Sunday, 30 August 2015

Slim Down Sunday: Week 16

I know I say every week that I was excited to start the next one however this week was so important to me because it's the first week that I am beyond the weight that I managed to get to last time.  As I arrived at this point pretty fast and without much of a struggle I was keen to keep up the fast pace and get far beyond it as quickly as I can.  



That aside, as last sunday I celebrated my 3 stone goal, I did decide to go to KFC for tea.  I realise that I could have picked so many different places to go to for food but for some reason KFC Crispy Strips were all I wanted so we went there.  One of my friends had told me to expect to be ill after it which I took with a pinch of salt but before we went I did feel a little funny which I think was because my body just wasn't expecting the Krispy Kreme donut I'd had!  Anyway I have the KFC and the chicken was delicious as I expected but the chips were not.  I don't know if it's just that I hadn't had them for so long or because I'm not used to high fat foods like that but all I could taste was fat.  

This week I had in my mind that I would accept a smaller weight loss after the KFC and Krispy Kreme donut.  Up until now, just as I keep saying, I refuse to allow any sort of "cheat days" because that would slow me down for reaching my goals.  I think a very small part of me is scared that if I did allow one I wouldn't return back to the focus and determination I have so I didn't want to risk it.  This week however, I figured I would just stick to my normal plan after the more extravagant Sunday I'd had but expect to see a smaller result which I thought would be fine to do for one week.


The one thing I hadn't banked on was a flippant comment I'd made to my folks about bringing me a proper Cornish pasty back from their trip to Cornwall.  My heart jumped into my mouth when I saw that they had remembered and each pasty is 733 calories.  I don't really eat much pastry at all as I don't like it which probably sounds odd but I do like the middles of pies etc...!  Anyway, I decided to minimise the damage and didn't eat the big crust (which I wouldn't have eaten anyway) or the lid of it.  


I'm finding planning my meals ahead using My Fitness Pal is serving me well.  Mainly because I don't forget anything fresh, I work the meals out according to the dates so that nothing is forgotten.  Previously I would have found this annoying as I would be like "but what if I don't fancy fish on Friday?!" But now I like it and literally go on there to see what I'm having as it saves me thinking!  I even got to use some jars of curry up that I had sitting there as well as they were nearly out of date.  It's actually quite satisfying using things up like this!


As its starting to get a cooler again ive dragged out some of my clothes from winter like this Onesie.  This is the first onesie ive ever had which I got last year.  When I'm mooching around the house I like to just have big clothes on and I must admit I didn't take to wearing this onesie at all as it was quite snug on me and highlighted my unattractive stomach.  I knew when I put it on this time that it would be big but it's huge!  


I had some credit owed to me for Graze so I have ordered a couple of boxes with low calorie snacks in, just to make things different and interesting.  I did survive the week on limited sweet treats again, as I've spoken about in previous posts I definitely just seem to struggle to lose weight when I've had them.


Now weigh in is a little different this week as I had been invited to my friends for a takeaway and some drinks on Saturday night so I decided to move my weigh in to Saturday morning.  I got onto the scales yesterday morning and did a double take - I'd lost 4lbs!  I actually cant believe it as I was preparing myself for not getting the 3lbs but I never expected for it to be more!  This brings my total to 3 stone and 4lbs or 46lbs in exactly four months today. 
 
I now need just over a pound to get to my next weight bracket which is a huge deal to me, I'm getting into that territory that I've only dreamt of and I want to treat myself but not with food so I'm on the hunt for something special.  I am ridiculously excited for next week, I will do this and I will cry when it happens, I know it.   I'm at the point now that I'm actually shocking myself, I believe that you can make anything happen but this has always been so unobtainable to me, until now.  I feel like someone who has been trapped for a long time and has been finally set free - it's amazing!
  • Every day we have a choice, it's a fresh start and the most important part from any healthy eating plan is to just try and make as many days, good ones.
  • Losing a pound a week is still over three and a half stone in a year!
  • If you're feeling particularly down about your weight, remember that if you stick to a balanced diet then by this time next week you could have dropped quite a few pounds, just the kick start you need to get going!  Even just by cutting down on treats you could make a difference, how good would that feel?!
Why not come and be my friend on the My Fitness Pal app - search for 'liverpoollashes'
If you have a FitBit then why not be my friend on that and send me a challenge? click here.
 
If you want to read my previous Slim Down Sunday posts - click here.
If you want to read my explanation of Slimming World - click here.
If you want to read my explanation of calorie counting and basic weight loss methods - click here.
 

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

CND Aurora Collection: Shellac & Vinylux

When I saw the new CND Aurora Collection, I was blown away.  I hear so many nail techs asking for Shellac glitter shades that having two fantastic shades released today was just an overload!  This collection is launching worldwide on the 1st September 2015.


The CND Aurora Collection consists of four new CND Shellac shades along with the matching CND Vinylux colours.  There is not a new collection of Additives as the Contradictions Collection Additives were designed to perfectly pair with these new colours.


The four new colours that are joining the permanent collection are:

Winter Glow - A cream pastel pink shade
Glacial Mist - A mid toned blue glitter with hints of silver.
Nordic Lights - A deep purple with finger and chunky glitter in every Colour.
Tundra - A dusty rose metallic.

I'm actually so glad that they're part of the permanent collection as otherwise I would have had to buy a few back ups of each shade this time around!  I'll be honest, initially I was focusing on the two glitters, Glacial Mist and Nordic Lights but I know that Winter Glow and Tundra are also going to be huge hits with my clients.
I filmed the video at Creative Academy+ Manchester and whilst I was there I spotted the new Swarovski Crystal packs that are complimenting the Aurora collection and completely exclusive to them.  Orders for the crystals only can be placed by contacting them on 0845 2000 311.

Here is my video to introduce each shade to you as well as comparing them to the existing colours.  I do hope you find it useful.


 Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest - search for 'liverpoollashes'  
My facebook page is always updated latest information, tutorials and reviews - click here.
If you want to see more videos from me, my You Tube Channel is here.
CND Five Point Polish Method (for CND Shellac & Vinylux) - click here
To see more of My Work click here and my Nail Of The Day - click here
If you want to read my 'Focusing On' blog posts - click here
Want to see more using Lecente glitter? - click here




Sunday, 23 August 2015

Slim Down Sunday: Week 15

I normally say that this week started off as usual but it really didn't.  Last Sunday I found out I was 3lbs away from 3 stone and I decided that I would do everything I could to try and get there for next Sunday.  Obviously I realise that 3lbs is a lot and is an amount I often lose at the moment, but not always so I had to brace myself on just missing out.  Of course I would be disappointed if that was the case but I know that I would definitely do it the following week.



I try not to go mad on Sunday's.  I know many people who are losing weight tend to have a "cheat day" after their weigh in and to me, that day would just set me back for the rest of the week.  The truth is, I'd love to have a day where as I could just eat anything I wanted just like I used to but not now.  Don't get me wrong though, when I reach my target weight I will definitely be enjoying my meals again but maintaining a steady weight.


That aside, when a friend invites me out to lunch I will chose a decent option, I pick what I want and not the healthiest and then all I will do is work out what it would have been in calories afterwards and have a small meal for the other meal that day.


The cravings are really bad at the moment.  It only takes someone to talk about something and I'm thinking about it constantly.  My friend mentioned that she had bought her son a Toblerone and that was all I wanted then.  I then moved onto pizza, all I wanted was a good pizza... And then cheese on toast!  I finally factored some cheese on toast into my day just to shut myself up and stop thinking about it.  


Fish fingers were my new thing for this week.  I've been thinking about them for a couple of months now, I'm not even kidding.  I totally blame Birdseye as they keep showing an advert where as the woman puts fish fingers in a wrap with salad, ahhhh the sheer thought of that is actually making my mouth water typing it.  



I'm fine with the cravings because I know that I am very much still in control of this weight loss.  I'm always harping on about losing 3 stone in 2011 but that was such a struggle at the end.  I would lose very little per week and be disheartened and it was almost coming to a grinding halt when I finally did hit the three stone mark.    My friend said to me on Thursday that I don't seem to have struggled.  I probably shouldn't tell you that as I'll jinx myself but the truth is, I haven't.  I'm not sure if its determination that I've never experienced before, the fact that last time I was following the Slimming World plan and I was driving myself mad repeating the same foods or that I finally seem to get the concept of weight loss but whatever it is, I'm happy.

I'm to the point now where as every client comments on my weight loss.  I don't expect people to be constantly complimenting me, as I say to everyone, it's my fault I got fat in the first place but it's nice that people can see what I've been feeling for these past few months.  Many say "I bet you feel great" and I really can't put it into works how great I actually feel.  I live near a little bridge and I remember a few years ago having to walk over it for some reason and going up to go over it was quite tiring.  Now I can do virtually power walk over it and for miles after it without my breathing even changing.  


I am still a fat girl at heart, I remember my fat girl ways and the things I used to enjoy eating which are all pretty shocking.    I actually can't imagine going back to them though this time.  Every other time I would think "oooooo but I could go and have a sneaky one of those and no one would know" but the difference now is that I would know and that's enough.
 
 
So the weigh in... Let's not waste any more time!  As you can see by the sparkler in my Krispy Kreme Reese's Donut, I hit spot on three stone with a loss of 3lbs.  I actually couldn't be more relieved that I actually hit this goal.  When I lit the sparkler I literally sat and thought of my achievement over these last 15 weeks for the three and a half seconds it was lit for(!)  I'm now at the exact point I gave up last time and I know that I'm not giving up this time, not a chance.  It's exciting as from now on, every new weight I am I haven't been here in at least 8 years and I literally cant believe it.  I suppose it does go to show what is possible when you truly focus your attention.
  • Every day we have a choice, it's a fresh start and the most important part from any healthy eating plan is to just try and make as many days, good ones.

  • Losing a pound a week is still over three and a half stone in a year!
     
  • If you're feeling particularly down about your weight, remember that if you stick to a balanced diet then by this time next week you could have dropped quite a few pounds, just the kick start you need to get going!  Even just by cutting down on treats you could make a difference, how good would that feel?!
Why not come and be my friend on the My Fitness Pal app - search for 'liverpoollashes'
If you have a FitBit then why not be my friend on that and send me a challenge? click here.
 
If you want to read my previous Slim Down Sunday posts - click here.
If you want to read my explanation of Slimming World - click here.
If you want to read my explanation of calorie counting and basic weight loss methods - click here.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Mystery Shopping A Salon

I signed up to a mystery shopping company a while ago but none of the assignments they had available were anything that suited or interested me.  I had read a follower had been talking quite a lot about mystery shopping her salon in a Facebook group so I volunteered to do it.  I suppose in my mind, there's no other person to check that the therapist is following their training than another therapist, I'm trained for most skills so I have knowledge about what should and shouldn't be happening, even if the training they received is a little different.
 

The truth is, we would like to think that clients aren't being swindled out of the full treatment and that the training the therapist received means that they do things to the book but this isn't always the case.  As you gain more experience you may realize that certain steps can be easier if you do things a different way  around.  In college the tutor reassured us that if we accidentally got confused with the steps of a manicure, the client didn't know any different and to carry on.  This is good advice to stop nerves but on the flip side it shouldn't be taken advantage of either.

I arranged with the salon owner to phone at a specific time of day as she knew who would be available to answer and wanted feedback on it.  Of course the phonecall is really important as it gives the initial impression of the company.  I know that I have an advantage with this because I worked for over ten years in customer services on phones so I was trained as to how to speak, how to mirror the clients tone and learning soft skills as well as not leaving large gaps whilst your speaking which can make you sound like you're unsure.  

I understand that if you've only worked in a salon environment then you won't necessarily have this training or experience but I'll run through some things that I have said to the salon owner and perhaps may be something you might want to consider for your own salon policies.  The last thing you want is for your client to get off the phone and think 'Hmmm I'm not going there.'
  • Once you find out the clients name, use it again in the call, it makes them feel valued.  It could be something like "So did you want CND Shellac with your pedicure Nicola?"
  • Sound enthusiastic about their appointment, I don't mean go over the top like an excited puppy but even just "oh you'll love your luxury facial as we've brought in this amazing moisture mask and it smells like oranges"
  • If you have to have a gap in the conversation if you're checking something, keep the client informed.  I would probably say don't leave it longer than around 20 seconds without saying something, even if it's just "oh I'm sorry about this, the computer is just taking a minute to show me the available dates."  
  • Make sure you sound confident to the client and speak clearly.  If you sound unsure, they will leave the phonecall unsure that you have everything under control.  
  • Close the call in a friendly, enthusiastic way, you want the client to put the phone down thinking "oh I can't wait for my appointment, they sound lovely."  You might want to say something along the lines of "we shall look forward to see you Nicola on the 29th September at 10.30am for your luxury pedicure!"
The therapist I spoke to  on the phone at this salon was actually the same therapist that was carrying out one of my treatments.  When I spoke to her on the phone she was quiet and answered in short sentences, literally just "yes" at one point however in person we had a giggle. From the phonecall alone it's a shame that her personality didn't shine through as I couldn't have felt more welcome when I was actually there. 

When I got to the salon (which I hadn't been to before) all staff were dressed smartly with an overall tidy appearance.  I feel like this makes such a difference.  Although I work from home and only with my existing clients, I personally do wear a uniform.  

The salon itself was extremely tidy and clean.  Everything had its place and I liked that as it was clutter free and very relaxing.  The floor was tiled and virtually gleaming so from a hygiene point of view, this was good to see.  Staying with the hygiene topic, the therapist also dispensed her products from the tubs using a spatula which is how I was trained.  To me this is standard practice but unfortunately I realise that it will not be globally at the same standard.
 
I had a neck, shoulders and back massage and a luxury pedicure.  I wont go into too much detail of what I said in regards to the therapist but there were a few things that I noticed were things such as a top coat being used as a base coat.  All of this was noted to be fed back.  

I also made a couple of suggestions of tools that I felt they could invest in to offer the best results and even a piece of inexpensive equipment that they hadn't seen before (and speaking to other therapists, they werent trained to use them) that would just make their pedicures more comfortable.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this little bit of undercover work.  Since I'm not actively on photographs I can go undetected although the staff were aware that someone would be visiting within the month.  I think it's definitely worth doing so that you can truly find out how the average client is made feels about the service you offer.  Also if the client doesn't return, it may give you an idea of why the business could have been lost.
 
 

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

NOTD: Mint & Gold Nails

I swear that I woke up to a ripped nail a few mornings ago, I literally have no idea how it happened.  My nails were ridiculously grown out by my standards and needed doing anyway so it was time for a change! 


I had no idea what I wanted on them so I looked for inspiration around my home salon and decided that I would work around the African Jade foil that I had sat on my shelf.  I wanted to use CND Shellac in Mint Convertible which can be little on the sheer side so I always apply a layer of Studio White underneath for good coverage (also I barely use Studio White) and it works a treat!  I painted my middle and ring fingers with Locket Love, applying the foil to my ring finger and Lecente Stardust Glitter in Starlight to my middle finger.  Finally I applied a stamp from MoYou London Bridal Plate 07 to all of the mint nails.

liverpoollashes cnd shellac mint convertible gold locket love moyou london bridal 07 lecente starlight
 
 
I must admit it seems strange to have extremely short nails again but I think it's sometimes good to take them all down and start again (not that I had much choice as I didn't want to repair it!)
 
Don't forget to follow my Facebook page for future updates.  Please search for me on Instagram and Twitter - @liverpoollashes

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Slim Down Sunday: Week 14

After being really annoyed with myself last week over the amount of sweet treats I had had which I do believe hindered my overall loss, I began this week feeling super strong that I could pack in the sugary treats and try to focus only on savoury foods.  Obviously sugar is an addiction so the more you have it, the more you want it.  I desperately wish I was a savoury fan over sweet but I'm not so I'm pretty screwed.  If baffles me when people are like "yeah I don't eat cake or anything" - how odd!


Last Sunday after my weigh in I went shopping with my friend Jade to Manchester City Centre.  This is so embarrassing to admit but I would have dreading doing something like this before because I would potentially have the issue of a sore lower back as I walked and knowing I couldn't just sit down would be a nightmare.  This time around I could walk for however long I needed to without a struggle.  We had lunch at a lovely pub and I chose an Italian Chicken Burger and chips, eating the whole thing.  I love the way I eat now, I don't want to use food as a "treat" as I feel it gives the wrong association with food but as a one off I really appreciated it. 

To try and combat my sweet cravings but still snack I've been eating popcorn.  Of course in an ideal world it would be Butterkist popcorn with that hard shell of toffee surrounding each one but I found smaller mixed variety bags of sweet and savoury popcorn in Tesco which are around 65 calories each.  Eating popcorn makes me feel like I'm eating a lot of something but it's not too bad for me.




I am trying to get better with eating breakfast.  Don't get me wrong, I love breakfast but for one reason or another I just don't make enough time for it although I realise how important it is.  I bought these containers from Asda that were in their clearance section, complete with their scoop so I now refer to this as my "breakfast bar" and it makes me feel like I'm eating in a hotel.  That's a hilarious, not related fact but it is true!


Apart from the Italian chicken burger on Sunday, my favourite meal was also a burger that I had on Friday evening.  I had spotted these cheese topped buns in Asda and noticed the calorie count.  As I very rarely have bread that's this thick now, it was a complete treat which I thoroughly enjoyed.  I realise that the broccoli is pretty funny next to a low nutritional meal but it's better than nothing!


I'm at the point now that people really notice the change in me.  I can see a lot of change in myself but then I think that it means so much more coming from others because I think my mind only ever saw myself in a certain light anyway or I wouldn't have gotten as big as I did.  My Dad sometimes calls me 'skinny' (I'm far from that but it's cute when he says it!)  I do actually feel the changes in my figure, it's so hard to describe but my waist and my stomach has so much more definition.

I will soon need to get measured for new bras as I do believe some has gone from there which I'm not entirely bothered about, just as long a some of it stays!  I saw this bra with cats all over it in Asda which I thought was pretty cute.

 
 
Finally.... the weigh in.  In my heart I knew that I had been on top form this week.  I realise I had two burgers but I stayed under my calories with both of them and was extremely careful with the other meals on those days.  Even though I knew I had been good, you just never know what the result is going to be however, this week I lost 3lbs!  This brings me to a total of two stone and 11lbs (or 39lbs) in 14 weeks!  People tell me they're proud of me and that means a lot but you know what?  I'm proud of myself.  Determination is a huge part of my personality, I stick to my word and when I said I was going to do this, I knew that I would.  I have a long way to go but I will get there.

  • Every day we have a choice, it's a fresh start and the most important part from any healthy eating plan is to just try and make as many days, good ones.

  • Losing a pound a week is still over three and a half stone in a year!
     
  • If you're feeling particularly down about your weight, remember that if you stick to a balanced diet then by this time next week you could have dropped quite a few pounds, just the kick start you need to get going!  Even just by cutting down on treats you could make a difference, how good would that feel?!
Why not come and be my friend on the My Fitness Pal app - search for 'liverpoollashes'
If you have a FitBit then why not be my friend on that and send me a challenge? click here.
 
If you want to read my previous Slim Down Sunday posts - click here.
If you want to read my explanation of Slimming World - click here.
If you want to read my explanation of calorie counting and basic weight loss methods - click here.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Focusing On: CND Shellac in Lush Tropics

I remember when CND Shellac in Lush Tropics was released and I was so excited.  There's something about that shade of green that makes my eyeballs happy.  I don't know whether it's because I'm a brunette so in terms of clothes it really seems to compliment my hair colour. 


I do however find that when it comes to nails, greens are not quite as popular so it's really worth showcasing them as their best.  For that reason I have come up with a few colour combinations for you to try and add to your colour pop rings.

 
From left to right of the above photo (All shown with two coats of Lush Tropics)
 
  • Lecente Stardust Glitter in Neptune
  • CND Additive in Blue Heaven
  • CND Additive in Denim Geode
  • Lecente Iridescent Glitter in Tangerine
  • Lecente Stardust Glitter in Starlight
  • Lecente Iridescent Glitter in Rhubarb
I actually really adore all of these combinations, if you have Lecente Stardust in Neptune then its an absolute must to try out.  Also, I harp on about this glitter but Lecente Stardust in Starlight is a glitter that perfectly pairs with any colour underneath it beautifully.
 
I hope you've found this post useful, please don't forget to follow my Facebook Page for future updates and new posts!  I'm also on Instagram and Twitter, search for @liverpoollashes




Friday, 14 August 2015

Number 21 In The Top 50 UK Beauty Blogs!

This is just a quick post to let you all know that I am proud to announce that this blog was rated number 21 in the Top 50 UK Beauty Blogs! 
 

There's some amazing blogs listed so if you'd like to check them out - here is the link!

Thursday, 13 August 2015

PrimaLash Professional False Lashes

If there's one thing I know, it's false lashes.  I've been wearing them for around seven years and it was very much at the start of them being as popular as they are now.  I have tried so many false lash brands it's unreal, from the ridiculously cheap to the luxuriously expensive.  I'm always up for reviewing lashes so when I was contacted by a fellow scouser with her own brand then I definitely keen.  

PrimaLash Professional lashes are hand crafted using 100% Human Hair which is sterilised and coated, the hair is then woven by hand to create a lightweight, high quality product that is comfortable to wear and can be re-used many times with care.

liverpoollashes liverpool lashes primalash prima lash

Now personally I don't wear eyeliner, it's far too much pressure once you've got a full face of make up on and then you could potentially ruin it with uneven eyeliner!  Anyway I asked to be sent a selection of their lashes that have a clear/white band as this is what I tend to wear as the band blends into my light skintone.  I also find this type of lash band a lot more forgiving as the solid black bands are often an obvious giveaway if you've haven't applied them too well if you don't use eyeliner.

liverpoollashes liverpool lashes primalash prima lash

The first test of a good strip lash is how well they remove from their packaging.  The really cheap lashes will often lose their shape even when you've carefully rolled them from the plastic.  Lashes do need flexibility but if they haven't got a good structure then they tend to lose the curl that they have and it makes them a little bit trickier to apply.  Thankfully PrimaLash kept their shape which makes the application quick and straight forward.

liverpoollashes liverpool lashes primalash prima lash

If you're a regular strip lash wearer you'll know that there's a huge difference between brands in terms of how they actually wear as well.  The lower quality lashes can tend to be a little scratchy as you blink and be generally uncomfortable to wear.  I found that the days that I wore the PrimaLash Professional range I could actually forget I was wearing them because they were lightweight and comfortable.

liverpoollashes liverpool lashes primalash prima lash

The final stage is of course, removing them.  With my lashes I can typically get a good few weeks out of them without them looking anywhere near out of shape.  When it came to remove these lashes they stayed perfectly in shape to the point where as once the glue is removed you wouldn't even know I had worn them.

liverpoollashes liverpool lashes primalash prima lash

I think my favourites have to be the DW which I would imagine stands for "Demi Wispies."  I like the wispy styles as I think they're more natural looking and I love the overall effect.

liverpoollashes liverpool lashes primalash prima lash

The bottom line is, these lashes are really good.  In terms of the range of styles they have, they would suit any individual or make up artist that is looking for a certain look to complete their make up.  You have perfect daytime lashes right through to full on dramatic night out lashes.  I think the final cherry on the top for me is that they're a local business and I love to support my fellow scousers!  PrimaLash is definitely one to check out.
 
Use code MUA30 when placing your order via their website to get 30% off your whole order!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Tan In The Raw: Ultra Drying Body Shimmer

I was contacted by the UK Distributor for Tan In The Raw to trial the product and see what I thought.  As always I always make it clear that my thoughts are completely honest but I was keen to try the concept.  Tan In The Raw is a patented odour neutralising drying powder that you apply after a spray tan or any form of product that contains DHA.   I liked the idea of this because it's a multi tasker, not only is it helping to dry the skin so that you can get dressed a little quicker but it takes away the scent that many people dislike, sometimes to the point were as they may avoid false tans completely.
 
liverpoollashes liverpool lashes tan in the raw tanraw ultra drying body shimmer powder spray tans dha odour
 
I must admit I have always been happy with the scent of my spray tan brand until more recently when I felt like it was definitely leaving a trace of the typical DHA odour the following day, even after washing off the guide colour.  Of course, everyone's skin reacts differently but it was definitely something that had bothered me.


liverpoollashes liverpool lashes tan in the raw tanraw ultra drying body shimmer powder spray tans dha odour
I was sent three of the sample pots along with the kabuki brush which would be ideal to retail to clients as an add on service.  For the clients that like an all year around tan, they could purchase the large pots.  
 
liverpoollashes liverpool lashes tan in the raw tanraw ultra drying body shimmer powder spray tans dha odour
The powder itself is really finely milled with a slight golden tone to it with shimmer.  I would say the fragrance of it is pretty close to a caramel style scent.  The instructions were extremely straight forward, you are to sprinkle the dust over the skin after applying your tanning product.  I wasn't sure how soon I was able to do this so to properly trial it, I just applied it immediately afterwards.  I felt like it really did remove any sticky areas and make my skin instantly dry to touch. 
 
In terms of the scent on my skin, I would say that it definitely masked the typical DHA fragrance although I could smell it faintly which I think is to be expected.  I continued to smell my skin every few hours if this changed but it didn't, in fact I was surprised how long the caramel fragrance actually lasted considering I had only swept the kabuki brush across my skin.  I wanted to also point out, just incase you were wondering as I didn't wait at all for my tan to dry, that it didn't effect the quality of my tan at all.
 
The golden flecks in the powder were really pretty, although I do see this as a added bonus that they are there.  To me they just add a finishing touch to my newly golden brown skin.  I would even use this powder in the summer to highlight collarbones etc on it's own!
liverpoollashes liverpool lashes tan in the raw tanraw ultra drying body shimmer powder spray tans dha odour
 
In terms of price, of course I cannot reveal trade prices online so you would need to contact Philippa, the distributor here.  She is also on Twitter and can answer any further questions.  The recommended retail price for the small pots are £3, the Kabuki Brush is £8 and the large pots are £24.99.  Point of sales are available at £40 including leaflets and 20 individual applications.  
 
My overall thoughts are that this product is perfect for those who are looking to have a beautiful tan but want to minimise the lingering odour.  It would be a good add on product for the client to apply themselves before they get dressed.  Of course the therapist could apply it at the end of the service but you would need to fully cleanse the kabuki brush between each client.  I can imagine it would be handy to have in a therapist's kit for when a group booking is made for spray tans as it would speed up the drying process. 
 
I hope you've found this review helpful and something to think about.  I must admit I was pretty excited to try Tan In The Raw as I haven't heard of any other products like it. 
 
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Sunday, 9 August 2015

Slim Down Sunday: Week 13

This week started off no different to any other, I was keen and raring to go.  In the back of my mind I suppose I do however have in my head "okay Karen, this is the stone bracket that you lost your focus on last time and gave up" but thankfully, I don't feel any sort of the struggle I did back in 2011 when I was last here.  Food is such a mental issue for many, including me.  The moment your tell yourself you can't have something, you want it.  The moment you think "I can't do this" you almost start talking yourself out of achieving your goals but one thing is for sure, I will do this, this is happening and I will be there for my birthday.



As I said in last week's post, I'd gotten it into my head that I wanted cake and in particular, birthday cake.  I know that's hilarious but I swear birthday cake is better than any other cake.  My Dad is cute and went and bought my a small raspberry sponge cake which I had a small amount of for a couple of nights, within my calorie range.  I don't believe in "oh I can't have this" or "I'm not allowed one of them," that's just not life and when I have reached my goals I need to get used to having things like this without going on some sort of crazy binge if I was denied it for so long.  



The other thing I've been hankering after is carbonara.  I think all of this things that I've been thinking about is just food that I have thought about and if I let it fester it will get worse.  Now I absolutely regret buying the above meal, avoid it like the plague, it's disgusting.  I should have just made my own.  This wasn't carbonara at all and if I had the energy I would complain to Asda about it as it was greasy and the chicken and the leek in it just made it taste like an odd pasta hot pot style combination.  I left it after a couple of mouthfuls and I'm pleased to say that my carbonara craving has been officially laid to rest!
 
Update: My husband has complained to Asda and they said to bring the packaging into store for a refund - result!



I continue to walk as much as I can and every evening.  When I've been on the treadmill I try to push myself as much as I can because it's easier to do a gentle pace.  I find it hilarious for someone like me to even say this but I love the feeling when I get off the treadmill at the end, it's quite euphoric and it makes me want to return and do a little longer.  I suppose if you don't know me you won't know why this is as funny as it is.  In a nut shell, I was as lazy as lazy can be and the least amount of movement I could get away with, I would.  That's hard to admit but it's true.  

Every night I go for a walk and it's became something really pleasant activity for my husband and I.  I'm going to sound like some sort of fitness buff here but it's so easy to mooch infront of the TV each evening, definitely if you've been working all day.  Unfortunately what goes hand in hand with that is that you don't speak to each other, you may not even sit in the same room if you're watching different programmes so to actively go outside whilst the weather is still decent is great.  As you can see by the above photo, we have noticed hedgehogs and foxes (a personal favourite animal of mine) on our walks.

 
It's become a small hobby for me to find low calorie food.  I think I'm getting the hang of what to look for and making better choices in general.  These Heck Chicken Italia Sausage are 72 calories for two!  Okay of course they're not going to taste like a traditional sausage because they're chicken and not pork but they're still tasty but better for you and you get more for your calories by choosing them.


One thing I've been doing far too much this week is eating sweet things.  I've got a current obsession with popcorn and crumpets (not together!) and I suppose in the back of my mind I figured that if I stayed within my calorie limit I may get away with sneaking more of them in than I normally do.  It's for that reason that I must admit I was a little nervous for this week's weigh in but I felt like it was too late to change my ways for this weigh in.
 
So, onto the weigh in itself.  Honestly I was dreading it where as I normally look forward to it. When I climbed onto the scales I felt heavy.  It's hard to put into words how you can feel that way, particularly if you're lighter than your last weigh in but I suppose it's the fine tuning of my body means I know.  My weight loss goal is 2 - 3lbs every week so I tell myself that as long as I haven't put on, that's the bare bones of what I'll be happy with.  Then if I can make some sort of progress then that's even better but 2 is the minimum I would be happy losing.  I realise that this won't always be achievable but for now, I shall try.  This week I lost 2lbs, bringing me to a total of two stone 8lbs in 13 weeks (or 36lbs.)  The truth is I know it could have been 3lbs if I hadn't have had so many sweet treats this week but that's okay because I'm stepping up my game big style for next week!

Things to remember: 
  • Every day we have a choice, it's a fresh start and the most important part from any healthy eating plan is to just try and make as many days, good ones.
  • Losing a pound a week is still over three and a half stone in a year!
     
  • If you're feeling particularly down about your weight, remember that if you stick to a balanced diet then by this time next week you could have dropped quite a few pounds, just the kick start you need to get going!  Even just by cutting down on treats you could make a difference, how good would that feel?!
Why not come and be my friend on the My Fitness Pal app - search for 'liverpoollashes'
If you have a FitBit then why not be my friend on that and send me a challenge? click here.
 
If you want to read my previous Slim Down Sunday posts - click here.
If you want to read my explanation of Slimming World - click here.
If you want ro read my explanation of calorie counting and basic weight loss methods - click here.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

My Work: Summer Blues & Lilacs

My friend and client Jen came in today to have her fingers and toes done, ready for her holiday with her family.  Jen has moved from having classic pink and white enhancements to always having a colour over them and often glitter, foil or some sort of nail art. 


Jen chose CND Shellac in Wisteria Haze and Creekside.  I applied Lecente Iridescent Glitter in Baby Blue over Wisteria Haze which is absolutely stunning and something you definitely need to have a colour pop of, ready to show clients.  I printed a design from MoYou London Pro Collection Plate 23 in silver over Creekside.

liverpoollashes cnd shellac wisteria haze creekside lecente baby blue glitter
 
 
I've always loved Wisteria Haze since I very first saw it but honestly, seeing it on Jen's nails it's really given me the urge to apply it to my own next but we shall see!
 
Don't forget to follow my Facebook Page to keep up to date with my latest posts!

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Focusing On: CND Shellac in Burnt Romance

Now I'm going to shock you here but CND Shellac in Burnt Romance and I have never really gotten along.  I feel like it's gone a step further than a shelf sitter for me, it's virtually lying in a long hibernation on my shelf because nobody picks it.  I do believe (and I always say) that it's no coincidence that the colours that we do not like ourselves, are not chosen by others.  Let's take Cocoa for example, that was my original unloved shade from back in 2011.  I think I may have used it on a colour pop once or twice because I didn't care for it.  It was only about a year ago when I did a blog post trying to showcase it a little more that the colour pops from that post went onto my rings with the rest.  All of a sudden since then I've had people picking it, I even have one client who chooses it every few appointments.
 

I've really put the effort in to find some good combinations using Burnt Romance, I need to change my 'cover it with Black Pool' attitude and I think with these, I may have just done it!

 
 
All colour pops have two layers on Burnt Romance on them.  From the above photo:
 
Top Row:
  • CND Additive in Plum Love.
  • CND Additive in Crushed Suede.
  • Lecente Stardust Glitter in Neptune.
  • Lecente Confetti Pink Iridescent Glitter.
Bottom Row:
  • Lecente Stardust Glitter in Constellation.
  • Lecente Stardust Glitter in Starlight.
  • A combination of copper and gold foil.
  • CND Shellac in Hot Chillis.
I hope that you've enjoyed this little post and that it's maybe given you some inspiration as to what to do with this shade.  One thing is for sure, it's never going to get chosen if we don't showcase them more often and highlight them to clients.
 
Don't forget to follow my Facebook Page for all of my latest blog posts, nail tutorials and updates!  I'm also on Instagram and Twitter - search for @liverpoollashes
 


Sunday, 2 August 2015

Slim Down Sunday: Week 12

I usually start these posts telling you how excited I am to get through the week and have a good result at the end however, it wasn't like that this week.  I don't know why but there was something that was telling me that I wasn't going to reach my goal of being in the next stone bracket, even though I was only 2 pounds away from it.  It's probably just in my head but I think the reason is that last time I lost three stone I struggled being in this stone bracket and I ended up clawing away to hit my three stone award at Slimming World and then I completely lost it and fell off the wagon.  In my head I know that I am in a different place, I'm losing weight a different way and I need to stop thinking that this particular stone is almost the "cursed stone."



This week I have really been enjoying my food.  I tried to make sure that I have planned my meal for the following day, the evening before.  The reason for this is that I have found that previous weeks when I haven't done this, I have ended all looking at the calories remaining and then searching for something that would fit it.  If I don't have very much time oh I'm not sure what I will want, at the very least I always log my evening meal so that way I can then work backwards on the day and use the calories remaining for lunch and breakfast.  



The cracker obsession has continued.  I do realize that some crackers is can be high in fat or salt so I do try and make sure that I choose wisely.  I always and pair them with the Laughing Cow Triangles.  I think the thing I like about them so much is that there really light for lunchtime but also because each cracker is only a certain number of calories, I can work out exactly what I can "afford" to eat.



I did go to Wetherspoons this week and have my sweet chilli noodles with chicken.  This meal is under the 600 calories and really filling.  

I stand by my way and that I will not be someone that won't go out for meals anymore but I know I deserve it and I don't mind saying that here.  I used to go out for food at least once a week so to go to Wetherspoons once a month and get something like this is really nice - even if it is just Wetherspoons!



I have been trying to make sure that I have had breakfast each morning, admittedly this isn't something that are used to do but of course it makes sense to eat it so that you're not hungry later on.  Normally I will have cereal and I use that little scoop I showed you on a previous post.  Every now and again though, I buy the Warburtons Bagel Thins which to me feel really naughty eating them.  I don't think I'm ready to trust myself with butter yet so I have it with a Laughing Cow Triangle instead which is nice but also it's in a premeasured portion.



I realize the dried fruit contains a lot of sugar but that I saw these Whitworths a Fruit Shots in Tesco I decided to pick a few up to try as an alternative to a small bar of chocolate.  I really like them because it's something different and the gold full if I'm heading somewhere m, just to keep in my bag.



It's amazing what influences you to what you're craving.  I saw something on Facebook about a man in Yorkshire who has opened Britain's first crisp sandwich shop.  Well after that all I wanted was a crisp butty so I made it happen!  I have a Warburtons thin with Walkers Prawn Cocktail crisps and a tiny scrape of butter, it was delicious!  

I've also really wanted birthday cake. I said this to my parents and they couldn't understand why it was specifically birthday cake but there's something about special cakes that make it amazing.  Bless my dad, he went and bought me a little raspberry sponge cake that I could have a little bit of over a few days.  



I don't want people thinking my life is only about weight loss but as I have a huge amount to lose it is the main part of my day at the moment.  I try to limit the weight loss chat to the people I'm absolutely the closest to (poor people!) and the clients who are genuinely interested and ask me.  I pick up little tips of things like I was told to have a little peanut butter as it is "good fat" and will work to sort out any "bad fats" so I bought Meridian 100% Peanut Butter and I've had a little of that with bananas (if you like bananas, you'll like this!)



In terms of my body, I can really feel the difference in the changes I've made.  I needed to get some new clothes so I went shopping and it feels unreal to be shopping in the "normal sizes" again.  When you've been limited to the larger stuff for so long it's like the best treat ever to wander around the whole shop and not just to the corner of larger clothes that are often frumpy and tent-like.  

I've upped my game on the treadmill again this week, I'm now doing 11k steps on average which is insane.  To active people this probably sounds just like an average day but I would say that previously, remembering I work from home, I wouldn't even hit 2k, possibly even 1.5k.  



So onto the weigh in this morning.  I think I may have mentioned briefly at the end of the post last Sunday but I did go to Jo Malone last week and I treated myself to White Jasmine & Mint perfume as a goal present which I could have when I hit the next stone bracket down.  Honestly, at the start of this week I just had this nagging feeling I wouldn't quite do it.  As I was only two pounds away from it I had visions of losing two pounds but staying on the dot just outside of my goal.  I am delighted to tell you however that I lost 3lbs bringing me into the next stone bracket, a total loss of two stone 6lbs (34lbs) in 12 weeks.  As you can imagine, I'm so happy with the result!

Now here comes the big thing, I'm now in the same stone bracket as when I gave up back in 2011.  Back then I was doing Slimming World and right now I'm calorie counting and I intend to continue just doing this.  One thing hit me, wow the next bracket down is actually one I haven't been in in more than ten years, it's uncharted territory for me.  I don't know myself as an adult in that zone really, it's a distant memory.  I think I'm in a sort of shock when I think about it, this doesn't seem real that from May to the start of August, I could be here but then it shows you what you can do when you want something bad enough.
Things to remember: 
  • Every day we have a choice, it's a fresh start and the most important part from any healthy eating plan is to just try and make as many days, good ones.
  • Losing a pound a week is still over three and a half stone in a year!
     
  • If you're feeling particularly down about your weight, remember that if you stick to a balanced diet then by this time next week you could have dropped quite a few pounds, just the kick start you need to get going!  Even just by cutting down on treats you could make a difference, how good would that feel?!
Why not come and be my friend on the My Fitness Pal app - search for 'liverpoollashes'
If you have a FitBit then why not be my friend on that and send me a challenge? click here.
 
If you want to read my previous Slim Down Sunday posts - click here.
If you want to read my explanation of Slimming World - click here.
If you want ro read my explanation of calorie counting and basic weight loss methods - click here.