Saturday, 30 May 2015

My Weight Loss Story (So Far)

Okay, so as promised here's my weight loss story. It's quite personal and I wasn't sure how much I was going to open up but this is something I'm proud of and something I wanted to share. I never thought I'd lose weight. I just assumed I was going to be over-weight most of my life, I had resigned to it.  I use to read weight loss stories every so often when they'd pop up on Facebook  and think "Oh but they're different to me" and "I could never do that" but that's just self-doubt and self-doubt is an awful thing to have. If I can lose weight anyone can. I'm a self-confessed chocoholic.

This story isn't going to be all roses either, it's hard. It's always been hard and always going to be hard, but my journey itself wasn't nearly as hard as I had initially thought. I suppose this time around I was in a different mind frame. You're never going to achieve something that you don't really want. As someone who has always battled with their weight and tried numerous diets (and only lasting maximum 3 days before I'd eat the contents of the fridge). I knew there was no quick fix.  I'm completely against any diet products in terms of shakes and meal substitutes. I think they're a whole load of BS and target, vulnerable people, as well as never working long term.

There is a lot of body politics in the plus size blogging community. Sometimes you can be seen as a traitor if you lose weight. It's like you hopped on the plus size bandwagon when it was convenient to you, but you never really believe in it. Something that definitely wasn't the case with me. I'll always believe that women (and men!) can be fat and fashionable. That they can be happy as well as being healthy regardless of their size. I do believe you can be fat and happy, but for me personally there came a time when I wasn't happy anymore with my weight and looking back now I hadn't of been happy for a long time. 

I received a small handful of emails from readers that have felt let down by me losing weight and I'm not going to lie and say it doesn't hurt- of course, it does. I'm just a normal girl. A girl who just chooses to put a small section of her life on the internet. If you've felt let down, I'm sorry, but I never lied to you. I've always felt fashionable and I've always felt good in the clothes I wore. I was confident in my clothes at my biggest at a size 18/20. I will always believe that you can be fashionable at any size and it's the message I will continue to promote.
 So let's take this back to the beginning. I was always a bigger child, and from about 10 I was noticeably gaining weight and I don't know why really. I was always a happy kid. I've a small tight knit family that love me unconditionally and support me 100%. Sure there was the odd comment about my weight when I was a kid, but my parents had always told me that I was not only beautiful but smart too and for the most part, I believed them. I've always believed that beauty is on the inside and that's something that hasn't changed, and I've never judged someone on their weight nor would I ever. I do believe that there are a lot of reasons people gain weight and it's not as simply as "gluttony".

 I've gotten some un-welcomed comments in the past about my "lifestyle" choices, that were not only false but totally ignorant. I certainly don't believe in people commenting on anyone else's lifestyle. If someone is happier being bigger that's great, same goes for being smaller. Each to their own and if it's not your body then I'm afraid you don't have a say or an opinion. Upon entering Secondary School, I was chubby. At a size 12-14, I was definitely bigger than most of the girls but I really enjoyed school, and didn't experience too much bitchiness considering it was a private all-girls school, and no one bullied me for being bigger. I left school with wonderful friends and a lot of happy memories. Looking back now, I thought I was 10 times bigger than I actually was and wish I could go back and shake that girl and tell her she's fine as she is. 

College came as did the "Freshman 15" but instead of 15 pounds I gained about 4 stone/56lbs. I settled into a happy relationship, but also into an unhealthy relationship with food. It was here where I can see I became an emotional eater, something that I had always been.  Happy or sad, food, was my comfort. I could easily eat a few chocolate bars, not even thinking about what I was doing. I was going out a few nights a week and in my head drink didn't equate to calories. Same goes for fizzy drinks. It wasn't calories because it wasn't "food". This, of course, is dangerous and just plain ignorance on my part. It was at the time when I knew I wasn't eating healthy, but the truth was I didn't care.

With each drunken night, there was the food after and most likely the "Hangover Day" that followed. I was happy and in a happy relationship with someone that loved me so I didn't care. He found me attractive so I didn't really care about how I felt or how other people judged me. I always thought I was okay looking, and never thought I was ugly or unattractive myself.  Looking back now, I was only getting bigger and bigger. It was during this time that I turned to Plus Size fashion blogs. I saw girls rocking the latest trends and looking amazing, and I immediately felt better about myself and my body -  yet I didn't have the confidence to start one myself at this point. 
A few years later when college, was over, so was my college relationship. We still remain fantastic friends and he's actually a great supporter of my life, as much as I am of his. With being newly single, I indulged in going out for drinks and for dinner and just living the single life that I had missed during those formative college years. So more socialising and more drinking as well as more being in denial with how big I was getting. I once weighed myself and cried with the result. I was shockingly closer to 5 stone heavier than I was when I was a fresh-faced freshman. It's sad really that a number on the scale can have that much of an impact on you. Scales only calculate your physical body weight, not your worth. If only it could have told me I was smart and funny as well as fat. 

I was ashamed and embarrassed that I had let myself get to that point, which looking back was silly. There is so much pressure on weight and how much you weigh and what size you wear, which is awful for women - especially younger girls. It wasn't enough however, to kick start my weight loss journey. It was a little while later that I started this blog and it began to take off. I genuinely started accepting my body and I was thrilled to be in such a fantastic and supportive community. People started taking interest in me, and I was even in a few magazines. I soon forgot about the number on the scales and I was happy, properly happy for the first time in a long time. 

The plus size community is a wonderful thing, and I'm grateful to the community. People give them a lot of slack for "promoting obesity" when in reality it's a space where women feel empowered and where a lot of women gain confidence. I've made fantastic friends and I've always been warmly welcomed even now, when I'm more of an "inbetweenie" at a size 14. So fast forward a year or two, I was getting a bit fed up. I avoided going out more and more, and preferred to sit in eating junk food on my own then go out and socialising with people, ironic really as I'm what you'd call a social butterfly. It was a bit shit, but food was my comfort and my front room was my refuge. I'd binge on junk food and hide the wrapper down the couch or wherever I could. 

The more I ate, the more miserable I became and the more miserable I became the more I ate. It was an extremely vicious cycle. One night going out I was late (I'm never late, I find it incredibly rude) as I couldn't find anything that I felt comfortable and confident in to wear, so I text my friends and made up an excuse to why I wasn't going out that night. So while all my friends went out on the town, I was in bed in my PJ's sobbing my little heart out. I kept this to myself. Not telling my family or my friends. My parents obviously knew something was wrong but a lot of the time if I don't want to talk about something I won't until I'm ready. 
In 2013 I decided enough was enough and I slowly started to change my eating habits. Old habits do die hard and it was often difficult, but I was committed at this point to be healthier. It was an uphill battle for quite a while, and it was something I didn't want hard enough. I managed to loose about 14lbs but weight loss wasn't my primary focus. I didn't gain much weight back, but I certainly wasn't losing any either. Although my diet was now a hell of a lot healthier I kept going out drinking and socialising. I needed to be re-educated about food, no matter what you do if you the basics messed up you're setting yourself up for failure and with failure I know myself I'd only turn to food again.

 Eating out was also something that contributed to me not losing much weight at this point, despite eating healthy a lot of the time, the binging slowly becoming a thing of the past. Coming from someone who isn't a huge drinker, eating out appeals to me ten times more than a bar or a club, so that's what I did most weekends. I'm not really a big drinker anyway and can easily go a few months without alcohol. In fact, when I started Slimming World I cut out alcohol for about 4 months. In my mind, I'd much rather use "syns" on food than on alcohol. Don't get me wrong once in a while I love going out, getting drunk and ya know being silly with your friends but it's not something I enjoy on a regular basis - never have, never will. 

2014 started as a great year. I was in a more positive place and I was really confident in my body. I was also exercising more and more, but being honest, I didn't enjoy it at the time. I was doing it for the wrong reasons and it became a chore and I soon got bored and stopped doing as much of it as I should have been doing. My best friend moved to Australia in July and when we said a rather tearful goodbye in her car, she told me to come visit her. I fobbed her off and was like "Oh yeah sure" not really thinking I'd actually do it. One day after a particularly tedious day in work (I loved where I worked by the way!) I just needed a change. Working the same job for 6 years will do that to you. So I started looking up trips and flights and started thinking about Australia.

 I've always wanted to travel, I just never really had the confidence. I've always been a confident person, I'd just felt I'd become a shell of my former self and my friends began to notice. I began thinking and I decided that I "might as well" travel Asia as well as Australia with New Zealand in the pipeline too. I got one shot to do something and I was going to grab it with both hands. One thing was holding me back however - my weight. I knew the trip I wanted to do would be physically demanding and I wanted to be as fit as possible so I could enjoy my experience to the fullest. So from the start of July I did a life overhaul. I bought a proper pair of runners and downloaded the My Fitness Pal App and began monitoring my daily intakes as well as walking at least 5km a day. 
I didn't book any flights yet. I didn't want to fail at another "get fit and healthy" attempt and then face the repercussions of a €700 flight to crazy Thailand. So off I went and it was hard. I wanted to be fit and be healthier for my trip. My sugar cravings were insane. All I wanted was chocolate, all day every day. I'd love to actually say it changes but it doesn't, you just learn how to curb your cravings better! Although I will never agree that a piece of fruit is as good as a bar of chocolate - you can jog on with that notion. I still had chocolate, but would limit myself to 1 bar not 3! I want to point out that this doesn't happen over night. It's a constant struggle and still is. The only thing is the struggle get's less and less when your determination kicks in. 

My friends were all so incredibly supportive (and still are!) and we all went out walking together. They made me go out when I was in a "woe is me" mood and didn't want to get my ass off the couch. We hiked all over Dublin and within a month, I'd lost over a stone (15lbs). Those hikes were physically demanding as someone who was unfit. It was then I considered joining Slimming World. My friend and I were on a walk and I mentioned it to her. We've been friends for years and I knew she wanted to lose weight too, so  I was only delighted when was keen on coming along to check it out. That night was the night I booked my flights to Bangkok and booked my first Contiki - clearing out a huge chunk of my savings, knowing I was going to do this. I was committed to it. I was going to achieve what I've always wanted. 

The next Tuesday we met at our local shop and walked to our Slimming World class which is about a 20-minute walk from both our homes. We were both as nervous and anxious as each other, not really talking about it. I was a bit worried as in my mind I wanted to be a certain weight before I joined Slimming World (how crazy is that) but I was so glad I joined when I did. Rachael our consultant met us and we were instantly relaxed. She felt like a friend immediately and I knew we'd settle in well. We both settled in so well that a few weeks later we were asked to join our Slimming World Social Team and before we knew it we were part of the Slimming World Family.

 For me once I stepped through those doors I was determined. My parents were extremely supportive of the whole thing and they bought me a gift for every stone I lost, which was a great bonus as someone who was saving all her money for her trip.  I'm quite competitive (mainly with myself!) and didn't ever want to gain weight. I've only had one gain since I joined in August and that was my Birthday week. I was in a race with myself and I sure as hell wasn't going to loose especially with my trip edging nearer and nearer. I steadily lost about 2-3lbs a week following the extra easy plan and I've never felt I'm on a diet. It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle. The sooner you realise that it's a lifestyle change the easier your journey is going to be.
Slimming World isn't a fad diet, it encourages healthy eating and exercising. I never thought losing weight would be as easy as it was physically that is. Physically it's not hard. Eating right and exercising will more than likely lead to you losing weight - excusing any medical or physical conditions. It's just the mental side that takes time. You're never "fixed" Even now I struggle a lot with sugar cravings. I would love nothing more than to binge on chocolate right now, I love chocolate and I always will! I just know the more I have, the more I'll want and also I don't want to feel shit after I do it, which was ultimately what I felt years before. 

I do limit myself now, but I'll never deny myself any as let's be honest that would be a pretty miserable life. I go out for meals, I go out for cocktails, I enjoy the odd cupcake. I enjoy everything in moderation, even enjoying chocolate every single day! Slimming World allows for that, with your "syns" which is fantastic and is probably the sole reason I continued to lose weight and stay on plan. If I couldn't have chocolate, crisps or the odd takeaway I'd be so miserable and I'd 100% fly off the rails and eat everything in sight vowing to "start again on Monday".  What I will say is that I have had some bad days. Days where I haven't even counted the "syns" I've eaten as it's so high. What makes me different now is I know it was a slip-up. We all have them and we're all human. I just don't let that bad day become a bad week. 

So Far I've lost roughly 5 stone/70lb from my heaviest weight. Although I'm counting from the weight I was in July, so I've currently lost 4.5 stone/63lbs. Nearly 3.5 solely on Slimming World. I've dropped 3 dress sizes and I've gained a hell of a lot more confidence. Confidence that I can do it. I didn't lack confidence when I was bigger, but there's a sense of pride and accomplishment when you do something you've always wanted to do and succeed. It took me from August until January to loose it, all through determination and hard work and I couldn't have done it without the support of my Slimming World Buddy Lynne as well as my other friends and of course, my family.

Every single night come rain or shine I was out walking. I'd feel so good coming home from it, especially if It was the last thing I wanted to do. I would generally walk about 4-6km mixing up the routes I'd take so I didn't get bored. I started off slow, when 1km would take me nearly 12 minutes. The other day however it took me a little over 8 minutes, which is definitely an improvement and something I'm equally proud of. I was a lot lighter setting off on my big adventure. I was able to Skydive, Bungy Jump, ride horses and climb millions of steps to see amazing temples all at ease. Something that would of proven difficult when I was carrying more weight. 
So fast forward to today. I'm currently happy with my weight and my body. I do however want to tone up and loose about 20lbs more to be happy and feel healthier. I've only lost about 7lbs since I've been home. There was a lot of celebrating to be done and it's hard to sink straight back into something when you've been eating bad again for 3 months. I was asked to give tips on how to eat healthy while travelling and I could feed you all some bull story about going for fruit and salads, but I didn't do any of that. I wasn't the perfect, I was actually far from it and I had to reign myself in pretty quick before I settle back into old habits.

On my trip I went for nutella pancakes (with a side of delicious fruit mind you!) I ate BBQ's nearly every day in Australia, I ate the whole country of New Zealand out of Tim Tams and I drank a load of buckets in Thailand. I was on holiday. I'm young and I wanted to experience what it's like to travel and have no worries and I certainly didn't spend the amount of money that I did to count "Syns" or calories. I just was living life and experiencing everything all the countries had to offer. When I was in Asia the first time around I got quite ill because of my gall bladder surgery(or the change in food) and lost some weight, which was subsequently gained in Australia, meaning my weight evened out in the end!

I returned home and I maintained my weight. I was so delighted and being honest quite jammy! I think the main reason was the fact that I was so active the whole 3 months. You also don't get to eat all the time when you're travelling so even though you're not eating fantastically you're not eating enough to warrant a weight gain. It's still incredibly bad for your body and I felt sluggish and like shit if I'm entirely honest with you all. It's not something I'd ever recommend or endorse. You can lose weight unhealthily and see results there's no denying that, but maintaining your weight and feeling good takes time and effort. 

So that brings me back to now. I'm slowly getting back into Slimming World and I'm back to exercising on a daily basis, which I'm beginning to really enjoy. My weight loss is going to probably slow down now, and that's okay. I'm happy doing what I'm doing for the moment and for now, I'm going by the "slow and steady" motto. Looking back, I'm proud of that girl in the photo's and I purposely choice nice photo's for comparisons as I always thought I'd dressed well! I could choose an unflattering photo's but that's not me. I want the article to reflect me and my values. I realise this post is a bit of a ramble and I'm not sure entirely how much sense it makes but I hope it gives you all some insight into my journey. 

If you guys have any questions,  I'd be happy to answer them below or if you want to email me you can do so at foreverfabulousinbows@gmail.com Also if you want more Slimming World posts, do let me know! I won't ever make this blog primarily weight loss but if it's something a lot of you are interested just let me know below!

View Post
SHARE:

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Contiki Big Indochina Adventure #7 | Vientiane

After a long drive we arrived in the capital. You could tell instantly it was the capital city as it was a lot more westernised then anywhere else we visited. Vientiane was the administrative capital during French rule and due to economic growth in recent times it is now the economic centre of Laos. The architecture is very much French influenced, which is most apparent with the Patuxai or "Victory Gate" which bares great resemblance of the Arch De Triomphe in Paris. It is typically Laotian in it's design featuring mythical creatures such as Kinnari or "Half female, half bird".  We climbed to the top and were met with the most incredible views of the city. I'm a city girl at heart so I loved being back in hustle and bustle! We took a tour around the local landmarks, my favourites being the Patuxai and Pha That Luang.

Phat That Luang

After sightseeing, we were brought to the Cope Centre. The Cope Centre . It was incredibly moving, and incredibly upsetting at the same time. Laos is the most bombed country per capita in history. During 1964 and 1974 the United States dropped more than 2 MILLION tons of ordinance on Laos during 580,000 bombing missions. It's not broadcasted as much or as loudly as it should be. Laos is nearly forgotten. Today was the first day of the trip that I got upset, upset that I didn't know to the extent of what happened. 30% of the bombs dropped during the Vietnam War didn't go off, meaning some are still active today. What's shocking that even though people know bombs were dropped in certain area's they've little choice to still farm the land, as they need to make a living. The main income in Laos comes from agriculture, so it's a catch 22. The devastation of a bomb going off affects the whole family.  If the Father is killed or looses limbs, the family is more or less screwed. Another concern is for children playing on the land, as if they find one they'd assume it was a toy. It's so devastating, and it still doesn't sit right with me that the U.S did what they did and aren't contributing enough to Laos - but if we're honest what is enough?

Patuxai

  I did Vietnam History in school and touched on it in University but Laos was only ever mentioned in passing, only briefly discussing what happened to Laos. I was aware of it, and I knew it was heavily bombed during the Vietnam War, but I didn't know to what extent, and I didn't know how much it was affecting the Laotian people today. The Cope Centre are a wonderful organisation that was created in response to the need to provide UXO (unexploded Ordinance)  survivors with the care and support they required, namely by way of orthotic and prostethic devices. The rehabilitation centre provide access to prosthetic devices as well as rehabilitation centres, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and paediatric services to people with disabilities. It was a pleasure to visit such a wonderful organisation. After a short movie we were shown around. As well as a visitor centre the complex also hosts a Rehabilitation Hospital. The whole experience was enlightening to say the least. A lot of the group made donations as well. It moved a lot of us. I donated a leg online as I didn't have any cash on me at the time, and I was so touched that I couldn't not do something to help.  It was so easy to do it through the website. It's something that touched my heart and something that I'd like to continue to donate to for many years to come.

The Cope Centre 
It was then back onto the bus to make our way to our hotel. The hotel was a cool boutique, with funky corridors. It was here the first accident of my trip happened. We were flying to Phnom Pehn the next day and after packing I wanted to weight my case. What I didn't realise was that my suitcase weighing scale was on the dodgy side. Upon trying to lift it up it snapped and went flying into my lip! I'm so lucky my mouth was closed or that it didn't hit my eye. My lip started bleeding and man it swelled up! My lovely friend Stephie came to my aid and was the perfect nurse to the biggest baby on the trip. I walked around Vientiane with a cold can of Diet Coke to my lip for the rest of the evening. We all split up for dinner all a bit tired and deflated from the day before. We had a quick look at the night market before hitting the hay, as it was an early enough start the next day.

Next Stop Cambodia!
View Post
SHARE:

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

NYX | Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator Review

So Summer is nearly here for the rest of the world, but just because the sun 'aint shining doesn't mean we can't achieve a glow. NYX is a brand I went crazy for in the States, before it was widely available. It came to our shores last year and it's definitely a welcome change from all the usual budget brands. The price point is good, the quality is good and the choice is generally good. If you haven't yet been acquainted, go forth. You can thank me later. 
Now being honest I'm sure you're all aware I'm not a hardcore beauty blogger. I dabble in it, from time to time as I've an interest in beauty and I'll be the first to admit I've more makeup than the Brown Thomas beauty hall but there's a gazillion beauty blogger out there who are constantly writing about the nearest product, but most of the time I can't afford it and I can't  You guys know me well enough now to know, I only feature products if I bloody well love 'em. So when these beauties landed in my post box I was intrigued. After coming back form travelling I'm in search of a glow as the Irish weather has made my tan a very distant memory.  I'm  back to being mistaken for Caspar the ghost- you can judge yourself on whether or not I'm a friendly ghost! These Born to Glow Liquid Illuminators * are a nifty little product and I was pretty impressed!
They come in two colours "Gleam"* which is a gorgeous pearly pink colour and aptly named "Sunbeam"* which is a gorgeous bronze colour. At the moment I love mixing the two colours together. They're incredible versatile. They're meant to be worn under your foundation after you've cleansed and gone through the rigmarole that is your morning skincare routine (I'll give you an insight into mine if you'd like) It blends in effortlessly and is a great base for your foundation. When worn under your foundation it gives you a gorgeous subtle glow, so you can totally wear this during the day. I know a few people are a bit funny about wearing highlighter during the day, as it can look a little too made up for work etc. This is perfect for you folk - especially Gleam! 
These products aren't just one trick ponies however, there's so many different ways that they can be used. You can use them over your foundation to highlight your cheekbones, your cupid bows, the arch under your eyebrows and even your dècollitage. It literally illuminates your skin giving you the ever so coveted luminous look. The best part? It doesn't cost an arm and a leg. At €9.49 each you can pick up two with little to no guilt, like how often do you get change from €20 from a highlight product - that actually works.  It's a win-win situation! Now the question is where to buy these babies? Good news is they're in pharmacies nationwide. If you don't have any luck with your nearest pharmacy Sam McCauley's have a good selection on their website

 Anyway I'll be back tomorrow with a new travel post! 

*Indicates a gifted item
View Post
SHARE:

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Sun Kissed Make Up Look

If you're looking to revamp your makeup look, stay with me! Now I know I'm not a makeup artist or anythaaaang, but I do like a good lippy and I do love looking sun-kissed so I put together this look for y'all. It's so easy, takes no time at all and best of all? It's a mix of both high street and high end products.
I'm a high-street girl at heart so my base is always Rimmel "Wake Me Up" foundation. I've sworn by this for a number of years and I've yet to find a high street foundation that does the job as good. It suits my skin, it blends wonderfully and for €10.99 you really can't go wrong. If you've tried it and it didn't suit try the Rimmel "Perfect Match" I find either one or the other works for most people. Under my foundation I mixed the NYX "Born to Glow" Illuminator in Gleam* and Sunbeam* together and applied it to a freshly cleansed face. I really loved this product. I gave me a lovely healthy glow and my foundation sat wonderfully on top of it.
To give me more of a sunkissed glow I added bronzer to the hollows of my cheeks, my temples and along the side of my nose, being sure to blend, blend, blend. Contouring is a tricky business so make sure to keep blending, even when you think you're done, blend some more! Instead of adding a pink blusher as I added a coral blush as it's warmer and suited the look I was going for. This one is from Sephora and it's in the shade "Coral Flush". To add a further glow to my cheeks I wore Seventeen "Instant Glow" in the colour "Gold Bronze" it's honestly so good and for €6.49 it's a bloody steal! 
I filled in my eyebrows with "Browzings"*. I've tried the cheaper  alternative by Sleek and although it was good, the wax on Browzings is amazing. However if you're on a budget the Sleek Eyebrow Kit still does the job! I'm just a bit obsessed with my eyebrows. I get them waxed on a regular basis by Benefit in their Benefit Boutique on South William St! I'm also a huge fan of Benefit's "Gimme Brow" which is great if you want to fill in your eyebrows, but still like keeping the natural look! You can see my review of the it HERE.

For my eyeshadow I used the Naked 3 Palette, the warmest of the 3 Naked Palettes. I just used the colour "Trick" all over my lid, and the colour "Nooner" in my crease. To add a bit more sparkle I added some gold pigment dust* from Fushia. I opted for the new "They're Real" Mascara* and Push Up Liner* (available in July) both in brown to warm up the look and I didn't want to go as harsh as the black.  To finish the look I added a slick of my soon to be favourite lipstick from Sephora (Number 27) and I was good to go! 
View Post
SHARE:

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Getting Festival Ready With Boohoo

Summer is nearly here, it's still cold in Ireland (surprise surprise) but that doesn't mean festival season isn't on it's way! I love festivals and I love fashion so put the two and two together I'm one happy bunny! Don't get me wrong I love a good gig but there's something about festival fashion that gets me so excited! When you're a plus size girl it can get a bit trickier to get trends at the time you need, sometimes you see them trickling down a little later than you want them too. Boohoo.com have some awesome pieces all in plenty of time for festival season. I put together a quick and easy look here in case you're looking for some inspiration!

I chose this dress in a size 16, it's nice and loose and has a cool boho vibe to it. Tassels are so in this Spring/Summer so the tassels on the sleeve are a nice trendy touch, just without being irritating. I have a Kimono that I adore but the tassels get caught in absolutely everything and it just puts me off wearing it. These however, are positioned on the sleeve to avoid any awkward tangles! To compliment the look I rocked these extremely comfy lace up boots, they've a nice platform too, which makes them so comfortable meaning you could totally rock these all day without your feet getting sore! To finish the look I wore a statement necklace and added a fedora hat - it 'aint a festival without something on your head, no? And of course I added some token bright sunglasses! I picked up these in Phuket for next to nothing, I'm only kicking myself I didn't get a few more pairs.

Dress*: Boohoo
Necklace*: Boohoo
Fedora*: Boohoo
Boots*:Schuh
*Indicates a gifted item


View Post
SHARE:

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

"They're Real" Push Up Liner and Mascara | FULL COLOUR

Last week I was introduced to something exciting. I'm a huge fan of "They're Real" (Review here) and "They're Real Push up Liner" (Review here) Both the liner and the mascara are now offered in an a few different colours, which is fantastic if you want to mix up your look! The Mascara's are now being offered in Beyond Blue and Beyond Brown as well as the original Beyond Black. The Liners are offered in the original  Beyond Black along with  Beyond Brown, Beyond Purple, Beyond Blue and Beyond Green. The green is probably my favourite out of all the colours, as it's my favourite colour - Fun fact if you didn't already know!

For people that love to experiment with makeup this is a dream come true. Originally I was sceptical at first as I'm a black eye liner gal, but all these colours are really, really wearable. They're not as bright as I first thought, which is a good thing, as you'd look a bit naff rocking neon green during the day, unless it's St Patrick's Day of course! They're quite subdued and I'd have no reservations rocking any of the colours, any time of the day!  

I wore the blue today and I fell in love with it. It's more creamy than the black, but I did need 3 coats to get it to the colour intensity I liked. I'd prefer if it was as simple to apply as the black, but it's not difficult just more time consuming. For someone who finds liquid/gel eyeliner a chore this gel liners are fantastic. If you're a newbie to makeup application then it makes applying liner so much easier, my makeup routine is forever changed thanks to Benefit! I find it so incredibly easy to use once you get the hang of it. Like everything practise makes perfect. 
Apply it as close as possible to your lashes to give the illusion of bigger eyes, and then use to flexi tip to position where you want the flick to go and just draw the line- easy peasy!  If you're a pro at liquid eye liner than you can do with cheaper eye products, but if you're like me and utterly useless you need this in your life. It lasts forever (I still have the one I got last Summer, and used it on a regular basis, excluding my 3 months abroad)  It's impossible to get off and doesn't smudge once it's on! To remove I just use an oil based cleanser, and it swipes right off!

 The  Beyond Blue and the Beyond Brown mascara's are also new welcomed additions to the "They're Real" collection. It's the exact same formula as the original so you're getting the same product you've come to know and love, but you just get some more options! I decided to go bold and wear the blue today, even hough the blue reminds me a little bit of the 90's it's beautiful on and compliments the blue liner perfectly. 

Apply it as close as possible to your lashes to give the illusion of bigger eyes, and then use to flexi tip to position where you want the flick to go and just draw the line- easy peasy!  If you're a pro at liquid eye liner than you can do with cheaper eye products, but if you're like me and utterly useless you need this in your life. It lasts aaaagesss and is impossible to get off unless you use an oil based cleanser, then it swipes right off! It's the exact same formula as the original so you're getting the same product you've come to know and love, but you just get some more options! I personally love both colours, although the blue reminds me a little bit of the 90's it's beautiful on!
All these beautiful colours are available in July! 

The RRP for the Push Up Liners is €25
The RRP for They're Real Mascaras is €26
View Post
SHARE:

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Contiki Big Indochina Adventure #6 | Vang Vieng

The drive from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng was 8 hours long. To be honest it was grand, a lot better than I was expecting as someone who can get a bit travel sick. We all popped some anti-sickness pills and slept a lot of the way, only stopping for Oreo and Pringle top ups - the essentials of course. We did however stop at a beautiful mountain restaurant for an included lunch that boasted beautiful views of the Laos countryside. It's here where I decided Laos was my favourite country- premature maybe, but I wasn't wrong. It also boasted the best Squat toilet's I've ever used - didn't think I'd ever write that sentence! You walked in and you were greeted with a mountain view where a wall should of been. There was just mountains in the distance so you could pee in private! Crazy, yes, but that's just Asia. 
After being  adequately fed, we got back on the bus for one last nap before reaching our destination- Vang Vieng. Vang Vieng is a quaint spot. It's a quiet enough town, and the footpaths are so dodgy, so we all just walked on the road. It made famous or should I say infamous, by Tubing. Which is basically when  you get into a tube and float down the Mekong,where the Bar tenders would throw you a rope and bring you in to their fine establishment. A few years ago in 2011 it was actually voted the most dangerous place for backpackers in the entire world, after there being nearly 30 deaths in one year. Since then most of the bars along the river have closed down, however three are still up and running! After witnessing it, I can honestly say tubing down the Mekong river is dangerous, and to put it bluntly fucking stupid. If you value your life at all, don't jump into a rubber ring and join the crowd of fools sailing down the Mekong. Each bar is as grim as the next as well,  Not to say it's not good craic when you're with good company! As well all had a blast, but man you'd want to watch yourself - and your friends! 
Anyway we arrived to Vang Vieng late in the afternoon and had some "free time" Now what I will say with Contiki especially the Big Indochina Adventure you're not left with much "free time" Now of course there are optional activities but mostly the entire group do, as they're pretty good excursions. On Contiki you can  definitely choose to skip things as there's no pressure to do anything,but doing all the Optional Extra's I found I'd very little time to chill - but hey I can sleep when I'm dead! In the evening we all went out for a bite to eat at Kangaroo Sunset Bar. Another chilled backpacker bar. The food honestly is just grand, I've had worse, and I've had better but it filled a gap and it was then onto the more important part- the drink! If you want to get drunk off one drink in Vang Vieng head to Kangaroo Sunset bar. We had a cute friendship ceremony where we were all blessed by a village elder there too, so it's a pretty cool place! They had promotions on the whole night and in honor of Australia Day, which happened to be the next day. If you bought the "Kangaroo Sunset" cocktail which tasted like moonshine, you got a free Singlet. Running out of clean clothes was enough to pull this sucker in. The cocktail was horrendously strong, but hey It helped me dance like Beyonce, so it was obviously worth it.
Up early enough the next day, but not too early thank God! (Yay for non 4am starts) Most of us opted for the Tubing excursion as well as Kayaking. The Tubing was in a dark cave, and you just followed the rope around it. Nothing ground breaking exciting but it was still fun nonetheless, would I do it again? probably not but we had time to relax in the sun for awhile and that's always a positive! After Tubing we took a Kayak down the Mekong back to our hotel, which took us a little over an hour. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and we were surrounded by the beautiful Laos scenery so it was perfect. Being the group we were, we all got a bit competitive with people being splashed and boats threatened to being capsized! Word of warning though, don't under any circumstance drink the Mekong water, and keep your mouth sealed shut when you're splashing about. One of the guys on tour had a beer on-board the Kayak, and the water accidentally got into it, and he was really ill the next day, the poor thing! It's not fun when you're ill and you have a long enough bus journey the next day! 
After the Kayaking we were all tired and had some downtime before all donning  our free Australia Day merchandise and painting our faces yellow and green to celebrate Australia Day, as most of the tour was from Australia- or 'Straya! Back to Kangaroo Sunset for some more food, the time it gave me a dodgy stomach! Now I had recently gotten my gallbladder removed so I'm not too sure if it was that or the change of diet, but I definitely felt a little bit funny! Anyway it was nothing too severe. After a bite to eat we hopped into some vans and made out to the infamous river bars where we got a small boat across to the bar for obvious reasons. We arrived there and we all just stuck together after getting some drinks, Everyone was inebriated.  It reminded of the time I went to Crete with all my girlfriends after finishing Secondary School  to drink cheap drinks for 7 days. Back then it was the crazy and very exciting.The drink was forever cheap and flowing freely and you didn't have any concept of limits when it came to drinking.  Fast forward 7 years however and it was a bit grim, that's just my opinion however.  I swear I think my heart dropped on several occasions watching kid, after kid ping head first into the shallow river. That's not to say it wasn't just 18 year old jumping in, grown men were practically belly flopping into the water - funny to watch, but not funny when you realise how shallow the water is
Now of course I understand a lot of these guys were on their "Gap Yah" so they're 18/19 and like me in Crete it's the first taste of freedom away from a family holiday, so you need to keep them some slack, but man knowing what I know now, no kid of mine is ever going to Vang Vieng - I kid, I kid. I'll go with them! I'll turn into my stalker Mother - Hey Mom! Anyway we made it to two bars and then we all had enough and went back to Kangaroo sunset where we all got some more drinks and danced! I ordered a cocktail that sounded quite fruity, but it ended up being 99.99% vodka and a dash of 7up! Needless to say the rest of the night is quite foggy! I do remember going home, having a shower and going back out. It was probably to save time in the morning, as I'm the worst morning person in the world! I don't know, but like all drunk idea's it seemed like a good idea at the time! We were up early the next day, I avoided breakfast as my stomach was a little tender from the night before, and just made myself comfortable on the coach, beside my Kansas buddy Wade, who kindly kept the bus filled with snacks- I choose my friends wisely! 
Now I know I'm not painting it in the most positive light, but all the Contiki group had so much fun together, we really did have a good team! Out of the 3 tours I've done this group was definitely my favourite as a whole! We said our goodbyes to Vang Vieng, it was bittersweet. We were ready to leave and recuperate but we did fall in love with the beauty of it all. We had another long drive today, but again we took some motion sickness pills and we were all knocked out! I'swear it's a Tour Manager trick to get some peace and quiet from us all for a few hours! I kid, they were a lifesaver as the Laotian roads aren't up to European standards!

Until next time...
View Post
SHARE:
© Forever Fabulous in Bows. All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Made By pipdig