Friday, 29 August 2014

Working Out At Home

Now we all know that we should be doing around 30 minutes of exercise a day. However, with expensive gym memberships and busy lifestyles many of us put this off as we don't have enough time. But 30 minutes is equivalent to just 2% of our day! When you put it like this it really puts it into perspective and honestly there should be no excuses. Even though I am a member of my local Bannatynes, I have come to the realisation that you really don't need a gym to have an effective workout. Running is a great way of keeping fit away from the gym but is not for everyone, so here are some workout ideas that I have tested myself and can be done in the comfort of your own home.


The 30 Day Shred
This was something I started doing before my holidays and oh wow you do get results quick! The 30 day shred is a programme designed by Jillian Michaels (from the biggest loser) which combines cardio, strength and abs work over different intervals and levels of difficulty. Each 20-minute workout (although this sounds short it is brutal) consists of 3 minutes of weights, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute ab work. In level one you do workouts consisting of jumping jacks, skipping, squats whereas in level 2 and 3 they progress into harder exercises such burpees, mountain climbers etc. I must say you definitely feel fitter as the days go on and by day 5 you'll have no problem completing the workout. One thing you need to have is some form of handweights and a mat but bottled water would do too. I really enjoy the 30 day shred and if definitely helped me to burn fat from my stomach and thighs. I loved how quickly you could see results and it's only 20 minutes everyday! You can buy the DVD from amazon or watch on youtube like I did. Just by googling 30 day shred you can see peoples amazing results and before and after pictures. It's definitely a brilliant workout for both fat burning and toning.

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Blogilates
Blogilates is run by Cassey Ho (a pilates instructor) who posts videos, workout plans, recipes etc which you can use at home. She has such a huge variety of videos with different exercises from pilates and toning to cardio and achieving a bikini body. My favourites are the Victorias Secret Angel series, these really do work. Cassey herself is really enthusiastic and she talks about crazy things to try keep your mind off of the exercise you're doing and the fact that your muscles hurt so much. Each of the videos is only around 15 minutes first but gosh they really do target your muscles and make you work. No equipment is really needed and Cassey is quite amusing when she asks you to use heavy textbooks as weights! You could do a few of the videos at once to target different areas or mix it up with some pop cardio followed by a bikini blaster workout! I would definitely recommend you check out her website blogilates.com and there is even an app for iPhone so you can literally work out anywhere. No excuses!!
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Apps
A brilliant piece of equipment for working out at home is your phone. You can find workouts for every part of your body just by flicking through the app store. An app which i've recently come across is SWORKIT. It's so easy to use; you choose from strength & cardio, yoga and stretching or you can create your own custom workout. Then you pick the area of your body you wish to target (or if you want you can pick a full body workout) and how many minutes you want to workout for, which is brilliant for those pushed for time. The app tells you the moves you need to do, the reps and a little clip of how to perform the move perfectly. It's a brilliant little app but I do wish it had music on there to keep you motivated, so you'll have to sort that bit yourself. Another downfall is that you have to pay to go pro, which makes the app a little basic but perfect for beginners. Overall a good little app, ideal for those who want to squeeze in a workout with no equipment needed.

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Youtube & Instagram
Social networking is huge and full of fitness bunnys who inspire me everyday to get my ass off the sofa! I follow (stalk) so many people on instagram who post daily workout ideas and videos. Some of my favourites are soniatlevfitness; she has an amazing body and posts quick workouts everyday using chairs, walls and her own body weight. Another self-confessed gym junkie is Censkiii, even though she posts a lot of gym workouts, she does post no-equipment home workouts and she has a body to die for. A different type of fitness lover is Healthyxjessx a self-taught yoga and fitness enthusiast who posts yoga poses and videos of how to get into the different stretches. She also lives in Dubai and her pictures by the sea and on the beach are just amazing! Yoga is something i've been trying to get into, with running it's important you stretch your muscles properly and i've actually come quite a way just by watching Jess' clips. Lastly, youtube is your go to for workout videos relating to any parts of your body, any goals you have or any equipment you want to use. I did one the other day where you had to do squat jumps on your stairs and mountain climbers, it was crazy and exhausting but good! 

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I hope i've given you some ideas for how to keep or get fit at home! If not I hope i've at least given you a bit of motivation or inspiration to workout! These are only a few ideas for working out at home. I may do a post about the workouts I tend to do to target areas of my body or maybe my floor routine at the gym. Let me know what you would like to see on here! Also I'd love to hear if you've tried and loved any of these workouts or what you do to workout at home? Have a lovely weekend everyone and try to fit in a workout!! 
Love Laura xx



Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Holiday Lookbook



Hello lovelies! Now this is a very late post seen as I went on holiday at the end of July/ start of August but I'm still reliving the pictures and the beautiful places I visited. If you're wondering where I have been I went on a cruise through the Adriatic Sea on the Thomson Majesty visiting; Corfu, Slovenia, Venice, Piran and Dubrovnik in Croatia and the beautiful Montenegro. I fell in love with the places I visited and never thought I would say this but cruising is definitely the way forward. Waking up in a different country everyday and parking your hotel right in the centre of beautiful towns, just being able to hop on and off as you please (I miss this holiday so much!!). So here are some of my outfits I wore on my holiday, check out my instagram too for lots of other holiday pictures.
 
Stunning Montenegro
Top: Zara
Shorts: Levis

 
 St Marks Square, Venice
Bandeau Top: Miss Selfridge
 
 On board with some amazing cocktails
Top: Asos
Skirt: Zara
Necklace: ebay
Watch: Michael Kors

Captains Dinner
Organza Dress: Miss Guided
Heels: Dorothy Perkins
 
 
Playsuit: Oh My Love at Topshop
Yellow Dress: River Island
Wedges: Primark
 
 
Cocktails on Deck
Dress: H&M
Necklace: Dorothy Perkins
Heels: Dorothy Perkins

 Beautiful Dubrovnik
Kimono: Zara
Bandeau Top: Primark
Shorts: Primark
Sunglasses: Ray Ban

 Sea Blue
Playsuit: Primark (absolutely love this!)
Bracelet: Topshop
Heels: Dorothy Perkins



Wednesday, 20 August 2014

How to Achieve Summer Bronzed Skin

 
Summer is without a doubt my favourite season. I love living in a bikini, having effortless beach waves and spending time in the beautiful sunshine. When the temperature rises the last thing I want to be doing is applying a heavy foundation to my skin and I love to embrace my natural glow. However, as I do wear a high SPF on my face I end up with a much paler face in comparison to my body. So here are some of the products I use to enhance my Summer skin and achieve a bronzed glow.
 

 I bought the bourjois BB Bronzing Cream back in Winter time and when I applied it to my face it looked ridiculous. However, on a whim I decided to try it after coming back from my holidays and my gosh I'm in love. This is definitely my new favourite base. It's unlike any other BB cream with it being a dark brown shade. I apply it to my skin using my Real Techniques buffing brush and it buffs into my skin like a dream,  quickly darkening my skin so it matches my body. It's not great at concealing blemishes which is pretty silly seen as it is a BB cream but it's perfect to achieve a bronzed glow. I also love the other products in the range (pictured below). The Bourjois Delice de Poudre is a great alternative to a powder, which you can use after the BB cream. Whilst the Bourjois Bronzing Primer is perfect for cheeks and temples. You can get all three of these on offer at Superdrug.
 
 

With my skin being darker in Summer this means that my usual contour products don't show up as great as I would like. I usually use the Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder to achieve chizzled cheekbones but as I use this as a base it just isn't dark enough. The Sleek Face Contour Kit in Light is a brilliant little palette with a dark enough bronzer to show up on my cheekbones and a beautiful rose gold blush and highlighter. I took this kit on my holiday this year and it worked brilliantly. Another amazing contour is the Mac blush in Harmony. Although a little bit pricier, this is a really good product and you only need a minimal amount to make your cheekbones pop. It's the perfect ashy brown without making your cheeks orange! The last product pictures is the beautiful Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush in Coral Reef. This is such a beautiful blush for Summer! I love trying something a little different when on holiday and this coral blush looks amazing with bronzed skin and a bold coloured lip. It wears really well and the colour is really buildable so don't worry about it being so bold.
 
These are just some of my favourite products for achieving a bronzed glow. What are your favourite bronzing products? Have you used any of these products before?

Laura x

Friday, 15 August 2014

Clinique | Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

 
 
This is a review about an amazing product which as you can probably tell from the pictures, I have been using such a long time! It's the amazing Clinique take the day off cleansing balm. Now before I tried this I was never really into fancy cleansers. I used to just use a Nivea or Garnier milky cream cleanser and that would do the job. However, I had been eyeing up these oil balm cleansers for a while and on a whim decided to purchase. Well I don't think I'll ever be looking back!
 
 
When I first got this I was a little confused at how it works but it really is so simple. You take a small scoop of the solid balm into your fingertips and rub this into your skin in circular motions. The consistency is lovely and it melts away into a silky oil formula under your fingertips. You then begin to see the oil bringing away your makeup, literally melting it off of your face. I then get a hot face cloth and wipe away the oil and makeup it doesn't leave a trace behind, even any waterproof mascara. Now, I'm not sure if you are supposed to use it on your eyes but It's amazing at removing stubborn waterproof mascara, even better than actual eye makeup removers.
 
 
I'm so impressed with this product, I couldn't imagine using any other cleanser now. It's perfume free like any of cliniques products and it's really kind to your skin. One thing people worry about with these cleansers is the idea of applying an oil based cleanser on your face. However a common misconception is that if you apply oil to your face you're going to make it oilier. This isn't true, infact oil dissolves oil, therefore applying an oil to your face will cleanse your face whilst replacing the dirty oil and sebum with beneficial ones. I've noticed that my skin looks so much clearer and I have hardly any dry patches now. Another thing to note is how long this lasts! You only need the smallest amount each time you cleanse so a pot of this will have you going for months. You can get yours here for £22.
 
Have you ever tried an oil based cleanser? What are your thoughts on cleansing balms?
Have a lovely weekend everyone xx

Saturday, 9 August 2014

July Favourites

 
Hello lovelies. Apologies for the lack of posts, I've been on holiday!! I had such an amazing time cruising the Adriatic visiting amazing places like Montenegro and Venice, photos and outfits will follow shortly. But for now here are the products I've been loving throughout July and on my holidays!
 
 
 
You can tell how much I love these lashes, just look how they're stuck to the packet ha! I wore these on my holiday and absolutely love them. I've tried ardell before but I've always gone for much bigger lashes, after not wearing any lashes for a while these are the perfect length. They're really fluttery and look so natural. The clear band is also a good idea and I find them much easier to glue down than eylur. They don't come with glue though so make sure you've got some. I'll definitely be repurchasing! 
 
 
Really love these lip glosses! They're perfect for wearing in the day without having to worry about the wind sticking every piece of hair on your head onto your poor lips. They're very sheer but super moisturising. I think this one is in the shade grapefruit which is a perfect bluish pink colour which makes your teeth look really white. I also wore this on a night over Mac Crème Cup and it looked gorgeous. It just gave my lips that extra pop and looked really pretty with a tan. This will definitely be taking pride of place in my makeup bag!
 
 
Hairspray is a must have for holiday but with the tight luggage allowances and restrictions I wasn't going to be lugging my 400ml hairspray with me... Enter the travel size 75ml Elnett hairsprays. So cute and perfect for travelling! I don't really see much of a difference between the types of hairspray but this one does smell much nicer than the original Elnett scent. Which is always a bonus. I used this everyday and still have quite a lot left, I'd definitely recommend these lovelies for travelling.
 
Now I can't believe I haven't discussed these on the blog yet because they are saviours! I don't wear much makeup on holiday, especially foundation, so I only took 4 brushes with me. They were the buffing brush, contour brush, deluxe crease brush and base shadow brush. I seriously didn't feel like I needed anything else (I had an eyebrow brush on my pencil). The buffing brush is perfect for working in my favourite bourjois paris bronzing primer. I used the contour brush to chizzle my cheekbones and the eyeshadow brushes with my favourite Naked Palette. Need I say more?
 
 
These body butters are just amazing. I used to use the Banana Boat Green Aloe Gel, which is really good for sunburn but these are just so moisturising. I do find that my skin can get dry on holiday, with putting all these new lotions and oils on and I don't usually take a separate moisturiser with me. However, this is an after sun and body moisturiser rolled into one. Apart from smelling absolutely amazing, it really does work. I used the Exotic Coconut one on holiday which smells like pina coladas and my skin smelt and felt amazing. I would recommend these to anyone, even better when you put them in the fridge!
 
I hope you enjoyed my July favourites. Very much all products I've used on holiday! Let me know what your favourite products have been this month or any products you love to take on holiday. Have a lovely weekend!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

June Favourites

 

Hello lovelies! I cannot believe I am writing this post... where has June gone? Anyway, July has started off so good. Today I went to watch the Grand Depart of the Tour de France. It was amazing. I feel so proud to be from Yorkshire! The atmosphere was unbelievable and it's so nice to see how everyone comes out to show their support. If the Tour is coming near you I really do recommend you go out and get involved! So before I get carried away, onto the favourites...

Clinique | Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm
I've had this cleanser a while now after my brother bought me it for my birthday. Now I was rather worried about how to use this at first. It's not a liquid, it's not a cream but it's like a solidified oil. You literally scoop some into your fingertips and it melts away into a silky oily fluid. I use this all over my face, massaging it in before rinsing or removing with a wet flannel. It even removed my waterproof mascara (it does make your eyes a little blurry though, but never irritates). I honestly cannot get enough of this and it lasts so long. You can get yours for £22 here.

Revlon | Colourburst Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti
This was the very first lip butter I tried. I really wanted to branch out with my lip colours and as this is orange it's a pretty good place to start. It does look rather daunting in the stick, however it applies so lightly and you can build the colour to as light/pigmented as you like. I find it looks beautiful with bronzed skin! It's a lovely formula which is very moisturising and how cute is the packaging! You can get yours for £7.99 here.

Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder
Obviously had to have something French in here, stick with Le Tour De France! This is such an amazing bronzer, it's safe to say bourjois definitely do the best bronzers right now. I've had this for a while but never put it to much use. However, I've seen Tanya Burr using it quite a lot and she inspired me to get it back out. It's the perfect matte bronzer which you can use to contour or just for an all over bronze. It also smells beautiful, a little bit like chocolate. If you want to be all bronzed up you can get this for £7.99 here.

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner | Black
I have seen so many mixed reviews on this. It was recently a gift in Glamour magazine and I have used it every day since. First of all I only really use the felt tip liquid liners as I find brushes so difficult. But I really do not find it scratchy at all. It goes on so easily and smooth and it's really helped me to create a winged eye. It stays on all day, without any smudging or bleeding.  I honestly do not know why people have had so many problems? Maybe it's because I got mine from Marks & Spencers? I cannot recommend this enough, you can get yours for £12.00 here

Lee Stafford Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray
So, in the quest to get long Rapunzel hair I have tried reducing the amount of heat I use. This has meant I have been letting my hair dry naturally and sleeping with wet hair eeeeek. Luckily for me I do have wavy hair anyway, however I spray this on wet hair and it looks like I've just stepped out of the sea! I love what salt water does to your hair on holiday and this mimics that look so well. I use this in the morning too to add a little bit more texture, it also smells amazing, as all Lee Stafford products do! If you want beachy waves you can get this for £7.99 here.







Tuesday, 1 July 2014

How To Get Into Running

 
Seen as I added the 'fitness' tag to my blog I thought it was about time I actually posted something fitness related. This is something that a lot of people ask me about and so many people find it so difficult to start. As you guessed it's running. Many people say to me, 'I don't know how you do it', 'I can't even run up the stairs' and some even say 'you're crazy'. But guess what, I understand this because I had to start somewhere. Nobody is born running, ok some people obviously find it easier and it comes natural but I'm not one of those. For those of you who are wanting to get your running trainers on and pound the pavements here are some of my tips...
 
A Running Partner
One of the best tips I can give you is to run with someone else. You don't even have to talk to them!  I run with my Dad, who has ran half marathons and cross the line of the London Marathon last year in an impressive time. He is my whole inspiration and ever since I watched him run London I have wanted to be in that position. I run with him all the time, sometimes I feel like I'm holding him back but he doesn't mind. Trust me, if I went running alone all the time I'd run to the end of the street and run back home. Running with someone else keeps you going and it's also good to have someone else to pace you, so you don't burn out too quickly.
 
The Correct Gear
Ok now as much as I love buying new running clothes I'm not talking fashion here. I'm talking suitable footwear. When I first started out running I used my Nike Free Runs 5.0. However, I got seriously bad calf pain and it used to put me out for days (I could also feel every stone under my feet when running). These were not a good choice and I knew with the miles I would be doing I needed a bit of support. I went to Up and Running, where they watch you run, assess your running style and foot type, then offer you a selection of lovely trainers. I cannot recommend them enough and they do know what they're talking about. It's so important to know your foot type and running style and to get fitted properly!
 
Technology
I rely on my trust IPhone so much throughout my runs. I started out using the Nike Sensor you put into your shoes but I found this was so far out. I then went onto using Map My Run but I dislike how it only gives you feedback after every kilometre. So now I'm using the Nike Running app. It provides me with feedback on my speed, distance, pace and at the end of your run it tells me my splits! Each run you do is saved so you can track your progress, it's also good to compete with yourself to better your times. You can add friends to it to give you a little bit more inspiration and add your own playlists! I would recommend anyone who is starting out running to set up an upbeat playlist with songs that will keep you going. I have songs like Kanye West 'Stronger' and Avicii 'Wake Me Up'.
 
There is also a good app which my friend is using right now called 'Couch to 5K'. This is basically an app for beginners to get you running 3 miles in no time. It has a running programme which consists of walking and short runs to build you up over time. This is such a good idea and it's always good to follow a training plan. I use a training plan at the minute and ticking each day off makes you feel so successful!
 
Don't Forget What You're Running For
The whole reason I first started running was watching my inspirational Dad run the London Marathon. I signed myself up for the Great North Run with hopes to cross the finish line with my Dad this year. We're running in memory of my Great Grandma and Nanna who both had the awful disease dementia. Having something to run for and feeling like you are making a difference gives you that little push of inspiration when you're struggling with gruelling hip pain 5 miles in. Don't ever forget what you're running for! Even if it's just a personal fitness goal always picture the end result.
 
Those are my best tips for starting running. I'd also say don't stop! Many times I've gone out ran to the end of the street and thought oh gosh I'm going to die my legs wont carry me. But your body can do amazing things. Keep going and always picture the end goal. If any of you would be kind enough to sponsor me doing my half marathon you can do so HERE I'd be so grateful and will thank you forever! Let me know if any of you have taken on board any of my tips. Or, if you have some of your own tips to add.
 
P.S. If that all fails just think of Ryan Gosling...