Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stacey Helps: Fashion Tips on a Budget

I don't really do YouTube, I have friends (ahem K) who can sit for hours watching pointless videos until you realise that it's three am and you're watching a pug learn how to swim, but I'm not like that. However, I found this video which is a) hilarious, b) useful, and c) just watch it, I can't be bothered to think of another reason as to why you should watch it. 

@TheStaceyMcG @StyleSmashin #fashiononabudget

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Stars, Stripes and Union Flag Nails

Yesterday evening I painted my nails with union flags and the American
stars-and-stripes. I achieved this with nail pens and I'll keep them looking great
with a Maybelline Forever Strong Pro top coat.
I love them, what do you think? xx

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

6 things nobody ever told me about acne

I've had acne for around six years now, and I tell you, I wish I meant the brand. My acne isn't particularly bad, but I do always have spots, and blackheads and everything else. But throughout all of the hundreds of trips I've taken to doctors, homoeopaths and Google, there are a couple things that nobody ever told me about acne. I just had to discover them the hard way.

1. Sugar can be a cause of acne. It has been clinically proven that almost cutting sugar (including carbohydrates - this is called your glycemic index) from your diet can reduce acne to a complete minimum. This has something to do with cells and enzymes, but you're not here to read science, so I'm not going to give it to you. If you want to research it a little more, check out the sources I'll pop at the bottom.
Anyway, please don't completely cut out sugar, as a, that is practically impossible and b, totally not healthy. But next time you see the bag of sugar-coated sweets, take one instead of three.

2. You can see a dermatologist! Crazy as it sounds, I spent 4 years with my GP before being referred to a dermatologist, where I was greeted with medication that actually worked! Totally worth a look into.

3. Your skin has a 100-day cycle. What this means is that skin cells being formed right now wont reach the surface of your skin for about 100 days, or three months. When you apply a cream or gel that is supposed to clear out your acne, you've got to stick at it for at least 100 days to see some results! Also, keep your eyes open for 'magic' creams on the shelves of your pharmacy - if it swears to get you acne free in a week, it's totally lying. Sorry.

4. Dairy is really quite horrible. Believe it or not, I was only told this about two weeks ago! Dairy slows your metabolism and when you think about it, cheese is basically a hunk of fat. A lot of people are slightly intolerant to lactose without realising it. If you have other problems like asthma or eczema, switching to skim  goat's milk could be a good idea. If you don't want to completely lose dairy, stick to skim milk and low-fat products.

5. Don't pick! So, every kid with a spot has been told not to pop it, but nobody ever told them why. As my dermatologist explained to me, spots can explode outward, yes, releasing impurities, but it can also explode inwards, which creates scars and  spreads the puss back into your system to create more spots in the surrounding area. Totally not worth the risk.

6. Acne can be caused by inflamed hair follicles. Ask your doc for some diagrams, but basically sebum builds up inside the area that your hair sits in, underneath the skin. When this becomes blocked, it causes little lumps and bumps, but when it becomes infected is where those second-heads come from! Keep your face clean from bacteria, wash day and night and try not to touch your face!

We all hate acne, don't let it get you down, as after all, beauty comes from within. I wish you the best of luck with your clear skin quests!

If you want to take a more indepth view on what you can do about your acne, check out these articles on here and here, some from Dr. Oz here and here, and take a look at Dr Mark Hymen here.

I'd love to know your experiences or any other tips you have, the more the merrier!


P.S. Thanks to my Doc, Dermatologist, and all the homoeopaths and alternative practitioners I have seen over the years, plus all the people in stores like Lush and Neal's Yard for all of their help in informing me and putting me on the track to a cure. Maybe it'll work next time... 

Wake Up, It's Wednesday #3 - Keep that manicure picture-perfect

For your  manicure or nail art to stay fresher for longer, try applying a top
coat every other day. I know this is a pain, but it really is worth it!

Monday, June 03, 2013

MYO Gorgeous Stacking Bracelets

I'm back, I've hit the ground running with these gorgeous bracelets that a certain A has taught me to make! So easy to make, they stack on up your arm and come in a range of colours and patterns - because you're the one choosing the threads!

You need:
7 pieces of thread, yarn or string, roughly a foot long each.
A small square of card (apparently a paper coaster works too).
A pair of scissors.

Firstly, gather your threads together and knot them together at one end.
Now grab your piece of card (or coaster) and cut eight slits around the edge - one at each corner and one at the middle of each side. Next make a small, finger sized hole in the centre with either your scissors or a Biro. put the knot of threads through the hole, so that the knot just peeks through the top. Push one thread through each slit (yes, I realise there is an empty hole!)

Turn the card so that the empty slit is at the top. Count three threads to the right, and take the third thread out of its slit and move it into the empty place. Now twist your card so that the empty slit is at the top again, count three to the right and move that thread towards the empty space. Keep doing this, over and over, every so often pulling the knot from the other side - watch the bracelet appear before your eyes!

A says, 'the thicker the yarn, the faster this process will be, so only choose thin threads if you have endless amounts of patience! Choosing different colours and thickness of thread makes a more interesting bracelet.' 

Making many of these and stacking them, adding beads and bells makes for a unique piece!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I've gone AWOL

You may have noticed there was no 'Wake up, it's Wednesday!' This morning, and that's because my Internet is unexpectedly down, and will be out until June! :(
So for now, hang on, but in June I'll be back and I'll remember to schedule some posts from now on to keep on track.

See you soon

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Wake up, it's wedneseday #2 - open your eyes to an acne not-so-secret

Toothpaste isn't going to cure your spots, hydration is.
Drink 2 litres of water everyday for spotless, less oily skin.
Carry a water bottle around with you and keep it in your line of sight
at all times - this way, you'll always be reminded! 

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Bonfires, tree climbing and high-waisted shorts

I've been a little absent this weekend because my good friend R came to visit me! (She lives in a faraway land, so 'tis a rare occurrence!)
And just as rare as our visits is the sun shining down (especially on the bank holiday weekend!), so we thought we might take advantage of my luscious garden and R's gorgeous style to put up my first ever outfit post!
I said do fun, she said, this is fun, see?!

Chilling on the lawn, wearing socks but no shoes, and pretty jazzy ones at that!

This is my favourite photo! The hanging glasses add some colour, and it
reminds me of a lot of things - we love climbing trees! Also, the trees here
are just starting to blossom, giving that natural spring colour.

We couldn't figure out exactly what a rat was doing
playing ice hockey...

Smartie toes, I love the contrasting and creative colours R uses to liven
up her feet!

We ran out of marshmallows, so I thought I'd burn my
stick instead!

Our home-grown bonfire!

T-shirt, Portobello road market, Shorts, Ebay, nail varnish, Barry M and Claires.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Wake up, it's Wednesday #1 - open your eyes to a sun-kissed glow

For a natural tan, use a tinted body moisturiser 
everyday to gradually build up a glow. 
No tan lines, no shock-orange, looks natural. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Shopping in Cambridge

Just this last Wednesday I took a day-trip to the beautiful city of Cambridge with a friend, where we spent a day shopping in a new place (which, let's face it, is super-exciting, and turns every happy shopper into a little girl in a sweet shop!). I didn't anticipate blogging about this, so I didn't take to many photos, and the photos I did take include the contents of my breakfast and a dodgy shot of the street. So no snaps for you, sorry.

But I can paint a verbal picture, and Blott is the perfect store to start with. We've all found, at some point, one of those places that just sell the quirkiest things that are such obvious and yet original ideas because you're still left standing there going, 'Why didn't I think of that??'    
Blott, Unit 6, Ground Floor, Grand Arcade, St Andrew’s Street, Cambridge, CB2 3BJ  is a 'stationery store with a twist,' selling everything from pens and pencils to glass wipe-clean boards and fun luggage tags featuring moustaches. Which now that I think about it, I have a photo of!
 I bought two apple-shaped rubber toppers for 75p each and a luggage tag with different moustaches on it for a mere £2. This is a sample section of the biscuit, drink bottle and cutesy critter - shaped rubbers that are available, and man, do you go crazy over them! (Or at least I did, it took me 20 minutes to decide on those two I swear!)

Blott is situated in Cambridge's main mall, or 'Grand Arcade,' that houses most common chains like Hollister,  New Look, Apple and YO! Sushi - where we purchased lunch. Sat hiding in amongst the typical stores are some higher end chains like Ted Baker, Radley and Guess. But you know the best bit? There's a cupcake stall on the top floor. That's right, a cupcake stall.

27-year old Pylones was my second great find of the day, opposite the Grand Arcade on 34 Petty Cury selling equally quirky objects that branched out to more than stationary, jewellery, kitchen utensils and iPhone accessories from a range of designers that group from Paris to bring us foreigners awesome rubber based stuff. My friend bought a turquoise rubber snap-on watch (to replace the one she lost that morning!) and a keyring, both of which I adored. 

My favourite piece of Cambridge wasn't the winding streets but the market. It contains a ton of fruit stalls that sold strawberries that looked so good I almost bought one, but I compromised and ate some fruit on top of a Belgian waffle from a stall where a Frenchman promises they taste just like the waffles in Bruges - and I can testify, they do! Here you can buy beautiful scarves, Cambridge touristy items and University sweaters and t-shirts, for a decent market price, but standard store quality, no rip-offs. Which is always great!

And that was my day! If you ever visit, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!



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