Saturday, 28 September 2013

Keep Calm & De-stress! How To Cope When Life Feels Overwhelming

Saturday, 28 September 2013
Relax. #Cahootsy
All images courtesy of Pinterest

Over the past few weeks, I've been feeling stressed.

So stressed, in fact, the only word that comes to mind when I try to describe the feeling I experienced during this recent period of my life is overwhelm. 

To sum up briefly, I've had to deal with being told I didn't get the job I wanted and tried so hard to get. After attending 4 pre-interviews and a two-week training course, it felt like my efforts had been wasted. I was then bombed with the realisation that I'd owe over £150 a month for my college courses, and obviously, without a job, this was going to be difficult to keep up with. Then, I found out one of my classes had been discontinued, which left me with an even bigger feeling of worry and dread about my future.

It felt like everything was weighing me down, and I needed so desperately to come up above water for a breath of fresh air. Every bit of bad news I received discouraged me further in the belief that things would get better, and I seriously felt like giving up. I guess for a while, I did. I withdrew myself a lot from thinking about tasks I knew I needed to do, isolated myself from friends and family, and even stopped looking after myself. I stopped making time for things I enjoyed and beat myself up for it on a daily basis.

Luckily, I'm slowly coming out of this 'rough patch'. It's only recently that I've finally been able to think rationally and constructively about my 'problems' again, and keep a positive state of mind about any challenges I'm faced with. 

I'm at last learning to be okay with not always being okay. I've learnt that bad moods, whether they last minutes or weeks, don't last. And that horrible feeling of overwhelm and seemingly never-ended stress with life? It doesn't last either. 

We all go through it at some point - it doesn't matter how successful, happy, or self-controlled we think we might be. It doesn't really matter how well put-together your life is- sometimes, even when there is nothing to be exasperated about, we still find ourselves feeling that way - and sometimes we can't explain it!

Sometimes we just have to wait it out. We need to be persistent, of course, and genuinely try to do all we can to better our situation - but at the same time, we need to have faith that things will work out. Most of all, we need to focus on what we can do - what we can do, at that time, to cope with the feeling of overwhelm.

Whilst I was going through it all, it was mostly a case of trial and error with trying to discover what works and what doesn't in helping me feel better. But, I think I've managed to devise a small list of things that were beneficial to me during this time in my life - and hopefully will be for you too!

  1. Give yourself a break
Relaxation <3

This one's a given really, but I think most people underestimate the importance of making time for yourself to unwind and restore your head back to a functional place. Allow yourself to take a break and relax! Not when you 'have the spare time' or are done with everything you need to do. Now. I found that when I was trying to juggle everything at once, multi-task, and get as much as I could done in a day, I actually lost motivation and became more lazy as a result. My brain likely couldn't function with all the tasks and pressure I was throwing at it, and well, shut down. And that almost always leads to an unproductive day - you know yourself you 'can't cope' and therefore don't even try!

I suggest making a list of things you know instantly de-stress you, and cheer you up. For me it's the simple things, like watching a funny Youtube video, or a favourite film. I also like to read quotes that motivate and inspire me, take a long bath, or read in bed. After I do these things, I instantly feel more relaxed and better able to cope with anything that requires my attention. Make this a daily thing too - you need to incorporate it into your routine to reap the benefits! Need ideas? See these 50 ways to take a break.

2. Spend time with people you love

I know, all you ever feel like doing when you're in 'one of those moods' is retreat to your bedroom and not come out for another week. And that's fine to some degree - having alone time is important for your health and wellbeing. But when you make a habit of it, and deliberately shut people out, you're going to end up feeling worse than you did before.

I'm not really sure why this is, but I do know it does a lot of no good. Not only did I not spend as much time talking to my family, I also made minimal effort texting or messaging others online. And then I wondered why I felt so alone and lost.

It's great therapy talking about your problems, and you should never underestimate that. One afternoon I decided to just creep out of my shell, and sit with some family members. Just talk. And surprisingly, I felt loads better after it.

I think it helps give us perspective too, on our problems and others. We may come to realise that others share the same troubles we do, helping us feel less alone and stuck. Others may have been where we are, and are able to offer advice that we really needed to hear. And sometimes, when we see other's problems, we realise just how small ours are.
And sometimes it helps to take your mind off your problems altogether - making plans to do something with your friends that you're genuinely looking forward to and then enjoying those plans will use up all your energy - leaving none left over for negativity!

"If we threw all our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back" -Regina Brett
3. Prioritise
 Monday's Inspirational post - How Refusal Welcomes a Life of Riches

While you're in this emotionally vulnerable and exhausted state, you've got to focus on putting yourself first for a little while - you might be so used to doing things for others and always being there for everyone else that you neglected the most important thing you should be doing. Taking care of yourself! Learn to say 'no' once in a while, and for now, focus on only the things that require your immediate attention. You may be trying to cram so much in your day, that you've lost sight of the bigger picture, and doing much more than what you really need to be doing.

What I do is make a list of things that need to be done that day. I do this in the morning, before I've even attempted to start my day - relying on my memory for important tasks is never the best idea as I'm usually confused and forgetful as to what needs to get done first, then lose track of time and remember that one vital thing last minute before bed!

I'm very careful about my list though - what I think needs doing, isn't always the case. So I prioritise things - sometimes with numbers, so I can work my way down the list and do the most important thing first, or just categorise those tasks. For example:

  Need to do:

  • 1 hour of sociology
  • Psychology homework - prepare for test next week
  • Write blog post
Want to do:
  • Buy new folders for college
  • Give my room a tidy
  • Read university prospectuses
  • Yoga
It helps to add more things to the 'want-to-do' list that you actually enjoy, too - I always find that I'm more eager to begin the tasks once I know there's something I have to look forward to and all the others bits are done with!

4. Think positive


One of the most important things you can do when going through any kind of personal crisis is to change your way of thinking about it. Easier said than done, I know, but you'll be amazed at how much it works! 

There's a reason cognitive behavioural therapy is used for all sorts of treatments to mental illness - anxiety, depression, even eating disorders. The idea behind CBT is that what you think is consequentially what you feel, so if you think "everyone hates me" "I can't do this" "I'm no good at such and such" you will act in accordance to those unhealthy, irrational beliefs. What CBT aims to do is replace those thoughts and beliefs with healthier, rational ones.

I learnt about this mainly in psychology, but have had some experience with it myself in self-help books of all kinds, so decided to implement the techniques into my own life in some way.

Writing down your unhelpful thoughts, recognising them for what they are, and then providing yourself with an alternative 'more rational' belief helps immensely in not only calming you down, but providing you with the confidence that you can cope with whatever life's throwing at you.

For example:
  • I feel bad because I've not started my English homework and am worried i won't be able to do it 
  • I acknowledge that I feel bad because I feel I should be doing my English homework, and am aware that my worry of not being able to do the work is causing me to put it off and procrastinate. I realise that this worry has stemmed from my fear of failing. 
  • Alternative: I need not worry about not starting my work right now, or earlier - it is not absolutely urgent as it is not due for two more days, so I still have plenty of time to complete it. I shouldn't be so hard on myself for this.I also shouldn't be worrying myself so much about not being able to do it, as I have not attempted the work yet or even given it a try, so I cannot possibly know whether I 'won't be able to do it'. It may seem intimidating but as long as I start it and give it a go, that's all that matters, even if I do it wrong (which I'm sure I won't, because I am good at English) as long as I try my best. If I don't do it perfectly, I can always improve and learn from my mistakes. My fear of failing is also unjustified - I usually do well in my work and haven't failed for quite some time, but even if I do, it won't be the end of the world and I will tolerate it. I accept myself regardless of succeeding or failing.

You get the kind of idea - do this for every thought that's worrying you and I promise you'll feel better! Adopting a positive attitude, in my opinion, is the only way to cope with anything without losing your mind.

4. Get moving 
Some times we need a reminder to take a break, breathe and look at other opportunties around you. Keep calm and continue - the best work comes from relaxation and confidence. You can do it. #BrianTracy

The last thing I can add to this list which I think helps immensely in getting you out of your rut is genuinely just moving around and getting out the house! Whilst I was feeling overwhelmed, all I felt like doing was staying in bed everyday. The littlest of things felt like they required so much effort, and so I made the mistake of thinking that not doing anything would make me feel better. Wrong!

When I finally had a reason to leave the house just this week, I felt better immediately. It was difficult trying to push myself to just get ready and go out, but afterwards it seemed all worth it because I felt like I had accomplished important things that day. Plus, I looked loads better because I had made the effort with my appearance - making me feel better about myself!

Even if it's just a workout, or walk outside, make yourself do it. There are tons of health benefits alone to exercise, and I think, because it's something you have control over, allows you to gain control of your life again, and yourself.

I went for a run this afternoon and it put me in a positive spirit for the rest of the day - doing just that one thing, before you attempt anything else, can actually give you the confidence to do other things.

What do you do to help yourself when feeling stressed? I hope this has been of help, and I wish you all a lovely (relaxed!) weekend.

P.S - You may have noticed in my header that my blog has now changed from just beauty and fashion to beauty, fashion AND lifestyle.  I decided it didn't really make much sense to call my blog a 'beauty and fashion' blog when posts like these have been making a more popular appearance, and since I enjoy writing these lifestyle posts so much, more should hopefully follow!


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

My Dress Addiction: Dress #6 Lady In Black

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Hi guys! So I can't believe it's actually been over 3 months since I last posted something new in my Dress Addict series. There is really no excuse for it, I've been a massive slacker and need a massive kick up the backside. But wow, have we come back with a bang!

Looking back at my last dress addict addition, it's more obvious than ever that we're slowly transitioning into a new season. Sunday was officially the first day of Autumn, and just by having a quick browse around in all the high street stores, you can sense a new season of beautiful fashion trends upon us. The photographs in that last post were from July, and you can definitely tell we were in the midst of our summer - blue skies, green grass, and my choice of fashion being a pretty pastel pink lace dress. There was an airiness and innocence about it, a sweetness, like a flower beginning to blossom.

Now we're approaching our new season, and with my birthday month soon following in October (hello fellow Scorpios) I feel like I am ready for Autumn, and Autumn is ready for me. The sudden influx of dark colours, darker nights, and mysteriousness is getting me all excited, and I cannot wait to experiment with all the new fashion trends!

Now, I know what you may be thinking, and my mother thought this too - "isn't a maxi dress with cut-outs a little cold for Autumn?" and yes, you're probably right. However - there is something about this dress that lured me to it, like a moth to a flame, and I just had to have it. I spotted it in the Outfit sale rack on Sunday, after storming in there prior to reading the "buy one get one free on all sale items" sign in the window. I love sales like these, especially so this time because I got a really good bargain - this dress was reduced to £12, and I got a cute mesh bodysuit with it for free!!

In my eyes, this dress is perfect for Autumn. The sensuality, the slinkyness, the black. The perfect combination of sexy and sophisticated. Mystery and allure.  I can't remember the last time a dress made me feel so empowered, but I love it.

And let's be honest - you can never really go wrong with a gorgeous black dress!

Dress Outfit (Miss Selfridge) | Heels New Look

My rating:

What do you guys think of the dress? Have you bought your new Autumn wardrobe yet? What is it about fall fashion you're most looking forward to this year?

For me, it's about being daring. I think this marks the beginning of a new era. And a new Emily!


Friday, 20 September 2013

Miss Friday's Fab Fridays: Highlights From The Past Fortnight

Friday, 20 September 2013

It's Friday, I'm in love!

Hello Stylicias!

Yes, another Friday is finally here, and I've actually managed to get my 'Fab Fridays' out on the day it's supposed to be for a change (yay).

I've had a pretty busy day, even though I haven't even left the house - catching up on college work, short-listing more universities, and booking open days has taken up most of my Friday. Who knew preparation for uni could be so exhausting!

Despite my crazy schedule the past two weeks, I think things are finally starting to calm down once again. After a period of feeling slightly overwhelmed with everything I needed to do, I'm starting to get myself organised, clear my head, and learn how to deal with stress in a more healthy, helpful way that benefits me, not hold me back. And it feels good!

Also, I'm thinking of making these Miss Friday's Fab Friday's a fortnightly thing from now on. I made sure I didn't do one last week, just so I could have time to devote to other kinds of writing instead, but I think I prefer it this way. What do you guys think? Do you prefer the weekly posts? Let me know!

Anyway, here are random things I've loved from the past couple of weeks..

Cute tights - I got these ages ago from Missguided, still love 'em!  This watermelon bra I discovered in Debenhams - I have a bit of an obsession with watermelons lately I think ♥ Finally starting to feel better after my recurring onset of tonsillitis. I definitely take my health for granted sometimes!  My hair care post on getting bleach blonde ombre - I love the new result :-)  Getting through my job interview last Tuesday, and hopefully making a good impression with my smart outfit. I got lots of compliments on the dress and being able to dress like that makes me wish I had a professional job so I could do it on a daily basis!  Just having enough money in my account to enrol at college again and begin my second year. I may be absolutely skint now, but I'm thankful I can at least afford good education, haha  Cosy winter socks ♥ My tutors from last year congratulating me on my results - couldn't have done it without their help either!  These 21 suggestions for success (I genuinely think I am the most enthusiastic, positive person I know!) ♥ Hot pizza delivered to my door (Dominos is the 100% effective cure of all bad days)  Dancing around the room to my ipod with songs that instantly cheer me up  The comfyness of flat shoes - you appreciate this after a day of walking around in heels! #ouch  Laughing fits that make you feel so good afterwards  Hot chocolates on rainy days  My mum giving me her new Blackberry (that she never used) after I unfortunately broke mine. Don't know what I would do without a phone so thank goodness!  Friendly strangers who make small talk on public transport  Long, quiet train journeys  Compliments on my blog lately - hearing that others think it's good and that I write really well makes it all worth it :-)  People who genuinely care when you're upset ♥ Being able to start fresh everyday, no matter what happened the day before or in the past  Being single. I get to be independent, live life the way I want to, and enjoy my own company. I'm fully starting to appreciate it again  The experiences I've had the past few months, good and bad. They've helped me learn, grow, and become more of the person I want to be  Plucking up the courage to show my blog to my mum, and having her praise it. I wrote a full post about this experience here Lazy Saturdays  Window shopping - eyeing up all the new Autumn fashion pieces and adding them to my imaginary wishlist  Warm cups of tea  Finally making a start on my personal statement for uni - I've only outlined a plan so far, but I'm already feeling better about it!  Not getting the job I wanted in the end, but now not having to work on Christmas day or New Years Eve. And no 7am starts!  The cold weather signalling the arrival of upcoming Autumn/Winter months. Cosy jumpers, soft blankets, and movie nights in. Perfect!  Writing a future letter to myself one year from now - this website lets you do it, and you can choose when you'll get it, be it next week or in the next 10 years! And lastly, these tips on how to have a lovely day

What's made your week great? Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend - I'll see you in a fortnight! x

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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The 3 Most Simple (But Overlooked) Blogging Tips: From Mama Friday!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Last weekend, I finally plucked up the courage to do something I'd wanted to do for a while.

Something, which at the very thought of, frightened me, daunted me, and made me feel uneasy in my stomach.

I showed my blog to my mum.

I remember mentioning that I'd started a blog to my mum when I had just started it. I wasn't sure how big it'd grow at the time, or whether I'd even still be continuing it several months down the line, so didn't really see the importance of having her, well, see it.

Over time, my blog has become a pretty personal place. I'm happy to have my friends see it, and anybody else who follows me on social networking sites such as Twitter, but the idea of my family seeing it.. well, it made me cringe!

How could I reveal such a personal part of myself, my identity that I've come to form, to the likes of my parents or siblings? It sounds kind of ironic now, because it seems I'm happy enough sharing random details of my life with you guys, the community, acquaintances  and even strangers. Yet my family, who I share a close bond with, I keep the likes of my blog closed off from - for the most part.

Why is it that I was so scared? Why was I, essentially, so reluctant in revealing the real me to the woman who raised me? Who, to some extent, made me me!

Honestly, I'm still not sure what the answer to this is. It could come down to the fact that, because my blog is something so very personal and important to me, I'm inevitably opening myself up in new ways and exposing myself in a new light to my mother, throwing me in a state of vulnerability. We all seek our parent's approval, after all - I'm allowing her to judge me and my work on this occasion, and I can only hope I've done her proud!

But, mainly, I think the real reason for the 'secrecy' of my blogging passion and desire to keep my blog hidden & unknown to family members stems from my desire for escapism.

Each and every one of us grows up with an 'ascribed' status we develop from the roles we play in our families. I'm a daughter (obviously), a big and little sister, niece, grand-daughter, etc. But with that also comes the personality and identity you've developed within your family circle.

We don't share everything with our families - that's what friends are for. We talk to them about things we don't feel comfortable enough expressing to parents, we go to them for advice about personal matters, and we can generally feel more 'ourselves' around friends than family. There is more freedom in the way we can express ourselves and choose to behave.

And that is why, for me, I've loved having my blog to deviate away from my ascribed family status. I've had that freedom to behave, express, and act in a way that is true to me, without having to worry about what my family will think. I've accustomed an achieved status - i.e, the one I've created for myself. A fashion and beauty blogger!

However, that being said, I decided that because my blog is so valuable to me, and is quite a big part of my life right now, it was probably worth mentioning again. My mum's first reaction was "oh, you're still doing that are you?" then progressively got to "can I see it?" Ah, those dreaded words!

After eventually giving in, I showed it her. It was like stripping a part of myself naked (if that isn't too weird) and the scariest thing was, I could see her reaction right in front of me - usually when people go on my blog, it's online, and I don't see their initial responses to reading it!

It didn't turn out as bad as I had predicted. She actually gave me plenty of positive feedback and compliments, and seemed genuinely impressed.  Hallelujah!

After a lot of chatting that commenced after letting her read it, I suddenly felt an imaginary light bulb flash above my head - I got the idea for this post. I felt like my mum gave me some pretty useful feedback and constructive criticism, so thought it couldn't hurt to share the same kind of ideas with you all..

Even though my mum isn't a blogger, and admittedly doesn't know much at all about the whole industry, I think it can be helpful to hear from an outsider looking in. The people that usually offer blogging tips are members of the blogging community itself, so the advice may actually be a little biased. But for a random reader to offer practical advice, who knows what they'd like to read? Now that's useful!

Never apologise for being you

One of the main things my mum picked up on and her only criticism for me was indeed, the fact I apologise too much! She only read one post to identify this but she was right - I have been guilty far too many times to apologising for things in the middle of my posts, when there really was no need. There are exceptions to this, of course, where you may have been offensive and genuinely owe an apology, but for the things that are beyond your control - resist!

So bottom line, don't apologise when it's not necessary - whether it's because you've been busy and haven't blogged in a while, or feel like you've been too self-indulgent - it can come across as self-deprecating, in my mother's words!

A little humility goes a long way

Contrary to the above point, don't have this 'non-apologising' confused with arrogance. One of the things my mum liked about my blog was the fact that my personality shone through and I apparently seemed likeable, and in her words, "not conceited or big-headed". Keep a level head at all times, whether you have 1000 followers or one. 

She thinks it's "nice for people to see your personality", so be yourself - but the most likeable, respectful, friendly, and approachable version of yourself. A little modesty is always attractive!

Stay congruent with your blog's purpose

This one ties in a little with the last rule, because self-indulgence can be detrimental to your blog's true purpose. What is your blog's purpose? Are you still living up to it? If it's to help others, in any kind of way, make sure you're providng something for your readers. I'm still working through this one, but the more we practice posting content that's congruent with our purpose, the more natural it will come to us in the future.

Give your readers a reason to be there and make them want to stay!

(I elaborate on this point in my post Making It As A New Blogger: The Top 6 Blog Resolutions You Need To Make

So there we have it guys! My mum's rules (or suggestions) on successful blogging. Maybe what they say is true after all.. mums do know best!

What do you guys think? Do your parents know about your blog? If not, why not?

Hope you all enjoyed tonight's post - and enjoy the rest of your week! xx

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Monday, 16 September 2013

How To Clean Your Make-Up Brushes (For Lazy Girls Like Moi)

Monday, 16 September 2013

Hello stylicias, and happy Monday!

Tonight's post is a little last-minute I know, but since I've been trying really hard lately to get myself back into the habit of blogging frequently, I decided I'd better get something out to start the week off. Something is better than nothing after all!

I had to try and think of an idea for this post very quickly and off the top of my head. Something that wouldn't take too long to do, and wouldn't require much planning beforehand. A review? Nope, not unless I want it out by midnight! An outfit of the day? No photos for that as of yet!

Then I reviewed my list of "blog ideas" and remembered one I had been meaning to share for a while. It's very simple, and one I assume that most people know how to do.

Cleaning your make-up brushes!

It's something I've grown to assume that most people, who frequently wear make-up, know the gist of. Yet, saying that, I'm sure there are many people who are wearing make-up out there that have not yet realised it's importance!

I was one of those people. Before I spent a lot of my time reading beauty blogs and looking up make-up application tips on the internet, I had no idea how crucial it was to wash your make-up brushes. And on a regular basis, too!

The lazy girl in me winced at this thought. Ugh. You mean I have to clean my make-up brushes too now? That's such high maintenance. I can barely be bothered to shave my legs when need be (too much information Emily)

But, as I soon found out the hard way, a clean make-up brush set is important, and is vital for clean skin and neat make-up application! For god knows how long I always wondered why my face was a spotty war zone, and now, I think it's no bloody wonder. My face was like a breeding ground for bacteria collected off the dirty make-up brushes I was continuously applying to my face everyday. 

But don't worry - washing your make-up brushes and sponges needn't be a chore. If me, one of the laziest people on the planet when it comes to these things, can manage to do it, then I'm sure you can too. Hell, I'm not gonna lie, sometimes I still don't wash them as much as I should! But, I've come up with a technique that is no fuss and no nonsense. It's quick, doable and easy. Here are the steps to my make-up brush maintenance routine!


Collect all your brushes.

This will sound fairly obvious, but you'd be surprised at how often I forget to include all of my brushes (nearly typed bushes then, woops) when I'm about to give them a clean. Make yourself a checklist if you're very forgetful! 

  • Foundation brush
  • Stippling brush
  • Concealer brush
  • Eyeshadow brush
  • Small shading brush
  • Make-up sponges
  • Powder puffs
  • Powder brush etc.
Throw ones in there that you don't use as frequently, too. Chances are, if they're dirty, they'll need a wash anyway.


Fill a sink basin (or bowl) with warm water.

Then mix the water with a regular hair shampoo of your choice.  I'd use a nice scented one, because I've started doing this recently and now as soon as I put the brush/sponge to my face, I get that instant nice smell of the shampoo all over again. It's heavenly!


Scrub away.

Make sure your hands are clean, and start to really lather the shampoo and water within the the bristles of the brushes. Keep scrubbing until you can visibly see the orange stains of make-up and residue wash away off them, and into the basin of water. Do the same with any sponges, making sure to give them a squeeze! Leave to soak in the water for around 2-3 mins.


Rinse and dry.

After you've let them soak for a few minutes, hold each utensil under the cold tap for a few seconds, to give a final rinse (they've all been sharing a basin of mucky water, so this is important!). Have a towel handy, give each brush a gentle squeeze to rid any excess water, then lay flat on a towel to air dry overnight. 


Repeat weekly.

I know, washing them once a week might seem a bit of a nuisance if you have a busy schedule, but really, it's nothing. I would recommend a weekly brush cleanse especially if you have skin like mine prone to breakouts, but if you're lucky, with enviable skin and don't really wear make-up much anyway, you could get away with once a fortnight.

Still not motivated or convinced you can do it? You might think twice after reading this..

Cleaner brushes have mulitple benefits! Including:

 Clearer skin

♥ Better make-up application (my make-up always looks better after freshly washed brushes)

♥ Helps prevent future breakouts

♥ No more messy palettes (don't you hate it when bits of different coloured eyeshadow merge on the same brush?)

♥ Cleaner, healthier skin in general

And I'm sure there are plenty more!

One last thought - when coming out of the shower, with freshly washed skin, you wouldn't dry your body with a dirty towel you used three weeks ago. Why do the same with your make-up brushes?!

I hope this helped any fellow lazy bums out there - if you have any comments on this article, or would like to share your own tips, submit a reply below!

How often do you wash your make-up brushes? What does your routine consist of?

Thanks for reading and stopping by - have a fantastic week!

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Friday, 13 September 2013

Bleach Blonde Ombre Hair-Care & After-Care: PART THREE!

Friday, 13 September 2013

Goooood evening stylicias!

How are we all doing this Friday? Been a while hasn't it!

Tonight's post is the final part of my ombre haircare series (I know, it's been a wild ride). I've finally made it to the bleach blonde ombre I wanted, and it's definitely taken a while to get there!

My friend did this for me again only about two weeks ago, and if you're new to my ombre hair dying series, you should know that I left a lot of time in between putting the dye's in my hair (we're talking months here) just to prevent a lot of damage, rather than bleaching it all at once and having the nightmare of trying to eliminate the gingerness! 

If you'd like to see how my hair looked freshly ombreyed (yes I made that word up) for the first time, you can read the post here, and for the second stage prior to this one, click here! You may wish to follow the same guideline if you're thinking of going ombre too 

Let's crack on then - keep reading to see how I got this colour and how I maintain it!

  The Dye

For the third part of my dying process, we decided to use something new, but from the same range of L'Oreal Paris, after previously using L'Oreal Preference Wild Ombre in No3. This time the dye was L'Oreal Preference in 04 Lightest Pearl Blonde, and truthfully, my friend just had this lying around her house after never using it! But, since she's like, a pro at bleaching her own hair, I figured I may as well try it - and was quite impressed!
Préférence Les Blondissimes 04 Lightest Pearl Blonde

We were slightly worried at first, because it did seem like the hair was taking a while to lighten (you can usually tell whether a bleach is working whilst it's in the middle of developing on your hair!). This was what my hair looked like during the developing process before I rinsed it out..


But, have no fear - it all worked out well in the end! And, with a little help from my friend's Touch of Silver Brightening Shampoo. She's actually used this on her own blonde hair before, and it really helps to counteract any brassy tones with the lilac (a little like my trusty Lee Stafford conditioner) and I have to say, it really did make all the difference!

TOS014 Twice a week Brightening Spoo 150ML
I applied this to the hair just after first rinsing the dye out, THEN applied the conditioning treatment, and rinsed that out too!

When your hair is wet, it will definitely look a lot darker and not quite as blonde as you'd expect after dying it with this - I honestly, at first, thought it didn't work for this reason! But, once dry, and once straightened (the colour will look darker on curly hair too, for some reason) you could really see the light blonde a lot more, and it looked lovely. :-)

   The Wash Routine

My hair-care routine has actually changed a little since last time, so here's everything you need to know and a list of all the new products I've incorporated!

  • Shampoo - I could actually do with a new shampoo right now because I've sadly ran out of all my old ones, but I've just recently tried Herbal Essences Dazzling Shine and I really like it - smells gorgeous too! I'm also thinking of investing in the Touch of Silver shampoo myself - after the first use of it, I noticed my hair looked a lot more blonder, and since then it's reverted back into a bit of a strawberry blonde!
  • The current deep conditioning treatment/repair mask I'm using is this Umberto Giannini's 'Frizzi' and it is perfect for wild hair like mine! It contains argan oil, which is the newest craze right now it seems, and I always leave on for a few minutes to get my hair looking and feeling it's smoothest.
  • At the moment, I'm also alternating between my Lee Stafford Bleach Blondes Conditioner which I've been using since I first began my ombre hair care (basically does the same thing as the Touch of Silver brightening shampoo, just applied to the ends) and the conditioning treatment included in the box for our Lightest Pearl Blonde hair dye. This conditioner is supposedly a six week treatment for high shine, and is amazing - you know how everyone always says the conditioners included with hair dyes are like 10 times better than normal ones? They're not lying, and this one you get to use over and over again! I love it, it makes my hair feel so soft and gorgeous.

The products you use on your hair after you've washed it are just as important as the products you use whilst you're washing it, in my opinion, so I always take the time to apply these things when I come out the shower! My hair is like a living breathing frizz bomb if I don't, so if your hair is prone to frizz and flyaways, this should be useful to you!

  • I still use Aussie Dual Personality Anti-Frizz + Conditioning Milk which helps to control the frizz and dryness a lot, so is handy for bleached hair as well as curly hair! I try to just use it sparingly on the ends now though, as I have a tendency to go overboard and lather the entirety of my head with it (ending up with greasy roots, mmm)
  • Another new addition I love using right now is Schwarzkopf Got2b Oil-licious Styling Oil. It's also got Argan oil in it, and basically helps 'tame and shine' which is very true - helps tame my flyaways and mad bits, and adds a lovely, lovely shine!
  • And, lastly, I always spritz on a heat protecting spray like Pantene Pro-V Heat Defence Glossy Spray - I've also started blow drying my hair a bit more frequently now, so of course, something to protect my locks from the heat is super important!

    My life-saving, bad-hair-day-preventing tools!

So there we have it - the last and lightest stage of my ombre hair routine! I apologise for the quality of these photos, by the way (ended up using my blackberry). But anyway, I for one am really pleased with the end result, and love having blonder hair in general. I also have a little confession to make - I've been wanting to go fully blonde for ages - but have normally been too scared to take that leap!

I think after this, however, I'm definitely warming to the idea of a 'blonde me' more. Do you guys think I would suit it? That's going to be my next step anyway, but not for a while yet - I'm not quite brave enough at this moment!

Do you guys have any questions about this dye/bleaching process? What do you think of the new hair colour? Let me know and I'll get back to you asap! :-)

Until next time..

Your Ombre Queen x

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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Outfit Of The Day: Let's Talk Business

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Today's post has just brought back a childhood memory of mine from Year 6 of primary school, when I was about 10/11 years old. 

We were on a school trip, to some kind of 'media college', and for our assignments we had to come up with ideas for an advert. The group I was in chose to market a water gun called 'super squirter 3000' (cringey, original, and slightly wrong, I know) and for this product, we had to actually stand in front of a camera and act out our own little commercial. 

The whole thing was quite mortifying, if I'm honest. I really should have taken the hint from there that I was not too fond of being recorded, and not proceed to take drama lessons in high school (why oh why?!)

We all had to decide what would happen in the advert, and who each one of us would act as etc. For some reason, I was the business woman - the one who somehow jumped over the fence in your garden, had all the solutions to your boredom and problems, and there I arrived. I stood there, proud and awkward as a scrawny little school girl could be, with my briefcase and tucked in pencil skirt pulled up way too high over my waist, Simon Cowell style. My opening line began with something along the lines of "Well, madame!"

Why has this outfit brought back memories of this slightly traumatic childhood flashback, you ask? Well, in a sentence, whenever I now dress smart for anything, or throw on a blazer, I instantly feel like that little 11 year old girl again. Except less bad looking.

This whole outfit makes me feel like a business woman, but unlike my year 6 days, in a good way! I actually wore this before a pre-interview, if I can call it that, for a possible job I might be getting. I have my final proper interview this week, in fact, in which I will be dressing even smarter, but for this day, we were told to dress 'smart casual'.

I never really know what that means, 'smart casual'. I tend to just assume it means smart, but not too smart. Comfy, but not so comfortable that you'll put on some trackies and a pair of scruffy uggs. 

Instead of deciding between those two extremes, I chose to meet in the middle somewhere and find the perfect balance. Mix casual with smart! I borrowed this pretty peplum top from my sister with a gorgeous cut-out at the back, since I had absolutely nothing basic but stylish to wear, and paired with simple black leggings (hello casual). 

Now, to make it instantly more smart-looking and pre-interview appropriate, I realised I needed to go shopping, haha. Being on a budget, I discovered this plain black blazer for just £12, and with the help of my mum's Matalan vouchers, got these relatively short black heels for £15. I didn't want any six inch platforms for an interview of course, but these instantly made the outfit look better with little effort. And well, the blazer, what can I say? Blazers make any outfit look smart and sexy! 

Obviously, for a smart yet casual dress code, I didn't want to go overboard with the accessories or colour - a little bit here and there is ideal. That's why I found this top perfect - the necklace is actually attached to the neckline, so I didn't really need to add anything else, and shows off a nice little leopard print with minimal colour!

Blazer George | Top River Island | Leggings Next | Shoes Matalan

So, there we go. Perhaps that day back in school was a preparation for future business woman Emily. Thank god I now have better taste in clothes.

Wish me luck for my interview guys, and have a great week!

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Sunday, 8 September 2013

Miss Friday's Fab Friday's

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Hi guys! How's everybody's week been? It's been a long one, hasn't it? I'm certainly feeling the exhaustion!

Yes, I know I'm doing my Fab Fridays on a Sunday once again, but on Friday I had a friend over for a girly night in so never got round to any blogging business. I feel like my life is a little crazy right now, if I'm honest; I've had my college training course to attend to all week so have had to adjust quickly to the early starts and trying to cram in some extra work when I get home in the afternoons despite feeling tired. I got one scheduled blog post out on Wednesday, at least, but even then I can sense the tumbleweeds and dust collecting on my blog.. it feels deserted on here and I miss you all!

However, I know that I can't just expect visitors without putting in the hard work and actually providing you all with a lot of decent stuff to read. Still, I'm quite sad and frustrated at myself for not making as much of an effort recently as I probably could, so I just hope that I can put that right soon and make a change from here forward to spend more time on my blog and connect with you all as a community. I want to be a part of it again!

So, saying that, there's a few things I'm going to make sure I do over the next month to get myself back in the game. Things are bound to get even busier, especially with my A2 college courses starting soon AND one last job interview next week, but I'm determined to create a sense of balance in my life once again. I'll do this by specifically by:

  • Prioritising the important stuff. Education obviously should come first for me, then blogging, but my social life and unnecessary things might have to take a backseat for some time. Especially because I need to start saving money too!
  • That said, I will make sure I set aside some time each week to just go out and have fun, on a budget of course. Just as important to play hard as it is to work hard!
  • Actually making a conscious effort to connect with you all as a blogging community once again - visit blogs, leave comments, make friends. I've been neglecting this side of it all a lot lately!
  • Keep trying with my blog, commitments, and life in general, no matter how unmotivated I might feel. It will all pay off in the end.

Here's my list of positive things, highlights, and all things nice from the past week..

Being in bed on rainy days. There is a good side to the transition into Autumn after all  Finally finishing my training course and getting my NVQ in hospitality - now that leaves more time for other things (and lie-ins, how I've missed them!)  Eating Ben & Jerry's straight out the tub  Meeting lots of awesome people and making new friends over the past fortnight  Domino's online deals - free garlic bread with any large pizza? Yes please  Laughing for 5 minutes straight over ridiculous inside jokes with my best friend 'vanilla' 'but why?!'  Getting smart new interview clothes for next week. If I look the part, I'll feel the part  Little black dresses - so pretty, so simple!  Beating my personal best for jogging - I've finally hit the 3 mile mark! The sweat and sore feet was so worth it ♥ Embracing my natural curls from time to time  Having my room to myself for a whole 9 days while my sister enjoys a holiday in Tenerife  Having a tidy room in general. It takes me ages to get round to it but after it's nice and clean I love it  Finally getting somewhere with my sociology course and managing a bit of work everyday. Baby steps!  The Devil Wears Prada being on E4 Thursday night. I never get tired of that movie  Being told I look like Audrey Hepburn because of the way I sit (best compliment ever or what?)  Subway cookies  Lace heels  Trying on dream outfits in changing rooms that I can't afford  Finding a tenner on the floor in Tesco! Been a lucky day  Cushions that look like knitted jumpers, perfect for winter  Inviting beds 

And finally, this quote..
 "The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed" - Ernest Hemingway 
What's been one nice thing that's somebody's done for you this week that you might have took for granted? No matter how bad a week you might have had, if you can look for at least one positive thing, it makes all the difference!

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend - put your feet up and enjoy your Sunday! ☺

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