Sunday, 2 May 2021

The Retinol Revolution

 


Skincare is something I've become more passionate about since entering my thirties and with that retinol has become a huge part of my skincare routine.

So what is retinol? Retinol is also known as vitamin A which helps to speed up skins healing, prevent breakouts and build up the immunity of your skin. Retinol also promotes natural moisturising and helps to promote and maintain a healthy dermis and epidermis. All of these properties help to make your skin look smoother, give a better complexion as well as help with anti ageing. Who doesn't want that in their lives!?


There are various price points for retinol products on the market but the one I've found works for me as well as being very reasonably priced is The Ordinary . They strive to make their products exceptional as well as sensibly priced which to me is a no brainer and I've certainly seen the benefits!


Retinol 1% in Squalene

When I began using retinol I started off with a low percentage as it can cause irritation and peeling whilst your skin builds a tolerance so I began with the 1% in squalene. I used it 1-2 times a week and initially I did notice that my skin felt a bit more sensitive than usual but I could see an improvement in fine lines and pigmentation in my skin. With having an oily complexion I was also worried that this oil based treatment would worsen by condition and break me out but it did quite the opposite and for the first time in my life I could use an oil on my skin! I used the 1% for a good eight months before stepping it up to the next level.

Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion

The next level I used was in fact retinoid rather than retinol as retinoid is stronger and with it being in emulsion this product was oil free. The great benefit to this was I found it sunk into my skin a lot easier and was very light weight. 


Being a higher strength than the 1% I was previously using and having built up a tolerance to that, the 2% Retinoid continued to improve my skin's signs of anti aging and the slight rosacea I have on my left cheek. I used this for four months this time before adding in a 5%...

Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalene

I've been transitioning into the 5% retinoid for a few months, using it in between the 2% and I can definitely feel the strength with it being over double that I've been using before which is why I'm easing into my skincare regime gradually.


I've also gone back to the squalene solution which is the oil as whether it does or not, it *feels* like it works better? Whether that's the case or if it's a subconscious thing I don't know but again this is really helping with my rosacea and continuing to improve my skins appearance. It definitely looks more glowy and feels very soft too. I'll be shortly phasing out the 2% and using 5% all of the time!


So that's my retinol revolution. Since using it in my skincare routine I have 100% noticed a beneficial difference to my skin with it reducing fine lines and signs of aging, improving the texture of my skin and the pigmentation too. I would definitely recommend it and starting off slowly too. If you're after more of the science behind retinol, The Ordinary has plenty of information on their website which will explain far better than I can!

Have you introduced retinol to your skincare routine?





Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Don't Overlook The Classics When Defining Your Style


It’s not uncommon for lots of us to think that in order to be unique in our style choices, we need to do everything completely differently. People want to be noticed for being who they are and having a certain style about them.

When people want to try something new, it’s not uncommon for them (or us) to ignore everything that works and try something very new and there's nothing wrong with that. You never know it could set a trend, or it might just leave you feeling a little lost and directionless...


This second option is one I hope we can all avoid and don’t be afraid to keep hold of the classics when defining your style. If you're wondering how, here's a few little tips and tricks that I hope will help.



Classic Jeans

Classic jeans can be a tremendous aid in helping you have something that will go with every outfit, and that will be suitable for a range of weather conditions. From denim jeans that are plain or those that have subtle patterns on them, to stonewashed jeans that bring with them their own styling, or white jeans that help you look brilliant in the summer, this has been considered a staple for decades, and they’re not going anywhere soon. You just can't beat a good pair of jeans that fit you well and make you feel amazing too.




Simple Jewelry

Don’t be afraid to wear simple jewelry and don’t feel forced to reinvent the wheel every time you try to accessorize. A simple watch with a leather strap can be nice, you don’t have to spend hundreds on a beautiful stone-studded watch or one that shines like the morning sunrise in order to feel confident. Having a statement piece that defines you but is rather simple can also be a good place to start, such as wearing a simple necklace with your name on or a signature ring you feel helps represent you. Little simplicities often speak the loudest, so don’t feel as though you’re ‘going without’ if you enjoy them.



Comfortable Flat-Foot Shoes

No matter what shoes you enjoying wearing when going out or when trying to put your outfit together, don’t be afraid to reach for you flat footed shoes that are comfortable and that help you feel confident no matter where you walk. Many times we feel that unless we wear ‘the perfect shoe’  it somehow denigrates our fashion sense, but what if the perfect shoe were that we were happy to wear? As you can see, sometimes dressing for yourself is the most worthwhile thing you can do.


I love a good shoe but if it's not comfy, I won't wear it on a day to day basis! Or if I do pull out that pretty pair that aren't comfy, I'll complain all day and wish I'd gone for my flats!

Anyway, I hope this has helped to show that don't have to overlook the classics when defining your style. Classic never dates and I guarantee you'll get more wear out of it too!









Thursday, 15 April 2021

Live Your Best Life | Confidence Boosting Tips That You're Bound To Love


Confidence is a trait that we all aspire to have, but building it can be incredibly difficult - especially if you have faced a series of knocks to your confidence and esteem in the past. It's something I certainly struggle with but I'm determined to overcome my worries. You deserve to feel confident in all that you do - whether that means you hold your head a little higher when giving an important presentation at work or start smiling when you see your reflection as opposed to searching for flaws.


With that in mind, here are some confidence-boosting tips that you can use to start living your best life...today.


Begin celebrating the little quirks that make you who you are as opposed to picking them apart. For example, if you have a particularly loud laugh, think about how laughter is such a great way of expressing yourself and sharing joy with others instead of trying to tone it down. Embracing your quirky personality and individuality will in turn boost your confidence.


Shake up your wardrobe and find clothes that you love instead of wearing what you think you should wear. For example, just because a particular style of clothing is popular doesn’t mean you have to wear it - especially if your personal style lies elsewhere. Focus on outfits that make you feel comfortable or express your personality - confidence will soon follow when you do. For me this jumpsuit from makes me feel snazzy as hell!


We often look and feel our best when we are well-rested. Therefore, you should focus on getting plenty of sleep and taking a break whenever you need one.


Develop a skincare routine that deals with any issues you may be facing - whether you are battling acne or looking to fight signs of aging. Thankfully, there are loads of anti aging skincare products on the market that can help you obtain a natural, youthful glow that is sure to boost your confidence. Remember, as with any routine - it’s important you stick with it. You can’t apply a little moisturizer one day and expect your skin to look great for the rest of the month.


Practice giving yourself small compliments throughout the day - whether that means you compliment yourself on a job well done at work or celebrate whenever you have a perfect hair day. The kinder you are to yourself, the better as it means you will stop seeking validation elsewhere - as you already have it within yourself.


If you’re struggling to voice your opinions at work, assure yourself that you got that job for a reason. You are no less qualified than anybody else in your position - and deserve to have your voice heard. Do not let others sow seeds of doubt within your head - as you know your own skill set better than anybody else.


If you’re looking to feel more confident, you need to challenge yourself. Try to do one thing each day that lies outside of your comfort zone, as this kind of risk will allow you to realize just how great you are and give you a much-needed boost of confidence - even if it doesn’t always work out in your favor. Don’t let your worries stop you from trying something new - especially if it relates to something you’ve always wanted to do!

The final thing I'd recommend is doing what makes you happy. If that's dancing in front of the mirror and singing to your favourite songs- go for it. At the end of the day, you do you and being your authentic self will always boost your confidence rather than trying to fit in or be what you feel others want you to be.







Sunday, 4 April 2021

How to get a good nights sleep| My Night Time Routine


Getting a good nights sleep and having a bed time routine has really helped with my self care routine of late so I thought I'd share with you in case you're struggling with sleep or want to amp up your current routine!

Take a shower or a bath

A lot of us shower in the mornings to get us awake and ready for the day but it's also a great way to unwind and relax. After having a warm bath, our body temperature tends to drop which then helps induce a good nights sleep. I find using a relaxing muscle soak bubble bath and and lavender essential oils in the bath along with some tea lights, a good book and/or some calming music all help to add to a therapeutic experience to wind down ready for bed.

Massage and moisturising

The act of moisturising and massaging my skin before bed is another way that helps me to unwind and get ready for bed, especially after my shower or bath. Chris recently bought me a lovely pamper kit which contained the Avon Planet Spa Aromatherapy Beauty Sleep Body Butter and the Avon Aromatherapy Overnight Sleep Mask which are a real treat to use!



I take my time to apply them and slowly massage them in, again to aid in relaxation with both smell of French lavender and chamomile. Not only does it feel lovely to apply these, it also leaves your skin feeling incredibly soft so it's a win all round doubling up as part of my self care routine too.


Cosy Pyjamas

This one feels like a no brainer but comfy and cosy pyjamas 100% help to make you feel more relaxed. Soft material against your skin can't help but make you feel all snuggled and chilled out. I particularly like pyjamas that are teddy or polar fleece material for that extra snug feeling.

Horlicks

A warm drink at bed time has really helped me to get to sleep recently, especially over the colder months and my go to is Horlicks. I hadn't had it for years and I'd forgotten how comforting it is! Not only that, it's high in vitamins- 14 in fact as well as minerals too. 

I opt for the instant Horlicks that just adds water and is free from and sweeteners, preservatives and of course caffeine which is a big no no before bed. Caffeine should be stopped 4-6 hours before bed to ensure a good nights sleep so for me Horlicks is pretty perfect. I've also found that since I've started having Horlicks before bed I no longer wake up in the night with hunger pangs which has also aided my sleep.

Mood lighting

Trying to relax in a room with the main light on is just plain wrong! I've got one of the light alarm clocks (similar one here) which doubles up as mood lighting too with it's various colours and light levels. I love to have in on changing colours or a purple colour- perhaps because of the lavender I've been using? Who knows. Either way the low light followed by my warm cup of Horlicks really helps to make my bedroom a relaxing place that welcomes sleep.

Pillow mist

So once I've had the hot drink, in my cosy pjs and feeling suitably relaxed, the final thing I like to do is use a pillow mist. Again this was from the lovely pamper set Chris bought me but I adore the Avon's Aromatherapy Beauty Sleep Pillow mist. The scent is the same as the body butter and sleep mask and really helps to add another layer of scent to sleep. It's instantly soothing and makes your bedding smell soothing and fresh. 

So those are a few of my little hints and tips at how I unwind. I also have some tips to note if you are struggling to sleep and do find yourself laying there.

Don't check the time!

Checking the time is the worst thing you can do. I used to do this but it would wind me up knowing I only have X amount of time left to get sleep. 

Avoid checking your phone

We all know the light on our phones stimulates us so just by looking at you'll be waking yourself up. Mindless scrolling will not help you get off to sleep!

Have you got any tips you use that work for you to aid sleep? I'd love to hear them! 



Thursday, 1 April 2021

Planning A Wedding During A Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has made one thing clear: life is too short to hang around and wait for things that you want right?

This includes getting married. 

While the current rules mean that you can’t necessarily have the fairy tale wedding that we have always dreamed of, it doesn't mean that you can’t go ahead and plan a wedding that is special and meaningful. It is much harder when you can’t go and visit all the venues and shops that you would have otherwise done.

Now you may be thinking why are you writing about this Kat? You're married!? Well my wedding wasn't a typical wedding either so I am have some tips to help you plan the perfect wedding during a pandemic.



Act quickly - or take your time

Usually, when you are planning your wedding, you have your choice of dates, and most of us look at dates in the future - but not too far into the future. The pandemic has made that a thing of the past for now. you pretty much have to act quickly and take the dates available to you or wait for several years. With weddings having been postponed left, right, and centre in the past year, the next couple of years are pretty much fully booked unless you take on something at the last minute.


Of course, planning a last-minute thing can be incredibly stressful, (trust me I know) but if you think about the things that you truly need to make your day special, it can also be simple. For example, concentrate on how to get a wedding dress quickly, organise flowers and rings and make sure you have all of the legal processes of giving notice and organising your witnesses in place. Often, everything else falls into line when you have these sorted, especially if you don't have a big wedding reception to sort out as well.

For us we had a matter of weeks in order to be wed as we were moving abroad for a year or two, so we popped to our local registry office to get married and had a small intimate ceremony of 4 guests witnessing this special moment. 


Consider a two-part wedding

These are likely to a big thing for the foreseeable future and I can say from experience- they're actually pretty cool! Couples want to get married to seal the legal side of things, but they also want the big day and the moments with their family and friends, without the restrictions that are currently in place. 


Many couples are opting to do the legal side of the marriage now - going to a registry office with just their family or witnesses, and then planning the wedding celebrations for a later date, when restrictions have been lifted. If you are eager to get married, this may be an option worth taking into consideration. 


This is exactly what Chris and I did. We needed to get married but still wanted a party with family and friends which we planned for 9 months later and having a two-parter massively takes the stress off. You can truly enjoy your day without worrying about the legal part!


Allow yourself time to grieve

If you have made the decision to or have been forced to cancel your wedding - or are deciding to go ahead but with fewer guests and without the big celebration that you hoped for, you may be feeling sad and angry. That is absolutely fine, you have every right to feel like this! For many couples, it is a day they have dreamed about for a long time, and for it to be postponed or not done the way they hoped, can be devastating. If this is the case for you, allow yourself the opportunity to grieve. On your ‘should-have-been’ day, if you have cancelled, plan something lovely to take your mind off it. A few of my friends were in this situation last year and marked the occasion with a nice meal together and have since re-scheduled for this year.

The main thing to remember is the most important thing is marrying your best friend, the rest will fall into place and you'll find a plan that works for you.




If you're interested in finding out more about Chris and I's wedding story, check out this post and be sure to click on the wedding category on the right hand side of my blog for DIYs and wedding prep too. In the meantime I hope you have a beautiful wedding day.







Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Tips To Improve Your eBay Sales


Believe it or not, eBay has been around since 1995! There are many people who make their living by selling their items on eBay or finding items to resell for a profit. Those people have eBay down to fine art and can teach you a lot about making money on the platform.



I've been buying and selling on eBay since 2006 so whether you’re looking to launch a new business venture or make a little money on the side, here are some tips to improve your eBay sales.

Start with something your know

It’s always easier to buy and sell things that you know about. You’ll be able to spot a bargain and know a realistic price to sell it for. You’ll be able to maximize your profits. Think about what topics you’re knowledgeable about, this could be anything from skincare to classic movie posters. For me its clothing, looking at last seasons designers or hot trends of the moment. Whatever it is you know about, it's sure to have a section on eBay.


Over time, you can learn about different products and industries to enable you to expand your profit margins.

 

Reduce postage costs

If you’re making eBay your business, you want to build up a good impression with your packaging. We’ve all received an eBay item wrapped in a plastic shopping bag and covered in tape. You want to go for something more professional than that while still keeping costs down. Buying in bulk is often the way to achieve this as well as choosing your delivery service well. High postage costs can put buyers off your items so you want to make them as low as possible while still providing a reliable service. Try delivery bidding sites to see the prices you can get. You’re looking for the best price for a professional and reliable service.
 
 

Build up your profile as a buyer

Trust is a vital part of the eBay experience. Sellers with bad feedback or no feedback are often avoided. Yet you need to start somewhere. Collect good feedback as an eBay buyer, so that when you start selling, you have a record of positive reviews.

Ensure your profile is professional too. A username that might have been hilarious at the time, is probably not the best way to attract customers. Keep your name as something similar to your actual name or something descriptive of what you’re selling.
 

Take advantage of seller promotions

Keep an eye out for the seller promotions that eBay often runs. They usually arrive in your inbox and offer reduced fees or free listings for a specific period.

You’ll find a list of current offers on your seller page.

Make your item as appealing as possible

Don’t underestimate how important your product description and photos are. Practice taking photos of your items and add multiple ones to each listing. 



When you’re writing your product descriptions, be as accurate as possible and don’t rely on the auto-generated ones by eBay. Be as positive as you can while still being accurate. If there are any issues with the item, list these (and include photos) so that buyers know what they are buying and are less likely to ask for a return.

So those are just a few tips from me on how to improve your eBay sales. I'd love to know how you get on!



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