Thursday, 12 December 2013

Photoshopping Photos for Facebook

Recently I went on a night out in Manchester with my boyfriend, his sister and her friend. We hadn’t met her friend before but we all had a really good night (we went to Walrus in the Northern Quarter which I really recommend).  However, when the photos were put on facebook the next day I noticed that some of them appeared to be heavily edited.  A lot of my friends liked or commented on the picture saying how nice I looked, but to be honest I feel a bit annoyed that someone else has gone to the effort of editing a photo of me to make me look better. It feels like I’m being dishonest and insecure about how I look, when actually I’m quite happy with the imperfections. Obviously I edit photos that I publish on my blog but that is to show products at their best or to improve lighting, not to make myself look better. I am probably being oversensitive but I wondered what other peoples’ views are on editing personal photos for things like facebook. Do you edit your own photos or would you mind if someone else edited photos of you? Recently, there have been a number of articles on how much editing can change images portrayed in the media and I feel that it is a shame that people are changed to such a degree to display a ‘perfect’ image that is completely unreal, and I think it is a real shame that it has infiltrated our society to the extent people edit what they look like in personal photos. 
The edited full body version

The edited face version


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Skincare Review ... Algenist 'Firming and Lifting Cream'

When I was in Space NK this September spending some of my birthday money, I received a free gift because I have a Space NK card and I just happened to mention it was my birthday! I had no clue you get a gift when it’s your birthday so I’m very lucky! I received a moisturiser from a brand called Algenist. I had never really heard of Algenist before but I’m always happy to try new things and before I knew it I’d used it all up!
                Algenist is a brand from San Francisco that focuses on skincare based on micro-algae and Alguronic acid. The sample I was given was their ‘Firming & Lifting Cream’ and I’m not going to lie I was shocked at how much a full size pot costs. The sample I received was 15 ml, however a 60ml pot from Space NK will set you back £76! I finished my pot within 2 months so it could become quite an expensive habit!

                Moving on from the price, I actually really enjoyed using this moisturiser. It is really light and non-greasy and feels lovely to apply. My skin is dry so I definitely needed something heavier for night time but during the day, especially before the weather got colder, the consistency was lovely. After using it consistently for a couple of weeks I also felt a change in my skin, with it feeling softer and less dry. However, I have used other moisturisers that have made my skin feel the same for a much cheaper price. I also do not necessarily feel that it fulfils the ‘firming and lifting’ title, although it made my skin feel softer and more hydrated, I don’t think it particularly made my skin look firmer or any younger. There was also a slight smell to this moisturiser but it was very subtle and inoffensive.

                The packaging of the sample looks very similar to the full size product, and I wasn’t particularly impressed. If it was under £20 I wouldn’t mind about the packaging but at £76 I want it to look expensive. The packaging is plastic with a simple grey and white design, inoffensive but nothing special. Also, I’m not particularly keen on jars for moisturisers with all the finger dipping etc. However, that would never be enough on it’s own to stop me from buying it.

                Overall, I was very happy to receive and use this product for free, however I would not recommend it to a friend or repurchase it myself. I just don’t think it is special enough for even half the price. However, I don't think I am the target market, although I won’t turn my nose up at anti-aging products they might not make the maximum difference on my skin, and also they are not what I am ultimately looking for in my skincare at the moment (give me a few more years of night shifts and I’m sure they will be though)!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Life update and beauty review ... Sanctuary Spa Salt Scrub

I know it has been so long since I last posted anything but I have been super busy. I really enjoyed writing my blog and I have really missed it so I am going to give it another go for a while. I have decided to start by writing more reviews on beauty products because recently I have been looking for specific products and been really stumped as to which one to go for, and realised how useful reviews are when you are on the hunt for something. I’ve just had a quick peek at when I last posted anything and it was way back in March so I thought I would give you a quick update as well.

                I am now getting married in less than six months!! Almost everything is planned, which is making it a lot more enjoyable and I’m now starting to really look forward to it. I’m also now in my second year of midwifery and have delivered 15 babies myself! In total I have seen about 50 babies being born and it is such a huge privilege!! I’m still playing rugby and am really enjoying it, and other than that everything is pretty much the same.

                The product I would like to review today is one I have just finished, the Sanctuary Spa Salt Scrub. I purchased it in the summer because I was looking for a good scrub to use before tanning and my friend recommended it, and it was not money wasted. I bought it for £11.50 from Boots, where it is still available. Although this is more expensive than other body scrubs that I have tried for the quality of the product I think it is a fair price. I also really liked the packaging and thought it made it look more expensive, even though it was plastic. It reminded me of the old jars my mum put sugar and tea in. The size was also a good size at 650g and it has lasted a good 3 months, during which time I did use it regularly and I’m not good at using scrubs sparingly. I have found that a good way to tell if you like a product is if you finish it which I have just done so although I haven’t found myself rushing to repurchase it, I did really enjoy using it and will most likely repurchase it in the future.

              Described as a sumptuous blend of skin polishing dead sea salts wrapped in moisturising coconut, jojoba and sweet almond oils to refine and resurface the texture of the skin and leave it super smooth'’ on the Boots website, I completely agree with this description. Although I found it to be quite a heavy duty exfoliator it was very moisturising and I really felt a difference in my skin after using it. Although I wouldn’t use it daily, it was perfect for preparing for and aftercare of fake tan. I also really loved the smell of the product, and felt that it was light but recognisable after use.

               One other point that I think really shows how good this product is, is that I found out my boyfriend had been using it as well so if he has bothered to use something repeatedly you know it works. Now that this has finished I am now trying a new body scrub from the Body Shop and after one try it is definitely not as exfoliating as the Sanctuary scrub but it may be suited for more everyday use. I will keep you posted. Finally, I have tried several scrubs before and I’ve had to think hard about this but I’m pretty sure it is my favourite and I would definitely recommend this to a friend. So future me, if you are reading this thinking about whether or not to repurchase it … DO IT!  


Saturday, 9 March 2013

OOTD ...

So I thought I would do a quick OOTD post because I haven't blogged in a while but an OOTD always seems like a nice easy way back in :) I've been so busy on placement recently, but I'm just in uni now for a while so I'm hoping that I will have a bit more time now :) I also decided to film my OOTD instead of just photograph it so forgive my awful editing etc. I actually really enjoyed filming it! 


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

20 facts about me ....

Yes I am jumping on the bandwagon, but I realised that you probably don't know that much about me outside the beauty things I write about, and that doesn't seem quite right so ...

1. I'm a student midwife! I'm currently in my first year, but I don't talk about it too much on my blog because we have to be careful about confidentiality etc. But, I am absolutely loving it, even though it is far harder than I ever imagined it would be. (Just as an added extra seeing as I'm sharing ... I've delivered two babies myself and seen 16 babies being born in total)! 

2. My parents currently have a Shetland pony staying in their back garden that my brother decided to rescue. Aswell, as about 16 chickens, 2 cats and a dog. 

3. I'm engaged!!!! 

4. I met my fiancĂ© at school when we were 11, we started going out at 15 and have made it through university! So it can happen, and don't let people tell you it's only a school relationship if you feel like it's more!

5. I play rugby for my university. I play full contact, and on my first match won forward of the match and had to down a can of pear cider. It was the first time I've ever drank cider and I failed miserably :) 

6. I am also part of the knitting society.  

7. I absolutely love chocolate and Diet Coke, in fact I'm drinking a can now and am seriously contemplating going to the shop to get some chocolate. 

8. I am also addicted to the Daily Mail. I know everyone says it's crap, but I would rather keep up to date with some sort of news than not pay attention at all.

9. Unfortunately, one of my close friends from school passed away this summer.

10. My surname is Mee. Yes, really.

11. Honey Boo Boo Child brightens me up when I'm feeling down. Haha. 

Some of my favourite quotes include; 

'I wish I had an extra finger ..... so I could grab more cheeseballs'

'I'm going to vegetate my fat ass'

'There's nothing wrong with being a little gay ... everybody's a little gay'

12. I had an operation under general anaesthetic when I was 8 to remove a needle that I got stuck in my hand when I was doing handstands on some material... the day before we were going on holiday.

13. That same holiday, my dad trapped my fingers of the same hand in the car door and I broke them and we had to go to a French hospital.

14. I'm an emotional hoarder, and literally keep everything e.g. cards, cinema tickets, from anyone/anything that means something to me.

15.  I really don't like flying, but I have been lucky enough to go to some amazing places in the world. I've been to China, Russia, New York, Dublin, Sicily and many other lovely places, especially when me and Mike went round Europe together a couple of summers ago. 

16. I have 3 sisters and 1 brother, all of whom have partners who we are very close to (so that's a pretty big family), and my eldest sister has Cystic Fibrosis, and she also has a little boy! 

17. I love going to the cinema! It's definitely one of my favourite things to do!

18. I'm rubbish at staying in touch with people, but I make a lot of effort to see people if I can and when I do see them it's like we've never been apart :) 

19. I ran a half marathon for Birmingham Children's Hospital, and I reached my goal of completing it in under 2 hours!!

20. I'm from Stratford upon Avon ... where Shakespeare was born, yet have never been to his birthplace museum. 

Hopefully, you now know a little bit more about me! 


Sunday, 27 January 2013

Charles Worthington Intense Rescue Melting Balm ...

After ombre-ing my hair a couple of months ago, my hair has really started to suffer. It was the first time I have ever dyed it, so I've never really had to care for dyed hair before. At first, I just carried on using my normal hair care routine but pretty quickly my hair seemed to be getting more and more brittle. So after some research online, I heard about the Charles Worthington Intense Rescue Melting Balm, and what really made up my mind to get it was Fleur from FleurdeForce raving about it (her blog post about it is linked here). I picked it up from the haircare section in Boots for £16.99, and it is part of the fairly recent Charles Worthington Salon at Home range. It is a bit more expensive than I would usually pay for a hair treatment, but seeing as my hair really needed something new to help it and I had heard such good things about it I thought I would try it anyway, and I'm so glad I did. 

I really like the packaging; it is quite simple and classic, and seeing as you use such a small amount at 100ml I think it will last a really long time. Unlike the picture below that makes it seem quite gloopy, it is actually solid and you scoop out a small amount and then rub it between your palms until it turns into an oil. I then apply it onto the ends of my hair and leave it on for 20 minutes before I pop into the shower. 

One of my favourite things about this product, is the smell! It smells incredible and luxurious. It also leaves my hair feeling so soft, and completely repaired. I use it about once or twice a week depending on if I have time, usually on a lazy day off, because I'm not going to get up any earlier than half 6 unless I really have to. For me, this works out fine and I couldn't imagine the state my hair would be in without it! Also, although it is expensive I don't think it will be running out any time soon, and I also feel like it is putting off the need for a haircut which saves the pennies and helps me keep trying to grow it. 

If you are looking for a leave in product to repair damaged or brittle hair, I would definitely recommend this. It smells lovely, isn't too expensive for how long it will last, and leaves your hair feeling amazing. The only downside I have found is that it isn't suitable for every time you wash your hair if you have to get up early, and it can be quite hard at first to get any product out as it is a solid that turns into an oil but persevere because it has completely changed my hair!


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Empties and Repurchases ... Eyeshadow Primers and Eye Make Up Removers

After writing my  'Empties and Repurchases' post on toners, I thought I would write another post with the same theme, but this time on eyeshadow primers and eye make up removers. Although I have quite dry skin generally, I have quite oily eyelids and eyeshadows don't seem to stay for longer than a few hours, which when I'm at uni or on placement all day isn't ideal. I have tried an eye primer before, Lemonaid from Benefit, and it did work but it didn't find a place in my everyday make up routine, but I got a sample of the Urban Decay Primer Potion when I bought my Naked Palette, and it has quickly become an everyday staple. 

As you can see the first sample is pretty grubby, so apologies for that, but it has lasted a fairly long time (about 8 months) and it was quite a small sample. The packaging also held up pretty well even though the lid cracked, because I seemed to drop it every day! The small sample size had a doe foot applicator, which although it was handy, it didn't seem to be the most hygienic option, so I was quite pleased to see that the full size has no applicator and instead you squeeze it from the tube. Obviously (from the photo), I decided to repurchase the primer potion :) and I'm really glad I did because it is still an essential part of my everyday routine. It was £14.50 from Debenhams which seems to be a standard price and even though it is fairly expensive it is something I use so often that I think it is well worth the price. I would definitely recommend this product to anyone with similar problems with getting their eyeshadow to last! I bought the shade 'original' but there are other shades available in sin, eden and greed all at the same price £14.50 for 11ml! 

 Eye Make Up Removers

I have gone through phases of routines of removing my make up, at the moment I am removing my eye make up before cleansing because I was finding that it wasn't being removed effectively enough with just cleansing, and when I was a lot younger I used make up remover wipes. I finished my Nivea Daily Essentials extra gentle eye make up remover a couple of weeks ago and I really liked it. It was nice and light and sensitive, it didn't have a really strong scent and did take off my stubborn mascara without too much fuss. It costs £3.39 for 125 ml from Boots, and I was planning on repurchasing it however, when I went to Boots I saw another make up remover from Nivea that seemed interesting so I bought that instead.

L-R - Nivea Double Effect, Lancome Bi-Facil

I picked up the Nivea Double Effect Eye Make Up Remover instead of the 'Daily Essentials' one because the concept of the oil and the liquid really intrigued me. It was £3.59 for 125ml, so not that more expensive than the Daily Essentials eye make up remover. It works really well on my stubborn mascara, and doesn't leave a greasy residue, or smear my eye make up around my face. It is also really good for my sensitive eyes and doesn't sting at all. You have to shake it before you apply it, and then I put it on a cotton wool ball and the oil works to remove the mascara and any other stubborn products e.g. eyeliner, and the aqueous part removes any last traces and the greasy residue. It makes my eyes feel so clean, even when I've been wearing quite heavy eye make up. I would definitely recommend this eye make up remover, and will almost certainly be repurchasing it!!!

I was also given the Lancome Bi-Facil make up remover in a set for Christmas, so I have been sampling that every now and again as well. It is £21 for 125 ml in Debenhams, but mine is a 30ml sample size. It has a lovely scent, similar to my beloved Lancome toner, and it seems to work in a similar way to the double effect one with two phases. Although this is really nice, and good for my sensitive eyes, I don't think it is worth almost 6 times the price of the Nivea Double Effect, so I think I will enjoy it whilst it lasts but I doubt I will be repurchasing it. 


Thursday, 10 January 2013


For New Year's, my boyfriend surprised me with a trip to Dublin! I literally had no idea and I've always wanted to go there so it was so sweet of him. He booked a really posh hotel and we stayed for 3 nights! I didn't want to come back :( but I thought I would share a few photos with you!
L-R - Top row - Mike enjoying his first pint of guiness, and my yummy lunch
Middle row - The fireworks in the park, and the street lights in Dublin
Bottom row - A group of street performers, and lights on a shop!!
I had such a lovely time in Dublin, it really is one of the best cities I have ever been too. The atmosphere was fantastic and everyone was so friendly. We flew in on New Year's Eve and went straight to our hotel, which took a while because Mike organised everything which was very sweet but he is hopeless at getting anywhere new. He is so relaxed and just like well we will get there eventually i.e. a couple of summers ago we went interrailing around Europe and we wanted to go to the baths in Budapest and he was like don't worry I know the way, which he didn't but he thought if we followed people with swimming towels we would find it (!!!!!). Actually, we ended up following people leaving the baths, for about half an hour! So, you get my drift, he is lovely, just not the best at finding places. But, when we did get to the hotel it was stunning. We stayed at the Dylan hotel which is just outside the city centre but still in walking distance from everything, and it was perfect! It was absolutely beautiful and I would highly recommend it! After we had settled into the hotel we went to a restaurant on the outside of the park where the fireworks were going to be displayed called St. Stephen's Green, and the restaurant was beautiful. It was called Il Posto, and the food was amazing. Mike had a steak and I had fish with asparagus, and we shared a bottle of Prosecco and had the most amazing desserts! After we had finished our meal, we went out onto the road outside the park and watched the fireworks. It felt truly magical! We then wandered through the streets until we found a bar we liked the look of and danced our way into the New Year. It was honestly one of the best New Years I have ever had!

On New Year's Day, we were feeling a little bit worse for wear, so we had a slow start to the morning and then we had a walk around the city centre and soaked in the atmosphere, and went into a few of the little pubs and watched the football and ate some food. After the football and food, we headed back to the hotel where something very special happened, and to cut a long story short ... I'm now engaged!!!, and then we went to the hotel restaurant for a gorgeous meal. I'm sure I will share the details at some point but I don't want to make this post any longer than it already will be :) 

The next day, we got up really early and went on the hop on and off bus, which I would really recommend going on if you are visiting a city that has one available, because it is a cheap and easy way to get around  as well as learning lots of new things about the city! We did the whole tour first which took about an hour and a half, and our bus driver was hilarious and so knowledgeable. After we got off the bus, we had a wander around Saint Stephen's park which was now open as it had been closed for the fireworks, and we wandered through Temple Bar, which is the bar/pub area of Dublin, and we found ourselves in this lovely pastry shop that had been recommended to us. It was amazing, and if you ever go to Dublin definitely go for a pastry in the Queen of Tarts. After that, we went for a wander around Dublin Castle, but it was closed due to the EU Presidency being there, so we headed back on to the bus and went to the Guinness Storehouse which was pretty cool and definitely somewhere else I would recommend going! We then walked back into the city centre and had some good old Pizza Hut before we went to a pub to watch some football and live music! It was such an amazing day, and it's so hard to describe the atmosphere but it was unlike anywhere else I have been. 

On our last day, we went back on the bus because it was a 48 hour ticket and then wandered around the city centre, having some food at the Bad Ass Cafe and looking through some of the little shops, before we had to make our way home :( 

Overall, I had an amazing couple of days and I would highly recommend Dublin to anyone thinking of going there. There was so much to do, and so much we didn't get a chance to fit in so I will definitely be going back soon. 


Sunday, 6 January 2013

New Bag ...

I have wanted a new bag for ages. I love starting a new course with a lovely new bag, but my boyfriend (who is far too sensible) said I should wait until I knew what type of bag  I would need. Well, I'm sorry Mike, but I just couldn't resist anymore!! Although it is not the most practical of bags, it is everything I want and I have not stopped using it since I bought it. 
 It was £30 from River Island. I could only see it in black but I wouldn't be surprised if they brought it out in other colours. I really wanted a sturdy bag to hold all the junk I will inevitably put in there and I think this looks like it should do the job. The straps feel very strong, and although it isn't leather it still looks like good quality. 

 One thing that I always look for in a bag is secure compartments. I live in a busy city, and you always have to be conscious of your bag, so I like knowing everything is more secure when it's all zipped up. Although this bag doesn't completely zip up, it has two compartments that do, as well as a little side pocket, so I usually keep all my valuables in there and then do the popper up for the main bit, which to be honest is still pretty secure. I also love a bag with compartments because it makes it easier for me to find things when I need them. I'm definitely guilty of throwing so much random stuff in my bag and then never being able to find the important stuff when I need it i.e. my keys or phone, if it doesn't have pockets. 

Thursday, 3 January 2013

My Filofax ...

Before I got my filofax in the middle of 2012, I had wanted one for ages. I get easily stressed and having something which lays out all my plans and appointments etc. makes me feel a lot more organised. I genuinely do not know where I would be without it; I take it everywhere with me, and pretty much write down everything I have on in there. I also really like using it for a record of everything I have done, as I keep all my old pages! It's really nice to look over the summer pages and see all the lovely things I got to do, as well as all my lectures and placement days over the last term! 
I bought mine for £25.00 at WhSmiths and then bought some refills i.e. 'To Do' pages, more address book pages etc, but they are currently reduced on the filofax website to £17.50. I got the 'apex' pocket size, which is the medium one, and it is perfect for me; it is small enough to fit in my bag but not too small to fit anything in it. However, there are so many options in style and size that you are almost certain to find something you will like!

Although they are quite expensive compared to a normal annual diary, I think they are so beautiful and although you do have to pay for refills every year, I'm so glad I bought mine and have definitely got my money's worth out of it. I've never felt so organised, and 6 months on from buying it I still it use it every day.