Tuesday, 30 August 2016

KIKO HAUL


KIKO is fast becoming one of my favourite makeup brands. Originally I discovered KIKO when I was in London a few years ago and stumbled into one of the (back then) few KIKO stores around. Now they're popping up all over the place! And thank goodness too. Last weekend me and the boyfriend to do a few jobs in town, which inevitably meant some spontaneous purchases too. I wasn't planning on treating myself to so many makeup bits, but when I spotted the 6 items for the price of 3 promotion I was sold. All you had to do was download the KIKO app and present your personalised QR code at the till. So here's what I picked up. 

After months of really not being fussed by wearing eyeshadow, I'm now back into it big time. KIKO have a HUGE range of eyeshadows, in different shades and formulas. I already own some of their eyeshadow sticks, so I thought it was time to try some of their powder eyeshadows. I picked up 4 High Pigment Wet and Dry Eyeshadows. These are a genius design as they already come magnetically attached to individual pans, making taking them out and places them in a palette super easy and mess free! My poor boyfriend did get bored of me swatching endless shades on my hand to try and make a decision on which shades to buy. In the end I went for 04, a gorgeous metallic rosy taupe colour, I've left this in an individual pan for now but may switch it out for travelling etc. I also picked up 16, a stunning pink toned gold shade which reminds me a bit of MAC's Naked Lunch, 06 a matte taupe shade, and 81 a matte 'antique brass' as described on the KIKO website. It's a cool toned brown that's perfect for adding depth to your eyeshadow look! Each of the eyeshadows came in at £6.90 each. I'm yet to try the eyeshadows wet, although I'm sure the metallic shades will be even more shiny and stunning when I do. 

As I said the magnetic design of the eyeshadows meant I could buy a 3 pan eyeshadow palette at £5.90 and immediately transfer three of the shadows in really quickly. The palette is super travel friendly and has a good quality mirror inside, perfect for makeup on the go. After walking round with a handful of eyeshadows, I then stumbled across the lip stand. Again after swatching a few too many lipsticks on my hand I settled for one of the Smart Lipsticks in 902. This is a beautiful coral pink shade, with a tiny bit of shimmer in. The shimmer isn't noticeable when applied on the lips, it just gives a healthy glossy look. I'm a sucker for matte black packaging, so that was a huge plus for this lipstick range, as well as the fact they're only £3.90! What a bargain. I would have picked up most of the range if I had all the money in the world... In total my whole KIKO haul came up just over £18, this was including a 10% discount for using the KIKO app for the first time. I'm definitely going to keep my eyes peeled on that app for any more amazing offers.

**Also, I just checked, and KIKO does NOT test on animals! Yay :-) 
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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

20 THINGS BEFORE I'M 20 UPDATE


Way back in July last year I published a post called '20 Things Before I'm 20' detailing 20 things I wanted to achieve before I reached the age of 20. A year and a month on, I thought it was time to bring you an update on how I got on! 

I'm sad to say, not as well as I hoped I would! Looking back on the list I've only completed 3 fully, and 1 on a sort of level. The first one I completed was going to the beach. Me and my boyfriend made a short drive one day to a beach near where I live at uni. Although it was pretty cold, we did see a seal and had a picnic in a warm car. I love being by the sea, I find it so calming so this was a nice trip, and something I'm glad to cross off my list. The next one I completed is own a Pandora Ring. This was something I received as a christmas present, and there's very few days where you'll find me not wearing it now! The final one I completed is see more live music gigs. In October (?) I saw Scouting for Girls, which was a great night filled with singing along to songs of my teenage years, and in March I saw Gabrielle Aplin, one of my favourite artists of all time. I will never ever forget how magic and happy I felt when the whole venue was shining lights and singing along. I sort of completed meet more bloggers after going to an event hosted by #norwichbloggers around Halloween time. It was really nice to meet other bloggers in my area, but it's something I still want to get more involved in. 

Unfortunately that means the other 16 were left incomplete. Most of them are still things I want to do, and have plans to do in the near future. These include: read 10 books - must really get back into reading again, as I miss falling into a world in a book so much, lose/maintain weight - this became difficult after my emergency operation leaving me with a big scar in my tummy and no energy! But hopefully come the new academic year I'll be fighting fit and ready to get active again. Take part in a flashmob - something I'll hopefully be able to do in my 3rd year of uni, play the ukulele more, be on the radio - again something I hope to do at uni in 3rd year, find a church that inspires me, go rollerskating, go to the theatre more, write more, grow some herbs, run 3k - this is sometime I'm determined to do when I'm back at uni, I just need to gradually build my stamina up again, own a really stunning high end makeup product, have a plant in my room and not let it die, do a cocktail making class - booked onto another #norwichbloggers event in October which is a cocktail making class, and last but not least appreciate life. This is something I know I haven't done over the past year, as it's been such a rough year for me. From personal problems to illness to family losses, I've forgotten to sit back and look at all the amazing people and things I have in my life. This is a big goal of mine for the coming year, no matter what life throws at me. So goodbye teenage years, hello a new adult life, filled with motivation, happiness and appreciation. 
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Thursday, 18 August 2016

BENEFIT GIMME BROW REVIEW


Earlier in the week I posted about my HD Brows Experience. Since then I've really been trying to keep on top of my eyebrow routine and make it a staple part of my makeup application. I wanted a product that made my brow routine easy, but still enhanced what I've got. I decided upon the Benefit Gimme Brow. Today I thought I'd share my thoughts and ramblings about the product. 

Since the revamp of packaging, Gimme Brow now comes in a small silver bottle with a tiny tiny spooly brush dispensing product inside. I got matched the shade 3, which is the darkest shade of the range I think (?). The shade is a perfect match for my new darker dyed brow hairs, but would also suit slightly lighter brows than mine as well. When applied to the brows it adds a tiny bit off colour while also defining each hair and setting them all in place. Some days I opt to use this on its own, some days it'll come after using my Soap and Glory Archery Brow Pencil. This is just the product I was looking for to allow my brows to look groomed but require very little time or precision to fill in in the morning. One of this products best features is the fact it sets my brows in place without giving them that horrible crusty feeling that I despise. Natural full brows is what you get.

At 30g for £18.50 I can't say it's the most cost effective brow purchase I've ever made, however I am really enjoying using it. I'll be interested to see how long this tube/bottle lasts me for with use everyday, as I think that will be the deciding factor in whether I repurchase this again or not. So far so good, and I'm in love with my brows! 
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Tuesday, 16 August 2016

FASHION SNIPPETS


I've mentioned in the past how un-fashion-conscious I am sometimes. I stick to what I like and I know, and I'm okay with that. I rarely do fashion posts because frankly most of my days are spent in jeans and t-shirts, so nothing revolutionary. However this summer I've had some clothes and shoes that I've really really loved, and that I thought I'd share with you today. 

First on the top left we have my grey dress from H&M. This dress is really simply but I find really flattering on my figure (heavy up top). It has an elastic waist which helps to suck you in for that hourglass looking figure. It also has pockets which always makes a dress 10x better in my opinion. Being from H&M this was a great price, no more than £7.99 if I remember rightly. The grey is versatile to wear in the day as a casual dress for really warm days, with a bomber jacket for cooler nights, or paired with heels and some nice jewellery for a more put together look. 

Next on the top right is my bargain Topshop vest from a while ago. I bought this for £7 in the Topshop sale, I think back in September time. Generally I'm very conscious of being too busty to wear vest tops, but this sits perfectly on me and doesn't have too low of a v shape at the front. I've been wearing this both on really hot days with shorts, and slightly cooler days with jeans and a cardigan. The material is so soft making is really comfy to wear, and the bright blue geometric patterns makes a nice change from my monochrome stripes I so often wear. 

The vest in the bottom left corner is from Boohoo, but I actually got it from ASOS. As you can see this has the most beautiful embroidery on the front, with a cord tie at the top. This vest is slightly less comfy to wear than the former Topshop option, only due to its material and the fact it is more fitted. This for me is a night wear vest, or when you're doing something a bit more fancy than usual. I've never actually tried anything from Boohoo before but I do really like this piece. Like I said as I tend to wear monochrome tops this adds a pop of colour perfect for the warmer months. At £10 this is a lovely staple for my wardrobe. 

Finally are probably my favourite fashion purchase in a long time, my block heels from Dorothy Perkins. Since my sixth form prom (2014) I've been craving a pair of heels just like this. Something that can be worn both casually and dressed up, not too high, with a strap around the heel. And just before my birthday I stumbled across these beauties in DP. I wore these with a demin dress on my birthday, and I felt fabulous. Being a short human (5 ft 2) wearing heels makes me feel more 'normal' sized, and so much more confident. I've also worn these with jeans and a pretty top for evening meals out. So that's some fashion snippets from my summer wardrobe. Have clothes have you been reaching for recently? 
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Sunday, 14 August 2016

HD BROWS EXPERIENCE



A few weeks ago just before I went away for a mini break I decided it was time to sort my eyebrows out. Since I was 15 I've had the waxed on a non-regular basis at my local beauty salon. However, I was beginning to really not like my eyebrows and made the decision to try HD Brows for the first time. My eyebrows have always been an okay shape, apart from the fact they can never decide what shape they are. Sometimes they look more arched, sometimes more angular. I also hated the fact that the tails of my brows were lighter than the inner section, sometimes making me appear like I had only half an eyebrow in photographs. Luckily one of my best friends works in a beauty salon, so I immediately knew who I was going to. 

The whole process took around 1hour, my friend Sophie (who did my brows) told me the first time you get HD Brows takes slightly longer as there's more to work on in terms of shaping. Subsequent brow appointments should last around 45 mins. To start Sophie and I sat down and discussed what I currently liked and didn't like about my brows. I told her I liked the thickness and length, but didn't like the colour change or lack of shape. After this I lay back and relaxed, and let Sophie do her magic. First up she tinted my brows. This was the thing I was most nervous about having never had my brows tinted before. But it turns out I'm in love with the colour. My brows are now darker than before but I feel like this makes them look so much more defined and frame my face really well. The tinting also made the fluffed hairs needed for the shape of the brow darker too, helping me achieve more of a shapely brow. 

The next steps involved waxing, threading, plucking, trimming and finally drawing in little tiny hairs to create the finished look. Another step I was worried about was the threading, as the last time I had this done I was a hot sweaty mess in a lot of pain. However this time there was no pain at all. Sophie used a calming powder to calm my skin from the waxing and threading, and this helped in reducing the soreness and redness afterwards. The cost of the treatment was £25 in total. I must admit it took a day or two to get used to seeing my brows so defined when I looked in the mirror, but now I'm so in love with them. Like I said before I feel like they really help frame my face and I'm just so happy to finally have my brows how I want them. Since the treatment I've only plucked a few tiny hairs that have started to grow back (I've been instructed by Sophie not to touch the top of my brows as this is an area I was to grow in again) but other than that I've just left them. When I put makeup on now I will fill them in slightly just in the arch where my hairs are thinner, and set them with a product I'll be reviewing really soon! So what do you think? What's your brow routine like? Have you ever tried HD Brows? I'd honestly really recommend it, I really enjoyed the whole process and the results I've been left with. 
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Thursday, 11 August 2016

FAVOURITES FOR THE FACE


Since I finally got round to collecting the remainders of my makeup collection from my student house I've been loving rediscovering some oldie but goodie products. Today I'm going to share with you my favourites that you'll find me sporting on my face for the past month or so. First up I'll talk to you about tools, the Real Techniques Contour Brush has been doing just the job for creating my non existent cheek bones. The small tapered shape of the brush means it fits perfectly in the hollows of my cheeks and helps to create a really natural shadow (so much so I asked my dad if he could see anything on the side of my cheek and he replied "only the shadow from your hair" *contour success!*). 

Another tool that's been up-ing my makeup game is the Beauty Blender. I've had this for so long now (I really need to buy a new clean one however student life...) so excuse the grubby state of it! Funny fact, I won this in a giveaway! Before winning it I'd never even considered using a sponge to apply my makeup, however I'm so glad this is now part of my makeup life. This is my go to tool for applying foundation now, and it just helps make my foundation sit better on my skin and eases the blending process. Talking of foundation, the one I've been using at the moment is Revlon Nearly Naked in 110 Ivory. I go through stages of using this then reverting back to other foundations, however I've been loving this one for a more natural look during the warmer summer months. This light-medium coverage foundation allows my freckles to show through making my skin look flawless but not caked in makeup at the same time. The only thing that annoys me about this product is the fact there's no pump with the bottle, which makes for very messy hands during application. 

Another product helping me achieve a flawless base is the Seventeen Stay Time Concealer. I have the lightest shade which is great for my winter pale skin tone, but also great to highlight and brighten under the eyes when my skin gets a tad *tiny-weeny* bit darker in the sun. I find this to be slightly less thicker in consistency than the prolific Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, which I have used the last. However the Seventeen option gives a medium coverage, which as the name suggests, stays for a good old amount of time. Moving on to cheeks, makeup free me has naturally very blushing cheeks so sometimes I have the tendency to look a bit ghostly once my foundation and concealer is applied. To balance it all out I've been reaching for the Rimmel Stay Blushed Liquid Cheek Tint in Pop of Pink. Cream products are always favoured in summer for me, maintaining the natural texture of my skin. I use the tiniest dab of this on my finger, and apply straight to the skin. The thick liquid consistency makes for easy blending but once it's set it's set. Another great drugstore product in my opinion. 

Last but not least it wouldn't be a summer skin talk without mentioning highlighter now would it?! Another Seventeen product gracing my face is the Seventeen Skin WOW 3 Way Highlighter. Out of the three ways it can be used, I prefer using my beauty blender to apply this to the highest points of my cheeks as one of the last steps in my makeup routine. The slight leftover foundation on the beauty blender means the highlighter blends seamlessly into the skin to add a subtle healthy glow that I so desperately want for my summer skin. And that's it! These products have become such staples in my makeup collection this summer. What have you been loving recently? 
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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

NEAT NAILS



After not wearing nail polish for a good 3 months due to revising and then clinical placement I actually got out of wearing anything on my nails. So when it came to summer and time to paint my nails again, I actually was a bit scared of sporting anything too bright! Instead I've been sticking to more subdued colours to ease me back into the nail polish game. 

It's not secret that one of my favourite nail polish brands is Barry M, the formula lasts amazingly on me, the brushes make application easy and streak free, and best of all they're so affordable! My latest purchase is the Speedy Quick Dry in Freestyle (far left). This is a muted nude pink that is so so pretty but not in your face at all. One of those colours that you don't have to worry about what clothes clash with it as it's so universal. Another neutral love of mine for neat looking nails is Speedy Quick Dry in Pit Stop. A grey-nude colour which makes for the perfect professional looking manicure while still looking well maintained. This colour is brilliantly opaque which is an added bonus. Finally for something with a bit more colour I've been wearing the Speedy Quick Dry in Eat My Dust, a light baby blue colour. This may be a very typical spring colour but it's great for bringing out a tan and again applies like a dream. 

I have nothing but good to say about Barry M, and these three polishes have been helping me ease back into wearing nail polish over the past few weeks. If you have an neutral polish recommendations please feel free to leave them as a comment below! 
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Sunday, 7 August 2016

2016 SUMMER PLAYLIST


Almost 1 year ago I shared with you my Summer 2015 in songs. This year, I'm back to share with you 2016's edition. There's a lot more old school songs this year, and less of the chart stuff (but still some). This playlist accompanied mine and my boyfriends long drive to Edinburgh for our mini break, as well as my many public transport journeys so far this summer. Here's what you'll find me listening to. 

Bury It by CHVRCHES // Nine In The Afternoon by Panic! At The Disco // Star Girl by McFly 

Weathered by Jack Garratt // TALK ME DOWN by Troye Sivan // Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield 

Lonely People by Orla Gartland // She Moves In Her Own Way by The Kooks // Levels by Nick Jonas

You're Such A by Hailee Steinfeld // Consideration by Rihanna // Move Along by All American Rejects 

Girls and Boys In Love by The Rumble Stripes // Starving by Hailee Steinfeld // Have You Ever by S Club 7 

Mama Said by Lukas Graham // Send Me On My Way by Rusted Root // Kicks by Lauren Aquilina 

Year 3000 by Busted // Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae // Foundations by Kate Nash 

Classic by MKTO // I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston // Ignition by R Kelly

Everybody Talks by Neon Trees // Still Into You by Paramore // All My Friends by Snakehips

All Star by Smash Mouth //  Tilted by Christine and the Queens // No Scrubs by TLC 

Agape by Bean's Den // Best Of Me by Sum 41 // Modern Love by David Bowie


Please leave me your summer song suggestions in a comment below!xo
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Thursday, 4 August 2016

LOVING LATELY - JULY


Kind of a favourite post I guess! But months overdue!! Today I'm going to be talking makeup, skincare, nails, music and some random bits that I've been loving lately. First up is the Nivea Cleansing Toner. This has been in my skincare routine for a few months now and makes my skin feel so smooth. I apply this with a cotton pad after cleansing my face in the evening for a squeaky clean and toned feel. This is relatively cheap so great if you're on a budget. Next along is the Dove Summer Glow Nourishing Lotion. When the sun appears in the sky, my arms lap it up. Since getting tanned last year my arms seem to really take well to the sun. My legs however like to stay a pasty snow white colour! So thankfully this summer the Dove Summer Glow Lotion has come to my rescue. I apply this in the evening but not too close to going to bed so that it has time to sink into the skin. I find 2-3 evenings of applying this to my legs and I match up with the rest of my body again. Yay!! 

Another product that's been impressing me is the Dove Fresh Anti-Perspirant. This is in the cucumber and green tea scent and it's honestly the nicest smelling deodorant I've ever used. This makes me feel all fresh and lovely when I apply it. Sticking to the green theme I've also been loving drinking the Pukka Supreme Matcha Green Tea. These are so refreshing and a great healthier alternative to drinking normal tea and coffee throughout the day. Also with it being in a tea bag form you don't get the horrible left over matcha powder at the bottom of your cup. 

Onto a makeup item, and highlighter has become a staple in my makeup stash this summer. My dry/normal skin adores the Seventeen Skin Wow 3 Way Highlighter. I apply this as the last step of my face makeup with my beauty blender for a glowy cheek. This blends so beautifully and isn't too glittery, so you're not left looking like a glitter ball. The product can also be mixed into foundation for an all over glow or used as base/primer before foundation. Versatile and affordable! Since breaking up from uni for the summer I've loved painting my nails again. Obviously Barry M are still my favourite nail brand, the colours I've been sporting are Freestyle which is a dusty nude pink and Lady, a textured white polish that is great for using as a top coat to amp up any colour. 

Two random favourites to finish, my Edinburgh playlist that I created on my spotify account has been pretty much the only thing I listen to these days. A mix of throwback songs with happy modern songs makes for my favourite type of playlist. Also, it's 7+hrs long and so made a great soundtrack to the drive to Edinburgh with my boyfriend. Last but not least I've been trying calligraphy and lettering this summer. I picked up 2 individual brush pens from Hobbycraft a few weeks ago, from Faber-Castell and they've made picking up calligraphy a dream. I still need a lot of practise but they're great for beginners I feel. So that's what I've been loving lately - let me know what's been taking your fancy in the past few weeks!
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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

TECHY FAVOURITES


I love apps. There, I said it. Many an evening have I downloaded 20 plus random apps to my phone to have an explore of what's new on the app scene. Today I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite apps that I've been using recently (as well as a bonus Facebook page I've been in love with). As you can see in the photos above I have the silver iPhone 6 which I love to pieces. 

The first app I want to tell you about is one I remember playing back in sixth form which I've recently got back into called 'Take It Easy'. There's so many different modes and ways to play this game, my favourite is on puzzle mode where you have to move the pieces to achieve different criteria e.g a score of 165 or building a certain pattern with the pipes. It's very addictive and quick to play on the go. Another app I've been loving is 'Steps' which as the name suggests, counts you steps! Since my dad has got a fit watch I've been going on quite a few walks which him and decided I wanted to see exactly how far/much I was walking. Admittedly after my appendectomy 8 weeks ago there wasn't much movement to track but since I've been gradually getting better I've managed to get more and more steps in. 

Something that's actually been increasing the amount of steps I've been doing is 'Pokemon Go' which I'm sure you've most likely heard of by now. Not too long ago by boyfriend lent me his DS to play Pokemon Platinum and 10 years too late I discovered the craze of pokemon. Then blow me a few weeks later and pokemon is everywhere again with the release of Pokemon Go in the US and eventually the UK. Where I live in Yorkshire isn't the most exciting for pokemon hunting but with all the travels I've done/am doing to different places of the UK it's encouraging me to get out and explore the area (and collect new pokemon too!). Finally I wanted to mention the Facebook page Proper Tasty, as I've really enjoyed watching their short 1min cooking videos. The recipes are varied and really inspire me to get back into the kitchen baking and cooking! 

So that's some of my techy favourites that I've been into recently! No doubt I'll have discovered a handful of new apps by the end of August that I'll be able to share with you again. Let me know what apps/technology things you've been loving recently, I'm always open to recommendations! 
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