If you’ve read my recent beauty buys post then you’ll have seen that I recently picked myself up a couple of amazing nail polishes from RCX nails and I absolutely adore them!
Who are RCX nails?
They are an independent company set up by Rachel manufacturing/creating stunning indie polish by hand and best of all? Completely cruelty free. Rachel does all the hard work from creating, bottling, labelling, naming and distributing so they really are handcrafted with love!
What are the polishes like?
They’re a very creamy consistency that come with a fantastic, standard/wide applicator making application an absolute doddle. I’ve also found that they last longer than other high street brands which is incredible. The colours are completely true to how they look on the website but if you needed anymore convincing you can check out their instagram feed (and get completely entrance by the #pourn videos)! I opted for a stunning holographic silver called quicksilver and a lush pale blue called sky and sea.
Where can I buy?
They are currently available here and are £3 each plus postage. Rachel is super friendly and super responsive to messages if you have any questions. She also has a lot in the works and is constantly coming up with new creations.
Having shared my initial story and my update I’ve decided to try and update monthly. I find writing about my story therapeutic for myself and it still surprises me just how little people know/understand about eating disorders.
My last update was a much more positive one than my initial cry for help but unfortunately it hasn’t stayed that way. I recently shared a post on my Instagram of me feeling fantastic having been able to run in just a sports bra and leggings for the first time ever! Fast forward a week and that little, dark, eating disorder voice kicked in. I couldn’t even stand to look at it anymore, all I could see was what was wrong with my body. Coincidentally those feelings started the exact same day I got weighed for the first time in months.
It was a dark, deep spiral and it was one of my lowest points in recent times. I didn’t see a way out. I was crying and obsessing and beating myself up. It was horrible and I couldn’t explain it to Tom. I stand by that it’s one of the hardest things to explain or deal with. I sometimes feel that at least with other mental illnesses you can empathise to a certain degree but with eating disorders unless you’ve experienced it you simply don’t know. There are so many common misconceptions. I cannot stress enough that just because someone doesn’t starve themselves or make themselves sick does not mean that they aren’t suffering – it runs so much deeper than that.
I was back to being obsessive. I mean I am/was at the heaviest I’ve ever been. Ever. I didn’t feel any different in myself from a week ago and my clothes didn’t fit me any differently but thise two numbers on the scale completely changed my opinion of myself. It felt like climbing a wall to the top only to lose my footing on the final step and fall straight back to the bottom. My body confidence had once again been shattered and I was back to my closed up self. I wanted to start running 3 times a day. I wanted to get rid of every unhealthy item of food in the flat. I wanted to get back to my tiny 8st self. It’s almost as if I don’t recognise myself until I’m at that weight. At least that’s what I thought.
I’m some kind of warped/backwards logic I decided to try on some of my bikinis from a couple of years ago. If you’ve seen my post on my Half-year goals you’ll know that being in a bikini this year is quite a big deal to me. With only 3 weeks to go until my first break I had a panic they wouldn’t fit so I dug them out of the back of my wardrobe, tried them on and looked in the mirror. Low and behold they fit perfectly.
There are always going to be bits that I wish were different but with minor changes to my diet and fitness regime they will get there. I quickly realised that my issues are nothing to do with how I see myself. I love my body. I’ve been blessed with a near perfect hourglass figure and likened to a Kardashian (what’s not to love)! Instead my issues come from what I create in my head based on the numbers on the scale. To me that number 8 is magic even though realistically I know that it would mean losing what I love about myself today.
So it’s an easy fix? I wish it was. I wish it was as easy as just shaking my head and shaking the negative thoughts away. I think it will take a while to get those numbers out of my head. There are probably always going to be dark days where I can’t control my default emotion but hopefully I’ll never be too far away from a bikini and a mirror.
Socialising/Leisure – £100 on average throughout the month
Food – Roughly £50
What does a typical week look like for you? – I work full time Monday – Friday every week. I usually spend Monday nights relaxing and catching up from the weekend, Tuesday nights I spend with my boyfriend, then I’m usually with friends or family the rest of the week. I like to spend my weekends with my boyfriend photographing and exploring new places.
What are your usual guilty spends, what can’t you resist buying over and over? – I don’t think I have any, I’m pretty good at telling myself not to buy if I don’t NEED something, I will treat myself every now and then if it’s something I really want but I think I’m good at resisting buying unnecessary items.
What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought? – My 2016 Grey Corsa, I started leasing this last September and I guess it counts because after a few years the car will be mine. Other than that probably my MacBook Air.
Are you saving for anything in particular at the moment? –I always like to have money saved incase I have to pull money out for my car unexpectedly. I’m currently saving towards travelling and a mortgage, which is a while off but I think its good to start early
If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would go out and buy? -Obviously it depends how much but I’d love to buy a house so I can move in with my boyfriend. We don’t want to rent and it would be so nice to just be able to buy a house out right.
If money was no object what would be your dream travel destination? – It’s so hard to pick just one. I’ll go with America as I’d love to go over there and not be tight with money! I would probably spend a good few months out there
What’s the best money advice/tip you’ve ever received? – Not to be tight with it, once you start saving and it builds up it can be quite easy to focus on the number going up and forget to treat yourself and actually live. Saving is great for your future but you need to be able to say you’ve experienced things and had fun
Thanks Chloe! If you’d like to get involved in my money diaries series, leave me a comment and I’ll email you the info.
Since moving to London I’ve tried to save a lot of my Primark/beauty hauls for when I’m back up north so when I went back at the end of May I made sure to stock up on what I would be needing for June.
Silicon brush cleaner – Primark
A little bit hit and miss for me. I’ve always had two different ways of cleaning brushes depending on if it was used for dry or wet products. This doesn’t work as well as how I normally clean my “wet” brushes but it certainly makes cleaning my dry brushes easier so since it was so cheap I don’t mind keeping hold of it.
Silicon beauty sponge – Primark
I can’t believe how late I am to the party but I adore this. I’m such a lazy brush cleaner so this is perfect for me. You don’t lose any product like you do in a brush and you can clean and dry it in a matter of seconds. I’ve only used this so far with my lightest foundation so I’m not sure what it’s like for heavy cover, mousse-like foundation but at the moment my foundation brush is certainly on the back burner. My only criticism? Why do you need 2 in a pack? Who on earth is needing more than one of these? Primark are driving me mad with this at the minute. A year ago you could get a single beauty blender in a pack now, you need to buy 4. I don’t need 4! Sort it out Primark.
Beauty sponge – Boots
My sister taught me how to bake my concealer when I was last home then I got back to London and realised I didn’t own a beauty blender. Since I couldn’t get one from Primark (see above rant) I just picked up this one from the Boots basics range. It does the job but I’d much rather use a proper complexion sponge that this completely flat one.
Maybelline fit me matte foundation in shade 115 ivory – Boots
This is my holy grail stage 1 foundation which I use when my skin is near perfect and just needs a touch of cover. It took me ages to find a perfect foundation for me so I’ll continue to go back to this.
Maybelline erase concealer in ‘light’ – Boots
Probably the closest concealer I’ve ever had to covering my dark circles beating every colour corrector and ‘specialist’ eye concealer. It takes a bit of patience to get the product on the sponge using the twist mechanism which makes it a little harsh on the skin if you’ve not waited enough but that’s honestly my only criticism. It’s super light, super blendable and I won’t say it yet but it may end my concealer search…
Nyx frame and tame brow pomade in shade 04 espresso – Boots
I’ve obviously seen everyone’s rave reviews about THAT high end brow pomade but as my brows take such little maintenance I simply couldn’t justify the cost. Normally I just use whichever brow kit is on offer but my sleek palette was crumbling to pieces so I figured it was time for new brows. I had actually intended to just pick up another brow kit but I saw this and knew that I just had to have it and I am so so glad I picked it up. The effect is essentially the same as the brow and wax I normally use except it’s in one handy little pot. The only issue I have now is that I need a new compact mirror as my brow kit was the one I has on me constantly.
I am obsessed with the RCX nails Insta page; from the amazing colours Rachel creates to the therapeutic pourn videos – I can’t get enough. The second I saw the stunning holographic silver I knew I needed it. I also picked up sand & sea as it’s my favourite shade for summer and the only thing missing from my existing nail collection. I love them both so much that they’ll be getting their own full post next week.
Sunflower under-eye patches – Primark
For the price these were a great little pick up. I’ve only used one out of the two sets but as far as first impressions go, I’m happy. The results aren’t like ‘knock your socks off amazing’ but they did slightly improve my dark circles (they’re pretty beyond help tbh). I quite enjoyed the feeling of a proper pamper session and I’ll certainly be keeping up with them. It may even become a 2-weekly treat.
I’m really bad at remembering to promote old content
I couldn’t even tell you what my latest stats are
I have 0 subscribers
I have never been approached by a single brand about anything
I don’t own a marble background nor am I able to nail the perfect flatlay
I don’t use Photoshop and barely edit anything
I don’t vlog
I don’t always reply to my comments
So am I a bad blogger?
I am an insanely jealous person and I will openly hold my hands up and admit that. I’m also very competitive so maybe that breeds jealousy. Not exactly traits you’d expect from a blogger in what has recently been described as a “saturated market” but here I am. You’d be forgiven for reading this and thinking I’m a total b*tch, I’d hope anyone who has got to know me know that this isn’t the case (though I’m sure there are some who do know me and still think it).
As a blogger it’s all too easy to look at other people’s success and compare it to your own (or lack of)! Don’t get me wrong, when I tell other bloggers I’m happy for them I genuinely am. There are so many amazing bloggers out there who work so incredibly hard and I’m genuinely proud of them but I’m also jealous – it’s embarrassing to admit it but I am.
But then I sit myself down and I have a reality check…
I didn’t start this blog expecting it to be incredible and be flooded by PR requests. I love writing, I always have. My biggest regret in life is not going to uni and studying language and linguistics. I keep travel diaries when I go on holiday and I keep countless notebooks. I started this blog because it gave me a hobby I could be passionate about. I started this blog so I could share my advice about living in London and all the incredible things there is to do here and as a result of starting this blog I get out and explore this beautiful city more. My family and friends get to see life updates. I get a space where I feel like I can share anything and I get to make some incredible friends (hopefully)!
I’d be lying if I said I’d be happy if I never got contracted by any brands but I’d be ok with it. I mean how many people can say they get paid to do their hobby? I also know that there are a lot more things I could do if I had the time to grow and develop (organically) my blog which I don’t currently – though I’m desperately trying to change that.
So whilst I may not be a good blogger, I’m at least proud to say that I’m a genuine one.
Hey there, I’m Alicia and I’m a 20-year-old full-time student in London. I also work a zero hours’ contract in hospitality as well as running a lifestyle/beauty/fashion which you can find at www.aestheticobsessed.co.uk . While working a zero hours’ contract is extremely useful when having a busy university schedule, it does also mean that I often get shifts cancelled on me last minute. As well as having to pay a fine if I must cancel last minute, which is extremely annoying, especially months when I haven’t been able to work a lot and I often end up not getting paid a single penny. Due to being a student I live in London from September until June every year and spend the summer at my mums trying to save up any extra pennies to make it through the first term of the academic year.
Rent: £696 (this includes all bills such as electricity and internet, and home/gadget insurance)
Bills: Phone bill- £15
Subscriptions: £4.99 – Apple music student subscription
Socialising/ leisure: £250 on average a month
Travel: £150 I have to travel around London for shifts
Food: £80 roughly, I normally do about two food shops a month
What does a typical week look like for you? I normally have classes five days a week during the day, and I try to work at least two shifts a week when it’s possible. I have two nights a week in which I go out drinking with my friends, but these are student nights and therefore are often cheaper than the average night out in London. With entry normally costing £5 with transport to the club included, therefore I’ll often hunt out the cheapest bottle of wine with the highest percentage. I will often also order food at least once a week when I simply don’t have the energy to cook. Although I do place a food delivery order twice a month, in which I will normally spend between £40 and £45 to stock up as much as possible and occasionally I can just get away with popping to the local corner shop in order to stock up on things such as milk, bread and pasta. It’s not rare for me to have to travel to the other side of London for work (I live in zone 3 of South West) which costs me a pretty penny in travel costs, which aren’t covered by work. If I finish after midnight though I often get given a £15 taxi allowance in order to make sure I get home okay, this is often only enough to get me part of the way home the rest I have to either do either through public transport or pay for the taxi myself.
What are your usual guilty spends, what can’t you resist buying over and over? Makeup. I run a blog which includes beauty so I can never resist buying new makeup and while I try to set myself a budget of £20 a week to spend on makeup I often will go over or not spend a single penny. I guess this kind of evens itself out over the course of the month. Although I’m slowly starting to come to terms that I already have more than enough makeup and I don’t have any storage room left for more products.
What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought? Probably my phone, I bought the iPhone 6 last May out of my student finance payment, I needed a new phone but I didn’t want to get phone contract that would cost me £45+ when I was in the position to be about to buy one out right. By doing this it has meant my phone contract is only £15 a month to cover everything I need (specifically enough data and texts) which is a lot nicer on my budget. My phone is still going strong (touch wood) although I did have to pay to replace the screen the other week as I may or may not have completely smashed it on a night out, I paid the consequences…£79.99 worth of consequences.
Are you saving for anything in particular at the moment? I’m saving up for a new camera, specifically either the Olympus Pen EP7 or Canon 1200D. While I do try to pay money into my savings account every month, I have times when I struggle to put anything in there. I also recently emptied it out in order to have spending money on my holiday to Croatia, which occurred just before I got my final student finance payment and therefore I was running very low on money.
If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would go out and buy? I’d buy my own flat in London, so I could live up here all year round, and not have to worry about rent, as I currently live in student accommodation so my rent comes out in three payments around the same time as I receive my student finance. While this may seem useful as at least I know my rent has been paid, they’re often very large payments and will, therefore, leave me really feeling the pinch, especially the first payment of the year which is often the biggest…despite that being the smallest amount of loan I receive.
If money was no object what would be your dream travel destination? I don’t have just one dream travel destination, I want to see the whole world, but I suppose if money really was no object it would have to be Mexico. I don’t think there is any specific reason why I just like the idea of having bath robes and slippers included in the cost of the hotel. Although I would absolutely just want to go round the entire world.
What’s the best money advice/tip you’ve ever received? If you can’t afford to buy it twice then don’t buy it. I can’t remember where I heard this but it’s something I’ve lived by since being a student, that and putting all my change into a pot and then counting it up at the end of the year. You don’t ever realise just how much can be hidden in a pot of change until you count it up.
Thanks Alicia for contributing! If you’d like to be featured in a money diary. Leave me a comment and I’ll send you the info.
It took me so so long to find a good brow stylist and by good I mean someone who understands individual brow shapes. I’ve had brow stylists in the past where it’s been so blatantly obvious that they applied the same shaping to everyone. Yes it was cheap but I didn’t love my brows. Whilst I wouldn’t ever recommend breaking the bank for beauty, I do think it’s important to love and be happy with the results even if it means spending a little more.
I’ve been seeing my beauty therapist Jess for a couple of years but that also means I don’t have her down in London with me now, booo. So if I’m ever travelling back to visit family I try and ensure I fit a brow appointment in.
I’d always just had a very basic tint and wax in the past and it always did the trick. My brows are very dark so the tint didn’t always keep it’s impact once I’d applied foundation but it meant that it could be touched up easily with just a brow powder.
I’d seen on Facebook that Jess had recently trained in HD brows and it had to be said the results were incredible. I’d been intrigued by HD brows for years but had struggled to find someone local to go to so I made sure that on my next visit up north I would finally give HDs a go.
HD brows combines more techniques than a standard tint and wax to create a fuller, stronger effect. The brows are tinted as normal and are then waxed but using a more gentle formula than normal which means less redness after. They’re then threaded and plucked to achieve the perfect shape. Once this is complete the brow stylist will then use a variety of brow make-up products to polish the overall look. The whole procedure tends to take around an hour due to the precision and perfecting that takes place to create the finish. The overall idea is to create the perfect brow that doesn’t need any additional touching up after. The make up isn’t permanent and will wear off eventually but that all depends on your brows. The stylist will then go through all the aftercare with you before you leave.
Is it worth it? At the salon I was at HD brows are over double that of a tint and wax but for me it is unbelievably worth it. The effect lasted ages. I try and wear very minimal make up generally but nearly always like to define my brows. Even with wearing foundation I didn’t need to touch them up until at least a week later – a huge difference from touching them up the same day after a tint and wax! Even nearly 2 weeks down the line the shape is amazing and touching them up is an absolute breeze on a morning.
Overall I honestly don’t see myself not having HD brows every time. I just love them. I can be quite last with my brows so I’m going to try and keep on top of the shape a bit more so I don’t need to go as frequently but it will be HD every time!
Have you had HD brows before? What are your thoughts on them? Drop me a comment.
You can find your nearest HD stylist here – http://beautyinhighdefinition.com/salon-finder/
Having recently attended The Bloggers Hub #SPP with Spectrum brushes and getting the dreamiest of goodies, I was feeling inspired so I’ll be introducing themes to my blog.
Each month will have a new theme with the posts going out on a Thursday evening. I will still be keeping my money diaries posts on a Saturday morning (as ever I’m still on the lookout for contributors) and if I have the time/inspiration I’ll still write other posts!
Here’s the schedule for June where the theme is beauty…
Thursday 8th June – Northern Girl on HD Brows
Thursday 15th June – Northern Girl on June’s beauty buys
Thursday 22nd June – Northern Girl reviews RCX nails
Thursday 29th June – Northern Girl reviews Joan Collins lash treatment
July – travel (including Liverpool, Scotland and what I’m taking to Majorca)
Hi I’m David, and you can normally find me at www.daveygranger.co.uk. I’m an intern working and living in central London and this is my money diary…
Rent/Mortgage – £560
Bills – £70 (£20 phone bill, utilities £50)
Gadget insurance – £12
Subscriptions – £10 (Spotify Premium)
Socialising/Leisure – £250
What does an average week look like for you? I work full time Mon-Fri in London. I’m pretty lucky that I live close enough to work that I can just about walk it, though this does take about an hour so I don’t live THAT close. In the evenings I’m often working on my blog and other projects, running, doing boring adult jobs like food shopping, or off to a concert or socialising with friends! It’s hard to stay in when you live in such an amazing city.
What are your usual guilty spends, what can’t you resist buying over and over? Money is pretty tight, as I’m an intern renting in London. However, I buy tons of concert tickets. I love live music more than anything and it feels like I’m always planning to go to more. I love to travel too, I’ve been trying to fit in some trips with my busy schedule/tight budget, it seems like it’s working!
What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought? Physical thing, my Canon 60D. I’ve had it now for 2-3 years and bloody love it, though it was second hand to begin with so now it’s dying a little. Otherwise, it would be the month I spent in Japan. Kinda spent a bit too much on that, however it had been my lifelong dream to travel around Japan.
Are you saving for anything at the moment? I don’t have too much money leftover at the end of the month. I don’t really have any left to be honest. This isn’t what forever will be like, just whilst I’m an intern I hope! However I am careful not to dip into savings I already have, I usually end up in them every single month but I’m briefly out after payday! Definitely not the healthiest way to deal with money but it’s what I’m doing for the time being!
If you won the lottery what’s the first thing you’d go out and buy? One of those fancy round the world plane tickets. I’m off for a long time.
If money was no object, where would be your dream travel destination? South America is the trip I’m going to start planning. I’ve been dreaming of Peru for years. I’m going to do this trip anyway, but it’s currently my dream travel destination, so if money was no object I’d probably just spend longer on the continent!
And finally… What’s the best money advice/tip you’ve received. Honestly, it’s been not to worry so much. I worry a lot about money, a massive amount. Being told to relax with it and not let it dominate my life has been the best thing for me. I’m still very careful, but I don’t let it ruin my day.
Thanks David for contributing! If you’d like to be featured in a money diary. Leave me a comment and I’ll send you the info.
I can’t believe we’re in June already! I was so new to blogging back in January I didn’t realise how much of a thing “goals lists” were so I never did one. Thinking about it now, I have no idea why I didn’t think to, even if I didn’t share it I should have set out my aims and goals- I’m a sucker for a to do list after all! To make up for it I’ve decided to do a half-year one with my aims for the remainder of 2017, separating them into blog, life and health.
I was very lucky to hit my initial target of 1000 twitter followers by my birthday so I’m going to be even more ambitious and hope for 2k by the new year
Similarly, I’d love reach 500 instagram followers
I’m hoping that I can attend my first blog event/get my first sponsored post offer
I’d also love to regularly meet up with other local bloggers and try and formulate some friendships. One of the hardest things about moving to London has been adapting to the loneliness. Tom has worked shifts our entire relationship so that’s nothing new but before if he was working on an evening/weekend I’d be able to call round and see family/friends – not so easy when you’re 200km away. Whilst we regularly catch up on phone calls/facetime it’s not the same.
Improve my blog photography. This will probably be the one I struggle most with as I’m far from a natural photographer but I’ve bought a few pretty props and dug out my ancient Olympus EP-1 So it’s a start.
I’m a money worrier so a big part of my 2017 is clearing a huge chunk off my credit card. I have another couple of years to clear it so I’m not too worried but it’ll be good to get rid of a lot.
Likewise keep squirreling away our savings. This is quite easy to do as I have automated payments set up to a help to buy isa. We’d love to be able to afford our own house but it’s looking impossible in London atm so it’s not our number one priority but we can both comfortably afford the payments whilst we adjust to our London life.
I didn’t go to university so I’ve fought for where I am at work, especially in a heavily male environment so I’m hoping to continue to grow this and increase my role and responsibility.
I’d also love to learn to cook. I owe Tom a cooking masterclass for his birthday so it’s definitely one to tick off this year.
I’d love to grow my hair again to donate it. I have such a love/hate relationship with my hair. When it’s long and thick it takes so much to maintain and style but when it’s short I miss being able to throw it back in a pony on my lazy days but I know it will always grow again and it’s satisfying knowing that it has been donated to a good cause. If I do donate again it will be my third donation to The Little Princess’ Trust.
I received the most amazing journals for my birthday so one will be my new blog notebook, the other I’m planning on turning into a bullet journal.
I’m hoping 2017 is finally the year I get some sort of diagnosis in way of my stomach problems. I’ve been battling near constant pain for almost 4 years with 1 major surgery and countless other scans/procedures with no success so far but I’m due to see a specialist in June so it’s progress.
I’d always said at the start of this year I wanted to run a 10k so that’s very much still on my mind. I’m aiming for this around September time and I’m looking to do a blog series all about how different people have trained for different running events/distances so watch this space!
I’d love this year to be the year I finally combat my body issues. It ultimately felt great recognising my issues with the blog and I think it was a huge step towards recovery. I’m trying not to focus so much on numbers on a scale and more my own confidence and positivity so I’m aiming for:
Feeling confident in my bikini – I’m going on two holidays this year and it’ll be my first beach holiday in 2 years so this is a huge one. I didn’t wear a bikini to a spa weekend last year because I wasn’t happy so yeah, watch this space.
I would also love to stop focusing on numbers on a scale and more on how I feel in my clothes. I let the numbers my weight was at rule my life for so long so I’m trying to change those goals to things like feeling confident enough to work out in just a sports bra and leggings or getting the confidence to wear crop tops back.
I’m also hoping to celebrate my good days more. I will proudly say that there are days when I do want to celebrate my body. I’m trying to remember to wear clothes that suit my body type rather than just my dress size and embracing this.
I’d also love to be able to get my emotions/stress under control. It’s the number one cause for friction in my relationship so this is another huge thing for me to finally achieve and I hope the two will go somewhat hand in hand. Get my eating under control and the emotions will hopefully follow.