If there is a single quality we all share, that is our striving to be happy. Everything we do in life, from putting on your favorite song, making pancakes, to finding “the one” for you, it all boils down to finding our true purpose and our happiness spring. However, there are certain behaviors that promote that
wonderful feeling of bliss, and exercise is one of the most powerful fuels for all-encompassing joy in life.

Still, the world has two very distinct types of people: those who always seem perky and happy after their workout, and those who find the previous gang exceptionally annoying. If, by chance, you belong to the second tribe, perhaps this brief post will convince you to give the idea of fitness consistency another chance!

A natural stress-reliever
Whether it’s a stressful occupation, or you’re simply going through a rough time in life, you need a healthy way to work around all that negative energy and vent whenever possible. Although we’d all love for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s to be the way out, these delicious treats are only a temporary feel-good option.

On the other hand, working out is such a powerful tool for warding off the negativity that it can help treat and minimize the symptoms of anxiety and depression. By reducing exhaustion, and boosting your mental capacity, exercise is a mighty way to help you stay on the right track.

Happy hormones
As a response to exercising, your brain floods your body with happy chemicals, including endorphin, dopamine, and serotonin, which are responsible for our feelings of happiness and serenity. So, when you feel down in the dumps, head for the treadmill, dance to your favorite tunes, lift some weights, just
stay active, and your body will do the rest!

Funometer in full-speed
Distraction is often the perfect ingredient for fending off negativity, and what a better way to keep your mind and body occupied than a little bit of physical activity? If you find your typical gym routine dull, then it’s time to swap it for something more fun, like riding your mini cruiser down the street,
rollerblading in the park, or learning a new dance. When you finally tackle a new skill, you’ll feel invigorated and eager to exercise even more!

Boosts self-confidence
When you’re able to overcome your current limits and see yourself push through challenges when you  work out, it’s natural that your confidence will bloom! After all, it’s not just a great physique that defines how we perceive ourselves, but a general feeling of accomplishment and growth. Running a marathon or taking part in a pole dance competition can give you precisely that feeling, because you let yourself evolve so much that you leave your comfort zone every day.

Fewer sick days
Keeping your cardiovascular system happy and your muscles and bones strong makes for a perfect foundation to stay healthy throughout the year. You’ll be able to flush out toxins better, and your body produces more antibodies that keep you disease-safe. Mild to moderate types of exercise such as
jogging, walking, yoga, and swimming are the best medicine for the flu season, so keep those running shoes and your warm winter gear nearby!

More beauty sleep
Although exercise gives you an energy boost for the day, it also helps balance your circadian rhythm by regulating your body temperature. In simple terms, you’ll fall asleep in a matter of minutes, and you’ll enjoy a full night of uninterrupted shut-eye thanks to your daily workout routine. Sleeping well also translates to more energy during the day, better collagen production (which means less wrinkles,ladies!), and becoming more resilient to stress triggers in your life!

Better mood
Too much stress, living in a crowded, noisy city, and spending time with negative people can all bring us down even on the calmest of days. But when you surround yourself with positive, like-minded people such as the gang attending the same Zumba class as you are, you’re bound to start smiling soon enough. Socializing combined with pushing your heart rate up and flooding your body with those happy hormones all work together to lift your spirits and help you relax.

Simply put, working out consistently makes for the best long-term happiness strategy you could possibly wish for – just pick your sport, change your routine every once in a while, keep it challenging, and enjoy your newly-found Hakuna Matata!

Guest post by: Samantha Olivier

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Merry Christmas [for less than two months ago], apparently!

I’m your belated E.l.f that’s still on the shelf! Pardon?!?

Umm, I’d like to start by mentioning that I have no recollection of an idea as to why I didn’t post this earlier, but I’m assuming sometimes, you do that thing called: mild, sE.l.f-diagnosed amnesia.

Tell me when to stop?

After using my brain (for a bit longer than I usually would), I remembered that the reason behind my late postage was that I haven’t worn mascara in like: forever! Listen, when you have a fringe (that BANGS most days), you don’t really need to, y’know?!

In recent times, I have been allowing the pores on my forehead (or … as it’s affectionately called: the ‘epicentre’ of my head) some freedom to breathe.

This, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that my fringe (that BANGS most days) outgrew itself and I’m too lazy to give it a snip. Thanks!

So, anyway, I have been using it (E.l.f, not my fringe) properly since yesterday and THAT is why I’m writing this post late… SURPRISE! Better late than never, am I right? I’m probably wrong, but still a wise saying nonetheless.

Achieve thicker, fuller, and longer lashes that are beautiful and natural.

E.l.f’s mascara has been MY little helper, that’s for sure! I’m proud to announce that I’ll be using its lash help all year round!

Price: cheap AFF. I must’ve paid like £3 for this…  I bought it whilst I was in the midst of “an emergency” – one where my fringe was misbehaving and I had to sort out my eyes so as not to look like an unbrushed-hair corpse divorcee – instead of bride!

The wand is really, very small (even though the description says it’s large) – micro in comparison to the other ones I’d used previously. Not gonna lie- when I first tried it, I wasn’t a fan because I had a fringe which was all over the place and felt like it was clumpy…

However, since I no longer have a fringe, I have been obsessed with this mascara’s wand. It really fans out my lashes, and makes them look thicker, lifted and curlier.  I now [when it’s not making my fringe hair (yes, really!!!) find that my lashes no longer] look clumpy!

In light of these turn of events, I now hypothesise that size doesn’t always matter.

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Result: you tell me..? [Please bear in (a forest, but also in the) mind that I don’t and have never worn fake lashes…]

Here’s the “before” image, obvs…

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Haters would say that’s a Snapchat filter… Lovers would say that I actually was born with a brown beauty spot located on my “WHO NOSE WHAT’LL HAPPEN?” area.

Okay,  to conclude, I’d give it a 5* (like the Uber rating).

Also, before I forget… Merry Christmas for this year, in case I don’t get round to wishing y’all it in like 9/10 months!

Morning! Evening! Afternoon! Dusk! Dawn! Whatever! HELLO!

Today/tonight, I’m reviewing a new, to me, curl primer & serum oil by none other than: Bumble & Bumble!

Obviously, I’ve been able to brush my hair more of late, which is a ‘UUUUUUGE *in Matilda’s dad’s voice* development in follicle proceedings – even if I do say so myself…

So, I’ve been treating my curls to some TLC, because, this year, like the other 25 before it, I’ll probably be my own valentine.

(No, this is not a pity post. I really – at this stage – couldn’t care less; if it happens, great, if it doesn’t, it’s nothing new, y’know?)

Besides, I’d rather be with The One than with several Wrong Ones. Anyway, how the hell did I end up talking about this when I was discussing hair?!

Oh, yeah… Valentine’s Day is coming up, and Rapunzel (who’s famous for her hair) probably celebrated Cupid Appreciation Day with her Prince, (good for her as well).

So, back to Bumble & Bumble… Now that I’ve got my shampoo & conditioner routines sorted, I have to really work on my aftercare regimen… B&B (not a Bed n’ Breakfast) play a ‘UGGGGGGEEEE (there I go again…) part in that!

Packaging:

Pretty and feminine AF, even though I’m pretty sure they’re unisex.

Reasons to love them:

I like to think of them both to be leave-in products as well as pre-style ones. They’re multi purpose, imo…

One’s a spray and the other is an oil/serum.

Changes I’ve seen:

I have noticed that they’ve not just enhance my curls, which is what they claim to do, but given my hair a shine, a volume (extra loud, almost deafening  – think: mega, megaphone) and the look of nourishment.

I mean, it can’t have taken you this long to realise that I am in no way, shape or form an actual beauty blogger, because I chat absolute crap half the time… I cannot, will not and won’t not describe the difference between my belly button and a toe-nail half the time, but my luscious, bouncy, locks?!? Radiant, sublime or whatever the fudge the blogger terminology is… 🙈

In a nutshell, I love both products and will be buying again because they don’t weigh my hair down at all and make it feel and look salon-ready.

Also, although I spent 10 years thinking my hair was permed (fact), and then realising it actually wasn’t… (More on that below…)

I have curly hair, and had never let it grow past a certain length to realise before the age of, I’d like to say 11… I always used to rock a bob, so when it grew to shoulder length, I started to notice the less 50 Shades of Grey kinks and more… Vidal Sassoon ones… It shocked me, hence why I thought my mum’s hairdresser had permed my hair after putting me in the Elderly dryers… 🙈

It took a good few years to realise it’s naturally curled and not chemically so, thank God!

Anti-Humdity Gel Oil:

  • What: This frizz-fighting gelee has the hold of a gel and the hydration of an oil – and unfurls wound-up curls to create glossy, elongated shapes.
  • Why: Our curl-optimising HydraSculpt Blend™, mixed with Brazilian oils, helps create controlled, moisturised curls.

    Who: Ringlets to corkscrews.

    When: On clean, damp curls after using Bb.Curl Pre-Style/Re-Style Primer.

    How: Scrunch throughout hair. Air-dry or diffuse.

    Free of: Alcohol, silicones, parabens, sulphates and phthalates.

This stops me looking like Monica Gellar after she gets off the plane in Barbados. It works, it tames my frizz like a Snake Charmer does a serpent (or … *insert a probably more attractive metaphor here*). Like I said, this one is packaged in a little-ish tub and lasts a while. It dries glossy but not in a greasy, haven’t washed my hair in forever way…

The Pre/Re-Style Primer:

  • What: Detangles and defines on day 1. Refreshes and reshapes on day 2 (and 3 and 4).
  • Why: Our curl-optimising HydraSculpt Blend™, mixed with Brazilian oils, helps create controlled, moisturised curls.

    Who: All curl types.

    When: Before styling or re-styling hair.

    How: Spray onto damp or dry hair. Rake through and style.

    Free of: Alcohol, parabens and phthalates.

This one is a spray… You just spray it, scrunch your hair in your fingers (or use a heated appliance) and it enhances your hair’s curl whilst locking it in place. It keeps the volume and heat-enhanced curls for longer.

Both are great and can be found at Liberty online.

I’ll stop blogging in 5, 4, 3, 2… Juan. WHO DIS?!?

P.S. the wooden giraffe is for display purposes only. I am not selling him (or anything) on a Wowcher and the like, FFS!

Set sail on the LUSH Love Boat, this Valentine’s Day…

Whether you’re testing the waters of a new relation-ship, or it’s a bit rocky, why not push the boat out with a trip on the Love Boat? With a cargo of bright organic sweet orange and Sicilian lemon oils, this bath bomb is about to set sail and it’s all aboard! Place into hot water for a bath that really floats your boat. As it chugs around, let the zesty and uplifting scent take you down the river for the ride of your life.

Feast your eyes on the most intricate, creative and beautiful bath bomb that LUSH has ever created – imo… The scents, together with the colours and feelings when you’re in a bath surrounded by it? Second to none.

Tranquility, heaven and peace come to mind…

It’s no secret that I’m crazy about LUSH, but this bath bomb especially is so apt for Valentine’s Day that even I am feeling the love…

The best thing about it (for me) is that couples and singles alike can enjoy this; unwinding after a hard or busy week. Result!

Front, back and side-note/s: expect LOTS of glitter. Look, I love glitter when it’s on things that don’t include my own person… I have such a hard time getting it off. It sticks to me like Sean Paul’s glue. Badda bang, bang!

Whatever you do this Valentine’s Day, have a good one! Remember, Valentine’s Day is just a money-making scheme… Every day should feel like Valentine’s Day  when you’re in a real relationship. ☺️

Love and appreciation should happen more than one day a year.

Finally, I am well aware that Valentine’s Day isn’t until the following week after next, I just don’t think I’ll have time to blog over the next few weeks. I’ll try to, but… If I can’t… Let this be my Valentine’s Day post to you.

It’s not even a long one because I don’t want to bore you.

*THE END* (before the end) 😆

Word of wisdom: if you’re single, it’s not a bad thing. The right person is out there for you. What’s meant for you, won’t ever miss you. There’s no such thing as a missed opportunity, only a wrong time/place.

Also, if you’re in a relationship that’s going through a rough patch, it’ll get better. If it’s worth saving, you’ll get through it. If it’s not, there are 3billion+ other people out there (if you’re straight or gay) and 7billion+ (if you’re bi). You’ll find your Nemo/Dory. There is ALWAYS time. Be patient.

If you’ve just come out of a relationship, don’t fret. Take all the time you need to get over it. Rebounds aren’t the done thing. Ride the wave of emotions as thick and as fast as they come… Again, it’ll get better, you’ve just got to believe it will. Stay strong. Stay righteous. Make the correct changes. Learn from past mistakes.

Move forward, love forever.

ALOHAhahahahahahahaha! Como’n Gloria Estafanestas?

I thought I’d get this blog post out, because – like Taylor Swift – I’m RED-y for it!

Designed to bring out the best in the hair’s colour, whether natural or dyed, The Color Infuse Conditioner is packed with nourishing ingredients that help to reduce hair breakage whilst boosting shine and helping to lock in colour for brighter, more vivid tones. The special Bio-Advanced Peptide Complex provides nurturing care and attention from the roots all the way to the tips, repairing, protecting, boosting shine and fighting fizz for beautiful hair.

I LOVE THIS SHAMPOO! THIS IS THE BEST SHAMPOO FOR RED HAIR. DO YOU READ ME?

So, like, yeah – okay… It’s great. I love it. I particularly love how it leaves my bathroom looking like a Halloween party crime scene. At first glance, it looks like fake blood. 😆

Cue: Annie, are you okay? Are you okay, Annie? 🎶  on repeat… It doesn’t stain, though. NO! SAD! BAD DEAL! I joke (about it being a “BAD DEAL” and NOT the lack of stainage).

Let’s get to the crux of this post: the result, my thoughts on it as a product yadi-yada…

Result: I’m not going to lie, although there’s a major shine, major enhancement on my red hair (to the point where the colour has not faded), I did notice my hair felt REALLY dry.

To touch, my hair felt like straw (even after conditioning). I became a scarecrow. 🙈 So, I’ve started using the HairBurst conditioner on top to soften and moisturise it. Together? My hair has never looked or felt so good…

Other things to note in terms of ‘results’: my hair looked less homeless after Joico. It 100% does help with frizz. My hair looked like it had been brushed, but if you took a brush to it, you’d soon realise it wasn’t. It honestly felt like I was brushing dreadlocks, it was so matted in parts. But, with HairBurst as an accompaniment, it not only looked amazing but felt it too!

PSA: I have now been able to brush my hair twice a day with the help of HairBurst. Oh, and I’ve had to dye my hair less with the help of Joico… That’s what I call a win-win situuuuuuuuuuuuu!

My thoughts on the product: aside from how dry and brittle my hair felt when I used Joico on its own, using it alongside HairBurst has really changed my hair’s life for the better. Honestly, I have never been more confident with how my hair looks and feels. It’s in the best shape it’s ever been – no longer dry, matted and horrible.

Thanks Joico for the colour enhancement and decrease in frizz, which, if you think about it… that’s all it claimed to do. I’ll be buying again as soon as I run out. Red hair is no longer hard to maintain!

If you’re a redhead, like me, Joico helps your colour last longer, adding vibrance and boldness to it. I have not dyed my hair since Christmas and (aside from the odd stress whites)  it seems (to others) as though I dyed it recently.

With Joico, my hair looks like a Sharon Osbourne, Rihanna and Cheryl Cole [red] in bright and natural lights, but a rich red wine in dim ones. WINNER, WINNER (REDHEAD EATING) CHICKEN DINNER!

Disclaimer: my hair is naturally dark brown with a red undertone (or “tint” if you like)… So, naturally, red tones show up the best on my hair, brightening/warming up my skin tone. This means that no matter what colour I dye my hair, red is always prominent – it’ll come back, it always does. For instance, when I dyed it blonde two years ago, the ends faded to ginger… If I dye it black, it’ll soon turn black cherry. This is why I’ve decided to embrace my red undertones and bring them to the forefront because I cannot escape them.

P.S. There are SO MANY other Joico colour enhancer shampoos & conditioners to choose from… It doesn’t just work on enhancing red hair, you can enhance purple, blue (probably) as well as all other colours of the rainbow. 🌈