Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Stylist Live: Tanya Burr and Estee Lalonde

Last Friday I got up early and hopped onto the train to London, ready for a day of inspiration. This came in the form of a day at Stylist magazine's fabulous event Stylist Live. This was their second year running the four day festival, and after attending last year and having a great time I definitely made sure that I was headed there this year too.

My first talk of the day was with someone who is very well known in the blogging world...the lovely Tanya Burr. She looked beautiful in a gorgeous long floaty dress and spoke all about her life online and how she feels about her journey and being successful now. It was great to see her in person after watching her videos for so long and inspired me to want to be a #girlboss too.

Next I stopped at the Waterstones stall to get my Bloom book signed by another YouTuber; Estee Lalonde. I can report she was extremely lovely and friendly and took plenty of time chatting with every person. We had a chat about the book, our families and I even got a cheeky picture.

After this I decided that it was time to collect my free glass of bubbly and have some lunch and a wander around all of the stalls. There were some amazing well loved brands, as well as new ones that I have never heard of before, showcasing their products. I managed to re-strain myself from buying everything in sight, however I did pick up some things for my makeup kit from Clarins and Urban Decay, as well as some nail polish from Little Ondine which I'm excited to test out.

In the afternoon I headed up to the VIP area where you could watch the catwalk show with a cocktail in hand...I could definitely think of worse ways to spend a Friday! The space up there was beautifully decorated like a secret garden and was filled with sweet treats to snack on. My personal favourite was Jude's salted caramel ice cream...delicious.

My final talk of the day was with Florence Adepoju who founded the brand MDMFlow. She spoke about how she started her business and how they have developed up until now. She gave lots of advice and helpful tips which was fab. I was definitely taking notes!

I left the venue feeling super inspired, super full from all the treats (may have indulged just a little!) and full of knowledge too from some wonderful women. It's a very well organised event and is jam packed with things to do, so you can definitely spend a full day there. Thanks Stylist and I am already looking forward to next year!


Thursday, 13 October 2016

Purpose....Where To Find It?

Purpose....'an aim or meaning in your life because there is something that you want to achieve.'

This word 'purpose' is something that I have thought a lot about, and especially over the past year.
I'm guessing that I am probably not the only one too.
Life is a strange old thing and there have been numerous times where it has stopped me in my tracks and made me question everything. What is the meaning of it? Why am I here? What is my purpose?

I believe that we would all love our jobs and be much happier in general if we felt as though we were fulfilling a purpose. I know that this is definitely true for myself.
We spend such a huge chunk of our lives working, it's almost quite scary, so surely it's common sense that we are happy whilst doing so.

I have always been a believer in this mantra, but even more so since I lost my mum. I think sometimes when individuals have gone through a life changing event, it really makes you look at your life and re-assess everything. It makes you realise that we aren't invincible and that life is short. You only get one chance at this, so what's to lose? Now I am aware that I am sounding super cheesy here, however it really is true.

Throughout my mum's illness my purpose was to look after her. I luckily was self-employed and only working part time, but this was my choice. Our decisions and plans were all based around her appointments and how she was feeling. This was our life for 2 and a half years. So when she passed I felt completely and utterly lost. My purpose was gone and I did not know what to do with myself.
Being able to make my own decisions was weird and I almost didn't like it. I had grown accustomed to having my life dictated for me and I now I was unable to function.
That's a strange thing to hear from a 26 year old perhaps, but I felt as though I needed to re-think my life and what I wanted.

I adore being a hair and makeup artist and always loved the work, however it suddenly didn't feel enough for me. I needed more on top of this and I needed to do something to help others and make a difference.
Planning my mum's funeral felt like a blur but it did make me ask myself a question....How do I want to be remembered?
I think that this is a powerful question and one that I recommend anyone taking some time to answer. My mum was an incredible teacher and so much so that lots of her students were still in touch with her. I'm talking children who she taught when they were 6 years old and now were in their 30's. She made a big impact on their lives and I was inundated with wonderful messages from them and their families when it happened. This, to me, was amazing. She really found her purpose and her calling and it was never forgotten.

Now this is something that I am working on for myself. I want to enjoy each day, I want to feel like I am making a difference and not just working each day purely to pay the bills.
There is so much in the world to be enjoyed and I refuse to just let it pass me by.
Of course, I won't feel this way everyday and that's ok. But I am on a journey to find my next purpose and fill my life with satisfaction.
For anyone that knows me you will know that I am currently in the process of starting my own business and creating my own beauty brand. This is something that I never thought I would ever do, even the word business used to freak me out. However this now feels right for me and makes me feel comfortable in a strange way. I feel as though I need to use my experience with cancer and losing my mum to do good. I do not want to have been put through everything to just ignore it and forget it. I have knowledge and I want to use it.

Perhaps we can all use our experiences..good or bad...to find our purpose?

I will keep you updated along the way.


Monday, 10 October 2016

My Current Haircare Routine

Today's post is all about hair. For a long time now, hair has been a big part of my life, as I style hair for a living. Even before training for my career, when I was little I always had one of those styling heads in my room. You know the ones that are just a girl's head and shoulders? With long hair that you could play with, cut and even put makeup and earrings on. I loved these so much, and could have hours of fun trying out different looks. It's no surprise really that I turned out loving everything beauty related!

So I thought it would be interesting to talk about my current favourite hair products. I'm no stranger to hair colour as you know and at the moment I am having bleach painted on every 8 weeks, so hair care is quite vital for me. This is important for everyone but especially because I want to keep my hair as long as possible also.

I would recommend any of the following products to anyone, but these work particularly well on long, blonde hair as you will see.

Philip Kingsley Pure Silver Shampoo and Conditioner

These are my absolute favourites and I have been using them every single time I wash my hair for about 5 years now. I even have to buy miniatures for when I am travelling for my suitcase, because I can't cope without them. This may sound dramatic but nothing else makes my hair feel so moisturised and soft. They also give it an amazing shine which is normally hard to achieve on blondes. The formula is gentle and leaves it easy to comb through. The light purple colour of the product also helps to keep any brassy tones at bay. Highly highly recommend to any fellow blondies!

Bleach London Silver Shampoo and Schwarzkopf Color Freeze Silver Shampoo

These two are a very pigmented deep purple colour and both assist in toning my hair ever so slightly to more of an ashy/white blonde. They are great for in between colour appointments to take away any yellow tones and I tend to use one of these about once a week.
For a more intense colour boost I even sometimes apply these onto dry hair for 10 minutes, before rinsing and then washing as normal.

Tangle Teezer

A classic, but a great one. I use my tangle teezer whilst still in the shower when I have rinsed my conditioner off. It really helps to comb through any knots without any pain or need to pull too much. I couldn't live without it.

Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum

This is a serum that I put into wet hair which actually helps my hair to dry faster when I am blast drying and also adds in some much needed moisture which stops any frizzing. I find that my hair doesn't get as fluffy either when I use this.

Living Proof Prime Style Extender

I have done a separate full blog post on this here, but I am still using it which is a good sign. I put a 50 pence piece size amount through my wet hair after the serum and before drying. I must admit I am quite lucky in that having wavy hair does mean that curls stay in my hair for days when I use a tong, but this definitely improves the longevity of any style. I have especially noticed this when I straighten my hair. It also protects against the weather which for me is a dream!

Wet Brush-Pro

I only discovered this recently and it is honestly so good! It looks like any other paddle brush but it really glides through wet hair so easily with no drag at all. I have been using this to brush through my hair whilst blow drying and it stops any knots from developing and leaves it feeling silky soft too.

Once my hair is dry and styled I don't use any other products generally. I personally don't love the feeling of hairspray or oils and like it to feel 'clean'.
Let me know if you have any miracle hair products that you couldn't live without...I am always interested in finding new things to try!


Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Learning As An Adult

Sometimes I feel as though my brain needs to be used more and challenged. I'm not sure whether anyone else feels this way too? My teenage self would probably never have believe that when I was older I would actually want to learn. I never disliked school, I was a happy child and always did my homework. However like most children I much preferred the weekends and lunchtimes where I could have fun with my friends.
It's a strange thing that as you get older, and no longer have to learn, you are suddenly much more interested in the world around you and gaining skills.
This has certainly happened to me, although I will definitely not be choosing to study anything that involves essay writing...no thank you!
Instead I have, just this week, decided to start learning a new skill that is purely for fun..a new hobby. This hobby is tap dancing.

I grew up dancing since the age of 3. I attended weekly ballet lessons until I was around 17 and then completed a dance A Level and performing arts AS Level. I trained at the Pineapple Performing Arts School when I left college and I just loved it.
My mum had been the same, and any chance we got to go to the West End to see a musical, we would be there.

Since training in makeup, my dancing just stopped. I decided that it wasn't to be something I was going to continue into a career, so that was it. No more classes.
Ever since then, whenever I see a show, I get all the feels back. I yearn to perform again and be on a stage, but for some reason I haven't done anything about it.
I guess I felt as though once you are an adult you can't go back to the classroom and if it isn't a career then what is the point?

This, I have just realised is such a bad attitude to have. I have felt as though I am missing a hobby for a long time, and the chance to learn something new. So when one of my best friends mentioned that she too had wanted to learn tap, it seemed like the perfect chance.

Tap was the one style of dance that I have never tried before so I am a complete novice but a very keen one too. Yesterday was our first lesson and I'm happy to report that I loved it. It was hard work (trust me!) but also super exciting, and a great feeling to get my brain activated again.

I guess I just wanted to share that it's never too late to learn something new and start a new hobby. It's important for our mental health too; keeping those clogs turning and also releasing much needed endorphins. It is something that I definitely needed and am really excited to see how I progress.
Falling in love is a wonderful process and it doesn't just have to be with a person. See what new loves you can bring into your life and enrich it. Go and try the thing that you have always wanted to and you never know where it might lead you...

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