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Get Off My Back



Bag - House of Fraser | Jumper - H&M 

Photos by Emer Davidson 

The past few weeks have been unique. It was a weird morning to wake up and see my face, or rather my body, all over the internet. I never thought a picture of me in a swimsuit would cause such a stir online. My blog followers were such a confidence boost and it was such a pleasure to know I'd helped people in their own confidence journey. Being in other publications, despite not giving them permission to use my images or my words, was not such a delight. It was utterly bizarre to see people comment on my height, weight and looks. Often the mean comments would come from people around my mother's age - that shocked me the most. I can't imagine how someone who might have a daughter or niece my age would take the time to fat shame someone on the internet. I have to admit I did shed a few tears over the bad comments and it was at that point I decided not to read anymore of them and turn off my phone. I am forever grateful for the lovely comments and have turned my back to negative comments. The experience has toughed me up and humbled me. 

My new 'Get Off My Back' attitude meant this jumper from H&M was perfect! I had to pick it up when I saw it. It's very tongue in cheek which is my humour. My Friday Forever clutch from House of Fraser is also a new favourite - reminding me why 6pm on a Friday is forever a glorious feeling!

I can't believe it's September & sweater season again - bring it on! I love autumn! 

The new beauty concession your bank balance needs


I basically live in House of Fraser's beauty hall. I could spend hours swatching products and buying ANOTHER nude lipstick I don't need! House of Fraser Belfast now has a fun counter called Beauty Spotlight. The marble and rose gold counter features products from some of the hottest emerging brands on the market including the must coveted The Ordinary skincare line. The best bit about it is that Spotlight helps feed your beauty addiction without breaking the bank balance! Products starts from around £4! House of Fraser kindly sent me over some of the Spotlight top products to try - I've picked out my favourites below!

Starskin
There's an array of face masks at the Spotlight counter. From new brand Nugg to Tony Moly, there's a mask for everyone. I adore the Starskin range as it feels super luxurious. They have everything from lip masks to my favourite sheet masks to try. I find all of the Starskin products super hydrating. Their red carpet ready mask is perfect before that special night out so you look extra flawless. 

NIOD
NIOD is the big sister of The Ordinary skincare range. More concentrated and a little more pricey, the range contains lots of products that specifically target skin concerns. As hydration is always my main concern, I tried out the Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex. I applied this serum to my face each night to clean skin before bed, something before moisturiser and sometimes simply by itself. After 4 weeks my skin looked clearer, more plumped and glowy than ever before. I really recommend this product, especially for coming into the winter months when skin needs a moisture boost. 

Spectrum
These brushes quickly replaced Real Techniques brushes as my most favourite brushes of all time! Firstly, my set (pictured) look AMAZING. They are super chic but more than that, they are great value for money. A 10 piece set comes in at £40. They wash really easily, apply makeup like a dream and are very sturdy. A great brand for all ages but especially for younger girls looking to start out their brush collection. 

Pixi
Pixi is a brand I've long advocated on my blog. It's a great cruelty free brand as well as having some fab products including the iconic Glow Tonic. I tried out the Glow Tonic to Go pads which were really handy for holidays. I'm also a huge fan of Pixi's brow products as well as their plumping lipgloss. 

Tangle Teezer
If you have thick and curly hair like me, you NEED a Tangle Teezer in your life. I've owned one for a few years and I was delighted to see Beauty Spotlight stock them. They are the easiest way to keep your hair knot free. I also love to use mine in the shower to brush through my conditioner or mask! These make a great stocking filler or little birthday gift. 

I can't wait to see where Beauty Spotlight goes from here - it's great fun discovering all of the little gems it has!

*Products are PR samples. All views my own.

Unexpected gems #1




Sometimes there are products you seem to write off before you even try them. Whether the marketing has targeted a different demographic to the one you are part of or the packaging isn't speaking to you, I know there are so many products I wouldn't naturally gravitate towards. However, being a beauty blogger has its perks. I get sent products to try that makes me open my eyes to new brands. I hope to bring some of these products (plus products I've picked up randomly!) in the Unexpected Gems series. 

Time Bomb is a range I knew largely from my mother's childhood QVC addiction and the link they have with the legend that is Lulu. I had always assumed the range was targeted a little older than my demographic but I'm happy to say I was wrong. If you love Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish, you'll love this even more. It removes makeup easily and thanks to the microdermabrasion crystals, it gently buffs away dead skin cells leaving skin glowing! This is a great product for all ages - in fact I let my mum use it too and she adored it! 

I'd read so much about this scent online and it's likeness to many high end designer fragrances *cough cough Tom Ford*. This unisex scent is very unique - musky, sexy and fruity all combined. As it is an Eau De Cologne, this differs from the perfumes we are used to. Colognes like this one are a real mix of citrus oils. 4711 is the original cologne created in 1799 and the scent is what is worn by the central character in Breakfast at Tiffany's! The best bit about it is that is smells so expensive yet costs next to nothing - 100ml is less than £20! The bottle is super traditional so I love having it sitting out and it also comes in a spray version if this splash style bottle isn't for you. 

*PR Sample

Acceptance


I have posted on this blog so many times about being happy, confidence and body issues. I'd say 2017 was were I personally really hit a wall with my own confidence. After turning 25 last November, I really started to look at my life. I'm a clever girl with a good job but I don't have a significant other or a baby - 2 things that many of my friends seem to have and that I assumed I would have by 25. 

I started to blame myself, or rather, my own physicality for the lack of these. I had convinced myself no man wanted me because I wasn't a size 10. Even typing it seems insane. I have friends of varying sizes with & without partners. I didn't really have any concrete evidence of my lack of partner based on how I look but my stupid brain had convinced me this was the case. 

I'm so hard on myself - in any situation I will always blame myself no matter how big or small. I realised this is a really bad habit to have and that it was feeding my confidence issues. I was constantly making myself the problem or apologising rather than being proud to be independent, curvy or different from the crowd. 

However, this week when on holiday and after a good bit of soul searching, I realised my own hang ups are normal. All women worry about the size of their tummy, boobs, back fat... whether they are a size 6 or a size 16. I decided to post a picture of me in my swimsuit that proceeded to go viral with so many women praising my confidence - little did they know I've spent so much time this year crying in fitting rooms, crying at the gym and generally feeling awful! 

I feel like there have been a few things that have helped me this year to grow in confidence... I hope my tips help you to grown and to #RockYourBody, no matter what size or shape you are. 

Go easy on yourself
I'm a girl's girl. I will always tell my friends (or random girls in nightclubs when I've drank too many gins) that they/their makeup/their outfit is fleeky. I'm a strong believer in telling people they look fabulous - especially my friends who I know have their own body confidence struggles. I was not extending this rule to myself, frequently putting myself down before going on nights. I'm making a conscious effort to try to be more positive about myself. If you are quick to criticise yourself, others will be too. 

Surround yourself with body positivity
Around my birthday last year I moved jobs and with that came new work friends. One of these has turned out to be a ride or die friend - the type I know that will be clapping for me the day I get married. I've never met someone with such a fantastic outlook on life. She encourages me no end - the best thing she ever told me was that I'm such a prize and that I shouldn't need to convince myself of this. Her values on life align with me so it has been the most amazing thing to have someone who encourages you to be the best version of yourself. Find someone who does this for you, whether it be a work friend, partner or parent - it has made a huge difference to my life! 

Treat yourself
A huge part of me feeling awful about myself was the lack of 'chill time' I had. I was running around from blog events to work to other commitments. I had very little time at home to get a shower, do a face mask and do my tan - simple things that make me feel like the best version of myself. I am trying to get into better habits of having a daily time to look after myself - whether that be an hour in the gym or a 10 minute mask before bed!

I am so aware in writing this post that many women struggle unendlessly with their confidence. I've been on such a journey this year with mine - with very anxious periods and down periods where I have felt pretty worthless. Improving my confidence has started with myself being honest about why I struggle & being positive in my outlook about myself. I'm not encouraging everyone to post a swimsuit picture but the largest thing I took from doing that was that women are mostly kind & clap for other women. Over 200 women commented on the post and said I looked great or they wished they had my confidence. No one talked about my back fat, but rather my smile, contentment and confidence they felt was coming from the picture. Confidence, like happiness, has ebbs and flows but I'm glad I have a healthier outlook on myself moving forward.