Alicia á la mode

This post is a long one so grab a cuppa or run a bath and grab your phone or iPad and just have a little child time.
When it comes to confidence the media can seem to really interfere with how we feel about ourselves and at times it seems to promote unrealistic goals for us. This creates an impossible goal for teens and adults in general to be honest to aspire to be something that isn't actually authentic which can then lead to low self esteem even poor mental health especially with young teens and in particular, online. 
One thing that gets to me about the media (especially in womens magazines) is the fact they seem to think its okay to body shame fellow women. Its just plain wrong I understand if its become a health issue being too underweight or overweight then yes maybe someone should step in and talk but I'm talking about gaining or losing a couple of pounds. 
A couple of weeks ago, on the SAME front cover, a magazine shamed how a female celebrity had lost so much weight and was 'too skinny' but right next to it it shamed how another female celebrity had let herself go by 'piling on the pounds' what the hell are they playing at?! 
It is so confusing for young girls and I think as I've got older and now have nieces myself it does worry me what affect it could have on them. I would much rather they sink there teeth into quality books as teens/young women rather than some magazines that are around.
I thought I'd put a couple of things together to help in someway and see if any of you relate they may not be solutions straight away but small steps do make a huge difference and if you keep at it you will become much more confident.

Be You

You'd be surprised how many people suffer with being themselves. Self love is so important and it brings confidence. It attracts so much if you have confidence, if your constantly being hard on yourself and bringing yourself down it seems to attract negativity which can make us feel worse.
Try and remember you are you, nobody can compete or come close, it doesn't matter what you aren't or what you can't do its all about what you are, you might not be the smartest or the best at certain thing but you are you

''If you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid''
- Albert Einstein 

Stop fretting or concentrating about what other people have and only compete with yourself you'll notice greater improvements. 
You could try making a list of all the positive things you are, make a list of all the things you love or enjoy and all your positive quirks. Like I said, only compete with you so, work on yourself like you would a project tweaking it until your happy if your too opinionated for your liking don't lose that trait but maybe only express your opinions when they're beneficial when it can be really helpful, if your quite negative or moan a lot then maybe try and make a list of the things your grateful for and appreciate things more and have a better understanding of other people. You don't have to change who you are at all but you can improve your qualities.

Don't Listen to Others 

I mean this within reason. Your family/friends are the ones who care the most (in most cases) so always take advice on board but you can still make up your own mind. When it comes to negative comments that aren't going to benefit you then simply ignore them. When I was really young if a friend didn't like my outfit I probably wouldn't wear it again which makes me want to kick myself and I would be so upset if I heard a young girl think that and what is worse is that it wasn't really their fault for not liking something but I made it an issue to me by taking away something I loved to wear which didn't effect them because they wouldn't have even noticed if I wore it again or not so I was only affecting myself by taking things away even if it was just an outfit, but why should I not wear something because of someone else? So if you feel like an absolute goddess in something please please don't let someone elses opinion stop you from doing it okay?!

I quickly learnt after that if I loved something I would embrace it and if I didn't like something thats okay too.
I remember being around year 5-6 and the school was having a harry potter day everybody chose which character to dress up as - except me. I was literally the only person in my year in normal clothes spending the entire day justifying why I hadn't read the books or watched the film. It was then that I realised I could've easily felt like part of the group and I could've so so easily made my friends happy by telling them I thought Hermoine was the ultimate queen but again I'm still thinking too much about other people and it would be like getting rid of my fave outfit all over again just because of opinions.
Fast Forward 15 years and I love HP now but I stuck to my guns with how I felt at the time haha.

Social Media and when to know to click 'Unfollow'

Social Media plays a huge part to low self esteem in teenagers in my opinion. When I was younger we had Bebo and Myspace shortly followed by Facebook. It seemed a lot safer back then and we didn't have filters and we didn't film our lives...well we did film ourselves miming to songs occasionally but we definitely didn't post them!
You couldn't even put photos online without getting a USB and transferring them to the laptop or computer, I know I sound really old but half of our phones in schools didn't even had a front camera for selfies - I know the horror!
Our social media was full of our friends to talk about the things we loved or to share stories about the weekend if we wasn't together. We didn't have instagram which I think is the main social media platform that kills peoples confidence we see all these beautifully sculpted insta famous babes that are slaying their makeup looks but when we put on that much of highlight the only thing it highlights are our breakouts!
I personally love instagram equally as much as I hate it. I'm quite a visual person and I love seeing peoples travel photos and pictures that inspire me, there are some profiles that inspire me body wise but I do try and keep them realistic by following people with a similar shape to me but in the past instagram has also left me feeling a little deflated and not so great about myself especially when I cannot re create a make up look that looks so flawless despite using all of the same products! the only way I've found to get rid of that feeling is to unfollow those pages to just enjoy them as they are instead whether they're authentic or not instead of trying to re create that false image. Don't feel bad for unfollowing if it is getting you down.

Don't let negativity make you negative

 Screw anyone that tries to put you down for no reason they clearly have their own issues to deal with unless its constructive criticism which we all need sometimes to help us grow but learn to appreciate that where you can. We all feel low sometimes, its human nature and at some stage all of us have to manage dealing with awful times but imagine if we were using those hard times to pick apart another person (which unfortunately some people do) the world would be much more hateful than it already is. You get people who go through absolute hell with family issues, work issues, relationship crisis' all sorts and they make sure they put something positive into the universe instead of being hateful which is a good way to be let karma take control and make sure your putting out good karma as often as possible and I promise you, you will feel better for it.
A while ago on Dragons den, there was a lady on there, she lost her son to a tragic accident which I can't even comprehend what she went through but she definitely didn't go online trolling people making them feel bad, no. She created a business to make other children happy! Which is amazing and I have so much respect for her, she had every right to hate the world but she didn't she still contributed into making the world that tiny bit happier for others.
So there really is no excuse to be horrible whatever lifes throwing at you switch it up and use it to make a positive difference! 

Remember Opinions Aren't Facts

It is SO easy to listen to others opinions we've all done it at some point but they really aren't facts so it really doesn't matter. If they have a negative opinion they aren't right but remember they won't think they are wrong either - which technically they aren't, so try and be the understanding one and realise there is no right or wrong here.
If your a bad singer will you stop singing if somebody thinks your bad? Well, you shouldn't. Sometimes if we get told we are bad at something we get embarrassed and won't do it anymore infront of that person especially. People are always going to judge you but they are either going to think your a fantastic singer or dancer or a bad one thats it, no biggie.
If you enjoy something do it and don't look for acceptance if somebody thinks your crap at it so what? If somebody thinks your amazing thats great. I think its easier to take on no opinions or all I have no in-between. If you take on all the good and none of the bad your ego will probably get a little big and you'll become a little bit....stuck up shall we say and if you take all the negative and no positive your going to feel bad about yourself but it depends on the individual, keep it balanced.

I personally like constructive criticism to help me up my game but rude comments I just let them fly over me. It takes a while to train yourself to think this way and to get thicker skinned but practice makes perfect and if you make little steps and keep at it then you will become a little more confident ... I hope :)

If this helps atleast one person a tiny bit then this post was hopefully worth it and I hope I can help girls not fret over social media so much.
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There are a number of things that spring to mind when I think of Autumn/Winter and I've tried to include all of them in this post - beauty, skincare and my
Winter is all about feeling cosy and comfortable. Food that you can indulge in on the odd occasion because ya know...Christmas, dry January etc.

The one little thing I love more so lately and in winter time is a good book, for when you don't fancy any company and your having a little chill time, perfect for in the bath or relaxing before bed. I used to love reading and I am currently reading Some Kind of Wonderful by Giovanna Fletcher, its such an easy read, its so funny and really relatable if you've ever felt a little but lost - especially after a break up but its definitely and uplifting read and I have loved it.
In winter my skin takes a bit of a battering so oils or moisturisers are a must for me. I already did my new skincare routine which you can find 'here' Its not just my face though I tend to buy hand moisturiser in the colder months because the freezing cold ruins my hands!
I have been loving this little hand cream, its super thick and luxurious you can get it from LookFantastic its by a brand called Crabtree & Evelyn, it's not the cheapest I got this in one of the boxes or maybe the advent calendar but I love it it nourishes and soothes my hands and I carry it everywhere with me, obviously if you don't want to pay £18 for a hand cream there are some amazing ones in super drug that do the same job!
In the summer I rarely have baths, its too hot! however, a nice warm relaxing bath is the perfect way to end a cold day picking my favourite lush bath bombs, my favourite this winter have been twilight which really helps me relax and I loved the reusable bubble bar! I still have some left and I love using that and lighting a few candles, In fact autumn/winter candles are my faveee, the scents make you feel all warm and cosy there is nothing better than having a gorgeous smelling candle flickering on a cold rainy day anything cinnamon or gingerbread I love!
Beauty\Makeup ramps right up in winter time. No more worrying that your makeup is melting off or having to throw your hair in a bun because if you have it down any longer you'll want to shave it all off just to stay cool. No. Winter is where you can put in that extra effort with your hair and makeup and feel comfortable all day. Full coverage everything if you really want to... but for me the one make up trend that starts to creep in autumn months are the deep berry tone lipsticks. The rusty reds are cool too. Anything deep and sultry work all the way through to winter. My go to lipsticks for this time of year is definitely too faced, NYX and I love Burberry lipsticks too. I wasn't at all bought on the whole liquid lipstick things, they're drying, not as precise to put on and they didn't last half along as a simple mac matte. WRONG too faced are the gods of liquid lipsticks. Seriously. The sponge looks like it should be soft and squidgy, its not its firm and fluffy. The precision on this lipstick is incredible I don't even need to use lip liner with these. The colour is amazing and the staying power? it doesn't budge. I'm head over heels with these products and they do amazing colours for every season. 

Ahh this post wouldn't be anything without amazing food
When your settling down infront of the fairy lights or you've just got in from the cold air the one thing that makes me happy? FOOD yes! lots of it. Nibbles, Snacks, Pies, Stews and all kind of pastries! I love making big dinners for my family. Casseroles, beef wellington anything warming and hearty! I love getting out a board game then maybe putting a cosy film on, get snuggled up and eat from a cheeseboard - crusty bread with some Camembert ahh its the best!  

What are you winter essentials? Remember to stay up to date you can follow me on any social media platforms but clicking the follow buttons on the side (or bottom of the page if you're on your phone)

I completely forgot about this box coming in January. I had the whole of December opening the LookFantastic advent calendar so it feel like Christmas again!
The first box theme is 'Beauty Forward'. January is all about starting a fresh, clean start to recharge and try some new beauty products for 2018

Balance Me Congested Skin Serum

This serum contains a natural anti-bacterial oil that clears congestion and eucalyptus which will calm any redness and inflammation. Its super lightweight, really good for combination skin and it makes your skin look flawless, getting rid of any imperfections while keeping your skin hydrated and glowing. 

How to use
  Apply morning/evening on clean skin as a first step of your skincare routine

My Thoughts
 It says apply on clean skin as a first step of your skincare routine, this confused me I thought it was a serum which I would personally leave till last and then start my makeup routine, so, I have been using it in the evening once I've taken my makeup off and cleansed my skin I pop it on after cleansing as a evening serum. I have recently had a cold and it actually felt as if it was unblocking my nose so I understand where the congested name comes from I didn't actually expect it to feel so fresh, it made my skin super soft and I actually enjoy using this product. It says you can also use it as a primer in the summer to keep your makeup mattified.

Monuspa Warming Ginger bath & body oil

An all natural and clean formulation with a mixture of ginger, lemongrass and orange, uplifting and the perfect zesty zing to make you feel refreshed in the mornings!

How to use
Apply after the shower on your body or add a couple of drops to your bath for a nice relaxing spa inspired bathtime

My thoughts
 I actually really like adding this to my bath for a nice relaxing spa feel, I've been pretty ill lately so I've been having plenty of relaxing baths with this to make me feel better which I love but using it after the bath or just on my dry skin really does leave it feeling super silky and where I have felt run down and pretty achey, rubbing this into my shoulders worked wonders! would definitely recommend whether its for a spa like treatment or achey muscles.

Espa Pink hair & scalp mud

A super intense hair treatment. It's a gorgeous rose paste which is full of healthy minerals and vitamin C it conditions and nourishes the hair and scalp.

How to use
Apply onto damp hair and scalp leave for twenty minutes, rinse well and condition as normal.

My Thoughts
Right, I'm guessing it means apply onto damp shampooed hair? that's what I've been doing anyway and its been okay, you can also leave it on over night if you wear a shower cap or something to keep your pillows nice and clean! I actually have included this in my little pamper routine once I've washed my hair I put this on and put it up in a towel or shower cap, do my fake tan and I have to wait 6 hours to wash my fake tan off so I just wash the treatment off when my tan comes off and my hair feels amazing!

Korres White tea fluid gel cleanser

Pretty easy to explain this one, A gel cleanser and its main ingredient being white tea extract - obvs. White tea extract is a natural antioxidant protection and toner for the skin.

How to use
use morning and night, applying a pea size amount of product on damp skin rubbing in circular motions and rinse or you can use it as a make up remover.

My thoughts
I'm pretty particular when it comes to cleansers and I don't think I've ever used a gel one before but I actually really like this product! It smells gorgeous and feels lovely on my skin, doesn't dry it out at all - very impressed!

Erno Laszlo Toner - Marble essence lotion

In this box you had the chance to get 1 out of 3 toners by this brand. Perfect for all skin types, even sensitive skin. I got the white marble essence lotion which is used for dark spots, dull and hyper pigmented skin it brightens up your skin tone whilst encouraging the repair and renewal of your cells.

How to use
After cleansing pour a small amount into the palm of your hands and gently pat it onto your skin.

My thoughts
This was the one more suites to my skin tone, so, I'm pretty lucky this one came in my box the other two had different uses one was for oily/acne skin more of an exfoliator and the other was for dry sensitive skin. At first the packaging seemed a little intimidating I don't know why but I genuinely didn't know what it was, I think it looks a little like acid or nail varnish remover it has the exact same feel as the lid my mum used to have on her old nail varnish remover bottle haha so when I opened it up it smelt a bit like perfume, really nice perfume to be honest, but once I read the little beauty magazine that comes with the box it explains everything that's inside so when I realised it was a toner I was actually pretty shocked however I do love this product it makes my skin feel really really soft and I love the smell of it Its beautiful. Considering I wasn't feeling this product at first I actually think I'd purchase this myself, I'll let you know once I've used it for longer!

Modelco 3D Lash Primer

Eyelash primer, its conditioning and volumizing and it keeps your mascara lasting all day, It will also maintain the curve in your lashes and make them nice and thick
How to use
Apply before your mascara, it comes out white but then you just cover it in normal mascara and your can't see any of the white it just leaves it looking thick and black.

My thoughts
Okay so if your similar age to me you might remember like 10 years ago every mascara seemed to have a lash primer? It's basically a white mascara that acts as a thickener so you put it on (and look like you have icicles as eyelashes!) and then you coat the heck out of your lashes to cover all the white, This actually isn't to bad, it definitely gave me that nostalgic feeling of being 13 again but this is a lot better than the kind I used to have years back. Its not too clumpy and it does make my eyelashes look nice and thick.

The first months Look Fantastic beauty box! I hope you liked the new layout of it with more info! Do you get any beauty sub boxes? Or any other sub boxes? I'm currently waiting for a Disney treasure box!
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Everybody deserves a little 'me' time in fact, I think its essential.
This routine is similar to my everyday night time routine but twice a week I like to add a couple of extras for a nice relaxing pamper evening.
I love doing this most Sundays but I also love a midweek on a Wednesday to kinda break the week up a bit and help relax me during a busy week. So I thought I would give you my step by step ritual when I'm feeling a little stressed and need time to relax at home.
First of all if It's a full on pamper evening I love a long relaxing bath, I'll leave my boyfriend downstairs playing FIFA, our pug, Louie will obviously follow me up and sit on the towels next to the bath! 
I will light a couple of candles maybe take a book to read or listen to music or maybe put a film on depending what I fancy. 
While the water is running I whack on some hair removal cream, I used to shave regularly but after I tried hair removal cream it is so much softer so has now slotted in as part of my routine. I only leave it on for around 7 minutes and take it off and clean up at the sink.
Once my bath is full, I usually opt for a bath bomb and if its specifically to relax me I always pick up the 'Twilight' bath bomb from Lush this is the one thing that has proved to be a success to help relax me. The fragrance was specifically designed to help you sleep, its packed with lavender which is used in aromatherapy to treat insomnia and aid restful sleep so if you struggle with anxiety or trouble sleeping this is an essential in your relaxed pamper evening, for sure.

While the bath bomb is fizzing away (twilight is a slow fizzer) The first thing I do before anything else is cleansing. I use Lush Cosmetics Ultrabland cleanser. I won't bore you with details because I have mentioned it so much on my blog already, it is definitely a cult product that I will forever use I think, I haven't found anything better so far.
The first cleanse is to take  my make up off I then go in for a double cleanse and do it again using the tiniest amount of Ultrabland just to properly get everything off my face and keeping it super soft. 
I completely skip the 'tone' step. Now, I just double cleanse and moisturise, for me this has worked wonders for my skin and it has looked and felt a whole lot better so I'm sticking with it.
I exfoliate my body with any body scrub usually, the Soap & Glory Scrub of your Life is amazing it smells amazing, its fresh, feminine and it really does make my skin feel brand new and super soft (perfect for if your fake tanning!)

Now my body is feeling super smooth and exfoliated, I then go in for a nice face mask. I've recently tried the Bare Minerals 'Detox Mask'. This is incredible it makes my dry skin look glowy but also makes my pores appear smaller and my skin just all round brighter and smoother I love it. It works instantly too which I love I did a post dedicated to this post that's how much I love it you can read that 'here'.  
While the face mask rests on my skin for 15 minutes or so I use this time to fully relax, feeling super clean and refreshed I either read a bit of my book or just lay in the bath listening to music or if I'm super anxious or stressed I listen to rain. It might sound strange but it works, me and my boyfriend actually listen to it on the T.V when we go to sleep now, it's become a little obsession of ours.
I then hop out the bath, dry myself off and smother body in Lush's Dream Cream moisturiser I wrote a post about that 'here'. 

So as its a super pamper evening I'm going to look my most polished. However, this is a controversial step, after moisturising and letting it sink in etc. I then fake tan. I am aware your not supposed to moisturise before fake tan but if I don't moisturise it goes really patchy I think my skin is so dry I need a little bit of moisture so I always stick to this method if I'm fake tanning at home. I use Bondi Sands, usually in the light/medium shade for winter but I wanted to try the dark shade this time so I opted for that and I normally put 2 coats of the light/medium shade but only needed one for this so hopefully it will last longer.
Bondi Sands are an amazing brand in which I have become pretty loyal to its such a gorgeous shade and there isn't a orange hue either it looks super natural. I then sleep in this tan and wake up looking like a bronzed goddess ready to tackle my Monday!

This is my perfect Sunday/Wednesday night ritual, It gives me that little boost of energy for a new week and a little fake tan definitely helps to inject some confidence and gives me an extra boost/

What do you do to relax? Have you tried any of these products to help?
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