Thursday, 24 March 2016

The Glamour Beauty Festival

Usually I am the worst at getting out of bed in the mornings. It is just not for me, and I will stay put under the covers until the last possible minute.
However a couple of Sundays ago, I was more than happy to jump up and get going bright and early. I was excited and raring to go for a morning at the Glamour Beauty Festival.
I had booked tickets about a month before with my friend Emma..who also has a blog here...and I had spent the Saturday scrolling through Instagram to see what everyone had posted from the day before, on the first day of the festival.

I absolutely love going to events, and beauty specific ones in particular. I also love my monthly Glamour magazine, so this was right up my street!

The festival was held at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea. I must admit, I was intrigued to see how this would work and how it would be laid out, as I have mostly just been to large event and conference centres for these type of days. However I was not disappointed. As you entered the gallery you walked through a passageway where the walls were covered in quotes from the best beauty muses.
Each floor was dedicated to either hair, makeup, skincare, nails etc, so it was easy to find your way around and very well organised with plenty of space.

I was even papped on the day taking a picture of the beauty quotes wall....I'm on the Glamour website with my Lulu Guinness lipstick phone case!

The day was split up into two sessions for attendees, the morning pass gave me between 10am-1.30pm to explore and play, which I do think was the perfect amount of time. It also gave you the choice of a talk to attend. I chose to listen to the Beauty X Social Media discussion, which featured the lovely Fleur De Force, Estee Lalonde and Alessandra Steinherr; who is the beauty director at Glamour. The chat was hosted by Jim Chapman, who did a great job of navigating the talk. 
I was really inspired by these gorgeous women and it gave me a real boost by showing me what you can achieve if you work hard. For someone who is probably a little too obsessed with reading blogs and watching YouTube, it was pretty exciting to hear from these four in real life.

Afterwards, Emma and I were eager to have a play and make the most of the complimentary treatments available. I had a manicure with Rimmel, using their new Gel Power polishes, I had my hair braided with the Braid Bar and I also had a makeup consultation with Laura Mercier to find my perfect highlighter.

To top all of this lovely pampering off, there was a free glass of bubbly for everyone and also a goodie bag to take home worth £160, which was filled with so many wonderful brands and products....including one of my favourites...a full sized Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish!!

I had a really fun day with Glamour and was super impressed with their first ever beauty festival. I would highly recommend anyone who loves beauty and a pamper to go along next year.


Thursday, 10 March 2016

The Waves of Grief

Recently it has been easy to occasionally think I am going crazy. Deep down, I know I am not, I have been through a traumatic event and I am grieving. However, when you become a different version of yourself to the one that you are used to, then you start to question everything.

The main thing that I took away from my first counselling session was that I am normal. It's a nice thing to hear really...there aren't many times in life where we get analysed and classified as normal. I always told my mum that I was the normal one in the family!

I learnt that the ways in which I am feeling and coping so far, are healthy and positive.
Now despite this being reassuring to know, it obviously doesn't make the process any easier.

I heard a description recently which really resonated with me and perfectly visualised, for me, how grief feels which I wanted to share with you.

Imagine you are paddling in a little rowing boat in the ocean on a lovely sunny day. Suddenly a storm hits out of the blue, and your boat starts to get thrown around from side to side. You feel frightened, anxious and un-stable. The storm passes, however it has left very strong waves behind. You have moments of clear calm water, followed by aggressive waves. Your little world is quite literally rocked. As time passes you can start to adjust, but your boat has been damaged. A small hole in the hull is now there, not large enough to drown you but it is noticeable.
However now, even the smallest other boat that crosses you, causes a flood of water to pour in, adding pressure and weight. The hole can be patched up, but it will never be as strong.

This, for me, is a simple way of describing how it feels. Grief has surprised me in how random and irregular it is. Some days, like the calm water, you can feel almost like nothing has happened and genuinely feel positive and happy. Then all of a sudden, the strangest thing will trigger you to fall back into a dark place, where everything is overwhelming and painful. I wish there was a pattern, to feel prepared for the latter...but there is not.
All we can do is know that things will improve and we will reach the happier days again soon.

If you, like me, are going through this horrible journey, or know someone who is, then hopefully this can be of some help to you. Having one good day, unfortunately doesn't mean that the next day will be too. Accepting this, and embracing each day as it comes, is the only way. Let yourself feel each emotion and then be prepared for anything.


Monday, 7 March 2016

The Importance of Being Charitable

My beautiful mummy was such a kind, caring woman, who loved to help others and got great pleasure out of making them happy.
This is an attribute that I observed many times over the years and admired greatly.
For example, during a family holiday to the stunning island of Grenada, my mum got chatting to the owner of our hotel and learnt how he was an ambassador for the local children's orphanage.
My mum was a teacher and adored children, so the very next day we were on a bus to go and visit. I was probably about 14 at the time, but I remember feeling so humbled by the experience. The home was small, and sweltering hot, but the children were in such good spirits and so polite.
We asked one little boy if he could have anything, what would he like? He simply answered 'a ball'. That was the only thing.

We instantly felt a connection and my mum wanted to help out when we returned home.
However, just after we arrived back in the UK, a devastating hurricane had hit the island and the orphanage was badly damaged. It was almost like it was meant to be, as now we could really help with the re-build.

This experience of seeing first hand how thankful they were, really resonated with me, and ever since I have appreciated the power of charity and helping others.

Years later, during my mum's illness, we were presented with lots of charities and organisations who were around to help support us. Some we took up on their offer, others we thankfully didn't need, but suddenly we were the people needing help. We were the children in Grenada.
I have been on both the giving and receiving end, and now appreciate on a different level how important it is.

Next week I am starting a course of bereavement counselling, which is offered for free by my local hospice, who helped care for my mum in her last few days with us.
Now, anyone that knows me will know that I usually struggle to express my feelings and have the tendency to keep things bottled up. So going to counselling sessions is a massive step for me, but some things are too big to battle on our own.

However without these volunteer counsellors, who give up their free time to help people like myself, I could be in a darker place for longer than I need to be.

We all live extremely busy lives and have our own responsibilities, but if you have ever considered giving up some of your spare time to offer your services, or donate some spare change, then I urge you to go ahead. It is so needed and so thoroughly appreciated.
We all think it will never be us, but unfortunately you never know, and it could be you or a loved one who needs the support one day.

I am very thankful for lots of people who supported my mummy and I, and I will be writing a post soon on some ways that I too plan to give back and the charities I am involved with.


Friday, 4 March 2016

Benefit They're Real in Beyond Blue

We all have seen those family photos from the 80's where all the women have bright blue mascara on right? A few years ago I could think of nothing more crazy than wearing some myself, however low and I am about to state how much I love it.

Blue is a hot colour for S/S this year, having already graced the catwalks last year, and I have seen lots of gorgeous images online, so I decided to take the plunge (yes I admit, I was hoping it might magically transform me into one of the models too...I wish).
I went for the Benefit They're Real mascara in Beyond Blue, as I am already a huge fan of Benefit products and religiously use their push-up liner.

I have been using the mascara every day for around 2 weeks now and I definitely covet it.
The first thing I noticed was the ease of application. It doesn't clump my lashes together and gives an even coating with nice separation. There is nothing worse than looking like you only have 4 very thick eyelashes!

Once it was on I was really impressed by the colour, which I have received quite a few compliments on also. It is a really pretty shade, which even paired next to my true black liner, stands out and can actually make the liner look blue/purple too which I like.
It brightens my eyes up, making me look more awake and I think it's a really lovely change from all black.

The only downside of this product for me is that a couple of times I have found that the wand can attract little strands of fibre or fluff from my clothes, but this certainly wouldn't put me off using it and buying it again.

Let me know your thoughts and if you give it a try too...


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

My Journey Through Grief

On New Years Eve I wrote a post to share with you all my thoughts on 2015. Those who read it, or know me personally, will know that I lost my beautiful mummy and best friend to cancer in September.
It is the most horrible disease and at the mere age of 26, I unfortunately know too much about it.
I am far too knowledgable about all of the treatments and their side affects, every pain relief medication and the way the body shuts down. I wish I was naive to this world but nothing can change that now.

Over the past 5 months I have trawled the internet trying to find people who understand me and who have also lost a parent at a young age. There is surprisingly not a lot of information, only websites and support groups for children and teenagers or adults in general. Most of the adults you hear from have parent's who have died in their 70's and 80's. Losing a parent is always a heartbreaking experience, however at this age it is a little more expected, and the children would usually have their own families already.

So where does this leave me? There is a smaller amount of us who are young adults; perhaps still living at home, without children or husbands, who are thrown into a terrifying world without our loved ones at an age where we never expected them to be gone.
I won't have my mum at my wedding. She will never meet my children.

I want to start sharing my ups and downs and my path through grief with you all.
I want to create a place where I can safely write down my feelings, partly as a form of therapy for myself, but also to help anyone else in the same position.
I have found that it is a very lonely place to be a bereaved 20-something, so I want to create a little community on the internet for us.

I will still be writing my beauty and fashion posts, and mixed in will still be lifestyle...but sadly this is part of my life now, so for me, it makes sense.
It's very easy to read blogs and see a perfect life that you envy...we all are guilty of it. However life isn't perfect for anyone, and I want this space to be real.

I hope that you will all share in my journey and that I can help a few people not to feel alone.

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