Saturday, 22 October 2016

Recently Read #2

As I previously spoke about in my last book related blog post I was thinking about making a series here on my blog where I just talk about the books I've been reading and just to give others a few ideas of books they might enjoy as choosing something at the book store is always a hard decision for me if I haven't heard much about it before hand. I was on a relaxing holiday to Mallorca earlier in the month and I actually managed to get through three books... 

I initially picked this book up thinking I probably wouldn't like it and when I started reading it it seemed much like a typical young adult fiction story. However, I fell in love with the characters after a while and I honestly couldn't put it down. The female character reminds me so much of myself when I was in high school and everything that goes on in her head are similar experiences to what I have had when I was a teenager (not the mental health issues but the way she thinks about things and puts on a front to the rest of the world). I think that the issues of mental health in the book were also written about with so much care and so realistically and I probably cried on at least three different occasions while I was reading this. I honestly couldn't commend Jennifer enough for choosing to write about such an important issue and actually doing so in such a beautiful way. 

I love a good thriller/mystery novel so of course this caught my eye. I won't say too much as I don't want to give away the story but its basically written from the perspective of two characters: one girl Quinn whose flat mate goes missing one evening and another teenage boy called Alex who meets a mysterious 20 something girl in work one day and builds up a strange friendship with her. Whilst Quinn is searching for her flatmate she finds a number of clues which link to a part of her life which Quinn knew nothing about and the story goes from there really. I have to admit it took a while for me to get into this but once it got going it turned out to be quite the page turner so please persevere! 

Again this is a mystery novel which I actually read in like a day because I couldn't put it down. It centres around a girl who is trying to unfold the mysterious events of two summers ago where she was involved in a accident resulting in a serious head injury leaving her unable to remember what had happened. Even though I couldn't relate to the characters as they were all despicable (I think this is done on purpose) I kept reading and reading as I wanted to find out what had happened so bad. The ending is a real shock twist and I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it but I've honestly never read anything quite like this book. It makes you think about the value of true friendship and about how short life really is. 

What books have you guys read recently? Do any of these books sound like your cup of tea? 

Lisa x

Thursday, 20 October 2016

'No Make-up' Make-up: Bases

There was a time not so long ago when I did everything I could to cover up my skin. I caked on the Estee Lauder Double Wear and the Mac Studio Fix and plastered concealer on top. Before I got into make-up properly I used to genuinely believe that the best way to fake good skin was to cover your own up with as much product as possible. Nowadays my slightly lazier approach to make up means I'm actually looking for ways to make my look as natural and minimal as possible and I've been getting into BB creams for during the day. I've been loving these three in particular...

Garnier BB Cream + Blur
This one is my favourite for getting a natural dewy glow that lasts all day and the coverage is so light that you would barely be able to tell I had anything on at all. This product comes with a built in primer which blurs and minimises pores and imperfections. I got this on a whim when I spied it on offer in Boots and I wasn't really expecting much to be honest so this one has definitely surpassed my expectations. It also comes with SPF 30 so the perfect base for wearing on a hot city break and because its so moisturising it is also perfect for winter. I've only been using it a few weeks and can already see that I'm going to be repurchasing it forever. It's literally 'my skin but better'.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo + Unifant*
If like me you have a few little skin problems from time to time and you are a fan of the original Effaclar Duo + then this tinted moisturiser may be right up your street. Like the original it aims to unclog pores and minimise any redness or scarring from spots so this is a good product to use whilst suffering from break outs or acne but this one has the added of benefit of giving a small amount of coverage. I will say that it is a little drier than a normal BB cream or tinted moisturiser so I only use this when my skin is oily or suffering from spots. It has a nice satin finish to it and its not going to cause any further skin grievances unlike most base products. I've also tried using it as a primer under foundation and it works a treat!

Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream
Well if you have been reading this blog right from the start you probably already know that I've been using this product daily for over a year now. This is the very product which actually stopped me using foundation in the first place. It has 3 pigments to counteract the usual skin complaints such as redness, dullness and dark spots and it offers a light to medium coverage so is a little heavier than the other two bases I have mentioned. I normally have to use a primer to make sure this one stays put all day long but apart from that its a gorgeous base with added benefits of SPF 15 and I can leave this on my skin all day knowing that its also incredibly hydrating.

Do you prefer a BB Cream or a foundation? Have you used any of these base products? 
Lisa x

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

My First Birchbox Experience

I pretty much always stick to what I know these days when it comes to beauty products which is why the idea of a subscription box has never really appealed to me. I used to really enjoy my 
Glossy Boxes back in the day but I cancelled them after I realised I had so many products which were sitting in a drawer unloved *sad emoji*. However, I have literally been tossing and turning with the idea of signing up to Birchbox since I started blogging almost three years ago now so I thought now was as good a time as ever to give it a go...

This month I received five samples of products I have absolutely never used before. Some I had heard of and some I hadn't so I'll start with the product I actually chose which was the Model & Co Highlighting Trio. Obviously like every basic white girl on the internet at the moment I am becoming a little bit obsessed with highlighter so I like the fact this has three different shades for me to try out. Probably my favourite thing in the whole box though is the Nuxe Paris Precious Scented Shower Oil which sounds pretty strange but oh so appealing. Basically its a shower oil that is supposed to leave you not only moisturised but smelling wonderful AND it leaves a lovely sheen on the skin from all the little shimmer particles contained inside. I admit that prior to this I have never owned anything by Nuxe Paris so I'm looking forward to trying this out. 

Also in the box is a Batiste Ooh La La XXL Volume Spray. Now I'm not someone who needs huge amounts of volume in my hair on a daily basis as my hair is naturally quite long and thick (no extensions required) but on nights out when I style my hair using heat it goes quite flat so I'll probably give it a go then. The only brand I didn't recognise in the box was a brand called Whish from whom I'd been sampled a miniature Almond Body Lotion. This is really sweet scented so is not for everyone but I happen to be a huge fan of almond scents. Last but not least was a travel sized Bioderma H20 which is handy for me going to Germany in December as I'm taking only hand luggage. 

Because it was my first time trying out Birchbox (or at least I think that's the reason) I was given a little extra bag of goodies and again I can just see how handy they are going to be to take away with me later this year as they include a face mask, a body scrub and a heat protecting spray. I was even surprised to find some luxury or high end products in this gift like Rituals and Balance Me so well done Birchbox on drawing me in. I just hope next month is as good as this one. 

What Subscription boxes do you buy? Do you think they are worth it?  
Lisa x

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Taking a Break from Social Media for the Sake of my Sanity

Recently (well actually around two months ago) I stopped posting on my blog and really apart from the odd Instagram or Tweet about Celebrity Big Brother actually also stopped posting regularly on social media. I run the social media sites of a well known charity as a volunteer, I've had internships doing this kind of thing and due to my now 3+ years of blogging I also had to become familiarised with using it to promote my posts and content. However recently I just felt like I had to stop using it so much for my own sanity and I want to explain why...

I've now got to that awkward age where people are either getting married and moving on with their lives, starting families, buying a family home, or even moving halfway across the world in some cases and these updates are a constant reminder of the fact I don't have these things (yet). It's not that I want all these things right now or that I'm even that bothered about them but some part of me is suffering from a little bit of life envy just thinking how nice it would be to be either in my dream job or travelling some cool places. To really know what my life was about or on the other hand to try something new and exciting. Don't get me wrong I have also lived in a different country and I'm very grateful for that experience but part of me is starting to feel like I have come back to be in the exact same place doing the exact same thing and its almost scary. I want to be excited by my life every day and happy about every decision I make but its so hard to focus when you keep seeing other people doing certain things and only one thought pops into your head: 'Should I be doing that?'.

 To top it off I also started reading a lot of new blogs and of course instantly thought they were a million times better than mine. Don't get me wrong some of them are as I know millions of people have built up great successful careers in blogging and vlogging but I still wanted to be able to take those beautiful images that others did and have enough time on my hands to actually schedule and tweet about posts. The last straw for me was when I saw a quite well known blogger openly moaning about the trip to the Maldives which she was GIFTED and talking about how she couldn't be bothered to write a post about it. Immediately I felt as though all my hard work and efforts from building up friendships with other bloggers to talking with brands and spending hours writing enjoyable (at least I like to think so) content had all been a complete waste of time. 

I have numerous friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family members who paint a life on Instagram, and Facebook that is nothing like the life they actually lead. I know couples who PDA online more than is absolutely necessary and yet their relationship is far from perfect. I see the exact same holiday picture in Ocean Beach Club Ibiza about 100 times a day scrolling through my feeds, or one from someones gap year next to some poor sedated tiger cub in Thailand. There are the #fitness freaks who preach about how bad it is to eat a biscuit or pasta or calories, people with gluten allergies that don't actually know what gluten is (its a protein btw and its in a whole lot more than bread)  and the Z list celebrities from the ranks of Big Brother and Love Island using their accounts as an advert for all kinds of nonesense that they don't actually care about. Are we all becoming clones? Are we really all this boring?

I didn't actually go insane and I have since returned to my social media accounts and of course being the hypocrite I am I've joined in with every stupid fad from using the dog Snapchat Filter, to posting on Instagram while being actually on holiday.However, those couple of weeks when I barely went on anything were so relaxing. I think we all could do with time out now and then to help us to actually enjoy and live in the moment instead of documenting every single thing we do!

How does everyone else feel about social media? Does it sometimes make you feel not good enough? Give you life envy? Or just make you hate people in general? 

Lisa x
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