Friday, 29 July 2016

Must Have Accessories for Summer

When it comes to summer fashion, you can never have too many accessories, but I always seem to revert back to the same selection every time it comes to packing my suitcase (click here if you need tips on this). It just seems to be universally accepted that women pack a lot when they go away. Men only have to take a handful of shirts and a couple of pairs of shorts and they’re good to go, but we have to think about beachwear, daywear, evening outfits, and then take accessories that go with each of them. Which is usually why we tend to cheat a little, and instead fall back on a few staple items that are the same colours and styles to tie completely different outfits together seamlessly. Without rambling on too much more here are my top choices…

Novelty handbags
Summer is when you can relax, let your hair down and have some fun, which is probably the reason why everyone has the urge to buy a novelty handbag. I’ve seen some really stunning ones in the shops recently too; from clutches that look like old-school phones, to plastic purses in the shape of watermelons with diamantes for seeds, and wicker cases in the shape of beehives with tiny little bees sprouting out of them. I'm not normally one to follow a trend when it is so novelty but with these handbags some of them are just too cute and fun to resist! My advice if you want to make sure that this is a purchase you don’t regret, is to go for a bag the same colour as the rest of your staple accessories. That way, you won’t just wear it once, but every day of your holiday. Or, if you're really into buying a lot of them, hit up places like Primark as they have some beauties for a fraction of the price, so you don't even have to feel bad about splashing the cash on something that you could look back on in 6 months time like 'what the hell did I waste my money on'...

Charm bracelets
For me, Charm bracelets have always been a bit of a hit or miss but recently I've been loving wearing my jewellery on my arm. You don't need something massive and out there (unless that your style) but even just something sophisticated and understated can still make a big statement. There are some stunning charm bracelet styles out there at the minute, such as the collections from ChloBo. If you’re looking for something a bit quirky, their Love Revolution collection could be right up your street; think flower power, smoky quartz and peace signs and you’re pretty much there. If you’re looking for something classic and elegant to complete your beach look on the other hand, then their new Luna Soul collection is one you should take a look at. Try mixing their griege Labradorite bracelets with the peach sparkle of the Aventurine gem bracelets.

Go big or go home
There are a few pieces that never go out of style, oozing that 1950s glamour and all you need to do is think big. Over-sized is in at the moment, and if you pair an over-sized sunhat with a pair of large-rimmed white sunglasses, you’re already on your way to being that summer fashionista. I always like to add a bomber jacket or a cover up or something over the top too, just something light to throw on; if you’re staying in this country for the season, then you can easily buy something a little thicker and wrap it up when the sun goes away. When you’re lying on an exotic beach however, a light wrap or coverup should keep the sun (and sunburn) off your shoulders during the day - and God knows I need this!

I hope you enjoyed this post on my summer must-haves. Do you have any accessories that you can’t do without on holiday? Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know.

BekyLou, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog based in the South West.
(*This blog post was written in Collaboration with ChloBo*)

Saturday, 23 July 2016

So you want to go to Disney World? 5 Things to think about before booking your trip!

When Jordan and I first decided that we wanted to go to Disney World we were a little overwhelmed with everything you had to plan. Of course, we'd both been on holidays without our parents booking everything for us before, but for something as spectacular as Disney we almost didn't know where to start. After being through the whole process of booking a Disney World trip I thought I would pop together this post to give any of you wanting to do the same, a little bit of knowledge from someone who's now 'been there, done that and got the t-shirt'! It was all a lot easier than I thought it initially would be, but now having been there, I've come to realise a few things we maybe should have done differently. I've also popped in some bits about Universal too as I know that's somewhere we definitely wanted to hit up when we were there too! 

Crowd Calendars are your Best Friend
I cannot tell you enough how glad I am that we used a crowd calendar to book our trip! By using Google, we managed to find a really handy crowd calendar on  Undercover Tourist that honestly I would now use time and time again. We managed to pick a two week gap that was one we would never have thought was a good time to go and ended up having the best time when we were there because of our nifty planning. I'd say these calendars are pretty damn accurate - so much so that we even had one day at Universal where we walked straight on to every ride! Disney World is obviously going to be busy no matter what, but by using these kinds of calendars you can make sure you're not going to be rocking up at peak times! It also shows you individually by park and by day, which is perfect for planning the ins and outs of your trip and your daily schedule!

Shop Around
When it came to booking our hotel and flights, we'd always imagined that it would cost an arm and a leg to go all the way to Florida and stay in one of the most popular touristy areas, however after keeping an eye on Expedia for around about a month we finally found a deal that was just too good to refuse. In the end we wound up spending around £1500 for Virgin Atlantic Flights (Direct on the way there and one stop on the way back) and a two week hotel stay, only a mile away from the Disney parks. We booked it all around 10 minutes after finding it and are still happy with the decision we made. As with every holiday, Trip Advisor is your best friend when it comes to cheaper deals!

Another thing we definitely shopped around for were our Disney and Universal Tickets. Now, for us, we decided to go full out and do a full two weeks, lapping up the magic so it could have been a really spendy trip for us had we only gone straight to the Official websites. Again though, we had a little shop around and after a couple of weeks of keeping our eye on things (and waiting for payday to come around) we ended up finding a website called FloridaTix - we would 100% recommend these for anybody in the UK wanting to Disney it up! We ended up saving around £130 each by using this website and managed to get a full 14 day pass for both Universal Parks and all six Disney Parks! The Postage was also really quick, signed for and you got physical tickets; not only did that make things even more exciting but it meant that we didn't need to fuss around when we got there and we could go straight through!

Fast Passes
At both Disney and Universal you can (as with most theme parks nowadays) get Fast Passes which allow you to skip the usual queues for the rides. At Disney World, I would 100% recommend that you take full advantage of these! By downloading the My Disney Experience app you can book and schedule your Fast Pass + up to 30 days in advance (60 if you're staying in a Disney World Hotel) and also keep a track of your restaurant reservations (which you can book 180 days in advance - something I really recommend as we did not know this and struggled to book in anywhere within the parks). The new Fast Pass + system for Disney is 100% free and makes planning your days at the park so much easier. You initially get 3 a day, but as soon as you've scanned in for your last one, a new one appears for you to book!

At Universal the fast pass system is very different. For a 1 day 'Express' pass, it's around $80-$130 per person (depending on the time of year) and this entitles you to use the 'Express pass' lane on each ride once throughout the day. For around another $10-$20 per day, you can also buy an 'Ultimate Express' pass which gives you unlimited use of the express lanes on all participating rides (there are only 2 or 3 that don't have this lane). Before we left for Florida we thought these were amazing and bought a 2 park Ultimate pass each which gave us unlimited express pass action for one of our days at Universal (which we split between both parks, Stuidos and Islands of Adventure) however when we got there, we were quite disappointed with the organisation of them. As mentioned above, we completely lucked out on the first day that we went to Universal, which happened to be a day we hadn't purchased an express pass for; we managed to walk on to every ride, in both parks and saw everything there was to see. The Staurday that we had the Ultimate 2 park express pass was a bit of a disappointing one if I'm honest. We still managed to go on every ride, which we definitely wouldn't have been able to do without having an express pass, but we probably could have gotten away with only getting the standard express instead of the ultimate. Our issue was that in some cases, the express pass queue was still half an hour to an hour and a half long, which wasn't ideal when we had paid so much money for the privilege! So it's definitely something to think about if you've planned your trip around quiet days - you may not need one in the end and be as lucky as we were on our first day!

Getting Around
In Florida Jordan and I were unfortunate enough to be in a position where neither of us could leagally drive whilst we were over there and so we ended up spending quite a bit on Ubers and Taxis. If you can, make sure you can hire a car whilst your there, however if you're in the same kind of position as me and Jordan were then there are other ways you can get around in Orlando! Luckily for us our hotel had free shuttles to and from the Disney parks every day, multiple times a day and to Universal twice a day. One thing I will definitely say to you is make sure that your hotel has these free shuttle services before you book! These shuttles helped us out SO much and we used these every day! It saved us so much money on Taxi's but also could save you money on parking too as I know it's around $20 a day to park in the Disney parking lots! The only issue we had with the shuttles was that from our hotel they didn't pick up after 10pm at night so when we wanted to stay a bit later we did have to get a Taxi back, but by staying in the Wi-Fi zones, we managed to book Ubers which were sooooo much cheaper (and so much cheaper than in the UK). The other way we got around was the I-Drive Trolley. This is something that we found out about when buying our park tickets at FloridaTix and only cost £11 each for a 2 weeks pass. This has around 30 something stops along International Drive and starts and stops at the Premium Outlet Malls at either end of iDrive. We ended up getting an Uber to the Outlet Mall closest to us for around $8 and then rode the iDrive Trolley all the way up to the other one (which would have cost us around $40 to taxi/uber to). It's also a really easy way to get to lots of different restaurants and places like Aquatica and Sea World (if you're that way inclined...).

Saving your Memories
The last thing I want to talk about in this post is something that you probably wouldn't think too much about before booking. Having your photos taken by Disney Park photographers is part of the magic at Disney World and although at first though you may think it an unnecessary luxury because you can take your own camera or a take a couple of selfies, I just thought I'd pop some information in about the new Disney Photo Pass +. Photo Pass + is Disney's way of making sure that you go home with all of the memories that you can. For around $160 Photo Pass + is by far the best thing that Jordan and I had on our holiday. We were lucky in the fact that our Photo Pass + package was included in our park ticket bundle that we purchased, however even if it wasn't, knowing what we know now, we would have definitely purchased it if it wasn't included. The package meant that we could have our photos taken on rides or around the park as often as we liked and could keep every single photo. You can your Magic band / ticket with the photographer after having your photos taken and they appear minutes later on the Photo Pass section of the My Disney Experience App. You can download all of the images to your computer / phone as you wish (for up to a month after your first use); Jordan and I came home with over 550 images that we've sifted through and have had printed to put into a photo album that we bought over there. It's, in my opinion, one of the best services that Disney have to offer and you'd be silly if you didn't take advantage of it!

I hope these 5 tips will be of some use to any of you thinking of planning a Disney World / Orlando trip soon and I hope you've enjoyed this slightly different post! I'd love to know if any of you have any tips or tricks so make sure you pop them in the comments below! I should have some more Disney / America related posts up soon so please do let me know if there is anything specific you'd like to see!

BekyLou, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog based in Manchester


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

RWL Week #2 | Getting into routine, Craving Chocolate and noticing differences in my body!

As you may notice, the title of this week's RWL update post is titled 'Week #2'... Obviously, since I last posted, it's been about 3 weeks now and I should technically have started the fourth week of my HIIT Harder plan with Results with Lucy on Monday, however as I am me, I have clearly slipped up a bit and had a bit of a bad week. So as I did last time, I'm taking it back a week. For me it is now the end of week 2 and I've just started week three! It's been a struggle, I'll tell you that now! I had a week of not exercising and eating all of the bad (good!!) things and I think I needed it to be honest. I could sit here on my high and mighty horse telling you all how ashamed I am of myself for giving in and eating naughty foods, but in reality I'm just going to tell you that it's OK to cheat (ocassionally). I think one of my biggest downfalls is when I am craving something. When I have a craving, if I don't do something to subdue it for a bit, I end up going all out and having a massive binge. That's what I'm like with chocolate and as much as Jordan doesn't understand it, letting myself have a little bit  (or something of the same kind of taste / sweetness) just makes the craving go away and I can get on with my healthy eating as normal. That is what happened to me a couple of weeks ago - I didn't listen to my body and ended up eating everything sweet and fatty in sight! One thing I think I'm also going to start doing in the future to curb my cravings is making some of the slightly sweeter snack recipes avaialble on the 'Eat Well' section of RWL!

My first couple of weeks on the HIIT Harder plan have been successful (kind of). Minus the little week's discrepancy, the week before last, I've actually been getting on quite well with it. The workouts are intense and make you work hard but honestly I LOVE them. One of the things that I like about the workouts is that they are split into 5 different sections. To start, you have the warm up and then three HITT sessions and then a cool down. The three middle sessions are usually all based around different body areas too, so there is normally a cardio section, some arms and then also perhaps some legs or abs. I find that having the breaks in each section so helpful as it kind of tricks my brain into thinking I'm only doing short sessions when in realtiy my workout is about 30-40 minutes long overall. 

If you don't know what HIIT is, it stands for High Intensity Interval Training and is basically exactly what it says on the tin. It kicks ass. I have never felt more worn out than I do when I'm doing a HIIT session. With HIIT, you usually have bursts of exercises with minimal rest / recovery time in between each exercise and set. So for example, one of the exercises on RWL is a 9-10 minute video with 5 different exercises and 3 sets. Each exercise in the first set is 30second with a 5-10 second break in between and then the 2nd set, all exercises are 20 seconds with no break between each one and then the final set is ususally 10 seconds per exercise. With this kind of HIIT workout you usually have around 30 seconds rest in between each set. I really like these kind of exercises and I always feel like I've worked harder. There's also no excuses when doing HIIT as each exercise is only really ever around 30-90 seconds long, although when you add all of those 30 seconds up - you can definitely feel the burn!

As always, the workouts are progressing week by week and slowly but surely the exercises are getting that tiny bit harder, however I am really enjoying the plan and can't wait to start seeing some more results. So far, most likely due to my week of madness, I haven't been seeing too much difference in my body. I definitely ache the next day and am feeling like I'm getting a little stronger as I'm finding it easier to do certain things like press ups etc than I was a couple of weeks ago. I haven't managed to take any progress photos this week due to other commitments, but I promise I'll have some more up in my next post as I'm really wanting to see the progress myself. Seeing these side by side compared to the start and finish photos from my last RWL plan, I am feeling a little deflated, so I'm definitely wanting to take me more so that they can ge me that much more motivated to keep mup my exercising and eating 'on-plan'.

Have you joined Results with Lucy since reading my last set of posts? I'd love to see your progress and hear how you're getting on with your exercise plans!

BekyLou, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog based in Manchester

(*This post may contain items that have been gifted for PR Purposes)


Sunday, 17 July 2016

5 Ways to Unwind This Summer

If you know me, you will know that I am the worlds biggest worrier. I worry about everything; from feeling physically sick at the idea of finding somewhere to park in a new place to just worrying about what we'll have for tea that night. I literally beg Jordan to go to Aldi if we don't have anything planned for that weeks meals and 'no' food in. I am terrible! I'm also terrible at relaxing and unwinding, hence the need for this blog post, to not only give you lovely lot my top 5 tips and tricks but for me, to get it into my head that I need to relax more! 

1 - Just turn off all tech! Now, this is one of those 'do as I say, not as I do' kinda things because I tell you now, this is not something that I can easily do at all! At a certain time of the evening, put away the phones, iPads and laptops, turn off the tv and just read a book or something. Chill out your brain before bed and you will have a much better sleep! I have been trying to do this myself over the past couple of evenings (the reading thing that is, I'm still struggling with turning off my phone) and I have been finding it so much easier to wake up that little bit earlier than I normally would if I'm up till god only knows what time watching sh*t tv!

2 - Get out!! There's nothing I like more when the sun is shining to just get out of the house and enjoy it. Nothing helps me to relax more than getting out and sitting in the sun with a good book, or taking a walk around the countryside (or as of recently a lovely National Trust house). There's something so peaceful about being outside when there's nice weather and it definitely helps me unwind. I think removing yourself from the stresses of everyday life and taking yourself outside and just enjoying your surroundings is so underrated too as it's completely free!

3 - Treat yourself to a pamper. If there's one way I like to unwind the most it definitely has to be by treating myself to a pamper. Whether that's keeping it low-cost at home with a face mask, painting my nails and deep conditioning my hair or paying a little extra to be pampered at a salon, it doesn't really matter. Pampering yourself and taking a little time out to yourself is one of the best ways to chill out. Day spas like Urban Retreat at Harrods  are the perfect way to escape and indulge in something you wouldn't usually do. Treat yourself to a blow dry, a facial or even one of their special Hammam treatments and completely relax in a tranquil environment. Day spas (or what the hell, even a weekend away) with a friend are always a great way to forget all of your other issues and just focus on you! I'm definitely going to be taking my Mum to one soon!

4 - Spend time with your family. Now that I live away from home, nothing lets me unwind more than being in the company of my parents. As you can see from the photo above, me and mum get on so well and whenever I'm feeling down I just want to give her a cuddle. De-stressing for me is just being around my parents or even my nan and granddad!  

5 - Go shopping!! Of course, I am not at all advising you to spend all of your money (unless of course you want to buy me something too) but shopping a little when you're stressed always relieves it for a little while. Here is where I want to point out that shopping does not however solve all of your problems on a permanent basis! Believe me, I've tried it before and no matter how many cute dresses and pairs of sunglasses you buy, you will not find the answer to your problems. Shopping is however, one of the things I find most relaxing, and is something that I will always recommend as a quick fix! 

What are your top tips for unwinding and relaxing through the summer months? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

BekyLou, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog based in Manchester

(*This post has been in collaboration with Urban Retreat Day Spa)

Friday, 15 July 2016

Going one shade Darker with John Frieda

My hair has been something of a task and half recently and I'm still not completely happy with it. If you remember, around November time I had my hair cut a lot shorter and dyed Ombré and since then I've been battling with getting either end of my hair the exact shade that I've wanted. My blonde is not blonde enough and my brunette is not brunette enough! That was, until, John Frieda came up with the best Shampoo and Conditioner combination that I've seen in quite a while! The new John Frieda Visibly Deeper Brilliant Brunette shampoo and conditioner have been all I've been reaching for recently (for the top of my head at least). At first I was really sceptical that this would work, but considering I use purple shampoo and conditioner for the ends of my hair, I was definitely up for giving them a go - John Frieda have never disappointed me in the past.

Disappoint they did not! I have been washing my hair around 3 times a week (I like to wash my hair around every other day, but longer if I can) and 2/3 times I have been using these shampoo and conditioners all over the top half of my hair to try and deepen my natural brunette. To my surprise, I have actually noticed that my hair has been slightly darkening with each wash. It's been quite subtle, but has definitely been noticeable to me and I've been really happy with the results. John Frieda have also released a Colour Deepening Treatment within this range too and I've also been using this once a week instead of using the conditioner. I have been applying the Visibly Deeper shampoo as normal and then applying the Colour Deepening Treatment all over the top of my hair for a once a week soak. I really like the formula of this, I feel like you can really tell that it has some sort of dying properties inside it as the product is really brown and does appear like a hair dye. I leave this on for around 5 minutes for the product to absorb and then rinse out like I would my normal conditioner. I definitely see an extra boost in colour after using this treatment and really love the colour it takes me to. Considering I was thinking of spending another £100 or so to get my hair re-dyed the colour I originally wanted, I'm really glad that I received these products first and haven't wasted my money. For a fraction of the price (around £5-£7 each) these have totally been such a better way to get the slightly deeper colour I've wanted for the last 7 months. It's been such an easier process to incorporate into my usual hair care routine than some in-depth colouring process and that just makes me so happy  because I am such a lazy girl at heart!

The clever eggs at John Frieda have also released Visibly Brighter Brunette and Go Blonder Lightening ranges too which means there's almost a range for everyone. I'm actually thinking of picking myself up the Go Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner too to try and sort out the ombré section of my hair; if the results of the visibly deeper brunette are anything to go by then I'm hoping for good things with this range too! Let me know in the comments if this is the kind of the thing that you'd be looking to use in the future, it would be interesting to see what your thoughts are on a project like this!

BekyLou, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog based in Manchester

(*This post may contain items that have been gifted for PR Purposes)


Wednesday, 13 July 2016

How to get an Extra Boost with Clarins

I have always needed a little help when waking myself up in the morning; whether it be a million alarms, an extra nudge from Jordan or even a bucket of water over the head, it takes a while to get me moving! For this reason, when it comes to my morning skincare routine I always need that little something extra to perk me and my skin up and to get me refreshed ready for the day ahead. Clarins, as always, have been here to help me with this situation and have come to the rescue with their  new Boosters. Now, I was actually supposed to write about these like two months ago, but the silly girl that I am completely thought I'd already posted about how much I love them, when in reality it was in an email to Clarins... awkward. Anyway, these boosters have been helping me so much recently and I just needed to share the love!

As much as my favourite moisturisers (also from Clarins) are amazing at making my skin feel fabulous every morning, sometimes I do need something a bit more intensive to make me feel like my skin is fully revitalised and that I'm ready to face the day (especially after a night out). That is exactly what Clarins have created with these boosters; 3 concentrated formulas that easily mix in with your everyday moisturiser to give you that edge that your skin craves. I personally love to use the 'Energy' Booster mixed in with my Multi-Active Moisturiser for first thing when I wake up in the morning. The Energy Booster is designed to tone and re-energise the skin, minimise the appearance of fatigue (god knows that's needed) and revives radiance and so it's just the most perfect booster for me! I am, for unknown reasons, always tired and can never wake up as I've already said so it's just great to have something else to help me feel a bit better! The other one of the Boosters that I have is the 'Detox' Booster which is designed to detoxify and plump the skin and restore radiance on dull complexions. I don't use this booster as regularly as I do the 'Energy' booster, but I do love using this one of an evening with my night time Multi-active moisturiser because I feel like it works it's magic over night whilst I sleep. That's probably not what it does at all, but to me, I do feel like I see a difference in my skin when I wake up after adding this to my night time pamper.

I love how easy these boosters are to incorporate into your skincare and I think it's so important to make sure that you're giving your skin the right care and that you're looking after it. For me, I wouldn't have normally picked these up of my own accord, as when I first heard of them, I did think they sounded a little gimmicky, however I have been proved so wrong and really do love these now. For the amount of time it takes to quickly pop 2-3 drops of these boosters into your daily moisturiser before applying, there's really no excuse not to use them to give your skin a boost! They are a little pricey at £30 each, however you get a full 30ml for that and barely use any of the product up each time you use it, so I definitely think they are great value for money if your skin is needing that little extra T.L.C.  You can pick these up at Clarins or at your nearest Clarins counter!

BekyLou, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog based in Manchester

(*This post may contain items that have been gifted for PR Purposes)


Monday, 11 July 2016

There's No Place Like Home... New Shoes, a Day with Mum & Harry Potter Filming locations!

One of the many things that I have struggled with this year has been living so far away from my family. Some of you may know that in August of last year I moved away from Wiltshire to live in Manchester City Centre with my boyfriend Jordan and as much as I love him and really like where we are living, I have been really struggling with home sickness and being away from everybody else. There's definitely no place like home and for me, being in Wiltshire is where I am usually at my happiest. This weekend I've been back home for a couple of days to spend some time with my parents and enjoy the country air and it's done me the world of good. I feel refreshed and ready to tackle my life back in Manchester once again (or at least for another couple of weeks before I crave home once more). On Saturday, my Mum and I decided to go for a walk around Lacock Abbey; believe it or not, I've never actually done this despite living practically next door to it for 20 years of my life. However, now I have officially been granted Granny status by joining the National Trust, it seemed like the perfect time to get out for the day with my Mum and enjoy some time together. I was also so excited to go around and see where Harry Potter was filmed, something I saw around the village when I was younger, but it's so cool to see the inside locations! As you can tell from the photos above, I got really excited about this and ended up jumping around in excitement. Lacock Abbey is such a beautiful place and I'm so glad it was a gorgeous sunny day when we walked around! 

My outfit for the day (or OOTD) was this cute look including my absolute favourite white Joni Jeans from Topshop. I very rarely brave the white as I am just the messiest person ever, but I took the risk on Saturday and couldn't be happier with how my outfit turned out! I paired my Joni's with this gorgeous Off the Shoulder Top from New Look in Black to contrast my colours a little and because I have just been obsessed with the whole bardot style this season! My bag is from Michael Kors and my jewellery is all from Tiffany and Pandora; I have absolutely been loving the simple silver chain detailing recently and these pieces are all so special to me so it means even more to be wearing them every day. Last but not least my shoes are the Converse All Star OX in White which I have wanted for so long and finally managed to get my hands on thanks to Size?, they are absolutely perfect for a casual look and are so pretty with my white Joni's too! 

BekyLou, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog based in Manchester

(*This post may contain items that have been gifted for PR Purposes)

Sunday, 3 July 2016

The Festival Look for the Non-Festival Girl

I think the only festival I've ever been to (aside from T4 on the Beach, of course) was Boardmasters. I was 17 and went with three girls that I thought were my friends. I wore uncomfortable denim shorts that gave me the biggest wedgie ever, had glow paint plastered all over my face and thought that my knee-high 'school girl' socks were the coolest things ever underneath my wellies. I spent most of the weekend alone after my friends left me to get drunk and I didn't really like the experience at all (apart from seeing Ed Sheeran, of course). Let's just say that that experience has left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth and I've never had a desire to go to a festival again since. And that doesn't bother me at all, I'm not the kind of girl that is up for roughing it in a tent for a couple of days after spending a fortune for the privilege when I don't even like half of the bands that are playing. I'd be more than happy to go to a one day event, like my beloved T4OTB  (I'm still so sad that got cancelled) but sadly for me that's not on the cards this year and I'm still not too fussed on missing out. One thing I am slightly disappointed at is that I don't get the excuse to wear the festival fashion. I'm a huge lover of everything in the shops right now and on Boohoo there are some absolute gems that I wish would be appropriate for day to day use, however, without the excuse of at least a day festival to go to (an invitation by anyone wanting to send me would not be declined) I thought I'd style my own 'festival' look that I can still wear around day-to-day.  

For a festival I like to be comfortable in what I'm wearing; the denim hot pants were clearly a no no for me the first time around and so I thought why not just style something I'd normally wear. Being a huge fan of dresses at the moment (no idea where that love came from) I thought I'd pick up this gorgeous floral skater dress from Boohoo. At £20 it's an absolute bargain and really good quality, I love how it flows nicely and yet still looks really flattering; I am a sucker for a well fitting dress and I can even go bra-less with this dress and not feel too exposed so that makes me really happy! I think this dress is perfect for me and my non-festival, festival style and along with the accessories it makes a great look! The Dream Catcher Necklace, also from Boohoo, stood out to me instantly when I was piecing together this outfit. It's absolutely spot on for a statement festival necklace and I think it works really well with the dress and ring set. I love the dreamcatcher and how it's much more of an interesting necklace than a single chain would have been. Again the mixed size engraved rings I'm wearing are also from Boohoo and I absolutely love these. I've never really been a midi-ring kinda gal, but this set is so cute that I couldn't resist getting them to wear. I of course then had to pair this outfit with some killer shoes and my beloved Polaroid Aviator Sunglasses. My shoes are from Kurt Geiger and although probably really inappropriate for an actual festival, I think they work really well for my non-festival look! They are super comfy (as are all KG shoes) and look so so cool with the gold mirrored panel on the inside of the heel and the golden studs! I am so obsessed with them!

What do you think to my non-festival, festival look? Let me know what festivals you're going / not going to this year and what your outfit inspirations are in the comments below! 

BekyLou, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog based in Manchester

*Some of the items in this post were gifted to me for PR purposes*


Friday, 1 July 2016

My Top 4 Fake Tans

When it comes to fake tanning, there is a lot that I have learnt over the last couple of years. I know how to prep my skin before I apply fake tan, I know which tans are quick and easy and I know how to make sure I don't turn up green (yes, that has happened before)! Today I thought I would show off my top  4 favourite tanners to help those of you out there who are struggling to find that perfect glow. I know that something like this would definitely have helped me when I was going through that tough stage of awkward tanning! 

Up first is a brand that I have loved for quite some time now and a brand that are totally affordable for those of you new to tanning / tan constantly. Sunkissed actually have two spots in my top 4 because I love them so much! My number 1 is the Sunkissed Rapid Tan, a tanning mousse that develops a gorgeous natural glow in just 60 minutes. It's one of my all-time favourites and one that I go back to every time. For just less than £3 and available in none other than Primark, it's so easy to get hold of and such an amazing tan. It's one that I definitely recommend if you are just starting out with fake tanning at home; it's streak free, and has colour as you apply so that you know exactly where it's going to be tanning! My other tan fave from Sunkissed is their new 60 minute Moisturiser Spray Tan. Perfect for applying at home, just spray on some product and massage in with a mitt for all over coverage that develops in just an hour! Sadly, it's not pigmented when first applied like the Mousse tan, but as long as you ensure you don't go too crazy, it's absolutely perfect for a bronzed look. Sunkissed are an amazing self-tanning brand and they are right up there as some of my favourite tans. 

Another favourite of mine, for a slightly darker tan is the Cocoa Brown Dark 1 Hour tan. You may have seen on my social media or in past blog posts how much I love Cocoa Brown and trying the dark tan just made everything that much better. With Cocoa Brown 1 hour tan I usually left it on for 2-3 hours for the tanned look that I loved and with the Dark tan I only have to leave it on for an hour to see the results that I so desperately want from a fake tan. Cocoa Brown is a brand that I am a little obsessed with and as they have so many great products I'm sure you'll see them a little more on my blog in the future. The Dark tan is streak free, dries within seconds and is really well priced for such an amazing tan. It's one that I re-purchase time and time again along with the others in this post and one that I couldn't not have around for emergencies. I also love the Cocoa Brown Golden Goddess Dry Shimmer Oil, but you'll have to keep your eyes peeled for another post for that review as I couldn't help but give it it's own spotlight! 

Last up is the Clarins Self Tanning Milky Lotion, an easy moisturising tan that gradually sinks into the skin and develops throughout the day. Again, with this one you do have to be careful with not over-spreading the love when applying, but done properly this tan slowly produces a lovely natural tan. I love using this on my face as it's specifically designed to give moisture and not dry out the skin and it leaves my skin not only looking healthy but feeling healthy too. At £20 this is a much higher priced product than the other three in this favourites post, but trust me when I say that this product is 100% worth it. I wouldn't promote a product if I didn't truly believe in it and with a product that little bit more pricey, I definitely put it through it's paces before recommending it. This is the perfect tanner to match with any of the others I've mentioned to give your face a healthy glow and not damage it. I often find myself applying this lightly every couple of days to just give it a little re-boost after continuing with my daily skincare routines.

What are your thoughts on my favourite tans? Do you like any that I've mentioned or will you be trying them out for yourself? Let me know in the comments! 

BekyLou, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog based in Manchester

*Some of the items in this post were gifted to me for PR purposes*

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