Sunday, 29 December 2013

New Years Eve Pamper Tips

Hi guys, I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas! I have had a little bit of time off from blogging due to being incredibly busy over the the past week or so. However, now that all of the festivities are over, hopefully my posts will become regular once again. So, seeing as New Years Eve is only two days away now, I thought that I would share with you all some of my favourite things to do to pamper myself prior to nights out. Making sure that you are fully prepared will ensure that you are feeling and looking your best, as well as keeping last minute stress and worries at bay. So, let's get started!

1. Exfoliate your skin
Prepping your skin the night before is a really great tip as everybody wants their skin to be silky smooth, especially if your New Years outfit is a little revealing. In addition, if you are planning to apply fake tan before the big day, exfoliating is a key step to include. As most of you will already know, fake tan clings easily to dry patches on your skin and that is not a good look! I simply like to use some exfoliating gloves which are pretty inexpensive or a body scrub, (my favourite is Soap & Glory's Sugar Crush Body Scrub,) and gently buff my skin in circular motions before applying some body butter and viola... smooth skin in seconds! 

2. Look after your lips

Making sure your lips are prepped before applying your lip product of choice is another crucial step. There is nothing worse than flaky-looking lips, especially if you are planning on puckering up at midnight ;) A great way to banish flakiness is to use a lip scrub and Lush do some great ones, (Bubblegum and Mint Julips,) which are extremely popular amongst beauty bloggers. However, an excellent and cheap alternative is to make your own lip scrub. I simply slather a little bit of Vaseline mixed with some sugar granules on my lips to make a simple (and tasty) scrub. Afterwards, I apply a liberal amount of my favourite lip balm, Carmex, and my lips are really smooth and plump in no time!

3. Prime the face
As many of you are probably aware by now, using a primer before applying foundation is a great way to ensure that your make-up stays put all night long. All you have to do as apply a layer of primer onto your face and then do the rest of your make-up as normal. For Christmas, my parents bought me Clinique's Universal Face Primer (£20.00,) which I have had a tester of before and I absolutely love it. If this primer is a little too expensive for you, there are some great high street alternatives out there. A few of my favourites are Revlon's Photo Ready Primer (£11.00) and Rimmel's Match Perfection Primer (£6.99.)

4. Paint your nails

Last but certainly not least, having nicely painted fingernails and toenails is essential on a night out on the town! In my opinion, having a pretty manicure really finishes off your look and pulls everything together. There are typically five steps to a manicure/pedicure that you can do at home, which are; pushing back the cuticles, filing the nail, applying a base coat, applying two or three coats of polish, followed by a top coat. Alternatively, if you fancy treating yourself, do not have a steady hand or you have a bit of extra cash, getting your nails done professionally could be another way to go!

I hope that these tips help you to prepare for whatever you are going on the 31st. Also, I would love to know what is your favourite thing to do to pamper yourself? I love listening to your suggestions and sharing tips with fellow bloggers. I hope that you all have a fabulous New Years and I wish all of you the best of luck going into 2014! 

Thursday, 19 December 2013

DIY December: Chocolate Orange Cookies

Hi guys. Today I thought I would do something that I have never done before...a food-related blog post! Over the past few weeks, I have been heavily influenced by Miss Glamorazzi's (Ingrid Nilson's) DIY December videos on YouTube. She has been making lots of yummy Christmas themed treats, as well as cute homemade presents and decorations, so I thought it would give it a whirl myself. I have been meaning to do something like this on my blog for some time now and I've finally gotten around to it. Normally, I tend to stick to baking cakes or cupcakes but sometimes is nice to branch out and try something new. With that in mind, I decided to bake some Chocolate Orange Cookies. 

Although these cookies are not technically Christmas themed, I think they are a lovely little treat for this time of year and would be great accompanied with a cup of tea or coffee whilst sheltering from the cold, winter weather too. I originally got this recipe off of the BBC Good Food website which you can view here, however, I altered the recipe slightly as I did not have any white chocolate at hand. 

To make 15-18 small cookies or 10 larger cookies, you will need:

125g dark chocolate
150g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2tsp salt
75g light brown sugar
125g softened butter
Zest of one large orange
200g milk chocolate chips
1 egg

At this stage, you will need to pre-heat your oven to 170°C (Gas Mark 6) and line a baking tray so that your cookies do not stick.

Step 1
Break up the 125g of dark chocolate into a microwave-proof bowl and melt it in the microwave in 30 second intervals, checking and stirring it as you go, until it is completely smooth. Alternatively, you could do the same over a pan of simmering water until fully molten. Then, leave the chocolate on the side to cool.

Step 2
Measure out the plain flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl and set aside for later. Cream the 125g of butter and 75g of light brown sugar and beat it in a bowl until it's light and fluffy (using an electric whisk for this step makes it a lot easier!) Then, add the melted dark chocolate into the mixture and whisk once again.

Step 3
Add in the orange zest and egg and whisk until the mixture is combined. Then, fold in your flour mixture which will eventually create a sticky dough. Throw in the chocolate chips and give the mixture a final stir to ensure that the chips are evenly distributed. 

Step 4
Now for the messy bit! Roll the dough into small or large balls (depending on your preference) and place them onto the lined baking tray. Bake for roughly 15-18 minutes or until a skewer or knife inserted into the middle of a cookies comes out clean with no mixture on it. 

Step 5
Once the cookies are done, take them out of the oven and allow them to cool on the tray for up to 10 minutes. Then, you can transfer them to a cooling rack or a plate. At this stage, the cookies may seem quite soft and may appear un-cooked but I can assure that they are. As they cool, the cookies will harden. Do not try and cook them for any longer otherwise they will either burn or become dry.

And viola, that is how you make delicious chocolate orange cookies! I hope that you enjoyed this post and please let me know if you give this recipe a go yourself, I would love to see the outcomes! Hopefully I will be able to start incorporating some more food-related posts into my blog on a more regular basis as and when I can :)

Saturday, 14 December 2013

The Christmas Tag

Hi guys. Today I thought that I would do a Christmas tag after seeing so many bloggers do one. I thought that it would be nice to share with you some of my family's traditions and see how they differ from everybody elses. Let's get started!

Do you prefer a real Christmas tree or a synthetic one?
My Mum is quite fussy and always demands that we get a real tree as they look much nicer. I always tag along with my parents to our local Christmas tree farm each year and help them pick out a tree. This year, my Dad accidentally knocked over a bunch of trees whilst we were there and I literally could not stop laughing. I cannot take him anywhere!

You're in a coffee shop, it's December, what do you pick up?
I have become addicted to Costa's Honeycomb & Cream Hot Chocolate this year. I definitely recommend it!

What's your favourite colour scheme for decorating the tree?
As our living room is quite neutral in colour with a few green pillows and so on, (I promise it looks nicer than it sounds,) we tend to match our decorations to that. So our colour scheme is gold, browns and greens. It looks really elegant and classy I think!

Giving or receiving?
Definitely giving. I get really into buying presents and I get so much excitement out of doing so. I always really try and make my gifts personal whenever I can, especially when it comes to my closest friends.

To mince pie or not to?
Unfortunately, I do not like mince pies.

What's your traditional Sunday lunch?
On an average Sunday we will have some form of meat with roast potatoes, an assortment of vegetables that Mum honey glazes and cooks in the oven (yum!) and Yorkshire puddings. However, at Christmas, there are obviously plenty of trimmings such as chipolatas and sausage meat.

What do you wear on Christmas day?
I try to dress nicely on Christmas day in a dress and tights but this year, I think we are all wearing Christmas jumpers for fun. Also, even though we spend Christmas day at home and do not leave the house, I still like to make an effort with my hair and make-up.

What's your favourite Christmas song?
I'm not a huge fan of Christmas songs because when I worked in retail, they were all I heard for about three months on a loop. If I had to choose it would probably be 'Last Christmas' or 'I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday.'

What's your favourite Christmas film?
Elf without a doubt and I'm sure most people will say the same! It's so funny and I can quote so much of it.

Do you open presents before or after lunch?
We normally open them around mid-morning once my Nan has arrived. We usually all take it in turns to open one present each and go around in a circle.

I hope you enjoyed reading this fun, little tag and please feel free to link me if you have done this tag or a similar one, as I would love to read them and see the similarities and the differences between everybody's Christmases! Also I would like to tag my best friend, Laura, to do this tag too. She has a great blog called 'Just A Random Rambler,' which I recommend you take a little peek at. Thank you :)

Thursday, 12 December 2013

My Favourite Festive Nail Varnishes

The festive season is well and truly in full swing now and I absolutely love it! For me, my favourite thing about this time of year is all of the gorgeous decorations and lately, I have become obsessed with all things sparkly. So, I thought that I would share with you some of my favourite glittery nail varnishes that I will be wearing over the Christmas period. I have always been a hoarder of nail polish from a young age and now that I have recently acquired my nail qualification, (which you can read about here,) my collection is always increasing. Three of the polishes I will be talking about today are from a China Glaze Christmas set called 'Be Merry,' which I picked up from my local beauty supplier but you can also buy it from Beauty Bay. In my opinion, sparkly nails are a great edition to any outfit over the festive period and it really adds a little something extra. So, without any further ado, lets get started!

China Glaze Nail Polish in Santa Red My List
This magenta pink polish is the first from the aforementioned 'Be Merry' China Glaze Set and it is gorgeous. The glitter is very fine and is the most understated of the bunch, which is great if you only want a subtle shimmer as opposed to going the whole hog!

Barry M Nail Paint Limited Edition in 347
Next up is this extremely bright silver shade. I got this product free in Boots as I spent over £6 on Barry M cosmetics whilst picking up some little gifts for my friends Christmas goodie bags. The glitter in this polish reflects a whole bunch of colours and gives a really pretty, rainbow effect in certain lights.

China Glaze Nail Polish in Be Merry, Be Bright
This polish has both bright pink and violet/blue glitter running through it, which gives such a lovely effect. This is another one of the colours from the China Glaze set and it is definitely the most in-your-face of the bunch. This particular varnish would look great either as a built-up colour after a few layers or simply as a top coat over another polish.

China Glaze Nail Polish in Mingle With Kringle
'Mingle With Kringle' is a very traditional gold-coloured polish with an extremely fine glitter. This particular gold is quite bright and could be seen as a little garish, but I think it is perfect for this time of year as it really makes a statement!

Essie Luxe Effects Nail Polish in 'A Cut Above'
This polish was mentioned in my November Favourites post recently and I absolutely love it! The baby pink glitter is really pretty and as this varnish has the chunkiest glitter of the bunch, it doesn't chip and is very long-lasting. I highly recommend this product and there are a few colours in this range, so there is one to suit everybody's taste!

China Glaze Nail Polish in Put A Bow On It
The third and final polish from the 'Be Merry' China Glaze Set is my favourite of the bunch, as purple is my all time favourite colour. This varnish builds really quickly and so it is hassle-free in terms of application. This polish probably has the finest glitter of the bunch and it is very striking on the nails.

China Glaze Nail Polish in CG In The City
Last but not least is this beautiful charcoal-grey colour. The shade is actually a lot darker in real life, however, my camera didn't pick it up so well. I love wearing this nail varnish rather than black, as I think it looks a little too harsh on the hands. I love this product because it goes with every outfit and has just the right amount of shimmer in it.

I hope you have all enjoyed reading about my favourite festive, sparkly nail varnishes. I would love to know what your go-to nail varnishes are at the moment, so please do not hesitate to leave a comment below :) 

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Boots Christmas Gift Guide 2013

In a few days it will be the first full weekend of December and so, many of us will be starting our Christmas shopping (if we haven't done so already!) I, for one, like to make my Christmas shopping as stress-free as possible, as we all know how busy the hustle and bustle of our local high streets and shopping centres can be at this time of year. With that in mind, I am very happy that I picked up a Boots Christmas Gift Guide this year because I can now look at and plan what I am going to buy for each of my loved ones before I hit the shops. Now, don't be fooled, Boots doesn't just cater for those who love beauty and personal care items. Boots has a wide range of products in the following categories: gift for women, gifts for men, gifts for kids and general gifts for everyone to enjoy.

In addition, the guide also has a Christmas Gift List where you can write down what you want to buy for each person. I think that this is a great way to keep yourself on top of everything, crossing off the presents on your list as you buy them. So, without rambling on for too long, let's see what gifts that I recommend from this amazing catalogue!

Gifts for beauty lovers

First up is this lovely Soap & Glory Bubble Barrelled kit (£18.00) which features some of the brands most coveted products including a shower gel, hand cream, foot cream, body butter, body scrub and shampoo. This bundle also has a cute headband thrown in for good measure, which you could wear during your huge pamper session! I think that this would be the perfect present for any beauty lover because not only are the products amazing, but the packaging is really gorgeous too! There are also many other Soap & Glory gift sets to choose from in the catalogue covering all price ranges, so I recommend having a look at what's on offer!

Gifts for fragrance lovers

If you have a slightly higher budget to spend, why not buy your loved one this lovely Marc Jacobs Dot Gift Set? This product includes the eau de parfum (50ml,) plus a body lotion and shower gel (both 75ml.) I think that this gift set is excellent value for money as it is the same price that the fragrance would be if sold separately, which is £49.50. This perfume is a very floral scent with hints of vanilla and jasmine, which smells divine. I would also recommend a few of the other Marc Jacobs perfumes such as Daisy, Honey and Lola.

Gifts for £10 and under

Next up, the Boots Extracts range offers many gifts for those of us with a slightly smaller budget. The Extracts Super Cranberry Collection (£10.00) includes a body wash, body butter and body scrub. This range feels really luxurious on the skin despite its value for money. Plus, the lovely cranberry smell is perfect for Christmas. The Extracts collection has many other scents to choose from. Another favourite of mine is the Mango Collection Wash Bag which is even more affordable at just £6! This set is essentially the same as the Cranberry Collection minus the body scrub and it is packaged in a vibrant wash bag instead of in a box.

Gifts for men

This Topman T-Shirt Gift, £25.00, is a great gift for the man in your life. This set includes a 100ml bottle of Topman's No.27 eau de parfum, which I have actually smelt before and I love it! The t-shirt is plain black with a white V-shape motif on the pocket. Unfortunately, the only down side to this gift is that the t-shirt is only provided in a medium (if only there were size options!) If you wanted to go for something a little cheaper, the Boxer Shorts Gift Set features a pair of boxer shorts (again only medium sizes available) with the same design as the t-shirt and a body spray for £12.00 instead.

Gifts for food lovers
Last but not least is the selection of Nandos gifts on offer. The Chilli Planter and Sauce Set (£12.50) contains a hot sauce, a packet of chilli seeds and a ceramic pot to grow your own chillis in - which is kind of cool in my opinion! For the same price, you could also treat your food lover to the Nandos Table Trio. This set contains both the medium and hot peri-peri sauces along with a pot of the ever so popular peri-peri chip sprinkle. If none of these presents tickle your taste buds, Boots also have many other food brands within the gift guide including Wahaca and Food Nation.

I hope that both this post and the gift guide makes your Christmas shopping a stress-free experience by giving you plenty of ideas as what to buy for your friends and family. I hope that you are all getting into the festive spirit as I have plenty more Christmas-themes posts coming your way this month, so keep your eyes peeled!

Saturday, 30 November 2013

My Monthly Favourites - November 2013

Hi guys! It's that time of the month again where I show you what I have been loving product-wise throughout November. It's hard to believe that Christmas is now upon us and as cliché as it sounds, this year has gone ridiculously fast! This is my second ever monthly favourites post which is rather shocking seeing as I have been blogging now for eight months now. The reason I held off for so long is because I go through stages where I do not really buy any new products and so I often run out of things to review. However, with that being said, I am going to try my best to be consistent and do my favourites every month without fail but do bear with me if I do skip a month. Now, let's get straight to my much loved products of November!

Dove Intensive Nourishment Hand Cream  - £3.49
Seeing as we are right in the midst of winter, the cold and bitter weather is upon us and as you all know, this can cause havoc with your skin making it much drier and troublesome. However, I think that many of us neglect our hands at this time of year. Recently, I have been using this hand cream from Dove that I got as part of a gift set a while back. As you can imagine, this product does exactly what it says on the tin (or tube, rather!) I tend to slather this cream on before I go to bed at night time and surprise, surprise; I wake up with nourished and soft hands. I really recommend this product as it is cheap, widely available in drugstores and most of all - it works!

Essie Luxe Effects Nail Polish in 'A Cut Above' - £7.99

Whilst I was in Boots with my Mum the other week, I was browsing down the make-up aisles when I came across this lovely nail varnish at the Essie stand. This polish is part of Essie's limited edition 'Luxe Effects' range which also features four other glittery top coats; 'As Gold As It Gets,' 'A Stroke Of Brilliance,' 'Pure Pearlfection' and 'Set In Stones.' I was drawn to this one in particular due to it's gorgeous pink/rose gold colouring. Although this product is advertised as a top coat, I built up a couple of coats of the polish on my nails to make them entirely sparkly and opaque. The end result is stunning and it lasted on my nails for over a week! The only problem I found was removing it; it took me about twenty minutes of vigorous scrubbing with pure acetone to get every scrap of it away but do not let that put you off, it's definitely worth it!

The Body Shop Vanilla Bliss Body Butter - £13.00

Next up is the ever-so-popular body butter from The Body Shop, which I received as a gift from my friend Sydney. I own a couple of different body butters as I am a bit of a moisturiser hoarder. I never seem to finish one bottle or tub before I move on to the next one - I think I like to alternate between them depending on my mood or the time of year. The 'Vanilla Bliss' scent is a limited edition one for Christmas and I love it! It is so rich and moisturising which is perfect for when my skin is dry, which it tends to be in the current cold conditions here in the UK. With this being said, my favourite Body Shop body butter is actually the passion fruit one as I much prefer fruity scents in general. Most of the other moisturisers I own (Dove and Garnier) are around the £5 mark, so spending £13 on one is a little steep for me but as a gift, it was a lovely treat and the tub lasts for ages, so in the end it is a worthwhile purchase if you are thinking of buying one for yourself!

Rimmel Lasting Finish Colour Rush Lip Crayon in 'The Redder The Better' - £5.99

As I have already written a seperate post on the Rimmel lip crayons here, I am not going to go too in detail about the product this time around. After loving the first shade I bought a few months ago called 'Rumour Has It,' I decided to go back and try another colour. 'The Redder The Better' is exactly as it seems; a really bright red colour that is really striking on the lips. As mentioned in my previous post, this crayon is really moisturising and glides on seamlessly. It also has a lovely vanilla/cocoa type scent to it which is a nice added touch. In addition, there is a lovely variation of colours to try and so there is something for everybody. I highly recommend this product!

The Body Shop White Musk Eau De Toilette (30ml) - £10.00
Last but not least is this lovely frangrance from The Body Shop. I love using this perfume on days when I'm not doing too much and do not want to reach for my more expensive perfumes. As you can probably guess from the title, this is a musky scent which has hints of flowers (lily, iris & rose) and vanilla running through it. I always get compliments when I wear this scent as it is quite strong at first but after a few hours, it wears off completely. So, although I love this eau de toilette, I would not recommend it if you need something a little more long-wearing.

I hope you have all enjoyed reading about my November favourites. I would love to know what your most-loved products have been this month, so please do not hesitate to leave a comment below :) 

Monday, 25 November 2013

Benefit's Coralista Ultra Plush Lip Gloss Review

Benefit have recently bought out a range of lip glosses that coincide with the six bestselling colours of their infamous boxed blushers; Hoola, Dandelion, Coralista, Sugarbomb, Dallas and Bella Bamba. In my opinion, this is a really excellent concept as I think that matching your blusher to your lip gloss could give a really stunning and polished effect. Moreover, like many beauty bloggers, I received a sample size of this lip gloss as a free gift when I purchased Elle Magazine recently. I do not usually tend to buy Elle due to it's £4 price tag which in my opinion, is a little pricey for a magazine. However, I just couldn't resist this time! 

The sample size of this gloss is 6.5ml, which is just under half of the products usual 15ml amount which retails at £14.50. So, paying a mere £4 didn't seem so bad after all! Elle Magazine had three different colours from the range to choose from: Hoola (a shimmery, brown nude,) Coralista (a sheer coral) and Dandelion (a soft, pearly pink.)

I opted for Coralista as I thought that this colour would suit me the best and I was right! When I swatched it on the back of my hand, the gloss looks super pigmented but when applied to lips, it is rather sheer and gives just a subtle wash of colour. In a way, it is a tad disappointing but I still like the end finish nonetheless. As for the way the gloss feels, you can tell it is a more high-end product due to the fact that the formula is thick but not sticky. On the other hand, seeing as the glosses are silky instead of sticky, they do not adhere to your lips too well and in turn, do not have very good staying power. So, be prepared to top up your application a couple of times.

Overall, these glosses are easy to wear and are quite natural-looking on the lips. However, for me I would like to see a little more colour pay off but that is just down to personal preference as I love bright lip colours. I am pleased that I bought Elle for this gloss but I do not think that I would fathom spending that much on the full-sized product. If you have tried or bought a product from the Ultra Plush range, I would love to know what you thought of them so please do not hesitate to leave a comment below. Thank you!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Living And Dealing With Anxiety

It seems that many bloggers have come forward and spoken about their anxiety lately, which is amazing and incredibly brave of them to do so and now, I feel ready to do the same. Even though I have touched base with this subject before in my 'Saying Yes And Overcoming Your Fears' post, I have never gone into as much detail as I am going to today. Obviously this post is incredibly personal to me, as I am talking about something that affects me every single day to people that I do not even know in real life - yet somehow, this make it slightly easier. My main aim with this post is to share my experience with you all and hopefully, I might also be able to help some other people in similar situations along the way. Although writing this is rather daunting, inspiring others to not be ashamed of their anxiety will make it all worth while!

I have been suffering from anxiety and panic attacks for ten years now and until recently, I did absolutely nothing about it. However, last year really was the tip of the iceberg for me and I was in such a horrible place. I had a job I hated which made me ill and therefore, I became very reserved and reclusive. It got to the point where if I would have a panic attack in a particular place or situation, I would do everything in my power to never return to that place again through pure fear of the same thing happening again. Whenever my friends would invite me out, I would nine times of ten say no because I had some sort of irrational fear that something bad would happen to me. I would often become so distressed that I would violently shake, feel sick and be in tears. Plus, on the odd occasion when I did build up the courage to go out, I never fully enjoyed myself. It used to only cause me stress and unhappiness and let’s face it, that’s no way to live your life!

At this point, I knew that something had to change because my anxiety was starting to affect my daily life to the point where I couldn’t even hold down a job or career. This, consequently, controlled a lot of the choices that I made and it has stopped me from doing absolutely anything that is even slightly out of my comfort zone. It even hindered me in embracing certain opportunities that came my way that in hindsight would have benefited me a great deal. I regret saying no to certain things even to this day.

I still find it incredibly hard to really open up to my friends and family about my anxiety problem, even when the majority of them know about it. I tend to worry that they will judge me if I go into detail about how I feel in case they end up thinking that I am some kind of nutcase and no longer want to be around me. Where as in reality, it turns out that so many people suffer with similar problems to me. I worry that they may also think that I use my anxiety as an excuse for certain things or that I am being a nuisance, though I am slowly learning that this is not the case at all. I am very lucky in the fact that I have some really supportive people in my life who I know I can always turn to. However, this is not the case for all people. Though, with that being said, there are so many good mental health programmes out there, (Mind and Anxiety UK being two of these,) that offer anxiety sufferers help and guidance if they do feel alone or unable to talk to a relative or friend about their issues. There are also many routes that you can take to help ease your anxiety and panic attacks; medication, stress management classes and counselling etc.

For the past six months or so, I have been attending counselling sessions every Tuesday afternoon. I definitely feel that this is the best option for me after having tried medication around this time last year, as it didn't agree with me and it actually made me more ill in terms of feeling nauseous and getting regular migraines. However, the one struggle I have with counselling is that I do want to go but I dread it at the same time. It’s not a nice feeling having to talk to somebody who is essentially a stranger about really deep and personal things every single week, even when you know it will be beneficial in the long run. Most of us, including myself at times, would much rather block it out or deal with our emotions privately rather than share them (though I have come to learn that bottling emotions up is unhealthy.)

Now, it’s a year on and I am slowly feeling the way I want to. Although to some it may seem like I am moving at a snail’s pace and have not done an awful lot this year, I know in my mind that I have come on leaps and bounds in this time. I love going out now, in fact I thrive off of it, which is something I never would have imagined myself saying twelve months ago! I’m not going to lie and say that everything is a walk in the park; I still have a long way to go to. To this day, my comfort zone is very restrictive and small but I am working on expanding it at a pace that suits me. I always want to do something reckless like drive to a random destination but then I get disheartened by the fact that I will probably get half way there, freak out and come home. 

I still have a mixture of good days and bad days but I believe that is all the about taking little steps to eventually get me to where I want to be. Of course, I don’t know how long this will take. I often put pressure on myself by trying to put a time limit on things, convincing myself that I am not progressing fast enough. However, I have come to realise that as long as I know I am trying as hard as I possibly can, that’s all that counts. Overall, I am incredibly hopeful for what may happen over the next few months and I am optimistic that by this time next year, I will have come on leaps and bounds yet again.

I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to read about my personal experience with anxiety. I really hope that sharing my story has inspired at least one of you to start fighting your anxiety in the same way that I am. Remember that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and although you may be going through a tough time right now, things WILL get better! 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Disappointing Products #1

Hi guys! Many of us beauty bloggers, myself included, tend to write about products that we love as opposed to products that we loathe because let's face it, they are more fun to talk about! However, today I thought that I would share with you five products that have left me a little disappointed over the recent months. Of course, products work differently on each of us as we are all very unique but I am simply sharing with you my experiences with using these products. So, let's get started!

Bumble & Bumble Thickening Hairspray (50ml) - £7.50
It seems that many of us beauty bloggers received a free sample of this hairspray when we bought the September issue of Elle Magazine. I was really excited to try out this product for multiple reasons. Firstly, I have heard good things about the entire Bumble & Bumble range and secondly, anything that promises to thicken my hair grabs my attention as I have extremely fine hair that could always use a little boost. However, after following the instructions on the side of the bottle that told me to apply this onto my wet hair, I was thoroughly disappointed with the result after I dried it. My hair had no noticeable volume and was simply left with a horrible, sticky residue at my roots which is definitely not what you want!

Maybelline Super Stay 10 Hour Tint Gloss in Endless Ruby - £6.99
When I initially swatched this tinted gloss in Superdug, I knew I had to have it! The highly pigmented deep red colour and smooth liquid formula drew me in and I could not wait to try it out. At first, the gloss was everything I expected and more but as the day went on, I incurred a few problems that really put me off this product. Throughout the day, the colour of the gloss darkened to a really strange black colour around my lip line. Secondly, when I went to take off the product that night (even with five minutes of laborious scrubbing,) it just wouldn't budge! Sure, staying power is typically what we want from a stain but not so much when it seeps into the cracks of your lips and doesn't come off fully for two days!

Simple Kind To Eyes Eye Make-Up Remover Pen - £4.99
I bought this product on a bit of a whim whilst in Boots because I thought it would be handy to use to remove any eyeliner or mascara mistakes (I get through a lot of cotton buds doing this!) The first two times I used this pen the results were great; the tip of the pen was small and precise, which in turn got rid of smudges and mistakes perfectly. After each use, I cleaned the nib of the pen and put the lid back on firmly as instructed. However, when I went back to use this product for the third time, the pen had completely dried out! I was really disappointed with the longevity of this product and I will be sticking to my usual method of cotton buds to remove any make-up mishaps!

Bourjois Paris Little Round Pot Blush in Love-struck Rose - £7.99

When my much-loved Rimmel blusher hit the pan a while back, I decided to browse my local Boots for a different blusher to try. As these Bourjois blushers have been around for many years and I had always heard great things about them, I decided to give one a whirl. Love-struck Rose is a beautiful coral coloured blush with hints of gold shimmer running through it. However, begrudgingly, when I went to apply this product to my cheeks - the pigmentation was awful! Although I had plenty of the product on my brush, it was just not coming out on my face. I was really disappointed with this product and have not used it since!

Barry M Eyeshadow Pencil in Gold Cream - £4.59
Recently, I have been really getting into experimenting with eyeshadow, which is a rarity for me seeing as I am a classic eyeliner flick kind of girl! I bought this eyeshadow pencil to highlight my inner corner with as I find that a classic powder shadow rubs off rather quickly in this area. When first applied, I loved this product because it was so creamy and just simply glided on. However, after a mere two hours, the product had just settled in the creases of my eye and it began to flake a lot which made the whole look appear messy and unflattering.

I hope that this post has been helpful to those of you who are maybe considering trying out some of the products mentioned above. Also, if any of you have had positive experiences with any of the items above or even if you share the same views as me, I would love to hear about them - so please leave a comment below. Thank you!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

ASOS Autumn/Winter Knitwear

Hi guys! The weather has taken a major turn for the worse lately and it has become bitterly cold in England, which in turn has made many of us reach for our cosiest items of clothing to keep us nice and warm. So, today I thought that I would do a little post on three lovely jumpers from ASOS to give you all some inspiration if you are in need of some new knitwear for your autumn/winter wardrobe. Plus, as these jumpers are all from ASOS which is an online shop, there is no need to even face the hustle and bustle of your local high street or shopping centre (which means that you can shelter from this horrible weather - what a bonus!) So, without further ado, let's get started!

ASOS Jumper With Lace Collar Detail - £28.00
First up, this particular jumper caught my eye for a number of different reasons. I love the rich wine/plum colour of this knit, as this colour family is always very popular at this time of year. Also, the cute lace collar gives this jumper a slightly smarter feel to it, which would be perfect to wear either to work or for weekend outings. Hence, this item is extremely versatile and therefore worth it's very reasonable price tag.

Only Christmas Pudding Jumper - £25.00
Next up, I couldn't do this post without throwing in a novelty Christmas jumper for good measure. I do find that a lot of festive jumpers tend to lean a little bit towards the 'tacky' side and can sometimes look incredibly garish, but this jumper is perfect. The simple Christmas pudding design combined with the overall monochrome design is subtle enough to pull off and in my opinion, is really cute too. Just make sure that you keep the rest of your outfit simple and let the jumper do the talking!

ASOS Jumper In Stitch With Back Detail - £35.00
Last but not least is my favourite jumper of the bunch. I love the simplicity of the emerald green jumper with minimal black piping around the cuffs and the neckline. Of course, the main focus of this jumper is the cut-out back - which was what drew me to this particular item in the first place. As most jumpers are very loose and usually worn for comfort, the little peep of flesh in this design will keep you feeling sexy and feminine. I love this jumper so much that I have actually added it to my Christmas list, so fingers crossed it is waiting for me under the tree next month!

I hope you all enjoyed reading about my three favourite jumper picks from ASOS. Are there any jumpers or knitwear that are currently on your wish list? Please feel free to let me know by leaving me a comment below, I love reading what all of you like and getting some fashion inspiration too! Thank you :)

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

My Month Via Instagram - October 2013

Hi guys! It's come to the time again for me to write about what I have been up to all throughout October. Granted we are now a whole five days into November (I cannot believe it is Christmas next month) and I am a little late uploading this post but none the less, let's get started!

1. This month I have been making a conscious effort to come up with a few new recipes to try at dinner time. I think that it is very easy to slip into a routine and end up eating the same things on a regular basis. The dish you can see in the picture is a garlic and herb chicken curry-like dish, which is really simple to make. I simply cut up and cooked a chicken breast whilst boiling some rice (and adding peas in a little later to make it more interesting.) Once the chicken was cooked, I poured over a Philadelphia 'Simply Stir' Garlic & Herb Sauce and let it simmer for a few minutes. Hey presto, a relatively healthy dinner in roughly 15-20 minutes!

2. Secondly, now that the cold weather is starting to creep in, I have been opting for a lot more baths as opposed to showers. Recently, I have been trying to have a lot of 'me' time and I love nothing more than having a nice, long soak in a bubble bath. In conjunction with this, I have really enjoyed lighting my cherry & vanilla Yankee candle to set the mood and relax even further. I have also switched from using my passion fruit Body Shop Body Butter to the vanilla scent instead, as I find it to be a much more winter-y smell.

3. As Halloween was creeping ever closer, I invented my friend Lucy to help me experiment with some cat make-up as she is one of the most artistic people I know. Being a cat for Halloween isn't exactly original but my funds are pretty low at the moment, so simplicity was key. For the look we eventually achieved, all that we needed was tonnes of eyeliner and an extremely steady hand! I also used some very feline fake eyelashes to make the end result even more striking.

4. On the same day, Lucy also helped me with some photography for my blog (which is featured in the 'My Favourite Autumn/Winter Outfit' post.) As we finished this rather quickly, I decided to then give Lucy a makeover. As she usually wears minimal make-up (eyeliner and mascara only,) I thought that she would be a great person to experiment on and of course, she looked gorgeous! To read the original blog post, please click here.

5. If any of you read my 'The Next Chapter Of My Life' post, you may know that I recently completed an intensive three day nail course which focused on manicure, pedicure and acrylic nails. Of course, it takes a lot longer than three days to perfect a craft and so I have been practicing on my friends and family a lot. One of the things I really want to learn, however, is how to create some intricate nail art designs. One evening, I gave my friend Sarah this nude and black leopard print design. I was really proud of the outcome seeing as it was my first ever attempt and I am looking forward to trying other designs in the future. 

6. Last but not least is a photo of what I actually looked like before I went clubbing for Halloween. As you can see, I was not able to fully mimic how well Lucy did my make-up for me earlier on in the week, but I still think that in the end it looked quite good! In the end I opted for a dark purple lipstick as I thought it was quite vampy, as opposed to the nude lip that me and Lucy practiced. Also, dressing up as a cat gave me the perfect excuse to wear my new black dress from Missguided that you can see here. I am obsessed with it and am even looking forward to the next time I can wear it (I'm sad like that!)

So, that's it for this month. I hope you all enjoyed reading about what I have gotten up to during October. Now, let's see what November brings! 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

My Monthly Favourites - October 2013

Hi guys! Surprisingly, even though I have been blogging for roughly seven months now, I have never partaken in the ever-so-popular 'monthly favourites' posts. However, this is all about to change! There are so many products I love to use that I have never mentioned on my blog and I thought that doing a monthly favourites post would enable me to include a lot more of these. Though, with this being said, sometimes I go through a phase where I do not incorporate anything new into my beauty regime and so I may skip a month or two from time to time if I have no products to talk about. Now, let's get on with talking about my favourite products that I have been using throughout October!

No7 Beautiful Skin Foaming Cleanser for Normal/Oily Skin - £9.00
As probably many of you beauty bloggers are aware, Boots more often than not have a deal on No7 skincare where by you get £5 off printed on a receipt when you buy any product in the entire store. So, I bit the bullet and decided to invest in a new cleanser. I have combination skin and get a fair few blemishes and so I wanted a product to control the oiliness of my skin. This product is great and I have been using it every day. It foams up nicely (hence the name of the product) and is gentle on my skin too. I have definitely noticed a difference in my skin as it is far less oily of late. I definitely recommend this product!

Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Dark Knight Waterl-oops!- £6.49

Whilst preparing for a Halloween night out clubbing with my friend Sarah, we decided we wanted to buy a really dark lipstick to go with our outfits. We browsed every stand in Boots for the darkest lipstick we could find and eventually came across this amazing, rich purple colour from Rimmel. Although this product has been around for years now, Rimmel have recently altered the formula of this lipstick and have added many different shades into the collection. This lipstick has since been advertised so much and it definitely lives up to the hype! The end result gave us extremely dark, vampy-looking lips that were still really moisturised - which is just what we were after. The only bad thing I have to say about this product as that it tends to bleed out of the lip line after a while which can look a little messy.

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat - £9.00
I am pretty late in terms of jumping onto the Seche Vite bandwagon, which is surprising seeing as I have been a huge nail varnish junkie for as long as I can remember. However, now that I have just completed a intensive three day nail course (as mentioned in my 'The Next Chapter Of My Life' blog post,)  I decided that I has best invest in some higher quality products. Now that I will be working on clients, I wanted a top coat that makes a manicure last as long as possible for optimum results. So far, I am loving using this product as it extremely chip-resistant with a super glossy finish.

Eylure Katy Perry Eyelashes in Cool Kitty - £5.95
Seeing as my natural eyelashes are quite short and sparse, I love to wear fake ones on a night out to really make my eyes stand out. I really like the effect that these particular lashes give, as they fan out at the end into slight points at the end that look gorgeous when applied. The pair I used to use religiously before these were released are the Girls Aloud Nadine lashes, (also made by Eylure,) which are pretty much exactly the same but for some reason I prefer these ones by a mile. I would also recommend the 'Oh Honey' lashes from the Katy Perry Range if you are looking for a slightly more natural finish. (Disclaimer: I am aware that my photo does not show the lashes as mine were a little mangled and I had to throw them out. However, I have put a link above if you wanted to see what they actually look like!)

Nivea Vanilla & Macadamia Nut Lip Butter - £2.25
I am going to keep this review short and sweet as I have recently spoken about this product in my 'Boots 3 For 2 Lipcare' blog post. All I want to say about this product is that I am absolutely addicted to the scent, vanilla and macadamia but is such a great combination! I love slathering this product on before going to bed at night and waking up in the morning with lovely, soft lips as the formulation of this lip butter is really thick and creamy. This is a must-have, affordable product for any girls handbag for keeping your lips hydrated on the go! 

Paul Mitchell Freeze and Shine Super Spray (500ml) - £18.25
Last but not least is this amazing hairspray from Paul Mitchell. For years now, both me and my Mum have been using this product to keep our styled hair in place all day long. This hairspray has an incredibly firm hold without making your hair feel crispy or hard, which the majority of lower-end hairsprays tend to do if you are not careful. As I have fine hair that is prone to dropping, this product is perfect for me as I curl my hair the majority of the time. Although this hairspray is pretty pricey, it lasts for absolutely ages and in my opinion, is definitely worth the money! 

I hope you have all enjoyed reading about my monthly favourites for October. I would love to know what your most-loved products have been this month, so please do not hesitate to leave a comment below :) 

Friday, 25 October 2013

My First Autumn Inspired Makeover


Hi guys! The other day, I had a serious brain storm about some new things that I wanted to try out on my blog and makeovers is one of them. So, I roped in my good friend Lucy to be my model for the afternoon. As Lucy usually wears minimal makeup (eyeliner and some mascara,) I thought she would be the perfect candidate for me to transform. Seeing as we are now well into autumn here in the UK, I wanted to reflect this with the look that I created. So, without any further ado, here is how I achieved the end result.


Seeing as Lucy has never worn foundation before, her skin is in amazing condition due to the fact that it is never clogged up with products. So, I used Maybelline's Dream Fresh BB Cream in Light rather sparingly to simply even out her skin tone a little. A light BB cream like this one is definitely all the coverage that she needs, as a foundation would be too heavy, which in this case is unnecessary.

Next, I primed Lucy's eyes with Benefit's Stay Don't Stray Eyeshadow Primer to ensure that any eye products I used on her would not budge or slide off throughout the day. I wanted to keep the eye area quite neutral in colour as I wanted the main focus of this autumn inspired look to be the lips. So, I chose Clinique's Eyeshadow Duo in Beach Plum and used the lightest colour of the two, which is a shimmery champagne colour, and swept it across the entire lid. Then, I continued to line the lash line with Rimmel's Exaggerate Eyeliner in Black bringing the product out into a subtle, cat-eye flick. To finish off the eyes, I applied lashings of Benefit's They're Real Mascara in Black to really make Lucy's eyes stand out.

Afterwards, I then went back and applied Rimmel's Wake Me Up Concealer in Ivory to brighten up Lucy's under eye area. The reason I did this after applying all of her eye make-up was in case of any fall out the eyeshadow may have caused, as it contained a lot of glitter which could have fallen down onto her face. Then, to set all of the cream based products I had used so far, I lightly dusted Rimmel's Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Translucent all over her face to set this and to also keep any shine or oiliness of the skin at bay. 

Next, I applied Rimmel's Blusher in Coral Rose  to the apples of Lucy's cheeks to give a little flush of colour. Please note that this blusher has since been discontinued by Rimmel still do a great variation of similar blushes such as 'Santa Rose' and 'Pink Rose.' The last of the facial products on used on Lucy is Soap & Glory's Glow All Out, which is a lovely luminising powder. I used this product on the tops of Lucy's cheekbones, the bridge of her nose and her brow bone to accentuate the high points of her face and to give the illusion of healthy, glowing skin. 

Finally, to finish off the look, I applied Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stain in Crush to Lucy's lips. This lip stain is the perfect product to use for an autumn inspired make-up look as the gorgeous deep red/berry shade is very 'in' and is a trend that we see every year. At first, Lucy was extremely dubious of having such a bold lip because as mention, her usual look is very minimal. However, the colour looks amazing on her and she has since bought this product as she loved it so much!

I hope that you all enjoyed my first makeover/tutorial-style type post. I was really pleased with the end result and I am sure you will all agree that Lucy looked beautiful! If you would like me to do more posts like this, then please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below as I really loved making it! Thank you :)

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

My Favourite Autumn/Winter Outfit

Hi guys! Now that we are well into autumn/winter here in the UK, it is very hard to decide on what to wear as the weather can be so temperamental. One minute it can be freezing cold and the next, mild and sunny. With that in mind, I thought that today I would share with you one of my favourite outfits to wear at the moment. I haven't done a fashion related blog post in quite a while now and so I thought that it would be a nice change! 

Here is a list of what I am wearing. If the items are still available in store or online, I will link them below.

Beanie hat: H&M
Denim jacket: Topshop
Necklace: New Look
Crop top: Topshop
Disco pants: Missguided
Shoes: Converse 

I hope that you have enjoyed this post and that it has given you some inspiration as to what to wear in the up and coming months. Please let me know if you would like me to do more fashion-related posts as I really enjoy making them. Thank you :)