Health and Fitness Update – Clear goals and complete focus

So it has been a while since I have done one of these posts, but I thought it was about time that I bit the bullet and basically started again with updates on my diet and fitness 🙂
It’s no secret that when I was on holiday I didn’t think too much about what to eat and what not to eat and then following my wisdom tooth removal a week after being back I was out of sorts at the gym and with healthy eating. But with 5 weeks left to go before I next need to be in a bikini, I figured it was time to stop messing around and get back on with living a clean lifestyle.
This time I have a clear nutrition plan from my gym and I would strongly recommend you get one personalised for you and your goals if you haven’t already! I’m eating more than I ever have before in a day, but I have to say even after such a short time following the plan I am noticing huge differences!
It’s been a really big change though, so it isn’t worth taking on if your heart isn’t in it. I would like to think I am a fairly organised person, but being healthy and clean eating all the time requires a lot of forward planning and effort, but then they do say that 70% of a change is made in the kitchen!
My Saturday evenings are now dedicated to a much different looking food shop and my Sundays are spent prepping and boxing food for the week, which is actually quite satisfying to see when it all comes together. I’m keeping daily food diaries, increasing my protein intake and decreasing intake of salt, sugar, carbs and processed fat. I’ve been recording my workouts at the gym to make myself do better each time I go and I have to say even though it sounds like a lot of effort, I weirdly like it. Don’t get me wrong it has been a hard adjustment getting used to eating different and more food, but it quickly becomes normal and the results should come quicker too.
I’ve come to terms with the fact I will never be modelesque – that is just not what I was made to be, however I have set clearer goals now, looking to inspiration from Khloe Kardashian and her amazing transformation through clean eating and exercise, as well as naturally curvier women who still look incredible! Like I said in a post I did recently, we are bombarded with images of women who look nothing like us, and that we will never be able to emulate as that is just not in our makeup (or it’s been photoshopped beyond real life recognition!) so finding suitable role models and being able to clearly define what I want to achieve and having it be confirmed as realistic is actually really helpful! Do you really think you are going to keep slogging away at the gym running miles at a time if your end goal is to look like Kendall Jenner, but you are actually a Kim Kardashian? I doubt it! Even someone with the patience of a saint would be disheartened to not see the results they so desperately hope for, so definitely keep your goals realistic, but ever present 🙂
In regards to training, I’ve really changed that up too! I’ve started to train with someone which I’m finding is really pushing my boundaries, but I am also introducing different exercises into my routine to keep myself interested and to make sure I am working different muscles! I’m beginning to rock climb once a month and now spilt my weekly routine into 3 sessions at the gym, a run and a Polenastics class along with my lunchtime yoga and pilates sessions! Doing such a variant makes me train many different areas and use loads of different areas of my brain too so it definitely helps me feel more on the ball and alert as well as helping me relax.
And that is something else I said I’d add in! How am I feeling about it all? Add in how I am feeling – still not confident as definitely not where I want to be, but happy with all the positive changes I have made!
Lots of love, Leanne xx
Ooh and ps. I’ll upload some beginning pics and measurements soon but I don’t have time today as I’m about to go to an exercise class!

Spring/Summer Fashion Updates – Sale shopping list

So you may remember that a few months back I talked you through my 4 top picks for spring (and summer) 2015, which you can read here if you haven’t already ! Well the stores are now having their sales and autumn stock is fast approaching, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late for your fave spring/summer looks, especially if you still have holidays booked like I have!

So because all the sales are now on (yay!) I thought I would recap some of the items I have picked up over the past few months, give you some ideas of how to wear them and link through to some fab pieces that you are going to want to snap up before they are gone 🙂

Seventies:

So the first look I talked about was the seventies vibe and I can tell you this is something I am only too happy to embrace fully!

My wardrobe is now full of seventies inspired pieces from flared jeans to flower crowns and I don’t know how I ever got through spring or summer without them! Needless to say I will be bringing most of these items back year after year because they match my personality so well!

Anyway, here are some of the items I bought:

Flared jeans – Next

Flower crown – Primark

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Smock Dress – Primark

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Hat – Tesco

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Black palazzo – Tesco

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Camel and suede:

Camel proved to be a little bit harder for me to pull off! My colouring is pretty fair so doing camel colour in a large go really doesn’t match my tones, however I found ways to make it work!

If you do have darker skin and hair, camel works well for you, so definitely look for longline camel coloured coats or even a skater dress/pinafore for a truly standout style

For me I picked up a couple of camel coloured suede items as these looked the best/highest quality but still for good prices, which is why I have combined these two 🙂

Camel skirt – Primark or Tu at Sainsburys

Camel shorts – H&M

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Suede Camel Dress – New Look

Fringing:

I didn’t actually buy anything new which had fringing on it as I already owned a good amount, but the easiest way to do this is with an accessory! If you are feeling brave Primark have an amazing black fringed skirt which has such beautiful movement to it and is a real statement piece, however I couldn’t justify purchasing it as I wasn’t sure what to wear it with!

Here are items I would recommend you take a look out for in the sales:

Fringed handbag – Tesco

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Fringed kimono – Boohoo

Fringed dress – Asos

So I hope this recap helped and gave you some ideas of where to go to pick up some items last minute! Don’t forget as well that loads of these pieces are definitely worth the investment as will be easily re-wearable/seasonally interchangeable (I will do a summer clothes for winter post in due course!) so don’t feel bad about spending your hard earned pennies on items like this so late in the season 🙂

Let me know what your favourite items of clothing have been this spring/summer in the comments below!

Lots of love, Leanne xx

My Top 5 Beauty Essentials

Hey everyone, me again! Just wanted to start this post by saying thanks so much for all the messages of love and support I received after the post I did on Sunday (which you can read here if you haven’t already!) Those more personal posts where I express my true opinions on topics which can be very divisive are the ones I get most nervous about sharing, but now I know I shouldn’t be scared as so many of you are feeling exactly the same way I am! And to hear that I have inspired  a few of you really made my day 🙂
Anyway, today I am writing about some far less controversial and am instead going to be sharing my 5 beauty essentials, basically products that I don’t think I could cope without and I’d love to see if you agree…
1) Good brushes and a make up sponge
I apologise now, some of the essentials are technically more than one item but I am lumping them all in together otherwise this list would be very VERY long! For me, perfect application of makeup means having good tools to do so. They say that a bad workman (or woman) always blames their tools, so my theory is, if you invest in good tools you are more likely to invest more time to ensuring you get perfect results.
My favourites are actually pretty varied! 2 few years ago I bought a set of Real Techniques brushes which have been some of the best brushes I have ever owned. They are standing the test of time so well, and are washed regularly, although I probably do need to invest in more although they are pretty expensive!
On the complete other end of the spectrum, Wilkinsons also do an amazing range of very affordable make up brushes. Some don’t last as long (their foundation brushes for example don’t last past a few washes) but are so cheap that you don’t really mind replacing them. Some however last forever, such as their blusher brush which I adore as it gives perfect application of blusher, bronzer and highlighter 🙂
As well as brushes, I now use a Beauty Blender or make up sponge religiously, as it gets rid of any streaks and brush marks and gives an airbrushed and flawless look to foundation. I was lucky enough to be sent a Nanshy Blending Sponge a while ago (read the post here) and have been hooked ever since! It doesn’t wash as well or as easily as brushes it turns out, but has lasted a fair while, although I probably do need to purchase another one.
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2) Tangle Teezer & back comb brush
For any of you who are huge Becca Rose fans (like me!) you will know that she carries a comb with her everywhere she goes. I am very similar, but instead of a comb I will almost always have a back comb brush (I probably own at least 4) I have relatively thin hair, so backcoming is essential for the voluminous locks that I love but as well as that I also really like how they help tame flyaways so well
Despite having pretty thin hair, it seems to get ridiculously tangled, especially the longer it gets, so another must-have is my Tangle Teezer. I don’t know what I used to do without one of these, but it is by far my favourite thing that I own. I wash my hair several times a week (the least I possibly can) and always wash it in the evening to let it dry naturally overnight and the Tangle Teezer is perfect to brush through any knots straight after it is washed, and then again to de frizz my morning lion mane with ease 🙂
If you don’t own one of these already, firstly where have you been the last few years (?!) and secondly get one! They aren’t the cheapest for what they are, but they stand the test of time and are priceless in the long run!
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3) Sudocrem
I know this seems properly random, but I can explain! I love this stuff for multiple reasons. As I’m sure you already know as I have mentioned it before and will probably mention again in future posts, I have fairly troublesome skin. It is prone to outbreaks, especially when I change the amount of water I drink or the change of seasons, and like everyone having spots makes me super self conscious. However, a year or so ago I started to use Sudocrem on my face in the evenings before bed on any areas of trouble on my face and found that this stuff was like miracle cream! Overnight it would reduce swelling, redness and dry skin and make it so easy to apply make up to cover it or get rid of the spot all together. Eventhough it doesn’t stop me getting them (if anyone has any recommendations for that let me know!!) it definitely does help when they develop and really stops them in their tracks.
But that isn’t all that it is good for! I love sunbathing and taking part in loads of different sports and activities and find that Sudocrem on dry skin or cuts and abrasions helps them clear up really quickly and look better and more moisturised almost immediately! Plus a giant pot of Sudocrem is so cheap and it lasts for years so invest in some now and give it a go!
4) Good make up remover!
Anyone who is a fan of makeup really should also be a fan of skin and skincare as the two go together like strawberries and cream!  I love makeup and I have had to teach myself to love the art of skin and looking after it. After all it is really important and if you treat it right you certainly notice a difference.
As someone who wears makeup all day almost every day (although I am trying to give my skin at least a half day off wherever I can) one thing I enjoy almost as much as putting it on, is actually taking it all off at the end of the day. I have written about my skincare routine before (which you can read here) and I still stand by everything I said in that post. Every evening I take my makeup off with a face wipe and then use my Garnier cleanser, micellar water and toner to finish off, followed by Lacura Face Serum from Aldi (and then Sudocrem if needed!)
I made the mistake of not taking any of these products with me on holiday and boy did I notice the difference! The first thing I did when I got home was properly cleanse my face and it was amazing, so please please if you take nothing else away from this post please look after your skin and give yourself an extra 10 minutes before bed to always remove your makeup thoroughly and to cleanse your face!
5) A good lengthening and defining mascara
And last but certainly not least is the need for a good mascara! I remember being told when I was younger that if you put nothing else on focus on your eyes and your lips and you’ll look as if you’ve made loads of effort and I have to say I agree.
I am getting better at not wearing loads of makeup all the time and recently have been just wearing foundation, lipgloss and mascara which I think is partially helped by the fact that I have found an amazing one at last! (plus my eyelashes have grown back after a lash extension disaster – needless to say I will definitely be doing my own extensions from now on)
It is the L’oreal False Lash Superstar which has a primer similar to the ELF one followed by a fibrous mascara to help thicken and lengthen lashes. It’s pretty pricey for a mascara but lasts ages and works wonders, so I would definitely recommend!
So that is my complete list of beauty essentials! What do you think? Am I missing something or is there a product you couldn’t live without? Let me know in the comments as I love trying new stuff 🙂
As always don’t forget to get involved either here or on Twitter and Instagram! I always love to hear from you!
Lots of love, Leanne xx

Appearance Anxiety

Hey everyone, it’s time again for another blog post (I must admit I’m feeling pretty proud of myself for fitting two posts in this week for the first time in ages!) and this time I thought I would write about something which I’m actually fairly ashamed to say is on my mind most of the time!

Needless to say, following my holiday and a wisdom tooth extraction I feel like I’ve put on a few pounds and gained back inches which I worked so hard to lose in the first place. As much as it is frustrating I also feel like it is a huge knock to my body confidence which I was working so hard to build.

Even more frustrating though is that I feel like it is something I think about all the time. Whether it is worrying about whether an outfit I am wearing is flattering, to comparing myself to other girls, I feel that I am holding myself to potentially unobtainable standards, which cannot be good for anyone!

So basically this post is here to lay it all on the line and let you all know that despite the bubbly and outgoing exterior and multiple post on my social media channels detailing every aspect of my life, particularly how I look, I am extremely self-conscious. I always have been and assume that I always will be. But life is too short to worry about it all the time so I am going to make a very real effort to not worry and to embrace my appearance. So what if my arms aren’t as thin as other peoples or if my tummy isn’t as flat, there are a million other things which I have going for me and I should value myself higher than that.

It’s hard though, living in a world of photoshopped images which aren’t clearly labelled and “standard sizes” in stores often being size 6! It’s a constant barrage of noise telling you that you should look different (better?) than you do currently. And if it is affecting me, a pretty together twenty something, then what on earth is it doing to the teens of today who see “perfect” bodies everywhere. Yes there is the #curvee revolution, but is that really an attainable and healthy ideal? What I want is more diversity, in the campaigns we see from fashion retailers. I want to see a group of women which represent me and my friends in the clothes they are selling.

If this is the scale of difference that can be achieved with photoshop how are we supposed to be body confident?

If this is the scale of difference that can be achieved with photoshop how are we supposed to be body confident?

Phew…rant over! I really just wanted to give you a snapshot of how I feel on a “fat day” and the constant worries that I have every time I pick out an outfit! As much as it sounds pretty bad, I wanted to let all of you out there know that you are not the only one feeling that way, so please don’t worry or feel down, and instead of seeing all the negatives and focussing your attentions solely on them, look for the positives instead!

For me, I’m going to continue to go to the gym and eat healthily purely because it makes me feel healthy and energetic and if a by-product of this healthier lifestyle is losing a couple of pounds and inches then good!

A  "perfect" body?

A “perfect” body?

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Me on my last holiday

I’m going to make sure to include how I am feeling in my future fitness and nutrition posts to stick to my plan for more confidence and less concern!

I hope you found this post helpful! I’d love to know if you have similar thoughts or feelings and if so what you do to get over them! Please let me know in the comments as I always love to hear from you 🙂 As always please like, share, comment and subscribe and stay tuned for the next post!

Lots of love, Leanne xx

Review: Collection Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Foundation

Hey everyone it’s me again! I’m back this time with a review which I have been meaning to write for several weeks so let’s just straight in…

This foundation was purchased out of necessity. I was just back from holiday, had no foundation in my supplies that matched my tan and needed to find something desperately, which wasn’t too expensive and gave good coverage.

I read so many reviews of so many different products before I went to Boots to pick something up and I have to say that I read loads about this foundation, that probably should have put me off, but when I tried it in the store, the colour matched perfectly and it seemed to give a really good, full coverage so I figured that for £5.99 I couldn’t go wrong!

And I have to say I am so glad that I gave this a go! I don’t think I have ever tried a better foundation that is so cheap. Honestly, I have tried loads, but this is by far the best. I mean it even compares to my MAC foundation it is so good!

I bought the foundation in shade 3 cool beige, which matched my tan perfectly and despite the fact that I had read online it was cakey and not long lasting, I was surprised to learn that for me it was quite the opposite. I have begun applying foundation differently than I used to (one of my favourite things about being a member of the blogging community is that I am constantly learning and evolving my routine – I will do a video for you soon I promise!) and now start by using a flat foundation brush to apply this foundation followed by a smaller flat head brush to apply a slightly lighter foundation under my eyes and along my nose. The other foundation I use in conjunction with this is my original Studio Fix foundation by MAC in NC15. After I have applied this with my flat brushes I blend using a kabuki brush until it is covered all over my face, before using my Nanshy blending sponge to ensure the colour is even and that my skin looks airbrushed. Once I have done this I set with my Loreal Magique BB Powder in Light and voila!

I was expecting this foundation to be hard to apply, to go cakey throughout the day and to give me a huge breakout, but it has bettered my expectations. It is so easy to apply, lasts all day, including throughout work and at the gym and gives an amazing full coverage with a gorgeous dewy complexion.

I know that normally I would do pros and cons of products but honestly I don’t think there is any point, because this is by far one of the best foundations I have ever used, especially at such a reasonable price! I literally have nothing bad to say about this foundation 🙂

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(Me wearing the foundation)

I would definitely repurchase as an every day foundation and would definitely recommend this! This gets a big fat 5 out of 5!

I hope you enjoyed this and find it useful and of course if you do please let me know by commenting, liking and sharing 🙂 And don’t forget to let me know what your favourite foundations are too!

Lots of love, Leanne xx

Happy birthday!!

Lifestyle for Less is 1 today!! I cannot believe that I have been blogging for a year already, it has gone so quickly!

Although I haven’t been able to write as much as I would have liked recently I have loved every second of calling myself a blogger and am so happy to have amassed so many amazing followers over the past year! 

Please stay tuned for much more exciting content to come soon 🙂 hope you’ve enjoyed this last year as much as I have!

Lots of love, Leanne xx

Summer holiday style

I’m back! I have missed you all whilst I have been away but I had the most amazing time in Lanzarote with friends and family 🙂 It was a much needed break, but I am very glad to be back and I can assure you that I thought about you all and my blog so much whilst I was away, which is why I have decided to do a post all about my summer holiday style 🙂

I should probably start off by saying Primark and New Look were my two key contributors to my holiday wardrobe! They did a massive range of summer clothes at fantastic prices, so any new stuff I got mostly came from these two stores. If you are about to jet off and you are looking for clothes, check them out (and quickly as the new stock is coming in for pre-autumn already!) 

So what outfits and pieces am I suggesting for the summer sun?

For me it’s all about light clothing with brilliant patterns and colours – fitting the sunny background of your destination and making your suitcase a bit lighter! I picked up a few Bardot style patterned bodycon dresses from Primark for £5 each and they were perfect to dress up in the evening.

  
For the day time I recommend high waisted shorts and vests or camis which look stylish, keep you cool and are easy to wear! I would definitely suggest steering clear of the shorts which are too short though as these don’t look chic! 

Maxi dresses and jumpsuits are also staples for evening wear so make sure you have a few of these packed! They often come in jersey  materials making them lightweight to pack and wear and patterns on jumpsuits and maxi dresses are often bold, perfect for summer!

And obviously essential are accessories and swimsuits: kaftans, block wedges, flower crowns and body chains all add to your summery look and really change an outfit from day to night! I’m a huge fan of my flower crown from Primark! And check out New Looks mix and match swimsuit collection – they have so many different colours and designs and are really affordable 🙂

  

So I hope this helped you get your summer suitcase ready if it wasn’t already 🙂 Let me know what looks you are loving at the moment in the comments below and make sure you follow, like and share here and on Twitter and Instagram!

Lots of love, Leanne xx