the round-up: january

Friday, January 31, 2014
I thought it'd be a good idea if I were to round up the most-viewed posts of this month. I'm hoping to make this a monthly feature and it'll give you a basic run down of what's been popular on the blog that month. This month, all posts were beauty related (what a surprise - you're all beauty-mad!) but I'm hoping that lifestyle posts will pop up a bit more here as I'm trying to put in as many of those as I can!

La Roche-Posay Effeclar Duo // Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm // Burts Bees Essential Kit // Essie 2013 Winter Collection // NARS Sheer Glow
This month has really been quite a strange one for me in blogging-terms. I managed to post everyday which is a huge achievement for me and I didn't run out of things to post! The craziest thing about this month was how my La Roche-Posay Effeclar Duo got almost one thousand, five hundred views in one month. You guys seemed to love it! It's been my most-viewed post of all time and it's one that I really loved writing.

You also loved my review on the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm... The only thing I hate about this is the name - it's ridculously long but has worked wonders on my skin! I've been loving using it on my face and neck for a really nice, deep cleanse. The Burts Bees Essential Kit also went down rather well and it's one of my favourite Christmas presents. I also shared the pits and peaks of the Essie 2013 Winter Collection - something which the majority of you seemed to own and love yourselves. Finally was the NARS Sheer Glow review. Again, I guessed that you liked it as much as I wrote it. One of my holy-grail foundations and my go-to for covering up this horrible Winter skin!


things that make me happy

Life has been pretty poopy at the moment. I think I was definitely kidding myself when I thought 2014 would be "my year". If this is has supposed to have been "my year" up to now, I'm dreading the other 11 months. All of this doom and gloom has inspired me to try and be more positive (that, plus I have a new camera and it's almost my birthday!) so it'd be good to note things that make me happy.

I always have a cute notebook to hand to write down my extensive trains of thought. That, plus the hundreds of lists I have running around in my mind so I thought it'd be good to write some lists on the blog. The first thing that made me happy this week is this photo I took of Meenie today. We recently got into the habit of buying fresh flowers to brighten up our front room and Meenie loves them. She loves dancing around the windowsill, looking at the dogs and cars passing by. We put the flowers here and this photo looks like she's smelling the flowers - I couldn't resist sharing it with you all. It's hilarious!

The second thing that made me happy this week was my new camera! I recently got a Canon 600D as an early birthday present. My dad and I went to pick it up and even though he tried to keep it a secret from me, I found out! I've been loving taking photos with it - after using an iPhone camera for over a year it's hard to adjust to all of the different buttons! I am only able to take a maximum of 50 photos because of my silly memory card, but I've been loving playing around with it.

Finally is being in bed by 9pm. I'm an early bird and practically live by the phrase, "the early bird catches the worm". I love being in bed early, especially when I'm equipped with a cup of The Best Coffee EVER, a sleepy kitty and my laptop. To me, blogging is best when relaxed. This is when I plan and schedule the majority of my posts. Plus, my creativity also seems to strike at night!


january favourites

Thursday, January 30, 2014
It's that time of the month again where January Favourites are on the agenda. This month was a good makeup month for me, what with all of the January sales and Christmas presents. I've been trialing out my fair share of new makeup products, skincare genius' and even candle scents. In the beauty world, it's been a good month.

First of all I have not one, not two, but three MAC products in the line up this month. I have included my Harmony blush as my perfect contour colour. I got this about three months ago and have been using it practically everyday for either a contoured, sculpted face or just an all-over bronzed glow. I mentioned in my New Years Resolutions post that I'm attempting to master the art of contouring and this little beauty is definitely helping me get there, slowly but surely!

The second and third products are both eyeshadows that if I saw them on the counter, I'd think "heck no, what are those colours about?!" but I gave them a whirl and look where they've ended up. Everyone recommended Sumptuous Olive and although it looks like a moudly green, it actually is a lovely golden shade that I've been loving to wear all over my lid. We also have Wedge, which I initially thought was a neither-here-nor-there shade but because I'm so pale, it looks amazing worked into my crease! This little trick has been my go-to makeup look throughout January. If you'd like to see what it looks like, give me a shout!

Next is my current go-to foundation. NARS Sheer Glow was a product that I reviewed here but in a nutshell, it's a gorgeous medium to full coverage that I've been enjoying wearing this month. Although the name is slightly misleading (it's not sheer and it has a tiny hint of glowiness!), I've also been getting compliments on how good my skin looks. It's brilliant! Finally is Beyonce's new album. My favourites on the album have to be Drunk in Love, Partition and Jealous. On second thought, they're all amazing.


the best coffee EVER

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
On the blog today we've got a cracking new little remedy that'll make you feel all fuzzy inside. What I'm talking about is what I tend to find myself calling "The Best Coffee EVER" and I couldn't rephrase it any other way. You could call it just a Vanilla coffee, but you have to admit that my re-title sounds much better. This has been my go-to drink over Winter, and if you drink it, you'll find out why.

To make this lovely little concoction, first you'll need to put the kettle on and pour a little hot water into your mug. Of course, you can use any mug of choice but I'm using my adorable little cat mug. It seriously is becoming an obsession. Once you've added your coffee to the hot water, add a few teaspoons of this gorgeous Vanilla syrup by Monin. If you're a Costa lover like me, you may notice this looks quite familiar. I bought mine from Morrisons and I've barely used any up yet. Once you've added your milk, you're done! There we have it, simple as that. You've made the best coffee EVER. PS: It tastes much better with no makeup and bed-heads.


winter warmers

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Now that Winter is well on it's way, the coughs and colds are in full swing. I've fallen victim to the cold already, so I've just snapped a few things that help me feel better! I also recently got my new camera so it's good ol' excuse to have a play around with it! It's a Canon 600D if anyone's wondering, just with the kit lens. I'm loving it so much so far, I've named it my "big girl camera".

I've been practically living off hot chocolates with squirty cream and marshmellows. If you're a follower of my Instagram account, you'll know how much I love the things. This adorable cat cup has been my mug of choice - my cat obsession is rapidly spiraling out of control. On my nails I've been wearing Essie's Shearling Darling from their Winter 2013 Collection. Oh, I couldn't not add in a bit of Beyonce. My mum and I are going to see her in concert next month and I'm ridiculously excited!


nars sheer glow

Monday, January 27, 2014
After running out of my beloved MAC Studio Fix, I thought it was about time to step of my foundation comfort zone and try something a bit different. I'm a full coverage kinda girl, and if you've never seen a review on this before, a) where the hell have you been? and b) the name is totally wrong - it's not sheer, and it's not really so glowy; two things that I love in a foundation.

I bought this online so was quite unsure about what shade would suit me best. I eventually settled on Mont Blanc or Light 2 and although a little too dark for me, it looks absolutely fine when blended in and down my neck. I've been getting a few compliments on how my skin looks when I'm wearing this - nothing that I got from wearing Studio Fix. It's definitely a medium coverage foundation that's really easy to build up to cover redness and any small problem areas.

It's very pricey for a foundation and it really bugs me that high-end brands do not supply pumps with the foundation. Isn't £30 enough without paying an extra fiver for a pump?! I still use concealer and this works better than Studio Fix on my dry patches. I also don't find it to be overly heavy and although it doesn't contain any SPF, it is an amazing foundation and well worth the hefty price tag!

Have you tried this? What's your favourite full coverage foundation?


this week #7

Sunday, January 26, 2014
I still can't believe it's almost February! February is one of my favourite months of the year - there's my birthday on the first, snow and the Beyonce concert on the 25th! I can't wait :). For the seventh time (how has it gone by so quickly?!) here is my week in photos...

Firmoo sunglasses // Yummy hot chocolate // Meenie finally stayed still for a photo! // NARS Sheer Glow // UD Primer Potion
Watch of the Week // Zoe and Tanya's video of baking macaroons. I love both of their Youtube channels and they both seem like such lovely ladies. The Lemon Drizzle cake on Tanya's channel looks absolutely delicious - I definitely need to crack my baking skills up a notch and have a go at that!

Read of the Week // A Beautiful Mess' post on Scrapbooking for beginners. Scrapbooking is something that I've always wanted to do but never actually gotten round to doing it. Elsie who wrote this post a) is an amazingly creative person and b) has almost the same name as me. Her photography is stunning as always and also gives you tips about sizing, layout and photography. Definitely a must-read if you're one of the creative bunch!


sighh pocket mirrors

Saturday, January 25, 2014
After following Polly on Instagram after seeing her amazing drawings, I couldn't resist buying some of the items from her online shop, Sighh Designs. Polly is such an amazing artist that sells these cute pocket mirrors and even phone cases - all of which are really well priced and are really high quality! I bought myself and my mum one - she'll love to have one in her handbag!

POCKET MIRRORS - £1.90 - £3
As with all of the products in the shop, they're so beautifully designed and I could easily spend hours looking at her drawings - she's such an amazing artist. The pocket mirrors range from £1.90 to £3 which is so amazing for the quality. My only fault with this product is the design - if I was to put this in my handbag or makeup bag, the mirror would get dirty so quickly as it hasn't got a cover. However, it's easy to find due to the design!

Polly also sells amazing iPhone cases on her online shop - I'm currently eyeing up her white floral case.


winter fashion inspiration

Friday, January 24, 2014
Pinterest. The place where every woman and their dog (or kitten, in my case) go for a bit of inspiration, whether that be for their style, diy ideas or even their hair. Today, my little mood board is based around winter fashion, as you'll be able to tell by the title of this post. Chunky knits, choppy hair - you'll find it all here! All images are from my Pinterest board, Fashion.
Image sources
There's just something so satisfying about pairing chunky knits with a nice hat and messy hair. That's been my go-to look over the past few months. It's practical, cosy and looks good, too. I've also been getting more into my jeans recently - I'm a leggings girl. I much prefer the comfiness of leggings but after finding the perfect pair of Topshop Joni jeans, I've been enjoying looking at what to pair it with. I just couldn't resist adding in this coat... It's beautiful. If you know of any that look like this, give me a shout!


daily essentials

Thursday, January 23, 2014
It's all well and good sitting here and talking about my favourite (or not so favourite) makeup and skincare products, but it's not that often I get to sit and talk about what I depend on a daily basis. Of course, my skincare routine (which is coming up soon, I promise!) could factor into the "daily essential" category, but I thought I'd save the nitty gritty of that for a later date.

I don't plan on changing these up any time soon so I thought it'd be a nice, different post for you to read. First of all I have my deodrant - every girl needs a deodrant. My weapon of choice is the Sanex Extra Control because it smells good and it sensitive on the skin. It's also very cheap, too.  As for shampoo and conditioner, I love the Aussie Miracle Moist range. All Aussie products smell absolutely devine and this one is specifically designed for dry/damaged hair. I recently had my hair ombred (you can see it here) so this is what I've been using to keep them from going brassy.

This Models Own nail file is something that I use almost every night in bed. I keep this on my bedside table and give my nails a quick file whilst I'm watching TV! I also love to use the Simple Kind To Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser. Again, this is cheap, chirpy and my skin seems to love it... You can't go wrong with a good moistuiser. I also use my Lush Sweet Lips lip scrub to exfoliate my lips as 9 times out of 10, I'll be wearing a lipstick. Finally is my Burts Bees Almond Milk and Honey hand cream. My hands tend to get really dry, especially in Winter, and this handy pot (no pun intended) is very useful to have nearby.

What are your daily essentials?


urban decay naked palette

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Ahh, the Naked palette. Finally, I've gotten the product myself to give you a review on it! One of the best things about it is you can create anything from a natural everyday look to a night time/party look using one single palette. It's a genius! This (plus UD's Primer Potion and eyeliner) has been the only thing I've been using on my lids for a whole month!

I'm sure you've seen a million and one reviews on this stating about how amazing this palette, and I'm gonna reinforce this into another review - it's too good not to have over here on the blog. On the formulation front, there's a minor issue with fall out but they're amazing to blend and create a really simple smokey eye. Every colour is super pigmented and really useful - I've used every single shade.

The palette comes with a flat eye shadow brush that I use to push eye shadow over the Primer Potion as a base colour. I've no problems with the brush and the only fault that I've found other than fall out is the packaging - it gets dirty so easily. Like, ridiculously easy. If you want to keep it in pristine condition, keep it away from all of your other makeup items as the suede is a pain to clean!

One of my favourite combinations is; Sin all over the lid with Naked in the outer half and Hustle in the outer V/lower lash line. Essentially, it's just a super easy smokey eye. You can also add Nylon (by MAC) in the inner tear duct/brow bone as a highlighter. Done, a smokey eye that's done in a matter of minutes!

What's your favourite combination?


urban decay primer potion

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
The one thing a girl always needs is a good eye shadow primer. Nobody's really a fan of the look where your eye shadow sits in lines on your lids (but if that's you're kinda thing, go for it!) so a good primer is something that's always good to have close to hand. My pick of choice is Urban Decay's Primer Potion. If you're a Naked palette lover, you'll probably have had a small bottle of this come with it as an accomplice - this has where mine has come from!

 The Primer Potion applies as a nude coloured liquid with a creamy consistency but dries clear. It evens out the pigmentation on my lids and lets me start eye makeup with a blank canvas. The doe-foot applicator is really easy to use to apply product to the lid and I just blend it up to my brow using my ring finger. It keeps my eye shadow in the same place all day with no problems at all. I also tend to get oily eye lids but this works wonders for me so that's not a problem! Although you only get a small amount with the Naked Palette, you only need a teenie bit to do both eyes.

If you're spending money on good quality eyeshadows, I personally think that there's always a need for a primer. Who wants to spend all of their money on something that's not being used to their full potential? You can even buy the travel sized version for a mere £6 if you're just testing the waters!

What's your favourite primer?

Just a little side note - please will you sign this petition for cheaper holiday prices in school holidays. Every year, my mum goes crazy at the prices she has to pay to take us on holiday - it totals up to almost £500 extra because she can't take us out of school. Thank you!  She'll love you forever!

firmoo sunglasses

Monday, January 20, 2014
A few weeks back I was contacted by an online glasses store called Firmoo, asking if I'd like to try their glasses. I accepted having only one thing in mind... Sunglasses. I'm a girl - I love sunglasses, so the offer to try some out was definitely one that I happily accepted. I'm sensing that a few of you other lovely ladies love sunglasses too. Even though it's Winter now, it's good to have a good old pair of sunnies for when the sun decides to show it's face!

The glasses I ordered were just a plain black pair that look strikingly similar to the well-hyped up RayBans. I don't actually own a pair of RayBans - they're way too expensive for me, but at only $39 or £27 these are a real steal. Plus, whilst taking the photos of me wearing them it felt like Summer. Ahh, at least we can dream of the sun! They're so comfortable to wear which is something that the majority of my sunglasses lack. I have quite a small head and so they're usually too big, thus making it more uncomfortable but these don't bother me whatsoever!

The delivery was great and I have no issues with customer service or the glasses themselves. They have such a large range of glasses I was actually shocked when I first had a look! The glasses are made really sturdy and come in a lovely case with a free glass wipe. For the price, you actually do get a lot for your money - especially when you love the design of the glasses. You can also get free shipping with the code "FREEXSHIP".

            ♥                                                                                                        *this product was sent for PR review.

this week #6

Sunday, January 19, 2014
Yet again, another eventful week for me! This week saw yet another full week of blogging everyday. However difficult it is, it's done! I've also managed to rustle up a schedule from now until mid-February which even though sounds ages away, it sure does come round fast. For the sixth time, here is my week in photos...

Lush Snow Fairy // Meenie got accepted for kitten modelling! // NARS Sheer Glow // I love fresh flowers // H&M hats are the best // John Masters Organics Sea Mist // Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm

Read of the Week: Carin's blog, Paris in Four Months. PIFM is one of my all-time favourite blogs and Carin's photography is literally to die for. I love seeing the photos from her photoshoots with Nicole and I love the way she writes, also.

Product of the Week: NARS Sheer Glow! I finally bought this but even though it's a touch too dark for me, I can blend it in so it's not that noticeable. I've been wanting to try this foundation for such a long time and if you follow me on Twitter, you'll know all about that! I can assure you that there will be a blog post on that up soon!