A Little Lush Haul

Online shopping is a killer. Not only do I go crazy in Mac, Lush always gets a fair bit of money too. I bought most of these as gifts anyway (she says if she can bear to part with them) so it's all okay. I just need to restrain myself from doing another haul before Christmas... Also apologies if you know me, read my blog and recieve one of these for Christmas.. Surprise!

Celestial Moisturiser
To put it simply, I needed a new moisturiser. I read the reviews on this one and I splashed some cash. The ingredients all seem healthy and most important rejuvinating which is what I need for my face right now. I have yet to try it but when I do I will probably rave about it for the whole of 2015.

I mostly bought this because they looked cute and they are such good value for money. I actually managed to add three to the basket (oops) but I can't stress how sweet and easy these are as gifts. Plus, anything with cocoa butter is a must.

D'Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap
Having suffered a few accidental shaving cuts recently (most of which bled for ages and will most definitely scar), I was on a mission to find a foolproof shaving soap. I also cannot explain how amazing it smells. It can be used everywhere and just leaves my skin clean and cut free.

Think Pink
Another, great value for money type of product. The smell is incredible. Vanilla and tonka. It makes the bath water all pink too so that's fun!

Ugh, just the best bath bomb ever. Don't be fooled by the plain white look, it's so unbelivably good. It's nourishing and most of all relaxing and a butterball bath is heaven after a stressful week. Paying £2.65 doesn't break the bank either.

I genuinely love the design of this one. A lavendery/caramelly odd scent, but a relaxing one none the less. It claims to help with sleep so I really want to try this as I have been so worked up recently.

Cosmetic Warrior Mask
I have wanted to try this for soooooo long. A mask that claims to help with acne? Yes please. My acne needs to be calmed down. I'm forever trying this sort of thing with very minimal results so I'll let you know how I get on with this one in the long run.

Space Girl
A fun, easy, really colourful bath bomb. It's just uplifting and smells out of this world if you pardon the space themed pun.

This purely just reminds me of all things autumnal/wintery. It's reminiscent of a roaring fire and the heat and warmth when you've been in the cold. It's so vibrant and firery.

What Lush products do you reccommend I try next?

REVIEW: Neutrogena Grapefruit Skincare

I love the fresh, smooth feeling you get after washing your face properly. Due to the fact I have very sensitive, tempermental and acne prone skin, a simple range like Neutrogena is brilliant for me. I love any product that does it's job well and the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit range does just that. 

The scrub isn't harsh and rough on the skin, it's a gentle cleanse that feels fine and not like rubbing rock salt on your face. It's good at replenishing my skin and it certainly keeps it clean. I remember in my early teenage years when I scrubbed my face to death, thinking it was the soloution to my spots when infact I probably made it worse. There is no danger of over scrubbing here because it's gentle and soothing and effectively 'does what it says on the tin'.

The wash is certainly 'uplifting'. In the morning, once I've forced myself out of bed and dragged myself to the bathroom, the scent of grapefruit in both products helps to wake me up. It's so sweet and sugary but not at all a sickly scent. It's not drying or sticky either. My skin looks fresher and glowy after I've used these products and it certainly does good too. In short, I love both of these products because they never break me out and they do the job amazingly. They both last me a few months at a time plus, the price tag is friendly at just under £5 for each product.

What's your favourite daily face wash/scrub?

REVIEW: Nars Sheer Glow

Wow. Things have been insane, I haven't had a moment to breathe. I seem to have the issue that I can never say 'no' to things so, I've agreed to do countless other things that people ask me to do. Anywho, I found an hour or two for myself the other day and I took a trip to Bluewater with my Mum and brother to purchase this product that I'm sure you've heard of.

When people ask me about my skin, I panic. Among friends, I have been dubbed the 'queen of concealing' however, it took a few disappointing products to get there. Covering up my blemishes has become an everyday task I just deal with but under a layer of well blended foundation and concealer is a far from perfect canvas. I put my good, 'glowy' looking finish down to my holy grail foundation. And that foundation, ladies and gentlemen is Nars Sheer Glow. I found an hour or two for myself a few months ago and I took a trip to Bluewater to purchase this product that I'm sure anyone with a slight beauty interest (or is friends with me) has heard of.

Yes, I'm late with the Sheer Glow craze and I apologise. Since I'd heard of this product and the legends that surround it, I wanted to try it. The fact that it's a 'holy grail' foundation for many people suggests that it's worth the hype. I won't bore you with the details, you've heard it all before but, I really love Sheer Glow. I'm just so happy with it. The Nars counter lady tested me with two of the shades but actually we both decided on the same one, 'Santa Fe'.

Described as a 'glowing, natural radiant finish foundation with sheer and buildable coverage that immaculately evens skin tone', Sheer Glow ticks all the boxes. Nars also quotes that it hydrates skin and makes it 'more luminous, softer and smoother'. I agree with this almost completely and as it's the best foundation I've tried, I'm hesitant to complain about it.

The shade is lovely and compliments my skin very well. I have never really agreed with Mac foundation as it looks cakey and orange on me. This was my fear with Nars but it's the complete opposite. As well as this, there is no SPF which avoids the slimy look for flash photography. It looks natural on the skin and this is partly because it's easy to blend. The coverage is a great medium and could be built up to full coverage if needed. It glides on beautifully but still feels weightless which is an immediate pro for me. I absolutely love the coverage because a little goes a long way with this product. If I'm having a horrible skin day and I need a tad more coverage, I'm not wasting too much of the product. 

Nars suggests that the best method of application is with fingers and although I'm a bit of a germaphobe and prefer not to touch my face, it tends to be easier to work in with fingers. It certainly gives you a nicer finish but I also like to use my Real Techniques Buffing Brush to apply this foundation. I was actually surprised because the name is completely misleading. Whilst brilliant at covering blemishes, the foundation isn't sheer or glowy. A small amount of product hid my redness and acne scars effortlessly. I tend to stay away from shiny products so the word 'glow' worried me. But, it genuinely makes the skin look flawless, refreshed and alive.

With no added fragrance to suit normal and dry skin types, my temperamental skin loves it. However (and this is a common point made by many about the Sheer Glow) it tends to slightly cling to dry skin patches. I have learnt to control my dry skin so this isn't too much of an issue but, around my nose and eyebrows where I tend to get dryness, it highlights it. My only other reason for disappointment with this product is the bottle. Now the clean glass with the iconic Nars name is simplistically glamorous but the fact that you have to buy a pump separately is a bit silly. 

Being the most expensive single beauty product I've bought at £31, it's not kind to my credit card but 100% worth it. This is my new go-to foundation for everyday wear but, I recommend giving you skin a break from the full coverage once in a while. My biggest mission now is to force all my friends (especially those who read this blog) to save up for it and I may even have to take them all to Nars to get swatched!

Majorca Instagram Diary 2014

This post is a little overdue but, oh well. Now it's late it's more of a reminiscing post. This is quite obviously a shot out of my plane window a few minutes after leaving Gatwick.

The view from my hotel room was so beautiful. When it got late at night, I would just sit on the balcony listening to the waves, looking at the lights and people watching. It's such a calming memory for me.

My grandparents got up and started dancing. It made me very happy because they love each other so much.

Oh god bless the mojito. Mother of all poolside drinks and very, very yummy. I got through quite a few of these in the two weeks. Oops.

Most days were spent lounging lazily by the pool. The sky looks a bit moody here but it was still so hot and sticky. And yes, I tanned.

The first and last selfie of just myself on the holiday.I really love my kimono too so it was an opportunity to show that off. 

This place is so good! Water parks are just so great. My brother and I look forward to this day every year because the rides are just so fun (but not the queues so much).

One of my holiday reads this year was 'Before I Die' by Jenny Downham which really moved me because it's not quite a typical teenage cancer book. I enjoyed this a lot and recommend it to anyone who enjoys a little tear or two. 

The hotel we stayed in was so nice. I'm a bit of a neat-freak so I was really impressed by how clean and organised it was. The staff were lovely and I met some wonderful people.

My Mum gave me the confidence to get though my holiday despite my body worries. She is so very important to me and is probably going to comment on this post now. 

Profiteroles are just the best. I'd like to congratulate whoever invented them.

The view from the hotel top floor. Not as impressive but, you get an idea of how beautiful my favourite place is. The island is stunning. 

The stairs really confused us and seemed to go on forever. I'm so glad for elevators. Shout out to my brother in this shot.

On a catamaran (posh and stupid word for boat) with my feet hanging over the edge. This has no filter and the sea really is that perfect.

The lamp on our table at an outside restaurant on the coast. I don't know it just looked photogenic. 

A walk along the coast. 

Majorca honestly is such an amazing place and there is so much to do. It was such a great holiday as always. I'm already planning two for next year (thank god for that job, eh?). Where did you go on holiday this year?

My First MAC Lipstick: 'Fanfare'

I'm way too excited about this post. I went overboard to make it look pretty with fake flowers in the pictures and lots of colour but, in reality it's a little sad. It's sad in the sense that this is my first MAC lipstick because come on, everybody has one. I have just bought my first MAC lipstick to add to my big collection of lipsticks because for me, there is nothing like a good lippy.

You all know what the packaging looks like but I really was excited okay? It's probably a lot more exciting for me than you though..

I knew when I went into the shop that I wanted a Cremesheen finish because the countless reviews I'd read had made out that they would be the easiest and nicest to work with. It's pigmented well and glides on so nicely. The creamy texture is still very buildable but doesn't need a lot to higlight the lips. I. It's got great staying power, in my experience the colour stayed on for around 3/4 hours which is a relief considering how much I talk, drink and eat in the day. I wanted a colour that was wearable at all times of day and something that would work for school too. The staying power and light creamy shade is very durable and ticks all the boxes.

(This picture makes it look a lot darker than it is..) even though I'm pretty crap at this tone kinda thing, MAC describes Fanfare as a mid-tone yellow-pink. I'm not sure it's a very accurate description as it seems more of a medium pink-nude to me. As I say I don't really have a grasp on the undertones thing but it doesn't seem very yellow to me (sorry to the experts for me being clueless). 

Despite the rude overpricing of these lipsticks at £15.50 each, I absolutely adore this. I have a feeling I'll be wearing it all autumn along with a few cheaper, drugstore berry shades. Oh, the vanilla scent is also such a nice part of this product so despite the price I can't fault it. MAC lippies are worth the hype, trust me. What colours do you think I should try in the future?

My Top 5 Real Techniques Brushes

I am a big fan of Pixiwoo and more importantly the internet's favourite makeup brushes, the Real Techniques brushes. This isn't gonna be one of those generic posts about the collection, instead I'm going to do a little review on my 5 favourites.

Multi Task Brush
This is an 'it does what it says on the tin' kind of brush because it is great for several different things. I mainly use it for powder because it leaves such a lovely finish and makes sure all the powder has blended in completely. Occasionally I'll use it for blusher but I don't like mixing what I use the brush for. However, if you're a big bronzer fan and aren't afraid to use a big brush (because it is quite big) then this is great for that too.

Expert Face Brush
This is the first Real Techniques brush I ever bought and probably the one I use most. It works so well with so many foundations and helps to create a simply flawless base. It's so soft, easy to work with and leaves such a smooth looking finish. It's also brilliant with powder, ensuring a streak-free finish. This is my favourite makeup brush in my collection.

Pointed Foundation Brush
If I'm going heavier on the foundation or want more coverage, I'll grab this brush. It makes liquid foundation so easy to buff in and if I'm having an acne attack day, I'll use this to cover bigger blemishes because it works so well at keeping my makeup even. It's not thin and greasy like most foundation brushes, it stays fluffy and thick.

Detailer Brush
The detailer brush is one I use generally every time I do my makeup. It's dainty in a good way, allowing me to cover problem areas well. Dabbing a little concealer on a spot with this ensures long lasting results. I also use it to frame around my lips, nose and eyes because it's so precise.

Domed Shadow Brush
This is possibly the easiest to use and most effective eyeshadow brush I have ever used. It's oversized which doesn't sound like a good thing but actually allows you to get a much more even finish on your eyes. It's really useful for contouring your eyes too and is so silky that the products blend like a dream.

In conclusion, all Real Techniques brushes are incredibly soft, well-made and long lasting. All of them feel amazing when applying makeup and are 100% cruelty free. They are definitely worth the money will guarantee you a great face of make-up. What are your favourite make-up brushes?

Wish List: Summer 2014

My shopping list is huge at the moment and seeing as it's summer and this was a nice easy post to do before I hop on a plane to somewhere sunny. These are just 10 little things on my wishlist I wanted to share. I hope to make this a seasonal thing.

Seeing as I have most of the Real Techniques collection and I love all of the brushes so much but, I haven't used many sponges. I thought this would be a good product to try.

I have wanted one of these FOREVER and my friend Jess talked about hers in her new blog post. Despite being the most expensive thing in this list (not taking the refills into account) I think it'd be such a great thing to own.

To clean my brushes (possible future post idea?) I usually use baby shampoo and conditioner however, I want to test a real brush cleanser and see if it makes any difference to quality and seeing as it's MAC it looks good.

99% of all reviews online have a five-star rating and I really, really want it. I sound like a whinging five year old girl but I need something new to make my skin illuminated and glowy. It also claims to help with dryness and some reviews even mention help with acne so I am so eager to give this a try.

This is also really interesting because I want to think about a different way of taking my makeup off. I strongly dislike using makeup wipes because no matter how 'gentle' they claim to be, they really dry my skin out. I have been using cleansing water and I really like it but I think this'll be kinder to my skin because the reviews have been great.

Probably the most raved about gel-liner on the internet and I still haven't tried it. I have quite a shaky hand so we'll see how good I am with a gel-liner.

I used to have MAC Studio Finish concealer and when I splurged out in benefit recently I tried this product. It is pretty similar in consistency and stays put really well whilst feeling natural on the skin.

With Topshop's lipstick range being arguably one of the best on the high-street, I own 'Macaroon' and 'Ooh La La' I love how pigmented they are so I decided I want a brighter shade and 'All About Me' is such a durable colour.

After my friend Molly posted about her super cute organiser from Paperchase (which is one of the coolest shops ever) I knew I needed one too because who doesn't need more help being organised? I want to be one of those super cool sassy women who have it all together and know exactly what they're doing.

These are so cool! They're electronic candles that still have a scent. Seeing as my parents don't trust me with hot things (I'm always burning myself) these are such a great idea for me.

What's on your summer wishlist?

Little Tips To Feel Confident In Summer

Anxiety sucks. Yeah, some of us have it worse than others and as a person who deals with anxiety everyday, I know how difficult it can be to feel confident. I feel especially vulnerable when it's summer which is exactly the opposite of how one should feel when relaxing and enjoying the sun. As a person who struggles with my body image and self-esteem, I thought this would be helpful to anyone who needs that little boost on holiday or in the warmer months.

Try something new
It doesn't matter what. A new food, an activity, a new look. Any thing new helps with creativity and happiness. You will remember that time you went jet-skiing years later even if it was a disaster and you looked like an idiot!

Buy yourself something
For a girl, shopping is always a cure for the blues. But, treating yourself to a new lipstick or a cheesy shirt that you'll probably never wear again is an instant confidence booster. On holiday, you always take more money than you need so why not embrace the opportunity to get some souvenirs so you can remember this experience for years to come?

Wear a bright colour
This is a great rule I live by. Dressing in all black may look flattering and work well in the winter but in the summer you need a little vibrancy. Neons, brights and colours all look great in the summer and help spread positivity.

Remember other people
The truth is, if your body or appearance adds to your anxiety, you need to remind yourself that most people are feeling the same as you. As my Mum would say 'everyone has their hang ups'. Forget about that for a while, make a bikini body your idea of a bikini body. Be who you want to be.

Summer playlist
Build yourself a summer playlist full of positive vibes and energy. This has certainly helped me over these past few weeks. Songs that make you feel glad to be alive, songs from your favourite movies, songs that remind you of a happy time.

Sun, sun, sun
Getting a tan after a successful week or so of sunbathing is definitely something to be proud and confident about. Use plenty of sun protection and a good aftersun to avoid burning and peeling and you're good to go. And if you can't tan or just go pink and wrinkly, get a good natural spray tan that you can pass off as real. Plus, when you get home you can brag to all your friends about how amazingly glowy and bronzed you look even if it's a lie.

Make new friends
As a person who is brilliant at accidentally making friends abroad year after year, I can't tell you how much it helps me come out of my shell. Socialising and getting to know someone new can be a great way to have a laugh. Plus, if you manage to keep in contact you'll have a part of your holiday alter-ego that you haven't lost. A friend, nobody else knows or can take from you.

Create a new you
When ever my family holiday is coming up my Mum always reminds me of this simple fact. In a different place, nobody knows you. There's no grudges, no mistakes and nothing is permanent. You can create an alter-ego of yourself but a care-free and uber-confident version. Pretend to be that film star who walks around in massive sun-glasses all day. Pretend to be a Royal Princess visting the country in disguise. Pretend you're a secret spy sent here to save the world. Yes, it seems childish but it works. If you can pretend to be that amazing, powerful, influental person, you can be that person.

REVIEW: Soap & Glory Sugar Crush

If someone asked me what my favourite smell was, I'd usually say vanilla. But, right now Soap & Glory's Sugar Crush range is a strong competitor. It's heaven. It's just heavenly in a tub. I've always loved Soap & Glory's products. They all smell incredible and have great packaging. All the Soap & Glory products are fun and generally are amazing. 

Whilst different to the usual buttery scents the the brand like to stick to, the 'sweet lime' of this product's fragrance is so good. I understand that it's probably not to everyone's tastes but, it's fresh, invigorating and certainly helps wake me up in the morning. To me, it smells like sugar covered in lime juice. I'm a huge citrus fan so this is brilliant for me.

The body was has a great creamy consistency which is easy to lather and is really moisturising. The bottle quotes to have a 'skin softening omega-rich veggie oil' which helps to make the skin so much smoother. At £6.50 it's such great value for money because the bottle is so big and I think it'll last really long.

The body scrub smells the same obviously but contains actual sugar for exfoliation. It makes the product gritty but not too harsh which means it's not destroying your skin. Using it everyday could be damaging so I suggest a couple of times a week only. It washes off easily so there's no awkward scrub particles sitting on your skin after a shower. The scrub is £8.00 which I don't mind paying because I adore this product.

Overall I'm so pleased with these products. If I were you, and if you know you're fussy, I'd smell the products before you buy them because it's a bit of an acquired  smell that might not be everyone's cup of tea. Do you love Soap & Glory products? 

My Holiday Makeup Bag 2014

I guess this is similar to a 'What's In My Makeup Bag?' which I did a post on a few months ago here. This post is a short summary of what I'm taking in my makeup bag on my family summer holiday to the beautiful island of Majorca.

Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer
Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in 'Medium'
Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer in 'Ivory'
Simple Kind To Skin+ Perfecting BB Balm
Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Brightening Foundation in 'Honey'
Collection Lasting Perfection Powder in 'Medium'
Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder
Sleek Blush in 'Rose Gold'
Ted Baker Illuminators in 'Golden Glow' and 'Pearly Pink'

Avon Eyeshadow Primer in 'Light Beige'
No7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadow in 'Mink', 'Carbon Matte' and 'Wheatsheaf'
Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner
Benefit They're Real! Mascara
Eyeko London Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in 'Black'
Rimmel Kate Moss Mascara
Natural Collection Eye Liner in 'Black'
Maybelline Browdrama Sculpting Brow Mascara in 'Dark Brown'

Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick in '101'
Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish Lipstick in '01'
Collection Little Mix Jade's Lipstick
Estée Lauder Pure Colour Shimmer Gloss in 'Intensive Coral'
Tanya Burr Lipgloss in 'Afternoon Tea'
Rimmel London Apolcalips Lip Lacquer in 'Luna'
Calvin Klein Lipstick in 'Desire'
Benefit Benetint
Maybelline Baby Lips
Model Co. Lip Liner in 'Illusion Nude'
Clinique Chubby Stick in 'Woppin' Watermelon'
Carmex Classic Moisturising Lip Balm

I know, I know. I'm taking too much with me. I'm on holiday and I shouldn't need this much makeup with me. But, cut me some slack, my skin's got pretty bad and I have a few products I want to try out. I'm super excited for my holiday anyway and I'm pretty sure my most used product will be my bb cream because I love how light yet effective it is. What products do you use most in the heat?

REVIEW: Freederm Skin Care

Before I went to the doctors for my acne and was prescribed 'Zineryt', I tried just about everything from Boots in order to clear my skin. I know, not best to overload your face with product but that's before I understood the damage of products on the face. Brands like Clearisil did nothing for me. But, Freederm really did make a difference for the time I used it. 

Freederm Sensitive Facial Wash
When I brought this face wash I had high expectations for Freederm because I'd heard such good things about it. The facial wash itself is quite gentle, definitely not thick, gloopy or heavy in consistence. It's not difficult to smooth all over the face. I love the fact that it's slightly pink coloured. It claims to 'control excess oil' and 'deeply cleanse pores'. It leaves my skin feeling clean and bacteria free. Personally, it's inflammatory and reduces redness. It feels like it really gets into my pores but it's not that different to other face washes really.

Freederm Daily Complex
Probably my favourite product of the three, the Daily Complex is so gentle and calming on the skin. I put it on before I go to bed and when I wake up the redness is almost completely faded and angry spots are calmer. It's also very moisturizing, so helped to restore my skin after all the products I'd piled on. It makes it easier to apply makeup, smoothing and in general improving the look and feel of my skin.

Freederm Fast Track
This is another effective product. Picture this (it's happened to all of us), you wake up on a day that you're going out and a massive volcano of a pimple has appeared on your face. This is for that kind of thing because in 3 hours it really calms down the whole spot and reduces so much inflammation. It makes it so much easier to cover with makeup and makes a kind of protective barrier.

To be honest, I would re-purchase if I hadn't already been prescribed something else which seems to be gradually working for my acne. Anyway, this stuff is great for the casual spot.

REVIEW: Simple BB Beauty Balm

One of my least favourite things about summer is the effect it has on your make-up throughout the day. Cakey, sweaty make-up is disgusting and unattractive. That's why I prefer to wear something lighter, just like Simple's Kind To Skin+ Perfection BB Beauty Balm which is my summer life saver. 

When I'm going on holiday (1 week and counting) I prefer something kinder and moisturizing for my sensitive skin. This does just that. There's no perfumes or fragrances meaning it's really gentle and soothing. With multi-vitamins and 'skin loving ingredients' it feels like it does good. It also has SPF15 protection which is a must-have for the heat. It doesn't feel like you have make-up on and, as because the shade of the cream is honestly irrelevant, it doesn't look like you have make-up on. I was a little skeptic about the 'universal colour' but when I put a little on my hand I realized that it's not far from my skin tone. There's no strange discolouration of the skin so you can avoid the tango-ed look. Furthermore, your skin looks glowing and healthy and completely refreshed.

You really don't need that much of the product for a satisfactory coverage so I'm glad that it'll last for a while. It washes off so easily and doesn't make my skin oilier, drier or any worse than it is right now. At £8.99 in Superdrug it can't fail you.

REVIEW: Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Varnish

I apologise firstly because this range has been blogged about repeatedly so sorry to be part of that annoying craze but it's worth the blog post. Barry M is possibly the best value for money nail varnish range. Don't get me wrong, OPI,  Sally Hansen and Essie are all brilliant but quite expensive for a student. In my opinion, Barry M's Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Varnish is brilliant and long lasting. These are my four favourite colours from the Gelly Hi-Shine range. 

Colours above are: Rose Hip, Prickly Pear, Sugar Apple and Papaya.
These are so cute and such a workable look throughout the warmer months. Each of these colours is gorgeous and I haven't come across a Barry M shade I dislike. Rose Hip is very girly and basic, Prickly Pear is more interesting and bright, Sugar Apple is a really durable colour and Papaya is very summery. I have been wearing Rose Hip for the past week and it has not chipped at all. It dries quickly when applied and stays shiny and strong after two coats. For £3.99 you can't really go wrong can you?

Benefit Mini Haul

I'm not likely to spend a lot of money at once, I have this huge pang of guilt afterwards. So I'm very lucky to have a mother who likes to treat me every now and then. When in Debenhams recently, I was recently stopped by the lady at the Benefit counter. She was trying to promote the new 'they're real! push up liner' and offered to do a makeup trial for me. I'm not one to refuse a free makeover especially if I like the brand anyway. I've always loved benefit products as I think they accentuate your natural beauty, not mask it.

This is a mini haul of five products from benefit that I have picked up recently, despite the fact that it was expensive for me and I usually spend all my money on drug store products.

This is my basic daily go-to foundation. With a light to medium coverage, it blends really nicely and leaves a dewy illuminated finish that I really love. It feels light, allowing your skin to breathe and glow. I use the shade 'honey' which matches very well meaning if my skin is doing well I don't need to cover my whole face which is a treat in the summer. It's a little on the pricey side for someone like me, however totally worth it. With SPF 25 it's a great product for the warmer months meaning great protection against the weather. I also love that it doesn't dry your skin at all, it stays quite well and looks fresh all day long.

I didn't expect to love this product as much as I do. It's such an amazing pink colour and seems to last very well. Unlike most lip tints that I've tried, it's not overwhelming and is quite watery. I didn't actually buy this for the full price, it came as part of a kit with the bronzer featured below for the same price. I think this is a colour that work all year around and is a new favourite of mine.

This is the newly released product that has been receiving a lot of mixed reviews recently. In all honesty, I do love it but I find it a little difficult to work with. The pen is supposedly gel but to me it seems more like a crayon substance which can be seen in the line I drew with it in the picture above. Don't get me wrong, it does it's job but is very difficult to draw evenly with. I think the best thing is how well it stays. I can't complain about flaking or smudging because it really doesn't and its a great liner. A tad pricey for it's little flaws but well worth it if you worry about smudging during the day.

Eeek. I love this bronzer so much. I'm not a massive bronzer fan at all. I think too many people apply it wrong and use too much so it kind of put me off for a while. However, this is the best bronzer I have ever used. It doesn't contain any extra glitter or shimmer which is great for natural looks. It blends surprisingly well and looks so gorgeous on. It's buildable, quite matte and long lasting. It works with so well with flawless foundation and is a definite must have considering the price if you want to buy a durable, everyday bronzer.

Possibly the most reviewed benefit product on beauty blogs and it lives up to it's hype. This is honestly one of the best mascaras I own and as it's the UK's No.1 bestselling mascara I'm not surprised. It's lengthening and leaves very few visible clumps as well as adding a little black colour. It really seperates and lifts your lashes so well. It's always been my go-to daily mascara and is well worth the price. Just like the eyeliner it's got great staying power and benefit now sells a specially created remover for the they're real products. 

So there you go, a little benefit loving review for you all. I am such a huge benefit fan and next on my shopping list is their powder, concealer and cream eye-shadow. What's your favourite benefit product and are there any others you would reccommend?

My First Car

Just a short one because I'm very busy at the moment. Well, I have a car now. I think that's just about the scariest thing ever. It means I'm old and I have to be grown up and independent which are two things I'm not sure that I'm capable of. This past week, I've been driving around the field with Dad and I'm already confused and worried. I can't get it right and it's been too hot. Considering I'm a bit of a perfectionist, driving makes me angry because I can't do it. I'm dreading the lessons and I've already downloaded the theory test app. On the positive side, I'm very lucky my Dad didn't buy me a bright yellow van with purple flowers, I actually like my first car. (How many teenagers can say that with 100% certainty?) As a family, all our cars have names however, I still don't know what her name is because I can't think of anything. I will love the freedom but not driving my friends and brother around so much. It'll be nice to say 'hey, I'm just going to the shop, I'll be back' and to leave the house when I'M ready.

The Pain Of The 'How I Met Your Mother' Finale

WARNING: This is not something I would usually post. It's not beauty related at all, it's a little rant about a tv show I needed to get out of my system. If you have no interest in the title, feel free to not read on. Plus spoilers alert.

I'm not one to complain really. I'm the type to deal with what happens and I never send food back in a restaurant. This has been the only time I have wanted to make an official complaint about something and to demand for something better I know I won't get. My favourite television show has for about three years been 'How I Met Your Mother' which is crazy because it's a sit-com and would be frowned upon by many people. I remember the first episode I watched ('The Stinsons') and I thought it was brilliant. Since then I have bought all the dvd's as I live in the dark ages of no netflix. I own a yellow umbrella too. I know everything about it, the cast and crew, the story lines, the way it's made, the music. This show has been there for me through so much, it's realistic (most of the time) and true and above all makes me happy... Well, it used to make me happy. When I learned that season 9 would be the last season, even though I was sad I didn't want it to drag on any further. I knew that the writers Carter Bays and Craig Thomas whom I'd always trusted because of their wonderful work would handle it wonderfully and send the show off with an emotional but satisfying bang. Not what we got.. I've just watched the finale because I live in the uk. To sum-up, Barney and Robin separated. Everyone stopped being friends. Lily and Marshall got thrown an un-named third child, as well as one for a returned womanizing Barney. The Mother died. Ted and Robin got back together.

Hm. The How I Met Your Mother finale was the most crushing thing I have ever seen from a television show, movie, novel or general entertainment. I was not entertained, I felt quite insulted really. I'm so angry and confused. In a few minutes they threw away 9 years worth of hard work, character development and a lot of fans for a ending they had planned since 2006. We as fans were supposed to love it, it should have made us proud. We weren't supposed to care that that episode ruined the whole plot of the show for us. Carter and Craig went against their own previous amazing writing to give us a pile of poop. I'm pretty sure they wrote this at 2am and nothing good happens after 2am. Let's think about this. People who accept this ending literally (not figuratively) accept that everything that came before this finale meant nothing. All of the story meant nothing. 

My first concern is Barney and Robin. If Barney and Robin weren't supposed to be together, why make me feel like they should be? Why dedicate a two part episode to their engagement and then the WHOLE of the last season to their wedding weekend? Why keep bringing them back together, show that they had worked through all their problems and then destroy it with a 3 second 'We got divorced'? If they had known the ending they wanted since 2006, why bring Barney and Robin together in the first place? Because they were a good couple. They were just as messed up as each other. They were dysfunctional together. And it worked. I feel like somewhere, in the middle, the writers knew that too. That's why we got amazing moments between the two and a relationship that was confusing but REAL. I believe that the writers originally disliked that Barney and Robin became the favourite couple on the show. After all, they only got together in season 3 to avoid cancellation. But after a while it was clear that they both liked the couple enough to write some amazing scenes. They played on the center of the show which accidentally became their love story. That's why the wedding was so right. They had cold feet and worries but it was in character and it made sense. But the wedding itself, that was right. I was happy. That's how it should have stayed.

The finale that Carter and Craig had planned since the beginning didn't fit this story anymore. The show had become better and bigger than they could have imagined. But because it had been planned, they kept it like some sort of ritual or need. It didn't fit with 2006 ideas so they had to break Robin and Barney up (because he had bad internet connection, what?), a few minutes after the wedding. They were the loves of each others lives and it took a while but they knew it. He was 'hopelessly, irretrievably in love with her'. She wasn't 'just another number to him', with her 'the trouble didn't seem so troubling', he called her 'the greatest woman on the planet' and we can't forget 'holy crap, you're beautiful'. She made him a better person, showed him that there was more to life than being a heartless womanizer. So why throw away all those years of writing and incredible character development for him to go back to his old ways? That broke my heart. He learned so much from Robin and became a loving, respectful, changed man. He would not instantly revert back to his careless and rude 2006 self. He had grown too much, it made him feel 'empty and broken' being what he used to be. Above all, 2008 forward Barney would still love her. If the show had ended after two seasons in 2008, Robin and Barney wouldn't have happened, the ending would work. But it's 2014 now and they don't care. Let's just give him a child with an nameless woman and that'll make everything okay. Sure, it was incredibly cute and I felt this strange pride in him for being a great dad but it doesn't make it all okay. Why did he need to have a kid to grow-up? I thought Robin was the catalyst for his transformation, we'd already established that. You can't contradict 8 years of writing in 20 minutes. (Did anyone else notice that Barney said 'ooot' instead of 'out' as if he's still clinging to the Canadian part of him, because of Robin? Or is it just my broken shipper heart over thinking?)

It was a slap in the face to the fans. I certainly feel like I just got slapped. They expected us to love it and not to question it? How would Robin be 'Aunt Robin' if she was barely around? Ted's daughter Penny didn't even know her name, that doesn't work. Robin had changed too. We'd previously established through brilliant writing that she hated travelling, she valued her relationships and friendships so much more. But oh well, let's bin some more character development. It's totally understandable for her to seclude herself from her exes however what they did after that wasn't right. Let's make her be alone and go back to her old apartment, get a weird black bob and buy five dogs again. Seeing Robin apart from the gang was the worst, the way it affected Lily was unbearable. She lost her best and only friend. And I know that happens in life, but not like that. Their reunion was anti-climatic and I wanted to see their friendship right till the very end.

Lily and Marshall were shoved in a corner and given a tiny story line. They finished their bet, had three children and Marshall became a supreme judge. I can't state how heart-breaking the scene with them all together before the wedding was. 'I love you guys so much I can't even' from an emotional Lily seemed rushed for their last moments as a gang. Marshall's 'just all kinds of stuff' referring to what and how much had happened in the bar was his best moment. They didn't give them any time but at least they lived happily ever after.

And of course, we have to talk about The Mother. The meeting of Ted and Tracy was perfect, literally perfect. The umbrella, the train station, it all worked. I wanted that to be one of the end scenes of the show.  But of course (and it was pretty certain it would happen since season 9's 'Vesuvius') she got killed off. To be honest, I wasn't even bitter about the actual death, it's just how they handled it. I fell in love with Cristin Millioti and so did 99% of the fans throughout the final season. She played Tracy so right and helped us to understand the character we waited so long for. She was sweet, fit in so well with the gang and was everything I wanted her to be. And then, with an awkward montage, she's killed off by an unknown cause. It was too rushed and without a proper funeral that it felt unfair. The character and the fans deserved so much more. I hated the way the show ended because it was supposed to be about Tracy McConnell. But even Ted's kids know that's not what it's about. It was like 'How I Stuck With Your Mother Until She Died Because She Could Have You Kids But Then Went Back To Robin Anyway'. In the writer's minds, Robin and Ted were Rachel and Ross, everyone wanted them to be endgame. But I, sorry to the Robin and Ted fans, didn't. Time and time again, they didn't work but Carter and Craig thought the 100th time would be different. The story was never about Tracy McConnell. It's all about Robin, it has been since the start. That's the most painful thing.

It hurts a lot. It breaks my heart in a way I can't describe. I want to stick that blue french horn somewhere unmentionable. It should have been the yellow umbrella, always. I don't think the cast were happy, at all. In the 'Inside The Actors Studio' interview they play and are questioned as their characters. Neil and Cobie act married and this was after the finale aired. Josh Radnor couldn't believe they were going with that ending. I doubt they had much say in the matter though, despite how much they loved their show. It truly sucks that that was the 'official' ending of the show. It doesn't matter that the season 9 dvd will have an alternate ending because the 'official' ending is 'official'. What about the pineapple? What happened in Rome? Who's the mother of Barney's daughter? What's Lily and Marshall's third child called? I accept that life doesn't always work out the way you planned. I wasn't expecting a miracle, I just wanted something believable I could live with. So when I force my kids to watch it, I wanted to show them how great it was from start to end and how much it taught me. I can't do that now. Of course I'll watch re-runs and re-cry and re-laugh at this show but it won't be the same. I just wholly reject the finale. I wanted after the Swarkles wedding, straight cut to the umbrella scene and the final scene in the bar and a montage with the 'all kinds of stuff' line. And then just a simple 'And that kids, is the story of how I met your mother'. Fade to black. Roll credits. That's all I wanted. Simple and the real How I Met Your Mother. Not the warped version we got in the Last Forever. I feel like I wasn't watching How I Met Your Mother at all. It wasn't the show I'd grown to love. There were a million and one ways the finale could have gone and I think there was so much potential. I was traumatized because in a way, we were losing all of these characters and they had such a terrible ending. I'll miss the red cowboy boots, the slap bet, Robin Sparkles, interventions, musical numbers, the booth, yousonofabitch, every wait-for-it, every high-five, every legendary, every suit up, every haaaave you met Ted?, Ranjit, Wendy, Carl, every play, the ducky tie, every scotch, every canadian reference, every flashback, the pineapple, the purple giraffe, the goat, boats boats boats, murder train, 500 miles, the fiero, the cock-a-mouse and most importantly the yellow umbrella. But not the blue french horn. But it's too late. It’s over. For good. The show has ended.

And that everyone, is how I watched “How I Met Your Mother.”

*the pictures in this post are not my own.