New Look - The Silver Range

Friday, 30 September 2016

New Look - The Silver Range
Today I wanted to give a little shoutout to the silver range at New Look. I recently went into my local New Look and stumbled across 2 beautiful peices, the first was the wave ring on my right hand index finger.This is a stunningly simple design, the ring is set in Sterling Silver and is an incredibly reasonable price for New Look too. 

The second piece was this gorgeous long, silver necklace with sparkle accents. The necklaces sweeps around the neck and the start of the bar sits just below the collar bones and drips down towards the second bar which, for me, ends and hits just below my bust. The looks stunning with a deep purple satin top as the contrast of soft and edgy create a dyanmic effortless look.
The larger ring on my second finger in from my little finger is from QVC as part of their Diamonique range but paired with both of these pieces, it gives any look tones of interest and sparkle. Not to mention a whole heap of staring eyes.

What's your favourite piece?
Emma x

Let's Talk Weight and the Scales

Monday, 26 September 2016

Let's Talk Weight and the Scales 
Today I wanted to write a post to get our community talking, today I want to talk about your weight and the dreaded scales. This topic will be a very controversial one amongst everyone, as everyone will have different opinion on what they think their weight means but today I just want to highlight my recent experience and what I think's happening with the information we're given/what social medias' portrays. 

I recently went to the doctors for some more medication and as part of medication renewal I have my blood pressure and weight done, to ensure the medication has made no changes to my body and also to ensure I'm doing okay in general. I have maintained the same weight for the past 3-5 years now, I may fluctuate ever so but I will always maintain my happy weight. So, when I went on the scales and they calculated my BMI based on my weight and height I was told I was overweight by 1.3 on the BMI scale .... with my healthy weight range is 8st 3lb to 11st 2lb. According the NHS website I have a BMI of 22.5, which contradicts the doctors BMI calculator. 

Personally, I don't listen to the scales and I never will. I will always eat intuitively and try to exercise every day, between the gym and the dog I think i have good balance. But, it did get me thinking about weight in general and the effect someones words can have on a persons perspective. If a doctor would have said this to a 14 year old girl and/or boy who was actually a healthy weight or underweight but the BMI came out as 'overweight', they'd be petrified. It would completely change their attitude towards eating and weight because they haven't got the wealth of knowledge older adults have yet. 
Telling someone there overweight/underweight or even judging and commenting on someone's weight can cause so many issues like body dysmorphia and eating disorders!! And I don't think us a society, and even now after my experience Doctors alike realise the impact this can have on someones mental state. I could of gone away from my doctors and a started to go diet and exercise crazy trying to loose the weight, and as a Personal Trainer in training I know this isn't sustainable and just messes up your body incredible amounts and sometimes it can be irreversible! But thankfully I'm strong minded, thanks Dad, and I know what I feel is a healthy weight and I will not loose weight to conform with what they believe to be an 'average weight' for my body because I know from stupid experience 8stone 5lbs does not look good. 

And, yes I know Social Media can play a huge part in body dysmorphia and unrealistic expectations and wanting to look like 'that' insta-grammer but it's not healthy, it's not healthy for your mind but we're guilty of doing it (including myself). So next time you see your favourite social media star posting a body image photo/video, don't worry, don't compare and don't put yourself down. Your body is slammin' as it is and it's hot, and sexy, and beautiful and no one can make you feel any other way. Please don't take life so literally, your  body is this amazing machine and trying to starve it for days on end will only cause damage to your internal systems and your mental systems. 

So, this is me, in all my 'overweight' glory and I love my body and I'm happy with my body. 
What is your favourite thing to say to someone about their body? 
Emma x

What I’ve learnt after 1 Year of Blogging

Friday, 23 September 2016

What I’ve learnt after 1 Year of Blogging
In May 2016 The Realist Review celebrated it’s first birthday and it celebrated with it’s first giveaway, which was an amazing success! I will always try to keep in engagement with you guys and the winner of the giveaway has gone on to recently have a beautiful healthy baby boy! So today I wanted to reflect on what blogging and you have taught me as we approach our 2nd birthday;

1.    You don’t have to be the perfect blogger; you’ll make mistakes and forget to publish a post or it not sound/look how you wanted it to and that’s okay because the next post will push you to drive further.

2.    Your blogging community is amazing and they’ve got your back, from ideas to fails to advice on how to get the perfect outfit shot. The blogging community is the strongest I’ve ever felt.

3.    Being a part of a community as passionate about something as you are is the most incredible feeling in the world.

4.    You don’t need to have an Instagram ‘theme’ make your social media accounts reflect your blog, your life doesn’t have a theme so why should your passion.

5.    Your inspiration can come from something as silly as crying over a film; all of a sudden you’ll write the most passionate post you’ve ever written.

6.    Trying to attend a blogging event is like trying to find gold dust, I want to attend blogging events to build my confidence and trying to find them before they’ve sold out is like trying to find a unicorn.

7.    People who aren’t interested in Blogging/Social Media won’t understand your passion and that’s okay, focus on the people that do.

8.    Sometimes you’ll loose the love and it’s okay because when it comes back it’ll be stronger than ever.

9.     Your social media followings will be like a rollercoaster depending on what you post, you’d be surprised at you yourself even do it!

10.   Blogging will be the scariest thing you ever decide to do but the most rewarding and amazing at the same time.

What's the best thing you've learnt from blogging or from a blogger?

Emma x

At Home Gel Nails

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

At Home Gel Nails

Gel nails are the easiest things to do on earth and if you've been doing it for a while, the most cost saving way to make sure your polish lasts longer! Today we're going to go through all the steps for gel nails at home and my top tips for a longer lasting manicure, lets begin! 

Today I'm using a kit from RCM (Red Carpet Manicure) and a polish from Sensationail, just to spice things up a bit, today's colour of choice is called Blue Yonder.
So starting out you need to make sure your nails are clean and shaped to how you prefer, you can then use the buffer tool that comes with the kit to smooth out any ridges, followed by the Prep sanitizer to create a strong base; personally I do 2 coats of Prep to ensure my manicure lasts longer!

Once all prepped and looking rather odd, you can move onto applying your Base Gel coat, this once cured for the recomened time will become tacky so your polish colour has something to adhere too. I recommened applying a very thin but even coat of this as building up your colour can become very thick very fast.

Then you can start the fun bit, applying your colour or design of choice! Today I used a standard block colour, Sensationail Blue Yonder, a deep navy blue but you could also cure one layer and add an ombre glitter or add some stones for a bit of bling! Continue applying your chosen colour and layer up until you've reached your desired opaqueness.

Now your all coloured up and looking shiny, you can add the Brilliance top coat to make your nails extra shiny and glossy! This will also be the main covering for your nails, ensuring they stay beautiful and chip free for as long as possible. Once that's all cured, your done! I know right, how quick and easy was that? This whole proccess takes me about 20 minutes total, 30 minutes if I'm adding glitters or gems/designs but once you've done it your sorted for a good couple of weeks!

Have you tried at home gel nails before? What are you top nail tips?
Emma x

What it’s really Like Living with Anxiety/Depression/PTSD & Learning to Be on My Own

Sunday, 18 September 2016

What it’s really Like Living with Anxiety/Depression/PTSD
& Learning to Be on My Own

As many of you may and may not know, a couple of years ago I was diagnosed with Anxiety / Depression & PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and it sucked and it was petrifying. I had always been aware that something was never right with myself as I always felt that I was more anxious than others for exams or going out etc and needed to be around a big group of people to feel safe. Up until a couple of years ago I never really knew about Mental Illness and how even the strongest people, people I would call my absolute toughest friends could be affected by it in such inconceivable ways.

Mental Illness can be defined as a condition which causes serious disorder in a person’s behaviour or thinking.

A mental illness is a condition that affects a person's thinking, feeling or mood. Such conditions may affect someone's ability to relate to others and function each day. Each person will have different experiences, even people with the same diagnosis.
A mental health condition isn’t the result of one event. Research suggests multiple, linking causes. Genetics, environment and lifestyle influence whether someone develops a mental health condition. A stressful job or home life makes some people more susceptible, as do traumatic life events like being the victim of a crime. Biochemical processes and circuits and basic brain structure may play a role, too.

One in 5 adults experiences a mental health condition every year. One in 17 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Half of mental health conditions begin by age 14, and 75% of mental health conditions develop by age 24. The normal personality and behaviour changes of adolescence may mimic or mask symptoms of a mental health condition.

When I was first diagnosed I felt like the worst person on earth, I hated myself, I hated my existence and I didn’t understand why this had to happen to me, I was a good person. Which looking back on now in hindsight is ludicrous and just because you’ve been diagnosed with a Mental Illness it doesn’t mean your any less or the person you are, nor does it define your character. So, after multiple trips to the doctors and discussions I was put on medication and referred to counselling, which didn’t go down particularly brilliantly. The extent and severity of my Mental Illness caused me to have a month off work to try and help my medication work faster, which did affect me on a personal level because I was worried that people would think less of me for having to do this.

So after a few months, the medication ended up making me feel worse and altered my behaviours/attitude to a horrid extent and the counsellors I met with couldn’t offer me the counselling I needed due to it’s complexity. So I thought stuff this, I came off my medication (only come off your medication if you’ve consulted your GP beforehand) and I decided I was going to tackle this problem on my own and beat it on my own.

So, I went to the seaside. I went on my own for the day and let it all out, I told my mental illness exactly what I thought of it and that it was the most horrid thing I’d ever seen (I imagine my mental illness to look like some form of alien/wolf-esk thing if it was to ever be a physical thing) and I sat their closed my eyes and concentrated in my mind on it. I sat there and visualised every last detail of it right down to what colour it’s eyes where and I mentally beat it down, I told it what I thought of it and how it’s a life ruiner but I wasn’t going to let it ruin my life; which makes me sound even more nuts but it worked for me, for a while.

After lots of trial and error over the months and then into years, I found that I didn’t like doing things on my own because I was so afraid of my own company, I was afraid of what my Mental Illness might say or think of me; or make me think. So I challenged it, it was the scariest decision I’ve ever made but I just got up and got ready one day, brought a train ticket and went to the Birmingham Bull Ring on my own for the day (probably not the best place to start but I went straight into the deep end). I stuck my earphones in and had my noise playing in the background and I wondered, all day. I did end up picking up a few pieces but it made me realise I could do it; I could be on my own and be okay. I kept doing it, every so often and still to this day I will choose a day and just go out on my own with no plan and no intention but to be happy within myself. Don’t get me wrong, some days it goes pear shaped and others it works.

Living with a Mental Illness is hard and especially hard if you live with people or are with someone who doesn’t understand Mental Health in general, you end up having to learn to be selfish and to cut the people who can’t support or encourage your positivity out of your life. You’ll have days where you want to go full speed and just go for it but you’ll also have days/weeks where nothing goes right or nothing feels like it’s going to change but it will. You write your own destiny and having that initial courage to tell your Mental Illness exactly what you think of it will make you feel unleashed. Having a Mental Illness is petrifying but the more you talk to people about it the more you'll see it is very common and it's okay, tones of people have a Mental Illness and a lot of them will be closer to home than you realise and will also be the people you least expect them to be.

Mental Health is a rollercoaster but don’t just get it off it because you don’t like the ride; ride it.

Ride it and conquer it.

Emma x

How I Look After My Hair

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

How I Look After My Hair
Today I wanted to touch down on an aspect of the a women’s life that every other on the earth is obsessed with, our hair. You look on Twitter/Instagram/Pintrest/YouTube/Forums nowadays somewhere within them there will be a whole section dedicated to hair; Hairstyles, Hair care routines, Hair tips, Hair care DIY’s, etc. because we’re all guilty of wanting the perfect flowing locks and that’s okay. So, let’s begin shall we?

1.     I wash my hair twice a week, every 3 days, so I’m not constantly stripping it of it’s natural oils.

2.     I only tend to use dry shampoo on day 3, sometimes on day 2 depending on the greasiness of my hair - consistent use of dry shampoo can cause damage to your scalp!

3.     I always use an oil from the OGX range when blow drying my hair, sometimes I’ll switch it up with my NUXE Dry Oil spray but I like to use that to finish.

4.     I use a Twist’N’Turban straight after the shower and keep it on for a good 20 minutes before blow drying, to reduce heat damage.

5.     I use a Tangle Teezer to get all the knots out when my hair is 60% dry and then finish it off with the Lee Stafford bouncy blow dry brush.

6.     I ALWAYS use a UV spray on my hair when wet to protect it from the sun, I have colour treated hair but I would always recommend using a heat/UV protectant.

7.     I try to let my hair air dry when possible, I’ll blow dry my roots as they get greasy if not dried properly then I’ll let the rest flow free.

8.     I never use the hottest setting on the hair dryer! I try to always use cold or just warm.

9.     I haven’t used straighteners for more than a 2 day period in 2 years, I let my hair do it’s own thing.

10.  I try to always be gentle with my hair, constant pulling and tugging will do nothing but make your scalp hurt and damage the folicles.

What are your favourtie hair products? What are your top tips for taking care of your hair?
Emma x

The £1.50 Beauty Tool You Need

Saturday, 10 September 2016

The £1.50 Beauty Tool You Need

This is the £1.50 Primark beauty tool you NEED in your life, like actually NEED. This piece of bobbly plastic shaped half egg has changed the way I clean my makeup brushes and for a £1.50 Primark impulse purchase, that’s not bad going. 

As you can guess from the title, this little plastic sphere was a mere £1.50 from my local Primark Coventry, and after seeing all the hype from the RT Brush Cleansing Palette and then seeing the price tag I was astonished that Primark did a dupe! In a much more ergonomic size too. If you’re like me and just have a few of the everyday make up brushes in your collection, then this little tool will be perfect for you but if you’re an avid make up brush collector then maybe the larger RT Brush Cleansing Palette would be more suitable for you.

The different textured surface on this tool allows me to thoroughly cleanse my brushes of the entire makeup gunk within them, and I’ve never seen so much come out of them! I clean my brushes fairly regularly as I believe that the product build up affects the performance of the brush but I’ve never cleaned them and had them look as clean as this before. To use this beauty tool I fill a sink with hot water, not too hot to burn my hands but very very warm, I then apply some make up cleanser to the brush and work it in, then the fun part gets to happen. Once I’ve worked the product into the brush, I dip my beauty tool into the warm water and swirly my brush all over it, working it into the grooves and nodules and the amount of rubbish that comes out is unreal.

This really is the £1.50 Beauty Tool everyone, no matter what skill level needs in their kits and to be able to stock up on them from your local Primark, will make them the perfect Christmas stocking filler!

Have you tried any Primark beauty products before?

Emma x

IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes Mascara

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes Mascara
Hello lashes is quite possibly the best way to describe this product, you'll discover lashes you never knew exsisted under there! Today we're talking about IT Cosmetic's Hello Lashes 5-in-1 Volumizing Mascara, and if you haven't noticed through my Instagram (@Realist_Review) I've gone a bit IT Cosmetics crazy at the moment ... it'll pass, never.

This mascara works as a volumizing, conditioning mascara, hydrating lash primer and contains a lash enhancing serum within the product; it’s like haircare for your lashes. This mascara is incredibly pigmented and gives amazing colour pay off from just one swipe, which for mascara does impress me as it usually takes me good 2/3 coats just to get some colour up in there. It doesn’t flake throughout the day and once dried it doesn’t transfer onto the upper eye area at all, even when you’re getting super sweaty at the gym – fitness girlies bonus. This mascara really enhances your lashes and not only makes them more voluminous but does make them longer too, goodbye fake eyelashes.  

The brush on this mascara did get me sceptical at first, I’ve used mascara’s with similar brushes before and just didn’t like them but the brush does provide good separation and definition and really curls your lashes to give the effect of them being longer. The lash ball detailer on the end allows me to really get into the corners and stretch every single lash out.
So, not only do you get an amazing quality product, that actually does what it says on the tin with a brush that I don’t really hate but this mascara is also made with Peptides, Collagen, Proteins, Acai, Jojoba, Green Tea and Vitamins A,C, E &B5, so even your lashes are getting incredible ingredients brushed into them every time you use this!

What do you think of the IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes Mascara?
Emma x

Let’s Talk About Periods with Fab Little Bag*

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Let’s Talk About Periods with Fab Little Bag*

All women have them and they usually start between the ages of 8 – 15 for girls. When you’re younger it’s such a TMI thing to discuss with friends or family but it’s totally okay and isn’t normalised enough! As you get older periods are spoken about in conversation like a passing comment, and it’s so strange that as we get older were less bothered about discussing them.

Fab Little Bag is a tampon disposable bag made from 35% organic material and is oxo-biodegradable, it will sit easily in the palm of your hand with loops for your fingers to slide into to hold it open, this ensures you can dispose of your used tampon and/or sanitary towel easily and fuss free. For hygiene the bag has a secure adhesive strip to ensure it stays closed once used, until you’re near a bin to dispose of it.

I really think these Fab Little Bags’ are perfect for any age group, for us oldies there perfect to keep things discreet when at friends or events and also if you have nosey children or pets around who like to get into everything everywhere there great to keep the bin still looking discreet and hygienic! For younger teens that are just starting to adjust to having periods there perfect too. We all know as a young teen trying to dispose of your sanitary products at school when there are no bins around is the most awkward thing on earth to do, and it’s not the nicest thing to try and disguise but with the fab little bag you can just pop it into your handbag until you get to the bin by the sink and pop it in without anyone knowing anything.  

With this brand you get the choice of 2 sets, the bathroom pack or the handbag pack and both can be utilised for anyone anywhere! The bathroom pack I find it perfect for sitting in the cupboard by toilet and the handbag pack are perfectly discreet for on the go women! And thanks to the versatility of the packs, you can refill your handbag pack so you’re never caught out!

Have you tried a Fab Little Bag? What are your top period tips for young teenagers?

Emma x