Beauty: Benefit ~ Bold is Beautiful Campaign


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Last year, Benefit Cosmetics Brow Arch March campaign raised over £146,957 for charity and returns with a brand new “global philanthropy project”, the Bold Is Beautiful campaign.

Get a brow wax at a Benefit counter this May and 100 per cent of proceeds will go to charity! To find your nearest store search here.

Promising to be “bigger and better” than ever, Benefit are working alongside charities Look Good Feel Better and Refuge in order to raise as much money as possible this year.

Look Good Feel Better “helps women and teenagers combat the visible side-effects of cancer treatment, through their free confidence-boosting skincare and make-up workshops, masterclasses and self-help materials.”

Refuge “empowers women and children who experience domestic violence to rebuild their lives free from violence and fear. Via a network of services they provide life changing support to over 3,000 women and children every day.”

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So far, the Benefit team have managed to raise an astonishing £189,000 with over 31,739 eyebrows already waxed, shaped and filled to perfection this month.

With only three days left of Bold is Beautiful, be sure to get down to your nearest Benefit cosmetics booth to support and donate to this great cause.

100 per cent of proceeds will go to both Look Good Feel Better and Refuge and you’ll also receive a full-sized Gimme Brow of your own!

After all, doing the greater good and your eyebrows should always be your first priority.

Will you be partaking in the Bold is Beautiful campaign? What is your favourite Benefit product?

Stephanie xox

Why it’s important to say goodbye to toxic relationships 🙅

Saying Goodbye to Toxic Relationships | The LDN Gal

How to say goodbye to toxic relationships

Sometimes in life, it’s necessary to rid yourself of toxic people, be it in a platonic, romantic or professional relationship. Unfortunately, family can prove a little tougher to deal with.

If a relationship is no longer bringing you joy, then how are you benefiting from it? Holding onto toxic people and relationships only prolongs your pain. At times, you truly need to get out of your comfort zone and put yourself first.

Entering adulthood, you realise that sometimes you just cannot relationship work. If your friends are not supportive of you – are they really your friends?

In essence, life can be difficult enough without having to worry about those who are meant to care for you mentally dragging you down.

To summarise, there are many different types of toxic relationship. Someone can be mentally damaging towards you, emotionally and on the worst end of the scale, physically. Abuse is still abuse no matter what form it takes – and it isn’t acceptable.

Advice - Saying Goodbye to Toxic Relationships | The LDN Gal

The benefits of saying goodbye to toxic relationships

Here are the warning signs of behaviours of toxic people. If any of these are present, then it’s time to get rid. A person who:

  • Undermines you
  • Tries to compete with you
  • Is unnecessarily jealous or envious of your successes
  • Clouds you with negativity (every day seems to bring with it a new tragedy)
  • Gossips incessantly (if they gossip too often to you, they most likely gossip about you)
  • Are not supportive of your goals
  • Act possessive or incessantly needy of your attention (all friends are there to offer mutual emotional support but relationships should not leave you feeling burdened or be one-sided)
  • Are inconsiderate and/or critical
  • Prove to be a bad influence (we inevitably become influenced by our environment)
  • Are at times just downright manipulative

When to say goodbye to a toxic relationship

Indeed bonds can deteriorate, and once someone begins to grate at your patience and sanity, they’re not worth hanging on to. With friends, you should never feel wary. In fact, you should be able to be open-minded without feeling conflicted or irritated.

Obviously, if you find yourself dreading to see a friend, making excuses to avoid doing so and feeling drained if you do eventually meet, then it all becomes pretty self-explanatory.

In short, relationships are complex and require a bit of give and take at times. However, if your relationships are starting to drain you and stop bringing you emotional reward and joy, then it is a drastic warning sign to let that person go. Equally, do so without speaking badly of them, negativity never breeds happiness.

Essentially, friends should make you happier and help you to escape or solve your problems, not cause them.

welcoming happy relationships

Healthy relationships are the only relationships you need. Surround yourself with those who value you and you will soon start to feel a lot better in yourself. All in all, your relationships should bring out the best in you and your own character.

Finally, be sure to remember, “you are only going to be as good as the people you surround yourself with. So, be brave enough to let go of those who are weighing you down.”

Have you ever experienced a toxic relationship? How did you let that person go? 

Stephanie xox

Introducing Ello, the anti-Facebook social media network

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Introducing Ello, a new social media network

I am undeniably obsessed with all things social media. The amount of time I spend online each day would shock and/or disgust most. So, when I heard about Ello, I was desperate to get my own account and jump in on the ‘hype’.

Dubbed the anti-Facebook, Ello is a ‘simple, beautiful and ad-free social network’. It came to my attention in Autumn 2014 (becoming public in August 2014).

It doesn’t have advertisements and it won’t utilise and profit off your data. Saying this, its revenue has come under speculation with its booming popularity.

An exclusive invitation for creatives

To create an account, you must be invited. It’s an exclusive affair and a tedious wait for an invitation. It’s still in its beta stage.

I’m going to be honest, I signed up earlier today and was rather baffled by Ello at first. Can something be so simple yet impossible to navigate? Thankfully no.

I eventually got the hang of things. Although it did take me a good five minutes to figure out how to upload my profile picture. Saying this, I genuinely had to watch the tutorial beforehand and this has never happened to me on any other social networking site before.

It would seem Ello is not as user-friendly as its veteran competitors.

A social media network for millennials 

“Next, pick a profile image, make it a hot one” had me giggling to no avail as I customised my header to a lovely floral print with ease (drag and drop again, it does come in handy).

Ello is very minimalist in design and features (like Marmite, you will either love this about the website or loathe it), customisation isn’t a strong point.

I soon got into the swing of things and began to add people with similar interests to me. On Ello you have your ‘Friends’ and ‘Noise’ steam alongside your notifications (lightning bolt icon) upon the left-hand side of the webpage. The ‘Friends’ stream holds your contacts feeds (recommended, related, random and search) and the ‘Noise’ stream allows you to select the posts you wish to see from your chosen people in an easy and accessible feed.

A wonderful combination of the best of other social media channels

Anything that catches your eye while browsing Ello can be shared to your own page easily. They’ve recently enabled users to add music and videos to their feeds. The website seems to have elements of Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook in a wonderful social networking combination.

Feeds are personally decorated like Tumblr. Like Twitter, you follow people  you do not know and who have similar interests to you and unlike Facebook you can avoid the hundreds of friend and family requests. It seems exclusivity and a degree of anonymity have their strong points.

Ello proves to be a lot of fun once you begin to understand it. Whoever said plain meant boring eh?

What do you think of Ello? Profound or just plain? 

Stephanie xox

Food: Hopkinson Vintage Antiques and Art Centre, Nottingham ~ Tea Bar

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Hopkinson Vintage Antiques and Art Centre in Nottingham do vintage clothing, accessories and homeware like no other. Beautifully filled to the brim with four floors to explore, each visit you are guaranteed to find something you will fall in love with.

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However, on a quest for somewhere new to enjoy lunch, me and Lauren of The Original Blonde Journalist, decided to take a bite at their Tea Bar. Which is situated at the entrance to Hopkinson’s vintage haven (we managed to eat before exploring, you should be proud of us).

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The interior of Hopkinson’s is just beautiful. Quaint with mis-matched vintage chairs and cutlery. It is very relaxed, very charming and very vintage.  The menu is simplistic, a brunch (beans on toast will set you back £3), lunch and swift bite place. It includes pita bread pizzas, light bites (Antipasti Platter or cakes, depending on whether you are feeling savoury or sweet), jacket potatoes, soups, sandwiches/toasties and afternoon tea (always a good shout in my opinion).

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We were greeted by a cheery and lovely floral dressed waitress. Who quickly took our order and chatted away merrily to other customers. Service was slow but the atmosphere was so nice it did not matter to me and Lauren. If you are hoping for a swift service though you may have to opt for fast food, in Nottingham that is never an issue.

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I ordered a mozeralla, chicken and pesto toastie and diet coke and Lauren a ham and cheddar (it was not) sandwich and sprite.  Lauren was very disappointed on discovering her order was wrong and instead of her beloved cheddar she was greeted with large slices of mozzarella. She spent a solid minute convincing me that it ‘tastes like egg’ before I eventually sampled and unfortunately had to agree – it was bad.

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Overall, the Hopkinson Tea Bar was a disappointment and it truly saddens me to say so. It was nice but nothing spectacular considering the inflated price. The ingredients seemed cheaply sourced, even the granary bread failed to impress. Sorry Hopkinson but I shall only be returning for your non-edible and vintage items, which you do oh so perfectly.

Where do you head for your lunch and vintage?

Stephanie xox

How to make a homemade skinny pizza 🍕

How to make a homemade skinny pizza

Your new go to homemade skinny pizza recipe

The skinny pizza is a low-fat, healthy and delicious alternative to the usual cheese and dough loaded affair. The best thing? It’s made with just a few simple ingredients!

Initially, you’ll want to gather the following from your kitchen:

  • White or whole grain tortilla (depending on your preference)
  • Tomato purée
  • Low-fat soft cream cheese
  • Your choice of toppings (I opt for vegetarian but the possibilities are endless, do feel free to get creative)

Once, you’ve got your ingredients, it’s time to start creating!

  1. Firstly, place your tortilla on a baking tray and smooth over a tablespoon of purée and follow with the cream cheese. Spread these evenly.
  2. Secondly, add your toppings as desired. If you are using meats, then be sure to have them cooked if required beforehand – vegetarian skinny pizza gets my vote every time. 
  3. Thirdly, it’s time to simply pop your pizza into your preheated oven at 200 degrees for a couple of minutes.

Voila, you have created a homemade skinny pizza! This low calorie pizza is not only swiftly made but surprisingly filling. Additionally, there’s no guilt if you eat the entire thing at lunchtime!

What do you think of this healthier alternative to traditional pizza? Would you try it?

Stephanie xox

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