Ways To Care For Your Car's Tyres And Make Sure They're Safe *

Monday, 15 July 2019

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-This post is in collaboration with Headley Tyres, all opinions are my own-
Ever since I first started to learn to drive which feels like many moons ago now, I've always had my dad telling me to always make sure your car is safe and check over everything often - particularly the brakes and tyres. He's basically like a teacher and preaches about things a lot (which I'm not going to lie, it can get annoying at times haha) but when it comes to safety I guess it's a good thing. In this post I'm taking about some simple ways and tips on checking your tyres are safe and road worthy and where you can go for new tyres if you live in or near Basingstoke. 

Sort Small Wear and Tear Issues - 
If your car has some small wear and tear issues then don't leave them for too long because wear and tear will just get worse as time goes on and it'll probably leave you with a bigger bill at the end of the day as wear and tear tends to lead to bigger problems. So it's best to just nip it in the bud and get it sorted sooner rather than later. Another little tip is to make sure you clean your tyres properly often because this is a good time to can check for any wear and tear, bulges or onset cracks.

Checking Your Tyre Pressure - 
You should make sure that checking your tyres is something you do at least once a month and also before travelling either long distances or on motorways for obvious reasons. It would be better if you checked every couple of weeks though for the ultimate peace of mind. You should always check your tyres when they are cold and make sure you use a reliable tyre pressure gauge. If you check your tyre pressure when your car or tyres are warm then it won't tell you an accurate reading as the pressure increases as your car get hot. Also don't forget to put your valves back on after checking the pressure! 

Check The Tyre Tread Every 2-4 Weeks - 
The reason why it's so important to make sure you check your tyre tread often is because the less amount of tread on your tyres means a bigger breaking distance as there isn't as much grip left. This means when you brake, you won't come to a stop as quick as you'd like. This is particularly dangerous if you need to do an emergency stop. Also if the weather conditions are bad then you could easily slide off the road or into another car/person so it's just not worth the risk of driving around with bad tyres. Another reason why you should sort out your tyres is because if you are pulled over by the police and you're found to have one or more tyre with a tread depth below the legal limit then they will fine you £2,500 and add 3 penalty points to your license (per tyre!). 

The law says that you should have at least a 1.6mm depth but many known manufacturers would recommend changing your tyres before then when they are at around 3mm depth. So how do you check your tyre tread? You can use a special device called a tread depth gauge or you can do the "20p test" which I tend to use just because I personally find it easier. To do this you just place a 20p coin into the grooves of each tyre and see if you can see the outer band of the coin. If you can't see the band then your tyre is safe and above the legal limit of 1.6mm but if you can see the outer band of the coin then it means your tyres are not legally safe and need changing.

Get New Tyres Fitted ASAP -
If you are in need of some new tyres then get it done ASAP! It's just not worth the risk of potentially putting yourself, anyone who is a passenger in your car and also other people on the road. In Basingstoke tyres are available at Headley Tyres. You can also pop in to get a free tyre check if you have any doubts about how your tyres are doing. 

They stock a huge range of tyres from popular makes and sizes and they are also able to source almost anything within a day or two from their manufacturers and wholesale suppliers. You can order your tyres easily on their site by entering your registeration number and the tyre size you need. You then just choose a brand and book a date and time which suits you. 

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Two New Skin Clearing Products From Dermalogica

Sunday, 14 July 2019

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-This post contains PR/Gifted items as I am part of Dermalogica's Skinfluencer programme, however it contains no paid content. All opinions are my own- 
After my review of the Clear Start Starter Kit*, Dermalogica asked if I would like to try out their two new skin clearing products which are both targeted at adult breakout prone skin. The two new products both contain the active ingredients Salicylic Acid and Niacinamide. So in this post I'm going to be sharing how I've got on with both products and if I recommend them. 

The AGE Bright Clearing Serum RRP £58* has basically been a bit of a revelation for my skin. If you read my recent blog post about having to switch to the mini pill (when I didn't want to) and how it's affected my skin then I can now say I've found a product which has helped to clear up the weird spots. It hasn't completely got rid of them and I can still see the pesky little devils under my makeup but there isn't as many of them and they aren't as noticeable as they were. I know it's the AGE Bright Clearing Serum which has helped because I haven't tried any other new skin clearing treatment product during the time I've been trying out the two new products from Dermalogica. I'll still raise the skin issue when I next see my doctors (when my health anxiety lets me that is) just to see what she thinks and if there's anything she can prescribe that can completely get rid of the weird bumps/spots without having to switch pills again but for now I'm happy to continue using the Clearing Serum to minimise and manage the problem. I've also seen an improvement in my skin overall in terms of how often it breaks out and how much quicker the breakouts go too. So I would definitely buy it again! 

The AGE Bright Spot Fader RRP £40.50* is a two-in-one spot treatment which aims to reduce the appearance of active breakouts and post breakout marks. The Salicylic Acid helps to clear any active breakouts and the Niacinamide and Hexylresorcinol both work together to help fade any post-breakout marks which also improves uneven skin tones. I really like that it has a spatula-like applicator for ease of use and I also like that you can lock the product so that it doesn't spill out if the tube is accidentally squeezed. It's also good if you're on the go or travelling. I think it works well at reducing any redness and swelling especially if you apply it before going to bed. However out of the two new products I personally prefer the AGE Bright Clearing Serum* just because I feel like I have seen better results from using it every day and I can use it all over my face whereas the AGE Bright Spot Fader is more of a targeted treatment. I also personally think it's quite pricey for the 15ml size so if I was to pick it up again then I'd try and find it at a discounted price. 

But overall they both work at reducing and clearing up spots and any post-breakout marks so I would say if you're someone who doesn't get frequent spots but you want something at hand for when a spot pops up then the AGE Bright Spot Fader* is probably for you. If you're someone like me who has to deal with breakouts and scarring quite often then you'll probably like the AGE Bright Clearing Serum* more.

Have you tried the new products from Dermalogica or are you planning to?
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Ways I'm Trying To Up My Blogging Game

Saturday, 13 July 2019

-This post contains an affiliate link-

I'm always trying to up my blogging game one way or another but there are definitely some things I really want to get better at and I thought I'd talk about what they are in this post and how I'm planning on achieving my blogging game goals this year.

Increase My DA Score -
I really want to get my DA score up to 28-30 because it's been stuck at 25 for a few months now. The main reason why I would love to get it past the DA 25 mark is so I can apply for more DA 25+ paid opportunities when they arise. Obviously when you have a higher DA score it also usually means that you'll be able to get paid a larger amount when it comes to paid blogging collaborations too (most of the time anyway) and your girl has bills to pay and being a self-employed blogger is hard when we go through quiet spells.

Reach Out To More Brands - 
At the beginning of the year I decided that every Sunday evening I would try and reach out to 3 or 4 brands or companies to work with on either a gifted or paid basis. But I feel like I've let this slip a little. I also feel I've lost my confidence a little because there's so many other bloggers around me doing so well for themselves (which is great!) but I feel like my content is no where near as good as theirs. I do want to start doing reaching out to brands/companies/PRs on a Sunday evening again though.

Use Affiliate Links More - 
I'll be honest I tend to forget about affiliates because I just feel like you have to put in more effort when you barely make any money from them each month. However I do want to try and use them more in posts and just see if it's worthwhile to actually use them again now that my monthly page views has increased by a lot. So yep, expect to see more affiliate links in my blog posts starting from now.

Change Up My Photography A Little - 
I have already actually started doing this but I thought I'd pop it in here anyway because I do have a few other photo set up ideas which I'm going to test out soon. Obviously with having chronic pain, taking photos for my blog/insta really kills both my back and pelvic pain and makes it flare up quite bad. I usually have to get in bed after taking photos because it hurts that much. But I do feel like I'm a little bit bored of my photos right now. I have been using my gallery wall as a background lately as well as my polka dot bedding from Asda which I purposely bought so I could use it as a background when it's on my bed and I've also started to use my "Simplicity" backdrop from more often. I also really want to take more home, lifestyle and fashion kind of photos on my insta too. I just feel like having a good mixture will break up my grid a bit. I've also been *trying* to cut back on using my fake flowers in my photos but I just think they are a good space filler but I am on the lookout for new props at the minute.
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What Works Best For My Chronic Pain?

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

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I thought I'd do a blog post about what things help relieve my chronic pain the most. If you're new to my blog then I have chronic back and pelvic pain which all kicked off in January 2018. I personally think that I have endometriosis but the many doctors I've seen just don't want to listen to my pretty obvious symptoms (some of which I've had for literally years too) and now every doctors appointment I go to they just bang on about weight instead of my daily chronic pain. Fun. So I've kind of given up on even going to doctors appointment anymore. I also had a bad reaction to Mefenamic Acid last year when I couldn't breathe properly, had a rash all over my body and it hurt my chest to breathe so since then I've not been able to take any NSAID's (such as ibuprofen) because they're all in the same medical family and I'm really wary of any new prescribed pills I get offered. So in this post I'm talking about what things and ways help me to get some relief from my pain.

The best health discovery for me last year was without a doubt CBD oil. I know I'm always banging on about it but it really does help with my pain most days. I tend to use a 500mg strength but I do have stronger versions for the really bad days. I still struggle day-to-day with my pain and I do find that the CBD helps my pelvic pain more than my back pain but I definitely feel like I can do a bit more than last year when I spent the whole summer in bed basically wishing I just was dead (and no that's not an exaggeration). I also feel like I'm in a better mindset most days because it does help with anxiety and stress levels too. I use both THC free and THC containing CBD oils/balms but they both are totally legal in the UK and they won't get you high like I know a lot of people worry about. My favourite places to buy from are from Bristol CBD, The.DrugStore and I've also been enjoying using the CBD Muscle Balm from BeYou. For when I'm out and about I find Naturopathica CBD Lozenges* are a lifesaver too and they taste nice! 

I've found that the pill has been helping with my pelvic pain quite a lot. As I write this I've had 3 days with minimal pelvic pain (but my back has been flaring bad ugh). But I definitely feel like for me personally if I do have endometriosis then the mini pill in particular has been helping with my symptoms most of the time. I do still have flare ups but not as often and I'll go hours and/or days with minimal pain now. However if I get stressed out/upset or annoyed about something then it tends to bring on the pain. You can read more about my experience on the pill I'm currently on here.

I've recently realised that Epsom Salts are a lifesaver for my chronic back pain and it's nice to have 20 minutes of relief whilst I'm in the bath. I tend to stick to what I know and buy my epsom salts from Westlab but I recently decided to try their Mindful Bathing Salts and they are so good! The bag contains a mixture of Epsom and Himalayan Salts with Frankincense and Bergamot as well as added CBD oil. It smells gorgeous and I find it really calms my back pain too. They're usually on offer for less than a fiver on LookFantastic and there's various other options too. 

Something else which I think helps my back pain is my Kinetik TENS Machine (from Argos). I did initially buy it for my pelvic pain when that first started but I think it actually aggravates the area and then I tend to be in more pain the next day. But I do find that the TENS machine is good for ovulation/period pains and also my chronic back pain. So I do recommend a TENS machine but if you're reading this and have undiagnosed pelvic pain then just be careful. It does have quite a lot of "settings" but I only use 3-4 of them as I find some of them are a bit uncomfortable. But it was definitely worth buying!

I spend most of my time with a hot water bottle either on my lower back or lower stomach, even in the summer months. I just find that heat really relieves pain and I find it quite comforting too when I'm having a bad flare up too. 

Lastly is distractions... although this isn't an actual pain reliever I find that trying to distract my mind from my pain is helpful. I do this by watching TV shows, films or playing games - I'm currently going through a phase of being obsessed with the Sims haha. I also find that if I'm watching something which is more of a thriller/horror then it'll take my mind off my pain more. I know that sounds weird but it's something I've noticed and I think it's because I'm more on edge and invested into the show/film.

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My First Impressions On Flormar Makeup

Monday, 8 July 2019

-This post contains PR/Gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
Flormar aren't actually a new brand and I'm pretty sure either someone told me or I read that they have been around for many years but they're new to the UK and they're currently exclusively sold in Primark right now but unfortunately my local Primark don't seem to stock anything from Flormar at the moment. However I was recently sent a few things to try out from the brand. I can't seem to find the prices of the products I've been sent but I know they're an affordable/drugstore priced brand which I love because I really like finding makeup products which are cheap but good and/or dupes to other high end products and there's definitely a high end lookalike in this post.

First up is the Sunset Eyeshadow Palette* which is definitely giving me Urban Decay Naked Heat vibes. It contains a selected of warm shades with both matte and shimmer shades. The shimmer shades are definitely where the pigmentation is at but the matte shades can be easily built up too. I actually don't mind eyeshadow palettes that aren't super pigmented because I like more of a natural wash of colours on my eyes most of the time. However saying that the shimmer shades are really pigmented as you can see by the swatch below. I wish there was maybe one or two warm pink shades in the palette and then it would make it my ideal kind of palette. But I do like it and will be using it often as the shades are my cup of tea.

Unfortunately the Liquid Illuminator in Sunset Glow* is a bit too dark for my pasty skin. I was hoping it would warm my skin up for the summer but it's warm and it basically makes me look orange. But it is very glowy and pretty and I think it would work great in a matte foundation to give it some glow if you have the right skin tone for it. 

The Waterproof Lip Liner in 229* has really surprised me as I find most affordable lip liners tend to be either completely rubbish or they're too hard to apply in terms of sharpness. But the Waterproof Lip Liner is smack bang in the middle as it's not too sharp but it's not super creamy. It almost kind of reminds me of my Charlotte Tilbury Lip Liners which is definitely saying something because they're my all time faves.

Lastly is the Deluxe Cashmere Lipstick Stylo in Throw Back Rose* which I'm a big fan of. It's very creamy and comfortable as well as being super easy to apply. I do think you need to wear a lip liner with it being so creamy and it will need applying a few times in the day with it being a normal kind of lipstick but I do really like it and I'm also a big fan of the rose-pink shade I was sent. 

Have you tried anything from Flormar before?

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A Personalised Stranger Things Inspired Mug From I Just Love It *

Saturday, 6 July 2019

-This post is in collaboration with I Just Love It and also contains a gifted item, all opinions are my own-
I love Stranger Things and I'll go as far to say that it's one of my favourite TV shows. I do like a lot of sci-fi/thriller/horror kind of shows and Stranger Things is definitely all of the above. With the latest season landing on Netflix just a few days ago, I thought it would be a perfect time to talk about my Stranger Things inspired mug from gift company I Just Love It who offer a personalised touch to the gifts that they sell.

I was kindly sent over their their "In a World Full of Tens Be An Eleven" Stranger Things inspired mug RRP £9.99* recently which I've been using non-stop since it arrived. I love that the quote mentions one of my fave characters from the show which is Eleven because she's so sassy and unique and I also love the little Christmas lights below the words which is obviously linked to where it all began way back in season one.

It's a great mug to drink your coffee from first thing in the morning when you're feeling a little upside down (get it?)Their mugs are made from high quality ceramic and they recommend to hand wash them only. For me personally it's the perfect sized mug for both tea and coffee. It's also pretty lightweight which I like as I'm always up and down the stairs making a cup of tea or coffee as I spend a lot of my time in my room when I'm working and I guess it just makes life easier especially when I'm not feeling so great with my chronic pain. 

I Just Love It currently have 3 Stranger Things Inspired Mugs there's the "In a World Full of Tens Be An Eleven", "Morning Are For Coffee And Contemplation" and "Bob Newby Superhero". So there's definitely a mug for any Stranger Things fan. I think they make a great affordable gift and all of them can be personalised. As you can see with mine I've just had my name put inside. It's also a good way to let someone know that the mug is yours and so it's a good gift for someone who works in an office or something along those lines. There's nothing more annoying than someone stealing your cup or mug in a work place environment is there?

It also arrived quicker than I expected with it being a personalised item from when I confirmed the collaboration. In total it only took 4 days to arrive! 

I'll definitely be using I Just Love It when I want to buy a gift for a special occasion and I'm glad to have discovered them. I prefer to buy more personalised gifts when it's a special birthday or a wedding/anniversary and I do have a few special birthdays and a wedding coming up this year.

Do you like buying and/or receiving personalised gifts too?

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Latest In Beauty's Summer 2019 The Beauty Heroes Box

Thursday, 4 July 2019

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-This post contains PR/Gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
I've talked about Latest in Beauty quite a lot on my blog over the past year or so as they are probably my favourite place to go to if I fancy treating myself to a beauty box. They do offer both a subscription service where you can build you own box and choose from many different brands and products or you can buy their one off collection boxes. They recently kindly sent over their Summer 2019 "The Beauty Heroes" box* which is worth £138 but you can buy it from their site for just £30! It contains 13 products altogether and 7 of those are full size too. Sounds like a complete bargain, right? So I thought I'd talk about how I've got on with the products I've tried so far from the box and whether I think it's worth picking up.

When I saw that the Sukin Rosehip Enriching Night Cream* was in the box I was a little nervous at the words "Night Cream" as my skin tends to not get on well with night creams because they tend to be a bit too thick and heavy for my oily skin. But I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that the cream is quite light but still nourishing. It's still a cream I'd use when my skin is feeling a little dry or dehydrated but I have used it twice so far and it hasn't broke me out and upset my skin in any way. It's probably a product I'm going to love when it gets colder and my skin goes a bit confused and doesn't know whether to be oily or dry.

It's weird that the Ciate Bamboo Bronzer in the shade Palm Island* was in the box as only a couple of weeks ago I was looking for a new bronzer and I was debating on picking it up but I was worried it'd be too warm for my skin tone. The Palm Island shade is aimed at light/medium skin tones and it is only a mini version but it's a good way to try before buying the full size version and handy to carry if you're travelling. It does come out slightly orange-y on my pale skin but if you blend and buff it in well it does look quite nice and it gives some life back into my skin - which I definitely need!

I'll be honest the OPI Pump Up The Volume Nail Lacquer* colour is not my cup of tea at all. I'm not super keen on neon colours on my nails and I prefer a nice nude or muted colour instead. But I think that it's good that the box contains a OPI Nail Laquer and it definitely adds value to the box as they are usually around £14-£15 whenever I buy them.

The SportFX Cool Down Primer & Recovery Gel* is probably my favourite product from the Summer 2019 Beauty Heroes box so far. It really does cool and refresh your skin whilst being a perfect base for any foundation or CC Cream you apply. It's definitely made me want to try more beauty products from SportFX because I'm honestly blown away at how well this primer has been working for my skin. It's definitely a summer essential for me now! 

I'm currently using the Sea Buckthorn Hand Cream from Weleda and I really like the scent so it was nice to see the travel-sized Weleda Sea Buckthorn Creamy Body Wash* in the box. It's really refreshing and it's a perfect body wash to wake you up first thing in the morning as it's very zingy. It's definitely a nice product to use in your shower in the summer.

I haven't properly tried the Umberto Giannini Pool Proof Leave-in Hair Protection Cream* as I haven't been in a pool or been in the sun enough to test it out but I used it as a heat protection cream and it does seem to make my hair feel soft after using it so I do think I'll be using it often. I have tried a few other products from the same "Beach" range from Umberto Giannini including the Catch A Wave Texture Spray which is one of my fave products to help give me some beachy, bouncy waves and I absolutely love the scent. It's the perfect summer scent and the Pool Proof smells exactly the same!

Talking of lovely scented products the System Professional Solar Sun Oil* is another perfect summer scented product. I've never heard of the brand before but I know I shall be picking up the Solar Sun Oil* again when I run out. Even my mum was asking what I'd use when I applied it for the first time. I've been using it on my mid-lengths and ends when they're feeling a little dry but it claims to protect your hair from the sun, salt and chlorine exposure which is an added bonus.

I haven't tried the Lord & Berry Ultimate Lip Liner in Mandarin* yet as it is quite a bright colour and it's a bit alien for someone like me who prefer a nude lip 99% of the time. 

The travel-sized St. Tropez Gradual Tan Watermelon Infusion is something which I'm intrigued to try out properly but for someone who has chubby legs and arms the travel sized version that comes in the Summer 2019 Beauty Heroes Box isn't going to go very far lol. However I have tested it on the back of my hand and it does smell exactly like watermelon and it doesn't seem to fade into that gross fake tan smell either. It isn't sticky either. It is a gradual tan so I didn't see a massive difference after just one tester application but I think I will pick up the full size version when I run out the Vita Liberata Gradual Tan Lotion* I'm currently using at the moment. 

I've not tried the Sumita Cosmetics Eyeliner Pencil in Grey* but once again I've tested in on the back of my hand to see what it looks like and it's very creamy and easy to blend but once it's "set" it doesn't budge. I can see myself wearing it to give me a easy smokey eye look. 
The Studio 10 Brow Lift Perfecting Liner* is a great universal coloured brow pencil with what I'd call a "highlighter" on the other end to give your brows a lifted look. It's very easy to work with. I rarely use brow pencils anymore but if you are a fan of brow pencils then this one is very nice.

The Invisibobble Single WAVER* is a great little hair clip with "side lock technology" which I've been using to clip my side fringe out of my face when I have my hair down. I've been wearing it a lot when I'm working on my laptop and it really does leave your hair without any annoying kinks. It doesn't dig in your head either like metal kirby grips do. So I'm definitely going to be picking up a couple more of these but I'm already a big fan.

Yardley are already a favourite in our household as my mum loves a lot of different fragrances by them and I'm a fan of quite a few of their fragrances too. So the Yardley English Bluebell Deodorising Body Fragrance* wasn't the most exciting product in the box but still a welcome addition as I do like the English Bluebell scent. Although as I write this I think my mum has already whisked it off and put it in her handbag as it doesn't seem to be in my bedroom haha.
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My Thoughts On Lee Stafford's New Keep It Clean Range

Monday, 1 July 2019

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-This post contains gifted/PR items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
I've talked about Lee Stafford hair products quite a lot over the past few years on my blog as a lot of the products from the various ranges seem to work well for my hair and my budget. I recently got a chance to try the new "Keep It Clean" range* which is all about purifying and keeping your hair fresh and clean without weighing your hair down (so it's great if you have a fine hair!). It's Pink Clay infused which acts as a magnet to oil, dirt and product residue. The range also smells bloody gorgeous, I'll even go as far as to say it's my new fave scent from the many Lee Stafford ranges. I find that Lee Stafford products tend to be either fruity or tropical scented (excluding ChocoLocks obviously) but this range has more of a clean, fresh floral scent, I'm not actually sure what the scent is as it doesn't say it anywhere on the packaging but it's really nice. I definitely recommend giving it a sniff if you see it in your local Boots haha.

First I'm obviously going to talk about the Purifying Shampoo RRP £7.49* which is described as a Pink Clay infused shampoo which gets right to the root of the problem for cleaner, fresher and more balanced hair. I do like the shampoo, however I have found that I have to use quite a few pumps to get a good lather going on. I've been getting through the shampoo quicker than the conditioner, which very rarely happens! But it is a nice shampoo and I do feel like it's been helping my hair to not get as greasy at the roots like it normally does and I've found I don't need to use as much dry shampoo when my hair does start looking a bit greasy. So I do think that the Pink Clay aspect of it works and draws out any excess oil, dirt and product residue.
Next is the Balancing Conditioner RRP £7.49* which is a nice consistency as it's not super thin but it's not too heavy which is what I like in a conditioner as I do have quite fine hair. I like that it's a conditioner that feels like it's done a good job at conditioning once you rinse it out and you hair already feels smooth and manageable prior to blow drying it.

After letting my hair dry a little in my go-to AQUIS Hair Towel* which is honestly a game changer by the way! I've then been popping on the Prep & Prime Weightless Shield RRP £6.99*. Unfortunately I've just not been able to get the Prep & Prime Weightless Shield to work for me. I've applied it to wet hair, damp hair and dry hair and in different amounts and I just find that it's too sticky and it makes my hair hard to manage the following day when I need to brush and style it. 

Lastly is the Replenishing Mask £8.49* and I'm already a huge fan of Lee Stafford hair masks as they're always packed full of everything you want and need in a hair treatment. The ChocoLocks Butter Cream Treatment mask is actually my all-time fave! So it's safe to say I had high hopes when I saw that there was hair mask in the new Keep It Clean range and it definitely does a good job at replenishing my mid-lengths and ends without making my hair feel heavy with product. So I now have the ChocoLocks Butter Treatment AND the Keep It Clean Replenishing Mask* on my beauty shelf in my bathroom. The mask is packed with mineral rich ingredients and you only have to leave it on for 5 minutes, so it's a good mask to use if you want a quick pamper sesh too. 

Overall I've enjoyed trying the range out but I am a bit gutted that the Prep & Prime Weightless Shield didn't seem to work for my hair. But the other products I will definitely be repurchasing once they run out. It is a bit annoying how I seem to need more shampoo than usual but I do also feel like it keeps my hair feeling fresher and cleaner for longer than usual which is good as my roots get greasy quickly and also it means I can probably go an extra day or two without the need of washing my hair (which is also good when my chronic pain is bad too). Another big plus is that I'm a fan of the pump bottle design as that's the one thing that let down the Cactus Crush range last year and why I never repurchased the Shampoo and Conditioner.

If you're interested in trying out the whole range then you can save some money as Boots currently have a Keep It Clean bundle for £20 (saving £10.46)!

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A New CBD Product From Naturopathica!

Saturday, 29 June 2019

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-This post contains PR/gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
I've already talked about Naturopathica before when I tried their Citrus flavoured CBD Lozenges for the first time but I recently got an email asking if I'd be interested in trying out their Natural Strawberry flavoured 350ml CBD oil*. Although I usually prefer a higher strength CBD oil for my daily pain I thought it sounded interesting and strawberry is one of my favourite fruits. Because I have been using a CBD balm recently I thought I could use the CBD balm for my chronic pain (on my pelvic bone and lower back) and then use the 350ml CBD oil for my anxiety and/or sleeping problems to test it out properly.

What I love most about the Naturopathica 350ml CBD oil* is that it tastes exactly like strawberry. It doesn't taste fake or over the top and it also doesn't leave a "natural" CBD after taste like some flavoured CBD oils do. I'm personally not that bothered about the taste of CBD oil because I know it helps my pain, so I'd rather put up with the taste and help relieve the pain a little. But I know some people don't like the taste of CBD and that's what puts them off trying it long-term.

I've found the the Naturopathica CBD oil has done well in terms of helping to calm my mind when I'm feeling super stressed and believe me, it's definitely been put to the test over the past couple of weeks! I also find it helps settle my mind a little before I go to sleep which helps me to get to sleep because my brain likes to overthink things a lot at night. I do hope to see a stronger strength version at some point but I would repurchase when it runs out because I really like the taste and I did find it helped with my anxiety. So because of that I would recommend it trying it out if you're wanting to try a lower strength CBD oil.

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How To Bag A Sponsored Post

Wednesday, 26 June 2019


I'm really into writing about blogging and insta tips at the minute and I have plenty more planned over the next month or two. So I thought in today's post I'd talk about how to get a sponsored post. I do sometimes get emails and DMs about how I reach out to brands and how I get sponsored blog posts often and I'll be honest it can be hard, especially when there's quiet spells. But in this post I'm talking about how to make your blog more appealing to brands and companies, being prepared to pitch to a brand and also where to find paid opportunities too.

Work On Increasing Your DA Score -
A lot of brands want at least a 20+ Domain Authority (DA) score in order to work with them on a paid collaboration. If your DA is below 20 or has dropped below 20 then it will be harder to find paid collaborations unfortunately. So working on your DA score is a must no matter what your DA score is! Moz predicts how well a website is performing and ranking on search engines and it is then scored on a 0-100 scale. It measures the links pointing to your site and also any linking root domains. I find that commenting on other people's blogs, linking one or two older posts in your latest posts and also checking for broken links often all help to increase your DA score. I know that Wordpress has plug-ins that can check and remove broken links but if you're on Blogger it's more time consuming. I use
Broken Link Check and I try and keep on top of it by checking it once or twice a month and removing any new broken links.

Cover Different Topics - 
If you cover a variety of topics then you've probably got a better chance at getting sponsored blog posts as they'll be more brands/companies to work with. I cover quite a few different topics but my main ones are currently beauty, lifestyle and fashion. However I do like talking about mental health, my chronic illness/pain (to raise awareness) and also home and interiors because I bloody love anything to do with restyling rooms and I love homeware shopping too.

Have A Media Kit Ready - 
Sometimes if you get in touch with a brand first about potentially working with them on a paid collaboration then they may ask you for a media kit. So it's always handy to make sure you have an up-to-date kit at the ready at all times. In the media kit you should mention about your blog (when you started it and things like that), it's niche, your blog views, social following and DA score. If you've already worked with some brands in the past that it's a good idea to mention some brands you've worked with too. I've even put a part of my media kit on my "Work With Me" page on my blog, so any brand checking out my blog can see an overview of some well-known brands/companies I've worked with over the past couple of years. You don't have to cram everything onto one page either as a lot of fellow bloggers (myself included) have spread their media kit out onto 3-5 pages. Mine's personally 3 pages long. So I have page one which is all about my blog, it's monthly views, social following, DA score etc. Page two is about brands I've worked with and page 3 is about how I can work with brands - from sponsored blog posts, insta ads, giveaways, social media takeovers and also what I charge for each service. I always make my media kids on Canva as it's free but there are people who do media kit templates or will make you a media kit from scratch on twitter and Etsy. But just be careful because some people are a bit cheeky and they make them on Canva for free and then sell them on. So you could just make it yourself and save some money.

Follow Opportunity Pages/Accounts -
Make sure you're following accounts which post about new opportunities. I run BloggerOppsxo on twitter which I try and update every other day. I post various different opps from gifting, paid and events. I'm also following two blogging pages on Facebook where I've applied for numerous sponsored posts before. Just search for Official UK Bloggers and UK Influencer Opportunities and request to be added as they are both private groups. Also make sure you check the #BloggersWanted or #BloggersRequired tags on twitter often as a lot of brands and PR's use these tags to reach out to suitable bloggers.

Email Brands You've Already Worked With -
If you've already worked with some brands on paid collaborations in the past then pop them an email to see if they're looking for bloggers for any relevant campaigns. I find this is always a good way to get sponsored blog posts if you've had a quiet month or if you really want to work with a particular brand again. I always leave it for 2-3 months before emailing them again though. 

I hope you find this post helpful! 

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Trying Out Tamaar Skincare's Sebum Balancing Cream Complex

Monday, 24 June 2019

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-This post contains a PR/gifted item, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
If you read my blog often then I'm sure by now that you'll know I have an oily skin type as I'm always banging on about it. So when I got an email about trying out new skincare brand Tamaar Skincare who are a Natural, pH Balanced and Pharmacist led brand I was excited to see that they have a product which is aimed at oily skin and blemish prone skin which helps to balance excess sebum - which sounded ideal for my skin type!

Tamaar was founded by a pharmacist who has been researching the ingredients of these products for years. The main ingredient of all Tamaar Skincare products is Tamarind Seed Extract. Tamarind is a safe and effective skin brightening agent which actually outperforms hyaluronic acid in moisturising the skin and helping to improve and smooth out wrinkles. Also all of Tamaar Skincare's products are formulated with a climate responsive emulsifier which is based on patented technology that transforms natural waxes to automatically adapt to the local environment and climate. The products are also free from parabens, SLS, artificial fragrance, preservatives, GMO, alcohol and are cruelty free too!

The Sebum Balancing Cream Complex RRP £47* has a multi-action formula which contains Neem (which I know works really well with my skin already!), Grape Seed Oil, Tamarind Seed, Annatto and Curcuma Longa extracts which have all been carefully selected for their antimicrobial, skin calming and nourishing properties. This means that the product will help to balance out excess sebum without over-drying skin. I hate buying products which are all about reducing your oiliness but then they basically strip your skin of everything and you're left with flaking skin. This is why I don't like to use facial soaps anymore. I used to be a die-hard fan of the LUSH Coalface soap but I realised it was really drying out my skin so I stopped using it and I haven't looked back since.

I feel like the product has been helping with my skin's excess sebum, although I do still have quite oily skin in general so it hasn't completely stopped me from having an oily skin type. But I can see and feel a difference when using the Sebum Balancing Cream Complex* so I know they ingredients definitely help reduce sebum. I also like that it's a very lightweight cream as I find that heavy creams can block up my pores and make me break out quite bad. Also with it being a lightweight cream, it dries quickly and it doesn't feel sticky or tacky after application which I prefer in a moisturiser/cream. Something which I do want to mention is that it does have a weird smell which I'm not super keen on, but it isn't that much of a big deal really as the smell doesn't stick around for long, but I just thought I'd mention it anyway. It's not a horrible smell but it's just an odd smell to me personally. It smells very natural if you get what I mean? 

I know it's not all about how the product looks and it's more about how it performs but I think the bottle design is really pretty with it's frosted glass bottle and gold lid and pump. It looks nice sitting on my bedside table with my bedside beauty bits. It is obviously a high-end product with it being priced at £47 for a 30ml bottle but I do think I'd repurchase it. It probably isn't something I'd be able to buy at a drop of a hat and as soon as I run out (woo, self employment life) but if I had the money spare and I wanted to splurge on a beauty product I would probably buy it then as I do see and feel a difference when using it.

If you don't have an oilier/blemish prone skin type then Tamaar have also got you covered as they have their Rejuvenate Anti-Ageing Cream and their Lighten Lightening and Moisturising Cream which is supposed to be great for dark under eye circles!

I really like that Tamaar Skincare are also proud members of B1G1 - Business for Good. For every product purchased, a forest tree is planted to help support the environment! So it's a nice feeling knowing that your purchase is helping the environment a little too. 

They've also kindly given me a discount code to share with you (not affiliated) but if you're interested in getting 20% off all products then use my code: astoldbykirsty20 
(offer ends 31st July)

Have you heard of or tried Tamaar Skincare before?

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5 Ways To Fund Your Dream Holiday *

Saturday, 22 June 2019

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-*This post is in collaboration with Cash Lady-
Sometimes, in order to make your dream a reality, you have to think outside of the box. This is especially true when it comes to saving up for your dream holiday. Getting to your ideal destination probably won’t be cheap, so you’ll have to think of how you’ll get the money together.
Securing a short-term loan is one of the best ways to finance the trip of a life time, and there are plenty of fantastic rates available and useful online tools that will help you balance your budget. And if that still isn’t enough, here are another 5 ways to fund your dream holiday.
1. Create A Travel Fund
One of the easiest ways to start saving for that dream holiday is to start putting money directly into a special account. Especially ones that make it more difficult to withdraw from. Using something like the Digit app means all the hard work is done once you set it up. The app automatically takes small amounts of money from your account every day and stashes it away. And anytime you want to stop you simply set a limit, or just hit pause.
2. Get Budgeting
You’ll be amazed how much money you can save by cutting back on some of your outgoings. When you take a step back to realise what is going out of your account every month, you’ll soon find there are plenty of ways to cut back so you can put the extra money aside. If you need some help with your budgeting there are plenty of sites that can help. You might not be able to enjoy all of the same luxuries, but when you are booking that dream holiday, it will all seem worth it.
3. Make A Change Jar
If you put away as little as £2.74 a day into your change jar, by the end of the year you’ll have saved £1,000. That’s £19.18 a week, or £83 a month. The small change that hangs around forever in your purse or wallet can finally be put to good use. Save your daily coffee money for a year and you are guaranteed to hit a grand. Stick a photo of your dream destination around the jar for motivation, so you always know what you are doing it for!
4. Sell Your Old Junk
With sites like Ebay and Depop online, it’s easy to sell old clothes, shoes and anything else you think might be of value. Over time we all hang onto items we no longer use, but usually for no good reason at all we let them sit there collecting dust. Rather than giving your stuff away for free to charity, trying selling them so you can use the money to reinvest in your dream holiday. Recycling is the buzzword of the moment and this way everyone wins.
5. Get A Part-Time Job
If after all the budgeting, cutting back and saving you still can’t raise enough money, it might be worth looking at getting a part-time job. Of course, you probably already have a full-time one, and getting a second job isn’t exactly the most exciting idea. However, it won’t be forever and all of the money you earn can go straight into your savings. Even a few hours a week can make all the difference. Failing that, ask your boss if you can put in some overtime. Just picture yourself lying on that beach, drink in hand, without a care in world – you’ll be there sooner than you know it.
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Switching To The Mini Pill... When I Didn't Really Want To

Friday, 21 June 2019


If you read this post back in March then you'll know that I decided to go on the pill to see if it'd help with my chronic pelvic pain/suspected endometriosis. Unfortunately during my last doctors appointment back in April my doctor kicked off about my weight (instead of actually discussing how my pain has been since being on the pill) and she took me off the combined pill immediately. She switched me to the mini pill instead which is commonly known as the POP pill. It contains progesterone only and you take it daily as opposed to the combined pill which you take for 21 days and then have a 7 day break. When she told me she was putting me on Cerazette I literally muttered "Oh shit" under my breath because I've read and heard so many horror stories about that pill in particular from irregular bleeding, cystic acne, continuous bleeding, weight gain, mood swings and so on. But I know that going on the combined pill helped relieve my chronic pelvic pain a little and I personally felt that the side effects I had from going on the pill were worth it in exchanged for less intense pain every single day. 

As I write this I've just started my third month of Cerazette and once again it's been a wild journey. I definitely feel like I've experienced more side effects on Cerazette but I also feel like it's been helping my pain a little bit more than Microgynon did so I'm still kind of weighing up the pros and cons if I'm being totally honest. 

So let's talk about what side effects I've been dealing with over the past couple of months... 

First of all I've got to talk about my skin and what's been going on with it. When I was on the combined pill I went about 2 months with pretty much pristine spot-free skin, which was amazing! Especially as I'm quite prone to spots normally and I have oily skin. Literally within about 3 days after going on Cerazette my skin started breaking out like crazy and it also got super oily. I was so pissed off and I almost stopped taking it there and then. Then about a week of being on it I noticed I was getting these weird bumps on my cheeks (mainly on the left side) and since then they've got bigger and have spread out more across my cheeks. You may have seen this tweet when I was asking if anyone had any ideas on how to help get rid of them (p.s I look rough AF in the photo but please ignore that lol). So it's probably something I'm going to have to talk about with my doctor when I go and see her again because they're really affecting my confidence which isn't great anyway as they're really visible through my high coverage foundations and concealers. I'm currently trying various different skincare acids from Glycolic, Salicylic and Lactic to see if any of them will help but so far I haven't seen much improvement.

I also had really bad pain in my boobs for a week straight during my first month of being on the mini pill. If I accidentally knocked them or lay on them without a cushion supporting me I would literally yelp out in pain. I couldn't wear any sort of bra for that whole week either. But I'm guessing that my body was adjusting to the mini pill as I didn't experience it during my second month. Thank god. 

Another symptom which I think is pill related is that I feel bloated more often and you can literally see my belly bloating up and down. I also gained another 8lbs like I did when I first went on the combined pill. So I'm guessing an 8lb gain is the norm for my body and if/when I switch pills now. How fun... Not. Especially when I already have the doctors banging on about my weight instead of actually trying to figure out what's causing my chronic pain. I've also been experiencing nightmares quite often but I don't know if that's immediate side effects of the pill or if it's just because I've been dealing with a lot of stressful things over the past couple of months. But it sucks either way. Ugh.

So let's talk about the positives... I haven't had a period in two months. Absolutely nothing. Which I suppose is a good thing but I feel like if I was in a relationship right now then I'd probably be in full on meltdown most of the time thinking I'm pregnant. I still get period-like cramps around the time of the month I'd be getting a period but it's nowhere near as bad as it normally is. I just stick a BeYou patch on and hug my hot water bottle for a few hours (lol) and they both help to settle the pain. I've also not been having the bad mood swings that Microgynon gave me when I'd either feel super angry at nothing or I'd be crying over something silly so I don't feel as if I'm going completely crazy on Cerazette. Another big positive is something I've already mentioned which is that I *think* it's helping my daily pain more than Microgynon did. I still have pain daily and it still affects my quality of life but I know for a fact if I come off the pill I'm going to go straight back to the way I was before I was on the pill and I was not in a good state of mind back then, to the point that the way how I was feeling mentally was scaring the shit out of me. I still have bad mental health days but I don't feel like I'm in a constant depressive mood. It's either that or I'm just getting used to chronic pain life.

So overall even though I've been dealing with a lot of side effects I feel like I'm just going to stick it out a little longer and see how I go. I'm hoping my skin will clear up or settle down or that I'll find something which helps get rid of the weird bumps/spots and I'm also hoping that I don't gain any more weight. I also hope that the boob pain stays the hell away because that was brutal. I don't need any extra pain thank you very much lol.

Have you been on the mini pill before? 
If so, did you have any of the same side effects as me?

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