How to Check for Breast Cancer – Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Last Post – Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Hi everyone! It’s breast cancer awareness month, and in this, the second post in my awareness month series, I will be talking about self-diagnosis.

This is potentially life-saving information, so listen up. The first step before we even start talking about self-examination is being aware.


Most of the changes in the picture above are noticeable by just standing in front of a mirror topless (and be honest with me, ladies, this is going to happen sometime in the next month anyway), and some don’t even need that. The key thing is to be aware that if you experience any of these things it may be worth looking into, and the philosophy of ‘it’s probably nothing’ will do more damage than good.

(NOW, I am not saying that if you wake up one morning and your boob is a bit achy then you should rush to the doctors. I know how some of you can be. Pay attention when the caption says ‘Constant pain’, but if you really do experience what it says, let your gut feeling reign. It’s so, SO much better to be safe than sorry.)

‘What should I do if I find a change?
Most breast changes are likely to be normal or due to a benign (not cancer) breast condition rather than being a sign of breast cancer. If you notice a change, go and see your GP (local doctor) as soon as you can.
If you don’t feel comfortable going to see a male GP you can ask if there is a female doctor available. When your GP examines your breasts they may feel that there is no need for further investigation, or they may refer you to a breast clinic.
For more information about what happens at a breast clinic and the tests you may have, see our relevant webpage or our Your breast clinic appointment booklet.
Some people think that if they have breast cancer they will have other symptoms alongside a breast change, such as feeling tired, having less energy or weight loss, but this is not the case. If you do notice a change it’s important to visit your GP.’ Breast Cancer Care



Adult women of all ages (and states of pregnancy) are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month. Johns Hopkins Medical center states,

“Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.”

Mammograms can help you to detect cancer before you can feel a lump, but breast self-exams help you to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can alert your healthcare professional if there are any changes, for example those in the picture above.

‘Use the finger pads of the 3 middle fingers on your left hand to feel for lumps in the right breast. Use overlapping dime-sized circular motions of the finger pads to feel the breast tissue.
Use 3 different levels of pressure to feel all the breast tissue. Light pressure is needed to feel the tissue closest to the skin; medium pressure to feel a little deeper; and firm pressure to feel the tissue closest to the chest and ribs. It is normal to feel a firm ridge in the lower curve of each breast, but you should tell your doctor if you feel anything else out of the ordinary. If you’re not sure how hard to press, talk with your doctor or nurse. Use each pressure level to feel the breast tissue before moving on to the next spot.
Move around the breast in an up and down pattern starting at an imaginary line drawn straight down your side from the underarm and moving across the breast to the middle of the chest bone (sternum or breastbone). Be sure to check the entire breast area going down until you feel only ribs and up to the neck or collar bone (clavicle).
There is some evidence to suggest that the up-and-down pattern (sometimes called the vertical pattern) is the most effective pattern for covering the entire breast without missing any breast tissue.
Repeat the exam on your left breast, putting your left arm behind your head and using the finger pads of your right hand to do the exam.
While standing in front of a mirror with your hands pressing firmly down on your hips, look at your breasts for any changes of size, shape, contour, or dimpling, or redness or scaliness of the nipple or breast skin. (The pressing down on the hips position contracts the chest wall muscles and enhances any breast changes.)
Examine each underarm while sitting up or standing and with your arm only slightly raised so you can easily feel in this area. Raising your arm straight up tightens the tissue in this area and makes it harder to examine.
This procedure for doing breast self-exam is different from previous recommendations. These changes represent an extensive review of the medical literature and input from an expert advisory group. There is evidence that this position (lying down), the area felt, pattern of coverage of the breast, and use of different amounts of pressure increase a woman’s ability to find abnormal areas.’

sasha hope

There are many different methods of self-examination. The one I have chosen is the most specific, detailed and evidentially supported method I can find, but if you want to be more informed on the subject you can easily look up different ways and you will be provided with a flurry of options.

You can perform a breast self-examination in many different ways. Lying down was recommended as the most effective way to arrange yourself, by the site and method mentioned above. However different women prefer doing it in different ways and each has it’s own benefits, so if you really aren’t comfortable lying down other options include in front of a mirror (therefore allowing you to visually inspect your breasts) and in the shower, as many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery.

Essentially, follow this breast-list (that was the most terrible fail of a pun I have ever come up with. You can’t even tell it’s a pun can you)



And remember it’s breast cancer awareness month, so check out my last post for all the ways you can get involved this October.

Thank you so much for reading :)

Love from,


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P.S. You may have noticed has gone pink! This was originally in recognition of awareness month, but I like it so much I might just keep it. What do you think?

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

sasha hope

October is breast cancer awareness month and it’s something I believe we should all be very aware of, so I’m doing my bit to spread the word, promote awareness and hopefully encourage people to take a better look. There will be a lot of breast cancer awareness-themed posts coming your way this October, so stick around because some of the things I am going to share are very close to my heart.

Every year nearly 55,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK, that’s the equivalent of one person every 10 minutes.

1 in 8 women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.


Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in women in the UK.
Nearly 12,000 people die from breast cancer in the UK every year.

Breast cancer also affects men, but it’s rare

4872– around 400 men are diagnosed each year.

The three main risk factors are:

1. Gender – being a woman is the biggest risk factor for developing breast cancer.

2. Getting older – the older the person the higher the risk, more than 80% of breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50. Most men who get breast cancer are over 60.

3. Significant family history – this isn’t common, around 5% of people diagnosed with breast cancer have inherited a faulty BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.

More than eight out of 10 (85%) people survive breast cancer beyond five years.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY – Become a part of breast cancer awareness month and support the cause.

Breast Cancer Care:

Every Friday
Pink Friday

Liven up your Friday afternoon by organising a fun pink activity at work, school or home!

October 28
Tour de Law

Breast Cancer Care is challenging law firms to race from Leeds to the Louvre – all from the comfort of their own office!

QVC: Be aware show you care

Tune into QVC’s programme in aid of Breast Cancer Care from 6-9pm.

November 12
The Show Scotland

21 women and one man from Scotland, who have all had a breast cancer diagnosis, make their debut on the catwalk at the Radisson Blu in Glasgow.

All year
Sporting events

Why not sign up to run, walk, cycle, swim or trek for Breast Cancer Care?

Wear It Pink:

24 October

Finally! A charity event that won’t leave you on the run from the fashion police. Your passion for pink will fund research, develop new treatments and save lives.

‘Get ready to bin the beige and wear it pink

With 1000 women still dying from breast cancer in the UK every month, the fight isn’t over. It’s now easier than ever before to take part – look good by wearing the latest pink trends with your friends, family, school or colleagues. And do good by raising money to find the cures for breast cancer.

Sign up now for your exclusive guide to wear it pink. A fabulous fusion of fashion inspiration and fantastic fundraising ideas.

Packed full of tips and everything you need for your pink event.

Sign up now, wait for your pack to arrive and get planning! If you need some help or you’d like to tell us about your plans, please get in touch. Or keep up to date by following us on Facebook and Twitter.


Whatever you decide to do, whichever charity you decide to support, remember it’s all going to the same cause.

Breast cancer is supported all year round, but I think this month is really asking us to look closely at where our money, time or energy really goes. So take five or ten minutes, and have a good Google. There are some truly inspirational stories out there.

Next post: How to check for breast cancer

Thank you so much for reading :)

Love from,


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P.S. You may have noticed has gone pink! This was originally in recognition of awareness month, but I like it so much I might just keep it. What do you think?

NOTD#3 – Lavender Cake

I love nail polish. I love NOTDs. And I love love love this colour.

NOTD Barry M NOTD Prickly Pear Lavender Cake

This is one of my most worn nail polishes, and for good reason. The Barry M nail paints are probably my favourite (even without the beautifully low prices) as almost all of the ones I’ve tried have truly outshone all others. The ‘Gelly Hi-Shine’ formula is perfect; completely opaque colour in 2-3 strokes (sometimes even a single), long-wearing, precise, beautiful colours and a shine that mirrors the best of gel polishes. The colour comes out exactly as it looks in the bottle (which isn’t the case with all brands, I can tell you) which is just fabulous as the colour in the bottle is woww-ee. Shop the range here.

I adore pastel colours and lavender in particular. I have called this NOTD ‘Lavender Cake’ because the colour is technically lavender but it’s so sweet and sugary it reminds me of a birthday cake. The colour it says on the packet is actually Prickly Pear 330.

It is also known that men love all things floral on women, and lavender is one colour that can be very endearing. Earth tones can’t fail and this colour makes any outfit pop.

Not a fan of Barry M? Here are some other options for you cheeky picky lot…(click on image to shop)

18745_1403189311_main 3675584 image1xl (1) image1xl

Thank you so much for reading x

Love from,


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potw#1 (Malin+Goetz) mojito lip balm

For my a’first (don’t even know what I was trying to do there) ‘potw’ (product of the week) post I wanted do do something extra special. I absolutely love potw posts on other blogs so I thought maybe others would love seeing them on my blog. I love them because it really shows me that the person writing the content uses the product a lot and prizes it above other products, because everyone can review various stuffies but when you see a pile up of good marks you have no idea which one is superior. And you can’t just go and buy all of them can you! Well, I can. But I can buy just about anything. Hell, I’d buy a fish slapping device if it was on sale.

malin and goetz mojito

This is definitely a post about something special. I bought this product in one of my many hauls (I won’t lie, I bought it simply because it was mojito flavoured and that sounded awesome. And obviously if I see a lip balm within 20 metres of a till then those two things are both going to have a meeting with my debit card. Every single time) and I was quite apprehensive as I had never tried anything from Malin+Goetz, although I must say I love their unique packaging. Why do they have brackets? No one knows. Does it look super cool? Uh yes.


Well, I can certainly understand their claim to ‘protection’. This gel-turned-balm is so darn thick that ain’t nothing getting through it. It locks everything out and creates a barrier between my lips and the outside world. Even when I lick my lips, my tongue just slides straight over the top. This makes it extraordinarily long-wearing (more than anything else I’ve ever tried) and very practical.

It is also multi-functional, as it can be layered up from a thin slick of balm to a glorious, glamorous, glossy thickness that mirrors the best of lip glosses with the properties of a balm. And it makes lips look overweight mammoth HUMONGOUS. Unfortunately, a little side effect is that I always use a very thick coating in order to achieve this effect, meaning the little tube isn’t lasting me as long as I’d like or expect it to.

I didn’t notice this when I bought it but it says to apply it for dry, irritated lips, which I often suffer from (oh the horror) as a result of an overload of chemicals from unnatural lip balms, glosses and sticks. In the past I have turned to my trusty Carmex to counteract the irritation and soothe my burning lips. I haven’t tried this one out in that situation yet but I’m excited to see if it can do the same job.

Now, you didn’t think I’d forgotten the flavour had you?! I didn’t know if I’d like it as I’m not much of an alcohol drinker (one real mojito would cause my face and the floor to have a very close relationship) but I’m so glad I absolutely love it to bits. As soon as you twist off the lid you get hit by a sugary, tangy eroma that gives your saliva glands a little wake up call. When you lick your lips however, the taste is very subtle.

This is such a fantastic product and it is very deserving of the ‘product of the week’ title. I cannot praise it enough and it is totally worth £10 here. Well done (MALIN+GOETZ)!

Thank you so much for reading :)

Love from,


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Grab That Trend! #3 – Coloured Winged Eyeliner

It’s that time again, I hope you’re ready to look a/w ’14 fabulous. This time I thought I’d focus on a beauty trend present on the catwalks, and I chose the classic winged eyeliner…colourified. One example of this striking catwalk stormer was at Kenzo, PFW where MUA Aaron de Mey used MAC to give models 50s inspired sharp flicks in bright, deep blue:


And here, at Paul Smith, the (vague) liner rulebook is stamped upon as a pretty dash of colour elevates the eyes with a plum liner on the crease, I repeat, crease. The world will presently implode, I’m sure:

Now here’s how you can look fit for the catwalk this winter (suitable for all price ranges):

eyeliner trend

1. MAC Cosmetics Chromagraphic Pencil in Genuine Orange- £14

2. MAC Cosmetics Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Forever Green  – £14

3. Maybelline Master Kajal Kohl Liner – £5.99

4. Dior Addict IT-Line in IT-Pink – £24.50

5. Estee Lauder Automatic Eye Pencil Duo in Hyacinth Sky – £19

6. Sleek Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in Bright Blue – £1.99

7. Chanel Le Crayon Yeux Precision Eye Definer in Berry – £17

Hope you enjoyed this post :)

Love from,


Guest Post – Beauty Benefits of Honey

Hello everyone! My name is Kiara Catanzaro and I’m the 20-year-old beauty, fashion and fitness blogger behind the site Blissfully Brunette! I hope to share my love of life with you through my blog. Writing is a large part of my life, but if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. Needless to say, I don’t work.

My love for writing began at a young age as well as my love for helping others. Giving advice and tips regarding beauty, fashion and fitness is something I hope to continue after college.

I’m a senior journalism and mass communication major and Spanish minor at St. Bonaventure University located in New York. I will begin my Mater’s in Integrated Marketing Communications program this semester, which I will complete next May.

That’s enough about me. Let’s talk about what you need to know about the beauty benefits of honey. Honey is an all-natural product that can be used for many purposes. Here is a list of my go-to uses for honey.



  1. Moisturizer: Honey has both soothing and hydrating properties, which makes it easy to keep your skin glowing throughout the year. Use honey in a DIY facemask one a week and see results immediately.
  1. Acne Treatment: Honey also has acne-fighting agents in it. All you need is to apply raw honey to the affected area, let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse off. For those with consistent acne, use this treatment twice a week.
  1. Hair Treatment: Your hair can easily benefit from the soothing, hydrating and softening properties from honey. Mix honey with olive oil and coat your hair evenly (focus mainly on your ends) and rinse off after 20 to 30 minutes.
  1. Anti-aging serum: Rich in antioxidants, honey can also prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging. You’ll prolong your glowing skin than others. Get your shine on!
  1. Lip scrub: Hydrated lips are a must-have for the fall and winter. Honey will be your best friend along with sugar and lemon juice. Combine the three ingredients together, apply on your lips, and exfoliate for five minutes. Repeat each night.
  1. Remove dark circles: Do you suffer from stubborn under-eye circles? Treat this problem by combining raw honey and almond oil and applying it under your eyes. Leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing off. Repeat twice a week.
  1. Nail treatment: Your nails need some loving, too! Raw honey and your favorite essential oil (I recommend almond). This will create a cuticle treatment that will leave your nails soft and hydrated.

I love that honey is an inexpensive product we all have but might not use for all these purposes. One jar of honey can give you enough beauty treatments for the year. What is your favorite beauty treatment using honey? If you have a beauty DIY recipe, make sure to leave it below!

Reading…Anyone Else Miss It?


I love books. I love the world that you escape to, the characters you love and the ones you don’t, the beauty of long descriptive paragraphs and, most importantly, the escapism that comes hand in hand with reading. I find that reading is so much more effective than watching TV, in this way, because although you watch a different world on TV you are but watching. In a book, you are there. You are inside the world, sometimes inside the character, you feel their feels, think their thoughts and suffer their pain. The description of the world is so vivid that your mind (and indeed soul) cannot help but sink into it. With TV, you may only see the world and hear the voices. The difference is undeniable.

When I was younger, I was a total bookworm. Whenever the teachers could manage to forcibly remove me from the safety and comfortable warmth of the school building, I would sit in the courtyard and read silently, no matter how many of my friends annoyingly interrupted me. I was that kinda kid. I read book after book after book, never stopping, never repeating. I could never understand why my sister would read the same books time and time again, when, as I attempted to explain to her, there were and are so many exciting and beautiful new books to be discovered. She would tell me that she liked her books and carry on.

Now, almost everything has changed. My love for books will never die but the time and effort I’m willing to put into the has spluttered and died along with the excitement and zest to read I once had. Sometimes I think it’s because I’ve already read all the good ones. One of my guilty pleasures is reading again one of my pre-teen book loves, such as The Princess Diaries (those books were my life) or anything by Meg Cabot (Airhead is the best), and I still get such a kick out of them even though I know what’s going to happen. Also the laughs never fade! I understand what my sister used to do a lot more now.

I have decided that if I read anything now it’s going to be the Classics because everybody seems to like them and they’ll probably benefit me some day. I took out The Great Gatsby from the library at the beginning of summer, because, let’s be honest, it was small. I thought it would be fairly easy for me to finish it by autumn.

I have so far read ten pages.

I have also lost the book.

The library wants it back now (let’s hope I find it when I tidy my room) and I feel like I’ve been a really big disappointment to myself for not reading it. I quite liked to say that ‘I don’t have time’, but then I caught myself watching episodes of Cybill on YouTube that I’d already seen countless times, and I realised that time wasn’t the real problem.

The real problem is that I am no longer willing to give something in order to get something back. Instead I can just click a couple times, open my eyes in front of the screen and BOOM. Instant. It doesn’t matter that it’s not even half of the experience a book can give me.

Even when I’m sick of watching reruns or shows I couldn’t care less about just to pass the time, I still won’t pick up my book. Why? Because I think that watching pointless shows will bring me more joy than the book will. Now, this may or may not be the case. The joy a specific book will give me is indeterminable. What remains painfully clear is that reading will take effort (to think about what’s going on, the language, etc.) whereas reruns will definitely not. Your brain activity drops to a level lower than sleep while watching TV. And that is the appeal.

Does anyone else miss reading? Please leave a comment telling me how you feel, or if you still read on a regular basis (I salute and admire you).

Thanks loads,


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…Yup. I did another one.

Haul Haul

As many of you know, I already have an overflowing collection of nail polishes and lip balms and have attempted and failed to ban myself from purchasing more. But…mojito flavour lip balm though. How could anybody resist mojito flavour?? And it has cool sciency words on the packet. Honestly, I had no choice.

Lord & Berry eyeliner

This exciting purchase from Lord & Berry (never heard of them but sounds prestigious) is an eyeliner in the colour #720 ‘Sand’, and it was recommended for use on the waterline to make eye appear bigger and more awake. Helps that its smudgeproof and waterproof then doesn’t it. It really is a scrumptious colour but I’m not sure about the shimmer and how well that’ll work with the recommendation… We’ll see won’t we!

anatomicals puffy the eye bag slayer


I so don’t need a revitalising eye mask. Never have.

But the name!! The Buffy reference! I had to buy it I just had to.

It shall sit on my shelf, and provide a source of amusement for me and anyone else who has lived the Buffy life.

Oriflame mascara

I already had five mascaras that I’m really happy with. Now I have this one too. God I love spending

WELL that was fun. This post was admittedly a bit of a ramble but ‘whatevs’, as they say.

See you soon,


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Grab That Trend! #2 – Snakeskin

Hello you! In the second instalment of utmost trendiness I bring to you snakeskin, a trend that we see constantly walking down the catwalks that seems to be in-and-out of season (which makes this a great value buy – it won’t just serve you this season, oh no, you can be sure of it’s imminent return).

Snakeskin evokes a sense of power and control; subtly guiding us back to the times when men on horses went shooting, and majestically wore the hide of whatever fuzzy thing they killed. Pairing snakeskin boots with a tweed jacket like this one from Joules will propel you right back into the golden age of pitiless sophistication.

But snakeskin doesn’t have to make you look like a posh totty. Give wardrobe basics a fresh new vibe, or add a bite to standard blocked colours with even just a slither of python print. Step out of the shadows and grab everybody’s attention, with the instant confidence and self-assurance that comes with wearing snakeskin. Trust me, it’s more alluring than even the shortest of skirts.

But snakeskin can also be understated. Wear a soft, translucent, silky snakeskin shirt to make the softness of silk and hardness of snakeskin work together. Also, who can deny that silk is irresistable.

Snakeskin is a wonderful advocate as it is so diverse – I’ve shown you power, allure, sophistication, understatement and more – and it’s simply effortless. You can wear snakeskin boots with anything, and each and every choice will show a different side of your personality (or someone else’s, depending on what you’re doing that day). Go, I say, and embrace the twisting reptile!



1. Christopher Kane Snake-print cotton-fleece track pants // 2. Lanvin Elaphe and cobra tote // 3. Altuzarra for Target Python-print stretch-cotton twill pencil skirt // 4. Kotur James frilled elaphe clutch // 5. Thakoon Addiction Snake-effect and leather platform sandals // 6. Topshop Textured snakeskin culottes // 7. Christopher Kane Snake-print canvas and silk-satin dress // 8. Chloe Camille medium python and leather shoulder bag // 9. Heidi Klein Zambia reverse printed triangle bikini // 10. Pierre Hardy Dégradé elaphe and printed leather ankle boots // 11. Simone Rocha Snake-effect leather mini dress // 12. Marc by Marc Jacobs Snake heart printed Samsung Galaxy S4 cover // 13. Topshop Snakeskin printed skinny trousers by Rare

Love from,


P.S., How did you like this Grab That Trend as oppose to the last one? Please let me know in the comments as it would really help me out.

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Scented Candle Wishlist

Bonjour everyone! I love a good scented candle, in fact who doesn’t love a good scented candle?! I think they’re a fab invention (respect goes out to that inventor, we all owe them a lot) and I’ve been doing a bit of the ol’ wishing lately! Here comes the wishy list…

scented candles

YANKEE: 2. Salted Caramel // 3. Vanilla Lime // 5. White Gardenia // 8. Christmas Cookie // 9. Sicilian Lemon

BATH AND BODY WORKS: 1. Snap Peas // 6. Vanilla Coconut // 10. Sea Salt & Maple Popcorn // 11. Vanilla Chai // 12. Pumpkin Caramel Latte

NEOM: 7. Tranquility


Love from,


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