Thursday, 31 December 2015

2016


I know today and tomorrow there are going to be tonnes of this type of post posted on people's blogs, but I couldn't help but write one myself. I believe I wrote one last year and looking back I enjoyed writing it. That's what I've realised, maybe more so recently, that I do enjoy writing more lifestyle posts although this hasn't been shown all that much on my blog. With the New Year dawning and only a few hours away, I don't see a much better time to reflect on the past year.

Now I'm definitely not the type of person who tells all about myself, I'm very much a keep it to myself person which does have its ups and downs. I feel as though this year has passed way too quickly and my memory is bad enough let alone when I don't have time to let things sink in. To be fair this year has been pretty good to me and there have definitely been a few stand out memories. However hard you try though there are always going to be down moments which you simply cannot get around, so yes I have had some of those but I try not to dwell on them even though a couple of them are coming with me through to 2016.


Firstly I graduated from my Foundation Degree which for me was an achievement. Even though I still have another year to go, technically only until May, it was such a lovely day spent with family and friends I've made whilst at university. I'm lucky to be able to get to graduate again in 2016 but this time I know I'm going to feel so relieved. I can only dream of the relief right now but I know it's going to be such a weight off my shoulders and I cannot wait.

I've been lucky enough to be able to spend so much time with my nieces and nephews this year, although maybe not as much time as I would like. It is difficult working, finishing my degree and being able to spend quality time with my family. But when I do it's so worth it, watching them grow up is so, so lovely. It's crazy how fast they're growing up! I know I cannot wait for Summer as they will be on school holidays and I will have finished uni so I will definitely be spending my days off with them.

Something I would love to do more of in 2016 is travel. I've been saying this since starting uni which really was the worst time I could have said it, considering I have been stuck down for 3 years. But as I've said already, I finish uni in May and would love to be able to travel more. This year may be tricky considering I will have to take time off from work in order to complete my degree which won't leave me with much holiday time to complete this. But if I am unable to complete this in 2016 then it's definitely going to be something ongoing that I would love to pursue in the future, whenever that may be. I would love to visit more places in Europe but also LA, Canada and Australia.

Another thing I would love to be able to do in 2016 is learn to take proper photographs and also own a decent camera. I haven't owned a camera for a couple of years now and simply take every photograph on my iPhone. Although this isn't the most practical way, especially for my blog, it does do the job rather well. I admire many other bloggers photographs on their blogs and always wish mine looked like that! So I know that I need to purchase myself a decent camera in order to complete this, so please if you have any recommendations then leave them in the comments! I feel this would also help me achieve more lifestyle posts on my blog, as I would be able to take the camera out with me on days out and voila!

That is where I am going to leave this post, I would just like to wish you all a Happy New Year and I hope you see it in in the best way for you. Please let me know your camera recommendations, I'm totally now going camera shopping online before getting ready for the night ahead. I'll see you all in 2016!
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Monday, 28 December 2015

My Week In Pictures #22


It's been a while.. Christmas has now been and gone which feels so quick but I swear it's like that every year. The build up is huge and then it's over before you even knew it started. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas however fast it went.

I actually finished work on the 23rd of the month this year which was so lovely. I cannot remember the last time I didn't work on Christmas Eve so this was particularly exciting for me. Not that I did anything special, I went to visit my sisters family and my grandparents, then sat on my bum watching Elf before Christmas was over. I now have until the 4th January off work which is also very, very nice. It's been so super busy recently so it's so nice to actually have a break.

This Christmas, for me personally, was very different. A couple of people missing which therefore changed the whole day in retrospect. My family and my sisters family actually went out for Christmas dinner which was again something very different for us. We have never been out for Christmas lunch before and I can say now that I don't think we will be doing it again in a hurry. I'm not criticising the food, the main course was lovely but there just wasn't really an atmosphere in the pub we were in. I know there are other places to go which may have what the pub we went to didn't, but from our experience we weren't all that impressed. On the other hand it was so nice to spend quality time with my family. We are quite a close knit family and we are lucky that we get to see each other so often anyway but as you all know Christmas just feels more special.

With Christmas now being over we have New Years to think about. I'm not fully into New Years, I can go out or I can stay in and probably end up asleep before midnight. I know some people really get into it every year but that's just not me. A glass of bubbly wouldn't go a miss though hey.

I did actually manage to get uni work out of my head for a few days over Christmas but not that's over, I really need to get my head back in the game. I have a dissertation to write and it's literally just constantly looming in my head. I'm going to allocate at least one, maybe two, days from my time off work to get stuck into it and do some reading. You never know I may even write something down on a word document!

Overall Christmas has been different but still just as lovely to spend time with my family and my nieces and nephews growing up. I swear you can't not smile when watching children unwrap presents, it's just too cute! If you are also getting a break this Christmas then I hope you are enjoying you're time off :-)
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Monday, 21 December 2015

Elemis Soothing Eye Rescue



I have no reason why but I've really never been into eye creams and I don't know why. It's definitely not because I don't need to use one. I can often suffer with dark circles under my eyes and I don't really know why I put up with them. I think I just think I can cover them up with my trusty Nars creamy concealer and get on with my day.

I purchased this one a pretty long time ago now and recently I've been picking it up and using it a lot more than ever before. I think I kind of shocked myself when doing so. This one seemed perfect for what I needed it for; my tired bag to be precise. I purchased this from TK Maxx which is such a great store for finding little finds within their beauty range. They have such a range on offer and all for great, discounted prices. Elemis is a well recommended brand and I haven't tried many of their products so I was excited to try this one.

It has a pump which is perfect for getting the right amount of product out and I find I don't even need to use a full pump for both eyes. I use around half a pump, split the product onto a finger on each hand and then apply. I use a tapping motion to blend this into my eye area and voila. This sinks into the skin quickly and feels really refreshing under the eye. It's an instant feeling and I really like it, especially in the morning as it helps me to feel more awake. This product really helps my under eyes and I have started to see a difference since using it. The colour of my eye bags has not been so prominent and my eye bags themselves seem to have reduced in size.

Overall I think I might have been converted to eye gels/creams especially after using this one. I love the refreshing feeling after application and the fact that it's such a simple step to add to your skin care routine. Let me know your favourite eye product in the comments, I may be persuaded :-)
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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Disappointing Products #7



You've probably heard about my rant around high street/drug store foundation primers and if you haven't then I'll briefly fill you in. Basically there just isn't many affordable ones out there and if they are out there, then I've probably tried them and there's probably a reason why I haven't repurchased. I got rather excited when I saw this new arrival on the Boots website from Barry M. Again I'm sure you probably know, I suffer from spots which mean redness so this colour correcting one seemed right up my street.

So there are a few claims on this product: for anti-redness, pore minimising, smoothing and mattifying. The anti-redness claim being the main one for this product and I can safely say that it doesn't help my redness at all. It does smooth over the face nicely but where my spots may be, there is no difference in the look of them. I can't fully comment on the pore minimising factor as I don't suffer badly at all with pores, I occasionally do get some around my nose but I can't say either way really as to whether this product helped to minimise them. As I briefly mentioned this product does apply nicely and smoothly over my face. I simply just use my fingers to apply this and I don't need to worry anymore about it as it settles into the skin quite quickly as well. I do suffer with an oily t zone so again I was intrigued by the mattifying element. Unfortunately again I cannot say that this product helped my oiliness at all. The formula of this product is quite thick and once applied all over there is no evidence of any instant mattifying.

I've been using this product for the past few weeks now and after applying the rest of my make up, I find that my make up looks good/normal. This product doesn't ruin the look of my make up, I just find that where this product hasn't helped my redness I need to focus on that area a bit more than usual perhaps. My make up doesn't last very long, mainly just my t zone, when using this product but I was kind of prepared for that when I could see that it hadn't helped my oiliness after application. I simply just 100% know that I need to re-powder my face whenever I get that chance.

Overall I'm not impressed with this particular product from Barry M and will continue my hunt for a great high street primer. Barry M do offer some great products, unfortunately I cannot say that this is one of them. Let me know your favourite primer and your thoughts if you have tried this product :-)
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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The Black Edit

The Black Edit



Petite top
newlook.com



Black jacket
newlook.com



Mini skirt
newlook.com



Bib overall
newlook.com



Black booties
newlook.com



Black handbag
newlook.com



Black jewelry
newlook.com



It's said a lot that black is the best colour, especially fashion wise, and I'm taking that to the next level with this post. I do adore black clothing, it's so easy to throw on and go, with barely any thought being put into it. You can dress it up or dress it down, you can accessorise it to the max or keep it plain and simple. The possibilities seem endless with the colour Black.

All of the items featured above are from the New Look website and clearly are all black. The skirt is probably my favourite out of all the items due to it's mix of suede and leather fabric. The mix of fabrics is also another fashion love recently and you get that in one fashion item with this skirt, again meaning less thought can be put into your outfit. A black and white stripy top is timeless and I think tucked into this skirt it would look casual and perfect for an everyday look. A cross body bag is my all time favourite style of bag if I'm honest. I do have a handbag but I find due to it's large size I stuff so much crap in there that when I use it, it severely hurts my shoulders. Therefore when I'm going out for the day, I transfer my essentials into a cross body bag so I don't have this problem.

I also feel as it is Winter, black is even more acceptable to wear everyday. I'm sure all you fashion lovers out there will agree with me, in general, about the colour black. I am also loving New Look at the moment as it's an affordable shop which incorporates a lot of the most loved fashion trends you want to get your hands on. Let me know your current favourite style/look and your favourite store to buy from :-)
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Sunday, 13 December 2015

Disappointing Products #6



I do love dry shampoo and although I think I've found my favourite one out there, from Batiste, I can't help myself when I see a bargain. I also love buying and trying out new products. I saw this one recently in B&M Stores (I'm not sure if this store is all over the UK) but it's basically a discount store. They do sometimes have some great brands in there so if you do live near one and have never been in, it's worth a look.

Dove is obviously a very well known brand and I have previously tried many, many of their products. I have however never tried a dry shampoo from them, so when I saw this one for only £1.50 I couldn't help but try it. I can however now say that you should always stick to what you know! As I said I do like trying new products out so I'm glad I have tried it but it's really not up my street at all and I shall tell you why.

The application process is the same as any other dry shampoo but there's something missing with this one. I can't quite place it, there is white residue on the hair but not very much at all which is actually quite a good thing about this product. But when massaging into the hair it just doesn't feel very nice and I can only explain it as chalky. Which I have found with some other dry shampoos but this one just sticks to your fingers and I have to wash them after massaging to get rid of it. I then find that my hair just does not look refreshed at all and to be honest still looks greasy. For me, personally, the main reason why I use dry shampoo is to get rid of the greasy look and this one just doesn't help that factor at all.

Overall I can't really complain all that much for £1.50 but I like to share my thoughts on products with you and you seem to enjoy reading them too. I would definitely say there are much better dry shampoo's out there if you're like me and want to get rid of grease. Obviously this is only my personal opinion and some of you may enjoy using this product. Let me know your favourite dry shampoo in the comments :-)
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Thursday, 10 December 2015

The Sisters by Claire Douglas Book Review



After reading Gone Girl, Mistress and The Girl on the Train, I was fully consumed into the mystery/thriller books which have become so popular recently. I am a full on sucker for these types of books nowadays as I love that feeling of not wanting to put the book down. Although I do hate having to put it down, then constantly thinking about it until I finally drift off to sleep - which does take me some time!

Amazon were recently doing 3 paperback books for £10 which I completely took advantage off more than once, whoops! (I'm not sure if they are still doing this or not). This book was high up in the top sellers at that point so I thought I would give it a go alongside 2 other books of the same genre. I hadn't heard anything about it before purchasing it but as I started reading it, I had friends asking me if I had read it. They were telling me it was really good which made me want to get into it quicker than normal.

It really didn't take long to get into this book, unlike some others I have read, and it was immediately making me question things within the first couple of chapters. There were so many twists and turns throughout the book making it incredibly hard to put down. I honestly read this book super quickly, for me, and I can say it didn't end how I thought it was going too. That just goes to show the amount of twists there was which made the book so gripping hence why I didn't want to put it down.

I don't want to give too much away and you can read the blurb in the second picture. If you're into this genre of book and haven't read this one, then I 100% recommend this one! It's written very well and the chapters aren't too long, although there are a couple of long ones in there but it's forgiven. Let me know what you think of this book if you've read it or leave me some recommendations of your own below :-)
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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Empties #7




It feels like I've been saving up this lot of empties for quite some time now, so it feels good to finally be photographing them and sharing them with you. I have a specific cosmetic bag which I stuff until it's full and that's when I think it's about time I wrote up one of these posts.

Firstly is the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Primer which I actually really enjoyed using. I didn't think it would work for me as I have an oily t zone but it really didn't interfere with that. I like that it has a pump, meaning easy application and it kept my make up in place for a sufficient amount of time. Next is the Herbal Essences Split End Protection Cream which I love. It's such an affordable product and really leaves my ends feeling soft and smooth. It's also such an easy product to apply and I pretty much used it after washing my hair every time.

Next is Benefit's Gimme Brow which is such a great, easy product to use for your brows. It's perfect for those days when you cannot really be bothered to fully do your brows, you can just sweep this through them and you're done. The Tresemme Daily Colour Lock In Spray was quite an old product I rediscovered in my stash. I do colour my hair but really not very often at all and probably haven't had colour on it now for a good year. I found this was actually a good product to spray on after washing when trying to put a brush through my hair.

I then used up the Eucerin Intensive Lip Balm which I picked up rather recently due to suffering with really dry lips. I've heard good things about Eucerin as a brand so was looking forward to trying this but I can say that I wasn't all that impressed. I'm not a huge fan of the applicator (I'm not sure if it has a specific name or not) and I found the product just went really quickly. Next is the Boots Botanics Micellar Water which I enjoyed using. It really made my skin feel clean and ready for the rest of my routine either morning or night. The only downside was that it was just an open bottle so you had to do that awkward tipping motion onto your cotton pad, if you get me.

Another lip balm I used up was the Nivea Lip Butter in Vanilla & Macadamia which smells absolutely amazing. It's a really thick and creamy lip butter and really made my lips feel nourished. The final product is the Amie Morning Light Moisturiser which I received in a beauty box. This definitely was a light moisturiser and would have been perfect for Summer. It's just not enough for the colder months, for me personally.

And that's it for this load of Empties! I hope you found something you may be interested in purchasing and if I've mentioned something you love or hate then let me know in the comments :-)
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Sunday, 6 December 2015

My Work Face




Working with children definitely isn't one of the most glamorous jobs therefore minimal make up is 100% acceptable. Also having to be up early and late home means there's not much time to apply any decent make up. Therefore minimal is better especially for my job role and to be fair that's fine with me! It can only be a slight problem when my skin decides to play up and this light base is not enough to cover my spots.

I've been using these four products for work for the past month or so and it hasn't totally failed me yet. Yes I've had those days when spots aren't fully covered and a spot gets bigger throughout the day but it's been a pretty fool proof make up routine. I moisturise my skin first so balance out my oily parts and dry parts of my skin. Then I go on and apply the L'Oreal CC Cream for Anti-Redness using my fingers. This comes out pretty dark but I simply just keep blending it in with my fingers until it's all blended and looks ok. If I have any spots or areas I want to cover more then I just apply a small amount more on those and blend it in again. This is such an easy product to use which means quick application which is just what I'm after.

Next I will set that into place using my Bourjois Healthy Balance powder which is one of my all time favourite powders. It doesn't leave your skin looking cakey or powdery which is always a winner. I then go onto brows and use the Rimmel Brow This Way brow gel. This isn't my favourite brow gel I've ever used simply because of the large brush but the actual product inside is good. A brow gel for me is the quickest way to fill in my brows, a few brushes through and you're done, it really is that simple.

The final step is to curl my lashes, I don't bother with mascara on a work day as I'm such a perfectionist when it comes to my eyelashes. It can take me a long time to be ok with how my eyelashes look so on a work day I simply just curl them with this heated eyelash curler from eBay and be done with it. I have quite long eyelashes but they are quite straight so curling them just opens up my eyes a little more.

There you have it, my simple four product work face when you literally have no time and don't have to look glamorous. Let me know your simple work face routine if you're in the same boat as me with time etc. and leave a link if you've posted about it on your blog below, I'd love to have a read :-)
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Saturday, 5 December 2015

A Girl's Best Friend by Lindsey Kelk Book Review



I'm always awaiting a new book release from Lindsey Kelk and this recent release was no different. I purchased this one from Amazon as soon as it was released and read it within around 3 days. Which says a lot really considering I have so much work and uni work to be doing but hey ho, priorities.

This is the perfect Christmas book to get you in the Christmas spirit and it's such an easy read. This type of book is one of my favourites as it doesn't really get you thinking too much, which is what you don't really need before you try falling asleep. It's got a bit of everything inside; comedy, romance, Christmas and best friends.

Lindsey Kelk has written previous books which you may need to get your hands on as well. Although I think you could read this one alone there is another one (maybe two) before this one so you may like to read those first to get the full story and those ones are just as good as this one.

If you're after an easy read this Christmas season then I cannot recommend this one enough. I also think this would make a great stocking filler present for any friends or family you may have who love this kind of book. Lindsey Kelk is a highly recommend author, not just from myself, so I would definitely check out all of her books and let me know if you've read any and what you're favourites are :-)
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Thursday, 3 December 2015

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil




I cannot begin to tell you how long I waited for one of these lip oils from Clarins, my word! I first saw them on Lily Pebbles blog and ever since have wanted one of my own. I think I gave up after a little while; little did I know they were supposed to be limited edition. Clarins listened to us bloggers, and everyone else after one, and have released them again. Thank the Lord! I believe I saw someone tweet on my timeline saying they were back in stock and I don't think I've ever moved so fast. I ordered mine from Boots online and soon it was mine.

There is a choice of two scents I will say, technically you could say shades but they don't have any colour. One is Honey scented and this one I have is Raspberry scented. As I said there is no colour to either of them although it does look like this particular one might have, it doesn't. When I ordered this one, the Honey one was already out of stock so I didn't really have a choice but I definitely would have picked this one anyway so I'm really happy.

I've mentioned in previous posts that my lips have been so dry recently so I thought this would be the perfect product to help sort them out for good. It's a pretty pricey product at £18 but in my eyes it's definitely worth it. the applicator is slightly larger than your normal lip product applicator which I love. It means you can cover the top and bottom lip in one swipe on each, meaning easy application. It doesn't feel sticky on the lips and I believe it instantly moisturises the lips. The lasting power of this product is incredible, it lasts so much longer than your standard lip balm. The scent isn't strong on this product, obviously you can smell it but it's very light which is perfect.

Overall this is an amazing product and 100% worth the pricey price tag in my opinion. I now always opt for this over than my normal lip balm, although I do find this a luxurious product so sometimes will try and save this which is difficult as I love it so much. If you haven't already, then definitely go and get your hands on this product, it's available from many different online stores :-)
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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets



Body cleanser
boots.com





Haircare
boots.com



The Body Shop gift sets kit
£13 - thebodyshop.ca





Yankee Candle candles candleholder
£17 - yankeecandle.com



 

Thought it was about time that I jumped on the Christmas gift guide band wagon! I feel particularly on top of my Christmas shopping this year with only three presents left to buy. I know two of the three presents I have left to buy but the third however, I have absolutely no idea what to get! And it's for a man - typical.
 
 
This gift guide is full of gift sets and a Yankee candle for good measure. I feel like a Yankee candle is just one of those gifts that you cannot go wrong with, hence why I included it. There are so many different scents which means you can so easily find one which fits the person you're buying for perfectly.
 
 
There are just as many high end gift sets as there are more affordable ones and I find the affordable ones are just as good as the most expensive. Obviously baring in mind what brand you're after, for example the Charlotte Tilbury set I've included is pretty top, top end and comes in at around £150. I mean you've gotta really love someone to buy them this for Christmas and I'm pretty sure anyone would love to receive this on Christmas morning.
 
 
The Body Shop do some amazing gifts, again in a range of scents so you can find the perfect one to suit whoever you're buying for. This is just one example but honestly they have so many to choose from. I really like the Argan Oil and the Glazed Apple scents! I personally always find Soap & Glory such a winner when it comes to beauty sets. You get such a variety of products again in a range of different sets to suit the person you're buying for.
 
 
I hope you're all as excited for Christmas as I am and writing this post has actually made me that little bit more excited! Let me know you're favourite beauty gift sets and whether I've mentioned them in this post :-)
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