Saturday, 13 September 2014

OOTD // Comfy Jumpers and Vintage Dresses

This outfit isn't to everyone's taste (especially not my dad's) but I love pairing vintage dresses with big comfy jumpers, especially for the upcoming Autumn season.

I don't know how old the dress is, but I think it's probably 70's. I love dresses with the '50's' style; nipped in waist, mid length skirt. Because there's so much going on with the dress, I kept it pretty simple with plain accessories, although I did team it with my bright red duck bag!

The only issue I have with this dress is that the buttons strain against my giant B cup boobies, but it doesn't bother me too much. The strap on my bag has almost had it, but I think eventually I'll cut it off and use the bag as a makeup case or something.

Dress -
Jumper - Primark
Shoes - TK Maxx
Necklace - Vivienne Westwood

How do you like to wear vintage dresses in the colder months?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Punky Pins Review

I love anything a bit different and quirky, so was very excited to receive this Punky Pins gift set* in my Hull Blogger meet goody bag back in March.

The jewellery came in this blue box which I liked as most jewelley comes in little bags.

As you can see, I received a necklace, a pair of earrings, a ring and three badges. I've worn all pieces, apart from the badges which my fourteen year old self would have adored.

I especially love the ring as it's so quirky.

I can't find these exact items on the Punky Pin site, but they do mystery bags for £10, which I think will make excellent gifts for the upcoming festive season (too soon?) 

I think there's something for every taste at Punky Pins, even the option to make a photo of your pet into a necklace! However, I think this jewellery suits the more quirky if individuals. 

Have you bought anything from this site before?

*Received in a goody bag, but doesn't affect opinion. 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Disappointing Products

I know this sort of post causes debate in the blogging world over whether we should write about products we disagreed with, however I think it's just as important to write about products that didn't work just as much as ones that did. But please keep in mind that just because something doesn't work for me, it doesn't mean that it won't work for you.

I spotted this Revlon Baby Skin in my local Poundland. I know I shouldn't expect big things for something that only cost a quid, but I'm a big fan of Revlon makeup, and have purchased other makeup that I love in Poundland. I didn't know what it was when I bought it, but curiosity got the better of me. I think it's supposed to be a lip/cheek tint, but it does neither of these.

The product has basically no pigmentation and feels really greasy on the skin. I've never seen this in Boots or Superdrug so maybe it got discontinued, but if you see it in your local Poundland, save yourself a quid or go buy some Haribo or something instead.

I received the Silk + Honey Shea Butter Hair Mask from my June Birchbox. This is a DIY product, although my sample was already made up. For the full size, it costs £55! Because of this, I expected great things. I've used it just once, and I had to use about half of the pot to coat my thick, long hair. The mask left my hair feeling really oily and greasy. I usually leave my hair to dry naturally, but I blasted it with a hair dryer just to see if my hair was still a bit damp. Nope. Just a few hours after washing my hair, I had to spray it with dry shampoo just so it didn't look like I hadn't washed in a week. I know I only used this once, and maybe should have given it another go to see if the results were the same, but I was so unhappy after the first use. The packaging also went all wrinkly and unattractive after keeping it by my bath. I honestly don't see the point in paper stickers on bath products.

Another product I received in a beauty box that I was dissapointed with is the So Susan Concealer Quad. This supposedly is worth £20, which is shocking considering the quality of the product. I actually quite like the packaging. I like the illustrations and it's small and compact - perfect for popping into a handbag. The concealer itself is so dry though. I tried to show you by rubbing my finger into it which is the only way to get product up at all as using a brush is pointless. I hate using my fingers as I think it's unhygenic. I thought that maybe I had a dodgy product, but after seeing some other reviews, I know I'm not alone. It's a shame because I had high hopes for this and love it when I receive makeup in a beauty box.

Lastly, there's my Maybelline Pop Stick in the shade Orange Crush. I bought this off Fragrance Direct near the beginning of the year, and maybe it was my fault because I didn't research properly, but I was not expecting what I received, I was desperate to try out the orange lip trend, but didn't want to spend a fortune in case it didn't suit me. This lip product was only a couple of quid, so I can't really complain too much, but it has hardly any pigmentation. Whereas I was expecting a lipstick, this is a translucent balm with flecks of glitter running through it. I've kept it because it's nice for a subtle hint of colour, but if you like a bold lip, I wouldn't buy this,

There's been lot's of products that have disappointed me over the months, but these are the four that jumped to mind. Have you tried any of these products before?

Monday, 8 September 2014

Tanya Burr Vampire Kiss Lip Gloss // Review

I'm not a huge fan of lip gloss, only owning three in my entire collection. However, I was desperate to jump on the Tanya Burr bandwagon and try out one of her products.

You may remember the Bristol haul I posted a few months ago, in which I purchased a gloss in the shade 'Vampire Kiss.' There's an overwhelming 12 shades to choose from, and after staring at them all for a good five minutes, unable to swatch them on my wrist, I decided to play it safe and choose my go-to shade; a deep red.

I was also drawn to the name, being born on Halloween and loving any vampire film, program or novel, minus Twilight (although that's probably where she got the name from. I'm going to imagine she drew inspiration from something much cooler like True Blood.)

The packaging for the product is faultless and wouldn't look out of place on a high end makeup counter. The gloss itself is creamy and smells like sweeties. If there's anything I love more than sweets, it's makeup that smells like them.

The gloss has minimal stickyness. Maybe because I'm used to only wearing lipsticks, the gloss feels slightly heavy on my lips and I can tell it's there, although it doesn't cause any irritation or annoyance such as my hair sticking to it.

The applicator is doe foot which allows precise application. The shade of the gloss itself isn't all that I imagined it to be. I bought it assuming that it would be perfect for the Autumn/Winter season because of it's dark colour, although once on the lips, it's much sheerer, brighter and would be suitable all year round.

The only thing I dislike about this product is the short expiry date. Once it's opened, you have to use it within three months, although I like to go by the rule that if it looks, smells, and applies okay then it's fine to use.

I will definitely consider buying more of these glosses. I have my eye on Exotic Island  and Aurora at the moment. At £7.99, they're affordable, however I'm not completely converted to lipglosses and hope Tanya brings out a range of lipsticks soon!

Have you tried any Tanya Burr makeup?

Friday, 5 September 2014

Five Friday// 5 Reasons To Start A Blog

I've been blogging for a little over 8 months now and I honestly never thought I'd last this long. I've started blogs previously, but always posted twice then gave up. However, keeping at it, I've definitely noticed the benefits that come from blogging. So if you're considering starting your own blog, but aren't sure, read on for 5 reasons that might convince you.

1) It looks good on your CV!

It's no secret that it's becoming harder to get a job nowadays. As a recent graduate, I'm feeling the pressure of the competitive job market, but I feel adding 'blogging' to my CV has improved my employability. I recently got an interview with Boots. Not my local Boots, but at the head office! Unfortunately I didn't get the job, but I kind of expected it as it was for a management job and I have no experience with management (unless you count managing my beauty storage.) But that's okay, because I still find it crazy that I managed to actually get an interview for a managers jobs of one of the biggest beauty companies in the UK. I honestly think that talking about my blogging had something to do with it. That, or I somehow miraculously got every single question right on the numerical reasoning assessment.

2) Make some friends.

I've made so many new friends since I've started blogging, and even though I've graduated from Hull Uni, I still have a reason to go back there to see my fellow #Hullbloggers. I feel like I bore some of my other friends with fashion, makeup and blogging talk so it's nice to have someone to talk to.

If you're not sure how to get talking to fellow bloggers, I recommend getting a twitter account and using the #bbloggers hashtag to connect with other beauty bloggers (or #fbloggers for fashion, #lbloggers for lifestyle etc.) There's chats almost everyday for different topics. I believe the beauty chats are on Sunday and Wednesday 8-9pm.

You might even be lucky enough to have a blogger event in or near your local area. This is a great way to meet bloggers face to face. So far I've been to three meet ups and met so many new people.

3) Learn a new skill!

Although blogging is a hobby, it's hard work. As with any hobbies, whether it be playing an instrument or sport etc, the more you do it, the better you get. When I first started blogging, my photos were rubbish. They're still not as good as other's I've seen, but I've learnt a bit more on how to arrange my items and using a nice background to make my photos more appealing. I guess this is the part where I admit I have a photography A Level, however I hate digital. Give me a dark room and chemicals any day.

At some point, I also want to learn some basic blog design.

4) Events and samples.

There's often a lot of controversy surrounding this point, with the debate of bloggers vs blaggers. I'm going to be completely honest here. I didn't know that bloggers could get free samples to review when I started blogging. I thought that was something only celebrities got. However, I know that PR samples are a great incentive for some people to start a blog. It's like a nice reward after many hours of hard work. Imagine blogging for a year, then waking up to an email from a company you love, telling you that they love your blog and want to send you some products to review. You'd be over the moon. I work towards that goal everyday and I'm sure most beauty bloggers do.

I've also been lucky enough to attend three blogger meet ups and blog for Hull Fashion week since starting my blog.

I wouldn't say simply start a blog to get freebies, as that's not what I mean at all. However, the opportunity to work with brands and attend events is something to strive towards.

5) It's fun!

Despite all these reasons, the most important reason to start a blog is because it's fun!

I hoped you enjoyed reading this post and if you have any other reasons to start a blog, leave me a comment!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

You Against Me -Jenny Downham // Book Review

After reading and falling completely in love with Jenny Downham's 'Before I Die' (placing it in my top 10 books of all time), I expected great things from 'You Against Me.' I'm in the process of reading it for the second time and I think it's definitely worth a read.

Downham likes to write about difficult and sometimes controversial topics and does so in language that is almost poetic. 'You Against Me' is no different. 

Written in third person, from both Mikey and Ellie's perspective, this novel is not a typical love story. Ellie Parker's brother, Tom, has been accused of rape, the victim being Mikey Mckenzie's younger sister, Karyn. We see an unlikely relationship develop between Mikey and Ellie, but it's in no way cliche.

However, I don't feel this review should focus on the 'love' aspect of the novel. 'You Against Me' presents to us the bleak society in which we live in. A society that when a woman is the victim of a sexual crime, some element of blame is placed upon her.

Being an avid follower of twitter accounts such as 'Everyday Sexism,' I'm quite passionate about cases such as these. One of the most recent cases of victim blaming is the Jennifer Lawrence nude scandal. Whereas she is being ridiculed for taking the photos in the first place, the hacker is being congratulated (of course I know not everyone feels this way.)

In 'You Against Me', it is almost uncomfortable to read the instances of victim blaming. Especially when Karyn's mum asks herself whether things would be different if Karyn didn't go back to Tom's house/ drink so much/ stay with her friends. Ellie's parents are infuriating. Never has a character made me grit my teeth in anger as much as Ellie's dad in the last few chapters.

The only issue I have with this book is that although Mikey and Ellie's relationship is portrayed beautifully, it sometimes appears unrealistic. It moves too fast for me, and I don't feel like the correct emotions are explored thoroughly enough. Anger between them seems to last the whole of two minutes before they are cosying back up into each other's arms again.

Ellie is a particularly frustrating character to me. I didn't find her completely likeable, which is odd for a main character. I'm not expecting all female characters to be like disney princesses, but I expect some qualities I can allow myself to be drawn into. There's nothing outrageous about her to dislike, and I think Downham does an incredible job of describing a sixteen year old girl whose older brother has been accused of rape, with her being the only witness. She's just a bit of a drip.

Overall, I give this book a 4 out of 5. It had me hooked enough to read it in a couple of sittings (I find it really hard to concentrate when reading books since doing my degree. Does anyone else find that?) However, I honestly don't think it's as good as her first novel. But saying that, it's still worth a read, and is one of those books that I think should be taught in school to create discussion. 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Kylie Jenner Lip: High End vs High Street

I wouldn't even say I'm a fan of the Kardashians after never watching a single episode of their show, however, not even I could help pressing the little follow button on the Jenner sister's instagram accounts.

There's just something so alluring about their fashion and beauty, so even though I sometimes forget who's Kylie and who's Kendall, me, along with the rest of the beauty world are obssessed.

I recently tweeted that I was heading to Meadowhall to discover my perfect nude lipstick. I knew I wanted a high end one as there would be someone at the counter who would help me (although I'm not sure how much help she was as she seemed hungover.) The obvious choice was Mac as they offer the luxury and quality but are as not as expensive as say Chanel or YSL. I'm aware I only posted 'My First Mac Puchases,' a few days ago, but I'm going to admit it. I've fallen onto the Mac bandwagon. Hard.

The makeup artist picked out a lot of the popular nudes, but I'm very conscious of nude lipsticks making me look like I've just smeared concealer onto my lips. Some of the popular shades like Shy Girl did not suit me at all.

She then pulled out a matte lipstick. It might have been Velvet Teddy but I'm not completely sure. Anyway, I tried it on and loved it, but I really didn't want a matte lipstick as they really dry my lips. She then pulled out 'Brave.'

I fell in love with this straight away. It's almost a shade of brown, just touching on pink and is definitely 'my lips but better' colour.

I got home, keen to wear it to a meal later when I noticed a lipstick I had been wearing earlier in the week. Rimmel's Lasting Finish lipstick in the shade 'Asia' is almost an exact dupe.

'Asia' was one of the first lipsticks I ever bought. I love the formula of the Rimmel lipsticks, as do most of the beauty world. You can see from the swatches how similar the shades are.

Left- Asia, Right-Brave

So if you want Kylie Jenner lips, but don't want the hefty price tag, I recommend this shade. I like to wear matte, nude eye shadows with a little bit of smoke created from a gel or kohl liner to complete the Kylie Jenner look.
Rimmel -Asia

Mac -Brave

Have you tried any of these lipsticks? What do you think of Kylie Jenner's look?

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Balmi VS EOS // Review

These lip balms get compared a lot, and it's no surprise really. They're a very similar concept, being neither lip balms in a tin which you dunk your finger into, or lip balms in a tube which you apply directly to the lips.

Despite the similar appearance and concept, these are very different.

Balmi is available in most Boots stores and costs £4.99, which I think is a bit expensive for a lip balm. However, the novelty of the shape convinced me to buy it, as I had never had anything like it before. Balmi's are available in four flavours from Boots; raspberry, strawberry, mint and coconut. I have the raspberry flavour; it smells lovely, not too strong or overpowering like a sweet.

The Balmi comes with a little chain to attach it to a keyring, although I took mine off as I wouldn't ever use it like that. However, it's a good idea if you're forever losing your lip balms. The texture of the balm itself applies quite thin to the lips. It moves around quite easily, and although I wouldn't say it had a greasy texture, it definitely isn't thick and buttery like Carmex for example. However, this could be a good thing, as I know that I prefer 'thinner' lip balms in the day to apply under lipsticks.

Balmi has an SPF of 15, which is great as we often forget to apply SPF to our lips. The only criticism I have of this product is the packaging. When I bought it, it looked great. However, it's advertised as being able to just pop into your handbag, no fuss. After a few weeks, I noticed the thin layer of plastic that coats the Balmi begin to peel off. Then one day, I found the lid had come off and wouldn't attach itself again.

I do frequently mention that my bag is the place where makeup products come to die, as everything I shove in there usually ends up breaking. I just assumed the Balmi would be a lot more resilient. So now, it stays with the majority of makeup, and I use it everyday before I apply my lipstick.

EOS balms are a lot harder to find, being an US product. I bought mine from Harvey Nichols for £7.50 which is a crazy price to pay for a lip balm. But us bloggers are curious creatures and always want what we can't have.

There is a bigger variety of flavours for the EOS, so something for everyone. I got the honeysuckle flavour which is so nice. I don't have anything that tastes or smells like this. The texture of this balm is a lot thicker than the Balmi, and I would probably prefer this product in the Autumn/ Winter seasons as I feel like it would tackle dry lips more and offer more protection.

As far as I'm aware, EOS doesn't have SPF in it, which, considering the price, you would expect.

I can't comment on the resilience of the packaging, as after the Balmi problem, I really didn't want to risk my £7.50 EOS going the same way.

So which of these should you buy? I prefer Balmi for the day and Summer months as it isn't as thick as EOS. I would use EOS for a more conditioning, buttery balm, but the price is ridiculous. Especially as in the US, you can get them for about $3.

However, if I ever get a chance to go to America, I'm definitely stocking up, as even if I don't use them, I imagine they will be an attractive decoration to any vanity or dressing table.

As I mainly use the balm to prime the lips before lipstick, rather than treating chapped lips, I can't comment on how good they are at defeating the inevitable dryness we all get. If this is your problem, I recommend Carmex which can be found in most Poundlands. But if you're after a quirky, unique, mess free balm, definitely invest in either Balmi or EOS.

Monday, 1 September 2014

July/ August Favourites

I didn't manage to write last months favourites so I decided to write a combined favourite post.

July Favourites

1) Mac lipstick- Girl About Town

This featured on my 'First Mac Purchases' post and is the one I've been wearing the most. I never thought this colour would suit me, but I'm in love with it. It was perfect for the summer, but now the nights are drawing in, I often grab this for nights out, paired with a nude eye. I have definitely started a full blown love affair with Mac, purchasing another lipstick last month and with another three on my wishlist.

2) The Body Shop - Vitamin E Sorbet

I bought this a couple of days after my holiday after seeing someone review it. I really wanted to give my skin a break from makeup and sun cream after wearing it every night for two weeks. This has a jelly like texture and is quite different to all the other skin care products I own. I'm trying to find a way to incorporate it daily into my routine, as at the minute, I just put it on whenever I'm having a makeup free day.

3) Soap & Glory - Hand Food

This is something I've had since Christmas, but after rediscovering it during a clear out of my drawers, I've been using it daily. I tend to wear this at night as it's a bit thick for my liking, for day time use. However, it's got rid of the dry skin on my hands, and smells exactly like Righteous Butter which is always a good thing.

4) Purple Lemon Bath & Body Co - Tee Tree Toner

Purple Lemon Bath & Body Co are a local company who sometimes attend local craft fairs. All their ingredients are natural (similar to Lush) so I ended up purchasing one of their toners to try out. I think it was about £3.50 which is a bargain.

5) Essence - Coral Calling Lipstick

I purchased a couple of lipsticks in Bulgaria, as Essence wasn't yet available locally. I loved this colour so much, I bought another one for my Hull Blogger Box Swap. Considering the price of these (about a couple of quid) the quality is amazing and I already have my eye on a few other shades.

August Favourites

1) Essence - All About Matte

Essence came into our Wilko's recently, and after trying a couple of their lipsticks that I purchased in Bulgaria,I really wanted to try some of their other products. I love my Rimmel Stay Matte powder but it's coming to the end of it's life, so when I saw this for £3.50, I decided to give it a go. The powder instantly takes away shine, and actually keeps my skin matte for quite some time.

2) Tarte - Rainforest After Dark Palette

I asked my parents to bring this back from America for me along with some other bits (haul soon, I promise.) The packaging for this is amazing and is definitely the most luxurious product I own. I want to write a more in depth review, so I'll leave you with a photo of what it looks like inside.

3) Bioderma Micellar Water

I bought this from a pharmacy in Bulgaria and it was £10 for 250 mls. I was curious more than anything because I've seen so many rave reviews from other bloggers. I wanted to try it to see if it was worth the hefty price tag, especially as it was a bit cheaper in Bulgaria. I'll probably post a more in depth review in the future, but whilst I'm not 100% sure I'll purchase this again because of the price, it definitely is a treat to use. It doesn't sting my eyes one bit and smells amazing.

4) Got2Be Oil-Licious Weightless Dry Oil Mist

I really like Got2Be products, and after my holiday, I wanted to invest in some more hair care. I hate getting my fingers greasy with hair oils, so this is perfect for me. I got it from Savers for £2.50, a lot cheaper than other places. This leaves my hair feeling really soft and smelling nice and is something I use daily.

5) Real Techniques Blush Brush

I bought this towards the end of the month, after discovering an amazing offer at Boots. All brushes were buy one, get the second half price. I also had a £2 off voucher through the Boots app if I spent over £10 on brushes. I bought the Blush brush and the Expert Face brush, but I've definitely been reaching blush brush almost everyday.