Beauty on a budget

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Woop-dee-dupe!

There is no shame in opting for the lower priced makeup brands such as Rimmel or Milani for your lipsticks, powders and eyeshadows. Carry out some research before committing to the higher end goodies you’ve got your eye on, there are some pretty reputable ones out there! The usage of your dupe could be a good tell-tale to whether breaking the bank for the real deal will be worth it.

Have a treat, off-peak! 

Go on, treat yourself. You don’t have to scrimp and save in order to treat yourself to that day at the spa. Trawl cheap deal websites like Groupon to bag a bargain or if you have a magazine subscription, look out monthly deals. Many spas offer off-peak rates or two treatments for the price of one, you may even find that many five-star spas throw in beach access as well as the use of the pool.

DIY

I don’t mean getting your hands dirty building sheds and painting fences (although, that would be a good excuse for a manicure…). Rose water is one of the best toners for your skin – it’s suitable for all skin types and is known for its rebalancing and tightening properties. Instead of splurging on the ready made branded bottles, why not make your own at home by boiling two packed cups of rose petals with distilled water for about 45 minutes. Once cool, strain the water using a muslin cloth and pop it into a sterilized bottle and you are good to go.

Spend to save

Next time you go to your local Superdrug or Boots, pick up a free points card. These bad boys mean that by buying your everyday face wipes and shampoo, you’ll be gaining points to help towards your next mascara. Even some of the more up-market shops do them, my Space.NK card helps take away some of the guilt after a spurge, knowing I will be saving on my next purchase.

Fun Festival Fashion

With summer well and truly here, we find ourselves in the midst of festival season – the two seem to have become synonymous with one another. When it comes to festival fashion, just about anything goes. While it is all in good humour, some of the looks can be a little disheartening: an overload of crop tops, neon, metallic temporary tattoos and flower headbands. So let’s leave the past in the past and start a fresh with this summer’s festival season.

Coachella 2016 kicked off festival season, and as the celebrity clan descended upon Coachella valley to enjoy the sun, the music and the festive spirit they too set the bar for us mere festival mortals to follow.

Here is all the fashion that we can expect to see at festivals up and down the country based on the celebrity input from earlier this year:

Sheer and crochet: Supermodel Kendall Jenner set precedent in an off-white crochet cut-out dress, complemented by chunky silver accessories, a messy topknot and Lennon-style sunglasses, all contributing to the boho theme she was rocking.

Denim shorts: Alessandra Ambrosio and her endless legs could be seen sporting a pair of simple denim shorts accompanied by a blue cut out bralette on one day and a Guns N Roses t-shirt on another.

Bold print: Downton’s Joanne Froggatt got into the boho spirit in a simple low-cut black halter and pink oversized leopard print maxi skirt. Whereas for DJ Hannah Bronfman and Mad Men star Kiernan Shipka it was all about the florals who sported a 70s style floral print romper and jumpsuit.

Although the UK festivals don’t come with the same promise of Coachella style sunshine, at least we can embrace one part of the festival’s culture: the fashion.

Love and Hugs xo

AN OPEN LETTER: Dear the bereaved

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This one is quite heavy, they won’t all be like this I promise!


Fellow bereaved, you are not alone.

I am writing to you to let you know that I am thinking of you and your family at this difficult time.

My father died a little over a year ago. Cancer.

I tell you this because I want to let you know that now, a year after the shock and numbness and extreme sadness, I genuinely feel happy and warm at the thought or mention of my father. Much of the sadness has been washed away, and what is so wonderful is how my memories of him are crystal clear and I include them so much of my life, especially when I face challenges or celebrations.

So please, take heart, you have only lost the small part of your gorgeous loved one.

I also wanted to let you know a few things most people don’t talk about, but I hope might in some little way help you over the next few months and years – and forgive me if this makes you cry. Here goes…

My father was the most precious person in my life, and my closest friend. For me, the funeral was a blur. I felt numb and sick and almost as if I was removed and looking in from the outside. The worst part was I couldn’t think properly about my father, and I couldn’t cry. Not even a tear. I also remember being surrounded by hundreds of people, many of whom I didn’t know, and many who I don’t think daddy particularly liked! At this time I remember craving privacy.

It was only months later that I suddenly realised I wouldn’t see daddy again – and then I panicked – I didn’t think I would be able to cope, but I did because I, like you, had a wonderful family and a few really close friends. This was the stage where I couldn’t stop crying. At unexpected and often inopportune moments, I would burst into tears – often triggered by smell, songs, words, jokes etc. this was the time I cried about his illness and suffering. This was also the time that I became really angry at the injustice. Why did my wonderful, kind father have to suffer? – how can there be a God? At the time I felt pretty churned up and all over the place, but this is a cathartic process and I really did feel a lot better afterwards.

From this moment on, it’s so much better. In my case, much of the anger and sadness has seemed to fall away, and I feel a very strong and private connection with my father. I still have conversations with him every single day.

Enough about me. I only tell you my dramas to try and reassure you that you will be okay.

You will go from strength to strength and your loved one will be watching with the greatest pride and love.

Love and hugs xo