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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water




I hate makeup wipes. Yes, a lot of bloggers will make this bold statement and I can definitely relate. One of my best friends (my Chummy) actually loves makeup wipes and will only use them to take off her makeup but, I am quite the opposite. I tend to avoid them like the plague because they dry my skin out and the rubbing isn't kind to my sensitive patches. Instead, I swear by Garnier's Micellar Cleansing Water.

Gentle, yet effective, this is the first product I grab when I need to remove my makeup. A few cotton wool pads of this soothing water, remove my makeup quickly, painlessly and easily. I just dampen the cotton wool and begin sweeping the product across my face as there is no need for pressure. I tend not to wear waterproof makeup anyway, the mascara I use is always pretty strong. However, the cleansing water cleans my eyes without the panda look. I never experience stinging of the eyes like some makeup removers which i have been frankly wasting money on. This product smells like clean linen despite having no perfumes and calms down my skin instantly. It's not drying in the slightest and has never broken me out. It's quite hydrating and on a stressful, warm or makeup free day, I will reapply this just to refresh and liven up my face. It's comparable to a hassle free, lightweight toner really.

The bottle is big and lasts a while despite the temperamental dispenser which can drain the product quickly. At £4.99 which is already incredible value but currently on offer for a reduced price in both Superdrug and Boots, this product is one everyday essential I could not live without.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

10 Essential Rules of Beauty

I am not an expert. I do not claim to be and I know very well that I will never be. But I have mastered the basics of the beauty world and here are my ten slightly cheesy/inspirational tips for you in the least pretentious way possible.
  1. DO have fun with it. Not everyone has to aim for the Kylie Jenner lips and the perfect eyeliner flick. Find your own techniques and styles but mix it up. If you want to try a blue lipstick or a green highlighter, you make it work and you go for it girl.
  2. DON'T damage your skin with products. Never overload your face with endless cakey foundation or try too many skin/acne products at once. It's often more damaging than helpful.
  3. DO take your makeup off every night before bed. Makeup wipes, cleansing water, face wash. Let your skin breathe. Have a makeup free day once in a while because as wonderful as your face is, it deserves a break from product.
  4. DON'T compare yourself to others. We all do it, I do it everyday. But if someone has amazing cheekbones in a magazine just think 'photoshop, photoshop, photoshop'. Think about the things you genuinely like about yourself that others don't have (my skin tone) and remind yourself of those everyday.
  5. DO wash your makeup brushes regularly or make sure your fingers are clean if you use them. Otherwise, you're just creating more bacteria and more spots and think about how much nicer a clean brush feels and looks.
  6. DON'T share products that aren't hygienically safe to share. Yes, your friends do wash (hopefully) but you should still use your own brushes and use clean fingers with any product you're borrowing or just don't do it all.
  7. DO swatch before you buy. Testers are there for a reason. There's nothing worse than having a little spending spree then realising what you bought totally doesn't suit you and is a waste of money (I'm looking at you 'Maybelline The Falsies mascara' and 'Mac Costa Chic lipstick').
  8. DON'T feel pressured to spend a lot of money on beauty. I buy quite a few bits of makeup I would consider 'high end/luxury' products but some of my best finds are from the sales and reductions in the drugstore. You don't have to spend even £5 to find an amazing value product.
  9. DO try and work with your outfit or occasion. Going all out for a party with glitter and red lip is totally worth it. But, for a funeral or a job interview, not so much.
  10. DON'T conceal the real you. You have potential and natural beauty. Makeup isn't about changing yourself, it's about enhancing what you already have.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Topshop Lips: 'All About Me' & 'Macaroon'






Since released in 2010, Topshop's makeup range has always been a surprising winner. In particular, their lipsticks. The latest addictions to my Topshop lipstick collection are the colours 'All About Me' and 'Macaroon'. 

Cute, sturdy and easy metal packaging that doesn't feel cheap is always best. It also makes me very happy that they have names. Somehow an endless list of numbers to stare at (I still love you Rimmel Kate Moss lipstick) lacks character. They have amazing pigmentation, nothing worse than bad colour pay off. They don't leave your lips horribly chapped and aren't drying in the slightest. As well as this the staying power is pretty impressive. Sitting comfortably at the £8 mark, it's comforting to my bank account as you could easily find products for the same price in the drug store. 

Highly pigmented, excellent value for money and easy to wear shades mean the Topshop lipstick range ticks all the boxes for me.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Miracle Skin Treatments at Home


Following on from last weeks post, a good foundation can make your skin look and feel amazing. But in all honesty, dumping layers of creams, oils and gels on your face constantly is damaging and if used excessively and not effectively permanently damaging. I'm guilty. The second I find a 5 star reviewed product, I'm on the hunt for the next. And after a stressful time the last thing I want to do is ruin my skin.

However, looking after your skin naturally goes a long way to improve the overall quality of your face.  Now when I say keeping it basic with things around the house, I'm not talking about the 11 year old's 'toothpaste trick' which is just likely to cause scarring. 
I actually love using the gross but very effective egg white/honey mask. When I need a skin detox that isn't full of chemicals I 'whisk' one of these up and am always pleantly surprised with the results. If you can succesfully seperate an egg white from the yolk (which is the hard bit) and mix it with honey then you can easily use this. Once both ingredients are combined, tie hair back and lather the face mask on your skin. Be careful to avoid the eye area. Once you feel the mask tighten you know it's ready to wash off and this should be after around 15 minutes.

Despite being very unappealing to layer on your face, egg whites have amazing benefits. They tighten pores and also prevent a buildup of dirt which can lead to blackheads and bad acne breakouts. As well as this, they remove excess oil to improve skin tone, leaving your skin with a naturally desirable glow. Honey is also very beneficial for your skin. A natural antibacterial which soothes, moistursies and smoothes unlike any face cream you've tried.

The other product that is natural and equally effective is tea tree oil. This is no newbie but the only spot treatment I stand by for speed. A dab of neat tea tree oil on a massive spot before bed is a true winner. It quickly reduces size, redness and inflamation of the zit and never fails me. I use it every night but am extremely careful. It hurts, a lot, when you get tea tree oil in your eye and I would know. *Inserts awkward pity laughter* 

Are there any homemade/natural treatments you swear by?

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush 'Something About Berry'







Finding a 'Holy Grail' blusher is a huge deal for me. For the majority of 2014 I used my 'Sleek Rose Gold' blusher which is such a beautiful colour and finish that I probably went through about three pots of it. Then I became a little more aware of 'Mac' and purchased both 'Springsheen' and 'Style' two shades which are quite subtle yet very wearable. That bring us to now and after a fair amount of snooping around on the internet, I decided to try out some 'Too Faced' products because I'd never owned any before. It wasn't until adding the three items I wanted to my basket that I realised, 'Too Faced' doesn't directly ship to the UK. *Crying face* Debenhams however stocked limited 'Too Faced' products so I got one out of the three I wanted and purchased one of the 'Sweethearts Perfect Flush' Blushers. (Better Than Sex mascara, I'm coming for you).



Now, let me start off by saying that I certainly had high expectations for this one. Every review I'd read one the internet seemed to praise the company and it's blushers too. I was pleasantly surprised actually. The packaging, which may be too much for some, was very appealing to me with a shocking shade of pink and gold detailing. It just looks high quality and pretty and very pink. 



It is, indeed, very pink. I am so impressed with the pigmentation of each of the three shades. I guess, if you wanted, you could only use one by using a finer brush. However, I mixed all three and applied directly to my cheeks with a 'Real Techniques Blusher Brush' and I think I've found a new favourite. The colour is so gorgeous and for lack of better word 'springy'. I do think that I'll be wearing this throughout spring and summer 2015 with some of my brighter lipsticks. As well as this, the sheeny/glowy finish is just incredible. I feel so radiant wearing it that I keep trying to catch the light, ahaha! The glitter isn't overpowering like some cheek products are (which I HATE). It's definitely workable so you could apply lightly for a very subtle wash of colour or you could go full out as long as it's blended well. 

I'm considering using the phrase 'Holy Grail' but it's only been one day so I'll restrain myself right now. As I said, I have my eyes on the 'Better Than Sex Mascara' but I'll have to find another way of buying it. Any ideas? Anything else from 'Too Faced' I should look at?


Sunday, 4 January 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick 'Glastonberry'



When I finally buy something I've had my eye on for a while, I feel a great sense of accomplishment. I also pray that the product I've actually bought lives up to expectations and that I will be able to write a positive review on it. This lipstick is no exception and I think that I am madly, truly and deeply in love with it. Charlotte Tilbury is a name that about a year ago I had never heard of. But, with the release of the 'Matte Revolution' lipstick range last autumn, the blogging world and myself went a little crazy over Charlotte Tilbury makeup. 

I am a huge fan of deep colours on my lips and 'Glastonberry' which is very aptly named, is the ultimate deep wine/berry shade I have been craving. Not only is the shade stunning, the overall look the lipstick achieves is incredible. They are designed to effortlessly create wider, fuller looking lips in very wearable shades. It is worth mentioning the very useful square-angled tip for easy yet precise application, meaning lip brushes are almost redundant. I am very much in love with the rose-gold packaging and the sleek ridged design of the tube. 

Now we come to the 'revolution' part. In all honesty, this is the softest matte lipstick I have ever tried. It doesn't feel drying in the slightest and keeps your lips moisturised, whilst still looking very matte. The staying power is ahhh-mazing. There's such a lovely and subtle scent too. Not quite your Mac vanilla-esque scent but lovely nonetheless. 

I absolutely ADORE this lipstick with all my heart and despite a hefty £23 price tag, I cannot fault the 'Matte Revoloution' range. Saying that, I've only tried one colour but I want to pick up another. Deciding on my next shade is difficult but the Selfridges sale at the moment is very handy. I'm currently looking at 'Amazing Grace' or 'Bond Girl'. 

Have you tried any other Charlotte Tilbury products you can recommend that I check out?

Saturday, 3 January 2015

'1989' - Taylor Swift



For those of you who are new around here and may be unfamilair with my likes and dislikes, I think Taylor Swift is amazing. Come on, throw all the bitching and insults at me, I've heard them all before and it's repetitive. Anything you have to say about Taylor genuinely doesn't affect me in anyway because I know it's not true. She's a powerful, 'fearless', life-changing woman with a massive heart. I had planned to do this post since her album '1989' was actually released but due to a crazy life of work and Christmas and birthdays and sixth form, I never got round to it. So here it finally is, a fashionably late review of 2014's best-selling, incredible, fifth album '1989' from Taylor Swift. Beware, this post may contain lots of Swift admiration.

1. Welcome To New York
Initially, I wasn't the biggest fan of the opening track but after a while the song just becomes so upbeat and optimistic that you have to enjoy it. The electronic feel to this song just makes me want to 'dance to this beat forever'. The lyrics don't stand out as emotional or anything but it's clear that this is Taylor's personal victory song. She's made it to New York and this is her new chapter. Best part: 'Everybody here wanted something more, searching for a sound we hadn't heard before.'

2. Blank Space
Ah, the song that showed everyone how little she cared about the rumours. When the video for Blank Space came out I felt this absolute pride because Taylor was portraying herself exactly how the media had manipulated her to be. This really is a powerful song. Singing this in my room leads to extremely bad acting and craziness. Best part: 'Saw you there and I thought, 'oh my god look at that face, you look like my next mistake..'

3. Style
Simply a song about being dangerously attracted to someone even though you know you're bad for each other. Another one with a progressive beat that builds at the chorus and makes you want to 'bop' for lack of a better word. It's like something out of a movie this one, the perfect dangerous couple. Best part: 'I got that red-lipped classic thing that you like..'

4. Out Of The Woods
This was another one I had to warm to and now I'm obsessed with. It's another crazy love kind of thing where everything's confusing. The bridge is absolutely genius as it reveals a more tragic phase of the relationship (we all know it's about Harry). I love all of the lyrics to this despite the repetitive nature of the chorus. Best part: 'Remember when we couldn't take the heat I walked out and said, 'I'm settin' you free,' but the monsters turned out to be just trees and when the sun came up, you were lookin' at me.'

5. All You Had To Do Was Stay
Probably my first favourite actually, it doesn't sound promising at the beginning but it's angry and regretful. It's just one of those songs you can feel her disappointment in. It's about being lead on and then being forgotten about. Best part: 'People like you always want back the love they pushed aside but people like me are gone forever when you say goodbye.'

6. Shake It Off
Feel good, beat filled, energy boosting and rhythmic. The first single is an instant pick me up and a classic. You cannot, not 'shake it off' to this one. It's a true, 'I don't even care' song. This is Taylor's way of saying, 'I'm still standing tall, I'm still going strong'. Similarly to the hit 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together' the partly spoken bridge makes it modern and very fun to sing. Best part: 'People like you always want back the love they pushed aside but people like me are gone forever when you say goodbye.'

7. I Wish You Would
Here you go haters. Another song where she's admitting it's her fault. It's about missing someone and knowing it's your fault and wanting them back no matter what they've done. It's a fast one but it's full of emotion. Best part: 'It's 2 AM in my room. Headlights pass the window pane, I think of you. We're a crooked love in a straight line down. Makes you wanna run and hide then it makes you turn right back around.'

8. Bad Blood
This one is my best friend's favourite but a few of my other friends hate it. I'm on the fence. I think it'd be incredible live because of the easily clappable/stompable beat and the breaks in rhythm. It's about someone turning against you. Best part: 'Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes. You say sorry just for show. If you live like that, you live with ghosts. if you love like that blood runs cold.'

9. Wildest Dreams
The song everyone is calling Lana-Del-Ray-esque. It's about a short love that can't last. It'a about wanting to remember it. It's a really beautiful one and has no angry heavy beats just a soft thumping. It personally reminds me of late nights where you're all dressed up and looking at someone thinking 'what if?'. Best part: 'Say you'll remember me standing in a nice dress, staring at the sunset, babe. Red lips and rosy cheeks, say you'll see me again even if it's just pretend.'

10. How You Get The Girl
Gulp. I'm still not 100% convinced on this one. I think it's just too much cheese for me. It's too fairytale-like. Don't get me wrong I like the idea and it's really fun to sing but everything it's just too cliche. Best part: 'Remind me how it used to be. Pictures in frames of kisses on cheeks. And say you want me. Yeah...'

11. This Love
This is the closest song to Taylor's country roots on the album. The softest, most acoustic song that builds about a confusing love and the ups and down and how it came back. It's quite an emotional one and her echoing voice is incredibly moving. Best part: Your kiss, my cheek, I watched you leave. Your smile, my ghost, I fell to my knees. When you're young you just run but you come back to what you need..'

12. I Know Places
Very different but good different. It shows off a lot of Taylor's storytelling in her writing and really boasts her vocal range. it's dark. 'Haunting' is a good way to describe it. It's about escaping everyone else and everything against their love. Best part: 'Just grab my hand and don't ever drop it my love. They are the hunters, we are the foxes and we run.'

13. Clean
Probably the song that gets to me the most. Escaping the hold someone has on you. It has very serious undertones of depression and addiction and feeling trapped. But it's so effective with the odd instrumental and strong vocals. Best part: '10 months sober, I must admit. Just because you're clean don't mean you don't miss it. 10 months older, I won't give in, now that I'm clean I'm never gonna risk it.'

14. Wonderland
The first bonus track is one of my favorites on the whole album. With strong reference to 'Alice In Wonderland' the song is about getting lost in 'wonderland' and the consequences. A frequent sudden change of pace matched with strong lyrics makes this song addictive and brilliant. Best part: 'Didn't they tell us don't rush into things? Didn't you flash your green eyes at me? Haven't you heard what becomes of curious minds?'

15. You Are In Love
Yep, it's about being in love. But it's not about her. It's about watching the love her friends Lena Dunham and Jack Antonoff have and how their best friend relationship makes them stronger. It's really beautiful this one and slow and the echo/quiet is really effective. It's also heart breaking for Taylor because she wants that and she's spent her 'whole life trying to put it into words'. best part: 'You can hear it in the silence, silence. You can feel it on the way home, way home. You can see it with the lights out, lights out. You are in love, true love.'

16. New Romantics
I do like this one but originally I didn't. It's careless and crazy and about the 'new romantics' and in my opinion how glamourised the pain of love is. It's poppy and fun. Best part: ''Cause, baby, I could build a castle out of all the bricks they threw at me. And every day is like a battle but every night with us is like a dream.'

So there you go. The deluxe album also features three of Taylor's voice memo's as she explains her writing process. There's also the polaroid pictures which include one of the lyrics from the album. It's obvious I have my favourites from this album (the emotional ones because I'm like that). The thing is, Taylor could release any of these songs and they'd do extremely well. I have had this album on repeat since October and as of yet I am not bored of it. All the songs are very different yet work very well together. Well done T-Swizzle, you've done it again.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Life Update #3: New Beginnings & Small Steps

Hello all! I am very aware that the past few months have lacked in posts but they have been very busy and difficult for me. I hope everyone had an incredible Christmas and New Year full of magic and sparkle and the occasional unicorn.

Now, when the new year comes around and people typically make resolutions they never manage to keep, it's a pretty depressing cycle. I too set unreachable goals for myself. I've got to the point where I'm a little bored of trying to reach a goal because it seems highly unlikely. So this year is different. Avoiding the cliched 'new year, new me' I do really want 2015 to be my year. Instead of planning year long goals that never get completed, I am setting myself smaller goals. Like, 'this week I want to cut all soda/fizzy drinks out of my diet' or 'this week I want to finish my coursework for English'. And as impossible as the second one sounds it's a little more realistic and easier to achieve than dropping 5 dress sizes in a year. I'm basically taking small steps at a time to rebuild my life into a more positive one.

I like my optimism at the moment, however long it lasts. I've finally realised that it's okay not to reach these targets. That's fine. You cannot beat yourself up about having an extra jaffa cake or going over the word limit on an essay. These kind of mistakes help you learn so you can achieve more in the future. I also know it's okay not to be okay all the time. You are allowed to feel crap and lost and confused and lonely. But you are also allowed to smile at beautiful things and laugh till it hurts and sing very badly. Taking small steps is much easier than putting extreme pressure on yourself to change instantly. Take this year as it comes and try to reach individual goals at your own pace. 2015 might just be the best year of your life yet.