Monday, 27 July 2015

Life Lately #1

Last year, I started doing a monthly Instagram update but I soon decided to end the series as the posts were not very popular. However, after putting in so much time and effort into developing my blog over the past 2 years or so, I realised that it's not all about the view counts and comments! My blog is a place for me to express myself, as well as talk about beauty & fashion. As I do not own a diary that I write in, I thought that it would be a nice idea to occasionally share my favourite photos with you all and talk about my life every now and again! If you would like to keep up-to-date inbetween these new 'Life Lately' posts, feel free to my follow me on Instagram here. Anyway, here's what I have been up to in the last two months!

1. One of my best friends got engaged!!! Chloe and Jake have been together since they were 15 years old and they are the most cute & loved-up couple ever. At the end of May, they had a lovely engagement party in a local hall that even had a really fun photo booth complete with hilarious props!

2. My friend Charlotte had a Disney themed birthday party and I went as Alice in Wonderland. I managed to get this adorable outfit off of eBay for just £9.99! I paired it with a pair of white frilly socks and my Primark flatforms.

3. On the 28th of May, I turned 21! My parents, my boyfriend Kieran and I decided to have a fun day out at Colchester Zoo (which I blogged about here.) I had a really lovely and relaxed day walking around and seeing all of the different animals. A few of my favourites were the penguins and the red pandas.

4. Here are some of the wonderful birthday presents that I received. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world! My gifts included a Pandora ring, some NARS make-up, a new hair curler, some Lush goodies, new underwear and the first two seasons of Pretty Little Liars on DVD.

5. At the beginning of July, it was my friend Harriet's birthday - whom I have knownfor most of my life! We all had a lovely evening drinking cocktails and taking numerous selfies before heading out to ASK Italian for a yummy meal.

6. As I am at home a lot of the time, I am always looking after my dog Sasha so I just had to throw a photo of her into the mix! She is almost 8 years old and she is the most gorgeous Husky-Labrador cross ever!

7. As we have had some lovely weather here lately (ignoring the past week or so,) me and Kieran have been making the most of it! We have visited our local beer garden a couple of times and it is so gorgeous there. I normally order a Malibu & Coke but this time I ordered a summery cocktail - a strawberry daiquiri.

8. On the 11th, it was also Kieran's 21st birthday! We didn't make any major plans as he was due to fly out to Ibiza with his friends later that evening but we did go out for a delicious brunch with his family at a local tea room.

9. Last but not least, I treated myself to a night on the town with my friend Sarah a week or so again. We had so much fun getting ready together and we spent absolutely yonks on our make-up; contouring, smokey eyes... the lot! We danced the night away and had a really great evening, which is exactly what I needed as I was missing my boyfriend who was still in Ibiza.

So, that is my 'life lately.' I hope you enjoyed having a little catch-up with and seeing what I have been up to between the months of May to July. Be sure to check back soon for the next update!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

My Sephora Wishlist: Contour

Hi guys, I hope that you're all having a wonderful weekend so far and welcome back to the fifth part of my 'Sephora Wishlist' series! I first started this series a few months back when I realised how much I loved trawling the Sephora site, even though I live in the UK where we do not actually have Sephora stores. I have chosen to focus on contouring for this installment of the series as I have been obsessed with using my NARS bronzer to chisel out my cheekbones at the moment! Some may say that contouring is a trend that is on its way out due to the new 'strobing' obsession that is slowly filtering in but I believe that it is well and truly here to stay! So with that in mind, here are some contouring product that are firmly on my wishlist;

Furthermore, I have heard such great things about some of the items featured above. Out of all of them, I think the products I would like to own most are the Smashbox sticks or the cult Anastasia palette! Do you like the contouring trend? What are your favourite products to use to achieve a perfectly chiseled look? Let me know your recommendations by leaving a comment down below! 

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

I Won A Competition!

If any of you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen that last Thursday I won a competition courtesy of the amazing Katie Snooks. I almost fell off of my chair when I received the tweet saying that I was the winner! A few weeks ago, I entered a competition via this video of Katie's to win a £100 voucher to spend on the Feel Unique website - I honestly feel so lucky to have received such an amazing prize and I immediately hopped onto the website to browse at all of the amazing items that I could potentially pop into my basket! I am predominantly a drugstore girl as my budget is usually pretty small. so I cannot tell you how excited I was to be able to pick some more luxurious products for myself!

 My delivery arrived yesterday morning and I thought that I would quickly show all of you what I ended up choosing. Of course, I haven't tried out any of the products yet (aside from the lip balm,) so I will be sure to write up a few in-depth reviews in due course! Although, I am sure that I am going to be obsessed with and love all of them. So, without rambling on for too long, here are the items that I chose:

Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturiser
I have always wanted to try something from Origins and I am really getting into my skincare lately! I have heard such great things about this moisturiser, so I am really looking forward to trying it out.

Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in Moonspoon
Another thing that I have really gotten into in the last six months or so is eyeshadow. I love experimenting with different looks and I thought that this gorgeous, ultra-sparkly silver shadow would be a great addition to my collection - I bet it will look amazing for night time looks!

NUXE Reve de Miel Lip Balm
I have never really been fussy when it comes to lip balm, I love what most high street brands have to offer but I have heard from so many people that this NUXE product is amazing! I'm really interested to see how well this conditions my lips.

Sigma E40 Tapered Blending Brush
I have been seriously lacking in the eyeshadow brush department. I have a few Real Techniques one that I use religiously, however, I thought that this one from Sigma would be a great fluffy blending brush to add to my collection!

Clinique Cheek Pop Blusher in Heather Pop
My beloved Rimmel blusher has hit pan and so I definitely knew that I wanted to try out a new one. I have seen so many reviews saying the the formula of the Cheek Pop range is outstanding, so I picked up 'Heather Pop' - a gorgeous cool toned pink shade.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in Nude In Private
I have always wanted to own a YSL lipstick for as long as I can remember and so this is actually the very first thing that I popped into my basket. I opted for a nude-y pink shade with a subtle shimmer running through it to ensure that I could wear it both day and night. Plus, the packaging is going to look amazing in my acrylic lipstick storage!

So, those are the six items that I managed to pick up using the voucher code that Katie gave me. Again, I feel so incredibly lucky to have won such an incredible prize and I cannot wait to start using all of my new goodies! What would you purchase if you had £100 to spend on Feel Unique? Let me know, as always, by leaving a comment down below!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Tried & Tested: Cocoa Brown's 1 Hour Tan

Up until recently, I haven't been the biggest lover and fake tan but this summer I have completely changed my mind! I have always been quite a scaredy-cat when it comes to self-tanner as I always dreaded getting the application process wrong and ending up looking like an oompa loompa or an extra on TOWIE... until now! Don't get me wrong, I did used to apply a gradual tanning lotion from to time if it was a special occasion and that worked okay for a while. I even blogged about my love affair with Garnier's Summer Body here last year. However, over time, I found that the results were no longer what I wanted! I desired a deeper and more long-lasting colour, so that's when I switched over to the Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan (£7.99) by Marissa Carter.

I had always seen fabulous reviews of this product from other bloggers and so I really wanted to try it out for myself. I really liked the idea that I didn't have to sleep in this product overnight, especially as it has been so hot and humid here in the UK lately - I was constantly stuck to my bed sheets whilst applying the Garnier lotion! Now that I've tried this accelerated formula, I really cannot imagine myself going back to be honest! I love how you can leave the mousse on your skin for 1-3 hours depending on how light or dark you want your tan to be. Then, all you have to do is hop into the shower and rinse your body off without any shower gel or wash - it really is as simple as that! On average, I leave mine on for an hour and a half as I am fair-haired and I don't want it to look too unnatural.

Of course, I go through the same process with this tan as any other brand. I shave, exfoliate with a body scrub and apply a light layer of lotion to any areas that are prone to going patchy - my hands, elbows, knees, ankles and feet. No matter what product you use, your prep process should always remain the same to ensure that you end up getting the best results possible!

Another thing that I love about this mousse is that it has an excellent olive-toned guide colour so that you can see which areas of your body you are covering as you go along. With this product, you are highly unlikely to miss anywhere and so far, my application has been perfect every single time. I have used this product three times already and I still have enough left to get one last application out of it, which in my eyes is great value for money considering it's very affordable price tag! As well as this, Cocoa Brown doesn't have the usual biscuit-like smell that most self-tanners do. In fact, it has a floral gardenia scent instead which is a lot more pleasing!

Overall, so far I am obsessed with this fake tan and I will definitely repurchase another bottle as soon as my current one runs out. Unfortunately, I couldn't get any good before and after photos to show you how well the product actually works but rest assured you will be brown every single time, not orange! I hope that this review has been helpful to you if you were thinking about trying out this tan for the first time. However, if you have used this tan before, what did you think of it? What is your all-time favourite tanning product? Please give me your feedback and recommendatinos by popping a comment down below!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

How I Relieve Stress & Anxiety

Over the past few days, my anxiety has flared up drastically and ever since Sunday evening, I have been doing everything in my power to keep myself feeling relaxed and calm. It hasn't been easy... I mean, heck, I have been crying on and off for days! However, I have found a few techniques that have been working really well for me. Although lifestyle posts are not my usual thing (I usually post one every few months or so,) this topic means an awful lot to me as I have suffered with both anxiety & depression for years now and so I thought that I would hop online & share a few of my tips with you all. I hope that you find them helpful!

1. Colouring
Adult colouring books have become all the rage this year and I have well & truly jumped on that bandwagon. I honestly do believe that doing something creative can give you something else to focus on your attention on - plus, its pretty fun too! The two books I currently own and am working my way through are Millie Marotta's Animal Kingdom and the Zen Colouring Advanced Art Therapy book - which I strangely couldn't find online! Concentrating on such a simple task is really helping me to pass the time and I am really enjoying experimenting with lots of different colour palettes too.

2. Apps
I had used a few apps in the past but have never used them on a regular basis. However, I have re-downloaded a couple to help me through this difficult period that I'm having. There are so many apps out their that help you deal with stressful situations but my favourites are 'Calm' and 'Headspace.' I think it's really important to actually listen to your body and to your emotions rather than suppressing them and these apps allow me to do just that. Simply lying down or sitting somewhere quiet, listening to some relaxing sounds or going through a guided meditation is really helping me so far!

3. Lush baths
Last but not least, you can never go wrong with a good old-fashioned Lush bath. Pamper nights are one thing that I can always rely on to make me feel a little better. Using a bath bomb or taking the time out to give yourself a manicure may seem pretty trivial but I find it really useful. Different things definitely work for different people! I love how scents can relax me and a bubble bath can really make all the difference if you are feeling tense too!

A few extra tips:

- Listen to your body; make sure you are getting enough rest and are eating properly.
- Never be afraid to talk to your friends and family about how you are feeling.
- Take everything one step at a time, so that everything feels more manageable.
- Most importantly, be proud of yourself for getting through each day!

I hope that these tips may be helpful to some of you, as I am finding them to be quite useful for me this week! Hopefully I feel a lot brighter and less anxious soon! If you have any tip of your own, please feel free to share them with myself and other readers by leaving a comment down below :)

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Lush's 'Best Washes' Shower Sheet

My good friend Lucy bought me this amazing new product from Lush as part of my birthday present at the end of May and I am still waiting for the perfect time to use it (I'm thinking as part of a long pamper day this upcoming Sunday!) For those of you who may not already know, a little while ago Lush opened a brand new three-floor store on Oxford Street in London. Not only is it full of everybody's favourites such as The Comforter and Twilight but the store has hundreds of new and exclusive products too! There are some really innovative new items and you bet your bottom dollar that I have been watching a million YouTube haul videos seeing what cool and exciting things other people have been buying on their trips there!

One new product range that caught my friends eye whilst she was there were shower sheets. The concept behind these little sheets of goodness is that you can simply tear a piece off, wet it and lather it all over your body like you would a body wash or shower gel. I personally think that the idea is genius and I can imagine that they would be a great thing to travel with as they are very light and small in size!

The sheet that Lucy chose to buy me was 'Best Washes,' a vivid pink shower sheet that smells exactly like 'Snow Fairy' - one of Lush's most infamous scents and best-selling shower gels at Christmas time! Although I haven't even used it yet, it smells absolutely divine and very sweet & sugary. I have heard that the sheets foam up really well and the scent lingers on your skin for a long time, so I'm excited to put these two aspects to the test! Unfortunately, as it was a gift, I am not sure how much each shower sheet costs but I'm sure that it will be just as affordable as most Lush items seem to be!

Overall, I am really excited to test this product out and I will be sure to report back on how I get on with it. Have you been to the Oxford Street store yet and if so, what did you pick up? What is your favourite Lush product? Let me know by leaving a comment down below!

Saturday, 4 July 2015

My Sephora Wishlist: Highlighters

Hi guys! Welcome back to the fourth installment of my 'Sephora Wishlist' series. For those of you who do not know, I started this series on my blog a few months ago after browsing their website for hours on end wishing that I lived in America or another European country that actually had Sephora stores! Of course they do now luckily ship to the UK but let's face it, the postage and packaging is really not worth it unless you buy a tonne of products in one go! In case you missed my other three posts in the series, here are the links to the previous three categories I have feautured so far; lips, eyes and blush.

Over the past year or so, I have become absolutely obsessed with highlighters and how they make my skin look. I always feel so pretty and glowy when I wear them! So, it was no question that I had to create this wishlist next. So, here are the eight luminising products that I would love to own!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette / Buxom Divine Goddess Luminizer / Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder CompactJosie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizing Wand / Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight / Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector /  Bobbi Brown Shimmer BrickJosie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizing Veil

So, those are the highlighters that I am currently lusting after! Hopefully I will be able to add one or two of them to my collection in the future. What is your all-time favourite highlighting product? Do you own any of the aforementioned highlights? Please let me know, as always, by leaving a comment down below!