Pole Dancing- A misunderstood sport

Photo by Malcolm Tam

Hey guys! I'm sorry that I've been quite absent lately, I've had a lot of things going on in my personal life and just haven't really been feeling myself recently. Today I wanted to talk to you about something that always helps me to get through difficult times- pole dancing.
Now I understand that this might sound strange to you, but pole has been my passion for almost two years now and I always feel a lot better after a good training session. There's no better feeling than nailing a new move or coming up with a really good combo. I've been incredibly lucky to be the part of my university's pole society and they have become such an important part of my life. A few weeks ago I was voted president of the society which was honestly one of the proudest moments of my life. I first started pole when I started university and I met so many of my good friends in classes. This year I have been on committee and teaching some of the beginners classes, which is incredibly rewarding because you see your students going from not being able to do a simple spin and being terrified of the pole, so casually hanging upside down and doing performances. Three weeks ago one of my students had his first solo performance and I was standing in the wings crying because it was so beautiful and I couldn't believe how far he had come.
Enough for the soppy part, there's a lot of things that people don't understand about pole dancing, pole fitness, whatever you want to call it. It's still incredibly stigmatised even though women and men all around the world pursue it as a sport and it is so incredibly physically challenging. I am constantly covered in bruises but I've never been in better shape than I am now, not even when I was doing competitive dancing. We do acknowledge that pole dancing has some roots in strip clubs, but there is so much more to it. We don't wear short shorts and crop tops because we like it, we wear them because you need your skin to grip the pole, otherwise you will just fall. Many people criticise pole for objectifying women but personally I have never felt more empowered and confident in my own skin. I'm physically strong, I don't need people to help me carry my suitcase up the stairs or put my bag in the overhead compartment on a plane. I am strong enough to do most things myself now and I feel more confident with my body than I ever have before. 
I want to continue to do pole and get better at it, as well as starting silks, hoop and other similar aerial sports because I think they're a beautiful art form. I've been a dancer for as long as I can remember and pole has given me incredible new performance opportunities and the chance to learn something new while still incorporating my old skills.
If you're interested in starting pole, then do it! It doesn't matter what size you are or if you think you have upper body strength, the pole world is extremely welcoming to everyone. We all love our sport and we appreciate everyone who is interested in it and wants to try it! I am now going to leave you with a picture of me being incredibly happy about finally getting a move called 'Genevieve'.

The Video- Favourite Lipsticks

For this week's video I wanted to show you my favourite lipsticks, but I thought I'd do it a bit differently and not just sit there talking about them but make them into a fun little video- I hope you like it! I wanted to use this blog post to give you a little more information about them that you didn't get from the video so here are some swatches and descriptions! Watch the video if you want to see them all in action.
From left to right:

Model Co Party Proof Lipstick in "Kitten"
I got this in my first Birchbox and it's one of my favourite nudes ever because it's almost exactly my lip shade. Easy to apply, very creamy and doesn't dry out my lips which is a major plus.

Catrice Ultra Shine Stick
The writing has come off this one so I unfortunately don't know what colour it is! I really like this though, it's a slightly more orange nude and I've gotten both my mum and my sister to buy it too! It's really nice and moisturising as well, although the lasting power isn't particularly impressive.

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in "Broadest Berry"
I wasn't a fan of the original Chubby Sticks because they had like no pigmentation whatsoever but I really like the Intense version of them and this is the perfect berry colour- it's not too dark but gives very good colour payoff and you can wear it more sheer or quite opaque. It's extremely moisturising on the lips and the lasting power is great for a balm!

L'Oreal Color Riche Star Secrets in 712
This lipstick is reaally old but I've recently rediscovered it because it's such an easy to wear dark lip and it's not too in your face. It has quite a glossy finish so again the lasting power isn't incredible but I love it anyway.

MAC Lip Liner in "Cherry"
This is my absolute favourite red of all times, I just use it all over my lips and it's such a gorgeous, flattering red that lasts all day. It can be a little drying but nothing a little lip balm can't fix.

Revlon Lip Butter in "Red Velvet"
Again, really moisturising but with surprisingly good lasting power! I really like this one sheered out and patted into the lips as a stain, as well as layered to be really opaque and shiny. The pigmentation of this is incredible and I love all the Revlon Lip Butters.

Sleek True Colour Lipstick in "Vamp"
First off, I love the name of this lipstick because I do feel rather vampy when I wear it. It's a really dark brownish plum colour with a matte finish. The only downside is that it's quite drying on the lips because it's matte.

H&M Home Wishlist

Today I wanted to share my H&M Home wish list with you. I'm moving house (again) in the summer which is a nice opportunity to mix things up a bit and get some new stuff, since my room is going to be completely different. I currently live in the attic room so I have to really make the most of the space I have with my super low ceiling. Anyhow, I'm thinking about doing a room tour with some tips for slanted ceiling rooms on my YouTube channel so let me know if you would be interested in seeing that!
The first thing I got really excited about is this bed thingymajing (that's the scientific term for it- trust me, I'm a psychologist) because it just makes the bed look so much prettier. My bed tends to be the centre piece of my room because that's where I spend most of my time, so I think this would look really nice with it. Then I found some really nice bedding in a tartan print which I looove. I love my black and white flower pattern bedding but it's getting a bit worn and not so black so I think some new bedding will be needed soon! I also loved these cushion covers, I think they would look especially nice with the tartan print bedding and I love these three prints.

Next up I have some general deco stuff- the elephant is just the cutest thing and it's actually a ring holder! I've been really getting into wearing rings so this would be perfect for me and would look lovely on my dressing table. I chose the silver case because it looks so worn, which is definitely my style, and because I need somewhere to put my fake roses because they are currently residing in an empty wine bottle... I have absolutely no idea what I would do with the glass bottle but it says Rose on it and I love roses so I was sold... Maybe this is why I'm constantly broke. The laundry bag is something I actually need because mine from Primark is starting to die so I will probably get rid of it when I move. I like this one because it's white and it says French things on it. Again, this is why I'm broke.
Last but not least we have some curtains. I never thought that I would get excited about curtains but I suppose that's what happens when you grow up. I don't have any curtains now because my windows are in the slanted ceiling and have (broken) blinds on them so I will definitely need to purchase some curtains next year! I like all of these, the Vintage Edition one just looks really cool but I feel like it would let through a lot of light because it's white. My favourites are probably the other two, the wood print one looks a lot more rustic and would work really well with the tartan bedding and the cushions I think, but the book print is just too cool! Decisions, decisions...

I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe got some new deco ideas! Let me know if you're interested in seeing a room tour on my YouTube channel!

Bubble White Nail Whitener Review

Warning: If you don't like seeing yellow nails, do not look at this post.
Today I went to Sally Beauty Supply (aka heaven) for the first time and I picked up this Bubble White nail whitening 'bath' because I saw cutepolish mention it in her nail care routine. I suffer from very naturally yellow nails, I don't know what's wrong with them but they just look terrible no matter what I do. I don't smoke and I eat fairly healthily, I always use a base coat and even when I don't wear nail polish for a while, my nails are still horrible and yellow. This is the main reason that I wear nail polish all of the time but I really wanted to test this product to see if it can do anything about the look of my nails. You can buy a big tub of this for around £10 but since I just wanted to test it I went for the single use sachet for £2, which is pretty cheap.
It's really easy to use, you just take a little bowl and fill it with warm water and then pour in the contents of the sachet. It bubbles really nicely and you just soak your nails in it for about five minutes, although I left mine for about 15 because I was watching Chloe Morello's new video and got carried away.



I'm not going to lie- I wasn't particularly impressed with this product. I can't see much of a difference between the before and after and my nails still look yellow and patchy unfortunately. However it might work quite well if your nails are naturally white and have been stained by nail polish, so if that is your issue I would definitely check this out. Unfortunately it didn't do anything for my naturally yellow nails so I'm off to put on nail polish again now...

Do you guys have any tips and tricks for yellow nails?

The video- A Pamper Evening

Hey guys!
I have finally ventured into the world of YouTube and my first video is about a pamper night- it's still a bit shakey and the angle on the manicure wasn't quite optimal but practice makes perfect and I really hope you enjoy it anyway! If you do, please like and subscribe, I'm going to try to upload a video every Thursday!

Wednesday night gig and cocktails

Last night after rehearsal, showchoir headed down to the Blind Tiger in town to see some of our members perform in their bands. We got there really early so Lauren, Emma and I decided to go have some cocktails at All Bar One first, which is one of my favourite places. They do £5 cocktails, which isn't super cheap but very decent, and the atmosphere is just so nice in there! Emma and I both ordered a Long Island Ice Tea (which was really good!) and Lauren got a Strawberry Daiquiri. We also got some free little samplers of Sangria!
Afterwards we went back to The Blind Tiger to see the bands and I had such a great night. Some of my favourite bands, No Ties and Five Dollar Shakes, were playing as well as some others who were absolutely amazing! I really enjoyed myself and I hope there will be an event like this again soon.

Help me choose my shoes!

This is a random post but I need some shoes for my birthday party and student awards ceremony and I have two options but just CANNOT decide so I need your help! Both are from Topshop and both are £55- I like the Ramble sandals because they're nice and classic but the Range sandals are just so damn cool and feel a little bit more me... I'm going to be wearing these with a floor length dress for my birthday party (James Bond theme) and a black and silver playsuit for the student awards.
Please let me know what you think!

Comment below and let me know which ones you prefer!

What's in my carry-on bag

I went home for my mum's birthday party this weekend so I decided to share with you what's in my carry-on bag when I fly! There will also be a video with everything that I packed in my suitcase (with liquids regulations and everything) which will hopefully go up some time next week! Also I just realised that firstly, a black background for this picture probably wasn't the best idea, and secondly, all my stuff is black... No spring pastels here!

This is my awesome travel wallet where I can put all my tickets, my passport, etc. and have it all in one place and easily accessible- it really makes life a lot easier! The cards you can see here are my German bank card, my French Sephora card (because I didn't know where else to put it), my Jetfriends card, which is like the children's version of Miles and More but for some reason I never got upgraded to Miles&More so I've still got this, and finally my Coach Card, which gets me 30% off National Express buses. 

Next is my wallet, which is by Guess- I got this in an outlet for £30 and I love it because it's really well made and has about a million and one card slots, which is what I need because I have every loyalty card there is.

Obviously I have to take my diary because it's where I write down EVERYTHING important and also many not so important things- I love the 18 month one by Moleskine that has one week per double page with the weekdays on the left and space for notes on the right- this is the Star Wars edition because Star Wars.

Last but not least we have my headphones (very important), which are just the ones that came with my iPhone, which by the way I'm obviously taking- I just forgot to photograph it. I'm also taking my sunglasses, which are by Urban Outfitters, in an old case that came with my glasses. I like hard cases because I'm quite careless with my bag and I don't want my sunglasses to break. Funny story about these sunglasses- I bought them about a year ago and loved them so much that I didn't wear any other sunglasses, but then I stepped on them and broke them so I got TWO new pairs because I was scared I'd break them again and would be without them forever- #AllieProblems.
Another item that I forgot to take a close-up of is my Anker, which is a portable phone charger- you charge it at home and then you can use it to charge your phone on the go, which is an absolute must for me because I use up my battery within a few hours and I've been stranded at the airport with a dead phone before. I'm also obviously taking my house keys but they're not very exciting- my key rings are from Paris and M&M World.

What are your travel essentials?

A different kind of beautiful

Today I went into town to buy some things for my trip home and was surprised by a very, very foggy Brighton. When I left the house the sun was shining but by the time I got into town it was really foggy so I was definitely not dressed appropriately but decided to go to the beach to take some pictures anyway.
I do love Brighton on a sunny day but I just love fog, it makes everything look so calm and mysterious. I really enjoyed going for a little walk along the beach, originally I was going to go to West Pier to take a picture but it was so foggy that I couldn't actually see it so I ended up walking much further than I planned. I loved how calm it was because there was barely anyone on the beach, and you couldn't really see the people who were there, so I felt like I was all alone, which I really enjoyed. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me so these photos were all taken with my phone, but I still really like how they turned out so I wanted to share them.

What's on my face #5

I haven't done a What's on my face post in absolutely ages so when I had some extra time before uni this morning I took some quick photos to show you guys what I've been wearing! I've been really liking a very uncomplicated and natural look because I've been spending a lot of time doing coursework and rehearsals and frankly I just don't have the time to do an intricate eyeshadow or eyeliner look in the morning.
For my base, I used the Dr Brandt pores no more which I got in my March Birchbox. It's a siliconey primer which smoothes over your skin and hides pores and I really like how it feels on the skin- a full review will be up soon. I then used my favourite foundation, the Clinique Stay Matte, which is a light to medium coverage matte foundation without looking cakey at all, and it's also a perfect colour match for my skin at the moment. I then used the Maybelline Dream Touch Lumi Concealer to conceal my undereye circles and set everything with my Vichy Dermablend loose powder, which mattifies without making my foundation look cakey and I've been really liking it.
For my eyes, I just ran a little bit of black eyeliner along my top lashline to make it appear thicker and then used my Chella highlighter on my lower waterline to open up my eyes. For mascara I used my Clinique Lash Power (surprise, surprise...) on my top and bottom lashes and then ran some Maybelline Brow Drama through my brows to give them some definition and keep them in place- I've recently had them waxed so I don't really feel the need to fill them in on an everyday basis.
Lastly, I applied my current favourite blush, which is Benefit Dallas and the NYX round lipstick in Pumpkin Pie to finish off the look.

I hope you enjoyed this post, would you like to see more What's on my face posts?

The Favourites- Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

If you read my last favourites post, you will know that when something makes it into the 'The Favourites' category it really means that I love it. This isn't just some monthly favourite, this is THE favourite. The Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado (in true psychologist fashion I shall from now on refer to it as the CETwA because that's a very long name) was the first product I ever bought from Kiehl's and I've almost finished it after about a year of using it every single day, day and night. When I first realised that I was nearing the end of this product there was no doubt in my mind that I would repurchase it because I just love it so much!
The CETwA (I'm feeling all scientific now) is a lovely no-nonsense eye cream that doesn't have any big claims it can't fulfil- it's just an eye cream. I'm only 19 years old so I don't need any crazy anti aging products yet, I just want something that keeps my eye area moisturised and this cream does exactly that. In the morning I take a little bit of it and rub it between my hands which makes it a slightly thinner consistency, and then I put it under my eyes. It absorbs really quickly so I can then apply my makeup over it. In the evening I sometimes like to use it when it's slightly thicker and apply a bit more of it so it can sink in and moisturise overnight.
It's not the cheapest eye cream but the pot is quite large and has lasted me a year so it's definitely worth the money. I love all the Kiehl's products I've tried so far and while they are a little bit more on the expensive side, they are definitely worth it!
I believe the 14ml (which is the size I have) is £20 but I can't seem to find it online so here's the link to the bigger 28ml pot, which is better value at £33 for twice the amount of product but seeing as the smaller one lasted me a year and is more convenient for travelling I will probably stick with that one. You can purchase Kiehl's products at Space NK or at your local Kiehl's store. I highly recommend going to a Kiehl's store if there's one near you because they really know what they're talking about and can help you find the perfect product for you (and they're often extremely generous with their samples too!)

Sunday Coffee and Outfit of the day

Spring has finally arrived so today my friend Eleanor and I decided to get out of the house and meet in town for coffee. Eleanor is one of those super busy and organised people, she's an active member of both fencing and PoleSoc, has a job, puts lots of work into her degree AND has a boyfriend- that girl is a machine. Unfortunately this means I don't get to see her much but we've been going for coffee about once a week recently, which has been lovely. It's nice to just get out of the house with all this coursework madness, even if it's just to have a coffee.

As always, Eleanor and I went to Starbucks- we are definitely Starbucks addicts. She had some iced soy latte concoction (I'm not entirely sure what it was), whereas I just had my usual Vanilla Latte. I'm not very experimental with coffee, I have my winter and my summer option and it isn't quite warm enough for the Coffee Frappucchino yet!
After we left (about two hours later... oops), Eleanor kindly took some outfit pictures for me. We found this awesome graffiti wall which was a really cool background. I really want to do more outfit posts but it's really hard to do them without someone to take the pictures for you!

 I wore a really simple, casual outfit today, so it's nothing too exciting. I really like the casual biker look so I just wore a red Triumph tee my mum got me for my birthday (she rides a Triumph motorbike and yes, she is the coolest mum ever) with my Topshop leather jacket and some old Urban Outfitters boots. My black skinny jeans are my newest obsession, they're from Primark and I got them after Jess did a post about them. They fit so well and don't stretch in weird places even though I've been wearing them lots- and all that for £11! My bag is a Rocco Duffel dupe from ebay (type in 'Bottom studded bag' and you will find loads of these- love them!) and I'm wearing 'They said Red' by Sally Hansen on my nails.

I hope you enjoyed this slightly more random post and I shall leave you with a candid picture of some last minute posing when I saw the flash go off... I should be a model really.

March Birchbox (Lulu Guinness collaboration)

It's Birchbox time again! I love receiving this little box filled with goodies every month, it gives me so many new things to try and blog about without being super expensive. This month's box was a collaboration with Lulu Guinness, famous for pretty lip-shaped bags and purses, so naturally I was very excited. I was a bit disappointed with the contents, there was nothing that I desperately wanted to try in this month's box, but then again maybe I'll fall in love with something! Individual reviews will follow if I do, so watch this space!

If you read my blog regularly you will know that I love a good oil, be it for hair, face or body so this is right up my street. It smells absolutely divine and I think it might help me relax at the end of the day. The sample is quite small for a body oil, so I think I may just use this on pulse points for the smell.

I do love a good hand cream and I think this little sample size will be great to take in my handbag or travelling (for example on my weekend trip next week!). The smell is quite strong when you first put it on but then quickly becomes more subtle. It's a really nice formula which absorbs quickly, doesn't leave your hands feeling greasy.

I don't really get excited about perfume samples because I have two perfumes that I wear regularly and don't really feel the need for any more. I really dislike the scent of this, ironically it reminds me of soap, so I suppose the name "English Laundry" is fitting. I will pass this sample on to someone who might like it more than me.

This is probably the product I was the most excited about- I used to use Dr Brandt skincare and it's absolute incredible, however unfortunately super expensive. I'm looking forward to trying this out as I do have very large pores and problems with my oily t-zone, but I don't think I will be able to purchase the full version of this unfortunately. I will however definitely review it!

Benefit Stay don't stray, full size £20.50
I have really oily eyelids so I'm looking forward to seeing how well this works as an eyeshadow primer, I'm not so sure what the concealer function of it is meant to be though... I will report back!

As a lifestyle extra, there was a piece of rock from Lulu Guiness which I thought was adorable and promptly started to eat despite my diet... oops.

I hope you enjoyed this post, do you want to see individual reviews on any of these items?