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The road to better skin | Avene skincare review

avene skincare

I honestly can’t remember a time when I had completely clear skin. There was six months or so where I wasn’t worried about my skin because I hardly had any spots, but that doesn’t seem like it happened now.

Ever since I got the contraceptive implant, my whole body has been all over the place, but acne is the main thing that stresses me out. I don’t mind my bare face most of the time, but having a big juicy spot there does ruin it a little. So when there’s 10 of those and more, I can be a bit of a moody bitch to say the least, hah!

I started to face the fact I was never going to have perfect skin (in all honesty, who does?!) because there wasn’t a day where I didn’t have at least one spot.

I can deal with having a little bit of acne, but recently it just got too much, yet again.

Throughout my teens I struggled pretty bad with acne on my face and after numerous doctors appointments and trying different products, nothing seemed to shift it. Until – of course there was going to be a ‘but’ somewhere in this post – Avene was recommended to me.

My mom paid about £80 for a huge kit of skincare products. I think it was 4 products to use in the morning and 3 of a night. It was a huge amount of money but it was the last resort.

I can’t say I remember how long it took for me to see a difference but you know the ~almost~ completely acne free face I mentioned at the start? That happened after using these products. But being the idiot I am, I stopped using them when they ran out because my skin was clearer.

Obviously in hindsight I would’ve kept using them to this day, but hey ho.

I’d been trying so many products the last few months and nothing was doing the trick. But then I remembered Avene. A quick Google search later and the Avene Anti Blemish Kit was soon to be on it’s way to my house.

The 3 bottles are a cleansing gel, toner and moisturiser which you use daily, both morning and night. I’ve been using these for just under a month now (this is my 2nd batch lol), with no other skincare products.

avene skincare

But yeah, I still have acne.

I struggle with breakouts on my cheeks and chin more than anywhere else and the main thing that annoys me in the redness. You might have noticed that I’m pretty damn pale so the contrast makes the spots look even worse.

But I’ve seen a difference!! My spots are nowhere near as red as they were. I used to go through so bloody much colour corrector just to hide them and they would still bleed through the makeup. Now they’re covered with just a small amount of normal concealer. It’s like I’m in a dream.

I’ve found with most other acne fighting products, they seem to bring the spots out fiercely before getting rid of them. That’s not the case with this one. Over the last few weeks I’ve noticed the spots are slowly shrinking and leaving my face!!

Even though my skin still isn’t exactly how I’d like it, it’s on the right track.

Forgetting about the acne for a minute, my face has never been so soft! The Avene products have made my skin waaaaay less oily and super smooth.

It seems to work slowly but pretty damn goodly, nevertheless. They say “good things come to those who wait” so that’s what I’m gonna do! I’ll keep using Avene and hopefully I’ll soon be a fresh faced angel. Or something close to that at least.

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2018 was a weird year

2018

I don’t know about you but this year has flown by for me. Not gonna lie, there’s parts I’m not even sure really happened because 2018 has been a bloody weird year.

There’s been a lot of ups and downs, and I feel like I’m at risk of ending this year on a negative note. Which isn’t what I wanna do lads!! So I thought I’d look back on 2018 to leave the bad things in the past and to take the good energy into 2019 with me.

To say I was on an emotional rollercoaster this year may be an understatement. I’ve gone through so many different emotional states, so it’s definitely been a ride, but not my favourite one.

As I mentioned in my post about why I’ve been struggling to blog lately, dating still isn’t going great. I can’t tell if I’m gullible or if a lot of guys are just smooth af liars? Either way, I’m putting dating aside and I’m focusing on myself in 2019.

Of course a lot more has happened but there’s a few aspects of my life that I still don’t feel comfortable putting on the internet, hah. And anyway – I want this post to be more positive than negative.

2018

2018

At the start of the year I wrote a to do list of some of the things I wanted to do this year.

Not gonna lie, I actually forgot what goals I had set. I know, I’m so good at organising my life. But now to actually look back at that post while writing this one, I’m actually pretty proud of myself.

The first goal I set was to have a solo trip. To quote past Vicky, “A weekend in Italy is my absolute dream” but I didn’t think it would actually happen. Well, it bloody did!! I started off with a few days in Prague to test myself, then I went to a festival all by myself and then a few months later, I was in Italy. All of those solo adventures have really made this year for me.

I also said I was going to improve my content and start planning more. I can now say I probably plan even less. I’m frickin awful at it and I think I always will be. But I am pretty proud of my content this year, especially with my second 70s look book on youtube.

But it’s not all about goals. A lot of good things have happened that weren’t planned.

I started going to the gym which I’d always been against. I never thought it’d be something I’d enjoy but now I bloody love it! It’s so much fun and has made me more aware of my body and trying to stay fit. I never realised just how damn unfit I was, hah!

Another thing that I never thought I would get back into is art. I loved it at school, but it disheartened me when I didn’t get the grades I wanted, sigh. So I fell out of love with sketching and painting and what not. But in 2018, I got back into art and started to teach myself how to make jewellery! I’m still in the process of learning but it’s something I’m super excited about.

2018

I’ve learnt a lot about myself in 2018 and had some pretty amazing experiences. They outweigh the bad things this year brought to me by far!

Here’s to more adventures, self love and only giving our time to people who truly deserve it in 2019!

Happy new year, flowers x

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A sunrise shoot

sunrise shoot

Sometimes the sunlight shines beauuuuuutifully into my bedroom in the morning. Whenever I have time I like to try and be creative with it.

On Sunday I opened my curtains to the lovely sunrise beaming through my nets and casting pretty patterns on my walls. I just knew I had to make the most of it!

sunrise shoot

Of course I would normally get all glammed up to take photos but I didn’t have time.

The sunrise wasn’t going to last forever so I set up my tripod and pointed the camera at my bed. It would’ve looked a lil suspicious if someone came in, hah!

With no makeup and without even brushing my hair (yikes) I sat by my pillows to see how the lighting looked for my sunrise shoot. But then someone else decided they wanted to be the photo subject instead…

sunrise shoot

Once I’d got my adorable poser of a dog to budge, it was time to snap some pics.

I chose to wear my gym shorts and a black bandeau. Mainly because I was tired and in a rush before the sunlight disappeared, but also because I wanted the colours to be quite neutral.

I was focusing on the light and shadows and how they were falling against my skin. That led to some distant shots and others close up.

sunrise shoot

sunrise shoot

sunrise shoot

My favourite is tied between the shadows on my back and one of the shots of me playing with my hair. Maaaaaan, that sunlight made my hair look more ginger than it ever has. I bloody love it!!

It’s funny because this is one of the photoshoots I’m most happy with and I’m at my most natural state. Tired, bare faced and a little bit naked.

sunrise shoot

sunrise shoot

I let my creativity flow with this sunrise shoot and I’m so proud of how they’ve turned out.

It also makes me feel more positive about my struggles to plan and constantly stay on top of my content, because being spontaneous this time has given me some pretty cool pics and a tonne of inspiration.

sunrise shoot

 

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How I took self portraits on my solo trip in Italy

self portraits in italy

Hello! My trip to Italy in September was beauuuuutiful and I’m finally getting round to talking about it here. You may or may not know that I went by myself. Of course everyone wants to get those holiday pics while you’re away, and I’m no different.

I took many many selfies, but there was some points where I wanted to get a different angle shot.

I never thought I’d be able to pose in public, especially by myself. But I frickin did it!!

Even though I thought I needed to be with people to feel confident enough to do it, I think being alone is actually what gave me the confidence. No one there knew me and it felt so free.

So I thought I’d show you some of the self portraits I managed to take and tell you a bit about how I got them.

I only took my phone on this trip. Hauling my camera around everywhere didn’t seem ideal, and plus I was worried about pickpockets. 

I meant to take my little phone stand to get better self portraits but my dumb brain forgot to pick it up before I left. So that meant I had to try and take all photos of myself by balancing my phone on whatever I could find in the moment. Which was sometimes very risky. But anyway, here we go.

The Gardens

self portraits pisa

The first self shot I got was on my first day in Pisa. I visited the Botanical Gardens and at one point I stopped to chill on a bench for a while and saw this as my first selfie opportunity. There were a few people round, but I’d say this was the quietest spot I snapped a picture of myself over the weekend.

I put my phone on self timer and balanced it against the armrest of the bench. And snap! After a few attempts, this is what I got. I do think the lighting could have been better, but I actually really like the shadows cast by the trees. I feel like it makes me look a lil mysterious, hah

The Museum

I captured this photo while in Florence! The one place I’ve always dreamed of visiting. I went to the Uffizi Gallery, which was frickin’ unbelievable. I took of a lot of photos of all the beauty in the building, but at one point I wanted to capture a moment of me being there.

There was an area with some benches about halfway round and I wanted to take a moment to chill as it was starting to become a long day. And of course I had to use that moment to get my next self portrait.

This setting was much busier than the gardens so apart from having more balls, the way I got the pic was the same.

The Rocks

This little shoot led to some of my favourite photos from the whole trip. I spent one day seeing a few of the Cinque Terre towns, which I totally recommend visiting btw!!

In a moment of total self love and confidence, I stuck my phone in a gap in a rock on the beach in Vernazza and posed my lil heart out. I think this gorgeous velvet swimsuit combined with the incredible time I was having just made me feel amazing. So hell yeah I strutted my stuff and posed my little heart out!

I got quite a few stares while I was getting these self portraits haha, but it was so worth it! Not only because I adore the photos, but also because not caring about what people thought of me in that moment has given me a push to do that more often when I’m in England, and not just when I travel.

So those were the 3 self portraits I got while in Italy! No, they’re nothing you’d see in Vogue, but they represent me pretty well and I’m super proud of them. Mainly because of the confidence it took to get them hah!

But as you can see, I took them on a fairly small scale so it really wasn’t that noticeable. It’s so easy to get paranoid and think everyone is staring at you, which is why I never got any self shots when I went to Prague.

But in a weird way, it’s kind of liberating to pose in public!

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Moonrise Book Review

moonrise With all the random posts that go up on this blog, surprisingly not one has ever been a book review. Well, it’s not actually that surprising considering I hadn’t completed a fiction book in about 5 years. I used to never put books down as a teen. I never fell out of love with reading, I just had less and less time and new priorities. That’s adulthood for ya. But when I was planning my weekend at 2000 Trees, I decided to take a book. Mainly just so I’d have something to do other than sit on my phone if I ever wanted an hour or two away from the festival madness. Moonrise by Sarah Crossan was the one I chose to take. It’s completely different to all the fantasy books I used to adore, and that’s why I picked it up. I’ve grown out of all those love stories. Now I want books that keep me engrossed for a different reason, and Moonrise did just that.

Now as this is my first book review, I’ve got to make sure I don’t spoil it, hah.

The main plot follows the character Joe to Texas, where his brother, Ed, is on death row. Ed was convicted of murdering a policeman after running away from home. One thing that intrigued me while I was considering buying this book was the way it was written. I always have a little flick through the pages while I’m in a book shop. I’m not sure why, but I do. I noticed the chapters of Moonrise are awfully short. They were almost verses, and that really drew me in. Probably just because I was easing myself back into reading and a short book seemed like a good way to start. But after actually reading this book, those chapters mean so much more than just me being lazy. moonrise by sarah crossan Just enough is said, no more than that. It keeps the story fast paced because you’re always wanting to find out more. And as the book covers such a sensitive topic, this gives it a huge sense of urgency. I was always turning the pages, wanting to know what happens. There are moments that shock you which also keep you enticed, but those points never take away from the message of Moonrise. At points it’s quite a tough read, but still so beautiful written. I’d recommend this book to almost everyone I know as it’s written in a way that I think most could enjoy. If you don’t mind getting hit in the feelings, definitely pick up Moonrise. It’ll really open your eyes to an issue that I think can be overlooked a lot. I’d love to know what you thought about it if you do decide to pick it up!
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The bus got me thinking

bus

I feel like I talk a lot about how much I do by myself and must come across as a super confident person. I rarely talk about the anxieties I used to have. Maybe because my mind seems to have blocked a lot of it out. Or because I think it makes me too vulnerable.

Who knows. But now I do want to talk about it because now I’ve actually thought about it, I’ve come a bloody long way!!

The other day I was walking past a bus stop that I walk past every day but for the first time, I actually registered it. Which then made me think back to when I was too scared to get the bus.

And it made me smile. From a time where just thinking of getting on a bus would make me feel physically sick, to now enjoying my train journey every morning. Well, when they’re actually running properly, hah!

That sounds like something so simple, but that was a huge step for me. And I didn’t even realised it.

But when I do remember how much anxiety filled me, causing me to rarely leave the house in my teenage years, I’m so proud of myself.

There’s still many things I have to overcome and improve, but we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t need little tweaks here and there. But the fact that I can now go out by myself to gigs, pubs, even get on a frickin plane, is amazing – if I say so myself.

bus

Because I know how awful I felt filled with worry about the simplest daily occurrences, so those were never even things I considered doing.

The reason I wanted to write this post wasn’t to say how I’ve overcome a lot of my worries. I wanted to write it because I hadn’t even realised that I’d done it. Yeah, I know how crazy it sounds.

Of course I remember how I felt every time I got a little victory, like when I first got on the bus alone. But now that was years ago and I’ve done more things since, it got pushed to the back of my mind.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, we don’t give ourselves enough credit. We need to think about those small wins more often. As tiny victories aren’t tiny at all because they lead to another challenge which we can overcome and so on.

No, it’s not easy, but it’s possible. Because now I live for those little victories. And you should too!

If you’ve read this whole post (firstly, thank you) you should think about some of your little victories. However big or small, just dig through your brain and surface some of those wins that you forgot about.

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2000 Trees Festival: pros and cons

2000 trees festival

I’ve just got back from my favourite weekend of the year so far. It was at 2000 Trees!! Not my first festival, but the first camping festival I’ve ever been to by myself.

I’d been excited for months but didn’t really know what to expect. All of my worries faded quickly with how relaxed the atmosphere was – I’d have happily stayed there another few days (yes, even with virtually no signal).

It’s a hugely underrated festival for any fans of rock music. So whether you have or haven’t heard of it, here’s what I thought of 2000 Trees – the pros and cons!

I’ve got to start with my highlight of the whole weekend, the silent disco.

Ohhhhhh myyyyyyy, that was so much fun!! I didn’t go and check out the disco at the main stage because I was having too much of a good time in The Cave. Everyone was dancing away and screaming the lyrics to a bunch of classics until 3am. I bloody loved it.

There were 2 ice cream stalls but unfortunately I only tried out one. Mainly because it was in a super cute retro van and there was always a long queue for it, so that means it’s gotta be good, right?! Hell yes. I had a double scooped honeycomb and vanilla in a waffle cone and it was heaven.

The double scoop cost £4.50, which I felt was a decent price considering how much I enjoyed it. It was the rest of the food on offer that I felt was a bit expensive. I understand that the festival has to make profit, especially considering we were allowed to take our own alcohol. But a pizza cost £11, and even when they’d ran out of mushrooms, so my ham & mushroom pizza was just ham, it still cost the same. Maybe I’m just tight with my money (it has been said).

2000 trees festival

2000 Trees was a cashless festival so all money was spent through our wristbands. When I first read about that, it worried me a lot. There seem to be many more negatives than positives to having money on your wrist. But it was the only option, so I had to deal with my doubts.

Now I’ve spent a whole weekend using the cashless system, I wanna use it more!! It was such an easy and safe way to purchase everything over the weekend. Just think contactless but with a little card on your wrist instead, where they show you your balance after every purchase.

The only negative of the system is that it costs £1 to get your unspent money refunded off the wristband. I think that’s pretty darn cheeky. But as I’ve already said, that might just be me being tight with money again.

With only a short walk between stages, I thought the layout of the area was great!

The only negative was that ‘The Cave’ tent was right next to the Acoustic Village so the noise interfered massively. I found it hard to hear people play acoustically when there was a band on at The Cave.

Even one of the musicians said a sound check happening was off putting, which is totally understandable. A tiiiiiiny move would solve that problem, so hopefully it’ll be better for the musicians and spectators in the acoustic village next year!!

But it was so easy to access everything so after wandering round with a map on the Thursday, I knew exactly where everything was. Which is super good for me because I could get lost in my own house.

2000 trees festival

As soon as you left the tent space, you were in the main area. I pitched my tent up right at the back of the field as it felt like ~ sort of ~ the best spot. It was really busy already when I got there on the Thursday afternoon, so there wasn’t much tent space elsewhere tbh.

It was a long walk to the festival from my tent, and I was closer to the portaloos than I would have liked, but those weren’t enough to piss me off, hah. Luckily I had a nice flat patch of grass so my tent was in a good position. I noticed a lot of tents down by the Forest Sessions on a huuuuuuuuge hill. I don’t know how anyone slept in those, but I’m guessing that was the only space they could find… If I’m right, that’s a bit of a shame!! Hopefully next year they can fix some of the space issues.

All in all, 2000 Trees Festival was bloody brilliant!

One I would definitely recommend if you’re into rock music. There was a huge variety of artists so there was always something new to discover.

And it wasn’t just music. There was plenty more to do – even crazy golf!! One that I didn’t try out unfortunately, playing a game of golf is one of the few things I’d feel stupid doing alone lol.

But I think if I’d have been brave enough, someone would’ve welcomed me. It’s the most friendliest festival I’ve ever been too. There was no worries about chatting to anyone. There was such a relaxed atmosphere, which is always nice when you’re on your own. I hate alone being at events that aren’t welcoming, but 2000 Trees was the complete opposite to that.

I’m this (finger and thumb are seconds away from touching) close to getting a ticket for next year.

If you want to see more of the 2000 Trees experience, check out my lil highlights video on my YouTube Channel, or right here!!

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my love for sunflowers

sunflowers

Plants are wonderful things, aren’t they? I’ve been purchasing some different ones recently, as well as discovering lots of new ones. But my favourite will always be the Sunflower.

I can’t tell you why exactly I love them so much. There’s not some deep story about how a sunflower saved my life once. I just think they’re pretty as hell.

When I was little, my brother and sister and I each had a sunflower. I remember my mom telling me how to take care of it and how I’d keep checking up on them to see who’s sunflower was growing taller. There’s always time for a bit of sibling rivalry, hah!!

I’m not sure what happened to those sunflowers now, but my love for the plant didn’t fade.

sunflower

sunflower

I’ve always loved spotting them out and about, and wearing them on my clothes!! As a print, they are perfect. Their bright yellow colour makes them stand out in nature and makes us stand out when we wear them.

Here I’m wearing a vintage sunflower print mini dress that I got from Cow. This one was speaking to me every time I walked past it in the shop. I’d accidentally knock it off the hanger and have to hang it back up or I’d spot the colours and think “oooooo that’s nice”, only to realise that I’d already looked at it 10 times. I saw all these little hints as a sign so I had to try it on and it fit me like a glove and is so so flattering!

sunflower

sunflower

When I bought this dress, it was the only sunflower ‘thing’ I had, but not anymore. A few weeks ago I spotted the plant for sale and decided that I was going to take the plunge and try to grow a sunflower again. That beauty is now happily planted in the garden!!

Actually having sunflowers around has ignited my love for them huuuuuugely. So of course I had to buy myself a bouquet of them, including roses too!

Those are what featured in this shoot. It was so much fun to get these photos. I just felt so positive, which may be down to the many sunflowers surrounding me. They just give off such good energy.

sunflower

What’s your favourite flower?

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3 ways to make your morning better

morning

I’m not a morning person. I snooze my alarm every bloody day, sometimes for an hour, like this morning… And after I finally drag myself out of bed, I’ll admit I’m not the chirpiest person.

That’s a trait I’ve been wanting to change for-flippin-ever but it doesn’t seem to be possible. I’m never going to be over the moon about getting up before 8am, so I’ve accepted it!! Instead I’ve been working on ways to make my morning better once I’m out of bed. Just some little changes in my routine that will hopefully put me in a better mood.

As you can probably guess, trying to get up earlier doesn’t work for me. So that rules out a lot of things because no one has the time to switch up their whole routine.

But there are a few things that do lift my mood most times. I thought I’d share them with you in case you’re just as much of a morning hater as me.

Put some music on

Who doesn’t love a dance? I used to play music every minute of the day in my bedroom when I was in my early teens, but like a lot of things, I grew out of it. So now it’s a nice change to play some music in the morning while I get ready for work.

I tend to just play whatever music I’m feeling that day, but you could make a specific morning playlist for all the tunes you wanna sing a long too to start your day off right!!

5 minute break

Routine can be great but I think part of why I get pissed off in the morning is because my routine is so same-y and busy. Recently I’ve just been taking 5 minutes chill time to sit with a cup of tea.

I sit with my dog, check my phone, sometimes just daydream. It’s just nice to take a short break from the usual hectic morning.

morning

This one shouldn’t require you to get up any earlier but if you don’t want to risk getting carried away- we’ve all spent too long scrolling and ended up late, you can always set a slightly earlier alarm before you start to implement this one into your routine!!

Eat breakfast

Now this is something that should probably already be part of your morning routine, but it actually isn’t for me. Eating first thing in the morning is something I’ve not been able to master yet – don’t get me started on my eating habits, sigh!!

I never tend to have a lot of energy when I wake up, and of course eating helps with that. So that’s one I’m trying to get better at, because recently I’ve noticed my mood gets better when I have a little snack before work.

And there you go! That’s 3 ways I’ve been trying to make my mornings better recently.

Let me know if you do any of these and find them helpful to lift that damn morning mood, or whether you do something i haven’t mentioned!!

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Prague pics

prague pics

It feels like it’s been bloody ages since I was in Prague, but it was only February. Ain’t it crazy how you can be in a different country, have this amazing experience and then you get home and everything goes back to normal in an instant. Almost making you forget about the trip you just had.

So if you hadn’t guessed, my first solo trip to Prague has slipped my mind a bit. But something reminded me of it the other day.

I can’t tell you what exactly that was now, but it made me reminisce about my little adventure.

Then I thought, damn, I haven’t done that photo diary I planned to do. To be honest, it was a good excuse for me to go through all my Prague pics again.

So I’ve picked out my favourites and thought I’d give you a bit of a context with a few of them. It’s mostly it’s all pics for an easy scroll! If you wanna see more of my trip, you can check out my highlights video or my lengthy blog post.

I don’t think it’s possible to truly capture the beauty of Prague, but I hope you can get even just a hint of it from this post.

prague pics

prague pics
my hotel room looked super modern but was so so cosy!!

prague pics

prague pics

prague pics
the old town was definitely my favourite area i visited in prague. just look how cute these buildings are

prague pics

prague pics
the insane view from charles bridge

prague pics

prague pics
i couldn’t resist going into a gingerbread museum

prague pics

prague pics

prague pics
sunnies!! because even though it was -14 degrees, the sun was blinding, hah!

prague pics
ahhhh the hard rock cafe !! i may have left here a bit tipsy, but with amazing food and cocktails, it was the best night i had while i was there!

the old town was even more beautiful at sunset

prague pics
the decor in the james dean diner was funky

prague pics

prague pics
salvador dali exhibition – so worth a visit !

prague museum
because you can’t not take a sneaky selfie when one of the exhibits is a mirror

prague pics
the andy warhol exhibition was so interesting. another one i’d hugely recommend