Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Holiday Prep!

With my Bali trip just around the corner (I'll stop mentioning it, promise), I've been taking extra care of myself these past several weeks to ensure I'm at my super best in time for take-off.

I seriously recommend the few specific things below that I've really enjoyed lately. Basics for any holiday prep in my opinion!
^ Karmameju recharge ionic body brush - I got mine through Amazon here.

The daddy of all body brushes, it's made up of fine bronze wires and horsehair bristles. The friction creates negative ions, which deliver oxygen to blood cells and aid detoxification.
I've been using it for a few weeks every night with long even strokes towards my heart, starting from my feet and working my way up. It's amazing, I've noticed a definite improvement in skin tone and texture on my legs, and I wake up in the morning with a much flatter stomach. Just make sure you drink plenty of water to flush out maximum toxins!

Read up about it on the Karmameju site, the benefits are impressive. 

^ Derma Roller 0.5mm - Various brands/Amazon has a good selection.

I first discovered this when I had a facial at Face Gym, followed by a collagen mask. I looked like shit straight after, but omg for days and WEEKS afterwards my skin has never looked better. It was plump and glowing. I definitely credit some of that to the roller.

If you're a beginner, start with very short needles. The rolling effect creates tiny holes in the skin, prompting it to "heal" itself and therefore produces collagen. It's commonly used to treat acne scars and wrinkles, but I mainly use it to prep the skin for pampering. After a shower when my pores are open, I gently roll it in one direction all over my face. Then I apply either a face mask or a night cream. It really boosts their effectiveness as the products can penetrate deeper. Try it!
^ Lindsay Calendula rubber mask - on Amazon here.

Next gen for face masks... These come in a powder form that contains alginate, so that when you add water it slowly transforms into rubber on your face! You gotta be quick though... I didn't quite master the mixing so there were lumps, I looked like elephant man.

I recommend adding the water a little at a time to get the paste as smooth as possible, then apply on cleansed skin asap. Leave for 15 mins then peel off! Extremely satisfying and my skin looked calm and bright. Since then, it's still looking really good and soaking up creams/oils a lot better.

How to video (which I viewed only afterwards) here! They also supply mini konjac sponges for each mask to help remove any leftover bits, so actually really good value for money.

The lost guides for Bali are excellent, very curated recommendations for people who don't want to spend loads but are after more luxury than #gapyear style backpacking. The book itself is beautiful too.

Any Bali tips welcome!

Monday, 25 April 2016

Vacay Wish List

I'm off to Bali in three weeks and have been doing a ton of shopping to look insta-worthy abroad.

I've got outfits for every occasion (do you wear leggings or jeans to ride an elephant?!), but the below picks are for my perfect day at the beach.

1. The Beach People roundie towel - I think these look great to claim your patch on the sand. You can go high end or find super cheap versions on eBay, with tassels.

2. Packing organisers - these are from Amazon, they have loads available. Make sure they are sealable and water repellent. Ideal to pack sun cream and/or snacks for a hard-core tanning day! I'll also be using these to sort my suitcase packing.

3. Gold Tattoos - The best are Topshop or Asos. Use lengthways down your arms or along your hair parting for some Bey vibes.

4. Sunglasses - I have been trying for ever to find chunky pastel pink sunglasses with dark lenses but finding it impossible. My holiday wardrobe is candy coloured so the hunt for the perfect complimentary pair of shades continues!

5. Sun Hat - I'm in love with this Eugenia Kim sunhat, it's beautiful and fun. A floppy style such as this one or a classic boater will instantly lift any casual outfit from beach to chic.

6. Bikini - Stripes. Any shape or colour but I insist on striped swimwear. Apply a faded Instagram filter and hello retro!

7. Suncream - #DUH. I've purchased this one from Clinique, it's a high broad spectrum SPF and doubles up as a smooth foundation primer. Perfect!

8. Makeup - You've got your shades, your hat and your SPF. The only bits that need colour are your lips! I'll be snapping up this Lancome Juicy Shaker at duty free and applying it presto. The colours are great and the nourishing lip oil ensures day long moisture. Can I have all 13?!

9. Tote - I lurve this basket I spied over on Etsy. Pompoms are in and the shape is interesting. Just enough space for all the above and your favourite paperback. Check my book club section for reading inspo!

10. Ear climbers - Prettier than boring ear studs but still won't get in the way of swimming activities.

11. Denim Cutoffs - I recently did a great job with a pair of old boyfriend jeans, by following this excellent tutorial from Refinery29, here!

Have I missed anything?! What do you guys pack for the tropics?

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

New Faves

There are a few things that I've purchased/been using lately that I realized I can't live without. Little bits that give me a jolt of happiness and products that just work.


I recently got my hair dyed... I had asked for a "modern Rachel from Friends" but I got "nuclear sunkissed" instead, so needless to say I wanted to use a mild shampoo. I found these two babies whilst rifling through my Glamour Festival goodie bag and they are so good. The coconut water shampoo smells incred but doesn't lather very much, which I'm told is a good thing, and even though my hair didn't feel clean, I really noticed a difference after. Soft, shiny and fresh! 

^ Zara loafers

Is Zara having a moment of what?! I remember boycotting it a few years ago because it was all quite tailored and a Zara size M is more like a UK size XXS so nothing ever fit. However lately I am loving the neutral pastels and romantic pieces. These loafers are leg lengthening, comfy and go with everything, deffo a spring must have!

^Bobbi Brown Luxe lip color in Pink Cloud

Every girl needs a pink lipstick and as soon as I saw the gold packaging in the store I made a beeline. I highly recommend actually trying lipsticks on (I never have, only on my hand), but the lady was very nice and sanitized all the pinks so that I could test properly. It looks pretty and fresh, plus the creamy texture feels like a balm, very low maintenance!
I apply a bit of NARS gold digger gloss when I want a bit of sparkle. Best lipgloss ever.

^Alpha H Liquid Gold

I'm new to Alpha H and have heard only good things so when I saw this was on offer I had to snap it up. To be used only at night, it stimulates cell regeneration and fights acne bacteria so you wake up even toned. It's strong so apply with a damp cotton pad. I've been using it twice a week and really like it.

^ K Bye t-shirt

I saw this t-shirt on Instagram last week and had to have it. 'K bye' is my life motto. The instashirt was probably some kind of designer but I found this one on eBay for £9.99! And it comes in all different colours. I think my Instagram version is quite cool too though...

What are your current faves?

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Skinny Breakfast

Given that I'm off to Bali in a few weeks I feel I can't sustain my "be good during the week and pig out at weekends" trend, so I've had to find yummy skinny breakfast alternatives on my cheat days!

Luckily Planet Organic is just down the road, so the other day I ventured inside with a vague plan of finding some kind of healthy bread and toppings.

£10 later I came out with these goodies!

^ Ikea tray, I had to get it, it looks exactly like me and the boyfr. Caveman alert.

^ Profusion protein bread, which tastes just like German rye black bread. Make sure you toast it so that the seed flavours are enhanced!

^ Mixed nut butter, this one contains almonds, cashews, peanuts and hazelnuts. I find it's the closest tasting to naughty peanut butter. Pure almond butter smells DELICIOUS but tastes weird.

^ These punchfood seeds will change your life! The big pouches were sold out, which I took to be a good sign. These ones are the brownie mix, tons of seeds with cacao and coconut. I'm going to try them in porridge and blitzed into banana + nut butter smoothies.

Toast your bread, layer on the butter and sprinkle with salt flakes and about a third of the seeds pack. Pop onto a beautiful plate (Anthropologie) and serve! Slow release energy with a chocolate hit, what more could you want! This portion is approx. 230 cals.

Bikini body Kaftan body here i come... Bon app├ętit!

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

3 Samples - To buy or not to buy?

Hope everyone had a super good Easter break! I ate three large Lindt bunnies and then asked the bf to "hide whatever is remaining for a rainy day".

We'll see.

Anyway the long weekend also gave me a chance to finally try out some product samples I got a while back and wanted to share with you guys.

Origins Plantscription Anti-aging power eye cream

This was a little nondescript for me, no discernible smell, went on nicely enough but no feeling of any "action" happening. Bit hesitant to apply cream to my under-eye area as the skin there is so delicate it can end up absorbing too much and then you get those strange tiny white spots. Overall, a bit meh.

Clinique Pep-Start

I'm a sucker for packaging and this orange shade reminds me of calypsos which I love. Pep-start claims to brighten and tighten under your eyes to fake a good nights' sleep. I didn't have the roller-ball to apply, and yet it still worked amazingly.
It's a pleasant gel cream texture that absorbs fast so you don't work the skin too much. I felt a tingling cooling effect straight away and a few minutes later it seemed my under-eye folds were... smoother. On closer inspection they seemed the same but the overall effect was somehow plumper and more awake. I found my concealer also worked better with this, and made me look more alert. Definitely buying this!

Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins

I really liked this! This night cream contains time-released skin resurfacers as well as Vitamins C & E to beat dullness. It's not too thick, which means you get more slip to do a mini massage and get the circulation going.
It smells of orange peel, but didn't itch or sting at all. Left my skin feeling plumper, tacky but not greasy, and slightly buzzing! When my Avene night cream runs out I will be getting this for sure, I woke up to brighter and smoother skin after just one night of use.

I'm off to drink my third coffee of the day, how brutal has #backtowork been?! Anyone else in love with Pep-Start?

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Make your own - Cleansing Grains

In light of Obama banning plastic micro beads in exfoliating products a few months back, I went round my bathroom and was shocked to see that 90% of my scrubs contained polyethylene beads (looking at you Clinique, what are you doing).

The only products that don't in my collection are Liz Earle (uses Jojoba beads) and Lush (oats and sea salt amongst other natural stuff). But surely, it's easier to add natural exfoliants rather than having to sand down hard shitty plastic to the size of a pinhead.

It really sent me into a spiral of anxiety (the fish are eating the beads, I am eating the fish, I am poisoning myself and in 50 years everyone will be fucked) so I decided to bin all the crap and make my own cleansing grains, because I love you Bobbi Brown but I ain't paying £30 for something I can make myself.

Turns out I have quite an impressive amount of skin happy natural ingredients in my kitchen.

From left to right:

Oats - Absorbs oil and bacteria, good at reducing inflammation. This should always be your base, and then add whatever you want.

Coconut flour - Very soft, I added it because I happen to have it and coconut is basically a superfood.

Coconut sugar - Also happen to have it, you should check it out, tastes like sugar and has the same calories as sugar, but more minerals and generally better for you, if like me you need sugar in your coffee. Good brightening properties.

Turmeric - This has loads of skin benefits, it's anti-bacterial, lightens pigmentation and has anti-aging properties.

Pink Himalayan salt - I have so much pink salt it's insane, I used to drink salt water in the morning to "detox". This phase didn't last long. I use the coarse salt in baths though, huge amounts of minerals that stimulate circulation. Great for exfoliation then!

Rice powder (in the middle) - I have all these strange ingredients, FYI, because I make cookie dough protein balls and they taste amazing, I'll post a recipe. Rice powder has been used for centuries as a natural skin whitener/brightener, which is perfect for this.

One teabag of Dr. Stuarts Skin Purify - Recommended for acne, I keep forgetting to drink it so this is a great way to include it into my cleansing routine.

Lavender - Antiseptic and good for treating burns/scars. Also I love the relaxing scent.

Whiz it all up and you get a coarse powder.

I applied it to my face in small circular movements in the shower on humid skin, and it feels like a real product! I rinsed it off and followed up with my Vichy gel cleanser. Afterwards my skin was clean, soft and calm. I haven't re-invented the wheel here but very happy with this simple DIY fix. I'll be using it on elbows and knees as part of my spring body prep.

Get a pretty jar from Tiger to store this in, and don't leave it on a small plate like I did, otherwise you'll hear your boyfriend call out anxiously "babe, why is there a pile of sand in the bathroom?"
And then you'll be in bed muttering "It's not SAND you twat it's the future".

Should last you ages, use within 3 months.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

5 Top Reads

"Oooh sweet TheStupidZone has done another book list!" - is what I'm hoping someone will say excitedly one day...

I've got 5 really good reads for you again people, quite an uplifting theme this time.
Wonder - R.J. Palacio

August, a 10 year old boy with severe physical deformities is due to start school after being home-schooled his whole life. It's set in NYC and the story is mainly told from Augusts' point of view. I've decided I love books told from a child's perspective, this is a really lovely book you sort of just follow the family along their day to day life. A very relaxing yet emotional read.

The Life and Death of Sophie Stark - Anna North

Life story of a genius/freak filmmaker, told by 6 people who loved her most. A really interesting grown-up book, personally recommended to me (on Instagram) by Lena Dunham so you know it's good!

Where'd you go, Bernadette - Maria Semple

I nearly decided this was my favourite book of all time, but then I got stressed (for zero reason) that Gone Girl then wouldn't be my #1, so Bernadette is a bloody close #2. You land in the middle of a family drama and it's just SUCH a good story. Hilarious and poignant. Absolute must read.

The Kind Worth Killing - Peter Swanson

A chance encounter on a plane leads to two strangers plotting a murder. At the beginning I scoffed a bit like "ummm" but you get totally swept up, just go with it!

Attachments - Rainbow Rowell

It's the end of the 90's and a small newspaper has begrudgingly started using the internet and email in their office. A guy is contracted to keep on an eye on inter-office communications, and gossipy emails between two girlfriends regularly get flagged up. He takes a particular shine to one of the girls... This is a really well written story because your opinion (and mental image) of the guy changes completely from beginning to end. And I love anything related to the 90's! It's not a typical airhead romcom story as the plot suggests, promise.

Please comment  below if  you decide to check one of these out, happy reading!