Thursday, 22 February 2018

The Ordinary skincare review

The Ordinary skincare review
Thursday, 22 February 2018
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Welcome back!

Fortunately for you guys this week is strictly business, there will be minimal pointless chat from myself.
I’ve been using The Ordinary products for almost a month now, I wanted to make-sure I really like them before I started blabbing.  I hadn’t heard anything about them before, I was just having my hourly scroll through ASOS and came across the Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution which I had previously read was a dupe for the PIXI Glow Tonic. So, as you do, I spent the next two hours scanning every beauty website for advice.

Oh, and because I love anything that contributes to my laziness the ‘free from’ banner at the top of every page is a great touch.

For me this is what works best - My skin is reasonable. I breakout all the time but it’s never horrendous. I have really dry skin, but it gets super oily with some products. I’m also quite sensitive and sometimes a little red.

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG à AM & PM
Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution à PM
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% à AM & PM
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 à AM & PM

High-Adherence Silicone Primer à Before make-up 

This is unbelievable. I’m a bit lapse when it comes to eye and anti-ageing products, so I’ve never really had much to say about either before now.
The website says: “Reduces Appearance of Eye Contour Pigmentation and of Puffiness” and well, I gotta say, they’re not lying. I would highly recommend this, I use one drop morning and night and my eyes no longer look like they’re retreating back into my skull.

I’m probably the only ‘blogger’ that hasn’t tried the PIXI Glow Tonic, so sadly I can’t compare the two, BUT this is the stuff. It’s like it’s dried up all my spots (gross, I know. Soz)
It says not to use if you have sensitive skin, which I do, and it stung a bit the first few times but other than that nothing. It works really well though as far as exfoliation, my skin is clear.
I just drench a cotton pad and smother my face (avoiding the eyes of course) be sure to only use it once a day though!

Now, the next two I found a bit confusing at first, I wasn’t sure what they were actually doing and I’m, I’m not gonna lie, I don’t know if they’re working or not but they’re not making it worse so what the hell, I’m in.
The Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is supposed to reduce the appearance of blemishes, so I guess my recent spout of clear skin may be down to this and not just the toner?
It’s twice a day for this little guy, all over the face. I just use my fingers – I’m sure this is wrong and you’re all going to bash me in the comments, but I have no idea how to apply something like this especially from a pipette.
P.s I do the same with the next two products. Woops.
The Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is used for hydration and brightening, this is mega important for me because my skin get super dry with some products, especially the acids. Although I haven’t noticed a difference in appearance, it’s been necessary to lock in some moisture.  If you’re combination I would definitely include this one in your regime – AM and PM ladies and gents.

I also bought the Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% but I’m not a huge fan, so I haven’t included it in the regime. It’s supposed to brighten the skin, but it left my face quite sore and no matter how I applied it, it would always end up in my mouth and it tastes nasty.

With the more acidic products they sometimes advise you not to use them for a week prior to sunning yourself on hols. I’ve stopped using these bits for a week because we fly out Monday. I’m probably being over cautious but one to bear in mind.

This is where those that came for a quick tour are flagging, if so, hit eject my friends. No hard feelings. But if you could leave a quick comment with your favourite skincare brand first then we’re totally even.

For those of you sticking it out, thanks very much, I’m almost done!

The Ordinary is a brand from DECIEM. The have lots of individual brands as well, they describe themselves as an “umbrella” of brands which is friggin adorable and they focus on practical and efficient beauty products with conscious pricing.
All products across all brands including are free of parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, benzalkonium chloride, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury and oxybenzone. Oh, and they don’t test on animals!

According to their website the brand was created to “celebrate integrity” and I’d say they can give themselves a big ole tick for that.
Majority of the products are named after the ingredients and they’re one of the only brands to make their percentages so apparent on the packaging.

They even have a section for you to suggest products you would like to see added to The Ordinary range. What? Amazing.  Psst, it’s à here

Okay I’m done – just as a round-up I think these are quality products with budget prices and there is something for everyone to squeeze into their routine. If you’re looking for a product to target a specific problem I’m almost certain they will have it.
And they’re all cruelty free!

Check out all the products and advisories here - The Ordinary

You can pick up The Ordinary products at ASOS House of Fraser, Feelunique, Cult Beauty and Beauty Bay. They don’t stock all products, so you might need to make a couple of orders.
There’s also a shop in James Street, Ldn.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

I need to pay more attention

I need to pay more attention
Thursday, 8 February 2018
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So, I crashed my car, boohoo. I’m pretty sure driving’s not for me, I much prefer getting a lift.
*The other driver’s fine, I’m all good and my car’s fixed*

I'm always in a rush. I rush to work in the morning, so I can get back before dark to walk my dog and subsequently rush home from work. I rush to the gym and then from the gym to Ben's house and then I rush to the train station, the following morning so Ben catches his train on time and then I rush to work.
I know I do it, but when my mum and dad tell me to chill, I’m like, will you give it a rest people.
But I definitely should have listened, because I was late to meet one of the girls at the gym last Thursday and I accidentally pulled out on someone.
It’s actually the second crash I’ve had but, the other accident didn’t involve another vehicle. This time I panicked big time. My first thought was, what if I’ve killed somebody. All because I’m rushing to the gym, which is open for another five hours yet anyway.  
Luckily it was nowhere near that severe and the other driver escaped unscathed. Thank goodness.   
I, on the other hand almost lost my teeth. Haha. Once I’d seen the other driver was fine my panic quickly shifted to my teeth which had bounced off the steering wheel. No way did I suffer through braces for three years for it to end like this. But, luckily, they’re all still intact, just about.
So, £300 and a dose of antibiotics later, I am no longer in any kind of rush.
My mum reckons this is one of those life lesson moments, and I’ll never be in a rush again. I’m pretty sure that’s not the case but I’ve definitely realised that I either need to manage my time better or stop worrying about being late to places that aren’t work or appointments.

I’m sure this will breeze in and out of your mind as quickly as you read it but, I know for definite we’re all guilty of thinking about the next place we must get to in the next 2 minutes or the world will end. How dumb, it’s more important to arrive in one piece.
I was rushing to the gym because losing weight before my holiday is the most important thing in the world right now, but instead I crashed my car and didn’t get to the gym that day, or the following two because I was too sore. Haha, karma got me.
I can’t actually believe I’ve written a whole post about the most un-dramatic car crash ever. I guess it was more of a reminder to chill.
Oh, I forgot to mention my driver’s window burst the week before, whilst I was driving along. Cars hate me.

This week’s outfit pics didn’t turn out great so apologies, I’m using these as back-up. You will also be pleased to know; these god-awful roots are no more. I popped in to see my hairdresser last night and I’m now rootless and lilac, ready for holiday. Woo.  

I'm thinking about uploading some kind of hair chat/routine whilst my colour is fresh, what do you think? 

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Get involved!

Get involved!
Thursday, 25 January 2018
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Happy weekend eve!
Have I mentioned how much I love a Thursday? Because I do, I love them.  

Started my week with some campaigning. The Save our NHS Southend campaigners held a march through Southend High Street on Saturday afternoon to protest cuts being made to NHS services.
If you're not sure what's happening, in a brief round-up - there are millions of pounds being taken from hospital budgets, meaning critically ill patients are being transferred further afield - which is SO dangerous. Nurses are working a bazillion hours and people are literally dying.
At the risk of preaching, I gotta say, the NHS is so hugely important! If you don’t have any campaigns running in your local areas I would suggest you jump on a train to the closest one. We, will or have all needed the NHS at some point in our life an when its gone, its gone. 
If you can, round your pals and family, it's relevant to everybody and it was such a nice feeling to watch so many people trying to make things better. Every one of them is mad about the latest STP plans so they got their arses out of bed, cancelled their date with Netflix, wrapped up warm and joined the fight.
Honestly, it was such a warm and fuzzy Saturday, watching everybody – lots of kiddies as well.
I’m mad too, obviously. But it’s nice to see small positives come from such a shit show. 

Up until recently (probably just before Brexit and the latest election) I always just went with the flow but I've realised it is super important to get involved and know what's happening. Since Brexit I've met so many people who wish they had been more bothered. I guess that's relevant to everything we do. 

On a lighter note, this jumper! The coat! THE BOOTS. Omg.
I can’t get enough, I wore this jumper four times last week. There were multiple speed washes happening, so much so that the belt in my washing machine has broken haha.
It’s even softer than it looks, and it look pretty friggin soft right? Big up Pull & Bear I recommend that everybody buys one for a Sunday.
The trousers, are basically just jazzy legging’s, they’re ribbed and flared with a cute little white frilly hem. I’m definitely about these, and I’m pretty sure you could wear them to work with a nice blouse. If not the biggest chunky knit, you can find, will do.
The jacket is Lola May Clothing, I came across these guys on Instagram and I've gotta say, their customer service is brilliant. Super, helpful, incredibly quick dispatch, amazing quality and well the jackets fab as well. Five gold stars for these guys. 

I'm definitely all about saving the best until last so welcome to the stage - the ultimate emo boots. 
Since the age of 11, grunge Al has been madly in love with chunky biker boots. A big old Linkin Park hoodie with platforms boots. Hell yeah, throw in a couple of chains and we’re away.
Not much has changed really, I’ve been drooling over the Jadon Dr Martens, forever but the bank pretty much laughs in my face everyday so not happening. Instead, I only went and found the boots of emo dreams. As someone who has only ever been satisfied with a pair of DMs, let me tell you; I LOVE these boots.
Every outfit forever will now feature these boots.
The black eyelets and stitching makes them pretty subtle, so I might try my luck and wear them to work next week. I’ll let you know how that goes.

See you soon.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Stick with it

Stick with it
Thursday, 18 January 2018
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Happy Thursday everybody! I love a Thursday. I hate Sunday’s, don’t mind Tuesday’s.
Thursday means Friday tomorrow, which makes for a very happy Al. Weekends seem to consist of outfit shooting and food, which is honestly perfection in my eyes.
I usually take my outfit pictures at the weekend because if you haven’t read my last post (you can totally read it here) I have a really shitty Monday to Friday job that is slowly sucking the life from my soul.

This week’s outfit was a bit of a mish mash, but I thought it kind of worked. I've never been able to pull off hats. I once bought THE nicest Fedora for £45 and accidentally scooped it up with my washing and it shrunk. Absolutely heartbreaking.
Saying that, I don’t have much luck with any kind of head wear. At my first holy communion (we’ll talk about that another time) someone set alight to my veil in the church. Haha the priest probably thought I was the devil. 

I’m really into this top, Topshop have it in yellow as well. It’s in the ‘Bright Ideas’ section which is very funky. I didn’t love the boots which is why I’ve cropped my feet in most of the pictures. So professional.

The point of this post was supposed to be about sticking ‘it’ out. I am really bad at sticking things out. Not so much work-wise, I like to get things done as soon as I’m given them at work, even if it means I make 1746 calls a day. It’s getting done. 
At work I’m a list writer but in my personal I'm a procrastinator.
I’ve been trying to get in shape for years, I’m pretty sure I’ve been moaning about my chunky thighs since school. There has been no avail.
So I recently started a diet, I’m nine days in so I’ll let you know how it goes.
Any low-calorie veggie meal ideas would be massively appreciated! Feel free to leave them in the comments.
It's not just fad diets that I can't stick to I do it with absolutely everything. I've tried to get this blog off the ground for maybe three/four years, but I get so disheartened that there are so many other girls like me trying to do the same thing.
And I absolutely want them to succeed as well, it just throws me off my game a little.
Especially when they look so damn good and because you didn't stick to your 23657th fad diet, you look like a damn potato.
My Saturday shoot got cancelled on Friday evening and the Moaning Myrtle in me was being a mega brat and decided blogging is not my calling in life, and there's no room for me (dramatic I know). Until, I got a text on Saturday morning from Ben’s cousin saying she had been reading through my posts and they were “so” good.
Firstly, what a fricken babe. Secondly, sometimes you just need a kick up the arse. 
The point is, even if we’re only getting 150 views that’s 150 people taking time out of their day to read all the crap I’m writing. So basically, I've realised I need suck it up and keep going. 
I like to think thing’s will work out eventually.

Anyway, here we are, 2018 and were sticking with it. 
The gym is killing me off entirely so let’s just hope I can get dressed for this weekend’s pictures.

I’ll see you guys back here then!

Monday, 1 January 2018

2017 - you were a seven out of ten

2017 - you were a seven out of ten
Monday, 1 January 2018
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Happy new year to the ten of you that will read this post haha – hi mum.
In the blogging spirit I thought I’d put a few words together about 2017. It was probably a seven out of ten for me, overall not too tragic but pretty unfulfilling.
The two thing’s I was desperate to do were, get a new job and do some travelling, both of which were accomplished. Not as successfully and planned but it happened.

I got a new job in July, and I hate it. Hahaha.
In January, obviously Ben and I booked America for April/May which was THE best thing about 2017 - I won’t bore you all with the details (you can read it here if you’re trying to pass the time before your train arrives).
I was hoping this would set the tone for the year but, negative. The trip cost a bomb so we held back from any big trips for the rest of the year.
We did spend a while surfing in Newquay in September. We rented our boards and suits from Quick Silver Surf School, we’ve used them a couple times, they’re the loveliest people, super helpful and friendly. We surfed at Fistral Beach which is one of my favourites, partially for the surfing but mostly for the pizza – The Stables is the spot.

Some music highlights of this year were Highly Suspect at Koko in Camden, Nothing but Thieves at O2 Academy Liverpool, Skepta in San Francisco and Queens of the Stone Age at O2 Arena London. 
As for 2018 we have, Highly Suspect in February, Arcade Fire and the Streets in April, Queens of the Stone Age and Foo Fighters and Community Festival in July. 

The rest of the year was pretty much spent me nagging Ben to book another holiday.
And victory finally hailed last night! We’re off for a week in the sun followed by a weekend in Italy at the end of February. Turns out I’m quite the persuader.
Feel free to send positive energy my way because I’m going to attempt a month in the Philippines before the years out and I’m not sure my skills will stretch that far.

For 2018, I'm desperately hoping to get a new job (hopefully that will work out better than last time!). I'd also quite like to move to London. Travel-wise I'm lusting over Cuba and the Philippines - like I said Pray4Al.

I really, really, want to make some blogging pals this year. I'm going to up my content game and stop being a baby. Up until now I've been unbelievably nervous about sharing my blog on socials. I HATE having my photo taken and I often feel like drivelling on when I write a post - probably because I do it for a job also. Got to love those middle-aged men that comment on my stories telling me I'm a disgrace as a Journo and I can't write for shit - thanks Pete mate, I'll grab my coat. 

And on that note, I'm off. Here's to 2018, let me know what you guys have planned for the year.

P.S. The jeans, bodysuit and jacket are all in the sale. Go wild. 

Monday, 11 December 2017

All the Faux Furs

All the Faux Furs
Monday, 11 December 2017
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So, IT SNOWED, not only that but I picked my Christmas tree in the snow. Man, it feels like Christmas now.

I haven't been up to anything very exciting this week - apart from the Christmas tree - it's been deadline central at work and I found out I'm on call Christmas day so that sucks. There have been some self-pity purchases made this week to keep the morale high and the ting that seemed to be in all of my online baskets was a faux fur so I thought, what the hell and I’ve made you a little list of my faves.

1. ASOS  
2. ASOS 
3. Topshop