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Friday, July 29, 2016

I've visited homeopathic clinics and practitioners since I was little, it's always felt quite normal to me and whilst doctors are all well and good sometimes, it's nice to to discuss your issues and health concerns from a different angle.

There are always various ways of looking at concerns, and when the traditional has left you feeling a bit helpless it's worth reaching out to other fields, which is why I took the opportunity a few weeks ago to visit The Italian Medical Centre to discuss how homeopathy could clear up my acne.

Homeopathy is split into two types of treatment which follow a similar approach of diagnosis: 5 levels of treatment that can target first aid surface injuries (ie bruises), acute health issues such as colds, deep injuries, organs, and the spiritual which are then either treated with one tablet to cover all areas across the board or several tablet and powders to target specific areas which are taken over a period of time. It might seem odd to prescribe homeopathic medicine (or medicine at all) for the spiritual, but it is believed that sometimes our beliefs and thoughts can affect deep down and cause these prominent reactions and expulsions.

I started off with a a 90 minute session (which can cover a lot of ground) and mine with Dr Frederica basically turned into an hour of therapy - we discussed common themes and emotions in my background and lifestyle, how acne made me feel and times it has flared up and my relationships and practises. Basically, I have a lot of emotions.

It was somewhat eye opening, because I'd had inklings of the feelings and connections before, but talking about it out loud seemed, well, embarrassing, like explaining the commonality and thoughts themselves was 'oh crap it's really obvious I shouldn't be doing that why is she writing that down? What am I doing wrong? Is it mad that I feel that way?!' 

It was good to clear up and understand more about how health issues can be triggered by non-medical factors and that balance in life is key, and I do feel that after coming out of the session afterwards I felt a lot more understood and had been shown a variety of options and triggers for my health, before leaving with a prescription tailored to what my body or 5 levels need; Dr Frederica practises the method where several tablets or powders are prescribed to cure individual ailments and feelings, whilst others as I said previously try to find one tablet that can cover across the board which can sometimes be a lower dose or effect as you're trying to fix several issues with one magic tablet. By taking each factor into account, you need less medication but it works stronger and more direct, and a lot of my prescription was focused on the emotional - OF COURSE, because I am one heck of an emotional person!

Medication can be ordered online and comes with specific instructions that are easy to follow, but I can wholeheartedly say that is you have health issues you don't feel are being addressed or acknowledged by your doctor, visit a homeopathic clinic and see what they can diagnose and guide you along with. I have to thank The Italian Medical Centre for both the chance to discuss homeopathy and my health concerns in much much more detail and see that health is just about throwing loads of medication at a problem, it's also about sharing and a willingness to try of all for a better you.

If you have any health and body issues, or have injuries or queries that still need resolving, make sure to check out The Italian Medical Centre (full services here) or research homeopathy in detail yourself to see if it can work for you - there is always a solution!

Have you tried homeopathy before? What are your views on this practise?

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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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

My beauty drawer is in a state of 'I'm overflowing plz help me' so you know what that means - picking out the best for a new currently testing post!

We've got a little bit of everything including a product I've been disappointed with, because you want to know what not to buy as much as what you need to (cannot guarantee enabling won't happen)

I love a matte lip and I love pencils, so naturally I've been loving the Nudestix Lip Pencils and the LF girls picked out the perfect shades for me - all nude/brown and a bit dusky, major love! They apply easily and last so well, a bit softer than NARS and they even come with the cutest tin packaging ;)

Keeping with makeup, you'll have heard me rave about NYX Green Colour Correcting Concealer on my channel and it really is da bomb - cancels out all redness and means I can skip on the concealer. It can make your skin look a little powdery but work the consistent base coverage if you have blemishes or red cheeks to cover. Worth it, get it.

Popping in between, I've been keeping the Palmers Flip Balm on my desk the last few weeks partly because it's fun to open and apply but also because it smells damn good! Designed a lot like EOS but with a swishy lid (I do think the packaging is a little basic and not completely bag friendly but great at the desk) it's easy to apply and my lips have never been so soft so often. 

There's a few new skincare finds too - this Juice Beauty Step Cellular Anti Wrinkle Serum is vegan friendly and smells super fresh, just like apples, which makes application dreamy. This helps to replenish cells and their turnover, so if you do have blemishes or lacklustre skin this is worth a try; similarly natural is Balmology which was a timely try seeing as my beloved Emma Hardie had run out. It has these little bits of hard cleanser in the balm which melts down and helps exfoliate the skin gently, and very gentle on the eyes too. As good as Emma? Debatable, but a very lovely and lavish cleanser to try.

Finally two hair products, one good, one skip; I rarely condition my hair (I know) because most seem to weigh my hair down and make it look so limp and blah and greasy, and I absolutely loved the sample of Phyto Secret de Nuit which made my hair so soft and bouncy, but I've been testing out the Mythic Oil Deep Conditioning Masque once a week for a really boost and damn it is lush. Hair feels smooth and replenished, only a little bit of weight but enough to top my hair up again seeing as it's free of dye and product nowadays. The pot seems to have diminished quickly after three sessions, but lovely density and condition on the hair regardless.

Now I'm a big lover of texture and try to achieve it without too much product as I don't like sleeping on a pillow shared with a bit of grime, but I decided to give the Redken Wind Blown a try and whilst it did give some oomph, it left a really sticky residue that made my hair feel thick, heavy and desperate to get out of my face and ends. Not really volumising, but if you are going out and have your hair curled it might help keep hold, otherwise steer clear :(

Well my skincare drawer is calling for attention, I think it's time for another clear out...

What are you currently testing? Any of your faves 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, July 25, 2016

I'm pretty much down with my skincare, and I love a good pamper, but you know what I'm really crap at? Putting my face mask and general 'caring for my appearance' routine into practise.

Even though a face mask takes about 30 mins tops including steaming, and nails even less, I always make excuses for why it takes so long and end up with bare peeling nails or seriously clogged skin I just want to attack. Not ideal.

See, I don't really know where it started, I just suddenly recognised that I wasn't, and didn't want to, take care of my appearance. Going out the house sans makeup wasn't a mark of confidence, it was because I could be bothered to look 'decent' and people just had to deal with a scruff; similarly, I do nothing with my hair apart from curl it for an event but most of the time it's flung up or down limp, I just never see the point in trying especially as I dislike the feel of product in my hair and worry it'll clog my skin via pillows - yup hygiene freak over here. Nails, oh until recently nails were sparsely painted or just left to peel and stay bare - too much faff to re-paint; SERIOUSLY?!

So I kicked my usually unorganised ass in gear: makeup or face washed by 6, face mask three times a week to keep it blemish free and renewed, painted nails as soon as they chip (even if it's the same colour because man I am obsessed with nudes rn) and just sacking off a bit of work to do a pedicure and actually moisturise my skin - because really, how much time does slathering yourself in body butter take irl in comparison to what your brain tells you?

Since I've got back in the habit of it, my nails are stronger and prettier (always a winner), my skin looks decongested and even and even my feet look super smooth! It's just the little tasks which always feel a bit 'ugh cba' sometimes that actually leave you feeling pretty darn good (and ready for any occasion instead of hastily applying three coats of polish at 10pm the night before a meeting that is way to thick and smudges hours later). It says a lot about yourself when you don't take care of your appearance for reasons other that you literally are too busy, so now I'm making sure to keep on top of an eyebrow pluck here and there and keeping my manicure in check - I've just noticed mine is now chipped so that's a task for tonight as I type!

Now that's I've got the face and body down, I think it's time for hair, and lord knows how long that'll take...

Do you take time and care in your appearance? What is your self-care routine?

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.

Website | Flickr | Tumblr | Twitter | Bloglovin | Instagram | Pinterest


Friday, July 22, 2016

Photography and I go way back, way way back to the early years of Bebo and social media profile photos where MySpace angles, black and white filters and a duck face were all you needed to look super cool (I've been reading Emma's Ctrl Alt Dlt which got me reminiscing over this fact), and I've always been the one to snap pictures of picnics, parties, and pantheons wherever I may be.

It took a while for me to realise people and photography were my thing; trying to paint people was not my forte (something I didn't grasp until A-Level Art) and I would spend hours upon hours editing photos of last night's gathering for Facebook, planning photoshoots for DPs and taking selfies before selfies were selfies.

When you find a passion, it's important to keep hold of it and run wild with it, but it's also important to accept doubt and questioning you stumble upon along the way. I remember in my final year of 6th Form my teacher (who had given me an A* in Photography) said he thought I'd end up doing printing, and whilst I enjoyed that, I didn't crave the process like I did snapping, editing and sharing imagery. There was also the decision of studying further to degree level which I went against because £9K a year seemed way to much when you can just go out there and learn.

I've had my frustrations: am I good enough? Do I have an eye? They don't have an eye why do they get to do cool stuff? What am I doing?! But it has been recent times, pushing myself to make more of what I love that made me realise: damn, I love photography, and so many things have happened that have helped me reach this point.

From a teacher's questioning, self-doubt and saying no to uni, to finally starting to offer services to friends, bloggers and clients (which after a lul in Spring made me think 'why bother?' and ho ho I'm so glad I kicked my butt in gear), working with people I admire and get to push both them and myself with imagery, it makes me so sure that photography is what I'm meant to do. I love writing words, and making videos, but I love photos more. I love creating beautiful imagery - soft, blurry and natural for blogs, and high contrast and dramatic for something more 'wow', even fine art that brings discussion, because there is so much you can say about yourself through imagery, and show much more of another through your perception.

Now I do this thing on the train, where I imagine what my life would be like if I were a big successful YouTuber or creator, at the point where I could create 'merch' let's say; writing a book didn't feel right, a beauty line would be cool but I'd want it so specific it may be too expensive for the target audience...and then I thought: well, I'd run photography courses and workshops, maybe even sell prints. It was so clear, that I would teach people how to use their cameras and take beautiful photographs, inspiring them to look at things differently and being able to share my knowledge too.

It's really quite wonderful to get to a point where you know having your own business is the thing you are passionate about. I've started working with Anna on her photography and it's so fun (and a breath of fresh air) to produce content for someone else; it opens your eyes and makes you think more when you consider the subject, what their style is and what they want, and so far it's going fab. I've had the pleasure of photographing other bloggers and friends (like these beautiful images of Saida) and help them achieve their visual goals, and even thought you're not the one in frame, you're just as visible as the model or subject.

love now that I can say my main job is photography, it's amazing, and I love the process of planning right through to the final image being shared on platforms and seeing the response. It drives me to be better and to keep creating, and should you stumble across a similar feeling then make sure you listen to it, because that girl who was always shoving a digital camera in your face at house parties may be destined for something.

If you are interested in working with me as a photographer, get in touch via the contact section, and you can see my previous shoots here!

What is your passion? Has something you love and enjoy become a job or led to a career? And how beaut is Saida?!

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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