I've sat through many talks about body positivity and have various mental health qualifications. I am beyond happy that we can now all see that a normal body is ANY body. I'm glad we can all see that the women in Vogue are photoshopped and not real, and we can spot if someone's got a filter on their face. Does that mean we should call them out for it and tell them to be happy with what they have? Well no not really. It's come to the point of seeing tweets or stories where people feel that they're not allowed to feel bad about themselves, that wearing a filter because they want to is a making someone else feel bad, like THAT'S the crime here. 

It seems like nothing, because of the thousand 'it's ok not to be ok' messages we see daily. It's great, but I think people assume that that's all it takes to be positive, a little positivity thrown your way. Telling me my legs look great doesn't mean I'll stop hating them instantly. I wouldn't dare moan about them to anyone because I'll have some unwanted positivity thrown in my face and I'll feel worse for hating them than how I felt originally. Does that make any sense, I feel like it doesn't. But anyway...

I see so many people saying that they are confident in whatever body they're in to wear a bikini or that they don't want to go to the gym. That is amazing and I'm all for it. But there people who ARE wanting to change and AREN'T happy with themselves, so stop making them feel bad for wanting to change. 

 If Sally wants to lose 3 pounds because she feels uncomfortable, say "Sally that's great, go for it" not "Sally don't do it you don't need to" because it's empty words and Sally doesn't want them. The same with nose jobs or lip fillers, breast enlargements and hair removal. We're all for people doing what they want with their own bodies, so if they want to change them, let them change them. Here's a poem to help: If you're happy with your body then that's great for you, but some people aren't and that's ok too. Great isn't it.











Every Sunday night you'll find me on my laptop searching for holidays I can't afford. We've booked one though, a bargain price in a hotel location. Bring on July! I thought I'd kick off my summer travel series with a look in my suitcase at the skincare products I take with me on my journeys. My suitcase itself is from American Tourister and the colour matches my car perfectly (who doesn't love pink?). It's a cabin case, but big enough that it'll be my only one for my trips this year as with two sections, I can cram literally everything in. It's perfect. 

Let's start with the basics. I cannot live without my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. The only thing I use that makes me feel completely clean and soft, and gets rid of eye makeup without making them sore too. If I'm having a pamper night, I'll use this mini bottle of Glam Glow's Gravitymud firming mask, and wipe it off using the Image cleaning wipes. Then I'll slap on some LanoLips Lip ointment (can be used anywhere) because no matter what time of year, my lips will be dry.  At this point I like to use my jade roller just to go over my face. As we all know I have no idea what I'm actually doing here and mostly roll for fun. 

Anyway, my current moisturizer is the Bioderma soothing cream and let me tell you does this stuff sooth. It's beyond rich and thick enough to feel a different but not stay sticky on your skin. I am loving it right now and can't image a day without using it. I've forgone makeup primers too just because I didn't feel the need after using this. 10/10. As it's summer (apparently), I'm trying to add more SPF into my routine, so a quick mist of the Bioderma Moisturising anti-uv mist is fab. Plus it's cooling on the face on a really hot (and sticky) day. For any extra dry bits, I'll add a little of the Neil's Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm before makeup or anything as I find this, plus moisturiser, really helps for foundation to glide over and last longer on problem areas.

Lastly, body skin wise, I love using this mini bottle of the L'Occitane shower oil as there's nothing like smooth skin after shaving to help you feel fab in the summer. Plus is smells great too. Before I head out, my go to sun cream is the Bioderma 50+ sun mist. I know I won't tan, so why bother with it when I can add extra SPF, save my skin and just fake it later on?

Have a great summer all x

*Some of the products featured in this post were gifted/samples. All views are my own and this post is not sponsored. 













I've never thought to experience London with no plan at all. I'm always rushing to a place, or home from a place, and never wanted to stay in the busy streets a minute longer than I need to. I've been to Liverpool Street hundreds of times, so when Point A Hotels offered me a night at their LP Street location, I thought it was a fab idea. 

Head down a little side street just off of the main road and you will find the hotel quietly sitting there with only a sign to tell you where it is. Very modern and warm, we walked into the foyer and was given our key card and breakfast vouchers within a minute. As I don't do lifts, I walked up to the second floor to see that on the landing of the first was an ironing room, complete with boards and hangers, which was a 10/10 start for details. The corridors were dark, "fancy" as I put it. We walked to our room and opened the door to a bright room with a huge window overlooking the gardens. 

The room was smaller than expected although this was never an issue. It came with towels, shampoo/hand wash and a TV. There's a small desk that's a shelving unit until you pull it down and out, and a few round hooks on the wall. The curtains were black out so the minute we got in, the blinds were shut and the mood lighting was our entertainment for 10 minutes. Everything was touch screen, from the lights to the air con. For being modern and a tech lover, I'd give it a 10/10 for that. 

Cleanliness wise I'd give it an 8/10. The minute I walked in I spotted a few hairs on the pillows, and it was just a slight put off as there were no extra ones available in the room. The drains started to smell around 10pm also, but I doubt that's avoidable or the staff's fault at all. 

I know Liverpool Street quite well, so after a day out and traveling, we decided to forget the planned pub and meal, and grabbed a few bits from the shop and had a very romantic dinner in bed. 

Breakfast was continental, from 8-11AM. Loads of different cereals, pastries and fruit on offer, and fresh juices too. I think you had to pay for the teas and coffees, although I'm not sure as we didn't have to hand our vouchers in so, who knows, hot drinks may have been included after all. I opted for my usual bran flakes with an apple juice and a pesto and basil pastry. We sat in the garden to eat, which consisted of a sheltered decking area, with a ramp leading to the larger part of the garden, with as many plants as you can count and an even bigger decking section. 

We checked out at 11 which is a great time actually. Overall we had a great stay, and would definitely stay again. The hotel would be perfect for someone on a night out in the area, as there are tonnes of bars, pubs and restaurants, and being right next to shoreditch, it's a perfect location really. 


This stay was kindly gifted by Point A hotels and the post a result of the collaboration. All views are my own. 




Of course the answer to the question is relative. Where have you bought it from? How good of a dupe is it? If it wasn't a dupe, would you buy it just because you liked it anyway? Dupe culture has risen in the past few years, with designer good being the way forward, and the national living wage not quite up to speed. I myself could never afford to splash hundreds or thousands on a piece of clothing, so I also head to the interwebs to see what I can find.

A prime example is this dress. Beautiful in it's own right. It has sat in my wardrobe for over a year for the fear it being far too OTT for drinks at the pub. I'm past that now, since putting it on twice in a week and falling back in love with it like I did the minute I opened it. It's a Zimmermann dupe, the Zimmermann's of which are not cheap. This dress is a near exact copy and to refer back to the earlier questions, yes I would have bought it even if I didn't know what it was meant to be. The dress, to me, is fabulous quality too, so a more premium dupe if you were. I really want to do a full post on where I pick out these dresses etc, so for now I shall keep it under wraps (but my dms are always open for secret telling). 

I paired the dress the first time with a pair of (duped may I add) Chanel looking mules, the ones with the pearl on the heel. For this summery day you see before you, a pair of Primark's submission for the black strappy heel we're seeing everywhere. Stick on a pearl hair clip and grab your personalised Abbott Lyon (gifted) bag and you'll feel 100 quid, or at least I did. 

High end looks at high street prices.






It's officially spring, by name and possibly not by nature. Outcome the mini skirt and heeled sandles and the bulky knits are banished to our lofts once again. This year I really feel like I know what I want to wear, and the key staple pieces I need to buy.

Midi dresses and skirts
These *hopefully* will never leave us. A flowy skirt in the June winds is a beauty, and paired with both a thin roll neck on the colder days or a strappy cami in the sun, they are a must.

Woven and wooden
As many may know, stilettos are not for me, mainly because I can't walk, and remind myself of a goat when trying. Thicker, shorter heels are a-go. These Miss Selfridge ones are hitting all the trends with the wooden heel and woven material. LOVE.

Floral
Flowers.. for Spring? Groundbreaking. But it's true. A classic. That is all.

Beige.
Obviously.

Gingham
Oh my have I been won over on this one. Imagine year 9 Katie, sitting behind a sewing machine in the tech room, swearing blind she'll never touch another piece of gingham once she's done making her pink pyjamas. What is it, like 7 years later? Here we are. I love it. It's been the only thing I've searched for recently. I want it all (and by all I mean the yellows and beiges, obviously). 

A non extensive list. There will be more. There's always more. 


Photography by Stacey White Photography









 

I've grown a tad faster on the old Instagram recently than I have done ever done before. I thought about doing a few stories to introduce myself to everyone new but remember that I'm boring and no one will listen. So I'm writing it instead. As boring, but I can reduce the rambles.

I'm 22 and a half, an Essex girl with a Fiat 500 who enjoys a vanilla iced latte every so often. I have a minimal amount of friends and intend to keep it so (or unintentionally, who knows). My house is often called a farm as my mother is obsessed, and I put the milk in first when making a cup of tea. My boyfriend of a year or so is wonderful and knows not to ask me to cook, because I simply cannot.

I work in a school, my school, as a teaching assistant with students with special ed needs. They're great. I am a qualified Thrive Practitioner and one of the school's three mental health 'champions' and mental health 'first aiders'. I am studying for my Business and Marketing degree part time, at the University of Essex.

I have a great jawline from my father, and a great big gob from my mother. Joke. Said mother recently overcame the big C word, as did my father many years before. Different C, different treatments, equally as daunting for me at 20, as it was at 13. I have the worst anxiety I've ever had. I no longer use the tube unless it's past 9pm and an Uber home would cost more than £25.

I like all things beige. Nudes and creams are wonderful basics, and pearls and lace are always in.

And that's really it. Thanks for reading. Milky tea anyone?

Photos by Stacy White Photography










April. The sun has officially come (and nearly gone again) and the winter candles are swapped for bright fresh flowers. I think it's time for this months new ins and very loved products.

Skincare:

A few new in products from the labs at No7.  I'm a sucker for anything that tells me I'll look younger (at 22) so this firming cream sounds good, and my mum has put her name down on the dark circle one already. If they're decent, you'll know next month (or whenever I write the next BE, unpredictable).

Image skincare is a new brand for me, and one you'd be more likely to find at a spa. I headed down to one of their product launches and with a very intimate (5 of us!) talk from one of the leading faces of the brand, I learned just how much I needed, and what everyone else was already loving. I have a shopping list ready to go. I was kindly gifted the wipes and face mask and was told to use the wipes to take OFF the mask. Can you believe it. What an idea. The mask doesn't dry all horrid and flakey either and the wipes are WET. Very nice, yes.

As a Dermalogica 'Skinfluencer', I'm sent various products every now and then to try out. Recently I was sent their new Prisma Protect cream that I used before one of their primers that I LOVE and so far I've had a few compliments on my skin already. A smooth base is your first goal to happy makeup. 

Makeup:

My current, and long time favourites. The cheap and very cheerful Makeup Revolution Foundation is one I cannot stop shouting about. I've stopped using my Nars and wasn't too sad when my Urban Decay one ran out because I had this to fall back on. And fall back I'll be doing as it is WONDERFUL. My number one drugstore foundation for sure, and maybe number 1 or 2 with that UD one in the mix. I love it. Buy it. You need it (probs not).
Eyes wise, I cannot get enough of the Better than Sex mascara by Too Faced. There is no other like it. I've been through tubes and tubes and when I received a little one in a gift set at Christmas, I was very happy. The Kiko eyeliner is literal perfection for small lines upon the lid and a small (or large, whatever) wing too. The only one I could ever use and actually flick with. It's magic, basically. *Paid for myself.

A place to go...

An avid Duck & Dry fan, when I was invited down to their new Primark Duck & Dry Express, I was thrilled. My booking was at a different time to what it should have been, but nevertheless I sat patiently for my new time. Still asked to wait after the time had passed, I overheard the manager (I assume?) tell the eyebrow lady to do hers next (perks of the job ay). I finally sat down and and kindly said to eyebrower that they didn't really need shaping, just a clear up of the extra hairs around the side. She told me to stop speaking and that she was a professional and will do what she needs to do. First eyebrow down after what seemed like 10-15 minutes (legit). She added a bit of pencil in the gaps and all was well. She then started on the left brow and did. not. stop. I have never been in so much pain on my face. I'm used to threading and waxing, but she would thread and rethread and over again of the same spot until I was bleeding. After a while I hear "there's nothing there" "it's so thin". Let me tell you; I have NEVER had thin eyebrows in my life. I came out of the womb with big fluffy brows and they are a staple on my face. To hear the word 'thin' made my stomach turn. Yet she carried on. Plucking and plucking with her tweezers like there was no tomorrow. 

Below is the photo I sent to a few pals once I'd properly seen what she had done. After filling in the left one and showing me a mirror, I could have cried. When she said my eyebrows were "too close together" I thought she'd thread the middle bit and be done with it, as that has never been said before. But mrs 'professional semi permanent tattoo brow artist' had literally made one a few cm higher than the other. The photo shows the height difference but not the thinness of the left brow. Once I'd got home I took the brow pencil off and was left with an eyebrow half the thickness of the other. Just after it was done I went to lunch with my cousin and even HE pointed it out. I was, and still am, horrified. A week later and the little hairs are starting to grow back, but far higher than my eyebrow (where they're actually meant to be) which means I'll have a gap between what I've got, and what is now growing.

Before: BUSHY EYEBROWS WITH A NATURAL ARCH

After: UNSEEN THINNESS OF LEFT BROW AND MUCH HIGHER THAN THE RIGHT ONE

My friends asked if it was permanent, and were mortified that someone could claim they were a professional and tell me not to tell her what needs doing, could do that. I'd understand if I'd have paid £2 on a stall in a shopping center, or I was one of her first customers but not this. I haven't spoken to anyone at Duck and Dry about it yet, purley because I love the brand so much. And on that note, I'll be a tad calmer and tell you about the hairstyle I was also given...

When I finished my brows, I was then asked to wait even longer as only one hair stylist was working. By the time I had gotten on the hair chair, I'd been there for a good hour and a half and still hadn't had my second treatment. I asked the hairstylist for something curly and with volume, which he delivered in around 10 minutes. I absolutely loved the style and am gutted that I didn't get his name. The staff at the express were lovely in themselves mostly. I'm gutted about the brow situation because I'd have loved to come in and treat myself to a manicure or a style after a brow session once or twice a month. I would recommend the hair stylists any day of the week, having tried a few at Spitalfields, Oxford Street and pop ups at events. I wouldn't personally get my eyebrows done there again, but maybe another person would be different?


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All products* and experiences mentioned in this post were complimentary by the brand or PR.




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