Monday, 20 October 2014

Monday Musings: Why I don't read fashion magazines, but love #fbloggers

I wanted to try something a bit different and give you more of an opinion piece. In all honesty my motivation is a bit selfish, as I'm trying to cut my spending and looking at ways of blogging without buying so much new stuff! But not only that, I want to branch out a bit. There's a lot more to me than the beauty products I buy, and I want to show you some of the other things in my life.

So, today I thought I'd talk to you about why I don't buy fashion magazines. I'll let you in on a secret - it's not because I don't love fashion. I do! I used to want to be a fashion designer, and looked into studying fashion courses at uni. Thing is I'm crap at the technical/sewing side of things...anyway I love fashion. I love clothes. I love shopping. So why on earth don't I buy the magazines?

Because they mess with my self image. It took me a while to realise it but they do. I used to buy minimum of one magazine a week, often more. I loved looking at the new trends, and where to get the best bargains. I loved imagining myself in that dress, or picking out which of my shoes would go with that outfit. Who doesn't?

But, I gradually began to realise that every time I put the magazine down I became more critical of myself. Punishing myself for eating that biscuit. Hating myself for not having a stomach as flat as that models. It happened over time, not after just one magazine! But it got to the point where I started a food diary. I was a perfectly healthy size 12. I was basically writing this diary to track everything I ate - and feeling bad for every single mouthful. If I wrote down anything, I'd already lost the challenge I'd been setting myself. It's stupid looking back on it now. And it took stopping buying magazines for a few weeks when I was a bit skint to notice I didn't feel quite so bad about myself. So I left it a bit longer, and I felt less bad about myself. And you know what...I cut them out completely. I saved myself a few quid each week, and I felt a crap load better about myself too. Win win. 

But I missed the fashion. It's been about 5 years since I dumped the magazines. My love for fashion never wavered. And here's where you fashion bloggers come in. I love blogging. I love the blogging community. I'm trying desperately not to do fashion blogging too often, as it won't be good for my bank account! But I love love love reading fashion blogs. Outfit of the day posts. Wishlists. Or outfit boards. You really feed my fashion cravings, without making me feel fat or ugly. The blogging community is so supportive and welcoming. And what's more, it's real. You guys aren't airbrushed. You guys aren't borderline anorexic. You're real people, wearing clothes. You're all shapes, sizes, and ages. And you're not forcing diets and exercises down my throat. And you're way more varied and creative in the looks you creative than any magazine I've read. 

So essentially I love fashion bloggers. Leave me your links guys :)

Looking back, that food diary was weird. So were some of the websites I found myself on. I'm in no way suggesting I had an eating disorder or anything like that. But my attitude to food, and to my self image wasn't healthy. I don't think it was particularly extreme or anything, and I soon pulled myself out of it. Stopping reading those magazines helped rather a lot. But if you're finding yourself tracking your food intake, or worrying about your weight - or even hating yourself and how you look you should probably speak to a medical professional about it. I'm not in a position to offer you advice, but they can. They know what a healthy weight is, and how to get you there. They can even prescribe you gym membership in some cases. The point of this point wasn't to highlight any "issues" with myself, but instead celebrate all you wonderful fashion bloggers. How you're the fantastic, confidence boosting, real life alternative to those airbrushed models and celebrities. I'd rather read your posts than glossy magazines any day. 

What do you guys prefer the magazines or the bloggers?

Have you felt your self confidence sinking after reading magazines?

Leave me your comments - I love reading them, every single one. 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Soap & Glory Christmas Gift Wishlist

Now, Christmas is a long way off, I get that. Personally, I don't think about Christmas until December. However, I have to admit, I was in Boots recently and I got completely sidetracked by their Christmas gift selection. In particular the Soap & Glory offerings, I just had to share them with you...

How pretty are they? I'm pretty sure they're 3 for 2 at Boots right now as well. 

So, what would I pick, well apparently just 4, which is weird. I think I'd have to pick two more...

Anyway. we have:

Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Crayons Gift Set RRP £16
This contains three of the lip crayons that sparked my love of lip colour. Shades included are Bashful, which I already own and adore, it's a lovely pink shade, my lips but better. Then there's Fushsia Ristic, which is a bright pink shade. And Raplumzel, which I'm particularly keen to get my hands on as it looks to be a fabulous berry shade - ideal for Autumn/Winter. 

Next up there's the Glamour Push Gift Set RRP £20
This is apparently the must have make up kit. It contains Glow All Out highlighter powder, Supercat eyeliner pen - I swear by this pen! Thick & Fast Mascara, I haven't tried this particular one, but I love the HD version. There's a Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Laquer, that I'm yet to try. And then three eyeshadows - Aubersheen, Taupe Cat and Smokin'. There looks to be plenty here to create a few looks. 

Then there's The Perfect Ten Gift Set RRP £16
This is a limited edition palette. I need this in my life - fact. There's some seriously wearable shades - Soap & Glory's answer to Naked. If I could only pick one set, it'd be this. 

And last, but definitely not least Your Own Sweet Lime Gift Set RRP £10
I love love love love Sugar Scrub. It's basically a mojito for your body as far as I'm concerned. It gives me serious rum cravings, but perhaps that tells you more about my drinking habits than anything. Mojito in the bath anyone? Bliss. 

What would you choose?

Do any of these float your boat, or would you pick something else?

Is it waaaay too early to think about Christmas?!!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Elf vs Illamasqua

Now I happen to think that dupe is a word used faaaar too often in blogging world. So, I'm not going to say it. But, I would like to show you the similarities between a lipstick from elf and another one by Illamasqua. 

Putting them next to one another it's hard to spot the difference isn't it? If you're a fan of either brand you might be able to guess which is which by the packaging. The elf range comes in a matte black tube, whereas the Illamasqua is a lovely glossy black. But in terms of the shade, they're pretty close right?

But how do they swatch?

The elf one is the one to the left, and the Illamasqua to the right. To swatch fairly I swiped three times with each lipstick. Though, in all honesty I think if I'd have swiped slightly less with the Illamasqua then the colours would have been very very similar. So, that suggests the colour pay off is better with the Illamasqua, but then again for £18 you'd expect it to be. 

On the lips these two don't look that different. The Illamasqua swatches quite dark, but it's not as intense on - well it can be, it depends how you layer it. Both of them need reapplications throughout them day, perhaps less with the Illamasqua, but neither go a whole day without a touch up - at least they don't on me. I honestly think for £5 the elf option is a great budget alternative. 

What do you guys think? Fairly similar?

Which would you invest in?

Have you tried either of these?

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Why you need to exfoliate - and my favourite scrub

This right here is a beautiful body scrub. It's lovely and vanillery and autumnal. It smells absolutely amazing, really sweet strong vanilla without being overpowering. It's also a fab scrub! It has little exfoliating beads in, that look very similar to the vanilla beans in vanilla pods - they can't be as that would be a crazy expensive way to exfoliate, but they're pretty convincing. It's a treacle moon scrub, and possibly my first experience of their scrubs. I'm a big lover of their brand as a whole (see my ode to them here) but I have to admit I usually go for their bath range. What I love about the brand is their quirky packaging and blurbs, combined with their amazing scents! The bath ones fill my house with lovely yummy smells. This scrub is no exception, it's a great scrub. It's an even better scent. These guys should make candles!

But why should you be exfoliating? Well basically you're covered in dead skin. Gross right? But it's true. You might just want to moisturise to soothe that flaky skin, but the best way to do it is to buff it all right off. And then moisturise. Sometimes this dead skin clogs up all your pores too, equally gross I know.... Exfoliating can get right in there and remove all the nastiness. 

Scrubs also work wonders on ingrown hairs. Been there, trust me - they work wonders! So get scrubbing after your hair removal ladies.

You ideally want to exfoliate a few times a week, 2 or 3. Less if your skin is quite sensitive. But in areas that are particular dry, and not too sensitive (feet perhaps) you could get away with more. I exfoliate my feet, my elbows and any areas prone to cellulite as a minimum - oh scrubs are also fab on cellulite too! What can't they do? I tend to exfoliate every time I have a bath, as it's my me time. I'm more like to moisturise after a bath. There's no chance after a shower - I'm always running late in the mornings. Moisturising is great after exfoliating as it soothes the skin, and the moisture gets to where it's needed rather than soaking into the dead cells (the ones you've now removed). Luckily for us Treacle Moon also make some lovely moisturisers. 

Treacle Moon are exclusive to Tesco, and also a bargain. 

Have you tried any Treacle Moon?

What's your favourite scrub?

Monday, 13 October 2014

Monday Musings: What being #crueltyfree means to me

Don't worry, before we get into this I am not attempting to convert any one of you. I believe that we're all capable of making our own decisions in life. I respect yours, and would like it if you could respect mine. I just wanted to air my thoughts on this really, as I've been doing this cruelty free lark for a while (see my post back in May pondering if it's possible - please excuse the very early writing/format of the blog), and I'm enjoying it. I try not to talk too much about being cruelty free on the blog, but I do only use and review cruelty free products. My blog is the story of my journey. Why I've chosen it, and what new brands I've discovered along the way. My reason for not rubbing it in your faces, is my knowledge that it is a personal choice for me. I do not believe that I am superior for choosing this, and as such I won't preach to you. If you want to know more about anything, cruelty free or otherwise then please get in touch. Feel free to ask me any questions. I do not profess to being an expert, but I do tend to research things carefully before committing to them. 

Having been on my cruelty free discovery for a few months now, I've discovered a few things. But the most surprising thing is that there's a lot of grey areas when it comes to certain brands. Some people, and particularly bloggers, accept brands as being cruelty free, whereas others question what some might say are widely accepted brands due to aspects such as parent companies. I find this all quite complex. To give you an example, The Body Shop is a widely debated company. This, personally, confuses me. The Body Shop were pioneers when it came to boycotting animal testing and the first international company to sign up to the Humane Cosmetics Standard, they have been awarded for achieving higher standards of animal welfare in the cosmetic category at the first annual awards of the Royal Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the UK, and have been awarded by PETA for their progress in the field. The Body Shop's statement is very simple "We never test on animals" so where's the grey area? The parent company. The Body Shop are owned by L'Oreal, and their animal testing policy is not as clear cut as The Body Shop's. L'Oreal say they do not test, nor get others to test on their behalf. However, they sell in China, where they have to test by law. 

(Here is some further information on the History of The Body Shop)
(Here is an example of a site suggesting you boycott the Body Shop)
(Here is some information on L'Oreal and their animal testing policies)

This is where it is important to make decisions for yourself. Another reason why I don't talk too much about the cruelty free element of the products I choose to use and feature on my blog. Personally, I'm happy to use The Body Shop. Furthermore, I am happy to disregard parent companies based on The Body Shop example. I cannot come to the conclusion that The Body Shop aren't cruelty free, as they've done so much to stop animal testing, it's illogical (to me) to boycott them based on a parent company. I extend that same logic to other brands, meaning I take the brand at face value, and do not get into the complexities of parent companies. But I know a lot of cruelty free bloggers don't share my opinion on this, and that's fine too.

I do not consider myself to be a cruelty free resource. Yes, I feature cruelty free brands. But I do not want the responsibility that goes along with being a resource for others. I do not have a cruelty free list of products or brands. I think people should do a certain amount of their own research if it something they feel strongly about. I do not want others to rely on me, and in much the same way, I do not rely on others. Yes, I read cruelty free blogs. I also email companies directly. I read their animal testing policies and their FAQs. 

Being cruelty free, to me, is a challenge. I manage without eating meat, but I'm fine cooking it for the boy. I don't try to convert him. Being cruelty free, for me, is quite similar. I wanted to see if I could do it (turns out I can) but I'm not interested in converting you guys. In all honesty, I'm not sure that the cruelty free element is what makes you read my blog? Though, tell me if I'm wrong. I've discovered lots of new brands through making this decision/taking the challenge, I've completely switched up my routine, be that bath, skincare or make up. 

How important is being cruelty free to you?

Have you taken the challenge? Have you found new brands to love?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

(photo credit)