Turning 21

turning 21

Heya guys!

So today’s post is all about my 21st. I was lucky enough to be gifted a lot of different things from different companies for my birthday so I’ll be including some of those in this post too, however I was not paid for anything I mention or include.

So on the 1st of November I turned 21 years old, madness because I still feel about 15, but now I am classed as a fully pledged adult! On my birthday I didn’t really make any plans because of it being midweek, I was planning everything for the weekend. However on my actual birthday I was surprised with a bunch of things I didn’t expect to receive, including a lovely gift from Marc Jacobs, their brand new ‘Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara’ which I didn’t expect at all, but was super grateful for as well as a bunch of goodies from Dollibox, again which I didn’t expect.

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Thank you to my mom and dad for a cake and flowers too, they already spent so much money on me so I was super grateful for both on the day.

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Also a massive thank you to Darcy for the birthday nails, he smashed it once again!

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The day after my birthday I was then taken to see Nativity in the theatre, front row, which I absolutely loved! I loved the film, so the play had a lot to live up to and it definitely exceeded expectations!

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Onto Friday, my party. A massive thank you to everyone involved in the planning and preparing of the day. As well as Aldi, who supplied the food, The Cake Box, who supplied my cake, Pryzm, who gave me a booth and free entry for my friends and I for the afterparty and Travelodge for the discount codes for some rooms for my friends and I for afterwards.

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I haven’t planned a long post, just a few thank you notes and a few photos really as I haven’t posted in a while. So here are a couple photos from the night, a massive thank you to my old school friends who came to celebrate with me and all of my family, even those I have only met a couple times before. So grateful.

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Overall I had the best 21st birthday, I got the time to celebrate with my best friends and my family and I enjoyed every single second. I was very drunk and I don’t remember much, but the bits I do remember I enjoyed. I want to say a massive thank you to all of the companies that helped to make my birthday a success as well as my parents more than anyone who helped me organise everything and make it perfect for me and the very few people I invited. I had a small party because if you know me, you’ll know how antisocial I am and I only keep very few people close to me and those are the ones I invited.

I know it is a short post, but I have quite a bit lined up for the next few months so keep your eyes peeled!

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Hoodie Allen: The Hype Album First Impressions/FULL Review

My Weight Loss Story + Advice and Tips!

Hey guys!

So it’s been a little while since I last posted, mainly due to the fact I have been super busy organising my 21st birthday party which is only 4 weeks away (how scary?) and that has taken up a lot of my time. But as Hoodie Allen has dropped a new album I thought right now at 00:08am would be a perfect time to sit down and finally write up a new post. If you have been following me for a while you will know that I am a huge Hoodie Allen fan and I have been for a few years now. And on his last tour I was lucky enough to get a meet and greet and meet him, which was amazing, he genuinely is the loveliest human being I have ever met and he is so genuine and down to earth too, it’s like talking to a friend when you’re with him.

So without further-ado I’m going to get into a breakdown of each song from the album with a little bit of a review/opinion of it. I am doing an active post with no editing, so as I am listening to the album track by track I will be writing my opinion straight from the heart and I will be posting it as it is, so I apologise if there are any mistakes. I am yet to listen to the album because I knew from the moment Hoodie announced it that I wanted to do a first impressions sort of post, so this is me listening to the album for the first time ever and telling you all exactly what I am thinking as I listen! I hope you enjoy this different type of post because I am so bloody excited to be writing it. So here it goes! PS: Go grab yourself a cuppa because it’s gonna be a long post I think…

So first on the track list is Believe.

So it starts off with Hoodie singing a little verse, which I absolutely love. Hoodie’s singing voice is definitely a weakness of mine. Okay so my favourite line in the first verse has to be ‘people keep talking, we finally doing numbers’ referring back to his People Keep Talking album, which I absolutely love and Numbers is one of my favourite songs from that album so that line makes me so happy. Okay this song is such a nice song. ‘Dreaming of the day when I finally quit my day job’ I feel like this song is Hoodie really reminiscing about a time before he gained a fanbase and I may be really weird but I actually love it when an artist reflects on life before the ‘fame’. ‘Look how far we came dog, hard work finally paid off’ again I love the reflective side of this song. Hoodie worked his ass off to be where he is today and I think that line really shows that he’s grateful that the hard work was worth it in the end. Then it’s back to the chorus, again Hoodie’s singing voice is unreal.

Second verse. I like the line ‘I guess I gotta be dumb to look at my choices and try to act like I’m not privileged’ because it’s Hoodie noting that he knows he’s got a good life, but referring back to verse one, he worked his ass off so it is well deserved. I also like the little bit of arrogance with the line ’cause while most of my friends are tryna pay their student loans, I just write this rap and already paid for my future home’ I mean who doesn’t like a little bit of arrogance in a rap verse? I also personally like the line ‘I never beat around the bush’ because a lot of my friends and family always tell me that I never beat around the bush so I like that line. Then the song finishes back with the chorus. Overall I like the song and if this song is a reflection of what is to come on the rest of the album I can’t bloody wait!

Next is Know It All. Okay so I’ll admit, I have heard this because he released it a while back, so I will keep it short and sweet.

So the whole of the first verse is Hoodie singing, can this get any better? And then into the chorus and his voice is raspy and I may have fallen even more in love if that was even possible. Second verse is hoodie doing a rap/sing sort of vibe? Either way it sounds unreal and I am in love. Overall I think this is a killer song and I totally see why he dropped it as a single before the album.

Third is All for Me featuring Scott Hoying.

Okay so a bit of a sexier vibe going on here, I like it. Even though it is very sexual Hoodie still manages to slip a cute line in there doesn’t he? ‘We ain’t getting married but everything that I make we share’ this is the exact reason Hoodie is so well liked in my opinion, he can rap/sing just about anything but he always manages to include a nice/cute line in there somewhere. Onto the chorus. I personally have never heard of Scott Hoying but his voice sounds so gorgeous, wow. I also love how there’s an orchestra sort of vibe in the backing music, something different for a rap song. 

Verse two… again, very sexual, a little arrogant, but I like this side of Hoodie. But again, he manages to drop a cute line or two in there. ‘I stay awake, I never fall asleep ’cause I ain’t tryna share you with no one, it’s all for me’ how cute is he? I also like the cute little ‘bam’ noise he makes at the end of the verse. Again, onto the chorus to finish. Again another good song, can’t fault the album so far.

Next is Fakin featuring Wale.

Okay, first chorus I absolutely LOVE. ‘Why you always fakin’ on the net though? Why you always flexing for the timeline?’ I would definitely say Hoodie has hit a taboo subject right on the head here. I know so many people who fake it for social media. Spending their whole months wage on a bag or a watch just so they can flaunt it online, it’s ridiculous and Hoodie has gone straight in from the get go with this song and I love it.

First verse again, I love it. A couple arrogant lines once again, but who doesn’t love it? So many girls call me daddy, I should fight for custody’ and ‘all my haters love me, that’s why they never bug me, your girl is probably going home with me ’cause you ugly’ are the two standout lines for me in that verse. Onto the chorus again.

Again, I’ve never heard of Wale before but I love his verse. Very open and upfront, what did I really expect after Hoodie’s verse and chorus though? I like the play on words with the line ‘my hoodie on, I call Hoodie up and book every white girl in the hood today’.

Verse number three and back to Hoodie. Hoodie rapping quickly and arrogantly and just wow. Again a little reference to the unreal album People Keep Talking, love it. YES HOODIE. I love the savageness of this line ’cause my biggest fan is also your mother, I swear they be playing this every summer, so’ love it!

Next up is Play the Field.

So the intro and the bridge are good, Hoodie’s singing voice once again making an appearance. I like the sound effects around ‘the play the field’ hook.

Verse one, I really like the lines ‘I don’t care what your friends think, ’cause if treating you good isn’t good enough, you gon’ have to find somebody else that does’ I don’t know why, just hit a chord in me, I like them. Then onto the chorus part.

Verse two, Hoodie rapping quickly once again makes me so happy. I think deep down Hoodie has a right soft side, for example, a rap about playing the field but as mentioned before he still manages to drop a cute line in there… ‘You can be my side kick, shorty riding shot gun’.

Next up is Sushi.

YES! Now this song is what I have been waiting for. A Hoodie Allen classic upbeat song. Okay, I love every line of the pre-chorus. Calling out users and haters, what more could you want from an opening couple lines of a song? I love a risky line, so of course I love ‘homie, I’m a threat do I look like ISIS? Nah, I don’t need to resort to violence’. Love love love.

I love the chorus, a classic Hoodie Allen up beat song. Is it even a Hoodie Allen album without at least one song like this? I love the arrogant line once again, how can you not? ‘Everybody know me, why the hell you introduce me?’ I mean… True.

Next up is Ain’t Ready.

Okay, just from the sound of the guitar and the first two lines I feel this may be my favourite song from the album. I love a good acoustic song from Hoodie. (PS download Americoustic if you haven’t already because Hoodie doing acoustic is something everybody should hear).

The first verse, pre-chorus and chorus are unreal, all Hoodie singing acoustically and I am genuinely in love. Onto verse two and rapping Hoodie is back. Another reference to another amazing album All American, again you’re missing out if you haven’t listened to Hoodie’s music before. And again the chorus, which I am in love with. Onto the bridge, again I love it. Hoodie’s raspy singing life is honestly ridiculous. So talented in every sense of the word. I can definitely say so far that this is my favourite song from the album. Don’t be fooled by the shorter review, I was too busy listening and admiring the lyrics to focus on writing oopsy!

Next up is All My Friends featuring State Champs.

Again I have never heard of State Champs, but opening up the song and sounding amazing. I feel like I’m going to like this song purely based on Hoodie’s first few lines including ‘yeah, and this one’s for the people who were with me before I had a dollar in my bank account’ and ‘it’s real love, real friends, yeah I never separate it homie’ because Hoodie is now known pretty much everywhere around the world but it’s nice to see he hasn’t forgot his roots and those who were around way before the fame and the fortune, I really like that. The whole song is full of good lyrics and heartfelt lyrics too. And I really really like State Champs. It’s a different type of song to what I think we’re used to from Hoodie but I really like it.

Next up is Mad.

First thoughts are before Hoodie even sings/raps anything, it sounds like an old school classic, a bit of a sexual 80’s vibe to it. I like the chorus, again sounds very old school. Verse one is back to Hoodie rapping. It’s quite cute, about being a ‘goddess’ and then he ends the verse with ‘I ain’t like them other dudes, are you stupid?’ should expect the unexpected with Hoodie shouldn’t we really aha.

Oh wow, once again Hoodie being a little naughty with his lyrics, should I really be surprised? ‘Okay you got me, got me, I’m just so glad you want me. But other times I feel unqualified, you Donald Trump me’ god I love you Hoodie Allen and your slightly naughty but hilariously true lyrics.

Okay the bridge. Hoodie’s high note whilst singing ‘but now, I give up everything I had, had, had’ wow, just wow. The bridge is actually so cute, Hoodie showing his soft side again.

Next up is Something Dangerous.

As everyone knows by now I love Hoodie’s singing voice, but wow, just wow the chorus, his voice sounds unreal, genuinely just wow. Onto verse one, I love the line ‘you know I gotta go on tour sometimes, but like Shaq with the free throws, you know I’m always missing ya’ a little naughty with the lyrics again, but a cute meaning behind them, I like it. 

Okay, so verse two starts up and it hits me a little harder than expected. Definitely relatable on so many levels. ‘Nowadays I’m feeling like we’re strangers. Took a little break, we ain’t really been the same since’. Ending it being a little arrogant again, ‘I know a lot of dudes tryna chase you, but I’m the only one who ever made sense, Hoodie, babe’ is it bad I like it when his arrogant side comes out? Ha. Listening to the bridge and final chorus makes me think he’s definitely going to sing it on tour because I can picture the crowd joining in and clapping along to the backing track, yes.

Next up is Heartbreak featuring Goody Grace.

Listening to the first few lines and the backing track, sounds like an acoustic again, so I know I’ll like it. Again I have never heard of Goody Grace, but opening the song sounds absolutely unreal.

I always love Hoodie’s lyrics. In verse one I particularly like this section ‘looks fade eventually, will you still have sex with me? Like, even when we’re 70? Will you remember me when we’re losing our memory?’ I don’t have a reason but I genuinely just love that section of lyrics.

Verse two, starting up with ‘hey you know I’m searching for the type of love you see in the movies’ I think this strikes a chord with any girl because it is any girls dream and if you say it isn’t you’re probably lying oops. I think this is so relatable to all girls ‘like a roomie, she’s sleeping next to me, but not speaking to me’ because every girl has lay in bed with their partner and ignored them and put their back to them because they’re hurt or upset. The line ‘like if we fighting every day, is it worth it now?’ hit me hard, again, so relatable to anyone, men or women who’ve been in a heated relationship but isn’t ready to call it quits just yet. I think this one is probably one of my favourites from the album, it’s so relatable and I love the lyrics and Goody Grace’s voice too.

Next and last but not least is Runnin’ Circles.

Oooo I love this line ‘the mind of a perfectionist, but now a days I appreciate the blemishes’ I feel like this describes me perfectly. This song I think is going to hit people deeply. I love ‘I relish the opportunity to be a better man, be a better son, better brother, be a better fan’ such a genuine line.

Verse two, once again I love the lyrics, so heartfelt. ‘But if I follow what you follow, chances are I probably still working at the fucking mall. So don’t tell me to dream small’ this line makes me happy, it’s sort of a push for people to dream big or what’s the point? Okay this song is an unreal way to end the album. I absolutely love it. It’s deep, it’s to the point and there is a message behind it and I absolutely love that. 

‘There is a million ways to make it in this life, so let me hit you with a little piece of advice. If you ain’t doing something everyday that makes you feel alive, you should find a better way to spend all your frickin’ time’ Hoodie Allen, I love you.

Okay so that’s it. What an album it is! I have loved and supported Hoodie for as long as I can remember so I sort of knew I would love the album, but honestly to anyone who has either never heard of Hoodie or has never heard his music, please give him a chance and take a listen. Hoodie Allen is honestly one of the most underrated artists I have ever came across and I wish more people knew about him. He is so talented as a song writer, a performer, a singer and a rapper. If you follow my social media and have been for a while you will see I have met a lot of ‘famous people’ over the years, but hands down, I am not even just saying this Hoodie is the nicest, most genuine person I have ever met. He genuinely loves and appreciates anyone who listens to his music, goes to his shows and shows him support and to me that is so so important as an artist, you should never forget the people who have made you who you are by paying for your music, merch and shows and honestly I love seeing Hoodie interact with his fans because you can see the genuine love he has for each and every person.

I absolutely love the album and I think anyone who hasn’t already gave it a listen definitely should. I haven’t brought tickets to Hoodie’s tour as of yet because with my 21st birthday coming up I don’t know what surprises my parents have in store for me and as they know I love Hoodie I am praying it’s tickets and/or a meet and greet ha, but if not then of course I’ll be buying tickets to see him, so if you’re going to his show in Birmingham, UK then let me know, would be amazing to meet some fellow Hoodie fans that follow me. I really hope you’ve all enjoyed this different sort of post. It is currently 01:58am here in England, so it’s been a 2 hour writing session, but well worth it. 

Thank you for reading!

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Side note I have also got around to making an account on Only Fans so go check that out: https://onlyfans.com/zoelouisesmithx. Some exclusive unseen pictures and videos of what I get up to daily as well as my collaborations with Manchester United, Daytona and more!

Review: Gearbest Hair Straightening Brush

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Hey Lovelies!

I am actually a little nervous to post this if I am honest because this is the first time I am reviewing a product with nothing positive to say about it, which is a little upsetting! I was lucky enough to be sent a load of goodies from the guys over at Gearbest which I have wrote about in a couple posts before and for the most, I have loved everything they have sent me, apart from one thing and today I am going to share with you why I didn’t like their hair straightening brush!

So I have been seeing these brushes everywhere recently and I have always wanted to see if they actually work, so when I seen Gearbest had sent me one I was super excited to try it out because if it worked it would make my life so much easier instead of having to sit straightening my hair which would take 10 times longer than using the brush. So here is the product I received:

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It states a couple things, but the thing that stood out most for me was it is for all hair types. For me, my natural hair is super curly and sometimes frizzy so finding a product that is for all types of course is ideal. So here is the product itself out of the box:

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So I went ahead and started ‘straightening’ my hair. So here is a little before and after for you guys:

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As you can see, the brush didn’t really straighten my hair at all. If anything it just pulled the curls out and made it even more frizzy than it originally was. 

I have never had to write a review where I have nothing positive to say but with this product I can’t think of any positives, only negatives. It made my hair feel dry and damaged, it made my hair frizzy not straight and it just didn’t do what it claimed to do which was straighten my hair.

Overall I have loved most products I have been sent from Gearbest but this product is not good at all. I wouldn’t recommend it. I don’t know if anybody else has had this problem with this product or if it is just me, but I am super upset and disappointed by it.

I never write horrible reviews, I am 100% honest however I do normally find some positives in every product I receive but with this one I just couldn’t. I like to be honest with my readers so you don’t end up spending money on products that aren’t worth it. I hope you guys can respect the fact I have been I honest.

Thank you for reading! See you all in my next post!

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Disclaimer: I was gifted this product for review from http://www.gearbest.com/. All opinions are 100% my own.

My Skincare Routine

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Hey Lovelies!

Today I wanted to tell you guys about my skincare routine and maybe a couple of tips and tricks along the way to achieving good skin!

Firstly I want to say my skin is really dry! When I say really dry I mean ridiculously dry and honestly I don’t like it at all, but it’s the skin I have so I guess I’ve just got to live with it. For me it’s took a very long time with trial and error to find the perfect skincare routine. I think there is always room for improvement, of course, but at the moment I feel like I have a skincare routine that is making my skin better than I can ever remember it really being, so I thought I would share my tips on how to get a good skincare routine you can be happy with!

The first thing I suggest is to drink lots of water! I never used to drink water and my skin got really bad, since I’ve been drinking plenty of water daily, my skin has started to get better.

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If you don’t like drinking water, like myself, buy yourself a cute water bottle and keep it next to you, so when you’re watching TV or on your laptop or reading, it is next to you and you’re more inclined to drink water that way. Mine is this one from Primark, it’s pink with a black and white straw and it just says ‘No Bad Vibes’ on the front and back. 

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Okay so the first step of my routine is taking your make up off. I use some make up removal wipes which are from Primark. They’re £1 for a twin pack, which is really good! They remove my makeup really quickly and easily. 

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Then with my eye make up I use the Avon eye make up conditioner, which I have been using for years now and it’s the best eye make up remover I have found, it works so quickly and doesn’t effect your eyes at all, which is always a positive! 

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Once I’ve removed all of my make up I use this exfoliator by Avon called Clearskin, blackhead clearing daily cleanser and honestly it is the best exfoliator I have found. It’s not harsh on your skin at all!

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I use it with this exfoliating brush from Primark, which is only £1, which again is really good! I thought it might be rough on my face as it was really cheap, however it isn’t at all. Along with this exfoliator it works perfectly! Of course, always put the cap back on the brush to keep the brush protected and clean.

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Once I’ve exfoliated and washed that off I go in again with my exfoliating brush and just go over my face again to get rid of any dry skin that may remain. 

After that I go in with this E45 cream for dry skin conditions which does wonders for my skin! It is so moisturising and perfect for my skin. I know it’s expensive but it is definitely worth every penny!

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Then the next step is this over night cream from Avon, which is called the Clearskin blemish clearing overnight treatment. When I wake up the following morning my skin is super soft and ready to start the day.

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My final step is to use the Vaseline pure petroleum jelly original on my lips. My lips become dry a lot which is terrible for applying lipstick, so I use this Vaseline and it keeps my lips moist and soft.

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Once or twice a week I then use this Clearskin pore penetrating black mineral mask from Avon. This cleans out my pores and leaves my face feeling fresh and nicer than ever.

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Overall it took me years to get to a point where I am reasonably happy with my skin and skincare routine. Here are some of my tips on a perfect skincare routine and how to get the best possible skin you can:

1 – Don’t be afraid to trial and error. It’s the best way to find products that suit you!

2 – Take all the time you need. Don’t rush your routine by missing out steps, your skin is super important so take the time and really look after your skin well.

3 – Spend the money that’s needed. Skincare, as said above is super important! So spend the extra money on products to ensure your face gets the best possible care.

4 – Don’t be lazy! A lot of people do a routine for a while then stop bothering, myself included, honestly I regret that because you work hard for a couple weeks then suddenly your skin just goes back to the state it was in before anyway.

5 – Remember that every skin type is different. Really do your research before you use products, some products are specifically for certain skin types and may be really bad for your skin type, so work out your skin type and research the best products for your skin type!

Hopefully these tips help you guys because if I would’ve had someone telling me these things then I would’ve kept up with my skincare routine and not kept stopping and starting. It does take time but it definitely worth it. Your skin is precious, definitely look after it the best you can!

See you all in my next post!

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Tattoos: My Experiences + Tips & Tricks

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Hey Lovelies!

Today I wanted to talk a little about firstly, my own tattoos and the experiences I have had and then secondly some tips and tricks to ensure you get the best tattoo possible that you’re 100% happy with.

So firstly, a little bit about my tattoo’s, altogether I have 7 now. I had my first one when I was 17 and my most recent was last month and I think I definitely want more. Most of the photos I include of my own tattoos were taken at the time or just after they were done so are swollen and a little bloody and bruised, just the reality of having tattoos!

Okay so my first tattoo that I got was a simple infinity sign, a typical girls tattoo you could probably say, where I incorporated a heart and my brothers names. 

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With this tattoo I was 17 and ridiculously nervous. My parents knew I wanted a tattoo so my dad took me and got me my first one, I got this because I had wanted it for as long as I could remember, purely for the fact I thought it looked cute and my brothers, no matter how much we argue, do mean the world to me. When getting the tattoo the pain wasn’t half as bad as I imagined it would be, in fact for me it wasn’t painful at all. Some people find them very painful but to me I didn’t really think this one in particular was painful at all. I remember getting this tattoo and saying I only wanted 1 and my tattoo artist replied with ‘you say that now but tattoos are more addictive than cocaine or heroine’ and now, 7 tattoos later, I truly do believe that. This tattoo is in the centre of my back just under my neck, in between my shoulder blades.

My second tattoo was a very on the spot one you could say. I was on the high street near my house and decided I wanted a tattoo. I already had a couple photos on my phone of tattoos I had planned and wanted so I decided just to go for it.

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This photo was taken about 1 hour after it being finished, so very swollen and bruised. This tattoo is on my left collar bone and I love it. This tattoo means a lot to me as my family have gone through a lot of things throughout the past 18 months or so and sometimes it is easy to get down thinking about it and just wanting to cry, but to me this tattoo symbolises things will always get better as long as you never lose hope. I had the birds as the lyrics ‘you can’t fly unless you let yourself fall’ by Justin Bieber spring to mind, sometimes you have to let yourself fall and go through something awful to stand back up a million times stronger and know that things are going to get better. This to date is probably my favourite tattoo purely for the meaning. When getting this tattoo I had a new tattoo artist, he was really good at his job and I really do love the piece. I think parts of this tattoo were definitely painful, the parts near the bone were extremely painful however overall it wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be that close to the bone.

My third tattoo, again very spontaneous, walking through town and I decided I wanted a new tattoo, so I got a mini one.

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This tattoo has no meaning really, I just thought it would look cute when my hair is up. It’s just a black outline with a red centre. This tattoo wasn’t painful at all, it was just really annoying that close to my ear, but I like it so it was worth the 5 minutes it took.

My next tattoo is one that I will never regret having, however I do regret the timing of when I had it.

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Last February, I was took into hospital for an operation, the day after I was released I decided to go and get a tattoo. So still in a lot of pain, a lot of drugs in my body and definitely the stupidest decision I have ever made. However I wouldn’t regret this tattoo for anything. Delboy was my dog who passed away in September 2014, he was my first real pet who I had had most of my life and I have never felt pain like it to lose him. People have always questioned why I had this tattoo for an animal, but if you have ever had a dog for a long time, you’ll understand that they become part of the family and losing them hurts just as much as losing a human. This tattoo is on the inside of my left bicep and it didn’t hurt, apart from the lower part of where it started hitting the muscle. This tattoo was done at Karma Collective who are absolutely incredible at what they do and I have had the majority of my tattoos done there since because I trust the two ladies there and their work is incredible, so if you’re in Birmingham looking for a reliable, talented artist definitely contact them. Also I am not saying at all that any other artist I have had has been bad, they’ve all been incredible however I just really trust the ladies at Karma.

My next tattoo is another sentimental one, do you see a pattern here?

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This is on the back of my neck and it’s my mom and dad’s birthday’s in Roman numerals. They mean the absolute world to me and I just thought it would be a nice idea to somewhere add them into my tattoo collection, so that is what I did. Again this was done at Karma Collective and I absolutely love it. This one wasn’t really painful at all, sharp scratches here and there but nothing too bad. Within a week of me having this tattoo my brother copied me which was slightly annoying, but I love it all the same.

My next tattoo is the first tattoo I have had on show, the rest have been in places easily cover-able, however this one I had on show for the pure fact, I think if an employer isn’t willing to employ you due to a tattoo that’s their loss, we live in a generation where 75% of the population have tattoos, that’s the reality of life and employers need to bare that in mind. My employers are great and haven’t mentioned it to me so I’m happy about that.

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This tattoo is dedicated to my grandad. He has always, for as long as I can remember, called me ‘princess’ so I got a tattoo representing that. He is like my best friend, always there for me, always on the phone and always just looking out for me and he means the world to me. So a tattoo dedicated him was definitely something I always wanted. This tattoo was definitely one of the most painful, not too bad, but definitely worse than the others. Again done at Karma Collective!

My final tattoo, I got last month and it was for a very good cause. A girl I went to school with tragically died in a car crash and her best friend had the idea of getting a tattoo that she had planned to get before her death and all the money raised would go to her funeral. A local tattoo artist kindly agreed to do that for her so of course I had to go and get one done.

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Again a photo took 5 minutes after finishing so swollen and bruising however, I love it. This one is on my left hip/waist and honestly was the most painful one I have had. From start to finish I was in pain, I don’t know why really because I thought it would be the least painful but it was horrible!

 So there you have all of my experiences, now onto some tips and tricks. I am not saying I’m a tattoo expert at all in any way, shape or form, however I do have a couple tips and tricks that might help you choose what to have, where to have it and who to have it done by.

1) Plan your tattoo in advance. I know I said some of mine were spontaneous, however I had planned what I wanted weeks in advance, I just didn’t know when to have it done. If you plan it, you know you’ll like it because it is what you want and have planned.

2) Find a tattoo artist you can trust. Look at tattoo artists work, pieces and reviews. Every tattoo artist has a different style and their style might not suit the piece you want done, so really study their work before making plans with them or booking anything.

3) Don’t just go for the cheapest tattoo artist you find. Yes, everyone loves something cheap, however a tattoo is on your body forever unless you pay to have it removed or covered, costing you a lot more in the long run anyway. With tattoo artists, the cheapest person you find might be incredible, however don’t assume they are. Look around and find someone you like and trust rather than just the prices. Sometimes it’s worth paying that little extra to know you’re going to be 100% happy with the final piece.

4) Have a tattoo you know you won’t regret later on. Don’t have a tattoo that relates to your life now, like a group you like or a singer or a friendship group or anything like that because in 10 years time somethings may have changed and you could completely regret it. Have a tattoo you know you’ll like now and in 10 years time, if you’re not 100% sure, don’t do it.

5) Nowadays 99% of tattoo artists do a template of your tattoo before starting it on your body, make sure you are 100% happy before the needle starts. If there’s something you don’t like or something you want changed, tell them. At the end of the day tattoos cost a lot of money and take a lot of time, don’t just say yes for convenience, the artist, if they’re a good one, would rather take their time and change it knowing that you’re walking away happy than sit and know that they’ve done a piece that isn’t really what you wanted.

6) Look after your tattoos. Aftercare is so important, I can’t emphasis it enough. I use bepanthen and have done on all of my tattoos and that suits me fine, but be sure to ask as many questions as needed to ensure you get the correct tips on keeping it clean and hydrated because it really is important you get the right aftercare routine in place, otherwise it can fade and look awful afterwards.

7) If you’re in pain, don’t be afraid to stop and take a break. I’m sure any tattoo artist you speak to  can tell you a time where they’ve had to stop a session. You won’t be the first and I’m sure you won’t be the last. If you feel lightheaded or not quite right, just ask for a breather and then go again when you’re ready.

8) Placement is key. If your company don’t like tattoos or you want to go into an industry where tattoos can’t be on show, for example a teacher, really think the placement of your tattoo through. Once it’s there it can’t be moved about so really think before you get it done.

9) Another tip is definitely take a sugary drink with you. You’ll lose blood whilst getting a tattoo, it’s inevitable, so just have a sugary drink with you in case you feel light headed or not quite right afterwards. You may be completely fine, but better to be safe than sorry.

10) My final tip is to enjoy designing your tattoo, enjoy getting your tattoo and just enjoy the whole experience. As silly as it sounds, if you’re sitting watching your tattoo get drawn up and you’re not excited or enjoying seeing it happen, you probably don’t want it as much as you thought you did, so enjoy the experience, if you’re not then rethink it and maybe, if you can, rearrange. If you’re just nervous, try not to be, it isn’t as bad as you’re probably thinking it is.

I hope some of these tips and tricks help you in getting the best tattoo you possibly can. Remember, getting a tattoo is for life, unless you pay a considerable amount to get it covered or removed, so don’t do anything you’ll regret.

I love all of my tattoos because they all mean something to me, I’m not saying all tattoos need to have a meaning, but sometimes, specially for your first tattoo, it definitely does help because if it means something, chances are you won’t regret it.

Thank you for reading my blog, see you all in my next one!

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Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, I just truly love Karma Collective and genuinely recommend their work.

Review: We Are UB40 Tour

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Hey Lovelies!

Tonight I had the honour and privilege of seeing UB40 featuring Ali, Astro and Mikey on their homecoming show at the Barclaycard Arena on their We Are UB40 tour. 

I have always loved UB40’s music for as long as I can remember, so when I seen Ali was touring, I knew I had to see them. Even though it was only 3 members of the original band, it was honestly something special.

In my opinion Ali Campbell is UB40, his voice is the iconic sound of UB40 and it just wouldn’t be the same without him. Tonight he really didn’t disappoint, his voice sounds just as it did when he was younger, which honestly I was surprised by because I just assumed as time had gone on his voice might have deteriorated, but I can tell you right now it definitely hasn’t.

Among their set list was tracks such as Fijian Sunset, Cherry Oh Baby, Groovin’ and Sticky By Me and then of course classics like Can’t Help Falling in Love, Kingston Town and Red Red Wine, they sang everything people wanted to hear and so much more. All in all I would say they sang nearing 20 songs altogether and probably more than that. In total they were on stage around an hour and 45 minutes, from 9pm until 10:45pm with only a couple of minutes break before the encore, so literally an hour and forty minutes of pure reggae music from I would say, one of the best bands the UK have produced.

As previously mentioned, only 3 of the original band were there, Ali, Astro and Mikey, however you wouldn’t have been able to tell at all. The musicians were all incredible, Ali’s voice was the best I have heard in a long time and Astro too had strong vocals throughout the night.

Once again I have seen a concert from someone in the older generation and they didn’t disappoint at all, in fact they were one of the best I have been to. Seeing UB40, especially hearing Ali’s voice live has been a dream of mine for years and now I can finally tick it off. 

If you haven’t seen these guys live, I would definitely recommend you do because they are incredible. They are legends in their own rights and to say I live 10 minutes from where they originated and first gigged makes me that slight more proud than I would normally be. It’s good to see people from Birmingham doing good, specially as they’re getting older.

I for one loved tonight. If you can get to a UB40 show where Ali, Astro and Mikey are performing definitely do and you won’t regret it. I think we were the youngest people there, however that didn’t stop us from dancing, singing, laughing and just enjoying the incredible show that was put on.

I hope you enjoyed my review and I hope one day you all have the opportunity to see them live because everybody should be able to witness this kind of talent live.

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How to: Upkeep a long distance friendship

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One of my best friends lives nearly 2 hours away from me, which granted, isn’t too far away, but with her having a baby and me being super busy with college and work, it’s hard for us to maintain a healthy friendship. However, we do it because we both want it to work. When you have a friend who doesn’t live near you, you have to be willing to make more of an effort to maintain a healthy friendship. So I’ve decided to write down 5 ideas on how me and my friend maintain our friendship and maybe this can help some of you to do the same, some points may even relate to a long distance relationship also.

  1. Both people need to be willing to make the effort to communicate. – If only one person is sending messages and talking to them then the friendship isn’t going to last because the person making the effort will get bored of getting nothing back.
  2. You need to be willing to travel every so often via train, car, bus, even plane, whatever it may be. – Even if it is only once every couple of months at least you can see each other, even if it’s only for a few hours to go for some food or something simple like that.
  3. Always try your best to have something in common. – If you have an interest such as a band, a song, a video, anything that you both like, it means you can chat and ‘fangirl’ about for hours on end.
  4. Never treat them as though they aren’t as important as someone who lives close to you. – If they’re your friend, near or far, they are just as important as any of you other friends, so never ever rub it in their face about something your close friends do together. Always include them and make them feel welcome.
  5. It sounds really old fashioned, but every once in a while send them a letter. Yes it is easy to send a quick text and see how they are, but there is nothing better than someone making the effort to send a letter or a card or something with a bit more depth than a text message which takes seconds to send and next to no effort to think up. A letter is something that they can read and keep knowing you’ve made a little more effort than a simple text.

Hopefully some of these points work for you too. It can be hard maintaining a friendship with someone close to you let alone someone far away especially when you’re both busy with work and other commitments, but friendships and relationships can work no matter the distance as long as both parties are willing to try.

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