Archive | January, 2013

Mint Green Nails – Mavala

30 Jan

20130130-212607.jpg
Mint green is a big colour for spring/summer, seen everywhere on the catwalk from Matthew Williamson’s beautiful floaty dresses to sheer tunics from Missoni.

It’s an easy colour to incorporate into your beauty routine, whether it be coloured eyeliner or a lovely macaron-esque nail polish (like this one from Mavala).

Fitting Marathon Training Into Your Life

29 Jan

exhaustion

I have been really, really rubbish at blogging these past two months, which is probably a result of too much work, excessive boozing, marathon training and being too knackered post-running to do anything other than watch back-to-back episodes of Come Dine With Me on More 4.

This leads me onto the topic of this post which is – how do you fit it all in? The marathon training that is, not the five episodes of Come Dine With Me.

I knew when I first took up the challenge of training that fitting in four medium length sessions of running a week (40-70 mins) plus one long run at weekends, was going to be tough. Added to that the fact that you’re meant to spend your ‘rest days’ doing strengthening exercises (weights, swimming, pilates etc improve the muscles that support your running), and actually getting everything done without a time machine becomes a task in itself.

I’ve found the best thing to do is just to be really flexible. Can’t fit a run in after work because you’re meeting a friend for dinner? Get up an hour early and go before work (ahh the joys of running in the dark at 7am!), or start making your evening plans a bit later so you can run in between (friends soon get used to you turning up slightly stressed and sweaty). Can’t do a long Sunday run because you just know you’ll be hungover? Make sure you keep Saturday morning free and go then instead.

It all sounds really simple, and it is! In fact the hard bit is keeping yourself going when you feel like you’re constantly dashing between work, social events, workouts and all those other vaguely important things like sleeping and eating.

One thing I have found helpful is following Virgin London Marathon’s Facebook page, which is always full of useful advice, motivational posts and reminders that you are certainly not alone in the hardcore training process.

Twitter is another good place to get inspired – whether it’s looking at what fellow runners are up to on the #londonmarathon and #vlm hashtags, or following personal trainers, running coaches or health and fitness magazines for their wise words and ideas.

Overall though I think the best thing you can do sometimes is not really think about it – just get outside and get on with it!

 

Marathon Training – Running in the Snow

21 Jan

A_snowy_pavementDear runners – do you look at the pavement above and think ‘Oh wow, exciting challenge’ or ‘Oh my god, I’m going to break my leg’? I definitely fall into the latter category, although a quick bit of googling suggests there are plenty of mentals out there who love nothing more than skidding around in the snow in their running shoes.

However, when I set out for my 9 mile marathon training session on Sunday morning I unwittingly found myself running in scenes similar to the above, as the heavens opened about 10 mins in and started to dump  a load of snow on me.

Through this enforced snow running session, I’ve learned a couple of tips for running in the snow:

Go slowly! – This sounds really obvious, but I did see plenty of joggers bombing about without taking necessary care to look in front of them. Slowing right down was actually good because it allowed me to discover how much better my endurance is at a lesser pace (useful insight for the marathon). It also gave me time to look at the ground in front of me and watch out for slippy patches.

Small steps – Slamming your foot down in a big stride and finding it doesn’t land quite right is a lot more disastrous than if you’re doing small, controlled steps. If even you do look a bit lol doing baby steps.

Take care at corners – Imagine your body is a car, you need to slow that bad boy down when it comes to corners, downhill sections or speed bumps (i.e. curbs!)

Wrap up warm – I for one HATE being too hot when I’m running, so always opt for less clothing rather than more when training. However, I really missed not having a scarf when I was running on Sunday, and was very pleased for my gloves. Though your core might get hot, vulnerable areas such as these should be protected in extremely cold temperatures.

Know when to stop – I had my Oyster card with me when I went running just in case it got too slippy as you should always know when the risk of injury outweighs the benefits of training. Also remember that running on snow takes up more energy so even if you don’t get the time or distance you were aiming for, you’ll still have done a lot of work!

 

 

Lust Item of the Day – Mega Jewels

14 Jan

necklace £100Premium Stone Necklace, £100, Topshop

 

Best Spring Hair Accessories on the High Street

11 Jan

For those finishing touches, there are some lovely hair accessories on the high street this spring, with particularly strong lines from Topshop, River Island and ASOS…

skulls headband asosSkulls Headband, ASOS, £10

This Limited Edition accessory is a tough twist on the girly hair band.

topshop-made-you-look-hairbandMade You Look Hairband, Topshop, £8.50

For those who are not shy of a little attention, this hairband will certainly stand out from the crowd.

flapper-headband-asosFlapper Hair Band, ASOS, £15

With the forthcoming release of The Great Gatsby film, 1920s style is set to get even cooler. This is a pretty homage to the period, perfect for parties.

topshop-studded-bobblesTwo Pack Spike Ponios, Topshop, £6.50

Jazz up even the least jazzy of ponytails with these little studded wonders…

spike-hair-comb-asos

 

Spike Hair Comb, ASOS, £6

…or add some punkiness to your top knot with this easy-to-use haircomb (put a few all round the bun for extra attitude!)

river-island-flower-garland

 

Pink Floral Bun Garland, £6, River Island

If it’s a pretty top knot you’re after, then add this summery garland – no doubt these will be a hit at festivals!

 

New CID Cosmetics sponsor The Bodyguard

7 Jan

photo (30)

 

There are so many West End musicals I want to see at the moment (Viva Forever tickets have already been booked) and having heard good reports from friend who have seen The Bodyguard, it’s definitely on the list.

I didn’t even know shows could have their own ‘Official Make Up Sponsor” these days, but New CID Cosmetics have claimed that title for The Bodyguard, and launched this little lip gloss and eye shadow selection in celebration.

photo (27)The two lip glosses are new shades, and contain a little bulb in the lid for more precise application even in poor lighting (rolling around drunkenly in the back of taxi springs to mind).

new-cid-lipglossThe three cream eyeshadows have a very mousse-y texture, as I discovered by accidentally poking my finger right through the middle of one. The top left shade, Spotlight, is a pearly lilac colour for highlighting; top right is Diva, a nice metallic aubergine that I can image Whitney rocking beautifully, and finally there’s the smoky grey Melody, which actually comes out as a lovely glittery silver. I’ve never really been sure about wearing greys and silvers with my hazel eyes, but I think if you either had dark, blue or green eyes, this selection would look lovely.

new-cid-eyeshadow
new-cid-eye-shadow-swatchesThe set costs £35 (the products have a value of £74 if they were bought separately) and is available from www.newcidcosmetics.com.

 

Alterna Caviar RepairX Shampoo and Conditioner Review

3 Jan

Alterna Caviar Repair Group 4sku CMYKHas anyone watched that TV series Inside Claridges recently? When I caught it a couple of weeks ago, I was amazed to discover there are actually people rich enough to get a whole hotel room redecorated on a whim, just for a one night stay. Or to shrug their shoulders at the expense of having a hot tub specially installed in their suite for a week. Wow!

Anyway, the reason I’m waffling on about this is because I went to a launch recently for hair care  brand Alterna’s latest range, which as well as promising to reduce breakage by up to 95%, contains ACTUAL CAVIAR. Yes, for the woman who is happy to spend money on diamond-infused eye cream or nail polish flecked with real gold, there is now a shampoo, conditioner, masque and cream packed with more ludicrously expensive ingredients. Hurrah!

Before I sound too embittered, I will just say that the products are actually very nice. I’ve been trying out the shampoo and conditioner for the last few weeks and the smell is beautifully elegant, they feel very luxurious on the hair and the packaging is nice and grown up (i.e. clashes a bit with my limescale-tastic bath).

Although I can’t say I’ve noticed a huge difference in terms of hair breakage, they certainly leave it very soft and feeling smooth, without much need to add extra moisturising products such as oil or serum.

However, at a cost of £33.50 each for the Shampoo and Conditioner, plus £42.90 for the Masque (which I need to test more before I review) I can’t help but feel that these products are pretty fricking expensive. In fact, I’m not sure there’s anything a shampoo or conditioner could do to make me want to spend that amount of cash every month.

Overall – nice products, eye-watering price. Only for the scarily rich.

Packaging: 7/10

Smell: 8/10

Results: 7.5/10

Value for money: 2/10

 

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