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My First YouTube Video | LUSH Factory Tour & Oxford Street Products

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Hey Guys!

So today’s post is a little out of the ordinary for me. If you have been following me for a while you will know that I have been pondering the realms of YouTube for a while, however I just haven’t quite had the balls to make the leap and actually have a go myself. This is for a number of reasons.

Firstly, despite my outward appearance I am actually not an overly confident person and I worry a lot about what other people think of me. It took a lot for me to start this blog, and other than my boyfriend, I haven’t publicly shared it amongst my friends and family. Truth be told I just don’t think they will get it, or me.

Secondly, I am a complete perfectionist. My blog may seem pretty basic, and it is and that’s my style. But I spend so many hours tinkering with the layout, changing tiny details and making it perfect for me. I knew that if I were to start a YouTube channel that I would obsess in the same way over that too, and I wanted to be able to dedicate real time to it.

I also had no idea how to even begin editing a video! I can be pretty techy when I set my mind to it, and I am a very much self-taught person. I tend to be able to teach myself how to do anything I set my mind to, within reason. I wanted to be able to edit to a decent enough standard before I uploaded any content.

Despite all my reasoning I have uploaded my first YouTube video. I think including teaching myself the editing basics, in total it took me around 4 hours to complete. I’m not entirely happy with it but I think for my first one it’s not that bad.. hey I can only get better right? It’s more of a happy musical/montage style vlog, but I’m going to try and get over my fear of talking to the camera and upload more chatty videos soon.

Anyway, If you’d like to check it out you can find the link below. Please do comment with your thoughts as that would mean a lot, and if you’re feeling particularly lovely on this beautiful Saturday you could subscribe too!

https://youtu.be/58Y2hoQj2-k

Until next time x

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Weekly Diary | July Fourth, Beach Walks & BBQ’s

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Hey guys and welcome to another weekly diary!

I’m so late with this weeks installment as things have been hectic here to say the least. I’m also working on a redesign for my blog and am in the process of changing my site to self-hosting. When my time isn’t taken up with training and revising, I’ve spent the rest of my down time researching how self-hosting works, how to work the new site and lots of other techy stuff that I don’t quite understand yet… but hey better late than never right?

It has been another beautiful week here in sunny Poole, and so I have been able to get out and explore a little more, enjoy some stunning views and spend time with new friends. I have found a great little spot on Poole harbour where I just love to sit and digest my day. It’s a great place to sit after a long day in training, as we absorb so much information in a short space of time. I took my friend Tina there on Tuesday evening and we sat with take out fish and chips from Harlees, which in my opinion is the best place to get fish and chips in Poole.

Whilst we were there we also saw a giant jellyfish washed up on the small stretch of pebbled beach!

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The rest of week passed in a haze of coursework and practise.. but the weekend was so much fun. As we have two American girls staying with us for the duration of training, we decided to celebrate the July Fourth weekend in style, and so we packed up a picnic, some Prosecco and a disposable BBQ and headed for Sandbanks, one of the most beautiful beach destinations in Dorset.

Sandbanks is a stunning stretch of coastline that sits on a small peninsula or spit, crossing the mouth of Poole Harbour on the English Channel. You can see the area of Sandbanks from Poole Quay which is where I live, and it doesn’t seem far away to walk to.You can also cycle, catch the bus or get a small ferry which goes via Brownsea Island. We decided to make a day of it and catch the ferry from Poole Quay.

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We had an amazing day just relaxing on the sandy beach, eating good food and chatting about life. I would recommend you visit Sandbanks if you are ever in Dorset as it’s just a really lovely place to relax. I’ve heard the place described as one of the most expensive places to live in Europe and I can see why. There are some stunning houses there, and I mean STUNNING! I don’t think you’d get much change from a million pounds, possibly even more for some of them.

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Great friends.. lovely weather and bloody awesome food. What more do you need?

Until next week x

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London Visit | Dinosaurs In Waterloo, Liberty’s & LUSH Oxford Street

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On Saturday I met my Mum and Boyfriend in London for the day to have some lunch, walk around the city and visit the amazing new Lush Oxford Street store. I had bought my Mum a Lush Spa treatment for her birthday last year and so when I first heard the Oxford St store was opening I booked us in for two Synaesthesia treatments. As it turns out I actually decided to cancel mine, as I was learning the treatment myself I didn’t feel I would be able to relax and so have rescheduled for another time. Mum went ahead and had hers though and she absolutely loved it!

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When I booked the London trip I didn’t know I would be moving to Poole and so my Mum very kindly brought my boyfriend with her when she met me so that we could also spend some time together. I will be writing a separate post on the Lush Spa soon, so I won’t go into too much detail about her experience.

Whilst Mum was having her treatment my boyfriend and I explored the new Lush Oxford Street store. Having worked for the company for over a year now, I have heard so much about the launch and the build up and anticipation internally within the company was huge. Because of this I was so excited to see what all the fuss was about, but to be honest I was left a little disappointed. The store itself was not as huge as I had imagined. Sure it is definitely a lot bigger than all the other Lush stores, but it wasn’t the immense spectacle that it was built up to be before the launch. It felt like there was a lot of dead space inside, and the layout confused me slightly. As a customer you probably wouldn’t know what I mean, but as a member of staff I just think the use of space could be better.

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We got there just after lunch time on a Saturday so I expected it to be packed full of excited shoppers but it wasn’t actually that busy, so I was able to browse in peace. I picked up a few limited edition products (of which I will do a haul and review post to follow) but I didn’t go crazy. Some of the new products I had my eye on previously are also available in the Poole shop and so I had already picked them up, which kind of took the edge of the excitement for me.

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There is a really cool hair lab on the ground floor of the store where you can have hair treatments and styling products demonstrated on your own hair. I didn’t have anything done as we were short on time, however I love the concept of being able to try a full head of product in store.

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After visiting Lush we went to Liberty’s Of London, a store that I have loved since I was a little girl but never visited. I love to watch the documentaries on the TV about the running of the store and how they prepare for Christmas. Here I wasn’t disappointed, and walking into the beautiful scarf hall literally took my breath away. It was as magical as I imagined, and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to visit the iconic store.

I spent some time walking around looking at all the amazing designer handbags and shoes (most of which cost more than my car) and of course fell in love with the stationary department. I picked up a beautiful Kate Spade notebook, which again I will do a blog post about soon.

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After some dinner on Oxford Street we headed back to get our separate trains, and I was so excited to see the Jurassic World installation in Waterloo Station. I managed to battle the crowds to get some photos

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I had a great day out in London and it was so nice to see my mum and my boyfriend. I’m so happy my mum experienced the Lush Spa as it is so hard to describe the magic of the place to another person, and now I feel it really puts the reasons why I moved away into perspective for her.

Until next time x

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Weekly Diary #1 | First Month In Poole

 

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Welcome to the first installment of my weekly blogs. Technically this is a round up of my first month in Poole, but I guess it still counts right? Okay then.  I’ve had a fantastic first month in sunny Poole! The weather has been so amazing and has made exploring the town a truly lovely experience.

Poole is a small place really, but is packed with character and there is so much to see and do. I’ve spent my first month finding out where all the important places are such as the best coffee shops and the doctors, dentist etc. Clearly I listed those things in order of importance.. obviously. I’ve also discovered some really cute places to visit when my boyfriend comes to stay, and it’s really starting to feel like home.

My apartment is gorgeous, and I know I’ve been so lucky to be placed here. It’s a three bedroom, three bathroom place with a balcony overlooking the Quay. It’s lovely to sit out in the morning and eat breakfast watching the boats come in and out of the harbour.  I’ve been waking up most mornings before my alarm, which is so not like me as I love my sleep! Most mornings there are groups of seagulls that sit and chatter outside my bedroom window, and other mornings I get woken by the ferry horns as they pull out of the harbour. I love these noises as they are all part of living by the sea, and already I know I will miss them when I leave to return home.

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My morning view of Poole Harbour

I’m sharing with other girls who are also here for the same training program. There’s been a few of us that have been here for the whole month, but also some people that come and go, coming down to learn one or two treatments before returning home to their allocated spa. It’s been challenging adapting to living with so many different people, and there have been moments when I wanted to throw myself or them over the balcony – but there have also been lots of laughter and you learn to adapt to one another and live around each others space. It’s been nice having people around me who are also going through the same experience, and I’ve found a lot of comfort in that on hard days.

I’m loving the training experience! I knew it was going to be tough both mentally and physically, and it really is. Of course I miss home, and I miss my boyfriend and my boys like crazy. For the first few weeks my body hurt in places I didn’t know existed, and I thought my head was going to explode through trying to learn the routines. But over time my body is adjusting to the training, and this journey is fast becoming the most exciting and personally rewarding thing I have ever done in my life.

I’m so excited for what the rest of my time here will bring and have lots of exciting things planned so stay tuned!

Until next week x

 

 

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A Big Adventure | Moving To Poole

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Today’s post comes bearing some exciting news… I have been offered an amazing opportunity to train to be a Therapist for the Lush Spa! This means that in a few short weeks I will be moving down to Poole on the Dorset coast, returning September this year.

This is a scary prospect for me, and a decision that I haven’t made lightly. It will mean leaving my boyfriend, our cats and our home behind, taking minimal belongings (I don’t do light packing) and moving in with complete strangers. I feel like its my first term at university all over again, and I have somehow travelled back in time eight years to my naive teenage self.. just slightly less spotty and better dressed this time.

I received my travel and accommodation details through yesterday which has made everything seem so much more real. I have a lovely looking apartment on Dolphin Quays, which I will be sharing with a handful of other girls who are joining me for training. I’m really happy with where it is located and looking forward to living by the sea for a while.

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It’s scary. But it’s an awesome opportunity and one that I would be a fool to turn down.

Wish me luck folks!

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#BeautyChatLIVE 2015 |Lily Pebbles & Vivianna Does Makeup

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Recently I had the pleasure of attending the much anticipated #BeautyChatLIVE event with Lily Pebbles and Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup. I have been a huge fan of the girls for a few years now and was so excited to get my hands on two tickets for the Nottingham leg of their tour.

I attended the second of two events held at the Space NK store in Nottingham. There were only 25 of us within the group and it was the perfect number of people. Anna and Lily opened the evening with a live beauty chat to the group, taking questions from the room and twitter about their beauty, hair and skincare recommendations. The Space NK staff had a set up a neat little display with all of Lily and Anna’s favourite products, which was great for any of us who had not visited the store before.

After the beauty chat we were let loose around the store and the real shopping commenced! Makeup artists were on hand so we could sample the different products with advice from the professionals. I met an awesome Space NK makeup artist called Becky who talked me into most of my purchases! She was fantastic at her job and so much fun.

Anna and Lily spent time mingling with the group which was great. They had so much time for everyone and there was a lot of laughter and a real buzz in the room. I managed to grab ten minutes with them for a chat and photos.

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After a couple of hours shopping and much deliberation, I narrowed my purchases down to the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Intense Hydrating Booster, the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in the shade Vanilla and the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in the colour Medium. Full post and review on these products to come!

I was also lucky enough to take home the most amazing goody bag I have ever seen, packed full of Space NK products most of which were decent sample sizes but some that were full sized items.  The ticket to the event cost me £15 to which I was pleasantly surprised, then when I found out this was redeemable against your purchases on the night I was ecstatic.

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#beautychatLIVE was everything I hoped it would be. Anna and Lily were such lovely, down to earth girls and even though I went there not knowing anyone it really felt like you were amongst friends.  I hear the girls are planning another tour and I would definitely recommend going to this event if you can get your hands on some tickets!

Thanks Lily and Anna – you guys are awesome!

Check out their channels below:

http://www.lilypebbles.co.uk/#41kB3JpLKpu16562.97

https://www.youtube.com/user/WhatIHeartToday/videos

https://www.youtube.com/user/ViviannaDoesMakeup/videos

http://www.viviannadoesmakeup.com/

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KIKO Milano | Leeds Store Visit

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I recently visited the KIKO Makeup store in Leeds City Centre. I had been itching to pay them a visit ever since I found out the store was opening, and I wasn’t disappointed. In fact I would go as far as to say I was completely blown away by what I experienced.

This is the only standalone KIKO store outside of London and boy is it a big one! The sheer amount of beauty products inside are enough to satisfy any makeup junkie.. and it’s great to see a professional makeup brand venturing ‘up north’. As Leeds is just a short train ride away from my home town of Doncaster, this makes it so accessible to me and I think it will become a regular haunt.

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The Albion Street store frontage was impressive and the interior was even better! The layout made shopping super easy and the signage just made it so simple to understand what each product was and how to use it. There were swatching stations next to each product section too, complete with makeup remover, cotton pads and even cellotape to swatch the nail polish on your hand; which I thought was such a great idea!

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I literally felt like a kid in a candy store with the rows of lipsticks and nail polishes neatly lined up, and ended up spending over an hour browsing the walls of products, and a further thirty minutes with a fantastic makeup artist who indulged me in my search for the perfect lipstick.

My search concluded when I settled on a beautiful Unlimited STYLO Long Lasting Lipstick £6.90 in the shade 04 Pearly Tangerine. The makeup artist described this product as being as moisturising as a lip gloss with the effect of a matte lipstick. This is perfect for me as I have such dry lips but really love a matte finish. I love the creamy texture and how supple it makes my lips feel. The colour window on the packaging also makes it really easy to tell which colour is inside too… it’s the small things! The second lipstick I purchased was the SMART Lipstick in the shade 912 Crimson Red. A just £3.90 this is part of KIKO’s basic collection and is a rich, traditional red which I thought would be perfect for the festive season. I didn’t find the staying power of this one to be as good as the STYLO which was super long lasting – however for the price I cannot grumble too much.

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I also picked up a Smart Eye Pencil in the colour 803 Granite Purple, however it looks brown when applied. I’m not a fan of this particular product as the colour build up was poor when I tried it at home. Like the SMART Lipstick, this is also part of the basic collection and I think you can tell with the quality on application. I also couldn’t resist picking up the strengthening nail polish in the shade 358 Peach Rose which will look so pretty in the spring.

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My final purchase was something I had been meaning to try for a while. I have heard great things about KIKO’s Nourishing Night Balm Lip Treatment, and got a little bit excited when I spotted it! It has a thick Vaseline consistency and had been so soothing on my cracked lips this winter. I will be including a full review on this in my Top Lip Balms post which is coming soon!

I will definitely be making a trip to KIKO Leeds again in the new year and am so excited to see the spring products when they launch in store.

Have you visited this store yet? Let me know what you thought.

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10 Ways To Ace Your Christmas Gift Wrapping

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When it comes to Christmas shopping I’m not the most organised of people. Each year I tell myself that I will start early, make a proper list, maybe grab a few bargains in the new year sales to put away, and spread the cost over a few months.

In reality what actually happens is I make a mad supermarket sweep style dash around Meadowhall in the days before Christmas Eve, battle with equally stressed shoppers (mostly males looking lost) and spend far too much on my gifts and live like a poor person until January.

One thing I do spend a lot of time thinking about each year is how I am going to wrap the things I have so lovingly purchased. Hours are spend browsing Pinterest looking for unique ways to add something a little special, and I have to say over the years I’ve got my presentaion down to a fine art! Here are my top 20 gift wrapping ideas for the festive season.

Chalk Pen on Brown Paper, Tied With String

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Festive Pompom’s

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Hand Knitted 

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Chalk Board Effect

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Golden Glamour 

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Sweet Tradition

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Simple Initials

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Bah Humbug

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Lace Ribbon

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Postcard Perfect

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How are you planning to wrap your presents this year?

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Topshop Lipstick | Brighton Rock

 

 

 

 

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As you may know I recently spent some time in Brighton. Before my trip I nipped in to my local Topshop to pick up a couple of essentials to complete my holiday outfits. As I made my way to the till I spotted this stunning Fusia Pink Topshop Lipstick at just £8.00 and aptly named Brighton Rock! Surely this was fate.. obviously I had to add it to my pile right?

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After wearing this lipstick for pretty much the entire trip I can honestly say it could be my new favourite shade in my collection. Often a matte finish can be drying on the lips, however this product was super moisturising and stayed on for hours.. even through multiple coffee shop pit stops!

I will absolutely be re-purchasing this product when it runs out. Maybe another excuse to visit Brighton to wear it too.. would be rude not to wouldn’t it?