Winter Favourites 2014

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Well, it is March which means Winter is over and Spring is here! Below are some of the things I have loved from Winter.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge – This sponge is absolutely amazing and I have been using it all winter. It makes my foundation go on so smoothly and flawlessly. Absolutely wonderful – and definitely lives up to its name! Image

Benefit POREfessional Primer – This primer is definitely one of my winter favourites this year. Check out my full review on it right here if you haven’t already, which pretty much sums up my love for it.

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Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette – Since Naked 3 came out, I have realised I have not even bought Naked 2 yet – so I decided to just buy it as I have wanted it for a long time. I love it. I have been using YDK a lot. However, I will be buying Naked 3 very soon.

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Demi Lovato: 365 Days a Year – Staying Strong – I bought this book at the end of 2013 and I thought it would make sense to start reading it from the 1st of January. The layout of this book is interesting. Each individual page is dedicated to one day of the year until 31st of December. So, I am reading it the way it should be read. Every morning, I wake up and read a quote from that book – it helps me be more positive and think about each thoughtful quote and act on it. I highly recommend this book if you are going through a hard time.

ImageTiesto – Red Lights – I have loved Tiesto for years and I was about to see him live with Calvin Harris in December but I had to miss that gig unfortunately as I was not well. I have been really loving his new song ‘Red Lights’ – a really happy song and I love listening to it on the tube!

ImageBBC Get In Event – On February 11th, I went to the BBC Get In Event held by BBC Academy. I went to the London event at New Broadcasting House. As I am in my third year at university and thinking about graduate schemes and careers, I felt like I needed some advice directly from the BBC on how to get in and so this event was very useful for the application of the Production Talent Pool – which opens next week. I met some really nice people and got some fantastic advice from Simon Wright – BBC’s Talent Executive and Don Kong –  BBC Academy’s Programme Coordinator.  We did some group work – we had to develop a BBC programme idea and pitch it to them, which was very helpful for the application. Very much enjoyed that day and it is always lovely to be back at BH.

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New Year’s Resolutions?

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The reason why we often fall of the wagon with our New Year’s Resolutions is because they are rather big goals, which in the long term, sounds like a good achievable plan, but in the short term, it is really unachievable and you are setting yourself up for failure, We often fail to recognise this.

Every year, I always hear people’s New Year’s Resolutions is to ‘lose weight’ or to ‘give up smoking’ but what are you doing to achieve that goal in the short-term? Giving something up cold turkey or trying to lose 25lbs straight away is not the way to go and frankly you are setting yourself up for failure. January is the month people are very motivated and determined to get back on track after the festive period. However, come February, people often give up on that goal altogether because they are very big long-term goals. This is why people do not stick to their resolutions. 

I think a new year is a good time to think about improving yourself in the best way possible so I am all for resolutions. However, they need to be achievable in the short term.

What I would do to achieve that goal, is to set yourself small weekly goals. So, if you want to go to the gym more this year and you never usually go to the gym, go once a week. Start from there. Do that for a couple of weeks until you feel like you can extend it. Then go twice a week, then three times a week and so on.

If you want to give up smoking, instead of stopping altogether, cut down on how many times you smoke in a day and then gradually, cut down a bit more and then smoke once a day or every other day. This will be easier for you in the long-term to totally give it up. 

This goes to any other goals you want to achieve. Start slowly, set yourself weekly goals and go from there. If you do it like this and are serious about the goal, you will tend to stick to your resolutions all year, instead of giving up in February. 

Happy New Year! 

 

Winter Essentials (2013)

It is December, which means it is Winter! After Autumn, Winter is my next favourite season because of the thought of being stuck at home, around the fire or heater,  just feeling rather cosy! I love it. I do not like snow though and apparently, Britain will have the worst Winter in 60 years during the next coming months. Snow, snow and more snow. I am not looking forward to that.

But fear not because every year, I have a few essentials (below) that I think we should all have this Winter so that it does not affect our mood as much. I don’t know about you, even though I love Winter, it does bring on a rather melancholic feeling. But, materialistic things does tend to make me happier! y (3)1. Winter Coat – After wearing my mac/trench coat all Autumn, when Winter comes along, I change to a wool coat, which will keep you warm in the harsh weather us Brits face when it comes to December/January. I still go for my usual skater style coat and I have been wearing a wool military style coat from ASOS like the one above for nearly over two years now because it is so good and is not even damaged one bit. I would suggest to invest in a rather expensive Winter coat, which will last you a very long time. Also, when you live in the UK, you always need a coat all year round to be honest. But, I do not change to a proper Winter coat (wool material) until the temperature drops to 5 degrees and below.

2. Gloves – We all need a pair of warm gloves during the Winter. I find that when I am out and the weather is so cold, my hands get so frozen that I cannot even use my phone. The one above is a Hello Kitty one but if you are a smartphone user, I would suggest you buy a pair of touchscreen gloves. Those are a lifesaver!

3. Cosy Slipper Boots – I love walking around the house with a pair of slippers and recently I saw these cosy looking boots in H&M and I had to buy it. They look like Uggs and I do not like Uggs but these are just to wear at home when it is so cold. They are very comfortable and very warm!

4. Hot Water Bottle – I am always always always cold and I always (I need to stop saying always) need a hot water bottle. I have the Hello Kitty one above. I have my own heater as well which I use to death but a hot water bottle is something that I use when I need to fall asleep. I feel so cold that I cannot even sleep so I usually make myself a hot water bottle before bed. Be careful though because from experience, using a hot water everyday is not good for your skin. Too much use can burn your skin!

5. Cosy Pyjamas – I don’t know about you but when I wear new pyjamas, I feel like a million dollars. Very weird I know. I recently bought new Hello Kitty pyjamas and they are the best thing ever. Along with pyjamas, I would suggest a nice cosy dressing gown. I live in dressing gowns and pyjamas to be honest – even in the summer because I am always cold! I am eyeing up a Hello Kitty dressing gown at the moment but if I spend my money on that, I am sure to get into trouble. I have too many already!

6. Cosy Slipper Socks – Like the boots, fluffy slipper socks are great for those colder months. Again, I live in fluffy socks at home because of me being so susceptible to the cold. They are the best.

7. Carmex – When it is really cold, your lips tend to get very dry and chapped and I find that putting on Carmex before my lipsticks prevents my lips from getting like that. Carry one around with you because it does the job!

8. Rimmel Kate Moss Liptick in 107 – This has been my favourite lipstick all Summer and Autumn and because it is such a dark red lipstick, it would definitely work well in the Winter. I love this lipstick as it is matte and just looks amazing on.

9. Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation (in Ecru) – In my Double Wear Light review, I said that the full coverage one is great for Winter and I have started using it again after months of using Double Wear Light and I must say, I have fallen in love with this foundation again. It is so perfect for Winter because it is such a full coverage foundation. It just works well on my skin in the Winter. So, if you wear foundation – a good full coverage one is what you need for the Winter.

10. MAC Bronzing Powder (Matte Bronze) – When it is Winter, your skin will become rather dull, so if you want to get a bit of colour into your skin, I would suggest using a bronzer. I have been loving contouring recently and this bronzer by MAC does the job perfectly. I do not like shimmers in my bronzers so I bought the matte one. Most of these are rather dark but very blendable.  I would suggest using the Real Techniques Blush Brush to contour really well. Also, because the bronzer is by MAC, it is quite expensive at £20 so if you want a cheaper alternative drugstore one, I would suggest the Sleek Face Contour Kit. I have the one in the Light shade and it is only £6.49 and does the job well!

 

Anti-Bullying Week 2013 (18th – 22nd November)

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It is Anti-Bullying Week this week and I have been wearing my BeatBullying wristband all week to show my support as I always say that trying to tackle bullying is something very close to my heart and something that I have been an advocate of in hopes to tackle this issue, especially in schools, making sure that young people do not go through school feeling sad and victimised like I did.

School should be a memorable time, full of happy memories. To me, it is often like “I did not enjoy school because those group of people were mean to me.” Sadly, I am sure many of you can relate to that.

I wrote a blog post a few months ago on how to deal with bullying and you can check that out right here.

Some of you have asked for a ‘My Bullying Experience’ blog post however, I am too hesitant for that at the moment but I will definitely do it sometime in the future so do look out for that.

I always stress to anyone out there who is being bullied, to speak out. Tell someone. It makes a big difference. Do not suffer in silence because if you do, it gets worse. You are not a ‘snitch’ if you tell someone. I always tell children in Primary school, be it my brothers, cousins or any child for that matter that if someone bullies you in school, tell a teacher straight away. Many of you reading may not be in school anymore but that does not mean you should not tell someone regardless.

You may think you can deal with it. You are an adult. You should be able to handle this on your own, right? It will go away. No. If you do not face up to it, it will not go away. Bullying can also take place in your workplace and I know a lot of people who say their boss or colleague is so mean to them yet they are afraid of standing up to them or telling someone in a higher role about that person because they think they will lose their job. What is the worst that could happen? If you lose your job, at least you got away from feeling miserable but it may be the other way round too. The person who is bullying you may lose their job. So, do not second guess what will happen. Always do what feels right.

If you know someone who is being bullied, help them out. Talk to them. Show them that you want to help them. Show them that you care. Stick up for them. Whenever someone stuck up for me, I felt like I was not alone. It made the situation more easier to deal with knowing someone knows what is going on and is there for you. You feel safer.

You are never alone. Always speak out.

Useful links

Bulling at school
Workplace bullying and harassment 
Nightline  
Beatbullying
Childline 

World Mental Health Day 2013 – You Are Not Your Disorder

Today is World Mental Health Day and I would just like to say that you are not your mental illness because I can admit that at times, the voice becomes too strong that I seem to think that all that I am is a list full of disorders and I know many people do too.

When you introduce yourself to someone, you would not say “Hello, I am depression/anorexic/anxiety/self harm/BPD” would you? I would not like to think so.

When you are so consumed by your illness, you do tend to define yourself by it because the voice of your illness is all that you hear – that you are fat, worthless, a failure. That is not you at all. There is so much more to you than your disorder. You could be a writer, a teacher, a musician etc… and that is what you should define yourself as. Yes, you have an illness but there is so much more to you than that. It does not define you.

Dissociating yourself from the voice of your disorder and your real voice can be very hard but you just need to notice what the voice of the disorder is saying and what YOU are really thinking and talk back to the voice.

Kati Morton has very helpful videos on this. Below is a video by her which I absolutely love and will help you talk back to your illness but this video in particular focuses on eating disorders but can apply to other disorders too.

Eid-Ul-Adha 2013 – Modest Western Eid Outfit

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Eid is coming up (October 14th or 15th) and of course it being the Qurbani Eid, this one in particular is the big one. Eid is the only time of the year where I branch out and wear a rather expensive Eastern outfit such as a churidar dress or just a general Indian outfit. However, there are two Eid’s in a year and one Eid I like to highlight my Eastern culture and the other Eid I like to wear a more Western dress to highlight that side of my background, yet still very modest.

Here is what I would wear if I want to add a more Western/British feel to my outfit yet still looking quite cultured and modest at the same time so I do not offend the family, even though everything I wear in general is always modest and conservative!

Maxi Dress – I would just simply wear an elegant long dress from neck to toe. The one above is a beautiful light blue/mint green maxi dress perfect for special occasions such as Eid. Now, because this dress is sleeveless which I would never wear on its own,  I would definitely add my own sleeve to it. I usually wear a shrug under all my sleeveless dresses to make it modest. With this dress above, I would pair it with a light blue shrug.

Shawl – Because it is Eid, I like to colour match the whole outfit. I would wear the same colour shawl over this dress to make it more elegant. With this extra piece of accessory the outfit does not stray away from the general Indian look because every Indian dress comes with a little scarf, so this outfit still adds that element to it.

Heeled Sandals – I am not the one for heels but Eid is an exception. I would pair the dress with a nice strappy heeled sandals of the same colour.

Clutch Bag – A nice sparkly clutch bag looks amazing with this outfit.

Bracelet – In Eid, people usually wear full jingly bangles on both hands which does tend to annoy me. The noise does anyway! However, with this outfit, I would keep it simple and just add one elegant bracelet matching the dress. Personally, I would keep jewellery to a minimum because as you know, I hardly ever wear jewellery but if you like wearing necklaces, rings – the lot, then go for it!

Floral Crown – As I always say, if you wear a floral crown, there is no need to wear any other accessory because floral crowns are a big statement. I would team this outfit with a nice cute floral crown which I love. I think floral crowns just make an outfit that extra bit stunning.

Conservative Party Conference 2013: Osborne “We have a serious plan for a grown-up country”

At his speech today in the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Chancellor George Osborne set out what he called a “serious plan for a grown-up country”.

Sporting a new haircut and speaking in a rather mature and serious tone, he said Britain’s economy was turning a corner, but admitted that cutting the deficit was a big concern. He said the “battle to turn Britain around, is not even close to being over. We are going to finish what we have started.”

He said his aim was to achieve a financial ‘surplus’ in the next parliament and to grow capital spending in line with GDP.

The big plan was of course his help to work scheme – which will put the long-term unemployed into work before they receive any benefits. No work, no benefits. He said: “No one will be ignored or left without help but no one will get something for nothing” which of course is a typical Conservative aim unlike Labour.

“Help to work – and in return work for the dole. Because a fair welfare system is fair to those who need it and fair to those who pay for it too” he told conference.

A political speech would not be complete or even normal without a few jokes and some digs at other parties. Making the conference laugh, he took a swipe at both the Liberal Democrats and Labour, including the Miliband brothers. He described Ed and David as “the greatest sibling rivalry since the Bible. Cain and not-very-able.”

He hit back at Labour’s plan to tackle the “cost of living” crisis. He said: “What matters most for living standards are jobs and low mortgage rates and lower taxes.” He then added: “without a credible economic plan, you simply don’t have a living standards plan.”

He said that the Conservatives had done more than any other party for small business owners and added: “We are nothing, if we are not the party for small business.”

His speech was rather positive although it was not as enthusiastic as Ed Balls’ speech at the Labour Conference last week. Osborne was thinking to the future instead of wallowing in past mistakes. He still has a lot to prove and still has a long way to go to win over the public to his policies. He and David Cameron hope to, as the Tories always say, “clean up the mess” that Labour have left. Sticking to the same tune like they always do. Is Osborne out of touch or is the mess that Labour left actually the problem of this economic slowdown?