Tuesday, 22 May 2018

A watch that gives back...

To me, a watch is the most sophisticated accessory you can wear, and it’s something that can go from being super casual, to having a more business-like and smart feel. The wonderful guys at Nordgreen in Copenhagen have just created the most stunning and classic watches which have inter-changeable straps, making them customise-able for any occasion. I know there are a lot of other inter-changeable strap watches out there at the moment, but honestly, these guys don’t compromise on quality, and they make sure that as a company they are giving back to those in need and important causes. 

When you buy a watch, you can choose to donate a part of that sale to help one of three sustainable causes: 1 month of education to a child in India, 2 months of clean water to a person in Central Africa or protect 200sqm of rainforest in Latin America.  Now I don’t know about you, but I think that is such a wonderful idea, and something that more brands should really offer. It just shows how much they, as a brand, are taking social responsibility.

Nordgreen gifted me the grey and rose gold Philospher watch which I absolutely adore. I've never been one for leather strap watches as I was under the illusion that they look a bit cheaper, but when this stunner arrived my mind was completely changed. The rose gold makes it look super expensive, and the grey just goes with everything. They also very kindly sent over a black Philospher for the boyfriend, which he is absolutely loving (yet still did not make him get off his arse and help me take these photos though...).

If you're after a new watch but want to know that part of your money is going to a good cause I would 100% recommend having a look at Nordgreen, the straps are all interchangeable so you can create a watch for every occasion. I will most definitely be getting one of the rose gold mesh straps ASAP, I'm a sucker for rose gold in case you hadn't guessed...

Now clock-watching at work is a little more enjoyable at least!


Monday, 14 May 2018

Disco Yoga with XLS + giveaway

I am totally not going to sit here and write a whole post about what is right and wrong when it comes to losing weight. Everyone has their own ways of doing things, and I won't lie and say that I don't have strong opinions on crash diets, but equally, unless you are starving yourself I won't voice my opinions.

A few weeks ago I was invited to an event with XLS, a brand known for their fat loss tablets. Immediately I questioned whether or not I should attend the event, because realistically my opinion on fat loss tablets is the same as the majority of other health and fitness bloggers out there (not that I would call myself a health and fitness blogger, but I do like to touch on the subjects). Anyway, I was swayed by the fact that the event 1) included Disco Yoga - who even knew this was a thing, and 2) that this was to share the release of their new weight loss shake, which claims to be nutritionally complete, and was approved by a top nutritionalist. I was so intrigued to find out more, with all the recent controversy on other shakes.

Through the night I learnt a lot about the shake (and the fact that I love Disco Yoga...), for example it contains Vitamins B5 and B12 which help to maintain a healthy metabolism for energy release. I've gone through phases in my life of having meal replacement shakes for breakfast, especially when I was at Uni and didn't want to get up any earlier than I had to, and I was always worried that taking meal replacement shakes would ruin my metabolism, but apparently this guy keeps it healthy. Don't be under any illusion that these will taste as good as your Coco Pops for breakfast, as they have no added sugar they aren't super sweet, but the Strawberry is actually pretty nice! They come in three flavours, Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry of course, and they need to be mixed with Semi-Skimmed milk in order to contain the complete nutrients required to make this an adequate meal replacement, but if you prefer, it is ok to swap this for non-dairy alternatives. If you are a fan of thick milkshakes you will be able to drink these no problem in the morning, however I would recommend chucking them into a blender quickly just to make sure its smooth. 

XLS recommend replacing two of your daily meals with these shakes, if you did want to complete the weight loss plan, and they don't put bans on snacking in between meals either, so long as they are healthy choices. 

I am by no means saying that this is the best way to lose weight permanently - we all know that a balanced diet, and regular exercise is the best way for this. So although I don't think that these shakes are the best option for long term weight loss, if you are after a quick fix in time for your holiday, a wedding, or just something to give your weight loss plan a kickstart, then I'd definitely say that these shakes are for you. 

Also, if you struggle to have breakfast in the morning this will be a great alternative to ensure that you are at least having something (and they're definitely healthier than a sugary Blueberry muffin that you could grab from Costa on your way to work). Personally, I will be mixing these with water as a post-workout protein shake, as they are pretty low in calories when mixed with water, only around 140 kcals, and contain 27-31g of protein, which is a hell of a lot more than other marketed protein shakes. 

XLS have teamed up with me to give you guys the chance to win a months supply of this shake, so if you struggle to eat breakfast in the morning, or are trying to have a little more protein in your diet and want to give this a shot - just make sure you are following me on Instagram @daenalouise, drop me a comment with your favourite emoji on my image (it'll be the same as the one above!) , and that will be you entered! Good luck!

Sunday, 22 April 2018

New In My Drugstore Makeup Stash

Yes, this was indeed one of those situations where you go to Superdrug for a pack of cotton pads and end up spending £30 - we've all been there (myself, more times than I wish to admit). But hey, I am justifying this spend by the fact that the usual 3 for 2 offer across makeup was on, and by the fact I am going to share the products with you guys, and give you the low-down on what you do and don't need to pick up. Side note: no idea what other product I bought in this 3 for 2...think it has gone walk-abouts whatever it was though...

Maybelline Brow Tattoo - £12.99
The concept of this product absolutely fascinates me. I was always the kid in art class who covered themselves in PVA glue just to peel it off when it dried, and this brow product is essentially that. You apply the thick paste onto your brows, leave it for an hour or so, and peel it off to reveal a stain on the skin. I was so excited to try this, but it only lasted one day on me, which was super disappointing as I may as well just use my Dipbrow. It was handy however to do my brows the night before, and then in the morning I saved time as I did not have to do anything to do them, so I suppose if you aren't a morning person then you might like this, but don't expect the stain to hang around for long - because it won't!

Maybelline Master Chrome Highlighter in Molten Gold - £7.99
I'll put this out there now, I am not a fan. The pigmentation is not fantastic, and it just doesn't show up on my skin. I think if you have a darker complexion than I do, this will look amazing on you, but it just does not work with my skin tone, and I don't think it would work for anyone paler than myself. I really thought I would like this as I am sure loads of Americans were raving about this when it came out over in the states, but nope, this is definitely not for me - I'll stick to Mary Lou-manizer. 

L'Oreal Paradise Mascara - £9.99
There seems to have been a huge marketing campaign for this mascara recently, and I was definitely sucked in when Victoria (Inthefrow), and Lydia Millen were talking about it. I remember when it was released a while back and everyone went mad because it was rose gold, and this definitely drew me in also. I'm usually very loyal to Maybelline when it comes to mascaras, but this one has definitely converted me to being a L'Oreal girl. The brush is huge which is something I am not used to, but I only need to do two coats of this to get huge lashes (usually I need three), and it doesn't crumble on me. I highly recommend you all go and pick this up, and they do now make a waterproof version for all my straight lashed girls out there who need a mascara that holds a curl.

L'Oreal Infallible Foundation Stick in Honey - £8.99
If you haven't seem every influencer on the planet instagramming this foundation, then where on earth have you been?! I've always wanted to try the Hourglass stick foundation but couldn't justify the price, and hadn't yet picked up my trusty Revolution Foundation Stick, so thought this was a budget way to try out foundation sticks and see how I got on with them. It is very creamy, however not as creamy and blendable as the Revolution one, and it definitely has a more matte finish - on my skin anyway. I would not say that it has a huge amount of coverage, definitely more on the medium side, but I have been able to build it up more where I need it. I just find foundation sticks super quick to use, and they are so much less messy than liquid foundations. If you have very dry skin I probably wouldn't recommend this for you, but if you have normal-combination skin you would probably love this.

L'Oreal Matte Lipstick in 696 Mahogany Studs - £6.99
This lipstick is a dream. I'm not exaggerating. I have been looking for a cheaper, and more moisturising version of my fave Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita, for ages, and I was trying to find one more product to make up my 3 for 2 and found this little beauty. It is almost identical to Lolita so I had to have it. Although it is described as a matte, it is actually pretty comfortable on the lips and doesn't dry them out. It is the perfect dusty-rosy-pink nude and has become my everyday staple lippie. You can see from the swatches below just how similar it is to the Kat Von D one!

Highlighter, Lipstick, Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick in Lolita

I have now put myself on a minimum two week ban from Superdrug and Boots, because I do not need anymore makeup, and I don't think I can keep using my blog as an excuse to go wild! On the other hand, if you recommend anymore stick foundations please let me know, I am obsessed with them and dying to try more!


Sunday, 15 April 2018

Becoming too dependent on other people for your happiness

Recently I have come to the conclusion that I am far too dependant on other people when it comes to my happiness. I genuinely hate being on my own, which is something I didn't think I would ever feel.

I spent a whole week with Andy recently, him staying at mine, us commuting home from work together, talking for more than five minutes a day (which is our usual phone conversation, consisting of '"how was your day at work?", "fine, yours?", "yeah was ok, you going gym tonight?", "yeah, you?", "yup, do you have any news?", "no not today", "ok have a nice evening" -  basically because neither of us like to talk on the phone), and actually getting to eat dinner together. It was so nice, but the week after he left I was so lost. I found myself feeling pretty shit, even though I am so used to not living with him and only seeing him at weekends. The week he was here I suppose I had something to look forward to after work, and it made the days quicker, I was overall much happier *cringe*.

I suppose the days of feeling shit made me realise that I need to stop depending on other people for my own happiness - I am more than capable of being happy on my own, and deep down I genuinely do enjoy spending time with myself. We should all be happy in our own company, and yes - we should look forward to spending time with loved ones, but our happiness shouldn't rely on that. It definitely has something to do with a fear of being lonely - really I am never truly alone, I live with my family and am always on my phone texting.

I’m sure I cannot be the only person who feels like this, so please do let me know if you have ever felt like this! I’m definitely going to work on not relying so much on other people to be happy myself, and make plans for after work that don’t necessarily involve me seeing friends - things I can do on my own. Are there any things you guys recommend doing on your own? - I'd love ideas!

Monday, 2 April 2018

My Journey To Feeling Alive

Wow, what a dramatic title - what this post is really about is my journey to not falling asleep on my commute to work (not quite such an exciting title though).

As I like to mention, quite frequently, I am unable to stay awake on my morning commute to work - no amount of Netflix, reading of the Metro, or listening to the Jonas Brothers will keep me awake. I get a very decent amount of sleep every night, around 8 hours, so it has been a challenge to figure out what I can do to make myself feel more alive and awake.

Thankfully (hearing all my prayers apparently...) the lovely team at Pegasus PR got in touch to offer me a box of sleep related goodies in conjunction with National Sleep Awareness Week - yes I know this was a few weeks ago now, but I had to give these products a go before raving about them to you guys. The main product that the box was promoting was the new Benenox Overnight Recharge, a combination of honey, Sustamine and Vitamin B6, which when taken before bed helps to support a good sleep, and supposedly makes you feel more awake in the morning. I was sceptical, I'll put it that way, but nonetheless super keen to try anything and everything that could possibly help with my annoying situation.

After taking Benenox for a week, I really noticed a change in the way I felt in the mornings. Some days I did still fall asleep on the train to work, but overall I felt much less fatigued, and felt like my quality of sleep had improved - I didn't wake up once in the night (possibly a negative as one of my favourite things is waking up at 5am and realising I still have an hour and a half left of sleep). I've also noticed the benefit of having a Clipper 'Snore and Peace' tea before bed, which also came in the gorgeous box gifted to me. I hate normal tea (I know....), and am generally super fussy with herbal teas but my oh my this tea is actually yummy. I'm awful at describing flavours but it's essentially Chamomile and Lavender, and it really does make me feel sleepy - how it works, I don't know.

You get around 9 uses in one bottle of Benenox, and it retails at £9.99 - so not the cheapest thing to be buying, but I think for me it is helping me just that little bit. I do need to get into the basic routine of reading every night before bed rather than watching Netflix or scrolling through Instagram, I think this would definitely help also. If you have any other tips and tricks for feeling more alive in the mornings, please let me know!

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