Posted on: Friday, 30 January 2015

January Blues | When life gives you lemons, make lemonade...

By the time you read this, I will be having my operation. So I have prepared a few posts in advance so my blog won't be lacking content for the next two weeks whilst I recover. 

Anyway, I have been wanting to create posts like these for a good while, where I take some photographs of my outfits for my blog, and then have a bit of a heart to heart of how my week's going.
I just really enjoy expressing myself through writing. And what better way than combing it with some outfit posts!

Anyway, let's get into it shall we...

January is one of the most depressing and draining months of the year. Christmas is over, we're recovering from a month of lavish eating, drinking and spending. And now it's time for the new year with a list of self-reflections and uncontrollable events, which can spiral into a little thing called January Blues.

We all go through bad patches, some more so than others. Sometimes everything all comes at once, it's out of our control and it's really hard to be positive during those times. 

You know that phrase "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade". When you see little quotes like these flying around on the internet, it makes you stop and think for a moment. My mind is screaming at me: 'Yes, yes YES! I'm going to turn these lemons into lemonade'. And refuse to let the January Blues get the best of me! And I'm going to do exactly that...

Yes, I'm dealing with a few lemons at the moment, my hours keep being cut at work and I'm having an operation on my womb. And whilst I could sit here and blabber on and say 'this is unfair', 'why is this happening to me' and 'I can't afford to pay my rent', instead I'm going to look on the bright side of all of this. I'm going to make lemonade. 

Some may agree and say it's pretty shitty with what I'm dealing with at the moment, but in hind-sight, it could be worse
I'm actually really glad that I'm finally being taken seriously with a health problem that has caused me pain for years. And, with my hours being cut, I get to spend more time working on my blog and my Youtube stuff.

The only downside is that when next month rolls around, I'm not going to be able to afford my rent. And it's caused me a lot of stress and worry over the past two weeks, but Joe has been incredibly supportive.
I've never been so thankful to have such a wonderful human being in my life... because truthfully I most probably wouldn't of been able to take the time off work to have this operation, as I wouldn't of been able to afford to live.

If you have also been dealing with January Blues, or are dealing with uncontrollable upsetting events, then try and turn those pesky lemon's into lemonade. Whether that's trying something new, being creative in some way, focusing on a hobby, or even exercising to boost your mood. Do things that are going to make you feel happy and feel more positive.
And, just remember things will get better, these things take time... 

Shirt - Primark | Scarf - Primark | Leather Trousers - ZARA | Boots - Office | Bag - Fiorelli

Posted on: Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Lush Dark Angels Cleanser | Review

Before I begin my review, I thought I should add a little disclaimer before you begin reading. This blog includes my experiences and my opinions on skincare and beauty products. What work's on my skin may not work for you. Everybody's skin is different.

Now, I've been meaning to do a review on Lush's Dark Angels cleanser for a while, so today is the day where I will talk through my experience with this product, the pros and cons, as well as a little back story of my skin.

Ok, so, a little bit of a back story... this was the first Lush cleanser I ever used! I decided to give it a go way back when I was at university (2008-2011), and I used to LOVE this! I used it religiously for years... and then got bored and I wanted to try something else.

After trying various products throughout the years (Liz Earle, Origins, Clinque, dermalogica and other Lush products: Herbalism, Coal Face, Buche de Noel, Ocean Salt, Ultrabland, 9-5 and Aqua Marina) I decided to go back to my roots and give this a go again.

Also back then, my skin was so clear - no blemishes, no nothing. It was normal with a little bit of oiliness... but, my skin has dramatically changed since then.

I came off the contraceptive pill two-three years ago, and my skin went a little awol with painful breakouts on my chin and forehead. And, for someone who rarely got spots, this was a massive shock to me! I didn't want to leave the house - as vain and as bad as that sounds, it was true.

Anyway, it has calmed down massively over the past year or so, and whenever I get a break-out these days, I have learned to deal with it and just carry on with life as normal. Also, just use a good concealer and they are barely noticeable anyway!

To this day I would say my skin is more on the dry/combination side, and, is definitely more sensitive than it's ever been - prone to break outs. 

Ok, so anyway, my Buche de Noel cleanser ran out late December (which is limited edition), so I decided to purchase this old favourite of mine: Dark Angels.
This cleanser is aimed at people with oily and acne-prone skin, but my face is now at the opposite end of the spectrum (dry/combination, although I am prone to break-outs). That being said, I'm going to go ahead and say it work's on all skin-types, but it potentially works best for people with oiler skin.

Anyway, Lush describe Dark Angels as one of their 'solid' cleansers, and, it's not as solid as opposed to the cleansing soaps, it has a flaky consistency that is closer to being a solid as opposed to a liquid. 
It has rhassoul mud, organic avocado oil, charcoal, black sugar and rosewood in there - all excellent natural ingredients for a deep exfoliating cleanse without drying out the skin.

Also, charcoal is one of my all-time favourite ingredients in skin-care products. It is known to help draw out toxins, oil and bacteria to help achieve a beautiful, healthy-looking complexion.  

I have been using this cleanser day and night for just over a month and my skin has cleared up massively. It's one of those gritty exfoliating cleansers that you can notice a difference with immediately. It pretty much scrubs away a layer of dead skin, leaving my skin feeling balanced, fresh and glowing!

The only thing I would say is that it doesn't prevent my hormonal break-outs, as they have been cropping up every now and again... but, then again, it could be the product doing it's work by drawing out the nasty impurities from my skin.
And, the smell, mhmmm, the smell! I absolutely LOVE the smell, it's quite earthy and kind of smells like liquorice, which might not be everyone's cup of tea. But I personally love it!

And, the only thing that I dislike about it, is how messy it is! It goes all over my bathroom sink and sometimes get's in my fringe! But, apart from that, I love everything about it!

Dark Angels is definitely one of those cleansers that I just enjoy using. I get excited every time I come home from work and take off my make-up because I'm in for a good old heavenly scrub. 

So, if you are looking for more of an exfoliating, absorbent cleanser, than this might be the product you are looking for. And, if you're interested in trying out this cleanser, maybe go into a Lush store and ask for a sample - they are good like that!

Posted on: Sunday, 25 January 2015

Smart Casual Lookbook

Today's post is all about my first ever Lookbook! I have put together five smart casual outfits that I would wear on a day to day basis. Hoping this gives you a little fashion inspiration this winter.

Also, HUGE thanks to my camera man Joey! He's done a really good job and I love all the shots.
If he's willing to help me create more lookbook's in the future then I will have to put on my best convincing voice, because I know he would rather be coding or just chilling in his spare time.

Anyway, if you guys would like to see more lookbook's in the future, let me know in the comments below or give this video a thumbs up!

Posted on: Friday, 23 January 2015

January Haul | TKMaxx, Office, Topshop & River Island

I have gotten in to a really bad habit to start off the year, I have been spending like crazy!
I usually go through spirals of spending through-out the year, usually when I'm feeling down... Sounds stupid, but shopping is very satisfying! Even though, in hind-sight it only pleases me for about a week and then on to the next thing...

I shouldn't really need to fully justify myself but, the reasons why I have been spending quite a bit of money lately is due to not going out much lately, in fact I think I've been out once this whole month. I've just really been enjoying staying in this January. I've watched Game of Thrones solidly (three seasons) and, I'm really excited for season 4 to come out! Another reason is due to me having an operation soon and I've just felt the need to spend that extra bit to cheer myself up. And the third reason is me preparing way in advance for my holiday to San Francisco in March! I like to try and get most of what I need out of the way, so I can insure I have lots of spending money to make the most of being there.

Realistically, I know I need to stop spending and get into more of a habit of using what I already have. And, I also need to remember that I'm not living at home anymore and that I do have to pay rent and bills. Adult life, sigh... trying to be more responsible and shit. But, my motto in life is to ALWAYS enjoy yourself because there is no point being upset that you can't afford to do things, money is just money, so worry about paying things later (as long as you can pay it back). Just do whatever makes you happy!

Winter Warming Treats | Nutella & Ferrero Rocher Hot Chocolate and Brookies

There's nothing like a good old cup of hot chocolate and a baking session! I find these two things super relaxing and sort of therapeutic. 

Anyway, today I wanted to share with you two of my favourite winter warming treats. Nutella & Ferrero Rocher hot chocolate and Brookies recipes (one that I got from Lily Pebbles's blog). 

Nutella & Hot Chocolate Recipe (One Portion)

Here's what you'll need:

1 cup of milk (I used almond milk to be a bit healthier)
3 tablespoons of Nutella
1 teaspoon of cocoa powder
Whipped cream (I just used a squirty can)
1 Ferrero Rocher

Prep2 minutes
Cook5-7 minutes

1. In a medium pan, pour in the milk and heat for a minute or two, then scoop in the three tablespoons of Nutella and teaspoon of cocoa powder, and then whisk away.
2. Keep stirring for three-five minutes, when it starts to boil take off heat. 
3. Serve up and add your squirty cream. 
4. Crush a ferrero rocher with a fork or by hand and sprinkle on top!

Brookies Recipe (Makes 72)

Here's what you'll need:

85g cocoa powder
400g caster sugar
125ml vegetable oil
4 eggs
teaspoons vanilla extract (I used almond extract)
250g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
60g icing sugar

Prep20 minutes (& 4 hours in the fridge)
Cook12 minutes

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the cocoa, caster sugar and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the extract. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours. 
2. Preheat oven to 180 c / gas mark 4. Line baking trays with parchment. Pour icing sugar onto a plate and using a metal tablespoon, spoon and roll mixture into 2.5cm balls coating each one with the icing sugar before placing onto the trays.
3. Bake in a preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Let them stand on the baking tray for a minute before transferring on to wire racks to cool.

Mhmmm, I hope you enjoy these gloriously chocolately winter warming treats, I know I certainly do!

Posted on: Monday, 19 January 2015

NARS Virtual Domination Cheek Palette | Review & Swatches

If you watched my 'What I got for Christmas' video, you would of seen this little baby being featured. It's the beautiful limited edition Virtual Domination Cheek Palette by NARS. The packaging is stunning, a gorgeous monochrome weighted case - which definitely feels more elegant than your average palette, with a large mirror and five shades inside!

I'm already a HUGE fan of NARS' blushes, I have four already, and Luster is my all time favourite, I actually use that shade almost every-day. Anyway, I was so excited to receive this little beauty at Christmas. It comes with three blush shades, one highlighter and one bronzer.

Miss Liberty. A beautiful light golden champagne shade with some specks of glitter. This isn't as in your face as some highlighters, so perfect for every-day use to highlight those cheekbones without over doing it.

Deep Throat. A peachy pink with hints of gold glitter for a sheen finish. It's highly pigmented and looks lovely on the cheeks! This is one of my favourites in this collection!

Laguna. Everybody raves about Laguna, so it's nice that I can finally test it out and see what all the hype is about! It's a gorgeous bronze colour suitable for all skin tones, has a subtle shimmer which adds a lovely glow to the skin. I am currently using this as a contour shade and so far I'm enjoying it!

Sex Fantasy. This is a cool toned matte pink, not as pigmented as the rest, but it's perfect for a flush of colour and for every-day use.

Final Cut. This shade is similar to Deep Throat but without the shimmer, it's a gorgeous peachy coral shade, highly pigmented and looks beautiful on the cheeks! This is another one of my favourites from this collection!

(From left to right: Laguna, Final Cut, Deep Throat, Sex Fantasy and Miss Liberty.)

Overall, I think this palette is well worth the money. The blush shades are smaller than a standard individual NARS blush, BUT, you do get a full-sized Laguna which is around the twenty five pound mark alone! And I like the idea that they've added a highlighter, amongst the bronzer and blush shades.
It's not often where I find a palette where I adore absolutely everything in it and will actually make use of everything, so I am a very happy bunny that I have this in my life.

Are you a fan of NARS blushes? What one is your favourite? 

Posted on: Friday, 16 January 2015

MAC Lipsticks Haul | Rebel, Amorous, Ruby Woo & Velvet Teddy

(Top left to bottom: Velvet Teddy, Ruby Woo, Amorous and Rebel to the side)

Back in December, I purchased these four lippy's. All MAC ones, yet different finishes, satin and matte's. And I know, this post is massively over-due (like-wise to my other upcoming blog posts)... But, I've just had a lot going on over Christmas and the New Year, and I'm slowly getting back on track.

Anyway, let's talk about the Lipsticks shall we...

Rebel. Looks much darker when standing alone on the shelf, but transfers onto the lips a much lighter, plum-like colour. It's a satin finish, highly pigmented, creamy formula, build-able, and long-wearing.

Amorous. Another satin finish formula (quite matte but with a bit of a sheen), which again is highly pigmented, build-able and long-lasting. I  just wanted an every-day mauve kind of shade and this is perfect! 

Ruby Woo. A gorgeous matte blue-red formula.  Looks absolutely stunning on the lips, however can be a bit drying - need to apply with a lip balm first. Also, whenever I wear this it makes my teeth whiter and my complexion appear brighter! Love, love, LOVE!

Velvet Teddy. This was SO hard to get hold of, it took months and months of patiently waiting for it to come back in stock! It's a warm, brown nude colour, matte finish. Very 90's. As far as I'm aware it can look quite different on skin-tones, but on my pale skin it appears more of a warm browny-nude kind of colour. I do really like it but it's not my favourite. In fact I favour Amorous over Velvet Teddy.

 (No lip-liner applied, just Amorous on the lips)

I thought I would do a few snaps of me wearing some of the shades. I decided not to do one for Velvet Teddy as I was running out of time and because it's my least favourite. But if you guys want me to do a little review on it and see what it's like on my skin-tone then let me know in the comments below.

As you can see in the picture above I'm wearing Amorous, this is described as a 'Lovestruck Cranberry' colour on MAC's website, however I think it's more of a mauve-pinky shade. I really really love this shade, and I was a little hesitant at buying it at first because I read reviews online stating that it was more suited towards darker skin tones, but when I was trying on a ridiculous amount of lipsticks in Covent Garden's MAC store, this one really stood out to me. It just seemed to work nicely with my hair colour and skin-tone. And, I like that I can wear this during the day or at night time.

(No lip-liner applied, just Rebel on the lips)

And now time for a bit of Rebel... MAC describe this beautiful shade as a 'Midtonal cream plum' and it's exactly that. 
It does look much darker in it's packaging but once transferred onto the lips, it's a much lighter, plum-like colour. I really do LOVE this shade, it's the perfect autumnal/winter lippy and looks lovely with ginger hair. Although, saying that it will most probably suit all hair colours.

I wear this to work occasionally (when I've got time on my hands) and I've noticed as the hours go by (3+ hours), the formulation goes quite matte and it fades to a dark pinky-red kind of colour which in all honesty, I actually quite like. 

Also, I've noticed with a lot of dark plum lipsticks, sometimes you can find them a bit too gothic looking, but I think this looks really feminine and not gothic at all, it's just a really lovely interesting shade and I cannot rate it highly enough.

(No lip-liner applied, just Ruby Woo on the lips)

And last but not least, Ruby Woo! This is a cult classic red that EVERYBODY raves about, but is well known for being one of MAC's driest lipsticks. And dry it is, but aside from that, it's a beautiful colour, and it makes me feel like a 1950's movie star whenever I wear it. 

MAC describe this as a 'Very matte vivid blue-red'. In other words Ruby Woo is a cool-toned red. Which makes your teeth and complexion appear whiter and brighter. It's also highly pigmented and it lasts a really really long time - matte formulation's tend to stain the lips better.

If you are looking for a lip-liner to pair with Ruby Woo, I'd recommend Cherry.
I'm actually planning on buying Cherry whenever I next go into a MAC store, which might be when I go on holiday at the beginning of March. So excited!

Anyway, I enjoy wearing this shade during the day and at night time - it's a gorgeous staple to have in your lipstick collection!

Posted on: Thursday, 15 January 2015

Lush Boxing Day Sale Haul, 2014

The one where I show you bits and bobs that I got during the boxing day sales at Lush. The Christmas range was 50% off, so I got some right little bargains!

Products mentioned:
Lush Cleanser, Dark Angels
Lush Bubble Bar, Magic Wand
Lush Bath Bomb, Dashing Santa
Lush Bath Melt, The Melting Snowman
Lush Bubble Bar, Candy Mountain
Lush Bath Bomb, Cinders
Lush Bubble Bar, Holly Golightly

Posted on: Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Eyeshadows | Review & Swatches

(Left picture: On and On Bronze, Right picture: Permanent Taupe)

I've never really been into eye shadows or eye creams but recently I've wanted to experiment with my eyes a bit more. 

There has been a lot of hype about the Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Eyeshadows, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about!

I popped into my local Boots, as they had a '3 for 2' deal on, and at £4.99 each they are a right bargain! I picked up On and On Bronze (#35), Eternal Gold (#05) and Permanent Taupe (#40).

On and On Bronze (#35) is a warm bronze slash copper shade with a bit of shimmer. It's gorgeous and looks really nice on the lids. Can be worn during the day or evening!

Eternal Gold (#05) is a metallic gold colour. Would look lovely in the inner corner of the eyes when combined with a brown or bronze smokey eye.

Permanent Taupe (#40) is a matte taupe with purple and brown undertones. Lovely as an everyday shade. Also lovely paired with On and On Bronze.

I've recently been wearing them in my Youtube video's and when I met up with my best friend from uni, Nicol, she asked me what I had on my eyelids... which were these shades. Anyway, she ended up popping into Boots to pick them up as well as convincing her to gett a few MAC lipsticks! I'm such a bad makeup influence on her, haha.

(From left to right: Permanent Taupe, On and On Bronze and Eternal Gold)

Now, let's get back to the product. These really are one of a kind. I've never come across a cream-gel type eyeshadow before but I'm really liking the formulation. Also, I'm pretty sure they might possibly well be a dupe for the MAC Paint Pots but correct me if I'm wrong there.

(Picture above: On and On Bronze on the lids)

Anyway, I like to apply these with my finger - I swirl my ring finger into the pot and apply on the lid! You don't need too much product as they are super pigmented and you can use a brush to smooth out the edges if you desire. Within a few seconds it dries completely and looks beautiful on the lids.

(Oh hi! Just me chilling...)

(And here are some pictures of me wearing permanent taupe - it looks a little washed out as I used an oil based eye-makeup remover beforehand and didn't let it dry!)

Now, let's talk about the lasting power... I wouldn't say they last 24 hours but they definitely last at least 6-8 hours before the colour starts to fade a little. I didn't use a primer so that's possibly why they didn't last as long? I'm not quite sure.

Right, so that's all I've got to say! I've still got my eyes on a few other shades from the collection, but I need to tone my spending habits down a bit. In summary, I honestly think they are well worth the money, at £4.99 a pop you can't really go wrong. The colour choices are lovely and they look stunning on the lids!

Posted on: Monday, 12 January 2015

Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Balm & Hand Cream | Review

Everybody has been raving about the Nuxe's Reve De Miel lip balm, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about! I saw a little gift-set over the Christmas period on FeelUnique that included the lip balm and hand and nail cream for £14, so I decided to splurge and try them out. Unfortunately I can no longer find the set on the website, however I will leave links to them individually below.

Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Balm. Let's start off by talking about the beautiful frosted glass jar it comes in... it's a little bit weighty to hold but it's so lovely to look at, it definitely feels more classy and it makes me feel super excited to display this on my bedside table (Sad, I know). And then, the formulation of this stuff is heavenly... well I think so anyway! It's a rich, thick texture and has a fruity scent to it - kind of smells like lemons, oranges and honey rolled into one. I absolutely love the texture and finish it leaves on the lips, it's almost like a velvety/matte finish and keeps your lips lovely and nourished for a pretty long time (longer than most lip balms I've tried anyway).
Since I got my hands on it, I have been using this non-stop! It has become my most loved and cherished lip balm!

Nuxe Reve De Miel Hand and Nail Cream. Unlike the beautiful lip balm packaging, this doesn't come in a fancy bottle or tube, however, the formulation and scent is stunning! It contains honey, sunflower, precious oils and vitamin E and together that creates the most heavenly luxurious scent - it almost smells like a fancy floral perfume. And the cream itself is very lightweight and absorbs into the hands quickly. For someone who suffers from really really dry hands, this really has been working wonders at repairing my damaged hands!

Have you tried Nuxe's Reve De Miel collection? What are your thoughts?

Posted on: Friday, 9 January 2015

This Works Dream Team | Review

For Christmas, I was lucky enough to find a 'This Work's Dream Team' gift-set in my stocking! It comes with two miniature samples of aromatherpeutic solutions, that claim to help for the perfect night's sleep. 

Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. This is a gorgeous scent! It smells of lavender, camomile and I think it has bark oil in there. It's super calming, so if you're feeling a little bit stressed then this may help you unwind and relax. Although, I'm not 100% convinced that it helps improve your sleep, but the smell is lovely and super calming none the less.

Deep Sleep Stress Less. This is a little rollerball that you can apply to your wrists, behind your ears or inhale the vapour to relieve any stress or tension. Likewise to the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, it smells of lavender, but includes some other fancy oil's that I've never even heard of - Boswella Cartern oil and Eucalyptus oil. I really do like the scent of this, it's SO calming and I think I actually prefer this scent to the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray one, although they are very very similar. I also really enjoy the sensation of applying this behind my ears, with my eyes closed, in a slow circular motion, I could do it forever and ever... until, I look a bit weird and need to put the product down.

So far, I'm enjoying them both, they are helping with my sleep a little bit, but for me, I wouldn't say they are a miracle cure for getting the best night's sleep. 

If anyone knows of any other products that help with insomnia or general restlessness during the night, please leave them in the comments below! I'm yet to find my miracle product that helps with my insomnia and awful sleeping pattern.

Posted on: Wednesday, 7 January 2015

What I got for Christmas in Video Form!

(That awkward moment when you can't decide on a cover photo...)

I recently wrote a blog post on 'What I got for Christmas'. But, I've been meaning to do a little video of things that I got as well... but I've been far too ill. Anyway, the plague had passed so I decided to film it! Sorry that it's so late, but better late than never as they say!

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