Saturday, 16 January 2016

Why The Body Coach 90 Day SSS Plan is not for me...

In my 2016 Goals post I mentioned that I was going to start The Body Coach 90 Day SSS Plan and I was so excited about it. Over the last year on Instagram, I've seen all of the amazing transformations and all of Joe's fab meals. This really pushed me to buy the plan.

It's only when you get the plan that you realise that all of the food he cooks on his Instagram, is nothing to do with the plan.  It's not about cooking super quick, really tasty meals. The meals I tried from my plan this week are bland, take a lot of time in the kitchen and not only did I not enjoy them, I couldn't even eat them all. A lot of people on plan say they can't eat all of the food as there is too much. That wasn't my problem. I couldn't stomach them because they were awful. There is so much meat to eat as well. I'm not a huge meat lover. I enjoy it in certain ways, like in a sauce, it can't be too plain. I also don't like certain varieties of meat, I'm quite fussy in that way. This plan is so packed full of meat! You can get a vegetarian version but I didn't want to be eating tofu or whatever as that's not my kind of thing either. Oh and the other problem with this plan for me, someone with a massive sweet tooth, is that there aren't any sweet options. You can only have fruit 2 or 3 times a week. That's no good for me. It's not achievable or sustainable. It got to the point where I couldn't even attempt breakfast at all and ate Nakd bars, which I love but they aren't on the plan. Due to the huge hunger levels and fuzzy head, I only managed one HIIT session, which was really disappointing.

My plan now is to try and forget about the £150 I've wasted for less than a week of doing the plan (plus the £150 in Sainsburys on food and £30 on protein...) and go back to following Slimming World. Yes, it's not the most healthy, you are allowed some processed, easy foods. The majority of the plan is healthy though and most importantly, it works! I'm not massively restricted, I don't feel like I can't have anything I want, I can still have some treats and I can lose weight. I managed to lose nearly 3 stones (42 lbs) on it so I need to stop being silly, get my head back into it and stick to it. When I joined at the end of January 2014, I'd lost about 1.5 stones (21 lbs) by April (2014) so I can get this weight off in the next few months if I do it properly. I'm also going to try and exercise as much as possible. I felt really good when I was going to the gym back in the summer and I managed to start feeling (quite) good about my body.

I hope this post helps if anyone is thinking about going on to The Body Coach plan, assuming it will be like all of his Instagram videos of meals (or the book). On the other hand, it has obviously worked for a lot of people and I do really think Joe is fab but all I'm saying is, think before you spend!

Let me know if you want any more details as I didn't want to make this post too long but I'm happy to answer any questions you have :)

Saturday, 2 January 2016

2016 Goals

It's that time of the year when everyone pledges their New Year's resolutions! I have a few goals that I want to achieve in 2016 so I thought I'd put them on my blog and make them a bit more official. I'm hoping it will give me some extra motivation. That, and I don't have one of those fancy Happiness Planners!

1) The thing that is playing on my mind most at the moment is the amount of weight I've put on since my wedding. The backstory is that two years ago, I was at my heaviest weight ever and took the decision to join Slimming World. I lost around 1.5 stones fairly quickly and then I got less disciplined. I managed to lose another half a stone by the end of 2014. Then around April last year, I booked my wedding for September so managed to lose another half a stone or so before the big day. This took me to my lowest weight in over 10 years which felt incredible. Then after the wedding, I felt like there was nothing else to look forward to. I'd bought my first home, turned 30, got married and went on my honeymoon, all in 2015, so I took to eating and shopping (I'll come back to this), A LOT! Now I'm almost 2 stones heavier than I was in September. I posted this on instagram just to show how bad things have gotten. My before and after photos are the wrong way round! Anyway, to end this long story, I NEED to lose weight. Not only do I need to get back to where I was in September, I still need to lose around another stone on top of that. However, instead of doing Slimming World, I've ordered the plan by The Body Coach, called 90 Days Shift, Shape and Sustain. I'm nervous and I know it's going to be a lot of hard work, but I need a new challenge. I want to get fit and healthy in 2016!

2) I NEED to learn to drive. I've put it off for way too long. At first I blamed a lack of money, then putting other things first but now I don't live as close to town or my parents' house or work, I feel like I rely on my husband too much for driving me places or I spend too much time getting angry over buses! I like a good bus rant on Twitter though! The top and bottom of it, is that I'm scared to learn to drive. I had one really bad driving lesson and then the instructor kept cancelling future lessons so it knocked my confidence even further. That was over 2 years ago so it's time to draw a line under that experience, (wo)man up and get on with it!

3) Cut down on shopping. As you know, I love a good haul. Too much so. I'm on a decent wage so I can generally afford to treat myself. However, last year was an expensive year and I was ok saving most of my money for a little while, but then I got bored and started overspending a little. By the end of the year when my money was freed up and I was quite down (the massively over-eating and over-shopping phase), things got very spendy. One too many Michael Kors bags were purchased. Several too many foundations, lipsticks, any other makeup items were purchased. I have a little bit of money on my credit card to pay back and a massive collection of things I'm not using. Sometimes I get a bit carried away and I'm buying things for the buzz or for the photo I can put on instagram or the blog post I can write (that often doesn't get written). I'm not one of these big bloggers who gets sent the majority of stuff they are posting. I am paying for it with my own money (and a little borrowed) so this needs to be cut down now. Crazy woman! So, I need to find other things to do rather than shopping. Whilst it cheers me up in the short term, I then get the guilt afterwards or that sparkly new purchase doesn't seem so fun a few hours after I've instagrammed it. I need to pay off any money that I owe and I also need to put savings away for nice home things and maybe a holiday. Plus those driving lessons and I would quite like a car once I've (hopefully) passed my driving test!

4) Learn to be happy. I feel like I've gotten way too negative lately. I need to learn to be more positive and happy. I think some of the above actions will alleviate some of the anxiety I've been feeling however I also think I need to appreciate the simple things more. I maybe need to spend less time on social media and more quality time relaxing and laughing with my husband. I need to take more bubble baths. I need to think of fun things to do with my time when I'm not at work. One thing I do is ruin my time when I'm not at work, by thinking about how much I don't want to go to work. Sundays, for example, are one of my two days off a week, but I spend most of the day dreading the working week again. This should not be the case. Life is short and I need to find happy things to do. I know one obvious solution might be to find a job I love but I spent a year trying to find a job I liked, then ended up back at the same place. I've been back two years. The shine has well and truly worn off! The only way I'm going to get a job doing something I love is if I'm paid to do something with beauty and possibly shopping. I think the chances of that are pretty slim up in Newcastle, so I think I'm going to have to make the best of what I've got right now! PMA - I'm ready for you!

Wow, that was quite wordy! I guess I just wanted to be totally honest about how I'm feeling and what I want to achieve/change in 2016. Wish me luck!

What are your goals for 2016?

Friday, 1 January 2016

2015 Beauty Favourites

Happy New Year! Hope you all had a brilliant New Year's Eve, whatever you were doing! I just stayed in with the husband but that's what we like doing anyway :)

It's time for a round up of all of the products I was loving in 2015. Well, maybe not all of them, we'd be here until 2017(!!) but I tried to pick out the best products from most categories! There are still quite a few though, so make sure you're sitting comfortably!

Best Foundation
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in Shade 1 - £29.50 from 
This year I found my perfect foundation in the newly launched Magic Foundation. Shade 1 is perfect for my porcelain skin tone, it has amazing, build-able coverage and gives a natural finish. Not too matte and not too dewy. I don't need to wear as much concealer when using this either.

Best Primer 
Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow - £38.50 from
This makeup primer is a great mix of skincare and makeup. It smooths out my skin and preps it like no other primer does. I am prone to dry patches that make my foundation look really bad but this primer stops this happening in most cases. It really is a wonder product that is worth the money. That's before I even mention the actual glow element! This golden liquid looks like it would be way too dark for my skin but it just blends in beautifully to create a gorgeous, radiant look under foundation.

Best Setting Powder
Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish in Shade 1 - £33 from
I love Charlotte Tilbury, okay?!! Her products are just as amazing as her packaging though! Powders are a pretty boring product and a lot of them look cakey on my dry skin but this one is seriously dreamy. It buffs into the skin seamlessly and doesn't totally mattify it but it locks my other makeup into place. It creates the perfect finish to the skin and as you can see I've even hit pan on it and that very rarely happens!

Best Concealing Product
Laura Mercier Secret Concealer in Shade 1 - £19.50 from SpaceNK
I've tried a lot of concealing products this year but when I thought long and hard about my favourite favourite, I decided it had to be one of the products I used on my wedding day. The Laura Mercier Secret Concealer is a brilliant under eye concealer. It is creamy and salmon toned, making it perfect for covering dark under eye circles. I find this blends and sits on the skin so much nicer than the Bobbi Brown Corrector pots. I need to use this more in 2016 as it has been pushed to one side recently whilst I've been trying other things!

Best Cream Eyeshadow/Eye Primer
MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly - £16 from MAC Cosmetics
So this is technically a cream eyeshadow but lots of people use it as a base for other eyeshadows and that's exactly what I use it for. On me, this is the perfect skin-toned shade that blanks out any discolouration on my eyelid and creates the ideal base for any other eyeshadows. It helps to intensify any products I'm adding on afterwards and it also increases the longevity of them.

Best Contour Kit
Charlotte Tilbury Bronze & Glow in Light to Medium - £49 from
I wanted this for so long but I didn't try it until we got our very own Charlotte Tilbury counter in Newcastle back in September. I went in and reeled off a big list of products and sent the sales assistant running round the whole counter (sorry!), filling up my carrier bag full of Tilbury goodness and this was definitely number one on that list! I hadn't been sure if the bronzer/contour shade would work on my pale skin but it so does. This is amazing for adding some subtle definition to my increasingly rounder face (more on that tomorrow though) and the highlight just tops things off beautifully. It's great for both day and night.

Best Bronzer
Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder in 02 Blondes - £35.50 from John Lewis
This is the bronzer if you want a natural, but glowy, bronzed look on pale skin! The mix of light bronze tones with light pink and a bit of shimmer works wonderfully to add a bit of colour to the face. This comes in other shades too if you have darker skin too so I'm sure you can find your perfect match with this product.

Best Highlighter
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Moonstone - £30 from SpaceNK
Highlighters had a bit of a thing in 2015, didn't they?! I certainly added a ton of them to my collection, especially towards the end of the year! I still need to give most of them a proper try to be honest! This is the one that I loved most last year and the one I chose to wear on my wedding day. This shade is a pretty, light golden shade with lots of sheen but no glitter. This adds such a nice glow to the skin and can really be amped up if you want a dramatic highlight!

Best Eyeshadow Palette
YSL Tuxedo Eye Palette - £49 from Selfridges (although I have seen it in the sale for only £24.50 on places like Feel Unique and Debenhams but they are sold out - so you may find a bargain somewhere if you're lucky...)
I love eyeshadow palettes so it's quite hard to pick a favourite but this palette is packed full of 'my shades'. I just love neutral beige-y, taupe-y shades that are shimmery and can be used as a one-wash shade on the lids. These shadows are so flattering on me and surprisingly pigmented, smooth and long lasting. They really light up the eye area. I chose a few shades from this palette to wear on my wedding day too.

Best Blush
Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Swirl & Pop Blusher in First Love - £30 from
I almost didn't include a blush in this post as I couldn't think of a favourite, then I remembered this one. It's the perfect blush to put on if you're not sure what colour will go with the rest of your makeup, it seriously goes with anything. It's the perfect neutral shade that gives definition to your face and a subtle glow.

Best Bold Lipstick
MAC Lipstick in Show Orchid - £15.50 from MAC Cosmetics
I find that purple and berry toned lipsticks suit me so when I saw this bright pink lipstick that had a hint of purple to it, I fell in love with it straight away. I think it complements my colouring perfectly and this is the ideal lipstick for me to wear on a night out in the warmer months.

Best Nude Lipstick
MAC Lipstick in Patisserie - £15.50 from MAC Cosmetics
I've really gotten into nude lipsticks this year and deciding to take a chance on one of the blogger favourites, I picked up Patisserie and I'm so glad I did. It even ended up being my wedding day lipstick! It's a soft nude colour with hints of peach and pink. One of those "my lips but better" shades!

Best Mascara
Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara - £7.99 from Boots
I realise this post has basically been all high end stuff but I do have a drugstore favourite! This mascara is extremely good value for the money. Better than a lot of high end mascaras I've tried! I actually tried a sample of Benefit's Roller Lash mascara at the same time as discovering this and they are very similar. The curved brush really pushes up the lashes and curls them as well as lengthening them. It basically makes it look as though I have lots of lovely curled lashes.

Best Nail Polish/Treatment
Nails Inc Nailkale Superfood Base Coat - £15 from Boots
Before I purchased this, I didn't even use a base coat but I've used this ever since. It's a great base before any nail polish as I feel like it helps any other product to apply more opaquely. I also think my nails have felt stronger since using this.

Best Beauty Tools
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler - £20 from SpaceNK
I was never bothered about curling my lashes and felt like it was an unecessary step, however this year I've really been enjoying it and found that it's made a massive difference to my lashes. I now hate it when I'm applying mascara and realise I've forgotten to curl my lashes first. This helps to open up the outer lashes more.

Beauty Blender - £16 from Beauty Bay
This sponge has changed the way my makeup looks this year. I find it really hard to get a flawless finish on my dry skin but this little magical sponge makes such a huge difference to the application. I use this for both foundation and concealer application and it helps you to build up the coverage to exactly how you want it, without any of the caking! This, plus the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation, is my perfect combo.

Best Lip Balm
By Terry Baume de Rose - £39 from SpaceNK
I would love to say that this little tiny pot of expensiveness isn't worth the money, but I'd be lying. I didn't realise I could love a lip balm as much as this. It smells of rose, it leaves a smooth, glossy, slightly tinted look on the lips and the hydration is better than any other lip balm. My lips haven't been the same since this ran out and I need another one. I think I know where my £20 worth of SpaceNK points will be going...

Best Lip Scrub
Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub - £5.50 from Lush
Lush Lip Scrubs are the best. Fact. Last year I was loving the limited edition cola scent, now I'm back on the bubblegum one. It's pink, it smells (and tastes!) amazing and it gently gets rid of all of the yucky flaky skin on your lips. It makes what should be a disgusting experience, a rather enjoyable one!

Best Exfoliator 
Pixi Glow Tonic - £18 from Cult Beauty
2015 was the year I finally tried Pixi Glow Tonic! Is it worth the hype? Yes. Yes it is! This is so effective at removing all of the dead skin cell build up on my face in a gentle way. There is no sensitivity or irritation with this product. I can use this every day to keep on top of things and it's really improved the texture of my skin. I'm glad I have some mini backup bottles of this for when it runs out!

Best SPF product
Alpha H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF50+ - £29 from Cult Beauty
Before I get started, I'm not saying this is a substitute for a dedicated facial SPF, just saying it's my favourite SPF-containing product of the year. During the warmer months, I found this light moisturiser to be the perfect dose of hydration for my dry skin without feeling heavy and greasy when it was already hot outside. I also found on the days I forgot to wear it, my face and chest got burned so this made me realise it was definitely doing a good job at sun protection!

Best Facial Oil
Sunday Riley Artemis - £60 from Cult Beauty
I think Sunday Riley make the kind of products you wish didn't work, because of their high price tag. You don't want to end up liking them do you?! I do love Artemis though! It's hydrating on my skin, because it's an oil, and it gives the whole "glow from within" that it promises on the bottle, but it also feels clean on my skin, rather than greasy. I love the natural lemon scent as well. It's just the perfect oil for me.

Best Moisturiser
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Cream - £25 from Debenhams
I already mentioned my Spring/Summer moisturiser but this has been my Autumn/Winter moisturiser and I love it. It's the heavier, cream version of Clinique's famous Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion and it's so, so good. It's extremely moisturising, without being too heavy or rich. It sinks into my skin immediately, creating an ideal base for makeup. It doesn't contain SPF so I use it for both mornings and evenings. It's not scented, so it just feels like a really simple but effective product. I think it's really affordable for the amount of product you get, considering it's a high-end brand.

Best Fragrance
Marc Jacobs Decadence - £69 from Debenhams (50ml)
The one I forgot to photograph for the opening photo. Oops! This is my favourite fragrance discovery of the year! I bought this in Newcastle Airport before flying to Nice for my honeymoon so I managed to get this a bit cheaper! This is a gorgeous, strong but sexy scent. It's got a sweet element to it, which is my favourite type of scent, but it's grown up and sophisticated. It's probably more of a night time scent but I wear it during the day too.

Wow, there you have it! My best of 2015 beauty. Hope you managed to get to the end of this rather long post!
What were your favourite beauty products in 2015?
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