Saturday, 29 August 2015

Four days has come and gone and I'm finally home from Paris! It's been really refreshing to have a break and distract my mind from social media and spending 12 hours a day working but I've come back a lot more focused and assured in what I want to achieve for Britton Loves - all the exciting workaholic times ahead!

But let's throw it back to Tuesday, as I uploaded my first proper What's In My Bag video! I managed to simplify all my makeup and skincare into one little toiletry bag - pats self on the bag, much achievements. Although I've gone hard on the base products, lipsticks and cleansers, this is pretty much the emptiest my bag has ever been - no excess products here thank you, gotta keep that routine going ;)

Everyone loves to have a nose into beauty bags and handbags, so if you want to see more videos like this then please let me know!

As always, give the video a thumbs up if you enjoyed it, and leave me a comment telling me your beauty travel essentials. Also, don't forget to SUBSCRIBE as there's a new video every Tuesday at 9am - maybe even a cheeky Paris vlog if you're lucky...

P.S I've been shortlisted for Best Long-Standing Beauty Blog in the #BloggersBlogAwards - absolutely insane but thank you everyone who nominated me! I'll be doing a proper post on it next week but if you'd like to vote for me then you can click here!

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.

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Monday, 24 August 2015

If the title wasn't enough of a hint, then prepare yourself for the upcoming Instagram spam - I'm heading to Paris! This is my first holiday in about two years so there's a mix of excitement and also a realisation of just how much time is required to plan packing, transport, work and even what the weather is doing - I have become too accustomed to day trips, I am not prepared.

But as I said, I am really excited for this little trip. Paris has been on my re-visit wishlist for ages now, plus it would be safe to say I need a break. Working away on this blog and more recently my YouTube channel has been hard yet enjoyable, and I honestly don't allow myself days off because I want my content to be the best it can be and I also want to see it grow positively. Over the last few weeks I've shared little insights into stress, acne breakouts, general feelings of 'I don't want to leave my cave' that I've been having due to all the things that are currently going on in my life, and what I previously envisaged as a family holiday is now a big breather.

Holidays are for relaxing, enjoying yourself, exploring and experiencing culture (more realistically, food) and to have, well, a holiday from your every day. So until Saturday, I'm going AWOL. No scheduled posts bar tomorrow's video which goes up before I leave, no endless hours scrolling twitter seeing what's going on and trying yet ultimately failing to join chats because I have too much in my headspace. I'm switching off my phone and brain for a few days so that I can learn to love myself again.

I feel that my content is starting to head into a better place, my photos are starting to become what I want them to be, I'm seeing new opportunities come every day, however it's starting to feel stuck; I feel stuck. Unique and original content is something I've strived for since late last year and it's begun to feel hard, so before I let myself go under or become overloaded, I need to allow myself a break. I've been caring for others for four years and now I need to take care of myself.

Sadly I had to give up my talk at Blogstock which is a real knock but there's been a lot going on and it wasn't in line with other plans, and I've also had to let myself accept other factors so that I can actually deal with life as it is without having another massive breakdown. But to remain positive, as this space on the internet aspires to be, the focus of this trip is to relax and rediscover what it is I love and enjoy. I love photography, and whilst I photograph for my blog daily I haven't engaged in other aspects I once did daily - street photography, arty creative shots, looking for shape and colour in the quietest places, relaxing and eating food, walking around and marvelling at culture, so much that we take for granted when pushing ourselves so hard.

Reading this back, it looks like one big moan which I absolutely despair - it's not something I like to do and I feel it's one big eye-roll for most people to see someone waffle on about 'how hard life is, woe is me' however a few people have said to me that I don't stop, so I think it's fair enough to say that Paris is definitely a necessity right now. I won't be completely off the internet as there is hotel wifi and Instagram snaps of French cliches to upload, plus whilst there are no new posts I will be scheduling out some tweets from the archives so please do come back and have a read, but rest assured I'll be making a bit more time for me, human interaction, and hopefully some yummy food (I'm on a vegan quest, don't you worry).

TLDR I've been working for two years solid and it's finally time for a break. I'm throwing on some stripes and red lipstick, packing my basics, and heading to Paris to explore some culture and myself. See you on Instagram!

Are you in serious need of a break? Have you been to Paris recently? How do you relax and get your mojo back?
P.S If you've been to Paris recently or know a good spot or 5 for lunch or things to do, leave me a comment below!

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more. 

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Sunday, 23 August 2015

I think it's safe to say our generation is a product of the internet and social media - we've helped create and push so much though technology that we've been more able to connect with others than before. So when faced with this new opportunity, do we always present an accurate representation of ourselves? Or is this is the key moment where we can become whoever we want to be and feel more alive without having to leave our beds?

Personally, I think I am different offline to how I am online, but I try to make my more confident side gloss over any IRL insecurities and awkwardness, which is why this week I thought I'd talk about who we become online and why we might do so.

In line with my recent friendship post and getting everything off my chest, I do feel better about how I act online and IRL (stop saying IRL Lauren or I'll kick you right into IRL) yet there is always that question of how we distinguish ourselves from others, and whether it's through more positivity based posts, food, or maybe one day it'll be Q&A's with lots of rambling and rifling through my bag, I will continue to be the person I want to be online and shared with you.

Don't forget to give the video a thumbs up if you enjoyed it and leave a comment telling me about your life online. Also, SUBSCRIBE for new videos every Tuesday at 9am!

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more. 

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Saturday, 22 August 2015

Hands up if you love homemade lemonade? I always love going to a cute cafe where they serve their own freshly squeezed lemonade by the jug, it has such a fresh zing to it and, let's be honest, it tastes 100x better than Sprite or other similar available brands *ahem*.

I've often struggled to make a decent lemonade in the kitchen - lots of lemons thrown in the air, not always a 'when life gives you lemons, make lemonade' situation, but I wanted to do something special this weekend with friends coming over instead of the usual tea. Count my lucky lemons then that Bloom and Wild have created their own at-home kit which makes homemade lemonade an absolute dream to make, and isn't to bad on the taste buds either.

Typically British, it's raining this weekend, so what better way to make a sunnier occasion of it than a delicious jug of bright yellow lemonade squeezed by yours truly. Prepare for Pinterest perfection and a delicious August pick-me-up...

As I said, Bloom and Wild - who specialise in some of the most gorgeous flowers - have just launched their Lemon Aid Kit* which covers everything you need to make two very generously filled Kilner jars (you also get two jars in your kit, how amazing is that?!) and upon opening you are presented with what is practically Pinterest in a box - pink crepe streamers and striped straws, the biggest and freshest lemons I've ever seen, and the dinkiest (and cutest) bottle of Elderbrook Raspberry, Cranberry and Blueberry Cordial which smells like heaven.

The kit is £25 which is such good value considering you get two Kilner jars and the cordial (which you only need a tiny amount of per glass - such price per use, much conservation) plus a muslin cloth which can be reused again and again, which obviously you will because this lemonade recipe is just so easy to recreate and keep fresh in the fridge for days!


3 Large Lemons | 75g Granulated Sugar | 700ml Hot Water | Elderbrook Cordial

1. Zest your lemons, making sure not to catch too much of the pithe as this makes it bitter.

2. Juice the lemons and combine with the sugar and zest, stirring to make sure everything is combined.

3. Top the juice up with 700ml of hot water and allow to infuse and mix overnight in the fridge.

4. The next day, say about lunchtime when you want something to quench your thirst, take your lemonade out the fridge. It should now be a brilliant bright yellow colour and is ready for drinking!

5. Pop your Kilner jars in the fridge for 20 minutes to keep the drinks cold when you serve. Take a large jug and pop the muslin cloth over, securing with an elastic band if needed.

6. Stir the juice and pour through the muslin cloth to strain any excess zest and sugar. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can and then recycle the leftover zest.

7. Now time for the fun part! Take your cooled Kilner jars out the fridge and prepare for the lemonade. This is your time to get creative!

- For a full-on pink lemonade, just cover the bottom of the jar with the Elderbrook cordial and top up with lemonade. For a lighter taste, fill the jar 3/4 lemonade and 1/4 sparking water for extra fizz!
- For a gradual blush, fill the jar with lemonade and slowly pour in the cordial until the base turns a solid pink and begins the rise through the drink like a summer sunset.

8. If you want to go the extra mile with your jars, you can decorate them using your crepe paper - I went for some bows on mine for a cute, vintage edge before finalising them off with the pink straws. Et voila, your Homemade Blush Lemonade is complete!

Slurping on this delicious lemonade is certainly worth the wait, the fresh lemons and sweet berry cordial is a match made in heaven and I could have easily finished off both and then some in one sitting - there's a reason I have to control my sweet tooth!

I absolutely adore the soft pink take to this kit, it really makes a wonderful gift for a fellow foodie or maybe even a housewarming present, but on a summer's weekend there's no better way to bring sunshine to the table (or mug) than a jug of freshly squeezed lemonade to impress your friends and ward off the rain - Pinterest, eat your heart out!

Have you tried making your own lemonade before? Will you be buying this gift for yourself or someone? Have you checked out Bloom and Wild's beautiful gifts and bouquets?!

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

This post is in collaboration with Bloom and Will, however all views are my own and yummy lemonade noises come from yours truly.

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more. 

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Friday, 21 August 2015

You may have seen in my last few vlogs that my face has decided to have a well timed stress-related breakout, leading to some very painful lumps and bumps I just ain't got time for anymore. I did the usual routine - stripped back my skincare to the bare minimum, nourished it as best as I can, drank more water and did yoga when I could to calm myself, but my skin didn't seem to be regenerating as quick as I'd have hoped.

It took a couple of blog reading sessions and some skincare stash shopping to realise I had forgotten some true skin saving gems that always work to help my skin feel a bit more 'ahhhhh' instead of 'arrrghhh!' and now it seems my complexion is slowly getting back on track...

The Toner

As you'll see in this post, I am a chemical exfoliant kinda gal - much more gentle on the skin and they really even out any complexion woes. Buried at the back of my drawers was the La Roche Posay Effaclar Clarifying Toner/Lotion* which I didn't realise for a while was an exfoliant, but it's super gentle to use twice a day for getting rid of those dead skin cells and unclogging pores. I actually mix this with Tea Tree Oil so I have the added benefits of a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory ingredient whilst using a regular exfoliant. Together, they're really helped refresh my complexion and leave my skin super smooth again.

The Face Mask

Yep, another exfoliant! I was hesitant for a while about using any form of exfoliant on my face, but it's so important to help the cells regenerate which is why at the first sight of calmer skin, I popped a good layer of REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask all over just to get things started again. The marmalade texture is so comfortable and when left on you can feel it slowly working it's way down through the dead cells and pores to really refresh the complexion. I use this about twice a week to remove blemish marks and take out any gunk that's starting to look noticeable, and I can only rave about how fresh my skin appears afterwards - truly a natural miracle!

The Cream

I've written previously about my love for Super Restorative Day Cream when having a hormonal breakout, but for some reason it took me a while to repurchase (mainly because it's £70 a pot and the jar is just a nuisance, and usually I get a sample when buying other Clarins brands so okay, I'm being a stinge queen). Desperate times call for desperate measures and I picked some up on eBay (half price plus in a squeezy tube, tyvm) and it's amazing how the smell of a product can take you back - so many memories of weekends in retail and slathering too much of this on my face. As I write this I've only just received it in the post so will update you on how much my skin has healed by Friday (update: my skin has completely transformed, even so far to say it's 95% healed and looks fresher and softer than ever!) but in the past I have had painful under-skin lumps come up and within two days they have vanished - magic, just, magic.

The Treatment

If you're someone who wants an overnight immediate 'wow that spot has legit disappeared from my face' then you need this zinc cream. The Urtekram No Baby Zinc Cream* is meant for sore baby bums but zinc is incredible at killing bacteria within a spot (plus the bacteria doesn't develop a resistance so you can use it whenever a spot or cyst appears) plus it's anti-inflammatory properties reduce that big angry red volcano to a more even, easily covered low speed-bump. Combine that with the fact it can prevent excess sebum being produced and you've got yourself an instant skin miracle!

The Oil

Oh oils, how much do I love thee? Let me count the ways...Now that it's been agreed worldwide that oil on oil is okay and won't make you slicker than Danny Zuko's fringe, all skin combos can reap the benefits of a luxury oil on the skin. I've been using the Green People Anti-Ageing Facial Oil* because it is packed with essential fatty acids (avocado and almond) plus vitamin E and rosehip which an absolute god send at healing blemishes and supporting the skin's cell structure. If you're got scars, redness that needs calming, or a complexion coming out of a warzone and in need of some R&R, the combination of natural ingredients in this little oil really works wonders at making your skin feel beyond normal again.

As much as I say you need to work inside out to keep your body and skin balanced, it's great to see those on-surface products working on troublesome areas without laying on chemicals or product upon product. Key skincare that works is my all-time favourite, and now that I've got my favourites back in line, I'm pretty sure I'll be keeping my acne breakouts stress-free and under-wraps.

Have you tried any of these products before? How do you deal with spots and acne? What is your ultimate hero skincare?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more. 

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