Saturday, 29 November 2014

Back to Basics: Skincare products you'll find in your home

Tea Tree

Tea tree oil is one of my favourites for clearing acne, being dubbed as "natures antiseptic". Studies have shown it is as effective as 5% benzoyl peroxide in controlling those nasty spots! It's also super cheap: available at supermarkets and drug stores from as little as £2.99 as an oil (Tesco, Superdrug, Boots), or if you're perhaps looking for something a little more portable and on the go there's the Tisserand Tea Tree+ Anti Blemish Stick at £4.50. The great news is, tea tree not only helps acne, but has multiple uses: curing athletes foot, head lice, viruses, and coughs, giving it holy grail status in my eyes.

Baking Soda

Another at home remedy... baking soda really is the perfect exfoliant. The only thing also needed to help you get rid of that nasty dry skin is some water, and it becomes the perfect paste. I also find it leaves your skin feeling soft and nourished, unlike many others. Another fab property of baking soda is it's slightly bleaching. Now, I don't mean for people of colour trying to lighten their skin, I mean for people who have had poor skin and want to try and minimise the scaring... it really does work!
I also find that mixing orange juice and baking soda together to create a smooth paste (there's no real ratio, just trial and error) to place on your face as a mask is a great way to reduce sore cysts and hyperpigmentation.

Baking soda is also pretty cheap, starting at £1.49 in supermarkets, it'll be the most affordable scrub you've ever had!


If by any chance you don't have the others stocked in your cupboards, you will have this! All you need is a basin, a towel  and boiled water. Placing your face over some hot water with a towel over the back, can do wonders to your pores: after they're open, go in with some tissue covering your nails, and get rid of your black heads with your nails. I don't know if people really realise what a transformation in your skin, once you have gotten rid of blocked pores, as there's generally a focus on whiteheads and cysts. It really can be amazing.
If you want an extra kick, add a drop of some tea tree oil for its antiseptic properties! Remember, get some ice or toner afterwards on those pores, otherwise they will become blocked again sooner.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

How To Grow Your Hair Fast

It's a gift every girl (and maybe some guys) wants: to be able to grow their hair long, and at a quick pace. I used to struggle to keep my hair in decent condition, in order to prevent it needing cut, especially since I often changed the style and colour.

But I believe I have found the holy grail of hair growth, in terms of thickness and length! "What is it ?" I hear you ask... It's shampoo and conditioner duo: Fast, by Nisim!

It's amino acid-y goodness is what promises this accelerated growth... it's all a bit scientific, but, definitely works.

When I use the products, my hair grows approximately 1.5inches per month, in comparison to 0.5inches without. I have used them on and off for the last year, because of the need for more conditioning products, but always have returned once my hair has been through rehab.

Some Pros and Cons to Consider


  • It smells pleasant: think fairy liquid and soapy
  • It has no silicones, parabens, or DEA... yay!
  • Your hair REALLY grows
  • The condition of your hair improves


  • Because there are no silicones your hair can sometimes feel dryer. Personally, I'd just recommend using a hair mask post conditioning to prevent this.
  • They're expensive at RRP £29.99, but do last a long time.
  • Can strip hair dye slightly

Have you tried out Fast shampoo and conditioner yet? Give it a go and find out the amazing effects for yourself!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

What's The Hype With Cinderella?

Yesterday the trailer for the live action version of Cinderella was released, and created a storm of bibbity-bobbity-boo over the internet. And it's not difficult to see why!

There have been a myriad of "Cinderella stories", but none quite meeting the standard of Disney's classic animation of Charles Perrault's story. There's been: A Cinderella Story, plus it's sequel's, Ella Enchanted, Ever After, and of course the version with Brandy and Whitney Houston (yes, I still have it in my video collection!).

The 2015, Disney's live action version will be added to the list of works inspired by the fairy tale, but I can't help but feel a little more excited for this release for the following reason's, and so should you!

Helena Bonham Carter is the Fairy Godmother

This is an interesting casting, as we know Helena mostly for her darker and eccentric roles, which would make her perfect for the wicked stepmother, Lady Tremaine. But in the trailer she is rocking it and looks fabulous with blonde hair, I must admit! From what I can tell, the character has been crafted in such a way to provide comic relief, and now that the trailer has been released, I can't imagine anyone else in the role! What an amazing addition to the cast! But it doesn't stop there, because...

...Robb Stark is Prince Charming

Well not quite Robb Stark, but the actor who plays him- Richard Madden is! And he's almost unrecognisable without his beard and GOT costume. And he's actually really charming. Jenna Coleman is a very lucky woman. This is another casting that's a little bit of a red herring: a Scottish guy, who played a tough, cursing Stark, but it appears to work strangely well. Maybe that's because...

...Kenneth Branagh is the Director!

I can't think of anyone else better to direct this movie. You might know him better as Gilderoy Lockhart in the Harry Potter movies, but he is also a great director! Thor? Iron Man 2? Yup, that was him! He's also an amazing Shakespearean actor, which will put him in a good position for bringing out the classical elements of Cinderella. 

cinderella-2-The Costume Department Are Amazing

Lily James, who plays the titular character, get's to wear the dress every girl has imagined: a beautiful baby blue, with more than a dozen layers of skirt, and of course matching glass slippers, that the Fairy Godmother insists are comfortable.

And of course there are the wicked Step Mother and Sisters' costumes, which have been designed to be "a bit too much", according to Sandy Powell, the Oscar winning costume designer

5 Best Radio 1 Live Lounges of 2014

If you're not from the UK, or even if you don't listen to BBC Radio 1, you might not have heard of the live lounge. To give you a short crash course, it's basically when a singer or band comes into BBC Radio 1, performs their current single acoustically, and usually a cover of something a little out of the blue.

It's unique nature has produced some amazing renditions in the past year, and here's five of the best!

Lorde: Jeremiah, Don't Tell 'Em

I must commend Lorde on her originality and individual cover of this song. It's what the Live Lounge is all about and definitely deserves a place here!

Ed Sheeran: Sam Smith, Stay With Me

Anything Ed sings is bound to give you shivers, and this is no exception. Plus this is one of his best vocals I've heard... just don't listen to it after a few glasses of wine, or you'll start drunk sobbing.

Ella Henderson: Great Big World, Say Something

One of the most emotional performances I've ever heard. Be careful if your an emotional person, this is a bit of a heavy cover... If you've ever watched her original audition for X Factor, you'll remember she sang a song for her late Grandpa, and you can't help but reflect back to it and cry. A lot.

Taylor Swift: Vance Joy, Riptide

This is a super cute cover from my fave, Miss Swift. It's classic Taylor, i.e. before 1989, and could easily just be one of the songs on her album. Maybe that's why she's taking the fabulous Vance Joy on tour with her?!

Fuse ODG: Mr Probs, Waves

This is maybe a tongue in cheek addition... but it's still worth a watch for a little giggle! You go Fuse ODG for giving it a go!

What's you're favourite Live Lounge? Is it mentioned here, or do you feel it's been unfairly missed out? Comment below!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Happy 25th Birthday The Little Mermaid!

Or should that be 41st Birthday Ariel? A character which began the championing of fabulous female characters in Disney movies!

Not only am I a huge Pixar fan, but I also love it's parent company, Disney, just as much, with Ariel easily being my favourite character. It only seemed fair to celebrate the 25th anniversary, of the movie that practically saved Disney, and brought it into a new era: the Renaissance.

Fun fact: the CEO of Disney back in 1989, Jeffrey Katzenberg, believed the movie was going to be a big flop because it was a "girl's movie" (wtf), and that Oliver & Company was going to be the big success... The Little Mermaid then went on to gross $84 million, whereas Oliver & Company grossed only $53 million. Ariel was a clear advocate for females at the time.

In fact, that's one of the characteristics, that makes me love her so much! Although a fairytale, if you translate the movie into realistic comparisons, there's some powerful, coming of age themes built in.

She spent many years wishing to be part of a new world, and unlike many of her predecessors, she goes and makes her own luck. Many people criticize her for leaving behind her family (p.s. let's be real about this, it wasn't for a guy), but don't realise that in some ways they were psychologically abusive: she saw a better life and leapt at the first chance. That brings us onto her flaws, another attribute Cinderella, Aurora and Snow White lacked. I definitely can relate to her, whether that's her wanderlust to explore a further world, or to grow independent.

Ariel opened a gateway for new female characters, even more diverse  than her, for example: Tiana, Elsa and Merida. I'd like to thank the creators (especially Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman), for giving a mermaid and millions of people around the world, a voice.

Here's a video of Peter Andre singing Kiss the Girl from the 1997 edition of The Little Mermaid, purely for nostalgic and humorous purposes, enjoy!

Friday, 14 November 2014

The Winter Coat Everyone Needs!

The weather all of a sudden has gotten so cold, and my cropped leather jacket just wasn't keeping me warm enough now... sigh, it really is winter now, and autumn is over.

So, the hunt for a winter coat was on. I initially thought perhaps a throw on camel coat would do the job, but quickly realised 1: they're not waterproof and have no hood, so it's definitely not Scotland proof, and 2: the throw on style was not going to keep me warm. In short, super cute for autumn and less wet seasons, just not suitable for minus conditions!

I had been looking in Zara, where I got my fabulous leather jacket, aforementioned, that I've been wearing for the last four months, and I spotted the most gorgeous coat! It comes in several colours, has down padding so it feels like you're walking about with a duvet on, a hood and is extremely waterproof.

It is a little pricey at £106, but if there's such a thing as an investment piece, this is one. Did I mention it's super flattering with the belt?!

You can find it here one or in your local store

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Taylor Swift Takes The Piss

At this point it's been out for over 24hrs, so I know you will have seen it by now. Yes, I'm talking about Taylor Swift's new music video for Blank Space. I've been listening to the album non stop since I wrote my album review, and I've come to the decision, this is one of my favourite hits on 1989!

The video however, has taken this love to a whole new adoration level. But I can't help but notice the theme of Taylor taking the piss out of herself, or to be more accurate, what the media portrays her as. Let's have a closer look at these incidences...

1.The White Horse Came Back Around

The single, White Horse was released almost six years ago. Damn. Once upon a time, she told us "it's too late"... but here we are in 2014, and not only is the rather fabulous (in many, many ways) Sean O'pry sitting there on his snowy stallion, but so is Taylor. Can we also point out she stood up on a bloody horse?! Totally not special effects.
Anyway, clearly a sassy metaphor... love it!

2. A Manor House and a Ballgown... Deja vu?

Taylor Swift

Does all that running about in formal wear seem familiar? Well, it's probably because of Miss Swift and her fairytale-istic music video for Love Story...
This is probably the song which catapulted her to worldwide recognition, and image which many associate her with. Perhaps a princess? delusional? I don't know, I've heard them all. But her growth since this song is fabulous.
Look at that smile in Blank Space... yeah, I'd be smiling too if I were in that situation.
Here's a few more Love Story parallels:

3. Bikes, Begin Again? 

Old Swifty's at it again: riding a beautiful antique bike. I remember the release of Begin Again video and people were commenting on the bike riding, especially with the skirt... hey, it's just exercising, plus have you seen that girl's legs? It must be doing something. But in the 1989 era, there's one difference, and that's that she seems so much happier and confident. It's almost as if she is joking about the pouty, romanticised Begin Again video.

4. He's The Reason For The Teardrops On My... Fireplace?

Teardrops On My Guitar is probably one of the most criticized of Taylor's songs. And maybe she was better off not being so concerned over some douche guy, but none of us know what the situation was like.
That saying, she's now learnt that the best way to deal with these people criticizing her, is to give them what they want. You think she's a psycho sobbing over a beautiful fireplace? She's going to give you that, with some scarily good scary eyes!
Taylor Swift

Have you found any more parallels in Taylor's new video, Blank Space? Why not watch the video and drop a comment below if you do!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

MTV EMA Playlist

If you're like me and didn't get tickets to the EMAs, you're probably sitting at home in your pjs feeling sorry for yourself, remote in hand. So while the show goes on (and only a few miles away from me!), have a listen to this playlist... just as good as being at the awards!

Friday, 7 November 2014

5 Ways Pixar Has Shaped Our Lives

Today has been a very exciting day for those in their teens to the early twenties, damn it even your parent's and little cousins are going to be squealing with happiness!

Toy Story 4 has just been announced, and is set for release on 16th of June 2017! The reason I say, even adults will be excited is because, Pixar don't do "wishy washy" plot-less dribble: the stories often have amazing morals attached to them and the odd adult joke. Do you remember the "I'll tell you when you're older" line you were given? And now we all know...

Let's take a look back at what lessons were taught, stories were told and memories made by this awesome company!

1. Pizza Planet Truck

You went to go see a Pixar movie, knowing one thing is for sure: the Pizza Planet Truck would be there! Except for in The Incredibles, but we won't speak of that. Many people went to see Brave, to see how the animators would fit in the iconic vehicle into ancient Scotland. You can see in the first picture above, how they managed to do so by having the witch/wood carver (we saw right through you!) chopping away, to make one.
Rule 1: You might have no interest in the plot (what the hell is wrong with you?!), but you will go to spot the Pizza Planet Trucks!

2. Woody and Buzz taught us about friendship

Before Toy Story, there wasn't much representation of what real friendships are like. Sure, you might "rip the shit" out of each other, but you definitely will save them from an evil toy collector, or the bully next door, or demonic toys. Never has there been a bromance quite like Woody and Buzz on the silver screen.

3. Nemo helped us (and our parent's) learn we are braver and stronger than we think

Nemo was a little guy with an abnormally small fin. But he's the toughest guy you ever did see in a Pixar movie. He might have been scared at the start but, in the end he saved himself and Dory, along with a little help from his Dad.

I know for me, my family tell me that I can't do this or that, because I'm not strong enough, tall enough, old enough (yes, and I'm 19), independent enough... In general: just not enough. And so did Marlin with Nemo. It took a big step for them both to realise Nemo's potential, even if he had a small fin. A brilliant moral, that actually has some really inspiring undertones!

4. Monster's Inc followed us through life

Released in 2001
Released in 2013
In 2001 I was six, so pretty close to the age of Boo. I still remember going to the cinema and being terrified of Randall. What if my door at night suddenly opened up to the Antarctic?! What if the Abominable Snowman offered me a snow cone?! The possible repercussions don't bare thinking about.

But then Monster's University came around, and it was Sully and Mike's age I was close to. In fact it came out the year I started University. You can't help but think, with Pixar's track record, that this was not a coincidence. It's a really scary period for young people to go through. You go on your first day, not knowing if you're going speak to anyone when it comes to making friends, or if classes are going to be way too advanced for you, or if you'll even enjoy your degree. I think it's important to thank Pixar for the representation of young people going through that point in their lives. Thank you!

5. Inside Out - coming 19th June 2015!

I'm super excited for this movie. Emotions are not something really, properly shown in Hollywood, and I guess it can screw kids up. But this movie has a normal young girl, living in an identikit town, has feelings, and facing a realistic situation. Especially with mental illness being something still taboo (wtf), this is a really big step forward! Bravo, Pixar.

Plus it also features the fabulous Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, and Bill Hader... How will it not be a hit?!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The Happy Secret To Better Work: A Video That Helped My Anxiety

This video at first sight might look like a drag. But it's far from that, it's about human nature.

I have gone through periods of really bad anxiety, only to go to the doctors and be given a leaflet. It's almost a comical representation of healthcare nowadays.

But when I watched this talk, I was captured by Shawn Achor's humour and couldn't help but feel positive. It's not until you give positivity a go, you realise the potential behind the theory. 

He talks about being a student, and I completely understand what he is saying about these young people and their struggles. Somehow, and I believe it's largely down to positive thinking, I've managed to open myself up to a whole range of experiences, just over two years ago I'd have gone into a crying, panic attack over. This includes going to University. 

There's various different people, gurus, organisations, you-name-it that promote this kind of thinking, but this is a great, concise video that introduces the practice of positive psychology. Give it a watch!

My Hair History

I'm only nineteen, yet I've gone through a multitude of hairstyles, hair colours and... um, hair traumas... So let's take a look back at the sequence of events... and questionable trends. P.s. excuse the 2008-esque selfies

The Early Days

As a child my Mum had complete control over the style of my hair. Which basically meant shoulder length and fringe: beautiful... I'd have to give this 5/10, there was much worse to come. (p.s. a strapless Christmas dance dress is being worn here, not what you're thinking)

The Highlights of the Highlights

Around 2007 I began experimenting with my hair, making me aged eleven to twelve. You know kids want to emulate their mum, so I asked for highlights (about a level 7) like hers and had a mid-length swoopy side fringe (really, it was in!). This was a nice look and brightened up my face: 7/10, cute for younger me...

But blonde gets addictive and I wanted more... I convinced my mum to let me buy some wash in wash out dye in a light blonde, and because most of my hair was virgin, the colour took amazingly well! If I could, I'd try and aim for something like this right now, a root colour (level 6?) blending into a lighter colour (level 7/8). Bit nicer, 8/10!

Mahogany and "The Pob"

But I grew bored of the natural blonde and wanted something a little more... interesting. Being a child in the early naughties, I loved STEPS, and I loved Lisa from STEPS, along with her hair. So I went Mahogany with the L'oreal Casting Creme. But this was done with the assistance of my Dad: Mother did not approve, so it soon went and faded. Not too bad, so 7.5/10.

I got fed up again and did something crazy with my haircut: I got an A line bob, of course styled after Victoria Beckham... I'm still gobsmacked when people don't remember the famed Pob (Posh bob, if you didn't get that one!). This was not a cute look on me... oops 4/10.

The Regrowth and the Black

I spent a long, long time trying to grow that out. I also spent a long time trying to grow out of that baby fat, both eventually happened.
My aim was to be able to grow my hair over my boobs. I was a classy girl, what can I say. I got it to a certain point before I decided I wanted hair like Megan Fox a-la overly dark hair (L'oreal Casting Creme in Dark Chocolate... still can't believe I took myself to a level 3/4). This was probably the point my hair started to become over-processed. Hmm, 3/10.

Black to Blea(k)ch

I soon took my mothers advice of the colour being too dark, and stopped after about three or four reapplications. But my hair was so bulked out with dye molecules, that there was no way I could lighten this safely. I thought all was lost, and would have to wait for regrowth all over again. That was until one day I was watching the tv and saw an advert for a product called Colour B4, which strips the dye from the hair. I gave it a go and it was wonderful: I went from a level 3 to a level 5-ish, without peroxide. Best condition I had been in ages, also that nasty fringe was on its way out! 7/10, I liked it a lot.

But that didn't last long, I craved blonde again, so went on a long journey to become an icey platinum. A lot of my friends still say they'll see pictures of me blonde and be shocked, I'm quite obviously a better brunette. The regrowth was dyer (pun intended) and I was getting it done professionally. I have since vowed to never go to the completely blonde side again.

Back to Brown

I returned to brown, by going to the hairdresser and dying over the bleached hair. This was a lovely colour, but would came out of the hair easily, after the amount of bleach that had previously made it porous . Also, this was the first time I went to that specific hairdresser and he cut about three or so inches off my hair (after asking for one): the colour was so natural, but I sobbed over my now "long bob". Safe to say, I never went back. But hair grows, as it does, and I then loved how it looked. I'd like to say 7/10.

My mop had very little differentiation for a couple of years as I grew it back to a long length. There was a bit of lightening with John Frieda Go Blonder Lightening Spray, which did cause a little damage. That resulted in me going back to the hairdressers after the disastrous cut. I was confident as they are known to be the best salon brand in the West of Scotland. But when I started getting colour there, to try and even it out: that was where the nightmare began. They would make it so dark and it had such a strong red undertone! But after four or five washes, it would fade to a nice natural colour. Ehh, 5/10.

The Balayage and the Beast, To Now

My mum had gone away for the weekend up to the North of Scotland, while I stayed at home, preparing for a new year at University. I decided I wanted something natural and lighter. That's when I discovered balayage. I took the picture below to the salon, you know, the famously good one I previously mentioned, and asked for something similar.

The criteria I gave was: to be recognisable as brunette (no bleach blonde again please!), blended as I wanted it to look super natural, no lighter than a level 7, and ashy.
That saying the hairdresser threw that aside and gave me this (0/10!):

I was beyond pissed, especially since it cost £130, but I pretended I liked once it was done: maybe I was just being a spoilt brate that'd never be happy with her hair. I cried and cried and refused to go out, so the next day my grandparents took me back for them to fix this disaster, Guy Tang would be appalled by this site!
They basically put highlights through it (it was like going blonde all over again: disaster!) to "fix it", but It turned out horrifically too... I heard the hairdresser saying she was using a level 10 blonde, no wonder! Then the salon's colourist came over and fixed by blending from a level 5 brown, to a level 6. It was nice enough, just incredibly dark (and not those levels). It faded quickly on the ends, since it was porous and had go back, costing me another £90.
I've not gone back to that specific salon, but another in the franchise, for a cut. I figured if I got some shorter layers cut into it, that'd chop a whole lot of that nasty bleach out. And it did, thank god. Also, since I've been on holiday, so that level 5 brown you see above (who are you kidding), has faded to a lovely level 5.5. Furthermore, because of the highlights that were placed in the "colour correction", I now have actual balayage, hooray! I'm loving my hair right now: 9/10.

Let me know, have you had any hair disasters? Or even better, amazing hairstyles you've loved?

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