Friday, 24 April 2015

There are many things I love in life - yummy healthy food, great skincare, friends, experiences, and moments where you're so overexcited you just want to squeal, so you can only imagine how I felt when I was invited down to the Natural and Organic Products Europe Show (or NOPE for short, how amazing is that?)
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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Sweet Potato Brownies are no strangers around here - I've done two recipes already, one with Coffee Caramel and another perfect for Christmas - but this new addition has stolen my Brownie heart. It's super fudgy and gooey, and it's now topped with my insane Vegan Chocolate Fudge Icing - I mean, can we just appreciate all this chocolate goodness?!

To make this post even more exciting, I've filmed myself baking the brownies and making the fudge for your viewing please - the excitement of melted chocolate is second to none now in my kitchen, and also how cute is this Navy Floral Plate* by Joules - perfect serving plate for chocolate goodies!

For the Brownies
2 Large Sweet Potatoes | 100g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour | 50g Rice Flour | 60-70g Soya Butter | 60g Dark Chocolate (72% or higher) | 20g Cocoa/Cacao Powder | 35g Sugar | Nut Milk | ½  Tsp Baking Powder

For the Fudge Icing
14 Pitted Dates | 65g Dark Chocolate (72% or higher) | Nut Milk | Hot Water

I'm so excited to be bringing my bakes to the screen for you to watch as well as read about, so let me know what you thought of the video and don't forget to comment, like and subscribe if you want to see some more (the prize for doing all three is free brownies, I promise, as soon as I set up a delivery service). Healthy brownies, what better way to pick up your mid-week mood?

Have you tried Sweet Potato Brownies before? Did you enjoy watching me talk through the bakes? Are you subbed to my channel yet? ;)

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more. 

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Monday, 20 April 2015

Nothing says low-key like a nude lip, but there's so many shades of nude available on the beauty market these days that they've become a feature focus in themselves. Personally, I'm a huge fan of the Kylie Jenner brown-pink nude shades (maybe not the overdrawing though, that's an art in itself - ain't nobody got time for that in the morning) and after years of brown not being a flattering colour to wear  next to the teeth, it's finally been reworked into what is probably my favourite nude shade to wear since starting my lipstick obsession.

What I love about a nude lip is that you can go from something really basic and easy to slick on, to something more worked and perfected for a special occasion. From a simple balm to a three-step finish, there are endless possibilities when choosing your own personal nude 'your lips but better' shade, and I've finally cultivated my own little selection of nudes that will solve any make-up problem in a flash.

For the 'barely there' moisturising quick fix  I am really obsessed with Sleek's True Colour Lipstick in Liqueur, it's perfect for adding a hint of colour with a slight metallic edge that is huge this season. The formula is very nourishing so if you're into a minimal look, this is perfect to swipe on quickly for a hint of something something when on the run or to compliment a smokey eye. It's also under £5 so you need this bargain in your bag now!

For the long-lasting multi-purpose liners to rock on their own  Rimmel really know how to do a bargain liner dupe, and if you're still on the hunt for Whirl, Spice or Stone from MAC then you need to get yourself down to Boots now to pick up these shades ASAP! In the recent Boots 3 for 2 deal, I finally got my paws on (L-R) Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses in Tiramisu, Exaggerate Lip Liner in Addiction, and Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses in Cappuccino and they are perfect both under a lipstick to add a deeper brown-pink hue to the shade for that modern 90's vibe or a more evening finish, and also on their own over a bit of balm for a matte long lasting colour. I love to mix two of the liners at a time for a more ombre and fuller looking pout, plus they get a load of compliments too - winner winner, lipstick sinner.

For the concealer lips throwback  Oh concealer and foundation lips, you were such a huge part of my life (and a big cause of my dry lips). Once I had grown out of the habit of layering up my foundation on my mouth, I looked for a more acceptable way to tone down and lighten my lips and I really love the pale peach finish of MAC Myth. This does look better with a bit of a tan and bronze, or if you're really going all 90's then line your lips in a mauve-brown shade first and layer this on top - hits the trends on the head. I like to pull this out now and again for nostalgia, and I have to admit, it still has a place in my tanned skin and smokey eyes heart.

For the any occasion, holy grail 'my lips but better' shade I can't live without  Big claims, but all well deserved in my opinion. You've probably heard me bang on about CHANEL Rouge Coco in Mademoiselle enough times now, so I'll just give you the jist - a perfectly balanced formula between matte and creamy, the pink-brown shade with hints of mauve enhances the lip's colour for a bit of added depth that looks amazing against the skin, is easy to apply and reapply all day if you so wish, and looks incredible over any lip liner shade; brown, red, pink, nude, you got the lip liner, it'll work! It creates such a unique shade on each person, and it's super flattering and an absolute handbag essential. For £25, it's the priciest of the lot, but you are paying for a flawless nude formula that won't disappoint.

Nudes, you can't go wrong with them. Whether you're rocking it for work, dinner, with a tan or a winter complexion, there's a shade and finish to suit every need. Experiment with pink, brown and mauve based tones, and find your nude lip essential to last a lifetime. Now, to perfect the Jenner lip or not?....

Are you a fan of nude lipsticks? What kind of shade do you like to wear? Do you have lip essentials you can't live without?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more. 

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Saturday, 18 April 2015

I have a confession; I'm a bit of a granny, but a 'self-proclaimed happy to be a granny' granny. At the ripe age of 21, I've let my older head get the better of me and I've settled into a comfortable routine of switching myself off early and prioritising a good relaxation before bed over watching TV or scrolling the internet for hours (although, the odd occasion does occur because, the internet is fabulous).

The sounds of a 9pm bedtime might not be appealing to everyone, but the run up to jumping into your duvet is a very important one - it sets the tone for your sleep, it helps you finish off the day, and it just gives you a bit of 'me time' after a full day of business or maybe a day of chill, because you still need to relax after a relaxing day! So settle back this weekend, and make sure you treat yourself to the best sleep and evening ever with my easy ways to switch off!

Turn off your phone and computer
Living in such an internet world, this can be hard - late night WhatsApp conversations, joining in a hashtag from your fave TV show, or even some late Bloglovin' reading, but turning off all electronics an hour or so before you go to sleep can be good for your brain! There was a recent article in Cosmo that said having your phone left on next to you overnight can overstimulate your brain and can lead to insomnia or disturbed sleep patterns. The blue light emitted from phones and TV causes your brain to stay active, so after your last Twitter chat or Netflix episode, switch everything off and try the next few steps...

Do some Meditation or Yoga before bed
I am all about yoga these days thanks to Yoga with Adriene, and now I've mastered a few moves I like to create my own creative workout to release all the tensions and trapped energy of the day before I pop off to sleep - it also makes me super sleep so within a few minutes of hitting my pillow I'm out for 9 hours (bliss!). Sun Salutation is a great basic to start with, and there's nothing better than some Cat/Cow, Downward Dog, and Savasana - corpse pose, the only pose you need! These are great practises to calm your mind, help you switch off and relax, and also relieve some tension in your body to help you sleep calmly.

Have a nice hot bath
Something I don't do often as I am more of a shower person, but if you read my How To Prep for a Spa Day post, you'll know that a salt filled bath with some calm essential oils can really do the trick. Epsom or Himalayan salts help relieve and detox to body and muscles, leaving you feeling very heavy and drowsy (perfect for sleeping) and it also helps work out those tired muscles. The heat combined will make you chilled (not in temperature) in no time, and the essential oils such as Lavender will help you relax and send your brain to sleep.

Give yourself some pamper time
I always work until 6 and then have to make dinner, have some time to sit down, and then usually get involved with a Twitter chat, so sometimes I can have between an hour or 30 minutes to myself in the evenings. To make the most of the time spare, I really go for it on the pampering - a full on facial massage with the cleansing balm, layering oils and creams, a good clarifying face mask and maybe I'll paint my nails if I feel crazy with time! Just these simple tasks make you feel good, and as a little reward to giving yourself a break you're boosting your mood too by treating your skin!

Have a massage
Similarly to the pampering, a nice little massage can do wonders to switching off your mind. I like to massage my head gently to release any tension, and sometimes a leg massage can make you feel so chilled out too - unless there's a partner or pal you can rope in then get them to give you the full massage treatment from your head to your toes ;)

Light a relaxing candle
If you haven't already seen in my latest video, I am obsessed with candles and anything of the burning scented variety. I picked up this amazing Calm Candle from Parks (via Homesense, of course, my candle kingdom) which smells like fresh man mixed with deep heady oils that just make you instantly relax in your body - when I was feeling a bit stressed recently, I took a big whiff of this and I was instantly zoned out. Another great tip is to use lavender, and I have this Lavender Reed (also Homesense) which I turn nightly and pop by my bed to help send me off into a relaxed slumber. The oil is so potent that I can just inhale the lovely soft scent in each time I breathe, and I'm soon fast asleep.

Invest in ear plugs
This is probably my most favourite find - I'm quite sensitive with sleep and wake up easily (especially with noise) so I bought these BioEars Ear Plugs from Boots in a recent deal. They are a mouldable waxy texture which can cut out noise up to 23 decibels and also work for swimming underwater as they seal the ear completely. I love wearing these despite my ears feeling hot in the morning, but I pop these in as I do my evening routine and I cannot hear a thing - I wash my face, do yoga, and drift off to sleep without hearing a peep from a few cm away.

Have a calming cup of tea
A cup of tea can solve a lot of things, and a relaxing tea is even better. Chamomile is a fabulous soother, which is probably why I love Pukka Herbs Night Time Tea; it's the perfect blend of relaxing herbs such as chamomile and lavender with liquorice and lime flower to help lift and warm the senses. I usually have about two mugs of this between finishing work and going to bed so that I can get my body into a state of total warm relaxation - always a treat.

Read a book or do some writing
When I have a free evening, I like to sit in a calm space and complete a task I don't have much time to do. For me, it's reading books, and I always forget how much I love to read until I end up finishing two in two days, I just become completely absorbed by stories. Another thing to do is write, and whether this is writing notes on ideas I have or to just note my feelings, it helps my brain relax and release some of the tension and activity going on inside, and make me feel a lot calmer too.

Take a deep breath, and just let it all go
This is probably the most important step, and one I really encourage you all to do - breathe. Just take a moment outside of the situation or after you've stepped away from your normal day mode, take a really deep breath in and then let it all out slowly. You'll feel in your chest all the resistance and stress draining away, your muscles will relax, and you'll feel a lot more grounded in your body. Take three of these breaths, and then carry on with your relaxing routine whatever it may be.

Relaxing is something we don't do often enough, and should be seen not as a treat but a daily activity. Being able to relax and detach yourself from the routine and events of the past 8-10 hours makes you feel a lot more calm as a person, it helps you feel better in the days progressing. I encourage you to all try a few of the things on this list, and see how you can switch off from the noise and switch over to some truly indulgent nightly me time. Go on, you deserve it.

How do you like to relax? Are you a late night scroller or do you switch all your technology off? Will you be giving any of these tips a go?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more. 

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Friday, 17 April 2015

Blogging has not only introduced me to food, beauty, and endless hours perfecting camera angles, but also to some amazing opportunities and friends that I wouldn't have known otherwise. Luckily for me, Scarlett London's blog event #SLBloggerBash came around last week, bringing bloggers and brands together for a day of networking, laughs, and some pretty brilliant polaroids. I finally got to meet some lovely ladies I'd been following for ages, catch up with old friends, and stock up on so many samples of Egyptian Magic I'm pretty much set for life.

Before we even get to the event, myself and my WhatsApp Gals - better known as Ally, Saida, Kris and Emily - met up for a picnic just off Oxford Street where we were later joined by Pippa and Kat. I obviously bought too much food and force-fed the girls my Sweet Potato Brownies whilst I chugged on the houmous and carrots, but it was so nice to meet people for the first time IRL that you could instantly have an easy conversation with (and also pull one too many weird faces and show them your chocolate stained teeth when asking if you'd got anything round your mouth).

But of course, you're here to know more about the main event! This year's #SLBloggerBash was held at One Alfred Place, hidden just off Tottenham Court Road and was absolutely packed with bloggers and faces I'd been spotting on Twitter for months. Just like last time, Search Laboratory was co-hosting and it was lovely to see the team again - such lovely people and I got to meet more of the girls too which was awesome.

The stands ranged from Urban Outfitters to Quiz Clothing, Tuscany Now to Bon Prix, covering footwear, fashion, beauty and lifestyle which was really refreshing to see, and of course the all important Bake Stand. I whipped up some Sweet Potato Brownies with Vegan Chocolate Fudge Icing (full recipe coming to my channel next Tuesday!) and make some extra ones for the girls to try - it's the first time I've had someone outside my family trying them and I'm so happy to report they were a success! Although I didn't win, every last brownie was gone when I went back to check the stall so that's proof enough for me that they were darn delicious!

It was very busy when we got there so we hung around the Urban Outfitters counter a lot and got some cute polaroids of the group together - definitely getting the Instagrams printed out to go on my wall! There was also a sneak preview of the AW15 range and some current season pieces - totally gorgeous, as UO always is - and also all the samples of skincare I'd possibly dreamed of! 

When we did get to mooch around more, the Tuscany Now stall was supplying Italian wine to taste for their contest as well as some parmesan and salami (possible the most pungent cheese and meat I've smelt since quitting meat and dairy!), and there a boules contest going on between bloggers (Emily and Ally gave this a go, and Emily snagged the last flower crown of the day).

Bon Prix had some of their SS15 range on display and let bloggers tag an item they were coveting - I chose an Emerald One-Piece Swimsuit, totally got me in the holiday mood! And if you fancied feeling like a Princess, then Quiz were on hand with crowns and sashes to turn you in the ultimate Prom Queen (and also win a Prom Goody bag full of treats - so awesome!)

It was so nice to see faces old and new - I bumped into Angelica which was lovely after our first meeting at the Covent Garden Beauty Live event, and then there was the lovely Poppy, Debbie, Elle, Anna, Jessica, Naomi, Arianna, Jaye, Lana amongst others, and it was so heart warming when people came up to me to say they read my blog, knew who I was, or liked my outfit which was throw together in 10 minutes (and blue, that's my kind of style), it's amazing the sense of community you find and that people want to to listen to you out of all the people on the internet - so to everyone who spoke to me, thank you so much for your support and kindness on the day!

People started to leave, and after we got caught up in a rather hilarious conversation with Rhiannon and Jen from Search Labs (the world will never know) and I took about half the remaining samples of Egyptian Magic that no one wanted - madness, this cream is a saviour, but more for me ey? ;) - we all grouped back together and headed to Oxford Circus for a quick bite and drink, as my voice was near gone from all the talking, and we all went out separate ways home after what was really a fabulous day.

I'm so excited to meet up with the girls again soon, and I'm definitely excited to see Ally's vlog as I seem to make one or five embarrassing moments but you got to laugh at yourself right? Until the next event, I'll just be hanging onto my Egyptian Magic samples and WhatsApp chats until we can all regroup in the summer for some more hilarious bonding moments.

A massive congratulations and thanks you has to go to Scarlett though - whilst juggling Uni and feeling unwell in the run-up to the event, she has pulled off more than most of us and it was brilliantly organised. Both her events that I've attended have been a blast and I'm more than excited for the next one in September, so thank you Scarlett you mega babe for another fabulous turnout, I hope you slept for days afterwards!

All I need now is to live closer to my friends and have bake some more brownies to share, and then I can relive this day again and again; pure bliss.

Have you attended a blog event? Did you attend SLBlogger Bash? Have you found new friends through blogging?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more. 

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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Bloating, it's an odd word right? It's also a big factor why people feel they have to lose weight because their 'stomach is big' which is totally the wrong idea, as bloating is something very manageable and short-term in the body's daily function. Bloating is caused by many factors including undigested food, IBS, food intolerances and constipation (yep I did just talk about the act of not being able to go to the toilet on this blog, who'd have seen that one coming?)

Bloating is uncomfortable, sometimes painful, and can make you feel a bit rubbish if you focus on it too much; it's important to remember that throughout the day, our stomachs do stick out more as we are eating food which is being digested and used as fuel for the body, don't mistake this for having a 'belly'!
If you find yourself getting bloated regularly, there are some really fab and easy changes you can make to your lifestyle that will make you feel fantastic; grab a pen and get noting down these quick tips for a bloat-free zone!

Drink Water Infused with Lemon or Cucumber
Drinking water is pretty much a cure for anything these days - skin, hangovers, dehydration, but infused with fruits it becomes a great tummy calmer. Lemon water is a great duet and helps flush out any excess salt in the body that causes stomach to retain fluids, and cucumber water as I mentioned in this post is also a diuretic but is a lot more alkaline. Cucumber with the peel on chains many antioxidants, pro-inflamatory enzymes, and Vitamin K which helps to give you stronger bones too! Important: as lemon is quite acidic, be careful with how often you drink it as it can make your gums become sore and cause erosion! Once a day is fine, but then continue with cucumber water for a gentle diuretic that is more balanced.

Make sure you eat slow and don't gulp!
I am a notorious fast easter, but inhaling your food at such speeds can cause you to take in excess gas-producing air which causes bloating - not good. Take time eating small bites and sip your drink between to reduce the amount of air taken in. This also goes for chewing gum, which also produces excess air and leaves you feeling a pit puffy

Cook your vegetables fully
Certain foods are harder to digest when raw/semi-cooked so make sure you boil/steam/roast them until soft, as this will make them easier to digest and prevent them hanging around too long in your system.

Breathe and beat the stress
Stress is a huge trigger for bloat as it spins up the hormones in your body, causing many digestive problems. If you're feeling anxious, take yourself away from the situation to take your mind off any stress and you'll soon feel a lot better.

Combine foods so they are easier to digest
As good as legumes or greens are for you, they can become hard to digest on their own due to the sugars and fibres inside them that are bodies aren't used to. Try mixing legumes with wholegrains and foods packed with vitamin C when eating greens to get the most out of your meals - minus the uncomfortable bloat!

Try Potassium rich foods!
Get eating those bananas, avocados and oranges, because these potassium packed delights help regulate sodium to reduce bloating caused by salt, and also bananas contain soluble fibre which will help you 'go' naturally.

Go Pro!
Probiotic yogurts contain good bacteria that help regulate digestion, making your tummy a nice, calm place to be - aww, isn't that nice?

Drink your tea
Herbal teas have a great blend of flavours, many which can help your bloating to disappear. Peppermint tea as an anti-spasmodic action that calms the muscles of the stomach, and also relieves gas, nausea, and uses essential oils to generate the gall bladder into producing acids to break down fats. Ginger tea is also a fabulous anti-inflammatory so make sure you sip both throughout the day!

Have your Fibre-day
Fibre is essential for your body's processing needs, so get snacking on nuts, brand, grains, and leafy greens. Make sure you eat with balance though, as too much can actually add to bloating!

It's amazing what food can do to your bodily function, and I definitely feel the benefits of cucumber water (so much yum). Of course, if your symptoms continue or are much more severe than described here then please seek medical advice, but hopefully a change in diet can help soothe your tummy bloating issues. Here's to total tummy comfort and a more enjoyable eating experience!

Will you be trying infused water? Did you know about food combinations? Are you a fast or slow eater?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more. 

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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

A Tuesday post? Oh you lucky lot, but Britton Loves is bringing you an important public service announcement: we're officially on YouTube! *cracks out the celebratory Booja-Booja Ice-Cream*

If you've been round here a while you'll know how long I've been wanting and waiting to get back into making videos and now the time has come; there's going to be everything from chatty videos and collabs to baking videos and reviews (hurrah!)

My 'Get To Know Me' video has just gone live, so make sure you catch up on my 'Welcome' video below and subscribe because Sweet Potato Brownies are coming people, and they look and taste amazing.

So if you're looking for something new to watch and want to find a little place for a laugh now and again, then head on over my channel now and get excited for everything lifestyle and beauty coming to your screens every Tuesday morning at 9am - it'll be the best decision you've made this month ;)

Are you excited for Britton Loves videos? What kinds of videos do you like to watch and what suggestions do you have? Will you be subscribing for an awesome Sweet Potato Brownie recipe ;) ?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more. 

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Monday, 13 April 2015

Clear skin has always been my biggest beauty goal; after years of troublesome skin, I finally feel like I have some balance in my skincare life. Like I said in my Ultimate Skin Cleanup post, face masks have been a huge help in keeping my pore detoxed and my face nourished, but what else is there you can do to help your skin reach its full potential? Well, it turns out there's quite a bit.

Skincare is no longer the basic cleanse, tone, serum, moisturise, as there are now more products, outside factors and even foods than can help your skin to improve and look better than ever. Whether you want to banish your blackheads, or want to find the best way to exfoliate for your skin, here are some of the best ways for how you can improve and clear up your skin pronto.

Wear SPF
In typical British fashion, I don't wear suncream until the sun starts to rear its head in the sky for Spring, but over the years of following beauty blogs I've learnt why wearing SPF every day, mostly because even on cloudy overcast days, UVA and UVB rays can still penetrate the skin and cause damage. Pop on some SPF after your moisturiser (if it already contains SPF then fabulous!) and if you fancy doubling it up then check to see if your foundation offers any protection too.

Refrain from squeezing spots and blackheads
This is a biggy. Through most of my teenage years I messed and messed with my skin, and now I've got the red cheeks to prove it. I has got better over the years, but the best way to prevent that is to not pick them at all. Squeezing can lead to broken capillaries, scars, marks and damaged skin tissue, so treat your skin with kindness! If you really can't leave one alone, make sure you steam the pores open and use a cotton put to ease the head out, and then pop on some antiseptic such as Tea Tree or Germolene to prevent further infection before leaving it to heal. The best way to get rid of the gunk is to drink lots of water, eat clean, and use weekly face masks to keep your skin and system clear!

Steam to open pores, but not too much
Like I said before, it's best to steam your face open if you need to get rid of a spot, but too much steam and heat can be just as bad as picking. The heat can aggravate skin or spots if used to often, and can produce more spots if used too often. Make sure you only steam once a week and follow up immediately with a clarifying mask so no dirt or sweat generated from the heat clogs the pores.

Use an Oil
For years oils were the biggest fear of an oily girl's complexion, surely oil on oil makes more oil? Nope, and now they are our best friends in the hydration and balancing of our skin! Oils can combat dehydration, acne, blemishes and soothe the skin for a real treat. Since using oils, my skin has become more nourished, easier to treat and has a better cell turnover, plus it's super soft and balanced compared to earlier years. Clarins and Mychelle have fabulous products for all skin types and needs, both of which I swear by for all times of year.

Exfoliate, and use AHA, Salicylic and Glycolactic Acids
Beauty lovers all over know the importance of exfoliation, which is one sure way to reveal fresh skin, prevent sebum build-up and remove dead skin cells. Dead skin and sebum clogs your pores, so exfoliation is one sure fire way to keep yours renewed and balanced on a weekly basis. You can exfoliate using a facial scrub with a cloth, or for something more penetrating (especially if you suffer with acne) then Exfoliating Acids are the way to go.
There are three main and more common acids on the beauty market these days - Salicylic acids are a gentle exfoliation on the skin which helps to reveal new soft layers and also break down black and whiteheads - perfect if you get very oily or hormonal spots.
AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) is a group of natural acids found in fruits and foods which also help breakdown skin layers and exfoliate to reveal smooth skin. They can also improve the appearance of wrinkles, blemishes and marks to soothe and smooth the skin, and are also popular choices for firming the skin as they encourage the deeper layers of skin to thicken.
Glycolactic acids are a type of AHA, yet have a very small molecule compound which makes it able to penetrate deeper into the skin and pores. Glycolactic acids dissolve sebum and also help to balance the skin's pH levels if they have had too much exposure to sun or lack brightness. Again, it renews the skin and helps treat spots, so if you want to break down the clogged pores and bumps then any of these three can help you.

Of course, with these all being a form of acid, daily use is not recommended as your skin can become sensitive, red, and cause hyperpigmentation and a burning feeling due to the acids stripping the skin raw. Ideally, once to twice a week is best, and always always use SPF daily if you include them in your routine as your skin becomes much more sensitive to UVA and UVB rays.

Drink Water!
The easiest thing to do to keep your skin clear and fresh is to drink that aqua! The daily recommendation is 8oz of water, or 2-3L depending on what you can manage between the two, and there are so many easy ways to down a glass - 1) Naturally flavoured water: make up a huge jug of water and fill it with cucumber, lemon, or berries for a natural sweet flavour, and also a huge health kick as cucumber helps to prevent bloat in your stomach, lemon detoxes the system, and berries have loads of antioxidants! 2) Herbal tea: Similar to flavoured water, herbal tea is packed with herbs and natural flavours that helps benefit your body, and hot tea can also make you feel full and stop the snacks!

Cut out Dairy
Dairy in some cases has shown to be a cause of acne due to some of the chemicals within the products, and if you suffer from really bad bouts of spots then this may be an option to consider. Personally, I don't eat dairy and since I stopped eating it I haven't had any painful deep spots, however all skin is different so this may not be true for all cases. It is something to consider, and there are many dairy alternatives to try so you can enjoy your hot chocolate or morning cereal!

Wash your face
Simple enough, but it really works. Washing your face morning and night helps remove oil produced during the hours between activities, and it helps balanced the skin. As a teen, washing your face can seem like a meaningless task but trust me, wash your face and your skin will thank you.
If you wash your face in the shower, then make sure you go a first cleanse before the shower to remove makeup so that when the hot water opens pores the makeup doesn't get trapped, and then cleanse again after your shower so that your hair products don't clog the pores around your hairline - leading to those annoying side spots!

Always take your makeup off - always.
I know, sometimes it's late or you're tired, but taking your makeup off at the end of the day is always the best feeling (and great for your skin). The longer you leave it settling on your skin, the more likely it's going to start to melt into the pores and lead to those spots you're trying to get rid of - not good! The best thing to do is to just take it all off as soon as you get in, cleanse and moisturise and get that fresh feeling back, and if you find it hard to do it all in one go, keep some moisturiser and serum in your bedside drawer to finish your routine when you hop into bed (make sure you give yourself a facial massage too, great for relaxing!)

Like I said, having good skin has been my main priority this year so I thought I'd share a photo of my skin as it is now - currently recovering from some hormonal outbreaks as per but it's in the best condition that I've ever seen. My skin is soft, smooth and feels nourished. Sure, there's redness and brightness issues I'd love to fix but that's what products are for ey? If someone who's gone through many types of skin conditions and problems can get to this stage of skin happiness, then hopefully it can give you some inspiration to try the tips above and get your skin in the best condition of it's lifetime - treat yourself, treat your skin!

How do you take care of your skin? Do you have a favourite product that makes your skin fabulous? What is your #1 clear skin tip?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more. 

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Saturday, 11 April 2015

I'm quite a big believer on staying positive in my day-to-day life; whether it's through social media by tweeting someone something nice, or reassuring a friend in a crisis, having a positive attitude in all your areas of life can really make your day a breeze and more enjoyable.

There are the obvious days where staying positive is the last thing you could achieve, so I've whipped up a little list of things that help me feel better whenever the weight of the world is on your shoulders, and to also get you feeling more happy and positive than ever before!

1. Surround yourself with positive people
It's a known fact (one I have experienced also) that being surrounded by people who lift you up and support you, who radiate positive happy energy, are much better people to be around that others. There's nothing more uplifting than finding others who support and promote the decisions you make.

2. Focus on the things you like
Whether it's watching an hour of FRIENDS, or how that skirt makes your waist look, spend time doing these actions everyday. Wear the clothes that make you feel confident and powerful, talk to people who make you laugh, go and take photos in a new place and be amazed!

3. Find pleasure in the small things
It may not seem a lot, but a small thing like a 'I really like your blog' makes me feel so happy. If someone says this to you, or if someone says good morning in the street to you, this little bit of positivity should be appreciated.

4. It's a bad day, not a bad life
You've spilt your coffee, your phone is dying, you've forgot your purse, and now you're getting yelled out - yep, it seems to be a pretty naff day. But that's all it is, a naff day. Accept that today isn't going your way right now, and give yourself a break by having a pamper evening at home, watch a funny film, have a biscuit and sleep it off. Tomorrow is a new day and you can bring on all the self-assured positivity with it.

5. Be kind to others
It's amazing how a small handful of kindness can make yours and another person's day. Say only what you would like someone to say to you, and you'll radiate kindness to those around you.

6. Make a list of good things that have happened
Completed a big life goal? Been honored for your skills? Landed your dream job? WRITE IT DOWN! Look back and see what great things, big or small, have happened to you and appreciate the things that will continue coming to you.

7. Start small and grow big
If you struggle to find everything in your life positive, start small; think about your friends and how awesome they are for having your back, or your parents for supporting your decisions in life, even if you get a better grade on an essay or get praised at work, focus on these things and soon more positivity will fill you life that you will be able to take not of, thus making you think more positively as you know you can achieve!

8. Smile!
Nothing beats a smile. Slick on some lipstick, and smile at a stranger; okay some might be like 'what the eff are they doing?' but there will be another 90% of the population who will think 'wow that's really nice of them to smile at me!'.

9. Wake up early and do a kick-ass workout
I know, I knowwwww, but endorphins make you happy, and by being happy you can start the day with a clear and positive mind! Whether it's a run or some yoga, spend 10-30 minutes getting your booty moving!

10. If it gets too much, take time out and change scenery
If your passion for something you're working on is waning, don't keep forcing yourself to get it done. You will find it hard and time will drag, so give yourself a break! Get up, go to the kitchen, go outside, go somewhere and read a book for 30 minutes - I promise when you come back with a clear mind, you'll be able to feel better about working on the things you love.

11. Put on an uplifting video or playlist
Quick fix to stay positive? Pop on something funny or uplifting! I love to watch my favourite YouTubers, listen to some 90s music or even go and see a friend nearby to make me smile a bit more and feel good in my thoughts again. You cannot fail with a bit of classic 90s!

12. Meditate, engage, and see the world differently
Shifting your focus is probably the most important factor in staying positive; you have to take yourself out of the negative spiral and start focusing on the good aspects. An easy way to calm your mind and feelings is to simply sit, switch off your thoughts, and meditate - if you have trouble with this (like me) YouTube has some great meditation tracks to listen to from 10 minutes to over an hour! Meditate until you feel calmer and relaxed, and start to engage with the positive things in your life - love that lipstick? Wear it! Had some nice tweets or questions on your blog? Take pleasure in the fact they turned to you and reply with a smile. Got some big important meetings planned? Tackle your to-do list small tasks to big and tick everything off in a happy colour, and reward yourself for the things you get done

As much as the bad days feel like hell, there is always a way and an action to turn it on its head and make you feel much more positive in yourself and the world around you. Seeking out positivity will give you a much more rewarding feeling, and the happy energy you will radiate will have people flocking (well flocking so much like seagulls, maybe gathering intently) to you, wanting your advice, friendship, and respect.
I hope this posts makes you smile, gives you something to think about, and makes you want to be the most positive shining star in the universe (was that a bit too cheesy? Never mind), so enjoy you start to a more happy outlook, I'm positive  you'll do great ;)

How to you deal with negative feelings? Are you a positive thinker or do you struggle with it? How do you try to see the world?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.

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Friday, 10 April 2015

I'm very much a multi-purpose kind of person; give me a product that I can use in more than one way and I'll be pretty happy with my purchase. With lots of wardrobe clearing over the past year, my choices in outfits have become a lot more streamlined - to the point where I only had one wearable top to five bottoms, a small problem before a big haul sorted that!

Something I've been looking out for though is a nice, pretty dress that can suit all sorts of occasions and become a go-to staple in my wardrobe, so when George @ ASDA told me about their new spring campaign to style one dress three ways I was more than ready for the challenge. George has so many gorgeous dresses available at the moment to suit all styles and occasions, and this Blue Embellished number* was calling my name - I mean, it's blue and sparkly, come to Mamma!

With dress and accessories in hand, there's only one thing left to do - let's get styling!

Look 1: Spring Wedding

It's that time of year again, and with many of us heading to weddings this coming season, we want the perfect outfit to stay cool but look glamorous in. This George @ ASDA dress is perfect for the task thanks to the lovely embellishment, plus the shift shape makes it easy to tailor with a belt if you want that clinched waist effect. I've chosen to pair the dress with this Cute Shrug* which is great for any high-waisted outfit or to create shape in a dress, plus some gorgeous Snake Print Ballet Pumps* to keep my feet comfortable all day and night (need those feet for dancing!) This outfit is a classic look, very English Rose with an all blue edge and comfort to last, an essential for an all-day wedding!

Dress/Shrug/Shoes : c/o George @ ASDA | Belt: Debenhams (from another dress)

Look 2 - Night Out with the Girls

There's nothing better than getting slammed up and heading out for a night with the girls, and what better way to shine than with a statement dress and heels! Jackets on a night out are a huge problem for me, but thanks to this Blue Leather Look Jacket* I can easily toughen up my dress (and at a bargain price too!) and add that bit of warmth to my shoulders. Slim strap heels are big in the fashion world at the moment thanks to their subtle and chic look, and these Blue Block Heels* are the perfect compliment to an eye-catching dress without being too distracting. With such a lot going on up top, it's important to balance it out, so the slim heels and black clutch accessorise perfectly whilst your dress and jacket to the talking - now, get ready to go dancing!

Dress/Leather Look Jacket/Heels: c/o George @ ASDA | Clutch: Old

Look 3 - Day Out Shopping and Sightseeing

Just because you're off out for a casual stroll, doesn't mean you can't dress up or put on a fancy frock - in fact, those are the best days! Blue and denim are a huge trend this season, so what better way to combine the two than throw on a denim shirt and my new fave dress. The two light pieces compliment each other perfectly, and add a cool layered edge that is perfect for strolling around cities and shops whilst feeling good. Of course, ballet pumps are a must for comfort and my Mulberry Dupe adds a pop of complimentary colour whilst storing all my essentials to take me round the town - lots of almonds and plasters because, gals got to be prepared!

Dress/Shoes: c/o George @ ASDA | Shirt: Topshop | Bag: Jane Shilton via TK Maxx

It's fabulous to see supermarket brands upping their game in the fashion market, and the fact this blue dress is £15  is amazing, a compete bargain that can last for ages and be easy to style for parties, weddings, shopping and more. If you're looking for affordable fashion that is multi-purpose in your wardrobe, then pop into your local ASDA store or online for some amazing bargains for the Spring/Summer season!

Are you a fan of multi-purpose fashion? Have you shopped at George @ ASDA before? Are you loving this bargain dress as much as I am?!

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.

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