Defeating the Biggest Enemy of Them All

critic inner voice confidence peace nature motivation productive how to



She’s always there; chatting away.  Giving ideas, letting me get excited, then taking them away in the next breath. The only compliments are sarcastic.  A quick ‘well done clumsy’, when I drop something; knock a glass over; break a treasured possession.

She senses when I feel proud of myself; when I have achieved something. Up she pops, to bring me back to earth with a crash.  She’ll remind me that it was probably a fluke, it must be – I am a fraud after all. ‘No you don’t’, she says ‘don’t you go getting all high and mighty now. We can’t have you believing in yourself now, can we?

‘You are distinctly AVERAGE’


She reminds me of my flaws, should I ever forget. Tells me I’m not attractive, clever, or interesting enough to be a success. She points out the goals that I haven’t achieved, laughs in the face of my dreams and ambitions.


She’s there now as I type.  Pouring doubt over me like acid rain.


She won’t be quiet.


My inner voice.


Things are going to change.

I’ve got news for you, Inner Voice.  You’re fired.

I’m not taking your advice anymore.

I’m going to replace you.

I can do it.

I will do it.

I will succeed.

I will be someone.

I will be remembered.

I will achieve my goals.


I will do it day by day. I will make a plan, and stick to it.

I will look into my children’s eyes and remember – I created human beings. I am responsible for others now.

I will be their inner voice.



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Sunday Scent #12 – Escada Turquoise Summer

As I write this the weather has decided to stick its middle finger up at me.  It is pouring with rain, and the sun is hiding behind grey clouds aplenty.  In an effort to make myself feel more spring-like I have been dousing myself in Escada Turquoise Summer this week.  And now, when I thought I would share it as my Sunday Scent it’s suddenly winter again.  Oh well.


escada perfume eau de toilette turquoise summer limited edition



TOP NOTES: Blackcurrant, Pineapple, Lemon, Orange, Strawberry, Raspberry, Rhubarb

MIDDLE NOTES: Peach, Violet, Melon, Rose, Orange Blossom

BASE NOTES: Vanilla, Caramel, Sandalwood, Musk, Milk


As you would certainly expect from the quantity of fruits in the notes, Escada Turquoise Summer smells seriously fruity.  It is a glorious fresh kind of fruity though, not overly sweet or heavy.  On first spray it is a very chemically scent, so I wouldn’t advise taking a huge sniff for the first few minutes. Not unless you want a sneezing fit anyway. As it settles though, I can definitely smell the blackcurrant.  Then, as it warms up on the skin, it becomes a sandalwood, floral fragrance that is neither too warm, nor too cool.  I absolutely love Turquoise Summer, and couldn’t wait to get it out of hibernation this year.


It was a limited edition summer fragrance last year, and I have no idea whether Escada will bring it out again this year.  For now though, Amazon do have some (here), so that’s good to know as I am getting through it at an alarming rate.  The lasting power is excellent, I can still smell it on my skin after 10 hours or more.  As for projection, it seems to stay fairly close to the body for the most part.


Now that I am breaking out my summer fragrances I am looking forward to wearing Escada Turquoise Summer to death this year, along with a couple of other summer faves.




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The Spring Make-Update

As the weather gets warmer I find myself changing things up in the face department.  Things definitely get more bronzed and even more glowy (if that’s possible for me).  So, after digging around at the back of my drawers, I thought I would let you in on the secret (not really secret) of my spring beauty picks.


makeup revolution goddess of love bourjois nars angelika bb cream laura geller baked swirl gelato highlighter blusher blush bronzer


The Bourjois Maxi Delight Bronzer is a lovely warm bronzer.   It has a little bit of sparkle when it’s in the pan, but that isn’t noticeable on the skin.  I am naturally pretty fair, so I find this way too dark for the winter, but it’s perfect for spring and summer.


bourjois maxi delight bronzer


I love to highlight all year round, but in the warmer months it becomes a serious business for me.  Other than my new Sleek Highlighting Palette in Solstice – which I have dreams about – I love both the Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator in Gilded Honey, and the Makeup Revolution Goddess of Faith Highlighter.  Gilded Honey was a struggle to get hold of in the UK last year (I wrote about my struggles here and here), but it would seem that now I have it, it’s flippin’ everywhere! (here, and here for a start). Good news if I ever need to get another, and I will because I absolutely LOVE this highlighter.  It is gold and gorgeous, and despite looking glittery in the pan, it’s actually not on the skin at all. I haven’t reached for the Makeup Revolution Goddess Highlighter in quite a while, so it was nice to discover it a few days ago and give it another chance.  It is a pretty gold highlighter, that is just the right amount of intense on the cheeks.


baked gelato swirl highlighter gilded honey laura geller strobing sun stripping


makeup revolution highlighter too faced baked heart goddess of love faith grace hope strobing sun stripping glow


I don’t really like to use full on foundations in the spring/summer, preferring to use a lighter option.  I used the heck out of my Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream last year, and I have already brought it out for summer.  For me, it has the perfect amount of coverage, and leaves my skin looking healthy, but not overly cakey.  It’s perfect for dry skin, being hydrating but not sticky.


nars blusher blush angelika orgasm deep throat highlighter glitter cheeks face makeup sweep colour color


I recently splurged on this Nars blusher in Angelika Looking at it, you might think it is a ridiculous choice for someone with fair skin, being hot pink and glittery.  However, in reality it is a very flattering pink.  There is glitter in it, which made me nervous to begin with, but it really just adds to the highlighted look that I embrace fully.  So pretty.


So these are my – new and old – most used face products for spring. As for eyeshadows, there is not one particular palette that I favour, but I have been enjoying a more natural look over the last few weeks.  I love a bit of orange in the outer corner of my lid, and not much else.  I think lighter looks are so much more flattering on sunny days. It might even be time for me to break out the self-tanner soon.  Eeek.


What about you? Do you make changes to your make-up as the seasons change?

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How Yoga has Changed My Life

Why Yoga?

I have done yoga on and off for years.  It started as a method of relaxation, and a way to stretch out tired muscles.  I also have a tendency to suffer from headaches. All the time.  Mainly tension headaches (originating in my neck, back and shoulders), but sometimes dehydration headaches, and – until I recently renewed my glasses prescription – eye strain headaches.

**Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This is simply my experience of using yoga to help with headaches, as well as for exercise.  I do suffer from headaches, they are a nuisance, but they are not chronic and are not migraines**


yoga exercise workout headaches back pain muscles yogi


Because I am so prone to them, it would not be an exaggeration to say I live in fear of that familiar tightening at the base of my skull. I know that there is a fairly good chance that I will suffer from a headache if I spend a day out and about (because I’m an introvert, but that’s a whole other blog post). If I spend too long staring at a screen (iPad, PC etc) I will end up with some degree of aching in the noggin.  I am constantly drinking water, not just because I like the way it helps keep my skin clear, but because I am terrified of becoming too dehydrated.  Am I sounding like I have issues yet?


yoga workout exercise back pain headache yogi


Then a few years ago I discovered the wonder that is yoga.  It works like magic.  Within minutes, I can feel the tension draining from my overly tight muscles.  At the beginning of this year I started running in the morning, and as my cool down I will do between 20 and 40 minutes of yoga. I never thought I would be someone who would enjoy working out, but I actually look forward to my hour or so of activity each day.


Yoga in The Home

For the yoga, I use a couple of different sources.  I have a few apps on my iPad (my favourite is Yoga Studio) that allow me to choose the length and difficulty of a session.  Of course, YouTube was also a revelation to me. It would be fair to say that YouTube is one of my guilty pleasures.  I even wrote about my Favourite Beauty YouTube Channels.  However, it was only recently that I discovered what a fantastic resource YouTube is for yoga.   My top two are Yoga By Candace, and Yoga With Adriene.

For straight to the point yoga, Candace is amazing.  She is strong, but real.  I love that she wobbles a bit, but makes it look easy at the same time.  When I want a proper sweaty workout (rather than a stretching relaxing one) I will choose Candace.  She does a mix of voiceovers and talk-throughs, and there is no filling or fluff.  Her yoga is varied, and I usually choose her Power Yoga videos.

Adriene, on the other hand, is relaxed and chatty.  She makes you work without even realising it’s happening, because she makes you feel like you’re working out with a friend.  What I love about Adriene is that she encourages you, (there’s a lot of ‘keep going my friend’s) and lets you know how many breaths are left in the more challenging poses.  Her style won’t be for everyone, and I do sometimes find myself urging her, in my mind, to stop talking and change poses. But only because it’s hurting.  And I am a wimp.


Yoga for Weight loss

But what about progress? Well, I am not looking like a yoga expert yet, and in fact I don’t see a difference at all.  However, there definitely IS a difference.  Three months ago I couldn’t do more than 10 seconds of plank without shaking like a leaf, and now I can not only hold it, but also move smoothly to the next pose.  I can even do side plank, which I honestly thought would never be possible.

Personally, I haven’t lost any weight since starting my yoga journey (ooh, get me) and that was never really the aim.  I started it as a way to get strong, and I am making steady progress in that respect.  I know there are a lot of people who swear by yoga for losing weight, and that’s great.  However, the main positive for me (other than the fabulous loosening of my aging muscles – four pregnancies took their toll) is that yoga has made me want to be healthy.  I finish a session, and I want to reach for a healthy snack more often than not (of course biscuits will always have a special place in my heart).


And the best thing? You really don’t need anything specific.  A mat is a good idea, but even that is not essential to begin with. Yoga is best done with comfortable clothing, and bare feet.

Yoga has helped massively with my tension headaches, and starts my day off in the best possible way.  It’s making me stronger, and more flexible.  In fact the only challenge is trying to hold downward dog while my toddler uses me as a bridge.




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Sunday Scent #11 – Marc Jacobs Daisy Blush

OK, so I needed another perfume like I need a hole in the head but… I have no will power when it comes to perfume, I’m the first to admit it.

I already have Daisy Eau So Fresh, and Daisy Dream, and apparently that wasn’t enough for me. It was the words Limited Edition that got me; I am a sucker for wanting something purely because I think it won’t be around for long. An advertiser’s dream, you could say. A fool, you could also say.


marc jacobs daisy blush perfume eau de toilette parfum eau so fresh scent fragrance notes top middle base


TOP NOTES: Water Lily, Frozen Pear, Bergamot

MIDDLE NOTES: Lily of the Valley, Mimosa, Honeysuckle

BASE NOTES: Skin Musks, Precious Woods


Daisy Blush is floral and fruity, and perfect for spring. It also has excellent lasting power, and good projection. It dries down to a warm, soft scent that makes me think of flowers and ice cream on a warm day.   When I wear it (every day this week so far, it’s rivalling my usual fave) I cannot stop sniffing myself and smiling, like some sort of demented idiot. If I ever left my house, people would think I was very strange. Fortunately, my family are used to my oddities.

I don’t have the original Daisy, but I did look up the notes, and they are completely different to Daisy Blush. I don’t really get that; surely it should have similar notes at least? I imagine it is a way for Marc Jacobs (the brand, not the man) to capitalize on an existing success (feeling cynical today apparently).

Marketing aside though, it is just a gorgeous, feminine scent that makes me really happy when I spray it. And we all need a little bit of happy every now and again don’t we? After I sprayed it today, my seven year old son said (as I wafted past him) ‘why do you always smell so nice mummy?’ I don’t get many compliments from my kids, so this was a joy to hear.


And if that doesn’t make you want to buy Daisy Blush for yourself, I don’t know what will.


You may also enjoy: Sunday Scent # 10





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Monthly Favourites : March 2016

After not being able to find anything to get excited about over the last couple of months, March has been filled with them. I have successfully narrowed it down to a manageable number though, and here I present to you (drum roll please) my favourite products that have been adorning my face in March.


Stila Sleek cosmetics mario badescu clinique physicians formula happy booster bronzer highlighter facial mist eyeshadow palette spirit eyes are the window blusher peach


Sleek Barekissed Illuminator – Monaco – £8.99 here

I have already mentioned this Sleek highlighter once or twice on here, but what’s a little repetition between friends? It is a liquid, that can be used all over the face, or as a highlighter on the high points of the face.  I haven’t been brave enough to use it all over yet, but as a highlight it is stunning.  I dot it across my cheekbones, and on my cupids bow, after foundation and before powder (following the powder/cream rules)  and it gives a gorgeous sheen to the face.  It’s not glittery, but it is quite white so best for pale skins like mine.  There are three other shades for different skin tones, and I may go and pick up another if I ever get around to fake tanning this year.


sleek cosmetics make-up highlighter highlighting solstice


Sleek Highlighting Palette – Solstice – £9.99 here

The second Sleek product of the month, and for good reason.  This little palette actually gets me more excited than is acceptable.  I looked at it a couple of months ago, and had it in my basket when shopping.  It was the day that I spent a crazy amount on this Smashbox palette, so I ended up putting it back.  I couldn’t stop thinking about it though, and made it my mission to buy it at the next available opportunity. And, wow, I am so glad I did. The palette contains four colours, three of which are powder; and one cream. The powders are ridiculously smooth and pigmented, and give the most intense gorgeous highlight.  They aren’t glittery, or chunky, and they are just so soft and gorgeous! Also designed to be used as eyeshadows, you can class this as a multi-use palette (however you want to justify it – no judgement here).  Because of the different shades (pink, ivory and bronze), I think this would suit every skintone.  I used the pinkish shade as a pop of shimmer in the centre of my eyelid the other day, and it made me so happy. So happy!


physicians formula happy booster bronzer light bronze


Physicians Formula Happy Booster Illuminating Bronzing Veil

Physicians Formula is not a brand that is readily available in the UK, but after hearing many of my favourite beauty YouTubers rave about various products, I had to get my detective hat on and track some stuff and things down. (OK, I went on Amazon, hardly the work of Columbo).  In the absence of the Butter Bronzer, I purchased the Happy Booster Bronzer.  PF claim that this bronzer is  ‘Infused with our Happy Boost Blend featuring Happy Skin™ and Euphoryl, natural plant extracts which have been shown to promote a feeling of happiness…’ Now.  I don’t know about making me feel happy, but it is a lovely bronzer. The little hearts shapes are cute, and the bronzer is the perfect amount of colour for my pale skin. It is easy to use, and isn’t too intense.  The smell is actually a little odd – maybe I got a dud.


Stila Eyes Are The Window Shadow Palette – Spirit – £30 here

I have a serious weakness for eyeshadow palettes, this is not a secret.  This twelve colour palette from Stila is very, very pretty.  The colours are neutral, and very wearable for everyday, despite being mostly shimmery.  As with a lot of eyeshadow palettes, it doesn’t look particularly exciting until you swatch it.  You will see from the pictures that mine is broken.  That is why my one year old and I are no longer speaking.  (Just kidding, she’s one of my BFFs).  Apart from the crumbled pans though, this has been my most used palette over the last few weeks. It’s worth buying for ‘Kitten’ alone.


stila eyeshadow palette eyes are the window spirit


Clinique Cheek Pop – Melon Pop – £17 here

If you read my recent post about blushers, then you will know that I have recently discovered peach coloured blushers.  I find them immensely flattering, and appropriate for any occasion. The Clinique Cheek Pops are admittedly not cheap, but blushers last forever, so that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.   Melon Pop gives the most subtle wash of colour, and is just so pretty for spring and summer.


Mario Badescu Facial Spray £5.95 – £10.25 here

This little bottle of Rosewater Facial spray can be used for setting make-up, soothing sensitive skin and giving a refreshing boost anytime of the day.  This particular 29ml bottle was a sample with an online order (I can’t remember where from, unfortunately), and it has already lasted me ages, and I’m not halfway through it yet .  I had been using the Pixi Glow Mist, not to set my make-up as such, but to hydrate after applying powder products.  My skin is so dry, that I like to give myself one last boost of hydration before I face the world. Even since I discovered this beauty – which helps a lot – I will still finish with a facial spray.

I love this Mario Badescu spray for helping my powder, blusher and highlighter to ‘settle’ and look more natural. It is oil free (unlike the Pixi Glow Mist) so it doesn’t feel clogging or heavy.  If we have a hot summer, I plan to pop the spray in the fridge and use it as a refreshing burst when my face gets too hot to handle.


Without intending to, I have managed to cover all the bases this month.  I could almost make my whole face up with just these six products. That wasn’t deliberate, but I like it!


What are your favourites this month? Leave me your links in the comments if you have written a monthly favourites post, I love reading them!



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