Saturday, 15 August 2015

M&S Extra High Impact Underwired Sports Bra Review

*Reposted from my #LiveHealthy with Emma blog - thought this would be helpful for all my followers who are interested in my sports bra review! 
Normal posts will resume next week!!*
I thought that I'd do a sports bra review for my most recent splurge that was a complete necessity for me. I went (and finally) bought a proper sports bra. For the past 2 months I had been running without one, and after realising that this was definitely not a phase, and it didn't end after a month I thought it was time to search around.

I felt so absolutely clueless, and the reviews on products didn't help either - I looked at other plus size bloggers who featured sports bra reviews, some said one was great, others said it was rubbish and I became so much more confused - so I forgot all about the blogger reviews; and I'm sort of glad I did, because just because one thing doesn't work for one person, it may work for someone else!

So I tried out good old M&S - I got my first proper bra from M&S, and I've had nearly all my bra fittings and measurements (I get a friend to do my modelling portfolio ones every 4 weeks now) done with M&S. I waltzed into the store where most the ladies who work in the lingerie department seem to recognise me and got remeasured. Bearing in mind since my modelling break which I took back in April I hadn't got my boobs measured in 3 months; taking into consideration I've lost weight and taken up a lot of fitness activities in that time there was bound to be a change. My boobs had gone from a 44C to a 42D/DD.

Photo by M&S
So I browsed the sports bra's; all looked great but none in stock were in my size so I went home and jumped on my laptop and carried on my research - I'd seen a close friend of mine had recently bought the Extra High Impact Underwired Sports Bra in black and she said she couldn't recommend it enough and it was only £25.

So I went to check the reviews and it was really 70/30 - some ladies thought it was amazing, others were left vastly disappointed - I just decided to bite the bullet, and decide for myself. Two days later and this beauty arrived.

I completely refrained from reviewing this right away - as I knew I loved the look of it but really had to completely test it out thoroughly - so I did!!

Before I summarise each little activity I did to test the bra I'm going to show you how it looks on me and the two possible ways you can wear this...
Straps in conventional wear
Above is the most conventional way of wearing the straps - the straps don't dig in on me at all and are super comfortable. I found for me the best way to run with these is to have the straps adjusted fully and as I run the bra straps will adjust to my boobs as I go along. Overall I find this super comfy to wear - I'm not a fully cup bra sort of person but obviously that's bound to change for sports bra's. The material is amazingly soft and comfortable too - as I ran along they didn't rub against my nipples which felt amazing compared to what I was having before I purchased this. 

Straps in the racer back wear
(P.s I know the strap is twisted!)
I'd definitely say that if you feel you aren't getting enough support from wearing the bra conventionally definitely try the racer back. This kept my boobs held down phenomenally and I didn't have too many issues with the bounce factor wearing the straps conventionally. Again, there was no chaffing on my nipples which was definitely an overall highlight for me when purchasing this bra - the comfort is unreal! I did find this incredibly difficult to put on in the racer back style - especially if you don't have someone (like a boyfriend, girlfriend or partner) to help you - my technique was to get the bra on without pulling the straps up, with the back at my front switch the straps round and then wriggle around enough to get it on... It worked but I was definitely super cautious when putting it on just in case!
I also really love the simple detailing on this bra. I chose for the magenta mix but you can also opt for the black bra which has neon green spots on. By the underarms there is a meshing type material to help with sweat and positioning also. The under wire sits below the boobs and cuts off at the side not going right up to the end of the cup. For me personally this works well and means there's no risk of the wire digging in when running or cycling. The bra is also non-padded and has added stretch for comfort.

For the past 2 weeks I've been running, cycling, doing jumping squats, sprinting - anything you can imagine that involves boob bounce. 

Activites Review
  • Running/Sprinting - So I mainly use the bra for running, I run several times a week so this was the main purpose of my purchase. For the all of my activities I tend to opt to wear the straps conventionally unless I have a bad back where I'll opt for the extra support of the racer. I had a whole lot of bounce before hand but since wearing this my boobs are pretty much supported and the bounce has completely reduced; I was sceptical at first, I was never expecting miracles to eradicate boob bounce but definitely wanted to reduce it to a bearable amount - before I was wearing 2 very old sports bras and one normal bra and had about 95% bounce it was uncomfortable and really really hurt my boobs and back after running. I'd say I only get about 20% boob bounce now, and that's generally when I'm running exceptionally fast down a hill or sprinting. 
  • Cycling - I did a trial cycle with my normal bra and I didn't realise how much boob shift I had when bobbing up and down a bumpy track. Thankfully when wearing this sports bra, the shift in my boobs was near on eradicated, it was comfortable and didn't feel like my boobs were sagging. More importantly for me, the underwire wasn't digging in under my rib cage like a normal bra. I often got marks and sores due to my bra digging in, especially when cycling but thankfully due to the lining and material thickness around the underwire it was comfortable.
  • Circuit Training - So I recently also took circuit training up (post will be up soon for some of my quick little circuits). I think the main two activities that tested my bra was doing the sprint mountain climbers and jumping squats. I did get a fair bit of bounce in my boobs, however, once my boobs had reached their highest bounce point the bra did help in supporting them down easier and they didn't 'crash' down and leave me in pain on my under bust. 
8.5/10 - I'd definitely recommend this bra for anyone who is a beginner at doing high intensity and high impact activities. I'd say if you were a long distance runner then maybe see what else may work for you (hard for me to comment as I only run a maximum of 3.5km). This definitely reduces a vast amount of my boob bounce and is a perfect comfortable fit for me when training. My only small downfalls are the difficulty of the racer back which can't really be improved as that will be an issue with any bra. For my 42D boobs this bra is attractive, comfortable and does the job perfectly for me!

My Size - 42D
Size Range - 34B - 42F (covers sizes B-G Cup sizes)
Machine Washable and Tumble Dry safe
Made from; 83% polyester, 11% elastane & 6% polyamide

*this post was not sponsored by Marks and Spencers and all products bought were purchased with my own money. I was not asked by the company to review this product.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

New Look Mini Haul

Don't forget to check out my Body Shape Interview over on the Das Rock Haus blog!


Today I came a bit unstuck for what to post, I have plans for other weeks, but this week I thought I haven't done a fashion post in ages (well one that isn't an OOTW). So I thought I'd share with you guys what I recently bought from New Look for some general wear & photoshoot wear.

1. Coral Ribbed Square Neck Midi Dress - £11
I've recently been liking more and more midi dresses as my figure and body have changed; and seeing as I had an brainstorm moment for a photoshoot for my return from my break I just had to get this! Over the past 6 months I've been falling in love with the colour pink - even so much as to dip dye my hair pink (only temporary till I start my new job in September!). I definitely loved the look of this dress, and I just hope it accentuates my curves as I've imagined it too!

2. Inspire 2 Pack Coral and Cream Lace Mesh Bra's - £19.99
When I got my new sports bra (review to come on this blog & my LiveHealthy blog) I got my boobs remeasured, and as I've lost weight, inevitably my boob size has changed. I've gone from a 44C to a 42D/DD - so I decided to just get some cheap bra's to see me over seeing as I'm far from finished on my diet. Again, I wanted something pink as this will go well with my photoshoot ideas!

3. Inspire 3 Pack Cream and Coral Lace Trim Briefs - £9.99
Not much of an explanation, other then I wanted matching pants with the bra's - although I did get a size 22 in the hope that my hips still fit that size because they didn't have any smaller sizes.

4. White Stripe Bralet - £6
I've been taking the plunge with crop tops more so lately, I had so many outfit ideas pop into my head when I saw this. So I just bit the bullet and got it - you never know! It may help with my body confidence more so!

Saturday, 1 August 2015

What's in my Cupboard? - Medical Box!

Today I'm going to be doing a post about my little medical box. This is just a box of a few essentials I use or need - I stock up these products when they get low.

This is mainly a picture post but it may be helpful for some people if they wish to have their own medical box and know what to put into it!

I keep a tube of Deepfreeze for when I do super intense workouts, I also have Deepheat but my dad is boring it at the moment.
I also keep some Thrush Cream, after my super bad time of having it (and having it misdiagnosed several times). Its really handy for the ladies, and I cannot recommend how helpful it is, especially having such horrible things like Thrush going on 'down there'.

I keep a tube of Sudocreme - I don't know anyone who doesn't really have Sudocreme about. Its helpful for so many things (and I sometimes use it when having bad spot outbreaks!)
I always keep a tin of Vaseline as well, its super handy. When I'm really poorly I get dry lips, especially when I had borderline pneumonia - its super handy and great for the odd other thing too you may need it for!

I always keep some tape, remember the days at school when you had to use this to cover your earrings? God I hated it! However I bought this for when I broke my toes last year and I've just had it since - I may need it for a bandage one day, who knows! Its good if you have no plasters too!
I have the obligatory tissues - you just have to have tissues!
I also have Olbas Oil which is a dream for when you have a cold! Add a few drops into boiling water, put your face over it and cover your head with a towel - it will seriously help you clear your airways!
And I have tweezers.. I wont forget when I had a thorn stuck in my foot and couldn't get it out. Tweezers are definitely good for more then just eyebrows!

A thermometer is a must - mine was a few pounds from Lloyds Pharmacy. You really need a thermometer if you don't have one!

Yes, another female product. I had super bad Cystitis at the same time as Thrush, and I've have had it a few times as well after that so it does come in handy to have.

I also have nurofen which I need to buy more of since having these constant headaches. Nurofen or Ibuprofen is something I always have in the house!

Plasters are amazing! I love these particular ones, although I do think they never stay on when you go in water, but I haven't found a plaster that has yet really! However these are very durable!

Anthisan is great for all them bites you get especially in the summer! Definitely an essential I always carry round with me!

Hope you enjoyed this and gave you a few ideas my lovelies!

Emma Victoria