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Monday, 20 March 2017

THE BEAUTY HAUL OF FAME.


This post is in collaboration with Boots. 

2017 has been the year I’ve fallen in love with beauty. 

Don’t get me wrong, Wonderful You was first inspired by my passion for it - but in these last few months I’ve realised its value more than ever before. 

This year has shown me that no matter how bad I’m feeling, taking care of my body is a key part of taking care of my mind.

I’m not as naive as to say that superficial beauty holds the answers to inner peace: we are all beautiful, just the way we are - but the inner strength I can find from making myself feel more beautiful - whether that’s singing in the car or applying my favourite lipstick, isn’t one to be sniffed at.

A little bit of self love can go a long way - and yes, just lately I’ve not been reaching for my makeup as much as usual, but on the days I do, I fall even more in love with it. The world of beauty allows us to enhance, not mask, our natural state and experiment with different looks to suit different moods, and really, that’s quite a powerful thing. 

I realised it’s been more than three years since I last shared anything beauty related on my blog and so today I wanted to share with you a number of my all time favourites. My beauty haul of fame, if you will. The products that I love dearly and have no doubt will remain in my stash until I’m grey and old. 
MY BEAUTY HAUL OF FAME FROM BOOTS


I’m not a woman who is loyal to just one scent, but there are certainly fragrances that stick and Tom Ford is one. Velvet Orchid is sweet and velvety and dramatic and as soon as I spritz it I feel instantly powerful. It may be an absolute killer, but my secret weapon is teaming it up with the body emulsion; a hydrating moisturiser with the original Black Orchid scent - woody, dark and floral. I apply this to the areas of my body that perfume would naturally sit and use it as a base to intensify the scent - together they are an absolute dream.


My trusted trio goes to YSL touche éclat. I’ve used their illuminating pen under my eyes since I was 16 - a total lifesaver for those of us cursed with the dark circle gene. It’s super light weight, so do not mistake this for a concealer - but it is wonderful at correcting colour and adding brightness to an otherwise dull area. A more recent addition to the family, but loved nonetheless is the Blur Primer - holy crap it does what it says on the tin. Pores are instantly diminished, my complexion illuminated and my skin smoothed; it’s the perfect base for the foundation which I think will always be my absolute favourite. I use shade BD20 and with the signature light-reflecting formula it provides a weightless radiance with beautiful, buildable coverage. 
MY BEAUTY HAUL OF FAME FROM BOOTS
MY BEAUTY HAUL OF FAME FROM BOOTS
I love playing with colours on my eyes and two high-street brands that get my vote are Stila and Barry M. To create this look I’ve used the Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish eyeshadow in shade Dusty Rose - it comes with an all day liquid primer that holds the eyeshadow in place beautifully and the intensity and pigmentation of this shadow is like no other. To add depth to the crease I compliment the rusty tones of the Stila shadow with the Barry M glitter dust in shade Crimson Pink, basically they’re a match made in heaven. 


Liquid eyeliner is my favourite way to add a little more drama to a look and the YSL Couture Eye Marker is one of the best ever. It’s basically like using a felt tip pen and allows you to take a cat eye from thin to thick with its versatile nib. If you struggle with precision when it comes to liner, this is the one to choose, trust me. 

MY BEAUTY HAUL OF FAME FROM BOOTS
Mascara is a game changer, isn't it? Without doubt, it’s the one beauty product I couldn't live without; and the YSL Volume effect Faux Cils is everything you need. Instant intense colour, volume and separation, it’ll grab on to lashes you didn't even know you had. 

There’s nothing I love more than an all in one. The Clarins Face Contouring Palette enables me to give depth, warmth and colour to my skin and I ruddy love it. 

Lastly are brows and lips - two of my favourite features to accentuate. For my brows I literally swear by Benefit; the Precisely My Brow Pencil and their Ready Set Brow Gel are second to none. I cannot tell you how much love I have for these two - they’ve completely changed my brow game and together allow me to create a super natural, defined look that stays in place all day.

When I’m letting my eyes do the talking there is one lipstick that I’ll always reach for: The Chanel Rouge CoCo Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour in shade Cecile. The pigmentation is stunning and the glossy, full look it gives to my lips means I’ll repurchase it forever more. 
MY BEAUTY HAUL OF FAME FROM BOOTS

When you’re boasting a full face of makeup you without doubt need a conditioning cleanser to get all that product off. In my 27 years on this earth there has never been an evening I’ve gone to bed with a full face - it’s so important to take the day off and let your skin breathe and Clarins Extra Comfort Cleansing Cream does just that. It removes my makeup like a dream, is kind to sensitive skin, and leaves it feeling incredibly soft and smooth. 
MY BEAUTY HAUL OF FAME FROM BOOTS

When I was younger I wanted everything matte, but in my mid twenties I found myself craving more radiance. One face mask that is guaranteed to give you that luxury skincare boost is the GlamGlow flashmud brightening treatment. It’s a multipurpose mask that exfoliates, brightens and aims to balance skin colour. When there are so many radiating masks on the market it can be hard to choose, but I honestly couldn't live without this one. 


My hair sees a lot of colour and therefore needs a lot of protection. I’ll always use a heat protector before applying any heat and TRESemme Heat Defence has been in my stash since I can remember. It’s affordable, smells delicious and most importantly, does the job. 

When it comes to styling for me, messy is always best. I’m definitely not one to aim for precision and my two favourites to add texture and shine are from Bumble and Bumble. Their surf spray gives my hair the perfect amount of grit and the CitySwept Finish Spray gives hold, shine and separation that allows my hair to move naturally, but still hold it’s style.
MY BEAUTY HAUL OF FAME FROM BOOTS
MY BEAUTY HAUL OF FAME FROM BOOTS


And that’s it. The beauty products I swear by, that help me express myself and let those good days feel even better. 

You can shop all of the products in this post via the boots website - what are your favourites from this look? I’d love to know if you give any of them a go!

Photography by the wonderful Kyle Galvin


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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

GIRL VS. CANCER.

GIRL VS. CANCER a blog post raising awareness for breast cancer
Cancer. 

It’s a dreaded word that all of us would rather put to the backs of our minds that face up to the fact that 1 in 3 of us are likely to get it. 

I wasn’t sure whether I could write a blog post on this. I’m not even sure now as my nails tap the keys, what I can possibly say to do any justice to this subject, to her. 

The shock I felt when I found out my dear friend Lauren had been diagnosed with breast cancer completely winded me. I couldn't believe it. 

This doesn't happen to people I know. 

This doesn't happen to my friends.

This doesn't happen to a healthy, happy, 30 year old woman.

GIRL VS. CANCER a blog post raising awareness for breast cancer
Except it does. 

We are blessed with life, that for the most part is so wonderful we more often than not, take it for granted. 

We go to our jobs, we earn our money so we can buy our fancy things, we socialise with friends and we wine and dine our loved ones.

But what do we do when that’s not an option anymore? 
GIRL VS. CANCER a blog post raising awareness for breast cancer
GIRL VS. CANCER a blog post raising awareness for breast cancer
GIRL VS. CANCER a blog post raising awareness for breast cancer
Lauren is sick, but never before have I witnessed such strength. 

You can see it for yourself in her latest blog post, where you'll find out more about how she's kicking cancers butt, and also hear more about her story on her instagram. She's sharing the nitty gritty about her titty and I am SO proud of her. Her honesty, guts and determination are nothing short of inspiring; and I've no doubt she is helping so many other people with their journey, too. 

I always knew Lauren would have this attitude, because she's absolutely incredible. But even with the right mindset, there are still things completely out of our control.

Did you know that statutory sick pay is £350 per month? Yeah. 

That means paying her rent and doing the food shop? Near on impossible. 

I just had no idea that needing to take time off for treatment might mean she couldn't live comfortably. That there’s basically no money, from any platform, to make the most prevalent time to get well, easier to manage. 

All of her energy should be going on how she’ll get better, not worrying how she’ll pay the bills. 

It’s utter madness. 

But that’s why the GIRL VS CANCER titty-tees were born. My lovely lady managed to create her own business, because what the hell else was she going to do?! And because of that, because of her, you can help Lauren, thousands of other cancer patients, and have something pretty darn awesome for yourself, too. 

Taking part in this photo shoot, with a bunch of other inspiring women was a highlight of 2016. I’m surrounded by such incredible ladies and Lauren is one of the best. I can’t wait for her to be well again but in the meantime, all I can ask of you is to dig deep, do what you can to spread the word using #GirlVsCancer and look like an absolute boss in the process.

And don’t forget to give your tits a squeeze too, ladies. 
GIRL VS. CANCER a blog post raising awareness for breast cancer

Get your titty tee HERE

Direct links below:


Photography by Comb


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Monday, 20 February 2017

THE FACE OF DEPRESSION.

A blog post talking about living with depression and beating the stigma around mental health. Photography by Alexandra Cameron.
Wonderful You has always been a place for me to share my honesty, but honestly? It’s pretty much always been a platform on which I look ‘my best’. My instagram feed is full of my freshly painted face or my next thought-out outfit. My blog a place to showcase topics I feel are important, but that are portrayed in a way that make me feel most beautiful. 

Depression. 

It’s a word that makes that ‘best self’ disappear quicker than I could have ever imagined. 
A blog post talking about living with depression and beating the stigma around mental health. Photography by Alexandra Cameron.
It’s not been something I’ve felt able to share until now. But I feel like I’m running out of words to hide behind and I’m realising hiding behind this isn’t getting me anywhere fast. 

I’m unwell and there’s no shame in that; but continuing to share only my best days with you isn’t what I want, it never has been.

Lord knows I’m not the only one who has depression. But I’ve never felt so alone, so ugly, so unworthy of happiness or success. 
There’s support for mental health, but god, it’s not enough. Especially when we live in a digital generation, where everyone’s best lives are in our faces every day. 
I still felt such shame going to the doctors – where in the waiting room there were hundreds of pamphlets about coping with illnesses, but not one related to mental health. 

We live in a world where everyone can sympathise with a broken leg, but not a broken mind. 

And so I wanted to show you how I really look at the moment. 

How my skin is transparent and I’m exhausted. I have breakouts due to stress and lack of sleep, I can’t be bothered to brush my hair and my skin is dehydrated and dry; but most days, this is how I look. They’re the hardest images I’ve ever shared – not because I’m makeup free, but because I can see the damage my mind has done to my face, my body. 

I asked Alex to take these photos of me and that she leave them completely untouched, unedited. She asked if I was sure and I wasn’t…I’m still not. But I knew that if I could muster the courage, I wanted every part of me to be on show - completely raw, honest and true.

This is me, right now.

The fear I feel putting this out in to the world is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It’s a new form of honesty so personal I can’t quite believe I’ll hit publish. 

Our mind is our sacred place; we’re the only ones who can hear our thoughts - so what do you do when that goes from being a blessing to a curse? 

Understanding depression isn’t easy. 

I’ve had to learn quickly to go much slower. To listen to my body and take breaks as much as I can. To be honest and open with people around me so they won’t expect too much. Accept that loved ones want to be supportive and it doesn’t mean I’m weak because of it. Accept that not everyone that cares about me will be able to offer support. 

Sometimes I feel nothing; sometimes I feel everything all at once - numb and hyperaware simultaneously. Sometimes there’s a reason, sometimes there isn’t. Some days are good, some days aren’t. It’s exhausting, but I’m getting the help I need. 

I suppose I’ve always found the process of sharing my thoughts online therapeutic – but today’s post is as much for you as it is for me. 

I wanted these photos, these words, to be a slither of reality in an otherwise seemingly perfect world. To say to you that you are not alone, that these feelings, they needn’t alienate you. This part of our lives, it doesn’t define us – depression doesn’t mean we aren’t capable of greatness; depression doesn’t mean we aren’t already magnificent. 

I want the stigma to exist only in the past. For everyone to understand that we are still powerful beings – yes there may be darkness, but we’re still able to shine, too. And that like a broken bone, we just need a little more time to heal. 

So for now, I may not be my best version of myself - but currently this is my beautiful. 
A blog post talking about living with depression and beating the stigma around mental health. Photography by Alexandra Cameron.

Photography by my favourite lady Alexandra Cameron – who captures beauty in every moment. Get in touch here to book your shoot.

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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

STUPID CUPID.


Celebrating the ones we love on Valentine's Day
Celebrating the ones we love on Valentine's Day
Celebrating the ones we love on Valentine's Day

We’re certainly a divided bunch when it comes to Valentine’s Day. 


But I have to say, I’m totally neutral about it. 


I think if you want to celebrate the person you love on a specific day of the year, why the hell not. I also think that if it makes you want to throw up in your mouth a little bit – well, that’s totally fine too. 


I love, love – and part of me quite likes that this ~traditional~ day gives us all a little nudge to be like ‘Hey! I appreciate you!’. 

Celebrating the ones we love on Valentine's Day
Celebrating the ones we love on Valentine's Day
Celebrating the ones we love on Valentine's Day

We’re part of a generation that’s pretty self-absorbed, what with selfie’s right left and centre and blogs about what we wear on the daily, it’s pretty easy for us to get lost in what we’re doing and subconsciously make less time for the ones who make us who we are

And so today, for me, is a day where I’ll celebrate every god damn amazing person in my life. From my mum to Jamie and my best friends to my Nan – I plan on spreading the love far and wide.

I don’t have the dollar to send every person I love a bouquet of flowers, but even a simple text or phone call, letting my favourite people know that they’re, well, my favourite, is enough. 

Maybe not everyone needs a day to remind them to say their I love you’s. 

But maybe its not so bad if some of us do.

Celebrating the ones we love on Valentine's Day
Celebrating the ones we love on Valentine's Day
Celebrating the ones we love on Valentine's Day
Celebrating the ones we love on Valentine's Day

SHOP MY LOOK:
JUMPER | JEANS (similar) | BAG | BOOTS | WATCH | JEWELLERY

Photography by Joe Galvin


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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES.

BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES: Self care tips to stop you feeling down
I hadn't known what January blues were until this year. I mean, I understood what they meant in principle, but this year I've been able to witness them first hand. You know, get right down in the trenches with the best of them. 

Actually, I've been experiencing them for a while longer than just the first month of January, but it struck me when 2017 rolled round and the hum of disappointment that hung in the air didn't just sit heavily on my shoulders alone. 

And so it seemed like a good time to share a virtual hug with you - let you know you’re not alone, and that we’re all in this together *breaks in to High School Musical dance routine*. We all have our ways of coping with times that aren’t as jolly as we’d like, and these are mine - a few little tips and tricks that have seen me tread through the sludge of January that little bit easier. 

They're quite possibly the most obvious self-care options out there ladies and gents - but documenting them here means I'll be more likely to keep them up, and so, here we are. These are the things that are helping me love each day, and myself, a little bit more. 



Go for a drive
BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES: Self care tips to stop you feeling down
Or hop on a bus and head to a destination. Play music from your stereo or through your headphones and relax in to the rolling fields or streams of people that you'll meander past. Being in your own company can sometimes feel a challenge, but if you’re headed somewhere with purpose you can allow yourself to get lost in the moment.


So that you can go for a walk in your favourite place. 

BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES: Self care tips to stop you feeling down
BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES: Self care tips to stop you feeling down
BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES: Self care tips to stop you feeling down
BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES: Self care tips to stop you feeling down

And then come home and take care of yourself.


Because *you* are what's important. 
BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES: Self care tips to stop you feeling down
I’m a twenty something woman and I hold a few materialistic religions pretty darn close to my heart, simple things, that as a woman, make me feel more myself. 

My nails are one. 


If my nails aren't looked after, my soul suffers and like it or lump it that's the way this story goes. 


Sally Hansen, aka the queen of nails (or #1 nail care brand in the UK - whichever you prefer), is a brand that revolutionises what it means to have the best nails, time and time again. 


We all love a beautiful manicure but can you say your nails are in the best condition they could be? That underneath that pretty polish, your nails are tip top? I doubt it. 

And it's as if Sally knew - because Moisture Rehab is about to change the game - A luxurious, at home formula that contains a powerful blend of natural actives including black orchid, acai and algae to hydrate and rejuvenate nails with the stroke of a brush. You apply it at night or on the go, to bare nails, massage it in and then wave goodbye to anything dry, brittle or broken. I’ve recorded a little photo diary for the first few days of use and hand on heart, my nails feel stronger than ever - they’re shinier, healthier and smoother. It’s my new sleeping beauty secret and you can get your hands nails on it, right now, exclusively in Superdrug.

BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES: Self care tips to stop you feeling down
BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES: Self care tips to stop you feeling down
BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES: Self care tips to stop you feeling down
BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES: Self care tips to stop you feeling down
BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES: Self care tips to stop you feeling down


And with a whole host of new shades added to the manicure mix too, you're basically guaranteed to lift your own spirits, with your own beauty. It may seem simple, but when my nails look good, I feel good too.
BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES: Self care tips to stop you feeling down

BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES: Self care tips to stop you feeling down
Wearing Devil Wears Nada and Double Duty base & top coat

It's important to make time for you. 

To read, or wind down in whatever way grabs your heart like it should. To me, putting on my favourite pyjamas and jumping in to bed with a new read settles my thoughts. Helps me see more clearly. Gives me time to escape. 

BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES: Self care tips to stop you feeling down
BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES: Self care tips to stop you feeling down
Book: Estée Lalonde Bloom

And lastly. This is one I've inherited from Laura (Jane Williams). To actively pursue my wellbeing. To keep tabs on my health in all aspects. Hell, technology has come so far and so why on earth were the only apps on my phone social media platforms?! Creating a wellbeing folder to check in daily with myself from using Sleep Cycle to record my sleep patterns to keeping tabs on Cycles for my next period has forced me to understand my mind and body far more than I was doing before. 
BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES: Self care tips to stop you feeling down
BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES: Self care tips to stop you feeling down
Pyjamas Wacoal Lingerie: Top & Shorts

They’re simple, yes. But they’ve changed my January for the better and I’ll be maintaining them throughout the rest of the year and beyond. 

Please do let me know your tips for beating the January blues, too - I’ve certainly got room to add a few more to my list :-)

I'm so grateful to Sally Hansen for sponsoring this post - because we all need a pick me up, from time to time.


Shop the Sally Hansen range on Superdrug: https://goo.gl/po1Dzk


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