Monday, 29 August 2016

Mother Nature

Happy Bank Holiday! Surprisingly England managed to have a sunny Bank Holiday Monday today. This called for a nice leisurely stroll and adventure with my Mum. I absolutely love spending time with her. We spent the day having silly laughs and I listened to the stories she was telling me from when she was younger and used to play around the lake we walked around.

Chase Water is a lake and nice area in general that we luckily have basically on our doorstep. On a sunny day its so lovely to go and visit.

 Theres something about a bright blue sky, fresh green grass and the mesmerising calls of crystal water that just brings so much joy. It's definitely good for the soul.

I have a flat in Birmingham for uni which, of course, is very much a city lifestyle, so coming home and walking around with greenery and almost a countryside vibe is so refreshing. I often find my thoughts wondering away with themselves whilst I'm walking not even realising the time time passing.

Rocking a slightly short shirt dress and dolly shoes today. Simplistic, but chuck on some sunglasses and the staple Michael Kors bag and you're onto a winner!

It's ironic really isn't it? There are so many paths in life, sometimes you can be overwhelmed with which to take. 

I know whichever path I follow, my rock and hero of a best friend; my Mum, will be right there. 

I peered over the bank and watched people participate in all sorts of water sport. I wasn't even too sure what it exactly was they were doing, but I did laugh at one young guy fall off and into the water - does that make me mean?

Suddenly that country character had faded and we were at a beach! (not quite). There were families sunbathing, dogs swimming and children playing. It felt like we were miles and miles away.

We stumbled
 across the speed boat club over there, found ourselves a bench and sat and nibbled some sweet, tasty strawberries! 

I've always been quite fearful of swans, but I have to admit, they're pretty creatures.

I can remember being younger and that tiny castle seemed so huge; I used to love it! Now I just walk past and smile, reminiscing on the memories I have there and watch the cute baby ducklings bobbing along without a care in the world. 

I bought Mum some Converse - she got blisters in them from this walk. Oopsie, sorry Mum!

Of course we wouldn't have been able to enjoy our walk and adventure in the sunshine without my Mum insisting on us having an ice cream! I know the purpose of walking is to be fit and healthy but this was certainly worth the calories. Mmmmm!

After we demolished our naughty treat, we carried on our walk to my Nan and Grandad's house AKA my happy place. Ending a lovely afternoon full of laughs and tasty food with even more amazing company. I love that I have such a humble and happy family life. No amount of money could compare to time well spent with the right people. Today was totally free (apart from the ice creams of course) and yet it was so lovely! Never take advantage of where you come from or who you are. Remember, some people are so poor, all they have is money.

Thanks for reading,
Hayley xxx

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

The Body Bible

Apologies for the lack of blog posts in the past few months soooo much has been going on!! But I am back and plan to blog regularly (fingers crossed).

I was around the age of 14 when I first discovered an overwhelming sense of dislike for myself or more particularly my body. I can remember thinking "Why isn't my tummy as flat as my friends?" and "I wish I could just get a pair of scissors and chop off my tummy". These are probably the most polite and less dark thoughts I had, but still, they portray how low I was and my thought processes back then. 
 I would be extremely sad about not always being a size 8 UK size clothing, more often than not being a size 10. And as the years went on, my obsession with myself and my body grew and grew and not in a stuck up or snooty way; this kind of self obsession is quite the opposite. 
 I would google about all sorts of weight loss surgery, how to lose weight and tried crash diets all the time. Looking back now I wish that I could slap myself, tell myself that I was nowhere near overweight and to stop worrying over such ridiculous, trivial matters such as my belly! 
 I am in no way saying that sitting, typing this post as a 20 year old woman that I have decoded the art of self love and have incredibly profound body confidence. But I have made baby steps and I can say that I am getting there.
It's such a bizarre feeling being such a feminist and girls girl who, will so openly celebrate women and their successes, their journeys and their beauty of all shapes and sizes; yet be such a critic of my own.
 I'm not too sure what made me write this, but it's an issue I am passionate about and an art I am desperately trying to improve my skills in. I know so many girls, all shapes and sizes, can really struggle with body confidence for all sorts of reasons. Whoever is kindly taking the time to read this post, know that you're so beautiful. 

Whenever I (or any of you) feel low, remember you should worship your body and treat it right. Think of your own body bible, for example:

  • STOP - put an end to any negativity in your life; do you surround yourself with people who put others down? People who slate others and don't embrace others beauty but instead pass nasty remarks? Are your 'friends' pressuring you to alter your image? You're only as good as the company you keep, unfortunately even the most independent of people will be influenced by negativity. Remove any of these people from your life, not in a malicious manner but just take a back seat from those who don't positively influence your life and make you happy
  • DO SOMETHING - as long as whatever you do won't hurt anybody else then do something about whatever is getting you down. If shedding a few pounds is all it will take for you to feel 100 times better, then exercise more, eat a little healthier. If you wish you had shorter hair but you're scared that 'society' will describe you as not feminine then stick your middle finger up to society and chop it off! 
  • EMBRACE - unlike weight loss or haircuts, there are just some things that can't be changed or take a lot more work to alter, so learn to embrace those aspects. My fellow big boob girls understand me when I say alter necks and strapless tops are mortifying! Because suddenly just because your breasts are larger, you're conveying promiscuous imagery of yourself by having them on show even though a cleavage is a cleavage and boobs are just boobs! Smaller busted girls there is no miracle bra thats going to give you Katie Price melons! Sorry to rain on your parade but just take a look in vogue - those gorgeous models are all much flatter chested and still represent women in the worlds hugest magazine. Basically ladies, just use what you see as your imperfection and turn it into something you love about yourself. Tell yourself you love the gap in your teeth, it makes your smile unique. Say that you love having a big butt and shake it on the dance floor. Tell yourself that skinny doesn't mean your any less of a woman and flaunt your hot bod in a bikini with confidence!
This is all a lesson in progress and I hope that we can all learn to respect and not reject ourselves! 

Thank you for reading,

Hayley xx

Friday, 20 May 2016

Stay In Your Own Lane.

Well it has been a while since I last posted hasn't it?! Uni work and life seem to have thrown a curveball at my dedication to my blog; but I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things because it truly brings me joy.
The past month or so, anxiety along with all its nerve-racking elements have been out in full force causing unexpected sadness, panic and unexplainable outbursts of anger. So you could say I've been living the life of a five year old infant having a tantrum! But I've certainly learnt a few things with regards to dealing with all things anxiety related and general day to day problems which I really want to share with you.
 Far too often I hear people around me and catch myself comparing to others. Rather than enjoying what I'm doing, I'm kicking myself because somebody else has done better. Here are a few tips for dealing with momentary lapses of belief in your awesome self:

- Rather than doubt that you can do something, give it a go. Say yes to challenges you wouldn't normally do, you never know, you may just surprise yourself
- If you completely fail at whatever challenge you attempted, don't be gutted that you didn't do well, be proud that you tried
- Boost your fitness levels; who cares if there are fitter people than you at the gym or in your spin class? Rather than focusing on the fact that someone can do double the amount of press ups you can or run for five minutes longer than you, focus on improving your own set of reps and running further than you did last time. Even if its one more press up or one more minute on your time of running, its all about self improvement
- Take pride in your exam results or any personal achievements you attain; the person who got a few more marks than you in one subject may completely suck at something you thrive at, not everything is for everyone
- Take up new hobbies; try reading for fun rather than relating reading to the boring text books you have to plough through, join a yoga class, anything you wouldn't ordinarily do, do!
- Remember to praise yourself and take a moment to think of three things you've done that day that you're proud of; this could be cooking a new meal you've not tried before, holding a door open for somebody or putting together a new makeup look that made you feel a tad more confidant
- Allow yourself to have your down moments; you're only human, you're allowed to cave into the  pressure life throws at you, but after five minutes, wipe away your tears, fix your makeup and start again as your bad ass self - never give up

The whole point is quite literally to stay in your own lane, focus on yourself, you'd be surprised how many demons and weaknesses those you wish you were like, actually have. Remember, people don't post their down times on social media or boast about their failures - we all have our weaknesses. Just take some time to appreciate your own strengths.

In anxious times of panic, inhale confidence and exhale negativity. Drink plenty of water, surround yourself by positive people and be kind to everyone you meet (even the ass holes), everyone is going through their own struggle.

Stay beautiful and be happy!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

The Detox ...

It's official. I am detoxing from all of the naughty things! I've always eaten a healthy diet purely through preference, I love anything vegetarian and would choose a plate of vegetables over any form of meat any day! I'm not a vegetarian, I do eat chicken , but I'm such a fussy eater I wouldn't really know what to class my diet as. I won't bore you with the details of what I do and don't like, as I just said, I'm extremely fussy.
 Over the past year or so I have become more inclined to order takeaways. Pizza has became my boyfriend and well, I can never say no to a night on the town! As much as the party animal within me thinks it's a great idea to down sambuka like there's no tomorrow and the greedy guts in me wants nothing but a vegi volcano pizza from Domino's, enough is enough!!
 I love exercising and I love living a healthy lifestyle, I'm lucky that it generally suits me as a person. I'm not one to squirm at the idea of salads or cry at the thought of a run; these things are of interest to me. The reason this time I'm determined to smash my weight loss/fitness goals is purely for self happiness. Whenever I stop eating junk food, drink more water, cut out the caffeine and cut out the alcohol, I feel so much more refreshed.
 The temptation to not cook, pick up the phone and order takeaway can be appealing, but I know I'd rather spend a little more time in the kitchen prepping food knowing that my body will be full of nutrients and all smiley on the inside, than to have relaxed on the sofa, put on two pounds and make my body hate me!
 Last night, my flat mate and other friend ordered a domino's pizza and asked me if I wanted to join in, this was the closest to breaking point I could ever get - pizza is my weakness! Yet i thought about it, rather than as pizza, as what it actually is; what is in the food. The fat, the salt, the calories all of the things I know my body doesn't want. I managed to sit and watch them eat their pizza's and ate my chicken and brown rice. After jumping over that hurdle I know I can stick to this, pizza lovers out there, surely you feel my struggle?!
So I've been keeping a food diary on the app My Fitness Pal, which I would highly recommend as a way to keep tabs on your calorie intake. I have been sticking to fresh foods, and have banned myself from alcohol for the foreseeable future.

What I am detoxing from:

- Caffeine
- Alcohol
- Take aways
- Any naughty foods!!

What I am switching it to:

- Peppermint tea / hot lemon water
- Fresh fruit and vegetables, chicken, whole wheat products
- Alternative's to fatty foods

I'm by no means over weight and I've never exceeded a size 12 in clothing, but I'm really hoping to make a change to my body both internally and externally. If you know that you've had a few too many nights out, perhaps eating too much junk or even a smoker; why not think about what would make your body happy?

I'm leaving this blog post here and I'll update throughout my health/fitness journey!

Thanks for reading, Hayley x

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Get The Look: Spring Golds And Nudes With The Naked 3 Palette

I'm always switching up my makeup look so I don't tend to have a routine which I follow every single day. However, as seasons change it's nice to have some sort of theme; within winter I love to rock the dark lips and smokey eye - and don't get me wrong, I will still do this sort of look all year round (what a rebel!).
Over the past year or so, I have been reaching for my Urban Decay Naked 3 palette. It is such a versatile and very beautiful palette which can be adapted from day to night time and you can achieve all sorts of looks.

The palette contains 12 rose toned shades that begin light and gradually get darker. You can create shimmery glittery pink eyeshadow looks or experiment with the darker shades. If you combine the two you can achieve a fantastic, sexy and sultry look. Each shade features Urban Decay's Pigment Infusion System - a proprietary blend of ingredients that gives each shade its velvety texture, rich colour, serious staying power and durability. 
The packaging of the product is a very art-school inspired tin case and adds a sense of professionalism to the product, the rose gold background and yellow gold detailed writing is such a luxuriously put together palette. This item made my heart race and my eyes popped out of head when it was released therefore just like most makeup addicts out there, I had to get it! 
I was lucky to receive this as a birthday gift last year and I still use this more days than not!

Winged liner with a blend of
  • Strange
  • Trick
  • Nooner
  • Factory
  • Darkside

Closeup view

For this golden/bronze toned look I started in the inner corners of my eyes with the first shade in the palette, 'Strange'.  I swept it across the entirety of the lid but popped a little more on the inner corners. I also added a highlight shade here from a Sleek contour and highlight kit. I then took the shade 'Trick' which is a stunning bronze colour and very well pigmented shadow, I used a real techniques base brush and started from a quarter of the way into my eyelids and swept it all the way out. 
 I then wiped the base brush so that there was basically no eyeshadow on it and swept it across so that the two blended smoothly. 
 I then used 'Nooner' which is a pink toned light brown shade, on a blending brush and started from the outer corner and into the socket of my eyelids. This created a subtle shadow and gave the look some dimension. On the same brush, I used 'Factory', this time focusing much more on applying it to the outer corners and only ever such a slight blend. The reason we don't blend this shade is it has a shimmer finish, and it's only matte shades that suit  being blended into the socket for the purpose of creating dimension. 
 Finally I took the shade 'Darkside' on the base brush and focused solely on the outer corners and then with the same highlight from the Sleek highlight and contour kit, I popped a little along my brow bone to bring the look together!
Once you've finished the eyeshadow routine, to make the eyes look popping and wide awake, a black liquid liner will really make your eyes stand out. I used Collection's liquid liner pen in black, any liquid eyeliner should suffice - I would always go for a pen for better precision. 
 Start off in the inner corners, make this as thick or thin as you like and depending on your eye shape, I have quite big eyes and eyelids so I like to have quick thick eyeliner, but it's all about personal preference!
 From the inner corner, glide a straight line to the outer corner and then, just like most things in my life, I wing it! 
 I tend to opt for a winged liner everyday, again through personal preference. Some eye shapes suit much more to use just the liner and end where the eye ends. If this is new territory for you, play around with it, make up is fun and artistic and if it goes wrong you can simply wipe it off. 

 After the eyeliner, batter those fluttery lashes onto a mascara of your choose and you'll be looking like a woman who has her life together (It's great creating such a deceitful illusion!).

This eye makeup is beautiful when paired with a nude lipstick, I lined my lips with Essence lipliner in 'Nude' and I then went over with M.A.C's lipstick in 'Shy Girl'. Oh and of course the best thing any girl can wear is a smile - so don't forget to pop one of those on your pretty faces too!

The overall look is finished with a slight contour with bronzer (I used Benefit's Hoola). And there you have it! A stunning bronzed goddess style makeup look perfect for spring (or anytime really). 

Thanks for reading, Hayley, x

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Marching Out ...

Three days into the fresh month of April and I'm reflecting on the previous month, my gosh, it was a whirlwind! It was filled with both stress and enjoyment, highs and lows; but most importantly, memories!

I'm going to cheat a little here by starting with the 29th February. The leap year certainly brought me some luck (hopefully I won't have to wait another four years for further luck). I managed to pass my driving test on this date which has to be one of my proudest achievements yet! Wow was I relieved to finally be able to stop having driving lessons and to actually be able to drive on my own. I passed second time (apparently all the best drivers do, so I'll take that) and I was thrilled. My 'learning to drive experience' was a very odd one. I was far from lucky. I started learning to drive in 2014, this driving instructor was a grumpy old man and I found myself cancelling lessons. I then had periods of time off from learning to drive and by periods of time I'm talking 8 months without a lesson - yes ok I slacked, my bad. I then had to find another instructor. I trusted my pal's recommendation (big mistakeooo) and the guy I then had was very touchy and weird, to say the least. So upon passing my test I was just excited to not have a creep grab my legs and stare at me intensely whilst I changed gear! (how did this dude find my ditzy attempt at driving so, appealing?)

Then within the actual month of March, my anxiety hit a high and I had to leave a job due to stupid panic attacks - yippee. 
 I'm a second year law student and I had my Public Law exam to sit, which, on reflection (touch wood) was okay, well, as okay as a three hour exam can be. Since then I've had a little bit of time off and have let myself have a great time before final semester kicks my ass! 
 My parents went away on holiday so I had various friends come stay over, went out clubbing (a lot) and I allowed myself to be happy. To me this happiness came in all sorts of flavours, some were  Jäger flavoured, some tasted of my Nanny Joan's chicken dinner - its all about balance. But all jokes aside, I really have found this last month has shown me all the little forms of happiness. 

Heres my list of five happy's this month:

1. Spending time with my grandparents
2. Sleeping in and not feeling guilty
3. Going to my best friend's house, applying face masks and fooling around
4. Getting dressed up, applying pretty makeup and going out 
5. Being offered my very first mini pupilage (this will mean nothing if you don't study law, but essentially work experience with a barrister's chambers!) 

Although there were intense and very stressful moments last month, I'm learning to not focus on these moments or allow them to push out my happy memories, but to spend time remembering the happy times. This is something I need to do much more and hopefully allow myself to lead as much of a positive life as possible. Don't allow yourself to moan about a day of rain and forget about the week of sunshine. 

As I begin the next two modules of my degree I plan to spend time being a focused, organised and positive person! How was your March? I hope April is a good month for all!!

Thank you for reading, Hayley x

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Bank Holiday Beauty

Hey, hi, welcome! I know this post is a couple of days late however I've been recovering from a boozy bank holiday! Whoopsie. (Always drink responsibly)
 With bank holiday comes the peer pressure from your friends to get absolutely wasted and of course they just make you put on a nice, dress blast music and force those jager bombs down your throat - not self inflicted at all!
 A lot of people hit the town as early as thursday through til monday however myself and my pals went out on Saturday and Sunday.  We had a more causal pub type setting on the Saturday and went clubbing on the Sunday. We made tons of new, funny memories and danced the weekend away!

Being an utter makeup maniac, my favourite part is planning the face of the evening, the curial lashes or no lashes decision. What lipstick will I wear? Smokey or subtle? You know the drill.

On Saturday I opted for wavy hair, a slightly smokey eye paired with a nude lip and light contour. I didn't actually get a selfie that night so I've had to crop out my friends from this picture but hopefully you can see the type of look I was going for.

For this look, I used Esteè Lauder double wear foundation (I reviewed this foundation here ) with Collection concealer to highlight my under eyes and T zone. I then used the Sleek brow kit on my eyebrows and used the eyeshadow from this duo set in the crease of my eyes and blended it out. For liquid eyeliner I glided Collections black liquid eyeliner pen along my lash line of my upper lids. I then grabbed the colossal mascara from Maybelline and blinked on the wand a few times before applying Eyelure eyelashes in number 080. Under my eyes I used an angled brush and took the brown eyeshadow as previously mentioned and swept it along the lash line. On my cheeks I used Benefit's Hoola bronzer to contour in the hollows with M.A.C's blusher in peaches on the apples. I then went over the top of my cheek bones and under eye with M.A.C's soft and gentle mineralise skin finish. For lipstick I used Essense lipliner in nude and an Essence nude lipstick. 

Sunday was more of a full on heavy make up look as we were going clubbing so it was much more suitable, and I love any excuse to go wild with my make up brushes!

Eyes closed makeup.

I can only apologise again for the poor quality of the photograph but here I went for much more of a voluminous hair look with bigger girls and a fuller face of makeup
I used pretty much the same products here, I just applied them differently. This is a great skill to acquire as it stops you spending a ton of money on lots of products, as in most cases you can switch up your makeup look by the heaviness in which you apply. The differences I made here include mixing the double wear foundation with Rimmel Match Perfection in the shade 103 true ivory. The mixture of the two products created a much more glowy and thicker consistency. I set the foundation with Rimmel's Stay Matte powder in 003, when using powder be sure to only use a light dusting of it so that you don't take away the glow of the foundation. 
For my eyes I used an unbranded eye shadow palette it just says "colour couture" on the front (sorry for the lack of detail, this palette was a gift and I'm not sure where it was from). However you can use any brand so long as it includes dark browns, greys and blacks. I didn't use a base colour, just the foundation I'd put on my face; I went straight in with a crease brush from Real Techniques with a dark brown, I then applied dark grey tones. Once they had blended I took a black with the same brush and stroke it into the outer corners of my eyelids. Once that blended, I took a lighter brown and blended slightly above where I had previously applied. This method creates the shadowed look and allows the eyeshadow to appear much better put together than the appearance of chalky unblended eyeshadow. If you accidentally use too much light brown and lose the darkness of the black in the corner just slowly and lightly apply a little more black on the outer corners (be careful when using black eyeshadow, it can be make or break!)
I then used the Collection black liquid eyeliner and created a winged cat eye look and applied the same false lashes. This time I popped a little mascara on before the lashes as well as after.
The contour on my face was using the same products as before I just applied more bronzer and a little more blusher. 
Finally, for the nude lip, I used that same essence nude liner but used a mixture of nude lipsticks. By using different shades of the same colour you can create shadows with the darkest colour and highlight with the lightest colour.

Eyes open makeup

And they are my bank holiday beauty looks! What did you get up to over the Easter break/ bank holiday? I hope this is useful to some of you who struggle when deciding what look to go for. My top tip would be; when going for darker, dramatic eye looks, always go for a nude lip! If you are opting for a subtle eye look, go for a bright or dark lip.

Thanks for reading, Hayley x

Sunday, 20 March 2016

What do you want to be?

For as long as I can remember, this is the most commonly asked question to exist. I can remember being a little girl with piggy tails and cute dresses, and the biggest concern I had would be what to name my new dolls (this took a lot of thought and consideration, usually based on my favourite Spice Girl/Girls Aloud member or princess), what I wanted for my dinner and trying to run around care free without falling and grazing my knees (although the worst part was always when you landed on your hands and they scraped along the pavement whilst you flew).
 Even at such a tender, vulnerable age, family and teachers would say "What do you want to do when you're older, Hayley? What do you want to be?" and the imaginative little soul I was would conjure up responses like "A singer!" as I jumped around belting out either a 60's love ballad, any of Cher's album (Believe and If I could turn back time being firm faves) or Lady Marmalade - I had a VERY varied taste of music. But whatever the genre, I loved the idea of performance and telling a story through song.
 Then when I would be asked again, and again, and again, over the years I had decided I was going to be a teacher, a dancer, an author, a hairdresser, a princess, a tennis player (I remember being adamant about this one and I haven't a clue where it came from, I was far from sporty), and the list went on and on. Back then, being so young and sweet, not feeling restricted and being around other children who were going to be spiderman, a footballer or a ballerina were the best days of my life. When no one would say "you can't do that", "oh that's a bit tricky Hayley".
 But then as we grow, and as we age, this question is asked more frequently but the responses you get in return get more and more critical. Now I'm not for one minute saying to become spiderman and physically live the day to day life of a fictional character is realistic but even careers you hear in day to day conversation, people tell you are impossible.
 For the last four or five years, I've wanted to be a barrister, this has been the aim. I had confident, clear visualisations of myself in a court room as a strong advocate and achieving justice for people. I studied law at A-Level and I'm currently in my second year of my law degree at the University of Law. In fact, I have an exam in two days time and really ought to be going over my revision notes instead of rambling on a blog. However my recent frame of mind and revision mode gave some sort of epiphany. I realised that over my journey of university my confidence has been on a downward spiral and at its lowest, I found myself saying "I can't do that" more times than I ever have in my life.   Law is a competitive field and I've met some wonderful people along the way, but also some
not-so-wonderful people who influence their negative mindset upon their peers, to a point where I began to believe these people. I've never been afraid of a challenge and it saddens me to notice my downfall of dedication recently.
 The point I'm trying to make here is, regardless of whether I still want to be a barrister, or a writer, or even a hairdresser, the question "What do you want to be" and the answers we give back become more and more apprehensive as we grow up. I know myself I have lied to people with my answers because I'm worried what response I might get, because I might sound too ambitious and need to be more realistic. Or I've felt a need to say a certain career because of the pressure of the necessity to be successful.
So rather than concentrating on what I wanted to be, I'm working on who I want to be. Because no matter what career path I end up taking, how much money I earn, or how many knock backs I receive, I want to be the kind of person that encourages others to achieve their goals. I've experienced the words and looks off negative people, and allowed them to effect my mindset and I know that I never want to do that to somebody else. I know that I want to be a friendly, approachable and loving person. I know that I want to see the world, care for my family and make memories with my friends. I want to spread positivity amongst people, become as charitable as I can, help the less fortunate. I have so many little goals which aren't feasible through what grades I ascertain or determined by the job I choose.

I'm aware this is a long, ramble of a blog so a huge round of applause to anyone who read all of this, but I needed to write down these thoughts somewhere!

Thanks for reading, Hayley x

Saturday, 27 February 2016

The Crêperie

Happy weekend to you all! My friend and I started our weekend off with a trip to a cute little crêperie that we'd had our eye on for while. It's safe to say they went down an absolute treat! 

The Pear Tree Creperie Swinfen

Cheese and tomato galette

Goats cheese, tomato coulee and walnut galette

The restaurant itself was super adorable and definitely had the french atmosphere going on. When it came to deciding whether to go for sweet or savoury, we opted for the savoury galette as appose to the sweet crepe (however this was a tough choice as nutella was all over that sweet menu). It was a lovely place and I will definitely be returning in future! Its always nice to try new foods. What's your favourite type of food?

Thanks for reading,
Hayley xx

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Get The Look: How To Get Bigger Lips Without Botox

I'd first of all like to apologise for neglecting my blog for the past few weeks, hopefully this post will make up for it and I hope these tips are helpful!
Lipstick trends have excelled over the years, the matte lip look commenced in the 1930's, which of course was rather the life changer for all women and still to this day prevails most other lip looks. Of course we also have the 1950's to thank for creating the first long lasting lip stick (life saver). The most iconic of which was the deep red tones popularised by Marilyn Monroe, whose trends still live on to this day. The 1980's brought us the head turning electric bright purple and pink toned lipsticks emphasised on idols such as Madonna. The 1990's were the first to show us the idea of creating an illusion of bigger lips by using a darker lip liner and filling in with a lighter lipstick - Spice Girl fans, you remember this one!

Marilyn Monroe - Original trendsetter and beauty icon

Angelina Jolie - Queen of the pout, beauty goddess.

Kylie Jenner - Most recent powerful pout.

 So it is safe to say that the ever-changing world of make up and beauty has seen its fair share of crazily colourful, gobsmackingly glossy and naked nudes in its time. 2016 is no exception, thanks to Kylie Jenner setting the trend of fuller pouty lips, the make up world is pout-ragous! 
 Of course our celebrity idols have the money to pay for botox on their pretty little faces, but if you're anything like me, rather a wuss when even thinking about a needle or just don't have the money to pay for fillers; I have the trick for you!
 (DISCLAIMER: This is not saying that girls with smaller lips are any less beautiful than those with fuller lips, I just enjoy creating new looks and emphasising the lip is something I think looks truly beautiful.)

Lips before any product is on
I have rather full lips to begin with however this doesn't matter, any size lip should benefit from a few tips and tricks I have learnt over the years. You want to start off with nothing on your lips, wipe off any foundation that may be there from finishing the rest of you make up and ensure there is not product or dry skin - this will prevent any matte products from clinging onto the dry areas.

M.A.C Studio Finish Concealer in NW15
The first step is to apply concealer all over the lips, don't go too over board, it is only a base to take away the red/pink pigment from your lips. This will then even out with the rest of your skin tone and allow us to create whatever shape we would like. I use the M.A.C Studio Finish concealer as it is the perfect consistency. If you use a more liquid based concealer you may find yourself going over the top on application of the product, a better tip would be to use a creamier concealer and apply with your own brush.
Lips with just concealer
Once you have applied concealer, choose a lipliner only slightly darker than the colour of the lipstick you are using, if it is a very dark shade of lipstick you will be using then the same colour liner would be suitable too. 
Lips with Essence Soft Berry lipliner 
Line around the lips, just slightly outside of your actual lip line, however don't draw too far away or else you're going to look like a crazy clown and nobody wants that! Shade in the outer corners with the liner and soften the pressure you apply as you draw into the middle of the lip. You don't need to worry about being neat on the shading as you're going to cover it, but the idea of creating darker areas on the outside and lighter on the inside will shape a plump pout. At this stage you're going to look a tad silly but you should already notice a pout forming and the lips looking larger.
Lips filled in with M.A.C lipstick in Brave
You then need to fill in the rest of your lip with your chosen lipstick. A good tip for durability is to actually colour in the lips with your lipliner and then apply lipstick as it will ensure that your lipstick stays on and doesn't budge. However, for beginners I would stick to these steps as the outline will give you guidance for where to apply the lipstick and still have the shadowed effect. Once you have applied your lipstick you may notice an obvious difference in the colour of lip liner and lipstick, just use your finger to gently blend the two together so that they still look real, the idea is that you're creating an illusion that you really have big lips - not that you've obviously overdrawn them!

Final lip look after adding highlighter into the middle of the lips
The final step which will bring it all together is to add a highlighter into the middle of both lips. You'll only need a very little amount, I just dabbed my index finger into the highlighter which comes in the Sleek contour kit and patted it into the middle of my lips and along my cupids bow (the lines between your nose and top lip). Any highlighter will suffice as long as it isn't a liquid highlighter as this will remove the lipstick and won't work at all.  You can play around with this as much as you like, you can add more liner at the end if you want more emphasis or use your finger to blend if they're too bold. It is all about your own preference. The key trick to remember, as with any form of contouring is apply the darker shades outside and highlight in the middle.


I hope this routine can help those of you who are lusting over luscious lips! Why let a surgeon prod at your body when you can do it for yourself pain free?! If you do recreate this look be sure to let me know, I'd love to see!

Thanks for reading,
 Hayley x

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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Water You Waiting For?

So, I thought I'd just write a short sharp post about the importance of hydration. I hope many of you benefit from reading this, but if not, it will benefit me to look back on and remind myself to drink some more water!
I don't struggle with drinking water at all, I know that some people don't like the taste, find it boring or would just rather be drinking better beverages. But although a glass of fizzy pop or a can of energy drink may seem more appealing, there really is no better beverage than water. My main struggle is drinking the recommended amount, which is roughly two litres. 
Brita filter bottle: £15

I  decided that if I invested a little bit of money into a nice filter bottle, this would encourage me to drink more water, and it has! I decided to go for the Brita filter bottle (in pink obviously) after being recommended by a friend. At this point it was on sale in Tesco for £10 so shop around before committing to the full price. The bottle came with four filter discs which if bought separately are about £7 for 8 discs.

What is the importance of drinking water?
  • Hydrates brain cells
  • Helps you to lose weight - controlling your calorie intake
  • Oxygenates blood and lungs
  • Generates energy - thus avoiding cravings for caffeine or other addictions
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Keeps the skin looking good - so so important for the maintenance of fresh skin
  • Boosts metabolism and aids normal bowel movement
  • Composes 75% of your brain and 75% of your muscle
  • Slows down the ageing process and helps to prevent memory loss
The list could go on and on but those points in my opinion are a massive wake up call to get my butt into gear and drink water! I would also urge you to try and get any elderly relatives to try and up their intake of water, as its even more important for them in preventing deterioration of memory and their organs as with age comes fatigue thus becoming a little more frail (even if they won't admit it). 

How to make yourself drink more water.
  • With every meal and snack drink water, start of with half a pint and build up
  • Eat more vegetables - they're so good for your diet and contain water
  • Try jazzing it up - if you're a major fizz junkie, to begin with go for cordial or flavoured water
  • Download a water app on your phone to keep track of your intake
I hope this helped some of you, once you've read this, go grab yourself a nice cold glass of water; you'll thank me later!

Thanks for reading, Hayley x

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Get The Look: Everyday No-Makeup Makeup Look

As much as I adore all things glittery, bright and dramatic, I've recently been enjoying stripping back my makeup look to appear more natural. As a university student and general CBA kinda girl I benefit from the ability to throw on my makeup as quick as possible! If this allows half an hour longer in bed, then it's a win win situation!
I've not always had the confidence to go for the minimal makeup approach as, like many other girls, I feel the need to go above and beyond with my makeup so that other people don't look at me and think I look like a ten year old boy! However, I've realised that people (especially boys) quite frankly do not care less whether you chiselled that contour cheek or defined your brows to extreme lengths. So if it is a guy you wear your makeup for I can assure you most of them don't know whether it is highlighter on your face or sweat; or whether you have cat flick eye liner or just slipped with the 'stuff you put on your eyes'. 
Personally I've never wore makeup for the approval of boys, no man is worth that amount of money, £30 on a foundation for someone who doesn't know that M.A.C is something other than a burger?! My confidence in makeup has always been for my own satisfaction or general perceptions, mainly from other girls. Which, as a girl, I know that 99% of us would embrace each other's beauty regardless! So I've been really enjoying this no-makeup make up look!

Moisturiser: Nivea day cream
Foundation: Estée Lauder Double Wear In 1N2 ENCRU
Concealer: Collection Lasting Perfection in 1 fair
Mascara: Maybelline the Falsies Volum' Express
Brows: Sleek Brow Kit in Dark
Bronzer: Benefit Hoola
Lipliner: Essence 05 Soft Berry
Lipglass: M.A.C Boy Bait

For this look it is important to remember to moisturise, this will add an automatic glow to the skin before you've even started! I'm currently enjoying Nivea's daily essentials rich moisturising day cream. I use one for dry and sensitive skin, it is gentle on the skin as it contains natural almond oil and hyrdra IQ with SPF 15. For a respectable high street price, this brand won't let you down.
 After you've rubbed in the moisturiser, grab your foundation, whichever make you're using and place a few small dots around your face. I'm using my holy grail Estée Lauder. If you have a beauty blender or beauty sponge of any kind, that would be preferable as it will leave better coverage/finish than fingers or a brush. I use the Real Techniques sponge and dab it into the skin repeatedly until it is sank in with an even finish. 
I then do my eyebrows using the Sleek Brow Kit, I love this product! I line the brow with the waxy product with a Real Techniques angled brush and then blend the powder product using the same brush. I tend to create a rather angled, square shape as it suits my face better than an arch! 
After this, I create a triangles shape under my eyes with the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer, the old Kim K trick to brighten and lift your under eyes - never fails! I've used this cheap and cheerful concealer for years, and although I love M.A.C I actually prefer this one. I blend this out with a Real Techniques highlight brush (breaking the rules!), the trick for awakening your under eyes is to drag the product upwards as if you're aiming for the tip of your ear. If you drag the product downwards you will create a slumped look which will lead to the opposite effect! 
I then used my Benefit hoola bronzer, a firm favourite of mine and if you're a newbie to the makeup world, I recommend this bronzer as it really does suit most skin tones. It's a fantastic product to contour with however for this look, you just want to take a blusher brush in the hollows of the cheeks and sweep it until just before the apple of the cheek. Then, sweep the remainder of the product on the brush along the temples of the cheeks, slightly over the nose and just under your chin to create natural shadows. Hoola has been described as 'beach in a box' which is a perfect description of the product, it isn't too red or brown, it is a perfect tanned colour which can  be applied subtly or made buildable. It also comes with a little brush that you may wish to use however I prefer to use a Real Techniques blusher brush. 
The next step is to flutter your eyelashes onto a nice dark black mascara of your choice, I used Maybelline the Falsies which I have been enjoying although I would say Lash Sensational is a better choice. I emphasise the importance of the darkness of a mascara for this look because as it is already a minimal look, it makes such a difference when your eyelashes stand out for that fresh awakening glow. Greyish toned or brown mascaras won't have the same effect.
Finally the lip trick! The big, plump lip is a massive trend right now thanks to Kylie Jenner, for an everyday neutral and natural look, try using a slightly dark lipliner and draw just above your own lip. I used Essence in soft berry, blend softly into your natural lip line with your finger to create a shadowed effect. Then use a nice clear or slightly pink/peach lipgloss to bring together the fuller lip look you desire! I went for M.A.C in boy bait. Using a gloss will not only look pretty, but the shine creates an illusion of a fuller, plump lip.

This look takes literally ten minutes and is my current go too routine for weekdays particularly. If  you find yourself on a day where there is more chance of pigs flying than you waking at the crack of dawn and dream of having a little longer in bed, then give this look a go! Tweak it to your own preference and see how you can make a put-together looking face become much more simple! I really think natural looks can bring out your features even more than using multiple products, embrace your natural beauty ladies!

Thank you for reading, Hayley x

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Costa Del Birmingham

Monday is like marmite, you either love it or you hate it! What I've learnt from previous Monday morning melancholy is too treat the challenging first day of the week as a motivation for the rest of the week to come. What better time to make good changes and big things happen than at the start of the week? This will lead to a positive outlook for the upcoming days and make yourself feel uplifted.
Yesterday (Monday) I had no lectures or any reason to wake early or actually to do anything. However my friend Jess and I chucked on our layers and coats, wrapped up warm and ventured into Birmingham City Centre. Although there were a few bits that we needed to pick up, there was no actual aim for the trip however theres something rather motivating about wondering around, people watching and seeing where the day takes you.
Our day took us to Costa, one of my favourite pit stops ever! My usual order would probably be the one with most sugar, caffeine, chocolate and cream (of course I want sprinkles)  however I'm currently undergoing an extreme health kick as I would like to be able run around the beach in the summer without a single part of me jiggling! This meant that I sacrificed my usual order of a medium caramel latte and opted for a small green tea which I would strongly recommend as although it was 'small' it in fact came with a pot of boiling water to keep topping it up so, who's the real winner here?!
I sat in Costa, in good company and just enjoyed being and appreciating how far I've came on private journeys, fitness journeys and educational journeys. Whether it be your own personal issue such as self esteem, whether you haven't eaten chocolate for just two days or you got just one more mark in a class test than before; the little improvements lead to the bigger picture. Sometimes we can be so focused on wishing our life away and rush to the 'bigger picture' that we often forget to commemorate the smaller achievements we make along the way. We forget to just be and take each small step at a time to embrace those little yay's! 
So from now on I'm going to work on myself day by day in the moment and enjoy my yay's. Everybodays 'yay' moments will differ but whatever they may be, be sure to pat yourself on the back and be grateful for it. Did you finish the novel you attempted to read months ago? Or did you turn down the cake and biscuits with your cup of tea? Whatever inspires you to continue down your journey of yourself, live it, love it and enjoy it!
Whilst I recognise that this blog post isn't about makeup or skincare, I'd like to address it as beauty related as it is those random moments, little accomplishments and 'being' that are truly beautiful.

Thank you for reading, Hayley x 

Monday, 11 January 2016

Clari(ns)fying My Skincare Routine.

 I've always been pretty slack when it comes to determining a skincare routine and actually maintaining it. I try my best to ditch the face wipes, dedicate myself to cleansers, toners, oils and of course remember to apply a day cream and a night cream. This usually lasts about a week and out come the face wipes! However, this time I am adamant that I will keep up the dedication and actually nurture my skin ... for good!
My skin is normal/dry, I get dry skin usually around my nose and slightly on the forehead. I've used Clarins products in the past and I have always benefitted from doing so. Item's that spring to mind from previous skincare routine's I followed are the Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel and the Clarins HydraQuench cream. These products rejuvenated my skin through times whereby I was struggling with breakouts and blemishes.
 So, when it came to the first Saturday after sitting an exam I thought I'd pop into the hustle and bustle of Birmingham City Centre and treat myself to something new. I had no idea at this point what I was going to purchase, but what I did know was that all it would take was a pretty lady behind a fancy Clarins counter in John Lewis with great makeup and a persuasive "Have you saw our sale items today ladies?" to convince me to crack out my card! I do justify this purchase with the fact I'd been meaning to get my butt into gear with regards to sorting out a proper skincare routine for a while. And, well, its Clarins isn't it?!

Clarins Cleansing Vanity Case
The little bag that the items come in is quite simple and I have definitely bought Clarins products in nicer packaging such as the coral bag that came with their products last year. It is a plain white background with yellow detailing, it does the job it is required to do however I think the design could have been better.
What counts is what is inside ...
Clarins Vanity Case set on sale £23
Each product usually costs:
-The Clarins eye makeup remover in 200ml bottle £19
-Cleansing milk £19.50
- Toning Lotion £19.50
The items I purchased are specifically for normal or dry skin however they're also available for combination or oily skin. 
The eye make up remover is a favourite of mine as I believe it truly works better than any other I have used before. I can see why it is called 'instant' as whenever I pop a little bit onto a cotton pad and place it over my eyelids and eyelashes, the make up comes off in seconds, even stubborn products. It contains rose and cornflower waters which allows even the most sensitive skin to enjoy this product.
The cleansing milk is described to lift makeup and impurities with spa like efficiency, when I used the product it was extremely easy to take off my makeup and the scent certainly creates the spa like efficiency described. I use this of a morning to cleanse, and night time to cleanse and remove makeup. I do so by squeezing a little bit onto my hand and sweeping it all over my face doing circular motions about 5 times and then rinse it off with warm water.  The ingredients that create such a smooth and satisfying application with this product are Alpine Herbs, St Johns Wort, Almond, Marshmallow and Linden. This leaves the skin feeling and looking radiant with plenty of moisture. 
After cleansing and taking the day away, it is important to apply a toning lotion. I apply this on a damp cotton pad and gently sweep it all over the face and neck. The Clarins toning lotion is refreshing as it is alcohol free and is enriched with Camomile, Alpine Herb and Linden extracts. A toning lotion of any kind will benefit your skin by purifying and soothing it before applying a moisturiser. This one in particular improves the skin quality as it contains vitamins A, B and E.
At the moment I'm using a No7 moisturiser after this routine which I will do a separate blog post on at a future date!
The main skin care tip I have to give everybody whether you're a face wipe addict, exploring the world of cleansers and toners or an absolute skincare genius is to drink plenty of water!! It can be easily forgotten and we certainly don't drink enough of it, you should aim to be drinking 2 litres of water a day, a great way to keep tabs on your water intake is by using water tracking apps. There are free ones available such as 'Daily Water' which you can log your amounts of water into or others which narrow down to the measurements of your water e.g. bottle, cup, pint. 
I hope this has benefited people when considering what skincare products to buy and that this has been a helpful insight on Clarins products!

Thanks for reading, Hayley x

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Estée Hoarder

When I jumped on the Estée Lauder double wear foundation bandwagon back in September of last year I felt super excited to give it a whirl after hearing the massive hype about the product from many people. (I also of course caved into their deal at the time which meant that if you purchased another product you were given a free bag of mini products!)
When I first applied the foundation it was a revolutionary moment and definitely changed my makeup routine for the foreseeable future! If you're a makeup addict like myself, you'll relate to the satisfying
 first application of a new foundation and the anxious suspense throughout the day to observe it's durability. Double wear certainly did not let me down! The description of the product states that it has 15 hour staying power, you may not need your makeup to stay put for that long but I one hundred percent agree with this as i never notice my foundation wearing off, even through different weather conditions!
Estée Lauder Double Wear Shade 1N2 ENCRU £30
 The packaging of the product is also appealing with its deep blue background and subtly stunning gold writing, who could walk away from the Estée Lauder counter without purchasing this?!
 As stated on the box, the foundation is SPF 10 which is extremely important when deciding which foundation to buy as although we want the skin look flawless on the outside, we must also take care of its health!

Once you open the box you're greeted by a beautiful glass bottle with gold detail. At this point make up fanatics are in the midst of heart palpitations and excitement levels are high!
So, enough about its classy packaging, what is so special about the product? The qualities that I enjoy the most have to be its natural finish and buildable coverage. 
I have normal/dry skin and this foundation leaves my skin looking slightly dewy yet also has a slightly matte finish. This allows my skin to look less dry and more radiant but not shiny or sweaty which I believe a lot of high street foundations can! 
I apply my foundation with a Real Techniques beauty blender, this is a great new way to ensure a flawless finish. You can do this by either dampening the sponge or using it dry. The consistency of the foundation is smooth and silky therefore the sponge applicator allows it to glide onto the skin and sit in place for hours!
So, this holy grail product has caused me to re purchase my second bottle and sit proudly in my makeup bag along with my other goodies and has clarified the fact that I am now an Estée Hoarder!

Thanks for reading, Hayley x

Sunday, 3 January 2016

What is your why?

 As we enter the year 2016 and most, like myself, will be making New Years resolutions. It's a time to reflect on the past year; what did we learn? What could we change? January is like a breathe of fresh air, we can really start a fresh in the first few pages of this new book of adventures!
 Sometimes I think as self absorbed humans it is easy to say what we are going to do, for example "I'm going to lose weight." or "I'm going to take up a new hobby." these things are great ideas but why are we doing them?
This platform (my blog) will be mainly used for beauty tips, however before we can discuss how best to look on the outside, we must first consider how to nourish the inside. As cliché as it sounds, we have to look after our soul. The core of doing so is positive thinking, and although this is easier said than done, with a few alterations of our mentality it becomes more natural.
 This starts by having a sense of self. Which takes me back to the title of this blog, what is your why? Why are you carrying out your life the way that you do? I'm still guilty of not knowing the answer to this, such as saying what I think other people want to hear or doing things which will please others but not myself. This can  be as simple as agreeing to go somewhere when I don't really want to or as drastic as not pursuing something I really want to do in the fear of being judged.
 In all areas of life whether it be dating/relationships, education or fitness, our 'why' has to be ourselves. We have to be making choices because it is what we want to do. How many of us haven't dated the super sweet guy because our friends think he's a dork? Or because people may laugh? And I've heard of so many people who pursue studies in an area which is pushed on them by family. When we talk about fitness, (something which I love once I get into it but once I start slacking, I slack bad!) you see people talk about joining a gym or cutting out carbs because they want a person of the opposite sex to find them more attractive. We're living in a society whereby we follow trends set out by the media and care more of what our peers think instead being our unique selves. And you know, the funny thing is, we're all doing the same thing, we're all believing that what we are doing is what is 'socially accepted' when most of us would applaud one another for their individuality and personal successes.

So from this post, I propose 5 things we should all do to become more positive:

1. Let go of the past - you can't win a race by walking back to the start line!
2. Do the things that make you happy - whether this be listen to music or go for a walk
3. Don't be afraid to say no - In the politest way possible, if you don't want to hang out with friends but instead want to pamper yourself and read a book, that is okay too, rearrange!
4. Surround yourself with positivity - be this your environment/work area or the people in your life
5. Ask yourself, why?

Thanks for reading, Hayley! x