This week, Badoo is inviting you to have a great Sunday with free cocktails, salty snacks and singles as spicy as Eva Mendes as they rekindle your romantic bones with Will Smith, Mr Love himself, in Hitch at their #NoDateNight event at Rooftop Film Club at the Bussey Building in Peckham.

It’s for singles on Sunday 6th August and it’s FREE.

So, singletons out there – come on! Summer’s nearly over and it’s time to find someone to cuddle up with on those long winter nights.

I’m going, too. The boy I’m going with is definitely NOT my boyfriend! He’s errr…my PA?

On Badoo you can not only search for a relationship, but also for friendships and counts with a pioneering face-mapping technology.

The company was founded in 2006 by Andrey Andreev and has become the world’s largest social discovery network. It has over 350 million users, 60 million active users monthly, 300,000 daily sign-ups, 600 million swipes and 6 million matches each day!

To get a ticket, sign up on the Badoo blog.

As you all know, we’ve been to Thailand recently. I’m heading to Turkey in August and Will and I are going to squeeze in another adventure in September for his birthday. I’ve been browsing websites for the best deal and have found an amazing one on Holiday Gems. A week in Tenerife with bed and breakfast for £230 anyone? Yes thanks.

Before you go though, you’ll need a few essentials to get you through. I was lucky enough to be able to go on a shopping spree to sort my life out before hitting the beach. Here’s what I can’t be without when I’m heading on my holidays.

THE TAN

L’Oréal Sublime Bronze Self Tan Overnight Elixir – £9.99
Anyone who knows me knows that I am the WORST tanner in the world. No matter how long I lie in the sun (responsibly of course), wishing and hoping, I’ll still be the same hue of mayonnaise that I started out with. Super. So, what’s wrong with a little cheat sesh? This stuff goes on before you head to bed and develops overnight, leaving you with a lovely tan – which lasts up to two weeks. Sorted.

I wore this the weekend we went to Brighton and got SO many compliments as it looked natural.

THE SWIMSUIT

Black Mesh Insert Strappy Swimsuit – River Island – £30.99

THE FUN

Check out literally EVERYTHING in the New Look holiday shop. Here’s a few of my faves.

Yellow Pineapple Beach Blanket – £19.99

Beverage Boats (pack of 3) – £9.99

Pink Flamingo Inflatable Pool Float – £19.99

If you’ve got all the holiday gear but no idea, head over to Holiday Gems website to take advantage of a cheap holiday this summer. Alternatively, check out their Facebook and Twitter.

What are your holiday essentials?

I’ve been wearing make up for years. I was addicted to it as soon as I swept a tiny, sharpened-down Kohl eyeliner that was being passed between about five of us (yuck!) around my entire eye. Since then, it’s been a fun game of trial and error as I try to find the perfect products to suit me.

I’ve had some disasters in the past – bright green eyeshadow and heavy kohl, greasy, cheap foundation, bright pink blusher…! You can also see some products I regret buying here.

Luckily though, I’ve settled down and have honed my core products down to those that work for me.

I often get compliments on my make up, which is lovely. I’d like to share what I wear on a daily basis for those who are interested. Of course, these may not work for you, and they may not work for me forever. Who cares, it’s an excuse for another shopping trip!

Dior ‘Diorskin Forever’ foundation, shade 10, £35

I’ve tried hundreds of foundations. From drugstore to high-end, I’ve never been able to find the one that fits me best. This is the perfect foundation for me. Full coverage, but not cakey. Glides on lovely with a Beauty Blender and lasts all day. They’ve released a ‘Star’ foundation which I believe includes an illuminator. I’m going to get a sample and do a comparison blog of the two – stay tuned.

Max Factor Creme Puff power – Tempting Touch – £6.99

Love this stuff, it sets your foundation really well. Don’t go mad with it though, the shade I use still has some coverage in it so you don’t want to end up looking cakey. Use the translucent one if you don’t need any more coverage.

I also use the Max Factor Bronzing Power in shade Golden 2, £6.99. It’s a similar consistency to the pressed powder – creamy and goes on smoothly. It’s not too dark so you can start off lightly and build the colour up if needs be.

MUA Undress YourSkin highlighting powder in Iridescent Gold, £3.00

Ugh! Amazing! Everyone should use this. This cheap product beats all of the high end highlighters I’ve ever used. Sometimes I go a bit mad and it looks like I’ve got headlights on my face, but we’re all going for that look anyway, right? GET ONE.

Makeup Revolution New-trals vs Neutrals eyeshadow palette, £6.99

Another absolute winner from the high street. This eyeshadow palette is EVERYTHING. Just look at those colours. After years of wearing brown shimmer with a darker colour in the crease, this palette has made me way more adventurous. 10/10 would recommend to anyone.

L’Oreal Paris Super Liner Eyeliner Ultra Precision – black – £6.49

Incredible. I’ve used eyeliner on my top lashline since I was about 14 and have used countless eyeliners over the years. This is one of the best. The sponge-tip gives you a good amount of control, it’s super black – and most importantly, lasts all day. Winner.

Benefit Bad Gal Lash mascara – £18.50

This is a great mascara. The brush is massive and deposits just the right amount of product on your lashes without making them clumpy, which often happens with big brushes. It seems to last for ages too. I tried the Benefit ‘They’re Real’ mascara previously, which was okay – I didn’t rate the brush at ALL though. Too plasticky and I poked myself in the eye about 6,000 times. This one’s a stayer for now though.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre in Blondie – £16.50

I’m literally the WORST with lip products. Some of my friends are so bold and wear lovely bright lipsticks which suit them so much and I’m a bit jel. Unlike the rest of my make up, I’m not sure how to do lipstick well. I’ve also got rather thin lips (this may be subject to change though…stay tuned), and am paranoid I’ll get lipstick on my teeth or smear it about my face. I’m trying to be a bit more confident with it though. Until then, I’m a fan of a simple lip balm. For big nights, I’ll use this lovely lip gloss from Charlotte Tilbury. It’s not sticky or tacky, and it’s not too bright, but is noticeable – perfect for my nights out.

And that’s it! I love hearing about new products and would love to hear about your go-to pieces. Let me know!

As a little girl Dawn seemed to have a charmed life, but she was hiding a dark secret: that her older brother, John, was abusing her. Then, aged fourteen, she was groomed by the father of a schoolfriend, a local businessman who seemed to love her. She ran away from home to be with him. Pregnant at sixteen, rejected by her parents, she ended up marrying him. She had no idea that he was a notorious criminal.For years, Dawn suffered horrific abuse from her husband and was frequently hospitalised. She was also forced to work all hours in the bars he owned and realized she was good at business – better than him. As her confidence grew, she found the strength to tell the police about her brother. Gradually, Dawn realised she was more than a battered wife – she was a survivor. When she fell in love with a genuinely good man, she hatched a dangerous plan to free herself from her abusive husband and take the thing he cared about most – his money.

I warn you now, this book will be uncomfortable read, involving child sexual abuse, grooming, domestic abuse and controlling coercive behaviour, but it is uncomfortable in the right way.

I found this book refreshingly written, as too many shy away from some details when tackling the theme of child abuse as if they are ashamed or too scared they will shock and horrify, or they try to be overly clinical – but this Dawn gives enough detail  to help readers understand the reality of what happened to her, and tackles the topics in an open way that gives a very real insight into the world of a victim turned survivor. You will feel both disgusted for yet also inspired by this young girl as she grows into the strong woman she becomes.

I found this book unputdownable. I started it and quite simply could not put it down until it was finished. A very gripping and compelling autobiography. The book very clearly illustrates early sexual abuse and coercive control and how such experiences affect the victim’s sense of their own self-worth and what is normal behaviour in a relationship.

Dawn said in an interview:  ‘Today, my freedom and independence mean the world to me. I believe that everybody has the right to be where they want, with whomever they chose. Now I want to inspire others to find the confidence to search for that freedom too.”

If you need help, call the Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. Trained counsellors are there to listen and provide practical information and emotional support, every hour of the day.

I Own You is out now, at £3.80 for a Kindle Edition, or £4.00 for a paperback.

I’ve got to say, I absolutely abhor protein shakes. Absolutely gross! No matter how tasty the first sip is, I also find swallowing it gross and gag-worthy, no idea why. I’d rather just smash a boiled egg after a workout than mixing grim powders with milk or water.

However, I got the chance to try Savsé protein smoothies – a brand created by Guka Tavberidze.

A lot of smoothie-type drinks use heat pasteurisation to make the product last longer and kill bacteria. The ingredients are boiled at 78 degrees, which strips out the goodness. Savsé smoothies are different as they’re cold pressed.

They use a method called high pressure processing (HPP) to make their smoothies. The fruit and veg ingredients are packaged in plastic containers and put in a high-pressure chamber filled with water. When the chamber is switched on it reaches pressures of 87,000 psi. Everything is completely fresh and the process gets rid of bacteria and gives the product a longer shelf life

You can look at the range here, but I tried Protein Blast, Protein Smash and Protein Punch – perfect when you’ve just had a work out and nicely refreshing too.

My favourite was definitely Protein Punch. Here’s the description:

“We took the classic Piña Colada and stirred it up, Savsé style, to make drinking protein a whole lot tastier. What’s more, this is the UK’s first cold-pressed protein drink preserved using HPP. This smoothie is a great way to pack protein into your diet and help repair tired muscles.”

Ah, modelled after an alcoholic drink. Probably why it’s my favourite. Go me. I’ve popped the nutritionals below – I’m a big calorie-watcher so 70cals was nice to see:

Honestly, take a look at the range – I’m a big fan now and will continue to be. The range can be found in Boots, ASDA, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and more.

I was also sent some other goodies to try out to help me on my way to fitness, and I have been really enjoying the water infuser from Bobble. Priced at £10.49, Bobble is a stylish, reusable bottle that filters water as you drink, using an ingenious replaceable carbon filter. when water passes through the filter, the carbon removes chlorine. bobble is intended for municipal tap water making water better, with every sip.

I’ve been drinking so much more water!

In addition, these Happy Plugs earphones have come in handy, both when working out and when listening to playlists during work hours. They come with different sized ear buds, such a good idea for those with little ears!

 

images courtesy of savse.com, water bobble.uk