Friday, 23 June 2017

How to Turn Off Snapchat Maps & Why you should be doing it.

Snapchat is always evolving and developing new ways to keep us entertained and interested in the app. Having Instagram stories now very much a fan favourite with brands and bloggers alike for the ease of viewings and linking to posts and websites, understandably Snapchat seems to be taking a bit of a back seat. And although Snapchat is still very much a 'living' app and is still extremely popular amongst teens and celebs, they are definitely trying to up their game with the app and we can see that through some of their latest updates. Don't get me wrong, I am a massive snapchat fan and although I don't use either Snapchat or Instagram stories as much as I did I am trying to get back into the swing of things - that was until I saw the latest Snapchat update and I have to say it was a pretty massive turn off for me. 

In the latest Snapchat update the team have added a 'maps' feature to the ever popular app. Not only can you now see your friends stories / stories of those you follow with ease, but you can also see where they are in the world. Pretty cool, right? That is until you realise that you can zoom into this map incredibly close and can find out exactly what street they're on in the world. Not only do I think this is a breach in privacy but it could be extremely dangerous - especially for the younger snapchat users out there. Honestly, I'm not a fan of the feature at all and with so many of us having our snapchat open for anyone to add us (for business purposes) it can be quite scary that anyone can know your location and know it so specifically. 

To turn this feature off, or 'ghost' yourself as Snapchat call it, just follow the few steps below! 

- Open Snapchat
- Pinch your fingers and swipe out (as if you were enlarging the screen) 
-Tap settings in the top right corner
- Turn on 'Ghost mode'

Ghost mode ensures that your location is not visible on the Snapchat maps and people will not be able to find you! You can also do this by going into Settings, 'Who can...' and 'See my location' - you can change this to Only you, which again, means Ghost Mode. 

I know this isn't my usual kind of post, but when I'm genuinely nervous for people's safety, I just thought I had to share it. With a quick look at my Snapchat Maps I've seen several younger people that I know (I'm talking age 12-15) and they're visible to me to almost the exact location where they live and it's really quite creepy and scary to think that anyone could see that and gather the information. With so many people out there with lesser intentions than the rest of us, I feel like with a platform like this, it's only right to let you know how to hide yourself from these features!

I'd love to know your thoughts on this new feature and if any of you have been concerned at all?

You can follow me on Snapchat by searching 'beky_morris' 

BekyLou, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog based in the South West and London.
(*this post may contain items gifted to me for PR purposes*)

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Teeth Whitening on a Budget; Everyday Charcoal Teeth Whitening from Superdrug

 Teeth whitening is such a hot topic at the moment but for me I'm honestly not all that fussed with all of the faff, especially with most of the teeth whitening products out there not being great for sensitive teeth like mine. If you haven't noticed by now or realised through my posts or snaps, I can be quite lazy when it comes to beauty and teeth whitening just isn't my cup of tea with the effort it can take and the less than happy results it has on my teeth. Saying that, I am still keen to keep my pearly whites, pearly white and so whenever I can find a less 'faffy' option and one that doesn't seem to strip my teeth for all they're worth in the process, I'm always up for giving it a go. 

Superdrug have recently released two new products for whitening your teeth and they seem to be  right up my street; the least amount of faff and effort imaginable but with great results! The first is a Charcoal based toothpaste which is just £2.39 for a tube and at the cheapest end of the teeth whitening spectrum that I've tried so far, I have to say it's definitely one of my favourites. The activated charcoal within the toothpaste is known to be great for removing stains and restoring your teeth back to their natural whiteness and having used this for a good month now, I can definitely say I've noticed a huge difference in the colour of mine.  I use this on my Superdrug Charcoal Infused Toothbrush (just £2.25) and have been loving the results so far. The toothbrush is specifically designed with soft bristles and a charcoal infusion to help whiten teeth with a gentle clean and I have to say that using these two every day combined has definitely improved the brightness in my teeth a great deal. 

Although you could use this on it's own as your normal everyday toothbrush and toothpaste, I prefer to have a good clean of my teeth with my original set first and then go in for a quick brush over with the Charcoal Toothpaste and toothbrush from Superdrug. I don't go overkill when it comes to brushing my teeth this way, I'd say I've cut down the time on each so that I'm still only giving them around a two minute or so brush, but this way I feel like they're cleaned and then whitened all in one go without feeling like I've missed a step. This way for me is so easy and I instantly feel like my teeth are whiter and brighter after every brush. I think these products are perfect for easy, at home teeth whitening and with everyday use do an amazing job at maintaining their shine too. For a grand total of £4.74 you really can't go wrong here and there's no fear of damaging your teeth more like you would have with solutions, trays and strips! I'm a massive fan of charcoal for a plethora of beauty tasks and this is just another one added to my list! You can pick yours up on the Superdrug website or in store. 

BekyLou, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog based in the South West and London.
(*this post may contain items gifted to me for PR purposes*)

Saturday, 17 June 2017

2nd Trimester Pregnancy Update

2nd trimester pregnancy update

As I head into my third trimester I feel a lot more chill about this pregnancy... Ironic really considering this is the last couple of weeks where I probably should be freaking out that I'll be responsible for an actual human child in a matter of two short months. Over the past few weeks, mostly since leaving my job, I've been feeling far more relaxed about this whole 'having a baby' thing. I've felt less stressed and dare I say it? I've kind of been enjoying pregnancy this past week. With how my first and second trimesters have been going, I never thought I'd actually get to this part and so for me I feel like this is a big step. 

So if you didn't know (because I certainly didn't before getting pregnant) the second trimester runs from week 13 to week 28 (or there abouts) and mine started off with a continuation of morning sickness - the joys! If you've read my 18 week pregnancy update or my 23 week pregnancy update you'll already kind of know how I've been feeling during my second trimester but I thought I'd just do a round up post for you all and also add in the last 5 weeks that haven't made it to the blog so far! I suffered quite a lot with morning sickness up until around week 20 which was pretty horrendous but looking back on it now could have been work/stress related from week 16-20 as since I've been off work and not had the daily stresses there, I haven't actually been sick or felt nauseous at all. Morning sickness is definitely not pleasant at all and to be honest originally it was the only symptom I'd ever really known about pregnancy; I feel like I went into it all a little na├»ve and suffered a lot more than I ever thought I would. Looking back at those first 20 weeks now, I don't really remember the sicky feeling (thank god) but still definitely would not want to be back in that position any time soon.

2nd Trimester pregnancy update

I really suffered with pre-natal depression during my second trimester and although that has still most definitely not disappeared, I feel like I really suffered with the worst of it during my second trimester. The majority of my initial thoughts on my pre-natal depression were journaled in my 23 week pregnancy update and since then I feel like I've come quite a long way with how I've been feeling. I've had weekly appointments with my midwife for heartbeat reassurance checks of my little bubba to keep my anxiety in check and to have a chat with her about how I've been feeling each week (she is a total babe and honestly I don't feel like I could have got through a lot of this without our chats). I've also been seeing a cognitive behavioural therapist (I've seen him twice now) and we're trying to work on my anxiety as I think a lot of my depression stems back from how anxious I am about everything going wrong and my baby girl not being okay (even though I have no reason not to think she's going to be okay). I'm not too sure if it's a therapy that is working for me so far, but I'm giving it a good go as I'd do anything except tablets to improve my mood and mindset. I've also since quit my job and although this isn't something that I'm going to go into in too much detail about, I feel much happier and less stressed overall since I've finished.

As for other symptoms during my second trimester there haven't really been that many; my pelvic girdle pain has been coming and going and effects me some days more than others and I've been experiencing shortness of breath like there's no tomorrow but other than that there haven't been too many things that I've noticed. One thing that has been a massive pain in the ass though, or should I say pain in the front is where my daughter prefers to position herself. She's definitely taken to laying really low in my belly and I get the worst pressure feelings ever just above my pubic bone which can sometimes be really painful. I love her to bits already but my god that girl knows how to get her mummy into a painful situation! Apart from that and the growing size of my ass, the second trimester (or at least the second half of it) hasn't been all that eventful.

My bump has quite noticeable taken shape and even though baby girl is measuring on the slightly larger side right now, they're not too concerned at the moment and are happy with the way she's growing. I will be going in for a growth scan in the next couple of weeks just to double check this though, but as she's steadily growing now (unlike her spurt two weeks ago) I'm happy too that I've got a healthy baby girl. If you want to get regular bump updates make sure you go and follow me on Instagram as I post weekly bump shots over there!

The heat is most definitely getting to me and the chaffing of my thighs has been horrendous, but overall I'm feeling much happier now that the countdown to my baby girl arriving is coming along a lot faster. The days seem to be whizzing by and I know that I'll be packing up my hospital bag before I know it! Sorry this update hasn't been all that eventful, but in a way I'm kind of glad I've not had much news to share - all is growing well with bubba and that just makes me really happy! I'll have another update for you at around the 32 week mark as I should be having my scan then but as always do let me know if you'd like any specific blog posts on my pregnancy and don't forget you can always pop me a message on Twitter too!

BekyLou, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog based in the South West and London.
(*this post may contain items gifted to me for PR purposes*)


Thursday, 15 June 2017

Urban Decay Naked HEAT Palette; First Impressions and Swatches

Urban Decay Naked Heat PaletteUrban Decay Naked Heat Palette
Although I said I wouldn't give into the hype and purchase another of the Urban Decay Naked palettes should they ever release another one, I am bloody glad I went back on my promise to myself. When news hit earlier this month of the Urban Decay Naked Heat palette being released, the fifth now in the original Naked series, I took one look at the images and my heart skipped a beat or two; no palette has ever screamed "you need me" more than this one did. The warm auburn hues of the entire palette just spoke to me in a way that no other has and with a beautiful mixture of shimmers, satins and mattes, how could it not be the perfect palette for me?

As I'm never one to be around for the release of these kinds of sought-after products I never expected to get my hands on this beauty so early. With the launch date penned in for the end of July (the 27th to be exact) I didn't pin my hopes on getting this palette until the hype around it had settled a bit and could maybe pick it up around September. With the palette's predecessor the Naked Smoky palette not coming into my possession until a good few months after it's release, I just didn't want to get any big ideas about having this one first. That was until I was scrolling through Twitter on Tuesday morning and saw that a few of my blogger friends had managed to pick this up; it had gone on sale in a cheeky presale that wasn't advertised to the masses! I immediately jumped onto the Urban Decay UK site to see that they had sold out and was gutted to have missed out. Jump forward half an hour and those cheeky sons of guns had done it again, this time I'd seen the tweets within seconds and raced back on to claim my prize. A few clicks and taps of entering my details later and a beautiful confirmation email of my purchase pinged into my email inbox. Somehow, I'd managed the impossible, a whole month and a half before it's due release. 

A very short two days later and I'm now sitting in bed, staring at the gorgeous colours in front of me and I have to say: It's even more stunning in person. With the Naked Smoky not really being my cup of tea, I was pleasantly surprised that the Naked Heat palette was what dreams are made of. The burnt oranges, bronze tones and even the few purplish shades are so much better than the press images give them credit for and the nude shades just compliment this palette so perfectly. I honestly don't think I've ever been more in love with a palette. 

Urban Decay Naked Heat PaletteUrban Decay Naked Heat Palette

When it comes to the shadows this palette has to offer, in my opinion, we've been treated big time and especially with the four gorgeous shimmers. Not normally a gal all about the shimmery lid, these shadows literally had me gobsmacked when I swatched them for the first time. As you can see from my more detailed swatches below of Lumbre, Dirty Talk, Scorched and Ember they've left nothing to the imagination when it comes to pigmentation and even these photos don't really do them justice. They have an almost foiled finish to them and look absolutely stunning when applied to the eyes - I can tell that these are going to be the shades that I reach for the most and that I will most definitely be rocking the warm toned smokey eye this summer! And as far as their formula goes, they couldn't be any more delicious; they're so buttery and apply really well to the eyelid with minimal effort and use of product. All in all,  I'm the most impressed by these shades and for a girl who usually shies away from overly shimmery shades due to their fall out potential and overall messy nature, I must say I've been turned by these. Well done Urban Decay, well done - you've most definitely upped your game with these ones. 

As for the other eight shades I was a little less impressed with their pigmentation when swatched as they took a lot more work to achieve their sample than the shimmers did, but with colours this gorgeous and a little eyeshadow primer they're definitely something I can work with. Starting off with a couple of nude/beige shades this palette then progresses through the deep-warm spectrum all the way through your burnt auburns to your deep plums and it couldn't be any more up my street. When I initially saw this bad boy being advertised on the Urban Decay Instagram page I knew I had to have it and seeing it in person and having a little play with it today, I couldn't stand by my initial thoughts more - This palette is me. The matte shades are all kinds of beautiful and even though they need a little more product to produce the desired pigment than the shimmers do, they blend extremely well and are easily buildable for whatever level of intensity you're looking for. 

I love the diversity of each and every shade and in turn the diversity of the whole palette, it's (in my opinion) the best that they've released and as a girl who'd lost faith in the Naked palette series, I'm so glad Urban Decay whipped this one out of their sleeves. I'll be holding this one tight to my chest for the foreseeable future and you can bet your bottom dollar I'll be experimenting with the Naked Heat palette lots over this Summer. 

Will you be getting your hands on this palette when it's released? What are your thoughts on the warmer shades?

Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette
Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette

BekyLou, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog based in the South West and London.
(*this post may contain items gifted to me for PR purposes*)
This post contains affiliate links - Disclaimer


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Urban Decay Naked Palette Vs Primark Bronze Palette Full Review and Comparison with Swatches

As I've just purchased the new Urban Decay Naked Heat palette and am eagerly awaiting it's arrival, I got thinking about how much money I actually spend on high-end makeup palettes and how much I actually use them. The latest addition to my collection has set me back a whopping £39.50, but how much will I actually use it? The colours are gorgeous, completely different to a lot of the ones I already own (minus one or two in separate palettes) and I genuinely think I'll end up using it as an everyday palette, but thinking back at how much I've spent on the other four Naked palettes from Urban Decay, I can't help but think I could have saved money and just not bothered for how much I use them. 

Now, I'm not usually one for 'dupe' products but when I started thinking about whether or not I should have splashed the cash on any of my UD palettes I couldn't help but notice how similar some of the shades were in my Bronze Shadow and Shade palette from Primark. For £4 it's obviously a hell of a lot cheaper and less of a kick in the purse than the £38 I originally paid for my Urban Decay Naked palette and for that reason I thought I'd do a little comparison post for you all! 

Obviously the first noticeable difference in the palettes is that the Primark Bronze palette only has ten shades compared to the Naked Palettes' twelve, you're instantly two shades down, but for a £34 price difference, I don't quite think this is much of an issue, especially when you have your core shades in there. The pans in the Primark Bronze palette are also noticeably a lot bigger than those in the UD palette and for the money you're paying, it makes you start to wonder really why you're actually forking out that much dolla. Or at least, it did with me. 

For my swatches above I haven't picked all of the shades, but have picked out the shadows that I think are the most similar. Obviously, you're not going to have shadows that are like-for-like but you have to admit, they are pretty close in colour? The first two shades that I've swatched are the more muted matte shades: the shade on the left is Half Baked from the Urban Decay Naked Palette and the shade on the right is Sunseeker from the Primark Bronze palette. Aside from Sunseeker being just  that little bit darker, they're two pretty similar shades and are perfect for a crease transition shadow. Instantly though just through swatching these two, there was a huge difference in the pigmentation. Now, I haven't actually used the Naked Palette in quite a while, but when switching Half Baked I really had to dig my finger in to get even a half decent swatch. The swatch you see in the photo is probably two or three layers of product whereas the Primark Bronze palette swatch was incredibly pigmented and was achieved in the first swipe. I do remember being a little disappointed with the lighter matte shades in a couple of the Urban Decay palettes, but to be outshone so much by a £4 palette from Primark, that's just a little embarrassing on their part, don't you think?

The other shades I swatched (in the order running down my arm from top to bottom) were: Naked and Day Trip, Toasted and West Coast, Gun Metal and Midnight and finally Sidecar and White Sand. I have to say I was really impressed by the pigmentation in every single one of the Primark shades and as you can see, a lot of them compared really nicely to the Urban Decay ones; in fact in some cases, I preferred the finish and overall shade of the Primark ones.

When it comes to the formula and pigmentation of the palettes I have to honestly say that I was more impressed by the Primark palette. I think this is mainly because of the price difference between the two, but even when I was testing this palette out before I realised the similarities I was extremely impressed with the shadows. As much as I love Urban Decay shadows, I can find them a little powdery and especially with the shimmery shades, they can have a bit of fall out and for the money you pay for them, I kind of hate that they do that. I love the feel of the Primark shadows though and for £4 they are a hell of a lot better than I ever thought they would be. They have a gorgeous formula which is almost creamy in consistency and they just feel so buttery and smooth when applied. Even the shimmery shades are really buttery and apply really well to the eyelids. There's a little fall out, but nowhere near as much as I would expect from a palette in this price range and overall I've been thoroughly impressed.

When it comes down to it Urban Decay are known for their Naked palettes and eyeshadows in general and I honestly can't see myself getting rid of mine any time soon as I am a massive fan of the collection, but obviously asides from the Naked Heat palette that I've just bought, I do think I'll be taking a pass on any future palettes that they release (unless of course the colours are ones I can't ignore like this time around). For the price it's clear to see that there are alternatives out there that compare in quality or even surpass it and I think that this Primark Bronze eyeshadow Palette is proof of that. At £4 for a 10 eyeshadow palette that in my opinion, is up there in quality and substance compared to the Urban Decay Naked palette, I would hands down recommend trying out this Primark dupe over picking up one of it's higher priced partners. Even if you wanted to get a feel for the colours before picking up the more expensive UD version to make sure they were right for you, I'd definitely suggest picking it up and seeing how you get on with it before splashing the cash on the higher-end palette. At the end of the day the Naked palette is almost 10x the price of the Primark one and although you expect that from the brands, no-one really needs to be spending that much money when there are alternatives out there. Of course, I am a massive hypocrite as I have spent that much on 5 of their palettes now, but if I can save anyone else some money if you're up in the air about buying a palette of that price, then that's my job done for the day!

I really hope you liked this comparison piece and I would absolutely love to know if you would like more of these kinds of posts on my blog? I'm really trying to mix up the kind of content I give you guys and hope to produce more of what you want to see so please do let me know any suggestions!

BekyLou, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog based in the South West and London.
(*this post may contain items gifted to me for PR purposes*)
This post contains affiliate links - Disclaimer

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