Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Shopping my Beauty Stash for Spring


Its crazy that what feels like 2 weeks ago I was tucking into my Christmas dinner, and suddenly its spring and the sun has finally came out to say hello in Scotland. This is usually the time of the year where I do some sort of crazy exam stress fuelled make up shopping and buy everything remotely pastel coloured and get a little too excited for post exam celebrations and summer, but alas I have a holiday in June and I recently found out I'm going to be going to Portugal in September to live for a semester, so I really need to get saving the pennies and stop spending money on make up I don't need. Obviously I decided on this as a perfect opportunity for a 'shop my stash' blog post. So lets see what I found in my collection...

The first thing I always do when spring comes around is buy a slightly lighter coverage concealer. This is normally to do with the fact that my skin is in a lot better condition in the good weather and I don't have as many spots and also down to the fact I like to switch to a lightweight foundation too! I found this Seventeen Stay Time Concealer in my stash and I remember using it a while back and actually quite liking it. Its actually quite similar to the Lasting Perfection Concealer which is one of my all time favourites, but it doesn't cake or crease around the under eye area and its slightly more pink toned meaning that it will match my skin when I start to wear fake tan or hopefully when I actually manage to get a natural tan on my face.

Next I was looking for a bronzer that maybe wasn't so cool toned as my standard Hoola Bronzer but not quite as warm as the others in my collection and I think I've hit the jackpot with this Bourjois Bronze and Highlight Duo. The pigment of both is fantastic and you can use them separately for highlighting and contouring or together to create an all over glow and make skin look really healthy. I'm always really impressed with Bourjois products so I've no idea why it has taken me so long to actually take this little beauty out of the packaging and put it to good use but I really can't wait to see how this looks in the brighter and warmer weather.

Lastly, I went through my lip products looking for some kind of statement lip and came up with this Revlon Matte Balm Stain in Audacious which is a stunning bright orange/coral colour. If you read my blog regularly you probably know that I have these balms in almost  every colour and they are amazing! They are so easy to apply and the colour pay off is absolutely fantastic. I can't wait to wear this with jeans and a simple white T or perhaps a little black dress in the evening. Its so super pretty!

What are you guys holy grail products and shades for spring? Will you be shopping your stash in the warmer weather?
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Saturday, 18 April 2015

Healthy Almond Chia and Chocolate Energy Balls




If you have been reading this blog for a long time you may have noticed that something has changed around here. I haven't been posting as regularly as I was due to other commitments, but also my content has changed slightly. In the beginning I started this blog as a beauty blog since that was what interested me, but as time has went on I find myself actually wanting to write about other topics more and more and one of the things I'm obsessed with right now is cooking nutritious foods and I have been discovering some amazing and pretty delicious things to eat with nothing bad in them at all. But the best thing is that these are all pretty simple to make for those of you who maybe have families or are generally just a bit pushed for time.

I am a little obsessed with Nakd Bars so I knew it was only a matter of time before I tried to make my own version, and these did not disappoint. They are packed full of healthy protein from the nuts and chia seeds while the raw chocolate powder and dates pack so much flavour. Sweet yet sooooo simple, and these keep for ages too so you can store them in the fridge in an airtight container and pack one with you as an 'on the go' snack for work, school or college! You can also try adding anything from dried cranberries to cacao nibs to oats to make them sweeter or more filling and switch almonds for any other nuts!

Ingredients (Makes about 10)

1/2 cup almonds
1 cup large medjool dates (not the normal dried supermarket kind as these won't hold the mixture together properly)
2 tbsp. chia seeds
2 tbsp. raw honey or Canadian maple syrup
2-4 tbsp. raw cacao powder depending on how much chocolate flavour you want

Method

In your food processor or blender whizz the almonds (or any other nuts for that matter) around until they form a powdery like substance and then add all the other ingredients along with a couple of tbsp. water and blend until mixture is sticky and coming together.

Its up to you how much water you want to add but be careful not to add more than 2 tbsp. as then the mixture won't hold together properly and they won't set.

Pre heat the oven and then on a baking tray roll the mixture into little balls and spread out. Place in the oven for about twenty minutes or so until the mixture is set together. You can also 'set' these by placing them for a couple of hours in the freezer but I always feel like things with nuts in taste far better if they have been toasted in the oven.

Simple!

Would love to know what you think of this recipe? Do any of you guys try to branch out and cook using only raw foods?
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Monday, 13 April 2015

Drugstore Bases for Everyday Wear


So I happen to be one of those people who can never seem to stick with just one foundation and always love to test out new products ever searching for something to give me that stunning flawless skin I've been craving since nam. I'm under no illusions that my skin is good, I actually know that its pretty problematic and spots are always popping out to say hello! However I thought I'd introduce you all to a few of my favourite drugstore bases just in case you haven't tried them already.

My favourite of the bunch always has and always will be the Bourjois 123 Perfect Foundation. I have raved about this so many times in so many different posts and I still to this day cannot understand why this stuff goes under the radar in beauty blogger land. It is THE perfect shade for my skin and blends like an absolute dream with great medium coverage and long lasting wear. It doesn't oxidise or go darker throughout the day and it also appears to make my skin look slightly more radiant that normal. At under a tenner this is absolutely perfect for me for every day wear and I honestly choose to wear it over and above some of my more expensive base products. I actually have to add that Bourjois foundations always seem to be a great match for my skin tone so I really need to branch out and try more of them!

Next up is something we probably all wore in our teens or at least tried back in the days of high school when good full coverage foundations in the drugstore were hard to come by. The Revlon Colourstay Foundation is one that I always go back to every so often because it just provides such great coverage and really stays in place all day. This is very much a matt foundation and you can't help but admire the fact it comes in two different formulas (one for oily and one for normal and dry skin) pretty much a godsend in the drugstore. I use this mainly in the summer when I need something with a good spf that can also keep me from getting too shiny when the sunshine and the heat comes out to play (not like that ever happens in Scotland though). This will cover any blemish or imperfection so its pretty good if you are looking to cover up pimples and the likes.

Last of the bunch is my L'Oreal True Match Foundation which I actually wasn't a fan of at first. The thing is this gets darker throughout the day so you have to be super saavy and buy a colour that perhaps is something paler than you would normally go for in order for this to look good on. What I like about this is the fact that it isn't too heavy and really lets my skin breathe without being too sheer coverage wise. If you find it hard to find your shade in the drugstore then you will be pleased to know that this comes in an impressive 23 shades! Unfortunately it doesn't last as long as the other two though so I normally use this as my 'going out' foundation instead of every day wear.

What are your favourite foundations from the drugstore? I would love to know!

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Thursday, 9 April 2015

Peter Pan Collars and Grunge Details



Hello Everyone! Who knew I would be back with an outfit post so soon eh? I actually managed to get the 50mm lens for my Canon so I've really been enjoying the better quality of my pictures and what better way to celebrate than take some more outfit pictures! If anyone is thinking of upgrading their existing camera for outfit photography I'd say this is a great starting point. It allows you to take pictures in very poor lighting conditions and I love that it blurs out the background giving the photos an amazing floaty soft focus feel! I'm so happy I went and eventually bought it! Lewis has also learned a bit more about how to use my camera and so on but hes still very much a work in progress!

So, onto the outfit and I'm wearing this cute dress that Lewis actually got me from a mod website which I love because it means that I won't awkwardly bump into someone wearing the exact same dress as me on the streets and anyone who knows me knows I do love a peter pan collar! The pastel shade of this dress is just perfect for spring and the soft material is super flattering. I've paired this dress with black accessories to toughen it up a little and ass a bit of edge (also it isn't warm enough for bare legs just yet). I recently got these Dr Martens and I've been wearing them non stop! The cardigan/jacket is from Primark ages ago and its just mega comfy so perfect for lazy days!

What will you guys be wearing this spring? 


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Friday, 3 April 2015

Instagram for Bloggers


Something that I always get asked by my friends is how I manage to pull of such good Instagram shots on my blogger account. In case you didn't guess already I have an Instagram linked to my blog and another one (which I rarely use) as my personal account. I know most people just use the one account for both, but I think it can be helpful to have two accounts if you want to use it as a way of promoting your blog and generating interest and new readership.

I love the idea of Instagram as a way of promoting my blog as I really do think that visually appealing photographs are more intriguing than a catchy piece of text. I always like that it gives a way for my readers to connect with me when I am not writing on my blog as they get to see small snippets of my life that they otherwise wouldn't see. Its really good as well for showing what different products or clothes look like on if you don't include that kind of thing on your blog! You will also find that this account will be really important if you plan on working or collaborating with brands and companies. This was something I made a mistake of in the beginning by giving out my personal Instagram account instead of my blog one which is of course full of drunken nights out and random stuff that no-one outside your friendship group really wants to see!

When it comes to taking pictures I normally just use my iPhone 6 camera to take my photos in natural lighting and normally against a plain white or bright background. In this sense the photographs I take for my Instagram are a lot like those on my blog, however, I find that I can be a little more experimental by using different sorts of props, taking outdoor photography and daily snippets of the more every day things! There are a lot of apps out there for editing your photographs but my favourite of the bunch is Afterlight. I normally use this to brighten my pictures and then use the magnolia filter to give the photographs a really soft look. You can tone down the filter as much or as little as you want too!

Another thing to try if you want to grow your Instagram account is actually exploring Instagram. I normally click on the search button to find accounts similar to my own, which are usually those belonging to fashion and beauty bloggers! Also you will find that people are more likely to interact with you if you comment on their pictures. I don't always have time for this but if I see something I really like I will normally leave a little comment to let the person know that I like their account or photography! You will notice that the most popular accounts tend to stick to a theme and this is something I try to do as much as possible. I like to stick to whites and pastel colours!

I hope this will be of some help to those of you who want to grow your Instagram or use it to promote your blog! You can follow my Instagram account here!
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