Monday, 26 July 2010

Update

Ok, so it's become increasingly apparent that I don't have any spare at all this week to blog! I am heading down to Loch Lomond on Thursday morning and there's still alot to sort out.  So I won't be blogging between now and then because I don't want to add extra stress on myself.

So that basically means that I will be absent for about 3 weeks what with the wedding and then the honeymoon.  But I will definitely update you guys with everything wedding and honeymoon related when I get back.  These are the kinds of posts that are lined up:
  • Wedding Day makeup look and what products were used
  • Wedding Day hair
  • Wedding photographs
  • Honeymoon photos
  • Honeymoon clothes
  • Purchases made in Kuala Lumpur, Borneo and Hong Kong
  • Products that served me well in extreme hot/humid conditions
  • Recommendations on sun protection products for hair, face and body
I love blogging so I will really miss having that contact with you guys but I will have so much to talk about when I get back.

Until then, take care of yourselves and wish me luck!

xxx

Friday, 23 July 2010

Good Times/Bad Times

GOOD TIMES


1) Wolverine - It's funny that such a small animal could entertain me and Chris so much.  He always makes me laugh when he is eating because he gets so possessive over his food...the way he turns his back on me in the video cracks me up.  I know alot of people think hamsters are just for kids, but believe me, you would be surprised how attached you get to them!
video
2) Wedding - It's only 9 days to go until the big day now (my mum phones every day to give me a countdown as if I'm going to forget!ha ha).  It's so nice to see how excited all our friends and family are about it and I just know it will be such a fun, happy weekend.  I'm praying for good weather and have even been checking the long range weather forecast (slightly obsessively if I'm being honest!).  I still need to sort out something old, new, borrowed and blue (apparently the bruise on my leg doesn't count!).

3) Weightloss - I have almost reached the weight that I had set as my target (I'm 2lbs away) and I really feel great.  I still feel that I need to lose another half a stone just to get rid of the little bit extra I have on the tops of my arms and my stomach but apart from that I'm really happy with my figure now.  The most important thing that I have learnt during the weightloss is that you have to try and stay positive when it comes to your body image.  Confidence is an amazing thing that can work wonders and really, life is too short not to mope around and criticise yourself.  Get out there and have fun!

4) Faith - My faith in human nature was redeemed yesterday when I sat down in a shop to try on some shoes, I put my bag down next to me while I was doing it.  Then when I went to get my phone when I left the shop, I realised I had left my bag in there! My heart stopped, what a horrible feeling.  I had alot of cash in my bag and just loads of things I didn't want to lose.  I ran back into the shop and found a girl who was sitting next to my bag, I explained that I had left it there and she said "yeah I thought someone must have forgotten it, I was just sitting next to it while the shop assistant came over, just to make sure no one nabbed it".  It's nice to know there are still alot of honest people about.

BAD TIMES

1) Sales - Why do stores always seem to start sales in the middle or end of the month when most people are running low on cash??? Arghhhh!
2) No blogging - I won't be blogging as much as usual in the next few days running up to the wedding.  I'm leaving for Loch Lomond on Thursday and then we are going straight on honeymoon so that will be me away for 2 weeks.
3) Spots - I got two huuuuge spots on my face yesterday and I am hoping and praying they settle down and fade before the weekend and especially before the wedding! It's sod's law...I don't normally get spots and then they choose to surface now of all times.  You have to laugh really!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

New Look haul & Wonder Product For Feet

When I was at my parents place over the weekend, I popped into town with my mum where they have a small New Look store.  They have a sale on at the moment so I couldn't resist a little sneak peek...
I love belts of all shapes and sizes because they can instantly add interest to a plain dress and give it sophisticated edge.  Not to mention the fact that they nip your waist in and concentrate on the smallest part of your waist...I never wear belts on my hips as that just doesn't suit me.  I saw the above black stretch belt with a metal bow-style clasp covered in navy blue marbled enamel and gold detail.  I fell in love with the belt as soon as I saw it and at only £7, it was a steal!
I normally hate trawling through sale racks in shops because everything looks messy, nothing is grouped together so you have to search around for your size and I prefer things to be laid out all pretty to look more enticing.  It's really hard to spot nice things when they are crammed into rails and you can't see them properly.  BUT, as the store was relatively quiet, I pushed that aside and decided to have a look see.  I found this super light cotton, dove grey biker style jacket with three quarter length sleeves.  You can also wear the sleeves long but I prefer them to be clipped up so I can reveal chunky bangles and bracelets on my wrists. This jacket is so flattering, it's slim fit so it follows the curves of your body.  It looks amazing with jeans and dresses alike and at only £10, I HAD to have it!  It's the perfect summer jacket! 
Next up, I spotted this dusky pink silk camisole with cream lace detail on the front.  It has a gathered dart in the back so it gives to suit the shape of your body...super flattering!  It looks great with the grey jacket above and only cost £7.
This floral dress was part of their older stock but I think it's a really nice easy-to-wear summer dress and it will also be great to throw on when I'm on honeymoon.  The sleeves are slightly capped which I always find is more flattering on arms and it has a slight v-shape at the front with ties.  It nips in just under the bust which makes it really flattering on curvy figures.  It will be perfect teamed with my flat tan Dune sandals and aviator shades. 
Lately I have been wearing hairbands alot but not to keep my hair out of my face.  I like to slot them in halfway into my hair so there's some hair down on my face.  It just adds a bit of interest and makes the hair look more dressed with minimal effort.  I got 4 plastic hair bands for £1 in black, cream, gold and leopard print.  They will probably come in handy on holiday when I want to get my hair out of my face though!
So I mentioned a wonder product for feet that my mum gave me to try out.  She was raving about it saying that it made her feet super soft after just one application.  It's the Proto-col Instant Pedicure and it's basically a blend of natural oils and sea salts that deeply exfoliate your feet and leave them feeling really smooth and soft.  It contains Lavender oil, Tea Tree, Evening Primrose oil and Lemongrass.  I like to smooth my soles with a foot file (gross, I know, but we all have to do it!), then soak my feet for 10-15 minutes in warm water.  Then I apply the Instant Pedicure product in circular motions both on my soles and on the tops of my feet.  I do this for a couple of minutes, paying particular attention to the soles.  Then I rinse my feet thoroughly and pat dry.  All the oils soak into your feet but I didn't find that I had oily feet after I had dried them.  My feet feel softer than they ever have before and believe me, as a high heel addict, that's really saying something! I will be using this every couple of days or so running up to the wedding just to make sure my feet are looking in tip-top condition.  I love this product because it actually does what it says it will and you only need a small amount for each application so thanks mum! She said it cost £19.55 for a 250ml jar from the GMTV website.  Click here if you want to read more.

Have you discovered any wonder products for keeping your feet looking good in summer?

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Home Sweet Home

Since Chris was doing the 3 Peaks Challenge at the weekend, I decided to go home to my parents for a couple of days.  They only live about 17 miles away but it's more in the countryside so it's always relaxing to be out there.  Chris and 5 other guys from his work did the 3 Peaks Challenge (Ben Nevis, Scafel Pike and Snowden) in 24 hours and they raised £2,500 for charity.  Well done boys!  I was so worried that Chris would have a fall or break something since the wedding is only 12 days away! Luckily he came back unscathed.  It didn't stop me from worrying all weekend though.  Phew!

My parents house is a total haven for me and I love going back to to chill out and spend some time with my family.  I love their garden, it's so peaceful and we had the perfect weather to sit out, chat, have a BBQ and sip some vino...
I love the circular couches with the table in the middle that sits on the deck.  You can push them together to make a huge sun bed so you can soak up the rays.
My mum picked up this great piece of driftwood at a local dump.  There was a guy who was going to get rid of it, he picked it up in the Lake District in 1974 and had it in his garden but they didn't want it anymore.  When my mum said she loved it, he gave it to her for free.  I think it's a really nice ornamental piece for the deck and it's cool that it has such a history.


This is the gazebo that I used to hold my Come Dine With Me night a while back.  It's a lovely place to have dinner outside...
I really like that the garden is slightly overgrown because it makes it more natural and plus there are loads of little secret places where birds are nesting and little areas to sit and read a book.  It makes it kind of magical in a way.
Another thing I love about being home is seeing the dogs. Myself and Chris are desperate to get a couple of dogs but we just can't justify it when we live in an apartment in the middle of a city.  It wouldn't be fair on the dogs.  We are definitely going to get them when we move into a bigger place in the country though.  My mum and dad have two 5 year old Golden Retrievers called Hamish and Findlay, they are brothers from the same litter but they look very different.  Here's Hamish looking very regal...
He loves to cuddle with his teddies (notice they have duvets in their beds!!!Pampered pooches!)...
Whereas Findlay is happiest outside in the garden chewing on a bone...
But they are definitely happiest when they are together, head-to-head, falling asleep after a long walk...
They both had a treat this weekend because my mum's friend, Mandy, took her Golden Retriever, Isla over to play with Hamish and Findlay.  She is pure white and possibly the most gorgeous retriever I have ever seen!
Findlay follows her everywhere and we are convinced that he is in love with her...she doesn't seem interested in the slightest though.  He brings her teddies and toys as gifts, but so far, she's playing hard to get!
I had my final wedding dress fitting on Saturday afternoon and I'm glad to say that it now fits perfectly.  The back has been changed to a lace up design so it's alot more flexible i.e. I can tighten it or loosen it to fit like a glove.  I can't wait to wear it!

In my next post, I'll show you the sale bargains I bought over the weekend and also a product my mum gave me that has worked wonders on transforming my feet from trotters into soft tootsies!

Friday, 16 July 2010

An Amazing hair product discovery!

The last time I paid a visit to my lovely hairdresser, Leigh, she was using some new products on my hair and I really loved the results.  After a chat, I found out that they were trying out some new products by Macadamia Natural Oil.  I will update you on the other products she used by by far my favourite product was the Healing Oil Treatment.  This stuff has made an amazing difference to my hair! It contains two of the world's rarest oils - Macadamia oil and Argan oil. 
The best thing about this oil treatment is that it's so flexible in how you can use it.  You can apply it to damp hair before you style it OR you can use it sparingly once you have dried your hair in the place of a serum OR you can add it to your normal intensive conditioner OR you can apply it to the ends of your hair at night to repair damage.  I love multi-use products and this one makes my hair feel so soft, smooth and healthy.  My hair is starting to feel increasingly stronger and more 'sealed', in that, I have alot less flyaways.  This product is ideal for colour treated hair that needs an injection of moisture. 
Often I find that oil based hair products can be too heavy for my fine hair but keep in mind that you only need to use half a pump of the product if you are using it before styling (also avoid applying directly to the roots and concentrate on mid lengths and ends).  This product feels lightweight in my hair and there's no sign of greasiness at all.  At this rate, the 125ml bottle is going to last for a long, long time.  The glass bottle has a really pretty design on it and also features a pump dispenser. 

These products aren't cheap but if you are really into your haircare and struggle to keep your hair in good condition, then they are definitely worth a look.  The 125ml bottle is priced at £28.10 at Specialist Hair and Beauty Supplies and I think you really get your money's worth out of it since it can be used for so many things.  I will be taking this product on holiday with me so I can apply it at night time and make sure that my hair stays super hydrated. 

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Mac Haul & Wedding Makeup Update

Hello lovelies!  I wanted to give you a preview of the kind of products I will be using on my wedding day and a few of them are included in this Mac haul.  I have thought long and hard about which products would be best for my big day, the right formulations and effects for professional photography and products that will last the distance.  I am a perfectionist so I was things to be just so (but not to the extent of being a bridezilla!). I certainly don't intend on being anything like this...

As you know, we went down to visit the photographer the other week and as he also does fashion shoots, I was asking him how best to apply makeup for the photographs.  He told me to do it exactly how I had my skin that day, which was my usual foundation routine so I was chuffed that I can do that stage myself on the day and it would look good on camera.  He warned me against the powdery look to skin that you can sometimes get but since I use a setting spray, this eliminates that and just makes my skin look luminous and natural.

I will basically be doing half of my wedding makeup...the primer, foundation, powder, bronzer, blush and highlighter.  Whilst I will be getting the makeup artist to do my eyebrows, eye makeup and lips.  I decided to do my own 'skin' makeup because I am VERY particular about how my skin looks and I know what works on me and what doesn't.  I had a couple of makeup trials and I just wasn't happy about how my skin looked.  I just remember sitting there thinking that I know my skin and the contours of my face better than anyone because I see my face everyday.  The photographer's comment gave me confidence that I can achieve the look required for the photographs. I wanted to get the makeup artist to do my eyebrows and eye makeup to make sure they look symmetrical and also because I am having individual false lashes applied.  It's alot easier for someone else to do that and judge when eyeliner looks right etc.

So on with the haul....
First off, I had been using the Clarins Fix Makeup spray to set my makeup for a while now (I apply this after foundation and all powder products have been applied but BEFORE any eye makeup).  This gives my skin a gorgeous radiance and takes away that overly matte, powdery look to the skin.  It lets your skin's texture show through the makeup which is essential if you want your makeup to look natural.  I do prefer the Fix + spray from Mac because it contains Green Tea, you get more product for your money and it just seems to refresh me and condition my skin just that bit more.  I will be using this on my wedding day to make sure my makeup looks flawless and fresh.  This has been the biggest improvement in my makeup routine recently and it really does make such a big difference to the overall look of your skin, especially in the summer months. I highly recommend you try this out!  The photographer asked me how I got my skin to 'glow' and I think alot of it is down to the spraying technique.
Alot of makeup artists use Mac Face and Body Foundation for weddings when the bride is wearing a strapless dress to even out skintone on the chest and upper arm area.  They often mix it with some strobe cream to get that glowing look to the skin.  Nic of Pixiwoo also recommended this on one of their bridal YouTube vids which you can watch here.  That's exactly what I'm going to do on my wedding day because often the skin on your face is a different tone to the skin on your neck and chest.  By applying the two Mac products, it will just make your skintone seem more uniform all over.  The best thing about Mac Face and Body is that it's water based so there's no greasy/tacky finish to it and once it sets, it's transfer and water resistant so the likelyhood of it rubbing off on your white/ivory dress is slim.  I would say the best thing to do is be very careful when you're putting your dress on just to be doubly sure it doesn't rub off on your dress.  However, it's definitely the best body foundation around for special occasions.  I also like to use it mixed with strobe cream for my legs if I'm wearing a shorter skirt on a night out.  I guess some people wouldn't go so far to make their skin look good but it's very slimming and I personally think it make your legs look great.
I missed out on this By Candlelight MSF when it first came out with a previous collection (think it was Warm and Cosy?) but anyways, I always wanted to get my hands on it for my wedding day.  Luckily it has been included in the current collection so I snapped it up.  It has totally lived up to all the hype I have heard over the months...it's a beautiful marbled pale pink infused with gold...perfection.  It's really smooth and creates a gorgeous sheen on the tops of my cheekbones with no glittery particles in sight! I'm torn between this and Dior Shimmer Powder in Amber Diamond! I love them both equally...although I have to say that the only thing I noticed about the Mac By Candlelight MSF is that you have to be careful when you are applying it.  The pan does shed quite alot of powder on contact with a brush so you need a light hand when applying it to your face.  It's so easy to overdo highlighter and I always like to blend it in with a clean kabuki brush afterwards in small strokes to ensure it's completely blended.  I will be keeping it to a minimum for my wedding makeup and just applying it to the very tops of my cheekbones to lift my face and give me a nice glow.
There always comes a time when we have to get those eyeshadows from Mac that aren't the most exciting shades but they really are essential for creating the perfect neutral eye.  So I ordered Vanilla (to act as a browbone highlight), Brule (to act as an all over lid colour) and Wedge (to act as a blending/natural crease colour).  The Satin Taupe was already in my collection but I popped it in there as I wil be using it with the other three.  I may swap Wedge for Woodwinked on the wedding day as I really want that golden brown sheen on my lids and Woodwinked has that amazing effect where it changes colour depending on what angle you look at it.  I think it's important to keep your browbone highlight relatively matte if you are highlighting your cheekbones, just to ensure it doesn't look over the top.
After a long, LONG search...I have definitely found the perfect wedding lipstick colour for me and that is Patisserie by Mac (it's described as sheer creamy neutral pink on the website).  It has a lustre finish so it's a bit more sheer but  this works perfectly as it enhances the natural look I'm going for.  It's the perfect shade that's just dark enough to define my lips in photographs but not too dark to the naked eye.  I really like the consistency of the lustre finish lipsticks, they are creamy and smooth to apply.
I picked up another 217 blending brush because I find this really handy for blending eyeshadow in the crease, it just ensures that there aren't any harsh lines.  I have washed my other one loads of times and it never sheds.
I really LOVE the lip glosses I got which were the Love Nectar Lustreglass and the Nice Buzz Plushglass.  Love Nectar is described as an 'Ultra soft apricot with pearl' and it's so, so pretty over pink and nude lipsticks! It's the perfect playmate for golden skin and Benefit Coralista.  Nice Buzz is a 'Shimmery light gold with gold pearl' and looks amazing over just about anything.  It makes darker lipstick shades easier to wear and adds a gorgeous golden gloss to your lips.  Both of the formulas are really nice and not overly sticky.  I am a sucker for pretty subtely sparkly glosses that add a finishing touch to a look and the Love Nectar one will be so nice over the Patisserie lipstick on my wedding day.

I will be doing posts over the next week or so letting you in on what other skincare/makeup products I will be using on my wedding day.  It's so important to choose the right products since I'll be looking at the photographs for the rest of my life and I want to look my best.

I just received the wedding Guest Book in the mail today and it's absolutely gorgeous.  I was so excited when I saw what it was.  I got it from a great website called The Beautiful Box Co, they have some really pretty designs and also do keepsake boxes, photo albums and personalised cards. 
The one I got costs £34.99.  It comes in a beautiful heavy ivory box with a lovely motif on the front, complete with diamante gems and our names.  Then inside the guestbook is ivory with the same motif and our names tied together with a champagne coloured satin ribbon. 
I like the simplicity of it and the pages inside are made of really high quality card so there's no chance of the pen leaking through and printed onto the next page.  If anyone is looking for a Guestbook for their wedding, then this is a great company to check out because I am so impressed with the quality of the product...
It's perfect and exactly what I wanted!

Only 17 days to go now...

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Makeup Tips for Humid Weather

Following on from my last post, here are my makeup tips for hot humid weather:
  • Sun, sweat and humidity can lead to your make-up melting halfway down your face so it's best to start by using a moisturiser with a gradual tanner before you head off on holiday.  This will give your skin that sought after golden glow which, in turn, means that you will need to use less products on the skin.  At the moment, I'm really liking Loreal NutriSummer (medium skin) or Philosophy 'The Big Skinny' Self Tanning Firming Cream.  They both give you a beautiful golden hue that looks healthy, natural and even.  The Philosophy one is especially good as it contains firming agents and kills two birds with one stone!
  • A mattifying moisturiser or primer with SPF (I use Clinique Super City Block SPF40) will act as a barrier between your skin and the intense heat.  It will also diffuse any imperfections/skin discolouration leaving you with the option of skipping  foundation altogether if you are lucky enough to have generally good skin.  I think we all get more confident about going au naturel in the face department when we have a tan! But, if like me, you simply can’t bear to go completely without any makeup, make sure you choose a foundation that has a natural sheer formula like my holiday favourite, Korres Ginger & Vitamins Foundation SPF10.  This water-based foundation gives me the coverage I need without feeling heavy on my skin.  It actually moisturises and soothes the skin as you wear it and has good lasting power considering it's so lightweight.  My skin always looks healthy and radiant when I wear this and I always get two shades to match my skintone when my skin is paler and also when it's more tanned.  This way, you can mix the two shades to create your perfect shade as you tan over the course of your holiday.  Mac Face & Body is also a great foundation for this use as it's water-based and becomes water resistant once it has set so it has great lasting power whilst looking natural on the skin.
  • I like to set my foundation with a light powder (Korres Wild Rose Compact Powder is brilliant because of it's feathery light texture).  However, during the course of the day, if you find that your face is becoming very shiny/oily, it's better to absorb excess oil and sweat with blotting papers rather than powder, which will start to look cakey/heavy after too many applications.
  • If you need to use a concealer, I would use a light diffusing concealer pen with a lightweight formulation where possible as these are perfect for the eye area which rarely sweats.  This is an easy way to help to lift the face.  A great primer for concealer is Benefit's Stay Don't Stray, which stops concealer from melting/sliding away and ensures that your eye makeup looks fresh all day.
  • As with skincare, it's a great idea to keep makeup like primer, foundation, concealer pens etc in the fridge so they are lovely and cool when you apply them to the skin.  Not only will this be soothing but it will combat any puffiness.
  • I would avoid makeup that comes in a cream consistency when it comes to bronzers, blushers and eyeshadows. Cream products will melt in hot, humid weather and that means they will melt off your face alot faster. Look more to using powders and gels because these will have more longevity in that type of environment.  If you are worried about the 'powdery' look, then you can do as I do and spray your face with something like Mac Fix + to give that natural, luminous look to the skin. I would also stay away from cosmetics that are glittery or overly shimmery as these can end up making you look even more shiny/oily.  For example, matte bronzers will be more flattering than ones with shimmery particles (I love Dior Matte Sunshine SPF20 in Honey Matte or Korres Monoi Oil Bronzing Powder in Sunglow Light or Sunglow Warm).  If you normally apply highlighter to your cheeks, skip that as your skin will have a natural radiance in humid weather.
  • Always use waterproof eyeliner and mascara as these can be the first things to start sliding off your face, especially if your eyes get irritated and you tend to rub them.  I really rate Mac's Liquidlast Liners and my fave colours are Point Black and Aqualine.  Once these are on, they're not coming off!  They are fool proof. I would only apply eyeliner to the upper lashes too as this will create a wide awake look and there's less chance of it smudging everywhere.  Also remember that the darker the colours you use, the more obvious they will be if they smudge or bleed.
  • What I often like to do on holiday is wear minimal eye makeup during the day, wear my sunglasses and then get totally glammed up at night when the temperature drops and you're more likely to be going out to eat or to a bar etc.  That keeps your days fuss free and also gives you a chance to do something different at night.  During the day, when your sunglasses are surgically attached to your face, it's nice to wear a bright lipgloss to add interest and colour.  I love Mac's Pink Lemonade Lipglass but if you prefer a more muted colour then YSL Gloss Pur in no.2 is beautiful and so is Estee Lauder High Gloss in Honey. 
I hope these tis help anyone who is battling with humid weather or heading off somewhere exotic soon.  As always, I would love to hear from anyone who has more tips or advice!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Skincare Tips for Humid Weather

So you all know that I'm going on honeymoon right after my wedding to Kuala Lumpur, Borneo and Hong Kong, all of which have very hot, humid climates.  Because of this, I have been reading up on what kind of skincare and makeup I should be looking at to ensure my skin stays in good condition.  It may be a bit of a shock to my system since I used to the colder climate of Aberdeen and although we do get a certain amount of humidity in the UK, it's nowhere near the extent I will experience in Malaysia.

I just wanted to share some tips with you guys that I have picked up over the last couple of months in case anyone else is jetting off somewhere nice.

  • Try to store your beauty products such as moisturisers, eye gels and cleansers in the fridge (hotel rooms often have these for the mini bar/snacks). That way, they will be feel cool and refreshing to use on hot days.  There's nothing worse than products getting hot and then having to put them on your face when you have been in the sun all day. If you don’t have a mini fridge in your hotel room then you can always fill the sink with cold water (can add some ice) and chill your products before you use them if you have time. 

  • It's important to remember to keep your skin hydrated because even in hot, humid climates, we still have to rehydrate our skin to allow it to take care of itself.  When you are walking in and out of air conditioned rooms into the heat outside, your skin will struggle to cope with the sudden change in temperature.  A light moisturiser will help it to regulate itself naturally.  I like to use Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream because it has a very light formula that sinks into the skin immediately so it's perfect for daytime. 

  • If you need to wear a moisturiser, try and use a lightweight serum or gel consistency product rather than a thick, creamy one. This will avoid your face feeling greasy and heavy during the day.  Also, make sure your chosen moisturiser contains lots of antioxidants. This is because sweat and heat increase bacteria, which aggravates any kind of skin condition so you want to prepare your skin for that.  No one wants to end up spotty on holiday! Keep in mind that oil-free and noncomedogenic (meaning they won't clog pores) formulas are best for really clear skin.  I also like Matis Shine Control Purifying Care Cream because it keeps the skin matte all day and doesn't block pores.

  • Avoid any kind of creamy, wipe-off cleanser as this will be too heavy.  Choose a rinse-off option like Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash or Loreal Perfect Clean Face Wash. The Elemis one will gently exfoliate your skin and remove any dry skin cells without aggravating sun-exposed skin whilst the Loreal one contains Salicycic acid to deep clean your pores and keep your skin spot-free. 

  • Choose a sunscreen that is designed for use on the face, these tend to be lighter, less greasy and therefore less likely to block your pores and cause irritation.   If your chosen sunscreen is slightly moisturising in texture, you can always use it in place of a moisturiser in humid climates.  Some sunscreens are designed to have a nice matte finish that can double up as a primer.  I use Clinique's Super City Block SPF40 because it always saves my skin from being burnt, it sinks into the skin without leaving a greasy layer and it's perfect to prime my face.  For my body, I always favour sunscreen that is easy to apply, non greasy/sticky and water resistant.  The best one for me is Garnier Ambre Solaire Light and Silky Protection Milk SPF30.

  • Drink plenty of water as this will flush out toxins from your body and staying well-hydrated will improve the overall look and feel of your skin.  You will be sweating ALOT and you will need to replace the lost moisture.

  • Use an exfoliating scrub at least once per week to remove dry skin cells and any dirt from your pores. I always rate the old favourite St Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub for really smooth skin.  They do a few different formulas like Gentle or Blemish Control so you can choose which one is best for your skin. A great body scrub I have recently discovered is the Korres Watermelon Body Scrub.  It smells delish and it exfoliates your body without being too harsh or scratchy.  My skin feels so soft after using this!

  • You can use a toner with glycolic acid to help remove toxins and pollutants even further.  Although my one doesn't contain that ingredient, I find it always leaves my skin feeling so refreshed, revitalised and supple.  I am currently using Aubrey Organics Green Tea & Ginkgo Facial Toner.  It contains loads of great natural ingredients like Witch Hazel, Chamomile, Lavender, Cucumber & Aloe Vera.  I love it!

  • Use a chilled eye gel before bedtime. This will help to reduce puffiness and any tenderness or irritation in the eye area.  You will wake up with brighter eyes that feel refreshed rather than heavy.  Cream formulas can aggravate the eye area in warmer climates and cause swelling or redness.  I will be taking my Oskia Eye Wonder Nutri Active Eye Serum with me because it has a super light gel formula that prevents puffiness and dark circles.

  • Any products containing things like chamomile, lavender, cucumber or aloe vera will be soothing and cooling.  These ingredients help to restore the skin in the most natural way

  • We all know it's important to apply after sun EVERY time we spend long periods of time in the sunshine.  I like Garnier Ambre Solaire After Sun Skin Soother Hydrating Milk with Cactus Extract because it's super light, moisturises for 12 hours and it smells great!  I also love Korres Cooling After Sun Face & Body with Real Yoghurt because it has a lovely cream-gel light formula that keeps the skin hydrated and soothed.


  • ALWAYS wash off makeup before bed.  This is important all the time but especially on holiday when you are sweating so much more, as I said before, bacteria breeds alot more in the heat.  If you leave your makeup on with sunscreen underneath as well, you will end up with spots galore. You have to let your skin breathe overnight because that's when it repairs and replenishes itself.  Think of bedtime as an 8 hour detox for your skin. 
So those are my skincare tips for humid heat.  I will be doing another post soon on makeup tips for humid heat so stay tuned for that! Any tips you have or advice would be appreciated...I need as much info as I can get my hands on!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Update, Review & Honeymoon Clothes Haul

Hi guys, sorry I haven't been very active on my blog in the last few days.  The wedding is now only 3 weeks away and there are loads of things that I have to keep on top of.  I'm glad to say it's all going really well though and I have a few wedding related posts coming up regarding makeup and the honeymoon.

On a more serious note, I actually got some awful news this morning and I wasn't even going to blog today but I really needed something to take my mind off it.  Remember I did a post mentioning that my dad's best friend, George, who was in a coma after a bad fall? I had been to visit him in Intensive Care at the hospital on Thursday morning and I have to say that I found it really hard to see him like that.  He looked so helpless and vulnerable, nowhere near the happy joker that we all know and love.  I tried to be as strong as I could and was breathing deeply as I walked down the hospital corridors, trying to prepare myself.  But despite all that, I completely broke down when I turned the corner and saw him.  It took me a while to get myself together enough to sit and talk to him, I just stroked his arm and told him how much we all wanted him to wake up.  He has always been my dad's best friend for over 25 years and they are so funny when they're together, they always seemed like silly teenagers in eachothers company.   My mum phoned me this morning to tell me that sadly George died last night.  I have tears in my eyes as I write this because he was only 52 years old and he leaves behind a wife and two daughters.  His twin sister, Yvonne is also good friends with my mum as they both practice Reiki.  He had over 200 people visiting him since he had the accident last week.  Everyone loved George, he was such a good, kind-hearted, funny, genuine man and he will be sorely missed by many people.  I will always remember that when he met Chris, my fiance, for the first time, he said to him "you need to get a ring on that girl's finger boyo!".  He was so looking forward to the wedding and being able to get dressed up in his kilt and I know he will be there in spirit to celebrate with us.  We will definitely be toasting him during the speeches because he touched all of our lives in such a special way.

I almost felt guilty about doing something so shallow like blogging after hearing such serious news, but I need to keep myself occupied because whenever I stop and think about it, I get too upset.
I have been meaning to do a review of the Loreal Volume Million Lashes mascara for a while.  I picked it up whilst browsing in Boots (I do that alot!).  I don't know why I feel the need to buy every new mascara?  I think I'm always looking for the greatest mascara for the greatest price!  It's very comparable to the Lancome Hypnose Precious Cells mascara in effect and formula, however, the rubber brush is ALOT fatter.  I found it a bit awkward to use and get into the smaller lashes, so for that reason, I much prefer the Lancome mascara.  The formula of the Loreal Volume Million Lashes has everything you would want from a daytime mascara...it stays put, it defines each lash, it adds length and it doesn't smudge.  It also has a design feature whereby any excess product is deposited in the tube as you pull the wand out so you never get that situation where you get loads of mascara goop on the brush.  Is it a good everyday, reliable mascara for the price? Yes.  Is it an amazing mascara that blows my mind and makes my lashes look fabulous? No.  I am still very fond of either lashings of YSL Singulier or a combination of Lancome Hypnose Precious Cells as a base, with Lancome Hypnose Drama over the top.  I got asked twice in one night if I was wearing false lashes when I combined these two! That's good enough for me.
I was in town shopping yesterday for honeymoon clothes with my friend and bridesmaid, Pamela.  After settling down with a latte and Lemon/poppyseed muffin at Starbucks, we headed to H & M.  After that I noticed Accessorize had a 1/2 price sale on so I had to have a look see.  Once I got in there, I was a bit overwhelmed by all the jewellery and actually realised that I never tend to wear alot of jewellery on holiday anyway.  So I settled on these cute pale blue flower hair kirbys for only £3.50! Bargainous!

Back to H & M though, which has become a favourite of mine for finding really affordable holiday clothes that may not last forever but I don't particularly like taking expensive clothes on holiday with me.  My brief for myself was light, colourful pieces that were easy to pack, easy to wash and comfortable. H & M also has a sale on at the moment so I took advantage of that!
I love this coral colour and it really seems to suit my skintone (in other word, it magically makes me look more tanned!).  I really like the unique detailing on the front and it's the type of top that's loose enough to be comfortable but still fitted enough to show your shape.  It was only £7!
Then I picked up two plain vest tops in sky blue and hot pink for £3.99 each.  These types of tops are always handy for layering when it's cooler at night time (I was thinking the hot pink one under the coral top above).  I also like them for sleeping in when we get back from holiday.
This pale pink t-shirt with clear bead embellishment on the shoulders lies just off the shoulder and looks so laid back without looking too casual.  It was down from £14.99 to £7.  It feels so light when you're wearing it and I would say that they are made quite big, I had to get a Small, but I would usually be a Medium.  It really deoends how baggy you want it to be but I prefer my clothes to be a bit more fitted to flatter my shape.  Sometimes when you have a big bust and you wear baggier clothes, it just makes you look heavier than you actually are.  It will go perfectly with a nice long pendant, the light grey shorts below, my brown tinged aviator shades and some gladiator style sandals.
I have been on the look out for some nice cotton or linen shorts with a comfortable waist and not too much detail around the waistline.  I don't like to add any bulk to my waist and prefer things to skim my body in that area.  I found these shorts in the H & M sale for £4! They are a very light cotton/linen mix and they are the perfect length for me, not too mention SUPER comfortable for lazing around on the beach, or could even be dressed up a bit for wandering around the city.  I pretty much have all the clothes I need now but I may pick up another bikini, another pair of shorts and a couple more tops.  I have a feeling that I will be changing my clothes alot by the sounds of the intense humidity over there!
Last on the list for this post is a product I wanted to mention that has made a real difference to my hair over the last couple of weeks.  It's the Bumble & Bumble Mending Complex and it's designed to be used on both damp and dry hair.  It's really a daily conditioning treatment for people with dry hair or for those who straighten/colour their hair regularly.  I like to apply a light coating to the ends of my hair either before bed or just before I dry my hair in the morning.  Since using this every day for two weeks, I noticed that my ends feel softer, don't look dry anymore and they just 'sit' better than they usually would.  It seems to minimise split ends between hair cuts and makes my hair look so much more shiny and healthy.  I will be taking this on honeymoon with me so I can apply it every day and ensure that I'm caring for my hair after it's been exposed to the blazing sun of Malaysia.  The last thing I want is another 'mohawk' situation!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Looking for a Beautician in Aberdeen?

Hi guys!

This post is for anyone who is looking for a super friendly, professional beauty therapist in Aberdeen.  My gorgeous friend, Eilidh Beaton (formerly of Mowa & Finishing Touches) will be working her magic at Tranquility (Within 1979 Hair Salon, 34 Ashley Road, Aberdeen, AB10 6RJ, Tel – 01224 596007, Mob – 07894 577666, E-mail – tranquilityaberdeen@yahoo.co.uk).

Eilidh's services include:
  • Dermalogica Facials
  • Hot Stone Massage
  • Manicures
  • Pedicures
  • Waxing
  • Tinting
  • Pulsar IPL Permanent Hair Reduction
You can book an eyelash tint and receive a complimentary luxury hand massage...bliss!  Please contact Eilidh for a full price list.  Please note that there are Waxing Packages Available as well.  Her prices are extremely reasonable and as a person, I can't recommend her highly enough.  She is a lovely girl with a passion for what she does.  So next time you think of treating yourself, check her out!

Friday, 2 July 2010

Good Times/Bad Times

GOOD TIMES

1) I have another wedding dress fitting today...any excuse to put that gorgeous dress on! There had been a big complication with this as I originally asked for the dress to have a lace up, corseted design at the back.  But the company who were making it phoned to say that the style of the dress would fall better if the back was a zip and button design.  So I bowed to their expertise and agree to go with that.  However, the corseted designs are ordered a size smaller as they cinch you in.  Guess what...the shop forgot to change the measurements so I ended up with a dress that was slightly too small for me.  It zipped up to the bottom of my shoulder blades but struggled to get it any further.  SO as you can imagine, I was close to tears at this point.  That was in March so although I didn't want the added pressure of having to slim into a dress, I knew I had to step up my efforts at the gym to reduce the size of my back.  The last fitting I had was 3 weeks ago and the dress zipped up but it was a bit tight and felt a little restrictive.  In the last 3 weeks I have lost 6lbs so I'm confident today that the dress will fit really well.  What's a wedding without some kind of drama!ha ha.

2) I rediscovered the joy of rocking up to a book shop, getting a coffee and sitting around for a couple of hours reading random books.  I used to love doing that but I never seemed to have time.  I love dipping into different types of books in the store, you find yourself getting totally sucked into it and become oblivious to the fact that you're on a bean bag in a book shop.

3) Even though I'm being careful about what I eat, I still allow myself a small treat every day.  We all need a little bit of sweetness in our day!  My current choice is a treat size Crunchie bar, straight from the fridge...you can't beat it!

4) It's my hen night this weekend so I'm excited about that! I have been lucky enough to have two, a weekend in Edinburgh and now a night out in Aberdeen.  I will get a post up about that next week to let you all know how we get on!
5) I was in town with my mum yesterday with the intention of only havng a browse around the sales.  My mum, however, was in a spending mood! I'm very lucky that my mum has great taste in clothes and accessories so often I get to borrow things from her.  She bought an absolutely gorgeous bag from Warehouse yesterday for £28 and said that we could share it! So it's mine for this weekend...yippee! I love everything about this bag, from the rattan effect exterior to the gold coloured details...it almost looks designer! It is big enough to hold all of my crap in the daytime but not too big to carry around on a night out.  It also has a chain that sits inside so you can use it as a clutch or pull the chain out and use it as a shoulder bag.  I am in love with it!

BAD TIMES

1) My dad phoned to tell me yesterday that his best friend, George, had been at his leaving party for work and he was enjoying a couple of drinks in town.  I've known George ever since I was a little kid.  He didn't want to drink too much so he only had a couple then left the bar to get the train home.  Somewhere between the bar and the train station, George fell really badly and hit his head.  Luckily someone saw him fall and called an ambulance.  He fractured his skull and there was bleeding on his brain so they induced a coma with sedatives to keep him calm and as still as possible.  We are still waiting on more news about his condition but we are all thinking of him and praying that he makes a speedy and full recovery.  It's hard to believe that something like that can happen so easily.  It's things like that that make you realise how precious life is and how we all need to live for today and tell the people we love how much we care about them.