Sunday, 21 May 2017

Lets Talk About - Bullsh*tting a Skincare Routine

I wish I could sit here and tell you that I have some really amazing and elaborate morning and night routine that I could photograph or video for you all with perfect lighting and a gorgeous bathroom, but that would be a load of absolute crap. There are women who do have these incredible routines, and I have nothing but admiration for them, It amazes me. Even more so, those who then create gorgeous content and videos around it for their viewers and readers. 

I just don't want to lie to you. 

I think I have committed the cardinal sins of skincare;- I sometimes forget to take my makeup off before bed, I don't always moisturise, I pick my spots. IM SORRY. Call me dramatic, but I find sticking to a skincare routine about just as difficult as sticking to a diet. I'm absolutely useless. I can manage it for a couple of weeks if I know I have something coming up, but long term I just can't get it to stick. 

I really don't think I am stretching too far out to say that its most likely that the majority of you can perhaps relate to this. I want to be here to tell you, THATS COMPLETELY FINE. Not everyone has time, not everyone has the money and frankly, not everyone can be arsed. I fear I may fall into the latter category. Don't get me wrong I have tried, and maybe lasted about a week or so of the cleansers followed by scrubs followed by toners followed by serums then masks then moisturisers, its mind numbing and you'll always miss a bloody step trying. I personally, find it exhausting and impossible to keep up with. As I said, I have nothing but admiration for those who are able to keep up such a strenuous routine, but its really not for me, or most really. I absolutely love skincare, just not the routine part...

Just make sure seeing all this night routines, morning routines, holiday routines etc etc you don't feel like you should have one, because I don't think many do. That being said, I have some products I use on the regular that I think are bloody fabulous. I have one thing for its own purpose, not a million different things that essentially do the same job. I have found some products that I believe fall into the skincare category I absolutely adore - so here they are. My tried and true. All of the products will be shoppable at the end of the post so make sure you read through to the end!

Here goes, my absolute atrocity of a so called 'skincare routine' if I can even call it that. How about 'What I Use When I Need To'?... Better. 

For Nighttime

I had to kick this all off with my favourite product here. The Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I have gone through three of these, this is one of the ONLY products I have ever repurchased out of sheer love and results. At first, the idea of using oils on my skin didn't really appeal to me. I imagined it being sticky and very obvious on the skin, and I was worried the oil would have an adverse effect on me breaking out. This is almost an oil that you forget you've put on, its not thick at all - but its enough that you can feel you've put something on your skin. It takes a while to absorb into the skin, hence why its for your 'nighttime routine' and will leave your skin feeling INCREDIBLE in the morning. 

For Some Colour

I am naturally quite pale, and due to my really sensitive skin all over my body and skin issues like eczema it has meant I have never really been able to use fake tan (heartbreaking right). However the skin on my face has never had these problems, and frankly I find myself much more flattering with some colour to my skin. This gradual face tanner from Chanel is the best face tan I have ever tried. Its not immediate, or overpowering. I tend to put it on at night, and in the morning I wake up with a really healthy glow and colour, kind of like you've been sat out in the sun for the day. Its build able if you want it darker, but for one off use - its nothing offensive.   

For Intense Moisture

If I feel like my skin has gone really dry, or isn't feeling itself - I want to use something I can feel working. This Kiehls Pure Vitality is exactly that. This is a thicker cream, and I can definitely feel it on my skin, but when I am using this, thats what I am using it for. This has extracts of honey in it, giving it an initial stickier feeling, but once its had chance to settle into the skin it really leaves your skin feeling insanely smooth and soft. When my skin is dry, I don't want something that is going to sink in right away, this cream just feels like you're giving your skin an insanely luxurious treat. 

For A Quick Refresh

This is the newest of all these products for me, but something I love none the less. I adore setting sprays and facial sprays as I have a lot of makeup free days when I am at home working. I love to spray them on my skin when I wake up in the morning before makeup or throughout the day if I am having a makeup free one. I just love how refreshing this feels in general on my skin, alongside the base it gives for my makeup or the refresh my makeup may need in the day without using a setting spray. 

For Lips

I could sit here and write about how much I love Elizabeth Arden all night long. It has been a product I have been using since I was a little girl as its always been a favourite of my mothers. This is a product and a line I have recommended to friends, family and strangers alike more than any other brand. This. Stuff. Is. Magic. This is my go to for pretty much anything skin related. Dryness, chapped lips, healing injuries, eczema and I even used this to heel my tattoo and it did in a matter or days, not weeks. This is honestly incredible and comes in so many different forms. The classic Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant is perfect for your every need, and then there are more specific lines if you're looking for something more specifically tailored. 

And Finally, A Damn Miracle

Wow. I haven't got much to say besides wow for these products. This is the Rapid Lash and Rapid Brow that I have been using religiously every night before bed for a month. I have always seen items online claiming to be lash serums or brow serums to promote growth, but I have never bought into it actually working. But my god it does. I have been using this as I said for just over a month, and the difference in my lashes is amazing, I am IN LOVE. I love my lashes now, and love my brows even more. If you are having trouble growing out your eyebrows, or want thicker lashes, I could not recommend trying these products out for yourself, I was blown away. 

I hope you enjoyed this post, and hopefully it helped you if you were looking for something to kickstart whatever sort of 'routine' you fancy. I've linked all the products below - mostly all from Look Fantastic! Happy shopping!


H x


Monday, 15 May 2017

Is Gran Canaria on your Summer Radar? #TravelSeries w/ Radisson Blu Mogan

I am always on the look out for new places to travel to, somewhere thats going to surprise me and give me a unique experience really setting it apart from anywhere else I have been. Recently I was lucky enough to be invited along by Radisson to the opening of their new resort hotel in Mogan (link here), Gran Canaria. We were out for a few days to be given a whirlwind tour of just a few of the experiences that Gran Canaria and Mogan itself had to offer.

I had never been to Gran Canaria before, having been to Tenerife I had my assumptions that it would be of a similar nature. I arrived, and was immediately blown away with the Radisson Blu Hotel and Gran Canaria itself. It was by far one of the biggest hotels I have ever stayed in, nestled into the scenic surroundings, it rested in almost a mountainous looking bay. Being a very new build, only being opened in December of last year (2016), the building itself and its interior was absolutely to die for.

I checked in, and was so impressive with my room. There is nothing I don't find, that is more satisfying than a gorgeous hotel room. Crisp clean colours with aesthetically pleasing glass partitions gave the rooms a gorgeous modern feel. I always feel so relaxed in hotel rooms, I don't know about any of you. I had a gorgeous and absolutely humongous bed, a beautiful his&hers bathroom, with a huge bathtub and shower. The space itself was really well thought out, a large television screen with easy viewing from the comfort of your bed or the sofa. The most incredible part however was my gorgeous deck area. I had my own little personal and rather large balcony, with two personal sun loungers overlooking the gorgeous pool and bar areas.
The facilities within the hotel meant you really didn't have to leave if you were so inclined. There was a separate 'adult' area with a large pool and a bar, within close proximity to the spa and restaurants on the floor below. Then there was a larger separate area for 'play' more suited to the younger visitors to the hotel.

I thought I knew what to expect, but I really don't think I did. The landscape was so much more gorgeous than I first imagined. We drove around day by day and visited some of the best areas on the Island to really experience what Gran Canaria had to offer us. The Island itself is very impressive, with inhabitants of around 800,000, with around 350,000 of these living in Las Palmas.

Las Palmas was gorgeous. Stunning architecture, hidden side streets and beautiful features. It really captured the intricate beauty of a Spanish town but in the heart of a gorgeous island. I love to roam where I am visiting, and through the small side streets with high shuttered windows and climbing flowers above and around - it was definitely somewhere you could get lost adventuring in, and it the most amazing way. Granted, I didn't have much time to explore, but from what I saw, I was more than impressed.

I have to say the most impressive part of my stay in Gran Canaria was visiting an unbelievable little town in the absolute heart of what felt like a set off Jurassic World, high on mountainous roads you really didn't think you would make it through, sat this peaceful little village. After a stunning boatride we took a trip into the heart of the mountains to come and have a native dining experience in a little restaurant nestled in this hidden gem. Its something to admire the beauty of somewhere you visit, but its another this to be in absolute awe.

The juxtaposition of the landscapes of Gran Canaria was, in a way, matched in the Radisson Blu Mogan. There were areas that were tranquil and relaxing, much like driving through the gorgeous mountains. Alongside areas of hustle and bustle, the entertainment rooms, restaurant and bar alongside Mogan itself. What I really took away from my visit to Gran Canaria was how truly awe inspiring places that you really don't always expect to be, actually are. If you are looking for somewhere stunning, calm yet exciting and scenically spectacular, I urge you to consider Gran Canaria - a place I know I will be venturing back to soon.

I hope you enjoyed this post, I hope it may have given you some inspiration if you're still considering where to jet off to for some needed sun and relaxation. Keep scrolling to see some more gorgeous shots from my visit. If you'd like to check out the Radisson Blu Mogan hotel click here!


H x


Sunday, 7 May 2017

Oh, You Work for Yourself?

So, at the moment I work for myself. I am a blogger, and thats where I am currently at. After starting my blog (in its very early stages) around 4 years ago, the past 8/9 months have been me being able to put my attention on my blogging in an attempt to make it thrive. Blogging has always been my source of income, so yes, I do work for myself. Its not been around for a long time, but I wanted to share with a few things about working for yourself that I've experienced along the way. 

1. Not everyone takes you seriously and yes, your Mum is your biggest fan.

The thing that really smacked me in the face when I started working for myself really was that not everyone takes you seriously. You will quickly learn who of your friends and family actually supports the independent decision of working for yourself, in whatever way that may be. In a small nutshell, people will either laugh in your face and pick it apart, or help push you in the right direction. Trust me on this, it is inexpressibly important to keep hold of those who support you throughout. Watch out to see who claps when you succeed and who was routing for you before. Have patience however, do not be quick to judge, not everyone may fully understand what it is you're doing. And without a doubt I can guarantee you'll get sick and tired of explaining it. 

2. People look down on you if you're young, hold your cards close to your chest. 

If I am completely honest, I think this one stands out all across the board in every aspect of life. Friendships, work life, relationships - PROVE PEOPLE WRONG.
I started out young. I started growing a following on Instagram when I was around 14/15, yep I was a little Instagram baby. This then grew into my blog, but still I was only around 15 when I set up my website. This meant that when brands started approaching me, they would always assume I was older than I was, and I was hell bent on keeping it that way. Events came my way and I stayed the same. This was all before blogging became anything major for me and before I began to earn from my platforms, but I knew that I would be looked at differently if this was open information. 
We live in a very openly judgemental society, and anyone young would never be taken seriously in the business world if they knew their age straight off the bat.

I meet people, I network, I do business and then if the topic of age comes up, I'll answer. But in that order and that order alone. They are usually surprised. 

Reveal what you want, when you want. 

3. Don't rely on everything to come to you, it probably won't. 

Opportunities will come your way, and thats amazing. What about the ones that didn't come to you? How do you expect to achieve what it is you want without chasing it? If I think I would work well for a job or a campaign or I know I have a good idea in my head, I reach out. Some of the best brand relationships and opportunities I have had throughout my blogging world have been through my own doing, me reaching out to them. Selling myself. It can feel strange at first, but at the end of the day its your job and your future. Some people I have talked to have been genuinely surprised I have the 'balls' to approach people with work and ideas, but why not? If you think you're a good fit for something, or have a great idea and want to try and make it happen, why not reach out? At the end of the day, the worst someone can say is no and you carry on as normal, or, you may end up with a great opportunity. 

4. Learn to negotiate and get tough. Sell yourself.


I can tell you right now that the thing I struggled with the most was actually making sure I earned money. I am a little bit too nice if I am honest, in a lot of ways. One way, which has always been the case, is I have been THE WORST at ever asking for people to pay me back that owe me money and will be the first person to hand it out if someone needs it. The idea of asking people for money genuinely makes me feel uncomfortable, even if its mine. Even when I was younger, I could never really ask my parents for money, or for anything specific really, I am shocking at it.

So, I found I really struggled when it came to charging for my time and charging correctly. I undersold myself for a long time, and I am sure sometimes still do. It was only when it was pointed out by those around my in my industry that I was not selling myself the way I should. I really just had to toughen up and grow some balls and grin and bare it. I have learned to charge for my time, and negotiate around. People will always try and get as much as they can out of you for as little as they can.

5. Set yourself up for some disappointments, you'll stress. 

I have found that working on my own is damn stressful, you don't really have anyone telling you whats best to do next, or what is going to work and what isn't. Its all on you. I have put lots of time and effort into images and posts for them to really not do as well as I thought they would, and its really disheartening. A lot of the time there is also a hell of a lot of focus on 'the numbers game', where you think you should be vs where you hope to be vs where you are - and it sometimes drives me mad. Things get cancelled, work falls through and sometimes it feels like the worst thing in the world. You question everything that happens, everything good and everything bad. I have learned to not get my hopes up until something is set in stone, it just helps. 

6. Learn how to positively view what you've achieved. Some people think its great. 

If you figure out how to do this one right, please let me know how. I think everyone has a tendency to put themselves down every now and again, comparing and contrasting to everything you see around you. I do this a lot, and honestly I struggle with it a lot sometimes. I guess if you're in control of everything you're doing it amplifies it all. The thing is, whatever you achieve off your own back no matter how successful or not it may be - its something to be proud off. I have learned to find happiness in a lot of little things, but I am in definite need of being proud of the little things I do.
I have also always been pleasantly surprised at how interested some people are when you get into what it is you do. I used to be really nervous for someone to ask me what I do, but honestly some of the experiences I have had talking to total strangers about what I do have been some of the most motivating conversations ever.

Its a funny thing really, the reactions and support I have had from strangers and people have been so varied. I think everyone has that reaction to a lot of things in their lives, if you're doing something a little different someone will always have something to say.

I am nowhere near being a veteran in the self employed world at all, and god knows whether I will stay. But these are the things that have stuck with me and lessons learned.


H x

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