Far Away Places: How To Beat The Back To Work Blues

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#bliss #koggalabeach #thefortress #ocean

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Heading back to the office after two weeks on tropical shores can be a shock to the system, but you can make things easier on yourself, here’s how…

  • Dress for happiness – it doesn’t need to be expensive, just something that makes you feel good. Bonus points if your outfit accentuates your tan.
  • Slick on some lippy – preferably a bright colour to highlight your tan and lift your spirits (I opted for Fuchsia Libra).
  • Start every sentence ‘When I was on holiday…’ – there’s no harm in reminiscing. Just remember there’s a one week limit on this phrase, otherwise your colleagues will be mysteriously ‘busy’ every time you approach them for a water cooler gossip.
  • Change your screen saver – the weather outside may be frightful, but a quick glance at your computer and you’re transported back to the palm fringed beaches of the Indian Ocean. OK, you’re not there now, but you were. Derek from accounts wasn’t – ha! Feel better now?
  • Wear your trinkets – those bracelets that looked so wearable when you were perusing the street markets now don’t look so good next to your Whistles suit? You’ve got a four-week window to wear them without looking a fool. After that you’ll have to resign them to the ‘if we get a decent summer’ section of your wardrobe.
  • Sing – Stick on an uplifting soundtrack during your commute (and at work if you can) and (if you drive to work) sing along. Instant pick me up. No prizes for guessing who was on my soundtrack.
  • Take it easy – you’re allowed to wallow in some post-holiday self-pity, but just remember you can’t have rainbows if you never have rain. Suck it up sweetie.
  • Embrace the jet lag – yep, it’s pesky waking up at 4:30am and then snoozing on your sofa come 6pm, but sometimes you’ve just gotta roll with it. Your body will adjust itself soon enough. 
  • Keep the good habits going – so you ate more fruit and drank your body weight in coconut water and it made you feel good? Why stop?
  • Do your laundry – having a mountain of washing is depressing at the best of times, get it done whilst you’re in the throes of jet lag (you probably won’t have the energy to go out anyway) for a feeling of smug satisfaction
  • Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise – that tan is the reminder of your holiday you can take everywhere with you. You don’t want to lose that in a scaly skin peeling scenario do you?
  • Book your next break – if all else fails, fire up the laptop and decide where to head to next.

What are your top tips for beating the back to work blues?

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Feel Good: My Top Tips For Effective Fake Tanning

 

With my holiday just around the corner I decided it was time to give my pale, pasty limbs a bit of colour and, so, for the first time in about ten years I hit the bottle! The fake tan bottle that is. Here are my learnings…

St_Mortiz_Fake_Tan

1. Do your research. I’d heard great things about St. Tropez Tanning Mousse but didn’t really want to pay £30! After watching this video from Fleur de Force I trialled the St. Moritz product from Bodycare and was pleasantly surprised.

2. Do even more research. I might have shunned their product, but this video from St.Tropez gives you good instructions on how to apply a fake tan mousse. But…

3. It fails to mention to apply it to your bum cheeks! You’d look a bit silly walking around in a bikini with a white bottom when all of your other limbs were bronzed up. Just something to bear in mind…AND…

4. It doesn’t factor in how difficult it is to do your own back. Try to draft someone in to help at this point. It ensures more even coverage and saves you from feeling that your arm is going to pop out of the socket (or is that just me?!).

5. Do use a mitt to save staining your hands. But…

6. Remember not all mitts are created equally. The first mitt I tried was from Superdrug and, although I loved the jolly pink colour, I found that the seam that joined the two sides of the mitt together scratched me as I was applying the fake tan. I tried a cheaper alternative from Bodycare and didn’t have the same problems, plus I got protective gloves to wear with it. Find something that suits you.

7. Do shave the day before.

Soap_&_Glory_The_Scrub_of_Your_Life

8. Do exfoliate well before you apply fake tan, but don’t use an exfoliator that’s too greasy. I used Soap & Glory The Scrub of Your Life and a scrub mitt and found it worked well.

Soap_&_Glory_Butter_Yourelf

9. Do moisturise well before you apply fake tan, but beware of ultra-rich body butters, these can take a long time to sink in making the (already long-winded) fake tanning process even longer. A light body lotion is probably better. I used Soap & Glory Butter Yourself Moisture Lotion.

10. Do stand on an old towel when you apply your fake tan, preferably on a floor that can be wiped clean. Accidents happen. Prior preparation prevents your bedroom carpet being stained.

11. Do allow about fifteen minutes for the fake tan to sink in before you get dressed.

12. When you do get dressed don’t wear your best clothes. I either wear a pair of old pyjamas. Or if we’re expecting guests I have a dress that cost just £2 from Primark that I purchased especially so I didn’t have to worry about ruining any of my best clothes.

13. Follow the pack instructions. Obvs.

14. Leave the tanning product on for as long as the pack says and then rinse off the residue for a natural colour and no need to worry about dying everything orange.

15. If you do go to bed without rinsing the product off you risk dying your bed sheets. I have Orla Kiely bed sheets. Not rinsing is not an option in my world.

16. Do see if you need a different product for your face. Fake tan products can make your skin dry. That’s not an issue for me as I have very oily skin naturally. If you do have dry skin you might want to find a product that’s designed specifically for use on your face.

17. Once you’ve rinsed off the product. Slather yourself in body cream and apply after every shower to maintain the colour.

18. Don’t get carried away unless you want to look like an extra from TOWIE. It’s so easy to get hooked and want to be darker each time you apply. Go easy to keep it natural looking to avoid the ‘you’ve been Tango’d‘ look.

19. Do tie your hair back when you’re applying fake tan and keep it pinned up whilst the product takes effect.

20. Do allow ample time. It takes longer than you think, especially if you’re not used to fake tanning. Believe me, it’s not something you want to rush!

What top tips do you have for fake tanning? Have you ever had any fake tan disasters?

Feel Good: Soap and Glory The Breakfast Scrub Review

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Soap & Glory The Breakfast Scrub

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Open my bathroom cabinet and you’ll be greeted by a sea of pink. Yep, I’ve got a bit of a thang for Soap and Glory bath and body products. It’s the powerful combination of uber-girlie packaging, superb copywriting, huge sizes (making their products super good value), the light but pleasing scent and the fact that, in general, their products do exactly what they say on their pink-hued label.

When I received their iconic The Breakfast Scrub for Christmas I was delighted as my current jar is almost empty. I first received The Breakfast Scrub as a birthday gift back in March. It was one of those products I wanted to try but, due to me being on a penny-pinching mission, couldn’t bring myself to purchase, so the product made its way onto my birthday list.

As I unwrapped it I couldn’t wait to try it out (being as I was with my family and in-laws an impromptu shower was kind of out of the question). I’d heard good things. Beauty bloggers had raved about it.

Caramac

I took the lid off and breathed in its heady scent. If you’re familiar with the sickly sweet aroma of Caramac chocolate bars the scent of The Breakfast Scrub is pretty much identical to that. That won’t be to everyone’s liking, but, as someone with a sweet tooth, it suits me just fine and I can often be found inhaling the product in a bid to get a calorie-free sweet fix.

Again, in terms of texture it’s not going to be for everyone. It’s got more of a ‘stringy’ quality than a lot of body scrubs (imagine the stringy bits of a banana in a body scrub) and that took a while to get used to. It’s also not as ‘scratchy’ as other scrubs, certainly I find their The Scrub of Your Life more abrasive.

What The Breakfast Scrub does offer, however, is moisture! As well as exfoliating it seems to hydrate your skin and isn’t as harsh as some other scrubs. That said, in my opinion, this doesn’t make it such a good choice for pre-fake tan exfoliation and I prefer to stick to Scrub of Your Life in these instances.

As with all Soap and Glory products, the big tub lasts ages (I use this once or twice a week, usually as a treat after going for a jog), so at £8 (Boots, January 2014) it’s pretty good value too (especially if you can get it on the regular Boots 3-for-2 offer).

So, yep, that’s another staple in the pink army of bottles and jars in my bathroom cabinet then. But rightly so. It’s earned its place and, for a fickle gal like me, the fact that I’m on my second jar is testament to that!

Fabulous rating: 5/5

P.S. What other Soap and Glory products should I be trying?

Fashion: How Shoes Can be a Real Pick-Me-Up

Sometimes it really is the small things which make the most difference. Take shoes for example. And, no, I’m not talking expensive Manolo’s, just lovely, simple, pretty shoes.

The recent poor weather and the fact that hubby had taken a random week of annual leave meant that he was left playing snow taxi, which had an unexpected effect on my workplace footwear. You see normally I walk to work which means it’s sensible footwear all the way. But whilst everyone else was rocking snow boots I decided to make the most of getting a lift to and from the office. OK, so I wore my unattractive snow boots to and from the car. But concealed in a little bag were these beauties…

on Monday…

Shoe boots

These on Tuesday…

Boots

These on Wednesday…

Leopard print heels

Unfortunately I got the bus in on Thursday so was stuck in these all day…

Walking boots

And then back to the trusty UGGs on Friday as I was freeeeeeeeeezing…

UGGs

It’s amazing how wearing something as insignificant (but fabulous) as pretty shoes can boost your mood. Everyday, with the exception of Thursday (snow boot day) and Friday (UGGs), I found myself floating around the office. In fact, I actually found myself smiling at my own feet on Wednesday (leopard print heels). It just goes to show that making that little bit of effort sometimes – whether that be styling your hair in a different way, painting your nails or wearing some sky-scrapers to work – can really brighten your day.

What’s your pick me up?