Tuesday, 29 December 2015

2015 Review // 2016 Goals.

2015 has been a hectic year. So much has happened to me this year, and I've achieved so many things in the space of twelve months.

In January I graduated. Okay, so I missed my original graduation date in July 2014 as I had booked a holiday before the dates where announced, so it was just a one day event, but an amazing life achievement! University is very stressful, and I'm glad I managed to get through it.

In March, I started my first Graduate job. I can safely say this is nothing like I had ever experienced before. Going from being a Christmas temp at Next on an 8 hour contract, to a full time position in one of the fastest paced environments  I've ever been is, was a challenge, but I loved it. I worked hard and managed to become a team leader in just over three months.

In July, I got married. It still hasn't sunk in yet, although I have started responded by my new last name, and it's weird being called a 'Mrs.' Planning the wedding was one of the hardest things I've ever done, especially in the last three months or so. But the day was amazing, and I wouldn't change any of it.

A few days after we got married, I spent a week in Paris. I don't think I've ever done so much walking in my life, so it definitely wasn't a relaxing honeymoon.

In November, we finally moved out. We actually found our new home in September, however there was a lot of work to be done. We were lucky because as the place was getting redecorated, we got to choose colours and flooring. We've finally got everything in, organised, with pictures and shelves up to make the house more homely. And I finally have a vanity which stores all of my make up!

So what's ahead for 2016? I never stick to resolutions, but I think having goals is important. Here are mine.

- Get healthy. Anyone who lives at home, knows how hard it is to eat healthily, especially when you're not in charge of buying the food. Now I've moved out, I frequently scan the pages of Pinterest looking for healthy meal ideas. I also want to exercise more and drink more water. The goal isn't too lose weight, but to feel better within myself. But if I lose a few pounds along the way, that's okay too.

-Sort my skin out. Okay, so there's nothing really bad with my skin, but lately it has been looking a little dull, and whether that's from stress and tiredness, I don't know. I used to have a skin routine, but lately I've been letting it slide out of pure laziness. It's time to try out some of the products I've hoarded over the past few months and get my skin looking bright again.

- Find time to blog. I'll be the first to admit that my blog has suffered massively this year, and the frustrating thing is that I really enjoy doing it. I want to try and blog at least once a week.

-Read more. I used to read all the time, but in the past year or so, I've not really had the time. When I first moved out, we didn't have internet for the first few weeks, and I managed to read about four books. Perhaps less time on social media and Netflix, and more time with a good book is what's needed. I received loads of books for Christmas, so I'll maybe do a post on which ones I got.

So they're not overly original or ambitious goals, but ones that are definitely achievable. I hope everyone had an amazing 2015. Have you got any goals for the new year? Let me know.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Lush Haul // Hull Blogger Meet

I know I whine about this all the time, but we don't have a Lush where I live so when I Lush haul, I Lush haul hard! So when I discovered that Lush where attending the Hull Blogger meet, I did a little happy dance and immediately reached for my purse. They didn't bring a large amount of products with them, but it was enough for me to spend over £40. In fact, the Lush girls said I had picked the best selection of products out of everyone who attended the meet.

I ended up buying two bath bombs. I believe these are new to the range, at least in the Hull shop. I think they first appeared in the Lush in Oxford Street. I got Intergalatic, a colourful, minty smelling bomb which has popping candy in it. This was actually demonstrated at the meet and I can't wait to completely fill my bath with glitter.

Next I got the Yoga Bomb which is bright orange and has a woody, musky scent to it which I think will be perfect for Autumn.

I also got two bubble bars. These are similar to bath bombs, however you actually crumble them under running water to create mountains of bubbles. First of all, I got Rose Jam which is a bubbleroon. It can be easily split to last two baths and is bright pink and covered in glitter. It has a very soft scent which I don't usually go for.

Every blogger was gifted 'Granny Takes A Dip*.' I have never tried this before, and I believe it was also a bath bomb, however that got discontinued? It has a citrusy scent and I'm excited to try it out.

I bought 'Tangle' which is a solid hair oil on a stick. When I eventually want to use it, I will add hot water and apply it to the whole of my hair, like a hair mask. If you have shorter hair, you can use it twice, however I believe it will only cover me once. I'm saving this for when I want to full on pamper myself as at over £6, it wasn't cheap.

When that pamper day comes around, I will also use the sample of 'Don't Look At Me *' that we were all gifted. I've only ever used one Lush face mask before and I loved it, so I'm excited to try this.

If we weren't all spoiled enough, Lush also gifted everyone with some 'Fun*' which I have also never tried. It can be used as a soap, shampoo or bubble bath and can be molded so it's perfect for children. I may use this on my niece and see how she gets on with it.

Lastly, I ended up getting two body scrubs. The first one was completely enabled by the other bloggers and is 'Rub Rub Rub' a sea salt body scrub that can be used on body, face and hair. I've already tried this and I think it's a new favourite, even if the salty taste had me swishy my mouth out with mouth wash.

I also got 'Life's A Beach' which I believe is a new product. It comes in a box and looks like washing powder. They tried this on me and the smell lasted until I went to bed, so around ten hours! I will do a more in depth review of this product as I really do like it.

I can't wait to use all of these products. Have you bought anything from Lush recently?

Saturday, 5 September 2015

I got married!

I've mentioned it in countless blog posts over the last year or so, but in July I finally walked down the aisle and married my boyfriend of five years.

If you haven't guessed, weddings take a lot of planning and cause a lot of stress and this is the main reason I've abandoned my blog over the past few months. However now it's out the way, I can focus on writing again, so expect lots of blog posts over the next few weeks! 

I'm planning on writing a bit more about the wedding, so expect a bridal makeup tutorial (I did my own makeup), some wedding DIY and just general tips on how to plan a wedding with minimal stress. 

I'll leave you with some photographs of the day and I look forward to sharing all of my grown up womanly knowledge now I am a married lady hehe :) 

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Hull Blogger Al Porto Meet

If you follow me on any social media, you would have seen that I was lucky enough to attend the third Hull Blogger Meet Up at the Al Porto restaurant. It was hosted by Alex from Champagne and Lemonade , Jenny from Curious Alice Loves and Kat from The Kats Paws . The meet actually ended up trending on twitter!

I've not been very active on blogger and I'll explain why in another post, however if you follow me on Instagram, you've probably guessed why. To be honest, I was feeling a little demotivated and I just couldn't sit down and type like I use to be able too. However, after this meet, I'm so excited to throw myself back into blogging again.

We had our own room in the restaurant and as soon as I arrived, I was greeted by the hosts and offered a cocktail (which was delicious may I add!) The room was perfect for the meet, with enough seats for everyone but also enough room to move around and chat. Music played in the background which I think adds to any atmosphere and takes away some of the awkwardness of meeting people for the first time. The decor was completely my taste too with Union Jack tables and wine cork shaped stools.

About half an hour into the event, canapes were circulating the room. There was so much food that there was loads left over at the end of the event. There were things to suit all tastes; bruschetta, pizza, meatballs, mango slices, parma ham and more. At the end, they even came round with cheesecake and the best brownie I've ever tried. If that wasn't enough to satisfy all food cravings, there were bags of Jelly Beans on the tables, bowls with boiled sweets, plus crackers and chutney that we were able to try.

Lush, Weleda and Viridian Nutrition attended the event to chat to us all and we were all lucky to receive a goody bag from each brand. I did end up spending a small fortune in Lush too but I'll save that for another post. On top of the goody bags we received from the brands, we also had three HUGE goody bags from the hosts too jam packed with products generously donated by over 100 brands.

At the end of the evening, we had the raffle in which I won three times! Again, I will do a separate blog post showing what I won. We ended up raising over £200 for a charity which specialises in ovarian cancer research.

Once again I would like to thank the hosts for inviting me and I recommend everyone to look at the #HBALPORTO hashtag to see everyone else's posts.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Travel // Shakespeare & Company Bookshop - Paris

I guess you can tell from various Instagram posts of quotations and my degree choice (English Lit) that I absolutely adore books. So for me, a trip to Paris wouldn't be complete without a trip to the famous Shakespeare & Company bookshop. I believe this little shop in the Latin Quarter of Paris is a real hidden gem- on account of many frequent Paris visitors have never heard of the place, yet it always seems to be swarmed with visitors.   

Stocking a variety (and when I say variety, I mean every shelf was crammed full) of both English and French titles; you'd just assume that Shakespeare & Co was just a regular bookshop, albeit with very charming decor. However, like most book lovers, I adore stories and this place has an amazing tale. 

The bookstore was founded by George Whitman, and in the time it has been open (I can't find an exact date, but the shop was renamed in 1964 - the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth) over 30,000 writers and artists have stayed over, including some now well-known writers. 

I believe this place is perfect if you're feeling a little home sick in Paris and just want a time out from the typical tourist attractions. It can get a little crowded with the amount of people wanting to browse and the vast amount of books there are, but it's not unbearable, and besides, if you're willing to battle the tourists to get close to the Mona Lisa, you could probably handle a small collection of book enthusiasts getting excited over vintage paperbacks. 


If you're anything like me and like mementos to remind you of trips, you'll be sure to find something you like. I did browse the books for a little bit, however I wanted something completely exclusive to that bookshop. There were a few books on Paris which would have been a nice souvenir, but I eventually settled on a Shakespeare & Company tote bag, a history booklet on the shop and a few postcards.  

Have you ever been to this place? 


Saturday, 23 May 2015

10 Books I Want To Read

I feel like if I shared my complete book wishlist, we'd be here forever. I already have 30 on my Amazon wishlist, and that isn't including any I want to read on my '100 books to read before you die' list I have blue tacked to my wardrobe. So I've narrowed it down to ten and I'm hoping to have read these by the end of the summer. Obviously, I can't go into much details about the books as I haven't read them yet, but you'll see it's a real mixture of genres!

1) Anna Karena - Leo Tolstoy.

I've actually read about three hundred pages of this, but I want to finish it so I can tick it off my list. It's a classic, but hasn't really gripped me yet.

2) What They Don't Teach You At Harvard Business School - Mark H. McCormack

I'm attempting to read a lot more about business since I started my graduate job. Having an English degree won't necessarily help me in this field, however it's given me the skills to research the field.

3) How To Build A Girl - Caitlin Moran

I loved How To Be A Woman so this is next on my reading list by Moran.

4) The Bees - Laline Paul

The woman at Waterstones told me that this book was like A Handmaid's Tale which I absolutely love. So can't wait to read this.

5) All The Bright Things - Jennifer Niven

My favourite genre is probably young adult as that's what I like to write and I'm always drawn to this particular book.

6) Eleanor & Park- Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by the same author is one of the best books I've read in ages, so I'm desperate to read this one too.

7) Only Ever Yours - Louise O'Neill

Described as Mean Girls meets Handmaids Tale, another book I'm desperate to read.

8) Losing My Virginity - Richard Branson

I'm not a fan of autobiographies, but again, I'm trying to learn more about business and I don't think you can get much more successful than Richard Branson.

9) The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

This is a book I've always wanted to read and I'm hoping too next weekend.

10) Outliers - Malcom Gladwell

The blurb on this book really intrigued me.

So that's my list. Have you read any of the books on this list?

Monday, 6 April 2015

Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty Express For Brows and Eyes // Review

I've been obsessed with brow products lately, wanting to find the perfect product for my upcoming wedding. So when Blow LTD contacted me, asking if I wanted to try one of the products that they stock on their site, I was instantly drawn to the Anastasia Beverly Hills range. I decided to try their Beauty Express palette, as there were only two shades to choose from, blonde and brunette, and I figured that even if the brow powders didn't match, I could always use it as a simple eye palette.

Despite my brow obsession, it was difficult to choose what product to review considering how many amazing brands that Blow LTD stock. Not only do they sell beauty products that they have hand picked due to how good they are, they also run a fast beauty salon in Covent Garden. This is a place where you can get any treatment you want in one place. If I'm ever in London for a stay, I'd definitely consider coming here for a pamper.

My product arrived nice and quick and was packaged beautifully; wrapped in tissue paper, placed in a box and tied up with ribbon. The packing for the palette itself is equally as beautiful; a croc skin leather effect with the logo embossed on it in gold. The clasp is magnetic and feels quite strong so I think this would be safe to shove into a makeup bag without worrying that it will open us and the powders will smash. There's a decent sized mirror on the inside, plus instructions written beside it.

In the palette, there is a clear brow wax, two different shades of brow powder, halved in one pan, plus two different highlighters, a pink toned and a champagne toned, again split into one pan. You also receive the tools you need to create the perfect brow- a brush and a selection of stencils, plus instructions on how to use all of these products on a slip of paper.

I will be honest and say that I really don't see the point of the stencils. Everyone's eyebrow shape is different, and although there were a range of stencils, they all had similar shapes. The idea behind the stencils is to place them over your brows, fill them in with the powder, then pluck the excess brow hairs. First of all, I found it hard to keep the stencil in place and if I did follow the stencil, it would have meant shaving half my eyebrow off.

The best thing about this palette is the brush. You could have the best makeup in the world, but without the right tools, it isn't going to look nice. I've had brushes in brow palettes before, but they've always been so tiny and fiddly to use. This one has a nice long handle, which means it's easy to grip. The bristles are stiff and and thin which means that I can create a really precise line to mimic brow hairs. Because of the stiffness of the brush, it feels like you're not picking up much product, but the powder is so pigmented that this isn't a problem.

The brow wax doesn't really do it for me. I much prefer a gel to hold my hairs in place. However, this is just my personal preference and I'm not saying that it isn't good. It's completely clear and I tend to stick it on the brush, then use the powder over it. The brow powder itself is a really strange texture. It feels almost hard, but at the same time, it's very pigmented. A light hand is needed to apply the product and still make it look natural. When I swatched this on my hand, I needed to use a makeup wipe to remove it, so you can be sure that your brows will stay in place until you decide to remove them.

There's a matte highlighter and a shimmery one and they're both so buttery and pigmented. I use this on my brow bone and the corner of my eye lid to enhance both my eyes and brows. I'm not going to lie, there seems to be a bit of fallout on the shimmery highlighter which makes the palette look messy if not wiped away after.

Overall, I think this is my new favourite brow palette. At £29, it is expensive, but I've spent around the same amount on Benefit and HD Brow palettes with results that aren't as great. I definitely want to try more from this brand, like maybe the brow pomade.

If you want to try this palette, or simply have a browse on Blow LTD's site, they currently have an offer on until tonight for 20% off and free delivery.

*Was sent to review but all opinions are honest.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

My First Mac Palette.

Buying a Mac palette wasn't a spontaneous decision. It's hard to be spontanous when the smallest four pan palette costs no less than £45. But I had some birthday money, and I was planning on buying two separate eye shadows anyway. I decided to spend the extra £20 and treat myself.

I already had my eye on the shades 'Cranberry' and 'Amber Lights.' Cranberry is a shimmery, burgundy shade, perfect for Autumn and Winter, although I think it will be lovely all year round for a night time look. I like to wear it through my crease rather than all over my lid. I think sometimes a red shade all over the lid can make it look like you have sore eyes. However, using a darker shade through the crease counteracts this, and simply makes it a red toned smokey eye. 

Amber Lights is a gold, shimmery shade and I bought it after hearing Zoella say it was really nice with blue eyes. This is one of those shades that pretty all over the lid all year round. I haven't had that much of a play with it yet, but I can't wait til the weather starts getting warmer as it would look so pretty with a bronzed/ tan look. I actually have a lot of eye shadows this shade and think it's easily dupable, so maybe I'll do a post in the future about that. 

The next shade I chose was 'Naked Lunch.' This is not the most exciting shade in the palette, but I wanted to create a palette that I could simply throw into a makeup bag to create a full eye look, rather than having to use two or three different palettes. Naked Lunch is a shimmery, white colour, that has a champagne tint to it. I like to use it as a base colour, or a highlight on my brow bone and the inner corner of my eye. I don't like this as much as I thought I would, and wish I'd picked a more matte white/ cream shade. However, this shade is a favourite with beauty bloggers, so hopefully when the summer comes, I'll use it more and understand why it's so hyped. 

The last shade I picked was a tough choice, as there were about three I liked that were very similar. I originally wanted 'Woodwinked' then 'Twinks.' But I eventually went for 'Mulch.' Mulch is a brown shade, with slight shimmer in it. It's perfect for a smokey eye or to build the crease shade up. 

So do I think my palette is worth the money? In all honestly, yes. I love the quality of the shadows and love that the palette is unique to my tastes. However, almost £50 for four shades is a bit extreme. For £65, Mac are doing a 15 eye shadow neutral palette, in either warm or cool tones. Amber Lights is actually in the Warm palette. Or for a few pounds cheaper at £39, Urban Decay do their famous Naked palettes, which contain 12 different shades. 

Maybe for my next birthday. I'll buy another palette with the shades that came close to being chosen. However, with so many beautiful shades from Mac, I've got a feeling that my wish list will never be empty!

Have you got any shadows from Mac? 

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Worth The Hype? Bioderma Sebium H20 - Micelle Solution

I'd seen this product floating around the beauty blogging world but wasn't that interested to be honest. It was expensive and hard to get hold of in the UK. However, I spotted it in a pharmacy when I went to Bulgaria and we had some currency left. I decided to purchase it to see what all the fuss was about.

The packaging isn't the prettiest to look at -it's almost clinical with it's clear bottle, blue fluid and white label. But that isn't the important part - the product is.

The one thing I like is that Bioderma have created a micelle solution for all different skin types. I got the combination/ oily version,  but they have other versions for sensitive skin etc.

Bioderma claims to remove impurities from the skin such as makeup and sebum. It recommends to use it twice daily, however I only use it in the evening. To be honest, I just see this as a glorified makeup remover. I have used other Micellar solutions in the past such as the Garnier one and I think they do just as good as job for a lesser price.

The Bioderma one does have it's perks, such as the smell (it smells incredible) and it doesn't sting or leave my skin feeling tight like other products do. It also doesn't irritate my eyes.

So would I purchase it again? Although Micelle solutions have become permanent in my skin care routine, sadly, this one didn't wow me enough to become a holy grail product. I'd much rather save money and go for the cheaper version that does the same job. However, I go to Paris in July, and if I spot it in a pharmacy for a good price, I could be persuaded to buy it again.

If you're interested in this product, it's currently on offer at Escentuals for a 1/3 off.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

My Top Five Blushers

I never used to be that interested in blush, thinking it was just something old ladies wore. This was probably because my first experiences with blush came from a Miss Sporty one that I got when I subscribed to Bliss Magazine. It was way too bright for my face and made me look like a clown. Fast forward a few years (like 10!), the correct tools (a Real Techniques Blush Brush) and a lot more knowledge about what suits my pale skin tone, I have built up quite a collection of blushers. Here are my top five:

The most recent addition to my blush collection is the Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot Box O Blushes. Don't worry, It contains six Benefit blushers, but my favourite, and the one I go for the most, is Rockateur. 

Another recent addition in my Stila Convertible Colour in Tulip. This is both a lip and cheek cream and it looks so scary in the pan, but applies really pretty. I love wearing this with a berry lip and lasts all day. I apply it with my Expert Face brush. 

Another cream blush I wear quite a lot is my Bourjois one in the shade 03. This creates a nice, rosy, matte effect on the cheeks. This seems to last all day, unlike normal powder blushes that need to be reapplied frequently. 

This was such an obvious choice and in every beauty bloggers stash. Nars Orgasm is a rose gold colour with gold flecks running through it. It creates a nice highlight on the cheek, however, I don't think I would repurchase this as I have a Sleek blush which is almost identical. 

Lastly is probably my favourite blush, however I didn't like it when I bought it. It didn't seem to show up on my skin, but then I discovered that that's the beauty of it. It's so subtle and perfect for all year round, even though it's 'coral.' I've nearly hit pan on it and will definitely repurchase this. 

What are your favourite blushes? 

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Worth the Hype? It's Potent! Benefit Eye Cream

I feel like I'm much too young to notice a great difference when it comes to using eye creams or not. My dark circles only seem to fade when I've had a good night sleep, and I know eye creams are supposed to prevent fine lines, rather than cure them. But at twenty two, I've hopefully got a good few years before my skin starts aging.

So why do I use them? Well, obviously for the preventative factor like mentioned before. But I also find it extremely refreshing to apply eye cream after a long day and soothe my tired eyes.

I'd heard such good things about the Benefit eye cream, 'It's Potent!' Despite it's rather bizarre name, I was curious to try it. A few weeks ago I bought the skin care sample set from a Benefit counter. I think it cost £14.50 and you're supposed to get anything from a week to a months worth of product, depending on how much you use.

I love the packaging of this product and imagine it would look lovely full sized on anyone's dressing table. But it is the product that is the most important thing, right?

I guess I should mention that I seem to have quite sensitive eyes. I used to have problems with them when I was younger, and anything too strong stings to the point where it's almost painful (Soap & Glory Puffy Eye Gel, I'm looking at you.)

The first time I applied It's Potent, I noticed a light stinging, but it went away fairly fast. The next few times, it didn't bother me at all. However, after about a week, my eyes would suddenly start streaming about fifteen mins after using the cream.

This happened about three days in a row, so I decided to stop using it altogether. Because of this, I didn't notice any benefits of using the cream.

Maybe I have really sensitive eyes. Maybe It's Potent is harsher than other products. I just know, for me, it was definitely not worth the hype.

Have you used this eye cream before? What did you think?

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Small MAC Haul

After the negativity of the last post, I think I should mention one fun thing I got up to in London and that was visiting the MAC counter in Selfridges. You can't really haul Mac because of the steep prices. I only have five items and they came near to £60 (and one was a freebie), but nonetheless, I thought you'd like to see what I've been buying.

The first three items, I didn't actually buy as they were a Valentines gift from my boyfriend. I asked for the new Miley Cyrus Viva Glam lipstick. I adore Miley Cyrus, but love the shade of this lipstick even more. This is a hot pink shade which looks quite scary in the tube, but I actually think this is quite wearable. Like all other Mac lipsticks, it is creamy, long lasting and has that delicious vanilla scent.

Velvet Teddy is on everyone's wish list at the moment. A matte, nude shade, it's perfect for that nineties pout that's on trend at the moment. I was going to buy this for myself but my boyfriend insisted on buying it for me as well (yes, I'm getting married to this person!) At first I thought the shade didn't suit me; it appears a little bit browner than Brave, which is my perfect nude. However, with a little help from some lip liner (Rimmel's East End Snob), I again found this extremely wearable. As it's matte, it's a little drying, but not to the point of discomfort.

I got sent a free sample of the Mac False Lash Effect mascara. I've not really had a play with it yet, but it was a nice little freebie to be included in my order.

I'm planning on doing my own makeup for the wedding, so the purchases made at the Selfridges counter were made with that in mind. My lipstick will be Ruby Woo, so I decided to buy a lip liner in the shade 'Cherry' to help prolong my lipstick and also create that perfect cupids bow. It will also give me the chance to try out a Mac lip liner and decided whether it's worth getting any more.

My last purchase was fueled by my curiosity over the Paint Pots. I'm slowly starting to get into cream eye shadows as they're quick and don't tend to need a primer. I was stuck between Painterly and Soft Ochre but went for Painterly as it's closer to my skin tone. I've only had this since Tuesday, but I've worn it every day since. I'm obsessed! I'll probably write a more in depth review in a few weeks, but this is definitely one of my most recent favourite purchases.

Even though a good amount of money has been spent, there's still so much I'm lusting after from Mac. My collection is steadily growing from the 'My First Mac Purchases' post I wrote back in August.

Have you bought anything from Mac lately?