I love the excitement that comes from buying new things probably way more than I should. And whilst feeling a little sad about having to return to university after a long christmas break the other week, I decided one of the only things to do that would lift my mood was to treat myself to some new beauty products. There was a few new bits that I wanted to try, plus a few things that caught my eye whilst I was browsing the shops.
If you haven't guessed already, I have a bit of an addiction with lip products and they are by far my favourite item. Since NYX has recently become more available (Boots, Selfridges, Feel Unique, Very), I picked up the Soft Matte Lip Creams in 'Antwerp' (mid-toned pink) and 'Prague' (dark raspberry). For years beauty bloggers have raved about their products, and after trying some of their nail varnishes a couple of years ago I was left extremely disappointed. One of the most talked about makeup products by far are the lip products, so I picked them up hoping they'd be a lot better than the nail varnishes. I'm pleased to report that they are miles better, and they are fast becoming a staple product. Not only are they cheap as chips, but the formula is really impressive as well. They have a matte finish like the name would suggest, but they aren't as matte as I thought they would be. They look matte, but they feel so creamy (hence the name lip cream duurrrrrr) and provide long lasting colour!
Again with the lip products, for months I have been searching for the Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in 'Eastend Snob', and it always seems to be sold out everywhere. But whilst in Boots, I spotted 1! It was the last one and was mixed in with another shade, so I was extremely happy when I finally got my hands on it! It is a gorgeous shade of warm pink, and I know a lot of people use it as more of lipstick instead of as a lip liner, and I had been dying to try it out. The shade is gorgeous, and looks beautiful by itself and when paired with a lipstick. I've been enjoying wearing it all over the lip and underneath my Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks.
Whilst I was breaking the bank in Leeds, my sister texted me asking her to get a couple of things from The Body Shop. Whilst I was in there I noticed there was a 3 for 2 offer on, so I cheekily picked up the Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil. I've been looking at buying a few different face oils, and after receiving the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate at Christmas, I have been searching high and low for some alternatives. I tried the Body Shop one the same day of purchasing and I have fallen head over heels with it! I applied it underneath the Origins Calm To Your Senses overnight face mask (can you do that?) and my skin looking ahmazing when I woke up! It looked so refreshed, calm and hydrated! On days where I haven't used an overnight face mask, I have been using the Vichy Idealia Skin Sleep Night Cream. I've never tried anything from Vichy before, but I received a mini sample in with a bit of shopping and I loved it! It is quite a thin formula, quite like a lotion. and like nothing I have ever tried before. It is targeted at tired looking skin as it includes caffeine to reduce signs of fatigue to reveal a fresh, radiant complexion.
Bought anything nice recently? Thanks for reading!
I know that I am extrememly late to the game writing about this now, but it's very rare that a book affects my life and I felt as though I needed to talk about the two that have made a big impact on me. Over Christmas I read Marie Kondo's 'The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying' and it has honestly changed my life. Literally on the day I finished reading the book, I happened to notice that there was a second book coming out (called 'Sparks Joy') and I pre-ordered it without a second thought. As with any self-help style book, there were obviously a few points that I will probably never put into practice (like tidying in silence - NO MARIE I have a dedicated Spotify playlist for that!). I'd not even read half of the book and I felt inspired to have a massive clearout! So I thought I'd share with you what I took away from the book....
1. Marie likes tidying A LOT. I'd even go as far to say she loves tidying more than anyone else. I also think she is a little crazy as she mentions that she speaks to her house on a daily basis...
2. Tidying is catching. Marie mentions that when you see someone else tidying, you feel compelled to start too. Since reading the book and having my own clearout, my family saw how clean and tidy my bedroom looked and they started work on their own. At the time of writing this post, my mum has already got rid of two thirds of her wardrobe (including some very dodgy pieces from the 90s).
3. Marie mentioned that the average number of bin bags that her clients get rid of in a single day is 20. TWENTY. At first I was like 'woaaaaah who gets rid of that much stuff??', but when the first of January rolled around I managed to get rid of 21 bin bags of stuff. Including 7 bags from my wardrobe alone!!
4. I was shocked when Marie said that downgrading pieces of clothing from your wardrobe to loungewear status is forbidden. I'm incredibly guilty of this, and I have clothes that I got when I was like 13/14 that I didn't wear but didn't really want to get rid of either. After taking a long hard look through my wardrobe, I realised that I didn't even wear these clothes round the house - so I knew I had to get rid of them! In the end I got rid of almost 50 items of clothing, and yesterday they went into the Tickled Pink Breast Cancer donation bin at my local supermarket!
5. Obviously being a beauty blogger, I am lucky enough to be sent products for trial and review. There are odd products that I really don't get on with, and they sit in a basket in the corner of my room collecting dust. But not having bought them with my own money I feel quite guilty throwing them away. Usually my sister will have a raid through to see if there is anything she fancies trying - but this time she only picked out a foundation. So that meant everything else went in the bin, along side some out of date makeup products and skincare items!
6. I don't really consider myself a hoarder as I have seen hoarding first hand with my own eyes. But whilst sorting through all my possessions, I realised that there was a lot of items that I was holding onto purely for sentimental reasons - not because I liked/needed/wanted them. For example, on top of my wardrobe I had a large box containing every single card I have ever receivedover the last 19-20 years. Birthday, Christmas, Christening, Easter, Thank You, Good Luck, Congratulations, Get Well Soon - THE LOT! After taking a few moments to look through well over 1000 cards, I realised that I had no use for them. I never take the time to sit and look through them, and so would I really notice if they went? The answer is no. It's been almost a month since they went out for recycling and to be completely honest I don't regret my decision in the slightest.
7. Repeated mentions are made about the lack of clients that relapse into untidiness. To my utmost surprise, NOBODY has ever become untidy again. I was certain that I was going to be the one and only person to relapse, but my bedroom has been tidy since my clearout - which is unheard of for me. Usually it will last until the end of the week - but it still looks spotless. Because I got rid of so much stuff, I know have a dedicated place for everything - which makes me want to put it away after using it!
8. The book is centered around the idea of each item 'sparking joy'. If an item doesn't give you pleasure when you see or use it, then it is time for it to go. I found this such a good way of deciding whether or not I wanted to keep something, and I haven't found myself needing or regretting anything that I got rid of.
Have you read Marie's books, or are you planning to have a clearout soon?
Something a little bit different for you all today. But I found myself very reflective recently, which isn't entirely unusual for me. But in recent weeks my attention has been around my blog. I've been blogging here for over a year and a half now and during that time I have had a lot of shocks and surprises! So here we are - the things nobody tells you when you first start out in the blogging industry:
If you go to a blog event, everyone is awkward. It's just the way it is. You aren't the only one that feels all nervous and shy! But you can literally talk about anything. Instagram, cats, food, blogging, makeup, shoes - ANYTHING! And don't worry, none of the bloggers I've met (well the ones I've met anyway) turned out to be axe murders or catfish.
You will never be completely happy with your blog. Whether its the amount of reads your latest posts get, your blog design or simply the number of followers you have. There will always be something you don't like or wish you could improve. In many cases there are things you can do to help. For example, if your blog isn't getting readership - share your posts on social media more. Plug yourself like crazy. It takes a lot of time and effort, but the results are worth it!
You will get some strange PR requests. And I mean strange. Oh you want me to talk about mens underwear on a blog targeted at women? You want me to share an outfit idea for a stripper in Las Vegas? OK. I'll definitely reply to your email straight away. (NOT!) These are genuine requests I have been sent too!
Coding is incredibly hard and you will probably end up paying someone to design your blog for you and maybe even install it for you. Even if you try googling how to do something, chances are you won't understand ANY of the results that come up.
Every single time another blog with a similar amount of followers gets asked to go to an exclusive event or gets their hands on the latest beauty releases. You will get incredibly jealous. Like is my blog not good enough for you?
Some free blogger samples are not worth the amount of effort it takes to get them. You've taken two months to send me the products but you want me to write a post about them and mention them on my social media 272678976 times in 24 hours? Goodbye.
When you finally get to meet a blogger in real life who you have been talking to on pretty much a daily basis, you will be shocked when words come out of their mouths. And their voice sounds completely different from how you imagined.
Buy a domain name from the start if you are wanting to buy one. Otherwise old followers or readers won't be able to find you if you spontaneously decide to purchase one at 4am on a Thursday morning.
You'll run out of mobile data on a regular basis. Refreshing the Bloglovin' Popular page to see if you've 'made it', tweeting every blogger in the world, and uploading that Instagram of your latest buys or your delicious lunch will lead you to run out of data and will take away those precious pennies that could be better spent on something else.
And that's the end of my list! Anything I've missed? Share it below!
Just before Christmas, Magnitone kindly sent me the new Full Monty Skincare Brush* to try out. I've secretly wanted either a Clarisonic or a Magnitone cleansing brush for years, and so I got rather excited when the email pinged into my inbox! I did briefly talk about it in my winter skincare routine post, however today I'm going to do a more in-depth review after using it regularly for a couple of months! The Full Monty is described as 'the ultimate multi-tasker' as it can be used in various different ways. Magnitone claim that you can see instant results from the first use, and I just want to say I straight up agree with that. After the first use my skin felt so smooth and my serums and creams sank into my skin so easily. The brush is designed to give your body a full workout. Not an alternative to exercise, but it is meant to make your skin look more toned, with a healthy glow. And do you want to know the best part? It is suitable for every type of skin.
As my skin adjusted to the 'new, deeper method of cleansing' I experienced a bit of a breakout, but it was warned it could happen in the instruction manual so there was nothing unexpected there. A bit worried at first, I carried on using it and blemishes quickly disappeared to reveal clearer, glowing skin. The brush has three different modes for the face alone, and can be used on 'sensitive cleanse', 'daily cleanse' and 'tone. I've tried all three modes, but I tend to use the brush in the evening to thoroughly take off my makeup with the 'daily cleanse' setting. Some people have said that they use it twice a day, and personally I think that it is gentle enough to do so, but I prefer to use it either in the morning or evening. I've found that with everyday use, any patches of dry skin disappear and my makeup goes on a lot smoother. Which is obviously nice!
With the different brush attachments it cleanses, tones and exfoliates for gorgeous skin from head to toe! I've tried all three attachments and I'm extrememly impressed with the results each gives. The brush has a built in 20 second timer so your entire face can be cleansed in just 60 seconds! At first I was incredibly stupid thinking it would beep 5 times (once for nose, once for each cheek, etc.), but then I realised that there are only 3 lots of 20 seconds in a minute and then I started to divide my face into three. After only a minute of use, my skin feels incredibly clean and I can definitely tell when I've not used the brush (like when I've forgotten to charge it up). The feet attachment, is my second favourite after the facial brush as it is really good at giving you soft, baby-like feet.
Magnitone do recommend that you replace brush heads every 3 months so bacteria doesn't build up on the bristles, however I think you could go a little bit longer between changing for the feet and body attachments. I highly recommend trying one of their brushes out for yourself as my skin has been a lot clearer and radiant! It retails at £130, so isn't cheap - but I honestly think the results are worth it!
Have you ever tried a cleansing brush - what were your thoughts?
Over the last two or so years I have experienced a lot of changes in my life. I've started university, created a blog, had some of my bestest friends move away to other cities, and generally just had my life crumble around me. And although mentally I feel absolutely fine with all this, my body has decided that life is getting too much for me to handle. I've had a constant eye twitch that has lasted the best part of 6 months, what I can only describe as morning sickness on pretty much a daily basis (without being pregnant obvs), full on mental breakdowns (which my lovely uni friends were kind enough to help me get over), and a short snappy temper that can emerge at any given time. Although one of my new year's resolutions was to make more time for myself, I haven't seen any reduction to my stress levels despite working so hard to reduce them. I've tried apps to reduce anxiety, colouring books, relaxing music, reading, meditation, yoga... - everything I could possible think of! I know we aren't that far into the year, and I have seen myself feeling a bit more relaxed over the last couple of weeks, so I will continue to dedicate that little bit of time for myself everyday.
Although I don't actually feel stressed or anxious, and I have absolutely no reason to be as I have no assignments or deadlines to meet or anything. But being a psychology undergraduate, I know how detrimental stress can be to your health (I'm taking death here people), and I'm really starting to worry about my general health and wellbeing. And I'm not being a hypochondriac, I am seriously worried. Obviously I have to put myself first over everything, so under the circumstances I have decided to take a month or so off from blogging (and a few other things) in the hopes that my body can relax. This doesn't mean that no blog posts will go up; I will try and get plenty scheduled so I am still here whilst not really being here if that makes sense? And at the end of the day, I started blogging as a hobby, and at this moment in time I need to focus on myself rather than worrying about getting posts up on time.
So until further notice, I am out of office... Dreaming of a holiday in the Caribbean, and cocktails on tap. Fingers crossed posts will go up as normal - but my blog comments, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. will be pretty much abandoned (sorry!). I'll let you know when I'm back in business, and I hope a break will hit the refresh button and bring with it lots of fresh ideas for content.
Apologies for abandoning you - I hope you understand!
It is no secret that I am a massive lover of Charlotte Tilbury products. Everything about her products just screams luxury. One particular evening in November, I was searching the internet for Christmas gift ideas for one or two friends and for some reason or another, I ended up on the Charlotte Tilbury website. I was eying various products up, popping them into my basket for future reference. Then whoops. I slipped and fell on my keyboard - resulting in this very expensive treat. Now I'm all for treating myself (and you guys probably know it), but this was ridiculous even by my standards. I honestly spent about an hour hovering over the 'checkout' button, and I'm still asking myself why I did it. But nevertheless! It's done now, and I can't go back even if I wanted to (well I could have returned it but what's the fun in that?). When it arrived, I told myself I wasn't going to open it - and for once, I stuck to my guns! I wrapped it up all fancy and hid it on top of my wardrobe to be opened as a big little treat on Christmas Eve. Obviously, having ordered it over a month prior to opening it, I couldn't exactly remember what I'd ordered. So unwrapping it felt like such a treat (even if it was a slightly guilty one)! Plus I got to wear lots of sparkly new products on Christmas Day!
First up, I ordered the Matte Revolution Lipstick in 'Love Liberty' (£23). I have a fair few red lipsticks in my lipstick collection, but this is a little different from my usual go-to reds. I did write a post talking about the red lipsticks I might wear on Christmas day, but in the end I opted for this one as it looked so gorgeous! I love the formula of the Matte Revolution lipsticks as they have such incredible staying power and are perfect when you are going to be eating a meal. Keeping on with the lipstick train, I also ordered the K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in 'Bitch Perfect' (£23), after Rhianna (from Robowecop) wouldn't shut up about it on her social media. I've only tried this on a couple of times as of yet, but it is the perfect everyday pink-nude! I'd not tried any of the K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipsticks before, but I knew that if it was anything like her other lipsticks I just knew I would love it!
I got the lipstick in a lip and cheek kit alongside the Chic to Chic Blush in 'Love Glow' (£30) which is a perfect berry-pink toned blush. The Chic to Chic blushes each have two different shades so you can 'swish and pop' as Charlotte calls it. You swirl your brush round the outside of the pan and blend it onto the apples of your cheeks, and then you finish off my dabbing your brush into the centre of the pan and dot the darker shade on the high points of your cheeks. Alongside the slightly shimmery formula, the two shades of blush give incredible depth to the face and make you look so much more awake! With my order I also got a free travel sized sample of the Wonderglow Primer (Full size is £38.50), which goes perfectly with the blush! Charlotte Tilbury has suggested many ways to make use of this product, and my favourite is to use it on my cheekbones, browbone, and my cupid's bow as a highlighter. You can also use it under or mixed with your foundation to create gorgeous glowing skin!
Onto eyes, the main product I wanted to order was the Colour Coded Eyeshadow Palette in 'The Vintage Vamp' (£38). I have the Dolce Vita palette and loving wearing it on a regular basis, but I had been eying this one up to alternate with. The shadows are so rich and creamy, with intense pigments and blendability. I have been enjoying teaming it with the Full Fat Lashes 5 Star Mascara (£22) as the pair compliment each other perfectly. The mascara gives wonderful curl, volume and length to the lashes, and I have been wearing it every time I've left the house! On Christmas day, I wore them both with the Rock n Kohl eye pencil in 'Barbarella Brown', which was the perfect dream team! Continuing with eyes, another duo that made it into my shopping basket was the Nocturnal Cat Eyes To Hypnotise (£29) set featuring the Rock n Kohl eye pencil in 'Amber Moon' and the Nocturnal Cat Eyeshadow in 'The Huntress'. Both together look incredible and you can create a gorgeous smokey bronze cat-eye look.
Have you treated yourself to any new makeup recently?
My eyelashes are alright. They are pretty long, dark and are naturally slightly curled. And they are one of the only things that I don't have problem with. But somehow I have managed to get through 19½ years of life, and almost 2 years of beauty blogging without trying out false eyelashes. I know right? How is this possible?! So as you can imagine, I was thrilled when Harvey Nichols asked me if I would like to try out some lashes from the brand Threads.
Over the last 7/8 years I've watched a lot of YouTube videos, featuring beauty mavens who can apply false eyelashes in a matter of seconds. Thinking it would be super easy (due to the amount of videos I'd watched over the years, and how others made it look so easy), I picked up the tweezers, opted for the Celestial lashes and whipped out the eyelash glue. And what did I end up doing? Gluing my own eyelashes to my eyelid. Don't ask how I managed this, the honest answer is I have absolutely no idea. About an hour later (after I realised I will never be attempting this again), I pretty much managed to get them on. They were slightly wonky and you could tell they were fake as I wasn't able to seamlessly blend them with my own lashes no matter how coats of mascara I applied over the top.
And what did I learn from this experience? I'll tell you...
1. I will never, I repeat never be attempting to apply false lashes ever again. (Probably will though).
2. "Do I leave the glue on for 30-40 seconds? Closer to 30 or 40? 35?" #Helpme
3. Once I applied them, they actually looked gorgeous - and I 100% recommend the Threads brand as they felt reasonably comfortable. If only I had my own personal makeup artist to apply them for me.
4. Eyelash glue is very sticky, and you should be more careful when trying to apply it (or you'll glue your eyes together).
5. If you have failed to pay attention to point 4, make sure you invest in some industrial strength eye makeup remover to unstick your eyes once fused together.
6. If you ever decide you want to give eyelashes a go again, buy a magnifying mirror as you are ocularly challenged and it makes it difficult to see where you are applying said lashes.
Have you ever tried false eyelashes? What was your first experience like?
The 'Celestial' eyelashes (RRP £9), the 'Sex Kitten' eyelashes (RRP £9), and the Illuminata Brow Pencil (RRP £15) were kindly sent to me by Harvey Nichols for the purpose of a review. All thoughts are my own and you can read my full disclaimer policy here.
I can't believe we're in 2016! I know I've already written a post this year, but I wrote that last year so technically this is my first post. At the start of December I didn't really expect myself to switch things up from the previous month, however I did - massively! With the festive season in full swing I decided to switch out my hypothetical makeup bag (I for some reason don't own one?) and chuck in some more luxurious products. First to go in was the Essie top coat in 'A Cut Above' Obviously everyone needs a smidgen of glitter in their life and this was one of my go-to polishes throughout December. I worn it on my fingers and toes at every opportunity, and personally I thought that it looked sexy af. Carrying on with the glitter, I developed quite an addiction to the Lush Christmas range. In particular those with glitter! I really liked the Bar Humbug bubble bar, which smelt like blackcurrant and liquorice. I repurchased it quite a few times as the scent was really relaxing and perfect for soothing the end of semester deadline stress.
After much consideration, I finally decided on the Revlon Colourburst Lip Butter in 'Candy Apple' as my Christmas day lip. I had so much trouble deciding and seeing as though I had worn it pretty much everyday throughout November and December, I felt it only fitting to wear it on the big day. Of course it had nothing to do with how low maintenance it is, and the fact that I couldn't be bothered to waste my time topping up anything else! I worn it alongside my Bobbi Brown Limited Edition Warm Eye Palette, which I actually wore last Christmas as well! I love how buttery the shadows are, and they felt so luxurious! On the day I worn every single shade in the palette, however I have been wearing each in different combinations throughout December so I just had to include it in my monthly favourites post!
And finally! Last but not least, we have the No7 Sheer Perfections Blush in Soft Damson. I wear this pretty much everyday anyway, but it got an extra lot of loving throughout the party season! I have spoken about it many times before so I'm not going to bore you all to death, but it is a gorgeous pink-berry powder blush!
What did you love during December? Thanks for reading!
I wanted to do a post like this last year, but I had no idea what to say, where I wanted by blog to go, or even if I would continue running a blog! My only goal was to reach 100 followers by the end of the year and I soon managed and surpassed that! I didn't really expect to carry on with my blog, with university getting in the way, but I'm still here over 18 months later! The last year has been so amazing. My blog has blossomed and improved in so many ways. Some of the biggest highlights of my year have been blog related. Reaching 1500 followers on my blog, getting shortlisted for an award, and getting shortlisted for a bloody award!!! I've loved getting to talk to like-minded people, being asked to attend events (if only for the free cocktails!), and being offered some incredible opportunities! As my blog is starting to get off the ground, I thought I'd start off the year with some simple business cards and a custom domain. I finally bitten the bullet and purchased myself a domain name as I'd been toying with the idea of a custom domain name for well over a year and it became set in stone around October?
With this air of change, the blogging community has become such a big part of my life, and I've found myself making little goals and targets over the last couple of weeks or so. So of course I had to share them on my little corner of the internet - and here is what I want to do and achieve with my blog over the next 12 months…
Engage more: Engagement is extremely important to me. I've always made sure I engage with my readers by replying to my comments and tweets, checking out any links left behind, and just generally trying my best to engage with you all. Tacking into account how much my own comments mean to me, I want to do the same for others and show my support. I've been pretty rubbish at letting other bloggers know that I bloody adore them so hopefully I'm going to up my game this year!
Be more creative: Although I'm generally pretty happy with my blog images, from time to time I get a bit bored. Back in August I started to really push myself, and for a while I was really happy, buttttt as always - I'm starting to get a little bored. I want to try and mix up my backgrounds and fall in love with photography again! Over the last month of so you may have noticed a couple of portrait shots, which I haven't really included in blog since I first started over a year and half ago. I would love to invest in some new camera equipment - maybe a new lens and a fancy af studio light, but they are on the expensive side, so I'll try and see what my budget is.
Go out of my comfort zone: I hate meeting new people. Hate. It. It's just something I've always tried to avoid. I dread to think how many blogging events I turned down because I was terrified of meeting people I didn't know! But from this moment on, I want to try and make more of an effort with meeting up with my blogger friends! I was so proud of myself for turning up to the Bloggers Blog Awards and Rhianna's Xmas Meet, when I felt so anxious (and actually physically sick). I mean even my best friends started out as a stranger to me in the first place!
Find new blogs to read: Even though I'm constantly on the hunt for new blogs to follow, I find it pretty difficult to find ones that I've not heard about before. Even when Bloglovin tried (and kinda failed) to promote 'undiscovered' bloggers. This is why 'share the love' style posts are so important as it can give some undiscovered little gems the chance to be 'found'. So if you've got any blogs you love then please share them in the comments below! Gain more followers: Cliché I know, but I'd really like to get up to 2000 followers this year. Although that sounds like a huge target (to me it does anyway), it is less than a third of what I gained over the last year - and hopefully my blog will continue to grow it's following this coming year.
Build up a backlog of posts: Over the last months my backlog of backup posts has completely diminished. I had all my posts planned, but I kept finding myself writing them the night before they were due to go up - in some cases even mere hours before they should have been published. This totally isn't like me and I have been finding it hard to just sit down and write. Occasionally, the planned posts have been written but there have been no photos to go up alongside them (due to bad lighting), so I've had to use a backup. Meaning I need to get myself sorted at plan ahead again!