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Monday, 20 February 2012

Spending more or cheap treats?

Never one for being the beauty queen, I got to reading March's edition of InStyle magazine that came with a free 'Best Beauty Buys' guide. Normally, these things go straight in the bin - beauty to me is a foreign language - I, at best, know how to apply mascara but that's pretty much where my makeup artist skills end. Sure as hell I own make-up,  I mean seriously, I own one blusher that quite frankly saves people's sight every darn day, but I go into my local Boots and I tend to have the habit of buying the first thing I see.

This time, I took the time to read this beauty buys guide, it was a first for me, and it got me thinking: all these hundreds of different products - but branded luxe products or  cheaper branded products? Does it make a difference?

I'm a cheap treat kinda girl - I use Simple moisturising cream which costs me say, no more than £4? why do I use that you ask? well, I have kinda sensitive skin and well, I don't really need much else apart from a bit of moisturiser... do I? but the more luxe brands: Lancome, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Shu Uemura - they do so many creams, so many lotions - should I be paying more for the one skin I own?

How much is acceptable to pay for a nail varnish? I have a collection f about 30+ nail varnishes and over 60% of them are by Rimmel or other cheaper high street brands. I noticed Chanel's Le Vernis nail polish - they are the ones that you see in all the latest fashion mags as having this season's colours. Me? I tend to wait three months and buy the Rimmel version, but am I getting something altogether different by buying a Chanel nail polish or am I simply paying for the name? I must admit the bottles look lush, and to think I was wearing Chanel would make me feel a little bit wow... is this what makes people buy them? Is it a feeling more than the product itself?

Lipstick, Eye shadow, Mascara - I'm confused? Will I look like Natalie Portman, Monica Bellushi or Rachel Weiz if I buy their endorsed products? I can tell you they cost double what I currently 'like' to pay. They look amazing, that I will say. But, is it me? Am I just that uneducated that I don't 'get' the reason as to why its better to be buying luxe brands? But the more I read the magazines, see the makeup see the reviews I look at my own 'cheap' self and think I'm missing out on something. Perhaps I might feel more confidant, or maybe even smile more? I must admit, I like the sound of it all.

Tell me people, what do you wear? what would you recommend I spend more on? what are your views - do you pay for what you get?

It's a beauty mine-field out there......

Sunday, 19 February 2012

ASOS - Spring / Summer Edit

 Everyone's favourite online shop, ASOS, have come up trumps again this S/S. I still remember this online brand as being my first toe in the water of online shopping, I bought a dress for the work Christmas do, and it was a dress that was 'seen on' Christina Ricci.... it was and still is, one of my favourite dresses. I remember thinking that ASOS was going to be big, and well, year after year I have really enjoyed watching this very 'simple' brand grow. I can safely say year on year, their season transitions and new collections always bring a certain something 'else' than other High Street brands. To me, they are always a little more 'high' fashion than just generic - I always see something a little different, in a good way.

Largely using the 'Sports Luxe' trend, ASOS are getting heavy handed into colour blocking in a new effective way: matching colours with colours, only a mere tone apart from each other: who knew there was so many different shades of tangerine? Mixing layering in a cool casual and very very wearable way - mixing turn-up coloured jeans with cropped tee's and longline shirts - add in some high top trainers and sunnies and you have an outfit fixed and ready for just about anywhere. For a more polished look ASOS have teamed sheers with strong colours - accessorising with zany sunglasses and footwear to help the outfits come alive.
Another strong trend being seen everywhere is of course, tribal. ASOS bring a youthful addition in vibrant tribal print leggings that those of only pre twenties and size 10 can get away with. A trend that perhaps, is not so wearable for us all. Mixing tie dye prints and florals is a nice addition - fitting for a nice laid-back day at the beach/town/home.

What do you think of ASOS new edit? how wearable is Sports luxe? and what do you love about this new season?

Another good edit for this SS12.

Thursday, 16 February 2012


I can safely say it is not my intention to weird you all out, make you all vomit or put you off that cake, but for any of you who know me really, would've heard my incessant moaning about the crippling stomach pains,bloating and all round tummy-horrible-ness that is I.B.S.

I.B.S is often 'not' talked about, or swerved when in conversations - let's face it, anything to do with the bowel/stomach or it's movements, is not the 'usual' conversation starter that's for sure but to be completely honest with you all, I.B.S has pretty much blighted my life for nothing short of 5 years properly. I won't badger on about when or how it started, but for those who know not anything about this disorder, and yes, I think it is one, IBS is a very common condition that affects the digestive system and causes debilitating pain, stomach cramps, bloating, and haywire bowel movements. Along with this standard listing, there are million more other symptoms that people have, all with different and worse symptoms than others - overall it pretty darn sucks to have I.B.S.

After suffering with it for years, and I hate to sound so negative, with zero help from my GP, I hit my lowest at the end of last year, why you ask? well, take a look at my symptoms:

• Severe abdominal pain and cramping. Often leaving me doubled up in pain, unable to move and even talk.

• My bowel habits were pretty much non-existent at times, and other so darn bad, you'd have a hard job even removing me from the loo

• Bloating and swelling of my stomach. I say this, but this doesn't even begin to describe how it actually was. My stomach would bloat to that of a 9 month pregnant lady. I would have to prepare my outfits based on this fact alone and would be incredibly embarrassed as soon as the bloat begins.

• Excessive wind. It was literally like letting go of a balloon... sexy no?

• I would feel that I needed to go to loo and then I'd get there and I'd just sit and wait.....

Have I made you feel uneasy yet? It is not my intention to do that let me assure you. But please, for one second, imagine how my every day life was - hell. on. earth. I hated every day, I hated waking up in the morning - I'd know that every day would be filled with pain, sickness and feeling and looking massive. That was no quality of life. I have accepted this illness, this disorder and know that every day in my life is going to be filled with this problem - I am fully aware of this. It was time I knew I had to help myself. It was no use moaning about it to every tom, dick and harry when I was stuffing myself with all sorts. I had to stop. now.

So own up, who has felt like this? who has experienced these symptoms? and who has avoided talking about it? I know this is disgusting to talk about but we need to, hence the reason for this blog post.. I am on a mission, I am determined to get over this life-long illness and I want to help spread the word about it too.

Right, first things first sufferers, knowledge! You must, must, must do your reading! There are so many websites and countless information - they all effectively say the same thing, but never in words or an emotion I full believed in. My first tip for you all is to read this:

This book has single-handedly changed my life. I didn't need those preachy websites, nor did I need the mumble-jumble of the Dr's fact sheets. Here was a book that spoke with a voice just like you and me. It talked bout farting and it talked about poo - cant get better than that huh!? To give you more of an insight into the book, Good Gut Healing is the new book from leading health writer, nutritionist and food-combining expert Kathryn Marsden. It covers the many common - but rarely addressed - ailments that can affect the digestive system and bowel and suggests dozens of natural ways to tackle the symptoms and ease discomfort. Written in a friendly, down-to-earth style, the book is packed with expert advice that really works. 20 top tips for a healthy gut. Advice on which foods to eat and which to avoid. Action plans for dealing with every condition from acid reflux, bloating and candida to irritable bowel, leaky gut and ulcers. Helpful information on fibre, allergies and sensitivities, detoxification and stress. Boxes containing hints and top tips, technical stuff etc this really is a book to worship. I have read this from start to finish and it made me address my life (yes really) in so many ways, I knew I had to try and change.

I have been trying lots of different things to try and make a difference and I will be trying to feature these on the blog in the hope that it might help some of you sufferers.

Introducing Actimint. After hearing my incessant plights, the really rather amazing Tracey at VertPR let me know about these little tablets of goodness. Actimint is a probiotic supplement that aids digestion and provide the body with ‘friendly bacteria’ of the type found in yoghurt which also helps to freshen the breath. Each tablet contains millions of live probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus units, which help maintain a balance of friendly bacteria in the digestive tract.

These are perfect for anyone who leads a busy and stressful life, perfect for IBS sufferers, those who are probe to infections and colds. All you have to do is dissolve one or two tablets in your mouth after each meal to help maintain an optimum probiotic level.
At first I thought these would be too good to be true, but after 2 whole days of taking these after each meal, my bloating had rapidly decreased,  and I no longer had the sudden onset of pain. I have continued to take these and many of my other symptoms have started to reside also. These really have helped me, to my absolute surprise! Massive thank you to VertPR and to Actimint. You can log on to their website to find out more information and to purchase HERE

I have three testers that I can send three of you lucky blog readers - if you'd like to receive these please comment on the blog and I shall draw 3 people out.

You may now all go back to your cake...

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Marks and Spencer - Spring / Summer Edit

Yeah yeah, I know it's cold, but I cant help but just think of the new (warmer) season. It seems like it's been a long time coming and now we're in February, our very own High Street are bringing out all their new seasons looks.

I can safely say I don't often turn to the classic Marks and Spencer for a new, fresh season, but after seeing a sneaky look from their press day photos, I was really surprised and instantly needed to see the full collection.

Full of colour with a real zing and pop - this is a good solid S/S collection, certainly one I did not think M+S would be producing. I shop at M+S for my every-day knickers (don't tell me you don't!) and my pj's... y'know the full length, up to my chin type of pj's. I sure as hell don't go there for thigh-skimming dresses and hot of the press pastel colours - but here they are.

With sickly sweet pastel colours, florals on legs and clean simple lines this new and inventive collection pretty much trounces all over the normal, high street winners like Topshop. The key to every item is its wearability. Unlike Topshop and the like, I can guarantee that most of these item can be changed around and worn with existing items in your wardrobe and by any age of person. To me, prices are reasonable and by no means out of the ordinary - especially when you compare to 'some' of the High Street brands around (you know who they are)

Here are my faves:

Surprised much? I knew you would be! To me, this sums up 2012 summer.

So what do you think? Would you look twice at Marks and Spencer's? Go to your nearest store in the coming weeks and tell me what surprises you find!

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