Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Papaw Ointment




When I went on my travels, I wanted to make sure I kept up blogging by trying different beauty products from around the world. From shampoos made from plants, to moisturisers made from coco beans, I still hadn't found the product that I would want to import and use for the rest of time. That is until now.

Australia being a very western country has a plethora of beauty products. I wish I could have tried more but my backpacker budget didn't allow me too! One affordable item I could purchase was this Lucas Papaw ointment. This $6 cult product that all Aussies have in their handbag, is this little multipurpose wonder balm.


Made from papaya extract, this natural balm is great for everything, and I have used it for a multitude of issues.
Number one mainly being for cracked lips. I always find muti purpose items like this are a great alternative to lip balm. This one isn't tacky and doesn't really taste of much which means it stays on for a long time! I can put it on before bed and still feel it on there by morning time.

Secondly, it is great for any little cuts. Although I think its meant to be pronounced pa-paw, my boyfriend and I have lovingly called it 'paw paw which is great for sore sores'. That's a bit gross and cutesy sorry.
But in all seriousness, this balm keeps moisture and bacteria out, and allows any wound to dry up and heal itself.

And one thing that I think papaw really excelled at curing? Bites!
One thing that you never see on the #wonderlust instagram posts is bright red bites all over your body which are sadly a hard reality of travelling. Not only have I been bitten by mosquitos, I had the horrible experience of being bitten by bed buds in one particular hostel (not at all glamorous!)
I went to the shops to buy a multitude of anti itch creams to sooth my crazily itchy bed bug bites, however the thing that worked best was my paw paw! hurrah!

I understand that we have Pawpaw in the UK now which is great, although I would fly to Aus again for more of this miracle cream!

Sunday, 1 January 2017

New Years Resolutions for 2017

I have said it once, and I will say it again. I LOVE New Years. Not just because it is the perfect full stop to a party riddled season of over eating and gifts, but because I always become really reminiscent about my year and I think it is healthy to have a point where you start a new chapter with new goals.

2016 for me was a transition period. I finished the huge one year travelling trip I always wanted to do, and had to adjust back into reality. Just in the last half of 2016, I had already forced myself to try new things, such as moving up to London and trying to find myself a career path . Mostly, I had to get into the mind set of trying to start being a proper adult (about time as I'll be 26 by the end of this month)

I never try and set myself unrealistic goals, but that being said, I always do try and give my self a challenge. I like to set myself lots of small manageable goals rather than one big one, and I try and spread them across different aspects for my life, so without further ado, here are my New Years Resolutions for 2017.

Beauty

Now this may seem like a silly or 'vain' goal, however it is something that has recently taken over my life a bit recently so I want to sort it out ASAP. I have never had problems with my skin as a teenager apart from the odd pimple here and there, but recently, I find every morning when I wake up my first reflex is to check my face for anymore spots. I don't know why I have suddenly developed some kind of adulthood acne, but it is something I really want to sort out soon, as it is affecting my confidence and I find I can't leave the house without makeup on, which is a stark contrast to when I was away travelling and went a year without a speck of foundation.
I don't know whether I need some more of that sweet Vitamin D to restore it, or perhaps some dietary changes, but it is something I want to fix soon so I can start the year feeling good about myself.

Health


This kind of brings me onto my next point of healthy living. Now if healthier living hasn't been the golden New Years Res of all time, then I don't know what is. Everyone becomes a gym bunny in the new year with hopes and expectations of shedding pounds and all that Christmas weight. Unfortunately I have never been one of those people who enjoys healthy eating and exercise. Believe me, I would love to get addicted to going to the gym, but I just get no pleasure out of it whatsoever. That being said, I'm not going to set myself an unrealistic goal that will only disappoint me in the future, so rather than giving myself a set weight I want to lose, I just want to set the goal of being comfortable in my own skin. If I could put on a bikini and feel confident, that would make me really happy. It's not that I really want to lose weight either, I just want to eat better to reflect in other areas (such as my skin!), and I should probably drink more water too.

Career



As I said above, I have already started to get myself on the career path, however I am still slightly unsure of what I definitely want to do and feel I still need to try out a few more things before I dive in head first. I know that I want to work within beauty for certain, however which part of it, I'm still not entirely sure. Over the next few week I will be looking at more internships so start of my New Year, but by the end of 2017, I'd love to be earning a wage, in the job I can see myself staying in for a long time.

Blogging


Although I will be on the hunt for my dream job, I really above all else want to keep blogging. I really do love doing it, and if I could forge a career out of it then that would be a dream come true. However, blogging is such a competitive world now, and you really have to stand out to get noticed. That being said, I am more than happy with where my blog is at, however I would love for it to develop more. I'm not saying by this time next year I want to be the next Zoella, however I will be setting myself small manageable goals to improve. I think I will have a bit of a blog redesign as I feel at the moment it looks a bit shabby, and I would love to grow my social media following especially on Instagram as I struggle so hard to grow that as I don't think I have the sleek blogging theme and it is not a very attractive feed (https://www.instagram.com/whatalooker/ go follow now, shameless plug). So expect a more chic and polished What A Looker in 2017.

Charity



There are a couple of things I would like to do for charity this year. The first thing that I will absolutely be doing is donating my hair to a Cancer or hair loss charity. My hair literally grows thick and fast, and I don't really like my hair long but have persevered as donating it is something I really want to do. With my Mum having chemotherapy and losing her hair, it made me realise how something we take for granted everyday can mean so much to you. My Mum has often felt really ugly without her hair, and although she is rocking a Natalie Portman style buzz cut, I know her confidence won't fully be restored until it is at least shoulder length.
Now her hair is growing back, I am in the clear for being able to cut mine, as she is becoming less precious about my hair.
Another thing I would love to do is to help the elderly more. This requires a bit more time, and with being on the job hunt it is something I can't fully commit to doing at the moment, but once I have a normal schedule, I would love to start visiting care homes or seeing older people, as I have always had a soft spot for the elderly and hate the idea of someone being alone. The charity 'Silver Line' allows an older person to call you in order to have a conversation which I would like to do, however I think I would rather see someone face to face to truly get to know them.
In the future I would also like to open my home to a lonely elderly person at Christmas.

Hair Donation Links

(these are only for UK residents)

Travel



Finally is travel, and as I said earlier, I had my fair share of travelling last year when I visited nine countries over the space of a year. I absolutely loved the experience, however it took me travelling to the other side of the world to appreciate what I have right on my doorstep. By no means do I want to go on a globe trotting tour like that (for now), but this year I would love to see more of Europe, and even the UK. The great thing about a stay-cation is that you can do them little and often. You don't have to book off a whole week at work as you could go on a long weekend jaunt or even just an overnight stay. They are also much cheaper as the UK is so tiny in comparison to the rest of the world, you can pretty much drive to wherever you want to go without having to dig out your passport.
I have shamefully never been up to Scotland, or ever been to Ireland even though I have blood relatives from those places, so 2017 I want to see a bit more of my homeland, as they do say 'Home is Where The Heart Is'. I have started to curate a Pinterest board for some places I'd like to see so feel free to pop over there if you're looking for some UK weekend retreat ideas or even a little Eurotrip.


If you have any suggestions/ hints/ ideas or just want to share your resolutions I'd love to hear!
But I'd like to say thank you for reading and continuing to support my blog, and I wish you a healthy, prosperous and happy 2017.


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Get Ready With Me: Royal Variety Show Using Smashbox 'Light It Up Set'

This time last week, I was lucky enough to attend the Royal Variety Performance 2016.
My super boyfriend is a Graphic Designer and worked on the tickets, brochure and other huge center pieces that go into the evening. Due to his hard work, he was able to nab tickets to the show and the after party, AND with a plus one. Yey for me!

It was such an amazing evening. The show was at the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo, and on entering the champagne reception I knew it would be a special evening. I got to see various comedians as well as David Walliams who was the host. Performing were amazing artists such as Robbie Williams, Emeli Sande, Gary Barlow, Sting, and my absolute favourite of the evening, Lady Gaga. There were also scenes from some amazing musicals on the West End, dance performances and magicians. It really was spectacular, and I am so grateful that I was able to go.



The after party was so much fun. Hosted at The Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair, we were rubbing shoulders with celebrities (namely the Chuckle Brothers!) and were serveda huge four course dinner with bottomless wine. This is a lifestyle I could get used to. The Evening was also sponsored by BMW so there were loads of cool cars outside including an old bat mobil. One of my boyfriends jobs was to make a huge timeline for the Royal Variety and also BMW, as well as designing the large stickers that went on the sides of the cars.




Proud!


Best Moment of my life!
The Royal Variety show is a very special evening, so a nice dress and immaculate hair and makeup was a must. After all, I was in the presence of Royalty (unfortunately Harry was unavailable, so it was Charles and Camilla), so here is how I did makeup for the evening.

I bought this 'Smashbox Light It Up' set in Boots a few weeks ago which is worth about £70. It contains all the Smashbox best selling products and I thought for the price of £35, it would be a great way to explore the brand as I have never tried any makeup from them before.
The set contains the primer, mascara, a lipstick, highlighter and kohl pencil.



Because I was doing quite a bold eye look, I did them first so I could clear up any drop down later on.
I patted on some concealer over my eyes so the makeup had something to sit on, and then went in with this palette.


A friend gave this to me a while ago and I have been dying to use it. The Nude'tude Palette by 'The Balm' has a mix of warm and glittery eyeshadows, perfect for the look I wanted to create.


I started with 'Sultry' as the base, and used 'Sophisticated' to smoke in the the outer corners and crease. As that started to build, I also went in with 'Silly' to really darken the outer corners and give that extra smokey effect.
Finally I used the light pink shimmer shade 'Standoffish' in the inner corners to brighten up that area.


It is worth mentioning that I have never properly invested in good eye shadow brushes but my friend (the same one who gave me the palette- shes so good to me) told me about these really cheap brushes online. This set of gorgeous rose gold brushes cost about £2.00 on Amazon and they are really good quality! Worth a look if like me, you'd rather spend your money on the makeup not the tools.


Next, I used the Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Pencil in 'Raven', to go around my water line and smoked that out to finish of the look, and then I used my Lancome Grandiose Liquid Eyeliner for a classic flick, and a lick of the Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara which I LOVE.


The wand is really chunky so allows you t really coat every lash and open up the eyes.

So here was the finished look.





Next was my skin, and I needed something that was going to last me till the early hours of the morning.
To start of, I used the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer which makes your skin feel flawlessly smooth. I know a lot of people don't like that siliconey finish you get with primers, but I find they do work the best, and this primer does have that texture to it.


After my skin was prepped and primed, I went in to use my foundation.
I used my Kat Von D Lock it foundation which is soooooo gooooood.
I will probably do a whole post on this foundation as its so great, but it is really full coverage, long lasting, and I also got it in a warmer tone as the shades can go really, REALLY pale. This shade is Light  47 Nuetral which is probably a fraction too dark for me in winter, but as I fake tanned for the occasion I thought this would blend in more seamlessly.


I buffed this on and then used another layer of 'Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer' to cover my dark circles. I then used my Hourglass Blusher, and the Ambient lighting powder to add some shimmer.


Next was highlighter to add some more glam glow, and the Smashbox L.A Lights highlighter stick is so damn pretty. This gold shimmer shade is called 'Hollywood and Highlight'  and I think it is my favourite highlighter at the moment as it looks so natural but is really obvious too if you know what I mean?



I popped this on my cheek bones and then finished everything off with the final product from the set. A real red carpet worthy Hollywood red 'Be Legendary 'Lipstick' in the best selling shade 'Get Fired'


So here is the finished look! This would also work perfectly for any upcoming Christmas dos as you can never go wrong with a classic look like this.



I hope you enjoyed this post and also my pictures from the evening!

Oh and my dress was from ASOS!


Monday, 12 December 2016

12 Days Of Christmas Nail Art

It is nearly Christmas!!!
On the 1st of December I decided to embark on a nail art challenge. The 12 days of Christmas nail art challenge. Although traditionally the 12 days of Christmas is meant to start on Christmas day, I thought I needed something festive to make that big day come quicker!

I won't lie, I had every intention of getting on top of it and prepping some super nail art before, but as per usual, life got in the way and I didn't post everyday on time. Admittedly, some of them I probably could have done better, but between living between two places, not having all the right equipment and having the busiest week at work along with a really crappy cold, it has been a bit hard.

However I persevered as I really wanted to deliver on my promise,
So without further ado, here are my 12 days of Christmas nails!


A Partridge in a Pear Tree.



Two Turtles Doves


Three French Hens


Four Calling Birds


Five Gold Rings


Six Geese a Laying


Seven Swans a Swimming


Eight Maids a Milking



Nine Ladies Dancing


Ten Lords a Leaping


Eleven Pipers Piping


Twelve Drummers Drumming

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Pixi Glow Tonic

A few years ago, when I was first getting Glossybox and Birchbox, I always remember Pixi being a brand that would pop up occasionally. Fast forward a few years now, and that mint green packaging can be seen everywhere, as it is a largely recognised brand in the beauty world.

Not only this, but one product in particular has even reached cult staple among beauty editors and bloggers, and that product is Glow Tonic.




This product is so exclusive, it can only be bought online, or in Liberty London.
As soon as I hear about anything being a cult favourite, I always jump at the opportunity to find it, because, well, it's got to be good surely?

Thankfully, working up in London, Liberty wasn't too far for me to go to get this product, so I strolled in one day and picked one up out of the large tubs they had displaying them.
For £18, this isn't the cheapest tonic on the market, but it is also not the most expensive, and with ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Ginsing, and a little glycolic acid, I knew I was investing into some ingredients that my skin really loved and thrived off.

Or so I thought.

From day 1 of using the tonic, I was getting the largest spots I've ever had in my life, all over my forehead and between my brows. I thought maybe as it's an exfoliation product, that perhoaps this was the products way of getting my skin to remove impurities? As I thought that, I proceeded to carry on using the tonic twice a day, however the spots were not reducing, and where actually getting really painful, to the point where I though I was getting a headache to find it was just the spots throbbing on my head.

I cut down using it to once a day, but still, the spots wouldn't go, until I finally gave it up to give my skin a rest. For a few weeks, the spots remained but were going down. 

Even though I am mid twenties and have never suffered from acne as a teen, I do think I have developed more problematic skin in my adult life, so I can't blame all my spots on this product, however I never usually break out on my forehead, in fact I break out everywhere else APART from my forehead, so it did seem strange to me that this product was only affecting my head.

A few weeks passed, and I saw the tonic sitting there, and I thought I would give it another try. As I said earlier, the ingredients have been ones that have really helped my skin in the past, such as Ginsing which is the main ingredient in my Origins moisturiser which I would rate as my favourite moisturiser. Aloe vera which has always helped soothe and quench my dehydrated skin and seen me through many a sunburn whilst travelling, and also Glycolic, which is in the Ren Glycolactic mask which has never irritated me before.

Perhaps I had been hormonal the first time round and that is why I broke out so bad? Maybe I didn't persevere with it long enough to see the full benefits? Maybe it was actually another product I was using in conjunction with it?

With all this going through my mind, I wiped on the tonic with real commitment. The smell is so gentle and floral, it reminded me of rose which is such a soothing ingredient, so surely this would be just as gentle? I was using only my basic skincare as my skin had become so horrendous, and I had been dabbling with new skincare so wanted to strip back to what I knew worked for me so I could find the root of the problem.
I cleansed with my trusty Caudalie cleansing milk, and was moisturing with my Green People 24 hour vit fix. Two very natural products that my skin drinks up, and nothing else.

Sure enough, the next day, I woke up to a throbbing pain on my head, and yes you guessed it, I looked in the mirror to find a huge, under the skin spot, pretty much in exactly the same place as before.

I think it is fair to say that this tonic is not for me at all. In fact, this product is the first product to actually give me a noticeably bad reaction. I am really dissapointed about it as I really wanted to love this product. Having sensitive skin, I loved the idea of a gentle exfoliater using fruity enzymes so I didn't have to use a scrub. The ingredients sounded delicious and I also think it just looks like a really luxurious product to have on your dressing table.

There are other products from Pixi that I would really like to try such as the cleansing balm, or even from the glow range the glow mud cleanser and the glow mask. 
Due to my reaction from this product though, I am a little apprehensive.

I would love to know why I had such a bad reaction to this product, as my friend who has very similar skin to myself gets on really well with this product, so she is now the owner of my barely used bottle.

Have you tried this product? If so let me know your thoughts on it, or if you know of a similar product, I'd love to try it out!

Sorry this was a long one!
If you want to read about any of the other products mentioned in this post I have left links to my reviews when you click on them.