Thursday, 28 June 2018

Love Island: Maybe it's more diverse than we realise!

Whether or not you watch Love Island, it’s a pretty difficult show to avoid having knowledge of, unless you live under a rock or on Mars! Saying this most people will also know how this show gets a lot of stick for not having a diverse range of individuals that appear on the show. I am very guilty of stating how everyone on Love Island seems the same, they all have the same over all image and most of them seem to have very similar personality traits.

My mind today however has been changed by one contestant of this year’s series, Niall Aslam. From the moment he entered the villa he was one of my favourites and his shock exit left me and my friends discussing the possible reasons for him leaving. Today, well an hour ago in fact, I saw his Instgram ‘reveal’ as to why he left the villa and it’s one I can whole heartedly relate too.

He stated in a very heart felt Instagram post that he has Aspergers Syndrome, he finds this hard to admit as he acknowledges the stigma a lot of people attach to this ‘disability’ (for want of a better term). This post in itself is very brave, I know from not only having my own disability but from having two siblings on the autistic spectrum how difficult this can be to talk about.

Right, so here it goes...for this post I am putting my laying it on thick brush down and hoping to hit the nation with a love potion. For far too long I have suffered in silence and not acknowledged a massive fact about my life which going into the villa has led me to finally realise and accept. When I was a young child I was diagnosed with asperges syndrome, a fact that until this post has never shared outside of my close family. Growing up was extremely difficult for me and I often felt out of place. I always felt that people didn't understand me, yet I was afraid to reveal my true scales as I did not want the label or stigma that was attached to it. But now I think it is important that I come forward, not only so that I can finally be honest with myself and to those around me, but also so that other individuals in my position can embrace their true colours. It's not been an easy ride for me to come to terms with this fact but I am glad that I can now accept who I am, and am looking forward to my next chapter. I would just like to thank the team at ITV for always backing me and giving me the opportunity to rid my myself of my insecurities and embrace the fact that I am different yet I am still a rainbow fish. I can't explain how grateful I am for the support from the whole team over this period. I would also like to thank the British public for the love you have all shown me over the past few weeks, it has been overwhelming. Now it's time for this rainbow fish to dive deep into the big blue ocean and show the world what I'm all about - there's more layers to come! 🐠#AutismAwareness #BeYourOwnKindOfRainbowFish #LessPrangMoreLove
A post shared by Niall Aslam (@niallaslam) on

I 100% applaud Niall in posting about himself and showing that a disability is not always visible, does not always show itself in a way people might assume and can not always be seen by those on the outside looking in. People like my brother and Niall should be proud to stand up and say I am who I am and these ‘problems’ don’t take away from me, but add to the amazing person I am.

This post has shown that even though you may think everyone on these shows are the same (GUILTY), they aren’t and you can never truly know what someone is going through. I have had several people apologise to me when I say my brother is autistic. ‘Oh wow, I’m so sorry that he has that and that you have to deal with it!’ Ummm sorry hun but I’m not! It may make him a little bit quirky, he may need understanding in a different way and sometimes I may lose my rag because some of the traits of his autism p*ss me off but I’m not sorry! I wouldn’t change who he is for the world, his autism makes him who he is, just like Niall’s autism is a part of him, without it they would not be the people their families know and love.

Niall will probably never see this but just in case he does, WELL DONE! Be proud and stand up for those without the voice you now have, show the world that your ‘disability’ should not stop you, nor should it stop anyone else from achieving greatness. One day I hope the stigma around invisible disabilities will end but you are very much a key piece of the puzzle that will help others have the understanding we do!

Thursday, 10 May 2018

2018 Met Gala - Fashion review

The Met Gala is one of the most anticipated events in the world of fashion and celebrities alike. Every year the theme keeps fans on the edge of their seats, waiting to see what fabulous creation their favourite celebrity is wearing, hoping it is far from a crime to fashion.

Every year each designers interpretation of the given theme turns heads, this year was no exception. 2018's theme was Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. This theme, in basic terms, is how fashion can be influenced by different aspects of a religious denomination. This theme has been viewed as a brave and bold step in the fashion industry but it shows how fashion can be influenced by anything.

Many designers took their influence from art work or items deemed to be related to the Catholic religion. Some of the dresses that stole the show had incredibly odd connections, like Cara Delevingne in a Dior Haute Couture dress, influenced by a confession booth. Whilst some were spectacular, like Ariana Grande in a Vera Wang gown, inspired by the Sistine Chapel.

Blake Lively, who is already a queen of fashion, stole the spot light in her Versace gown, which according to Elle magazine is inspired by the Infant Jesus of Prague. The gown took over 600 hours to make, by hand and when you look at the detail its no surprise, the eye catching jewels, sheer panelling and intricate embroidery give the dress a regal feel. Fit for a queen.

Katy Perry took her Met Gala 'costume' to new extremes this year, also in a custom Versace she caught the eye of everyone, but not for her dress. She paired the dress with a giant pair of angel wings, making sure she was the centre of attention and a talking point at all every opportunity during the event! Whilst some see this as a bold and rather clever move, others see it as taking the theme one step too far, they can't have been comfortable after all and other celebrities had far more eye catching dresses for the right reasons.

Every year, two lists are released; the best dressed and the worst dressed. However this year I don't think anyone falls into the 'worst dressed' category when it comes to the clothing options they chose. The interpretations of each designer shows the beauty of one of the biggest religions on the planet. The inspiration for each creation is clear when some thought it put into the background and displays the beauty of artwork throughout time.

Here are some of my favourite looks of the night:

Thursday, 29 March 2018

How to get the most out of networking events.

At most universities around the country networking events are held to try and encourage current students to put down that pint and think about their future for a second, mine is no different. I have now been a part of three alumni days through my university, meeting ‘ex-students’ who have walked the same path, (well crawled it with a hangover probably!) hearing their stories and seeing the career paths they have taken.
Like so many before me I didn’t understand the importance of these events at first, this means I didn’t quite know how to make the most of them! So here are my top tips for making sure you kill it at every networking event you attend.


Research seems like a bit of a pointless place to start but it is more important than you might think. You think that each person will introduce themselves and tell you everything you need to know but with so many people who need to talk this isn’t quite true. Doing background research on everyone attending will also help you decide who you want to make a bee-line for when you get the chance to have a chat, you’ll have a million more questions to ask and you’ll feel more confident in your ability to strike up a conversation. Linkedin profiles are a god send for this!

Introduce yourself.

I am guilty of forgetting this one and by the end of the conversation they’ve probably forgotten your name already but introducing yourself properly creates a lasting impression on a person. You come across as polite and committed to the conversation.

Ask questions.

This one seems extremely scary to some people, whether its putting your hand up in a room full of people or asking one on one, make sure you get your questions out there. The only way you can learn and gather information to help you make the most of networking is by asking! Remember, there is no such thing as a bad question, I’ve even asked what someone’s favourite uni meal was to start a conversation! Everyone speaking at an event will be expecting to have a load of questions thrown at them, so they are willing to answer them as well as they can for you.

Structure yourself.

This is an odd one, because conversations are meant to flow and be pretty much effortless, but it is important that you have an idea of what you want from the conversation. Do you want to know more about their career, how they used their degree, what advise they have for you, if you can have work experience from them or something completely different? They will be having to try and split themselves in several directions to make sure they help as many people as they can so having a clear structure and purpose helps you get everything you want from the conversation.

Make sure you listen.

Simple I know but you would be surprised how often people forget this. Sometimes you can be so focused on what you want to ask that you forget to actually take in the information you’ve been given which wastes your time and theirs! Listen to the conversation, you might get an answer to three of your questions art once even though you only asked one. You could come up with another question completely! You don’t want to sound like you’re trying to interview them (especially important for us journos!)

Follow up.

Try and make sure you take contact details for the person you’re talking to and get in touch with them soon after whatever event you’re at, this will mean they remember you! Everyone you talk to will be able to help you further your career in some way, they can become great mentors and help you get amazing opportunities but they won’t if they don’t remember who you are! Staying in touch also shows you’re committed to your future so they should invest time in you.

Ask for work experience.

This one is so self explanatory so I’ll keep it brief, ‘If you don’t ask you don’t get!’ There are very few people in the world who won’t happily help someone gain an opportunity if they think you deserve it.

Be honest.

This is a big one for me. I’ve had opportunities I’ve taken with open arms from contacts I have from networking events and otherwise, one of these I wasn’t able to attend at the very very last minute but I was honest and upfront about my reasons for not being able to attend and I have been able to rearrange. Honesty goes a long way, even if you don’t directly work with a contact they do almost become a colleague and will see through a lie or an excuse but will help if you give them the truth!  

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

My favourite Mother's Day gift ideas!

With Mothering Sunday fast approaching the shops will be filled with children searching for the perfect gift for their mother. Many people see Mother's Day as an opportunity to express their love and appreciation for their mum and all she does for them but no gift ever seems enough.
Mums all around the world deserve a day of lavish gifts and expensive treats but that's not something the majority of their children can afford. I however am a great believer that not all thoughtful gifts have to break the bank so here are my favourite ideas for this March 11th.

Everyone knows how stressful life can be so why not treat your mum to a spa day? The perfect way for her to relax alone or for you to relax together. Captiva Spa in Caerphilly offers a range of treatments and packages which are truly amazing and great value for money!

Mothers Day Spa Package 

£59.50 just for her or £109.15 for you both!

Mum's cooking is something you either run home for or run to your Nan's to get away from! Either way give her the chance to pick up some amazing new culinary skills that will give your local take away a run for its money in the form of an Indian cooking class. Curry on the Curve in Newport is a family run business which offers just that and their curry is to die for! (Well I think its the best anyway!)

£50 per person.

If your mum is anything like mine she will like to get her groove on on the dance floor , well in my case a muddy field as Glastonbury but whats the difference? Why not hop online and get her favourite song made into a lovely piece of art?

Personalised song sound wave print.


Dancing around the house, pub, field or wherever else and having a glass of wine or two go hand in hand for every mum I know. They all pretend the be classy but after one too many are dancing on the table with your surrogate aunties singing hits of the 90's. How about letting them 'pretend' they're classy for a little while longer with a wine holder and pourer? 

Soiree Wine Bottle Holder And Pourer


Who doesn't love a cupcake and a cup of tea? (Also how British was that sentence!)
Get your mum the perfect surprise to go with her 11am tea break, a cupcake delivery. Not all mums will have Mother's Day at home, everyone works at different times, so have her favourite sweet treat delivered to her wherever she may be. You can order some delicious cakes online or pop into your local bakery and ask if they can help. 

Mothers Day Cupcake delivery.

From £2.50 

Let your mum lock the door and shut out life for a little while in a nice relaxing bath or even better help her do so with a bath tray. A bath tray is basically a shelf that sits across the bath meaning she has somewhere to rest her wine, light a candle and lean her book (or tablet if she's brave enough.)
A bath shelf/tray is the perfect gift that keeps on giving, at her disposal to relax whenever she gets a chance. Usually for those with little ones, when shes shipped them to Nana's for being a pain in the bum. 

Bath Tray 


Blankets, blankets, blankets. The one thing that always seem to go missing in my house (because my brother seems to steal them all) leaving mum constantly asking for them back, its not cold enough to put the heating on but we don't exactly live in a tropical climate either! Get her a blanket that is unmistakably hers, so much so that even moving it makes you think 'that smells like mum'. 

Chunky knit blanket.

From £69

Finally, no woman can resist a bit of bling, I think its actually, scientifically impossible, especially when it comes from the heart. You can get so much online these days for a range of prices but my personal favourite is a personalised necklace from Not On The Highstreet. You can personalise the necklace in pretty much any way you like (within reason obviously), adding something that isnt just pretty but full of sentimental value to her jewellery box. 

Personalised necklace.


Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Times Up - celebrities criticised for their outfit choices at the Golden Globes.

The Golden Globes for many celebs is one of the most anticipated nights of the year, celebrating amazing achievements of those in film and television alike.

After the scandals that have come out in the last 12 months about the treatment of women in this industry and the types of harassment they face many celebrities decided to make a statement. In support of the 'Times Up' campaign the biggest names of Hollywood decided to take to the red carpet in Black. A pretty bold statement right? I think so.

Catherine Zeta-Jones
Photo credit E-News 
Kate Hudson
Photo credit E-News

I was then horrified to see and hear people criticising the likes of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Kate Hudson for wearing dresses which included transparent detailing. I was even more surprised to see these comments being made on a popular breakfast show, presented by a woman!

These women were branded as showing too much skin! Too much skin? Excuse me? These dresses if anything (to me anyway) drive home the point of the statement being made at the awards ceremony. That women are no objects, their bodies are not there to be spoken about or criticised. Woman are equals and should be treated as that and their choice of clothing, quite frankly is no one else's business.

These women excel at their profession and that should be the only focus of any individuals view. They're standing up for what is right, to make sure future generations don't have to go through what many of them went through themselves.

I personally think the dresses chosen by every woman at the Golden Globes were flawless, not matter how much skin they chose to show. They showed they own their own bodies and they're ready to stand up and fight for what they believe. Keep standing up for what you believe in.

Friday, 8 December 2017

No.7 Advent Calendar - Week one update!

If you read my last post you’ll have seen I got the No.7 advent calendar for my birthday last week! No7 products are a staple of my make up bag, I don’t think I could live without seeing that gold, sparkly mascara tub sat waiting to make my lashes pop. After week one of opening the many doors I thought I’d share with you what lovely goodies I have gotten so far!

On day one I got Protect and Perfect Intense advanced serum. So for anyone who doesn’t know what this is, it’s an anti-aging product. Now again, if you read my last post you’ll understand the irony of this, if not, go have a read! I’ve never actually used a product like this so I didn’t quite know what to expect but I will say I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. It is a really light serum, which I expected to be really greasy but in fact it’s the opposite. It spreads really well and almost instantly sinks into the skin and because its so light and spreadable you only need the smallest blob.
As I’d never used this product before I had to ask a few people how best to use it, all over like a face cream or target specific areas. The verdict I came to was to use it on specific areas that are likely to develop wrinkles over the years. This means I’ve been using it around the eyes and on my forehead for 7 days now and I think I’m starting to see a difference. The skin around my eyes seems a lot brighter over the past few days which is great.

Moving on to day two now here I got the day cream from the same product range. I decided to use this every morning after cleansing my face but before applying my make up. This product, again, is super light and spreads so well. It has made my skin less oily through out the day, I’ve found my makeup has needed less touch ups from oily skin. I’ve found a blob the size of a pea on each cheek really is enough to cover the entire face. It has UV protection and SPF 15 which are amazing tools against skin damage. It also smells amazing, well slightly like sun cream but I love that smell!

Day three came and this was a mascara. People who know me will confirm I give people lash envy in the era of lash extensions, I regularly ask where I get them done (compliment right, people would pay for lashes like mine!) This means that I do have to spend a considerable amount of time on my mascara when putting on make up, it takes a good few layers and sometimes several mascaras to get the look I like so I am very fussy when it comes to mascara. I was so excited to try this out that I decided to just go with however it turned out and to only use that mascara. I have to say, personally I was disappointed with the results. It got the lengths and the colour was perfect but it seemed to make my lashes clump together and no matter what I did I couldn’t seem to get them to separate once they were together. This mascara is called exceptional definition and I feel like if I already had my staple mascara on as a base it would very much live up to this name. I’m thinking of getting my mum to test this mascara as she has more naturally spaced out lashes, lets see if she has any better results!

Behind door number four lay the gift of the perfect base, a primer. When it comes to primer I swear by Porefessional by Benefit and I didn’t really want to try this product in case it was better. After giving it a go however I found it worked just as well, its thicker than I’m used too and I found I needed a little more that I would with my regular primer but I liked it. Dare I even say I preferred it on the day or a rather bad outbreak. As its thicker it helped conceal the spots better than my usual primer does.  

Day five always makes me sing FIVE GOLD RINGS (in my head) even though I’m fully aware that it is the fifth day of advent not the fifth day of Christmas! Once I’d had my little outburst of misplaced festive cheer I opened door five to find a new lip cream which is the perfect fix for the dry lips winter gives you. I’ve only been using it for a few days and already my lips feel more moisturised and less chapped which is fabulous. Where’s the mistletoe?!

Day six was a tad disappointing to start off with, after the range of skin products I’d had so far, but once I got it out I was so impressed. What is ‘it’ you ask? A new eye-shadow brush. The handle is a tad short but the brush itself is so soft and blends out product so well. Perfect for blending out that glittery smoky eye look at the Christmas doo, #InstaReady!
Last but certainly not least came a lovely eye-shadow, in the colour of Matte Mocha. Its fairly dark and has the slightest shimmer. When I saw the shimmer I wasn’t too sure how I felt, eye-shadows that aren’t meant to be a glitter shadow can sometimes be a bit too much when they have a shimmer but it really makes the colour stand out. I was pleasantly surprised by how pigmented it was when I tried it (with my new brush of course). It worked well as a stand alone shadow or mixed with other products for a fuller eye-shadow look.  

So after week one I must say I’m so happy with everything so far! Lets see what the next week brings!

Thursday, 30 November 2017

21 and feeling good!

Your 21st birthday is one of the biggest birthdays you'll see before reaching the ripe 'old' age of 30. It's a time to get drunk and celebrate your youth before people expect you to buck up your ideas and become a fully functioning adult in society.

Lets face it, no one actually knows what they're doing in life, when things go wrong you look for a slightly older adult to take on the burden of the situation.

Is there enough Prosecco to deal with this yet?

Now as if there aren't enough rules you have to follow as a now functioning adult, people are about to start telling you to use this product or that product, invest in weekly facials, use a mega expensive eye cream and start doing some weird exercise like Hot Yoga in order to preserve your youth.
Um what? Anti wrinkle cream was not and should not be on my radar yet, well at least that's my take on it.

Knowing this you can imagine my delight at getting the No.7 advent calendar as a present from mum. Seeing what makeup and beauty products lay behind each door is almost too much excitement to handle, even more so now I know my beauty routine needs to be stepped up!

The temptation of opening all the doors like a kid at Christmas is quite big but in the spirit of being traditional, I have decided to open each door day by day and review each product as they come.
Watch this space for reviews and to see what comes out as my favourite product.