29 March 2018

2018: March Favourites | Makeup, Skincare, Haircare & YouTube

March has been one heck of a busy month. I've been non-stop working my butt of to get things done. I don't think I've ever been this stressed before over one event but more on that in my next post. 

Some of my favourites this month you may have already heard me talk about before but I literally delved into everything I own and picked out a few of the products I've been loving and reaching for the most over this last month or so. 

Yay for frizzy thick curls. I've been using VO5 Frizz Free Hair Cream on my hair this month and I've been loving the result. It helps keep curls looking fresh, silky and frizz free. I'm a sucker for scented products and I love the way it makes my hair smell. Another wee added bonus is that it also works has a heat protectant if you're someone who likes to use heated styling tools. I'll definitely be repurchasing it when I'm next out. Now, VO5 is a UK based brand so I've found packaging does vary just depending on where you are in the world. 

I know I've spoken about this before, quite possibly in my last months favourites post, here, but regardless I'm still in love with this product. It's really helped keep my skin hydrated without clogging pores. I love that this product has a gorgeous blend of vitamins and oils without any perfumes, colours or unnecessary ingredients that may upset you skin. This product is perfect for my current sensitive skin issue going on. 

For as long as I can remember I've always used brow powders. They're easy to work with and I guess because that's what I learnt with and worked at the time, I just stuck to it. After everyone raved about brow pomades I decided I should maybe try one out. The only one I've tried so far is this Chichi Cosmetics one and I've fallen in love. I really enjoy the fact that you can do super natural looks with this product but you can also go for super bold brows too, if that's what you're feeling on the day. It took me awhile to get use to as it is completely different from using powders but I'm definitely glad I made the change. 

As someone who bites there nails, cuticle oil has been a lifesaver for me. It prevents nails looking dehydrated and flakey while looking like you've put in a bit of effort. I'm always using cuticle oils regardless of whether I had my nails done or not. Along with a gorgeous hand cream, it's one of those small self care practices that can complete shift your mood and how you're feeling about yourself. 

'The Right Note' is one of the many gorgeous nude lipstick shades MAC has to choose from. It has a creamsheen formula which is hydrating and long wearing on the lips. This lipstick is the first and only thing I've ever brought from MAC and the fact that I'm loving it so far might just be a sign that I need to try a few more bits and pieces. 

Chichi Cosmetics have some of the best drugstore lipliners I've ever tried. They're creamy, pigmented, long-wearing and smudge proof which all makes for easy application. I was never a big fan of lip liners until I tried these. I have a few in my collection now and they're always the first ones I reach for. 

The last couple of favourites I'd like to mention are actually people. I'm going to leave links to their content below and I highly recommend checking them out because I adore their content and maybe you will too.

@planmeetspaper: YouTube & Instagram

@sophdoesnails: YouTube & Instagram

B x 

27 March 2018

Highlights From The Past Month | March 2018

March has been he busiest month out of three so far in 2018. The past ten days have been the busiest ten days of my year so far. March has been hectic and while I'm excited for the future, I'm ready for things to settle back down again. There have been a few odd highlights to my month but it's been the small things that have gotten me through the chaos. 

Before I start, I do want to quickly mention that I'm scheduling this in advance due to a couple of events happening at the every end of March which I will go into detail about at the beginning of next month. 

Grief Therapy
This has to be my biggest highlight of the month but I've taken a big step in the right direction when it comes to dealing with my grief. I'm not going to go into great detail about it all but I'm happy I reached out for help because talking about it has significantly helped and I'm learning some amazing life tools along the way too. Don't ever be afraid to ask for help. Once a upon a time I was afraid to ask for help but not only was it the biggest yet best decision in my recovery, it's also been the best thing I've ever done for myself. 

I'm just going to leave it with this one highlight today but like I said there are a few more coming at the beginning of next month. I want to thank all those that have stuck by me over this busy and stressful month. I'm about ready to curl up in a ball and sleep for the next month but I won't. 

B x 

25 March 2018

Being Mindful | A Fad?

The more I learnt about mindfulness, the more I can to realise how much sense it made and how it could impact my life for the better. I know that being mindful and being in tune with you intuition sounds a little hippy dippy, I thought the same thing, but it doesn’t have to be. Once you have a good understanding of what mindfulness is and how it can be applied to your life, you can get creative and put your own spin on it. The following is just a few of my thoughts and how mindfulness happens in my life currently but I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. 

Day To Day Life
I’ve tried to stop putting pressure on myself when it comes to doing things a certain way, to my idea of perfect or doing something to make others happy when it doesn’t make me feel the same way. I’ve always put other firsts and it’s taken me years to even begin putting myself first in all aspects of my life. I now feel like I do things because I genuinely want to do them, it makes me happy and can enrich my life. I no longer see the point in doing anything, for myself or for others, that doesn’t bring happiness to me or my life. 

How I Practice Mindfulness
When thinking of mindfulness I immediately think of slowing down. So if life is getting a little to busy, whether that’s in all aspects of my life or just the one, I remind myself that I don’t everywhere at once and neither does my mind. I try to focus on what I’m doing t the present moment opposed to what I will being doing later. Mediation is a great way to slow the mind right down and bring you back to the present moment. Mediations don’t have to be long to be effective. If you’ve got a spare two minutes, take that time to step away, re-focus and bring yourself back to the present moment. When it comes to slowing my physical body down, I love to do a little bit of yoga or stretching. Again, slowing the physical body down but letting it be beneficial as the same time. Yoga is a great time to focus on the physical body but it’s great for your mind as well. 

Why Being Mindful Doesn’t Mean You Live With Your Head In The Clouds
When the whole mindfulness topic came to life, a lot of us just thought it was another fad, another trend. And while I guess it was, a lot of us saw it for more than that, including myself. I’m guessing a lot of people probably presume that being more mindful in life means you might be living your life in the clouds, which I don’t think is the case at all. All mindfulness really is, is making yourself more aware of what you’re doing in every capacity and I think that’s really important. I can honestly say that I’ve never felt more in tune with what I’m doing and what’s going on in my life, along with all the processes that go with that. 

Listen To Yourself and Your Intuition
 I want you to all leave this post thinking about this. Why do we crave other peoples approval? Why do we trust them more than we trust ourselves? We all do it. We all crave other people’s approval but why do we trust them more than we do ourselves? I think opinions are great, they make us who we are and essentially reflect our beliefs and morals. But I think opinions should stay just that, opinions. I get it, listening to what we truly want is scary and something we all struggle with. Society is constantly telling us we need to do XYZ and to be like ABC. I know that over the past year or so, I’ve started to trust myself a lot more and I’ve learnt that our initial gut instinct and intuition is what we should run with. Maybe mindfulness has a part to play in changing the levels in which we trust ourselves? What do you think? 

B x

22 March 2018

Documentary Review: Unrest | ME/CFS

“Jennifer Brea’s Sundance award-winning documentary, Unrest, is a personal journey from patient to advocate to storyteller. Jennifer is twenty-eight years old, working on her PhD at Harvard, and months away from marrying the love of her life when a mysterious fever leaves her bedridden. When doctors tell her it’s ‘all in her head,’ she picks up her camera as an act of defiance and brings us into a hidden world of millions that medicine abandoned. In this story of love and loss, newlyweds Jennifer and Omar search for answered as the face unexpected obstacles with great heart. Often confined by her illness to the private space of her bed, Jennifer connects with others around the globe. Like a modern-day Odysseus, she travels by Skype into a forgotten community, crafting intimate portraits of four other families suffering similarly. Jennifer Brea’s wonderfully honest and humane portrayal asks us to rethink the stigma around an illness that affects millions. Unrest is a vulnerable and eloquent personal documentary that is sure to hit closer to home than many could imagine.”

I first heard about this documentary a few months ago from a fellow suffer and I was immediately overwhelmed. After having it sit in ‘My List’ on Netflix for about two months, I finally found the courage to watch it. It was raw, real, emotional and left me speechless. Speechless because this woman had hit the nail on the head in every aspect. Emotional because I know how it feels. Raw but more importantly real because that’s the reality of day to day life with someone who has ME/CFS. 

Creating awareness is important. ME/CFS isn’t well known and we need to be spreading awareness so that others can educate themselves on this mysterious invisible illness. For those of you who don’t know what ME/CFS is, I’ll explain. 

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or ME/CFS, is a devastating multi-system disease that causes dysfunction of the neurological, immune, endocrine and energy metabolism systems. It often follows an infection and leaves 75% of those affected unable to work and 25% homebound are bedridden. An estimated 15-30 million people worldwide have ME. That’s the basics of it but I’m going to link more information here, along with the documentary if you’re interested in educating yourself more. 

B x

20 March 2018

New In My Beauty Rotation #3

Over the past few months I haven't tried a whole bunch of new products. I had a terrible breakout of dermatitis and keeping my skin free of makeup was important especially while my skin healed. However, there are a couple of lip products and an eyeshadow palette that I want to talk about today which have made their way back into my makeup bag. 

Chichi is a fantastic drugstore brand and I've tried quite a few of their products, including their lipliners. They have a beautiful selection of neutral shades along with a few pops of colour. The lip liner formula is long wearing, smudge proof and super soft and creamy. I love their lip liners and will always go back to them whenever needed. 

I never really jumped on the MAC bandwagon when it happened but a friend of mine convinced me to try one of their lipsticks and I really enjoy using it. I have the shade 'The Right Note' which is in a creamsheen formula. It's a beautiful nude shade and applies really well to the lips. And yes, I agree that MAC lipsticks smell amazing! 

Before this palette I hadn't really experimented all the much with Revlon shadows but I was pleasantly surprised when first dipping into this palette. The shadows blend beautifully, are pigmented and look great on the eye. I can't wait to try some more shadows from Revlon. 

B x 

18 March 2018

Summer Evening Routine

In all honesty, my evening routine is pretty simple. Over the summer I’ve kept it minimal but it’s been super effective and working really well. Evening routines are great because we can put into place habits that help us relax after working our butts off all day. I know that I’m a mess in the morning if I haven’t taken quality time to myself to wind down the night before. I’ll still be tired, unorganised and not in the right mind set.

 For this post, I've broken my evening routine into the four most significant parts so it makes it easier to follow. 

My evening routine begins around 6PM, which is roughly when I like to finish up work for the day. Of course this varies especially if I have an event at night, which sometimes does happen, my evening routine then begins more or less when I get home. 

Dinner & Clean Up 
Dinners are usually pretty easy during the week as I tend to meal plan. So after having dinner, I’ll do dishes and a quick 20 minute tidy up of the house. I function best in a clean and clear space so I’ll take 20 minutes to do a quick tidy of the house. 

I’m someone who will normally shower at night time so this is the time where I’ll take of makeup, shower, wash my hair, shave, brush my teeth and complete my skincare routine. A good shower and skincare routine is the perfect way to relax after working your butt off all day. 

Journal & Plan
Next up is to journal for the current day and plan for the following. Journaling is a big stress reliever for me. And journaling at night means that I can get everything out of my mind from that day, onto paper and not have it manifesting in my mind overnight. Planning at night means that when getting up in the morning I already know what needs to be done that day. 

Reading & Mediation
This part of my evening routine is properly what I find most relaxing. I love reading but have always struggled to find time during my day to do it so that’s when I decided that it would become part of my evening routine. Starting and ending my day with mediation is one of the best things I could do for myself. It helps to set the best mindset, in a really calming and positive way. It’s one of my favourite things to do just become sleeping. It’s my aim to be asleep by 11PM, sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn’t and sometimes I’m asleep way before 11PM. It’s all down to the kind of day I’ve had. 

B x

13 March 2018

Skincare Habits | Start Right Now

Okay, so if you’re a skincare junkie like myself I don’t know how informative you’ll find this post. There are a few habits which I’ve encountered over the years which I’ll always class as important parts of my skincare routine. I was taught from a young age about how important it is to look after your skin and I have my Mum to thank for that. 

It’s encouraged that we wear sunscreen daily, rain or shine. Sun exposure causes skin damage, ageing and wrinkling of the skin and sunspots. With things like these, it’s much better and easier to prevent rather than treat. Of course, the earlier you start incorporating sunscreen into your skincare routine the better, but it’s never too late to start. 

Exfoliation and Chemical Exfoliation
Exfoliation scrubs are great for the top layer of your skin however that’s genuinely as far as they go and unfortunately most of the troublesome build up is deeper and beyond the reach of an exfoliator. Whereas Chemical Exfoliations go that wee bit deeper and help remove the build up of skin cells. AHA and BHA are the most common chemical exfoliants used in skincare today. These are glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids. 

Be Gentle
My skincare routine has change throughout the years and now it’s very much full of gentle and natural products. More so than not, they’re fragrance free with no harsh chemicals that could damage my skin rather opposed to improving it. I think just being a lot more gentle with our skin in general, especially when cleansing and exfoliating, will improve how our skin continues to appear over the upcoming years. 

Do Your Research
I always mention this when talking about skincare products that I love. It’s so important that you do your own research into products that you might want to use in the future because there will be cases where what works for one person won’t work for you. It’s about knowing your skin and what it needs at any given time. 

B x 

11 March 2018

Motivation Mondays | No More Doom & Gloom

I’m one of those people who have a love hate relationship with Monday’s. It’s the start of a fresh week, full of huge promise of what we an achieve and that we can leave any crap from the past 7 days behind us. But on the other hand, how great would it be to just have one more day off. There are a few things I do to try and make my Mondays not so doom and gloom. 

Prepare The Night Before
Something I even use to do back when I was at school was prepare everything I needed for the following day, and I still do the same to this day. I’ll prepare bag, choose an outfit, charge any technology needed and write a to-do list. By doing such things the night before means you don’t have to rush, wasting time. I don’t know about you, but if I’m rushing around first thing in the morning, I’m bound to forget something important and have a bit of a shitty day. For me, it’s all about how I start my mornings and hating something before it’s even started is never good. 

Skincare and Beauty Prep
There are specific skincare and beauty rituals I like to follow through with on a Sunday to make ensure that I’m feeling my best come Monday morning. I’ll wash my hair, put a face mask on, deeply exfoliate and moisture my body, paint my nails, etc. All those little extra rituals never take long but can really impact how you feel. 

Work Groove

I always take time on a Sunday to plan out my week and get a feel for what I have to get done. It’s a simple task that makes me feel prepared and just that little bit more organised. 

B x 

8 March 2018

Happy People Habits

I want to be happy. I want to accomplish crazy dreams, have an amazing relationship with myself and others and be surrounds by amazing, loving people. But like everyone else, I struggle to attain happiness and keep it. It makes us all wonder how others, in comparison to us, continue to achieve their dreams while living their fullest life. 

I believe the success and happiness of someone lies within their daily habits. When we're working towards a goal everyday, we eventually come to see that happiness is a constant experience rather than just an end result.

Treat Ourselves With Kindness
More often than not, we tend to treat others with kindness and love more than we do ourselves. We tend to not give ourselves enough credit. If we treat ourselves with kindness, love and understanding, despite any struggles and downfalls, we'll soon realise that a fulfilling life starts with loving ourselves. 

Unplug Technology
We live in a technological world where everyone seems to be plugged in and distracted all day, everyday. Separating yourself from the idea of technology addiction will enable you to be aware and open to connecting with the world and the people around you. 

Organisation In A Physical & Mental Space
Routine gives life structure and helps maximise productivity. Following a routine we're then able to tackle an entire day with a goal-oriented mind set. Without a routine, there is a chance we could find ourselves lost with what to do with our day which then can lead to waste of valuable time. 

Stay Present
There is nothing wrong with daydreaming or reminiscing but to let your mind stay in the past too much will prevent you from going the things you need to do right now. 

Exercise & Eat Healthy
Exercise and eating healthy keeps our body strong and mind happy. Your body is going to feel its best if you eat healthily and make an effort to workout daily. 

Time To Recharge & Be Alone
The craziness of life takes a huge toll on everyone. To sustain your happiness and keep your sanity, it's a good idea to take a step back from your world and just be with yourself. It's natural to get so caught up in life that you forget who you are. We then need to return to a sense of grounded awareness, opposed to forcing our minds to be busy with worries, work and any future obligations. 

Much love, B x

6 March 2018

Summer Morning Routine

It's now officially Autumn and I'm excited for the colder weather to slowly starting making an appearance. Now that Summer has come to an end I thought I would share the routine that has kept me on track over the last three or four months. I'm always changing up my routines in one way or another, so if you're familiar with my previous routine posts then you may recognise parts of my current morning routine. 

Wake By 7AM
Every morning I try to wake by seven. I'm by no means a morning person whatsoever so having a routine wakeup time ensures that my mornings are somewhat productive. 

Hydrate & Pills/Supplements 
I always wake up in the mornings really dehydrated so I make sure that hydrating my body is one of the first things I do upon waking up. I'll then take any medications and supplements that I'm currently taking. I do this first thing in the morning so it doesn't become a task that gets lost in the craziness of the day. 

Make Bed
A pretty simple habit but it's something I do every morning and have been doing every morning from a young age. I think a made bed always makes your space look a lot more put together and tidy. 

Exercise: Walk
I'll go for a walk in the mornings to make sure I at least get some kind of light exercise in for the day. It's an opportunity to get outside and just be mindful of my body. 

Breakfast varies everyday but I always make sure I eat something. I've never been great at eating breakfast but I know how good it is for me and it's something I'm better at now than I've ever been. 

Time to get into the bathroom and take care of my skincare. If you're interested in the current skincare products I'm using at the moment then I'll link a previous post here, where you'll find all the information you need. And of course, I also brush my teeth at this time as well. 

Hal Elrod: Miracle Morning & SAVERS
I'm going to link all the information you need about Hal Elrod's Miracle Morning and SAVER's here. This part is the most significant part of my routine and the most beneficial. Each step allows me to step myself for the day in the best possible way which allows each day to be as productive as possible. 

What does your morning routine entail? Let me know. 

B x 

4 March 2018

2018 Goals | Too Late?

I’m constantly striving to do better in all aspects of my life, to be a better version of myself. I’m always setting goals & intentions for all aspects of my life. I prefer to then go & break my bigger goals & intentions into something smaller so they’re more attainable throughout the year.

Setting goals gives us something to work towards at any given time frame. I try to set monthly & weekly goals which initially steam from my annual goals & how I aim to achieve them. Depending on how big or small your goals are you may what to break them into small tasks, like I do, or not. I use the Momentum Planner to keep track of all my current projects/tasks in my life. They offer Annual, Monthly, Weekly & Daily pages for ultimate planning. 

I don’t believe goal setting is something we should be doing only doing on a yearly basis. We should all be constantly reviewing & changing up our goals as we grow over the course of the year. 

If you are yet to set goals for 2018, it's not too late. I highly encourage you to set yourself some goals,  you can start small if need be. Goals give us something to aim and strive for. Goals give us purpose and a reason to grow.  It’s never to late to set goals and it’s never to late to grow as a person. 

B x