2020 is the worst year of our lives (but it doesn't have to be)




World War III threats. Earth's most catostophic bushfires yet. A global pandemic. I think it's safe to say that at 23:59, on Decemer 31st, none of us knew that we were in fact counting down to a year home to such an unfortunate array of events.


There's no denying that the year 2020 has unveiled what feels like an incessant series of calamitous circumstances. Equally, it's no secret that many of us are struggling to emit the level of positivity regarding the new year that we had hoped to when the year first commenced. This is only heighetend by the constant reminder that '2020 is the worst year ever'.

However, this doesn't automatically mean that we have to obligingly surrender ourselves to having the worst year of our lives. Yes, the reality we are facing is sincere and devastating. And, of course, it should not be breezily pushed aside or ignored. However, we must also remind ourselves that we still own the right to be happy, and that we should never feel guilty about trying to enjoy ourselves, about trying to make the best out of a bad situation. 






Simultaneously, the need to be a productivity machine is also ever present during these times. It's natural to almost feel obliged to make the most out of the time that we are now in such abundance of: write a book, learn a language, acquire a new skilll. Of course, doing any of these things is great. Brilliant, in fact. However, it is not essential. If you need to take some time out - take it. If you want to wake up late one day - do it. Self care is paramount. Leniency is key. Ideally, if you can manage to pinpoint the perfect combination of productivity and self care during Quarantine, then this is something that you should aim to pursue even after lockdown.

I guess where I'm getting at with today's post - as cheesy as it may come across - is simply to do what makes you happy. If you're able to, keep busy. Obtain a routine, give yourself goals, tasks, challenges. Something to get up for; something to motivate you. But, don't overwork yourself. Take time for you. And most importantly, 2020 doesn't have to be the worst year of our lives.  



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Quarantine messed up your skin? Here's what to do

Oh no. Lockdown hit and your skin freaked out. Correct? Your once stable, smooth skin has escaped out of your control and the dreaded C word is playing havoc with it. Maybe it's a result of the stressful WFH situation, disturbed routine, a lack of water - the list is endless. However, every skin problem has a skincare solution. Read on for my tips and tricks on getting your skin back on track:


Exfoliate
Exfoliation is one of - if not the - most important steps in your skincare routine. Exfoliating will remove the barrier of dead skin cells that are clogging the skin and unveil the fresh new cells that are waiting below. Effectively, this allows all of the products you use afterwards (moisturiser, serum, etc) to penetrate much more deeply into the skin. How often you should exfoliate depends on the strength of your exfoliator.


Steer Clear of Heat
Without prior knowledge, it may appear logical to use hot water to aid your skincare routine - almost like a steam treatment. However, this can actually cause your skin irritation. Stick to warm to cool water for the best results.

Don't Avoid The Hairline
Often, whilst cleansing, people tend to not work their cleanser up their face high enough. However, if you don't cleanse along the hairline, this becomes the ideal space for acne to appear. If you're concerned about getting the product on your hair, use a hairband to protect the edges.


Hydrate Inside & Out
I'm sure you're all sick of seeing 'drink plenty of water!' on skincare advice articles. I get it. It's obvious. But, I would practically be committing a crime in the eyes of the skincare gods if I didn't include hydration on this list, considering it plays such a huge role in transforming our skin. It's recommended to drink around 8 glasses of water a day and this will help boost your skin by restoring radiance and life back into it. Plus, what better time to start your 8 glasses a day than in lockdown?


SPF is Your Best Friend
One of the biggest skincare misconceptions is that SPF is only necessary on sunny days, when in fact, it should be worn rain or shine. If you don't fancy wearing suncream every single day, there are many other SPF alternatives. For instance, I regularly use the Dermalogica Skinperfect primer which contains SPF 30 (the SPF is honestly just a big bonus - it's an incredible product regardless).


Don't Touch Your Face
This one couldn't be more topical considering the fact that we're in the middle of a pandemic, however, global flu or not, you should always avoid touching your face. Doing so spreads bacteria and can consequently lead to breakouts.


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You Need To Try This Hair Mask (seriously)


There are many words that I'm sure you're sick and tired of hearing right now: 'furlough', 'unprecedented times', 'wash your hands' - the list is infinite. However, there is one word that your body is probably yearning for right now. One keyword that your locks have been dying for since the moment lockdown commenced. Haircare.

We can always sit here and beat our past selves up for not having clairvoyant powers that predicted a global pandemic coming along, and knowingly booked the last hair appointment available, but ultimately, that still leaves your dry ends crying out for some much-needed moisture. 

After realising this myself, I thought I'd take matters into my own hands in the best way possible (which is, of course, visiting the Queen of all websites - Coconut Lane - and ordering their hair rescue mask).



As soon as this arrived at my doorstep (which was impressively quickly considering the circumstances) I covered my hair in the mask and left it on for 20 minutes as instructed. In the meantime, I obsessed over how incredible this product smells (imagine coconut and sweet almond had a baby) and had some relaxation time (busy life filming Tik Toks for 2 hours straight - let me tell you!).

The results:
After using this mask, my hair looks visibly healthier, thanks to the radiance and shine that the nourishing Coconut Oil added. I'm also pleased to share that this deeply conditioned my dry ends and reduced some of the breakages from the split ends. Super impressed!






20% off discount on Coconut Lane: lilyloves20


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Jazz up your Door

Never in my almost three years of blogging did I anticipate writing an article titled 'Jazz up your Door', but then again, never in my lifetime did I predict a global pandemic coming along and dominating our lives. I wouldn't be offended if you got the impression that quarantine has vacuumed every last ounce of creativity from me - after all, I'm dedicating an entire post to decorating a door (yes, seriously) - but, all jokes aside, I've actually been meaning to share this with you for a while.




Although they might not be the first thing that comes to mind when decorating a room, over the door hooks are the perfect way to add a bit of character to a room, whilst maximizing space. I particularly loved this over the door hook from Urban Outfitters, as it's the only one that I've seen with a built-in shelf! One thing I've also noticed whilst trying to 'style' the shelf is that it's fundamental to experiment with different levels when hanging items on the hooks :)


URBAN OUTFITTERS

Devon Over-The-Door Multi-Hook Shelf






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Back to Basics

Is there anything worse than being labelled as 'basic'? Perhaps, emitting dull vibes into the fashion world, or being called out for shopping nowhere other than the designated personification of 'basic', that is Brandy Melville? On first thoughts: no. In the words of Tik Tok: 'Where is the flavour?'. But, what if there was a way to combine a simple outfit into something that shouts 'basic but boujee'?

For instance, picture a plain white tee and a pair of mom jeans - basic, right? But, what if you threw a pair of eccentric earrings into the mix, added a statement bag and topped the outfit off with a pair of standout heels? On their own, these statement pieces may ignite an aura of aggressively obnoxious, 'look at me now' jewellery, but paired correctly and they can alternatively project an image of subtly effortless glam. Accessories can really be the driving force behind your wardrobe.
Earrings: ASOS
Topshop
Belt: Nasty Gal
Was about to rave about this belt until I realised a pearl fell off at the top right :(

Belt: Prettylittlething
The 'basics' (jeans, jackets, t-shirts etc.) really establish the baseline of your wardrobe, so - as you would imagine - it's paramount that you invest wisely when constructing the foundation of your wardrobe. This doesn't automatically mean that you have to do dish out a lot of money; it just means that you need to detect what looks, fits and suits your body best.

My advice: try lots of options (from multiple brands) before committing on your perfect pair of jeans or seamlessly fitting jacket/tee.

Here are some of the more revered options for 'basics':

Jeans:

T-shirts:










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