Saturday, 23 May 2015

As seen in - No Offence

Around September last year I filmed my first featured TV role for a new C4 drama called No Offence, which is by the creator of Shameless. I've had several featured roles in music videos before, in fact in videos I tend to get featured roles over standard background roles, but I've not had a featured role in TV so far. A featured role usually means you actually play a part rather than just being part of the background and in this case I was playing a bridesmaid.This wasn't going to be a typical wedding though and I was asked beforehand if I was okay being in a scene that would involve drug use and being associated with the EDL. The idea of the scene is that the police raid a chavvy wedding to arrest the groom who I believe is wanted for suspected murder.

When I arrived and headed to costume it turned out I'd not received the message telling me to fake tan badly and bring some sky high shoes along with me. I don't own any really high heels anyway apart from my Latin American or Character shoes (which are only about three and a half inches) but I managed to borrow some from one of the other bridesmaid. Although I ended up making the decision not to bother wearing them at all as I was supposed to be drunk so I just left them under the table.

I didn't realise the scene was going to be right at the beginning of the episode (aired Tuesday 19th May) and I nearly missed it as I was trying to cook dinner at the time. On screen everything moved so fast and was a bit of a blur but I managed to spot myself in the shot above and as usual it's my back that's made it on to camera! There are two other shots where you can just see me, but they're so quick and blurry when paused it wasn't worth screen grabbing them. 

It was actually pretty chaotic filming the scene. Certain police officers were supposed to grab certain wedding guests such as the groom, best man etc but everyone else was just told to run, so there was people everywhere. I think the best man was grabbed closest to me and although he wasn't necessarily supposed to he ended up falling over each time we did a take and in one take I ended up getting soaked by a low flying pint when he accidentally kicked the table. Luckily it only got my legs and I wasn't actually hit by the glass. This one was quite a fun shoot to do!

Have you been watching No Offence?


Thursday, 21 May 2015

Magnitone Lucid facial cleansing brush

Ever since the Clarisonic was released a few years ago I've been curious about electronic cleansing brushes and have wanted to give one a go. One concern I've always had though is that a cleansing brush would be too harsh for my skin and so haven't invested in one, as they can be quite an expensive purchase. I once bought a little hand held manual cleansing brush from The Body Shop and when I gave it a try I just found it painful and not a pleasant experience at all, so it did put me off to be honest.

Earlier this year I came across a Magnitone display with a brush attached and I took the opportunity to have a little stroke of the bristles. I was actually surprised by how soft the bristles felt, but I was still unsure about spending that much money and couldn't really afford to either. 

A few weeks ago The Bloggers Hub held a Twitter party in association with Magnitone and were offering cleansing brushes for bloggers to review. I decided this might be a good opportunity to try one out so I entered my details and was lucky enough to be selected and was sent the Magnitone Lucid cleansing brush*.

Magnitone Lucid facial cleansing brush

Magnitone Lucid facial cleansing brush
The brush is available in four colours, plush pink, aqua green, dazzling blue and sunshine yellow and I was actually able to pick the colour I wanted so I decided to go for the pink. One of the things I like most about the Magnitone Lucid is that it's a sealed unit meaning it's completely waterproof, so you can use it in the shower if you wish. Being sealed means there's nowhere to plug in a charging cable, which does appear to be a bit of a problem when the battery runs out. However this comes with a little pebble like thing (you can see it in the picture above) which you can plug in to a charging cable. This then attaches to the Magnitone magnetically at the bottom of the handle and this charges it up. A full charge lasts around two weeks, so if you're going away on holiday you can charge it up beforehand and not worry about taking the charger with you.

The brush is really simple to use. You remove the protective cover and wet the brush head with warm water. You wet your face as well and then can apply your choice of cleanser either directly to the brush head or you can apply it to straight to your face. There are just two modes on the brush; you press the large white button once for the standard deep cleansing mode and press it again for sensitive mode. The brush has a timer and beeps to let you know when it's time to move onto the next area of your face before stopping automatically when the time is up. You get 20 seconds for your forehead and brow area, 20 seconds for the cheeks and 20 seconds for your nose and chin. I thought it would beep to give you 10 seconds for each cheek but it only actually beeps in 20 second intervals,  once to tell you to move on to your cheeks and then to move on to your nose and chin, so you do need to remember to move to the other cheek without a beep prompt. 

Although this was a 7 day challenge, as I've mentioned I was concerned this might be too harsh for my sensitive skin so to begin with I wasn't sure that I would use it every day for 7 days. I needn't have worried though as I've used this every evening since I had it, with the exception of the evening I was staying in London as I didn't want to take it with me. I only use this on the sensitive setting and I make sure I only lightly go over the top of each cheek once, as this is the most sensitive area of my face, but I haven't found it too harsh at all and have actually really enjoyed using it.

Magnitone Lucid facial cleansing brush

I think my favourite area to use it on is over and around my nose as you can really feel the vibrations and my nose still feels like it's vibrating slightly for a minute or two afterwards. My nose is also one of the areas where I've seen the most improvement in my skin as my pores appear much clearer now. The other area would be my chin. I think a combination of this and hormones/stress did break me out quite badly when I first started using it but that has completely cleared up now and the pores on my chin are also looking much clearer. I do suffer with congested pores on my chin after years of acne have left my skin with a pitted appearance, but this is really helping to clear them out. 

I've noticed since using this that my skin feels lovely and smooth and also that products are absorbing better, which is great for me as despite having dry and dehydrated skin it really does struggle to absorb products. The only thing I'm not that keen on is that it is a bit of a flicker, so your bathroom mirror/sink/floor might end up with a few cleanser spots all over them. Overall I've really enjoyed using the Magnitone Lucid cleansing brush and if you're worried that this might be too harsh for your sensitive skin I'd say give it a try.

Magnitone have kindly given me a 20% discount code for my readers to use to buy their own Magnitone Lucid. All you need to do is follow this link and enter code Becky20 and you'll get the Magnitone Lucid for just £55.99 rather than £69.99. Be quick though as the offer expires 1st June 2015.

Have you tried a Magnitone Lucid or would you give one a try?

*PR Sample


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP

I suffer with dry skin on my body but I also have a few patches that are consistently extremely dry and often cross over into eczema. I have one patch running across my back that I think is due to where my bra strap runs and then I also have patches around where my arms join my torso which again is due to the straps of my bra rubbing on my skin. I have to try and get bras with straps that are as soft as possible to go over my shoulders otherwise they can rub until they make little red blood spots under the skin that then take a few days to heal. The last patch runs across the back of my left shoulder and I'm really not sure what causes this one. The other patches don't usually look red, just dry and flaky, but this one is almost constantly red and also strangely often has a few little tiny white head spots. 

Most of the time the skin is just excessively dry but as I said occasionally it becomes eczema and starts to spread over my shoulders or further across my back. On a couple of occasions the itching has become so bad I could barely stand it and I'll just sit and cry trying desperately not to scratch.

I've tried various different moisturisers and a couple of creams targeted more towards extremely dry/eczema prone skin but so far I've not found one that really helped. Recently I was having a root around in one of my drawers that's full of various products to see what was in there and I found a sample of La Roche-Posay's Lipikar Baume AP. I've got no idea where this came from but I assume it was part of a goody bag I received somewhere.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP

As I've mentioned before I can be quite intimidated by La Roche-Posay products because I don't always know what they're intended for, but when I spotted anti-irritation and anti-scratching I thought I'd give this a try.

This may only be a small sample of 15ml but that has been more than enough for me to discover that this product is absolutely incredible! From the very first use this almost completely cleared up the red patch on my shoulder that nothing else has ever really made any impact on before. The little white head spots have disappeared, the redness has almost completely disappeared and it's not flaky any more.

This doesn't appear to have any scent at all and although it has an almost gel cream feel to it it's actually quite rich. You only need to use a small amount and despite being quite rich I find it absorbs quickly and doesn't leave an oily/greasy residue behind. I still have some of my sample left at the moment but I'll definitely be grabbing a full size one soon as I don't think I can be without this.

This is available in two sizes, 200ml for £12.50 and 400ml for £19.50, both of which I think are pretty good value when I've used my 15ml sample at least 3/4 times on all four of my patches and I still have some left. You can find the 200ml in Boots but for the 400ml I'd recommend ordering from Escentual

Do you suffer with dry/eczema skin problems?


Friday, 15 May 2015

As seen in - Rixton 'We all want the same thing'

Two 'As seen in' posts in a row? Yep!

It feels like I've been waiting forever for this video to be released as we actually shot this back in December 2013. Turn around time for a music video from shooting until release is usually around four weeks. I think the longest I've waited to see a video so far was around two months for Ellie Goulding's 'Burn' video, so 16 months is an awful long time. I actually thought that they wouldn't use this after so long, in fact I thought they'd changed their mind about releasing the single at all.

One day in December 2013 I headed down to London to attend a casting for a Rixton video before they'd released their first mainstream single and become 'famous'. When I arrived at the casting I was delighted to discover the director was Emil Nava, my favourite music video director to work for who'd previously selected me for a main cast roll in Ed Sheerans 'Give me love' video. I did my bit at the casting, drove home (which does take two hours) and just as I was walking through my front door I received a message to say I'd got the part.

So about four days before Christmas I headed back down to London for a 16 hour shoot for the video. Luckily in the end it wasn't quite 16 hours, we wrapped a few hours earlier, which is always welcome as 16 hours is hard work, especially with a four hour round drive on top! The idea of the video is that the band arrives and I attempt to attend to their hair (I was playing a hair stylist/dancer) before they go through a curtain that transports them back to the 70s. My 70s costume involved a green wool jumpsuit type thing that itched like crazy where it wasn't lined because I'm allergic to wool and gave me an almost constant wedgy (I'm sorry I know TMI but you need to feel my pain!). It also included around five inch heels (remember I'm nearly 6ft tall!) and a rather unflattering wig. The shoes were crazy, they were thigh high and I could barely walk up and down stairs or sit down. If I did sit down somebody would have to pull me back up again. Even worse when I tried to get them off the zip broke and I had to break them to finally be free of them.

How unflattering is that middle shot! The video moves so quickly it's impossible to try and get clear shots but you can spot me in various places throughout the video, most often in the 'soul train' or dancing in front of Jake (the singer). As you can probably tell the majority of the people in the video weren't there but have been added in afterwards. Apart from the band I think there was only about 15 Supporting artists there and you can also spot the director Emil as he decided to jump in and make an appearance. 

When it came to the dancing parts they'd start the song and we'd actually carry on through the whole song without stopping. It's a good job I've been a dancer for a large part of my life and am used to dancing for an entire song non-stop. In fact, I still appear to be programmed to start dancing as soon as I hear the song! Despite being a pretty long day and being worked hard it was a really fun shoot to do and I'm glad they've still used it after all this time.

If you'd like to watch the video I've embedded it below.

Are you a fan of Rixton?


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

As seen in - The Theory of Everything

I've waited so long to see this film and I finally got to watch it on Monday night. I worked on The Theory of Everything back in 2013 and it was released on 1st January 2015. I wanted to go and watch it the day it was released but for a reason I now can't remember I was unable to and then I just never got round to going to see it. I remember a time when the DVD of a film would take a year or two to be released but as they turn around so quickly now I decided to pre-order the DVD so I could watch it as soon as it was released on Monday.

I didn't know if I'd have made it into the final film as there's always the chance you'll be just out of camera shot, be stood behind somebody else or your scene might not even make it in at all. So I was delighted when I discovered that I did make it in and it's actually a pretty good shot of me. 

I'm sorry the picture isn't great, I had problems trying to screen shot from the film, but that's me sat in the middle visiting my 'mum'. The director spotted me stroking my 'mums' hand and set up a close up shot of our hands, but that wasn't used in the film in the end.

I really enjoyed the film and admit I did cry at least a couple of times. I think it's incredible that they told Stephen Hawking he only had two years to live and he's still with us now and in his 70s. I'm so pleased Eddie Redmayne won several awards for best actor as he did such an amazing job of playing him. I remember he had a lady with him while filming who told him exactly how to hold his hands, how to sit, where to put his head so his portrayal of Motor Neurone disease was as realistic as possible. This was the first major film I worked on and I'm so proud to have been a part of it.

Have you seen The Theory of Everything?