Wednesday, 11 July 2018


Getting rid of the gaps in my teeth was something I've wanted to do since I had my braces off in the Autumn of 2013.

Why Braces Didn't (100%) Work For Me

My teeth are super stubborn and no matter how many painful nights I endured wearing my retainers, they always seemed to want to move back to where they wanted to be. From the start of the day to the end of the day there was a noticeable difference in the formation of my teeth which made putting my retainers back in quite tough as they never wanted to slot in to the plastic mould without a fight.

On many an occasion I would wake up in the morning without my retainers in, I soon realised it was because I was subconciously pulling them out in my sleep. I just didn't like the achy pain of my teeth repositioning every night.

I did need braces to sort an unruly tooth out on my lower jaw line (which was resolved) but I couldn't help but feel like the 18 month process was a complete waste of time.

My Orthodontist pretty much just told me I would have to wear these retainers for the foreseeable future. Considering my teeth wouldn't even stay put for an hour, I definitely couldn't see my myself sticking it out for next 10 or even 20 years of my life like I had been told I had to.

After a good couple of years of playing the retainer game the plastic started to crack from all the pressure and eventually snapped. It would've cost over £100 to get a new pair of retainers and by the time I could get another appointment my teeth would've shifted back to where I didn't want them to be. This means I would've ended up with retainers to fit my gaps so it would've been counterproductive.

Getting Rid Of My Gaps

I just wanted to point out that I am by no means saying there's anything wrong with having a gap in your teeth, I just wanted to get rid of mine for now. In this post I thought I'd talk you through what I had done to improve my teeth and let you know the option is out there if you're looking to get something similar done.

The technical term for this process is 'Composite Bonding' and it is a form of Cosmetic Dentistry. I just want to point out that since my gaps have been concealed I do feel so much more confident and a lot less self conscious about my mouth.

I checked my dental records and my Dentist and I talked about Composite Bonding in 2015, that's 3 whole years of me procrastinating for absolutely no reason. I have decided that 2018 is the year I get things done and change things that I'm not happy with.

What is Composite Bonding?

Composite Bonding is the process of applying a dental material, composite resin, to your teeth. The resin is then shaped & moulded and improves what you've already got. This process is a particularly good cosmetic solution for gaps, chips or if your teeth as not as white as you want them to be. Composite Bonding can fix smaller problems and is done tooth by tooth.

This process is extremely quick and I was in and out with Composite Bonding in about 45 minutes. I was & still am, thrilled with the results. I did go back a couple of weeks later for a follow up appointment so my dentist could double check that I was happy with the shape, this also gave her a chance to tweak anything before finishing up.

Straight after you've had your teeth done you are told to avoid anything that may stain your teeth like tomato ketchup, sauces, curry etc & to only drink tea or coffee through a straw for the first week or so.

Composite Bonding VS Porcelain Veneers 

I knew I was never going to go for something like Veneers, especially not at 22. I've always looked after my teeth and had the importance of regular visits to the dentists drilled into me since a very young age.

I also didn't like the idea of something so irreversible that could cause so much damage to something I've looked after so well. Not to mention Veneers would have cost me an absolute bomb. Not only is Composite Bonding a fraction of the price of Veneers it's super quick, pain free and it's reversible too. Veneers are a much more involved procedure and can take up to three weeks to complete but with Composite Bonding you're pretty much in an out within the hour.

Unlike Veneers, the Composite Bonding process doesn't damage the existing tooth which is perfect and there is also no drilling or filing involved either so it's pain free. Composite Bonding isn't as permanent as Veneers, the process usually lasts around 10 years depending on how well you look after your teeth and how good your Dentist is. 10 years is still a long time and my teeth are something I will continue to invest in so I'll just have them done again if I decide I want to.

I do like the fact that it's not a life time fix and it is reversible to give you a chance to trial the new look out. If you do change your mind your teeth won't you have suffered when the composite resin is removed so you're not left with any short term or long term damage.

How Much Does It Cost?

I had six of my front teeth bonded together and it is priced up per tooth. It cost me £240 in total which would've worked out at £40 per tooth so I think that is really good. It would've cost me thousands for Veneers and for all the risks they come with it just wasn't worth it for me, especially not in my twenties anyway.

If you are from the Warwickshire area I went to Euston Place in Leamington Spa for my Composite Bonding and I cannot recommend them enough. I would always say go to a proper Dentist so you know what you're getting; It's so much safer and they will always put your dental health first.


I am now four months down the line from when I first had my teeth done and I'm still very happy with how they look. I feel like I've finally got the teeth I've wanted for years! I'm all for doing things that makes you happy and it has helped with my confidence so much.

I hope this post has been of some help!

Thank you for reading.
Until next time,
A x

Tuesday, 3 July 2018


Fake tan was just one of those things I never seemed to get on with. After having many a tanning mishap (everything you could think of going wrong, going wrong!) I just kind of thought it wasn't for me and gave up altogether. At the end of April I spotted Isle Of Paradise on Instagram so I popped into my local Boots (where it had just launched!) to pick it up and give fake tanning another go.

I did a bit of research beforehand into what the brand and the products claimed to do and I was super impressed. Isle Of Paradise just seemed like a really fun brand with amazing tan and a great ethos so I knew I had to give their products a go!


Isle of Paradise was founded by Jules Von Hep, a tanning expert to the stars. He began working with colour correction after a spray tan and had a light bulb moment which led him to combine the two. Not only do these product claim to give you the most beautiful most natural looking tan but they brighten and reduce redness too. The products are also enriched with the superfood ingredients coconut and chia seed oil.

The tanning range is enriched with eucalyptus and peppermint so it smells pretty good too. Thanks to IOP you can now say goodbye to that annoying biscuity smell that seems to come with every tan out there. Isle Of Paradise products are Vegan, Cruelty Free & Organic too so it just keeps getting better and better.

Which Shade Should I Go For?

I wasn't sure which shade to go for but I went for Medium first which is colour coded Green. They also have Peach which is their lighter shade and Violet which is the darkest. I was thinking maybe I could maintain a light tan in the Autumn/Winter by using the lightest so I will try that soon. I have also been using Violet in the past couple of days because I was getting low on the Green.

If you're unsure on which colour to go for I'm super pale and I haven't had any issues with the medium or the dark & I honestly can't see much difference in the two. I just think the Violet is possibly a tiny bit deeper than the Green meaning I need to apply less product which is a win-win. The colour just seems to adapt to your skin tone really well, on paper the darker shade should have looked ridiculous on me and it really doesn't so it just goes to show. I was obviously feeling brave when I picked up Violet but it was worth giving it a go and trying something new.

I would just say get too hung up about which colour to try first, just experiment a bit and see how you get on.

Since using this stuff I have so many people telling me I look like I've been on holiday so I guess it's doing the trick!

I picked up The Tanning Water, The Self Tanning Mousse & The Self Tanning Drops in April. After nearly two months of testing I'm going to talk you through all three. I'm also going to let you in on my tanning routine and what I find works best alongside this range too.

The Self-Tanning Water 

This stuff is actually game changing, it's a completely revolutionary product and I've never seen anything quite like it. There was a huge gap in the market for something other than tanning mousse and the Isle Of Paradise have absolutely smashed it, I cannot recommend this product enough.

What Do Isle Of Paradise Say?

This Tanning Water has colour corrective actives and a green base for a natural, golden glow with no smells, no streaks or orange tones. Formulated with super balance complex to reduce redness, calm the skin and 'improve your karma!'

Isle Of Paradise recommend you moisturise dry areas prior to application, mist until your skin is totally saturated and then blend with a tanning mit in sweeping motions, covering hands and feet last, you are then supposed to wash palms thoroughly after use. 

Pros & Cons 

I absolutely adore this product, it is so easy to use and the colour it develops into is spot on. This stuff also doesn't go flaky and there are no orange tones either which is perfect. The Tanning Water just gives me a really nice glow and the colour correction worked perfectly hiding my red undertones. You get such a good amount of product and you can use it on your face too without having to worry about it looking super obvious, it really is seamless.

I have been using this product alone and in conjunction with the Mousse too. If I've put the mousse on my body I sometimes apply The Tanning Water to my hands, feet and my face, the most stubborn areas when it comes to tan. I always rub my hands together and make sure I get it in between my toes too because it can be super obvious if you forget. I feel like hands can be the biggest giveaway that you're wearing fake tan especially if it doesn't go quite right. My hands always go a lot darker than the rest of my body so it is a little bit difficult to get it right.

The only negative of this product that I can think of is that you can't actually see where you've applied the water as it's translucent and there is no guide colour. You kind of have to keep a mental note of where you've been, which can be tricky when you're doing your whole body all in one go. I know Isle Of Paradise say you should spray all over and then blend it in but it is so much easier splitting it up and working your way around your body in sections to keep track.

The first time I used The Tanning Water I did have an obvious white patch on my arm where I had missed a bit. This product may be streak proof but it is super obvious where you have a really nice glow then a white patch where you've forgotten to spray the water. It did however make me realise how much of an improvement this product made to the colour of my skin.

I usually sleep in my tan, The Tanning Water is not sticky at all and you don't have to worry about transfer on to your bed sheets or your pyjamas either so I was pretty impressed. If you are short on time I would say you could apply it in the day because you don't have to worry about the guide colour before you wash it off, just don't come into contact with water. It does takes about 6 hours to kick in so you'll have a nice glow by lunch time if you apply it first thing.

I would love to see some Express Tans introduced into this range, tan that takes 1-2 hours to develop. However they do have the Happy Tan & Disco Tan available which are kind of similar.

The Self Tanning Drops

The Self Tanning Drops are similar to the Tanning Water, this stuff goes on clear and it's another one of those game changers. It comes in a little glass bottle with a pipette and it's great because you can use it with your every day moisturiser that you already know works for you. The drops kind of feel effortless to use and as if you're not doing anything that differently.

What Do Isle Of Paradise Say?

"Married to your moisturiser? But want a super tanned glow too? No biggie! Simply add the colour correcting Magic Tanning Drops to your moisturiser for a natural, sun-kissed glow."

Pros & Cons 

Isle Of Paradise recommend you add 1 to 12 drops into your moisturiser, mix it together and apply directly to your skin. The more drops you add the deeper the tan. I found 8 drops and 3-4 squeezes of moisturiser was quite a good ratio. It really is trial and error though, 1-12 drops is quite vague. I feel like it would be a little bit more helpful if Isle Of Paradise had more of a guide for this or something to refer to in regards to colour pay off.

I found this product was a lot quicker to apply, it is great if you don't like spending a ton of time on the fake tan application and you were looking for something low maintenance. 

I was initially a little bit unsure about spending £19.95 on what appears to be a tiny bottle but a little goes a long way. It's a great tan for 'people who don't fake tan' and I have been using it on my face mainly with my serum.

I found the Self Tanning Drops had the best longevity when going in the pool too so it would be a good one for holidays. I just think this stuff is super quick and convenient as I would apply moisturiser at some point after applying the tanning water and the mousse anyway but with this stuff you are good to go.

The only con I can think of is that it has seemed to have tinted my eyebrows slightly orange so it's best to learn from my mistakes and keep your brows covered, especially if you're quite fair.  I would also say wash your hands thoroughly after applying it to your face, this will help you avoid stubborn patches of colour being left behind. 

The Self Tanning Mousse

After using the Tanning Water, The Self Tanning Mousse was a bit of a doddle to use. I realised I was taking the guide colour for granted and I didn't have any white patches at the end of it which I was very happy about. I usually try and set aside half an hour when tanning with a mousse to make sure I'm doing it properly and don't miss anything.

Just like most tanning mousses on the market you apply it in the same way (pump it onto a mitt and apply in sweeping motions!) This mousse contains a SuperBalance complex to reduce redness, this is great because it evens your skin tone out in order to give you a your-tan-but-better kind of glow. In an ideal world where I could tan (and not get sunburnt every damn time!) the colour this product develops into would be my perfect shade.

Pros & Cons 

This stuff is so easy to apply and foams up really nicely, a little goes a long way and it dries really quickly too but somehow doesn't streak even if you apply it in a streaky way. I have also had no problem with colour transfer either. I know a lot of people who have turned their loo seats pink from fake tan but I've not found this an issue at all with Isle Of Paradise and I'm so impressed.

I also don't have to wait ages to get into my pyjamas (because I'm waiting for my tan to dry) so it's a good one to apply before bed, I hate feeling sticky at night! The Tanning Mousse also doesn't cling to dry patches, it fades so naturally too which is pretty good.

I can't really think of any negatives with this product to be honest but I just don't really like using a mousse on my face. My skin is quite sensitive anyway and it can leave it feeling dry and tight but The Tanning Water & The Tanning Drops are better products for that kind of thing anyway, so it isn't really a problem.

Sometimes a mousse can be trickier to work with in more awkward areas.  For your hands and feet you are advised to tan those last when you have less product on your mitt but as I mentioned before The Tanning Water goes on really seamlessly so that's another option.

The guide colour for the medium tanning mousse is slightly khaki but it's worth keeping in mind that it does counteract the red tones so that's probably why, when you wash it off there is no trace of green at all. I do prefer the base colour of their darker tan just because if you needed to pop to the shops with the guide colour on it is less obvious.

My Tanning Routine 

I didn't realise how much of a difference prepping your skin before applying tan can make. I knew I wanted to get my base right this time when I gave tanning another go. To be honest this is probably one of the things I went wrong with in the past. I did hours of research, watching youtube and reading blogs this time round and I went out and bought some products to help me out a bit.


My skin is quite dry so I new moisturising would be key, I also found shaving and exfoliating important in getting the perfect base when applying the tan from scratch to help it last for as long as possible.

I usually top my tan up a couple of times a week but sometimes it's nice to get it all off and start again, going for a swim is a good way to get rid of tan quite quickly. I always come out of the pool a lot lighter than when I went in which is sometimes a good thing, sometimes really annoying.

I do know there are some super cool products that take it off for you and Isle Of Paradise have one called 'Over It'  that can do all the hard work for you as well as a Primer called 'Prep It' which is a PH balancing water that claims to help your tan stay on for three days longer.

Before I apply my tan I would generally shave a couple of day before. I also like to lightly scrub my skin around this time too to get rid of any remaining patches of tan and flakey skin. I do only scrub/ exfoliate If I'm starting from scratch with a fresh tan. I don't exfoliate when I'm maintaining the colour though because for me moisturising is enough and I've found it's not very good for keeping the colour up.

I have gotten into the habit of moisturising and it took me a while to find one I really liked. The one I use is the 'Aloe Soothe Lotion' from Vaseline. It keeps my skin looking healthy, glowy and hydrated which I think is probably down to the fact it has aloe vera in it which just seems to be good for anything skin related. Moisturising was definitely something I could never be bothered with before, which isn't great considering how dry my skin can get.

I have also found it so important to avoid oil based products and use body washes without it in. Oil can shorten the tans longevity by loosening it and making it look patchy which is not a good look so it's worth double checking what you are using as I was so surprised at how many body washes had it in.


I've found a Double-Sided Tanning Mitt is actually a god send, not only does the product go on better but it means you don't have to take the mit off every few seconds to change sides. I've also found that it saves so much time too.

I do have to do some freaky moves to completely cover my back but this mitt makes it so much easier to get the tan into those hard to reach places. The one I use is super spongey and easy to use but at the same time it doesn't absorb all of my product which is really good. I also have zero transfer of tan through the mitt onto my hands which is a problem I've come across when using a cheaper tanning mitt.

I'm absolutely obsessed with Isle Of Paradise and I love seeing them do so well. It has given me so much more confidence to go out with no foundation on. All of the red patches I used to worry about have been colour corrected and are no longer visible.

I was going to do a series where I try different tans but I'm so attached to this brand so It's going to be harder than I thought. I definitely want to try their other products as well to see what difference they can make to my routine.

Isle of Paradise have definitely made me fall in love with self tanning and it has made me realise how amazing it feels to have a tan on.  Not only very slimming but my hair looks super blonde when I have it on and I've found more colours suit me too. On top of all that my outfit shots also look better for it so it has helped me out a lot.

I really cannot recommend IOP enough. Whether you're a tanning pro or just starting out you really cant go wrong and there is a product for everyone.

Hopefully as the Summer goes on I should have more beauty and lifestyle posts coming your way. I definitely need to update my beauty receims so that means trying and testing exciting new products in the process.

I would love to know your thoughts if you have tried this brand, I am very much a self confessed Isle Of Paradise enthusiast.

Thank you for reading!
Until next time,
A x
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