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