Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paint - review!

Quick dry nail polishes are something I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with. I love the ones at actually dry when they claim they will, and I hate the ones just sort of pretend to dry and go a bit tacky and messy if you jump the gun with coat number two, The latter seem to be what I get most times when the words 'speed dry' are involved, but not where the new Barry M Speedy range is concerned.

The recently launched range has a beautiful spectrum of spring pastel hues, and the packaging and shade names are pretty gosh darn cute too. I decided to venture out of my nude/blue/green comfort zone with my selections and have instead chosen shades 4, 'In a heartbeat', and 9, 'Lap of honour'. I've now tried them both and can safely say that they live up to their claims! They require 3 coats if you're going for complete coverage, and a top coat is needed to keep them fresh all week long, but they dry so incredibly quickly (and properly, might I add) that this really didn't bother me at all.

Without a doubt the fastest drying nail polish I've ever used! What shades will you try?

Sunday, 26 April 2015

7 underrated perks of being a girl

I see soooo many posts about why it sucks to be a human of the female variety. Probably more so than I do posts talking about why being a girl totally fucking rocks. Yeah, OK, the whole period thing isn't great and we should definitely be being paid the same as men, but lets not forget that there are some serious advantages to owning ladyparts.

1. Makeup. Glorious makeup. Got a huge zit? Hi there, concealer. Feeling ghostly pale? Enter bronzer. Feeling a little sassy? Eyeliner and a red lip will totally take care of that for you. Thankfully we're in some weird sort of makeup golden age these days where it's both something of an art form (cheers YouTubers!) and completely optional should you not really be into slapping it on. I thank the lord every day for mascara making me look like I'm vaguely awake and have made some sort of effort.

2. Being able to cry in the cinema/at work/in the changing room in swimsuit season and nobody batting an eyelid. I sometimes feel a little bad for men - they get a bad rap for expressing their emotions and as a result keep everything below the surface. As a girl I can cry on cue (often about absolutely nothing) in front of whoever I like and it's completely acceptable. Yes I just lost my last save on Sims 3. You'd be gutted too if you'd just spent 4 hours creating the Kardashian family and their dream mansion.

3. Being shorter than guys. I'm fairly tall by female standards BUT I still need Mat if I can't reach a high shelf or change a lightbulb. It makes me feel dinky and I like it, OK?

4. Having doors opened for you. I am a firm believer in equality but I also think that chivalry is a wonderful thing and definitely shouldn't die out along with its less welcome cousin, misogyny. A polite man holding a door open, a bunch of flowers, riding shotgun...the possibilities are endless!

5. Nail varnish. I admittedly am not the most feminine girl there ever was but I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't pick a random colour from my collection and instantly brighten my mood. I feel like I've got my shit together when I've had time to get my nails did.

6. Other girls! This is my favourite thing about feminism and its growing momentum. There's some bizarre cultural myth that women need to be constantly in competition with other women. The word bitch is thrown around like nobody's business. Everybody supposedly wants to be top dog. In reality, outside of the playground and the boardroom, this just isn't true. I'm a firm believer in sisterhood, and I want all of us to succeed in our own right. I'm betting you do too.

7. Living longer. Sure it's only an extra few years, but every little helps. Thank you, vagina.

What do you love about being a girl?

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Midweek motivation

View images and their sources here.


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Let's talk about running

I hate running. I hate that burning feeling in my legs when my body reeeally doesn't want to go any further. I hate getting up early or having to run in the cold. I hate getting stitches. I hate that feeling when your end destination feels like it's actually getting further away the closer you get. But I also love it. I love the feeling of moving fast and weaving in and out, around trees or people, or cracks in the pavement. I love the feeling of stopping and your heartbeat continuing to pound on for a couple of minutes longer than your legs before it returns to normal. I love the feeling of washing a layer of sweat off in a cold shower and being as clean as a baby after. I love the feeling of accomplishment each time I get a little further or a little quicker.

I'm running the British 10k in July. I feel a little daunted at the thought having never run this distance before or even raced a 5k 'for real', but my charitable cause is guiding me through. I've got a decent 5k under my belt and have done for some time, but my hatred of pushing my skinny(ish) legs much further is not helping with the training. I just need to remember why I'm doing it.

My Nan passed away when I was in Primary school after suffering a number of years with Alzheimer's disease. I never knew her without it. I don't have any memories of her recalling who I am, only what she had had for lunch that very day in the nursing home. I was too young at the time to understand what it really meant, but I feel deprived for never having known her as her. I also unfortunately know a few too many people with a grandparent who has suffered with a form of dementia and have seen the pain and anguish it causes first hand.

When I saw that Alzheimer's Society was one of the charities you could run for in the British 10k I jumped at the chance. They are an amazing organisation that not only funds vital research (which is closer than ever to finding real treatments and viable cures for Azheimer's and demetia), but also provides support to sufferers, carers and families in the form of groups, volunteer visits from 'dementia friends' and fundraising.

So, I'll take a little pain in my legs, a little sweat in my eyes and a stitch in my side if it means I get to raise a little money and awareness for this cause. Yeah OK, it's no London Marathon, but it's a fair challenge and is going to take me to a whole knew level (i.e. not running home after 2k because those donuts simply will not eat themselves).

I'll post a few updates on here in the run-up to the event (pun intended), with some more on my progress and probably a couple of playlists too. In the meantime, if you fancy donating then please do feel free. I don't believe in begging or forcing people to support charities as it's a very personal thing, but if you're inclined to give you can do so here on my JustGiving page. Don't forget to select Gift Aid too so the charity can claim a little extra.

See you at the finish line!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

What to do when life gets way, way too much

Lately I've taken a massive step back. I was beginning to feel like life was swallowing me up. Work stress, constant deadlines, desperately wanting to eat healthily but having no time to do the cooking, trying to train myself to run 10k for a race (more on that later in the week), health issues that have caused me serious worry, I really could go on. It's insane the amount we have to do in order to stay on top of the game and it can take a massive toll. I'm definitely not the only one who feels like this, so here are a few steps I've taken, or am trying to take, to clear my head and get back on track.

Prioritise - This blog is something that I love, but it's a hobby and I have to be honest and say it's the first thing to fall by the wayside when the going gets tough. It's important to be able to place importance on things like health and your personal life in times of stress, anxiety or depression. Other things to let go of when you need to focus inward include doing the dishes, going to the gym every day and wasting 20 minutes every morning getting the perfect eyeliner flick. Give it up and place importance on what matters.

Remember you are not the only one - It can be so, so easy nowadays to scroll down your instagram or blog feed and feel totally inferior to everyone else. I often find myself thinking "Why doesn't my apartment look that trendy/clean/expensive?", "How does she have time to do her hair and make up so perfectly every day?" and "If only I had that high-flying, minimum effort required job!". The truth is though that everyone struggles. All you see on social media and blogs is what people want to show you.

Take a day to hibernate (but only one) - Sometimes the best way to deal with the world feeling like it's on top of you is to shut it out completely. Don't take a week off to stay in bed and ignore everybody, you won't thank yourself for wasting aaaall that free time later. Do take a day away from others to recharge, watch a little Netflix and order yourself some pizza. It's only a day and the respite will leave you with a clearer perspective on things.

Confide, confide, confide - Everybody needs a relationship or friendship in which you can be confident enough to ask for advice (or just vent solidly for 2 hours) during hard times. Don't be ashamed to tell someone you're struggling with something - they may even feel the same.

How do you guys cope when life gets a bit much?


Saturday, 11 April 2015

Something for the weekend (#5)

This week I've been feeling that yoga vibe again after getting incredibly busy and stressed and just falling out of love with it a bit. Anna over at ViviannaDoesMakeup has posted excellent round up up some of her favourite yoga instructional videos by the fantastic Yoga with Adrienne and I'm so excited to try these out!

I've been talking about learning to embrace fear here at Tea HQ. I'm taking on a big project at work at the moment and learning to deal with the mild sense of terror than can sometimes accompany deadlines and heavy workloads is the only way forward!

In the same way I've also had a few thoughts on what it really means to be an adult - we put so much pressure on ourselves sometimes that there comes a time to remind yourself "Hey, I'm actually doing juuuust fine!".

While I'm definitely not out of that comfort food phase yet (thank you, dark and miserable winter) this dreamy looking one-pot broccoli pasta from the ladies at A Beautiful Mess looks like it could bridge the gap between stodgy casseroles and summer salads just perfectly.

I also picked up a couple of drugstore beauty purchases that are really helping me deal with my skin. It's going through a rough patch right now and I need all the help I can get to hide it!

Happy weekend everyone!

Drugstore products worth the hype

You've probably heard me say it many a time but MAN is my skin oily. It only gets worse with stress, travel and warmer weather and there's been plenty of all those to go around in the last couple of weeks. I have in the past just relied on any old power and really caked it on over my foundation, but these days this method just isn't cutting it. I've also had a lot of sleepless, restless nights lately (clearly I need to stop stressing about work and get back into meditating again) so have developed a previously not present grey tinge to the under-eye area and am praying it'll go away!

Cue an old favourite of mine, Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Translucent. A light dust of this stuff over make-up sets things and makes skin super matte without making you look like a ghost or getting cakey. For me it's a perfect between-pay-days alternative to slightly pricier drugstore brands like Bourjois, as this power only sets you back just under £4. It lasts about 3-4 hours before I have to top up, which is good for me as my skin usually eats up foundation and is better than anything else I've tried!!

I also went against my better judgement and purchased the concealer aaaaall the beauty bloggers ever have been talking about - the Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer in Light. I hated the idea of the sponge applicator but oh my days is this stuff good. Brightening pigments, smooth, hassle free application that doesn't budge throughout the day and total coverage of those dark areas. This is a hero product for sure and at under £8 is well worth a go.



Thursday, 9 April 2015

Fear is good for you (sometimes)

It's taken a long time for me to learn to embrace fear. Feeling scared is not something most of us enjoy, and as someone who has battled with anxiety for years I have found the notion of fear being good for you hard to get to grips with. Eventually however I've learned that a healthy dose of nervousness and apprehension is not only totally natural but is conducive to change and bettering oneself. Whether it's getting on a plane, applying for a job or calling it a day with a friend who has become poisonous, there are many steps we can take in life that will seem terrifying at first but will bring us more happiness in the long run. It can feel like a real challenge to conquer fear, but we will always come out stronger because of it. Do something that scares you today.


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Midweek motivation

Here are some inspirational quotes, thoughts and musings to get you through hump day!

Find all images and their sources on my Pinterest board here


Monday, 6 April 2015

6 signs you're doing perfectly fine at this adult thing

Because sometimes we just need to be reminded we aren't totally failing at life.

1. You only occasionally need to smell an item of clothing to check if you've worn it to death yet or not. Hopefully this means you've mastered the art of putting dirty laundry straight into the basket, almost all of the time. Go you!

2. You can cook something other than beans on toast or pasta bake. Branching out to the occasional stir fry or spag bol was terrifying to me at uni, now I can do it all from scratch with minimal panic. Sometimes I even to the washing up straight after. Drying up and putting everything away is probably more of a middle-aged activity - no?

3. You try and maybe go to the gym like twice a week. Who am I kidding - it's more like once and during the hour that you're there you might run a couple of km, squat 20 kilos a few times and take more selfies then ever necessary. At least you're trying!

4. The thought of staying in on a Friday night actually sounds preferable to going out. I've been at this stage for a while but I feel like a massive part of being an adult is embracing what little down time you might get and learning to love marathoning Netflix shows in your PJs on your total lonesome. It's cheaper and the hangover is (usually) absent the next day.

5. You do however still know how to party. I feel like the older I get the easier it is for me to get a little tipsy and let loose. I'm the same old me, but a much cheaper date.

6. You have a job of some description that you're relatively happy doing and a roof over your head. As a twenty-something it can be easy to compare ourselves to others, especially those who seem one step ahead in life. If you're earning money doing something you don't hate and renting yourself a place to live (a room in your parents' house totally counts btw so long as you're contributing a little!) then you're already doing better than some people. Don't worry about the friend who's already putting down a mortgage deposit and owns a new car. Move at your own pace.


Saturday, 4 April 2015

4 things you should definitely do this bank holiday weekend

Phew, what a long post title!! Now we've established what I'm about to cover, let me wish you all a very happy Easter. I'm not one for religious occasions but I'm all for chocolate, big family lunches and welcoming the coming spring and summer! I always panic a little bit at the thought of bank holidays - those extra days are oh so important to those of us who work Mon-Fri and I always worry I won't spend them wisely. Here are a few things I'll definitely be doing this bank holiday weekend:

Relax - Obvious to some, but an extra long weekend is an ideal time to kick back and recuperate. I've been super duper busy with work lately, as well as jam-packed weekends, so get the classic busy-body guilt feeling when I sit down and do nothing. Yesterday however I spent the whole day in joggers on the sofa, playing Sim City and watching Netflix. Sometimes you just gotta slow right down and give your brain and body a rest.

Get outside - The weather where I am is a bit of a mixed bag at the moment. One day it's glorious sunshine, the next it's raining, the next your being blown into the road into the path of on coming traffic (it happens, I don't weigh much!). That being said, so long as you've got a coat you can definitely get a bit of fresh air. Whether you go for a walk in the park or a full-on bike ride/hike, a dose of the great outdoors can be good for the soul.

Eat - As if I even have to say it!! Even if you like to eat healthy or are watching your weight, don't let this weekend make you feel bad for parading all its glorious food under your nose - just indulge! There's no way I could ever let myself feel bad about eating something special like a posh Easter egg or a roast lamb dinner...

Be grateful - Gratitude is a wonderful thing, and with Easter bringing with it the theme of taking stock and moving forward, there is never a better time to show it. Whether you spend time with loved ones to show your appreciation, or even just write down things that you're thankful for and keep hold of it, make sure you consider all the good in your life and all the wonderful things to come.


Thursday, 2 April 2015

Benefit Roller Lash - the verdict

So Benefit's Roller Lash mascara has been around for a couple of months now, but I wanted to skip the hype and make sure I'd used it enough times, in enough situations, to give a proper review. And this stuff is good.

Curl - I can safely say I've never before found a mascara that gives this much lift. However, if your lashes are on the sparse side, this may not be for you as the focus is firmly on curl and definition and there isn't a clump in sight. The brush is somewhat spikey but really grabs those lashes and pulls them up. I find I have to curl my lashes gently before hand, but only because I wear glasses and this stuff lengthens them out so much that if I don't. they flap against the lenses!

Wear - The effects definitely last all day and despite my very oily lids I've never noticed any transfer. This to me is the most important factor as I had a really bad experience with Bad Gal Lash ending up half way down my cheeks half way through the day! This stuff has the staying power of a waterproof mascara but comes off easily with a micellar makeup remover.

All in all this is a great product and I've a mind to actually purchase the full-sized version for once!

© kelly anne rist

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