Tuesday, 29 January 2013

No7 Hot Cloth Cleanser & Skin Doctors Gamma Hydroxy

So I'm off to a good start with my great skincare routine


Thanks to the lovely No7 vouchers at Boots (what would we do without them?!) I purchased the beautiful skin hot cloth cleanser to see what all the fuss is about. I'd heard that it's as good as the more expensive Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish.

"Enjoy the luxury of a spa facial in your own home. The combination of this rich indulgent cleanser and the gentle exfoliating muslin cloth removes dead skin cells and daily grime whilst stimulating circulation, leaving your skin deeply clean, soft and radiant"

As it's normally £9.95 and I got it for £4.95 with the voucher I couldn't really say no. I have to say I'm loving it! It's nice to have a proper winding down session at the end of the day by taking my make up off properly. I used to go over it with a face wipe and apply a bit of cheap cleanser with some cotton wool. And Sometimes I'm ashamed to say I'd just use the face wipe! 
*and other times I wouldn't bother with either.. shhhhh!*

So Now I massage the cleanser over my dry face in upward circular motions, which is also very calming. Then I run the muslin cloth under hot water, wring it out and then place it over my face. It's like giving myself a quick mini facial. Then once the cloth has cooled I  wipe the cleanser off and splash some cold water on my face. It removes every trace of make up and leaves my face so soft. It feels really clean after using it and I can tell it's done my skin some good... a lot better than a face wipe ever did anyway!

So then my skin is clean enough for me to apply my new favourite thing, my pot of 
Skin Doctors Gamma Hydroxy RRP £40.80


They claim it's 'a time released chemical peel that gives salon treatment results at home'

As I've mentioned before I've got some bad scars and I heard that I should try something with glycolic acid to help even them out. This also has lactic acid to increase the water holding ability of the corneum layer of the skin which helps to improve fine lines, which I'm sure I'm already starting to get! And to remove skin cells there's some salicylic acid in there too. 

It basically renews and smooths your skin, reducing the size of pores, evening skin tone and pigmentation. It burns ever so slightly after applying, but to me that just shows its doing it's job. No pain, no gain! Some say they develop redness too but I didn't experience this.
 I just smooth on a thin layer then I head to bed. It says you should see an improvement in the appearance of wrinkle depth, acne-scarring and hyperpigmented areas in around 3-6 weeks but after just 4 days of using this I can already see an improvement and both my mum and my boyfriend have commented on it.

 I can only imagine how good I'm going to feel when I've used the whole pot. It's well worth the price tag as this really works!

Friday, 25 January 2013

landlady from hell

I hate my land lady. 

Usually you meet landladies/lords when you move in and then you don't see them again until you move out and give the keys back. But I've seen this woman more than I've seen my own Nan this year.

She seemed nice enough when we moved in, made boring chit chat as she came in to fix some broken plug and remove the wardrobe she'd left in a flat listed as 'unfurnished'. I thought that would be pretty much the last I'd see of her.

Oh BOY was I wrong!

We've had her in for countless problems with the boiler and the washing machine. Both of these were things she claimed she 'knew what to do' and fixed them herself within 15 mins -which basically proved to me that she'd known of these problems before and never properly dealt with them. I let that go, as far as I cared the problems were sorted and I could wash my clothes again and not live in a freezing cold flat. The washing machine problem continued as it was stored in a hot cupboard, secured in so tightly you couldn't even remove the washing powder drawer to clean it - needless to say that thing was full of mould! 

She was constantly parked outside the flat looking in. She even got her other tennant to spy on us and feed back information. This was a little old lady she had clearly manipulated over the years. God knows how much money she was robbing off her! A couple of times she came in unannounced so her kids could use our toilet! When I was looking after a newborn this was really not convenient at all.

Not long after our son was born we noticed some mould growing on the walls. We washed it off but it kept coming back. We called her and she said it was probably because we were drying our clothes inside on a clothes horse and we should use the dodgy tumble dryer setting on the washing machine that made our clothes smell of rubber when ever we used it -never mind the money it would cost us to have that running! She also said to put the heating on more- during a heatwave. Now I get that drying clothes indoors can cause a bit of moisture in the air but this was something else. There was only mine and my partner's clothes along with the tiny wardrobe of a month old - hardly like a laundrette. This mould was a much bigger problem. We took pictures off the wall, they were ruined beasue of the build up of mould behind them. Hundreds of pounds worth of clothes and shoes  were ruined due to the mould in the bedroom. I dread to think what it did to our lungs,


I did as I was told and also sent out a big majority of my washing for a week to see if it made a difference. Not surprisingly it made no difference at all. We told her it was still bad and she fobbed us off a bit more until she decided she'd send someone round to look at the loft. A guy came round and said that the loft needed more insulation as it was far too thin and they would be sorting that.... That's the last we heard about that one. 

As we moved into the colder months we noticed more and more mould growing. It was on every external wall so it was clear the problem was in the walls, though the crap loft insulation can't be helping. We called her again and she gave us the same crap about drying clothes and that 'the guy who lived there before washed his football teams clothes and he had the same problem' '...right, so you knew there was a problem? You didn't think 'strange this is happening again, I better look into it?' We asked her for a reduction in the rent as it wasn't the living conditions we were happy paying £850 a month for, plus it was now a worry having a new born baby in an environment with potentially poisonous mould. She said no and that she was going to sort it, along with something to do with the heating and the garden fence. We waited a bit longer and after being at my parent's house one day we came back to the place absolutely stinking of damp and now the mould was spreading to behind the kitchen cabinets and high up on the ceiling where we couldn't reach to clean it. I decided to take matters into my own hands and called environmental health to have a look. They tested the humidity in the air and the dampness in the walls an they said that there was a huge problem with the wall insulation and that water was leaking through. They got on to her to sort it. She then sent round 'her' people for 2nd, 3rd 4th opinions and tried to tell environmental health that it was just condensation. They told her she was wrong and that she had to sort it. The windows don't have little vents on them like they should have (she claimed that this was because they are very old windows but I've been told by the little old lady downstairs that she had those fitted a couple of years ago. And there's no extractor fan in the bathroom and that the walls are basically f*cked. 

I was seriously worried about our newborn babies health. I tried to make sure I went out as much as possible but while suffering from post natal depression it was the last thing I wanted to do. I wanted to be in a safe little bubble with my family. 

Never mind us - surely she wanted this problem fixed so it didnt cause any long term damage?! We were only renting, she owns the dump.

 We told her we wanted to leave so she could fix it and she gave us notice.

She's got nasty since. I've heard her slagging us off on our own doorstep and she's clearly annoyed that we've made her sort it out. But it's in her own interest! Her house will fall apart eventually if she leaves it like this! She had the cheek to loudly call me a 'lazy bitch' when I couldn't answer the door to the postman due to being in the middle of breastfeeding. 
She's made life a living nightmare, a time that should be a wonderful memory, enjoying the start of our little family life. 

She's trying to claim some of our deposit for some plumbing problem the flat downstairs had because the main drain was blocked with baby wipes. The plumber didn't even see us, we haven't signed a thing and he hasn't even entered the flat. Not to mention that our changing table is in a complete different room to the toilet so it would actually be inconvenient to flush the wipes and WHO FLUSHES BABYWIPES?!! 

She also wants the awful 10 year old carpet professionally cleaned and the garden to be sorted out . A garden that she has just covered in gravel rather than cut her grass, so of course grass is growing through it. It's all covered in snow at the moment so I don't know what she expects us to do. Never mind the fact that she never even told us we had access to the garden in the first place!

look at it LOOK AT IT!

So we're leaving the flat from hell on Monday, well Sunday night as she says she wants us all moved out by 9am on Monday morning which isn't exactly possible with everyone at work. We're moving to my mums for a bit while we find somewhere more permanent to live. I can't wait to get out of here! I've had so many of my clothes and shoes ruined (Even some from this post!)  because of her and we haven't threatened to sue or not paid rent or even been nasty. But I reckon when we hand over the keys she's going to really fight for that deposit. I just want this over. 

my poor babies :(

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

My Favourite Shoes

I've always been known as the 'girl in the shoes'. No matter what the weather is like I'm always in heels. I actually walk much better in them. I trip over in flats! I used to do 10 hour shifts on my feet and I wore heels all day, every day -it did wonders for my calf muscles! 

I've worn heels for so long that my feet hurt in flats. I'm sure when I'm old I'm going to have some serious problems! I have the opposite problem to most people, where most girls love the feeling of taking off heels after a long day I'm the opposite, If I'm bare foot or in flats for too long I have to put on some heels, not always stupidly high ones but my feet need to be pointed to some degree for me to be comfortable. Some days it's great, I can survive much longer than my friends on a night out, but when I want to wear something casual, it's hard to put heels with it without it looking slutty.

Anyway, I thought I'd share a few of my favourites.

These are my T-Bar Mary Janes with a square toe. They were from ASOS a few years back. They look lovely with a pencil skirt.

These are my go-to pair. Simple Kurt Geiger Suede platforms. They are quite Louboutin-esque, they're timeless and they go with everything.

These are from Office. They have zips all over them and are satin. They did them in denim too and I struggled to choose between them. So much so I think I really began to annoy the sales assistant! But I decided black was the more sensible option. They are more of a statement shoe but believe it or not they are really comfortable!

These patent platforms are from Topshop and I have worn them both to death! I got them in 2 colours. I really wanted the coral but they were out of stock for ages and I couldn't wait so I bought the cream ones to tide me over. They are really soft and the platform really makes all the difference. When these finally die I'm going to really struggle throwing them out!

Everyone needs a pair of nude peep-toes and mine are a patent pair from Aldo. They really lengthen the leg and again, the platform makes them so comfortable.

These red ones are from River Island. The arty pic if from a shoot I did when I worked at a photo studio. It's taken by a really talented photographer friend of mine, Karis (@mcsnaps2012) I'm not a fan of getting my face in pictures, but my shoes, I'll jump at the chance!

Doing this post has really reminded me of some shoes I haven't worn in ages, I just need to snow to go and I can get some out of their boxes!

Monday, 21 January 2013

New Years Resolutions

I’ve decided that this year I’m going to look after myself. I read a post on skin guru Caroline Hirons’ blog and she said  ‘equate your skincare spending to what you would spend on a handbag or shoes. I'm not saying you should - I'm saying you should be willing to. If you would spend more on a bag than your face - you're reading the wrong blog.'

It makes sense! I love my shoes but I can replace them, I’m stuck with my face! I’ve spent years just buying what ever cleanser or face wash is on offer and not really thinking about what I’m putting on my skin. I’ve got this face for life so I might as well look after it. I just hope that at 27 this isn’t too little too late!

I’m left with with pretty bad scarring after a skin problem following an illness a while back. And while I’ve always thought I can live with it, I realised recently that it really does get me down and I think about weather they are on show far too much. If I get these sorted I might be able to enjoy myself when I’m out a bit more and not worry which side of my face is on show depending where I sit and if my hair is covering enough of my face. Who knows, I might even wear my hair up from time to time!

So I’m going to invest in some decent skincare. I've started doing a bit of research but If anyone has any recommendations then let me know! I’ll do a post at some point to see how I’m getting on.

Tying in with the skin care is the health side of things. I’ve never drunk enough water, my doctors are always telling me off for it. So I’m going to start trying a little bit harder. I know it will do me the world of good.

Since having Mason I’ve lost a lot of weight and am the smallest I have ever been. I was a size 10 before I got pregnant and I was lucky that I didn’t really gain a lot of baby weight. I didn’t expect to go back to normal again quite so quickly, let alone go down a dress size (or 2). I always liked having curves and it suited me, so being slimmer has really taken some getting used to. 
It did bother me quite a bit at first and putting on weight is a lot harder than you think, especially with a baby to run around after! So I’ve decided to just go with it, rather than letting it get to me when people tell me I’m too skinny (which by the way, is still an insult, however you look at it!) I’ve decided I’m just going to make myself stronger. So I’m doing a few toning excercises and making myself generally more muscular and less weedy-looking. I’m going to look into doing a bit of Yoga and Pilates which will give me a bit of time to relax too which is always nice!

My boyfriend Sam got me a fitbit for Christmas, mainly as he wants to loose some weight and he got himself one and wanted someone to compete with. You clip it to your clothes and it tracks your steps and you can link it to your iphone and log how many calories you eat too. It’s quite good at keeping track of what im eating and drinking and it’s really made me more aware of what I'm doing wrong. As I’ve been eating on the run I basically shove a few biscuits in my mouth and down a cup of tea when I'm wearing my rollers so I didn't realise that I was generally living on biscuits and caffeine! So it’s making me eat a lot healthier by making me aware of what I'm actually eating.

In the past I’ve not really stuck to my new years resolutions -2009’s being to see 'Wicked' and to finally try thai food and I still havent done either. But hopefully I can try and stick to these!

Watch this space!

Neal & Wolf Blow Dry Balm and Heat Protector

Neal &Wolf have been around 20 years in the haircare industry and now have a range of products on the market.  I hadnt really heard much about them to be honest so when I was sent the Guard Heat Protection Spray and the Blow Dry Balm I was excited to try them out. 

I love how the packaging looks like its high end and luxurious. They look really stylish and you don’t have to spend a fortune on them, it really adds a touch of luxury to the bathroom.

First I tried out the Heat Protector spray, it can be used on both wet and dry hair and comes in a 150ml pump dispenser.

I was really keen to try this out and straight away and couldn’t wait til the my shower the next morning so I used it on my dry hair. It distributed really nicely in a light mist and the smell was lovely. It reminded me of the Jean Paul Gaultier Classique perfume, which I love as that’s the perfume my mum wears. (ain’t I cute?!)

I took sections of my hair and sprayed it, combed it through then ran my straighteners though it.
It gave it an amazing shine, and my blonde colour seemed brighter too. And of course I’m safe in the knowledge that my hair is being protected from the heat. I’m really impressed by this. I really love it!

I also tried out their Blowdry balm. I’m not a massive fan of blow drying my hair, it takes such a long time and gives me arm ache. I’m just so lazy! But after using this product I may just give it a go a little more often.

I used a small blob of this on towel dried hair, worked it through and then blow dried my hair in sections using a round brush. I'd be careful not to use too much as I can imagine it would weigh the hair down a bit and make it look greasy, but start off small and add to it if you need to. I have to say, I was really quite impressed. My hair is naturally curly but you wouldn’t know at all, this got rid of all the kinks and frizz I usually get from blow drying. I didn’t even need to go over my hair with straighteners like I often have to. It made my hair full of volume and it had a lovely shine to it.

The Heat Guard is £10.95 and Blow  Dry Balm is £11.95 and you can get it here

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

I & K Hair Extensions

I’ve heard a lot about these hair extensions and I’ve been lucky enough to give them a go myself and see what all the fuss is about.

What they said;
“Materials: Selected 100% Human hair, medium metal clip, grade: A hair.
Weight: 120g exclude the weight of 18 clips,
Structure: 10 clip in pieces with 18 clips + 2 test pieces without clips,
Full Length: Actual length is 2 inch longer. For example: full length is 20 inch for 18 inch hair. 

Mine were colour p18/22 which is an ash blonde with blonde highlights which matched my hair perfectly. I had the 14” length, which retails at £39.99

I’d normally be concerned about buying extensions online without seeing the colour in person but the colour chart on their site is really accurate, and the fact these have a highlight to them makes them blend in a lot better. They do have an option of ordering a sample colour on their website if you’re not too sure.

You get 10 clip in pieces with 18 clips attached, plus 2 pieces without clips.
Having different sections in the pack means you have the option of just adding a couple of pieces or going for the full glam look by adding all of them. My hair isn’t particularly short but it really added volume and made my hair look so healthy even though it’s in need of a cut! The clips are really good quality and didn’t fall out of place or pull on my hair so much it hurt. The perfect balance!

They’re available in different lengths, 14, 18 and 22”.  So there’s the option of getting them a bit longer and cutting them down as time goes on if they get a bit worn. Also if you have a longer length it gives you a bit more to play with (eh-hem!) so you can create more styles.

They are fantastic value for money considering they are 100% natural hair so they’ll last a lot longer than synthetic and are much easier to style. You can even dip dye the bottom if you don’t want to commit to it fully on your real hair. Genius!

I feel I may get addicted to these!

You can purchase I&K extensions at Hairtrade in a range of different colours and lengths