Tag "Beauty Blog"

My Aquatic Mermaid Shoot With Chiara Aprea!

I spend a lot of time on the blog talking about my love of fashion and showing you all the outfits that I have put together. When I first started this blog my aim was to show plus size women a variety of clothing styles available to them and hopefully give them some ideas and tips when styling their looks. Early on in my journey to confidence I played around with my look and it was through this experimentation that I discovered that we all have the ability to wear whatever we like and we can use fashion as a way to show our personality and have fun. As it stands I haven’t shared that many beauty looks on the blog because in truth, I haven’t had much of a chance to play around in that area.

There is one woman who knows my face better than most and is able to transform my image in a variety of ways. Chiara Aprea is real visionary and such a talent! So far most of my photo shoots have been with her. As a plus size model, photographer and makeup artist her skills are second to none. I love working with her because each experience is different to the last. When Chiara and I prepare to do a shoot we usually brainstorm over different themes and MUA styles. I had told Chiara quite some time ago that I really wanted to do a beauty shoot featuring fantasy mermaid makeup. Fast forward a few months and we had set a date to transform me into an aquatic mermaid with hints of the ice queen!

Having worked with Chiara twice before I knew I was going to be in for a fun and very creative day. Our first shoot together was a vintage boudoir theme with a series of different costume and hair changes. My makeup for this shoot remained the same but the different accessories, angles and looks made for a really varied set of photos. To see some of them check out my previous post about it here.

Second time around was a new experience for both myself and Chiara. She had wanted to start offering beauty shoots which focused on hair and makeup set to a specific theme. This time around she had approached me to do this with her. The idea was to transform me from the Mayah you are all familiar with to a technicolor geisha and dangerous dominatrix! I loved the idea as I thought this would be a challenge and a great way to play with makeup! Chiara thought that with my hair type and complexion I would be a great candidate to showcase some of her capabilities that people weren’t very familiar with. To see some of these images and hear about our day check out my previous post here.

So here we are, I’m back in the makeup chair and this time we both knew that the process of application would be quite lengthy. Firstly she started by painting my forehead in a blue and silver gradient. My eyes and hairline were perfectly lined and the plan was to have a similar finish on my lips. We then added sequins and glitter and finished off by adding tons of diamontes in a variety of sizes and shades of blue. We then straightened my hair, added extensions and sprayed the tips in white and silver hair paint. The colours we used didn’t show up hugely on my hair but they gave me a slight tint which actually worked really well in the pictures.

My aim was to tap into a really quiet sombre side of my personality and do my best not to smile. As quite a smiley person this was a challenge for me. The aim was for me to showcase all of my emotion through my eyes. We switched up the lighting throughout the shoot which gave my skin and makeup a really interesting hue throughout. When bright lights hit my eyes they tend to go from their usual dark brown to a bright chestnut colour, this happens to me in the sunshine too. I really love that in these pictures my eyes constantly look different and I have a variety of expressions from dark and moody to sweet and sultry. I absolutely love how these pictures came out and love the high fashion feel that they have. Once again I am in awe of Chiara’s work and her direction helped me pose for some beautiful images.

If you would like to see more of Chiara’s work check out her photography page on Facebook. You can also get information on how to book your own shoot. To check it out click here.

As I mentioned before Chiara is not only an amazing photographer and makeup artist she is also a successful plus size model and a gorgeous one at that! Check out her model page here.

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

Mum In A Million!

So it’s Mother’s day here in the UK and with that we are seeing streams of lovely tributes and comments for mums all over social media today. I have to say I am a soppy chick sometimes and I’m one of those people who really enjoys seeing people express the love they have for their friends and family.

Of course today we are all celebrating mums and I would like to write a post about why I am extremely lucky to have such an amazing mother myself. Now I will just start by saying I won’t post any pictures of my mum on the blog as she’s not on social media at all and probably wouldn’t want me posting her pic.

In my case though, I have to say I have a really great relationship with my mum. I won’t lie and say it’s always been a smooth one, I think all teenage girls get to a point when they clash with their mum but in my case that was only a very short period and it actually helped me to really appreciate my mum. Growing up in London, my immediate family has always been my mum and my older brother. My parents divorced when I was young and my relationship with my father died shortly after that. I grew up only really knowing one side of my family and I have to say I wasn’t short on love, laughs and family excitement. Admittedly though growing up in a single parent family presents many struggles. I saw my mum work her fingers to the bone so that myself and my brother could not only have all that we needed but also most of the things that we wanted in addition to that. During my childhood my mum spent some time in the hospital after suffering from pneumonia and that was a really difficult time. My grandmother very much acted as a second mother to me and their influence together has helped to shape me into the woman I am today.

I know it sounds corny but my mum really is my best friend. I don’t mean that in a happy go lucky sort of way though. I know that no matter what situation I should find myself in, whatever decision I have to make etc. my mum is the first person I need to speak to. Not only has she played the role of both mum and dad in my life she’s the one person who will give me the truth in a direct, blunt manner. I’m a very “tell it like it is” sort of a person, I think this is a trait I picked up from her. I know that she has ALWAYS and will ALWAYS have the best interests of me and my brother and with that will tell us the things we may not like or may not want to hear that in turn will be the best information we could receive.

I have to say I’m so proud of my mum, I really am. I’m not naive and unable see all that she has given up for me and my brother. She had my brother at just 25 years old and I came along a year after. I’m 27 years old now and I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to be raising 2 kids in London on her own! She of course had less personal time, money and opportunities because she would do everything with us as her priority. A couple of years ago she moved out to India for a year. I of course missed having those deep chats and fun nights chilling at home with her, but to see her taking the chance to do something for her and her alone is something I more than welcomed. Not only has she been an amazing influence to me and my brother she also took the time to be there for many of our friends growing up. Mum has an ease about her which allows people to connect with her and openly chat about things. A lot of my friends also grew up in broken homes or they just didn’t have the kind of relationship with their parents that allowed them to speak about personal issues. One of my oldest friends grew up without her mother and during those difficult adolescent years as a teenager it was my mum who stepped up and helped her to deal with her first period and some of the other awkward things we girls experience.

I have been fortunate to have a mother who supports me and my brother in our career aspirations and future goals. She’s always had my back and always will and I really feel that I do have one of the best mums out there! Love you mum xxx

I was recently contacted by the lovely people at the Home Group who are running an amazing competition with Park Dean called Mum In A Million. You could win an amazing 3-4 night break for your mum. All you have to do is enter your details with a few words about why your mum is the best and you could be the lucky winner! Click here to enter!

Sparkly Kisses – A Glitter Lips Review!

Recently I have had some enquires about which beauty products I like to use. I will be sure to share some of my tips and tricks with you all in the very near future but for now I must talk about a product I discovered whilst at a fashion event. Admittedly I’m more of a gloss and balm girl when it comes to my lips but every so often I am looking to wear some fun and fresh lipsticks. A new style of lip-wear has reached us and with it comes that added shimmer and sparkle we have been missing! What am I talking about?

Glitter Lips of course!

I first discovered this product when I attended the recent Cut For Evans launch held at the Marble Arch store here in London. Initially I tried out a lilac/pink shade as it matched my dress, I think this may have been the Molly Dolly colour. I fell in love with it! First of all I was seriously impressed by how life proof this stuff is! You can eat, drink, talk, smoke, whatever and this stuff stays on! It’s really simple to apply and comes with a gummy style glue which you apply just the same as you would a basic lip gloss. It appears white on your lips and when it starts to go transparent you then apply the glitter powder to your lips. I really like the end result that you get with this product.

It’s really easy to remove too all you need is some oil based make-up remover, but baby oil or Vaseline would work also. Simply add some to a cotton bud, wipe and hey presto you’re glitter free!

Selfie Taken The First Time I Tried Glitter Lips

I tend to go for blood red tones when selecting lipsticks. My love of vintage pinup fashion and beauty styles tends to be the main reason, also I  like how red works against my skin tone. This of course made me gravitate towards the Ruby Slippers shade when I bought my first Glitter Lips kit. This isn’t the sort of lip make up I would wear on a daily basis, but this would be a lot of fun to wear out to a club or something or to add a little edge to a simple look. I may even try this out in a photoshoot or something.

If you feel like trying out something a little different why not pick up a shade yourself? They’re only £12.50 and in even better news there is an option to get free postage on the website! To find out more about Beauty Boulevard and their amazing Glitter Lips range, click here.

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

Bloggers Love Fashion Week

A couple of weeks ago there was a 3 day long extravaganza for all bloggers. Being in attendance at an event that heavily featured fashion and beauty was not something me and the girls were going to miss out on! The theme of the night was “Black City Chic” and everyone was ready and dressed to impress for the evening.

A fashion show was taking place which included new collections and fun pieces, hair, make up and beauty stands filled the penthouse floor and we were given the opportunity to try out many new and interesting products. As a HUGE fan of fantasy make-up, I couldn’t resist the chance to try out the amazing sparkle and glitter styles by The Parlour. Blue, purple and silver glitter and sequins framed my eye (my favourite colours) and gave me a very different look.

It’s always fun to see my girls and I have to admit. When you put 3 bloggers in a photobooth, wild things happen…………………………
Anne-Lise, Helen and I definitely went a little wild lol.
All in all the girls and I had a fantastic night and it was a shame for it to be over so fast. It’s always great to meet with other bloggers and see what amazing products are out there for us to buy.
Here we are towards the end of the night:
From left to right: Helen, Myself, Hollie, Leighanne and Anne-Lise
I look forward to future events by Bloggers Love as this one was great fun!

You Are Good Enough!

One thing that us plus size bloggers enjoy is taking part in a good challenge. This time Debz aka Wannabe Princess  set us the task of spreading the message that YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! The idea was taken from a blog on tumblr and has been expanded a little. With so much ridicule and body snark spreading across webpages we are aiming to push out as many positive messages as we can by talking about a part of ourselves that we love.

Confidence is such an important thing and with this task, I decided to talk about my eyes.
My eyes are my favourite part of my face and often, the facial feature I get the most compliments on. With all of my confidence battles over the years and all the time I spent hating myself and the way that I looked, I have always loved my eyes.
In these pictures I am wearing varying degrees of eye make up. The first 2 shots are a few years old but I like how my eyes look in them. 
I am pictured with absolutely no make on in the second picture. 
Whenever I meet someone new for the first time, their eyes are what first strike me about their appearance. I think you can tell a lot about a person through the looks and the expressions they make with their eyes. I definitely agree with that age old saying ‘the eyes are the window to the soul’.
In my case I really like the shape and size of my eyes. Whenever I look back on pictures of myself, my eyes always look really bright and expressive. Even though we all scrap those bad pictures of ourselves that will never make it online, I often find myself saying something like ‘shame about my hair but my eyes look nice!’ For me I would say that they are the main focus on my face, which might explain why I spend more time putting on my eye make up then I often do putting my outfits together!
We all have those parts of ourselves that we may not like very much.
I think that until we can learn to embrace those problem areas we should really embrace those bits we love the most. Despite what goes on in today’s society and what things are pushed our way it’s important for you to remember that YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!
I would love to hear what your favourite body part is and why so please feel free to drop me a message.
Check out some of the posts by the other bloggers taking part:

Skin And Hair Problems Solved… With Turmeric!

When it comes to beauty I think one of the best things a person can do is take care of their skin. Now I’m someone who has combination skin on my face, which can be a nightmare to deal with. With general skin care, wearing make up and even using certain hair products I struggle with getting the perfect balance. I have what’s known as an oily T zone and I have some dryer areas to my face. I moisturise daily and I exfoliate on a regular basis. The thing is I don’t like putting chemicals on my skin a lot of the time as they can be costly and because some people have sensitive skin that can react badly to abrasive ingredients. I try to stick to the products that I know work for me.

When I was at a recent trip to my salon, my hair stylist made sure to tell me about her latest beauty secret. When she gave me the details I was so enthused to hear that I can make my own very effective skin care treatments using one or two things in my kitchen cupboards and my fridge!
One fantastic ingredient that I have always been known to use when adding that little extra something to a dish while cooking is something I have personally renamed the super spice……. Turmeric! After seeing the results of a regular skin cleanse I decided to do a little research myself and I discovered so many useful tips and tricks for this amazing spice!
I knew this spice had some fantastic properties to it but I had no idea that it could be used to do so many fantastic things for your hair and skin! 
Acne Treatment: There’s a simply face mask that you can make using raw honey and powdered turmeric. If you mix the two ingredients together to form a paste, smear it on your face and leave it for about 30 mins or so and simply wash off. If you have pale skin you may have to spend a little extra time washing this off as it may leave a slight yellow hue on your skin. The end result is extremely smooth skin that will have a natural looking glow.
Scar Treatments: Many people have scars from popping spots, cuts and bruises, eczema, stretch marks… you name it we may all have something! There is a simple treatment that is set to seriously help with the problems. Again using turmeric you can mix it with milk and flour, make a thick paste leave it on for around 30 mins (or longer if you prefer), wash it off  with water first and then again with a gentle soap. Hey presto you have a cheap and effective treatment to help make the scars fade. Some people also use turmeric and yoghurt with a little olive oil for the same effects.
Some people like to take it internally for a skin treatment mixing it with milk and black pepper. From what I hear it does not taste like anything special but the effects are fantastic!
Foundation Make Up: Many people have trouble getting the perfect shade of foundation and have been known to mix two different shades together to get to a close colour. Some have even been known to mix turmeric into their foundation to create the perfect shade for their skin tone, cream and powdered foundations are more likely to work better than bottled foundations because you can mix enough to match you skin tone into your compact or jar and then that’s you set until it runs out. If you do decide to do this I would gradually add it into until you reach the colour you are aiming for.
Facial Hair Treatment: Many women have been known to have random spurts of facial hair growth. Some wax, bleach and shave the hairs which in some cases can make the problem worse and even if you have dealt with the issue you may have a slight inkling that someone else can see those pesky hairs. Women around the world suffer from this problem and it can be rather embarrassing for them to deal with. This can be caused by an imbalance of hormones, a condition called Hirsutism. In India where turmeric is used on a regular basis for a series of things, some women also use it to fight this issue.
Mixing it into paste using just water, apply it to the area and leave it on the skin until it dries. After the paste has dried proceed to wash it off. Some people have been known to mix this with gram flour also. You would need to do this frequently over a period of about a month to notice the results.
Anti Dandruff Treatment: Mixing turmeric and olive oil is known to be extremely effective for helping with an itchy scalp and dandruff problems. Apply to the hair and leave for about 15 minutes before washing out with your regular shampoo. This is known to stimulate the hair follicles providing nutrition and circulation to the scalp.
As we all have different skin types if you decide to try any of these treatments you may want to do a small patch test on your skin to see how you feel with any of these remedies and to see how the turmeric washes off your skin. I would advise that you take care when doing this as it may stain your clothes or towels. 
I have only outlined a few of the fantastic beauty treatments that this fantastic spice can provide. It is also known to be an anti inflammatory ingredient, and has been used to help with toothache, bruises, chest pain and colic, women with menstrual problems have also found it helpful.
If you do try any of these treatments please let me know how you get on. I’d love to know how it works for you!

DIY Teeth Whitener!

One thing that is important to most of us is our smile! Our teeth are on show a lot more than we may think about. Every time we speak, eat, yawn and of course smile our teeth are showcased. Now for me my teeth are very important to me and as someone who drinks perhaps a little too much coffee and who is also an ex smoker, keeping them pearly white is no easy feat! Now I have heard way too many horror stories about what teeth bleaching can do to the strength of your teeth and even some scary side effects. Not everyone has had a bad experience doing this but one thing we can all agree on is that it’s a rather costly procedure to have done.

If like me you have tried almost every tooth whitening paste on the shelf, and have seen little or no difference then you may want to try this home remedy which is virtually costless and is extremely simple to make! All that is needed is 2 simple ingredients and they can both be found in your kitchen, Strawberries and Bicarbonate of soda!

So here’s the recipe you need to make your own DIY teeth whitening solution:
1. Crush up your strawberries until they turn into a slushy sort of paste.
2. Mix in a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.
3. Apply to your teeth using a tooth brush or a cotton bud.
4. Leave for around 3-6 minutes.
5. Rinse and then brush your teeth as normal.

Any excess strawberry seeds can be removed with dental floss.

Strawberries are extremely good for teeth whitening as their acidic content is fantastic for striping dies and stains from your teeth. Bicarbonate of soda is often used outside of the cooking arena for cleaning and whitening treatments.

Regular chewing of gum is a great way to keep your Saliva glands stimulated, having a good amount of Saliva in your mouth helps to prevent any stains from settling on your teeth.

Some people even eat a piece of cheese once a day to stimulate the gums and to provide a good source of calcium into the diet. For those of you who are intolerant to dairy or have a vegan diet, sesame seeds is also a fantastic source of calcium and can be quite a nice addition in salads and other meals.

Give this one a try and please let me know how you get on and if you see an improvement to your pearly whites!

Some of you may wish to consult a dentist before giving this one a try, as like most things we all react differently.