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6.28.2015

My Current Favourite Nail Colours

Hey everyone! Happy Sunday - I hope you're all well! Today I'm going to be sharing with you my current favourite nail colours. A lot of them as you will see are pretty neutral - that's definitely my go to look for nails recently just because I find more neutral colours seem to be easier and faster to apply without having to worry to much about messing up and having to wait ages for drying time!

1. Nails Inc. - Porchester Square | £5.00 (SALE)


3. Mavala - Moonstone | £4.25


As you can see, I am particularly enjoying shinny, glossy & fine glitter nails as well.
 What are some of your favourite nail colours right now? Let me know in the comments!

6.25.2015

REVIEW: Dr. Organic Manuka Honey Cream

Hello everyone! I recently decided that I wanted to explore more organic and natural options in terms of skincare - as I have such sensitive skin, I really have had no luck with more mainstream brands of skincare and I know that I cannot always be sure that my skin won't react badly to them due to their ingredients. 

So, my first purchase on my natural skincare journey was a facial cream from the brand Dr. Organic and in this post, I thought I would review it for you.
Where to Buy: HollandAndBarrett.com
Price: £8.99 for 50ml

About the Product: 
Dr. Organic's Manuka Honey Cream is a combination of Manuka honey and organic botanicals that are formulated for dry, sensitive and even irritated skin. Key ingredients within this cream include Manuka honey (of course) - that is well known for its healing, antibacterial properties - beeswax, cocoa butter, Aloe Vera and Shea butter.
My Thoughts:
As the product is organic, it does have a fairly strong scent of honey to which I however find fairly pleasant. Even if honey is not your favourite smell, I find that after a few uses, it becomes much less noticeable so it isn't too much of a problem.

Having very sensitive skin, most facial products always cause some form of discomfort or irritation for me but I was very happy to find that upon application of this cream, I didn't experience that at all. This was the case even when applying the cream to my eyes (which has been a problem area for me lately) - so this definitely gave me a good initial impression of the cream.

In terms of formula, this cream is fairly thick but for my dryer skin type, this is fine and I can happily use this product for both day and night use. However, if you have oiler skin, I would perhaps suggest sticking to using this cream only of a night. Though it may be thick, this cream is not greasy and it absorbs into the skin very quickly. Unlike a lot of creams, this product keeps the skin moisturised for hours without re-application and this is something you can definitely feel. 

Overall, I have really found this cream to have genuinely helped improve the condition and feel of my skin. Particularly around my eyes, it has really helped to lessen the dryness and inflammation leaving them feeling and looking much better. This cream also leaves the skin looking beautifully glowy and I think it'd make a really effective base for makeup application. 
At £8.99, it is a little pricier than a drugstore moisturise, but I don't consider this to be majorly expensive for a good facial moisturiser either. What is important to remember, is that a little bit of this goes a long way, it is an all natural product and as well as that, it actually works and is effective! In my book, all of these reasons make this cream an investment that is completely worth it and it is one that I will definitely be making again.

6.22.2015

A £1.99 Aussie Dupe?

I am a self proclaimed bargain hunter and I love finding ways to save money - what's not to love about getting results and the things you want whilst also saving a penny or two in the process? 
With that in mind, I just had to share you a product that I recently discovered which I believe to be a pretty bang-on dupe for a much loved product from a popular haircare brand.
I'm talking about this shampoo and conditioner pair from none other than Aldi. Aldi, you heard correctly!
 I believe this duo to be a dupe for an Aussie range of shampoo and conditioners. Aldi's brand is called "Carino" and this duo is from their Moisture range of hair products which I'm pretty sure is basically their version of Aussie's Miracle Moisture collection. 
Similarly, both products contain Australian Macadamia Nut Oil and are aimed at those of us with hair that's a little damaged and dry. On top of that, Aldi's Carino version also contains added aloe vera too. One of the most obvious similarities if of course the packaging and it is indeed very reminiscent of the design of Aussie bottles and this I''m sure is what draws people into trying them.

So then, are they as good Aussie? Well, I'd say so, yes. 

I can safely say that my hair felt just as soft, moisturised and conditioned as it does when I use Aussie's range. The shampoo cleanses the hair well and foams up nicely and the conditioner has that detangling effect as you apply it which I always look out for. My hair feels silky soft as I wash the products out and when my hair is dry, it definitely feels softer and with a little more added bounce. The one thing for me makes me particularly love Aussie as a brand so much is the wonderful scents of their products. The first Aussie product I ever tried had their infamous bubblegum scent to it and I fell in love. These babies have that very same smell though it is a little more.. 'chemically'. 


Aldi's Carino Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner retails at Aldi stores for just £1.99 each for 300ml - over HALF the price of Aussie's original version which retails at Boots for £4.19 for 300ml. And for a product that pretty much performs the same, I'd recommend you pop over to Aldi and bag yourself a saving!
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6.20.2015

Say Hello To My Little Friend...

Today I thought I'd briefly introduce you to a new friend that I recently acquired. This little guy is a bearded dragon and at the moment, he is around 3-4 months old. How cute is he?!
I was lucky enough to get this little guy around a week ago and I'm already in love. I have so much love for animals of all shapes and sizes and there's something about reptiles that I find particularly fascinating. He's settling in well and seems to love his new environment which is awesome!
If you're wondering what beardies' feed on, at a young age it is mostly insects and in the case of my beardie, it's currently crickets and grasshoppers - delicious!
Oh and his name? Meet little Loki!
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6.17.2015

Lemony Flutter

Lemony Flutter is a product from the much loved Vegan bath and body store Lush. 
Lemony Flutter is advertised as a cuticle butter, but it is also used for softening various areas of the body that are dry and feeling a bit rough such as your knees, elbows and nails! 
As with all Lush products, this butter is made with a whole host of natural and fresh ingredients such as organic lemon, shea butter, beeswax and avocado oil. As the name suggests, this butters' most prominent smell is lemon and it smells delicious.


The product is quite thick and feels very balmy and instantly moisturising on the skin. It does at first have that kind of greasy feel to it because of it's formula - but this goes away once you've worked it in. 
The 'softening' effect that Lush describes comes about as soon as you apply this butter and my cuticles (which I like to use this product on most) feel very quickly softened and much less dry. This feeling lasts for hours and you can definitely see a difference the next day. 
One way I also love to use this product is as a softening treatment on my feet - our feet can get sore and dry and can do with a bit of love sometimes so I like to use this butter all over them to intensely moisturise them over night. This works really well especially when locked in with a pair of thick socks and it leaves your feet feeling enviously soft! 

A little bit of this products goes a long way too, which means for £6.75 you have a product that's going to last you for a good few months which I think is a pretty good deal. 
It does what it is supposed to and it does it well whilst also leaving behind a lovely scent - this is easily one of my favourite Lush products and I'd totally recommend it!
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6.15.2015

TV Shows I'm Currently Loving

I am a self proclaimed TV junkie and I feel very lost without a show to watch every night. 
With that in mind, I thought I'd share with you the current shows I've been watching religiously lately - enjoy!

Game of Thrones:

Photo Credit: www.watchersonthewall.com
This one probably comes as no surprise as everybody I know seems to love this show. I'll admit, it took me a year or two to actually watch this series as I wasn't interested in the hype. However, I finally gave in one day and actually, I'm glad I did because this show is awesome! It has elements of fantasy, plenty of war and gore, giants and of course dragons - what more do you want?

Penny Dreadful:

Photo Credit: www.sky.com
As a dedicated horror fan, this is a show I knew I had to watch after being suggested it by a friend. After the first episode I was well and truly hooked and I've been eagerly awaiting the new serious which started not long ago in early May. Penny Dreadful mixes elements of famous gothic horror and macabre tales such as Dracula, Frankenstein and Dorian Gray - it's beautifully written and I find it to be a really captivating show.

Hannibal:

Photo Credit: www.collider.com
You're probably not surprised that I watch this show either considering my taste for all things gore. This show is so beautifully written and produced that it's a delight to just take in the visuals even if
 the plot was terrible (which it's not, by the way). 
It's a brilliant and very interesting adaptation of the book Red Dragon - the first of the Hannibal series and it explores the relationship between the characters Will Graham and of course, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. This is such a good show and I'd honestly recommend you check it out!

iZombie:

Photo Credit: www.dccomics.com
Ah, another horror show, shocking right? This one is a little more on the comedic side however and is actually an adaption from a comic book. It definitely has it's darker elements but it's actually a fairly lighthearted show despite being about brain-hungry zombies! I've been really enjoying this lately and am sad to say the first season ended just last week -  I definitely look forward to the next.


So, those are the shows I've been currently loving - you should definitely check them out if you haven't already! And I'd love for you to give me some suggestions of the shows you love to watch as well! 
Thanks for reading as always.

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6.12.2015

OOTD: Stripes & Floral's

Hey everyone! I'm bringing you an outfit post today and it's a little bit more on the Summery side which is a nice change! I'm wearing my new TopShop shorts and my favourite pair of Dr Martens - unfortunately they're incredibly painful to wear but hey, they're pretty so it's worth it right?

What I'm Wearing:

Longline Cardigan - Newlook | £19.99
High Waist Denim Shorts - TopShop | £28.00
Crop Turtleneck - eBay (Alternative) | £25.00
Floral Dr Martens - Schuh (Pretty sure they're no longer made!) | £110.00
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6.10.2015

UPDATED: Facial Cleansing Routine (Sensitive / Dry & Eczema Prone Skin)

Hi everyone! I hope you're all doing well and that you're having a good week so far! Today I thought I'd share with you all a little bit of a skin routine update and in this post, I'm going to begin with cleansing. 
As you guys may or may not know, I have pretty sensitive yet dry / eczema prone skin. This sucks. It means I have to be very careful that what I put on my face won't cause a horrible reaction and make me feel like I'm on fire and it also means that I have a hard time trying to find products that keep my skin feeling hydrated AND soothed at the same time. 
But I suppose the one positive side of having such an annoying skin type is that it's a great excuse to shop around and look for different products which is what I'm always doing. 
In this post, I'm going to show you what has been working for me for the last 2-3 months in terms of cleansing my skin. I'll show you my cleansers, what tools I use and what I use to tone my face as well!

The Body Shop Aloe Vera Calming Toner - £8.50:

I used to wash my face with water twice a day until I eventually realised that it may have been an element into the issue of my skin always feeling rather dry and irritated. I found that washing my face with a cleanser and water was far too much for my skin twice a day and so I reverted to only using water at night. 

That's where toner comes in - in the morning I use The Body Shop's Aloe Vera toner in place of a water activated cleanser and this works great to refresh and cleanse my skin gently in the morning when my skin feels it's driest. Because it's a toner and it's a step I will usually do after cleaning my face anyway, it works like two steps in one without me having to use any water at all. 
What I love about this toner is that it is gentle and gives my face a "warming" sensation that I find helps to soothe it and calm it down. My face can get pretty red sometimes especially when it's irritated and this toner is great for calming that down. Aloe Vera is noted for it's antibacterial properties and so it makes a great cleanser that is still gentle enough for sensitive skin. 
Simple Moisturising Facial Wash - £3.48  & The Foreo Luna Mini - £99.00
When I'm not wearing makeup, I will usually go straight into cleansing my skin in the evening with a moisturising gel based formula from Simple. As with all Simple products, the formula is gentle and contains no harsh chemicals or perfumes which is why I enjoy using the brand so much.
 As it is such a thick gel, I don't find this to be particularly drying and because of it's formula, it foams up really nicely making it great to use alongside my Foreo Luna Mini. 
The Foreo Luna Mini is (as the name suggests) a mini face cleansing tool made of silicone as opposed to other cleansing tools such as the Clarisonic that have bristles. Because the Luna is made of silicone, I find it be very gentle on my skin whilst still allowing me to get a deeper clean than with with just my hands alone. It vibrates on two adjustable settings and this also allows for very gentle exfoliation which is so gentle that it can be used everyday. It also has a handy little one minute time which lets you know when you've done enough cleansing! You can read my full length review on the Luna here
Superdrug Vitamin E Cream Cleanser (Alternative) - £3.99

For removing my makeup, I really love cream cleansers. I used to remove my makeup with baby wipes but I found that I'd have to use so many and that after using them, they always left me panda eyed which isn't really what I wanted. As well as this, I found wipes to be too harsh on my skin as you really have to get in there and tug at it which as we all know ladies and gents, can cause premature wrinkles and who wants that?! 
I particularly like the Superdrug Vitamin E Cream Cleanser firstly because of how inexpensive it is. It is a fraction of the price of most cream cleansers and in my opinion, it does just a good a job. Cream cleansers are used in conjunction with a hot cloth. You apply the cream all over your face focusing on areas with the most makeup or dirt and with a wet, hot cloth you wipe it all away. The cream disintegrates dirt and makeup easily allowing you to simply wipe it all off of your face. This process is really quick and is far more effective for me than wipes - as it is cream based as well, I always find it really great on my dry skin as it keeps it feeling moisturised. 
If I want a deeper cleanse on top of this, I'll usually go in for about 30 seconds with my Luna and Simple wash as well!
That's it for my current cleansing routine - what are your favourite cleansers? If you have any recommendations for those with my skin type (or others) it'd be great if you left them in the comments! Thanks for reading.
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6.07.2015

Tips For Taking Good Blog Photos!

For me, one of the most important parts of any blog - particularly those that regularly feature products of some kind - is good photography. I always enjoy reading other peoples tips on taking good pictures as well as taking inspiration from others' use of visual elements and composition. With that in mind, I thought I'd share with you guys information about what I use to take photos for my blog as well as my tips on taking a good photograph!
Hopefully, some of you might find this helpful or at least an interesting read.

What I Use:

For my photographs, I use a DSLR in the form of the Canon 60d. Though you definitely do not need a DSLR to take a good photograph, if you are thinking of making the investment, then I definitely would! They have multiple uses for both photos and video recording and as well as that, you get so much control over the kind of image you want to take and how creative you want to be. I love my 60d and I'd totally recommend it if you're looking for a good DSLR.

Photo Credit: www.kenrockwell.com
 I also have the Nikon D3200 and for the price, it is another brilliant camera that I'd also recommend. Usually, my DSLR is the only equipment I use with the exception of perhaps sometimes an external flash and a tripod.
Photo Credit: firstelectro.com
I'm definitely not an expert in the world of photography but from University modules and personal practise, I'd say I at least know a thing or two. One of the things that helped me improve my skills and knowledge outside of my studies are online tutorials and guides. Here is a link to a great one for those of you who are new to using a DSLR and want to get to grips with the basics!
Good Lighting:

A good lighting set up makes the photo taking process way, way easier! You don't have to mess around with settings for ages and it makes the editing process less extreme as you won't have to edit levels and such too much. You don't need a specialist lighting set up to get decent lighting for your picture, just go to a location in your house or wherever you take your pictures and find the lightest spot you can - whether that's by a door, or a window. If worst comes to worst (and if it's not raining of course) you can also shoot outside!
If you use a DSLR, a good piece of kit for those times when there's little to no natural light, I like to use my external flash. Mine is a Canon Speedlite 580EX II - it's on the pricier side but there are plenty of less expensive alternatives on the market that work just as well so if you're interested in getting one, definitely just browse around for one most ideal for you.
Composition and Arrangement:

Composition refers to the placement and arrangement of all the visual elements in your photo. An interesting composition really helps to make a photo stand out. You can use the rule of thirds to think about how you'd like to arrange anything you want to include in your photo - things don't alway s need to be in the centre of a shot for instance - you may want to move it more to the right of left for a more interesting shot. 
Photo Credit: www.blendspace.com
As well as placement in the shot itself, you may want to think about the kinds of shots you want for the products or things you're snapping. If you're doing an outfit post for instance, perhaps you can do an assortment of different poses. If you're snapping some makeup products, you can open up the products themselves for a more diverse and detailed photo. 
Play around with composition and have fun with it to discover the kind of style you most enjoy!
Decorative Visuals:

Adding decorate elements is definitely not something you have to do but sometimes, you may want to add a little something here and there to add something more to your photo. I do sometimes however like to just have a plain white background and take more minimalistic photos of products. Then again, sometimes I like to add decorative items such as fake flowers and pretty hair accessories to spice up my image a little.


You can add all sorts to your own image such as something with an interesting pattern like a scarf or headband, you can also even add some of your favourite accessories or jewellery pieces or even your favourite homely elements such as mugs and notebooks to add that extra something.
Editing:

For me, I like to keep my editing minimal - it's easy to make a photo look overdone and my main concern is making whatever I'm photographing look as close to what it looks like in person as possible. Usually therefore, that means editing the levels a little bit, boosting the brightness and sometimes the contrast or saturation. Often this is done just to make colours look more to true to what they are in real life.
I use Photoshop - this is of course a big investment and not everyone is going to want to splash the cash on editing software. That's not an issue though as there are tonnes of great editing programs on the market that will suit you find for basic photo editing. TechRadar have put together a list of the top 10 free photo editing programs and you can check out that list here.
And that's it! Those are my tips and thoughts on taking a good photograph. These tips have definitely helped me along the way - looking back to my first blog posts and up to now, I see such a development in the way I take my pictures! I hope you found this post helpful and as always, thank you for reading!

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6.05.2015

My Oldest Makeup Product

Browsing on Bloglovin' one day, I found a great post full of awesome ideas for blog posts. One of those ideas was to write about your oldest makeup product and after rooting round my collection, I found mine and thought I'd share it's background with you today and maybe give you an insight into why I have kept it for so long.

So, my oldest makeup item is a Rimmel Stay Glossy lip gloss that I purchased about 4-5 years ago back in year 11 of secondary school. I purchased that along with lots of other makeup as part of preparation for my prom. (Now, before i got any further, don't worry I don't actually use this product anymore and haven't done for a quite a while!) As you can see, it's pretty beat up too so it's not the nicest looking product in my collection..


After many occasions of cleaning out my makeup collection, I somehow could never bring myself to throw this little lip gloss away. I guess in many ways it's because it symbolises an important time in my life that I like to keep ahold of in some way. Cheesy, I know. My prom was pretty much for the first time in my teenage years that I felt truly beautiful - I'd always been that kind of normal, "nothing special about her" kind of girl and prom to me symbolised the first moment that I truly began to feel like me. I'd never really worn makeup much nor had I even worn a dress or heels before - and while these things definitely do not define you as a woman (and while I hate heels to this day), on the day of my prom they were tools that made me feel confident and made me feel good about myself. Dressing so differently and putting myself out there in a way that you do at a prom gave me the confidence to continue to do so from that day forward and every day from then I have become a little bit more comfortable with myself and with expressing that. 

That lipgloss represents my youth - a time in which I hadn't truly found myself nor felt comfortable to share it with the world even if I had. It represents to me change, growth and development and it reminds me each day that things get better and that you can learn to love yourself and be comfortable with who you are. And I suppose that's why I keep hold of it, it's a reminder of how much I've changed and how much I'll continue to change - though it may just be a very out of date tube of pink lip gloss, what it represents to me is far, far more.

What's your oldest makeup product and what does it mean to you?

6.01.2015

Current Beauty Favourites!

Hello everyone! I hope you're all well and I hope you've had a great week. As far as I know, this will be the very first beauty favourites posts that I've ever done - how exciting! 



While I'm not sure how often I'll do these kind of posts, I will try to do them now and again as my favourites change around. As I said, this will be a beauty favourites - focused on makeup products in particular. I may in the future do a skincare favourites as well so let me know if that's something you'd like to see.

1. Milani Baked Blush in Dolce Pink - £4.27

This is such a nice summer blush - it has just the right amount of shimmer without making you look like a glitter ball! It's perfect for a glowy makeup look as well as giving you a natural flush of colour. I really like this blush in particular because I find they blend so well and aren't overly harsh whilst still being pigmented. Definitely try them!


2. Sigma F15 Blush Brush - £20.00

This has been a brush that I have been using continuously over the past couple of months and it has easily become my favourite tool for applying blush. As a duo-fibre brush, I find it gives me the perfect amount of coverage that I'm looking for and I also find that this helps to blend out blushes as well - particularly ones that are strongly pigmented. As it goes with most Sigma brushes, this is well designed and great quality.


I'm not really one to rave about powders as usually, I feel that they all do the same job. However, there's something in particular that I do actually notice about this powder. I feel that it adds extra coverage without looking cakey as well as of course making the skin matte where needed. It's long lasting as well which is always something I look for in a powder as I hate re-applying!

















4. Urban Decay Naked Palette - £38.00

This is easily my favourite palette of all time. Neutrals are so wearable for everyday and are easily used with pops of colour as well making them perfect for pretty much any look you could want to create. Urban Decay shadows are beautifully pigmented and blend like butter and the shades in this palette are no different. This is a classic makeup product that I'd recommend to anyone!


This was one of my very first MAC purchases and for a long while, I went without really using it. Recently however, I re-discovered my love for it and I have been using it quite frequently since. I feel that this is a great choice for dryer skin as it doesn't highlight dryness and instead gives a nice, subtle dewy kind of finish. It has a great, buildable coverage and it lasts well too!

6. NYX Butter Gloss - £6.50

I'm not usually a fan of glosses - like, at all. However, these glosses are actually surprisingly pigmented and not sticky! They don't settle like a lot of glosses tend to on the lips so you don't get that nasty gloopy feeling on them either. This stays nice and glossy throughout the day and looks great alone or paired with a similar colour lipstick. They also smell WONDERFUL!


7. BeautyUK Brow Kit - £3.99

This kit is very popular with the girls at Pixiwoo and for £3.99, I thought I'd check it out. And I'm glad I did because actually, I really like it. I feel as if all of the shades are very versatile and are great for all sorts of girls with different hair shades. The wax is also very handy for shaping and taming those brows before applying the brow powder. This kit also comes with a mini brush and tweezers making it great for travelling too!


This is easily one of my holy grail brow products! This is really nicely pigmented - so much so that I sometimes just sweep this through my brows on it's own and I'm good to go! It not only helps to set your brows but it coats them too which adds pigmented as well as a little bit of thickness too. At £4.99, it's a bargain and another definite must have!


My lashes are pretty difficult to curl as though they're fairly long, they're also super straight. So, I'm pretty much always on the lookout for an effective, lengthening and curling mascara and I came across this one day after it was recommended by Youtuber and makeup artist Wayne Goss. After using it once, I was instantly impressed by this mascara and would say in it's effect, it's comparable to L'Oreal's Telescopic mascara which is one of my all time favourites. This lengthens your lashes without making them clumpy and it gives you a long lasting curl as well - perfect.

So, those are my current makeup favourites - are any of yours in my list? 

Thanks for reading!


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