Friday, 27 November 2015


Today I'm gonna talk about something I've never really mentioned on the blog before.

Every girl has insecurities, right?  Things they would want to change about themselves, things they are not confident with?  But what if body confidence is something you've always had, and then one day it completely disappears?

I've always been pretty confident in my body.  Growing up I didn't pay much attention to it and never tried to change it (my face on the other hand was a different issue - I could always find imperfections on my face but rarely did on my body).  On summer holidays with girlfriends I was always the first to walk around the hotel naked and I loved taking self portraits during my photography degree, often with boobs on show.

Recently though, this all changed.

(Disclaimer:  I haven't mentioned this and how I was feeling much to anyone other than close friends so please bear with me.  Also I want to point out here I'm not after any pity and compliments, I was just given an excuse to talk about this issue, that some others might feel the same about and wanted to share with you - you have been a part of my life for 6 years now!)

In the past year I've put on a lot of weight (pretty much two thirds of the weight I was previously).  I don't know what changed, I wasn't eating hideous amounts of food, I tried to be relatively healthy but weight just kept piling on.

During the summer just gone, I felt so, so low and disgusted at how I looked on a daily basis.  None of my clothes fitted me, even walking in my body felt different.  On one evening I went to the pub with a friend and completely broke down in tears to her explaining how I felt about myself; my self confidence was at an all time low.

(I'm currently trying to pin point what is was that made this happen - it could have been the medication I was on for 6 months at the beginning of the year and I'm also currently waiting results from scans & blood tests for PCOS which could explain it.  You could also say it's from having fallen in love and being happy for the first time in a really long time, which I would never swap, but it's important to feel good about yourself at the same time, right?)

Long story short, I've recently had a really shitty time with my body confidence.  I didn't realise quite how much something like this could control every aspect of your life, mood and happiness.  I was in the depth of this self-hatred when Alex Cameron got in touch and asked me if I'd like to be photographed for her Confidence photo series.  I'd seen some of her previous photos on some of my favourite blogs (and they all looked incredible) so I decided to go for it.

So I met up with Alex on a Monday afternoon and let her photograph me in my birthday suit...

I'm not gonna lie, I was nervous on the day.  I dug out some of my favourite lingerie to take with me (the black bralet I had never even worn, that's how crap I felt about myself) including a white lace bralet which is actually the bra my mother wore on her wedding day (things like this make me very happy).

Alex was brilliant, it felt like I'd known her for years, so after chatting for a while there was nothing left for me to do but take my clothes off.  The only person that's seen me like this in ages had been Andrew and my mum so this felt VERY odd but I followed Alex's direction and before I knew it we were finished.

When she sent the images through, I was in all honesty dreading it.  I had butterflies & my heart was beating really fast but as soon as I had a proper look I was filled with emotion.  I haven't included any full nudies in this post just because I'd like to keep them between myself, my close ones and Alex, but I am just so chuffed and overwhelmed with how they came out.

I didn't look like a beached whale?  Is this how others see me?  I don't mind that!

I sent some of these pictures over to my closest girl friends and their response was interesting.  They were obviously so supportive and complimentary but they also mentioned how they'd never be confident enough to do something like this, they wished they had my body, their pictures would never come out like this etc.  These girls and their bodies in my mind are the ultimate perfection - and they weren't confident enough to do the same?

Us girls really put ourselves through a hard time.  Always comparing, always wishing, always talking ourselves down.  I wish every girl in the world had a chance to do what I did and see themselves as I saw myself, because I now believe in myself.  There's much more to it now than being confident in my body, but I know I am brave enough to do this, I look pretty good and I believe in myself!

I'm really happy I did this.  I think I will always look back on these pictures and smile.  I did something out of my comfort zone when I felt really crap and came out of it feeling like a new woman.

Yes, my ribs are wonky and I have scars down my back (I have scoliosis, it's a whole other story but mentioned here).  Yes, my thighs and arms are bigger than they used to be and yes, my stomach does hang in an awkward place when I'm laying on my side BUT this is me, this is my body, I can't change and it and I wouldn't want to.

If you fancy releasing your inner goddess and getting some pictures like this of your own, Alex is currently offering a 5% discount to my readers (just quote my name on booking)!  You can check her other work and more photographs from this series on her blog -

Please say you would do something like this?



Tuesday, 24 November 2015

FASHION: Monochrome with Sure!

Life is busy at the moment.  Being your own boss means everyday is different; one day I spend the day running around the house filming, photographing, tidying, and then the next I'll be hopping to meetings, events, helping film for other YouTubers and also trying to fit in my own social life.

Now I don't mind days being busy, filled with appointments & things to tick off my list, but it stresses me slightly that I often hardly have time to stop and refresh, so I need to kick start my mornings with a bunch of products that'll last me well throughout the day.
You all know I'm the monochrome queen, and if you are too I'll be happy to tell you about a product that you guys will definitely appreciate.  I've just discovered Sure Invisible Black + White; this antiperspirant doesn't transfer ANY white marks on black clothes and whites will stay white, and it also keeps me fresh, dry and confident with it's 48 hour protection.  It also comes in a Compressed can (125ml) which will last just as long as a big 250ml can, but has the added bonus of fitting in your handbag, meaning it is also ideal for upcoming festive parties, popping it into my clutch!

I wore this outfit last week for a day full of meetings, followed by my weekly trip to my circus class (currently learning how to do flying trapeze, it's absolutely terrifying and the adrenaline gets going but a lot of fun) and ended with a date night with Andrew (can't beat a Brick Lane curry).

Not sure if it's just me, but when I have busy days I worry more about getting to each appointment on time and about all the rushing around rather than actually the work that needs doing - anyone else? Because of this I also want my outfit to be really comfortable as I don't want that to slow me down, so for this day I opted for a white shirt, monochrome printed trousers and my new black velvet blazer which makes me feel effortlessly smart (all from Topshop - love).

Sure Invisible Black + White is available in: 125ml - RRP £3.19* and 75ml – RRP
*Price  is  at  the  sole  discretion  of  the  retailer

What's your go to busy day outfit & deodorant?

Thanks to Sure for sponsoring this post, as usual all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Thursday, 19 November 2015

KIKO Autumn Collection

You might have seen me raving about these beauties in my first 'Blogger Mail' video (which you can watch here) and I received many comments agreeing at how beautiful they were so I decided they deserved a dedicated blog post of their own.

These goodies are from the Rebel Romantic collection which is still available online and in stores.  It consists of the most beautiful variety of shades perfect for autumn/winter; think lots of dark berrys, nudes and earthy tones.

Intensely Lavish Lipstick:
These lipsticks are stunning; the collection includes 5 colours including a couple of dark nudes (I have #01 & #04), to a vibrant red and a wine shade.  They are really pigmented, soft and creamy (comfortable to wear) and the packaging is just divine.

Intensely Lavish Lip Pencils:
If I had to only use one brand of lip liners going forward, it'd be these.  They're perfect, so creamy and easy to apply and incredibly pigmented.  Really recommend!

Metallic Shine Eye Shadows:
I wasn't too sure on these little pots at first.  The colours didn't particularly stand out to me (I have the Chocolate and Sage ones), but after using them I can concur that they're actually pretty great.  They have an odd texture, the product feels quite bouncy but after working in with your brush or finger, they apply really well.  I actually used the chocolate shade to contour with around the Halloween period and it worked really well.

Contouring Pencil Set:
For £9.90 you can get a pack of two pencils, one from contouring/bronzing and another to highlight.  I was really impressed with the price of these, so affordable for something so 'in' right now.  They're easy to use, take a bit of buffing to completely blend in but it's worth it!

One of the main reasons I LOVE Kiko and this range is how incredible the quality of the products are for the price.  The Lip Liners retail below £5, the lipsticks below £7 - really great prices for some makeup items that are truly fab.

All this talk of KIKO is making me want more - currently on their online store, help!!

Have you ever tried anything from KIKO? What do you recommend?



Monday, 16 November 2015


Today's post is all about the new ART.LOVE.COLOUR Christmas Collection just launched by Smashbox - I think you're all really going to like this range!
They collaborated with artist Yago Hortal for this collection (if you haven't seen his work before be sure to  type his name into Google, his paintings are simply stunning), to create a limited edition range of products inspired by colour for the festive season now upon us.

I wanted to create a bright, colourful but wearable look for you today using the new products so join me below to see how to get colourful & camera-ready with me!

To create the look I started off by perfecting my base using the Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Primer before applying my new favourite camera-ready foundation, the BB-Water (full review here).   My skin is pretty bad at the moment (I refrained from putting some before pictures in this post as I didn't want to scare you guys!) but these two products work perfectly to smooth and conceal imperfections.

I then got to work on the bright eye makeup using my favourite product from the collection - the Master Class Palette which pretty much contains everything you need to create a variety of stunning ART. LOVE. COLOUR makeup looks this festive season.  The palette contains 8 blushers/highlighters and 32 stunning eyeshadows in a variety of matte & shimmer formulas.

I photographed each step above for you to make copying this look really easy (you can of course switch the colours up, I think this would also look gorgeous using the brown shades in the palette for a more wearable daily look)!

- I applied the shade Orchid all over my eyelid and blended that out with the shade Custard into the crease.
- I then applied two blue shades - Azure & Pacific underneath my lower lash line.
- I lined my waterlines and created a cat flick with the black Limitless Eye Pencil in Onyx before applying lashings of the Full Exposure Mascara.  Both of these products are included in the Limited Edition Lashes Set in the collection.
- I finished by adding the shade Framboise into the outer corner of my eyes to really build up that intense purple and then added shade Cosmic under my brow bone and a touch on the inner corners of my eye.

I finished the look with a sweep of Sunset and Glow on the cheeks.

For the hair I used my current favourite hair staple - the Bumble and bumble Pret-a-Powder which acts as a volumising dry shampoo, before tying half of my hair up and leaving the other half down, think half volumised beehive, half princess!

There are 8 gift sets in the collection, all of which are ready wrapped and ready to be given as gifts this season as the packaging is covered in prints of Yago's paintings.
I love that the Master Class Kit contains such a beautiful variety of intensely pigmented shades, from bold pops of colour to wearable neutrals, meaning there are a really wide variety of looks you can create with just one palette; I know for a fact this will be my best friend over this festive period.

There's also kit for everyone in the range - the Studio Set (£23) is perfect for those that haven't tried Smashbox products before as it contains mini versions of their bestsellers, the Lips Set is perfect for lip gloss addicts and there's also a Limited Edition Yago Hortal printed Brushes Set (£48).  All of these products are available online or in store at Boots on Smashbox Counters.

I'm really happy with the bits I have from the range, the products are all great quality and as the brand was born out of a real photo studio (the Smashbox Studios in L.A) they know how to make great formulas that look striking and last well on the face!

If you were to create a colourful look, what colours would you use?

Smashbox say: Introducing ART.LOVE.COLOR featuring artwork by Yago Hortal. We partnered with breakthrough artist Yago Hortal to bring you these mega-vibrant, limited-edition kits featuring all of our bestsellers in a range of shades—from bold pops of colour to always wearable neutrals.

Compensation was provided by Smashbox via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Smashbox.
© Katie's Beauty Blog | All rights reserved.