Monday, 24 September 2018

Polka Lab Workshop - Think Lash - Liverpool

polka lab workshop liverpool

Sundays have always been my favourite days when it comes to carving out some me time. Long lazy baths, trips to the library, an extended yoga session, anything that chills me out, get’s me over the week that’s been and ready for the week that is to come. This past Sunday I was invited down the beautiful Think Lash Bar, Roscoe St, to meet Mica, the founder and workshop leader of Polka Lab - workshops that focus on self love, slow living, and DIY skincare. Three of my favourite things all in one place!

Mica is incredible passionate about Polka Lab, the lessons it teaches are invaluable when we live in a time in which we just don’t believe we have enough time. Running around, updating social media, working hard and playing less, these are trying, frazzling times for our minds and bodies. As much as I try to make time for me, I’m even better at making excuses not to. 

And the biggest anti-me-time excuse it all comes down to? Guilt.

I feel guilty for switching off my phone.
I feel guilty for locking myself away in the bathroom for an hour.
I feel guilty spending time with myself.

Sound familiar? We seriously need to stop this guilt in it’s tracks and stop feeling guilty for putting ourselves first! Self care, me time, whatever you want to call it, is not selfish. This is how I see it, if we don’t look after ourselves, how can we expect to look after those we care about when they need us? 

So this is a permission slip to my future self, who is planning on turning her phone off for an hour, or doesn’t post on Instagram for a week. My future self who wants to skip out on a Netflix binge with the Mr one night in favour of a bubble bath and face mask for one. This is your permission slip too. 

polka lab workshop liverpool

I’ve always had an interest in DIY skincare and beauty, but again, it’s something I’ve never really made time for. But with Micas encouragement and guidance at the Polka Lab workshop, not only did I learn to make my own bath bombs and bath salts, but I realised just how much I enjoyed it too! 

polka lab workshop liverpool

I always thought bath bombs were something really fussy and complicated, that would take days to make - more effort than they’re worth right? Wrong! I made 3 bath bombs in under 30 minutes! And I made them exactly how I wanted them. We had a great chat with Mica about carrier oils and essential oils, the properties and benefits of each one, then picked from a selection which ones we felt called best to our current mood and needs. I added avocado oil to my bath bomb mix, for some serious moisturising, then a mixture of geranium oil, juniper berry, sweet orange and  rosemary. A heady mixture, rich in antioxidents, detoxification, circulation boosting, skin nourishing and so much more. That’s the pure beauty of DIY bath bombs, you can mix together exactly what you need. 

polka lab workshop liverpool

As our bath bombs set, we set to work on our bath salt mixtures. I went for a pink himalayan salt and dead sea salt mixture, with sunflower oil. I also added a mixture of grapefruit oil and juniper oil, a supposed fabulous cure for hangovers. Just saying, this might come in really handy! I couldn’t get over how pretty my little mixture looked, how amazing it smells - it’s by my side as I type and I can’t stop sniffing it and smiling. Not only does it smell really good, but I have this overwhelming feeling of accomplishment. Not only did I make something for myself, but I took the time out of my day to do something for myself. 

polka lab workshop liverpool

Hand on heart, I really do believe we can all find time in our day to do something for ourselves. It might mean getting up earlier, or staying up later. It might mean watching less Netflix, or dragging our backsides from behind the desk and going for a walk each and every day. Find the things that make you happy, from face masks to painting your nails, reading, writing, exercise, making bath bombs, and find a few minutes each day to give to yourself to explore the things you love. 

A huge thank you again to Mica for inviting me down, I really do wish this incredible woman all the luck in the world with her ventures! Her vision for Polka Lab and slow living really speaks to me and I can't wait to see where she goes with this mission! 

Do you think you make enough time for yourself?

Until next time, 

liverpool blogger

Monday, 17 September 2018

An instruction manual for life?

instruction manual for life

I don’t know about you, but I am not the kind of person who pulls the instruction manual out of the box before I start pushing buttons and twiddling dials. Growing up, whenever I would get something with a million tiny pieces, I remember my Dad would sit there with those illustrated manuals, laying out each piece, turning each page, and getting a feel for what needed doing in what order before delving in and putting that Barbie horse and carriage together. If it was left to me, 20 years down the line and I’d still be trying to figure out how to latch those doors on!

I’ve always been a do it now, figure it out later person. And that doesn’t always end well! From being convinced something is broken because I’ve missed a connecting step, to something not sitting quite level because I ignored the visual manuals step by step guide on balancing each end for a perfect level finish. I drive the Mr crazy, because just like my Dad, he really wants to check over the instructions first, and I’m already in the box and throwing nuts and bolts around the living room like confetti. 

And let me tell you, those nuts and bolts are not just for putting the new standing fan together, I’m talking about the nuts and bolts of life here too. With the Barbie carriage, the standing fan, every piece has a place, and every piece goes in that place in a particular order. If done correctly, woohoo! You have a functioning Barbie carriage and a room cooling standing fan. But if they don’t function? If they don’t turn as they should? You can go back to the beginning, and start again. You can put yourself back on page one and work through the process again.

Life isn’t always that straightforward though is it? We can’t all go back to the start and give it another go, try putting the pieces in a different order and seeing if the outcome is more desirable. I’m pretty sure that is called a Time Machine and I’ve still not seen one on my recommended for you Amazon homepage. Thought I refresh it a lot!

instruction manual for life

Having an instruction manual for life sounds pretty appealing doesn’t it? Knowing exactly whats going to happen, in what order, a helpful, visual, step by step guide for avoiding the cracks and for everything to go right first time. But where’s the fun in that? Sure, Dad read though the instruction booklet and laid out the pieces, he followed it to a T, but sometimes, those instructions where nonsensical. Bracket A didn’t always, seamlessly, slot into position B, so you’d have to get creative with your solutions, maybe snipping something off, shaving something down, or pure brute force. Regardless of the solution, he still found a way to make it work

Not every day starts off right, not every decision turns out to be the right one. But we can find a way to make it work. We might not currently be sitting at the desk we imagined, and with no instruction manual to hand, we can’t always be sure exactly where we went wrong. But we did, and here we are, and now we have to make it work

We have to knuckle down.
We have to get creative.
We have to figure this sh*t out.

And above all else, we have to keep moving forward

Instruction manuals are great when it comes to putting that mass produced Ikea bed frame together, but when it comes to our own life, there’s no one way to live it. But we can have some bloody fun, interesting, sometimes tearful times figuring it out. 

Would you reach for the instruction manual or wing it?

Until next time, 

Header image: @florianklauer
2nd Image: @kellysikkema
This post is in collaboration with Manualise. All thoughts, opinions, hope and dreams are my own. For more information please see my disclaimer policy.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Skincare Haul Autumn 2018

Oh hello ye old topic of mine, it’s been far too long my old friend! I feel like I haven’t had a good ol’ chin wag about skincare in the longest time - so grab yourself a brew and let’s have a natter over a biscuit or two about my latest skincare haul!

I’ve been desperate to overhaul my routine for the longest time, but when you walk down those shiny beauty aisles in Boots, it’s the definition of overwhelming. I’ve been in a skincare rut for the longest time, my skincare routine hasn’t been changed since my last update (yeah, it was that long ago!). With all these new skincare worries and woes going on, I knew I had to start changing things up!

The new worries and woes of my skincare story

Over the last 6 months of so, my skin has not been a happy place. Where once my biggest problem was oily skin, it’s started to dry out and become this flaky, itchy mess. Especially across my forehead. Breakouts are more frequent, and although I am very anti-pimple popping, they’ve still found a way to leave scarring behind more often than not. Oh, and my nose? A no-mans land for large pores and weird veiny redness along the edges. Suffice to say, I’m not amused! 

The solution?

Hydration is king when it comes to your skin. I’ve been doing my research folks and I swear, it all comes back to keeping your skin hydrated, hydrated, hydrated! And no, that’s not just about drinking enough water - but it’d be a good start! The two skincare methods I’ve come across that could be the routines to end all routines? The Korean 7 skin method and the Korean 10 step skincare routine

Sarah…that’s a lot of numbers! 

Yeah. But I like to be thorough! 

I’ll go into each in depth in an upcoming post. But for now, give them a Google and see what you think. With those methods in mind and a well researched shopping list in hand, I finally made a few purchases!

The skincare haul

autumn skincare routine

Sukin skincare was high on my to-buy list. As organic as you can get with zero nasties in the ingredients, both vegan and cruelty free and with affordable price tags, could it be too good to be true? I picked up both the sensitive skin facial moisturiser and the antioxidant eye serum to begin with! Both promise high level hydration, and their key ingredient is rosehip oil - a skincare superhero

Top Tip: Have a look in TK Maxx, my local one always seems to have some Sukin bits in and they're usually half price compared with Boots. 

autumn skincare routine

Speaking of rosehip, I also picked up a bottle of pure rosehip oil and a bottle of jojoba oil. Rosehip is rich in fatty acids, key for cell and tissue regeneration and reducing the appearance of fine lines and scarring. Jojoba is the closest natural oil that mimics the sebum our skin naturally produces. Jojoba is packed with antioxidants and is great for balancing out the skin, hydrating and healing. And these two together? Oh, they make sweet sweet skincare loving music together!

Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating eye balm was my daytime eye treatment of choice. I wanted something light, hydrating, brightening but not thick. I find that some under eye illuminating creams can be really thick, wet and greasy in consistency, with too much emphasis on coverage. If I wanted coverage, I’d hit up the concealer! 

autumn skincare routine

With the 7 skin method in mind, I needed to up my toner game. After much deliberation, I went with the Garnier Natural Rosewater as it was on offer in boots for under £2, making it much cheaper to buy than to make at home! With 98% natural ingridients, it has far fewer nasties than other options. 

And last but not least, I picked up some Lavender essential oil and some Tea Tree essential oil! Lavender is a great anti-inflammatory, perfect for soothing itchy skin and calming down redness. And tea tree is both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, perfect for treating and preventing future breakouts! 

When you've been doing the same thing, with the same products for so long, it can be terrifying to shake it up and try something new, but even if it's just your skincare routine, it's always exciting to step into the unknown and see where it takes you!

Have you changed up your routine or picked up any new products that you want to shout about lately? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,