Friday, 17 April 2015

5 things: Friday Night Films

If you're anything like me, then Friday night is film night. There's nothing like finishing a long, hard week at work, popping a pizza in the oven and throwing a film on to relax. I find the best films for Fridays are the ones that I don't have to think about and can help me unwind.

So if you're looking for a film to watch tonight then here are five Friday night film ideas.

Moonrise Kingdom

Any Wes Anderson film would make a great Friday night film. He is great at creating beautiful worlds which are so visually stunning. Moonrise Kingdom is case in point and it captures a story of young love. A boy flees camp to run away with his girlfriend. What follows is a fun adventure as they try not to get caught. It includes Wes Anderson's usual suspects like Bill Murray, Ed Nornton and Jason Schwartzman, but also has great newcomers in the young cast.


This is the story of a mysterious driver of few words who falls for his neighbour who's husband is in prison. He also moonlights as a Hollywood stuntman and a getaway driver in heists, and things don't go well. It is the darkest and most violent film on this list, but it is very engaging and has has a great soundtrack. It also stars Ryan Gosling, which I'm told is a very positive thing.

Avengers Assemble

Action movies make a great Friday night addition. They're good for just being able to switch off, and Avengers Assemble is one of the best. It has the witty Joss Whedon stamp all over it, and that's definitely not a bad thing. Best of all, it brings some great Marvel characters together in one film! And even better? It has Tom Hiddleston as Loki. Definitely a good way to spend a Friday evening.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Yes, another Superhero movie. I can never get enough of them, and Guardians of the Galaxy was one of the cinematic highlights for me of last year. It is an incredibly fun film. Basically, superheroes in space! It is also a film that somehow made cinematic audiences love a talking raccoon and a tree.


The last on this list, but definitely not the last of this pick, Pride is an amazingly witty and poignant film and was one of my top films of last year. It tells the true story of members of the gay community coming together to support the miners in Thatcher's Britain. It shows to very different communities coming together and obstacles they face, all with an 80's backdrop. This film got standing ovations when it came out in cinema, and when you watch it it'll be obvious why.

What are your favourite Friday night films?

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

April Birchbox

This month, Birchbox have provided such a beautiful looking box. The theme is "Royally Good" to celebrate royal baby number two. The box this time comes in two colours, and happily I got mine in the baby blue colour.I hope Birchbox keep up these gorgeous looking boxes. I am enjoying getting them every month. It makes it hard to get rid of them though!

Now Birchbox have introduced the slimline box, the products are a bit smaller this month and so the box seemed much emptier when I opened it. I won't lie, I felt a little disappointed. But the quality of the products certainly weren't bad this month.

Laura Mercier Eye Pencil - This month,subscribers got the chance to pick out of three items. Unfortunately, I didn't get the email with the chance to pick, so I didn't know what I was getting. I ended up with the the eye pencil in the colour Violet. It isn't the item I would have chosen as it's not a colour I would normally wear as an eyeliner. It seems like very good quality though. When I swiped it on my hand it took some getting off. I'm not sure what use I will get out of this.We'll see if I decide to wear this.

Lola Barcelona Nail Polish - This is a shade which Birchbox teamed up exclusively with Lola Barcelona to produce. The colour is Born, which is a pastel, shimmery shade. As soon as I got it I thought I'd try it out. A couple of days in and it's wearing well. I think it's a great neutral, everyday shade. The only downside is that the packaging of the varnish is so boring.

Percy & Reed London Volumising Smooth, Sealed and Sensational Oil No Oil - This has such a long name to type out! It helps smooth and tame hair. I'm not sure I will use this one, as I've always thought my hair has enough volume. I like the scent and texture though, so I may see how it works out.

Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash  - I like to spend time away from home, so I appreciate receiving face wash samples. This one has rose hips, chamomile and passion flower to leave the skin soft and fresh. I don't know if it is just the ones I received, but it doesn't foam up. Either way, I am looking forward to using this.

Pommade Devine Nature's Remedy Balm - This is a nifty little balm that, using 97% natural ingredients, can be used on imperfections such as flaky skin to help soothe and protect. I have had a cold recently so the skin around my nose is a little drier. I have been using this, and it helps. The only thing I don't like about it is the smell.

Befine Warming Clay Mask - This is mask has cardamom, arnica and pomegranate to help purify the skin. It also warms on the skin, which sounds crazy. For that fact alone I am looking forward to using this, It's also natural which gives it a big thumbs up.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Lush Haul

I have fallen in love with Lush in recent months. They're very known for their bath bombs, which are always a welcome addition to any pamper night. It took me a while to venture further afield, and have been slowly using more of their products.

This time I was drawn in by the soaps, especially the Somewhere Over The Rainbow soap which is gorgeously multicoloured and packed full of glitter. It also smells so good and fruity! It is a very hard one to resist. But it has got glitter all over my hands.

I also picked up Honey I Washed The Kids. I won't lie, the name swayed it for me. But luckily it smells delightful with a delicious caramel scent.

Finally, I also picked up the Pot O' Gold shower jelly. This was one I couldn't resist, and just had to try. It's a very different texture to anything I am used to. In fact, I'm still going to have to work out how to use it. It is, like that name suggests, jelly. IT all comes out in one lump. But I love that it is gold, and a bit of a sparkle to it. This one will definitely cheer me up in a morning.

What are your favourite Lush products?

Sunday, 5 April 2015

April Sunday Style

Today I have put together a very relaxed outfit. It's April, and it's spring, so I have put away all my heavy knits and big coats and brought out the lighter colours. I believe spring is about pastels and whites. That's all I want to wear for the next couple of months.

I fell in love with this sweater when I saw it. I don't normally wear much pink, but I like the colour on this one, and the words are beautiful. I put it together with a pair of jeans and some white trainers. I'm all about being comfy.

Sweater - River Island // Jeans - New Look // Shoes - Topshop // bracelet - ASOS // index finger ring - ASOS /// middle finger ring - Topshop

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Work Wishlist

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

I work full time, so I spend most of the time in work wear. Luckily, the dress code of my work is not business casual. But even so, I like to look smart, and according to this, monochrome also!

I really like cute and stylish pieces. I find I wear a lot of dresses and skirts. I like wearing dresses with collars, I think it makes a look much smarter. But similarly I like to make business more casual by wearing a much more relaxed blazer. And of course, a travel mug is always good for on the go. This cat one was too cute!

What do you wear to work?

Sunday, 29 March 2015

March Favourites

March is almost over and it's gone so quickly. I can't believe we're three months into 2015 already!

It's been a good month though. Not only has the weather began to pick up , but it's meant I can start going out on walks. I love hiking through the countryside. Though the picture in my header was from a walk that didn't turn out so well! We got caught up in the rain, so we ended up having to head back halfway into the walk.

One of the best things in March was Comic Relief. This year, I decided to volunteer by taking calls for donations. I've never worked in a call centre before, but it was oddly fun, and it was great to be doing something for a good cause. Sadly, I didn't take many donations.

Though all this I have enjoyed beautifying myself and watching some many shows. Here are some things I've loved.

Favourite make-up

This month I went to repurchase the Urban Decay De-Slick setting spray, and whilst I was there I decided to try the De-Slick Setting Powder. It's a translucent power but has the added selling point of having white rice, which helps mattify the face. It's a little bit pricey, but I love they way it looks. Especially as I don't find it cakey at all.

I also received the Benefit Roller Last this month in my Birchbox, and it has quickly dropped into my everyday make-up. I wrote about what I thought about it here. I may even like it more than the Real Lash mascara.

Finally, I have also loved the Illamasqua Skin Base Lift. Not only does is it an under eye concealer, but it also has corrector properties. Just wearing this alone brightens my eyes so much.

Favourite skincare

The moisturiser I have been using the most lately is the No7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream. I've actually been using it for some time, but it's become my favourite moisturiser. It sinks into my skin easily and leaves it feeling soft without any stickiness. It also has added SPF with is always a bonus!

I am also loving the Soap & Glory Heel Genius Foot Cream. I have started using it again this month to get my feet looking great and feeling soft for when I start wearing sandals again, and it does the job. My feet are feeling so much better!

Favourite Television

I have two favourite television this month. The first is, without a doubt, Parks and Recreation. I've always struggled to get through the first season, but my friend kept telling me to persevere, and I did. I ended up binge watching the entire thing. It is so well written with such amazing characters. Why did I not watch this sooner?!

The second is the Netflix original, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Once again I binged watch the show. It's very quirky and very entertaining and it's acted so well. If you haven't watched it yet, you really should.

Favourite music

I have been on a bit of a Ed Sheeran kick this month, and I really love Thinking Out Loud. It's such a beautiful song. I can't help but sing along to it!

What have you been loving this month?

Friday, 27 March 2015

Wreck This Journal

If you don't know what the Wreck This Journal is, then it is a book with various prompts on each page. It's a chance to find your creativity and well, wreck the pages of the book.

I think my creativity has been a bit stifled lately. I have a normal everyday job in an office which doesn't allow me show my artistic side. I thought something like this would be perfect to work on some mini daily projects that I can fit around my schedule. I actually bought the book over a year a go but it's only recently I've taken its seriously.

I wanted to share some of my initial pages with you. Some of these are actually still work-in-progress,but they are getting there. I think I'm already realising that I like to put colour onto my work!

Have you started the 'Wreck This Journal'?

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Current daily make-up

I last wrote about my make-up routine all the way back in July. Back then the weather was much warmer, so my routine had to fit the bill. Since then my routine has changed, not only to fit with the colder climate of winter, but also because I have constantly been finding new and exiting products to use.

After cleansing and moisturising my face, I first use a primer. The primer I am reaching for the most at the moment is Matte Veil from Illamasqua. Sadly, I have pretty oily skin so I need a good primer to mattify my face and keep my make-up on all day. This completely fits the bill.

For foundation, I use L'Oreal's True Match Foundation. My shade is N2. I use the the Real Technique's Expert Face Brush to buff in the foundation. I love the True Match foundation, as I think it makes my skin look great. To cover my dark under eye circles, I use the Illamasqua Skin Base Lift in light 2. This is a corrector and concealer in one, and really brightens the eyes.

Next I brush through my brows using the Benefit Gimme Brow. It is the only thing I have ever used for my brows and I love it! As it's a daily look, I don't like to go heavy on the eyes. I keep it simple by using the Revlon Eye Pencil in Earth Brown to give my eyes a little extra definition. I then use L'Oreal's Volume Million Lashes for my eyelashes.  

For the rest of my face, I just put a little bit of blush on my cheeks. I dab on the Illamasqua Cream Blush in Zygomatic, which just looks very natural.

To set my make-up I use both the Urban Decay De-Slick Powder and the Urban Decay DeSlick Setting Spray to minimise the oil on my face, and stop my make-up from slipping off. I finish off my look with the Pixi lip balm. Not only does it soften my lips, but it also gives a little bit of colour, and brings my look together.

What is your current make-up routine?

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Spotlight: Benefit Roller Lash

If you have read my Birchbox post this month, you will know that I was excited about receiving a sample of the new Benefit Roller Lash.

I've had a hit and miss relationship with Benefit mascaras. Their Real Lash is one of my top mascaras. The Bad Girl Lash on the other hand just doesn't do it for me. So the Roller Lash could have gone either way!

What makes the Roller Lash different is the curved wand, which is designed to enable you to curl your lashes without the use of a curler. In Benefit's words, the idea is to 'hook 'n' roll'. It also comes with a really cute packaging design. I love the rose gold colour, and full size has even been made to look like a hair roller. It's so pretty.

I have been wearing this all week to get some full use out of it. To me, it is a great daytime mascara. It doesn't offer as much of a dramatic look as the Real Lash one does, but it's perfect for definition and lengthening. I can be quite picky with mascaras, but I love this one. It ticks all my boxes, and my lashes look great. After a week I'm still loving at how long they look!

It took me a while to be able to roll it over my lashes to get the curl. I still find that I, weirdly, struggle with my right eye, and end up with masacara on my eylid! But it comes off easily enough before it dries. The best bit is that I'm finding I don't have panda eyes at the end of the day, which has been something I struggle with other mascaras!

One thing I would point out is that the Roller Lash doesn't give volume, so if that is important, then this mascara is not for you.

Overall I really love it. the downside of course is the price. I'm not really sure I can justify £19.50 on a mascara. But the mascara is good enough to make me reconsider.

Friday, 20 March 2015

One year on; Birch Box disappointments

I don't like to be negative, but I think it's hard to have gone one year without some disappointing products within the Birchbox. Due to the nature of the box, not everything is going to be amazing. It's always a gamble.

There are products that I have used, and enjoyed but probably wouldn't buy again, but then there are the products that have just disappointed me. Either my face fell when I saw them in the box, or I had so much hope for them, but they just didn't rise up to my expectations. Luckily this is a short list, but I wanted to highlight the products that I just didn't like.

I would like to point out before I get into them, that these are all personal to me. Someone else could find these products perfect!

The biggest disappointment for me were the Drinkwel capules, which are designed to help you recover after a night out partying, I was actually a little annoyed at receiving these on two accounts; 1) I don't drink, so it immediately makes them redundant, and 2) I don't like the idea of taking pills for those types of things. Other people may find them perfect, but they were very, very wrong for me,

One of the other biggest disappointments was the Stila lip glaze. I was actually very excited about receiving it, as I really wanted to try something from Stila. I like the design of tube - you twist the bottom and it brings product onto the brush at the top, even though it did take a while to initially get some product out. The finish though just doesn't cut it. There is no pigment at all to the formula. It gives a gloss, but it mostly just wipes glitter onto the lips. I personally cannot see a time when I will want glittery lips. To top it off, it is very, very sticky. It just didn't work out at all.

The next ones are a very personal disappointment which I'm sure most people don't share. I have said multiple times I do not like red nail polish, and I received two in consecutive boxes - one from the OPI Coca-Cola collection and one from Lollipops. The formula may be great, but they were never ones I was interested in trying out to see how they fared in the first place. Benefit's It's Potent eye cream is another one that falls under this category. I used the eye cream prior to receiving it in the box (here), and it just doesn't work for me, as it's not gentle enough.

I think I may have been more disappointed by the Model Co lip lacquer than I would have been if it wasn't a choose-your-own product that didn't work out. Not only was there not much off a colour pay-off, but it was also too gloopy and sticky, so I couldn't really find any benefits to using it.

Finally, the last thing on this list is another nail polish. This was the Model's Own glitter nail polish (not pictured as I gave it away ) I received back in the July box. The Model's Own nail polishes have redeemed themselves since (with a glitter one!), but this one was disappointing. The pay-off is very minimal with this one, as it is effectively just pink glitter with nothing else to it. I think it may be obvious about now that I am not a fan of glitter!

Have you tried any of these products?

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

5 happy things; Spring

It's not quite spring yet, but just knowing it's on its way makes me very happy. I do like winter but the dark days and cold nights can make me lose motivation, and all I want to do is curl up in my pyjamas with a hot drink.

But now we are heading into spring I wanted to celebrate five things I am looking forward for the coming months.

1// Longer evenings - This month the clocks go forward, which means it will begin to get dark later. There is nothing better than knowing when you leave work in an evening, it will still be light. It means I can open my curtains in a morning! I can also take up more activities. Maybe it'll encourage me to finally take up running in an evening.

2// Warmer days - With the longer days, comes warmer weather. Already we have seen a little bit of sunlight. Warmer days means it's finally time to wear less layers. Out goes the bulky winter coat, and in come cute jackets. Warmer weather also means I can venture outside more. I like to go on more adventures when it's warmer. Already I have a trip to a theme park planned for next month.

3// Flowers and blossoms - In spring the world just seems to come alive. One day all the trees are bare; the next they're covered in buds ready to bloom. Blossoms are one of my favourite things about spring. It is just so pretty. I also like to buy more fresh flowers when it comes to springtime. In fact, I already have a vase of chrysanthemums sitting on my windowsill.

4 //Wear brighter colours - For me, spring means it's time to start pulling out my brighter t-shirts and dresses to wear. In fact, including any colour at all is a leap for me. I always find adding colour to a look really brightens my mood. And that's not just colour in clothes, adding a brighter shade to my make-up really helps.

5// Summer is just around the corner - Finally, the best thing about spring is that it means that summer is on its way.

What are your favourite things about spring?

Sunday, 15 March 2015

March Birchbox

This month, Birchbox is collaborating with Habitat for a theme they are calling 'DO try this at home'. It's all about spring cleaning the everyday, from beauty to the home. The thing I love the most about this month is the box it comes in. It's such a lively design!

Birchbox appears to have started a new look with their boxes, and gone are the usual pouches the products come in. I'm a little sad about that, but I guess I never knew what to do with them anyway! They're also offering a slimmer box which can fit through the letter box. For now, I am happy sticking to the regular box, but I'm happy that option is there.

This month the products are hit and miss for me. there are some I'm happy to see, but others I'm just not interested in.

Benefit Roller Lash - This month Birchbox gave all subscribers the chance to pick which Benefit mascara to try. I was a bit late in choosing, but luckily I got the product I wanted. Having tried the other two Benefit mascaras previously, I was excited about getting the new Roller Lash. The brush on this is interesting, as it is curved. It's designed to curl and define your lashes using what Benefit call the 'hook 'n' roll' technique. I'm going to try this one out and then do a proper review in the near future, so look out for that!

Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris - I know fragrance samples and can be a bit of a hit and miss, and many people who don't enjoy receiving them. I am not one of those. I think they're great for trying a perfume out before shelling out a lot of money, especially as they can be so expensive. I've not road tested this one yet, but the fruity notes in the fragrance is giving me a good first impression.

Philip Kingsley Elastizer - This is a pre-shampoo treatment, which is intensive and super-conditioning, so it's great for damaged hair. I don't dye or use much heat on my hair any more so it's not in a terrible condition. I think this is one I may give or away or hang onto it for in case I need it in the future.

Serenity Skincare Dead Sea Bath Salt - I think this is one another one that I'm going to hang onto. I really like products to help unwind, though my bath isn't very suitable to relax in. It's too small! But I can definitely see me getting use out of it in the future when I have a pamper day.

TanOrganic Self Tanning Oil - This is probably the thing I am least excited about, as I don't self tan. I'm actually someone who doesn't care about being tanned at all, and prefer my paler skin! Apparently this is the world's first tanning oil, and it's organic, so I can see that there are benefits for people who do like to use tanning products.

A Perfect Heritage by Penny Vincenzi - One thing I do not like getting in the box is book samples. Generally, all the samples are ones I'm not interested in and wouldn't read, so this isn't for me at all.

Birchbox and Habitat Exclusive Notebook - I must admit, I can be addicted to notebooks! This is another one to add to my collection. It's very small which makes it great for jotting down notes or shopping lists, and so will fit great in any handbag.

Have you tried any of this month's products?

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Accessory haul

Recently I seemed to have spent some time looking over cute accessories. There have been so many that have caught my eye, that inevitably, I've found it hard to resist. I actually don't own that many accessories. I am one of those people that when I have found something I like I will wear it constantly until I wear it out. I finally thought it was time to shake it up and buy a couple more pieces.

I'm really loving the jacket earring trend at the moment (I might be a little bit behind on it), and these ones from River Island (here) were just what I was looking for.The little flowers on these ones were too cute to pass up, and it very affordable. So far, these are my only pair on jacket earrings, so I really want to get more.

When I saw them, I felt like the knot bracelet and the origami earrings were very me. In particular I love making origami animals, and so as the earrings (here) reminded me of an afternoon I once spent folding butterflies, that they were hard to pass up. It helped they were on sale too! They're a little bigger than I would have liked, but they're so pretty that I can let it go. In contrast the bracelet (here) is much daintier, but I love the way it looks. It's really great for work, as it's quite a subtle piece.

Lastly, I bought two head scarves from ASOS (here). I have short hair, and there's not many ways I can style it, so I'm trying to jazz it up with some hair accessories.These came as a pair; one black, and one with a very cool popcorn print on, It's safe to say I'm a sucker for cute print.

What are your favourite accessories?

Sunday, 8 March 2015

One year on; best Birch Box discoveries

I have now officially received twelve Birch Boxes, and so March marks my one year Birch Box anniversary! To celebrate, I decided to take a look over what I have received throughout the year to see what my favourite discoveries have been.

Some products I have gone out and bought full size, some I plan on doing getting in future, and others I use in my everyday routine. I have liked a lot of the products in my boxes, but these are ones that have made such an impact on me that I want to rave about them.

So without further ado, let me introduce you to the products I've loved.

My first box back in March last year was a great introduction to what Birch Box was all about, and I fell in love with two products immediately; one of which I still continue to buy today. These were the Molton Brown replenishing hand cream  and the English Laundry perfume. The hand cream not only smells gorgeous, but helps my hands feel so soft, and the perfume is just the perfect scent for spring. Birch Box is also where I discovered my favourite mascara of all time; Benefit They're Real. I love how much definition it gives to my lashes, and it lasts throughout the day.

I have found some great skincare products. In the April box, I discovered the Yes to Cucumber face wipes, which are great at get rid of daily dirt without being too harsh. I like to use them when I need to refresh my face. I was introduced to the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser the month after, which is great for not only removing all make-up but gently exfoliating too. I have liked giving my face a deeper cleanse with the Cattier clay face mask. I really loved how my face felt after using it.

One of my favourite products from all the boxes I received was the Pixi lip balm which I still use every day. It has shea butter to soften the lips, and then a hint of colour! The October box was a great box, as it also introduced me to The Cool Fix, which is perfect to use after shaving the legs to get rid of any irritation.

I have received a number of nail polishes in the boxes and there have been a couple of particular stand-outs. These were the OPI Thrill of Brazil and the Model's Own Nail Polish is Amethyst, which are both sparkly and such gorgeous shades, they are so hard to resist!

One of the new, exciting brands I have discovered over the year is TheBalm. The aesthetic of their packaging is really quirky, and I love the quality of their products. They are a brand I really want to try more from, and I already have my eye on a few of their other products.

There have been some great lifestyle products throughout the year. My favourites are usually the food! Back in April I discovered Proper Corn which is a very delicious way to eat popcorn as they have such great flavours. I particularly love the very tasty vanilla and coconut flavour. I have also received Urban Fruit and most recently Chia oats, which is a healthy way to have breakfast.

Have you tried any of these products? what do you think?

Friday, 6 March 2015

Spotlight: Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

I know, I am late to the party on this one. If I'm honest, I'd first heard of micellar water long before now. I've seen bloggers raving about it and giving it great reviews for a long time, but I passed it off as something I wouldn't really use.

Turns out though, this stuff is great! The Bioderma one gets mentioned quite often, but the market is full of different versions now. I purchased the Garnier one, as not only does it works great, but at under £4.99, it is also a really affordable choice.

Micellar water is simple as it works to gently cleanse the skin. Because it's so gentle it's suitable for any skin type and it's very effective at removing dirt and make-up, without having to do any rinsing.

I received a tip a couple of months ago, which changed my mind on buying the product. After going through a full cleansing routine the night before, micellar water is great to use in a morning to cut down the time it takes to get ready. All that is needed is to put some of the miceller water on a cotton pad and wipe across the face, then follow with moisturiser and eye cream.

For me, it's a great addition to my routine.

Have you tried micellar water yet?

Wednesday, 4 March 2015


It seems a long time ago now, but back in January I took a trip down to London. It was a pretty cool weekend in itself - there was an amazing American-style diner - but the trip was primarily to go on my second Illamasqua make-up course.

I am really loving the courses Illamasqua put on. I'm even deciding which one to go on next! I still feel like a relative beginner to make-up, so I find having the guidance on how to apply my make-up really helpful. The course I went on this time, 'Mastering Rush Hour Make-up', was particularly great, as it gave me useful tips for doing my daily make-up quickly, as well as giving me a full work appropriate look. For example, did you know some lip colours are a no no, as they totally give the wrong impression, and stop you from being taken seriously? Interesting stuff!

Like last time, afterwards, I bought some of the products that we used in the lesson. If you want to see the products I bought after the last course I went on, the post is here. The course this time used some if those same products, like the Matte Veil and the Skin Base foundation, both of which I really love; the former in particular being a staple of my daily routine.

But this time I chose four of my favourite products from the lesson to take home with me:

Skin Base Lift; in Light 2 - Not only is this is a very creamy under eye concealer, but it also has a peach tone to it, so it doubles up as a corrector. This is great as it means putting on less product helping it look a little more natural. It's designed to compliment the Skin Base foundation, but I use it regularly without, and I still love the way it looks. It doesn't take much product, but it makes my eyes look much brighter, and I look so much more awake, even if I don't feel it!

Cream blusher; in Zygomatic - Before I discovered this product, I hadn't really used a cream blusher before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. But I ended up loving it. It's a very neutral shade so once blended it looks very natural, and it blends so easily. All I do is use my fingertips, and it gives a great finish.

Sculpting Powder Duo; in Lumos and Heliopolis - This powder is designed for highlighting and contouring. The highlighter, Lumos, has a buildable shimmer to it, whereas helios is a light brown matte shade, which is perfect for creating shadows. They compliment each other perfectly. For the lesson, we also used the product as eyeshadow, so it's great for multitasking in a morning.

Lipstick; in Climax - I still don't feel ready to wear a bold lip, so I was matched up to this neutral shade. It is actually close to my own lip colour, but it's a matte finish and actually helps my lip colour look much softer and even. We paired this with a lip pencil in Fantasy (which, unfortunately, they had sold out of) and together it just brought the look together.

Have you tried any Illamasqua products?

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Spring Wishlist

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

It's officially March! Even though it's not yet officially spring, in my mind March means the weather is finally on the up, and we are finally on the other side of winter's grasp. It may be obvious that I am really looking forward to the warmer months ahead.

So for me, this is the month to start adding bright colours and bold patterns to my outfits. There is nothing brighter than yellow, and this jacket is perfect for warding off the cold and the rain, as well giving me some cheer! Of course pastel colours feel very spring-like too, and so slipping on these mint shoes will just brighten up each step.

What is on your spring wishlist?

Sunday, 4 January 2015

...Hello, 2015

It's a new year, and a new start. I have decided quite determinately that this will be my year.

I have quite a few plans for the year ahead, and things I want to concentrate developing on. They're not really resolutions, as really resolutions are changes that are made immediately, but these are areas I want to work on this year. I find it's much easier to complete goals by working on them gradually, rather than trying to do it all in one go. They're much likely to fail that way.

So below are the things I want to develop on in 2015.

Step up my blogging game - You probably don't realise this, but I actually have a schedule to my posts; Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. You'll be forgiven for not noticing because I've missed ones here and there, and in the last few months there has been no pattern at all. It's been an has-and-when sort of thing. So for 2015, I want to get organised and stick to my pattern. I bought the diary in the picture above to help me with staying on top of things (It's a lovely one from A Beautiful Mess). Not only do I just want to be able to post regularly, I want to begin getting a readership and get more involved in the blogging community. I don't have a plan for it yet, but I'm starting with taking my blog seriously, and putting in the hard work.

Be healthier - I know, this is one which everyone includes in their lists. It's one that's often started, but then swiftly abandoned in a matter of weeks. This is why, for me, it is more of an ongoing achievement rather than a straight up resolution. I plan to add things into my routine one step of time. Starting with drinking more water and adding more fruit and vegetables in to my diet, to picking up running and exercising more regularly when the weather starts to get warmer. I'm much likely to keep it going that way.

Save money - This is quite a big one for me as there are a couple of big purchases I'm planning to make in 2015. Namely, as I am getting closer to taking my driving test, I will want a car. Obviously, on top of buying the car it will be insurance and the rest which goes with it. As well as this, I want to move into a flat this year so I will need money saving up to be able to do that. It's going to be abig task, but doable. My plan is to change little things like making lunch for the week, rather than buying a sandwich everyday, as well as resisting those impulse buys! That may be hardest thing to do...

Meet more people - I will be completely honest with you, I am not the world's biggest social butterfly. In fact, I am much further on the other side of the scale. So meeting people can be difficult. I began to meet more people in 2014, and it is something I want to build on this year.

Be involved - This links into the above one, really, and it's part of my plan as to how I'm going to meet more people. I have a habit of avoiding situations, as I'm happy to keep myself to myself and spend my time catching up on TV and games. So this year I am determined to get involved more and say 'yes' when offers come up.

Work on my photography skills - This is a very practical goal. I bought a bridge camera last year, and I still don't know my way around it. I think it is time to learn. I also want to try and get better with my composition, especially for my blog pictures as they do get a bit boring. I want to be able to inject a bit of excitement into them. Look out for that in 2015!

So there we have it. I am definitely looking forward to this year. I hope in a year's time I will be able to announce that I am well into my goals.

What are your goals for 2015?  

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Goodbye, 2014...

So 2014 is officially over, and we are beginning our journey into 2015. Before I get down into my goals and resolutions for 2015, I wanted to take a quick look over the best bits of 2014.

2014 has been a decent year for me. Naturally, it has had its ups and downs, but sitting here and reflecting all the things I have done, I think the year has been more in the way of ups for me.

2014 was the year I got into all things make-up and beauty, and has meant that this blog exists as as it is today. As I said in my previous post, I don't know what changed towards my view on make-up, but I am glad it did, as I've really enjoyed looking at and trying out new products and new looks, and then writing about them. I have enjoyed keeping a blog too (even if it has been a struggle sometimes with working full time), and I have found that it is starting to help me with being creative, something which my job doesn't really allow me to be. I hoping to step up my game in 2015.

In other areas of my life, there have been a lot of great happenings in 2014. I spent an amazing week taking part in activities in Holland, like canoeing, cycling and visiting theme parks. I took some exciting trips down to London, in which I visited the Sherlock Holmes museum, had a fun and informative Illamasqua make-up course as well as doing lots of shopping along Oxford Street, of course.

I saw some amazing plays, not least the Matilda musical which is brilliant, and everyone needs to see! I saw Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake for the first time in about 15 years, and it is still as wonderful asI remembered. I also saw stand-up comedian Dave Gorman live, and met him afterwards. It was an incredibly funny evening.

As well as all this, it seemed to be a year of extra-curricular activities. I spent a lot of my time learning to dive and I passed my theory test. I even took up fencing which has been a lot of fun and I have met some truly wonderful people because of it. I cemented a few friendships this year, but also seemed to grow further apart from others.

Because I love film and television I wanted to take a moment to point out some of the best of 2014.

I am undecided on my favourite film as there were some really fantastic ones; but I think Pride wins out because it is just so witty and poignant. It is most definitely worth a watch. Wes Anderson's wonderful Grand Budapest Hotel is a close second, and honourable mentions go to Guardians Of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie for just being a lot of fun.

One of of my favourite new televisions shows of 2014 was Inside Number 9 which was a little disturbing in places (what more would you expect from two of the creators of The League Of Gentlemen?) but incredibly well written. I also really enjoyed The Musketeers (the second series starts tomorrow!) and I have to mention The Great British Bake-Off and The Apprentice as being really good reality TV. Other honourable mentions are Moone Boy and Only Connect as they are both brilliant.

What are your best bits of 2014?



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