Sunday, 11 March 2018

Micro Blading: My Experience

So this is one of my most exciting posts in a long while and one I've been waiting for write up for weeks.. If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram you'll know that about 2 weeks ago I finally had the balls to go and get my eyebrows Micro-bladed after one of my favourite salons, Identity in Clevedon, held an offer on their Facebook page. When I messaged the team and asked about it and mentioned that I am a wimp (anyone knows me will know what level I am a wimp to) and Beth replied saying that they actually use numbing cream. THAT WAS IT. I'M IN.

Around a week and a half before I went in for my consultation with the lovely Courtney who went through every detail with me. I thought it would be a couple of minutes to do a basic patch test but I was surprised at how thorough it was and how much we went through to make me feel so much more at ease. We went through the shapes and stencils that I could choose from so I knew how I wanted my brows shaping as well as testing a number of different colours to see which suited my skin tone and my also ever changing hair colour. We decided on both of these and took photos so we knew how we were going to start on the big day. The patch test was the first sign for Courtney of how much of a wimp I am when I realised that they use a tool to actually scratch the skin - I had a bit of a freak out but with numbing cream on, I felt like a tool after sitting there going "oh, is that it?".

So I then spent 2 weeks buzzing like a bee with excitement, talking about it to everyone as though it was my birthday and Christmas but then finally.. the day I was waiting for came! So the first Issue was me having had my hair coloured a TOTALLY different colour just the day before (again, with Identity!) and I knew from Courtney's face while the colour was going on that there was going to be an issue the next morning.

Courtney spent a good half hour or so measuring the brows, plucking areas to make them as even as possible, deciding a new colour then putting a base colour to know on the skin to where to work with and that was it... we had lift off!

I made a small video on the day and of various days after just to keep a record of how the brows looked throughout the healing process so I'll pop that just below..

The micro blading experience itself was pleasantly easy and so much different from what I expected. I was honestly a little petrified inside deep down that I'd want to lay and cry in pain and regret my whole choice after 10 minutes but when we actually started, I had so much numbing cream on that I hadn't even realised the needle had even touched the skin. I can honestly say that I didn't once feel the needle. Towards the start it was so relaxed and chilled out, actually felt I could nod off while listening to my iPod to block off some of the sound of the machine (which again, no where near as loud as I expected - just like a vibrating sound) and even for the first hour or so it was fine as we swapped between eye brows to give the skin some relief - plus to top up the numbing cream. The only pain, and even then it wasn't necessarily a sharp pain, pain, more of a "pressing on a bruise" pain, which was around 30-40 minutes before the end as the skin was starting to bruise and even started to reject the ink towards the end which meant we kept going over Skin that had already been bladed. After a while we settled on round 2 at the touch up appointment to save the skin having to go through anymore.

Over the first couple of days I felt that every time I looked in a mirror the colour had changed but after around 24-48 hours after, I was beyond in love with the colour after it had settled and I'd got to a point where I was able to put on a Face of Make Up. On the Sunday (I had it done on the Wednesday) the scab was slightly starting to peel back from the centre of my brows towards the top of my nose so I knew that this was the start. It's taken until today... a whole 7 days later (writing this on a Sunday) for the last bits of the scab to come off so I can finally see the finished result.

Now I can see the finished result, I can see why a touch up is needed after 4 weeks. One brow is darker than the other due to the skin rejecting the ink towards the end but overall, I can see the shape that the brows now are and can see a base colour on the skin itself as a block. I definitely got over excited and thought that I may get away with not having a touch up as they seemed so dark to start with which is what I wanted but I now understand what people say when they said that I'll need to go back for a second go.

I've done a bit of a Q&A below with questions that I've been asked on Facebook/Twitter and that I've been asked in general with lots of other information but in general, even though this is only stage 1, I still think it's one of the best choices I've ever made. It was so much easier than I expected, I didn't hurt and it was so much better than a "tattoo experience". I'd highly recommend checking out a few places first and meeting up with the consultant before hand before even agreeing or booking and paying a deposit etc. See the environment where it'll happen too - I've seen reviews where they said they felt like they were in a Drs surgery but I was so lucky to be able to visit somewhere where the whole team are so friendly and supportive, the room I was in was homely and cosy on a comfy salon bed where I could chill out. I will of course do a second blog post after my touch up appointment in a few weeks to show you the absolute final results.

(round 1 before and after)


Does it hurt?

The needle itself doesn't hurt at all with numbing cream on - it's just sore towards the end.

Do you need to go back and have it done twice?
You are advised to go for a touch up to go over any spots that may have not taken the ink as well as other areas of the skin. I'm excited for mine to go a little darker and for the final results.

How long did it take?
In total I was in the "chair" around 3 hours. But had breaks to go to the loo or get a drink or just to walk around and give the skin a bit of a break.

Does the numbing cream where off?
Nope - in fact it was still going strong hours later.

What needle do they use?
Each salon can vary so ask the consultant directly. Courtney used a device on myself with 3 needles on.

Are there different types of Micro blading?
You can get your brows done in strokes or a block. I had mine blocked out but we think on the touch up we're going to do strokes and go darker to see how much darker I can get them.

PS - MASSIVE shout out to Liz, Beth and Courtney over at Identity for being my personal beauty team over the last 6 months when I was in Clevedon. I've loved having my hair done and changed a number of times and to help me have the courage to go and do something I've wanted to do for a while but never been brave enough. I'll definitely be back for my hair every few weeks even though I've now moved.. thank you for making my Clevedon experience so fabulous! xox

Check out Identity's Facebook here:

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Lush Spa: The Validation Facial Experience

A bit of a different one for this blog but I had such a fantastic day with the team at Lush in Bath within the Spa that I couldn't not write about it..

Last week I took my gorgeous best friend, Laura, on a surprise mini-hen do before she gets married later in the year as I wanted to do something just the 2 of us to say thank you for just being so generally fantastic in my life so we had a girly weekend in Bath. This only came about though as my friend kindly gave me a Lush Voucher for the spa. I contacted Lush in Bath (one of only a handful of Lush Spas in the country) and advised that I had a voucher and we came up with a plan for the 2 of us to have treatments at our visit.

We booked into have the Validation Facial which is one that I knew I wanted from the get go when I started reading about the different treatments online. It was a 60 minute treatment however we also received a 30 minute consultation to discuss what products we could choose from for the treatment so it would be 100% personalised to our own skin which is just fantastic. Everyone's skin is different and even looking at Laura and I's selection, they were so varied.

We went into the store itself and picked a variety of products to be used within the treatment including a cleanser, a face mask, a hand cream, moisturiser, lip scrub plus a lovely primer-style moisturiser to finish on. The Team in the Spa talked us through each step and found which of each product would work best for what we wanted for our skin and their calm and relaxed aura really made us feel special.

Once we'd picked our products, we went and relaxed downstairs in the spa itself which was set out like a beautiful winter cabin complete with front room area, kitchen and a stunning bathroom with shower which was free to use. You were also able to use a number of products that were available to hand too which was just a wonderful touch. The treatment rooms too were just incredible - with a soothing CD on with the sounds of the sea and calming words, this set a fantastic atmosphere along with the dimmed lights, candles and gorgeous Lush aromas to help you relax on a bed with heated blankets ready and waiting for you.

The Validation Facial itself was just beyond words.. I've never been a "spa person" and I've never really been into massages so this for me was a bit different but I've never experienced anything like this. For an hour solid, both me and Laura agreed that we literally didn't think of anything. The treatment had so many stages to it and went beyond just the face - with arms and hand massages, neck and shoulder massages.. it was just incredible with the personalised products.

The experience as a whole was just phenomenal and made up of so many fantastic little touches including the music, the personalised products, the refreshing drinks and the team themselves. I would highly recommend visiting a Lush Spa to anyone who is a Lush or a Spa fan and I already can't wait to go again!

You can read more about the treatment and the official information as well as where you can get the Treatment HERE:

Friday, 16 February 2018

Tiger Gin

So if you know me.. let's be honest loves, I love m' Gin! Tbh.. I love my alcohol in general but Gin in particular has been a new love over the last year or so and I've loved trying out new gins with new flavours - made easier by working in a pub where I can order as many gins as I pretty much want ;) But a new favourite of mine is certainly Tiger Gin. I'd never had it until recently when I tried it in a bar in Bath and it's certainly a contender for the top spot. Having a little more time off of work lately (by that I mean working 50 hours a week not 70!) has meant more time for drinking and making up wonderful concoctions so I thought I'd share my favourite ways of having my new favourite Tipple...

The Classic!
Tiger Gin, over plenty of Ice and orange wedges finished with a classic tonic - preferably Fever Tree! What else can you say?

The Earl Grey and Elderflower
Yes.. you read right. But don't you go knocking it just yet. It may sound random and a gross mix but holy all that is alcoholic and good... yes... just yes. We serve this in the pub since I started and I'm in charge of the set up - Earl Grey Tea brewed with plenty of Elderflower Cordial mixed (when cold) with a shot of Tiger Gin, topped with either a Ginger Ale (my fav) or a simple Tonic water. I love this in a balloon glass with plenty of ice and wedges of Lime. Definitely worth a try and surprisingly easy to make at home too.

Berry Gin Fizz
There's so many ways of making this and it does generally depend on the time of year and what frehs berries you can get at the time of year or even the flavours you fancy each season. With it being Winter, my current method is Tiger Gin with a small dash of a nice Winter Berry Syrup (got some for Christmas and I don't drink Coffee so had to find a use somehow!) finished with Prosecco! A little bit more of a fancy, glitzy Gin cocktail but perfect for those girly nights in!

Wowza.. my mouth is literally watering. Is 4.09pm in the afternoon too early for a cheeky drink? No? Why, thank you kindly - let my pour myself a Tiger Gin ;)

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Current Favourite #FOTD

So it's safe to say that over the last few months, maybe a year or so , my make up range has drastically changed (and improved!) and I've spread my wings away from just whatever I could get in Boots and bitten the bullet to spend a bit more money to try some new beauty products. I've spent so long watching YouTube videos and reading blogs to know that the money I'm spending is worth it and I feel that for the first time in a long time, this is the happiest and most confident I've been with my current make up bag..

So this is the look that I've been going with day to day over the last few weeks - sometimes I'll do more an less depending in how long I have before I start work or if I'm going out at night etc but for a standard look, this is how I'm going:

FOUNDATION: Fenty Beauty
CONCEALER: Nars Cream Concealer
CONTOUR: Charlotte Tilbury Instant Face (Bronzer)
BLUSH: No7 Rose Gold Shimmer
HIGHLIGHT: Fenty Beauty / Illamasqua Loose Powder Highlight
BROWS: HD Brow Kit
EYE SHADOWCharlotte Tilbury Instant Face
EYELINER: Primark (can't be all fancy can I now?!)
MASCARA: Maybelline Lash Sensational
LIPS: Nyx Lip Cream in London 

This is me without Fake tan so if I'm tanned, it's obviously lots more bronzer and possibly my Estee Lauder doublewear which is too dark for me naturally. If I'm out at night or for a meal I go for a super dark lip too while the nights are still drawing in early. I am looking forward to Spring through for bright lips and pastel nails.

If you were like the 2-years-ago me and are wanting to experiment and expand your make up range, I'd definitely recommend spending a lot of time online, speaking to the girls in stores such as Boots or House Of Fraser etc and really spend time looking into what you want before spending money. This is the first time in a long time I've felt so confident in myself as a make up artist as well as happy with my current collection. My aim in 2018 is to get back into being an MUA more and to develop my skills as much as I can. I'm even debating doing a few videos for YouTube etc so fingers crossed, watch this space!

Friday, 9 February 2018

January Haul!

So after working 70+ hours a week throughout the majority of November and December on hourly pay and then not having the time to spend any of it, I knew January was a time to treat myself to some new clothes now I've lost weight and a fit bits and pieces to make our house more of a home as we'd really not paid attention to it in the 3 months we'd been there so I did a bit of sale shopping and treated myself/us to a few new goodies...

Ok so it wasn't boxing day but we managed to go shopping between Christmas and New Year over at Cribbs Causeway and I spent a couple of vouchers that I'd received. Helloooooo Piggie goodies in Cath Kidston - just when I thought I'd got every item from the Guinea Pig Range I spotted a 2018 diary! I managed to pick up a candle, 2 note books, diary, land yard and some stationary all for less than £30 - bargains galore. I also had a One For All voucher which I used on a Yankee Candle (which smells amaaaaaazing) and a Ghost perfume gift set from Boots. Both half price in the sale. And of course... voucher or no voucher, Lush had to be on the list too. There wasn't a huge amount of Christmas products left but I managed to pick up a gift set and a couple of single bombs as well as the Once Upon A Time body lotion. 

So I went into a Primark for the first time in a few months and was so excited - but that was short lived as I was so disappointed with their current range. There really wasn't anything that took my fancy. It was a pretty boring shop - you know, the typical, 3 packs of boring knickers, boring socks and tights, black shoes for work etc.. but I did manage to pick up a couple of pairs of cute shoes in the sale for work as well as a floral blouse. I also bagged a couple of really nice, pretty bras in the sale too. 

Just lately, New Look has been my go-to for everything for clothes and shoes and I've loved everything I received. So when the sales hit I placed 3 big orders and got some really good bargains - jumpers for £1 (including a gorgeous cashmere one), dresses for £3 - you name it! But these are a selection of my favourite items that I picked up. There was such a great selection in the sales for both work and casual and managed to get a couple of nice dresses too for the odd occasion I may go out on a Friday or Saturday night for cocktails. 

I got a fair amount from Superdrug including a large Zoella Giftset for £7.50 down from £60 which is great just for every day body items as there was such a variety. I even got the Snowella Perfume for £2 too. But my favourite item that I purchased from Superdrug (and possibly throughout January in general) was this Charcoal toothpaste. I keep seeing them all over social media etc but this was at the tills for just £1.49 so I threw one in my basket when I got to the till. I'm tempted to do a full post on it in itself as it's so amazing, but that's really all you need to know. It's made such a difference to my teeth already in just a couple of weeks - it has no bad taste or texture and is just the same as normal toothpaste apart from it's black! Definitely recommend. 

I did a whole blog post about this incred section of my January haul so I'm not gonna babble on about it now. If you wanna see how I got £300+ worth of make up for £73, go and check it out! 

So yeah... a few treats and good bargains throughout January! 
Is there anything else I need in my life for February? Let me know! 

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Bath Highlights

(Firstly.. AGH. WHY BLOG SPOT? Just wrote this whole post and closed the page.. went back and it's gone. GONE.)

Ok.. deep breaths.. and calm. Let's go again. 


We moved to Somerset back in October and in the last few months I've fallen in love with a local town/city that will forever be one of my favourite places in the world. We went to Bath for the first time in November for my birthday just for a night away. We picked it as it's close and also that there's a Greene King Hotel where we get rooms for half price - win win! I never expected to really like Bath as much as I did and since then, every time we've been back we've found new little areas of Bath that we'd missed the times before. 

We've stayed at the same hotel every time, the Loch Fyne Milson hotel. It's above a Loch Fyne restaurant and it really is just beautiful. The rooms are so homely and comfy and really rather... luxurious. With coffee machines in each room along with baths big enough for a whole family, massive beds with gorgeous cosy bedding and a real homely feel with fires in each room along with the standard hotel amenities such as TVs - it really is one of my favourite hotels in the country - possibly more. It's also in a perfect location as it's right at the top of Bath with stunning views but also very central so you're within walking distance to everything. I would definitely recommend the hotel if you're visiting Bath. 

What I didn't expect about Bath is the amount of drinking and eating places that are surrounding the town. I naively expected it to be quite oldy-worldy with just tourists looking at baths and Abbey's but I was gladly proven wrong. 

The first time we went we found a couple of favourites which we've been back to when we've been back. "Canon" was one of the first places we went for a drink as it was advertising that it sold ales and beers so that was it - Nick was sold. We went in and they had an open mic night with live singers which made it an amazing atmosphere. The drink selection was fantastic too - there was something for everyone! Beers, ales, gins, vodkas, ciders, cocktails.. you name it! We've been back since and it's just a great little place to visit. 

Another favourite is one we found just last week - The WestGate Pub. We only popped in as it was raining, it advertised coffees and it was a Greene King Pub. I walked in and was blown away but how wonderful it looked inside. It was so bright and airy with a great ambiance in the bar area but then when you walk into the main restaurant area it's darker with a real "locals" cosy atmosphere and funky feel. With lots of greenery around the place and a clear colour and feel theme running through, it's a stunning pub. They also have a great drinks menu with some lovely cocktails.. the Pornstar Martini is a must! We went twice in a weekend - once during the day and once in the evening and both times it was totally different. It was really chilled out over the lunch period but on a Friday evening it was busy with great music and lots of people getting into the weekend spirit! 

To finish a night off, 2 for 1 cocktails at a classic place like Slug and Lettuce or Revs is a must - both with great music and great drink selection. Yes you can get both of them in most cities around the UK but let's be honest - there a must for any night out you go on! (If you haven't already - get a Revs card if you're a regular as for £4 you can get 2-4-1 cocktails at any point, discounts on food and more). 

Obviously Bath isn't just good for a night out and eating and drinking and yes, it is of course famously known for it's tourist spots such as the Roman Baths and, my favourite, the Abbey. Absolutely stunning inside and out - a wonderful little area and tourist spot to walk around and a must if you visit Bath itself. You could almost forget you're even in Bath or the UK and imagine yourself somewhere like Rome or Italy with the tourists and the cameras flashing. 

Bath is a great area whether you're looking to be a tourist for the day or just looking for a weekend away with the girls for a few cocktails and nice food. It's so easy to drive to as well with a few different car parks to choose from or of course you can get the Station (and visit the cocktail bar next door to the station on arrival!). It's a lovely town just to have a wander around if you're local like us but have never been.. with little shops, cafes and markets, it really does have something for everyone. 

Bath will definitely be one of my favourite places to visit from here on in. 

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Tam Beauty Sale Haul

I'm blogging - it's a miracle! Blogmas lasted all of 1 post. Work has just been beyond crazy busy while trying to settle in to a new town - but more on that soon! So yes.. Happy New Year! 

My 2018 started pretty epically by bagging over £300 worth of make up from TamBeauty for just £73. Yes.. less than a 3rd of what it was worth. I got a lot of good sales in the boxing day/January sales but these were definitely my favourites. Superdrug had sold out of every Make Up Revolution gift set when I went on to have a look but then I saw that the TamBeauty website had the same gift sets that were a) cheaper, and b) in stock. I only went on to have a nosey to have a look but ended up with a loooooot. 

I managed to get a Make Up Revolution Lip Vault worth £60 with 10 lip kits which was one of the sets I wanted from Superdrug's website. It just looks so slick and organised and even though I won't use all of them, I've enjoyed trying them all out and the ones I know for sure I won't want I've given to one of my girlies. 

I also managed to get the Make Up Revolution Advent Calander which was one of the sets I had my other eye on. It was £20 for £100+ worth of make up including 2 of the Flawless Pallets and the Revoholic contour/highlight kit. 

On the second level there was also the Ultra Pro Glow highlight kit which is beyond beautiful and has already become my staple highlight pallet. There was also a Blush pallet and a Sun Kiss Bronzer. I'm not a massive fan of shimmery bronzers/contours but I used this as an eye shadow and it was lovely to blend into a darker brown on the crease. Also in the same drawer was the banana powder I already use so I know I love it. 

If that wasn't everything, in the bottom drawer there's also a whoooooole set of lovely brushes to use! You've got everything from foundation and face brushes as well as eye and lip brushes too. 

The whole set has everything you could ever need so it's an amazing product for someone either just getting into make up or for a present to someone who already loves make up. The storage box itself is great and will be so handy in my dressing room to keep my favourite Make Up Revolution goodies together. 

There was also a few single products/collections I purchased while I was scrolling through the Tam Beauty website that were just such amazing bargains, I could never resist. 

I got the Lip Ultra Vamp 2017 Kit because I can't say no to a good wintery, dark kit. Even if it is January, I will try and drag out the dark lip for as long as possible. These are great as they have different finishes and different tones so you can match them to the occasion you're getting ready for or just your outfit. Plus for £4, even if I didn't like one, I'm sure a girlfriend would benefit from it. 

I also picked up the ProArtist lipkit from Freedom which I've used most days since it arrived. It's stunning with a great range of colours. It's great over a lipliner or even over a lipstick to make it last longer. It's soft and moisturising too so I've been loving them over a matte lip paint so it's not as dry. Again for approximately a fiver, such a bargain. 

My final goodie was the biggest bargain at just £1.80 - The Dead Are Alive eyeshadow pallet. For whatever reason I actually brought 4 of them - whether it was subconsciously planning girlfriends birthdays in my head or just thought I could keep one for me and one for my MUA kit and keep a couple for friends - who knows! I know I had a lot of MURev eye kits before I brought all these but they are hands down my favourite brands for eye shadows and I turn to these daily - more so than HudaBeauty or Charlotte Tilbury kits that are currently slowly collecting dust. They're easy to blend and lovely colours, particularly for this time of year. 

For less than £75, I really can't complain at bagging all these bargains. Even if I don't use everything in the gift sets, they'll make lovely presents for my girls or even if I pop them in my MUA kit I'm sure someone who I'm doing a make over for will take advantage of them. 

There's still a lot of bargains on the TamBeauty website so I would DEFINITELY have a gander and see what bargains you can get as there's such a variety of products and brands waiting to be picked up super cheap. 

You're welcome ladies ;)