Tuesday, 31 March 2015

March Beauty Favourites


Hello all! I really haven't done a favourites post in forever and yet there has been so many great products I've been trialing and testing. I think its mainly because I always need a good few 'stand out' products that actually merit a favourites post rather than talking about things which I might have liked that month but probably not excessively.

First things first I have been completely and utterly IN LOVE with my Zoeva 227 Soft Definer! I'm such a novice when it comes to eye shadow and am forever wishing I could perfect that smokey eye, and just when I got to that point of accepting that my eye shadow would never be great along came this little beauty. It's super soft and all the Zoeva brushes are amazing value for money so I really recommend! Speaking of eye shadow I picked up one of the Maybeline Colour Tattoo Eye Creams in On and On Bronze and I genuinely get the hype. This looks amazing by itself or as an eye shadow base and the best thing of all is that it doesn't crease or look oily! I've had so many compliments while wearing this and these are super duper cheap so if you need a budget every day eye shadow this will be absolutely perfect.

Another of Maybeline's offerings which just so happned to make it into my favourites post this month is the Colour Drama Lip Pencil in Berry Much and this is yet another amazing budget product! I like how this comes in pencil form so it can be used as a lip liner as well as all over colour and when I say it is long lasting I really do mean it! I normally top up my lipstick about 4 times a day but with this it seems unnecessary, I really love the colour of this also as its a deep purple and much more high end looking than most of the other berry shades that you will find in the drugstore.

Moving onto skincare now and you might remember this post where I reviewed the Origins Dr Weils Mega Mushroom Relief Serum, and you will be happy to know that my opinion on this has not changed at all this stuff is a serious game changer! I love how it refines the texture of my skin and calms down any yucky redness caused by spots and when I say calms it also soothes the skin so that those nasty under the skin blemishes don't cause as much discomfort and irritation. I have to admit this stuff is very pricey and I actually normally wouldn't spend that amount of money on a skincare product, but it really does work so this will probably be a good shout for those of you who have a bit more disposable income.

Lastly, I thought I'd mention a shower product that I have been using non stop since my boyfriend (knowing me all too well) got me a huge box of Lush goodies for valentines day! The Turkish Delight Shower Smoothie came to me just at the right time as I'd run out of Snow Fairy and needed something else pink and sweetly scented in my life! This stuff is so delicious and you only have to use the tiniest amount to get a good and proper clean. It contains cocoa butters and almond oil softening my skin to the point where I don't even have to moisturize my body after my daily shower and we all know how lazy I am about that!

What products have you all been loving this month? Do you love any of the products mentioned as much as I do?

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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

First Sign of Sunshine



I said I wanted to do more fashion based and outfit posts; however the thing is I don't even know where to start. I'm no expert on taking close up photographs, but I feel like after a lot of practice with them I've grown quite comfortable with taking and editing pictures of make up ect. Outfit posts on the other hand are a whole different ball game. I have to rely on others who don't know how to work my camera so well and when it comes to posing I'm also a little useless. I'm hoping that after a while, and after I've invested in a slightly better lens I'll be able to do these on a regular basis as there's nothing that gives me greater pleasure than putting an amazing ensemble together.

So today I saw the opportunity to get into some spring gear as I woke up to actual sunshine. YES IN SCOTLAND. Like everyone else here, and probably people from other parts of the UK too I was out of bed like a shot heading to my nearest beer garden for a little time in the sun. It was a Saturday so obviously everywhere was completely mobbed and even at 12 noon the beer gardens were over crowded and people were genuinely sunbathing beside the river. Its complete madness! But its amazing to be able to go out knowing that your hair will not be affected by a major down pour of rain as soon as you step out of the house, and everyone is instantly in a better mood, which is just lovely.

Now obviously its not quite warm enough for shorts yet *crying emoji*, but I did feel it was nice enough outside to flash a bit of midriff and forget the winter coat for once. This whole ensemble is from Topshop sans the shoes which are Office. I love these printed trousers and genuinely can't get enough of them. It's so good to have something else to wear other than leggings or jeans and they fit in well with my whole 'smart casual' vibe. These shoes are great because they are so comfortable to walk in but they still give me some much needed extra height.

What do you lot think of this outfit? Are you keen on printed trousers?
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Sunday, 22 March 2015

The Perfect Spicy Houmous



Hello Everyone! You Might have seen this post about my plans to change my eating habits and jump on the healthy train. I will never diet or be strict with the food I eat so instead I'm trying to make nutritious meals using fresh and all natural ingredients. One of my favourite healthy foods has always been houmous, so I decided recently to make my own. And also I like spicy things so I wanted my recipe to have a real kick but don't worry if that isn't your thing because you can actually just leave out the chilli and spices from the ingredients list and have yourself some classic houmous instead!

Ingredients:

1 tin of chickpeas
Juice of 1 lemons
3 dessert spoons tahini (sold in Holland and Barrett and most health stores)
2 garlic cloves chopped
5 tablespoons olive oil
Teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
Chopped chilli and coriander to garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

To make this all you have to do is throw the inredients in the food processor and blend until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy. It is so super simple! Garnish with some leaves of your choice and chilli and add salt and pepper! I normally chop some raw carrot for mines along with some wholemeal pitta bread, which I cut into strips and toast under the grill for a few seconds! Its honestly the most delicious snack and packed full of amazing natural ingredients!

My cooking right now is a complete work in progress but I'm hoping to get better as time goes on and really start to create some wonderful tasting meals and snacks. I'd love to get some recipes up on my blog as I go along as I personally love foodie blogs or even lifestyle/fashion/beauty with some recipes thrown in.

Are you a houmous fan? Let me know if you'd like to see more recipes on here!


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Friday, 20 March 2015

Dealing with Life Envy



In the age of social media hardly anything feels private anymore. Having a baby? Lets upload those scan pics to Facebook shall we. What is that you have a new amazing job in Australia? Lets tell everyone else about it so they feel terrible about their own lives. Going on holiday? Just need to find the perfect filter for this Instagram of me sunbathing in Thailand. I could go on and on but you get the general idea. With so many people constantly uploading life updates about what an amazing and perfect life they have we all can't help but come down with a serious case of life envy sometimes. I hate to admit it but I'm the first person to feel like I want to stab something if I see that one more person on my news feed has decided to pack their bags and move to *insert amazing and probably very hot country here*.

My life has always been very backwards. I had a good job in publishing before I was even 20 but I didn't actually make a proper go of higher education until I was 21, and I've only just started thinking about my future career now. I look very young for my age and I still have people ask me if I'm still at school which isn't exactly great for job interviews when they are looking for candidates with a certain level of maturity. My CV is a very muddled state of affairs indeed. I've worked here there and everywhere but with no clear sense of direction, and have a great set of high school qualifications but I still haven't finished my degree. I guess it can be a little hard when I'm sitting in the library writing my essay and I find out someone has gotten themselves the opportunity of a lifetime working in the fashion industry in Barcelona.

Like everyone else I often forget that life isn't always the pretty picture that we make it out to be on the internet. That person who just bought their dream house probably had to sacrifice a lot and save for a long time in order to make their dreams come true, and that person who just qualified as a doctor similarly worked and studied extremely hard in order to get to that point. I think in the world of the internet we are now more than ever able to create our own identities and make people think we are living this amazing life when in reality everyone (yes even that super hot bikini clad chick currently touring Australia) has different struggles and hard times. We don't often see people at their worst because lets be honest why would we want to see that?! In this day and age our insecurities and flaws can all be wiped away with the help of a filter and the right lighting, but that doesn't mean they don't exist!

I think its okay that sometimes we feel a slight pang of jealousy at someone else's life. Its out minds way of telling us to work harder, and be the best possible version of ourselves. Every day when I see pictures of people teaching English in some exotic place I quietly remind myself that I can be in that very same place myself if I work harder and have a little patience. Its always good to feel a little envious of someone else because it just means that we want better things for ourselves. We always want what someone else has and we always assume that the grass is a little greener on the other side. Sometimes it can make you a better person to recognise that those people whose lives you envy probably envy your life at times too.

What do you guys think about this? Do you ever feel a little jealous of other peoples lives?
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Monday, 16 March 2015

L'oreal Genuis Brow Kit


Its no secret that the biggest accessory has for quite some time now been a good power brow. I'd say I'm rather blessed in the brow department (in all modesty) as my brows grow in thick and dark and I've never been one of those girls who would pluck them off and pencil them in during my teenage years so thankfully I don't have any issues with the growth of my brow hair. However, I do love to make the most of them, and I don't know about any of you but I've turned into one of those people who will go out without make up and my  brows filled in. It's crazy but somehow I just don't feel like me without them. For years I used Benefit Browzings before the thick brows I'd been rocking all my life actually came into fashion and the market was awash with eye brow products. So, when I saw this little kit from L'oreal I could not help but notice the similarity and decided to give it a go!

The L'oreal Genius Brow Kit contains a brow powder along with a teeny tiny spooly, angled brush and tweezers. To be honest I'm not one for using miniature make up tools so I've just been using my own brow brush along with this but I suppose if you had to do your make up and get rid of any stray hairs on the go this would really come in handy. The powder itself is a pretty much perfect match for my eye brows which are much darker than my actual hair. I like the powder as it's really pigmented and doesn't seem to have very much fall out; crucial when it comes to filling in the brows neatly. The gel is slightly lighter which confused me a little as its a bit too light for my liking but actually it does a very good job of setting brows in place.

I am someone who tops up my make up every few hours but to be honest I actually found that this lasted all day and didn't go crispy or smudge which is a real pet hate of mines. Overall, I wouldn't say this has blown me away as there are plenty of good products just like it on the market but it certainly does the job and unlike really low budget eye brow kits this actually lasts an incredibly long time. I would say that its probably worth paying a little bit more for something like this as its a handy little thing to have stashed in your collection for those brow emergencies!

What do you guys use on your eye brows? Have any of you tried this yet?
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Saturday, 14 March 2015

A Step in the Right Direction with Deliciously Ella



I can't stand diets. I hate the thought of depriving myself of food I love or of counting calories excessively, but yet I still want to eat well not so much to lose weight but more to give my body the nutrients it truly needs and desires. I love the feeling I get from making a nutritious home cooked meal or the massive boost I see in my energy levels when I swap a pesky chocolate bar for more fruit and veg. I actually love healthy food too; anything from berries and porridge to quinoa and salmon. In fact I'm what you would call a real 'foodie'. I can't get enough and love trying new things, eating out at new restaurants and falling in love with new recipes. For this reason it is quite impossible for me to diet.

I know a lot of people that think you can eat anything as long as you work it off in the gym and to a certain extent that is somewhat true, but if we are eating foods that we have to constantly think about in a negative way ie 'this cupcake means I am going to have to work extra hard in the gym tomorrow' then I think we must be doing something very wrong. I have a huge sweet tooth, I love tea and coffee and I'll do pretty much anything for a slice of pizza, but that doesn't mean I can't try to find healthy alternatives or that I have a bad diet all of the time. Diets teach you that eating things like pizza and brownies is wrong, which is what I hate so much about them. I'm a huge believer in the whole 80/20 mantra when it comes to healthy eating and I also believe that making just tiny changes when cooking some of your favourite meals can really help matters!

I recently made the decision to try and stop eating processed foods, but this didn't come without a huge struggle. A lot of the things that we would consider 'healthy' foods actually contain a lot of man made rubbish in them if you happen to check the ingredients. Things like swapping your normal pint of milk for almond or coconut milk or swapping white rice for brown really help in this sense. Its unlikely to ever be easy for us to buy strictly all natural foods at the supermarket without a great struggle, but I've been trying to make things like pitta bread pizza instead of ordering my usual takeaway and have started to see huge changes. I've started trying to cook everything from scratch and have noticed I have a lot more energy and I've stopped craving as many caffeinated drinks to get me through the day. I've had a few soy lattes which are completely delicious and have been trying to drink green tea in place of my usual evening cuppa!

This is where Deliciously Ella steps in. I stumbled across her blog a while back and I could not believe how easy yet delicious some of her recipes seemed. Her whole mantra is based on the idea that as long as you are eating all natural foods you can eat as much and whatever you want. So for example, her blog shows you how to cook healthy brownies (I kid you not) using sweet potato and raw cacao powder instead of white flour. Some of the recipes seem so delicious that I'd happily choose to make them over ordering take out or eating refined sugar laden supermarket options. I actually bought her book to keep in the kitchen when I'm needing some cooking inspiration and I love at the start when she tells her story and she actually explains why certain types of food are better for us than other types. Its completely changed my way of thinking about food because before I would just eat for the sake of it and hope for the best but now I feel really good about myself after I eat one of her recipes as I know exactly what those foods are doing for me and my body.

I'll also add that Ella is a vegan and all of her recipes are plant based as well as sugar and gluten free so if the vegan lifestyle isn't for you then Ella does mention that you can try adding meats, yogurt or egg to your favourite recipes. I've thought about going vegetarian (but not vegan) a lot of times but I'm just not ready to fully commit myself yet. I managed almost a year when I was sixteen before I was craving a Sunday roast again so its clearly not really something that works for me. I will however be eating a lot less meats and dairy now that I have found such amazing and delicious plant based recipes which are so quick and easy to make! I got sick and tired of all these fad diets which are being promoted over social media these days and I'm really glad that I've actually found something that is doable and doesn't deprive me of anything.

I hope that those of you who are struggling on diets find this useful and see it as a way of changing your diet and food habits for life rather than following strict fad diets which leave you starving and feeling guilty if you so much as look at a chocolate bar. I find it really sad that these kind of diets are being promoted to young girls rather than a genuine, healthy, and actually easy lifestyle.

What are your thoughts on diets? Do any of you use plant based foods as a staple in your diet? 

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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

My Thoughts on Benefit Rollerlash


If other bloggers are anything like me then you must love a cheeky magazine freebie. Especially when its beauty related. I was most definitely thrilled when I saw that Elle Magazine was giving readers the opportunity to try a sample of the new Benefit Rollerlash Mascara. I loved the idea of this as soon as I heard of its release with the promise of gorgeous lifted and super black lashes! And if you know me you'll know that I'm such a mascara fiend. I hardly ever buy the same mascara twice and get bored of using the same one or I'll go back to one that I used to love to find that actually it doesn't work out that well at all for me anymore. So how did I get on with this one? Lets find out.

The first thing I noticed about this mascara was that it had a plastic brush and whilst I usually am not a fan I can make them work as some of my favourite mascaras (They're Real) have plastic brushes. The brush is curved with teeny little spikes to give lashes a real lift up from the root and the spikes make it super easy to coat every single lash in mascara! The only thing I would say is that I did find this a little hard to apply to my bottom lashes so if you like to apply mascara there then you may struggle. It takes a bit of practice but it does and will eventually go on your bottom lashes.


The mascara itself is quite wet and tacky which I found a little bit hard to work with at first but I generally think that a mascara which coats every lash will be a satin finish and of course it does make it look extremely black. What I really noticed about this mascara though was that it made my eyes look really wide open and bright, which of course is much needed when your boarding the 7.45am train every morning so its definitely a good'un for those early starts. A little birdie told me it contains lash conditioning ingredients serin and provitamin 5, but I won't pretend to know what any of that means however I feel good knowing that there is some real lash loving stuff in there! Also unlike They're Real! this is so easily removed with any decent eye make up remover or a cleansing oil so you would be able to wear this daily knowing that it can be scrubbed off at night!

Lastly, lets talk about THAT packaging! Maybe not so much the small sample size but have you seen full sized one? I always love Benefit for the cute and quirky packaging but this mascara is just too cute! This will look seriously pretty on any dresser, in any make up bag...wherever. I'm actually thinking about getting a full sized version because its so different to any other mascara I have ever tried! I normally go for a good volumising mascara but this definitely makes my eyes look bigger and brighter, and really does lift them up from the roots. Granted it's quite natural so I would probably use this as a day time mascara rather than for nights out when I want a more glamorous look, but its great!



Have any of you tried this yet? What are your thoughts on it and will you be purchasing the full size? 
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Monday, 9 March 2015

Soap and Glory Make Up Haul




Hello all! Does anyone else remember the days when Soap & Glory was just bubble bath and body lotions or the buzz that was created when they first launched their very own make up God knows how long ago? I remember being a little obsessed with the pucker up lip gloss which I still have and which is still a firm favourite, but aside from the odd One Heck of a Blot purchase I never really seem to pay much attention to the pretty as ever S&G stand in Boots, and heaven only knows why?! I was having a bit of a rubbish day a few weeks ago so decided to pick up a few bits of make up to make me feel better, and since the S&G stand had a 3 for 2 offer I decided that I could wait no longer to try some of the products the brand has to offer.

The first thing I picked up was the Archery Brow Tint and Pencil as it was literally the first time in forever I had seen it in stock in my brow colour Brownie Points. I like the idea of this and the fact it has a really finely nibbed pen for precision and accuracy. The tint looks amazing for creating natural looking brows even if ever so slightly disappointing that the colour is a little lighter than I would have wanted. The pencil seems fairly pigmented and I like that there is one included that as I always have to outline my brows with a pencil first before filling them in so this is just perfect really. I'm really glad that I managed to find this eventually as I've heard amazing reviews and I just can't wait to start using it.


I was also looking for a new One Heck of a Blot Powder but unfortunately they didn't have it in stock so I picked up the Kick Ass Instant Retouch Powder instead. This one is completely translucent and very finely milled so I can only imagine that this will be amazing for those 12 hour days when I really need my make up to last the course. The S&G powder I normally use is better than some of the really high end ones so of course I'll be expecting big things from this one too! I've used a little already and I have to say I am impressed with just how long this seems to keep me shine free even in my work where it is disgustingly hot sometimes.




Last but not least I decided to try one of the Lid Stuff Eye Shadow Palettes in Nude Stuff, because who doesn't need a twelfth eye shadow palette really? I just loved the two very neutral matt shades along with a highlight and a subtle shimmery brown and I think this is going to be absolutely perfect for packing when I go away in the summer, and its actually quite fitting that I'm going to London and Berlin as I always like to keep my make up as natural as possible in the hot and sticky summer city heat. I can't comment on the pigment or longevity of the shadows yet as I haven't had the chance to try them but I am looking forward to using them, the only thing that makes me sad is that this doesn't come with a mirror but I guess I'll have to use one from one of the other sixteen palettes I have (haw haw).


    


Have you guys ever tried any Soap & Glory make up? What are your fave bits?
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Saturday, 7 March 2015

Back to Blogging


Hello everyone! Now you all may or may not have noticed that I haven't been on the blog with any new content for a little while...2 weeks almost! The thing is I got stuck in a little bit of a rut and once that happened I really started to lack the motivation to create new content or at least original content. As much as I love beauty I don't want my blog to be just another encyclopaedia of beauty reviews not because there is anything wrong with that but because there are plenty of amazing beauty review blogs out there which are so much better than mines and I would much rather try to keep my blog fresh and exciting rather than just a carbon copy of a more successful bloggers! I am forever thinking about changing things up and doing different kinds of posts but sometimes I just don't have the time needed, nor the resources, to make a good job of it so I've made it the ultimate goal as of now to try and get as creative as possible.

I've also been really tied down with a lot of uni work this term as well, and I get extremely stressed over it. I hate when I get a low mark on an assignment even if it is still a pass. In fact, Lewis always teases me when I get stressed out that I might get a B and that that would be the worst thing that could happen to me, but its actually not like that at all I just always like to push myself to the limit as much as possible and see what I can achieve! As the work piles up it always seems like my work gets busier and I end up with more hours; I need to learn to say no to overtime but sometimes I can't resist the extra pennies especially when it gets this close to spring/summer! Speaking of I honestly can't believe we are now in March it feels like Christmas was only a week ago! So scary how fast time starts to tick by!

Lastly, I've been thinking about doing a few outfit or fashion based posts as I sometimes snap pictures for Instagram but never actually do a full post! I've been getting really into buying clothes again now and I've also managed to slim down a bit by just cutting out processed foods so I'm feeling a little more confident about getting up close and personal to the camera. I also want to try and get some better equipment to go with my DSLR such as a better lens and perhaps some affordable studio lighting. It sucks that daylight is virtually non existent here in the UK! Also does anyone have any studio lighting for a good price that they could recommend? Do let me know!

So now that I've had a bit of a ramble I hope you all understand why I took a break from my blog and are ready and excited for my new content. It can sometimes be a huge benefit to walk away from things and come back to them with a fresh pair of eyes and I already have so many ideas buzzing around in my head right now! A massive thank you to everyone who reads my blog and supports me through everything, it means so much to me!

Have any of you ever been stuck in a blogging rut? How did you overcome it?

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