Wednesday, 21 June 2017

#NOFILTERNEEDED

A few weeks back I was offer the chance to try the brand new on-demand hair and makeup service from #NOFILTERNEEDED in the comfort of my own home, and I wanted to tell you all about it!

Janine and Joshua got me glammed up for a day party a few weeks back and sweet lord I loved the experience!!! I always watch the Kardashian's get glam and feel jealous, so this experience made me feel like a celebrity and I was so pleased with the finished look.

The beauty of the service is that it is quick, Janine and Joshua worked really well together and completed my glamming in just under an hour. From the app which launched on 7th July 2017, you can select makeup services, hair services or both combined. #NoFilterNeeded has a massive network of available Hair Stylists and MUAs so you can select a time that suits you. Janine and Joshua are the brains behind the concept as they saw a gap in the market and have most definitely filled it!

Hair and Makeup with lashes is £85 and if there is more than one person who wants to take advantage of the service then discounts are available, you just discuss this at the time of the booking. Hair is £40 for blow dry plus styling and makeup with lashes is £45.

I cannot recommend this service and experience enough, stay tuned for the link to the app, I will post this on my social media when it launches on the 7th July! Huge thumbs up and thanks from me to Janine and Joshua 💓


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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

ACTIVE ADVENTURES ABROAD


A lazy beach holiday can serve as a nice break from the stresses of everyday working life. However, for some, getting away is the chance to break free from an office desk and be active, to explore the unknown and shed the pounds rather than gaining them. For those that prefer this active approach to travelling, here are just a few vacation ideas that can allow you to work up a sweat in an exotic location.
 
Go Hiking
Walking holidays are very popular and there are many challenging routes across the world such as the Appalachian trail in America and Inca trail in Peru. Trek challenges are a popular form of travelling that often involves walking a difficult but scenic route with the help of a guide (the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim hike and Kilamanjaro hike are two popular examples). These hikes generally require you to raise money for charity so not only can you feel good about yourself for pushing your limits but also for helping others in the process.
 
Get on your Bike
You can go for a cycle holiday anywhere in the world. Renting a bike is always cheap and you can explore off-road or follow the tarmac. There are many renowned challenging routes around the world that attract cycling enthusiasts such as Munda Biddi trail in Australia and The Friendship Highway in China. You can cover more ground than hiking whilst getting just as much of a workout.


Carve up the Slopes
Skiing attracts thousands of holidaymakers every year, providing a cardio workout whilst taking in beautiful alpine views and winter wonderland vistas. It’s certainly not a summer sport, although there are some resorts that operate all year round. Some of the most celebrated resorts around the world include Chamonix, Whistler and St Anton. Ski resorts also offer the opportunity to snowboard, as well offering activities such as tobogganing, sledding and other winter sports. Different resorts are better catered to different abilities.
 
Take a Dive
Scuba diving allows you to explore a whole new world underwater. You’ll need to take a course and get a license first, which you can do at home or away on holiday, and then you can dive anywhere in the world. Whether you’re swimming with manta rays in the Maldives or sharks in South Africa, you’re certain to see some exotic wildlife. There’s also the chance to explore reefs, shipwrecks and other underwater hidden locations.

Do a Boot Camp Abroad
Many people will lose weight before going away in order to sculpt that beach body – but what if you were to lose weight whilst on vacation. Boot camps abroad are one way of doing this allowing you to have an intense workout whilst also experiencing a new culture and visiting an exotic location. Locations include the beaches of Caribbean, the Dolomite Mountains of Italy and tropics of Thailand. You then have the chance to lounge about in the evenings and feel like you’ve earned it!



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Monday, 19 June 2017

HIGH TECH HEALTH


Technology can improve your life in so many ways. It makes it easier to get about, talk to the people you love, and get your work done. It can also do a lot of things to improve your health if you choose the right tools and gadgets. There are some excellent pieces of tech that can help you live a healthier lifestyle, from encouraging you to exercise more to assisting you with your sleep cycles. If you love to explore how tech can improve your life, you need to pay attention to the tools that will make healthy lifestyle choices easier than ever.


Track Your Activity
Fitness trackers have been all the rage in the last few years. With the FitBit brand the leading name in the field, you also have a choice of many other products. You can track a variety of things with a fitness tracker, from how many steps you take each day to your heart rate and how much sleep you get. Usually, they connect to an app that you can use on your phone or tablet. You can use the app to see how you're improving in different areas and perhaps set some goals for yourself.


Speak to Doctors More Easily
Finding the time to go to see a doctor isn't always easy. Sometimes you're not even sure if you need to see a doctor, so you might try and ignore a problem you have instead. Making an appointment and taking time off work to attend is a hassle. However, technology makes it easier for you to speak to a doctor. If you use an online Dr app, you can speak to a doctor without having to make the time to visit them in person. You can save a lot of time and maybe avoid the need for an appointment by having a quick chat over text about your symptoms. Some apps even use artificial intelligence to help you.


Improve Your Sleep
Good sleep is so important. It gives your body time to rest and heal and can do all kinds of things, from keeping you hydrated to giving you healthy skin and hair. Fitness trackers can often track your sleep patterns for you, but there are other options for tech to help you improve your sleep. You can get a gadget or app designed purely for tracking your sleep, which doesn't have the other functions of a fitness tracker. Or you might find that a special alarm clock could help you sleep better. Lumie light alarm clocks wake you up with gentle light, which can be helpful if you don't want a loud alarm clock to jerk you out of sleep.


Monitor Your Diet
Eating right is an important part of staying healthy too. If you want to make sure you get a balanced diet, you can find lots of apps for tracking your food. You might also consider some smart scales, which you can connect to an app and receive nutritional information about your food.


Choosing the right tech can help you lead a healthier and happier life. It's easier to monitor your health when you have some clever tools.

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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

EBAY GEMS




eBay users tend to fall into two camps, those who love looking through all the random odds and ends on offer and those who just don't know where to begin.

I was very unsure about eBay at first until I needed some hen party stuff for my sister's hen do. It was an absolute god send for stuff I wanted and also stuff I didn't know I needed! After such positive purchasing experiences using eBay; making offers, bidding and buying now I now check eBay before buying quite a few different things.

My purchases have ranged from furniture, razor heads, cushion covers, artificial plants and bar accessories, I have been able to source items for much cheaper than the high street.

I think one of the best tips I have had is to make the filters do the hard work for you. If I want something generic and readily available then I narrow my search to 'buy it now' options, whereas for furniture I refined the search criteria by excluding collect only and to see items from UK sellers only as I don't have a car. Through using the filters I have been able to find some absolute bargains, without having to trek to a car boot sale at the crack of dawn in the cold.

My best buy has to be my bar cart. I had been looking for one for ages but due to their popularity was shocked at how expensive they were! Ikea's version was almost £100 and Oliver Bonas' versions are beautiful but at £300 were way out of my budget. I decided to look on eBay and found the one I went on to purchase at a bargainous price of £45 including delivery.

It arrived in great condition and I have had a lot of fun pimping it out, but that is another blog post! What have been your best buys on eBay?
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IMPROVING YOUR SKINCARE REGIME



If your skin is dry, dull, spotty or wrinkled, chances are you could improve your current skincare regime for better results. Here are some simple things that you can do to give your skin and boost and ensure that you look younger for longer:
 
Invest in an Oil Cleanser
Most people still use cream cleansers, just like the always have, but the fact is that using an oil cleanser like garnier micellar water all in one cleanser is a better option. You see, unlike cream cleansers, as well as removing your makeup, oil cleansers will help to prevent wrinkles and tackle problem skin, so you’ll get more bang for your buck and much better results by making the switch.
 
Moisturise No More than 2 Minutes After Cleansing
This might shock you, but moisturisers don’t really add any moisture to the skin. What they actually do is trap the moisture you’ve added to your face by washing or cleansing, so that it seeps into the skin instead of evaporating. So, if you’re moisturising more than a couple of minutes after cleansing, or your moisturising without adding water or oil to your face at all, it isn’t going to benefit you in any way.
 
Spray Some Rosewater
If your skin often looks dull or dry, you can instantly revitalize it and get it looking more radiant by spritzing it with a small amount of rosewater. You can do this as often as you like throughout the day and you will notice the difference.
 
Apply Copper Peptides to Scars
If you’re unlucky enough to have scars that you would rather weren’t there, you might not be able to get rid of them completely, but you can minimize them by applying a solution of Copper Peptides to the affected area before moisturising.
 
Drink Lots of Water/Green Tea
Drinking lots of water will help to plump out your skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and giving you that sought-after youthful glow. Combining water with green tea will give you a hit of antioxidants that will help to keep your skin looking young and less inflamed.
 
Switch it Up
As the seasons change and as you get older, your skin will change too and what was once working for you might not work anymore. If you notice your skin starting to change, don’t be afraid to ditch your trusty old products and replace them with new ones, that might suit you better now.
 
Wear Sunscreen
This should go without saying, but one of the best things you can do to improve your skincare regime is to wear sunscreen, a foundation with SPF, or sunblock each and every day. The less exposure your skin gets to the sun’s UV rays, the better it’ll look.
 
Exfoliate Less
So many women exfoliate every day or almost every day, and this is disastrous for their skin. Sure, you need to exfoliate regularly to get rid of dead skin and increase your skin’s radiance, but not every day. If you exfoliate too much, your skin will become dry and red, which probably isn’t what you’re aiming for.

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SUMMER SKIN SAVERS


Summer is upon us and the time has come to head out into the sunshine and bask in the rays. Stop right there though – do not step outside and into the hot sun without ensuring you have your skincare regimen down pat. Your skin needs different treatment depending on the weather and the season, and if you aren’t aware of this you could cause your skin to prematurely age – and no one wants that!

There are plenty of rules when it comes to being outdoors in the sunshine, and it’s likely you’ve heard them all, from wearing sunscreen to keeping cool with misty moisturising sprays. Saving your skin from the sun while simultaneously enjoying the properties of the heat on your skin is a balance you need to learn how to reach. It’s one thing to discover effective brightening serum and give your skin a glow, getting rid of dark spots for a more natural look. It’s another thing entirely to keep your skin young looking in the summer sunshine. Below, we have four skincare tips to help you beat those hot rays!

  1. Sunscreen. You should already have a moisturiser with a good SPF level, but if you don’t you should have a good sunscreen with a high SPF. It’s a sad situation, but so many women don’t think about applying sunscreen before leaving the house, therefore leaving their skin exposed to sunburn and rashes – not to mention aging! Regular applications of sunscreen can prevent wrinkles and dark spots, so get lathering up!
  2. Sun Watch. Check the weather for UV levels. It doesn’t matter whether you are looking at a cloudy sky, the UV levels can still be high. If your smartphone or weather website shows you that the UV level is above six, get slathering that sunscreen on. It’s a no brainer that you should be well covered during the highest heat points of the day, so keep sunscreen with you at all times.
  3. Sun Clothes. It’s not just sunscreen! You need a hat, sunglasses and a light cardigan or wrap for during the hottest times of the day. Be chic with oversized sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat and be fashion conscious about UPF clothing that can keep your skin well-protected.
  4. Sunshine Skin. You can search for hours on Google to find makeup that stays on when you’re in the sun, and finding something for your skin type can be difficult. Always apply a base coat of sunscreen and then apply a cream or foundation that also has a sun protection factor. Seal it with a setting powder and you should avoid the makeup sliding off your face in the heat.

Your skin in the sun is precious – wrinkles and age spots are common with too much exposure to the sunshine and it’s up to you to minimise this. Be vigilant about the heat of the day and don’t be fooled by a cloudy sky. Your skin matters and you should do everything you can to keep it as healthy as possible.



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Sunday, 11 June 2017

SKIN BY SWATCH #YOURMOVE

SKIN BY SWATCH
I have a thing about watches and I love having a few in my collection to swap between so when Swatch in Manchester Arndale invited me in to see their new 'Skin' range I jumped at the chance!

The range is super wearable even for those of you who don't like watches (I do not understand these people) they are really thin and light and will slot right into your accessories collection!

I picked out a gorgeous navy watch (thank you so much Swatch!) with a bit of sparkle detail to mark the numbers. I genuinely forget I am wearing this watch and it is nice to have something a bit different with it being a darker colour. The collection includes a gorgeous nude watch, metal strap options and many more.

The watches start at £70 and can be bought online or in store.
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Monday, 5 June 2017

SIMPLE LIFESTYLE CHANGES


We are all well aware that our lifestyles can have a huge impact on our health. Burning the candle at both ends, getting too stressed out with work deadlines and simply not taking care of ourselves can all dramatically affect how we feel on a day to day basis. However, while it can be seen a huge task to overhaul your lifestyle completely, there are simple changes you can make that could make a massive difference to your health and wellbeing. I thought I would share with you some of the changes today, perhaps it will inspire you to implement a few of them into your routine. 

Biking or walking your commute into the workplace
Many people have a commute into the workplace, but often will rely on cars or public transport to get them to where they need to be. However, if you live close enough, why not consider walking there each day instead? That small daily exercise could make a big difference to your fitness levels, and it can help improve your stamina and health overall. If your commute is a little further, then a good option to consider would be a bike. It is definitely more of a cardio workout, but it can be a great way not only to improve fitness but also save you some running or transport costs in the long run. Invest in a decent bike and make sure you consider bike insurance if this is an option that becomes more viable to you.

Getting more sleep
Many people will agree that they would love to get more sleep, so why not make it a priority in your life? Getting a decent nights sleep, and the amount of it that you need can make a massive difference to your day and energy levels. Why not try and head to bed an hour earlier? Or simply switch off all the technology and read a book or enjoy a bath before bed. Part of the problem is that we don’t unwind the mind before trying to get to sleep, meaning we can end up with a disruptive night instead of a relaxing sleep. 

Drinking more water
Keeping your body hydrated is a great way to improve your lifestyle and health. Water is a natural detox and helps to flush out your body of bad toxins. It can improve your skin tone, aid you in a better night's sleep and even increase your energy levels naturally. There are plenty of tips online to help you get more water into your system.

Different relaxation techniques
Stress can be a huge factor in our lives and can hinder many parts of it especially our health. A lot of illness can have a root cause of stress in the beginning. This is why it can be a great change to add some simple relaxation techniques into your daily routine. Maybe consider mediation in the evening or a morning, or try out exercise options like yoga.

Improving your diet or cutting some of the bad stuff out
Finally, the food we eat can have a big impact on our health. Things like sugar, for example, can massively affect us without us even realising. Sugar is in a lot more foods than you realise, so cutting something like this out can help improve your health. You could also consider a more vegetable-rich diet, or simply cut out the convenience foods.
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Saturday, 3 June 2017

SWEETIESAL IN THE SUN: DUBAI


Earlier this year I stated a blogging goal of mine was to do more travel related blogging so here is my first piece, please let me know if you like it or have any suggestions!

My most recent trip to Dubai was my third time in the beautiful United Arab Emirates and as always I had a wonderful time and wanted to share some of my travel tips with you!

Travel
Let's start with getting your ass to that desert.. I always travel with Emirates direct from Manchester and it's been an amazing service every time. Price-wise you can get some great deals and I paid just £410 return for my recent trip which I felt was very good value. Plus a massive plus for me is the very generous luggage allowances meaning you can have a fabulous wardrobe at your disposal whilst away!

Things to Do
This section will be the bulk of the content but each time I have visited I have found such fun things to do that I have to share them with you!

Ladies Night
Tuesday is the main ladies night in Dubai with most bars and clubs serving complimentary drinks and food for ladies. There are places that ladies can drink for free most nights but they require a little more research as it isn't everywhere... I have been to China Grill at the Westin at the Marina and Mahiki at Jumeirah Beach Hotel and both were great fun! Head there later on in the evening as they tend to be quite quiet early on.

Blow Dries and Makeup
The DollHouse made my circular face angular for once in my life and their MUA was seriously great. This time I opted for blow dries only and on Laura from Buy Now Blog Later's recommendation I went to Be Bar on Jumeirah Beach Road and they were amazing! It is two for one on Tuesdays at a steal of £15 per blow dry so get booked in! Plus they wash your hair whilst you are lay down - so comfortable and a lovely experience!

Shopping
The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates have EVERYTHING you could possibly think of from American and English Department Stores to restaurants and beautiful surroundings. Bear in mind that the restaurants within the malls do not serve alcohol, but let's face it, you want to properly quench the thirst if shopping is to be done!

Friday Brunch
Weekend starts on a Thursday Evening in Dubai and Friday Brunch is a *thing* especially in the expat community! The majority of hotels have their slant on brunch with the food on offer not always being breakfast! With alcohol or none - alcohol packages on offer they are a lovely excuse to get dressed up and have a lovely meal in lovely surroundings. I have been to brunch at Mina a Salam which was basically every type of cuisine you can think of paired with cocktail stations, all you can drink fizz and much more. I also have it on good authority that the brunch at Nobu at the Atlantis is great and the 'Bubbalicious Brunch' at the Westin! It isn't a particularly cheap experience but a lovely treat!!

Eating
Dubai has their very own versions of many well known restaurants such as Nobu, Bread Street Kitchen, Hakkassan etc you will find an abundance of cuisines available! This time round I went to Nobu and was absolutely blown away by the quality of the food so I can highly recommend you pay a visit. I've been impressed with all the restaurants in fairness as the quality is outstanding. If you want something more low-key then that's widely available too, with alot of american chains having a presence in the malls. 

Souks
For a more authentic aranic shopping experience you can pay a visit to the souks. Madinat Jumeirah have their very own souk attached to the hotel which is a nice way to see what the souks are like if you don't have much time to head to the proper ones. The gold souk is something I am dying to see so when I next head to Dubai (I am thinking I need an annual trip!) I am definitely going to go. 

Cultural Awareness
Visitors to Dubai need to be aware that there are religious and cultural differences that you have to respect in Dubai. Hotels are predominantly very western and therefore there is less emphasis on complying but if you are going outside of hotels to the malls or souks then you have to cover your knees and shoulders if you are a woman out of respect. For me I think it really isn't a big deal and I would always prefer to be respectful rather than draw attention to myself for the wrong reasons. As I said earlier, the malls are alcohol free so don't expect to be able to have an alcoholic beverage. Modesty is a big thing and ignorance is not an excuse. I would urge anyone going to read up on do's and don't's just to ensure you know what is and isn't ok.

Holiday Budget
At the moment, 1 Dirham equates to approximately 22 pence (£ sterling). Alcohol tends to be expensive (think London prices) but a good tip is to buy in the airport in arrivals and then you just need to buy mixers from your hotel. Taxis are very cheap over there so getting around is not a problem as you will want to take a look at all the different districts! You can definitely do Dubai on a budget!

I absolutely love Dubai and think it's a fascinating place, the sheer size of it is a bit mindblowing and I can totally see why it is so popular with expats!
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BEAUTY BEYOND LOOKS


We all know someone with stunning physical features, the perfect body, luscious locks and flawless skin but an awful personality. These people are no longer attractive to us. We feel repelled away from them and have no desire to spend time with them or be associated with them. Why? Because, as cheesy as it may sound, true beauty lies within. No matter how perfect you may appear from the outside, it is your personality and character that will rule people's opinion of you. This advice doesn't only apply to other people. It applies to yourself too. So how do we go about making ourselves beautiful people, inside as well as out?


Smile
This is one of the simplest steps of the process of making yourself more approachable. Smile. A toothy grin may not make you look sultry and mysterious, but it definitely makes you more approachable. It's okay to be down some of the time, but there's a difference between coming across as neutral and hostile. Next time you're walking down the street, flash a smile when you catch someone's eye, rather than frowning or staring blankly.

Drop the Facade
Many of us hide behind a facade. We have a public character that we like to stick to. You might play the role of the aggressive person who isn't to be messed with, the chirpy person who is always ready to party, or the moody person, surrounded by an air of mystery. But drop the act. The best thing you can be in public is genuine. You don't have to pretend or put on a fake or exaggerated personality for people to like you. Be yourself. People will prefer you for who you actually are than who you want to be. When you're being yourself you are under less pressure to conform to a certain persona, meaning you will be relaxed and radiate positive, good vibes.

Give Yourself a Little TLC
Around work, responsibilities and a busy social life, it can be easy to forget that you need a little time to yourself sometimes. Remember to give yourself a break now and then and practice a give yourself a little TLC. This can be whatever you fancy. Maybe a hot bath with a face mask. Perhaps kicking back with some snacks and your favorite film. You might even just want to read that book that's been sat on your bedside table for months. Whatever it is that you enjoy, make sure to make time for it in your life. It is important that you have time to release tensions and be worry free for an hour or two at least.


Be Kind to Others
Loving yourself is only one step on the journey to feeling great. You need to show love, affection, and care for others too. This can start with your family and friends. Treat them to a lunch where you can catch up and hear about what's happening in each other's lives. Call long distance friends and relatives for a casual conversation. Send a bouquet to your parents to let them know you're thinking of them. Make a special dinner as a surprise for your partner. Whatever you do, make sure that those around you know that they are loved and cared for. You can also reach out beyond people in your immediate circle. Consider donating to charity or participating in a charity event for those less fortunate than yourself. For inspiration, check out No Birds Bash. These two men are traveling the expanse of Australia and exploring its remote corners in aid of children’s charity Variety. Helping strangers is rewarding in so many ways. Not only are you giving a helping hand to people who need it, but you can sleep sound at night in the knowledge that you've made someone else's life that little bit brighter.

Practice Self-Acceptance
It's easy to fall into the trap of self-criticism. We live in a society that profits from our insecurities and self-doubt. Of course, there are aspects of our lives and looks that we'd all like to improve or change. But avoid dwelling on these things and focus instead on being happy with how you are right now. Start by acknowledging your thoughts and feelings. This can be achieved in a manner of ways. You might want to write things down. Journaling is a great way to rant and get things off your chest. Alternatively, you might want to consider meditation or yoga. These exercises will help you to achieve a tranquil, calm and peaceful state where you can contemplate freely. If you are down, it's okay to feel down. If you are angry, there's probably a good reason. Don't beat yourself up for your emotions.

Forgive and Forget
It's easy to hold grudges. It's much harder to accept people's actions and put them behind you. But bearing a grudge and bearing bad feelings only hurts you. So stop harboring negative emotions. Instead, let go of them. This isn't to say that you should welcome people who have wronged you back into your life with open arms. But forgiving, forgetting and moving on with your life will release you from feelings of anger and upset. You will be an overall more positive person to be around.


Educate Yourself
This doesn't necessarily mean slaving away over textbooks and filling notebooks with notes. Educating yourself can involve a whole manner of things. Become more aware of the world around you. Listen to other people’s issues, opinions, and passions. By being more aware of situations beyond your own, you will become a more rounded and understanding person. It is only by listening to people that you can learn how to help them. Know what's going on in the world beyond your own backyard. Ignorance may well be bliss but it’s much better to be well informed and aware of other people's lives beyond your own.

Be Respectful
You are not going to agree with everyone on every issue. But it is important that you are respectful of the beliefs of others. Listen, debate and converse. Always be open to alternative perspectives.
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