Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Monthly splurge #2 - Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning

I haven't posted a monthly splurge in a while, mainly because I've been too busy to even shop! but last month I managed to find time to purchase the Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning. I really wanted a self tan for my face and had read a lot of good reviews on this particular one.

 I don't tan very often but I find that when my face has a bit of colour it evens out my skin tone a bit and it looks clearer. My main worry is that I'd turn out orange or that it would break me out. But the Clarins self tan is specially designed for your face and neck area and so I had no problems.

To use you simply pour some onto a cotton pad and sweep across your face and neck. When I first used it I was pleasantly surprised to find that it dried quickly and left no greasy feeling, only my skin feeling smooth and soft. You can use the product after your moisturiser which means you don't have to alter your skincare routine to use it.

The next morning I woke up with a lovely glow to my face, and not a streak in sight. I used it again the following night to build up the colour slightly as you can use it as frequently as you'd like to achieve your perfect colour. I'd probably advise using it once or twice a week to obtain a natural looking glow.
I think this is a great product and will definitely be a life saver in winter when my face returns to its natural pasty white. It is available from most good department stores or online here and retails at £18. At first I thought it was a bit pricey but then it is a splurge and it is an amazing product.

Have any of you tried this before?

Lots of Love

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Sunday, 18 August 2013

Gym For The Win

For those of you who don't know me, I'm one of the laziest people to walk this planet. My favourite place to be is my bed and I find it extremely hard to drag myself out of it during the day. However as some of you may know I'm leaving to go travelling for a month on Tuesday and faced with the knowledge that I will be in my bikini in public I contemplated getting in shape. Now first let's get a few things straight, I am not fat, I don't think I'm fat and I never have been fat I have a fairly normal figure, under average height (5ft 1) and I'm a size 8-10. My goal was to tone my body up a bit (I was starting to get a few rolls that I wasn't happy with) and just become generally a bit fitter. I was contacted by Money Supermarket and asked if I'd like to test out a month's membership at a local gym as part as their 'Gym for the Win' campaign, and this gave me he extra motivation I needed to properly get in shape.

This summer I have been doing a placement at my Uni for some experience so I've been living in Nottingham and there are a fair few gyms close to me. When I go to the gym the most vital element for me is that there is a swimming pool and it offers classes,  some people can spend hours on a cross trainer or a treadmill but I am not one of those people. I decided on the Lenton Centre which is a short 5 minute walk away, has a small swimming pool, a gym and offers a few classes.

It offers student deals throughout the year therefore is a very reasonable price, it is very much a local gym for a small community (mainly students) and so doesn't have the best facilities but I found they were good enough for me.  The pool was open three hours a day, morning, afternoon and evening; obviously because I was working 9-5 I would go in the evening. I went swimming 2-3 times a week for a month and absolutely loved it. I usually find exercise such a chore but for me swimming is very enjoyable.  The pool was usually quiet and was split into three lanes; I would go into the medium lane at a steady pace and swim for about an hour. When I was younger I used to swim a lot, however the cost and time eventually got in the way so I don't swim as much as I used to, although it means I am fairly competent when it comes to the strokes.
The first week I swam moderately paced breast stroke with a length of front crawl every 4 lengths since this was the most front crawl I could manage. I could feel myself getting fitter and more toned after each week and by the end I was able to swim a decent paced front crawl for the whole duration of the swim. This for me was a big achievement and one of the goals I had set myself at the beginning. While I was there I didn't use the actual gym once even though I had a membership to both the pool and the gym which made me realise that if I didn't go to the gym then I never will. However I have been inspired to do more exercise and when I come back to Uni after travelling I will definitely be getting a membership to a gym again. I would have extended my membership at the Lenton Centre however I only had 2 weeks left after it ran out and the minimum they offer is a month. Instead I decided to look up some videos on YouTube that I could do at home I found a channel called fitness blender which offer videos of different lengths and content.

When I first started doing exercise it was a massive effort to motivate myself to treck the five minutes to the gym after a day of work, fortunately it did get easier and hopefully now I will stick at it. As well as exercise I resolved to eat healthy as if you want to change your body the two go hand in hand. I started taking a salad and some fruit for lunch and decreased the amount of carbs I had with my dinner, I also tried my best to stop snacking. I endeavoured to eat as well as I could during the week but at the weekend I would eat what I wanted mainly as I spent a few weekends visiting friends and it would be rude to turn down the food they had cooked for me. Anyway you have to allow yourself a few treats as otherwise you will just be miserable. I stopped getting the bus to uni and started walking the half an hour instead. 

So have I noticed a transformation over a month and a half of doing this?

The answer is yes, although I have seen no difference on the scales I can see a change in how I look. My legs have become slimmer and my whole body has become more toned. My jeans no longer feel tight around my waist and I feel so much better with myself.  I now feel confident to wear my bikini on holiday; I have even bought a few crop tops!

As I have said I would like to carry on this lifestyle when I get back from travelling. However while I'm out there I'm going to eat what I want when I want. While I have been on this "diet" and I use the term loosely I found myself looking up pictures of celebrities in bikinis and longing to look like them. This is so easy to get obsessed with and I had to give myself a good shake to stop fixating on perfectly toned stomachs. I realised that they are not real life, real life is the boyfriend who loves me and my little layer of fat that I have. I am set on to loving my body from now on, which I know is easier said than done but I do know that when I was obsessing about being skinnier I wasn't happy and that kind of defeats the point. The "diet" will continue but so I can be fit and healthy not "skinny"

I would like to say thank you to Money Supermarket for funding my month at the gym and for helping me discover that I don't hate all exercise.

Lots of Love

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