Thursday, 29 December 2016

M&S Beauty Advent Calendar Final Update

Here we are with the third and final M&S Beauty Advent calendar update. I'm already missing opening the boxes each morning. Between this year and last, the M&S calendar has definitely established itself as one of my Christmas traditions. 
Contents from the 20th-25th:
PUR Correcting Primer 
Leighton Denny Mini Crystal Nail File - I think Leighton Denny is such a good brand for all nail products. I absolutely love my Renovate Kit from last years advent calendar (which is still going strong) and the clear top coat from the Summer Box.
Filorga Time-Filler - This is one that my mum really likes. A face lift in a cream.
Formula Absolute Ultimate Sleep Cream
Shay & Blue Perfume - This little treat came in box 25 and I think they kept one of the best until last. Its such a pretty bottle and gorgeous smell. It is £30 for 30ml on the M&S website so a 10ml mini is pretty generous.
Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm - I've wanted to try this lip balm for ages as its supposed to be the very best. 
Unlike previous years, I've actually not had a massive Christmas comedown this year. Usually I get to about 9pm on Christmas night and feel really deflated because its all over. This year though I feel like its more of a festive season that one day, and I'm enjoying being cosy, eating lots of chocolates and relaxing well beyond Christmas day. I'm beginning to think about my new year's resolutions but I can so far only come up with 'Don't go on my phone before I go to sleep'. I want some that are ambitious but also achievable. What are yours?

Edit: I'm a big silly - I've included the Filorga Time-Filler twice in my posts and forgotten the Studio 10 Miracle Effect Priming Serum. Please accept my humblest apologies for this rookie mistake.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Life Lately

Happy Christmas Eve Eve everyone! After building up to Christmas for so long (I had the Christmas CD playing in my car in October) its hard to believe its finally here. The excitement was so real when I recieved my first few presents a couple of days ago. I love trying to guess what could be inside the parcels! I also watched The Santa Clause 3 yesterday which left me feeling very Christmassy. I love how the adults are just as, if not more, excited than the kids to be at the North Pole. I'd be jumping up and down with joy too! 

I was looking through my old instagram/ updatey posts a couple of nights ago and it was so interesting to see what I was doing a few years ago. I thought I'd do a new one to show you the nice Christmas pictures and ridiculous amounts of unhealthy (but delicious) foods which I've snapped lately.
From left to right and down:
there is a fab Christmas market in George Square for the first time ever and its so festive and cheery! | Frasers on Buchanan Street have lit up their whole building - its so pretty | my manager bought me this cupcake to have at lunch one day. It was lovely but I got in quite a mess because it was so tall| Costa festive hot chocolates are my FAVE - this year I've had the black forest (not as good as previous years), the toasted marshmallow (yum) and the mint (also yum)! | cute decorations I have hanging from my wardrobe | my first Christmas card this year, some Santa ornaments and a M&S Christmas candle | I've put fairy lights and tinsel round my mirror - love! | Frasers again | Tiger is excellent for these cute small decorations for only £1 or two | does anyone remember this laughing lady on MSN messenger?! | high fat, high satisfaction dinner of mac & cheese & chips before seeing Fantastic Beasts in the cinema | a Lush bath bomb | eye makeup inspo | I absolutely love Dirty Dancing and this twentieth anniversary soundtrack accidentally found its way into my Amazon basket when I was ordering my uni books for next semester | new shoes for work only £7 from H&M | Aldi's answer to Dominoes pizza - stuffed crust pizza for only £2.49 - don't mind if I do | they said these new £5 notes were unrippable - | everyone loves a snapchat filter!

Right now I can hear the rain pelting off the windows  - I'm so glad I'm indoors and all cosy. I hope you all have an absolutely fantastic Christmas! Let me know in the comments what you've been up to lately.

Monday, 19 December 2016

M&S Beauty Advent Calendar Update 2

Time for another update on what surprises have been in my M&S Beauty Advent Calendar over the last few days. These are the contents from the 10th to the 19th. So far, I'm really impressed with the variety: there's hair products, makeup, creams and now even a makeup brush.

Products since my last post:
Rituals The Ritual of Sakuka
Emma Hardy Moringa Cleansing Balm: I've heard lots of good things about Emma Hardy so I'm really glad that one of her products is included!
NUXE Huile Protigieuse Oil: This was one of my favourite products from the M&S Summer Beauty Box so I'm excited they've included it again and in a bigger size. You can read my review of it here.
Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Cream
REN Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer: This too was in either the Summer Beauty box or last year's advent calendar and has sat in my drawer ever since. It seems like a product that requires a lot of effort because you need to apply to sections and leave in a cap before shampooing.
Look Good Feel Better Mini Powder Brush
Nails Inc Gel Polish in Piccadilly Court
Percy & Reed Wonder Balm: This seems like a hair product I could get on board with as, from what I gather from the directions, you apply it like a mousse and it makes your usual styling and styling products work wonders. I'm really not sure about the smell though. 
Rosie for Autograph Lip Glossy in Super Model Shine: I have been admiring the Rosie for Autograph makeup line since it launched but couldn't justify the price - now I can finally try it! I'm in love with the rose gold packaging. 

I'm going to be so sad when advent is over because I won't be waking up to this calendar everyday. My actual chocolate advent calendar has been totally side-lined. I had to eat five day's worth today - poor me (!)

P.S. A heads up for M&S fans: they've already reduced their Christmas wrapping paper, crackers, cards, etc. to half price!

Saturday, 10 December 2016

M&S Beauty Advent Calendar Update 1

One of the things I was most looking forward to at Christmas time this year was the M&S Beauty Advent Calendar. My mum bought one last year before I even know they were a thing and we opened alternate doors ever morning. I absolutely loved it and discovered some of my now favourite products. I am always surprised at the amazing brands stocked in M&S from Nails Inc to Pixi to Burts Bees. So, come September this year (yes- September) I was tweeting Marks & Spencer asking for a release date for this year's edition to make sure I got my hands on one. They were £35 when you spent £35 on beauty/ clothing/ home. I think they're totally worth £35 because all the products are good brands and generous sizes. You can get some Christmas shopping with the £35 you have to spend instore too (or, ahem, buy full sized products of last years contents). I know its sold out online but the last time I was in my local store there were still plenty so there might still be time to get one. My mum and I are sharing it again this year because some products suit her better and vice versa. And its the time of year to share. I thought I'd do a little round up of the contents at the end of each week to share the excitement. 
Products so far:
Alpha H Liquid Gold: A product that I'd never think to buy but will probably end up being fab (like the NUXE oil from the summer box)
Ultrasun Face SPF 30: This also came in the M&S summer box. Its good for sensitive skin like mine though it won't be needed for a good few months.
Josh Wood Radiant Shine Hair Treatment Oil
Eyeko Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner: I have wanted to try this brand for so long so and I wear liquid eyeliner everyday so this will be a product for me.
Filorga Time Filler
Rodial X-Treme Acid Rush Peel: I'm excited to see what this product is like as I haven't used anything like it before. I can't help but think of Sam in SATC when she has a facial peel when I read the name though (yikes!)
Autograph Nail Polish in Cranberry: This was today's treat. Its an absolutely gorgeous dark pink with gold iridescence. This one will definitely be mine when we split the contents as my mum doesn't wear nail polish - yes!
Pixi Brow Tamer: I'm glad that the Pixi product is from their makeup range. I fell in love with the Glow Tonic in last year's calendar so I'm expecting good things from this.
BeeLovely Hand Cream

Also featured in the picture is my M&S Christmas scented candle which is delicious.

Hope you have a lovely, festive weekend. I've already decorated my room and I'll be wearing my Christmas jumpers to work.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Pixi Glow Tonic Review

I realise I'm a little late to the party when it comes to Pixi Glow Tonic. I've seen it recommended on countless blogs and Youtube channels over the last couple of years but with its heavy price tag and my set in stone skincare routine, it wasn't something I was desperate to try. When I realised it came in the Marks & Spencer Beauty Advent calendar though, I was so excited to try it. I've been using it for almost a month now and I'm really impressed with how long it is lasting for a sample- 100ml is pretty generous for a mini. I've been using it after my Garnier Micellar Water and Simple Cleanser, in place of my Simple Toner. 

First of all, I actually really like its packaging. When I first saw Pixi products online I thought they looked quite Disney-esque. I would never have put orange and pale green together but they actually work well and make the bottle look distinctive. It has a screw top and a well-functioning dispenser so you can easily control how much product you put on a cotton pad. I like the name 'Skintreats' too- who would say no to a treat for the skin? My skin feels fresh and squeaky clean when I use it. 
One thing I don't like about this product is the smell. I may just be used to the almost scentless Simple but to me, this smells like chemicals, or an industrial cleaning product. It also stings my eyes quite badly even though I avoid them when using it. I do think my eyes are more sensitive than most people's though as I remember the same thing happening when I tried out Liz Earle skincare.

Having said all that, I have actually noticed a vast improvement in my skin since using this. Usually changing one skincare product doesn't make much of a difference to my complexion but this definitely has. I am prone to spots and breakouts but this has kept them completely at bay. 
I'm now torn between wanting to incorporate this into my routine because of the improvement of my skin, despite the smell which I can put up with, and the scary price tag. I can justify having a few high end beauty bits and bobs that I repurchase time and again but I'm still a poor student!

Have you tried Pixi Glow Tonic? What do you think of it?

Monday, 17 October 2016

Makeup Brush Chat

I'll use any excuse to post a picture of freshly washed makeup brushes. It's such a big task, forever on my to do list, that when it finally gets done I go crazy with the camera so I can look back and remember that one day they were like new. Its quite sad really, but anyone who uses makeup brushes will understand the struggle. I don't use any kind of specialist brush cleaning products (if you do and would recommend it, let me know) but instead I just use hot water and the mini shampoo or soaps you get from hotels. In my opinion, as long as they lather up and are rinsed thoroughly, they do the job totally fine. The only downside is my hand is really wrinkled after spending more than half an hour under running water.

It was quite a few years ago now that I saw the idea of using old candle jars as brush holders and I've been doing it ever since. These are the perfect size and make finding the brush I want much easier than if I were to search around the bottom of a makeup bag. 

The brushes I'm really loving at the moment are my MAC 217 blending brush, my RT eyeliner brush and my RT expert face brush.You have probably heard enough about the cult 217 brush to know that its super soft and one of the best brushes for blending out there. I only have one MAC makeup brush and I'm so glad that I went for this one. I'm a RT loyal overall though, as you can see from the photo. I've never used angled brushes and they've always been neglected in my collection. However, I've found a love for the eyeliner brush since I started filling my eyebrows in with eyeshadow. Its really precise, dense and picks up just the right amount of product. I've also been using the RT expert face brush a lot lately for applying both foundation and concealer. It blends both products so easily into the skin and has a really high density too. I'd say its as near to a sponge as a brush is going to get while maintaining precision. Its an ideal size for applying base products too. Some of my RT brushes I've had for upwards of 3 years and still they never shed a single hair. I've also got to give a special mention to my rose gold eyelash curlers which came in a Ted Baker set. They're so pretty!
What's your favourite makeup brush?

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

New Watch!

However superficial it may be, I wear watches as accessories rather than to tell me the time. I just use my phone for the time- maybe quite a lot of you do too. I don't wear a watch religiously either, so I don't spend lots of money on them. When rose gold watches first became popular, I was extremely pleased at myself for finding a Michael Kors dupe on Missguided for around £20. I then replaced that with a €10 number from Penny's (Irish Primark) last summer. However, I have a really, really weird tendency to lose watches. Of all the things to lose you'd think that wouldn't be one of them but somehow I take them off and never see them again. Maybe one day I'll stumble upon a secret cove of all my watches from days gone by. As it stood a couple of weeks ago though, I needed a new watch. Since I'd had two, I was pretty much over the solid rose gold and wanted something a bit different. I found this khaki/ mauve watch with a rose gold face in New Look for only £12.99 (plus 10% student discount). It's smart and goes with pretty much all my outfits because I'm really into subtle shades right now like pale pink, navy, camel and white. I really like it and think it looks more expensive than it actually was. This is also the first picture I've ever posted where my nails aren't a bitten mess. My new years resolution was to grow them and so far I have had them long 4 or 5 times - but I can't keep it up. They were nice for this picture though! 

Do you splurge or save when it comes to watches?

Monday, 3 October 2016

NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil Review

I've never went in for the whole hair, face or body oil thing. I thought it would be greasy and I would be slipping about everywhere. How wrong I was. In the Marks & Spencer Summer Beauty Box, which I was lucky enough to receive for my birthday, came a 10ml sample of the NUX Huile Prodigieuse Dry-Oil. In case, like me, you're wondering what Huile Prodigieuse means, my friend Google informs me that it translates as 'prodigious oil'. As a 10ml sample, it's perhaps not the most prodigious in size, but it certainly is a remarkable product. 

It comes in elegant, square-shaped glass bottle with a gold top. It doesn't have any sort of dispenser so you have to be careful that it doesn't all run out at once. What I love most about this product is the smell. It's quite heavy, classic and womanly- it reminds me a little of Clinique Aromatics. I would wear it as a perfume it smells so nice. 

I haven't used it on my face as I think it might be a little rich for my temperamental skin. I've tried it on the lengths and ends of my hair and it was how you'd imagine an oil to be on hair- oily. I have quite thin hair too- it might have been absorbed better into thick hair. The next day though, my hair looked super healthy and felt sleek and soft. By far the best results I've had with this product is as a body oil. It isn't greasy or shiny and absorbs quickly since its a dry oil. It's a pretty thin liquid so a tiny amount goes a long way. Most importantly though- it just feels really, really nice on the skin: both light and luxurious. It does wonders for the skin on my hands- they're so soft and supple after using this. I think I love it all the more because I've never used a product like it before and its quite a novelty for someone who is so used to standard body lotion or body butter. 
With a price tag of £17 for 50ml, this is a splurge and I would only buy now and again as a treat but if I could, I'd buy it by the gallon and shower in it. (Ok slight exaggeration- but it really is amazing)!
Have you tried it? What other NUXE products would you recommend?

Friday, 30 September 2016

I Won!



While I was on holiday I received a message on Twitter telling me I had been lucky enough to win a pin from punkypins.co.uk. I had completely forgotten that before I set off I randomly retweeted some Freebie Friday tweets. I always do those halfheartedly, never believing for a minute that I might win. You can imagine my surprise and delight then, to realise I actually had. It was such a nice treat to return home to. I became a bit nutty about pin badges in my last job where I decorated my lanyard with them. This little pin, being multicoloured and heart-shaped, is right up my street. Its so cute! It was also really nicely packaged which always makes receiving a parcel that much more special. I was also impressed that the lovely people who sent it spelled Julianne right- that never happens! Its amazing how with just the click of a button to retweet a competition you can win something that will brighten your day! A big thank you to Punky Pins (who you should definitely check out) and apologies to those of you who follow me on twitter whose feed I clog up with these retweets (hehe).

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Review [No Spoilers]

I hadn't actually planned on buying or reading Harry Potter and The Cursed Child for the simple reason that although I am a huge HP fan, I've never been very drawn to the 'extra' stories that have been released since the seven books came to an end. I think I was initially put off by the fact I could never find the extra stories published by J.K.Rowling to read online and I didn't even get to the Sorting Ceremony on Pottermore as I found it quite boring. I do love finding out extra or background information about the series itself through facebook fan pages, and I am really excited to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Anyway, my whole attitude changed when my mum came in from Sainsburys one day a few weeks ago with a copy of The Cursed Child for me as a treat. Having the actual book in my hand made me so, so excited and I wanted to read it straight away. My uni reading list took a decisive backseat. It was like I was back when the original books were coming out and I had the chance to relive the excitement and anticipation of a new story. The story is in two parts and is just over 300 pages but it only took me a night to read the full thing. 

One thing I will address straight away is that The Cursed Child isn't a narrated novel like the original Harry Potter books- its the script of a play. In many of the reviews I read, this majorly put people off. To be honest though for me it wasn't a big deal. I'm quite used to reading scripts as literature on my course and I didn't miss the depiction of scenery or description of character as much as I thought I might. I think the main thing you have to do when reading this is take it for what it is- the script of a play which is intended to be acted out rather than read. For this reason I would really love to see the actual show. The writing isn't anything like the original books, which is to be expected considering it was actually written by Jack Thorne. It might be considered a little misleading that J. K. Rowling's name is so prominent on the front cover.

I had pretty mixed feelings overall towards the book. I thought the plot line was quite predictable, like something a fan would come up with. Perhaps if it had taken a more decisive step away from the original story, it wouldn't be judged so harshly against it. I think it struggled in forging a link with original story while staying true to it. For example, the Harry in The Cursed Child and the Harry of the original series seem to me like two completely different people. Its a really fine line between wanting to know what happened when Deathly Hallows ended and having your expectations ruined. For me, I've decided to try and appreciate the details about the future, like what the golden trio are working as, without letting it ruin the impression I held at the end of book seven. In other words, I'm trying to be thankful that we got a little bonus, extra story after all these years, keeping in mind it could never truly live up to the original books.

I did like the introduction of the younger generation, and the exploration of the Malfoy family. In fact, Scorpious Malfoy was my favourite character. For me he was the most likeable and the least one dimensional. Again, I don't want to sound too harsh because I know that characters who may seem one dimensional in a script are supposed to be brought to life on the stage. I also liked the twist (which I won't say explicitly for fear of ruining it for anyone) as it was pretty unexpected, though perhaps a little hard to believe. 

As you have probably gathered, I didn't love the cursed child, but I didn't hate it either. I appreciate the story and the excitement of going back into the magical world but I sort of preferred the story ending where it was. It allowed HP lovers to form their own opinions of what happened next, what is really what you're supposed to do at the end of the story. The bittersweet nature of an ending is not being told anything more, but being able to guess at it. 

Thursday, 15 September 2016

September Haul

I have convinced myself that since I'm going back to uni soon, and (ahem) won't have time to spend money, I should spend my summer earnings now. Anyway, I need lots of new outfits for going back. I'll go to any lengths to justify spending. 

Jeans are always a tricky item to buy. Usually either they don't get past my thighs or they are massive at the waist so when I find a style I like, I always buy multiple pairs. I've always wanted a pair of Topshop jeans but when I tried on a pair of Jonis a few years ago they were disastrous. I hadn't even considered that other styles would be a totally different story. I'm now in love with the Leigh and Jamie jeans. I struggle to get my size in store or online so when I seen 2 pairs I just went ahead and bought them both (with a slight tear in my eye at the till). I also really love the Zara basic range. For simple tshirts, you don't pay much more than Primark and you get better material, fit and quality. 

I saw the Barry M lipliners recommended on a Youtube video a couple of weeks ago and since I'm pretty obsessed with brown lip products at the moment, I picked one up for £2.99. While I was in Superdrug, I stocked up on my favourite Simple skincare products as they were on special offer and came with a free Vaseline. I also bought MUA's Pixel Perfect bronzer. I've used their Mosaic Bronzer for years and love it but it seems to have been discontinued (cry) so I've decided to embrace its replacement. Finally, I had a voucher for a No7 Match Made lipstick from the bonus-time summer box. The woman at the counter done a skin tone analysis and gave me a little information card with the shades that best suit me. I've already mentioned my love for brown lipsticks at the moment so I used my voucher to get 'Spiced Latte' worth £9.95! 

All in all, it was actually a pretty sensible shopping trip as I see myself getting plently of use out of all of this.

What have you bought lately? 

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Sleek Face Form Palette in 'Light'

I stumbled upon these pictures in my 'To Post' folder from around a year ago and I can't believe the length of time I have been using the Sleek Face Form Palette without writing a rave review about it. I had read lots of great things about Sleek palettes before taking the plunge and buying one of my own. Coming in at £9.99, its more than I would usually spend on 1 highstreet makeup item so I had to do that thing where I go into Boots, look, swatch, and leave at least 3 times before I actually bought it. I am so glad I did though because I haven't stopped using it since. 

The packaging is really simple - a wipe clean black- and the palette contains a large mirror which is ideal for when you are applying on the go. I realised my initial hesitation at the cost was unnecessary as you're getting 3 full sized products: a blush, a highlight and bronzer/ contour for £10. Each shade is great quality and applies easily. The swatches actually don't do their pigmentation justice. 

The blush is a lovely rose pink and its gold shimmer acts as a highlighter in itself.  The highlight is a very pale pink/ white but not chalky in the slightest. The highlight is actually my least used of the three as I prefer a more gold based highlighter and my favourite is the MAC MSF in Soft & Gentle. However, the absolute stand out of the palette, and probably worth the £9.99 itself is the contour shade. I went through many drugstore bronzers trying to find one that would work as a contour but they were all too orange, shimmery or difficult to blend. This matte brown works excellently with my skin tone as a contour shade and I apply it with the Real Techniques Contour Brush (reviewed here). 

This is definitely the best cheek & contour palette I have found so far. I am still quite far from hitting pan on the blush and highlight so I might see if I can purchase the contour shade individually as I just couldn't go without it. 

What is your favourite Sleek product?

Friday, 12 August 2016

Makeup Revolution Iconic 2 Palette

I can't quite believe that I'm typing this but I think my MUA eyeshadow palettes have finally been knocked off their podium of my most unbeatable and most used eyeshadows. Elf couldn't do it, Accessorize couldn't do it, even the Naked Palette couldn't. Who is the new kid on the block you might ask? Well, it probably won't be new to many of you because I was very behind when it came to jumping on the Makeup Revolution bandwagon. 
For £4 in the Makeup Revolution Iconic 2 palette you get 12 gorgeous neutral colours: a mix of matte and shimmer. It ranges from pearly nudes to classic shimmery browns to golds to muted grey. This palette is my only go to at the moment where previously I would use 2/3 at once. The colours are so pigmented but there is very little fall down during application. They blend out really well and harmonize with each other really nicely. You can achieve so many different looks with this from simple daytime to dramatic smoky for night. I find this palette to work best over the top of Maybelline's Color Tattoo in On and On Bronze to lock the shades in place. 

I can't believe how long it took me to buy one of these palettes considering the storm they've caused in the blogging world. The amount of comments on blogs I've written saying 'I've still to try this' or 'I must give this a go'! For £4 it is definitely worth it- even if like me you already have eyeshadow palettes coming out of your ears. My MUA palettes aren't completely forgotten about and will no doubt make a return when the initial infatuation with MakeupRev dulls, but even then, this palette is a strong contender for HG and will definitely be a repurchase. 

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

You Need To Check Out Wilko Stationary

I've noticed that for many in this community, the love of makeup is rivaled only by the love of stationary. Wilkinson's has been one of my favourite places to feed my stationary addiction for a long time (as I mentioned here) but I feel compelled to stress again the amazing value for money they offer. Each time they release a new collection they manage to compete with places like Paperchase and TKMaxx but at a fraction of the price. My most recent purchases, a diary-style notebook and an organiser, came in at only £1.75 and £2.50- and look how cute they are! Each collection has matching notebooks, folders, pens and more. At any one time they have a few different collections out too so there's something to suit everyone's style. Wilko stationary is perfect for back to school/ university but also just life in general if, like me, you love getting organised and writing everything down. I would definitely recommend you have a look at the stationary section next time you pass a store. I can hardly go in now without picking something up!

Thursday, 4 August 2016

False Eyelashes: Tips & Tricks

Back when I stumbled across the beauty blogging community, applying false eyelashes was something that completely eluded me. After years of reviews, tutorials and general chit chat, I'm a lot more skilled and thought I'd share what I've learned in the hope that someone similar to my 2012-self can be aided. Of course I'm not a makeup artist, or any kind of expert, these are just the things that make my life a bit easier. 
The first thing I'd say is get a set of lashes that work for you. I've heard great things about the Ardell lashes but I personally found them really footery to apply. Some people will also opt for the cheaper end of the lash selection such as those available in Bodycare for around £2. I wouldn't say that more expensive lashes necessarily look much better when applied as I've used and got along well with cheaper ones. Eylure is definitely my favourite brand though. They're about midway along the price scale and are often on special offer. I'd consider them value-for-money simply because you can reuse them a good few times unlike, in my experience, the cheaper ones. I have repurchased the Eylure 101 lashes countless times as I really like their volume and length and they're idea for a night out. However, I've recently also tried the Eylure Cheryl 114s and these are perfect for a more subtle yet lengthening look. 
There is definitely a knack to applying false eyelashes that comes with practice. Almost every pair I buy need to be trimmed to properly fit. Before applying the glue, measure the lash against your own lashes and cut to size. This prevents them springing up in your inner corner. Also, it might seem obvious but don't cut them next to your own lashes or you'll end up cutting them too. I think lashes look much better and are easier to apply when they start about a quarter of your eyelid away from the inner corner. Sometimes I like to apply a single coat of mascara to my own lashes before applying the false ones to give them something to cling onto. Apply the glue in a thin strip across the top of the lashes and what is absolutely key is that you wait about 30 seconds for the glue to become tacky and sticky before attaching them to your eyelid. If you don't wait, they'll slide about and won't attach. You want to get the strip of lashes as close to your own lash line as possible. I use tweasers to put them in position and then my fingers or the flat side of the tweasers to pat and secure them into place. If the false lash strip is quite obvious against your own eyelid, applying eyeliner will conceal it. Do a final check that the full strip is glued in place with no edges springing up and you're good to go. To be able to reuse them, make sure you place them back in their packaging when you're finished so they keep their shape. If they have makeup on them, you can give them a clean with makeup remover but I only have to do this very occasionally.
I think everyone finds applying eyelashes a little difficult but it definitely gets easier with practice. Do you have any top tips for applying false eyelashes?

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

The Benefits Of Buying Second-Hand

Everyone wants to get the best deal they can get when they buy something. I don't know about you but when I have my eye on something, I um and ah over it for ages. I see it in the shop, wonder if its worth that amount, if I can get it for a better price elsewhere and make a mental note to look up blogger reviews online. I often think that instead of spending my time trawling through ebay, amazon and other sites, surely someone could collate them and just say 'here is what your looking for'. Well, I'm here to tell you that I have found such a website and I just had to share it with you. SecondWow.co.uk offers price comparisons of items on sale across eBay, Gumtree, Amazon and Preloved. They cover categories from fashion to vehicles and pretty much everything in between. And the best thing? They're all in one place!

I think the quality and value for money of second hand goods would surprise a lot of people. I'm always doing wardrobe clearouts and most of the stuff I sell on eBay or give to charity has hardly been worn. When I volunteered in a children's charity shop, most of the clothes were brand new but sold for a fraction on the price. You can get such good bargains. I think especially with electronics people have a tendency to move on the the latest thing when their current model still has plenty of life left in it (ahem, Apple products). My last two iPhones have been second-hand and lasted years. Buying preloved goods not only saves you money but provides the (often independent) seller with a small return on the stuff they no longer need. 

With buying second hand becoming easier and easier, there's nothing to stop you finding a treasure in someone else's trash. 

Do you shop preloved goods? What's your best thrift find to date?

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The Perfect Summer Day Out

When I finished my second year of university in May I had the very grand yet vague idea of 'actually doing stuff' with my summer instead of lapsing into the all-too-familiar couch potato life. Although I have indulged in a fair amount of my favourite hobby (lying down and watching TV) I have realised that making the most of summer is most easily done by doing all the little things that you always mean to do but never have the time. Things that are both realistic and fulfilling. I find that if you record each little thing you do, you can look back and see that it adds up to one successful, productive summer. Things on my list this year included getting back into blogging, decluttering my bedroom, getting a new job and making time for fun days out with friends and family. 

While some may consider a day of sunbathing or visiting a theme park  the ultimate summer day out, I'm not a fan of sizzling my skin in the sun (not that we get a great deal in Glasgow) or scary rollercoasters (I threw up the last time I went on one). Instead, sometimes the most simple kind of day out can be the most enjoyable. I think one of the most classic and fun summer days out is going for a picnic. You can adapt it to your budget, your location and the time you have available. If you are lucky enough to live in the country or by the sea, I imagine you have an endless selection of scenic picnic locations to choose from. But even if you live in the city like me, you can take a picnic basket filled with goodies to a park, on a train journey, or even to your back garden. Its a day out that everyone can enjoy- from little kids to grannies and grandpas. The most important thing about it is taking time out from your day to day routine to appreciate tasty food and good company. A picnic is also, lets face it, pretty instagram/ Pinterest worthy. Think gorgeous picnic baskets and triangular-cut sandwiches. And for those worrying about the cost of getting your hands on picnic essentials, lovepicnics.co.uk review and compare the best picnic baskets and accessories available online to save you doing it yourself. There are websites for everything these days!

I hope this has inspired you to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors this summer. Now that my hayfever is settling down, I certainly will be!

Have you had a picnic lately? What are your favourite summer days out?

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Tuesday, 5 July 2016

It's Worth The Hype!

Even those who have been living under a rock in the beauty blogging world (ahem- me) have wanted to get their hands on the much coveted MAC Velvet Teddy lipstick- a matte nude shade made famous by Kylie Jenner's signature makeup look. I often talk myself out of buying hyped up makeup- usually because its too expensive or because I worry I'll be disappointed. I have scrolled through endless photographs of swatches and picked this up at every MAC counter I've passed over the last year but I've never actually taken the plunge and bought it. Last week though I was so pleased to receive it for my birthday (ah!).

I absolutely love a nude lip and I have used this every day since I bought it. It is very close to my actual lip colour and is a perfect mix of beige and subtle pink tones. It applies completely matte and stays put for much longer than anything else I usually wear (a good few hours at least). Usually I find matte lipsticks drying but this isn't in the slightest. It also has the staple MAC lipstick vanilla scent. I'm so excited to try different makeup looks with this, wear it with liner and mix it with lip creams and other shades. It will be my go-to for the foreseeable and is absolutely worth the hype surrounding it.

What's your favourite cult product?

Friday, 1 July 2016

What I Got For My Twentieth Birthday

It feels so weird no longer being a teenager. I'm a proper adult now- I feel like I need to start doing 'being in my twenties' stuff- though I'm not sure exactly what that is! 

I absolutely love seeing other bloggers' birthday present posts and videos so thought I'd share my own since I'm so chuffed with everything. I got all of my favourite things- chocolate, makeup and skincare bits as well as some gems I've wanted to try for ages including MAC Velvet Teddy lipstick, a Sephora mask and Topshop sunglasses. I always talk myself out of buying things I don't really need so I feel so grateful to be treated to both my everyday essentials and special luxuries. A very big thank you too to Melanie who sent me such fab gifts (as always) which I am so excited to use. I have never seen the Cheryl perfume set but already I love it- the perfume smells lovely, the bottle is really pretty and eyelure lashes are my favourite. My mum also managed to secure the coveted M&S beauty box which has a fantastic selection of high end brand mini's to try. 

I had an absolutely fab day!

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Something To Think About...

At a time when its so easy to get swept up in the division, uncertainty and fear that has taken hold of the country, I really think its important to focus on things like unity, working together and positivity. Don't get me I'm far from naive to the challenges the UK is facing at the moment, in fact I've been quite vocal about them to anyone who will listen. I've hardly turned off the news and have read article after article over the last few days. But I won't go in to my own political views at the moment. What I want to say is this: being wrapped up in the negative only brings more of the same. Seeing the good and trying to understand situations and people is always the best route to go down. I’m writing to tell you, not just with regard to Brexit, but in everyday situations, to turn on the light whenever you can. 

For me, this weekend, my mood was completely lifted and faith in people restored by Adele’s performance at Glastonbury. I might come across completely ridiculous or shallow but when I saw it I was reminded that essentially we are all the same, and being united- whether that’s in one song or one in call for fairness and acceptance- is so beautiful compared to being divided. I’ll embed the video below for those of you who haven’t seen it- it is truly breathtaking.

Monday, 13 June 2016

'Is It Just Me?' by Miranda Hart

I've just finished 'Is It Just Me' by Miranda Hart and thought I'd write a little review for anyone who is thinking of giving it a read. I actually got this for Christmas and its been sitting in my 'to read' pile since- reading books is the basis of my degree so I don't get through much personal reading. 

At just over 300 pages, this is no run of the mill joke book, but it made me laugh out loud and I finished it in a couple of days. Essentially, this is a compilation of life's awkward and embarrassing moments. The chapters cover subjects from diet and holidays to pets and weddings. Speaking to her 18-year old self, Miranda revisits her most painfully embarrassing memories with the intention of reassuring her, and us, that they happen to everyone. The frequent back and forth interaction between young and 'big' Miranda did make the book seem a little disjointed, and I think it could have been just as good without 18-year old Miranda's input, but she did offer some insights about how weird today's technology-obsessed population would seem to a teen 20 years ago. 

'Is It Just Me' is fun, light-hearted and has some really amusing illustrations. I very much liked the frequent address of readers and the challenges sprinkled throughout such as speaking affirmations aloud or spontaneously rolly-pollying- wherever you are while reading. There are also periodical checklists- 'Miranda's Amazing Tickbox Game'- where you too can share the elaborate adventures she embarks on. Miranda's wacky take on things is pretty hilarious and the extent of her very British social awkwardness and etiquette hiccups is certainly reassuring. 

I think everyone could relate to this book and it is very light-reading. I think I've been spoiled with really profound literature on my course so I found this book a little too light overall. It might be because I don't read a lot of comedy but I think Miranda's humour comes across better on her TV show (which I would 100% recommend!). I got more out of the book because I have seen the TV show, and read most of it unconsciously in her accent. While I wouldn't reread this or absolutely rave about it, I'd say its still worth a read. 
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Wednesday, 1 June 2016

A Trip to York

Last month my family and I spent a long weekend in York and I couldn’t think of a better way to share the highlights of the trip with you than a very photo heavy post. York isn’t somewhere which would immediately come to my mind as a weekend trip destination- in fact I think my brother randomly suggested we visit after watching Braveheart for the seventeenth time. It isn’t easy finding somewhere which has something for all of us- ‘culture-y stuff’, shopping, sports/ leisure, a nice hotel and good food but I was really pleasantly surprised by what a fantastic time we had.

My favourite touristy thing was the Castle Museum. It covered York’s history ranging from its prisons to toys to wars. Best of all though- there was a recreation of a Victorian street with people dressed as actual Victorian’s who spoke to you and told you about things! I was actually quite taken aback when the girl in her 1890s get-up turned around and told me how fashionable it was to be pale and how gloves were necessary to keep the hands delicate when I was in the tailor’s.

The hotel we stayed in, the Marriott, had big, beautiful grounds and looked onto the racecourse. It was around 30 minutes walk from the town centre but it was a nice area and I like looking at all the houses along the way (is that sad?) There was a tennis court at the bottom of the hotel gardens which was free to book out for an hour. My brother is the only one of us who plays tennis but we all had a go and it was actually really fun- as far as exercise goes anyway. I also loved the swimming pool because I’m a big kid at heart when it comes to being in water. The buffet breakfast was superb- so tasty and lots to choose from (or not choose and eat everything from). 

Talking of food, we had some delicious dinners too (see food photos and drool). I had a pepperoni pizza in Zizzi’s on the second night and on the last night we found an amazing Italian called Lo Spuntino. Sometimes chain Italians just can’t come close to a small independently run ones. The place was compact but the food was delicious and the service was great. 

Compared to my usual holiday spending sprees I actually bought very little in the town centre. I had a notion before we went to have a browse for makeup samples online and I downloaded a couple of vouchers and picked up a few freebies instead. There was a nice mix of high street staple shops like Boots and unique, independent ones. We also visited ‘The Shambles’- an old fashioned street of quirky little shops. It reminded me of the lanes in Brighton.

I found York to be pretty centralised so for only being there three days we crammed so much in. I had an absolutely excellent time and would definitely go back.

Thanks for stopping by and well done if you reached the end of this lengthy post. Be sure to leave me a comment telling me if you’ve ever been to York or any other places you like :) 
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