Thursday, 27 August 2009

How I lost 2 stone quickly

And put it all back on again.

I wanted to write this post because I am becoming really concerned about young people and bloggers using unheathy methods to diet and loose weight. I have struggled with my weight for many years and want to share my story, what I have learnt and how it has affected me.

I was a very active healthy child with a normal weight, however during puberty at around the 13-15 mark I put on a bit of weight - about 1-2 stone in total. I felt heavy, tired and my parents often commented that perhaps I should loose a little for health purposes and also because it was costing them a fortune re-stocking the fridge! I used to hate my parents commenting on my weight, I'd get so angry, stop eating then feel awful and turn to food for comfort. It was a dangerous cycle. A few months later and I was stuck in a rut. Then I spied one of my mums books in the cupboard, it was Gillian Mckeith's 'You are what you eat' book, and I read it from cover to cover. That book and her story inspired me and from that day I decided I had to do something about my weight, and went about changing my lifestyle. I starting eating loads of fruit and veg, plus porridge, brown rice and oily fish etc. My diet was great and I looked and felt AMAZING! I had never had so much energy and weight was quickly coming off at a healthy 2 lb's a week.

As the weight came off it drove me to diet further, I didn't have a goal, I just wanted to be 'skinny', and so I started to restrict my diet and calorie count. I started halving my portions, then skipping meals. In the end I was eating about 500 calories a day. I would have a muller light or fruit for breakfast, 2 ricecakes for lunch and s small carb free meal for tea. I would make excuses so I didn't have to go for family meals, and if I went out for meals with friends would complain I didn't feel well or had eaten earlier to excuse my tiny portions. I was starting to look very skinny, my friends told me I was silly and should eat more - but I used to maintain I ate plenty (out of their sight, of course).

Added to that I exercised. I used to get up at 6am and do a fitness DVD for about 30-40 mins. I would also do the gym 4 times a week and go for walks every chance I got. I would aim to exercise for an hour every day. I'm not sure what weight I got down to, but I remember trying on a pair of trousers in river island and a size 8 was far too big. I was overjoyed.

Then I started being a teenager. I started going to a lot more nights out with friends. Then I had my first 'serious' relationship, which meant I had to eat with his family and in front of him or else he would get worried. So my weight began to creep up, I had spent so long practically starving myself I couldn't keep it up anymore, and you know what, food was great!

So, as the story goes, I put all the weight (and more) back no. I lost little bits at a time (through my usually method of starvation and exercise) but each time I would put it back on again, plus a little bit more. I have tried all sorts of diets in the time between then, and of course they have all been successful in getting me to loose weight, but not in keeping it off.

The sad fact is yo-yo dieting doesn't work. We all know this, yet we still do it. However I want to make you aware of the psychological, emotional and health consequences od such activity.

I now have a warped relationship with food. I don't know when I'm full, I don't know what 'normal' diet is and I go from binge eating to starving myself on a regular basis. Food turned into my comfort, and I used it to mask a whole load of psychological feelings, which now bring themselves forth whenever food is around. Added to that the health risks, god knows what I have done to my heart, bones and risk of disease in later life.

So please, to anyone considering a 'quick fix' or stupid fad diet STOP. The only way to loose weight and keep it off is to change your lifestyle, not for a month, not for 2 weeks, but for LIFE. I have made a lot of stupid choices and they will cost me greatly, I just really hope that others can learn from my mistakes and not go through the pain of them.

As for me, well I still hope one day I can get to my ideal size. I think one day I will, but it's going to be a long, slow and hard process.

Thank you for reading. Please leave some comments, tell me about your weight loss journey. Do you agree or disagree with what I'm saying. Share your thoughts, I dare you.

Much love

Monday, 24 August 2009

R.I.P bobbi.

Me and bobbi met in Selfridges about 3 months ago. Hidden between the tinted moisturizers and dazzling shimmer bricks we found each other and needless to say it was love at first swatch. It was meant to be; bobbi's yellow tones balanced out the red in my skin, whilst his oil free formulation didn't slip off my greasy t-zone.

Of course things wern't always easy; his price tag meant my bank balance took a hammering and my rosacea was diffcult for him to cover. Then we faced a tough hurdle when I was unfaithful, being seduced by revlon coloustay. However the fling was brief; revlon was far too heavy and spf 6 wasn't enough to cover my delicate skin. I went back to bobbi. I sometimes wondered about straying again, but why ruin a good thing?

In the end we had a good time together. Bobbi never broke me out, never made me orange and lasted most of the day. However today he finally gave in, there is nothing left to pump. I have considered scraping out whats left on the inside edges, but I think thats pure desperation. It's time to let go, time to say goodbye and lay bobbi to rest.

So RIP bobbi skin foundation SPF 15. Thank you for all the good skin days you gave me.

So now I am stuck. Do I repurachse or try something new? My heart is telling me to stick to what I know and stay with my trusted bobbi brown, but my head tells me to test the water, there are plenty more fish in the sea after all.

So this is where I throw the question out to you all, what do you recommend as a foundation? What to you love and what do you hate, what makes your skin sikly smooth and dewy, and what makes you break out and look as orange as an umpa lumpa? Powder, foundation or tinted moisturizer let me know.

P.S Loved meeting the beautiful girlies at TBS. And if I met you and have yet to check out your blog then link me up (or link me if you didn't go, I love finding a gem of a blog to read!)

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Guess what I've forgotten.

I am back home in beautiful Shropshire for the weekend to see friends and family. I had to drive up from work yesterday so only had half an hour on Friday morning to pack my stuff up, and originally I thought I had done pretty well packing wise (I mean I knew I had brought way too much, but that's better than too little). However, when it came to make up application today I realized I have managed to leave a vital piece of kit.

Can you work out what it is?

Brushes. I managed to leave all but one of my brushes at home. I have blush, MAC palettes, primers, lippies - everything else and more. But no brushes. Luckily I managed to bring my MAC 182 kabuki so can still manage some blush but eye make up has to be what I can apply with my fingers, today I have just swept some MAC melon pigment over my lid and added loads of mascara. I can't even do any winged eyeliner courtesy of illamasqua's sealing gel and MAC carbon. The worst part of it is I wanted to do something special with my illamasqua contest prizes as I'm off out tonight, but that looks like it will have to be delayed. Gutted.

On a lighter note I found this necklace in my room earlier

It's adorable! I can't remember where I brought it but it's one of these necklaces that goes missing for months on end and then randomly turns up out of the blue. Let's hope I don't lose it again.

So how's everyone's weekend going? Is everyone who is attending the b/s event excited? I can't wait!


Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Product rant and rave.


Naked rescue intense care shampoo and conditioner.

They say: 'Naked rescue uses naturally derived vitamin and plant extracts to give damaged hair that special swish factor*. We don't use harsh ingredients, just gentle plant based cleansing ingredients'

I say: Whilst going natural seems to be all the fashion right now (i.e bubblegarms fantastic natural skincare tips) it doesn't equate to much in this product. This stuff is very much just a shampoo. Yes it cleans my hair but it has done nothing to repair damage or soften. Luckily I got this stuff for buy 1 get one free at boots but at around £4.50 a pop I would never buy again. Final thoughts? Nice smell, great philosophy but no noticeable results and awful packaging.


Tresemme colour thrive brunette

They say: 'With cinnamon and cocoa bean extracts, removes adding mineral deposits to restore vibrancy and radiant shine. Your hair will stay vibrant and shiny wash and wash, so you can relax until your next colour appointment'

I say: I used this when I went to my boyfriends and somehow it has ended up on my bathroom shelf ever since! I have always trusted tresemme as a brand and whilst the marketing or packaging for these products may not be top notch they do deliver. This leaves my hair super shiny, conditioned and strong. As for colour, well the red in my hair has faded a lot, which I knew was going to happen, and I am thankful for, but the brown looks great. I'm not sure how much that is due to shampoo but I guess time will tell. Final thoughts? Inexpensive and worth every penny.

So have you used any of these products? If so what did you think of them?

Finally I am getting my hair cut tomorrow, I'm doing a lollipop (i.e having my hair cut to grow it as Laura has done). I'm going to a new hairdressers so hopefully all will turn out well! Eeee!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Monday Poll

I love reading these and so thought it time to do one myself!

Mood: Uneasy. Had a little bit of a breakdown earlier due to Halifax being cocks and general things getting on top of me. Thankfully I have an amazing boyfriend who ran to my rescue and have me lots of hugs!

First words out of my mouth this morning: I stubbed my toe on the coffee table, I don't think I should repeat the word here :-P

What I'm looking forward to this week: Going home on the weekend and seeing my friends and family.

One things I'd like to improve about myself: Being more organised. I have such a bad habit of putting things off and they all end up snowballing and getting on top of me, like this evening. Everything just collapsed in on itself. I need to do things as soon as they crop up, rather than leaving them to stew.

On my makeup list: Couple of the shadows from the love that look collection and lily lolo mineral foundation. I usually have a wish list as long as my arm, but I'm pretty happy with my collection right now.

What I ate: Fruit and toast for brekkie, yogurt with nuts, seeds and dried fruit for lunch, chickpea curry in pitta for tea (Can you tell I'm trying to be healthy!)

Cheeks: Illamasqua bronzer duo, I have the glint/writhe duo and I used the lighter colour which is utterly beautiful.

Lips: Body shop lip butter.

Outfit: Grey top and cari, red skirt tights and heels.

Fragrance: Vera wang - princess.

Weekly goals: Try and continue the healthy eating and staying organised.

What's on top of your Monday poll?


Sunday, 9 August 2009

Garnier - the final round.

I have been using the garnier pure active range for over a week now and so it's time for the final review - with the obligatory before and after photo's of course.

So let's start off with last weeks before photo...

As you can see there are one or two spots, I actually managed to take a rather flattering photo, my skin certainly didn't look quite as good in true light!

48 hours later...

Ewww greasy. Apart from that there is a noticeable difference in spot size - however that one on my top lip looks like it's going to burst.

Finally the finished product (and a different pose!)

Now this was taken this evening and I'm not wearing a scrap of make up to cover any nasties - this is my bare naked skin. Not bad eh? I'm seeing a spot reduction - although I am biased. What do you think, can you see a noticeable difference?

So lets get onto the final review.

Did my spots clear?

Well, clearly my spots have dramatically reduced in size and redness. After I posted the 48 hour piccy (where the red spot looks bloody massive) I washed my face and the head of that spot fell off - it had dried out and just flaked off my skin! After that my skin cleared up completely and I was spot free. However this didn't last long and towards the end of the week a couple of new spots did appear.

Any side effects?

Unfortunately yes - and I always thought this was going to be the case. This range is not designed with sensitive skin in mind and coupled with the high percentage of acid I was expecting it to dry out my skin - and no surprise, it did. Like most medicated spot treatments the head of the spot flakes away, which whilst does reduce the redness of the spot this dry skin is incredibly annoying and it feels rather as though this only tackles the outer layer of spots, rather than getting to the cause of them, which may be why I continued to get spots during the trial.


I have always maintained that I will repurchase the moisturizer and I am still planning on doing so, the same goes for the spot stick. The wash I am unsure about, I love how it doesn't make my skin tight and removes every scrap of makeup, but I fear my skin is too dry for this product - I think I may use it once in a while, but every day is too much for my dry sensitive skin!

Final thoughts.

The Garnier pure active range is perfect for those of you with young, oily spot prone skin. If you use medicated skin ranges then this is probably the best you can find on the market due to the 2% purifying salicylic acid which is going to kill off any nasty spots. However the question remains in my mind as to whether the 'acid attack' method is the best way to treat troublesome skin, however the results speak for themselves and I can't deny this stuff has cleared my skin - thereby proving this stuff does exactly what it says on the tin :-)

Phew, so that's the review over. I did have a play with my illamasqua products this weekend but didn't end up having the time to take some photos or so anything interesting with them - so I'm going to have to keep you all on tenderhooks as to when a look will be posted!

Much love

Thursday, 6 August 2009

My li-lash experience.

This is a long overdue post of my review of li-lash. I've probably been using this product for about 10 weeks now, although in the last month or so I have been only using it sparingly (twice a week or so) this isn't out of choice, but mainly laziness and losing the darn tube! This review will be broken up into question style sections and I have also included a little mascara review at the end - that is if you can make it that far!

So why did you purchase li-lash over other products?

I purchases li-lash as I was unhappy with my natural lashes- I had just tried falsies and not only did they destroy the condition of my natural lashes but they also made my own lashes feel tiny in comparison.

I looked at a range of products, high and low end, however it was watching lollipop26's video on eyelash growth products that made me choose to buy li-lash. Not only this but all reviews I could find raved about this product - so I went along to e-bay and splashed out £80 on li-lash (the seller I used was called vibranthealthnow and I highly recommend her).

So, lets start out with the before photo, unfortunately it is utter crap as at this point in time I couldn't find the focus button on my camera (technology and myself aren't friends). But trust me, my lashes were short:

Did you have any side effects?

The most commonly asked question I received when using this product was regarding any nasty side effects. Inside the box you get a length warning list, which isn't springing considering the ingredients; prostaglandin is one of the active ingredients which is used to treat optical nerve damage and can cause sight damage and eye colour change, it also contains an unpleasant preservative called methylchloroisothiazalinone which is highly irritant in large qualities.

So, did I have any side effects? Well, somewhat - and mainly in the 1st couple of weeks. When I first starting using the product I noticed that my eyes were watering more than usual and when I went outside they would become sore. I think this was partly my skin getting used to the product and also pollen and dust becoming trapped on the wet product which may have caused some irritation. This lasted for a out 2 weeks and to be honest really wasn't anything much of a problem - I would have stopped using it if it had been.

Other than this I had not had any reactions - my eye colour has not changed and I don't have a mark or any discoloration on my upper lashline, which is wear the product is applied. One thing I would say is that I would recommend using this product at night, simply because when the product is on the upper eyelid it can discolour (usually darken) any any eyeshadow you place on top of it. If you pop some eye liner on then this won't be noticeable - but if you have just applied in the morning and then try to apply shadow you will see a noticeable line of discolouration.

When did you start seeing results?

It takes a while to see any real change in your lashes, I would say you don't start to see change in length or condition for about 3 weeks. At this point you may notice a little bit of length but I found more that the condition had improved rather than having gained a terrific amount of length. To add to this I also noticed I was growing new lashes on the corners of my eyes.

But the real results aren't going to be seen for about 6-10 weeks of use and in between this time can be rather frustrating as it seems lashes get to a 'sticking' point where they don't grow at all then suddenly BOOM - you have massive lashes!

After this you can start using the product less, which is what I did, but as mentioned previously this is mainly because I kept losing/forgetting about applying it. Would I say I have seen more growth in my lashes since this time? Hmm, not much, but they are now at a lenght which I'm happy with - much more and they will be totally out of control! I sometimes have to separate my outer lashes as they become entangled which can make applying mascara a bit of a pain.

Are you happy with the result?

Yes. You don't notice the length so much when I'm not wearing mascara because my lashes are very light, but when I wear mascara they look amazing - I love when I am getting my make up done at a counter and the MA stops to say 'Wow - your lashes are HUGE.'. I find that the length really frames my eyes and just gives them that extra 'wow-factor'. Although you have to remember that longer eyelashes aren't going to dramatically change your look, and it's vitally important to remember that this isn't going to make your more confident, but it will add a little more drama to the eyes.

And here is the final result:

* NB: Yes I know my skin is bad, please don't remind me. This was taken with 1 coat of maybelline colossal volume express, mine review of at the end of the post.

Would you re-purchase?

Undecided. This is a very expensive product, however it does last. I think I still have another 3 months of product left so I don't need to think about re-purchasing for a while, but I know that there are some new products coming onto the eyelash growth market, namely the lancome oscillation powerbooster and I have heard rumours of a product that boots is launching in the near future (if anyone has any info on this let me know). However if future reviews for these turn out to be pants (and to be honest I don't hold out much hope) and the formulation of li-lash remains the same then I think yes, I would repurchase.

NB: This product is not tested on animals :-)

And finally....

Just wanted to give a quick mention of a mascara that I have been using for the last week, maybelline colossal volume is one we were given to try at the maybelline event (we got a whole bunch of maybelline mascaras to try) and I decided to give this one a go as my benefit badgal is running low - and I have to say, I am very impressed.

As you can see the brush distributes the product evenly and there is plenty of product to coat your lashes with 1 coat. This is great for volume - although it does make the ends of your lashes rather 'stubby' as the formulation is very think, however this is a very minor complaint - seeing as it doesn't clump or create 'spider' lashes there isn't too much to complain about! I highly recommend this mascara for anyone looking for lash volume at a reasonable price.

So, that's my mammoth post over - please post any questions in the comments, and congratulations if you have reached this far!


Monday, 3 August 2009

Garnier skincare - Before and after.

Firstly I'm sure you will all be glad to know that I am feeling a lot better and can finally get back to some good honest blogging. Now if you follow me on twitter you may know the other day I had a break out of spots, this was not unsurprising considering how ill/sweaty I got - I'm sure my body was more concerned in fighting the flu rather than spots. However this gave me a great opportunity to try out the Garnier pure active range and get some before and after photos to show you how my skin is doing since using the products.

So here is my skin as of 48 hours ago:

As you can see I struggle with spots around my mouth and on my chin. These spots tend to begin under the skin, working their way to the top where they become red and sore.

Now I used all 5 products in the garnier pure active range in this little experiment so will take a moment and go through each product individually before showing you the results. The garnier pure active range is a little difference to other medicated skin ranges because it contains 2% of salicylic acid - the highest amount out of any brand. This acid is supposed to not only fight spots but remove red marks and scars which often are more noticeable than the spots themselves. This brand is also a relitively low priced, ranging at between £4-7 for each product, and avaliable at most chemists/supermarkets. I would say this product is ideal for anyone with acne and oily prone skin - the acid itself is a very drying ingredient and so with that in mind be careful when trying out this range, maybe starting with 1 product and if it suits your skin adding to the range (which btw, is what I have done as I was a bit worried about it drying my skin out to a crisp - which luckily it hasn't).

1. Garnier blackhead scrub.

When we were at the Garnier event we were advised that this product is designed to be used weekly, rather than daily, as a skin treatment to deep cleanse and exfoliate so I started off with this the other night and I have to say it works well as an exfoliator - the beads gently remove impurities and my skin felt very fresh after use. However I wouldn't use this more than once a week personally as I fear it would be too harsh on my skin. As for blackhead clearing, well I wouldn't say it has made a huge difference yet- but it's not too bad of a result for 48 hours!

2. Deep pore wash.

Garnier claims this gentle wash will refresh the skin whilst preventing spots and fading marks. After using this morning and evening I can say that it is indeed very refreshing (wakes you up in the morning!). It lathers into a foam and removes any make up. I thought this stuff was going to be like most medicated spot washes and leave me with dry, tight skin. However I was pleasantly surprised to find this stuff didn't dry out my skin and it was left feeling smooth. When we were at the talk Garnier told us about how they like to use the natural power of plants in their products to enhance their products and this wash contains extract of blueberry (or so the website says) and I think those natural ingredients do make a difference setting Garnier apart from other medicated washes on the market.

3. Toner
I have to be honest, I didn't like this product. Firstly I am sceptical about the idea of toners, I can't help but feel they are an unnecessary product in the skincare industry and this has confirmed my view. I use this after the face wash and don't think it makes and difference to my skin apart from making it smell of alcohol. This is claimed to mattify the skin but I didn't find it did this either, and to be honest the wash removes enough oil to not need any further mattifier. Sorry Garnier but this stuff isn't for me.

4. Moisturiser.
This stuff is great. I was initially sceptical about this moisturizer; no SPF, contains salicylic acid and has a lightly alcohol based scent. However it is wonderfully soothing on the skin and is completely mattifying. I love to use this at night - when I wake up my skin isn't covered in all and I am less likely to have a spot lurking. I am nearly out of this and do plan on re-purchasing when I run out. The only thing I would say is if using this as your daily moisturizer make sure you team it with a primer or foundation with SPF. Also I would not recommend this to people with very dry skin - this is certainly designed for oily skin and that's where it works best.

5. Spot stick.

Now a lot of people were worried about contamination with this product, that bacteria may get back into the stick from the roll on. Now whilst a small amount of bacteria may get in the acid in this product will kill anything it comes into contact with. Plus I think the steel ball roll on design is a lot more hygienic than the sponge or fabric applicator that most on the spot treatments are designed with. Anyway, moving on, what do I think of this product? I love it. It's got a great design, you get plenty of product for your money and makes for perfect application whenever you need. I take this to work and will happily use this in the office because firstly it doesn't have a strong scent when used (don't you hate it when you have a tea tree or witch hazel roll on stick that stinks the room out when you are using it!?) and it dries clear almost instantly. Love, love love!

Ok, so that's the range, now the important bit - does it actually work? Lets take a look at the after photo:

This was taken after I had come in from work so hence the oily skin and no make up! So can we see a remarkable difference? Erm, no. The spot above my lip is still there and has got a little bigger, however the 2 little ones about it have disappeared. Also the spot on the lower left side has decreased in size a redness a lot. So, the result may not be amazing but there is a positive difference - which I am feeling very happy about. I am going to continue using the Garnier range and will post an updated photo of the results towards the end of the week.

Now, don't forget I have only been using these products for 48 hours, so considering this fact I feel that they have worked extremely well - I am particularly impressed about how well they reduce the redness of my spots. The conker above my lip would be as red as an over-ripe tomato left it its own devices, but whilst it has increased in size the colour makes it a little less noticeable. Lets see if we can get rid of it by the end of the week!

So has anyone else tried this range - if so what do you think of it? Let me know, would love to get your thoughts on it.