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?


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!


Sunday, 5 August 2018

It's time to take care of my skin...for real

If I scrolled through my blog, holding a shot glass and a bottle of Vodka, and took a shot every time I mentioned in a blog post that I was going to start really looking after my skin, I'd be drunk....very drunk. But this time, I really mean it, mainly because I have found some products that I just bloody love using. 

When I was on my Thomas Cook flight at the start of the month, I was browsing through the on-board duty free magazine, as you do, and spotted a Clinique Moisture Surge kit for something super cheap like £36. I'd decided before the plane had even left the runway that I was going to be making a purchase, along with the Emma Hardy Cleansing Balm which they had on offer too. My decision was set in stone when the flight attendant announced that everything in the in-flight magazine was an extra 20% off too! I therefore paid just under £30 for this set, which includes the Moisture Surge Cream, the Moisture Surge Hydrating Mist, and the All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage (which was amazing post-flight!)

I have to say, the cream feels super luxurious to use. I would describe it as more like a gel, and my skin feels insanely plump after using this, and I can honestly say when I put this on in the evenings, I wake up in the morning with naturally dewy skin, and you can just tell it is super hydrated. It's not an 'oily-dew' (if that even makes sense), but just a gorgeous radiance. I'm praying that this cream lasts me ages, as the full size is over £30 on its own *cries*. 

In this hot weather, the moisturising mist has been an absolute life saver. When I'm feeling a little hot and sticky, I've been spraying this on my face and it's an absolute dream - definitely not what it is intended for though. During the day, if your skin is feeling a little tight and dry, the spray is meant to help hydrate the skin, making it perfect for commuters and people on the go (I don't know about anyone else, but commuting has really taken its toll on my skin!).

I do have to say though, my absolute favourite thing in the box was the All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage. It comes in one of those pen-like tubes with a metal ball at the end to help with the de-puffing of eyes. I suffer with ridiculous dark circles, its a hereditary thing so nothing really helps, but I find that when I am tired they are obviously made ten times worse. Using anything cooling under the eyes, I find, really helps, and using this in the morning has been helping me to wake up before my travel into work.

Have you guys tried any of the Moisture Surge range? There was such a huge hype about it a few months ago, with loads of huge bloggers going on a trip with Clinique for the range, and I guess I was sucked in by the good price and vlogs! 

*This post contains affiliate links*


Sunday, 29 July 2018

The pink dress of dreams and my fear of wearing dresses

Despite the fact I am typing this whilst sat in the car watching the rain pour onto the windscreen, the weather recently has been ridiculously hot. Me being a massive winter baby, I had no summer clothes (appropriate for the UK), so took it upon myself to do a cheeky ASOS haul of some pretty pieces to keep me cool in the heat, and this dress was one of them.

I won't lie, I find the concept of wearing dresses in the heat, especially in London, a little daunting. Why? I hear you ask. Well - chub-rub is the reason. A few weeks ago my Mum was telling me about a conversation she had had with one of her friends about chaffing, and how she never even knew this was a thing - I was shocked that she'd never even heard anyone talking about it before. Pretty much everyone I know is affected by chaffing, even some of my more petite friends. Although of course if you have chunkier thighs, like myself, we do tend to get it a little worse. I think all of us who suffer with chub-rub in Summer can confirm it is the most uncomfortable and painful feeling, and you just want to waddle instead of walk. Thankfully, it seems like chaffing is now being recognised by a lot of high-street retailers and online stores, such as Pretty Little Thing, who have now bought out bands to put on your thighs when you are wearing dresses, and you won't be bothered by chaffing anymore. 

Back to this dress anyway, after that little detour! It's a super light linen-y material, which means it creases so bad - as you can see from the photos, but me having to get out an iron to wear this dress is so worth it. With it being so light, it is a tiny bit sheer, so I would recommend nude underwear with this one. 

I'm such a fan of anything off-shoulder, I find it is super flattering on me, and my neck/chest area is one of my favourite parts of myself, is that weird?  I hope that this style sticks around for a lot longer! With it being a more skater-style dress also, it is perfect for those Summer dinners out, or cocktails with the girls, when you are definitely going to be needing something to hide the bloat.

I would recommend perhaps sizing up in this dress if you have slightly larger boobs, or don't want it to cling to you too much, as there really is no stretch in the material at all. 

Please tell me I am not the only one with this ridiculous fear of wearing dresses in Summer, and let me know your top anti-chaffing tips in the comments, help a girl out!

Dress: ASOS


Monday, 23 July 2018

They call it mellow yellow

...or not so mellow in the case of these trousers. (I couldn’t not title this post this way, despite the odd reasons behind the song...). Is anyone else feeling the yellow vibes recently? Since I bought my Mustard dress from Miss Selfridge (I'm talking about this one), I've been on the hunt for anything and everything yellow. I feel like it really flatters darker skin tones, and is a colour that most people would probably shy away from since it can be quite garish and loud. Well, not me, throw all the yellow my way please!

These trousers were especially bought for my holiday, and I was planning to shoot them on the beach in Majorca, but 1) they arrived and are actually quite thick, so the thought of walking 15 minutes to the beach in 30 degrees was not for me, and 2) I have the most uncooperative Insta boyfriend, who quite frankly just wanted to lay about doing nothing when I wanted my pictures taken. It worked in my favour though, as Covent Garden was a much more colourful location, although not half as picturesque I have to admit.

The top I paired these with is actually a little one shoulder number, a style which I am loving at the moment. In terms of shoes, when I was on holiday I paired this outfit with my espadrille wedges, but traipsing around London in those didn't seem a good idea, nor a very comfortable one, so I opted for my trusty Vans, which definitely turned this into a more edgy outfit. 

I don't know about you, but this summer has given me this huge urge to change things up, branch out in terms of my style, and do new things. You would not have seen me dead in yellow a few years ago, yet here I am typing this post with bright yellow Gel on my nails and toes. It seems super silly that wearing one new colour can feel like such a change, but honestly, if I hadn't picked up that yellow dress a few months ago, I'd still be wearing black almost everyday of my life. 

If anyone has seen any gorgeous yellow clothes anywhere please hit me up, and also, let me know what your colour of the summer has been!

Trousers: Missy Empire
Shoes: ASOS*

*This post contains affiliate links*


Saturday, 14 July 2018

Why we all need to take a break once in a while ...

In this day and age, we all spend way too much time studying, working long hours, and generally not looking after our overall well-being. The minimum annual leave allowance in the UK is 28 days, which when you consider this year there is 253 working days, it is really not a lot of time off. Last week I spent the whole week sunning myself, reading books that I don’t have time to read usually, and laying on my back in the sea staring up at the sky. It made such a change to my usual commute, and my staring at a screen 8 hours a day. I left feeling so relaxed (and with a large feeling of upset that I do not live in Majorca) and rejuvenated, having not even thought once about the emails that would be flooding my inbox at work.

I know so many people who save all their annual leave up throughout the year to carry through to the next year, and guys, it’s just not the best thing to do. What good is it going into a new year with 50 odd days holiday, but being so mentally exhausted and with stress levels through the roof?! Regular breaks, whether that be vacations, staycations, or a week of activities, is the best way to detox from work.

Taking a break every once in a while will also give you the opportunity to come back to work with an open mind, and new ideas flowing. The past week I also took a break from blogging, and can see the benefit for full time bloggers to also take a break. I’ve come away with post ideas, photograph ideas I want to shoot, and a huge determination to post more regularly on my Instagram. The same applies to your average jobs too, you’ll turn up back at your desk with fresh ideas and ways to make your job that little bit easier.

Even if you wake up everyday looking forward to going to work, you still need to take a break for both your physical and mental health. The most enjoyable jobs still cause stress, and it is hugely important to take a break and remove yourself from stressful situations. Yes, not everyone can afford to go abroad, but there are so many beautiful places in the UK also that you can go to get away and relax, have a digital detox. Think Cornwall, the Lake District, even Brighton is one of my favourites for a short break away. In fact, sometimes you don't even need to be in a new environment to take some time away to yourself. Being in the comfort of your own home, spending time with loved ones, and chilling in your garden can be great for de-stressing and giving your mind a break. 

After my little break away, I feel comforted and content knowing that I have released so much of the stress that had built up within me over the past few months, since my last break away prior to this was December. Working solidly for just over 6 months without much time to myself had definitely taken its toll on my mind and happiness, but I am feeling so much more refreshed and happy within myself.

Seeing the benefits that taking a substantial break has made me super keen to plan some more trips over the rest of the year. I only have 12 days left of holiday to book, but I can assure you that they will be used to do exciting things, and things that will benefit my mental health. I'm thinking Rome, and possibly Disneyland, which I think I have stated very openly on my blog that I want to go to visit for the past three years - whoops!

 Have you got any breaks away planned this year, I’d love inspiration for my next trip!


Monday, 25 June 2018

Dressing like a picnic blanket

Happy Monday kids! It's only 9 days till I go on holiday and I am absolutely buzzing, not so much buzzing about my first you know what wax next week mind (TMI soz). I'm back at you today with an outfit post, because I have nothing to ramble about this week and just bloody love this dress so wanted to share it, even if it does look like I'm wearing the kitchen table, or ya Mums picnic blanket.

I'm totally sucked into this whole coloured building trend at the moment for outfit photos, I used to love the plain white backgrounds of your fancy houses, but nope not anymore - give me all the colour (but still the fancy houses)! Getting changed into this outfit in the middle of Notting Hill was quite an experience. - how you fashion bloggers do it, I will never know. I was at one point stood with pink trousers underneath this dress, bare foot, which is quite a look let me tell you, and I got many a funny stare - but trust me, undressing in the street was more pleasant than getting inside a pee-ridden phone box. I think the changing in the middle of the road was well worth these photos of this dress though, am I right or am I right...?

Can we all talk about the back of this dress for a moment please? The cut out detail adds a little something to an otherwise quite average dress, and I love the bow. I think ASOS do this style dress in other patterns, and I am dying for it in a pale yellow *cough* ASOS bring one out please. 

I'm back on the hunt for holiday clothes now, in fact, as I type this I have a million and one tabs open of things I need (ok, want) to order for my holiday. If all goes to plan, you may see me in some bright yellow trousers soon - can you tell yellow is my vibe at the moment?!

I hope you guys like these more simple outfit of the day style posts, I'm really enjoying shooting and styling them, and I hope you like my picnic blanket dress! I'm hoping to shoot more glamorous outfits soon, no more trainers for Daena.

Dress: ASOS


Monday, 18 June 2018

Pretty in pink

Am I finally a real fashion blogger?! I took the plunge and went to Notting Hill for my first shoot the other week, and now I feel like a true blogger. There were far less judging looks this side of town - I think everyone who lives in Notting Hill is just so used to having bloggers crowd their streets to pose in front of their colourful houses, we're no longer being stared at like animals in a zoo (well...not by the locals anyway!)
I've recently been torn away from my boring black clothing choices, and the occasional hint of Mustard, so here is documentation - solid, hard evidence, to feast your eyes upon.

I was a bit sceptical of wearing 'office style' trousers with chunky trainers, they are definitely the sort of pants that would work amazingly with nude heels, but something about these trainers seemed to work with them too. The whole look is more of a smart/casual vibe with these and the white t-shirt, and adds a much more edgy feel which when wearing pink can be quite hard to achieve. I wouldn't classify myself as a typical 'girly-girl' so pink is not my first choice of colour to wear, but I think these cigarette trousers may convert me. ASOS also do them in a canary yellow, which I am refreshing every single day to check if they are back in stock *sad I know*.

Just a heads up, I'd run to these trousers if I were you *metaphorically speaking of course*, as they are now on sale for £21 which is an absolute steal - I've never owned smart trousers which were so stretchy and high waisted!

T-Shirt - ASOS
Trousers - ASOS
Trainers - Nike Air Force 1's


Sunday, 10 June 2018

What I've Got Planned For Summer

Inspiration was well and truly lacking in the blogging department this week, I don't know what it is, I think it is just that I have had such a long week with no real chance to explore the internet and get inspiration. With Summer upon us, I thought I would share some of my plans for the next few months with you! I say this as if I have a shit tonne of exciting plans, sorry to disappoint, but I don't. I do have a handful of things coming up which are super exciting however, and some things I am also hoping to plan in the next couple of weeks.

The first thing coming up is Taylor Swift's tour - anyone who knows me will know just how excited I am for this! It's been a very long time since I saw my queen live, and Reputation was such a banging album, June 22nd really couldn't come soon enough. Coincidentally, I also have a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea on the 22nd (bagged a day off work - woop woop!), it's at the One Hotel in Aldwych. Bring on the banging headache, chocolate coma, and bloating to the size of an 8 month pregnant lady. I am going to try my hardest to blog it, but sometimes these hotels have such poor lighting and I feel my pictures come out awful. 

Aside from June, my holiday is slowly approaching, and I go away to Majorca on the 4th July. I know it is so bad but I am starting to get embarrassed when people ask where I am going on holiday and I turn round and say Majorca - I feel as if people are expecting way more exotic holiday destinations these days from people my age, like Bali or Thailand or something, is it just me? I know I am super lucky to be able to afford a holiday of any sorts, but with my entire social media feeds going away to these stunning and less generic locations, I feel Majorca sounds uber crap. One hundred percent not trying to sound ungrateful, but I hope that makes sense. I am very much looking forward to laying in the shade (I cannot do direct sunlight for very long), reading countless books, and lounging around on an inflatable Unicorn in the pool with a G&T in hand. Everyone pray me and Andy don't kill each other, we haven't spent a full 7 days together in a very long time (praying for my sanity already). 

After holiday I don't really have anything planned, but I am hoping to get more Instagram content this Summer, and post more than once a week on there. It is so hard to grow a following on Instagram as it is at the moment, but when you cannot commit the time to make content to post say 4/5 times a week, it is near enough impossible to grow, even with interacting with other accounts and being active in that sense. Beth, my friend who very patiently takes my photos, works only a few Underground stops away, so with the brighter evenings, we are hoping to be able to get much more content - and try out a shit tonne of restaurants in the process!

In terms of other plans in the pipeline, a second holiday before the end of September is definitely on the cards, I am hoping for Santorini, but that is almost certainly not going to happen, and Barcelona is looking much more likely. I am also looking at a nice UK break for the August Bank Holiday, because why not? Let me know if you have any destination recommendations - somewhere near a beach would be ideal.

I'd love to know what your Summer plans are!

Trousers: ASOS
Top: *similar* ASOS
Shoes: Nike


Monday, 4 June 2018

4 things I like to do to boost my confidence

So you know those days where you wake up, look in the mirror, and just feel a little bit shite? Yes? Well I'm pleased it is not just me. I think us girls feel like that quite a lot, so here are four things I like to do when I feel like a pile of poop.

1) I am the worst when it come to painting my nails - like seriously. If you had known me when I was in school you would never have thought this, as I had an unhealthy obsession with the Barry M Gelly polish collection - which if you scroll back far enough in my blog archive you can probably find evidence of. Nowadays, I cannot think of the last time I bought a nail polish, and over the past few months I realised I just don't have the time or the effort to be painting my own nails. Every 4 weeks I treat myself to a gel manicure - ideally it should be done every 3 weeks, but I'm tight, so unless they have chipped I generally wait 4 weeks. It saves so much time, and having my nails done makes me feel ten times more put together, compared to holding on on the tube and looking at my week old, chipped nails.

2) Having a pamper on a Sunday night is my favourite thing. I suffer with Sunday blues pretty bad so it really helps me to get into a better mindset for the week ahead. I was thinking of doing a whole post about my pamper routine, featuring me in some hideous face mask probably - I think I will for sure be writing this soon. Taking the time out of my Sunday afternoon or evening to relax, and pamper myself makes me feel so much better about myself - especially when I wake up on Monday morning and don't need to put any foundation on (time saving - key for a Monday).

3) Buy new gym clothes and have a cheeky workout in them. Don't even lie and tell me that looking at your arse in gym leggings isn't your favourite thing to do? (ok, fine maybe I just appreciate this more as a girl who has no arse in any other clothes). Whenever I buy a new Gymshark set and have my first workout in them, I feel a million dollars. It's by no means the cheapest way to boost your confidence, but it really does work - and you'll be getting fitter at the same time, what more could you want?!

4) Unfollow all those accounts that make me feel shit about myself. Big titties, pouty lips, a Brazilian butt lift and abs 24/7 - sorry but I will probably unfollow you. Not because I don't think you look fab, but because you are basically goals and every time I scroll past a picture of you in ya underwear, I am going to hate myself - and chances are as I scroll past your picture, I am probably scoffing my face with Jaffa Cakes or ice cream. If you love yourself - which is not a bad thing at all, and something we should all be aiming for - then you probably won't need to go on an unfollow spree. But if you are like me and see these accounts no longer as inspirational, but as depressing, then unfollow girl!

I do feel like 50% of the time I am super confident and happy with myself, but we all have those moments, right?

Skirt: ASOS
Shoes: ASOS
Bag: YSL (borrowed)

Monday, 28 May 2018

To save or not to save, adjusting, and a boring schedule

It's always hard to decide what is acceptable to write about on my blog and what isn't, but I put out a Twitter poll and many of you said you would read a post that featured honest feelings/thoughts, so here we go (get your cup of tea and biscuit ready)...

Recently, I have felt like I am in a complete rut, and stuck in the same boring routine. I get up at the same time, get on the same train everyday, seeing the same people, go to work, go to the gym, and go to bed. I know, woe is me. I'm fully aware that this is most people's lives, but I am seriously struggling with adjusting to this. My mindset is still that of a uni student, and doing the same thing everyday is really not for me (unless that same thing happens to be getting up at 11am, watching Netflix, going to the library and having a Snakebite everyday). I definitely need to make more after work plans, but I feel that having plans after work ruins my gym schedule - which admittedly I am a little too precious about, and also, I'm trying desperately to save a load of money, which brings me on to my next point...

I feel like everyone my age is travelling, or doing cool things, not working in an office all day, and that kind of makes me feel like crap. I am saving as much money as I possibly can every month so that in a year or so I can put a deposit down on a house, but when I think about it, once I own that house and have a mortgage to pay every month, and bills that need to be paid, I am not going to be able to afford to go travelling then - so why aren't I doing it now? Why am I putting so much money aside each month when I could be doing other things with that money (e.g. buying a Gucci Bag) that will make me happy? My list of places I want to travel to is so long, and I might still be young, but I am not getting any younger, surely this is the prime time to be travelling the world?!

I'd love to know your thoughts on this - are you in a similar position of debating travelling v.s. saving for a property? I hate feeling confused and not knowing what I want to do in life, and I know for sure that I am not the only person that feels this way.

I'm not one to talk about mental health, but I think we all need to talk about our feelings and thoughts more, even if it is just via blogs and social media - it helps to get things out, and it's great for letting others know that they are not alone in their feelings. I've recently not felt so good in my mindset, and this is something I really want to change. 

Shoes - Vans
Sunglasses - ASOS

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!

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