Sunday, 28 June 2015

My Summer Makeup Look

Hello lovelies. How long is it since i've done youtube! I bet some of you newbies didn't even realise I have a channel, but yes I've finally uploaded a video. It's a super simple no-foundation Summer Look with a bright pop of lip colour. I really hope you enjoy watching and please like, comment and subscribe if you don't already. Also, if you have your own youtube channel leave your link for me to check out!

What's your favourite 'Summer Look'? Like me do you like to free your skin of foundation?
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Monday, 22 June 2015

Say Hello To Strobing

Sorry Kim K but it seems contouring has taken a back seat to the new Strobing makeup technique. This may come as welcome news to those who struggle to sculpt their face or find it rather ridiculous doing what may seem like colouring by numbers everyday. Strobing is the technique of highlighting the high points of your face which naturally catch the light, enhancing your inner glow! But to pull this look off a flawless glowy base is crucial, which means having a killer skincare routine. So girls instead of sculpting your face treat your skin well and even invest in brightening moisturisers such as Korres Wild Rose Brightening Cream.  Once you've nailed the skincare routine you need to add that luminescent glow to your skin, Mac are leading the way with their Strobe Cream but a dupe for this is the L'Oreal Paris Lumi Magique Primer, giving you the perfect glowy base. Then to finish off the 'strobing' use a liquid highlighter like my favourite Benefit's High Beam. I must admit I am pretty pleased about this new trend, considering I don't have the greatest cheekbones but I love a good highlighter!

How do you feel about contouring taking a back seat? 
Will you be adding 'strobing' to your look?

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Friday, 19 June 2015

Golden Summer Look

With the beautiful sunshine coming out to say hello for the past few weeks (although it seems to have gone into hiding today) I decided to share a pretty golden Summer makeup look. I've kept it simple because I hate anything too heavy when it's warm but it's a perfect look for relaxed evenings; dining alfresco and admiring the sunsets. This is my favourite type of look, glowing bronzed skin finished with Sleek's rose gold blush and benefit's high beam highlighter. On my eyes I kept it simple with Urban Decays's Naked half baked and dark horse in the outer corner and my favourtite Maybelline the falsies mascara. A Summer look is never complete without a hint of coral which comes from Mac's beautiful Flamingo lipstick.

What's your favourite Summer look? Do you like to keep it simple for the Summer months?
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Saturday, 6 June 2015

Tanya Burr | Lips and Lashes

This one comes rather late following the huge launch of Tanya Burr's second installment of her cosmetic range. But I've finally got round to trying out her lip-glosses and lashes. I decided to try the gloss in lunch date, which is a beautiful nude dusky pink shade and the lashes in 'Date night', which you can find on Feel Unique and Superdrug. 

I chose the 'Date Night' lashes because they look just like Ardell demi-wispies, which are my all time favourite lashes. They have the cutest packaging with a pearlescent glue which is really good and dries completely transparent. They're probably some of the easiest lashes I've applied, even more so than Eylur and stuck really well whilst feeling flexible too. I love these and for £5.49 I will definitely be alternating between 'Date Night' and my Demi-Wispies! 

I'm not usually one to wear lip gloss, I just prefer the look of a lipstick but this one really impressed me. First of all can I just say the scent is just delicious, a lot like strawberries and cream! The gloss has a large doe applicator which is super soft and easy to apply. Lunch Date is a really beautiful understated colour, perfect for everyday too just to provide lips with hydration whilst making them look pretty. I used mine with my Rimmel East End Snob lip liner and they're such a perfect match. The downside is how sticky it is but you usually expect this with any gloss, so hair up's the best option. For £6.99 and with such a huge range though they're really lovely glosses.

Have you tried Tanya Burr's range of cosmetics? 
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Friday, 22 May 2015

Time To Relax | Temple Spa Repose

Temple Spa Repose | £39 | link

 Leading a busy lifestyle and putting in tough sessions at the gym, it's important for us all to have time to ourselves to 'repose'. This is where Temple Spa's aromatherapy resting cream 'repose' comes in. Described as 'a duvet for the skin' and loved by many including Nicole Scherzinger, who describes it as a good nights sleep in a jar, it's natural plant extracts, anti-oxidants and relaxing essential oils really do help to sink into the skin giving you a relaxing, good nights sleep.
Not only is repose great for helping you to fight those sleepless nights and send you into endless slumber but it's also know for it's skin firming properties to help prevent premature ageing. Now I'm not worrying about ageing just yet but it's never too early to start and is an added bonus in this cream. The scent this thick moisturising cream gives off is just bliss, it's a very lavender, relaxing aroma which is great to massage into your temples at the end of a stressful day and to combat anxiety, or to soothe you to sleep on a long-haul flight. You could even give your skin the full spa treatment applying Repose all over the face to really feel the benefits. Repose is designed to relax, create a sense of peace and give your skin an essential boost of vitamins and nutrients which it definitely has done to mine. I wake up refreshed, my skin radiant and knowing I've had a great nights sleep.
Temple spa is one of my favourite brands which has been featured on here a number of times, not just for their brilliant products but the quality of the ingredients they use and their cruelty free ethics. Overall I really love this little jar of goodness. It's a perfect nights sleep in a jar filled with qualities to keep my skin looking refreshed and healthy, perfect for those on the go. You can pick yours up here for £39 for the full 50ml (featured is 15ml).
How do you help yourself to relax and sleep better?
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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Healthy Lunch Ideas | Mason Salad Jars

Lately I've been Pintresting like mad. Pinterest isn't just great for inspiration for hair and home but gives me so much motivation and inspiration for nutritious yummy food ideas. The idea of a mason jar is that you strategically pile the yummy ingredients and flavours into the jar, then when you're ready to eat tip it out into a bowl. The great thing about mason jars is how you can fill them with lots of salad, carbs and dressing and because of your strategic placement of ingredients, it won't be soggy come lunch time. I really love the idea of not having to worry about your salad rolling about your lunchbox on your commute and a fresh salad come lunch time is perfect.

The best way to do it is by firstly loading in your dressing, this goes in first so the greens on top don't get soggy through the day. Then add in a protein  like chicken or fish and some carbs like rice or pasta, this will stop the rest of the ingredients getting wet from the dressing so your salad will still be nice and crisp. If you're wanting to add in nuts, seeds, raisins or dried fruits add them in next before finally adding the salad with lots of leafy greens. When it's time for lunch, pour the contents out into a bowl and it will be fresh, yummy and ready to eat!
You can pick up mason jars from here  with different sizes and variations to suit every body's food needs and portion sizes. I've included some yummy ideas from my favourite pins to get you inspired to create your own mason salads. You can also follow me over on Pinterest to check out my favourite pins!


What will you be adding to your mason jar?

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Sunday, 17 May 2015

Clean and Clear Skin | MayBeauty's Incredible Face Mask

MayBeauty Incredible Face Mask*
This month I was contacted by the brand MayBeauty to see if I would like to test out their 'Incredible Face Masks'. As I hadn't heard about the brand before I emailed back with a few questions and did a little research myself. It's great to hear about new, up and coming brands and after some research I found out just how popular they were in Sweden, after launching there in 2013, with so many raving youtube reviews. MayBeauty are also cruelty free and focused on few products which give guaranteed results, or your money back.
The package included 5 face mask sachets, an application brush and an incredible skin guide with great tips about how to improve your skin through diet and general skin tips. The face mask itself is different to anything I've tried before. The consistency is like a thick black gel which is tricky to spread but I found it easier to apply evenly using the brush. One warning  though is on application, do not put it on facial hair, especially your brows or they will be whipped right off and nobody wants that. I shaped the thick gel around my face, avoiding eyes, lips, eyebrows and hair line and left it for 40 minutes. Yes, that's also something which is different to the usual face mask, they recommend you leave it for 30-45 minutes. Now, however difficult that is keeping your face still as it tightens up I did it and the results were amazing.
The mask claims to remove blackheads, oil, dead skin and prevents acne. Now I can't comment on the acne but after a rather satisfying removal of the mask, like removing PVA glue from your hands at school (YES!!). I was left with fresh, clean and clear skin. As the mask is literally peeled from your skin, it can be a teeny bit painful but you'll be fine and the satisfaction is so worth it. Blackheads appeared less visible and it actually allows you to see what's been removed on the underside of the mask. It's great to see instant results and feel super soft skin and I can't wait for my next one already.
Overall a brilliant mask which I'm super impressed with and I want you guys to try it too. Now MayBeauty have kindly offered my readers an amazing 30% off all face mask packages which you can do here at this link or by entering the code: laurasfacemask30. This means you can try the same package for just £13.30. Thank you Maybeauty for the opportunity to try a brilliant mask, I can't wait to try more.
Do you use a face mask as part of your skin care routine?
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Friday, 15 May 2015

Making Your Tan Last The Summer

Safe tanning is so important - even those with the darkest of skin tones use high factors to protect their skin from harmful rays and premature aging. We all know the importance of slapping on the lotion and wearing hats and glasses to protect your eyes and face. But today I'm talking about how you can make the most of that tan and how to hang onto that beautiful glow and make the most of holiday skin.
Before spending time in the sun always prep your skin by exfoliating. The traditional Turkish bath consists of a number of procedures to heat, cleanse and exfoliate your body leaving you with the softest skin. Through experience, using an exfoliating scrub the day before a holiday has left my skin softer and glowing but also slows down peeling of the skin so my tan has lasted much longer. Soap and Glory's Pulp friction is perfect to scrub off dead cells with a lovely fruity fragrance.
Moisturised skin will hold your tan for much longer, preventing peeling and making your skin super soft and glowing. After spending time in the sun it's crucial to apply after-sun to cool and soothe skin whilst upping those moisture levels - one of my favourites for this is the Banana Boat Aloe Vera Gel. Once you're home don't forget about how much moisture you provided for your skin applying lotion and after sun. Keep it up by using an in-shower moisturiser to lock in silky soft skin whilst showering, perfect for those of us who get fed up applying lotions and moisturisers.
Alongside this, I moisturise morning and night, yes I am obsessed with soft silky skin but also my skin is naturally dry because of eczema. One of my favourites, especially at night time is the Liz Earle Nourishing Botanical Body Cream, rub it straight onto warm freshly bathed skin and it soaks in like a dream leaving you feeling soft and smelling of relaxing lavender. When you just can't hold on to your tan for much longer and you have to give into your skin renewing then a gradual moisturiser like the Ambre Solaire Hydrating Tan Maintainer will top up your skin with a natural golden bronze colour whilst keeping skin soft and hydrated.
Are you heading somewhere sunny soon? How do you hold on to and preserve your tan?

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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Training For A Half Marathon

After feeling very inspired this weekend, watching loved ones compete in the Leeds Half Marathon, I felt it was time to share with you my own half marathon training tips. Last September, I ran the Bupa Great North Run, the worlds most popular half marathon, following the gruelling route from Newcastle to the Coast of South Shields. This was a huge journey, being that my experience in running was limited and as a child I had favoured gymnastics and swimming over athletics. But in February I began my training after struggling to run a kilometre and in September I completed the 13.1 miles without stopping. So for those of you who might be already in training or thinking of pounding those pavements, here are some tips to hopefully help you out along the way...

Wear Correct Footwear
The same Nike trainers that work brilliantly for intervals and gym classes won't benefit you in running at all - trust me and my poor little shin splints, we learnt the hard way! Get fitted for correct running shoes to suit your foot type and running style. Places like Up and Running will observe your running style and motion of your feet, analysing the pronotation of your feet and your arch. They will advise you on the best running shoes to support your feet without feeling pressured or uncomfortable.

Vary Your Training
Even though your ultimate goal is endurance to last the long mileage, you need to be including speed training too. Lack of speed training means your lose ability to generate explosive muscle power, resulting in a decline of running efficiency. Speed training will challenge your VO2 max and ultimately improve and push your boundaries whilst regaining and developing that explosive muscle power. Include shuttle runs, fartlek training, hill running along with distance training in your plan.
Strengthen Your Muscles
This is something I wish I would've spent more time doing to support my body, help with form and reduce injury. Movements like squats and hip bridges are great to strengthen hips and glutes to correct form and prevent shin splints and knees injuries. Whereas calf raises and dips will support and strengthen your achilles helping with taking the strain of the running motion. Planking and core strengthening will help to support your upper body and help with your breathing too. Add weight, build the muscle and strengthen your body to help push through those tough runs.

Fuel Your Body
Your body needs food to go the distance. Carbs are your friends! Avoid hitting the wall by fuelling your body with nutritious carbs to maximise your energy stores, eating foods such as porridge, fruits, pastas and potatoes. During your run your body will be using up glycogen and you'll need high GI carbs to release energy fast. 45-60 minutes in take an energy-gel, jelly babies or an isotonic drink to up your energy levels and make you feel 'awake'! Post-run you have a 30 minute window to re-fuel and replenish carbohydrates and proteins are your best friends to repair those muscles and replace electrolytes. Ultimately, be mindful of the foods you eat. Having a takeaway the night before a long run might help with energy but could make you feel stodgy and full of gas!

Rest and Stretch
Don't sacrifice those rest days - they're just as important as those long runs. Resting will help your muscles to recover and replenish whilst reducing fatigue too. Whilst stretching can help with injury prevention, muscle recovery and flexibility and form. Yoga is great to stretch, strengthen and can help you to manage and control your breathing.
Don't Give In
It will be hard, you will hit the wall and you will want to turn back. Don't forget how far you have come and how far you will go. The only way you'll improve is by practising and literally going that extra mile. Mind over matter! Always have in your mind that feeling of triumph as you cross the finish line and if you're doing it for charity, the feeling is even better. Be strong, push yourself and just keep going!
All of you on your own running journeys I wish you the best of luck. As always if you want me to post about anything or just want to ask a question comment or email. Let's push on forward to be strong, empowered and healthy!
Are you training for a big run? What would your training tips be?
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Friday, 8 May 2015

How I Changed My Eating Habits

Now I had to think hard about the title of this post. The word 'diet' tends to be used where someone eats less food or cuts out food groups for a desirable body image or for medical reasons. However 'diet' to me is more about lifestyle choices and changes which aren't temporary but long term. I chose to make changes to my lifestyle and health to become a healthier and happier version of me and one of those changes and choices is the food I now eat. These pictures aren't great (especially the sunglasses falling off haha) but are a perfect example of crash dieting (on the left) and long term healthier eating habits (right).
The food choices I made previously weren't great, eating for the sake of eating and eating for boredom. Most meals were based around chips and potatoes and if it didn't go with these I wasn't eating it. My goals were to eat nutritious, wholesome food which would fuel my body for my workouts and everyday living. Which in turn, resulted in greater energy, improved skin and an overall improvement in how I felt inside. I started my healthier lifestyle in February of this year and only a few months in, I have definitely seen big changes in my body shape. I was super happy on my holiday and yes I ate doughnuts and ice cream but I also made sure I had my protein on a morning and plenty of greens on my plate. Now I'm back thought it's about sticking to the healthier lifestyle as I've found the longer you do it, the easier it becomes and soon enough it becomes habit.
It's not about depriving your body of all fats and carbs, because realistically this is an unsustainable choice and may work for 8 weeks but long term you're setting yourself up for failure and those pounds you lost in the first place will easily come back and bring their friends along for the party too. If I want a Chinese I'll have one, but the following day I'll make sure I do those extra reps in the gym or be careful with my food choices. Depriving yourself of anything isn't a clever idea and can lead to binging, which none of us want right? So don't cut, instead follow a balanced yet flexible way of eating.

A typical day for me would be: Breakfast: Porridge with fruit and a coffee; Morning snack: Fruit and nuts; Lunch: A tuna and rice salad with fruit and quark for after; Pre-gym: Shake or a quest bar; Dinner: Salmon, veg and rice. Eating a balanced diet from the different food groups is a huge part of improving physically and feeling better on the inside too. Of course the gym has played a huge part in my healthier lifestyle and body changes but making healthier choices definitely accounts for 80% of my progress. As they say, Abs are made in the kitchen! Below I've included some of my typical meals ...

As always if you want me to know more about my journey to better health let me know in the comments as I'd love to hear about what you guys want me to post. If you're needing a bit of inspiration and motivation you can always check out my instagram where I'm forever posting and liking food and fitness inspo. Have you embarked on your own journey of a healthier lifestyle? What's your experience with crash diets? Have a happy healthy week!
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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

My Caribbean Adventure | Part 2

So here is the second and last part of my Caribbean Adventure. It's amazing to see how many of you loved the first post, considering I've never posted anything like this before. Like I mentioned in my last post, I would love to get into more travel and lifestyle posts so maybe this will become a bigger part of my blog in the future. So the second part of my adventure on the Thomson Celebration led me to Antigua, Dominica and Barbados. All beautiful islands, yet all very different in their own ways.
Next stop was St Johns, Antigua. We literally parked in the middle of a harbour town surrounded by the strangest coloured patterned water. First stop was the beach, now Antiguans say there is a beach for every day of the year in Antigua, which when you're only there for one day can be a very tricky decision. Luckily, my parents had been before and were adamant they had to show me Valley Church beach. The journey was rocky, through little villages past road side stalls selling fresh coconuts and fruits, but pulling into the beach I was literally blown away.

The sand was beautiful and white sitting against the clearest, calmest blue sea I have ever come across. It was there and then I fell in love with this beach and Antigua itself. We spent most of the day here, sipping strawberry daiquiris from the beach hut and exploring the coastline on jet-skis. It rained, but even through the rain the sea was still crystal clear. I did eventually have to tear myself away from this beautiful beach back to the little town, where we explored the shops and market and picked up some souvenirs. A couple of locals who we passed thanked us for coming and wished us a safe journey, which was truly lovely. I mean you wouldn't get that in England! Antigua stole my heart and I know that one day I'll return to the beautiful Island, maybe to visit a beach a day!

 The next island stop was a place which was completely the opposite to Antigua. Roseau, Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is a lush, green mountainous island,  not a beach island. Our first visit was a view right over Roseau including the cricket ground and in the distance our ship. After this we explored the Botanical Gardens, including the most beautiful plants and wildlife but also a reminder of the destruction and damage that Hurricane David in 1979 left behind (luckily the bus was empty).

After this we headed to Trafalgar falls, two waterfalls, one cold and fresh while the other hot and volcanic, there were actually people bathing in the falls because they were that warm. Many steps later our next stop was the Emerald pools. In the middle of a lush green UNESCO site rainforest, sat a beautiful, shimmering pool, green because of the vegetation that canopies above it. We took a dip in the pool whilst the rain fell around us and it was lovely, even though a little bit on the cold side. On way back to the ship our guide showed us and taught us so much about the island and showed us  pineapple plants, mango and banana trees, coffee trees, cocoa plants and lemongrass.  I learnt that the islanders live off the food they grow and are known for their long and fulfilling lives, which follows my own ideology in believing that fresh unprocessed food is truly best. I was amazed by Dominica's natural beauty and could definitely live on this island with so many mangoes about!

The last stop of our journey and the place where we said our farewells was Bridgetown Barbados. Flying in the afternoon meant we could only spend a morning here but we made the most of the beautiful beach of Carlisle Bay. As it was Sunday, most shops and bars were shut so the best place to be was the beach anyway. The sand on Carlisle bay was just like talcum powder so soft, and further along the beach we had just missed the racehorses going for their dip in the warm Caribbean sea. Carlisle bay isn't just home to 6 shipwrecks but also marine life, including turtles! A really beautiful place, I'd definitely like to come back to and explore the city of Bridgetown some more.

After baking in the sun it was time to leave Barbados and say goodbye to the beautiful Caribbean and the Thomson Celebration. Hopefully it won't be long before we meet again!
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