Sunday, 23 February 2014

A Date at the Llama Park, OOTD and New Slippers!

Today, the boyfriend and I went to the Llama Park situated near the Ashdown Forest outside of Crowborough. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but it truly is a nice place. They even have their own publicity llama called Tom (picture below, a very handsome fella'). I love llamas, I think they're so cute. <3

This little farm hosts llamas, alpacas, donkeys, reindeer, chickens and roosters, and even have their own shop. All of the clothes, shoes and hats bought in the shop are either made from leather or alpaca wool and I must say, alpaca wool is incredibly soft, even softer than sheep wool.

I went to the shop a few months back and eyed up (felt up) a pair of slippers. They were incredibly soft! I think they were £30 at the time and I really wanted to take them home with me, but alas, it was not meant to be.


Today we went back to actually explore around the park because last time we couldn't due to bad weather. We went into the shop, I didn't know if they still stocked them or not because the Christmas period is over and they would start to bring in the new stock. Then, I saw them, sitting on the cabinet, calling out to me. I begged (commanded) that Garrie get them for me, which he very politely did. And guess what? They were on SALE! For £23.89, I just had to have them. It was fate. I have to say, that they are a very good investment. They are sooo comfy! I'll never take them off.

Now time for some slipper porn. ohyeah...

 They're so purdy.

 It seems they are made by a brand called Jyoti. Never heard of them, but I like the slippers.

The soles are made from rubber, very sturdy.

Here is me modeling the slippers. Oh so chic.

This is what I'm wearing today. I didn't include the boots because they are so muddy after walking around the llama park, so instead, I included the slippers. ;)

The dress is from H&M and the cardigan is from Dorothy Perkins.

Maybe it wasn't the best idea to wear a dress today due to the high winds, but I felt pretty today so I wanted to wear a dress. And I was told by Garrie that I flashed a little boy whilst washing my hands after touching a donkey. Oops. Poor boy. Scarred for life.
But anyway, onto the story! Due to the very bad weather we have been having, it was very muddy inside the park. We were given a map to navigate the area.

The green lines are the safe paths with little mud, and the red lines indicate the paths that you should go down AT YOUR OWN PERIL. Since Garrie and I are such rebel badasses, we went down them. What a mistake. We almost fell over a few times. I had to hold onto the wire fence to stop myself from slipping. A donkey ran over to tell me off and to get off his land. :( I thought he was being nice at first, wanting to be stroked. I stroked him, then he buggered off and wouldn't come back! It was probably a warning.
We also saw some reindeer, they weren't too exciting since none of them wouldn't come over. I bet they have been hardwired to only come over when there are children around. I look like a child. A woman child. ;) They probably knew. Smart asses.

One was falling asleep, it looked like he was the head of the herd. His antlers were huge! I always wonder if they use them other than for fighting, and if they can feel if someone touches them. Well, I got one thing right. This one liked to use his a head rest. I would have got a picture, but I was too busy having fun and keeping myself upright.

Garrie commented on how agile and light footed he was at dodging the stodgy mud. I quickly came back with "Yeah, like an elephant." It's so great that he has a great sense of humour, and it was such a great day, I had so much fun. We were laughing together a lot. Honestly, if he brought me here on our first date, I would have been so impressed. I don't like "romantic" dates of going to a restaurant, you can't really act like yourself. I find those sort of dates too stuffy and so many girls dress up too much and wear so much makeup, more so than they usually would. It kind of defeats the purpose of dating to find the right person, because you want the person to know who you really are, not a fake persona to impress. It's false advertising; like a push-up bra. ;)

When Garrie and I went on our first date, it was at the pier in Brighton and we both wore very casual clothing. I wore jeans, a t-shirt and flat shoes. I only wore as much makeup as I usually would (light foundation and mascara). I wanted to impress him, but didn't want to look like a made up doll because that's not how I usually look. I wanted him to like me for how I look normally. Which he did like me for.
I also acted like myself. I was making jokes because I think I'm hilarious (which I AM), but he didn't laugh that much. I commented on it later and he replied, with the EXACT words: "I didn't know you were making jokes. Or maybe you're just not that funny?" Luckily for me, I can tell a joke when it was being told, and I found it hilarious.

On that day I tried out bubble tea for the second time. I didn't like it very much on the first try, so I thought I'd try it again. He paid for it, which was nice, but I ended up hating it. I'm not a bubble tea fan. Those tapioca balls make me feel a bit sick. He tried some too and said it was vile. Oh well.

We then went to the American candy shop in The Laines and bought some of the Toxic Waste sour sweets. We both tried them and OHMYGAWD they were horrible. So sour! We both made really funny faces and ended up spitting them out. He commented on me wasting his hard earned money by spitting it out.
We then went to the mini casino near the beach, because he likes gambling. He played on the slot machines and ended up winning nothing. So smooth. We then went to the beach and sat down for an hour or so to talk to watch the ocean. And that was it. He took me home and we said our goodbyes. We didn't kiss on the first date, I find it a bit uncouth. But we set up a few other dates afterwards and on the fourth date, Fathers Day last year, we got together and had our first kiss. Yaaay!

I can't believe it's been almost a year since we got together. It's been so fast. Just a few months now until a full year. 

What is your example of a perfect date and how would you look? If you have a boyfriend, how did your first date go? Was it fun or awkward? Leave a comment below! :)

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Why You Shouldn't Use Commerical Haircare Products

When it comes to haircare, I have to be really careful because a lot of brands out there like to use toxic and oil stripping ingredients. A lot of people don't realise that shampoo and conditioner are the two products that have the most harmful ingredients in them. My scalp is very sensitive to SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate, that stuff that makes it foam, it's found in shampoo, cleansers, body washes, etc.); it makes me itch and turns my scalp red. Before I knew what the culprit was, I just thought that the itching was normal.

When I came across a natural brand (which I will be reviewing soon), it didn't foam up very well and after a day, it made my hair very oily. To me, a shampoo was supposed to foam up, that was what I was told, so I stopped using it and went back to commercial shampoos and continued on with the itchy scalp.

After a while I got so fed up that I decided to do some research. It turns out, that when you use a natural shampoo with no foaming agents, your hair will be greasy for the first 2 weeks. Why? Because your scalp is trying to adjust itself back to the way it's supposed to be. It's trying to push out all of the drying ingredients that you have put on your head for so long and calm itself down. Your scalp is not supposed to be stripped of all it's oils, it shocks it and makes it produce more oil than it should, just like your skin would with a oil stripping cleanser.
I also found out that SLS is so powerful that it is used to clean out the engines of cars. Why are you putting that on your scalp and face!? That is too abrasive. The oil on your head and on your skin is not like an oil from a car. Stop using it!

Commercial shampoos and conditioners are purposefully made to be drying to your hair to make you buy more of their products, like anti-frizz serums, "natural" oil treatments made from "argan" (they only have to have a drop to be called an argan oil treatment. They are bulked up with more toxic ingredients. Don't buy.) Products that claim to have been "infused" with argan; have hardly any in there. The brand is just jumping onto the bandwagon to make you part with your money.

One such culprit is L'oreal with their Precious Oil Treatment, the precious oil being argan, which only has a small concentration of argan oil in there. It has also been bulked up with olive oil, sunflower oil and carrot oil, to make it feel more oily, so the consumer feels like they are using a luxurious product. The main ingredients are cyclopentasiloxane and dimethicone/ol which are silicone-based conditioning agents that smooth hair, and make it look shiny. Doesn't argan oil smooth out hair and make it shiny? So why have they got these ingredients to make your hair look shiny? Because they have hardly any argan oil in there.

Argan oil is very expensive. I wonder why they don't actually release argan oil on it's own? Oh yes, because it's expensive, and it works, so you wont have to buy so many of their products to improve your hair condition. That's why.

Another culprit is Moroccan Oil. Their oil treatment does exactly the same thing. And guess what? The first two ingredients are our little friends, cyclopentasiloxane and dimethicone and another silicone has been added; cyclomethicone. The fifth ingredient is Argan Oil, but it only takes up less than 5% of the product, so it's practically useless, and the sixth ingredient is Linseed Oil.

You can buy 100ml of PURE 100% Argan Oil that is both organically certified by the Soil Association and cold pressed for £14.40 from Fushi. Whilst a 100ml bottle of Moroccan Oil is £31, what a rip off! You are paying for silicones and a brand name. I suggest you bin it.

A lot of research is needed, by you, to find products that work for both your skin and hair, and that are safe too. The reason these brands use these ingredients, and it is a fact, are because they are cheap. They don't care if they are unsafe or do nothing to improve your hairs condition. They only want your money. It's the cold hard truth.

Have you found any natural products that work for you? What is your stand on commercial brands and their ingredients. I would like to know your opinions. Comment below!

Friday, 7 February 2014

Missha Vita Matte BB Cream Review

Hey everyone, today I will be reviewing one of Missha's BB creams. This is the Vita Matte BB Cream, there are two, a gold and silver one. The silver one has a matte finish, whilst the gold one is more moisturising. It only comes in one shade unfortunately. It is a tanned colour, but once I blended it in, it oxidised and changed to suit my skintone.
This BB cream comes with; SPF 20 PA++ and claims to be suitable for sensitive skin. Yay!

Sorry for the bad phone pictures. Again.

The one I have is a sample size (Of course) with a screw on cap which the larger size has too. I like pumping action though! :(
After squeezing it out, I can see that it has a grey-ish undertone mainly due to the SPF in it. When looking at it, you wouldn't think it was that thick, but when you start blending it in you realise that you need a lot more effort. I'd say the coverage is medium. It covers up your little bumps, but not those blemishes that you've squeezed and picked. You'll need concealer for that. I have dark circles and it does cover them up a little, but I still needed concealer to well... conceal them.

Here's the blending process for you.

Spreading it out...


Blended! See, changed to suit my skintone. Magic!

Now, onto the challenge of applying the BB cream. I've had little adventure with this, trial and error, but that's the fun part, eh?

Round one.
I tried it with a stippling brush at first, put a little bit on the back of my hand, dipped it and swirled it across my face. It felt like there was nothing on my face, didn't look like it either, do you know why? Cause it was all on the frickin' brush! I managed it dab some of it onto my face, but it was incredibly hard to blend in because it is so thick and the bristles are flimsy. Not recommended!

Round two.
Tried it with my fingers this time. This came out pretty well, but since the cream is so thick, you really have to work it in to be able to blend it across your face. This ended up with me having a sore face afterwards because you really have to pull at your skin. But after the sweat and tears my face looked shiny and felt pretty sticky, and still after I patted it in. I had to put powder over my face to stop it from looking as shiny and feeling sticky.

Round three.
I tried it with a foundation brush this time. I liked using the foundation brush because it gave an airbrushed look and didn't feel as if I was wearing make-up after I patted it in. No stickiness or shiny-ness! Woo! The downside to this is that you have to use a lot more than usual, and sometimes it looks as if the brush is just pulling it around. But afterwards the finish looks amazing, even without powder. But when I put powder on, ooh la la!

It doesn't have that much of a matte finish, there was a slight sheen, and I had to powder throughout the day because my face became like an oil slick. I definitely would not recommend this for summer time as it is too thick of a consistency, I would recommend it for winter time instead.
But other than that, it is a good BB cream if you don't need that much coverage. But for the rest of us imperfect mortals, I'd say look elsewhere.

Have you tried this BB cream out? Did it work for you? Leave a comment below!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Nanas' B - It's My Secret! Cleanser Review

My review for today is for a skincare product from Nanas' B that is endorsed by the K-Pop boy band SHINee and Sulli from f(x). The version I have is a foam cleanser for normal skin and comes in a blue plastic packaging.

A lot of you probably haven't heard of it because I think it's exclusive to South Korea. Now I bet you're wondering, "How on earth did you get a hold of it then?". Well, luckily for me, I have a Korean friend who very kindly sent this to me.

Now, on with the review!

The packaging is very simple, with 'Nanas' B' in lower case at the top with a 'B' in a quotation bubble. Their little tagline 'It's my secret' is also on the bottle with the 'hangeul' or 'hanja' translation underneath, and then there's a little description underneath which I found funny.

'Angel's tear controls sebum and troubles, purifies your skin effectively.'

Angel's tear? I never knew angels existed, but okay.~ If it brings in customers, it's fine by me.

Now on with the product itself. When I (eventually) squeezed the product out it was very creamy and had this very nice pearly sheen to it. When I started working it through my fingers it felt oily; but once I put it on my face, it kind of felt like I was putting moisturiser on as there is no foam. The next day I tried it, I put more water with it and it started to lather up in my hands, but not a lot.

Now, after I had washed it off I felt very clean which is good, but then, when I went to touch my face I couldn't move my hand! It wouldn't slide across my face. I can't find an ingredients list, but I'm certain that it must have a high percentage of alcohol in it because my face got extremely dry afterwards, and I have combination-oily skin, especially in the summer. Now this is the normal version, I can't even begin to think what would happen with the oily version.

It took me quite a while to pin point what it smells like, and I'm still in that process. I keep on sniffing it, and I right now I have two conclusions. One, I think it smells like aloe vera. But on the other hand, it kind of smells like shampoo. Maybe? I don't know. I'll get back to you on that one.

Have any of you tried this product? If so, what did you think? Skincare product outcomes differ from person to person, so if it doesn't work out perfectly for me, you never know, it could work for you.~


Sunday, 2 February 2014

My Sugar-Free Life So Far

It has been four weeks since I started to quit sugar. It has been hard; but I feel a lot better now. I have more energy, I don't get that 11 o'clock slump anymore and I need less sleep. I can walk down the cake aisle in a shop and not want cake! It's amazing!

Though saying that, I do crave cake a lot. I like the texture of cake; and I think that's what I miss the most, yet whenever I walk down the cake aisle, I still don't buy any. I think it's because I know what the stuff inside the cake will do to me. So instead, I've been frantically trying to find a sugar-free cake recipe. And when I say sugar-free, I mean it. That means no honey, molasses, agave, maple syrup, etc.

When it comes to baking; everything needs to be in equal amounts. That has been the hard part because Stevia weighs nothing, yet tastes 300x sweeter than sugar! It has been racking my brains.

Though thankfully, I have come across some sugar-free recipes to curb my craving and an article on how to Replace Sugar With Stevia, and a good website that specialises in sweet treats without the white stuff, Family Fresh Cooking.

The hardest meal of the day for me is breakfast. Every breakfast cereal, apart from porridge, was laden with sugar. A lot of these quit sugar recipes require a lot of time on hand and expensive ingredients or eggs and bacon (I don't like eggs or bacon). Well, honey, I don't have the time or the money to make these elaborate breakfasts. I wake up at 6:30am and leave the house at 7:30am to get to college by 9am, plus I wander around like a zombie in the morning, AND it somehow takes me 20 minutes to make and eat just a normal breakfast. Maybe I'm just special.

So what I've come to do is either make boring porridge (which takes a bit of time, since I like to make it on a stove, so I've reserved that for weekends) or just grill a bagel with some cheddar cheese and ham for breakfast instead, which I have been doing a lot lately. It's quick. But, what I hate about myself is that I can't stick to one breakfast for a long time. I get bored; and once I get bored, I no longer eat breakfast, which is bad! So now I'm fuddled as to what else I can quickly make.

Everyone says how shakes are a good and quick breakfast to have in the morning, but all of the recipes I've come across use really expensive ingredients. In the UK, food is incredibly expensive, so the idea of using a whole avocado in a shake is terrifying. So, I am still on my search.

But on a good note! I feel healthy! I've also lost some weight too. In four weeks I have lost 7 pounds, I've gone from 12.7 stone to 12 stone. I am so proud of myself, and the fact that I can eat whatever I want as long as it doesn't have sugar, is a bonus!

I've lost this weight without any exercise, apart from the walking that I do to get to college, due to a little experiment I'm having. I'm seeing if quitting sugar actually has any more benefits other than internal health. I believe you can lose weight without doing exercise. You gained the weight through eating, so you can lose it through eating.
Exercise is more for toning and keeping yourself fit, not for losing weight. I still strongly suggest exercising, even if it's just walking, to gain bone strength and to get you outside of the house. It's also good for clearing your head and giving you some alone time in the fresh air. Just going outside is good for you. We spend so much time crammed up inside and worrying about the things in life, just go outside, sit on the grass and let everything go, even if it's just for 30 minutes. It will do you good.

What do you do to feel healthy? Do you think a sugar-free lifestyle is just another hype, do you think it is sustainable? Would you be able to give it up? I would love to know your opinions.