26 May 2013

A Healthier Me

First off, I hope you're all having an amazing bank holiday weekend; the weather here in the UK has been gorgeous so I hope you've been making the most of it, as I don't think it will be around for much longer !
It is actually the effects of this stunning weather that has inspired this blog post. For someone who doesn't burn easily in the sun, I did pretty darn well for myself yesterday. Having spent the day pottering around the garden and doing jobs outside, I obviously hadn't realised how strong the sun was until I got in in the evening.
My nose, shoulders, chest, arms and legs are now bright red. And I mean bright red. I look like Rudolf gone wrong.
Now, I actually felt really bad once I realised how much I had actually burnt, and this got me thinking about how little I actually do to take care of my body.
So I set about compiling a list of simple changes that I will be making from now on in an attempt to keep my body healthy.
1. Look after my skin
After that little introduction, let's start with the obvious; protection from the sun. I'm pretty annoyed at myself for not applying sun cream as it's such a ridiculously bad habit to get into, so from now on I vow to wear sun cream whenever I spend time outside in warm weather.
Although I religiously follow a facial cleansing and moisturising regime, my body gets extremely neglected. I am way too lax when it comes to moisturising my body, and so starting tonight I am also going to be moisturising my body every night before bed.
2. Drink more water
I've always drank far too little and when I do drink, more often than not it is tea (or vodka... nah just kidding. Kinda). I am going to start carrying a bottle of water around in my bag and have a glass with me as much as is possible when I'm at home.
3. Snack healthily
I eat very healthy and well balanced meals, but these are seriously let down by my very unhealthy snacking habits. Crisps are my absolute weakness, and up until a couple of weeks ago all I would snack on was crisps, chocolate and sweets; nothing else.
 Two weeks ago, I cut out the bad snacks and started to munch on fruit instead. Already I have noticed a huge difference in my energy levels and in particular on my skin, which is so much clearer and less dull.
I now have an unhealthy obsession with tangerines. Why did I not snack on these before?!
4. Start running
Now I'm afraid to say I absolutely despise running. I personally find it very tedious and because I get tired out so quickly, I give up with it. However, I have downloaded the NHS Couch to 5k app and intend to try and get into running properly.
I even bought some pretty pink trainers to motivate myself.
Trainers | Windsor's | £16
So these are my 'get healthy' aims this summer. I'm not aiming to lose weight, but I would like to tone up a little and feel physically fitter.
I'm keeping my aims simple, not too far fetched and easy to achieve, and hopefully I will see some results!
Do you have any tips for a healthier body?
Are you on a health kick this summer?
Jo xx

23 May 2013

What I wore | 23.05.13

As promised, here is an OOTD featuring the bargain aztec midi dress I recently bought off eBay.
Last weekend I went to a badminton awards do, and I am delighted to say we came home with a bundle of trophies; we won the league and are moving up to the first division next year, yippee!
Anyway, I'm sure when I get brave enough I will be showing you my FOTN's as well as outfits, however for now I am going to wimp out and just show you what I wore. I also must apologise for the terrible lighting and lack of arm candy: typically I was on the last minute.
Unfortunately for me, I can't say that's a rarity but when is any girl ever on time?
Dress: eBay | Necklace: Primark | Bag: Vintage | Shoes: Miss Selfridge | Hair: styled with Enrapture Encode Totem Styler* (review here)
This red aztec midi dress is my new favourite, hands down. I bought it from this eBay seller for around £10 including delivery. Unfortunately they no longer stock this exact dress but I have found the same dress here from a different seller for £15 plus p&p. 
I find midi dresses an absolute dream to wear; just pop a statement necklace over the top, grab a clutch and voila. Perfect for those all too familiar last minute 'Oh-My-God-I-have-nothing-to-wear' dramas!
In hindsight I wish I'd have chosen black accessories, but to be honest I was totally going for comfort with the shoes. I've had these Miss Selfridge heels for a while now; they were a gift from a friend and are literally the comfiest heels I have ever worn.
Plus they happen to be a perfect colour match with this bag, which I usually tuck the strap into and use as a clutch bag. God only knows how old the bag is; it was my late Grandma's and is the softest leather you have ever come across. I've really gotten good use out of this little gem.
What do you think of this outfit?
Are you a fan of midi dresses?
Jo xx

18 May 2013

Laura Geller Color Drenched Lipgloss | Cafe Au Lait

As you may or may not know by now, I am a big lipgloss fan, just because it is so damned easy to wear. One of my most recent additions to my collection, again courtesy of my fabulous auntie, is this Laura Geller Color Drenched Lipgloss in Café Au Lait.
The packaging is really nice, chunky and simple. I tend to prefer chunkier packaging as I just think it makes the product look and feel that little bit more expensive.
As you can see from the swatch, café au lait is literally the most perfect nude shade. I can imagine it being one of those shades that would suit more or less any skin tone, and it is so strongly pigmented; more so than any other lipgloss I have come across. The consistency is nice and thick which I love, and it doesn't feel at all sticky.
It lasts a good couple of hours before fading evenly, whilst actually helping to conceal any dry or cracked patches on your lips rather than clinging to them.
It also smells amazing; like a mixture between chocolate and coffee. Some of you may be thinking 'eurgh, how vile for a lip product' but it's not a sickly or overly sweet smell at all. It's just a pleasant change from any normal lipglosses.

 Overall I have to say I am seriously impressed with this lipgloss. The pigmentation and beautifully thick consistency makes it feel like a really luxurious product.
The only potential downside might be the price. Although if you're a fellow lipgloss lover, in my opinion it's worth it.
Laura Geller Color Drenched Lipgloss can be purchased here from QVC for £16.
Are you a lipgloss fan?
Would you be willing to pay as much as £16 for a lipgloss?
Jo xx

09 May 2013

"We Don't Market to Anyone Other Than Good Looking People"

A bit of a different post today, but this is something that's really wound me up the wrong way so I need to just get this down in words.
Browsing through the Daily Express, I came across the following article;
"Fashion store that wants thin and beautiful shoppers only".
I could have guessed said shop was Abercrombie and Fitch.
We all know A&F are very selective with who they employ. However, what I didn't realise was to what extent this was taken.
Apparently, their obsession with appearance has become so extreme that they have recently been sued for forcing an employee with a prosthetic arm work in, and only in, the stockroom.
Similarly, they have been forced to change their policies after asking an employee to remove a poppy as it "was not part of her uniform".
Are these people for real?! I find this absolutely disgusting.
Now I don't want to offend anybody that may or may not work for A&F.
Yes, the shop assistants are all beautiful there's no mistaking that, but yet again here arises the debate surrounding young teenage girls growing up absorbed in this unrealistic idea of perfection, and the need to be beautiful. The media and its obscene standards have so much to answer to; anorexia, bulimia, plastic surgery...the list is endless.
As if all this wasn't enough, A&F big boss Mike Jeffries has said that he
"doesn't want his core customers to see people who aren't as hot as them wearing their clothes".
This has apparently justified the selling of women's trousers up to and not above a size 10.
Yes, you read that right. Size 10.
Yet they're happily selling men's clothes up to an XXL.
Let's take former plus size model Crystal Renn as an example.
Although she has now lost weight, she was a size 16 at her largest.
Was Crystal ever fat? Not a chance. Is she beautiful?
Whatever size she is, I challenge anyone to tell me this woman is not beautiful.
However, according to A&F's standards, she is considered as ugly.

What the hell chance have us folk got if this woman is "ugly"?
I find it disgusting that such an influential brand as A&F can get away with promoting this kind of behaviour.
I'm well and truly lost for words.
What are your thoughts?

Jo xx

07 May 2013

Andrea Fulerton Flip Flop French Nail Varnish Duos

So here we have another post regarding the Andrea Fulerton Nail Salon Kit Box I received as a gift! My previous posts can be found here (contents of the box) and here (Mock Croc nail varnish reviews).
Today I am going to be showing you the Andrea Fulerton Flip Flop French Duos. The box contained the shades Millie (orange plus a lilac/pink shimmer), Ruby (red plus a pink shimmer), Lianna (grey/blue glitter plus an ice blue shimmer), and Sadie (luminous green plus a dull green shimmer).
(L-R): Millie, Ruby, Sadie and Lianna.
Each nail varnish duo also comes with guidance stickers (pictured above the nail varnishes) so you don't end up with wobbly tips. I didn't actually use these (too lazy, oops), but next time I definitely will as my tips were slightly wobbly.
Anyhow, the idea of these nail varnishes is to use the bold colours (bottom row of the duos pictured above) to draw french tips onto your nails, wait for this to dry and then paint the shimmer layer over the top, using them like a french manicure.
Image on left: (l-r) Ruby, Sadie, Millie and Lianna
Image on right: Lianna, Millie, Sadie and Ruby
The image on the left shows the duos worn as is suggested.
However I have to admit I wasn't overly happy with how these looked. I love bold colours on my nails, so anything sheer or subtle (other than a traditional french manicure) I can never seem to really get on with.
I also felt that the tint of the shimmer seemed to highlight any slight imperfections and stains I had on my nails; you really do have to have your nails in tip top condition to  get away with this look.
Not one to give up easily, I decided to try the duos again; this time painting the bold shades across the whole of my nail, and repeating the shimmer top coat as before.
Personally, I thought this looked much nicer and it is something I could see myself wearing again. The only shade I'm not particularly fond of it Sadie, the luminous green colour.
It's quite an awkward one and I don't really think it matches my skin tone too well! I particularly like Lianna, although in hindsight for this blue I'd definitely do at least two darker base coats before applying the shimmer top coat, as it was still quite sheer with just the one base colour.
All in all, the duos are a nice change and different to any of the other polishes I own.
I know there will be split opinions on these shimmers so I'd love to know your thoughts!
The Andrea Fulerton Flip Flop French nail varnish duos can be purchased here from Superdrug, where they are currently reduced from £7.99 to £5.99.
What do you think?
Jo xx

04 May 2013

Collective Haul | Primark and eBay

My word, has it really been 3 weeks since my last post?! *slaps wrists*
Boy have I missed you guys!
Life has been pretty darn hectic lately, leaving me with little energy for anything else other than work. I have my last day in placement coming up this Wednesday which I am genuinely going to be so sad about; the radiographers I have been lucky enough to work with over the past 3 years are amazing people and I'll miss them so much!
But the end of placement also brings essay and dissertation deadlines, plus a cheeky VIVA exam so my luck is in this month, I tell thee!
Anyway, during the Easter break (gosh, doesn't that just seem like yesterday?) I managed to fit in a spot of shopping...standard. My friend Laura and I popped down to Newcastle to visit our friend there at uni for a couple of days, and we spent our time having lots of giggles, food, cocktails and doing lots shopping of course! It was a lovely (and seriously needed) break. So here are the few bits I picked up from Primark whilst I was there.
Grey cardigan | £8
Grey and cream contrast dipped hem top | £8
I love the colour of this cardigan and admittedly, I only bought the shirt because I liked the contrast of colours and materials. My original plan was to remove the chain as I couldn't decide whether or not it looks a bit cheap. However now I'm unsure whether or not to take it off!
What are your thoughts, do you think the chains look cheap?
 Bronze spike statement necklace | £4
Stack of 6 rings | £2
I've been lusting after a statement necklace for a while now and this spiked one fits the bill perfectly. At that price I couldn't really leave it behind. I only bought this stack of rings as I instantly fell in love with the gold triangle one...I'm not even a size small in rings, but they didn't have a medium stack left and I loved it so much I bought it planning to wear it on my pinky instead.
Finally, I have also recently bought a couple of bargains off eBay.
Bright blue H&M dress/top (definitely a better top length, trust me on that one!) | £5.51 incl p&p
Red bodycon Aztec midi dress | £9.99 including p&p | this eBay store
I loved the colour of the H&M dress (it was sold as a dress but unless I want to spend my time with my bum fully on show, I think I'd better stick to wearing it as a top), and the lace detail down the side is really lovely. Great bargain if I say so myself!
I found the Aztec midi dress and it reminded me of one I'd seen either in Topshop or Miss Selfridge, I can't remember which one! I will probably be doing an OOTD to give you a better look at it, let me know if this is something you'd like to see?
So there we have it, my recent purchases. Hope you are all well, I'll try my best not to be absent for so long next time!
What do you think of my purchases?
Should I remove the chains from the Primark shirt?
Jo xx