Monday, 30 May 2016

# RAISE YOUR BROW GAME

Hey gals!

So a bloggy dream came true for me last weekend as I was invited to and attended an event with one of my all-time favourite makeup brands, Benefit Cosmetics!

I headed over to Leeds for the afternoon on Sunday and was treated to an overview of all things brows, along with some games and lovely food. There aren't many brands I would haul ass over to Leeds for but for Benefit I made an exception. And I am SO glad I did!

The new brow products look incredible and there is genuinely something for everyone. Benefit have catered for all brow peeves and all brow colours, even red heads! I can't wait to get my mitts on the collection and give you my thoughts. I am currently loving the new-look Gimme Brow as it gives me more definition but remains natural and hair like but there are loads of other fabulous products that create the look you are after.

Stay tuned for more once I have reviewed the collection and thank you to Zeal Buzz and Benefit for a wonderful afternoon :)
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Saturday, 21 May 2016

PEARLY WHITES PART 1


I have wanted to get my teeth whitened for AGES, so when the lovely folk down at Sale Dental Spa invited me down to have a look round and experience teeth whitening for myself, I jumped at the chance!

The Spa is situated in Sale which is easily accessible off the motorway and so nice inside, it definitely has the spa vibes rather than the usual clinical type dentist feel that most dentists have.

As the teeth whitening treatment I am having is something I will largely do at home, I had to go in initially to get some teeth moulds done so that custom fit whitening trays can be produced. I will collect those at some point next week and keep you posted as to how I am getting on!

I know my teeth look quite white in the above picture but in real life they aren't as bright as that.. they aren't majorly yellow or anything but I would just like to have that super white hollywood smile type colour to detract from my annoyingly not straight teeth.. they are the result of years of braces too!!!! Sad times.

Stay tuned for updates!
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Friday, 20 May 2016

ME TOO

Quite honestly, I have really ummed and ahhed about writing this post as it's a sensitive topic and not one I ever talk about really. That said, I have recently read a lot about #themetoomovement and it really resonated with me.

The Me Too Movement is a social media gathering of individuals who are virtually supporting one another to raise Mental Health Awareness and encouraging others to speak up, be heard and gain more understanding about the conditions that so many people face, sometimes alone.

There seems to be a bit of a trend amongst bloggers to jump on the anxiety bandwagon and whilst I would never belittle someone for how they manage their condition, I just personally would never video something like a panic attack. For me, it almost trivialises it and if in the moment someone is able to think ooh I will video this for other people to watch, it does make me question how severe the panic attack was.

But that's just me. As I said, I'm not here to belittle anyone or be controversial.

To be honest I am not even overly sure of what exactly I am aiming to communicate in this post other than to tell people, Me Too. It's still hard for me to admit it, that over 12 months ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. On the whole I actually think most people would be surprised by this revelation, I do hide it well and it's something that I work very hard on to not effect my work life and it doesn't. But it's a real shame that mental health is still such a taboo and I do feel an element of admitting to my mental health problems would make people think I am weak. Because for the record I'm not.

Where how I feel effects me tends to be within my personal life outside of work. Work is my nice routine that brings me back to reality and somewhere I am confident of my abilities. Personal life is where I am at a bit of a loss. My motivation to go be a normal human ebbs and flows, some nights and weekends I can't face the world and I basically am so tired that I will spend all day in bed. Peer pressure of appearing normal means that sometimes those weekends or evenings are interspersed with outings with friends/family/other bloggers and for the most part I'm fine, but catch me on a really bad day and I will just be desperate to leave, not to have to talk to anyone, be social or network. That, my friends, is the reality of working your way through a mental illness. I am determined to beat mine and am using all the resources available to me through my GP but I have to say I have not been blown away by the offering so far.

It amazes me that mental health issues affect so many, yet it is such a low resourced area with dwindling funding year on year. The waiting lists for CBT in Manchester are widely known to be an absolute joke and that is sad.

That said, I do think initiatives like this are brilliant as it encourages people with similar experiences to talk, share suggestions that have worked for them and dare I say it, make you feel a hell of a lot more normal.

To try and explain how I sometimes feel to people who haven't experienced chronic anxiety is so difficult and you listen to yourself and think I am really not doing this justice, it sounds trivial and maybe I am too self indulgent. Oh yes, being hard on yourself. That comes in abundance throughout all this, along with second guessing what people think, paranoia and just feeling inexplicably pants.

It can literally be as extreme as one day reading something on social media or someone being 'a bit quiet' and deciding that your friends/boyfriend/someone you are texting etc don't like you anymore. And trust me, I am well aware of how irrational that sounds, really I do, but once that thought enters my head it will, depending on how I feel, either grow to the point of getting upset and trying to seek clarification from said person that they do infact still like me, or I try and employ some of my CBT strategies and acknowledge it as just an unhelpful thought which can be dismissed to a certain degree.

The thing is, these things can be so hard to identify as just an unhelpful thought as quite often they can be misinterpreted as gut instinct and that actually you really can't possibly be wrong because it all adds up.

Quite honestly though, it is so exhausting. I've gone from being the eternal optimist to being super negative and it just isn't me. Well, it is, at the moment, but I definitely do not enjoy being a Debbie downer all the godamn time.

Writing this has been actually quite therapeutic. I suppose my aim here is to give just a small insight into what it can be like from a sufferers perspective. If your friends/family/colleagues tell you they have a mental illness then don't push them to talk. They will, when they are ready. Remind them that they can talk to you any time and just give them enough space to feel supported but also enough that they can try and make sense of things in their own head. Equally don't try and make light of things and tell them to just try and cheer up and be more positive. Because, trust me they have tried. SRSLY.

This post isn't some big effort to gain sympathy from people who know me, infact probably the very opposite. I just want to let people know, ideally people who have struggled for a while and perhaps reading through all the #metoo content as their way of trying to find out if how they are feeling is normal, and just let them know that yes, it is.

Don't be embarrassed, speak up and get the help you need. You don't have to suffer in silence and trust me when I say you will feel TONS better once someone knows. And as for you others within the me too movement. high five. You are doing great.
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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

HOME COMFORTS AWAY FROM HOME


I travel fairly regularly with work, sometimes needing an overnight stay somewhere new or newish!

As much as I enjoy the travel, there are always things I take with me to feel a bit more 'at home' or to give myself a nice relaxing evening.

Staying away for the night is usually a great opportunity for blogging, wifi permitting of course! It gives me something to do, there's very few distractions and you can sit in a face mask with no worries of being disturbed... :)

Because of the luxury of having an en-suite bathroom I like to bring a selection of makeup, fake tan and other pampering products with me. My current fave tan is the St Tropez Tinted Gradual Tan and I ALWAYS love an application of GlamGlow to give my face some TLC!

What do you take with you when on your travels?
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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

SMALL LUXURIES

  • Being a payday baller'... fizz all round thanks!
  • That expensive hand cream you slather on because it's the cheapest way to smell expensive..
  • Face Masks.
  • Carrying a cardboard shopping bag. Yep.. you have upgraded yo' damn self from the 5p plastic!
  • That daily coffee habit you have.
  • Dining somewhere nice, alone.
  • Staying in a hotel room for work on your own. Helloooo massive and usually very comfortable bed!
  • Having a blow dry.
  • New manicure = fierce nails = fierce self.
  • First class train travel for super cheap because you booked in advance and can legitimately feel smug.
  • Arriving at the airport dressed as though you are flying business class when actually your ass will be gracing EasyJet's finest Economy Seat.
  • Matching Underwear.
  • Anything with fur on (faux, obviously!)
  • Fresh bedlinen.
  • An M&S Dine in for Two. Even if you are just wining and dining yourself.
  • Anything personalised. 


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Monday, 16 May 2016

FAST YOGA WITH LIGHTER LIFE FAST


This weekend I was invited to take part in Fast Yoga with Lighter Life Fast at the Trafford Centre.

With the setup being slap bang in the middle of the centre, I must admit I was a little nervous about being quite so visible whilst I attempted my downward dog poses amongst other things... but it was a fun experience and I am glad I went.

Jennifer Metcalfe is the ambassador for Lighter Life Fast, a maintenance programme designed around the 5:2 diet where for 5 days you can eat what you want (within moderation), and on 2 days you fast using 4 products from the Lighter Life Fast range. I have never done the 5:2 diet as I think I need to budge some of my chub before I get to 'maintenance' but I can see that it could work really well for those who don't want to count calories, syns or points!

Gemma Merna hosted the Yoga session and we did all the classic moves which I found really quite difficult to hold! I am not very bendy and had a car accident last week so my poor muscles were screaming at me... sob story over. It's definitely made me realise that I need to take up Yoga or Pilates to try and stretch out alot more and feel calmer.

I had a really nice afternoon so thank you to Lighter Life, Jennifer and Gemma!
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Sunday, 15 May 2016

FEELING SOCIAL


Oh heyyyy sweeties.

So. I've been a bit under the radar for the last couple of weeks, still posting but posting the most non personal shizz I could possibly find. And the truth is, I've probably applied the same 'there in body but not mind' to pretty much all aspects of my life. (dramatic much?!) and enjoyed the distraction of work as I have been feeling a bit down in the dumps.

I'm not a huge fan of the overshare but just to give a general idea.. it involves a boy, who turned out to not be the nice boy I thought he was! But anyways...

In the spirit of feeling a bit more sociable today I thought I would showcase my other social media accounts other than my old faithful Twitter. I LOVVVVEEEEEEE Instagram and it helps me zone out at night if I wake up or have trouble sleeping. I find that reading over stimulates my mind so more often than not I can be found looking at pictures of manicures. True story.

As for Snapchat, I am not sure how I feel about it as a blog plug in/mini vlogging platform. I do try and use it but I think sometimes endless blogger mail opening can be a bit braggy so I always try and post some silly content in there to show that I really do not take myself too seriously. I do probably post one too many selfies but I just find the face filters so funny!!!!

I always follow back so please give me a follow on Instagram and Snapchat and I will love you forever :)
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Sunday, 8 May 2016

DUCK AND DRY

Duck & Dry
I love hearing about boutique hair dressers, blow dry bars and products that are unique and high quality. My hair has been a little unhappy of late and whilst I really try to not abuse it any further with too much heat, back combing and fuss in general, it just loves to be knotty...

I was recently offered the opportunity to try some new products from Duck and Dry, the Instant TLC Leave in Conditioner and the Blow Dry in a Bottle. Both were so lovely! The Leave In Conditioner was the one that worked best for me, it massively reduced how knotty my hair was and made it soft and way more manageable than usual!

I've included a link to the products above but if you are in the London area they also have a salon in Chelsea :)

Thumbs up from me!
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Wednesday, 4 May 2016

SHAKE IT OFF

For Goodness Shakes: Protein Water
I don't know about you but usually when I hear protein.. I think, shake.

Sometimes after or even before working out, having a protein shake can feel a little heavy, or for those of us who don't always want a dessert tasting drink then Protein Water will be perfect for you!

Protein Water is the newest product from For Goodness Shakes, stocked at Sainsbury's Stores around the country. Packed full of 20g of whey protein isolate, these pleasant tasting fruity waters are SO NICE!

They are really nice and refreshing and I think alot easier to consume after a workout than a protein shake which I always feel completely fills me up.

Definite thumbs up from me!!
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Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Manchester Eats: Revolution Deansgate Locks


Last week I was very kindly invited to sample Revolution's new summer menu at their Deansgate Locks location in Manchester!

Cue a rather giddy me and my pal Jon at the prospect of a couple of cheeky midweek cocktails.. we settled in and perused the menu and I ordered an Espresso Martini that came complete with popping candy!! YUM.

I opted for calamari to start which was really nice, light, flavourful and a nice portion size. My fabulous date Jon had chicken and informs me it was very nice! I got a bunless chicken and bacon burger accompanied with sweet potato wedges for my main and Jon got the steak which looked amazing!! In for a penny, in for a pound is my motto so we then shared the salted caramel chocolate fondue for pudding!

Then followed a couple more cocktails and a slightly fuzzy head on Thursday. #sorrynotsorry

We had a great time and I can highly recommend Revolution to grab a bite to eat - you will not regret it!
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