Sunday, 15 December 2013

What I a Christmas party Instagram Edition

Last night was my work Christmas party and like the amazingly organised blogger I am, didn't have time to take proper blog photographs.  Instead, here are some lovely grainy Instagram snaps of what I wore.

My dress is from Warehouse a couple of years ago.  I had originally bought this dress from Missguided which I absolutely love however it was incredibly short, especially for a work night out.  After some last minute panicking (by panicking I mean, throwing every piece of clothing I own on the floor) I found this black body con dress with silver embellished shoulders from Warehouse.  I love Warehouse dresses - I have fallen in love with this beautiful leather and feather dress - it would be perfect for New Year!

On my face, I wore M.A.C Studio Fix Fluid, NARS Laguna Bronzer, Bourjois Rose D'or, Laura Mercier Mosaic Shimmer Bloc and Rimmel Stay Matte powder.  On my eyes, I wore Benefit's creaseless cream shadow in Strut, Urban Decay Gunmetal, M.A.C Carbon, my all time favourite M.A.C 3d silver glitter (Christmas isn't Christmas without a little glitter), Two Faced Perfect Eyes eyeliner (this has quickly become one of my favourite products ever!) and Ardell Demi Wispies.  On my lips, I wore YSL Rouge Volupte #19 and Dior's Lip Glow.  

Then after a few too many shots of Sambucca, I got a little carried away and got some leopard print face paint done - just call me the female Mike Tyson!

I would love to see what you all wore to your Christmas parties - link me up!

Love Nic 

Monday, 9 December 2013

Espa Skin Purifying Facial at The Retreat

On Saturday, I was invited to the launch of a range of Espa products and treatments at The Retreat in West Calder, West Lothian.  The Retreat aims to bring the quality of treatments often found in larger cities and spas to a more accessible location for the people of West Lothian. I absolutely love this - I think the standard of local salons found in Scotland is getting higher and higher; The Retreat being the perfect example of this. I was given the opportunity to choose one of the Espa treatments and chose the Skin Purifying Facial.  

I was introduced to my therapist Evelyn and got to ask her about the training she completed in Gleneagles to become an Espa certified therapist - it sounded quite an intense course and trusted I was in excellent hands!  I was then taken through a consultation and was asked what concerned me most about my skin. I've mentioned so many times on Magic's in the Make Up that I have quite oily skin which is prone to breakouts around my T-zone and acne scarring. The Skin Purifying Facial sounded perfect as it is designed to help congested and problematic skin.

After my consultation, I was taken in to my treatment room.  It was like walking into an oasis of instant calm.  The room was lit by beautifully scented aromatherapy candles, there was relaxing music playing and the treatment bed was so comfortable. Firstly, Evelyn analysed my skin using 'SkinVision' technology and it turns out that on the whole, my skin is fairly normal, with an oily T-zone and the occasional dry patch (I've been giving it a bad wrap this whole time!) 

The facial lasted 55 minutes and used the Espa balancing range (this smells AMAZING) which helps deep cleanse the skin, regulate oil and refine pores.  A number of products were used throughout the facial (I need the Balancing facial oil in my skin care routine), and Evelyn used a number of facial massage techniques and gentle exfoliation gloves to help my skin feel thoroughly cleansed.  While waiting for a face mask to work its magic, I was also given a hand and arm massage.  Of all the facials I have experienced, the Espa Purifying facial left me feeling the most relaxed and pampered, I felt so sleepy afterwards!  I also loved how bright my skin looked as you can see below - even Nick commented on my skin which is unheard of!

If you are looking for a professional and friendly salon in Scotland, The Retreat is perfect.  Within driving distance from both Glasgow and Edinburgh, it offers five star quality treatments at an affordable price.   It has such a warm and welcoming atmosphere that it would be difficult to not leave feeling relaxed!  The Retreat offers an amazing variety of facials - there is one to suit all skin types, including a personalised express facial which is only 30 minutes long and tailored to your skin type!  I definitely want to try one of the body treatments next - the salt and oil scrub sounds amazing and I've always wanted to try a hot stone massage!

I would love to hear about your experiences of facials. Have you ever tried an Espa treatment?


Monday, 2 December 2013

Operation Disco Pants: An Update

I recently posted this photograph on Instagram showing my weight loss progress so far.  While my weight loss has definitely slowed down of late (the result of a two week holiday in Portugal, a weekend away in Liverpool and too many Afternoon Teas…), I'm so happy that I've maintained my two and a half stone loss.

Over the last 6 months I've come to realise just how bad my diet was before: I could easily munch a packet of Percy Pigs on my way home from work , I would often eat a whole pizza twice a week and probably drank far too much wine.  Although I would tell myself I was happy because I allowed myself to eat all the cheese I wanted, it turns out I really wasn't.  In fact, I was pretty miserable.  I had no self confidence: if a dress didn't have sleeves, I wouldn't wear it, if it wasn't black, I wouldn't wear it.  Meeting new people absolutely terrified me and my anxiety was through the roof (I'm still working on this but getting better!). As crazy as it sounds, I was positive people wouldn't be interested in getting to know me because I was overweight. With every goal I've set myself and met, I gain a little more confidence.  I mean, I wore a white dress in public!  Most excitingly of all?  I bought a pair of Disco Pants (OK, not the most exciting news but it was a big deal to me…I cried in the changing room when they fit!)

Recently someone told me in work that I had given them hope that they too could lose weight and to me, this means so much.  It's true, if I can do it you can too.  I think the most important thing is to sit down and be 100% honest with yourself: be realistic with your goals.  I've found that I've steadily lost about 1-2 lbs a week using My Fitness Pal.  If like me, you need structure and goals to meet, but also need a degree of flexibility, My Fitness Pal is great.  If you don't want to be reigned in by a calorie count and still be able to eat a wide range of foods, Slimming World might be the best choice.  If you find you lose weight best on a low carb diet, try going paleo for a month and see how you feel.  

 Most important of all?  Do whatever it takes to become happy and healthy...

…while still allowing yourself some cheese.

Lots of Love

Other Operation Disco Pants: