Turn Off Your Phone!

In an age where everything we do is on our phone, its no wonder so many of us feel deflated and down after spending hours looking on there; only for us to go back to it a few moments later.

Pinterest is my best friend on my phone, and I’ve got boards for everything! I can happily scroll though Pinterest excited at the prospect of how I will decorate my non existent home, dishes I want to try and style pieces I can do without evening having to buy new clothes, as well as empowering and inspiring me with quotes and pick me ups. Its an all rounder great site for me. But then there are times where I switch it up, go on Twitter, Instagram or the point of no return of Facebook, and feel flat.

This is especially true when everyone’s life seems to be so fun, amazing and full of life, whilst I’m sat in my pyjamas watching re runs of Sex and The City wondering how I missed the memo that a Wednesday night was the peak social time of the week.

A lot of changes are happening for all of us constantly. And whereas before, we would only know of the changes of our closest friends, we are now updated with everyone we follow on social media and their changes. Yes it great to see people succeeding, doing well, sharing some big news such as an engagement, baby or new job. But when you yourself having nothing new in terms of good news, it can leave you feeling quite empty and almost like a failure.

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves, that this is not a competition; this isn’t a race. Just because someone wanted to make a change to their life, doesn’t mean we should feel pressurised to do the same.

Its the same with our appearance. I would say that 90% of the time, I am comfortable and confident in my figure. I love that I’m curvy, my little pot belly is here to stay, and my fitness level is more than okay. But when I am having a low day, the comparison to other woman kicks in and I find myself moments later on a medical website thinking of ways I can alter my body. Its our insecurities that often feed us and make us miserable. And whereas before we could ignore it more, say don’t buy that certain magazine, nowadays its harder to switch off.

Every self help guide will tell you to switch off, but saying that is easier said than done.

However, I am learning every day how to better manage my time and interaction with social media. I only go on Instagram now when I am actually posting something. Instead of scrolling through it as part of my morning ritual, I now enjoy those extra 10 minutes asleep- bliss!

I rarely go on Twitter as it is, and again only tend to go on there to post something as opposed to scrolling for the sake of it.

Another good tip, is to remove the apps off the homepage of your phone. When they are present on screen one, the temptation is almost too much, so moving to say screen three, requires more effort and therefore you are less likely to go on it in times of boredom. Replace it with a game you like, Netflix even, or for me personally, I have 2 fitness apps, my calender, ASOS, Pinterest, Whatsapp, Buzzfeed and Netflix. Okay so it doesn’t help my ASOS addiction, but it does help me in terms of staying positive and good about myself.

None of us should ever feel less than we are and its unhealthy to compare yourself to others. So whenever you can, take a mini vacay of a social media free retreat.

I hope you’re having a lovely weekend

Love Always,

Gemma

xo

Featured Image via: http://www.iainclaridge.co.uk/blog/

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August Favourites & Highlights

Hey Guys!

I hope you are all really well!

This favourites and highlights post is a bit shorter than my usual one; mainly because I’m being stingy AF at the moment with money due to saving. So this post will be my last monthly favourites and highlights for a while. So here’s my little mini August Favourites and Highlights.

Media

TV

  • Dear White People

I started watching this on the plane on the way to Tenerife, and after one episode I was hooked and ended up binge watching the entire series really quickly! Its a comedy drama that follows various different black students in a predominately white college. What I really liked about it, is that it was all centred around one event, but each episode was a different characters take on it, as well as following their sort of individual problems as well. Its really funny, relevant and just a great sitcom to watch that I think everyone will enjoy. The cast are amazing and literally everyone is so beautiful! And I’ve only just realised that Logan Browning who plays Samantha (the main character) was Sasha from the Bratz movie and now my mind is actually blown! But anyway, the point is, I would really recommend this series. And there’s rumours there’s a second series coming soon- yay!

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Music

  • Jorja Smith ‘Blue Lights’

I love the Discover section on Spotify and it always gives me such great songs to listen to and new artists to explore. One of the songs I’m currently loving is this ‘Blue Lights’ song by Jorja Smith. Her vocals in this song are quite similar to Alessia Cara‘s ‘Here’, and this song is very raw. It explores kind of small town and urban area problems, such as poor education, boredom and oppressive police. It’s really a great song to listen to and I’m really glad I stumbled across it.

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  • Kyle ‘I Spy’

Again this was another song I found on the Discover section of Spotify. This is such a lovely upbeat song. The melody is just really bouncy and its just a really fun, feel good song. I love listening to this in the morning especially to get me going for the day.

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Make Up

  • Chanel Rouge Coco Shine 84 Dialogue £28

I purchased my first Chanel lipstick not too long ago, as I felt I was old enough now to own a classic Chanel lipstick. Not that there is any age limit on the Chanel items, but I’ve just always associated them with something I’d own as I got older. The shade I opted for was the classic red colour, which is shade number 84. I do really want number 93 and 61 too, so will get these sometime later to build up a nice collection. I love how this feels when you apply it, its so smooth and hydrating on the lips. Its a lipstick that doesn’t go dry or crack over the time you wear it. It was more than I ever pay for lipstick (usually between the £7-£15 margin), but was definitely an investment.

  • NYX Suede Matte Lip Liner Soft Spoken 04 £4.00

I’ve been wanting to purchase some lip liners for quite some time, but was unsure how they would look, and I just an image of the 90’s disaster lip liner fashion, where people wore lip liners that didn’t match their lipstick or just lip liner and nothing else! It was disastrous! Anyway I bit the bullet, and purchased one from my trustworthy NYX range, and honestly, I love it! Its really easy to apply and you can actually fill in your whole lips with it. I found the lipsticks matched with it lovely, and every time I have worn it I get really lovely compliments. At £4.00 its a bargain and I will be adding more to my collection.

  • Bourjois Paris 123 Perfect CC Cream £9.99

As an avid BB cream user, after seeing how flawless a work colleague of mine looked with just CC cream on, I knew I had to purchase it. I’ve spoke about this in my Get Glowy post, and raved about it there, but I just needed to reiterate how amazing it is! On days where I don’t really want to wear a lot of make up, I am reaching for this CC cream to give me the coverage I need. It really does give you such a flawless and effortless look. If you haven’t already got a CC cream you need to purchase one.

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  • L’Oreal Paris Super Liner Perfect Slim £5.99

I received this eyeliner as part of a free beauty box I got, and can honestly say, this eyeliner beats my love for the GOSH and MILANI one; I have a new love in my life. I don’t usually opt for super thin eyeliners, as in the past, I’ve found them to be too thin and do not achieve the look I am after. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that this thin liner actually perfected my wing look better than the thicker ones. Its so precise and I achieve my wing look with ease now. Hey its even given me an extra time in bed; that snooze button is getting well and truly used daily.

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Interior Things

  • IKEA Trolley £49

Yes I am now a full blown adult and get excited about furniture (God help me), and I also hit a milestone in my life and managed to assemble some Ikea furniture without having a breakdown and reaching for the hammer- hooray! So I feel like I’m a DIY whizz now and am taking bookings for any furniture you need assembling. I purchased this trolley to put all my beauty bits on it, as my rabbit Pebble, managed to destroy my lovely straw unit. I suppose it was my fault placing a straw unit next to his hutch, but never mind. I am also going to use this new trolley in my bathroom when I move out- so again another investment!

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  • Dream Catcher

I’ve wanted a really nice dream catcher for years! I have one that I made back in middle school, which is actually not to bad, but I did want a proper one. On holiday, on the gift buying day, I found this beautiful one and had to get it. I really love the whole meaning behind dream catchers and its a lovely addition in my bedroom.

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Highlights

  • Baby Christening

A very hungover Gemma went to one of my oldest friends baby christening, and it was an experience I can tell you that! I’ve never been to a christening before, and it was very odd is the only way I can describe it, and very serious, considering its involving children. But it was a really lovely day to get together with loved ones and long term family friends and just generally celebrate.

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  • The Canal House, Birmingham

I went along to one of the opening nights of this, courtesy of my bestie Bethan, and had such a great time here! Birmingham is really blossoming more and more and finally we are being recognised as having a great city vibe, instead of being known for our terrible accents (although I live on the outskirts so I just sound like a farmer). This restaurant is a restored canal house (hence the name), in Brindley Place, which is where there are loads of bars and restaurants along the canal. Its such a picturesque part of Birmingham; its worth a visit. The owner is the same owner of The Botanist branches, so the interior had inspirations from that, but the place was a lot more open and lighter compared to The Botanist. Both the food and drinks menu were different to that of The Botanist too, so it was such a new experience. I really loved the whole vibe, it didn’t feel as if you were bang in the city centre, and it was really relaxing. The staff were so lovely and friendly, and both the food and drinks were very well priced and delicious! I would really recommend paying a visit here.

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So guys that’s my very short and brief August Favourites and Highlights. I’m not entirely sure when I will be doing another monthly favourites post, but I will still be blogging at the weekend with other material.

I hope you’re having a lovely weekend!

Love Always,

Gemma

xo

The Fear Of Growing Up and Becoming Boring

Hi Guys,

Sorry I’ve been a bit off the radar, but a lot has been going on recently. Many of them to do with me growing and becoming more ‘adult’- yikes! So this blog post is about the fear of growing up.

A lot of changes have been going on recently and a lot of planning for the future ahead, and whilst all of this is going on, there was irrational fear that as I get older that I will suddenly become boring.

Right now I am saving money and that is making me ‘boring’, in the sense that I can’t do anything very spontaneous at the moment. I’m not going out unless its for a special occasion or its something I had already pre planned earlier this year. I’m looking to move into my own property by April or May of next year, getting a car this year- and with all this adulthood and decisions and money saving, it can make you feel like a bore.

I think this is why I was so in denial about growing up, and I think that be true for so many of us. We are all in this big rush to grow up, to get our career, to get a house, leave our home and then the moment this starts to become reality; we want out. We don’t want to deal with the responsibility that goes with it. This is when fight or flight kicks in, and we either have to run with it and embrace this change or run away and pretend that we are still that carefree 18 year old we were once were.

I’ve had such a great few years, in terms of travelling, partying and just generally have a great carefree time. But now I am ready for everything that adulthood has to offer me. I’m nervous and excited at the same time, but more so excited. I’ve explained to my friends that I won’t be as sociable in terms of going out, and holiday wise, I may have a mini break next year and that’s it. And because we are all paving our way into adulthood, they understand, as they are doing the same too.

I got so scared that growing up would make me boring. Being sensible is not being boring. I am still me, just for now I have to be savvy. Okay so I won’t be going on nights out, I won’t be able to go on holiday next year and I’m not buying clothes unless I need them. But it will be worth it when I can call a home my own.

Its a weird time, an exciting one, but a weird one. But being mature and sensible doesn’t make you boring, it just makes you mature.

Get Glowy!

Hi Guys!

I thought I would do a post today about achieving that glowy radiant skin that all of us want. Make up is really great in helping us achieve this look, but what about when we take our make up off? We still want our skin to look healthy and glowy right?!

I was very fortunate when I was going through my puberty stage of not getting spots (I mean I got fat, wonky teeth and influx of hair, so whether I was lucky or not is a matter of opinion). But what I mean by fortunate in terms of spots, is the scarring it leaves many people due to the acne they had when they were teenagers. Saying that, I haven’t always had really clear skin. My skin was spot free, but there were blemishes and it used to look really worn and dry.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve really paid special attention to my face and have been giving it the care and affection it deserves, which gives me a glowy and clear look with or without make up.

In this post I’m going to talk about the things I do to achieve glowy skin both with and without make up.

So let’s get glowy!

Diet

My diet, at the moment, is very strict within the week.

For breakfast I either have…

  • Oatmeal with cinnamon, honey and blueberries or bananas

  • Weatabix with cinnamon, honey and blueberries or bananas

  • 1 slice of wholemeal toast with peanut butter and banana

  • 2 poached eggs with spinach and 1 slice of wholemeal toast

For lunch and dinner I have a protein such as turkey or chicken breast and whatever vegetable I feel, its usually a mixture or just broccoli.

Then at the weekend, I treat myself with having delicious meals, which are usually home made, one pot wonders. I try not to eat junk food (only when I get the mad cravings for nuggets). But most of the time I’m pretty good.

I limit myself to 2 coffees in a day, 1 English tea, unlimited water and unlimited mint leaf tea. Everywhere you look people are screaming to drink more water, and its such an obvious thing, yet so many of us rarely do it, opting for a sugary drink instead of refreshing water to quench our thirst. To make things easier and to get you to drink more water, invest in a really nice water bottle, so then you will want to use it.

I have two that I use, one for at home and one for when I’m on the go

Diet is crucial when it comes to having clear skin, as well as it making you feel good too. Obviously your diet doesn’t have to be as strict as mine, mine is purely this strict at the moment as I’m training (will reveal what for soon). So although my breakfast is the same, my dinner and lunches will be quiona salad, or salmon, potatoes and salad for example.

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Skincare Morning Ritual

I have so many beauty products its insane! But its because I really just have no self control, and I just feel the need to try out any new beauty product that I come across (I think this is called an addiction)?! The ones listed here are my dream products- the ones that I cannot live without and that leave my skin looking radiant and feeling soft! I also mix up skincare products to go with the season, as you need different forms of protection dependant on the season.

I love this facial wash and use it in the morning after I’ve been in the shower. I use this after the shower, as the steam from the shower really opens up your pores and you’ll get the best results. Not only does this product smell refreshing and is great value for money, it is one of the only facial washes that doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry. This product really helps in reducing pores and blackheads, as well as giving my skin a really refreshed look- the perfect morning facial wash!

So depending on the season, I will use either of these Simple toners. As it is is Summer (although it doesn’t always feel like it here in the UK), I am using the Simple Kind To Skin Soothing Facial Toner at the moment. This toner is liquid based, compared to the one I use in Winter, which has a thicker, creamier consistency. I find that the lightness of the one I use for the Summer months gives me the results I need for my skin, as its not as heavy on the skin.

Toners are a must in any skincare routine, as the name suggests, they give your complexion an even skin tone, re balances your pH, as well as hydrating and soothing the skin. I use toner both morning and night just before I apply my moisturiser.

I’ve been using this particular moisturiser since day one, and I don’t think anything would convince me to use anything else. I love Simple products anyway, due to them being great for sensitive skin, but this moisturiser just does the trick. It’s so light and creamy when applying, and gives me such a fresh faced look and leaves my skin feeling hydrated. Also, due to the SPF 15, it protects you from UVA/UVB rays and is a product I use both Summer and Winter

  • Environmental Protection

For further protection against the elements on my face I go a bit further in protecting my face by using an extra protective layer.

For Summer it’s the UltraSun Professional Face Protection SPF 30 £18.99

Although a bit pricey, it is worth it for that extra protection on your face. It is great for sensitive skin, as contains no perfumes, oils, emulsifiers or preservatives and is water resistant. Even though my moisturiser contains SPF, I don’t feel fully protected from the sun, and as a religious applicator of sun cream, my face is definitely not missing out on all the fun. This is a great lightweight, non greasy product and get this, it also reduces the appearance of wrinkles– so its just an all round winner.

For Winter I use the Eucerin Dry Skin Relief Face Cream £10.99

This product is a lot thicker compared to the Summer protection I use, therefore making it the ideal product to use for winter to provide maximum hydration and reduce very dry skin. In Winter, I find that my skin is so much more drier, and this product is my saving grace in keeping me looking healthy and radiant.

A product that people tend to forget to use as part of their beauty regime, is eye cream and it is such an important tool! The skin under your eyes is so delicate and thin, and needs its own product to keep that area firm, revived and in reducing the appearance of fine lines. It’s not something you should put off until you can see the thin lines, use it now! You only need a small amount applied to your wedding finger and dab- NEVER WIPE– under your eye.

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Skincare Evening Ritual

Some of the products that I have discussed in my morning routine, I use in my evening too. These are…

  • Toner

  • Eye Cream

As for the rest? You guessed it- there’s a whole lot more!

Can I just emphasise here how important it is to remove your make up – heck I even do this when I haven’t even worn make up all day. Your skin will attract dirt and all sorts, so its really important to give it a thorough cleanse before going to sleep. In the next section I’ve got a quick yet efficient way to remove make up for when your super tired or drunk.

Oh look another Simple product, who’d have thought it? These facial wipes are life, and just so gentle and soft on your skin in removing a layer of your make up. Yes I said layer, make up wipes do not remove all of your make up. This product is alcohol and oil free so doesn’t leave it feeling too damp or scratched by a make up wipe. It’s just a great start to even more cleansing.

If you haven’t heard of micellar water- where have you been? Literally I don’t know how I survived without this product! You get so much for your money and its actually amazing how much more make up is still on your skin from just using a facial wipe. This is a fantastic product to ensure that you remove all make up and impurities from your face. If you don’t have micellar water, get down to the shop ASAP!

So this is the last cleansing product I use in the evening, and what I love about this is how creamy it is and soft on the skin it feels. It really does make my skin feel very soft and replenished after a hard days work.

Yup, this product is from the most unlikely place of Aldi, and I love it! It so rich and thick and applies so evenly and smoothly onto your skin. It feels like its really expensive, when in fact its only £1.69- an absolute bargain! I’ve been using night creams since I turned 20, and just find them so effective in enriching my skin and keeping it hydrated throughout the night.

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Drunk/Tired

Being drunk or tired is no excuse for you to slip up on not removing your make up. And as someone who is regularly tired (and okay fine a bit tipsy at times), I was in search of a product that required minimal effort with maximum results and voilà! I have it!

So after removing some of my make up with a facial wipe, I then turn to this beauty of L’Oreal Extraordinary Oil Facial Cleansing Oil £7.99. This is such a miracle working product! Applying a small amount into your hands, massage this product over your face, your eyes, lips, and it will remove all your make up instantly! And I mean all! Once your done, just wash your face and pat try and your done! It’s like every drunk, tired or lazy girl’s dream!

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Make Up

I’m not going into great detail regarding what make up products I use, but two products that really stick out for me in giving me a glowy natural look are…

I’ve only recently started using this product after seeing this on a work colleague and commenting on how flawless her skin looked. She told me that it was all thanks to this CC Cream, so naturally I had to try it for myself. I’ve been using BB Cream for about a year now and really love that, but CC cream is such a great product and leaves me with flawless glowy skin. With its three colour correcting pigments, its the perfect product to achieving flawless skin without foundation.

It has apricot for anti-fatigue, green for anti-redness and white for anti-dark spots.

CC Cream is like BB Cream, as they share the same properties of moisturiser, primer, serum and sun cream. However CC Cream has a heavier consistency, which means it has greater impact and coverage on age spots, uneven skin tone and wrinkles- which is why it makes the perfect glowy product.

I am obsessed with this product and cannot leave the house without it on. Its the best highlighter I have come across and is so easy to apply. It gives me the perfect glow look that I’m after. On days where I want a more natural looking look, I team this with my CC Cream and I’m good to go!

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Weekly Treat

Okay, so finally, the last part of my get glowy ritual. These are the products that I use once a week to really give my skin that boost towards the end of the weekend, and before the working week kicks off again.

This is a product I have used for years, and after testing and trailing various different scrubs, this one is a winner for me. Some exfoliants can be quite harsh on the face, but this scrub is soothing with great results. Due to it being a deep cleanser, it gently removes dead skin cells and leaves you with smooth, radiant, healthy looking skin. Achieving that glowy look in no time at all. 

(Apologies I actually ran out of this product and this is the only other face scrub I had in the house)

After using the scrub, I like to apply a intense hydrating mask and I love this one from Superdrug. Instead of buying individual face masks that come in those impractical tricky packets and half the product ends up in the sink. They have provided us with a tube of facial mask lotion. Its thicker and creamier than moisturiser, although looks similar. I massage this into my skin and leave on for 15 minutes, before patting the remaining residue into my skin with a tissue. Its a really lovely product and you see results fast.

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So that’s it! My guide to achieving glowy skin!

I hope you enjoyed this post and have had a great weekend 🙂

Love Always,

Gemma

XO

Featured Image: http://ignitelight.tumblr.com/post/153953376202

The Dumped, The Dumper and The Guilt

Break ups are never pleasant for either parties.

The build up and anticipation that comes with the dumper. The guilt they feel after its all done. For the dumped, its an emotional turmoil and questions of our worth emerge- am I good enough? What’s wrong with me? Am I destined to be alone forever?

Your first love, when that’s over, it hurts like nothing has ever hurt before. Your young, raw, naïve and vulnerable; trying to figure out who you are in this life.

Friendships are fluid and you meet someone who quickly becomes your anchor in a sea of uncertainty. But as you both grow and change into the person you want to be, you can drift apart. You become two people with less and less similarities and interests, and instead two strangers sharing a bed. You love them. You hope that the arguing will stop, that you will stop crying, but you don’t. Eventually one of you pulls the plug and the pain aches and weighs on your heart for months. It feels like the end of the world, and as you get older, although break ups become easier, to some, it still feels like the end of the world.

The questions of your worth and worries for the future escalate further- am I going to be alone forever? Will I ever get married? Where the hell is ‘the one’– can they hurry up already? We become tired, restless, irritated- searching for love in all the wrong places- we become desperate. Desperate to be in love, to have what everyone else seems to have so easily; yet we can’t keep hold on to. Doubts run through your mind over and over again- what did I do wrong? If only I hadn’t done that, if only I hadn’t reacted like that, then maybe things would be different. You’d be together but unhappy and that’s no way to live.

This time around, for once, I was the dumper not the dumped, and I thought that this would be easier since I was in control of the situation. But it was the guilt that swallowed me up whole. I’ve left someone so vulnerable and upset and that’s my fault. The guilt was the reason I kept going back, why I kept trying to make things work when I knew they were beyond repair. I was blatantly unhappy, exhausted and confused. I was trying to save someone, and in the process I was neglecting myself.

There is no right or wrong way to end a relationship, however you do it, its going to sting and leave a mark. I can’t really pin point a moment and say when I knew it was over, where we were past the point of no return, and when I knew in my heart that this would never work. But I think it was when I got a slight glimpse into what my life would look like if I followed this path, and I didn’t like what I saw. That’s not how I had envisioned my life. I didn’t want to live a life full of lies, distrust, disappointment and full of sadness, full of questions regarding my worth- am I enough?

I do not regret this journey, it taught me a lot about myself that I didn’t realise, it taught me what I want and don’t want from a relationship.

Being the dumper came with same emotions as being the dumped- neither one is easy- but what’s important to remember is your well-being, self-worth and happiness. I understand that break ups can make you feel so low, miserable, alone and as if nothing is worth living for. But please know that you are not alone. Talk to people, do things that make you happy, throw yourself into a project- but never once doubt that you are not enough.

You are more than enough, you just weren’t suited to this person.

Featured Image: http://photobucket.com/gallery/user/ktchan4384/media/bWVkaWFJZDo4ODU4ODUz/?ref=

July Favourites & Highlights

Hello!

I hope you are all really well! Sorry for the delay in a blog post this month; its been another jam packed month. I’ve just got back from holiday in Tenerife with my friends (blog post on that will be coming soon). July has been wonderful and August is looking pretty sweet too at the moment, lets just hope the weather improves! So here is my July Favourites and Highlights- enjoy 🙂

Media

Films

  • All Eyez On Me

I was really looking forward to seeing this movie and was glad that I saw this. I was blown away from the likeness between actual Tupac and actor Demetrius Shipp Jr.; it was very surreal. He is a really amazing actor, and I feel this will open up a lot of avenues and opportunities for him. Other inspiring cast members were Danai Gurira, she was incredibly captivating. In comparison to Straight Outta Compton, its not on the same level, as I feel like they rushed through some big moments and were just throwing in Tupac quotes and songs without really going into depth about anything. However, I am glad I saw it, and although it was a bit sketchy in places, the cast were great!

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  • War Of The Planet Of The Apes

I’ve seen all of the ‘ape’ films, from the old to the new, and jumped at the opportunity to go and see the latest film. This film could’ve had the potential to be really cringy- I mean talking apes in a war sounds like a recipe for disaster! But the film was fantastic! How they screened it was great and was actually very moving, and quite dark in some places, but there was some light humour in parts which uplifted the film slightly.

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  • Dunkirk

I am a huge fan of Christopher Nolan and couldn’t wait to see Dunkirk at the cinema. I love history as well, and really was excited to see how Nolan was going to portray such an iconic moment in history, and he did not disappoint. It was a real living experience, with me being able to feel every shot, every blast- it was like a living experience. There was an extremely strong and impressive cast, with little dialogue, which made this real life event, very realistic on screen. I also got very emotional (shock), and was very impressed with Harry Styles acting skills in this film. I would really recommend to see this film in particular.

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TV

  • Pretty Little Liars

I have been watching Pretty Little Liars since I was 16 and have religiously been watching it up until now at the tender age of 23 (crazy)! Despite some of the straight up cheesy and cringe worthy moments, its a programme that I could not quit! It was actually quite sad when it ended- it was an end of an era. So now I’ve got to find another series to watch for another 6 years of my life (suggestions are welcome).

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Artists

  • 4:44 Jay Z

I am really loving Jay Z’s new album, it is really impressive! There’s not a song on the album that I don’t like- its just such a great listen and needs listening to from start to finish.

  • ‘Lust For Life’ Lana Del Rey ft The Weeknd

I love Lana Del Rey, always have done since day one, and love her whole album, but really love this song in particular- its been my summer song.

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You Tuber

  • Patricia Bright

I don’t tend to watch You Tube videos, aside from ‘how to’ videos for hair tutorials or something. But I came across Patricia Bright on Instagram and then stumbled onto her You Tube channel, and honestly I can’t stop watching her videos. She is hilarious! She’s a beautiful woman, and she just makes me laugh so much in her videos. I really enjoy watching her channel and always look forward to a new video.

Book

  • Everything But The Truth

I read this book in a matter of a day, I physically couldn’t put it down! This book is by Gillian Mc Allister, a local author to Birmingham, and aside from being intrigued by the blurb, I also wanted to support a local author. If your looking for a new book to settle down with that’s gripping without being creepy, then this is the book to read. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a while and I can’t wait to purchase her next book when it comes out.

Beauty Bits

  • ECO Tools Perfecting Blender Duo £8.44

I’ve been using the original Beauty Blender ever since it came out (not the same one obviously ). But in my Birchbox for July I received the Eco Tools version of blenders, and I must say I prefer the Eco Tools sponges and I don’t think I will revert back to my old sponges. The Eco Tools sponges just blend my foundation so much more evenly and don’t soak up my foundation like the Beauty Blender does. I also like the shape of the sponges, which makes it easier when applying around my nose.

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  •  Origins Original Skin Renewal Serum £32.50-£45.00

Again, another item I got in my Birchbox, was the Origins Original Renewal Serum, and after using up my sample, I had to go out and buy it. Its the best serum I have tried! Its a bit more pricier than my usual price range (at £32.50 to be precise), but using this product has dwindled down my excessive collection of skincare products. So, in terms of cost I’m using less products, which are more effective and are similar in price.

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  • Laura Geller Bronzer £29.22

Another product (from a different beauty box- Amazon to be exact- I really need to sort out this addiction to beauty boxes), provided me with this little gem of a bronzer. For years I have tried and tested bronzers and none of them seem right. The shade never seems right, or I feel like they aren’t doing anything or they just look awful if it gets warm and I look like a melting ice cream. But this bronzer has been my saving grace; after all these years I have finally found the one. I wore this on holiday in Tenerfie in the evening and in the 28 degree heat (a miracle if that temperature happened in the UK), it stayed on and didn’t go patchy. It looks natural, but not so natural that you can’t actually tell I’m not wearing any bronzer- its the dream.

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  • MUA Eyeshadow £3.50

I made the very brave decision (for me) and purchased an eye shadow pallet. I have not worn eye shadow since my dark days of wearing aqua blue eye shadow up to my eyebrows, and I’ve scarred myself and friends from wearing it. But I really wanted some bronze coloured eye shadows and like an amber/orange shade and after stopping around Superdrug, I got talking to this woman and she was ranting and raving about MUA eye shadow pallets. I didn’t want to spend loads on an eye shadow pallet when I was unsure whether I actually suited them or not and at £3.50 each, these pallets really are a bargain. I was really impressed with the colours and quality of the eye shadow and have finally broken my fear of looking bad with eye shadow, and who knew, although blue definitely doesn’t suit me, red is my colour.

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  • Make Up Brush Travel Holder £5.99

I’ve been wanting a make up brush travel holder for years, as I hate when the bristles of my make up brushes get squashed or go haywire. I purchased this one from via Etsy from the very talented The Gifty Room, and I love it! I love the colour and how its personalised, its so chic and I know it was definitely an investment.

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EGO Shoes

Look at me being all mature and not spending loads on clothes and shoes this month (I joke, I spend around £100 on holiday clothes). But these shoes were worth the mention, as they are literally one of the best pair of shoes that I have purchased! Not only do they look the spit of the Gucci loafers, but they are so comfy and go with everything! Before I went on holiday I was living in these and have been since I have been back. Get yours here now!

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Highlights

  • British Summer Time, The Killers

My friend Beth, really kindly got us tickets to British Summer Time to see The Killers for my birthday and it was such a great day out! It was lovely to go to London and see one of my old school friends as well and have a catch up. For once the weather was on our side and it was really hot! The whole atmosphere at Hyde Park was great and it was such a lovely summer’s day out. The Killers were so great live and I felt 15 again.

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  • Haig Club

The Haig Club is a new bar that has opened in The Cube in Birmingham and I was really excited to try it out with Beth. There were a lot of cocktails and great food, and the whole atmosphere in there is lovely! It feels like you are on a ship and its lovely overlooking the city centre. I can imagine in winter as well it will be really lovely and elegant and cosy. I will definitely be popping back for a visit soon.

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  • Tenerife

So I just came back from Tenerife with my friends, and it was honestly one of the loveliest holidays I’ve been on. It was so relaxing, there was no drama, the hotel we stayed in was flawless and amazing- it was just perfect! I think we were all in shock that nothing had gone wrong or that there weren’t any problems. I will do a full in depth post about my holiday soon, but I will definitely be going back to this particular hotel at some point.

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I hope you’ve had a wonderful July and that August has been treating you well so far 🙂

Love Always,

Gemma

xo

Featured Image: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/tinywhitedaisies-1738877/simply-divine-creation-savannah-4965452691

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Next post, August

Hi guys!

Just a quickie to say that there won’t be a blog post now until August. Life is a bit mad at the moment, with studying and working and trying to get everything sorted before I go on holiday in a few days! (Deep breaths).

I will be posting on Instagram so be sure to follow to keep updated 😊- gemmal0uise

Love always,

Gemma- xo

Phone

It’s funny when you sit there in front of me

And I’m thinking about how it used to be.

How it used to be, when we were younger and care free.

I love being by your side, but I hate being with you

I hate being with you, because I’m not with you

I don’t have your attention

Your phone has your attention.

When we go out for a meal, how much time do you spend looking at me?

If I sent you a picture you’d look at that all night

But as I sit here in broad daylight, you can’t hold my gaze for 10 seconds

You scan around the place, looking for another face.

When your drunk, that’s when your real

The phone’s away and I’m the big deal

You think I’m divine

Better than fine wine

I love you”

Your my best friend”

We’re soul mates”
“To the end”

But it feels pretend.

Because in the morning, the real you emerges

A chime on your phone

A little sigh and a groan.

That arm once encasing me

Is now drifting away, far away from me

It’s reaching towards it first and only love

The love of an Iphone 6 plus.

alert sound the classic Iphone sound

The sound of every relationship breakdown.

A sound can signal a thousand things

But I just hope that wait for my ding

But you respond to me last, because you know I won’t get mad

You respond to me last, because you know it won’t make me sad.

At least that’s what you think.

But when I see on Facebook that you were active two minutes ago

But you haven’t replied to my message from three hours ago

How do you think that makes me think?

How do you think that makes me feel?

I am no longer this big deal.

Your phone has all of your attention

But thanks for your Tweet; glad I got a mention.

Featured Image: http://www.modrenvilla.org/inspirational-quotes/beautiful-inspirational-quotes/

Liebster Award

The very lovely Louise Austin Richards, nominated me for the Liebster award, so- tah- dah! Here it is! If you don’t follow Louise already, what are you doing? Get on it and follow her! I always really look forward to reading her blog posts, they are just fab!

Okay so what is the Liebster Awards? Well this is what you have to do…

  • Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you

  • Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated yo

  • Nominate 11 blogs

  • Give them 11 questions to answer

So, without further ado, here are my questions and responses…

  1. Favourite City- Easily Paris! I just love everything about it- I want to live there.

  2. First Make Up product you ever brought? I think mine was a Miss Sporty mascara, but of course it wasn’t just a regular black mascara, I had to be jazzy and get an electric blue one (tragic!)

  3. Favourite high-end beauty brand? I don’t use that many high end brands, as you guys know I’m a high street lover. But a product that I now can’t live without is Origins Original Skin Renewal Serum at £32.50. It just works wonders on my skin, and its making me try more of their products- help me!

  4. Who is your idol? Audrey Hepburn would be my biggest idol, but I really am inspired by (you know a present day person) Solange Knowles. She’s so creative, talented and an all round inspiring woman.

  5. Favourite fashion or beauty store? My favourite fashion store would have to be Mango, I think its the only store I can spend a full hour in there, and I always find exactly what I’m looking for.

  6. One thing on your bucket listHmmmm, I’d really love to do abseiling! So I hope I get the chance to do that one day

  7. You can only use one beauty product for the rest of your life- What do you choose? Oh easily moisturiser! I know its a really basic thing, but I’d be drier than the desert without it.

  8. Favourite TV Show- Oooh this one was a tough one for me. My taste in TV goes between dramas, comedy and reality TV- so I’ll just pick my top 3 from all the categories- Drama- Narcos, Comedy- Brookyln Nine Nine and reality The Only Way Is Essex

  9. How did you get into blogging? I had wanted to do it for quite for some time, but was a bit nervous (which seems silly now, as I love doing this), and I felt that I would run out of ideas. But that’s never been the case. I guess what got me into blogging, was wanted a way to share shared interests and this is a great way to share your interests and meet new people.

  10. Summarise your blogI write mainly about fashion and beauty, as that’s where my interests lie. But I do mix it up now and again and sometimes go a bit deeper, and talk about more personal things or relationships, and sometimes I write a bit of poetry. I called my blog foodieandthebeauty, as it gives food for thought, as well as looking at beauty.

  11. My Twitter Handle is: @Gemmawalton_

So that’s me done, now its over to my nominees and my questions for my nominees…

My nominees are…

  1. BeccaBeauty

  2. Afrobaddie

  3. The Zinful Blonde

  4. The Map Of Beauty

  5. Aricoture

  6. A Brash Attitude

  7. Michelle Prestige

  8. Amatuerxblogger

  9. Beauty Beyond Bones

  10. Life With Lil Red

  11. Live Life Love FashionBlog

And my questions for you are…

  1. What beauty product can you not live without?

  2. What was your dream job when you were younger?

  3. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

  4. What’s your favourite clothing store?

  5. Where in the world has been your favourite vacation?

  6. Favourite type of food?

  7. Do you prefer Summer or Winter?

  8. What’s something you really want to achieve or do?

  9. Who’s your biggest idol?

  10. How did you get into blogging?

  11. Twitter or Facebook link

Girls I hope your ready! 🙂

Featured Image via: http://www.noshoestoday.com/liebster-award-winner/

Beauty Summer Hacks

Summer is the month that I love to hate. As I’ve got older (and work full time), I have grown to appreciate the Summer months more, as I only get a limited time to really enjoy those long Summer days and nights. And although we all crave Summer and get excited when its here, when it comes to how we look, we regret our begging with the weather to be hot, as we are left sweating buckets and gasping for water. Now obviously to survive Summer you need to drink plenty of water and wear plenty on sun protector (and eat lots of ice lollies too, I believe?). But I thought I would share my must haves which allow me to enjoy Summer the way it should be; without complaint.

So here are my Summer Hacks…

  • Talcum Powder

I don’t think I could actually survive Summer without this. Bit sweaty under the pits? Throw some talc on that. Thighs chaffing? Rub some talc on it. It literally is a miracle worker! Okay so I’m not standing in the middle of the street throwing this magical stuff all over me. But I do carry a little mini version in my handbag and sort myself out in the toilet. It instantly makes you feel more collected and less sweaty.

  • Setting Spray

I use setting spray all year round, as it does what it says, and your make up holds out longer. However, a neat trick to prolonging the length of durability of your make up through the Summer months, is by spraying your make beauty blenders with this prior to applying your foundation, concealers etc. It generally makes your make up hold longer and you don’t have the fright when you glance at your reflection in a window, and think why did no one tell me I look like a melting snowman! This keeps you looking cool and collected.

  • Waterproof Foundation

A way to really beat the sweat that comes with the sun is by purchasing a waterproof foundation. Yes there are such things as these that exist, and more than likely your usual go to foundation comes in a waterproof version to. I use L’Oreal True Match, and they’re 24H Matte Waterproof Foundation is a great alternative for a Summer foundation. Its more durable and lasts longer compared to the normal foundation. Plus it makes for a great holiday make up piece, as you can wear this in the pool- results all round!

  • NYX ‘Gleam’ Highlighter

I am actually obsessed with this highlighter. It has been probably my favourite make up purchase of the year- big claims. But because its a liquid highlighter, for me, it just gives me such a glowy effortless looking look, which is perfect in the heat. With this highlighter, even if you are sweating, it kind of embraces it and just makes it look like you have a great glow going on. I really would recommend this product, and is a piece I can’t leave the house without applying.

  • Cooling Spray

A must have item for on the go is cooling spray. Yes it is essentially water in a can, but just the cool spritz of it does cool you down and gives you a refreshed feeling. As I prefer my hair loose to being up, but with an afro, you can imagine it gets pretty hot around my neck, I use this constantly throughout the day to keep the back of my neck cool, with it allowing me to keep my hair down. This is the perfect on the go must have.

  • Eyebrow Gel

It is far too much effort to be using eyebrow pencils, pens and kits in this weather, so to keep my eyebrows looking on point, I rely solely on some serious eyebrow brush skills followed by eyebrow gel. Eyebrow gel is great for keeping your eyebrows in place all day, but also compliments you with a sexy dewy kind of look. (Great with that highlighter I was going on about). What I find is that instead of trying to pretend that its not 30 degrees outside and you’re not sweating; to embrace it instead. That’s why my make up is purposely more glowy and dewy, as it just looks like I have more of a summer glow when I do get a bit sweaty.

  • Lip Tint

Lipsticks are a big no go for me in Summer, particularly in the daytime. I just find they smudge easily and having them in your handbag is a recipe for disaster! So instead, a hint of colour with a lip tint is the perfect alternative, and you won’t have to deal with a melted lipstick at the bottom of your handbag.

And finally, most importantly- MOISTURISE, MOISTURISE, MOISTURISE! I cannot say this enough ladies! Keep your skin and hair really moisturised, and pay attention to those feet as well. No one wants to look like a lizard really! Try to use a deep conditioning mask once a week, and also invest in a leave in deep conditioning spray that you can use daily, to protect your hair from the heat.

Remember to always stay hydrated and lathered up in sun cream, and enjoy the Sun! No matter how we complain about it being too hot, the moment it rains we want it back.

I hope you have a lovely weekend and enjoyed this post 🙂

Love Always,

Gemma

xo

Below are the links to the specific products that I use…

Featured Image via: https://www.instagram.com/p/_2nztsIb7y/