My Fitness Journey – Part 2 ARMS & CARDIO

Monday, 28 September 2015

My Fitness Journey – Part 2 ARMS & CARDIO
 
Today I'm going to let you in on my favourite workouts for my arms, plus what cardio I do and how I do it. These workouts will help to sculpt your arms and give natural curves a boost, whereas the cardio will help to burn fat and tone your body.
 


As these posts are quite lengthy I've split them up into 2 parts starting at the bottom; Part 1 LEGS & ABS (can be found here) and Part 2 ARMS & CARDIO
I’m really trying to work on my arms, to try too keep them toned without going bulky. Plus your cardio is what helps to get rid of fat and keep your heart strong. I find my fitness inspiration through Instagram/Twitter/YouTube and from these social media sites I have found the most effective workouts for my legs, which so far are proving to show some results.

ARMS





Bicep Curls
Standing straight with a dumbbell in each hand, or a tin can in each hand if you’re at home with no access to weights, keeping your elbows close to your torso rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing forward. Keeping your upper arms stationary slowly start to curl the weights while contracting your biceps, start on your left arm and then alternate to your right, keep doing this until you have completed 3 sets of 10.






Kneeling One Arm Row
Starting on a flat surface place a weight on each side of it, ideally a bench would be best. Place your left leg on the bench and bend your waist forward until your upper body is parallel with the floor, using your right arm pick up your weight that you placed by the bench earlier. Pull the weight up to the side of your chest and breathe out as you pull it up, breathing in as you then lower it back down to your starting position, repeat this step on each side alternating until you have completed 2 sets of 15 reps.  

Dumbbell Bench Press
Begin to lie down on a flat surface, preferably a bench, rest your weights on top of your thighs holding onto them with your hands, once you are lying flat lift the weights up above your head like you’re pressing them but stop before your arms become straight, hold for a second, then slowly lower them back down so your arms are bent and level with your chest and your weights are either side. Repeat this movement until you have completed 2 sets of 10 reps.
CARDIO
Treadmill/Bike/Cross Trainer
I can get so easily bored of cardio it’s unreal so to keep myself interested I have to switch it up, constantly. So I tend to do HIIT (High-intensity Interval Training) this is an enhanced form of interval training, which means you do your chosen exercise for a shorter period of time but at a higher resistance. I tend to do my cardio in chunks throughout the week instead of doing it all in one go;

Day 1: 20 Minutes

5 Minutes on the treadmill with an incline of 15 (the highest) and a speed of 3.0
5 Minutes on the cross trainer   5 Minutes on the Bike    5 Minutes on which ever machine I feel like

Day 2: 15 Minutes

5 Minutes on the treadmill with an incline of 15 (the highest) and a speed of 3.0
5 Minutes on the cross trainer   5 Minutes on the Bike   

Day 3: 10 – 15 Minutes

5 Minutes on the treadmill with an incline of 15 (the highest) and a speed of 3.0
5 Minutes on the Bike    (Additional 5 Minutes if I feel up to it)


TOP TIP:
If you love the treadmill and don't want to constantly move around, try this - Start on the highest incline, for me that's 15, and at a speed of 2.5, once you've done 5 minutes of this consistency, lower your incline level by 1 and up your speed by .1, so at 5 minutes you'll go down to an incline of 14 and go up too a speed of 2.6, at 6 minutes you'll go down to an incline of 13 and go up too a speed of 2.7, etc.


Emma x
 
I am not a medical/exercise professional. All of the above techniques are based on my own personal opinions and experiences.
If you feel like you are struggling with any exercise please consult your GP or a qualified Personal Trainer first.
I have not been sponsored to mention any of the above products, all opinions are based on my own experiences.

My Fitness Journey – Part 1 LEGS & ABS

Friday, 25 September 2015

My Fitness Journey – Part 1 LEGS & ABS

As requested on Instagram, today I will be sharing with you my favourite fitness exercises/what I do at the gym for my legs and abs, these can all be at home and without fancy gym weights! Just use tins of food, bottles of water or even your shopping bags. I started back at the gym back at the end of last year and since then have really educated myself on nutrition, discipline and exercise properly, so much so that I am looking into doing fitness orientated qualifications due to my new found love of fitness.

As these posts will be quite lengthy I’m going to split them up into 2 parts starting at the bottom; Part 1 LEGS & ABS and Part 2 ARMS & CARDIO
I’m really trying to work on my legs, as there the base to your whole body so should be looked after equally well. Plus your core supports your whole body in everything it does so a strong core means a strong body. 
I find my fitness inspiration through Instagram/Twitter/YouTube and from these social media sites I have found the most effective workouts for my legs, which so far are proving to show some results. These exercises will not only tone your legs but also help to lift and tone your bum.
LEGS






Single Bench Leg Lunge
Start off with holding the weights at either side of your body, facing away from the bench. Extend one of your legs back and place the top of your foot on the bench, the foot that is not on the bench should be facing forward in line with your knee. Once you’re in this position start to slowly squat down by flexing your knee and hip in a forwards direction, the leg on the bench should eventually nearly be in contact with the floor, once you have nearly reached the floor bring yourself back up to your starting position and repeat, once you have completed one side change legs and continue with your set.  I try to do this 5 times for each leg and do 2 sets.
Walking Lunges
This one can be done with or without weights, if your using weights start off with holding the weights at either side of your body, if you’re not using weights start with your hands on your hips in a standing position. Step forward with one leg, flex your knees to drop your hips down slowly keep doing this until you have nearly made contact with the floor. During this process remember to keep your back straight and upright, it may help to do it in front of a mirror. Once you’re in a purposing position, drive through the heal of your foot in front of you and extend both knees to raise yourself back up again. Step forward with your rear foot, the foot that was behind you during the lunge, and repeat this process. I try to do six lunges in one set and then turn around and do another 3 sets, so I do 4 sets in total with 24 lunges.






Weighted Squats
Start in a standing position with your feet just about shoulder width apart, have your weight either on your shoulders or held in your hands in front of you with your hips pushed backwards slightly. Keeping your body tight and back straight start too slowly lower yourself down, gently pushing your bum and hips backwards. Keep your back straight and your chest and shoulders up, I find focusing on something in front of me helps me to do this. As you’re lowering yourself down make sure your knees do not go over your toes, you can see this by looking down slightly and you should be able to see your toes still. Keep squatting until your hips are parallel with your knees, if you find this too much just go as low as your comfterable and build up in time. Slowly bring yourself back up and repeat that process, I like to do 15 free weighted squats and 15 weighted squats on the Smiths Machine.







Side Lunges
Start off in in a standing position with your hands in front of you; if you want to use a weight have the weight in your hands in front of you also. Bring one of your legs out and slowly take a step out to the right, make sure to keep your back straight and chest forwards. Keeping your left foot still, make sure your right foot is pointed forwards and staying in this low position. Extremely gently put a bit of pressure on your right leg to engage your muscles and bring yourself back to your starting position, repeat this process with the left leg until you have completed your set. I like to do 2 sets of 15, so each leg gets 30 lunges in total.  





ABS
Planking
Start off lying face forward on the ground, now get your elbows aligned just below/under your shoulders and keep your arms, shoulder width apart, parallel. Bring your feet up off the ground and keep on your toes, lean gently forward and keep your back straight. Hold this pose for as long as you can and then gently release your body to the ground, I can hold a plank for 6 minutes but for ab work I like to do 3 lots of 1 minute’s.
Crunch Variation
Sitting on an exercise ball roll your torso down so that you lay on your lower back, keep your shoulder blades downwards for stability when starting off, get your arms crossed over your chest and extend your elbows forward to your knees. Keeping your lower back on the ball, slowly roll back so your back naturally curves round the ball and extend your elbows up and over your head whilst doing so. When you have stretched over the ball with your elbows facing upwards, slowly bring yourself back to the starting position and repeat, this will engage your lower core and strengthen it.

Ab Circuit – Crunches, Bike, Scissor and Modified Press Ups’
Crunches
Lying with your back on the floor and knees bent; keep your arms either in front of you, and across your chest or behind your head slowly. Raise your shoulders towards your knees and then bring yourself back to your starting position, and repeat. I try to do 20 for each set, so after 3 sets you will have done 60 in total.
Bike
Lying on your back, raise your legs so your left leg is bent in towards you and your right leg is straight begin to alternate legs as if you’re riding a bike and keep doing this for 1 minute.
Scissors
Raise both legs toward the ceiling. Keeping them straight, lower your left leg until it’s about six inches off the floor, or however high you can raise it. Switch legs and repeat on other side. Quickly complete 15 reps without stopping.


Modified Press Ups’
Start on your hands and knees with your back straight; keep your hands just outside shoulder width and ever so slightly forwards to help you keep your balance. Keeping your knees aligned with your hips and stomach tight, bend your elbows to about 90 degrees to lower your chest to the floor, DO NOT KEEP YOUR ARMS STRAIGHT, once you are nearly at the floor push yourself back up and repeat 15 times.

I try to do this ab circuit 3 times so in total you will have done; 60 Crunches, 3 Minutes of Biking, 45 Scissors, and 45 Modified Press Ups’.  



Emma x
I am not a medical/exercise professional. All of the above techniques are based on my own personal opinions and experiences.
If you feel like you are struggling with any exercise please consult your GP or a qualified Personal Trainer first.
I have not been sponsored to mention any of the above products, all opinions are based on my own experiences.


My Make Up Brush Collection

Monday, 21 September 2015

My Make Up Brush Collection
 
Okay so I think I am starting to become a bit of a make-up brush collector, well it's better than being an actual make-up collector and not using half the products at least I use the brushes everyday…sort of. I thought I’d give you an insight into my favourite daily make-up brushes, my trusty old faithful’s, the squad that never let me down and are always there to fix that contour or blend that blusher to perfection.




First I think we’ll start with the Real Techniques Core Collection Kit, the best starter kit/all over face/golden oldie kit you’ll ever find. Any Bloggers you read about or any You Tubers you watch or even your best friend’s brother’s girlfriend will have these brushes, there that good. They don’t loose their shape, they stay soft but firm and they wash brilliantly, yes I am sad like that and will determine whether I like a brush on how well you can wash out product from it, hello germ freak over here. In the Core Collection you have;



The Buffing Brush – Mainly used for any type of creams/powders or mineral foundation, or even to apply bronzer, blusher and highlighter this is such a multi-purpose brush. I tend to use mine to bronze my skin up with as it’s big enough to not deposit tones of product in one area but small enough to buff it around the face.


The Pointed Foundation Brush – Mainly used for liquid foundation or concealer. I personally cannot use this brush for liquid foundation I find it far too small to spread the product or blend it but it is brilliant for under the eye liquid concealer or powered concealer if you’re packing it on. It does work best in tapping motions opposed to sweeping motions, as I find it can get a bit streaky otherwise but it does apply and distribute the product nicely.

The Detailer Brush – Mainly used for under the eye concealer or applying lipstick. Honestly, I don’t really use this as much as I should unless I’m wearing a bright or dark lip and don’t have a lip liner, then this brush is great for detailing/outlining your lips for a crisp clean perimeter.

The Contour Brush – Mainly used for contouring the cheekbones or eyelid crease area, and for highlighting. I tend to only use mine to buff out liquid highlighter or if I’m using just bronzer to create a contour on my cheekbones, or nose as it’s small enough to not get it all over my face.

Next up we have my all-time favourites from Real Techniques, this is there Sculpting Set. These are my every single day brushes without fail, there just so perfect and do exactly what they say on the tin so you know you’re getting quality and a product that will work. In the Sculpting Set we have;

The Sculpting Brush – Mainly used for contouring the high points of the face. I use this brush every single day whether it be rain or shine, it just moulds to the face so fluidly when used and is versatile enough to be used with either cream, liquid or powders. I like to take mine with quite a bit of product on it pat it onto my cheekbones or temples and then gently buff and pat repeatedly to create a diffused but strong contour.


The Fan Brush – Mainly used to softly sweep on powders or remove excess makeup. I don’t really know how you ‘remove excess makeup’ with this brush unless your baking your powders, but none the less I use mine with my powder highlighters on the tops of my cheekbones, under my contour, on my brow bone and around the top of my forehead/eyebrows to emphasize my features and this brush is just wow, it applies the highlighter exactly where I want it with precision application and with no fall out so you don’t get a shimmery face all over.


The Setting Brush – Used to set make up in place with light amounts of powders. Want that concealer that you’ve worked so hard on to stay in place without creasing? May I introduce you to this little baby! The dome shape of this brush makes it the perfect size to get right under the under eye area without messing up any of your other make-up, this brush is part of my routine and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a good under eye setting brush.

Next up we have the Bare Minerals brushes these brushes are THE most long lasting brushes I have ever used, I’m still using the same Flawless Face Brush that I was using when I was 16, 5 years later and I’m only just considering changing it up. I love how soft and supple these brushes are, they still maintain their shape even when you’ve manipulated them and washed them and had them stood on when your forced to do your make up on the floor, thanks for that one babe. So without further ado these are my favourite Bare Minerals Brushes; 

Flawless Face Brush – Mainly used for buffing in powders. For light to medium coverage this brush is your guy, it has super soft bristles and I use mine for my foundation, mineral veil and sometimes translucent powder if I can’t be bothered to use multiple brushes or am in a rush, or even if I want to use different brushes but I’m away and I’ve forgot them, this has happened on many an occasion. 


Maximum Coverage Concealer – Mainly used to blend in powder concealers. I absolutely hail this brush for it’s coverage and bendability, used with powder concealers you can really pack a product on with this brush and not worry about having any fall out or wasting any of it. Plus the tips of the bristles are super soft so you don’t get any scratching off the brush.  


Handy Buki Brush -  Mainly used for precise application. I love using this brush for my liquid foundations, it blends it out so smoothly and doesn't keep the foundation on the brush. It's very dense and there isn't that much movement in the brush but it is brilliant for buffing out for a flawless airbrushed look. 


I’m currently in the process of updating my eyeshadow brushes, so I will do a post dedicated to them when I’m happy with my collection to share with you beautiful people.


Emma x
I have not been sponsored to mention any of the above products, all opinions on these products are based on my own experiences.

NARS Audacious Mascara

Thursday, 17 September 2015

NARS Audacious Mascara

I have never tried anything from NARS before but have heard and seen so many reviews on the brand saying how good there products are, so when I got my hands on the new NARS Audacious Mascara I had very high expectations. Audacious is a willingness to take suprisingly bold risks and this mascara is one bold statement, it is quite simply extraordinary.
I am so impressed with this mascara and have been using it everyday since I received it, I didn't think it could compare to my holy grail Max Factor Clump Defy mascara but this has matched and exceeded it! The formula of the NARS Audacious mascara allows you to apply layer after layer without getting clumpy or looking too thick, it emphasizes the length of your lashes and creates a true dramatic look. I have this in the colour Black Moon and the depth doesn't change as you continually apply coats to your lashes, it makes your eyes look even bigger and really makes it look like you have false lashes on.


 
The mascara does apply very wet and remains wet for a few minutes but this does allow you to then really build on your lashes for maximum impact. The brush it's self is a plastic brush in a very rich red with over 200 moulded quills and lengthening hooks with a mixture of longer and shorter bristles, this allows it to catch each and every lash without snagging.


 To give this mascara a true trial run I applied it on a chilled Sunday, with my usual easy minimal Sunday make up as my partner and I then took off to the park for a walk, the weather was a bit windy and on the chillier side but still quite humid, perfect mascara trialling weather, we then went shopping, car washing and did all other Sunday jobs, and oh my gosh did this mascara last. It still looked as though I had just applied it, with no smuding no clumping, and it didn't go spidery.



Emma x

I have not been sponsored to mention any of the above products, all opinions on these products are based on my own experiences.

Rabens Saloner Numa Top

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Rabens Saloner Numa Top

Recently I've been trying to dress outside of my comfort zone, so adding more colour, experimenting with different cuts, adding more expensive detailed pieces and trying to find more fitted pieces. So when I drove up to Norfolk to see my family whilst they where on holiday we drove to Burnham Market, in Norfolk, to have a look around and that's when I found this beautiful piece. 






This is the Rabens Saloner Numa Top, available directly at Anna, this is the most unusual but most beautiful piece I think I've ever owned. It is on the expensive side at £169 but if you buy it through Anna, where I brought mine, it's currently on sale for £51 which is more reasonable and because it's on sale naturally you need to buy it before it sells out ... just saying if you needed a reason...
This top is a silk and cotton blend but feels like your wearing nothing, it's incredibly weightless and so beautifully well made that it feels like a second skin when worn. It isn't the most skin tight fitted top in the world but it does have two elastic ties either side of the inside of the top that you tie around your waist to your back, this then allows the boxy shape of the top to create a more unique design and draws attention to your cleavage area. 
The intricate green embroidery on the top is the main focal point of the whole piece, and does continue around the back of the top around the neck area. The actual print of the top is so extraordinarily different, the base of the top is a off cream/white and with the light/dark grey marbling it is like nothing I have seen before. 
I recently wore this top on a date night and you guys went crazy over on Instagram for it ( @realist_review ) I paired this top with skinny jeans from River Island, a black jacket also from River Island, some black suede heeled boots from Tesco and an oversized black clutch bag from Primark, for an evening look but if I was wearing this during the day then definitely neutral accessories all the way!

 
Emma x

I have not been sponsored to mention any of the above products, all opinions on these products are based on my own experiences.

Been a While Hasn’t It?

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Been a While Hasn’t It?


Honestly, ask yourself when was the last time you just did something because it makes you happy, not because you have to do it for work, or because you want to include it in a YouTube video, or because your looking after a child, just something completely selfish and for you. Been a while hasn’t it? I’ll admit it I’m not selfish enough and that’s okay to say, I think in today’s world we are so focused on helping other people, which is awesome, and helping other people help themselves that we don’t think about ourselves and what truly makes us happy.

I am so focused on helping other people, making sure the blog is interesting for you beautiful people, making sure I’m putting away savings for the future, making sure I push other people to reach their goals that sometimes I just sit down for a split second and think when was the last time I went to my happy place? My happy place is a little seaside town in Norfolk, it’s small and the it never changes (apart from there now being a Costa, bonus) but that’s what I like about it. The seaside is my second home and if I could live in my happy place I would leap at the opportunity, but things like money and stability seem to keep getting in the way. 


Myself and my partner recently went to my happy place for the weekend with his younger sister as a surprise birthday present (organising a surprise for a 7 year old is hard work; they try to look for clues!) so when she realised that we were at the seaside she jumped out of the car and made a bee line for the beach bucket and spade in hand, not having a care in the world. This trip was her time to get away from everything, everyone and the normality of life, her time to just be a child and get ice cream all down her new clothes and coat, get sand stuck in every single crevice of her clothing, scream at the top of her lungs at the fun fair and feel a bit sick after eating a lot of cotton candy.


 

I truly believe that adults don’t take enough time out and relive their childhood, and nor are children allowed to be a true children anymore. That’s why even though this trip was for her to be re-introduced to her happy place where if something goes wrong we laugh it off, or if she falls in the sea we just laugh call her clumsy legs and change her into some dry clothes it was also for us, to turn our phones off, ignore the world and just focus on the moment.

If you want to do one spontaneous thing before the year is out, please take your kids, or your family, or even go on your own, just go to your happy place and live.





Emma x

I have not been sponsored to mention any of the above products, all opinions on these products are based on my own experiences.

Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight & Sculpting Creamy Glow Duo

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight & Sculpting Creamy Glow Duo
 
We all want life to be easier, we want our winged liner to be easier, we want eating healthy to be easier, we want our commute to work to be easier, and we want our lives to sometimes be easier. So when you have a compact that offers full proof makeup application, what couldn't be easier?


The Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight & Sculpting Creamy Glow Duo is one of all-time favourite products; it may not be as popular as the others but this little dynamic duo are my go too most days. This duo is features the creamiest dark, rich contour and the most angelic, shimmery highlight I have ever tried, they glide onto the face and are incredibly easy to blend with fingers or a brush so it’s full proof. The creams are incredibly pigmented so a little really does a go long way, but if your like myself and enjoy a stronger contour and highlight, they can be built up without looking harsh or overlay noticeable. I like to apply mine with my fingers quite boldly to the areas of my face that I want to highlight/contour, and then go in with my Real Techniques' brushes to create the airbrushed/nautral effect.

The sculpting shade has been designed to accentuate and enhance your features, to your face a more sculpted appearance. It has been created with brown, grey and red pigments to basically mimic a natural shadow, so there’s no ill looking strange grey tone to your face nor will you have any resemblance to an orange umpa-lumpa.

The highlighting shade is ideal for really drawing attention to the high points of your face, for example the cheekbones, brow bone, temples, forehead etc, anywhere that the sun would naturally just caress around. The best way to describe the colouring of this highlighter is surreal, the highlighter provides a shimmer of the more pearlescent tones but also gives warmth back to your face thanks to the golden-apricot tinge within, without looking glittery.


Used in conjunction this duo will give a full face of make up a polished refined finish or a no makeup day face the cheekbones of  Angelina Jolie, or as close as you can get. I absolutely love using this duo and although it is slightly more expensive it is so worth it, you’re basically paying for a perfect, full proof, contour and highlight every time you do your makeup.


Emma x


I have not been sponsored to mention any of the above products, all opinions on these products are based on my own experiences.