Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Skin Woes And Beauty Buys

Hey everyone, so today I just want to go through my recent purchases and talk about my skin problems, hopefully this will be helpful for some of you guys too. My skin is generally oily to combination when categorised, I don't really have issues with dryness but I do struggle with blemishes and my pores. I would say I have problem skin... 

It's not so great in the summer when makeup pretty much melts off my face but it's just really inconvenient during the winter when it rains and it's impossible to keep makeup on full stop. My skin goes through a lot over the colder months and I'm out early on a morning so I don't get much time for my skincare regime. I did trial Help: Clear Skin and it worked in certain ways but not even that can help at the moment. 

I tend to wear the Rimmel London Wake Me Up foundation as it has brightening qualities but over the weekend I got fed-up and I bought a few new products to try out. 

I've wanted to try out The L'OREAL Paris 'The Minerals' True Match for a while, Helen Anders talks about it a lot and I thought it sounded perfect for me. It turns out that it's not great for this time of the year, I might try it again when things start to warm up again but the wind and the rain just mucked up the overall look of it quite quickly. 

The Bourjois Paris Healthy Mix Gel Foundation, however, seems to work much better and the lightest shade they do is a perfect match for me. I wouldn't recommend the product to someone with dry skin but it's evened mine out fairly well. 

The third and final product that I decided to try out was the Maybelline Super Stay Concealer, I actually wanted to get my usual Collection 2000 one but my shade was out and one of the staff member from Boots helped me choose a new one to try. It's a great shade for me but I just feel like it's a little too runny/liquid for me, the Collection 2000 one I like is a little more creamy than runny so it's really easy to blend. 

Heads up! Boots have a three for two deal on any beauty product so it's worth stocking up on things whilst the deal is on.

Well, thanks for reading this post. If you have any questions, suggestions or advice I would love it if you could let me know in the comments. I'd be super happy to hear your opinions on the products or any little tips you are willing to share. 

Friday, 20 November 2015

Blogmas Planning: Post Ideas

Hello everyone! So over the past few days I've seen quite a few posts about Blogmas and what sort of ideas that can be interpreted over the project. The truth is, you can post literally anything you want. I like to keep mine festive as I did it for the first time last year and picked up a few tips, though, you just need to post daily. I really enjoyed taking part in the Blogmas Project last year, though, my dad wouldn't stop saying the word 'Blogmas' the whole time I was posting for it. I felt like the fact it was called a project really motivated me to keep putting out content and really get into it. At the time I had just started this blog and AJ recommended it to me, it was a big help! I'm going to be combining a mixture of updates on last years posts and and brand new ideas this year so keep an eye out for it. 

  • Wishlist posts - You can get a good two or three posts out of this idea, you can write decorative/home wishlists, Christmas present wishlists, festive fashion wishlists... You can really run with this idea.
  • Gift guides - At this time of the year, gift guides are in high demand. Men, women, children and pets can benefit from this as you can do a separate gift guide for each.
  • Secret Santa - A post on budget holiday gifts for people at work or school is immensely handy, I like reading these because I still haven't got a clue what to get for mine! 
  • DIY posts - I love reading festive DIY posts, getting crafty at this time of the year can save money and give you something to do with your time off.
  • Christmas Tree Decor - What's on your tree? Talk about whether you like getting a real or a fake tree and why, explain stories behind certain decorations... Make the post out to be what you want it to be!
  • Recipe posts - Similar to DIY posts, show your readers how to bake festive cookies, make a quick cheesecake or even a Christmas pudding.
  • Events - Take your phone or camera with you wherever you go, you may stumble upon a light switch on, a nativity or even a fair. 
  • Favourite festive memory - This could be a tradition, a childhood memory or even a few photos from Christmases in the past.
  • A Christmas playlist - This one is pretty self explanatory, what are your favourite songs? Put them together in a post and perhaps link it up to Spotify.
  • Favourite Christmas films - Yet another one that doesn't really need explaining, simply tell people which Christmas films you really appreciate.
  • Festive #OOTD posts - You can either do the odd #OOTD post within the month or you can wait until later in the month and put together a collective post.
  • A letter to Santa - You can make this humorous, serious or as part of your wishlist post, either way it's a cute festive post.
  • A Tag - Around Christmas there's always a few tag post floating around, 'The Chrismas Tag', 'This Or That' and 'The Winter Tag' to name a few.
  • Christmas nail inspiration - Do a step by step tutorial on certain festive designs, put together a mood board or even find cheap deals on polish, gems, pens or false nails.
  • Christmas cocktails - This one would be super fun to create, you could invite friends over and try some recipes out. Make sure it fits in with your blog demographic though!
  • A photo diary - This is a simple idea that you could certainly put your own spin on, just share some of your newest Christmas memories in photo form!
Well, thanks for reading! I hope that you've enjoyed reading this post and that it was helpful to those of you planning on doing Blogmas. Let me know in the comments if you are!

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Koi Couture Heels From Online Avenue: So In Love With These Shoes!

Hello! So today's post is my first proper fashion post in quite a while, I hope to be doing more of them in the near future. I've neglected this part of my blog for a little while now so it's nice to get back into the swing of things. Anyway, everyone who knows me will be quite aware that I'm not really a shoe person, I'm more likely to spend my pay on a handbag. I'm actually known for spending daft amounts of money on bags, I will say though, when I saw the samples available for the Online Avenue campaign on EtailPR, I fell in L-O-V-E *sings Love Me Like You by Little Mix in head* with these shoes. They make me feel like I should be strutting around in a girl band when I wear these, they may actually be my favourite shoes now. I love the lace up detail but one thing that I appreciate about these shoes is the fact that there's a zip on the back by the heel to get them off and on. 

So, to summarise, gorgeous shoes that are also practical. Saying that, I will need to walk about in them a bit to get used to the heels. It shouldn't take too long to get used to them, it took me a few days to get used to some of my chunkier heels.

Despite the size of my feet, a size seven, I feel like these shoes make them look dainty and pretty which is weird because I hate my feet. It's also quite surprising how comfortable they are, they're an exact fit and other than the fact that I'm not used to them, I really can't fault these shoes on comfort. I was surprised they were so comfy and the fact that I could actually walk in them surprised me even more, I'm not usually that great at walking in heels like these so that's a major bonus!

I like how they are so easy to style, too. I can't wait to have a night out in these, though, they could be worn for the office too if I really wanted to make an effort. I try to stick to more sensible footwear at work as I make a lot of tea and coffee, one clumsy action and I'll be covered in boiling water - that wouldn't be ideal! I may be convinced to wear them for the meal we're going to have at work, that's if it isn't snowing by then!

The look can be transformed with colour nail varnish as you can give off a gothic vibe with darker polish but you can go down the neutral/nude route with pinks if you would prefer, due to their fairly plain design they are great for putting together outfits based on personal style. I love the vampy purple shade that I wore with them when I tried them on, it's a more seasonal look.

Well, thanks for reading. I've enjoyed writing about these shoes from Online Avenue, I hope you've enjoyed reading it! Let me know what you think of them in the comments, until next time - BYE!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The Snuggly Fall Tag: November Edit

Hello everyone! Yesterday I got talking to Cara from Cara Writes Stuff and from there I found out about her Snuggly Fall Tag (Autumn to us awkward Brits!). Cara is a travel, beauty and food blogger from Ireland for those of you who haven't discovered her yet. Anyway, since I haven't done a tag in a little while I sort of just figured, why not? I'm not actually going to single anyone out and tag them but please let me know if you do it so I can have a read! Also, if you tweet about it use the hashtag #TheSnugglyFallTagMC so Cara can check out your version of the tag!

Favourite thing about fall/autumn?
I love most aspects of Autumn, I actually did a post about Reasons Why I Love Autumn. I guess if I had to choose a top one I would say the colour trends associated with this time of the year. 

Favourite fall/autumn colours?
For some reason this year I'm loving camel/tan tones, mustard yellow and pinkish berry shades. Never in my life have I liked any shade of yellow so the fact that I love mustard yellow is slightly strange but it just grew on me whilst I was away in September.

Favourite fall/autumn songs?
My music taste is so varied so it's hard to pin-point favourite songs, like, one minute I can be listening to music that's in the charts and new releases, the next minute I could be listening to music like AC/DC, The Jam or David Bowie.

Candles or cuddles?
Without a doubt I would say candles, I'm not big on hugging anyone that isn't family and I love scented candles - particularly the Autumn scents that are so popular now!

Favourite Netflix show for fall/autumn?
I don't actually have Netflix, I've been putting off getting a subscription but I really want to see Marvel's Jessica Jones. I love Marvel and apparently David Tennant is a particularly weird villain so I'm kind of desperate to see it.

Favourite fall/autumn snack?
I love popcorn and almonds, not at the same time but they're my two favourite things to snack on. I'm more of a snacker than someone who eats full meals. Unhealthy, I know, I've just gotten into some bad eating habits!

Which youtuber’s vlogmas are you most excited about watching?
That's a tough one because I don't know who's doing vlogmas this year, I will be looking out for a few vlogging channels though. Samantha Maria, Zoe London, Zoella, Joe Sugg... Mainly the larger channels but I will be checking in on a few of the lesser known ones on occasion 

Favourite piece of fall/autumn clothing?
Yet another tough one! I haven't really chosen a favourite item, I guess I just wear whatever is warm and cosy.

Fluffy socks or beanies?
Fluffy socks is my answer, I do love beanies but over the years I've come to appreciate warm fuzzy socks - I'm super sensitive to temperature so when it's cold, I'm freezing!

Favourite sweets for fall/autumn?
Lemon drops. Is that too much of a Dumbledore answer? I love lemon drops at this time of the year, Beamish do some gorgeous ones.

Favourite fall/autumn lip?
Usually I would say a nude/neutral shade for Autumn but I'm starting to play around with makeup a bit more so either dark red or dark purple.

Ugg boots – yay or nay?
It's a nay for me, I just can't get away with Ugg boots. They get soggy and ruin too easily over Autumn so I find them to be a waste of time and money.

Favourite sweater you own?
My favourite one is probably the one in the image to the right, it's not too thick and not too thin - also, it was pretty damn cheap at Primark last year! It's a dusty camel and beige coloured piece which is perfect for Autumn. I also love it for it's versatility, it works with many outfits!

Tea, coffee or hot chocolate?
I'm a stereotypical Brit, I adore tea but it has to be a certain kind - Yorkshire Tea. I'm a bit of a tea snob, though, I can't be bothered to strain proper tea so I go with Yorkshire Tea. Saying that though, I do love coffee and hot chocolate too.

Favourite hairstyle for fall/autumn?
Since I'm growing out my pixie cut, it's kind of a difficult question to answer. Though, recently I've been playing around with my natural wavy texture.

How does the perfect fall day look like to you?
The perfect Autumn day to me is a cosy movie day in, that way I can sit in my pyjamas with my hot water bottle and a duvet wrapped around me as I watch my favourite films. I love the rain and the crunchy leaves but I prefer them both when I'm not walking through them!

Well, thanks for reading! It's a little different as I've had to adapt it from pre-Halloween to post-Halloween but it pretty much works well either way. Let me know in the comments if you agree on my answers or if you fancy doing it yourself!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

10 Reasons Why I Love Autumn

Hello everyone, so at this point we're well into Autumn and as it's always been, this season is my favourite. I've seen quite a few posts like this one, posts about other bloggers and their appreciation for this time of the year so I thought I'd just add to the growing number. 

I particularly loved this one from Rhianna from the blog Rowebowecop. I thought she did a really nice summary of all things cool and great about Autumn. Well, before I get right into it I just want to apologise in advance for the amount of times that I'm going to say the word 'Autumn'. I also want to say, that before my friend annoys me on Facebook about it, just no! I mean, I love my friends but that just isn't what this post is about, missus.
  1. The first reason why I love Autumn is that I was born on the 11th of November so as a kid I always looked forward to this time of the year.
  2. As of Autumn it starts to get quite frosty and cold, I love hopping into bed when the sheets are freezing. Gradual heating! 
  3. Seasonal drinks tend to be released around this time of the year, both for Halloween and Christmas. The Pumpkin Spice Latte is always a favourite and out of the Christmas drinks I'm enjoying the Toffee Nut Latte (Starbucks).
  4. A lot of big music releases tend to be in Autumn, I know that doesn't really go with the theme but I like to walk a lot and there's nothing better than listening to a new album on a long walk.
  5. Halloween is always so much fun; getting dressed up, playing about with makeup, pumpkin carving, scary films and decorating everything in a spooky them - I love it all!
  6. Light shows and Christmas light switch on's tend to occur just before Winter makes an appearance, I love seeing all of the lights around Durham and Darlington.
  7. I love the colours associated with Autumn, berry and camel tones are the colours that I feel the most comfortable in. Tartan is also something that kind of takes over my wardrobe over these months, my staple items over this time of the year is a tartan scarf and a tan/camel coloured map bag.
  8. Thick jumpers and ankle boots are acceptable from this time onwards, I love being all cosy and snug in a big wooly jumper.
  9. Craft fairs are all over the place this time of the year, there's lots of creative things to do as people start to get prepared for Winter and Christmas. I can't knit so that part is pointless for me but pretty much anything else is great for me.
  10. I love candles all year round but in Autumn there tends to be an influx of musky new scents that come out and I love that sort of scent to spread around the house.
So there you have it, ten things to love about Autumn. Let me know in the comments below what you love about Autumn, I'd love to see what you guys appreciate this time of the year. I might even do a post about one of the thing mentioned exclusively. Thanks for reading, bye!

Estée Lalonde Nail Kit: Nails And Shade Details

Hello everyone! So last week I was one of the runners up of the Estée Lalonde competition with The Body Shop, sadly I didn't get the chance to meet Estée but I did win a nail kit. The kit included a dotting tool, a berry coloured polish, a periwinkle coloured polish and neutral taupe grey coloured polish. They're all fantastic shades for Autumn and Winter so I wasn't exactly sad that I didn't win the main prize, I'm a sucker for a good nail kit. 

The box itself came with a little idea card for two different manicures, which, whilst I'm quite creative I did appreciate the inspiration. I'd never tried nail polish from The Body Shop before I received this kit so it was nice to try something new. As for quality, I liked the consistency of the polish, it wasn't gloopy or too difficult to apply and the brush was a standard size.

I didn't give myself the neatest manicure but I just wanted to add an image to demonstrate how even the product is. It took two coats to get the overall even coverage and I'm going to need a lot more practice with the dotting tool, other than that I'm really happy with polish from The Body Shop.

I'll probably try the polish on Leanne for a neater finish at some point before Christmas but that won't be for a teeny little while. I'm excited to try some intricate designs later in the year, I'm much better at doing other peoples nails than I am at doing my own. 

Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you've enjoyed reading it, to summarise, The Body Shop is actually pretty good for nail polish so it might be worth checking out if you haven't tried it already. Until next time, bye!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Growing Out A Pixie Cut: 7 Tips For Maintaining Healthy Hair

Sorry for the delay in the third post of the series, I've gotten off into other little tangents and added to other projects instead. This post, however, is one that I've been looking forward to as I love trying new treatments and ways to improve the quality of my hair.

Now, I'm no expert and I don't have any comprehensive research, this is just a compilation of things that I've learned along the way. Some of the things I'll say will be from what I've heard but others will be little hacks that I've picked up myself. It might be a little helpful, it might be a little bland... Just pick up on what you think will work on you and discount whatever you don't agree with, I just want to go through what I'm doing to help speed up the growth of my pixie cut.
  1. Don't wash your hair every single day, it strips the follicles of their natural oils which are needed to keep your hair smooth and luscious. Wash your hair every other day and use dry shampoo on areas that are super necessary, eventually your hair will catch up to the routine and your hair will be able to last longer inbetween washes.
  2. Since I was about thirteen I've been dying, drying, straightening and curling my hair... Basically it's been treated and frazzled to the point of no return, hence the pixie cut! The best thing you can do for your hair, and I know it's difficult when you're growing out a cut, is to avoid heat. It's a really obvious tip and it's constantly drilled into us all but if you're concerned about the condition of your hair you just need to wait it out and persevere! 
  3. I've just said that you NEED to avoid heat, so how do you dry your hair? With a plain cotton towel, you cry! Wrong. You can also damage your hair by doing that so you're much better off if you use a softer and less rough towel, either that or you can just wring out the water softly with your usual towel.
  4. Use a softer anti-static brush or comb like a Tangle Teaser to avoid frizz whilst on the heat ban, it's just about a lifesaver for naturally frizzy hair so it's a great investment piece when trying to improve the health of your hair for growth.
  5. Dye, unless it's ammonia free, should also be avoided. Mine has been bleached to hell and back but in the past it's been all sorts of other colours so I appreciate the novelty of switching up the shade of hair. It is, however, the reason I know that without a shadow of a doubt that hair is much healthier when it's virgin hair (not been dyed, not like, the hair of actual virgins).  
  6. The oldest tip in the metaphorical book, trim the ends! Whilst some agree that this is right and some disagree, an overgrown pixie cut will grow back in a super dodgy shape - it may even reach mullet status. As you hair grows back you'll need to trim the back and keep the sides looking half-decent so be prepared to cut even more off before your hair grows back properly.
  7. Warm oil, preferably coconut, makes a great deep treatment and mask for hair when it needs that extra bit of TLC. When done once a week it can vastly improve the condition of your hair, just be careful when heating it up and slather, or rather massage it on evenly when applying. Warm coconut oil is the most tolerable natural or household treatment, I'm not sitting around covered in mayonnaise for ANYTHING!
So hopefully these seven tips have helped, or at the very least you've enjoyed reading about my frustration with my my hair. Let me know in the comments if you've enjoyed this post, I'll be doing a few heat free styles for an over grown pixie cut next week so watch this space! 

Coffee With Friends And Anti-Social Tendencies

Hello everyone! This weekend, I set aside some time to catch-up with Becky and Michael and since I'm a total sucker for over-priced coffee I chose Starbucks as the setting. Though, they do have a few two for one and happy hour deals so it's not all bad! I'm loving their seasonal options, the toffee nut latte is a total dream. I'm not even going to get into all of that red-cup drama because I have a clear opinion on it and it's pointless dragging it all up again.

Becky and Michael haven't really seen much of me over the past few months, Becky is on the NCTJ course and Michael is doing god knows what. It was pretty great to see them again though, we had a laugh. I brought my little sister along and she really clung onto Micheal so it went better than expected!

She took this picture of us sat at the table and it kind of made me realise just how focused on tech we all are, I was checking my blog stats and everyone else was playing on their phones. Really I should cut down on usage over the weekend as my life revolves around it during the week but it does get pretty addictive. I think I might put some restrictions up on my phone to limit the time I use it for, I heard of an app that can do that so I'll look into it...

Anyway, we're not actually THAT anti-social though, I promise. We actually had a really nice catch-up, we should make time for each other more often as we always have a laugh when we do. Becky and I are already making plans for Comic-Con and/or Vidfest, we did Comic-Con last year when I had canary yellow hair - good times!

Speaking of Comic-Con and Vidfest, my brother got me this jumper from Amazon for my birthday. It's super comfortable and the sleeves are the perfect length, I'm quite pleased with it actually. He's getting pretty good at buying gifts now, though, I did pay the postage and packaging on it. I love wearing comfy jumpers this time of the year, my fashion sense is fairly laid back so it's just the easiest thing in the world to just slip on some jeans and a jumper. Also, if you're wondering about the phone case - it came in this month's Birchbox which I wrote an unboxing post for here.

Thanks for reading my most recent post, I hope you enjoyed it. I'm trying to be more active and a better blogger so let me know if you have any tips or suggestions. My next post will be part of my 'Growing Out A Pixie Cut' series which admittedly I have neglected a little bit but hopefully it will be a good one!

Saturday, 14 November 2015

INTERVIEW: Lady Writes (Stationary, Inspirational Women And Thor)

Hey everyone! This post has been a little delayed because I ended up hanging out with some of my friends but it is one that I'm very pleased with. So today I've asked the lovely Lady Writes a few questions about her blog and her interests. I've been chatting to her quite a bit on Twitter recently and I figured that you guys would really enjoy her blog so here we are! 

I've done a few similar posts over the past two months as I think it's really fun to get to know and support other people with similar interests. I've seen a few of these done by other bloggers as Q & A's but I just really like to feature these. If you fancy being interviewed for a future post, please do not hesitate to get in touch - my contact details are in the 'Contact Me' page.

On with the interview!

Can you give my readers an insight into what your blog is all about? 
Lady Writes is a lifestyle blog - it's a bit of everything. I blog about my life(style) so that includes beauty, fashion, parenting, thoughts etc. So I guess I like to think that I'm a little bit of everything - just like your average twenty-something!

I've entered your Kate Spade giveaway, you blog quite a bit about stationary... Any tips for keeping organised as a blogger?
I love stationery! It's a vice of mine, if I see cute stationery - I struggle to resist. The problem is that I buy loads and then if it's especially pretty I won't use it because I just want to look at it! Keeping organised is something I've wanted to avoid (I'm stubborn!)- I always liked to think I could keep track of things by myself, but now I'm a little bit older (and wiser!) I realise I need to write things down. To keep organised as a blogger my tips would be to get a planner and pre-plan your posts, themes, blog chats etc - just make sure you plan ahead and you won't go far wrong, and you'll find you won't struggle for topics if you've already planned ahead and have a spot of writers block.

If you could only blog about one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
That's a tricky one! I've been a writer for years, I love to write, so as long as the topic was something I loved - (which is most of the things I write about now) then I'd be happy! Is that a cop out answer?!

You recently blogged about inspirational women, do you take influence from them? How?
I really do take inspiration from women who've used their power/status to make a difference. I think that life gets busy, and stressful and we can all sometimes forget that there is so much going on in the world that's bigger than ourselves. Women like Audrey Hepburn who strive to change the lives of people in need, even when they have cancer themselves - they inspire me. If she can do that, then I can be involved in things like the Random Acts of Kindness foundation, pay it forward etc. It doesn't have to be a lot, but women like her really motivate me to do my bit on a daily basis, in my small circle of the world - no matter how teeny that may be.

Any tips to new bloggers or people considering starting a blog?
Go for it! If you've been thinking of blogging - do it! It's brilliant, fun, cathartic and you meet so many lovely and like-minded people. But my tip would be - be prepared to get addicted! 

What is your profession? Is it what you want to do or do you have other ambitions?
I am a Social Media & Digital Marketing Manager. I absolutely love it. I've worked in marketing for nearly ten years and specialised in social media for approximately 6 years now. It's my dream job, and I love it. I never knew what I wanted to do when I was at school and I was very fortunate to find my way to this point.

You seem to reflect on past experiences quite a bit on This Lady Writes, do you have any regrets about the past?
No. One of my motto's in life is that I have no regrets. If I had regrets I would dwell on them, and what's the point in that, you can't change things? So I prefer to look at every experience as something that's contributed to who I am. Don't get me wrong, hindsight is a wonderful thing! And if I could know what I know now, and go back and change things, I probably would. But overall, I live in the present, I don't dwell on the past unless to learn from it. So, Lady Writes doesn't do regrets...or tries not to!

What do you like to do to relax and take a break?
Blog! Writing is my thing! But to relax I love to find a TV series and binge. I love to get all my favourite foods, get in my comfy clothes, get my bunhead out and just immerse myself into a fab TV series (I'm watching Once Upon A Time at the moment!) I'm also big into naps. I love a good nap! Oh, and a bubble bath. Bubble baths are gooood...

Do you have an idol? This can be blogger, celebrity or character...
Reese Witherspoon - I mentioned her as one of the women who've inspired me. I love that she's vocal about parenting being hard, she doesn't try and kid everyone that the life of a  celeb is all easy-peasy, she's down to earth and family orientated. Yet she's driven and has a really inspiring entrepreneurial spirit, and has a great career. She shows that you can do it all, it just won't be easy!

Celebrity crush?
Hands down - Chris Hemsworth...Thor...nuff' said.

So, that's my interview with Lady Writes all done and dusted. I hope you've enjoyed this post because I sure have, I hope we can work together again sometime soon! Anyway, thanks for reading, it's very much appreciate it. 

Friday, 13 November 2015

Help: Clear Skin

Hello everyone! So for the fast few weeks I've been drinking the Help: Clear Skin soluble drinking supplement and I just want to shed some light on my opinion of it. The product was sent by a PR for the company but the review is not a paid one. I just want to get that straight before I jump right into it. 

To be as honest as I possibly can be, another thing I want to mention is the state of my skin. It's a mess, to put it lightly. I've neglected any healthy lifestyle choices recently in favour of getting extra sleep, lazing around and burying my head in the sand because my skin is so bad. Seriously, it's super sensitive, my pores clog easily and I get tonnes of blemishes. This is probably why I was so enthusiastic when the PR mentioned me sampling the product in return for a review. 

As a rule, this product should only be consumed once a day. I got a twenty-eight day pack so has been enough time for it to get into my system. I mainly take it on a morning before everyone else gets into work, though, I've also been known to take it at night when I've forgotten. I just mix it with water but it can be added to any drink or soft food, just don't add cordial or diluted drinks as it gets all gross and it get floaters - EW!

When it's first mixed into the water it seems kind of cloudy, it takes a minute or so to settle down but I like to keep stirring to make sure it's all dissolved. It's difficult to describe the taste that it has, it's not a strong one but it's noticeable when it's just in water. It is, however, more pleasant than a lot of skin supplements or soluble products so it might be worth a try. 

I was skeptical because I've tried a few and, whilst this is by no means a miracle product, I have noticed a difference. It's been gradual and it's probably not noticeable to a lot of people but because it's my skin and I've been keeping an eye on the results I've noticed it quite a bit. I'll be trying the Help: Beautify Skin supplements so I'll compare the results once the other trial is done. The other product is more for brightening skin and a way to maintain or improve skin's elasticity so we'll see how the second product goes!

Well, thanks for reading. If you have any questions about the product, just comment and I'll try my best to answer them. 

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Unboxing: Skinnydip London Birchbox

Hello everyone! Today's unboxing post is about the special edition Skinnydip London and Birchbox collaboration box. It's one I've been super excited for as I love both brands and I wanted to see what they would come up with. Total #SQUADGOALS! Though, I really quite liked the STYLIST box last month so I had high hopes regardless. You can see my review from last month's Birchbox here, I think it's a good idea to check out the reviews before committing to a subscription. 

I am in love with the shell design, they did two similar box designs, one being darker and and the one that I got being this pastel dream. You can probably tell that I love the design judging by the fact that I ordered the phone case alongside it. The option to add it to the order for just £4 compared to the usual £12 price so it's a bargain, really. It's available for the iPhone 6S and the Samsung S6 which is really handy because I recently got the Samsung. 

  • REN Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial - I have wanted to buy a sleeping mask sort of product from the moment I returned from Hong Kong, they're available everywhere and I loved them whilst I was there. I loved the REN one that came with this month's Birchbox, it smells really nice, it's kind of like a tangerine sort of scent and it actually worked. I've only used it once so far but I'm already thinking of repurchasing.
  • Delarom Crème Acquaconfort - Another product that smells fab and works, my skin is feeling super soft today and it's actually not as red or irritated today as it usually is. It sinks in really well and it doesn't feel greasy. It's a fab product for those of you who only like using products with natural ingredients. It's apparently good for anti-aging but I'm only twenty so it just works a great moisturiser.
  • Beauty Protector Beauty Cream Body Lotion - This product is one that, whilst I did like, I won't be buying the full size of. It leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth but it kind of dried my skin up after a little while so it's just not a great product for me.
  • N4 Super Comb Prep And Protect Spray (Lumiere D'Hiver) - This product is great for those of us striving for a soft polished hairstyle, it just softens and untangles hair. Whilst looking for blog posts about Birchbox, I found out that not many of the people who've received this have actually blogged about it. Not sure why because I like it but maybe there's a reason?
  • Lord & Berry Silhouette Neutral Lip Liner - It's a good thing that I've just received this product because it's great for contouring lips and cleaning up lipstick looks. It's also good for highlighting the cupids bow of the lips so it's a handy product to have.
  • Thumbs Up Rosa Nail Wraps - I can't wait to play about with these nail wraps, they'll make gorgeous feature nails against an autumnal dark red sort of colour. I might do this over the weekend and post a blog about my success or failure of the product. Either way, I love the rose patterns on the wraps, they're both sophisticated and fun at the same time.

Any questions about the products? I'll try my best to answer them in the comments. Thanks for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed it. Until next time, bye! 

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Happy Birthday To Me: Nando's And Spectre

Hello everyone! Today's post is just a lifestyle sort of piece about my pre-birthday thing with Leanne last night. I'm finally out of my teenage years, it's been tough but I've survived! I'm actually quite concerned by how fast this year has gone, it's been a good one though. I've been all over the place, met some really cool people and I've settled in at my job. I will say that Hong Kong was definitely a highlight!

Anyway, this year I had it in my head that I wanted to go to Nando's and then the cinema so Leanne and I just turned up and chose the movie with the best starting time. We wanted to have enough time to chill before the movie but we didn't want to wait too long. We pretty much decided on Spectre anyway because it was probably one of the bigger releases available at Cineworld.

I love going to Nando's, it's probably my favourite restaurant. The first time I ever went was last year on my nineteenth so I really must like it. My usual order of peri-peri butterfly chicken, peri-peri salted chips and sweetcorn went down a treat. Yummy! I even did the cringey blogger thing and took a photo of my meal, the things I do to fill my blog posts! Eh? I didn't mind, I'm fairly used to looking like a complete tool when I go out anyway, it comes with the blogging territory.

After Nando's, Spectre was on our to-do list so we went straight in. I chose seats at the back because I thought they'd be better but then a guy sat next to me and made sure he took up as much room as possible. Other than that little hiccup, it was a fun night.

I haven't been a big fan of Daniel Craig as James Bond, Casino Royale just about put me to sleep but I wanted to see Spectre because the villain for Sherlock, Andrew Scott, made quite a few appearances as Max Denbigh. I actually really enjoyed it, the sarcy humor was subtle but amusing and Daniel Craig almost endeared me to his portrayal of James Bond. The main issue, other than the fact that he's blonde, that I have with Daniel Craig playing James Bond is that his eyes always look emotionless - not bad for a spy but the other James Bond's had a little something extra. The storyline was interesting, though, so that makes up for it. I'm not going to put out any poilers

Well, that was what I did to celebrate my birthday (early). I don't know why but I always keep my birthday night clear of plans and I just do something the night before, I just don't make sense.

To wrap up this post I'm including an image of the inside of my birthday card from my parents... I'm twenty and I got a Disney princess card, gotta love being the most childish of their three kids - my nine year old sister included! Thanks to everyone who's said happy birthday on social media and whatever else. 

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Subtle Makeup For Work/School

I know I'm doing a series about growing out my pixie cut but if you just bare with me I should have another post for that up within the next few days. I just want to do a makeup post associated with my most recent unboxing. I don't do makeup look posts that often so just let me know if you've enjoyed it and I can try out different looks and get some themed posts typed up and ready to go.

So, yeah, I love this month's subscription from Glossybox. Today I'm wearing the primer and the lipstick along with my usual look for work and I think it looks great. I like to go for a nice and fresh subtle look for my daily makeup routine. I'm calling this 'Subtle Makeup For Work/School' because I just think that it's an easy look that works for both.

To get this look:
  • Prep the skin for makeup with the Emite Diamond Heart Primer to help foundation last. (My favourite item from November's Glossybox)
  • Apply foundation in your preferred method, I used the Wake Me Up foundation and blended it in with my fingers.
  • If necessary, apply anti-sebum powder to limit oiliness. Mine is from Innis Free, I got it from Hong Kong but there are dupes, alternatives and the possibility of an online search.
  • Use a highlighting/concealing pencil under the eyes, around the nose and in the corners of the mouth. I used the So Susan Highlighting Pencil for this step, I get dark marks under my eyes so I like to cover it up - this pencil is magic!
  • Next I like to apply mascara, the Wake Me Up mascara with cucumber extract has a natural yet lengthening effect so it's great for simple looks like this one. 
  • To finish off I just added a touch of the Revlon lippy that I got in the Glossybox, the shade is Pink In The Afternoon which is a fun pink-ish coral colour that just adds to the healthy dewy look.
So there you have it, it's a subtle makeup look that's suitable for both work and school. I think this is a great look for newbies to makeup or for people like me who don't have enough time to glam up before work. I'm by no means a professional but I have picked up some habits and some easier ways of doing things. This is mainly because I don't sacrifice sleep for ANYTHING, I have to be out of the door at 6:30pm so I try to stay in bed for as long as possible.

If you're using this look for school, you may not be allowed the lipstick so alternatively you could use a tint or a plain gloss. If you're using this look just as part of your day-to-day style you could always give it a little brightening up with a red or a purple lippy. I love Baby Lips for tinted lip balm and I love the YSL range for reds so it might be worth checking them out if you're looking for an investment piece. 

Thanks for reading, as I said before, let me know if you like this sort of post so I can do more and try to be more active with the beauty side of my blog. Comments are always appreciated, hope you all have a lovely day!

Unboxing: November Glossybox

Hello everyone! If you read my last Glossybox review you'll know that I was kind of on the fence about this subscription, I preferred the contents of the Birchbox and the Look Fantastic Beauty Box. Thus, this month I didn't have particularly high expectations. Since opening this months box, I've drastically changed my mind. This month's box is much more suited to me, I love every single damn item in the box.

I'm pleased I kept the subscription for November because I was considering cutting this box out of my monthly budget. I do need to cut at least one of the three subscriptions but, for the moment, Glossybox is staying right where it is. Birchbox better be pretty amazing this month because I quite like the Look Fantastic Beauty Box this month too. 

  • Travel size Royal Apothic Cream Crème - I love keeping little bottles of lotion in my bag, it's just a bit of a fail safe for if I think my skin feels dry or not quite hydrated enough. This particular one exfoliates as well as it moisturises so it's a fab product to take on holiday or use as a little pick me up.
  • Travel size Emite Diamond Heart Primer - This little gem is one that I will be, without a doubt, repurchasing. It elongates the amount of time that makeup lasts on the skin and it creates a dewy yet not greasy look that I adore. 
  • Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick - I got an email asking me to choose a shade so I'm not shocked about this product's placement, I chose Pink In The Afternoon which is a gorgeous peachy pink shade. It's long lasting and it moisturises my lips so they don't feel dry or sticky so I'm fairly happy about this product.
  • MUA Undressed Eyeshadow Palette - I love a bit of MUA, it's affordable and the brand doesn't compromise on quality so it's fab as a budget brand. The palette is a very versatile nude sort of collection, I like to use the lighter shades for highlighting and sometimes matiffying some areas. 
  • Eylure Natural Lashes - I don't wear false lashes on a day to day basis but when I do wear them, I like them to look full but not like stage makeup. This set is great for a natural and subtle yet fuller look, you can get a good two or three uses out of them too so it's a good product to have spare.
Thanks for reading, I do appreciate it! I've loved typing this one up today, I'm feeling really enthusiastic about these products so far. The next post will be a makeup look using two of the products from this box and my usual pieces. 

Monday, 9 November 2015

Growing Out A Pixie Cut: The Awkward Stages And Problems

So you've loved your pixie cut over the summer, it was warm and long hair is a pain when it's hot. Now it's mid Autumn, nearly Winter and you've decided to grow it out in favour of mermaid locks or something of that kind, I get it, I'm at that awkward stage now and I feel your pain!

In the second post of the 'Growing Out A Pixie Cut' series I want to go through some of the issues that come with short hair and growing it out. I'm on the fence with my decision to grow it out because I kind of just want to cut the rest of the dye out, luckily my hairdresser cut my hair to blend in the dye. 

Anyway, if your hair is anything like mine, it gets wavy after a certain point. Mine particularly likes to curl up at the base and above my ears. Now, that can be remedied with straighteners and blow drying but my hair is also bleach damaged so I'm avoiding heat to nurture my locks back into good health.

Hats are a no go, like, they may look cute with long hair but I always remind myself of the bullies from Jack Frost when I wear a beanie. Of course, this hasn't stopped me from wearing them out of laziness but if you really don't want to look like a boy you should probably avoid them.

Headbands and clips can hurt after wearing them for most of the day, it's just like with long hair and wearing it too tight. It just starts to hurt so headbands and accessories, whilst cute and helpful, cause pain and discomfort if used as a long-term solution.

It's difficult to blend in hair extensions as the rest of the hair is so short. Whilst the extensions I used in the image to the right were my natural colour, I have a band of bleached colour in my hair so it's particularly difficult for me to blend them in. I end up clipping the fringe bit up and away from my face and then using a beanie to cover the band of bleached hair.

The main issue with using hair extensions to cover a pixie cut is the fact that by giving the illusion of having longer hair, I then really want naturally long hair so it just makes the awkward stage more difficult.

The fringe grows a little quicker than the rest of the hair and it was already left a little longer to make the style more feminine. This adds to the awkward stage because with wavy hair it just curls up and becomes a nuisance. 

Of course, there are more issues with growing out a pixie cut. These ones just particularly irk me, I have no patience when it comes to my hair so it just makes me want to chop it all off again. Thanks for reading my short hair rant, let me know if there's anything you think I've missed or if you have some suggestions for the series. 

Growing Out A Pixie Cut: Introduction To Series And Quiffed Style

So, as some of you may know, I finally made the big chop and got a pixie cut whilst I was in Hong Kong. It was early September when I first got it done and I'm not sure whether or not I want to grow it out just yet so my hair is kind of stuck in limbo. The image to the left was taken a few weeks ago but it was just as my hair started to get to that awkward length. 

Since I have been looking for posts, videos and tutorials on styling overgrown pixie cuts I figured I would just share my tips and thoughts. I'm going to work this up as a series of posts as it's something that I've personally struggled with over the past few weeks. Cutting hair super short takes a lot of maintenance, fortnightly cuts are needed to keep the shape of it and growing it out is a nightmare. I love the style but it's a whole lot of work!

As a sort of warning, my hair is naturally quite thick and it has a strange wavy texture to it so what I do may not work for you but it's how I've been dealing with it. Before I even got it cut I saw multiple posts about why people with textured hair should avoid short hair but equally I saw positive posts about cutting it too. My main pull towards the cut was the heat at the the time as I was in Hong Kong but I had been thinking about the crop anyway because I'm trying to grow out the bleach.

The picture to the right was from my Halloween makeup post but I want to explain the hairstyle so excuse the face! Since I was doing makeup I wanted my hair off my face, I love quiffs on longer hair so I figured I might as well try one with short hair. To be honest, it doesn't look all that different from when I used to do it with long hair, though, of course I used to tie it up.
  1. I started off by prepping my hair with a texturising spray, I love the Fudge Urban one as it smells gorgeous AND gets the job done.
  2. Next I gathered up my fringe and twisted the end of the gathered hair as I pushed it back. I would advise pushing it forward to add height to the quiff, too. I don't backcomb my hair as I'm trying to keep it in the best condition I possibly can whilst it's growing out but you can backcomb it if you have thin hair.
  3. After that it needs to be pinned, I used two bobby pins and then gave the quiff a quick spritz with some hairspray, I also neatened the sides with some of the hairspray.
So that look was fairly easy but it's the first of my new hair series so just bare with me on this one, the next post will either be up later today or tomorrow so keep an eye out for that! Thanks for reading, I hope that this post helped a tiny bit!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Unboxing: November Look Fantastic Beauty Box

Hello everyone! First of all I just want to say thank you for all the views I received on my last post, I really appreciate it! It was an Autumn favourites post that I really enjoyed writing as it was so varied so I'm pleased people liked it. Sorry for rambling, I'd just rather thank you guys and then move onto the bulk of this post.

Anyway, if you have been reading my blog you may have noticed that last month I started trying out prescription boxes. I've been getting beauty boxes from Look Fantastic, Birchbox and Glossybox to try and the first one to arrive this month is the Look Fantastic one. I was really pleased with this one last month, I posted the unboxing here. It's a little more varied this month, last month it was a bit of a skin saviour but there's a bit of beauty and some gorgeous shower gel.

This box, and the last one I posted about, is actually part of a limited edition beauty box collection which I'm told is different to the usual design of a plain black box. The design of the box IS beautiful, because of this I think that it would make a fantastic Christmas present for a friend. The limited edition boxes are available right through to December so if you have a friend or a family member that's very into skincare and beauty this is a fab gift idea. 

  • Bella Pierre Lipstick in Ruby - Everyone knows that a classic red lip is a great Autumn look and that's what makes this the perfect addition to the box. Not many shades of red suit me right now as I'm trying to grow out some pesky bleach from my hair but I do love this shade, it's one I'll actually dare to wear this season. I love that Look Fantastic has used the lippy to run a competition to win lots of goodies, simply kiss the framed paper provided, post and oila! 
  • Dr Paw Paw Tinted Ultimate Lip Balm - I've actually used Dr Paw Paw products before, my favourite being the original balm which can be used for lips, skin or hair. I do like this tinted product too but I prefer the original, it's just more useful to keep on hand than the one I just received from this box.
  • REN V-Cense Youth Vitality Day Cream - I am a big fan of Day Creams and an even bigger fan of REN, I'm surprised that I hadn't tried this product before now. It's a great preventative product to keep signs of aging at bay, now, at almost twenty years old it isn't exactly necessary right now but it can't hurt to start early. I love how soft and fresh this day cream leaves my face feeling, this may be one that I'll have to re-buy. 
  • Ole Henrikson Empower Foaming Milk Foam - Last month there was an exfoliating cleanser from Murad which was great for my skin, I'm not actually a big fan of foaming cleansers but this could be a good one for when I alternate my cleanser. I like to cleanse my face differently on the morning to how I do on a night so I'm going to give this another go tonight as I tried it last night and I wasn't overly impressed. Summary: good but not something I'd write home about.
  • Korres Guava Shower Gel - Shower gel is always a welcomed item in beauty boxes, I love to switch up my scent and try out new ones. I actually really like the smell of this one, it's not too sweet and it doesn't smell manly either. Also, it left my skin feeling really clean and soft so I'm pleased this product was part of the beauty box.
  • Kebelo Enriching Mask - This hair mask is pretty damn great, I am currently trying to grow out my pixie cut so the condition of my hair is super important to me right now. My hair is generally quite dry so the argan and grape oil is a perfect fit for the natural texture of my cropped hair.
I adored this month's box, I hope you've enjoyed reading about it and I hope I've in some way helped you to choose a beauty box for this month. Thanks again for reading, let me know what you think if you've checked out this box too.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Autumn So Far: Update And Favourites

Hello everyone! I hope everyone's enjoying the colder months, I have a love/hate relationship with Autumn (not you, missy, before you message me to ask why I've blogged about you! Every damn time). I actually prefer to be in a warmer climate but I do love Autumn/Winter fashion, the colours associated with the seasons and the musky berry scents that are always popular.  

I've had a few favourites so I might as well just share them in this post. The image to the left was taken last week when I tried my extensions on for the first time since my pixie cut. I've loved them for a while but I just want to share them again because they look fantastic and I'm going to be working with Dolled Up again - the link to my last post featuring them is just here. I'm not being paid for the name drop - I just love these extensions. They're so close to my natural colour and the texture of them is fantastic despite the fact that they're synthetic.

I've also been loving wooly beanie hats, I bought two from Cotton On in Hong Kong last month as they were quite cheap on sale. They can be bought in most clothing shops this time of the year so they tend to be my staple items when it gets frosty. I had a gorgeous sparkly white one last year but my sister stole it and then lost it at school, I still haven't forgiven her!

So far this Autumn I've actually been really into bath bombs, the Dragon's Egg one is gorgeous. It starts off quite a neutral colour but then it fizzes down to a brilliant orange, one good thing is that they haven't been staining my hair and skin as some of the more vibrant ones have been prone to. The red ones, the pink ones and the blue ones, when particularly bold in dry colour, can stain bleached hair so it's wise to keep hair out of the bath if it's bleached or lightened.

I actually think that baths in general are great for this time of the year, the weather is miserable so it's just nice to have a long hot soak. I've recently been using the shower on a morning rather rather than a bath at night, my shorter hair is easier to style straight out of the shower but I still do appreciate the odd soak in the bath with a bath bomb.

Warm and berry sort of scents are my go to for candles, I've always loved that sort of smell for some reason. Yankee always do great ones this time of the year, though, alternatively you could just get some from IKEA or Primark though because they do nice vanilla and berry scents too.

In contrast to the warm and cosy items I've mentioned so far, I've been quite into cool tones. This may be influence from Frozen but I think I've always been into icy and pastel shades, that's not to say that I don't still like darker shades and monochrome items - I just tend to gravitate towards blues and greens now.

My new phone is the Samsung S6 in 'Topaz Blue' which is apparently a limited edition shade. I'd take a photo of it to show you guys but I use my phone as a camera so it's impossible unless I take a cringey mirror selfie.

Since I'm onto technology now I might as well bridge into music, I've had a few favourites quite recently. I bought the new 5SOS album Sounds Good Feels Good on vinyl, they did quite a good job actually. My favourites from that are Castaway, San Francisco, Hey Everybody and She's Kinda Hot. Other than that album I've really been into James Bay, he's just really talented and his music all has a really raw and authentic sound to it. In case you don't know who he is, check out Hold Back The River on YouTube and you'll see what I mean!

Well, thanks for checking out my little favourites post. I hope you enjoyed reading about what I've been loving over Autumn so far, I've enjoyed writing it. Let me know what you're loving this month in the comments below!