Friday, 18 April 2014

OOTD: Dinner Date

Happy Easter! I hope everyone is having a lovely long weekend and enjoying a few hard earned days off work :). I just wanted to do a quick fashion post with an outfit I wore for a dinner date with my hubby (to be).
 Jumpsuit: Miss Selfridge (£59 here), Shoes: River Island (a few years ago), Bracelet: Disney Couture (similar here)
I love the statement necklace that comes as part of this jumpsuit. It just makes dressing that much more effortless! It is also removable if you wanted to wear your own, or wear it alone with a different outfit.
To show off the detailing I put my hair up in a little chignon, though I definitely need a little more practice in doing this. Does anyone have any tips?
Have a lovely Easter! xxx

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Invisalign - Home Stretch

I am very happy to report that I am on the home straight with my Invisalign treatment. It’s been a bit of an up and down journey, but it looks like I am nearly there, though ‘there’ is perhaps not quite what I had envisioned…
After 5 trays in the new set I was called in for my regular bimonthly check up. I had imagined that since we were making progress after the winter hiatus that I would use all the trays sent through by Invisalign to achieve the results that we first discussed a year ago. However, looking at the projected ClinCheck movie my dentist decided not to proceed with the rest of the trays as the computer had planned for my teeth to start tilting inwards. Given my teeth are already small (as I keep being told) this wouldn’t make for a very attractive look. Therefore my dentist decided to halt my treatment once more. I have to confess that I did feel a bit down heartened by this as it seemed that what I had hoped for and what was discussed was once again not what was planned by the computer model.

My main concern was that there was still a little overlap in my front two teeth, which was the main reason I had decided to do Invisalign in the first place. While it was true that my teeth now looked more aligned and some of the smaller spaces between teeth were evened out my main area of focus had not really been addressed. Fortunately my dentist agreed with me and decided to take matters into his own hands to try and get the tooth that was slightly in front to start moving back. He used the last set of trays I had been wearing and manually put in little ‘bobbles’ with pliers (which are specially designed for manual adjustments). He put one at the front to help the tooth move backwards and some at the back to make the other tooth move forwards. He also added a few to the back alongside a few other teeth to make the tray more snug (as it had already loosened up during 2 weeks of wear) so it can exert a little more pressure on the front tooth.

Jump forward to 3 weeks later and I had more bobbles added to the front to encourage the tooth to fall into place. While these ‘bobbles’ were quite visible by this point I really didn’t care too much as it seemed that we had exhausted every other option to get the tooth to align.

Another 2 weeks later and with a slightly mangled tray I returned feeling a bit anxious as not much had changed. I have to reiterate that what we are talking about is a miniscule amount of overlap, but having gone through almost a year of wearing these trays I really did want them to look perfect. I guess looking at other people’s before and after changes had not been particularly helpful as the dramatic difference was obvious. With me looking at photos didn’t show very much change at all, particularly from the front. However, when looking at my movie the results seemed much more obvious.

To assess my teeth more carefully my dentist used a camera to look from below and noticed that one of my teeth was actually thicker than the other (he actually used the term bulbous, but I prefer not to think of that lol). He explained that this was the reason we were struggling to get them perfectly in parallel when looking from the side. Though the teeth were in good alignment one looked like it was slightly further forward because it was thicker. He did give me the option of shaving down a little enamel, but given my teeth are so sensitive I didn’t want to go ahead with that and perhaps compromise the health and strength of my teeth for my vanity. Invisalign is one thing as it causes absolutely no damage, but sanding my teeth was a step too far for me!

(please excuse the scary photo!)

It’s a little frustrating that this problem wasn’t noticed earlier as it would have meant that I had more realistic expectations of the final appearance of my teeth, but I can hardly blame anyone for the fact that one of my teeth is thicker than the other. When I went to the optician a few years ago he also told me that one of my eyes is bigger than the other so it seems to be a common theme ;). Luckily no one has ever noticed… and I’m not sure why I’m declaring it on the internet, but as usual I keep no secrets from you guys ;p.

Now being on the home stretch, with my next appointment scheduled in a few weeks to remove my attachments and be free of trays (in the daytime at least), I am feeling happy overall with the Invisalign experience. It hasn’t been perfect, but nothing in nature is and I hope that it helps you guys in seeing an uncompromisingly truthful account of every inch of my progress. It is of course tricky to compare from memory so looking through my movie has been really helpful and proves to me that my teeth definitely look much more aligned, evenly spaced and generally a lot neater. I absolutely can’t wait to see the finished result! I will update you all in a few weeks :).

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Free Shu Uemure Cleansing Oil

To celebrate the launch of their new cleansing oil on the 1st of May Shu Uemura are launching their cleansing oil amnesty. This means you can get your very own personally prescribed bottle of their cult cleansing oil for free!

All you need to do is pop in store with a cleanser (of any brand) for exchange, even if it's empty. In return you will receive a 50ml Travel Size bottle of one of Shu's iconic cleansing oils worth £10.

As well as this, every customer who exchanges will also receive a mini-facial on counter, just to kick start their healthy skin routine.

You can visit the Shu Uemura boutique at 15 Monmouth Street, London, WC2H 9DA.
Will you be picking up your bottle of free cleanser?

Monday, 31 March 2014

Recreate The Empire Awards with SEVENTEEN

Last night's Empire Awards were a star studded affair with a host of celebs polished to red carpet perfection. But why do they get to have all the fun? For this post I have teamed up with SEVENTEEN's fabulous MUA Vanesa Guallar (who actually did my makeup for a magazine shoot last year) to show you how you can recreate our favourite looks at home, and at a fraction of the price using SEVENTEEN cosmetics. Scroll down to see how you can also win a special SEVENTEEN goodie bag!

Sarah Harding

Get ready to glow!
The look: Striving for that healthy summer glow but still wanting to dazzle? Double up with Sarah Harding’s fresh-faced look and dark framed eyes. The perfect look for your spring/summer parties!

Vanesa says: With this look, it’s best to work on the eyes first so you can clean the under eye area of any black, leaving your skin clean and ready to apply foundation. SEVENTEEN Stay Time Foundation is brilliant to give skin an even look, with a great lasting finish. To enhance your look apply SEVENTEEN Cheek Stamps in Star-Struck to your cheeks and forehead. For the eyes, apply SEVENTEEN Kohl Eye Pencil in Black along the bottom of the eye line, then apply a soft eye shadow on the top of your eyelid, (try SEVENTEEN Solo Eye Shadow in Ivory Coast) and finish by applying two coats of Backlash Mascara in Black. For the lips opt for a nude shade such as SEVENTEEN Stay Pout Lipstick in Going Steady for a natural look.

Sophie Turner

Red alert!
The look: Ever dared to wear red? Be bold and take control with Sophie Turner’s sensuous red lips! Paired up with soft eyes, this claret lip trend will give you the confidence to wow friends on a night out and you’ll be sure to pick up the compliments!

Vanesa says: Begin by applying a thin layer of SEVENTEEN On the Spot Foundation to cover any blemishes. Then use a soft brown pencil to draw a thin line on top of your eye line, and softly brush some pink eye shadow on the top eyelid. SEVENTEEN Solo Eye Shadow in Statuesque would work perfectly. Finish the eyes with a generous coat of SEVENTEEN Super Lash mascara. For the lips, choose a bright red lipstick such as SEVENTEEN Mirror Shine Lipstick in Roasted Red and apply it with a lip brush for precision and staying power. Finish the look by powdering the area with SEVENTEEN Miracle Matte Loose Powder.

Annabelle Wallis

Sophisticated glamour! 

Vanesa says: Apply SEVENTEEN Photo Flawless Foundation to achieve a flawless professional finish that lasts for up to 24 hours. Then to achieve a sun-kissed glow, sweep SEVENTEEN Instant Glow Bronzing Rocks all over the face. To create definition and a nice glow to the cheek bones and top of the eyelid, apply a small amount of SEVENTEEN Skin Wow Primer and blend.

For the eyes, use the SEVENTEEN Neptune Trio to create a smoky eye look. Using the medium colour and sweeping across the center area of the lid and apply the darker shade towards the lash line. Apply the lighter gold shade into the inner corner of your eye and below the eyebrow to lift the eye. Then apply a thin layer of SEVENTEEN High Drama Liquid Eyeliner to the top lid and finish with two coats of SEVENTEEN Blow Out Mascara in Blackest Black. Finish this look by applying SEVENTEEN Berry Crush Lip Stain in Bombshell.

I hope you like our top picks of the night! If you want to try these looks out for yourself please leave a comment below letting us know which is your favourite and you could WIN a SEVENTEEN goodie bag to help you recreate that red carpet glam!

*Products provided by SEVENTEEN*

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Your Skin... and Sugar

Following on from my last post on nutrition I just wanted to share a little bit more information with regards to sugar. Yes, we have all heard how it's bad for us, but why and (given this is a beauty blog) how can it affect your skin?

The Good

We all know it tastes pretty spectacular. I have a huge sweet tooth and pretty much nothing can come close to giving me that happy, warm, fuzzy feeling other than a belly full of ice cream. I never met a dessert I didn't like... well maybe apart from liquorice!
The Bad
With that being said, there’s not a single one of us who doesn’t know that sugar, especially in excess, is bad for us. It’s terrible for our teeth, destroys our mood, makes us gain weight and severely alters our overall blood chemistry. We have to admit that sugar simply ruins our health. However, we (myself very much included) continue to indulge our sugar obsession, despite the detrimental consequences. We can all agree life is too short not to enjoy our favourite dessert, right?

The Ugly

Not only can sugar lead to weight gain it can also make us look older! In fact, excess sugar in our bodies is now being revealed as one of the most damaging elements to our appearance. As it turns out these sweet little sugar molecules are leading a double life. After they pass over our taste buds and give us that amazing sugar buzz they change their personalities and go on a seek-and-destroy mission. In a process called glycation excess sugar in our blood stream binds to proteins in our bodies. Once bonding happens, that particular protein becomes glycated, which means it loses its shape, hardens and fails to function correctly while excreting exotoxins that affect surrounding proteins. After the glycation process has run its course, the protein is referred to as an Advanced Glycation End Product, or A.G.E. for short (a rather appropriate acronym).

This is where the ugly part comes in. Most people are aware that the main protein in human skin is collagen, the proteins of which are very long lasting with a natural half-life of approximately 15 years. Sadly they are not immune to the effects of glycation, becoming misshapen, hardened, brittle and excreting exotoxins. It is therefore not difficult to see the link between visible signs of ageing in the skin – wrinkles, fine lines, discoloration, sagging, uneven skin tones, stress, loss of elasticity, etc. - to the process of glycation.

Glycation becomes more evident in your appearance when sugar molecules attack the surface proteins on the fine capillaries of your skin. This process causes your capillaries to leak, causing what we recognize as spider veins. The same process can happen in the under-eye area, which we recognize as dark circles.

The most demoralizing aspect of glycation is the fact that once a protein has become glycated, or is now considered an A.G.E., the damage is permanent. Glycation is an additive effect and probably begins as soon as we’re born, affecting us throughout our lifetime.

As research advances I am sure that soon we will have a whole new category of anti-glycation treatments. However, until that is the case I am going to try to make a concerted effort to reduce my sugar intake. The easiest way for me to do this is to concentrate on whole foods. There are so many added sugars in prepared foods, even those that are savoury, but as long as you know what you are eating you can at least control your consumption at some level. Honestly I would be far too scared to add up the number if I was living on cereals, energy drinks and ready meals (which I did during uni)! There are so many easy recipes on the internet for those of us striving for a healthier life. One of my favourites is
Madeleine Shaw, who advocates a low sugar lifestyle, without giving up all treats.

Maybe I can have my cake and eat it too after all?

What are your thoughts on sugar? Did you know that it could affect your outward appearance, as well as your internal health and weight? Do you have any tips or advice to share on cutting down?

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Invisalign - Back on Track

After the few months of delay that I last wrote about I am very pleased to be able to update you all on my Invisalign journey with much more positive news. I am now back on track with a new set of trays without any new attachments!

After wearing the same tray for over 2 months it had pretty much disintegrated and my teeth started to slowly move back to their original position. Luckily, when the new trays came they still fitted so I was very relieved! Even though my teeth had moved back a little they still remained ‘maleable’ in the bone so after about 2 days of discomfort with the new trays I think the previous movement had been reversed, which is great news. :)

I have been keeping close contact with my dentist and going for regular check ups every 2 -4 weeks to make sure the movement is on target as my front two teeth are yet to move into alignment as hoped. Of course as the sets of trays are made through the Clincheck process the computer can only predict how your teeth will move and make the trays to guide the movement. For some reason my teeth haven’t quite moved in the way expected. I have been told that this may be because they are small so more of the tooth is in the bone, which means there is less leverage with the exposed tooth that is being moved by the trays. To try and help with this my dentist has made some small bumps in the back of the tray (using forceps) behind some of the teeth that are targeted for the most movement. This makes the tray a little tighter in these areas and so puts more pressure on the tooth, hopefully encouraging it to move as planned. I am glad that this has been done as it makes sure the treatment is targeted to my progress and should hopefully keep my teeth closer to the movement model generated on the computer.

My dentist has also been really helpful in trying to speed up the process so I have only had to wear some of the trays for 10 days rather than the usual 14. I find that in the last days of the tray there is no movement (absolutely no feeling of pressure) so I do not think this will lessen the results. All it is doing is cutting a little short the rest phases between the movements, but since I had a break in the middle of my treatment and am keen to see results and progress I am very happy to be speeding up the process in any way I can, while still being safe and effective.

I have another appointment tonight to get my next set of trays. I do hope that the adjustments have also made some difference. Keeping fingers crossed!

Are any of you thinking of Invisalign? Do you have any queries or concerns? If you have had/are having this treatment I would also love to hear your thoughts and opinions!