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Recently Charlotte Tilbury became available at House of Fraser. For brands I don’t have physical access to I prefer to be able to order online and collect in store which is why I’ve never purchased Chalotte Tilbury before. I have been itching to try her product for a long time, and I’ve built up quite a wish list, but for now I am just sampling the lipstick selection.
Charlotte Tibury currently has three lipstick collections to choose from; K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipsticks (Original Formula), Matte Revolution Lipsticks (Luminous Matte Formula) and Hot Lips Lipsticks (Luminous Matte Formula).

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K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Stoned Rose

Of Course I had seen all the gorgeous nude shades that came out with the K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipsticks, I found it difficult to only pick one. Stoned Rose is a looks more of a brown nude in the tube but once it’s swatched in is a definite rose shade on my skin tone it pulls warmer, almost with undertones of sienna. Definitely a good first choice. It’s an elegant nude that works both for day and night looks. A perfect handbag shade for me.
The formula is luxurious, creamy and pigmented. It reminds me of the YSL Rouge Volupte but more user friendly. Where the Rouge Volupte was too creamy and often smears, this has a tackiness that hugs the colour to your lips. With cream finishes you can’t expect an all day wear but the K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick does have a good wear time of about 4 hours. And it leaves your lips feeling soft too.

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Matte Revolution in Bond Girl

Firstly I will say that this looked different online than in person. I thought this would be a brown nude and what I got was a vampy burgundy. However, I am in love with it. Wine shades are my favourite for evening wear. They are dramatic but sophisticated, and often leaves behind a stain so you don’t have to worry too much about how your lipstick is wearing off.
Unfortunately most wine shades tend to be a cream finish (which can get messy) or ultra matte (which can be dry and is hard to maintain) which is why I love Bond Girl so much. The Luminous Matte formula is quite different to the previous formula. It is very lightweight, zero tackiness and feels like velvet in the lips. I doesn’t pack as much pigment but it’s by no means sheer. Because this is not a powder matte it doesn’t last as long as some matte formulas, but it doesn’t claim to be long wearing. I can get a good 6 hours wear out of this formula, possibly longer if you aren’t eating. It also isn’t drying, which makes this a more desirable range for mature lips.

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Hot Lips in Tell Laura

Can You tell I bought this one because my name is literally on it? The Hot Lips range also uses the luminous matte formula and each shade was either inspired by or made in collaboration with a celebrity. This shade is inspired by Laura Bailey. She writes for many publications including Vogue and The Sunday Times.
The shade itself is one of my favourite types of red; an orange based red. For me it is the perfect red to wear in the Summer, especially if you are that into corals. It looks awesome with a tan for an effortless glam look, or in the Winter against pale skin for a bright day time look.

For my first dip into Charlotte Tilbury makeup I am impressed. I really want to try out other shades of the lipstick. I’ve been swooning over a few eye shadow palettes and the foundation everyone’s been raving about. Maybe in the future these shall be in my possession but for now I have my trio and they’ll do me.

Laura
xoxo

Since the recession began in 2008 we, as a nation, have been becoming more aware of how the economy works and as ever; how money makes the world go round. Most recently, the Brexit result has had people in a tizzy with fears of economic collapse. Whilst the Pound has taken a hit and the markets looked a bit rocky this is not a sign of immanent doom. With everything I have witnessed and experienced before and since the recession I have pooled together what I believe could prevent another recession and potentially help society as a whole.

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Cut Your Debt

Whether it’s store cards, credit cards or loans, being tied down by debt can often seem like you are working for nothing. Depending on how much you owe this can drain your income making you feel like you’re working for nothing. You could be paying your monthly bill to have half the payment wiped out by the interest or you could be paying as much as you can each month and end up relying on the cards for basic daily needs. This can become a vicious circle that can put you in even more debt or lead to bankruptcy. Neither of which is good for you or the economy or the stability of the banking industry. By finding the best way for you to cut your debt you will have more disposable income and a healthier credit score.

Shop Smart

We live an increasingly wasteful society. Impulse purchases or the desire to have latest buzz item can take a toll on your bank balance and impact other factors. If we take Smart Phones for example; these are sold to you on a two year contract for the fact its ability to function will start to deteriorate after this point if it hasn’t died already. They know you’ll want to move on the latest and greatest. When a smart phone is basically a palm sized computer and cost the same as my computer I expect to get a lot more than two years out of it (especially since my Nokia 3510i circa 2005 is still alive and kicking). Do your research and purchase goods that fit your needs from companies with a reputation for production quality rather than buying what everyone else has just because everyone else has it. You may sometimes might have to spend a little more but that £200 Hobbs Coat will last you a lot longer than that £30 one from Primark that will look dated in 6 months if it hasn’t started falling apart.
And when it comes to food shopping; only buy what you need. Plan out your meals for the week and you’ll have an instant shopping list to keep you on track.

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Shop In Store

I know shopping online is super convenient, you can do it in or pyjamas at anytime of the day or night. But shopping online has a knock on effect on the job market. Less foot traffic means less in store purchases, which leads to unjustified staffing numbers and in some cases store closures. This means less people in employment, less people shopping, more job losses and a vicious circle that results in a stagnant economy. By shopping in store you help keep people in work and could help create more job oppertunities. Seek out independent stores to help encourage business enterprises. And while you’re at it pay in cash. Not only will the act of physically handing over money make thing about your purchase and prevent impulses, but it also mean the retailer doesn’t get lumped with the phone and transfer fees that come with card payments.

Eat Out

This follows on from the previous point of cultivating the job market. Instead of getting take out or going to Subway, try going to a cafe or a restaurant regularly. There is something luxurious about having someone wait on you and have your dinner cooked for you. But you also have the great feeling of knowing you’ve helped keep someone employed and thus helped keep the economy rolling.

Holiday At Home

This is the one that could benefit the economy the most. I’m not saying I disapprove of foreign holidays, the UK isn’t always the warmest place in the Summer. But remember when you go abroad so does your money. The UK is full of wonderful seaside resorts that could do with a boost in visitors. There’s always weekend getaways to picturesque country homes. Set yourself a challenge to visit all the National trust sites. Or, my favourite, go for walking holiday in Wales. All over Wales there are coastal trails, historic castles and tours of the old mines. These types of holidays give you the chance to explore our nation and help rural economies.

So if you ever think the economy is dipping just remember you can help. Increase your disposable income, be a physical consumer and keep your money in British coffers.

What would you do to help the economy?

xoxo

I never thought baby brain was really a thing. I always thought it was an excuse to let off pregnant women when they couldn’t be arsed. Ignorant of me to think so, yes, but I do still believe some women milk it. After 5 months of getting up repeatedly during the night either to pee, eat or tackle some heart burn, the lack of sleep starts to get to you. I hadn’t been able to focus on any one thing for longer than 20 minutes. Now little Luna is here I have a new sense of drive, and being as she sleeps a good chunk of the time I figure now is a good time to set some new goals.

Blog

Set a schedule. I would like post three times a week. I have lists of post ideas, I just need to write the articles. At the very least I should a post each week.

Youtube

Keep it up. This past week I’ve gotten three videos up. This is the pace I’d like to maintain.
Booktube. I would like to get back into booktube. I have a lot more time for reading in the evenings and I’d like to talk about what I’ve read. Even if it’s just a weekly round up of what I read and then I’ll build from there.
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Social Media

Instagram. I’m so lazy when it comes to instagram. It’s such an easy platform that I could really benefit from. Again I’m going to challenge myself to post there three times a week.
Twitter. To be honest I still don’t understand the point of Twitter and I’ve considered eliminating it. I’m going to give it until the end of the quarter. I’m challenging myself to use Twitter once a day anf if I still don’t see any benefits I’ll be deleting my account.

Reading

Goodreads Guilt. Everytime I log in to Goodreads I’m met with my yearly goal and the fact I’m 41 books behind amd counting. As I have more time now I should be able to close this gap. But it means I’ll have to finish at least 4 books a week to meet my goal of 100 for the year… yikes!
Serial Killer. During my reading adventures I want to finish up some series. I have lots of them. I read the first book, bought the rest of the series and just never got round to finishing them. Or in some cases I liked the premise of the first book, bought it and every sequel and now own a series I don’t know If I’ll like. My main focus will be the works of Cassandra Clare. I feel like I’m missing out in that one.

Other Projects

Writing
I want to finish my first draft of Live Laugh Love and have drafted a plan for Channelers by the end of the quarter. This is a hefty goal but it’s one that I really want to achieve even if I have to put off other goals.
Jewelry. I want to get my jewelry business back up and running. I have the supplies, the time and the creativity. I just need to get on it.

That is an impressive list of goals for me to work towards. Some may say daunting, but I like to keep it positive here.
What are your goals for this quarter? Let me know in the comments of leave me a link to your blog.

Laura | xoxo

With the Scottish Parliament elections less than a month away it’s becoming a frequent topic of conversation in my circle. We openly discuss politics and and social issues affecting the world today. We debate and have opposing but we always respect each others’ views. When I raise the same topic with some of my younger friends I was met with a wall of sheer oblivion. Never mind that we’re less than a month away from the election and the month after is the European Union referendum, they didn’t even realise that at their youthful age of 18 they were eligible to vote.
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I understand that politics doesn’t seem all that interesting, especially when you’re 18. And so often I’m met with the response “It has nothing to do with me”. “It has everything to do with you!” I want to cry. The Government affects everything from how much your labor is worth to the quality of education that is provided to our children. They decide how your income tax is best used to benefit the country. And no, your income tax doesn’t go on unemployment benefit. That is covered by the individual’s own National Insurance contributions. It infuriates me when people pull out these old chestnuts. Waffling on in indignant tones about how appalling it is that there hard earn money is being used to fund these layabouts, and everyone listens nods and agrees as if they’re saying something insightful or poignant when really you’re just revealing how little you know about how the system works. Sorry, tangent.
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The point I’m trying to make is that even though you may find politics boring, understanding politics and participating is very important. The fist step of course is registering to vote which you can do on the Government website here. You have until April 18th to register in time for the Scottish Elections and June 7th to register in time for the European Union Referendum.
Once you do this it’s time to educate yourself. In terms of the Scottish Elections you should read the Party Manifestos. Some of the Parties haven’t printed Manifestos specifically for this election but take a little time to read through their websites and you’ll easily find out the what each Party stands for. All that’s left for you to do is think about what is important to you and decide which Party best represents you. In the case of the Referendum, Google is your Friend. There are many impartial Pro and Con Lists to give you the basic information and from there a few more Google searches should help you find all the additional information you need to make an educated pinion on what could be a life changing decision.

To be honest there is so much more I could say on this, and I will in future posts. But for now I will leave you with this information to get you started. And also make a point of trying to watch the News once a day. And I don’t mean checking Facebook headlines, I mean actual news reports. Or buy a Paper and help the economy.

Laura | xoxo

At the beginning of the year I shared my Makeup Inventory and I also shared my desire to get my collection under 1000 product by the end of the year through either Project Pans or Declutter.
Decluttering is a concept that’s been sweeping the Youtube Beauty community over the last year. And as more of us a tuning into lifestyle less driven by consumerism Decluttering is a becoming a popular way to purge ourselves of things we deem unnecessary. I find it easy to get rid of old clothes and books I’ll never read again, but when pruning my makeup collection I can sometimes be a bit resistant. And I know I’m not the only one.

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Take an Inventory

Whether you have a large collection with its own storage unit or an average sized collection spread over a few drawers, taking an inventory will put everything in perspective. You might think you don’t have a lot there but the inventory will let you see exactly what you have and which areas you most need to look at. If you wear a rainbow of lipsticks all the time it would make sense to have a large collection of lipsticks. But if you only wear the same group nude shades can you really justify owning 10 different versions of Revlon’s Black Cherry?

Let Go of What You Hate

I know this will seem obvious, but start by getting rid of anything you hate. Even if it was high end and cost a bomb, there’s no point holding on to it if you’re never going to use it. Pass it on to a friend or sell it on. Once you’ve completed your inventory most of these items will be fresh in your mind which will male this step easier.

Hello Stranger

This step will be a little more difficult. Go through all the products you haven’t worn in the last 6 months to a year. Throw out anything that has gone bad. I don’t care how much you loved that cream blush that you worn all the time two Summers ago, it not worth risking a reaction over.
After this weed out the items you know you won’t wear again. Anything you aren’t sure about give a trial run. Stick it in your makeup bag for a moth and see if you still like it or not. And if you haven’t used them you should probably remove them from your stash. Obviously leave a bit of wiggle room for seasonal products like bronzer, coral lipstick and glitter, but don’t use this as an excuse to hold on to things.
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Dupe It Out

Now you’ve come this far it’s time to examine what’s left. You’ll be amazed by how many similar shades you, especially when it comes to nude lipstick and brown shadow. If you own a lot of products with slight tonal differences, like nude lipsticks, but they are in daily rotation then you don’t have to be so critical. With bolder colour products that you don’t wear as often I encourage you to be more decisive. Again if you aren’t sure about which to keep do a trial month and see if you change your mind. But unless they suddenly become daily staples, do you really need five electric blue eye pencils or neon pink lipsticks? One tube of Candy Yum Yum is enough for any makeup stash.

Take Your Time

This is the most important advice I could give when decluttering any area of your life. Take your time, there’s no need to rush it. Especially with your makeup collection. Make it a Pyjama Day! Sit on the floor surrounded by lipstick like little toy soldiers.
Pruning you collection is best done in sweeps. After the first few culls you hone in on what you want you collection to be like. You’ll be more aware of whether you’re enjoying a product, of which products are being neglected and why. It’ll make it easier to let go and more hesitant to horde anything in future.

Laura | xoxo

I know I wasn’t the most active creator this past year, but I was always lurking in the background supporting those around me. This year I was planning to put myself out there more, to prove myself among my contemporaries. Unfortunately modern technology had other plans for me.

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After the storms over Christmas and New Year our phone line became unstable. Often the phone wouldn’t have a dial tone, the internet would cut out at the most inconvenient time (usually when trying to upload a video) and finally by the end of January the phone line died altogether. It took a couple of weeks to source problem (which, in order to fix, requires roads works that can’t be scheduled until April) and then it took another few weeks to fit a temporary line. As you can tell by the location of the fault this is a problem that affected a lot of people at the same time which is why it took so long to get reconnected. I can’t wait for it to be properly fixed because this temp connection is about same speed as first gen broadband. Better than nothing but still frustrating at times.

It was kind of like being back in the 90s for a month, except in the 90s I was a kid and if I got bored I could play with Lego. I did get a lot of reading done. I devoured the Georgina Kincaid series, it was smutty and trashy and I enjoyed every minute of it. I also discovery how truly tragic TV is. No offence if you like “reality” TV, but I don’t see the entertainment value of miss representing people on benefits by finding the scummiest individuals you can to put in front of a camera. And I saw Gogglebox for the first time… What the actual Eff? Why? Mind numbing programming at it finest. But it did mean that Nick and I got to have some quality time snuggled up watching movies.

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Admittedly, not having the ability to post content did become a bit frustrating. I actually hadn’t realised how much of my spare time was devoted to either producing my own content or consuming that of other creators.

Going a month without the internet really made me appreciate the world we live in but it also showed me that we rely on the internet a little too much. I don’t watch TV, I have Netflix. I don’t buy CDs, I use Spotify. I don’t get paper bills, they’re all online. If everyone suddenly lost access to the internet the world would be a drastically different place over night.

So now I’m back I have a lot to share!

Laura | xoxo

Most of you will be coming from the link posted under the video so for those who have just stumbled across this post I’m going to give you a brief introduction to what’s going on.

Project Panning is there for those of us who either want to finish products before they go bad or are generally overwhelmed by their makeup collection. This is where we challenge ourselves to use up a set group of products. Most people will pick anything between 10 and 20 products, sometimes as much as 50. I have chosen to use up 100 products in a project pan spanning the entire year.

My Inventory is not the most complete thing ever but it does give me a ball park figure of how much make up I actually own. I am in no way ashamed of the amount of make up I own nor do I feel overwhelmed by it, but even I am willing to admit that it has increased over the last few years and definitely needs pruning.

Category                      2013     2014    2016
Primer                           13          9          14
Foundation                    26         30        33
Concealer                      16          16        17
Pressed Powder             10          22          7
Loose Powder                7            N/A        8
Cream Blush                 N/A       16         17
Powder Blush                75           64        77
Powder Bronzer             32          28        26
Cream Bronzer             N/A       N/A        2
Liquid Highlight            N/A       N/A        10
Powder Highlight          31           26        17
Mascara                        N/A       N/A       10
Eyeliner Pencil              30          42         36
Cream Liner                  7             11        11
Shadow Pencils            23           27        35
Cream Shadows           25           26        34
Loose Shadows            N/A        117       124
Pressed Shadows         133         164      196
Brow Products              N/A       N/A       10
Lip Liner                        27           N/A     22
Lip Lacquer & Stains    18           33        47
Lip Gloss                       59           70        78
Lipstick                          202       187       289
Lip Crayon                     14           22        40

Total                                751         910       1160

I tried so hard to get that to line up and while it didn’t quite work it serves to show how my collection has grown over the last few years.

As I said this is a year long project and I will be filtering in other seasonal project pans just to keep things interesting. I will be keeping you guys updated as often as possible.

Laura | xoxo

I used to be one of those people who would set life changing goals for myself every New Year just to ultimately fail at them. But in recent years I discovered how pointless and discouraging this is and set about using quarterly goals instead. These are bite size goals to be achieved in a short period of time. They’re easier to keep on top of and because of the time frame your motivation will remain fresh.

I like to be held accountable for to goals I set which is why I post them here. My last set of goals didn’t quite go as planned and I’m willing to admit that. I have a bad habit of thinking I can achieve more than I can at the time. Any kind of change needs to be worked up to and that is what I plan to achieve with these goals.

Blog

Post Regularly. Last time I made the mountainous goal of posting daily. I work full time, so while this is an achievable target it’s damned difficult. So I’m setting a more manageable target of just posting regularly, preferably three days a week.
Broaden My Horizons. All of my previous blogs were centered around beauty and it’s so hard for me to break out of this mindset of being a Beauty Blogger. I have a wide range of interests that I want to talk about. Heck I even thought about writing a political piece on the importance of voting during the recent election but I stopped myself because I didn’t think it would fit the context of my blog. I will post what I like, and if you want to read it that’s awesome.

Youtube

Post Regularly. Do you see a trend forming here? After a three month hiatus I started upload videos here and there, but this year I want a bit more structure. Again I want to start off posting only three times a week and see where we go from there.
Get Back In To Booktube. My Booktube Channel has been sorely neglected, but I hadn’t been reading much either which didn’t help. I’ve set myself the goal of reading 100 books this year and I think that posting two book videos should help me stick to my reading goals and give me content for videos.
Comment Comment Comment. Still I struggle with this. Whether it’s watching someone else video that I enjoyed but not joining in the conversation or not getting back to comments on my own videos in a reasonable amount of time. It is frustrating and probably makes you guys think I’m ignoring you. I promise I’m not I just have this aversion to communicating via text. Be it text messaging, email or commenting. I think it stems from teenage shenanigans that back fired. But you guys aren’t going to ask me what I think of Ashleigh from math and then go show her what awful thing I’ve said, so I don’t get why it’s still a problem.

Social Media

Update My Profiles. I still haven’t gotten round to this one yet. I need to upload new pictures and update my bios too.
Instagram. This is my mission this year to post a picture daily. I don’t use this app enough. It’s so handy to talk about things that are to small to need their own post or video.

Writing

Get The Words On The Page. I need to start writing daily again or I’m going to get no where. Novels don’t write themselves. I want to set a daily word goal of 1000 words. Even if they turn out rubbish I need to get words on the page.
Keep A Dream Diary. A lot of the time my dreams are nuts. I have a tendency to dream about the apocalypse and gritty future societies. I want to start writing these down so I have a bank of ideas for future writing.

I definitely wanted to keep this first round of goals short and give myself an easy start to the year. I will check back at the end of March to let you know how I got on.

What goals have you set yourself?

laura |xoxo

It’s that time of year again. The post Christmas sales are in full swing and most of us will have received gift vouchers as gifts or even cash in cards. And of course when you put these two things together purchasing ensues. And this year I have decided that it’s just not for me.

Don’t get me wrong, sales shopping is perfect if you’re looking for a big ticket item. Maybe you’ve been saving for a new TV or hold out for a great bundle deal on a games console. But generally it’s just sifting through the remnants of the season’s stock. And in my experience leads to money wasted.

Let’s take a moment to think about this. You’re trawling through Debenhams rummaging through the sales racks or picking the stacks of makeup sport red clearance stickers on the beauty counters. All this merchandise is being clearanced out because it is last season’s stock. Do you actually want these things or are you just digging for a bargain? Because if really wanted them you’d probably own them already. It was this piece of advice that changed my entire attitude towards sales shopping.

When it comes to limited edition makeup items it’s not such a huge deal. You’ll buy it, use it and hopefully enjoy it down the last application. These days there’s dupes to found by those willing to look for them. It’s more the fashion purchase that seems wasteful to me.

Most of the pieces you’ll find on a sales rack are pieces that age and they’ll age fast. This fine if you’re just looking for a party dress (because we all know they rarely get a second outing and sometimes don’t survive the first), but in terms of adding to your wardrobe these purchases are a poor investment. I’ve been there. Bought that coat I’d been eyeing up for months for a stellar bargain only to be kicking myself by the end of January when the new season coats hit the store. Trying to make that blatantly winter coat work in May was no the easiest. Yes, I could have bought the new coat and kept the sale coat for the following Winter, but by then it would be an even more dated piece and I would most likely already have my eye on a different Winter coat that I’d then put off buy until the sale and the cycle would continue. When I could have just avoid buying the original coat and waited for the new season launch.

Yes my reasoning may be a bit superficial and being stylish is not the most important thing in the world. But I buy the clothes I do because they make me happy. And whilst shopping the sale may have gotten me bargains they also got me pieces with short life spans, and that doesn’t make me happy.

So when you are out in the sales stop and think. Do you really want that teddy bear texture coat you’ve been watching everyone parade around in for the last few months? Or would you rather have the shiny new offerings that you enjoy through to next Autumn? I know which I’d rather have.

Laura | xoxo

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We all have days when we aren’t feel like ourselves. Life overwhelms us and it feels like everything we do is going wrong. You just want to shrink away from the world and retreat into your shell.
When I’m having moments like this I have a few coping mechanisms to get me through.

Comfort Food

My first port of call is comfort food, specifically sandwiches. Now this depends of the shade of my mood. If it’s just been a bad day then a Ham, Cheese and Pickle will go a long way to smoothing my feathers. If I’m upset I head for my childhood favourite of Peanut Butter and Banana and sing Ban-na-na while I make it. But if we’re taking a full on stormy mood then sanwiches won’t cut it. I need to bust out a tub of Ben & Jerry’s (Cookie Dough is my fav!).
Having said this I’m not advocating binge eating. If your bad day is leading to this kind of behavior it is important that you find someone to talk to.

Carrie Bradshaw

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a hot shower or a decadent bubble bath, putting on your favourite pyjamas and snuggling into bed to watch Sex and the City. The pamper session will help you unwind and losing yourself for a few hours in the world of Carrie & Co will help push the day out of your mind.
Whatever your entertainment of choice, make sure you end the day with something positive lest the bad mood fester in you sleep.

Sing Your Heart Out

If you’re brave enough to go to a karaoke bar then great! If not, just close yourself up in your room and dig out the cheesy stuff. I’m talk Celine Dion, Bonnie Tyler and Cher. And just go to town! Dancing around my room, belting out my favourite power ballads is what got me through my exams at school.
This is even better if you can get the girls round and crack open a bottle of wine. Call it group therapy.

Walk It Off

Go for a walk, a jog or a bike ride. I know putting on your work out gear is the last think on your mind when you’re down in the dumps, but taking a little exercise can be very beneficial.
Just the act of exercising will help you feel better. I often find restlessness frustrating. The stagnant weight excess energy with no where to go. Jogging is my favourite way to shake this off. The isolation also gives you time to think and reflect on what is troubling you. After a jog I’m refreshed and clear headed. I find it easier to channel my energy into something productive when I take regular exercise.

Put On Some Lipstick

Sometimes the simplest things have the biggest impact. For those situations when you only have a few moments alone to collect yourself I like to apply a vibrant lipstick, usually a red or a fuchsia. Colour Psychology is a concept that colour can have and influence on our mood and emotions, with warmer colours having the most positive effects. Opting for a bolder lip colour boosts my mood and I often find it has an effect on those around me too. Plus carrying a colourful lipstick can come in handy if your fancy going for drinks straight after work. Nothing does the day to night transition like a red lipstick.

If all else fails try a hot Ribena, it cures everything.

What do you do when you’re feeling blue?

Laura | xoxo