My Skin Care Story & Botanics Review

My Skin Care Story & Botanics Review

Hello everybody,

As a Botanics Brand Ambassador I get sent some great skin care products and this month I can honestly say I’m more excited about them than I have ever been before!

Before I hop into what products I have received this month, I thought I’d share ‘my skin care story’ with you.

My Skin Care Story

In my early teens my skin got really bad and it was a major insecurity of mine, although I know this isn’t particularly uncommon- it’s one of the sucky parts of being a teenager. But I had lots of spots under the skin and they were beginning to scar.

So after a year or so of trying out different high street products, my Mum and I took a trip down to the Doctors and we were given a cream named Quinoderm. Quinoderm literally stripped my face, it made my (naturally oily combination) skin very dry, itchy and sore. It also did not make my blemishes any easier to conceal… if anything they were even more pronounced on my face. Although, after the initial erosion of my skin, it did clear away my under-the-skin spots. But only for a few months.

My skin quickly became ‘immune’ to Quinoderm… or I assume it did! It just stopped working, and at this point the high street skin care was barely touching my acne. So I was essentially in a worse position than I was before I started using Quinoderm.

My Aunt recommended using something less invasive and more of a long-term solution… but more pricey: Clinique. I can honestly say that Clinique was a huge game changer for me. By 16 I was using Cliniques’ Teenage Skincare Kit that consisted of a foam, a cleanser and a moisturiser. It worked really well on my skin. But it was also far more expensive than I could afford. So it became one of those gifts I got at Christmas or my birthday, or even at airports!

Age 18-20 and a student, I used mostly high street brands and that was great, my skin had calmed down and I was able to get away with using products such as Garnier face scrubs and all things Simple.

But recently my skin has flared up again… and its honestly really knocked my confidence. I’m 21 and I feel like I had my fair share of spots in my teenage years, but now I’m going through it all again. This time I can pin point why I have had this sudden flare up and it is simply from changing from a combination contraceptive pill, to a progesterone only pill… and my face did not like it! Or my back… or my chest... and to make it worse, these spots were scarring again.

So the pill, combined with Final Exams (aka. stress!) made for rather angry looking skin. Which leads me onto Botanics. 

Botanics has acted, for me, in a very similar way that Clinique did a few years ago. It cleared up my face, without drying it out. It’s a long term skin care routine… with a much lower investment!

Plus there are so many different varieties that no matter what skin type you are, Botanics will have one perfect for you. It’s all natural and all from the Botanical Gardens at Kew Palace- which is well worth a visit, if you get the chance!

Botanics UK Products I Received This Month:

All Bright Soothing Eye Makeup Remover- £5.49

This product is really gentle and hydrating for the skin. You have to give it a good shake before putting it on a cotton pad and it practically melts the makeup off of your skin. The Hibiscus in the soothing formula also brightens the area around the eye, which is just another bonus!

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Radiant Youth Hydrating Eye Cream- £11.99

This nourishing eye cream helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and dark circles for a more illuminated under-eye appearance. I use it every night before bed and I have noticed how much more moisturised that area of my face feels. I use concealer under my eyes as part of my everyday makeup and I’m always conscious of drying out my skin, so it feel so good to target this area every night.

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Radiant Youth Protecting Day Cream SPF 15- £9.99

The next two products are face creams… and both of them smell DIVINE. I can’t get over how good it smells. This day cream focusses on  radiance-boosting and is infused with a cocktail of anti-oxidants. It also helps to keep skin looking younger with added UV protection. I put this on about 5 minutes before I do my makeup, so that it soaks in and gives me a moisturised, but not sticky, base to apply my makeup to.

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Radiant Youth Replenishing Night Cream- £9.99

The night cream is similar in consistency to the day cream, and smells equally fantastic! I love having this as a step in my night skin care routine, my face just feels so fresh before bed. It also acts as an anti-aging cream and I am a firm believer that you are never too young to start using these! This cream is infused with a cocktail of antioxidants from the leaves of the Ginkgo plant.

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If you fancy trying these products out, they are available on Botanics UK own website, or through Boots!

Bee xoxo

iDeal of Sweden- Review

iDeal of Sweden- Review

Recently I have collaborated with iDeal of Sweden and tried out one of their phone cases.  It’s safe to say I’m OBSESSED. They have a variety of beautiful designs, from prints to leather.

As a lover of all things green and botanical, I chose the Monstera Jungle Case for my iPhone 7 Plus. The case itself clips on really easily and the detail is beautiful.

These phone cases are the most glam I have ever seen!

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If you fancy a discount you can use the discount code: ‘UK2018’. Happy shopping!!

Bee xoxo

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Here is the reality of trying to take photos with a dog present.
The Realities of Working Out

The Realities of Working Out

I am what I like to call: Fit(ish).

Fit(ish): semi-fit and a little bit podgy. Someone that likes the idea of being fit, but likes food too much.

I strive to be healthy. To me, this means two things. To be physically fitand active, and eat a healthy balanced diet. And mentally fit, whereby (to avoid mental breakdowns, and maintain sanity) I eat cake when and if I want it. I think it’s a pretty healthy diet. I would never want to resent being ‘healthy’ if it meant I couldn’t eat birthday cake, or have a takeaway every now and then. I’m a firm believer in treatin’ yo self. 

But that’s enough natter, here are some of the realities I have found with working out!

CARDIO:

Getting bored after 5 minutes of any form of cardio. I have always hated running. I simply don’t enjoy it. But I do try. (I’m far better at running out of money, if I’m honest)will.gif

Running next to someone and it feeling like a race. They up the speed, so do I. Bring it. run.gif

My running style: drunk woman slowly being chased by absolutely nothing.drunk.gif

When you take your headphones out and realise you were making panting/grunting noiseswhile you did cardio.sponge.gif

When people look at you while you do cardio.melissa

When you up the speed too much and your heart skips a beat, because you can’t keep up.gym.gif

Me doing cardio: ’20 minutes left. That’s two lots of 10.  It’s only 4 lots of 5 minutes’(then I congratulate myself on the 30 seconds wasted on that mental maths session)wil.gif

I like to think, when people see me jogging outside, they think ‘wow an athlete’, but in reality it’s ‘aw, good for her’.

Quite frankly, the best bit about running is the end.

I’ve honestly come to the conclusion that running is wrong. I agree with Miranda Hart,unless it’s running professionally, or as a child- it’s not OK.

SWIMMING: 

Is this just me? As a kid, at swimming lessons, I would convince myself there was a shark in the pool– so I would swim faster. Maybe I should imagine clowns on the treadmill behind me.shark.gif

MOTTO’S I THINK IN THE GYM/LIFE:

‘Sweat is just my fat crying’.

‘I may look like a potato now, but one day I’ll turn into fries and you’ll all want me then.’

‘I work out because I know I would have been the first to die in the Hunger Games.’

‘I wear all black in the gym, like a funeral for my fat.’

REGRETS: 

When your ‘cheat meal’ turns into a cheat week.shame.gif

Stepping on the scales and seeing no change after weeks of exercise: ‘off to Krispy Kreme I go’.donunt.gif

Leaving the gym feeling great, waking up the next morning feeling like your legs are hungover.
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FIBS:

Aim:to be the weight I told the app I was.

‘Drink more water’ they said, ‘it will be good for you’ they said. I’m weeing ALL THE TIME.

(Last time I did that 2 litre a day thing, my Mum sent me to the Doctors thinking I had diabetes.)

My summer body expectations vs reality. summer.png

Embracing your summer body like at least my flipflops still fit!fat b 2.gif

So there it is, a page full of GIF’s, personal experiences and life contemplations, from a Fit(ish) individual with some serious love for cake. 

Hairstyle Hacks Every Girl Should Know

Hairstyle Hacks Every Girl Should Know

If you’re anything like me, sometimes (daily) you run late.  Whether you snooze the alarm one time too many or mess up your winged eyeliner, something always happens to make you have a last-minute panic. Though I love the idea of simply being fashionably late, I know that really my lack of punctuality soon becomes unfashionably annoying.

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During this getting ready frenzy, my hair usually falls to the bottom of my ‘to-do’ list. And, let’s be honest, having your hair ‘did good’ makes you feel ready to take on whatever the day may have in store for you! You can channel the g l a m. So I put together some tips I have learnt over the years to make getting out the door (with your hair intact!) that little bit easier.

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Here you go!

Spray your bobby pins with hairspray.

  • This way they stay in place all day!

 Spray your toothbrush with hairspray to tame baby hairs.

  • I have always had baby hair at the front of my head… and they can really wind me up. As a child they would curl up and out, sort of like horns. I saw this hack online, tested the theory and it worked! So yay, bye horns, I win.

Put your hair in a high pony tail, then curl it. 

  • I have this theory that if you wake up feeling even remotely crappy, you should spend that extra 5 minutes on yourself. Then, if it’s a reflection or a mirror in the bathroom, at a glance you look in control (even if you don’t feel it!). For some reason, having my hair put together, and giving others the idea that this girl has extra time to do her hair in the morning gives me great comfort. Nobody need know about the bed hair frenzy!meryl.gif
  • Anyway, I digress! It’s really quick to spruce up your hair by tying it into a high pony and curling it. This way, you look fabby and it’s taken you no more that 5 minutes!

Spray hairspray on your hand for a softer look.

  • I can sometimes go a little overboard on the hairspray, and then you have the crunchy, tacky feel to your hair. And nobody wants that! So if you spray it onto your hands, you can give your hair that little bit more volume. This gives a more natural curls look and saves you the wasted hairspray.

Blow dry your hair with cool air after blow drying it.

  • Blow drying my hair can take me aaaages, and there is nothing more frustrating than styling my hair and five minutes later looking like I’ve had a run in with a rabid squirrel. So blowing cool air prevents your hair from going frizzy and sets the style.
  • It’s kind of like washing your face with warm water, followed by cool!

Put mousse in your dry hair, then blow dry it. 

  • If you’re having one of those volume-less, non-co-operative hair days- then this hack is perfect. By adding mousse to dry hair, then blow drying it, you add the volume you were lacking!
  • I personally find volume-less hair the hardest to work with.

Use talc powder instead of dry shampoo. 

  • For those desperate times. I can most definitely say for blonds (brunettes- maybe try this out first!) this works wonders. It acts as a dry shampoo really nicely.

Put dry shampoo in the minute you wake up.3a2406db-6630-4d77-bd19-d909bc9919a3

  • Dry shampoo, my companion on lazy days, or those mornings when my hair is limp, volume-less and greasy! I try so hard not to wash my hair every day, it’s really not a great habit to get into- but greasy hair just makes me feel g r o s sSoooo dry shampoo is a God send. But a top tip is to put it on the minute you wake up as it takes a while to soak up the oils.
  • I always apply it before I do my makeup.

Put dry shampoo in before bed.

  • If it’s day 2 (or 3 or 4!) of not washing your hair, and you know it’s going to be looking a lil bit greasy in the morning, put some dry shampoo in before bed. This really works, not only do I wake up and think ‘huh, that’s not too bad’, it also makes it easier to style!

Only wash the front section of your hair.

  • Ladies, this is when your hair just ain’t cooperating. Whether you slept on it funny, it rained or you just need to feel f r e s h- wash the front section. It may seem odd, but it works. It’s easier to style and doesn’t take anywhere near as long as washing the lot!

Have a ‘go-to’ hairstyle: mine is the low pony tail.

  • My go-to hairstyle is a low pony. Not only does it look slick, it means nobody can see the mess we call greasy hair!
  • I mean, you can go crazy: low ponytail, low bun, french plait… the skies the limitown it

I hope these hacks help you spruce up your hair on those running late, greasy lookin’ (probably Monday) days!

Bee xoxo

Oh and here is a GIF of a dog who, much like me, hates blow drying his hair!

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Forest & Shore Hallelujah Hair Oil- Review

Forest & Shore Hallelujah Hair Oil- Review

Hi everybody!

A few weeks ago I was approached by Forest & Shore Ltd to try out their Hallelujah Hair Oil.

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Hallelujah Hair Oil

Since having highlights put in my hair it has been super knotty. This, combined with the cold weather in the winter and blow drying my hair every other day, has meant that my hair was in pretty bad condition. But I have noticed so quickly the improvement! It’s so soft and rejuvenated.

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Some of the perks of Forest & Shore Hallelujah Hair Oil is that it’s 100% vegan and cruelty free. It’s a synergised blend of coconut, sesame, olive, sunflower and arnica, scented with rosemary and lavender. What’s not to like?! It smells divine and has made my locks silky smooth again!

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I highly recommend it to anyone suffering from damaged hair or even those that just fancy giving their hair that little bit more TLC in these chilly months. You can purchase it on the Forest & Shore Ltd Website page or even Amazon!

 

Treat yo-self!

Bee xoxo

 

Christmas London Trip- The Russell Howard Hour

Christmas London Trip- The Russell Howard Hour

Hello everybody!

The last few days have been spent in London and it’s left me feeling wonderfully festive!

Jack and I love exploring London, we’ve climbed the O2, been to the Theatres and visited almost every tourist point you can think of. London at Christmas time is truly magical.

We headed up on Monday night, after work, and stayed in the Luma Hotel. It’s definitely worth a visit, it’s in Hammersmith, built this year, and is a concept hotel. Basically meaning that the breakfast is grab and go, so not really an issue! It’s the cheapest hotel we have found and it’s lovely to stay in. Plus it’s right next to the Hammersmith Tube lines.

On Tuesday we hopped from tube to tube, visiting Harrods, having a cheeky EAT for lunch, then heading to Oxford Street and Regent Street to shop, followed by Hyde park and Bills for dinner.

Our entire trip was planned around The Russell Howard Hour tickets we managed to get free seats for a few months ago. Luckily Jack had applied for some priority seats the day before, which meant we were automatically given seats, as it was rammed.

The show was hilarious and I loved every second of it. The security guards were totally against using phones in the building so I don’t have any pictures. But if you get the chance, it’s well worth going! The guest star was James Oliver and the show is on tonight, so I’ll rewatch it and see if I can see myself (yep. Sad but true!)

Beauty and the Beast- Review 

Beauty and the Beast- Review 

When I went in to watch the new Beauty and the Beast I was expecting to see far more sexuality references than I did, given the media surrounding Gaston and his supposed homosexuality. Often with a spin off or remake of a film, it is either mind-blowingly fantastic or a complete flop.


Twenty-six years ago, the original Disney production of Beauty and the Beast was produced. Today, I went to see the new version described by Empire as:

“An anabashed musical with its heart on it’s sleeve and energy to spare, it is undecidedly unbeastly”.

I can, hand on heart, say that it was one of the best remakes I’ve ever seen. Emma Watson, will most definitely no longer be Hermione Granger, but in fact Belle. I love the idea that young girls watching the new Beauty and the Beast will be idolising Emma Watson. It’s been suggested that Watson refused to wear a corset, stating that if gives an unrealistic image of women. The more I learn about Watson and her Feminist Campaigning, the more I appreciate her influence on the cause.

Emma Watson’s singing voice is also fab, of course, in Harry Potter, Hermione Granger had no need to sing, but blimey that girls can belt some decent notes!

As a Downton Abbey fan, I also adored Dan Stevens, who played the Beast. It’s funny when you walk into a cinema with an idea of the character a person can play, to me he was this Upper Class Englishmen that soon became a fantastic reincarnation of the original Beast.

As a child, Belle was not the top of my list to be. I was more interested in Cinderella and Snow White personally. But in reflection, Belle is arguably the figure I would most encourage my children to aspire to be- clever, independent, level headed and brave.

The entire film was full of incredible music and vibrant, almost hypnotic colours.

It was truly fantastic and to anyone that is thinking of going- do it! You won’t regret it.

Lifesum Review

Lifesum Review

Hello!

I have found that staying healthy at University is not an easy task, with take outs on every corner, alcohol being pretty central to nights out and even with the amount of physical activity my History Degree demands. Having to avoid dairy, gluten and the majority of fruit has made this task even more difficult, but I have recently found an App that really does work for me- Lifesum.

I am by no means a large person, but have not felt brilliant about the way I look for quite a while and have tried several methods of losing weight… that really haven’t been successful. Even when I have been avoiding both dairy and gluten my figure hasn’t changed and I haven’t noticed a different in the way I feel.

I decided to download the Lifesum App onto my phone and can honestly say it’s really really good!

  • What should I eat? I am not educated on what is good and bad. I thought I was, but the app has shown me that that might have been where I was going wrong. You simply enter manually or scan the barcode of whatever you have eaten and it tracks your daily intake of carbs, protein and fat, showing you how much of it you can have.
  • Footfall: The app links to any exercise app already on your phone that records your foot fall, automatically adding it onto how many calories you have for the rest of the day.
  • What do you want to achieve? When you activate the app, it asks you to enter height, weight and what you would like to achieve, either: lose weight, get healthier or put on weight. It then asks your desired weight and spreads the ‘diet’ over 22 weeks, each week is therefore different.
  • Recipes in line with your health goals: The app offers healthy recipes for every time of the day, whether that is breakfast, lunch, dinner or even snacks.
  • Water: It tells you how many cups of water you should drinking a day, and even reminds you if you haven’t drunk for a while, or when it is best for you to drink in terms of losing weight.
  • Statistics: the app records every day on a calendar and suggests that you weigh yourself once a week, to really see the difference.

It really does make me feel more in control of my diet, and is really flexible with the foods I can and can’t eat- I eat what suites me, unlike strict diets that give you recipes for each day. I don’t feel like I am constantly thinking about what I am eating, but I feel like I have a plan that is sustainable.

I really do recommend this to anyone who wants to notice a different in a week.

Hope you enjoyed the Blog- like and subscribe for more!

Bee xoxo