had posted the same as me but apparently theirs was 'acceptable'.
Yet again, another complaint. Remark after remark. This time I 'hadn't written enough on the blog post'. I was at the end of my tether by this point, I really was. She insulted my editing, my photography, everything about it. Actually INSULTED me. You probably wouldn't even believe how rude she was unless you saw the messages. Like I can't state it enough. She even had the cheek to actually turn round and ask me to re-shoot the images!! On an UNPAID collab!! The brand itself even asked over Instagram if they could use the images themselves, so they couldn't of had any issues with it.
I'm not awkward in the slightest, but I'm not willing to bend over backwards when I'm spoken to so rudely. Brands need us just like we need them...
Another experience I am aware of, is another close blogger that worked with a big watch brand. I won't go into full details on this, but I'll give you the jist of it.
They already did one campaign with him, and mucked him around - practically shouting at him over emails and typing in capital letters to remove the image he had posted from his Instagram.
They then offered him an extra campaign for additional images, which he went out of his way to shoot extra for. He sent all the images off to them and they approved the three they wanted posting. On the new campaign, he was moaned at for missing an 's' off of the hashtag, for tagging the outreach company in his photo (even though some on the campaign hadn't even put the brand in their photo, just used Like To Know It instead...). He then posted his second image, they then had the cheek to ask him to remove it again as they wanted a different image instead. He refused, as it had already gained both him and the brand exposure, plus it is his personal account and he mentioned that he wasn't going to be constantly ordered around all the time. They then removed him from the campaign and didn't bother paying him for the first image he had done!
I actually see blogging as a form of art these days, it's a way that people are able to express themselves. Its so unfortunate that if I want to take an outfit picture on the street though, you get contrantly laughed at by passers by. As well as the snide comments and jokes about it. I'm all for having a laugh, I have a really good sense of humour, but when you're not overly confident, it can actually make it quite uncomfortable. I really admire those who are able to get the shot on a busy side walk/road, but for me it's just finding quiet places until my confidence grows (and when I don't care that people are laughing at me anymore).
And finally, the PAYMENTS.
Funnily enough, brands seem to go MIA the minute you've finished the content and payment is due... funny that.
Having to send constant emails for final reminders for payment is pretty tiring, and not something anyone has time to be doing. I honestly think it just takes the piss - but if you're not a blogger, you'd have no idea about all of this. It's just a basic level of respect...
I'm sure we aren't the only people to have bad experiences like this, I'm sure pretty much all bloggers have had at least one. It's times like this though where it really gets you down, and makes you forget about the fun in blogging for a little while.
I absolutely love working with brands, and I wouldn't change any of this for the world, but overall, what I have been disappointed with recently is the lack of respect. Unless you have a certain amount of followers, people think they can boss you around and bully you into things. I don't mind a brand stating what they want, but there are certain ways of saying things to someone.
Respect is a two way playing field - if a blogger was rude to a brand, the brand wouldn't work with them. So why should a blogger put up with a brand being rude or disrespectful to them?
Step in to 2017 in style!
2016 was the year of all things fabulous - and what better way to celebrate the new year than by shimmying your way in to 2017 in a sparkly dress?!
I chose to pair my Missguided Dress from their Peace + Love collection with this Missguided Aviator Jacket and my Mulberry Lily. (p.s, can we just talk about how warm this jacket is? I wore it around New York on my recent visit and it was -4, but I was lovely and toasty warm!!) This jacket is designed in an oversized style, so I would say to definitely order a size down, especially if you're petite like me. I am a size 10, but I got an 8 and it was a perfect fit - I want it to have that oversized look, not the 'too big' look! This jacket is such high quality, I was amazed. And considering the quality of this jacket, it's only £65! I actually had some of my blogger friends asking 'which designer is this?' for me to tell them no, it's Missguided! 🙊 Safe to say a few of them were on the Missguided website the next day putting an order in!
As for the fit of the dress, this actually runs big. I ordered a 10, but it was a bit baggy on me, so I definitely should have gone for a size down. This dress is designed to be skin tight, so if this is the look that you want then order a size down! It's also made of a nice thick material, which keeps you lovely and warm, and also is very flattering on your silhouette - it clings to all the right places but at the same time the thick material and loose detailing on the dress means it doesn't show any lumps or bumps (perfect if you're going for a meal - you don't have to worry about having a Christmas food baby showing!!) Although be careful when you are wearing the dress, try not to get the beads caught on anything as the beading is so so delicate.
The dress retails for £115, but in the current sale you can snap it up for just £75 instead - is this a bargain or what?! Such an amazing quality item for such a small price!
I hope that I've managed to give you some outfit inspo and have a lovely 2017! Happy new year!
Disclaimer: Please note I received these items from Missguided but all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.
For a while now, I have been giving the Help: Beautify Skin supplements a try, and I couldn't wait any longer to share my discovery with you guys.
These supplements come in a jelly form and are apple flavoured (super helpful that they are tasty, I could easily eat more than one/two a day just as a snack 🙊), and contains their PravenAGE formula (formed of Marine Collagen, Resveratrol, Aloe Vera & CoEnzyme Q10) to nourish the skin from the inside, as well as maintain a radiant complexion.
One of the most important ways to look after your skin is to look after it from the inside (especially if you have any skin conditions like Psoriasis), and with these supplements, you have no excuse not to. They are the perfect size to keep in your bag for on the go, so you can make sure to keep up your in take wherever you are.
I have to say that after I've been taking these for a while, I have begun to notice a difference, especially in these cold winter months. Usually, the cold would make my skin feel so dry and chapped, but my skin has been feeling much more refreshed and nourished.
A pack of 14 sachets retails for £22.94 and you can purchase yours over at their website here.
Disclaimer: please note this post is a sponsored post but all thoughts and opinions are my own.