Friday, 29 August 2014

Why I Love Blogging

Hey Everyone!

In keeping with my back to blogging mind set, I want to share with you all some of the reasons why I love it. You might be interested in this if you're considering starting your own blog, or if you're taking a blogging break and need a little encouragement (like I did) to get back into it. 
In my opinion the blogging community, particularly the beauty blogging community, are some of the friendliest people online. I absolutely love the inspiration and product recommendations you get from twitter chats. Blogging also links you to people with similar interests. Not listed above: I've recently realised how many design, social media and business-y skills I've gained from blogging that I never would have otherwise. I think its a hobby which is not only really enjoyable, but allows networking and is an interesting little addition to a CV, particularly if you're wanting to go down a career path of writing, PR or the beauty/ fashion industry. 

I'd really like to see in the comments reasons why you love blogging.
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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Current Beauty Wishlist

Having submerged myself back in the blogging community, it was only a matter of time before the length of my wishlist started to increase. This, combined with the fact I'm trying to save money, has meant that I've began to crave major makeup shopping (and a winning lottery ticket). I've been obsessed with Real Techniques makeup brushes for such a long time now and my absolute favourite, the stippling brush, should definitely be duplicated in my collection. Really, that's the only item of the following I can actually justify buying as my makeup collection is a little excessive already. I definitely don't need any more, but that doesn't stop me wanting it.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your current makeup covets?
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Friday, 22 August 2014

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo [+]

Hey Everyone!

Through the years I've always had a few spots; mostly in my T zone. But a few months ago my skin got to the stage where my whole face, especially cheeks, had exploded and were just really red and angry. After trying a whole load of spot treatments and home remedies, I splashed out on La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo [+]- swayed by the money back guarantee and the countless rave reviews I'd seen. 

For one product, it promises a lot: 
'Clinically proven to correct the appearance of blemishes
  • Unclogs blocked pores
  • Helps to refine skin texture
  • Controls the appearance of shine
  • New - Fights against the appearance of marks.'

At this point I probably should mention that just before I started using this I also visited the doctor for acne treatment so the changes in my skin since then can't be put down solely to this product. However, in the same way that no one cause for spots can be identified, so too no one solution is completely effective (in my opinion). For example, drinking more water, a healthy diet and good skincare routine may not individually make a difference, but together could make a vast improvement to skin. So, I'm reviewing this as a kind of 'skin helper' rather than 'skin savior'.
 
First things first, I really love the packaging. Its not gimmicky just simple and efficient. I think the almost clinical design is appropriate for the product. I apply about half a pea sized amount to my whole face almost everyday. It has a gel like consistency and absorbs really, really quickly. It feels really light on the skin and smells like holiday. I don't know if that's a psychological thing because La Roche Posay is a french brand but its fresh scent has notes of 'abroad'. One thing I do notice is that my skin is softer after I use this product. As well as being used as a serum after cleansing, it acts as a nice base for makeup.
Now, I've been using this for 3 or 4 months now and about 75% of my acne has cleared. The redness has really been soothed and the skin surface is a lot smoother. As I mentioned though, I can't put this improvement down to just this product, although I definitely believe it has contributed.

Overall, I'd say that this is a good product and its a nice addition to my skincare routine. Perhaps its a brilliant product for mild breakouts but I think my skin was at the stage where it couldn't be fought by an external product alone and a trip to the doc was a good idea.

You can purchase La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo [+] for £15.50 here.
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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Things I Love About Summer...

...♥Sun ♥Ice Cream ♥Cute outfits ♥Sunglasses ♥Days out when its sunny ♥Being stress free ♥Holidays and trips ♥Flowers ♥Music ♥My birthday ♥Blue skies ♥Long days/ light nights♥ Good TV ♥Swimming pools ♥Sandcastles ♥Blowing bubbles ♥Reading ♥The smell of BBQs ♥Sleeping in ♥Cold drinks ♥Bright nail polish ♥Photos ♥Fresh fruit ♥Late nights♥...

What are your favourite things about summer?
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Sunday, 17 August 2014

Ellie Goulding Love

I do this all the time. Someone, usually a celebrity, comes onto my radar and something about them inspires me or sparks my interest. I then try to find out everything about them. I want to know their favourite products, how they got to where they are now, where their clothes are from. Heck my obsession with Caroline Flack a couple of years ago got to the point that I bought a dress just because she wore the same one on Xtra Factor (albeit the dress was very pretty- she does have amazing style). Anyway, I aspire to the person almost to the point of stalkerism until the phase slowly mellows out. 

Right now I just love Ellie Goulding.

It began seeing her perform live at T in the Park. She was a real stand out and I definitely didn't expect her to be as good as she was. I loved how much energy she put into her set. I then began to think how I actually liked a lot of her songs too. I then read this months issue of Glamour magazine which she is on the cover of. I was sold. I love her hair, her figure, her clothes. Whats more she seems lovely, mellow and down to earth. 

Now, I'm fully aware that I look nothing like her. That fact didn't stop me wanting to take inspiration from her makeup look in Glamour and try to recreate something similar. Never would I usually use pink eyeshadow and pencil liner on my top lashline. I am fully committed to my earthy tones and black liquid eyeliner. Surprisingly though, I found that stepping out of my usual makeup comfort zone was a great idea. I loved the eyeshadow! It took quite a while to do as I was cautious of looking like I had pink eye or like I was on my way to a rave but it actually turned out really well.

I've not went into detail about the products I used but if you're interested just leave a comment and I'll let you know.

What do you think of my attempt? Do you like Ellie Goulding?
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Thursday, 14 August 2014

We Heart It Picks

Admittedly, I'm probably in a minority of We Heart It users. I feel like most are 14 year old over-thinkers/ Directioners/ dreamers going through the 'who am I' and 'what does the world mean' and 'no one will ever love me' phase. Its a bit like Tumblr but minus the nudity and angst, a bit like Pinterest but less mumsy and organised and a bit like Instagram but less personal. I realise I've not really set it up in the best light but its all to soften the blow of what I'm about to admit. I am addicted to it and absolutely love it.  

You know when you're lying in bed at night when you've finally turned off your laptop (a major statement of intent) but you're not quite ready to sleep? This is perfect. I can literally scroll through it for an hour double tapping nearly every second image. You know why? Every single picture is so pretty! I've never stumbled across so many creative and girly images. I want to print them out and make a huge mood board/ inspiration wall. So here are some of my recent favourites that I thought I'd share with you all in the hope that you won't think less of me for this guilty pleasure. After all, I think everyone still has a bit of the over-thinker/ Directioner/ dreamer phase left in them. Particularly the Directioner bit. I still love Zayn Malik and I'm not sorry.
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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

The term 'comfort zone' can have different meanings. It is correctly defined as follows:

1. A situation where one feels safe or at ease: the trip is an attempt to take the students out of their comfort zone
1.1 A settled method of working that requires little effort and yields only barely acceptable results: If you stay within your comfort zone you will never improve
Source
While one meaning brings to mind the pleasant image of sitting with a cup of tea after a hard day at work, the other has slightly more worrying associations. This 'comfort zone' is a state of just existing. Sticking to what you know. Never taking chances. Playing it safe because you're scared of the consequences.

Now I'm the first to admit that I have a comfort zone and I tend to stick to it. Why tackle a tough subject in a post when I can almost switch off and review a makeup item? Why go somewhere new and make friends with strangers when I can sit in my room, contented with my own company? 

Don't get me wrong- I'm not saying a comfort zone is entirely bad. Far from it. Its actually quite lovely. And comfortable. The thing is, if you don't make yourself get out of it from time to time, you'll never grow as a person or experience new things. 
They say that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. What they fail to mention is how to get out of your comfort zone. I'm a fan of detail and step by step tutorials. In all honesty, what I'm ultimately looking for is the 101 guide of how to live you're life. While I wait for that to hit the shelves, I turned to the twitter beauty blogging community to hear their opinions on the matter. While most of the #bblogger discussion consists of product recommendations, I got deep and asked: 

"How do you push yourself out of your comfort zone: in life and in blogging?"

I got some really inspiring responses.
They're really a helpful bunch.

What seems to be a concurrent idea is pushing yourself to try something which is new to you, and that possibly even scares you. Not letting anyone hold you back, including yourself. And feeling on top of the world when you're done.

I've decided that in the next few weeks I want to try and push myself out of my comfort zone in 5 ways. I'm not sure exactly what ways, but I'm going to keep my mind open to opportunities and experiences I would otherwise decline because they're out of my comfort zone. If any of you want to do the same- tell me about it in the comments or tweet me. 

What are your thoughts on getting out of your comfort zone? Do you do it often? 
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Sunday, 10 August 2014

New Hobbies to Try: Introduction

I've been thinking a lot lately about passions. I think its amazing how each person loves something, no matter how big or small. When someone is committed to something, it totally inspired the people around them. Of course, most of us will share common loves such as family, friends, food (teehee). What has most interested me lately though is different hobbies. With the remainder of my free time this summer before I start university, I've decided to try out lots of new hobbies which sound like something I might enjoy. Some on my list are things I already do, and some are completely new (sadly rhyming is not one- my talent is forever wasted). I've decided to do a little lifestyle mini series about how I get on with each. I'm excited to be challenged and maybe even find something I will become passionate about. 

Hobbies To Try/ Do More Of:
♥Learning French- I studied French a few years ago in school and loved it but I feel like I've forgotten it all now. I would really like to attempt to get back to where I was because its such a beautiful language and I'd love to be able to speak it; even a little.
♥Yoga- I done a couple of classes two summers ago and really enjoyed it. My mum, and countless others, rave about its benefits so its definitely worth a go.
♥Jewellery Making- I bought some supplies in Portugal to get started with this. I'm thinking bead based and maybe even learning to make loom bands.
♥Photography- I think this is one that every blogger wants to master. I dream of taking beautiful, professional pictures. Really though, if I manage to up the number of pictures I take, I'll consider it a job well done.
♥Reading- Again, I do this already but its something I definitely need to dedicate more time to. Its safe to say my summer reading list has kind of went out the window. Book number 3 of 40 for life.
♥Collecting- I do this already but I wanted to have a think about what collections I actually have and how to put them to best use.
♥Colouring Pages- When I first read online that this constituted a hobby I was a bit bewildered but it seems simple enough so I'll give it a go.
♥Journalling- I'm a total sporadic journal keeper. I started a journal about 2 years ago and I've made about 4 entries.
♥Scrapbooking- I feel like I'd need quite a few supplies for this so I'll raid my craft box and if I have no luck I'll maybe look into online scrapbooking.
♥Planning meaningful gifts- I'm not sure if this counts as a hobby but I'm the worst for leaving present buying to the last minute and I think planning ahead would be a lot wiser.
♥Running- Yeah, we'll see how this goes.
♥Blogging- Of course, I already do this but I thought I'd include it as its something I already love and want to do even more of.
♥Challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone in 5 ways- I think this is a really interesting one but I'm not quite sure how to go about it. 
♥Origami- Last year I made a bracelet out of Starburst wrappers and I've been pinning a lot of origami ideas on Pinterest. Watch this space.
♥Money Management- Most would count this as a chore rather than a hobby but I included it on my list as its something I really should be focusing on.
♥Be a tourist (in my own city)- Being on holiday and looking for places of interest combined with all the hype surrounding the Commonwealth made me think that I hardly ever visit the sights my city has to offer. I think it would be a fun way to spend time and if I take my camera I'd be trying two hobbies at once.

I've not yet decided how I will time each post letting you know how I'm getting on. I might post one a week or just update whenever I try one. 

For now, I'd love to hear what you're passionate about or hobbies you'd like to try. 
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Thursday, 7 August 2014

Lisbon Haul

Hey Everyone!

One of my priorities when visiting somewhere new is finding out what the shops have to offer. There's something really exciting about shopping in a place which is completely different from what you're used to. In Lisbon, I found many of the same shops I loved in Barcelona, but this time round I only spent a few hours of the holiday shopping as there weren't as many. A stand out was definitely Stradivarius. This clothes shop seems to be really big in Europe but for some reason we don't have it in the UK. I spent a lot of time in there and liked the vast majority of what they had. The only problem was the fitting room scenario: scorching heat, fluid retention and being covered top to toe in sun cream- safe to say I found myself in quite a pickle trying to get some dresses on and off. 
I loved these floral printed trousers (€19.95) so much that I had to buy the exact same pair in two different prints. They are both really light weight and perfect for this time of year. I've wanted some thing yellow since the beginning of the season but until now I hadn't seen anything I thought would suit me. I'm still not sure if this bright yellow will go with my skin tone but for €3.99 sale I thought I'd buy it to suppress my craving. It is a light, baggy crop top and it sits really nicely on. Another clothing item I've sought for ages is a white skirt and this tulip skirt (€15.95) is a beautiful shape and fits the bill nicely. Finally the white knitted jumper (€19.95) is really cute on and will be perfect for this unpredictable weather and into next season too.

My next major haulage was from Tiger. We do have Tiger in the UK, I recently discovered it in Glasgow, but the one in Lisbon is double the size. It is similar to IKEA but minus the furniture, add lots of stationary and crafts. 
I've decided to use some of the time I have left this summer to try a variety of new hobbies. I'll be posting about each one but most of the stuff I picked up in Tiger was to get me going with those. Its really inexpensive and is one of those places you just want to buy everything. 
I then bought miscellaneous from a few different places. There is a big department store in Lisbon called El Corte Inglés and in the beauty department was a Sephora (hallelujah!) which actually had a sale on (hallelujah! x2). I got their own brand of primer for €4 and this minature Nails Inc trio for €5. They also have an amazing stationary department where I found this super cute notebook. There are lots of small independent shops in side streets and my mum and I found a very reasonably priced jewellery making store. Finally, I bought a post card made out of cork purely for the novelty.

I actually spent less than I anticipated on holiday which works out well as I now have extra euros left over for Greece. 
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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Lisbon Photo Diary

Hey Everyone!

Last week was spent in with my family in Lisbon, Portugal: enjoying the sun, shopping and generally being a tourist. Its a stunning city and thankfully quite straight forward to navigate. I love the city and beach combination as I get bored just sitting around all day and like to pretend I'm cultured. 

I've decided to restart the little series I used to do of fortnightly picture diaries. Not only are they really interesting posts to look back on but they're easy to read (or skim) and I enjoy looking at other people's posts like this to see what they've been up to.
From left to right and down:
stunning view of the city on a boat trip | sun sea and sand :) | Jeronimos Monastery | when I was trying to be all artsy and take cool pictures | pretty blossom outside the Museu de Arte Popular (which is currently closed- maybe for renovations?) | the view from the Cristo Rei momument | amusing myself on the beach | the city at night | stumbled upon the cutest shop with heaps of these vintage inspired signs | sunset while boarding the plane | metro map | couldn't find a stand alone Sephora but the department store El Corte Inglés saved the day | hotel bathroom | freezing coke by the pool | heading up to the Olympic Stadium | sun lounger selfie | it looks so exotic | relaxing on the beach
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Sunday, 3 August 2014

Current Beauty Favourites

Hey Everyone!

I've been absolutely loving each of these products over the last little while and thought I'd let you know exactly why. I am thinking of doing a non-beauty favourites too- let me know if there's anything in particular you'd like to see in that. 

Makeup
S&G Archery in Brownie Points- This has made the long time impossible task of filling in my brows so straight forward. Its really defining and just the right shade. 
No7 Stay Precise Liquid Liner- I had a bit of a panic in the last few week because I had run out and couldn't find it in any Boots. After being reassured it hadn't been discontinued, I managed to find it well stocked in the one Boots I hadn't tried (phew). Anyway, this hands down beats any other liquid eyeliner I've ever tried, including L'Oreal Super Liner. 
Maybelline Color Tattoo in On and On Bronze- See full review here.
Lancome Hypnose Star Mascara- After getting a sample of this in a magazine I had to buy the full size because it is amazing. This has quickly become my HG mascara. It ticks all the boxes: length, volume, no clumps, and, unlike a lot of others, its not a pain to remove. 
MUA Lipstick in Shade 9- This has been a favourite of mine for years. It is non-drying, the perfect everyday colour and at only £1: it is an absolute steal.
MAC Lipstick in Girl About Town- Since receiving this as a birthday present last year, I wore this only from time to time because it was such a bold colour. I've been wearing it a lot on nights out lately though and the lasting power is absolutely amazing. Its such a good quality product and is really easy to apply.

Nails
Tanya Burr Nail Polish in Little Duck- I've been resisting Tanya Burrs collection since it hit shelves but I was delighted to receive 3 of her polishes for my birthday. I absolutely love mint nail polish but own none (surprising despite the size of my collection) and this is the first I used of the three. The colour payoff is excellent and it lasts a good few days without chipping.

Fragrance
Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh- I'm a huge fan of Marc Jacobs perfume. I'm thinking of treating myself to another at duty free on the way to Portugal actually. Each one of the scents are fresh and sweet and beautiful. I reserve this for special occasions because its so expensive.

Body
Soap & Glory The Breakfast Scrub- The Breakfast Scrub is the most delicious smelling product ever- its like syrup/ pancakes/ sticky toffee pudding. It also leaves my skin super soft.

Hair
Batiste Dry Shampoo- When roots are looking a little greasy, Bastise dry shampoo is definitely a life saver. I had been using the 'blush' scent which comes in the pink bottle but it has that tell tale dry shampoo musty smell which I'm not a fan of. I picked up the 'fresh' scent as a little experiment to see if it would be any better and I was really pleased: thankfully it doesn't have the dry shampoo smell rather a fresher, perfumed one. The XXL Volume is more like a sticky, hairspray dry shampoo. It is brilliant for bulking up hair although the white colour is a little more difficult to work into the roots. 
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