Sunday, 24 March 2019

So you want a cartilage piercing...

The trend of having lots of dainty piercings is definitely having a moment, and if you're anything like me, you're probably lusting over all the earring-porn on the Astrid & Miyu Instagram and crying over the fact it costs £55 to get your cartilage pierced at one of their pop-up stores. 

I had my cartilage pierced twice whilst I was at uni - I loved the first one so much, and the piercing shop I went to offered 20% student discount and numbed my ear before piercing, so it was a no-brainer to get a second one. I was totally in love with my piercing collection until about a year ago, when I decided to try to change the earring in my cartilage myself, an action which is in the top 5 of my biggest ever regrets. 


Since I started working for a jewellery brand I became obsessed with the idea of changing my stud for a ring, and with small silver hoops being relatively affordable I decided to just try one out. When I got home that day I unscrewed the labret style earring that I had in currently, and spent the next hour trying to get the hoop to close in my ear. It was near enough impossible without having someone else there to do it up for me, as there's just no way you can see where the hole of the hoop is, and things only become trickier when you're using a mirror and your lefts and rights switch. Some blood, sweat and tears later - quite literally, I gave up and took the earring out intending to replace it with the original labret style that I had previously had in. However, the fun didn't end there, as I couldn't find the stud. 


Here began the panic again, thinking that my piercing would now close as it didn't have anything in it, so I decided to try again with the hoop. I actually managed to do it up this time, but my ear was most certainly not happy and was incredibly painful to sleep on. 

My ear felt like it did when I first had it pierced for a good few days after this whole ordeal, but I thought nothing of it. Unfortunately, a small bump started to form around where the hoop had gone through the piercing, so I googled this and 'piercing bumps' seemed pretty normal, treatable by salt water and chamomile tea bags. I tried all of it - and nothing worked, the bump just kept getting bigger. After a few weeks I had really had enough of this giant thing on my ear so I googled it again, and soon discovered that it was not just a 'piercing bump', but rather a Keloid - I was so upset, I'd ruined my piercing and quite frankly, my whole ear (yes, I'm dramatic, I know).

What is a Keloid scar?

A Keloid is a tough scar which is raised, generally pink in colour, and are most common in people with darker skin tones. Not to be a nerd, but I've researched them quite a lot so I thought I would share my knowledge. When you break skin, what happens is that collagen gathers up all the damaged skin from around the wound and tries to help the wound to seal which causes a scar (I'm sure you've all had a regular scar before...). Anyway, generally scars fade and become much less noticeable, but sometimes scars continue to grow, which is what happened in my case.

Can you get rid of a Keloid scar?

No, is the short answer. I had read up and up on the internet about all these 'home remedies' and procedures that you can have done, but I tried all the home remedies and none of them worked. I then booked a doctors appointment, at which point the doctor just confirmed that it was a Keloid, and said there was nothing that they could do - he literally scoffed when I asked if Bio-Oil would help. Basically, you can go under the knife to have it removed, but this can result in the Keloid growing back much larger, which of course would defeat the whole point. I believe if you catch it before it really enlarges there are options which can stop it getting bigger and reduce the redness, therefore making it far less obvious. 

Can you prevent a Keloid on a piercing?

Essentially, yes. Cartilage is more prone to developing these large scars than other areas, and getting your piercing done with a needle rather than a gun can reduce the likelihood of Keloid scars forming. If you clean your piercing, don't aggravate it, and see a professional when you want the piercing changed, you probably won't develop a Keloid scar.


I'm by no means trying to scare you out of getting your cartilage pierced, but please just learn from my mistakes, let your piercing heal properly and don't try to change the piercing yourself. It sounds so silly but I used to be so confident with a high ponytail and generally having my hair tied up, but this has really knocked my confidence. Knowing that everyone can see it when my hair isn't down, and visibly seeing people stare at it when they are sat next to me or having a conversation with me is awful.

Has anyone else had a similar experience with a piercing?
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Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Falling back in love*

this post contains gifted items*
Clickbait title much? Sorry - couldn't help it. I have genuinely fallen in love again recently, just not with a person, with makeup. If you've been following me since the start of my blog you'll know it started as a beauty blog, and predominantly makeup based, but recently I fell out of love with makeup and in love with fashion. You know when you first get a new boyfriend and neglect your friends a little...? Well, makeup was the friend I neglected, and fashion was the new boyfriend. However, the lovely guys at FalseEyelashes.co.uk sent me over some gorgeous new lashes, and it reignited my love for makeup once more.


How gorgeous is this look I created (if I do say so myself...)?! I knew I wanted to use my Jaclyn Hill x Morphe palette, alongside my Revolution palette for the warmer pink tones. But whenever I do wear makeup, I always reach for pink tones, so I shook it up a little for this look and added a pop of electric blue and canary yellow. It's definitely not your everyday makeup look, but it does make a statement!



The lovely guys at FalseEyelashes sent me over three pairs of stunning lashes, including one set of Ardell Individuals*. The set I'm wearing is LashesXO in Wispy Chic*. They are so wispy (as per the name), and really compliment a bolder look. If you're not really into the heavy lash look these are a great option, and they're only £7.99 which is so good. I tend to wear my lashes at least four times, so they're totally worth it. The second set is a gorgeous pair from Unicorn Cosmetics in the style Forget Me Not*. These are definitely fuller and a much more statement pair of lashes. I'm thinking of wearing these for my birthday Bottomless Brunch on Saturday, let's hope I don't end up with my head over a toilet because there's a solid chance that they'd fall in! As a unicorn lover, I am also madly in love with the packaging of these.



You guys need to check out FalseEyelashes, they have the most insane range - over 2000 different styles to be precise, so  whether you prefer your lashes for everyday wear or prefer more bold lashes, there'll be a pair that you love. Nothing is worse than the range of eyelashes in Superdrug or Boots (if you live near my local ones anyway), these guys have some great brands too at discounted prices, like Red Cherry, Ardell and Violet Voss! You can even get 10% off with code DL10 - I'd get there soon because the offer ends soon (thank me later).


Are you a falsies fan? I genuinely don't think I can do glam makeup anymore without them! I'm so grateful to have received these lashes because I don't think I'd have fallen back in love with makeup if they hadn't have kindly sent them over. Stay tuned for more beauty posts coming soon!

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Sunday, 20 January 2019

What you can expect from me this year

Hello strangers, yes - it is me, no - I didn't fall off the face of the earth. This weekend I finally sat down to brainstorm for my blog after having a very inspiring week. On Wednesday I went to a panel discussion by Em Sheldon (@emshelx), Alex Serruys (@alexincolour), Pixie Turner (@pixienutrition) & Lauren Black (@imlaurenblack), which really inspired me to get back into writing my blog. I love writing, so I don't really know why I have resorted to playing Sims 4 at the weekend and complaining to anyone who will listen about my Sunday Blues, rather than writing for my blog. 


Since this is my first post for 2019, I thought that it would be a great idea to outline what you can expect from my blog this year. Believe it or not, my blog started out as a beauty blog, and it has definitely transitioned over the years to be more of a fashion and lifestyle blog that occasionally dips its toes into beauty. Fashion is where my heart is right now, and with so much change needed in the fashion industry, there will be a lot of content on sustainable fashion and rewearing clothes from past seasons - so be prepared to see lots of older clothes in my posts that you won't be able to buy anymore. I will always tag alternatives though if you fancy taking inspo from my outfits. 

If you missed my post on ethical fashion and why we all need to care a little bit more about the fast fashion industry, you can give it a read here. Since writing the post I have genuinely cut back on my shopping habits, and if I am looking for a particular item, I tend to start out my search on retailers that I know are making changes when it comes to sustainable fashion, such as Nobody's Child* or even going onto Depop. 


 I will most definitely still be writing general life posts here. They are my favourite to write because if you haven't guessed, or are new to my blog, I love a good ramble. But I am going to make a conscious effort to write more gym and fitness posts too. They don't actually do as well as my other posts, probably because I am no expert, but you guys always ask for them. 

This year my goals are the same as last year in terms of physical changes; I want to grow a booty and I won't say no if I finally get a flat tum. But more importantly, my goals are less aesthetic and improving my strength in my upper body, and my stamina when it comes to running are things I am hoping to focus on a bit more in 2019. Certain things over 2018 made me change my view on why I workout, and one thing I don't want for this year is to get sucked back into the mentality that going to the gym is only to change the way I look. Surprisingly, despite my frequent comments on my belly and flat arse, I love my body at the moment!


Beauty posts are not something that I will shy away from this year. I am by no means a beauty blogger anymore, and definitely don't keep up with the latest releases from brands. However, I am keen to write more skincare posts, as well as roundups of my favourite products. Since leaving University, I don't really have occasions to wear makeup all that often, so my favourites are unlikely to change much, so expect a favourites maybe...once this year, unless anyone wants to take me out somewhere so I can have an excuse to experiment with new products!

  

Better photos is a huge thing for me this year. Towards the middle and end of 2018, if you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed (I hope) that my images became better quality. This is down to borrowing friends cameras, and just finding people that can operate mine a bit better to shoot my pictures. I won't ever be a blogger that has perfect photos, but I am going to take the time to learn more about my DSLR this year, and therefore improve the quality of all my images. I know that when I visit new blogs, whether or not I subscribe to them is heavily dependant on their images and whether or not they draw me in, so it is hugely important for me that my images reflect me as a person, and are the best they can be. If anyone has any good recommendations for courses that I can do, either from home, or on weekends, to improve my knowledge on my Canon DSLR, please let me know.


I'd love to discover more blogs this year, in particular blogs that focus on sustainable fashion, so please drop your blog links down below and I will give you a follow on Bloglovin'. Also, please let me know what you would like to read from me this year, it's great to have feedback!

Blazer - old H&M - similar here*
Jeans - Topshop*
Boots - old Missguided - similar here*

*this post contains affiliate links, marked with asterixis

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Sunday, 2 December 2018

Ethical fashion - what's the issue & what you can do

As a serious serial-shopper, I have to confess that I don't ever go a whole week without placing an order for new clothes, or popping into a store to pick up a new item. It's an unhealthy habit, and not just for me, but 99% of the time, it's an unhealthy thing for the planet.

Along with half of Britain, I was sucked in to watching Stacey Dooley Investigates: Fashion's Dirty Secrets on iPlayer, and I was so pleased that I watched it. Before seeing the documentary, I had absolutely no idea that fast fashion had the largest impact on the environment, even more so than cars and beef production. Fast fashion essentially refers to frequent new collections to keep up with catwalk trends, and these collections are produced at high speed and extremely low cost. If you think about your favourite retailers, I'm sure you can confirm that they have bought out more than one new collection per season, whether this is a new celebrity collaboration line or a partnership with another brand.


I'm not really one for having TV shows affect me and my way of thinking, but I was devastated when I saw the effect that fast fashion is having on the countries where the materials and clothes are being produced. It blows my mind that the industry is so caught up with firing out new lines every month, or even more often than this, that the impact on the planet and even more shockingly, other human beings, is not being taken into consideration. For example, in the documentary it shows toxic waste and chemicals being pumped from a factory into a river that is used for not only drinking water, but for bathing as well. Imagine going to wash in water that contains chemicals that can eventually cause medical issues?!

Speaking of water, you'd be absolutely amazed at how many litres of water is used to make one item of clothing! The production of cotton uses so much water that it has in fact dried up an entire sea, isn't that just ridiculous?! For clothes!

It's almost impossible to say that you won't ever shop with the companies who are not sourcing their materials sustainably, as not all of us have the funds to shop with more ethical brands all the time. However, there are definitely things that we can do, and I'm really hoping that the influencer world and fashion blogging industry jumps on board to help push this.


outfit from Missguided, shoes from Boohoo - sustainable clothing haul to come! Sorry I just didn't have any other pics for this post!


Here are some great stores you can shop from if you want to buy from retailers who are trying to be a bit more sustainable, and my top picks from each store:

- Nobody's Child

I've shopped at Nobody's Child a few times before, in fact I bought option 1 of my Graduation dresses from them for only £8 (ironically I didn't actually wear this one and it's still sat in my wardrobe crying to be worn...and after many hints, the boyfriend still hasn't taken me out for a fancy dinner...). They have an insane range of clothes, and as there isn't a huge number of items on the website you can pretty much browse through the whole store in 10 minutes. I couldn't find much on their website directly regarding their sustainability, but there are lots of articles online about them being sustainable. They own their own factories and therefore control all the processes in the production, from the designing to the manufacturing of their clothes. They ensure that all processes are done as sustainably as possible, reducing waste, whilst staying affordable for their customers. I'd love to know a bit more about what they do so I think I'll drop them an email and let you guys know the updates.

I picked out some lovely pieces from their site that I think you guys will love too - how cute is this jumpsuit please?!


Purple Brushed Chunky Stitch High Neck Jumper - £32.00
Red Funnel Neck Split Front Mini Dress - £26.00
Spot Wide Strap Culotte Jumpsuit - £28.00

- H&M’s Conscious collection

I'm pretty sure H&M have had their fair share of bad press, not necessarily on the sustainability front, so it's nice to see that they are taking a step in the right direction when it comes to fast fashion. They launched their Conscious range in April 2018, and began with a range of clothing made from ECONYL®, a 100% regenerated fibre from fishnets and other nylon waste. Although not all of their clothing range is necessarily classed as sustainable, it is clear to see that they are really trying to make a difference by creating this collection of pieces made in a more sustainable way. 

It's not only their sustainable range that H&M are aceing, but they also are one few stores to offer a clothing recycling scheme, where you can drop off clothes and textiles from any brand, in any condition, and you'll be rewarded with a voucher. If i'm not mistaken I believe & Other Stories do something similar, but don't quote me on that.  Below are some things I really want to get my hands on, this coat in particular is gorgeous!


Fine-knit jumper - £17.99
Wool-blend coat - £119.99
Patterned blouse - £14.99

- Lindex

I'd never actually heard of Lindex before I was researching sustainable brands after watching the show, but they have some great pieces, and are really making waves in the sustainable fashion market. They have an entire sustainability report on their work in 2017, which shows amazing stats such as 95% of their cotton comes from more sustainable sources, 55% of their garments are made from more sustainable fabrics, and also 100% of their denim is made with more sustainable production processes. I love these pieces, and I am so tempted to order this sweatshirt, I think it would look gorgeous with a silky midi skirt!


Jumpsuit in Tencel® - £49.99
VERA Skinny High Coated Jeans - £39.99
White Scuba Sweater - £29.99

I hope that this has inspired you to think about shopping from sustainable brands a little more often, not necessarily all the time - or at least think a bit more about what you buy before you buy it. I'd love to hear whether you watched the documentary and what your thoughts were. Has it changed the way that you view shopping?

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Monday, 5 November 2018

Muse of London: Chocolate Crusade Treatment*


If you'd have told me in 2013 that a hairdressers would be asking me if I could visit their salon and review their new hair treatments in exchange for a blog post, I'd have probably laughed in your face. However, a few weeks ago, the lovely guys at Muse of London held a celebration for their 5th Birthday, and also to showcase their new colour range called Chocolate Crusade. It was a fabulous evening with a chocolate fountain that I spent the entire night stood next to, chocolate themed cocktails - which were insane, and I left desperate to give my hair a little oomph. The next day, the lovely guys got in touch with me again to ask if I would like to try out one of the new colours, and obviously I said yes.



The whole menu of colours are all named after something chocolate related, from Strawberry Ganache to Cinnamon Salted Caramel, which is such a great selling point for anyone as addicted to chocolate as I am. As my hair is pretty dark anyway, I opted to go for the Dark Chocolate, which is described as an Espresso colour with a high gloss finish - this sounded ideal for me as my hair was still clinging on to my 2014 redness in the ends, I regret wanting to look like bad gal Riri!


The overall treatment time took around an hour and a half, but this includes the 20-30 minutes developing time of the colour, and trust me, it was totally worth it. As I feel that my life is constantly on the go, it was great to actually have the hour and a half to myself, and spent the time catching up on Killing Eve (still disappointed at the ending of that show, not going to lie). During the rinse off of the colour, I had the most insane head massage that I will never forget - it's just the best part of going to the hairdressers, am I right or am I right?!

When my hair had been blow dried (also the best blow dry I have ever had - didn't even feel that it needed straightening after) I was in total shock at how fresh and glossy my hair looked. As someone who has never had a gloss on their hair before, I had no idea what to expect, but I was truly amazed at the result. I did worry a little that it would make my hair look super greasy, but it really didn't. Even if you don't live in London, I would recommend getting a gloss on your hair at your local hairdressers - totally worth it, I've been swishing my hair in everyone's faces since I've had it done. I'm gutted I didn't get a good photo of my hair on the day, as these photos were taken a few weeks after the treatment you can see the gloss has definitely worn away a little.




Muse have definitely restored my faith in hairdressers, and I just know that it will become my new go-to salon as it's so reasonably priced for London, and close enough for me to get to after work. Located on Mortimer Street, Muse of London is perfectly central for those of you who work in London, being only a 10 minute walk from Oxford Circus. They always have great offers on for other treatments, and also offer a variety of beauty treatments too. I'd love to hear if you've ever been to Muse, or if you are tempted by any of the colours on the Chocolate Crusade menu!


*gifted
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