August Favourites 2017

The end of summer is looming and of course, we have to end a cracking August with a favourites blog post! So here is a selection of things I've been loving this month!

My first favourite is the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour in Flirtation. Having a lippy in my favourites seems to be a running theme; I wear lipsticks most days. I love the colour of this, it's so delicate for the summer. I wore this to the wedding I went to recently as well, and a couple of people even commented on my makeup so that's always a plus. I found this to be super long lasting too, it didn't wear off for the whole duration of the wedding, including eating meals and a lot of drink. There wasn't even a single smudge!


My second favourite is the Soap & Glory Peach Party Blush. This is a stunning blush for summer. It's shimmery and has some bronze tones, to give a perfect sun-kissed effect without having to use a bronzer. This meant it was brilliant for those days where I didn't want to wear too much makeup.



I've been loving this Laqa & Co Eyelighter for a while, but recently started using it a lot more. I use it on my waterline to brighten my eyes. It's a beautiful rose gold shade, and is very pigmented. I'm gutted that I'm struggling to find this product in store or online to be able to repurchase, so if you see it anywhere... PLEASE let me know!


I've been on the hunt for a decent pair of false lashes that don't look ridiculous on my pea sized head for as long as I can remember. I happened to come across the Eylure Volume Petitie 107 in Boots, and my goodness... they're perfect. It wasn't just a problem with cutting the band to size, but it was the length of the lashes too. I found most lashes kept hitting right up to my eyebrows! The Eylure Petite's fit me perfectly, they feel natural and they're not heavy on my lids. Super pleased I found them!


Next up is something my boyfriend picked up in Asda for about £2! I'm obsessed with the scent of this Let Them Eat Cake Strawberry Gateau Bath and Shower Foam. It smells so amazing. I've been using this kind of like a bubble bath and it leaves my skin feeling great too. Absolute bargain for a couple quid!


Of course I'm still LOVING Game of thrones and Preacher but I didn't want to talk about them two months in a row. So this month, a 3rd TV show I've been enjoying is Channel 4's Naked Attraction. I know there is some controversy around this show but honestly I really like it. Eric and I watch it together and end up talking about who we'd pick! I like the diversity of it as well. They have same sex couples, bisexuals, and people from all walks of life, and all shape and size; which is something I admire. Well done on being inclusive!


My last favourite is something you may have seen cropping up on my social media a few times. I'm such a foody, and I tried the Lotus Biscoff Biscuit Spread for the first time not too long ago. I'm hooked. I can't get over how freaking amazing this stuff tastes. I've started eating it on toast, on pancakes, and even on crumpets! I'm onto my 2nd jar, and I'm not sure if that means I'm eating too much or not... I don't care, it tastes too good. 


I'm so excited for September. There is SO much happening. I'm going back to college, which my next blog post will be on and I'm just super excited for Autumn and Halloween. Especially as it's my first Autumn as a blogger - it'll be great seeing what kinds of posts I can get done!

Hope everyone else had a fabulous August! ❤

Voices of IBD (1) - Alice's Story.

Welcome to PART 1 of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease series, where we talk to people from all walks of life with this condition; to give everyone a platform to share their story, and help to raise awareness.



This is a brand new series and I have lots of people scheduled every single Monday! So be sure to subscribe or follow the blog to keep up to date on new posts!

This week we talk to Alice, about her battle with Ulcerative Colitis.



What is your name and age?

Alice Swain. 21. 

What is your occupation?

Unfortunately, I’m currently off sick trying to battle being in a flare with this illness. But I work at Tesco! 

What form of IBD have you got?

I’ve been told Ulcerative Colitis is my “working diagnosis” but that some of my symptoms point towards Crohn’s so apparently only time will tell.

How old were you when you were diagnosed?

20

About the disease...
What were your main symptoms that led to your diagnosis?

Severe cramps and nausea, dizziness, urgent bowel movements whenever I ate, big weight loss in a short space of time, it got to the point where I couldn’t even drink water without nearly bringing it back up and I was getting up around 6 times a night on a good night to go to the toilet and still getting up for work at 5am, 5 days a week. Not fun!

How did you feel when you got diagnosed?

I felt relieved as I finally knew what was wrong with me and that I probably wasn’t going to die, haha! But also pretty devastated to learn it’s a life-long illness and has no cure.

What support did you get during and after your diagnosis?

I had brilliant support from the people closest to me, my mum and boyfriend were incredible and I couldn’t have asked for more from them. I found quite a few of my “friends” disappeared though but it’s just made me realise who the very few people are I can rely on!

Do you take medication , if so, what?

I’m still in my first flare and trying to settle it. I’ve tried two different types of Mesalazine which didn’t work but I’m currently on Prednisolone alongside trialing Azathioprine; Which sadly I don’t think is working for me. So I think Vedolizumab infusions are my next step but who knows!

What are your experiences with hospitals? Have you had many stays in hospital, or colonoscopies? Do you have an IBD nurse?

In all honesty not the best, I’ve been told and promised quite a few things from my team that haven’t happened and just feel like they’ve failed me a bit and that things aren’t moving as rapidly as they should be with how awful I’ve been feeling.

I’ve had a colonoscopy and a sigmoidoscopy. I should’ve been admitted a few times really but I’ve managed to either avoid it as I absolutely hate hospitals or they’ve messed up my admission so I’ve ended up leaving due to being left waiting around for hours when I really just needed to be in bed. 

What seems to affect your IBD the most? What triggers it?

So far, I’ve found that red meat and alcohol are two big no-no’s, I’m sure I’m yet to find more! My body seems to react differently on different days at the moment, probably due to the steroids I’m on.

Do you currently, or have in the past, struggled with mental health? If so, what?

Yeah I’ve struggled quite badly with anxiety for years and depression at some periods in my life but I tend to manage things better now.

Do you get support and medication for your mental health?

Not when I started struggling as I was a young teen but being diagnosed with IBD and having all this horrible stuff happen to my body hasn’t helped my management of it at all in all honesty as IBD is not something I have any control over really and that’s a huge trigger for me.

Do you feel like you get the right support?

Not right now but I’m scheduled in for some sessions with a psychologist from mid-September!

What is your go-to routine for when you are flaring?

I haven’t figured out one yet as I’m still in my first one but I have learned that I need to let myself relax which is something I have never, ever been good at as I’ve always been super ambitious and hard on myself. 

What do you do to give yourself a break or relax?

I’m a big fan of long baths and pamper sessions! And getting into bed with a good book.

What lifestyle/diet/changes have you made to cope with your IBD?

Everything has changed for me. I definitely know the walls of my house a lot better than I did 8 months ago, haha! There are a lot of foods and meals that I just know will make me really ill, drinks that will bloat me to the point of looking 5 months pregnant. Some days I feel so ill that I can barely eat a thing or move from my bed so in all honesty I try not to make plans outside of my house for the time being. I tend to generally eat almost the same things every day which is pretty much just porridge, fruit, yogurt, chicken and cod. 

What advice would you give to someone who may think they are experiencing early signs?

Note down everything that’s happening, get to your GP and push to get referred as fast as possible if you think it’s more than what they’re saying. So many people get so unbelievably ill in their first flare, I got diagnosed relatively fast and I still struggled badly. Don’t let anyone downplay what you’re going through, you know your body.

What advice would you give to the friends and family of those with IBD?

It’s not the most uncommon condition but it’s uncommon enough to make you feel pretty damn lonely. Please be patient and kind, it doesn’t only affect the body but the mind too – in a lot of ways. A regular text, call or visit also goes a long way, you don’t have to know what to say or “understand” what we’re going through, just showing care and compassion is enough to keep us going. Also condescending comments are never welcome, we know our limits and we don’t need someone else trying to set them for us or pushing us into things we just can’t do. 

If there is one thing that keeps you motivated and focused through it all, what would that be?

Probably thinking I’d much rather be going through this than anyone I love having to deal with it. And I always try and stay positive by thinking about all the things I want to do in my future and my ambitious nature kicks in and won’t let me give up fighting until I get what I want.

What is your favourite quote?

I like the quote 

“This too, shall pass” 

as it reminds me that nothing is permanent, not necessarily a good or bad thing but it’s a certainty.

And a line from a song from one of my favourite bands 

“It’s just a spark, but it’s enough to keep me going” 

– Last hope, Paramore.


Thank you Alice for sharing your story here on BecxBlogs. If you are affected by Crohn's or Colitis; please go to the Crohn's & Colitis UK website for further support and information.

You can find Alice over on her blog

www.blacktulipbeauty.co.uk

The Body Shop Bloggers Event


The Body Shop - Eldon Square

On Friday 18th August I was invited into The Body Shop in Eldon Square, Newcastle, by one of the employee's for the launch of their 5 new additions to the skincare range. I'm already a huge fan of The Body Shop products so I absolutely had to go have a look!

Just a quick point out too - this isn't a sponsored post! Though I did get gifted a "goody bag" which I'll go over later... I'm still choosing to make this post; as a new blogger, this was my first "blogger invitation" and I'm proud. I just wanted to blog about it! I couldn't have chosen a better brand to share it with.

There was a lovely warm welcome on arrival where I was shown their selection of masks, which I have samples of now. I'll likely review these on a separate post with my first impressions; I can't wait to try them out. These masks including some ingredients I'm very interested in seeing put to use though. Including "Amazonian Acai", "Himalayan Charcoal" and Ethiopian Honey".




I was given an Eye Makeover using some of The Body Shop Cosmetics range, which was a new experience for me! In all my 24 years, I've never actually had my makeup done, I was very impressed with the result. My favourite product was certainly the Nevada Gold Eye Colour Stick, which I 100% will be purchasing myself. It was very pigmented and soft to apply onto the lid. He went for a smoky eye, with winged eye liner. I've actually never used The Body Shop Cosmetics myself, so this is something I'll start to look into more, next time I place an order with them. Perhaps I'll do a review on some of the things I'll buy as well!





The Nevada Gold Eye Colour Stick


I was then shown the range of body oils, scrubs and creams. I was given an AMAZING hand massage, which left my skin feeling and looking great. I was extremely impressed with the difference it made. The Polynesian Monoi Radiance Oil soaked into my skin straight away, and the Brazilian Cupuacu Scrub-in-oil was a very coarse scrub, with the texture of salt. It would be particularly perfect for people with dry skin. My favourite was the Hawaiian Kukui Cream, which was the finishing touch to my hand massage. It smelt divine. My skin felt so smooth afterwards, and even looked softer. 







I was given recommendations for skincare products based on my skin type - oily, problematic, and sometimes sensitive. It was suggested for me to try a combination of 3 of their ranges. The Tea Tree Oil range is perfect for problematic, blemish prone skin. The Vitamin C range is amazing for uneven skin tones, which would work wonders for my dark circles, and dull looking skin. I'm quite interested in trying the Vitamin C Skin Reviver; I tried some of this on my hand, and it made a difference instantly with it's slightly pink tone to battle uneven tones. I've always been a fan of using Tea Tree Oil for my skin so I wasn't surprised when they recommended it - it's a holy grail ingredient!

 


One thing I'm very excited about, which was demonstrated to me, was the Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter. I will 100% be buying this product. I've never tried it before; I've used Micellar Water for so long I can't remember what other cleansers or makeup removers were like. The makeup just glided off my skin in one fell swoop using this butter.



So that was my experience at The Body Shop Blogger event - it was informative, friendly and fun. I thoroughly enjoyed it, so thank you for the chance to come in. I was kindly given some products to try out which I'm going to review and give my first impressions on. I believe all of these, or at least some of these, are new. I have a list of the products and their information. I didn't seem to get the Matte Clay Foundation that was on the list, which is a shame because I'm always on the look out for a great foundation for oily skin, like my own; So, hopefully I'll get to try that out in the future. I've already been trying the Chinese Ginseng & Rice Milky Toner since I got it so that's a 2 thumbs up from me. Keep your eyes peeled for the next post! 



Like reviews? Head on over the Becx Blogs and check out the "Beauty" page for more! ❤

GRWM - Wedding Guest

A completely affordable wedding guest look using drugstore brands!



Myself and Eric were invited to our first "friend wedding" as a couple, along with our close group of friends; it was a very special day for us. Almost like meeting a "couple's milestone". I was really looking forward to the day and planned my whole look in advance, so I wanted to show it off! I also like to pride myself on using "cheap" and affordable products, so anyone could replicate this look! 


I primed my face using my Collection Prime & Ready in the shade Cool Rose as a base on my whole face, along with Benefit The Porefessional Matte Rescue around my T-Zone. I used the Revlon Colorstay for combination/oily skin in the shade Buff. On my under-eye dark circles and pesky spots I used my trusty Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair. I set my face with the Rimmel Clear Clarifying Powder and quickly primed my lips with Lip Tar as I knew I wanted long lasting lipstick later on. I forgot to add it in the photo, but I also used my Soap & Glory 2 in 1 Archery Brow Pencil in the shade Brownie Points.



Moving onto my favourite part of this look... the eyes! I wanted my eyes to be the "feature" of my face, going for a very shimmering pink look. I used the 3 shades out of the Sleek eye shadow palette in Enchanted Forest. I started with "Anastasia"  in my crease and outer corner, focusing a lot on blending. The "Fairy Godmother" is a stunning pink shimmer, which I used all over my lid. I brightened my inner corner with "Glass Slipper" and blended it slightly to the centre of my lid too. I used my Collection Extreme 24hr Felt Tip Liner to create a wing, and lined my waterline with the Laqa & Co Eyelighter.  I used the Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara and wore my Eylure Petite (another I forgot to photograph).




I finished with the rest of my face. I contoured the hollows of my cheeks, my forehead and nose with the Revolution Pro HD Contour Palette using only the 2 bottom left shades. I also slightly shaded in just below my lower lip to give the effect of fuller lips. I used the Benefit GoGo Tint on the apples of my cheeks, and the Peach shade from the Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette on my cheekbones, brow bone and cupids bow. For my lips, I kept it simple with the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour in Flirt which is super long lasting - especially with the lip tar I primed with earlier!




I curled my hair using my GHD Straighteners, and just before I left, I ended up pinning the left side of my hair back, for a more sophisticated look.


My dress was only £35.00 from Boohoo and my bag and shoes were both from Primark, so I couldn't have been happier with how I looked for that price.

We had an absolutely amazing day, filled with too much food, tears and laughter. I can't wait for the next wedding!







Thank you to the Brannen's for the invitation! You both looked amazing, and me and Eric wish you happiness for the rest of your lives as husband and wife! ❤

Here's why YOU should start dog agility!

So, in case you’re unaware, I’ve been training Daisy in agility for a while, and we’re working up to a competition level. I genuinely think taking up a sport with your dog is beneficial for both parties! Here’s why! 



1) It helps with general training and obedience!
People might think that when you go to agility classes, you start straight off with jumps and a-frames. Well, if your class does, they need to rethink their methods… the best trainers work on foundations first. These can be as simple as training a solid “wait” for a start line, and impulse control so your dog stays focused. This all hugely benefits all areas of your dog’s training, including at home and on walks!

2) It’s important for your relationship and bonding!
Not everyone realises that doing a sport like agility heavily relies on your relationship with your dog. The closer you are, the easier it is, because your dog becomes so in tune with your body language that they start to guess what your next move is before you ask them. This is great for when courses get faster and trickier!

3) It’s great physical and mental stimulation for your dog!
When you get a puppy, everyone always talks about how important both physical and mental stimulation is for dogs. You can knock both in one by doing agility. It’s fast paced and fun, but your dog gets a real mental workout as they learn new moves and tricks. You’ll find after agility sessions; your dog is much more settled.

4) Anyone can do it and you’ll meet fellow dog lovers!
All kinds of people do dog agility, not just the completely dog mad ones! There are a few of us dog-crazies though; there are still people from all walks of life, including teenagers and children. You don’t need any specific set of skills. You also don’t need to be the most amazing runner, or dog owner. I’ve came across some amazing agility trainers including a wonderful lady in a wheelchair who uses distance handling. If your trainer is good, they can help anyone to train agility!

5) It’s fun and addictive!
Once you start getting into the swing of it, and you notice progress, you get hooked. Your dog loves it. You love it. You won’t be able to stop. It really is so much fun. Even if you do make mistakes, or things don't go to plan, you still go home knowing your dog had the time of their life running off and peeing on that tunnel. The people really are lovely and helpful which makes a huge difference. It’s beneficial for you and your dog, and you end up with a new hobby!



So, if you have a local agility club, I’d certainly recommend considering it! If classes aren’t for you, there’s loads of YouTube tutorials and you can buy cheap agility kits online, which is particularly good if you fancy just doing it for fun. You don’t have to go down the competitive route, it can be just a simply activity you enjoy with your beloved pooch!



New Hair and Mini Haul

So, my boyfriend and I had a free day on Monday, and we decided to go shopping and I treat myself to a long overdue hair cut! I thought, why not show what I got? I usually like to be nosey and see what others buy. Yeah, there is some underwear in here too, I bought them so, didn't want to leave them out. They're cute!

First of all, I want to show off my hair! I love it! I went in hoping to achieve a Clara Oswald kind of look (Doctor Who), and I couldn't be happier with the result.



I'm not going to go into too much detail on what I bought, they're pretty basic, or self explanatory, so I'll just list them!

Velvet Platforms with Zip Detail from Primark - £10


Cutesy Cotton Rich Socks from Primark - £2.50 each


Cute & Comfy Hipster and Mini Knicks from Primark - £3.00 each


Dual USB iPhone Cable in Rose Gold from Primark - £4


Set of 8 Rose Gold Bracelets from Primark - £2


Set of 9 Rose Gold Earrings from Primark - £2


Soap & Glory 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil  from Boots - £8.50


 Revlon Colorstay Foundation from Boots - £12.99


Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour from Boots - £8.99


Eylure Petite Volume Lashes from Boots - £5.40


Schwarzkopf LIVE Hair Dye in Amethyst Chrome from Boots - £4.50


I didn't buy a ridiculous amount, but like I said, I enjoy seeing these kinds of blogs so thought I might as well have a crack at them too!