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Tuesday, July 8

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream

Elemis is a current favourite brand of mine and now well into my third tub of Pro-Collagen Marine Cream*, I thought it was about time I let you in on my thoughts.

One of Elemis' cult products, it's been one of their best sellers since way back in the day and after using it for a good while now, I can see why. 

Now I don't know where I stand when it comes to when to start using anti-ageing products, but I'm happy to do so and now passing my mid-twenties with a baby on its way and a fair few dare I say it, wrinkles, I think it's safe to say I'm okay.

Pro-Collagen Marine Cream uses ingredients such as the strongest concentrate available of Padina Pavonica extract to provide lift, collagen support, cell renewal, elasticity and firmness, moisture and hydration to the skin and used daily, I personally really love the effects.

It really helps my skin stay under control and provides just what it needs and when using it, I honestly can't say I don't have any complaints. Not only does my skin feel a lot better, it looks pretty damn good if I can say so myself and make up looks so much nicer after moisturising beforehand with this dream.

Nicely textured in a gel-cream formula, it's pretty light on the skin and sinks in beautifully leaving no horrible or heavy residue.

 Incredibly popular with cult-product status, this moisturiser really is worth trying and although 50ml will set you back about £79, it really does do an excellent job and is definitely worth looking into if you have a few spare pennies to splash on skincare.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is available to buy in stores such as Cult Beauty, John Lewis and Debenhams

Friday, July 4

Pregnancy Update #10: Week 35-37 Update

It's been a good few weeks since I last put together a pregnancy update, and if I'm honest, the last few weeks seem like a total blur and I feel like I'm going to actually have to use my own weekly vlogs for reference. Nothing dramatic has happened but in all honestly, I've just been so incredibly exhausted, that the days have all merged together and I've just had no energy to do anything, let alone open my laptop and work. Where I have found moments of energy and get up and go, I've had so much that has needed doing, that unfortunately, my blog has had to take a backseat, which without sounding too over the top, kind of breaks my heart.

Being pregnant isn't easy and although from an outsider looking in "it's just a bump" and "you're pregnant, not ill", the strain and impact it has on your body and lifestyle is huge- too big to even describe. There's been things I want to do and quite frankly, need to do, but surprisingly, even with eight/nine months of practice behind me, the final leg is incredibly difficult and nothing prepared me for it.

Lack of energy and exhaustion aside, it's been really tough on my hormones and although not as bad as the beginning trimester for me which I'm grateful for, things begun to get a little bit too much at times. I'm not sure if I maybe put myself under too much pressure for things to be "perfect", but over the last few weeks, I've hit a few brick walls and couldn't physically do anything more.

My back constantly aches, I'm tired, nothing fits (even my maternity clothes are too small), I waddle around with my arms swinging, suffering with pains whilst my baby boy is making his way deeper into my pelvis squashing my bladder (we all know where that's going!) and my feet are constantly huge, swollen and sore.

The extent of my swollen feet has really got me down recently, they're absolutely massive and I honestly can't remember what my feet and ankles looked like prior to pregnancy. The only shoes I've worn for the past few weeks are my trusty Birkenstocks*, which although I am so incredibly grateful for and are in fact fortunately a current trend, they're far from what I want to wear on my feet- especially to a wedding where I was supposed to be a Bridesmaid!!

With my due date so close and only a few weeks to go, you can imagine the mix of emotions of excitement, fear of the unknown and although I hate to admit it- stress that I went through. It's a stressful time planning for a baby and awaiting the arrival of your little bundle of joy and whilst I would for sure do it all again in a heartbeat, the last few weeks haven't been the easiest.

To remain as relaxed as possible, keeping in mind that my baby could have arrived at any point, by Week 36 I tried to make sure that I listened to my body and took it a bit easier. Sleeping when I was tired regardless of how much I had to do, taking time off of work purely just to get some much needed rest in, sitting down to relieve my feet at any available opportunity and although typing this sounds a little selfish, putting myself first again, because as I'm constantly reminded- stress really isn't good for the baby.

Waiting for something you're so desperate for is always super exciting and frustrating, and time always seems to go that little bit slower, but strangely enough, I do feel like the last few weeks have flown by for me which has surprised me a lot.
By 37 Weeks, I was all packed for the hospital and although I have since re-packed a crazy amount of times (I blame nesting), my Cath Kidston Weekend Bag and Storksak Coral Ashley* bags are both ready and waiting by the door, ready for labour to begin for the what I can only imagine will be a panicked dash to the hospital.

As I write this, I'm in fact 39 weeks pregnant and on the very final leg of pregnancy. Since dropping at around Week 37/38 (on a trip to Currys and Ikea which was terrifying), things are even more real (and uncomfortable) than ever and I am so excited to get pushing to meet our little boy. My mood has picked up somewhat and I'm feeling a lot more energised and each wiggle and every hiccup from my baby boy has me so excited for his arrival.
Things have changed on the home front too, which is all very exciting and has given me a lot of relief and something else to focus on- so keep an eye out for a possible house/nursery tour!

I'll be sure to let you know how week 38 and 39 were for me shortly, but keeping in mind that I'm due to give birth in a week- there may well be a lovely little boy that keeps me from doing so for a while.

Just in case, thank you so much for following my pregnancy journey, I've absolutely loved sharing the ins and outs (which reminds me, I still don't have a full on outie- woo!) with you all and there will be many pregnancy products/birthing/mummy and baby posts to come.

Although my posts/videos may have come across slightly negative at times, put it down to my hormones and lack of sleep because honestly, as much as I haven't been its biggest fan at times and I've always been very honest about it, it really is the most amazing thing in the world and is such a blessing. I feel so grateful to be able to experience it and along with all the cramps, swollen feet, yawns and endless trips to the loo (if you make it that far!) come cute baby hiccups, a delightful growing bump, kicks and somersaults that automatically bring a smile, a perfect bond with something you haven't even met yet and some of the most dreamy of moments for both Mike, my family and I. It's been a whirlwind and I've had my fair share of ups and downs, but would I do it again? Yes. In a heartbeat.

Keep up to date with me over on Twitter, YouTube and Instagram- where the arrival of my bundle of happiness, joy and love will be shortly announced!

Tuesday, June 24

Elemis Instant Refreshing Gel

A product that I've found to be holy grail status during the recent heat is the Elemis Instant Refreshing Gel*.

Perfect for cooling down my swollen pregnancy feet, it works a treat at doing exactly as you would expect- instantly refreshing and revitalising. Formulated and directed to use on tired legs and muscle tension over the neck, shoulders, temples and forehead and made with Arnica, Birch, With Hazel and Menthol, it works immediately and does a fantastic job. 

I was recommended it by an Elemis beauty therapist at a pregnancy massage I was recently treated to and honestly, I don't know how my hot and swollen feet coped before!

I was worried that it would feel sticky on the skin due to its gel formula, but it's far from it and rubs into almost a water, which I'm really pleased about. A holy grail bedside, handbag and hospital bag product for me, I really can't recommend it enough.

Costing £30 for 150ml, if you suffer with any areas of tension or like me, need to cool and relieve your pregnancy suffering feet, you can pick this up in John Lewis and Debenhams.

Monday, June 16

Clinique Long Last Soft Matte Lipsticks

It's been a long time coming, but I've finally found a little bit of energy to put together a blog post, and what better comeback, than a range of lipsticks that I have worn non stop throughout the past few weeks.

Cliniques Long Last Soft Matte Lipsticks in the shades 44 Matte Suede*, 46 Matte Mandarin* and 49 Matte Magenta*are three of the eight new lipstick shades and personally, I can't get enough. 

My favourite of the three is without a doubt Matte Mandarin and I can see myself reaching for the bright Orange for the remainder of Summer. Whilst Matte Suede is one of those Nudes that worn alone makes me look a little..deceased? Worn with a gloss, brings me to life a little and on the right skin tone,  I think it would look amazing. Matte Magenta is one of those perfect Pinks and can be worn both day or night to glam up a look beautifully and although I say Matte Mandarin is my favourite, this is my most worn.

Most matte lipsticks I own are pretty drying and often take some getting used to along with the need for lots of attention throughout the day, but the formula of these is pretty special. Although matte on the lips, they don't feel drying in the slightest and in fact, feel incredibly comfortable, so much so that I can now wear them without feeling like the constant need to check for cracking/drying/bleeding in the mirror. They stay put for a fair while and don't fade badly, which is always a good thing with such intense matte shades.

Available to buy now, these fragrance-free Clinique Long Lasting Soft Matte Lipsticks cost £18 each and are available to buy at Clinique counters in the likes of Debenhams, Selfridges and John Lewis

Friday, June 13

Pregnancy Update #9: Week 33 and 34 Update

A week or two late writing this post, sat here post-hormonal breakdown with a bag of frozen vegetables on my feet, feeling what seems like constant baby hiccups in my tummy, it's safe to say that the last two weeks have been pretty uncomfortable.

Probably due to the heat that has graced the UK over the past couple of weeks, week 33 and 34 of pregnancy (and nearly 35) have been really very uncomfortable and possibly the worst yet. It's no surprise now that the countdown is down to single figures, but I honestly am really beginning to struggle physically and honestly, just want to meet my baby boy now.

Week 33 and 34 saw me feeling a little sorry for myself and if I'm being completely honest, the beginning stages of it were due to my weight gain. There's no denying that I've put on a lot of weight through the later stages of pregnancy and as normal and healthy as this is, for any girl that has ever suffered with insecurities, it's difficult. I felt pretty down about it which has made me feel really selfish, but it's not easy, especially when dressing for the heat, when dressing for a cool day is a hard enough challenge. 

Along with the weight gain, bump has had what I imagine will be one of his final growth spurts. Now beginning to drop, it's pretty uncomfortable and so oversized pyjamas and top knots have been my best friend. When I'm not working, my time mostly consists of me doing nothing, with a bag of ice on my ever swollen feet. My energy levels are at an all time low with exhaustion creeping back up on me. It's a different kind of exhaustion from what I've experienced in past weeks, in that I don't necessarily want to sleep, I just don't want to do anything. Even now, sat here with my feet elevated, writing a blog post seems like such hard work, which is another thing that's making me feel a little stressed.

I've never been the girl with the most hectic of lifestyles, but I do like to keep myself busy blogging daily, working full time whilst also keeping up with my social life and getting out and about, which is seriously frustrating when you haven't got any get up and go and can't be on your feet for more than an hour without feeling seriously uncomfortable putting serious pressure on your already severely swollen cankles ankles. I can't seem to find the energy to do even the simplest of tasks and currently, I'm dreading the thought of even getting dressed and driving round to the post office, which is a mere two minutes away.

This post is probably coming across as extremely negative, but I'm so uncomfortable and can't portray the last couple of weeks in any other way, another example of how pregnancy isn't an easy ride. I've realised that I'm probably putting a little bit too much pressure on myself, which is most likely, although I don't want to admit it, causing me unnecessary stress which isn't good for neither baby or me.

I've begun to listen to my body more now, as it's become a little more real that after a day of feeling tired, swollen and stressed, I could actually go into labour- and how exhausting would that be?

It all began to feel that little more real, when mid week 34, I had an unplanned trip to the labour ward. After a long day on my feet, experiencing some pressure and pains in my pelvic area, I noticed a little bit of bleeding when I popped to the loo, which although I was pretty calm about at the time, in hindsight, is pretty terrifying. I got in contact with the my GP and the hospital and was instructed to head to the labour ward immediately, where I was hooked up to monitors to check baby was ok, given plenty of fluids to bring my pulse rate down, monitored for contractions and given an internal examination which was the moment I guess I started to lose all dignity where having a baby is concerned.

Thankfully, everything was absolutely perfect, baby was happy and healthy and my womb was still shut. There were no signs of contractions and the blood that I experienced could have just been caused from the pressure on my pelvis, but even now, we're unsure why, it's just one of those things I guess. I had a slight bladder infection, which is being treated with antibiotics at the moment so that it's cleared up for when I'm full term, but other than that, all was/is well. This experience made me realise that baby is actually starting to make his little journey down to his welcoming into the world and forced me into relaxing a little bit (and packing my hospital bag!)

Now well into week 35 of pregnancy,  I'm well aware that I'm no longer able to do the things I could before and have realised that doing nothing is allowed when you're pregnant, when you need to wee- you need to wee and quite frankly, who cares if I wear my most horrendous yet comfortable outfit all week? Trivial things and jobs that don't really need to get done can wait- the main thing is mine and my baby boys health isn't compromised and if that means me doing absolutely nothing but eating Cheese straight from the fridge and watching the entire contents of Netflix with a bag of frozen vegetables on my feet until he shows his face, then that's what I'm going to do.

Oh, and another thing- don't Google Image anything to do with giving birth in the weeks leading up to your turn(!)

Subscribe to me on YouTube to watch my weekly pregnancy vlogs and follow me over on Twitter and Instagram for all things baby and beauty.

Wednesday, May 28

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick

One of Bobbi Browns most popular products which is found in various shades in the kit of most make up artists is Bobbi Browns Skin Foundation Stick and they've recently had a make up transforming update. Giving them a unique transparent base with skin tone correcting pigments making the varied shade range even more accessible for all skin tones, this is the perfect foundation product and if you're looking for something perfect for Summer then look no further. 

Foundation sticks aren't something I've used too many of so I don't really have much to compare this to, but all that is worth knowing is that it's incredible and if you're looking for a long lasting creamy foundation that looks fresh on the skin and comes in various shades and tones, then this may well be your match.

Available in 24 shades, Bobbi Browns Skin Foundation Stick has ingredients such as Shea Butter and Olive extracts which help to moisturise the skin as well as oil controlling minerals to help perfect the skin; reducing shine and keeping an even tone, even in the hottest most humid conditions.

I personally like to work this into my hand prior to use, to warm the product up somewhat and from there apply it with a brush and blend blend blend, although there have been occasions where I've topped up my make up through the day and applied it directly to the skin and honestly, it's probably worked just as well.

I was fortunate enough to have attended a lesson at a Bobbi Brown counter, where the make up artist applied this on top of the Bobbi Brown CC Cream (which I love) and so most of the time, I apply this in the same way. This adds a slight touch of radiance and natural coverage, and I find I don't need to apply as much product from the stick that way.

With the ability to be applied as light or as full as you like, I really do love this creamy product and available in 24 shades, there's most likely going to be the perfect shade for your skin tone. I currently wear Beige and find it works perfectly with my skin tone when I have a little bit of a tan.

Costing £29 for 9g of product, Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Sticks are available to buy at Bobbi Brown stores and at counters in the likes of Selfridges, Debenhams and John Lewis.


Tuesday, May 27

Benefit Watt's Up!

This month has been a little bit of a Benefit win for me and more and more of my make up routine has been made up of their products, which personally really surprises me.

Benefit is one of those brands that I know are extremely popular in the beauty industry, but they've never really been a go-to for me. Why? I don't know. To be honest, I often find their products a little gimmicky, but I'm going to force myself to see past the packaging in the future as the products I have tried recently have been absolutely incredible. 

My favourite has probably been Benefit Watt's Up!*, which is an incredible Champagne toned stick highlighter that adds the most divine glow to your skin. Hardly a new product to the Benefit scene, I'm really sad that I hadn't tried this before now as it's so easy to use and really gives the nicest effect which has even tricked many into believing I have that lovely pregnancy glow!

With a sponge blender on the end to blend it out, this can be used on it's own or above your make up, both directly and indirectly. I personally like to use it from my fingers to have more control and dabbed on the cheekbones, down the nose and along the brow bone, you can't beat its cream to powder finish.

Costing £24.50, Watt's Up is available to buy at Benefit stores and counters in the likes of Boots, House of Fraser and Debenhams.


Sunday, May 25

Pregnancy Update #8: Week 31 and 32 Update

If you've been keeping up with my YouTube updates, then you'll be well aware that week 31 and 32 of my pregnancy have been a little tiresome. 

Aches and pains begun a few weeks back, but the past two weeks have been heightened with the suffering of extremely swollen feet, leg cramps and what feels like the general wear and tear, achieved I guess by carrying around a growing baby. My Whooping Cough injection at week 30 didn't help the situation, as it put my body out of sync and arm out of use for a couple of days which wasn't too much fun at all. My feet constantly feel like I've run a marathon in the most ridiculous of heels and most nights I find myself awakening to the most excruciating cramp through my calves, feet and toes- fun eh?

During week 31, I attended a Mummy-to-be Elemis Massage at Rush Hair and Beauty and if you're expecting, then I genuinely cannot recommend it enough. Laid down on the floor, on what I can only describe as a giant pillow/beanbag duo was an extremely comfortable experience in itself, but every single moment of the treatment was honestly so truly dreamy. I left feeling relieved of all the pressures and even the swelling of my feet was taken down somewhat, which was what I most wanted to be achieved. I was recommended the Elemis Japanese Oil Blend as well as the Elemis Instant Refreshing Gel after my treatment and I can't wait to start using them. Word on the beauty scene is that Victoria Beckham swore by both of them through each of her pregnancies and if they're good enough for her...

My go-to pregnancy product this week has been the Cussons Mum and Me Bump Cool and Relieve Soothing Spray which I picked up on a bit of a whim during a hot moment in Boots. It's not a long term product, but the Peppermint Oil and Calendula work a treat at cooling me down, especially when I'm laying with my feet elevated, which seems like an all day occurrence at the moment. I can't say it really touches the swelling on my feet like it claims to, but it's a nice all over relief, especially on warmer days.

Week 32 begun extremely positively for me and I felt super energised and ready to take on the world, but sadly, my hormones took over a few days into the week and I became an emotional wreck. Over thinking is one of my all time flaws and when you're hormonal as it is, things can get a little bit too much. I began to panic at the slightest of things and felt quite alone, even when surrounded by lots of fabulous people but after shedding a fair few tears and getting a few minor worries off of my chest, I felt as good as could be again with a smile on my face.

Pregnancy so far has been eight and a bit months of ups and downs, but honestly, each and every down is so worth it for what will be the end result- my baby boy in my arms, and I guess overall, it's just preparing me for the rollercoaster of motherhood.

My bump seems to have changed shape over the past couple of weeks and my Linea Nigra is beginning to faintly appear. My belly button doesn't quite know what to do and strangely keeps alternating between being flat and then back to it's normal "innie" state which being a bit of a self confessed belly-button-phobe, I must admit freaks me out a little. 

I've been a little crazy on the stretchmark oil since the very beginning trimester and have been switching between Clarins Body Tonic Oil* which I've since repurchased, Champneys Blissful Stretchmark Oil* and my most recent addition, Shiffas Pregnancy Oil*. Although I'm yet to have any stretchmarks appear on my bump, my growing and leaking(!!) breasts have sadly had a couple appear, which I must admit did cause a tiny little tantrum to take place. It's just another one of those things that I have to remind myself why it's happening and the realisation that it's purely making my body ready to provide for my baby boys arrival makes it all ok again.

Along with my changing body, my body clock has also most definitely changed over the past couple of weeks and I find I'm awake at the very crack of dawn. Fortunately, exhaustion hasn't been too much of a problem at this stage and I can finally go all day without the need for a midday nap, in fact if anything, naps make me feel a little nauseous these days. This makes a huge difference as I finally feel like I can get on with things. I'm still taking it easy because of the situation from my knees down, but I am finding I'm a lot more productive which is something that was concerning me over the exhausting periods of the pregnancy.

Now into my 33rd week of pregnancy, it's insane to say there's only 7 weeks left until my due date. This is when things really start to happen and hopefully everything baby related will be coming together in the next few weeks which I'm super excited to share with you.

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