Payday Treats: 4 Products To Try From Antipodes

Wednesday 27 February 2019

4 Products To Try From Antipodes
Antipodes are one of my favourite natural and organic skincare brands, and if you're looking to treat yourself to something new this payday, here are a few suggestions to add to your skincare basket.

My love for this New Zealand brand has been one that's grown ever stronger over the years, and if you haven't tried anything from them before, I urge you to have a leisurely read through my previous features and reviews for all things Antipodes related - you'll find a bunch here to start you off in the right direction. With such a vast range of skincare and body care available, Antipodes still manages to surprise me and the products below are mostly new-to-me, which I've been testing out over the past couple of weeks. 

Antipodes Resurrect Clarifying Facial Toner(100ml, £18.99, link)
Usually at this time of the year, I'll still be reaching for the hydrating mists in my skincare routine, but thanks to this absolutely balmy warmer weather we've been having lately, my skin has been asking for something much more balancing instead. In steps Antipodes Resurrect Clarifying Toner; one of the best toners that I've tried for oily and combination skin types. Not only does it feel instantly wonderfully refreshing when you spritz it on, but it does a fantastic job of balancing oily skin which results in pores looking more refined and clearer. It also helps other products absorb better into the skin afterwards and can be used morning and night.

4 Products To Try From Antipodes
Antipodes Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream* (30ml, £24.99, link)
Oh, how I adore this eye cream! It's become one of my most frequently recommended products ever, and if I see anyone looking for a new eye cream to try out, I always suggest this one without fail. Packed full of Avocado Oil, Vitamin E, Vinanza Grape, Borage Oil and Kiwi Seed Oil, this eye cream has a beautifully rich and silky texture, yet somehow manages to feel light at the same time and is easily absorbed into the skin. It's ultra-nourishing and hydrating, but never seems to overload the delicate undereye area either. Perfect in every way - I'll always have a jar of this in my skincare cabinet.

Antipodes Halo Skin-Brightening Mud Mask* (75g, £26.99, link)
One of the newer products from Antipodes, the Halo Skin-Brightening Mud Mask was only released last year and quickly became very popular online. I've been dying to try it out for such a long time and I'm pleased to say that it really does live up to all of the hype. This mask is what I would call a true multi-tasker because it delivers so many benefits for the skin, and is fantastic if you're after a quick fix before a special occasion or night out. With a base of Kaolin Clay and Volcanic New Zealand Mud, Halo will brighten and tighten your complexion in a mere 15 minutes - it's a must try!

Antipodes Joyous Protein-Rich Night Replenish Serum* (30ml, £36.99, link)
If you're looking to jumpstart your evening skincare routine, one of the easiest ways to start seeing noticeable results is with a high-quality night serum and Joyous ticks all of the right boxes for what my skin needs right now. This intensive treatment serum contains an expert blend of natural active ingredients to eradicate signs of dryness and dehydration, smooth out fine lines and wrinkles and help repair any damage from free radicals. Key ingredients include Himalayan Goji Berry which contains 19 amino acids to replenish the skin deep down; Red Raspberry Seed Oil and New Zealand Blackcurrant, both offering rich sources of essential fats such as Gamma-Linolenic Acid, and Kiwi Seed Oil to further nourish and hydrate. 

Joyous has a gorgeous, natural berry-rich scent that I find very relaxing and spa-like, and it layers well underneath moisturisers and facial oils. I believe most skin types will enjoy this, especially if your complexion needs a moisturising boost and if the first signs of ageing are a concern to you, this will help to keep them at bay for a little longer.

Do you have any favourites from Antipodes?

Green Beauty: LoveLula Beauty Box - February 2019 review

Monday 25 February 2019

 LoveLula Beauty Box - February 2018 review
February is drawing to a close, so it's time to recap on the LoveLula Beauty Box which arrived earlier in the month. I've particularly enjoyed trying out these products and as always, the variety included is fantastic value for money with the overall contents being worth £60!

Here are the beauty treats inside this month's LoveLula Beauty Box.

Seascape Island Apothecary Soothe Sleep Oil (full size, RRP £8)
You guys know how much I love anything that helps to promote a better night's sleep as an I'm a terrible sleeper and this little rollerball is a handy product to have on your bedside table. Described as a 'true lullaby in a bottle', Seascape's Soothe Sleep Oil features a blend of calming Lavender, Bitter Orange Flower and Mandarin Orange Peel Essential Oils to relax and balance the mind. Just swipe it across your pulse points before bedtime and breathe in the gorgeous fragrance for the best results. I do find it rather relaxing so I think it does help!

Balm Balm Fragrance-Free Face Balm (full size, RRP £9.50)
If you have dry and sensitive skin like I do, you'll find this next product to be a particularly useful addition to your skincare/self-care routine. 100% organic and natural, this is the fragrance-free version of Balm Balm's bestselling Face Balm which is a multi-purpose treatment that can be used everywhere and anywhere - not just for the face! I like using a little bit of this on my cuticles if they're cracked to instantly soothe and hydrate, and it's also great for lips, feet, elbows and hands.

 LoveLula Beauty Box - February 2018 review
Crazy Rumors Hot Cocoa Lip Balm (full size, RRP £3.99)
I'm a lip balm addict and Crazy Rumors are one of my favourite lip balm brands - all of their products are cruelty-free and 100% natural, plus they have a massive range of different flavours so there's lots to try out from them. I've used the Hot Cocoa Lip Balm before and loved it, so I'm very happy to have it back in my life! It tastes and smells delicious, and keeps my lips moisturised for longer.

PHB Ethical Beauty Gentle Moisturiser (full size, RRP £16.95)
Next up, I found a full-size bottle of PHB Ethical Beauty Gentle Moisturiser which is perfect for very sensitive skin types including eczema and psoriasis (though I always recommend that you check the ingredients and patch test first if you suffer from either of these skin conditions). I've been enjoying the texture of this 100% natural, fragrance-free moisturiser, which sinks into the skin quickly and provides a nice smooth base for makeup so it's a good one to try as your morning moisturiser. Key ingredients include Organic Aloe Vera Extract and Organic Shea Butter to thoroughly hydrate your complexion, so if you struggle to find moisturisers that work for your sensitive skin, you should definitely try it.

Walden Natural Perfume Oil in Gentle Rain (10ml, RRP £17)
The last product is a beautiful Natural Perfume Oil from Walden, a brand who are exclusive to LoveLula. I've tried out many of their fragrances in the past (check out my previous reviews here), and was excited to see this new addition called Gentle Rain which is their latest scent. Described as a blend of Oak Moss, Labdanum and Patchouli, it's a fresh, woody and luxurious fragrance that's completely different to anything else that I currently own and it will certainly appeal to those who are seeking out more unusual natural scents.

LoveLula Beauty Box* is a monthly subscription box priced at £13.95 with free postage in the UK. Visit to find out more.

Have you subscribed to LoveLula's Beauty Box?

Foodie Friday: Homemade Hummus / Houmous (Vegan recipe)

Friday 22 February 2019

Homemade Houmous / Hummus (Vegan recipe)
Hummus is one of the most popular dips for crunchy vegetable sticks, making it a healthy snack to enjoy at any time of the day. This Middle Eastern favourite can be found in virtually every supermarket in the UK, but you haven't probably tasted how amazing Hummus can be until you've made it from scratch yourself!

Is it Houmous or Hummus? I'll stick with its traditional Arabic spelling for this feature as the name is derived from the Arabic word for Chickpeas and if you're not yet a diehard Hummus fan, Chickpeas are the base of this tasty dip. I'm a massive fan of Hummus and regularly whip up a big batch at the weekend to see me through the week ahead, although sometimes it doesn't always last that long! 

Hummus is essentially a paste of chickpeas which have been blitzed together with a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Garlic and Tahini. I would definitely recommend using dried Chickpeas over the tinned variety as I find that they have so much more flavour and if you buy a big bag, it's often more economical as well. Chickpeas are high in fibre and contain a range of essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin K, Iron, Zinc, Manganese, Calcium, Phosphate and Magnesium. They're also high in protein, making them particularly beneficial for vegetarians and vegans. 

Give this recipe a go and you'll never buy shop-bought Hummus ever again!

Homemade Houmous / Hummus (Vegan recipe)
Ingredients: (makes one large tub)
  • 250g cooked Chickpeas
  • 2tsp Tahini
  • 3tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • 2-3 tbsp freshly squeezed Lemon Juice (to taste)
  • Pinch of Salt & Black Pepper

  • If using dried Chickpeas, rinse and then soak 125g (they will double in size) in water for 8 hours or leave overnight. Rinse well and place in a saucepan. Cover with water, bring to the boil, then cover with a lid, reduce to a simmer and cook for 45-50 minutes. Drain.
  • Add the cooked Chickpeas to a blender and add all of the other ingredients. Start with 2tbsp of Lemon Juice, blitz until smooth and then taste, adding extra afterwards if wanted. 
  • If you find that your Hummus is too thick (the overall texture will depend on the quality of the chickpeas that you're using), you can add a splash more water. Blend again if necessary.
  • Transfer to a sealable container and store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.

Homemade Red Pepper Houmous / Hummus (Vegan recipe)Already tried plain Hummus? Give it a twist by blending in some roasted Red Pepper, or you could add your favourite spices such as Turmeric or Paprika for something different!

Have you made Hummus from scratch before?

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Introducing: SARYA Couture Makeup - Review & Swatches

Thursday 21 February 2019

SARYA Couture Makeup - Review & Swatches
Heads up fellow makeup junkies - Italy's luxury organic makeup brand SARYA is here and they have some gorgeous products to feast your eyes upon!

SARYA is a relatively new brand to the organic cosmetics market, having spent two years in development, they only officially launched in Summer last year. Their ethos is based around developing makeup that uses natural and organic ingredients that don't compromise on performance or results, and with sophisticated, sleek packaging to boot, you can see why there's been some buzz about them online. They are also proud to be certified organic (by Cosmetici Biologici) and cruelty-free (by PETA).

That said, I hadn't heard of SARYA until a package arrived via LoveLula (one of the brand's UK stockists) a couple of weeks ago. At present, their makeup range is fairly limited as they only sell a few lipsticks, eyeshadows and makeup brushes, but I was still excited nonetheless as the packaging is so beautiful. Inside, I discovered a cute faux-leather, branded makeup bag, a single eyeshadow compact, an eyeshadow brush and a lipstick, so it was time to have a play!

SARYA Couture Makeup Eyeshadow in Mocha
 SARYA Couture Makeup Eyeshadow in Mocha* (3.5g, £17.80, link)  and 201 All Over Shader Brush* (£11.60, link)

Single eyeshadow compacts seem to be coming back into vogue these days, as beauty consumers are streamlining and decluttering their makeup collections, and SARYA has four different shades to choose from which will definitely spark some joy in your makeup bag! These eyeshadows are made from an organic formula that features a blend of Apricot Oil, Avocado Oil and Shea Butter, and is free of parabens, mineral oils, fragrance and phthalates, which results in a silky smooth feel and makes them easy to blend.

As I mentioned earlier, the packaging is really sleek and opening it up, I was met with the most beautiful chocolate brown shade called Mocha. This is one of those versatile shades that works well all over the lid and as a crease/transition colour to add depth and smokiness. Richly pigmented, I've been reaching for this shade a lot recently as it's just so easy to wear, especially when applied with the 201 All Over Shader Brush. Featuring silky soft, synthetic Taklon bristles, this vegan-friendly brush is a great addition to your collection and the wider cut of the head lends itself perfectly to sweeping shadow all over the lid for a fuss-free finish.

SARYA Couture Makeup Lipstick in Lovecraft
SARYA Couture Makeup Lipstick in Lovecraft* (4g, £19.50, link) and Makeup Bag* (£13.30, link)

I'm like a magpie when it comes to luxury red lipsticks and SARYA's Lovecraft is an absolute stunner. Created from a 75% natural formula that has ultra-nourishing ingredients such as Coconut Oil, Beet Oil, Castor Oil and Palm Butter, and is free from the likes of petroleum, parabens, artificial colouring and fragrance, this lipstick glides on effortlessly and has some killer pigmentation - the swatch below was just one swipe!

Lovecraft is a warm red that's incredibly flattering to wear for a range of skin tones as it makes your teeth look whiter, and instantly brightens up your whole complexion. It has a semi-matte finish, feels very moisturising and lasted a good few hours before I needed to reapply (that was without eating/drinking though). As it's so pigmented, I'd recommend applying it with a lip brush for a perfect pout, and a lipliner would also come in handy to prevent any feathering later on in the day.

Lastly, I have to mention that awesome branded Makeup Bag! Made from bright red synthetic leather, I've had so many compliments about it and it's currently in my travel bag ready for any impromptu weekends away.

Swatches! SARYA Couture Makeup Eyeshadow in Mocha and Lipstick in Lovecraft
Swatches! SARYA Couture Makeup Eyeshadow in Mocha and Lipstick in Lovecraft

Shop the full range of SARYA Couture Makeup at

Have you heard of this brand before?

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DIY Beauty: Trying Out Abigail James' Berry Beauty Recipes For Dry Winter Skin & Hair #LoveFreshBerries

Wednesday 20 February 2019

DIY Beauty: Trying Out Love Fresh Berries & Abigail James' Beauty Recipes #BerryBeauty
As much as I enjoy trialling new beauty products, I find it just as fun to whip up some DIY beauty recipes in my kitchen! I wanted to share some super easy ones that you can try out yourself at home, using a variety of fresh berries and all-natural ingredients that you may already have in your fridge or cupboard.  

I love eating all types of berries; strawberries are a definite favourite of mine, but I enjoy all the others too, especially blueberries and raspberries! Not only are they ridiculously good for you, low in fat and packed full of essential nutrients such as Vitamin C, but you can also use them to make your own natural skincare and hair care products which is handy if you're on a budget!

The three beauty recipes below have been created by the celebrity-facialist and skincare guru, Abigail James, and they use a mix of different fresh berries as the star ingredients so that both your skin and hair can reap their benefits. These are perfect for brightening up a dry or dull Winter complexion, and there's a hair mask recipe as well which is ideal for lacklustre hair. 

All of these recipes are made from 100% natural ingredients, so let's get stuck in!

DIY Beauty: Trying Out Love Fresh Berries & Abigail James' Beauty Recipes #BerryBeauty
 Mixed Berries Ultimate Face Mask

  • 1 large or 2 small Strawberries 
  • 4 Blackberries 
  • 8 Blueberries 
  • 7 Raspberries
  • 2 heaped tablespoon Oats 
  • 1 teaspoon of Honey 
  • 1 large tablespoon Yoghurt 
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil 
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Almonds (optional) 

Place all the ingredients into a smoothie maker and blend for 20 to 30 seconds until everything is thoroughly mixed. Apply with your hands and gently massage over the face and neck, to work the mask into the skin and activate the exfoliating properties, avoiding the eye area. Leave on the skin for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove with a warm damp flannel or cloth.

Why It's Good For Your Skin:
This mask has an abundance of antioxidants, vitamins and essential minerals from all of the berries, and it's notably high in Magnesium, Zinc, Potassium and Vitamins A, C and K, the latter of which helps to support healthy blood vessels. Strawberries have natural AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) that exfoliate and brighten the skin to give it a real glowing boost! The other ingredients add their own benefits as well; Honey has incredible anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and healing properties for the skin, Coconut Oil is packed full of Vitamin E and acts as a natural hydrator, and the Oats gives the mask an extra gentle exfoliating action for even smoother skin.

Although it was a little messy to apply, the results were certainly worth it and I was really surprised by how well it worked! I left it on for the full 10 minutes and experienced a little tingling sensation due to the fruit acids but after rinsing, my skin felt silky smooth and looked noticeably brighter like I'd had a full night's sleep which is brilliant. I'd definitely make this again when my skin needs another all-natural, quick fix, radiance boost!

DIY Beauty: Trying Out Love Fresh Berries & Abigail James' Beauty Recipes #BerryBeauty
 Balancing and Brightening Face Mask

  • 15 Blueberries
  • 8 Blackberries
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 large teaspoon Honey
  • 1 Green Tea bag
  • 1 tablespoon Natural Yoghurt

Boil the kettle and steep your Green Tea bag (White Tea is also an option) and place all the other ingredients into a blender. Remove the teabag, cut it open and add the tea leaves to the blender. Blend for 15 to 20 seconds. This mask is a little runny in texture so you might want to apply it with an artist's paintbrush. Apply one layer evenly over the face, then a second and possibly a third if required. Leave to dry on the skin for 5 to 10 minutes and then dampen your face with a warm flannel or cloth before removing. Finish with a tiny amount of Almond Oil, or your normal facial serum or moisturiser.

Why It's Good For Your Skin
Both Blueberries and Blackberries are little powerhouses of nutrients which makes this mask particularly beneficial for blemish-prone skin. Blueberries contain Salicylates (the salt aspect of Salicylic acid), a widely used antibacterial ingredient found in many skincare products to target spots, large pores, acne and general breakouts, whereas Blackberries are high in Vitamin A which is an essential vitamin when treating breakouts. The high water content of the berries also adds hydration to the skin without contributing extra oil, and their amazing blend of minerals (especially Zinc) are great for problem skin. As mentioned above, Honey has antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, whilst Cinnamon also has its own antibacterial and soothing benefits. Green Tea is included as it's very high in antioxidants and soothing properties and Natural yogurt is used to help restore the skin's flora and acid-alkaline levels.

This mask was a lot runnier than I expected but I followed Abigail's advice and used a paintbrush to apply it which made it much easier to handle. As I applied the layers, the mask tightened as it dried which felt really satisfying and then I removed it with a warm face cloth. Looking in the mirror, my complexion did look more glowy and brighter overall and as my skin type is combination that's prone to breakouts, I think this would be a useful natural treatment for me to incorporate into my routine.

DIY Beauty: Trying Out Love Fresh Berries & Abigail James' Beauty Recipes #BerryBeauty
Hair Restoring Strawberry Mask

  • 3 Strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 sprig of Rosemary or 4 drops of Rosemary/Lavender Essential Oil 

Blend all the ingredients together thoroughly for 20 to 30 seconds. This can be a little messy to apply so best done in the bathroom over the sink. Apply to dry hair; start in the middle of your hair at the root and apply small amounts down the parting. Massage in, then separate the hair and continue to apply all over the scalp, massaging in each time. Then apply whatever is left to the lengths of your hair. Give the scalp a good massage, pile your hair on top of your head and leave on for 20 minutes. Thoroughly rinse off then wash with your normal shampoo and a very small amount of conditioner.

Why It's Good For Your Hair
Strawberries are very high in Vitamin C which supports healthy circulation as it boosts Iron absorption, and they also contain natural Silica for healthy and stronger hair growth. Olive Oil is included to deeply nourish and the proteins in the Egg White help to support the scalp and prevents any excess oiliness. To further boost this natural tonic treatment, Apple Cider Vinegar gives the hair a beautiful glossy finish, while Honey strengthens the hair follicle and Rosemary stimulates blood flow for a healthy scalp.

You definitely need to apply this hair tonic mask over a sink as Abigail recommends because it is quite liquidy and I enlisted the help of my sister to cover the back of my head for me as I found this part a little tricky. Once massaged in though, I could feel a slight tingling like the mask was 'working'  and after rinsing it out, my hair had a gorgeous glossy sheen to it which was impressive! My scalp also felt really good, almost like it had been thoroughly cleansed, so I'd recommend this to anyone who has a dry or itchy scalp like mine.

Give these DIY Berry Beauty Recipes a try and let me know what you think!

[This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Love Fresh Berries]

Do you enjoy DIY Beauty?

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My Health & Fitness Journey: 10 Things I've Learnt and How I've Lost Weight (No Crash Diets!)

Monday 18 February 2019

My Health & Fitness Journey: 10 Things I've Learnt
For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me post a couple of health and fitness updates throughout the past year. Many of you have been asking me what exercise I do, how often, how I've lost weight etc, so I thought I'd compile a special feature on here to share what I've been doing.

A Little Background Info
Last year I turned 31, and a month or so before, I witnessed a relative spend some time in hospital. It triggered something in me - it was time to start thinking about the future properly and addressing some ongoing health concerns which had been progressively getting worse. Throughout my 20s, I've been battling an autoimmune illness which has meant that I'm prone to getting regular bouts of cold and flu, and has at times, left me thoroughly exhausted and bedridden with my whole body aching. My migraines and eczema flare-ups were becoming more severe and frequent, I was having lots of stomach pains and was eventually diagnosed with IBS, and my mental health was suffering due to Stress, Depression and Anxiety. On top of all that, my weight was continuing to go up and up which only added to all of the above problems and my self-esteem and confidence was at an all-time low.

How I Got Started
I've always followed a lot of fitness people on Instagram and one day, I decided to try out a Joe Wicks HIIT workout on YouTube. It lasted 10 minutes and I could barely get through 5, that's how unfit I was. However, I was determined not to buy the next size up of jeans and started doing 10 minutes of HIIT here and there throughout the week. I gave up a lot of times, especially during the first three months, but when I started to see the physical changes, I stuck with it. The progress was a lot slower than I wanted it to be due to these constant stops and starts, so don't worry if you're the same and struggle to motivate yourself. Just treat each day as it comes and if you didn't manage to do a workout today, make sure that you do one tomorrow.

Getting Into Healthy Eating
Much of my diet throughout my 20s was mainly based on convenience foods - anything that was ready in 10 minutes was a good thing! I picked up a lot of bad habits from my family who have never been into healthy cooking, as well as from housemates (being a student doesn't help!). I watched a lot of cooking programmes on YouTube and started to mess around in the kitchen trying to recreate some of the meals. I had a 50/50 success rate in the beginning, but I'm now a much more confident cook and when I'm in the right mood, I actually enjoy it! I've tried a lot of new foods and I'm currently focusing on improving my gut health to lessen the symptoms of my IBS.

How Much Weight I've Lost
I started this about a year and a half ago and I've managed to lose just over two and a half stone, going down from a UK size 12/14 to a size 6/8 on top and size 8 on the bottom. I no longer weigh myself and now stick to taking measurements around my waist and bum every so often, but I'm pretty happy at this maintaining stage.

The Exercise I Do Now
Doing HIIT and spinning is amazing for blasting away excess fat, but I didn't feel all that stronger in myself. To remedy this, I've added in some weight training and also do Pilates and Yoga for additional strength and a healthy mind. I get bored very easily though, so I like to switch things up throughout the week to keep it interesting. I generally workout 3-4 times a week, but this does vary depending on my energy levels and overall motivation. I try not to get too stressed about it if I miss a workout as I'll try again the next day. Side note: I do all of my exercises at home as the very idea of setting foot in a gym gives me a panic attack - that's not for me! Plus it's cheaper this way anyhow ;)

My Health & Fitness Journey: 10 Things I've Learnt
10 Things I've Learnt

1. Doing 10 minutes of exercise every day is better than doing an hour-long session at the gym once a fortnight.
You don't need to spend hours in the gym to lose weight, tone up or feel physically stronger. When I started, I only did around 10 minutes of HIIT 2-3 times a week for about a month before I started getting into it and the pounds were beginning to slowly come off just by doing that. Check out Joe Wicks on YouTube and Davina McCall's Toned In 10 to get you in the right mindset.

2. Stop Making Excuses. Seriously. Just Stop It.
The one thing that I love the most about anything do to with fitness and losing weight, is that you simply can't buy the perfect body. If you want to lose weight properly and keep it off, you have to work hard at it and anyone can do it, regardless of how much money you do or don't have; whether you have kids or not. Stop making excuses and get on with it.

3. If you can spend 3 hours a day on social media, you can do 10 minutes of exercise.
If I had a £1 for every person that I see on social media complain (constantly) that they haven't got any time to do any exercise, to meal prep or to cook a proper meal at least once a week, I'd be a multi-millionaire! You do have time - stop wasting it scrolling through mindless memes and reading the comment sections - get off your phone and go and workout instead!

4. Crash Diets & Detox Teas - They Don't Work In The Long Term So Please Stop Buying Them
Sure, only drinking laxative teas for two weeks will show you a lower number on the scales, but the minute that you start eating solid food again, that figure is going to go up and you will end up putting on any weight that you temporarily lost (and usually more). They're a stupid fad and aren't a sustainable way to keep weight off, so please stop wasting your money.

5. Look After Your Gut
You may have heard about Gut Health in the news as it's been a huge wellness highlight over the past two years and when you stop to think about it, it's actually just common sense. For a good starting point, Liz Earle's The Good Gut Guide is very useful for beginners, and both Lee Holmes and Dale Pinnock have some excellent books for more in-depth guidance. I would also recommend looking into Ayurveda which has Gut Health (or 'Agni / Digestive Fire') as one of its core concepts.

One of my Foodie Friday posts - Quinoa Pizza!

6. Learn To Cook From Scratch
This time last year I barely knew how to boil an egg, but if you're serious about losing weight and improving your health, you really need to learn how to cook your own wholesome, healthy meals from scratch so that you have full control over the ingredients and portion sizes. Cooking tutorials on YouTube are brilliant and I have a stack of cookbooks from popular foodies such as Deliciously Ella and the Hemsley sisters. I also post regular Foodie Friday features on here so keep an eye out for those.

7. A Cheat Meal Is OK - A Cheat Day Is Not
If you've been sticking to your exercise routine, indulging in one cheat meal a week is not going to completely derail your fitness goals. In fact, I find that they're a good way to stay on track because it helps keep you sane mentally and combats certain cravings. However! A whole 24-hour binge day, when you haven't reached your target weight yet, will definitely cancel out any calorie deficit that you've built up over the week so just stick with the one cheat meal. 

8. Meal Prep Sunday
I've gotten into the habit of planning my meals in advance by doing some kind of meal prep on a Sunday so that I know what I'm going to be eating that following week. It stops you from wasting food and is a great way to stick to a weekly food budget. Visit your nearest charity shop to look for cheap cookbooks or check some out for free from your local library to get meal ideas. The internet is full of inspiration as well of course!

9. Ditch The Scales
I'll be the first to admit that it's easy to become fixated on what your weight is when you can see it so clearly in plain numbers on your scales, but honestly, one of the best things that I did was to throw them away. Your weight will fluctuate throughout the month (more so with women who typically carry more water weight than men, especially when you're on your period) and let's not forget that muscle weighs more than fat anyway. I found that keeping track using a tape measure around your waist, bum etc, was much more useful for my own personal goals.

10. It's Not A Diet, It's A Lifestyle
I hate the word 'diet' because it has so many negative connotations within our society and is often associated with misery and starvation. Instead, for successful weight loss where you keep it off for good, you should think of it as a lifestyle and not something temporary. I know it sounds cliched, but you want to strive to be the best version of yourself and not a yo-yo dieter who cycles between binges and deprivation. Being healthy, for body and mind, is a long-term game plan.

Going forwards: Whilst I love the fact that I've lost the extra weight and feel physically stronger, I'm still struggling with the mental health side of things and exercise alone hasn't improved my migraines as much as I'd hoped, so there's a lot I have to continue working on. It's definitely a journey but at least I've made a start!

Are you into health and fitness?

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Foodie Friday: Creamy Banana & Cacao Pudding (Dairy-Free / Vegan recipe)

Friday 15 February 2019

Banana & Cacao Pudding (Dairy-Free / Vegan recipe)
I've been having some major chocolate cravings this week and after a quick look in my fridge, I decided to whip up this Creamy Banana & Cacao Pudding which is a tasty way to use up any overripe bananas that you may have laying around. 

This pudding couldn't be simpler to make and if you're into healthy eating, you'll probably have most of the ingredients in your fridge or kitchen cupboard already. If not, you can easily pick them up from any large supermarket and many of the budget discounters such as Aldi and Lidl now stock products like Cacao Powder - just make sure that you buy a 100% raw version that doesn't contain any other ingredients. Alternatively, high street shops like Holland and Barrett and TK Maxx have an excellent selection available, or you can purchase it online.

Cacao Powder is made from unroasted cocoa beans and as a result, retains all of its essential nutrients such as Magnesium and Copper so you get a good health boost from it, as well as a delicious, rich chocolate flavour. Both the Bananas and Avocado in this recipe give the pudding additional vitamins, minerals, and a source of healthy fats for a truly guilt-free dessert to enjoy after dinner. I highly recommend sprinkling over some Pomegranate Seeds and Cacao Nibs for further health benefits, flavour and a yummy crunch!

Banana & Cacao Pudding (Dairy-Free / Vegan recipe)
Ingredients: (makes two standard ramekin-sized puddings)
  • 2 overripe fairtrade Bananas
  • 1 ripe Avocado
  • 200ml Coconut Milk (from a tin)
  • 2tbsp Cacao Powder (I used Bioglan)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tsp Maple or Agave Syrup
  • Pomegranate Seeds & Cacao Nibs (optional, to serve)

  • Slice up the Bananas and chop up the Avocado into chunks. Place in a food processor and then add in the Vanilla, Cacao Powder, and Maple/Agave Syrup. Blitz until smooth.
  • Give the tin of Coconut Milk a good shake and then measure out 200ml. Switch the food processor back on and pour it in whilst blending. Whizz until you have a thick, creamy and pudding-like consistency.
  • Divide the mixture into two ramekins and pop them in the fridge for half an hour if you want them to set a little more, otherwise, sprinkle over some Pomegranate Seeds and Cacao Nibs if using and dig right in! 

Banana & Cacao Pudding (Dairy-Free / Vegan recipe)
Are you a fan of healthy puddings?

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Currently Loving: Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liners - Review & Swatches

Thursday 14 February 2019

Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liners - Review & Swatches
Happy Valentine's Day everyone! For the most kissable day of the year, I just had to feature these amazing Sesame Lip Liners from Ere Perez which I've been wearing practically every day since they arrived a couple of weeks ago. To say I'm smitten with them is an understatement!

Ere Perez are an Australian luxurynatural, cruelty-free makeup brand who I've reviewed several products from in the past (you can check out those here). A while ago, they underwent something of a makeover with streamlining their packaging and changing up some of their formulas, so it's been a pleasure to revisit them to see what's changed and what's new.

Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liners - Review & Swatches
As many of my regular readers will know, I'm obsessed with lipsticks and lip liners, and when I saw Ere Perez's Sesame Lip Liners they were very quickly added to my online LoveLula basket! 

There are only three shades available at the moment which is a little disappointing for a makeup junkie like myself, however, the good news is that all three are absolutely beautiful and very wearable. In fact, if you currently don't have any lip liners in your makeup collection, these would make an excellent purchase to start you off in the right direction as they can be easily paired with most 'everyday' neutral colours of your favourite lipsticks.

What I love the most about these Sesame Lip Liners is that they're made with natural plant waxes such as Carnauba and Candellia, plus they're infused with Sesame, Jojoba and Sweet Almond Oils and have added Vitamin E. This formula makes the liners super easy to use as they're creamy, matte, glide on without dragging and I've found them to be long-lasting as well. You can use them as intended to line your pout, and I've also been enjoying wearing them all over the lips as you'll see in my swatches below.

If you're looking for a lip liner with natural ingredients, brilliant matte pigmentation, easy to wear shades and a long-lasting finish, I think you'll love these as much as I do!

Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liner in Shy
 Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liner in Shy
Shy is a universally pleasing nude colour that will suit a range of skin tones. I have so many lipsticks in my collection that this works so well with, and as you can see, it's gorgeous just on its own as well. Perfect with a smokey eye for your next date night!

Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liner in Sweet
Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liner in Sweet*
If you're more of a fan of pretty pinks, Sweet is the one for you. This creamy, nude pink is the ideal match for many light-medium pink lipsticks and is another colour that looks beautiful worn simply all over the lips.

Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liner in Naughty
Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liner in Naughty*
The last shade is Naughty and this cheeky nude is a touch darker than Shy above, so it goes well with lots of on-trend, 90s nude lippies that lean more towards the darker beige/brown side of the colour spectrum. It's another one that looks great on its own too!

Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liners* (1.1g, £17 each) are available in the UK from

Have you tried anything from Ere Perez?

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Project Pan #6: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties

Tuesday 12 February 2019

Project Pan #6: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties
Fans of Marie Kondo and the decluttering trend will love the concept of a Project Pan, especially if you want to streamline your makeup collection and stop wasting money on products that you never use.

I've been a keen Project Panner for a long time now and although it might sound strange, I find it hugely satisfying to use up a makeup product. Similar to my popular monthly Empties posts that contain skincare and bodycare items that I've finished off, I've been saving my make-up empties for these six-month Project Pan posts to keep track of what I've been using up.

If you haven't heard of a Project Pan before, it's basically where you choose a number of makeup products from your collection to completely use up, and often, many Project Panners will tie this in with doing a No Buy challenge (e.g they won't buy any more mascara until their opened ones are finished off first). It's a great way to save money, clear out any old or expired products (I generally do this before choosing my products), and rediscover some old makeup favourites that you may have pushed to the back of the drawer and forgotten about.

So! Here are the results are my latest six-month Project Pan if you're curious to find out what I've been mainly using recently and whether I would repurchase any of them again. I initially chose 20 products as my target, but fell a little short of the mark and finished up 17 instead - but that's still pretty good going for me!

Project Pan #6: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties
Tweezerman Browmousse
My brows have a mind of their own if I don't tame them with something and I've used Tweezerman's Browmousse in the past with good results. Another one arrived via a beauty box and I like it because it doesn't flake or go crunchy throughout the day. Repurchase? There are cheaper, similar products out there so probably not. 

Collection Super Size Fat Lash Mascara
Another beauty box find but one that was totally rubbish to be frank! It gave me panda eyes within an hour of wearing it and dried out quickly too. Repurchase? Nope!

Lily Lolo Mineral Blush in Ooh La La
It's incredibly rare that I repurchase blushers because they take an eternity to use up, but I loved this one so much that I immediately bought it again when I lost the original on holiday. Ooh La La is a gorgeous everyday pink that instantly makes my complexion look healthier and more awake. It's only taken me about three years to finish this one up! Repurchase? I'm sure I will at some point.

Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner*
Whilst I adore Eyeko's Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner, this Fat one was really disappointing. The nib is just way too chunky to work with IMO, although it does have great pigmentation and staying power. Repurchase? Not for me. 

RMS Beauty Un-Cover Up in 22*
Featured in a previous Project Pan here, this multi-purpose foundation and concealer is a firm favourite of mine and I can imagine that I'll always have one of these in my makeup collection. My shade is 22 which is a perfect match for my skin tone and I just love the light-medium, buildable coverage that it offers. Repurchase? Yes.

Project Pan #6: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties
Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour in Orange Blossom
LM's Second Skin Cheek Colours are some of the most flattering blushers that I've ever tried and this shade Orange Blossom has been in my stash for a long time. The formula is beautifully light and blends so easily (hence the name), and this colour was simply sheer peachy goodness. Repurchase? I think these may have been discontinued? :(

Doucce Fierce & Fine Graphic Pen Liner*
Argh, this is one of those annoying liquid eyeliners which is amazing in every possible way (staying power, pigmentation, ultra-fine skinny nib for precise flicks etc), but it dried up within a month of opening it! Repurchase? No.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in 5 Medium
If someone asked me today to pick a holy grail liquid foundation, it would be Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Foundation without a doubt. It covers all of my imperfections but doesn't make me feel or look like I'm wearing a thick mask. Worth every penny, though the bottle is a nightmare to get the last remnants out of. Repurchase? Yes.

Munio Miscui Skin Perfecting Veil in Nude*
I was very kindly given another one of these beauties at a blogger event last year and it's been my go-to setting powder ever since. Super finely milled, it's talc and preservatives free and gives the most natural looking 'my skin but better' finish. Repurchase? Yes.

Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Primer & Brightener*
One of my favourite primers, Jane Iredale's Smooth Affair goes on like silk and provides a lovely base for makeup, whilst also making your skin look brighter and more glowy. Many supermodels use it as a hangover/long flight pick me up and I can see why! Repurchase? Definitely want to buy the full-size.

Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner in Nobody's Baby
For the ultimate low maintenance, throw it in your handbag and re-apply without a mirror lip product, you can't go wrong with the Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioners. Nobody's Baby is their everyday neutral pink shade and I'm pretty sure this is the second or third tube that I've gone through. It's very moisturising and has a lovely glossy finish. Repurchase? Yes.

Project Pan #6: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties
Clinique Colour Pop in Nude Pop
This lippie from Clinique is sort of similar to Nobody's Baby, but it offers more colour and is more of a standard satin lipstick finish. I liked it a lot, however I did find that it dried out my lips every now and then. Repurchase? Probably not.

Kiko Long Lasting Eyeshadow Stick in 06
I find cream eyeshadow sticks so easy to use as you can simply swipe them on, blend with your fingers and you're good to go, so I reached for this quite often on a day-to-day basis when I was in a rush in the morning. 06 is a great shimmery bronzey/taupe shade that accentuates dark brown eyes beautifully. Repurchase? Yes.  

MEMI Expert Liner*
I'm not having much luck with liquid eyeliners lately - this is very similar to the Doucce one above as it performed so well and was really easy to use, but again, I found that it dried up too quickly for my liking (and I always make sure the lids are on properly - how disappointing!)Repurchase? No.

Charlotte Tilbury Mini Miracle Eye Wand in 2
This is Charlotte's answer to the Touche Eclat and it features a double ended tip with a brightening concealer on one side and an eye cream on the other. I LOVE the concealer end but the eye cream side proved to be too heavy, greasy and rich for my skin which is a such a shame because it puts me off buying it again as I loathe wasting product. Repurchase? No, but I'll try out her other concealers instead.

Doucce Maxlash Volumizer Mascara*
I was very impressed with this mascara - it gave me massive, wide awake lashes and definitely helped to lengthen, thicken and define them so it's a great all-rounder! Repurchase? Yes.

GOSH Forever Eyeshadow Metallic Eyeshadow Stick in 03 Light Copper
GOSH are a hugely underrated makeup brand IMO and their eyeshadow sticks are comparable with the KIKO ones above in terms of price and performance. They glide on easily and stay put all day, what more could you ask for? This shade 03 Light Copper is brilliant for brightening up the waterline or simply adding a glossy sheen of coppery gold all over the lids. Repurchase? Yes.

Have you ever done a Project Pan?
Have you tried any of the products that I used up?

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