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Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Shopping Haul.

I was good this payday and I didn't spend any money the day I got paid. So I rewarded myself today with a huge shopping trip. And I did a bit of damage. And ultimately proved to myself that I should not be trusted to go shopping alone. But since I’m sat by the phone, waiting to find out if my best friend’s given birth to my nephew yet, I thought it was the perfect chance to do my first ever haul and share what bargains I got.. as well as a few ‘you paid how much for that?!’ products.


I have, however, decided that since I kinda went mad in Lush, I thought I'd do a separate Lush haul later on in the week. So this is going to be an everything mashed together haul without Lush. A bit of beauty. A bit of skincare. A bit of accessories. A bit of everything. 

ENJOY!

Victoria’s Secret


I haven’t been in Victoria’s Secret for absolutely ages. And there is a legitimate reason behind that - they discontinued my favourite perfume ever ‘Dream Angel’. But walking past it today, I thought it was time to get over that grudge as it’s been well over two years and sometimes you just have to forgive (but not forget). So I wandered in and headed straight to the fragrance section to see if they’d brought it back.. but they didn’t and my heart cried a little until I realised they had the Victoria rollerball for £22 (WOO!). I’ve wanted a rollerball for absolutely ages as there’s nothing worse than trying to fit a 50ml perfume bottle into a clutch on a night. And I’ve never found a rollerball perfume I’ve actually liked, until I saw the Victoria rollerball in New York City but for some crazy reason, I didn’t buy it. So when I saw it today, I didn’t need to think twice. I bought it. 

Then I saw the Weightless Body Oil in Shea. I’m constantly moisturising during the dry months which seems to be all year round with England's weather in recent years. And moisturiser is great but I’ve always wanted to try a body oil in case that gives my skin something that moisturiser doesn’t - don’t know what that something could be but you never know. So I got the small bottle for £6 to give it a try as it smells amazing and I'm hoping it makes my skin feel as amazing as it smells. 

Harvey Nichols 

I’m already a self-proclaimed shopaholic so going into Harvey Nicks wasn’t exactly my greatest move, especially when it’s filled with all my favourite make up brands. I’m literally a child at Christmas when I go into any department store. But I was on a mission to get two things from MAC and two things only. Yet I left with four things and none of those four things were the two things I actually wanted. Bloody typical


So I actually wanted to get the faux lipstick and whirl lipliner as I’d heard such good reviews about them online and really wanted to give them a try myself as I’m addicted to nudes.. Maybe I should rephrase that.. I’m just a big fan of colours that aren’t really bold and too in-ya-face. Yet I left with the matte honeylove and matte sin lipsticks for £15.50 each and two lipliners - subculture and vinofor £12.50 eachI guess I need to head back to MAC to get the lipstick and lipliner that I actually wanted to get in the first place.. Oh dear, what a shame


Honeylove with Subculture as a liner is a more subtler nude than my favourite MAC combo - Velvet Teddy and Spice.


I guess I kinda went against my love of nudes too with buying the Sin and Vino lipliner combo as it’s quite a deep dark red tone but I saw it and then realised it was matte and it seemed to speak to me spiritually so I had to get it. 

Superdrug

Like with Victoria’s Secret, I haven’t been in Superdrug in absolutely ages. And it isn’t because I have some trivial grudge on them - I just prefer Boots for drugstore make-up and I’m a Boots point hoarder. But after seeing people raving about Superdrug’s latest brand addition, ‘Make Up Revolution’, I thought I’d switch up my shopping habits and pop into the Leeds store. 

..And writing this, I’ve just realised I forgot one thing I wanted to get from Make Up Revolution’s collection. I really need to start writing shopping lists. Anyway..


So if you’ve never heard of Make Up Revolution before, it’s a budget make up brand that has some pretty good quality make up ranges. I’ve heard amazing things about the pigments in their highlighters so I wanted to pick one of them up. Luckily for me, I got there just in time as there was only one vivid baked highlighter left in the shade of peach light - the one I wanted. I couldn’t wait to try it so the minute I got home, I put some on over the top of my make up and was amazed at how good it is. It’s got such a high pigment and a lovely highlight to it, and for just £3 you cannot go wrong at all. 

I wasn’t intending on buying anything else (apart from the pigment pots that I fricking forgot) but thought I’d have a little look at the palettes as I’d heard such good things about them too. I ended up falling in love with the Pleasuredome one. It wasn’t the smoky colours that I fell in love with as I’m pretty satisfied with my Urban Decay Naked palettes, but the aqua green (sell it by the hour) shade. I’ve always loved putting green on my eyes on nights out as I find green compliments dark brown eyes so well, but I’ve never found a shade that has been right. So when I spotted this green and realised it was reduced from £6 to £4, I thought now was a better chance than ever to give it a cheeky try.

And then, just as I was about to pay, I noticed the B. Makeup Brush Cleanser for £4.99. As it is, I always wash my make up brushes twice a month but I feel like I need to clean my make up brushes every time I use them as they always get so dirty, especially my eyeshadow brushes. So buying this was perfect for an every day solution in between my bimonthly washes. 

HMV


Even though I have Spotify and iTunes, I have still been one for buying physical copies of albums, especially of artists I love. My CD and DVD collection is pretty impressive for a 21 year old but since I’ve not got round to sorting out somewhere for them all to live permanently, I’ve been reluctant recently to buy physical copies.. until my mum asked me if I had Justin Bieber’s recent album. Being a diehard Belieber until I was about 19, she was surprised when I said ‘no’ so when I saw it in HMV today, I got it. And I could hardly refuse HMV’s 2 for £15 offer so also chucked another album into my basket - my bae, James Bay. Now my mum’s buzzing cos she got both Jay-Bee’s to put on her iTunes.

Primark

Spring has hit England, meaning that it can be really rainy when you leave the house.. like today.. but then it can get blinding sunshine without no notice.. like today. So when I got to Leeds, I knew I’d have to get some sunglasses as the sun really isn’t my friend when I wear contact lenses. I’ve never been a Primark-aholic but I do have to admit that I love their sunglasses so that was my first port of call when the sun got his hat on, hip hip hip hooray (yes, I did sing that out loud several times to make sure I had enough ‘hip’s to my ‘hooray’s). 


So the first pair are like a silver frames avatar style pair and I will feel like Tom Cruise in Top Gun when I wear them. And these were only £2 so I was buzzing. And because they were so ridiculously cheap, I thought I'd get another pair too. This time in a Victoria Beckham over-sized style for £1, which I thought would be fab when I hide hangovers in the approaching sunny months. I think my bank balance was beyond chuffed with my purchases too. 

Sadly I got out the shop and it started raining again so I didn’t get to wear them but hey ho, that’s England for you.

Lovisa

Leeds is special in many ways but one of my favourite ways is Lovisa. If you’ve never heard of Lovisa, it’s an Australian-based jewellery company that do some amazing accessories at amazing prices and when I saw that Lovisa was having a sale, there was no holding me back.


I had my ears pierced back when I was five years old and absolutely loved my little stud earrings. I even had to endure my first heartbreak after losing one when I was eleven years old. After that, I took the other one out and let them heal up, too mortified to look at another pair as I’d never love anything as much as that pair.

I’ve just realised how dramatic I make my life seem, especially with the Victoria’s Secret discontinued perfume grudge and this Nicholas Spark novel plot between my earrings and I.. I promise, it wasn’t that bad. I cried for about two minutes until I realised I had SATs the next day and then cried about that. I wasn’t reaching for the Ben and Jerry’s and Bridget Jones boxset, just yet.

But then this Christmas, I got given a gorgeous jewellery set that had a pair of matching earrings and I thought I’d have a go at re-piercing my ears. Three hours of screaming and about two pints of blood later, I’d done it. So when I saw that Lovisa had a whole wall of earrings on sale, I thought it was time to stock up on different designs. 

The photo doesn’t really show it well but the top set labelled £2, that were.. would you believe it.. £2, are actually rose gold and I’m pretty much addicted to anything rose gold. I’m like a magpie for rose gold things. So, obviously, they had to be mine. And at £2, I didn’t have to break the bank at all. 

Then I thought, the loopy loop ones were quite adventurous for me so I thought it was safer to go for five sets of small stud earrings that I could wear on an every-day basis, not just on wild nights out. I got (left to right) a pair of rose gold ball-ey ones (there’s probably a better name for them but I think ‘ball-ey ones’ has a certain sort of vibe to it), a pair of clear jewel stud ones, matte lilac stud ones, infinity sign ones and then a smaller rose gold stud set. These were £1.50 each, or 5 for £5. Absolute B A R G A I N!

Kiehl’s


I am absolutely loving Kiehl’s this year. After purchasing, and falling in love with, Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado for £20 in winter (that was coincidentally featured in my Winter Favourites blog post), I thought while I was out, I might as well get another pot as mine is running low. The store was also advertising the Ultra Facial Cream so I thought I’d give that a go. At £24, it was a pretty expensive ‘give it a go’ but I was willing to pay that because of how amazing the Creamy Eye Treatment is. 

Boots

Boots is definitely my favourite ‘drugstore’ store in England and every shopping day I have seems to consist of me wanting everything in sight. But today, I was good, I resisted and I only bought four things. 


Let’s start off first with my favourite mascara in the whole entire world. At the moment I am using an Estee Lauder one as my Benefit They’re Real one ran out but after some inspiration on a night out this weekend, I thought I’d get another one as I loved it so much. At £19.50, I don’t think it’s ridiculously expensive for a high-end mascara, considering some brands can be in the £30-£40 range and it is such a good mascara. 

I also got another Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish for £14 as I noticed this morning that my current one was running a little low and my local Boots doesn’t stock Liz Earle *ultra super sad face*. Then, at the Liz Earle counter, I realised Boots had an offer on where you get 500 points when you buy two Liz Earle products. This was a no-brainer for me so in went the Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic for £14.50 Just as I was about to prise myself away, I saw the Liz Earle Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask for £15 and it ticked every metaphorical box that I had on my list for a face mask - something I’d been searching for for ages, so that went in too. I decided to stop there, even though I’d miss out on a second points boost. It took a lot of willpower. Believe me

..But that is it. Along with my Lush haul, that is everything I bought today. Phewwww.

I am pretty confident though that I’m gonna love using the majority of the stuff I bought and, who knows, maybe some of the products will feature in my Spring favourites if I love them that much. Watch this space for reviews too!


Anyway, I’d better go back to waiting around for news about my best friend and the stork’s delivery! Hope y’all enjoyed snooping as much as I enjoyed splurging!

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Revision Tips.

With spring break officially in full swing for most students, it’s that time of year when exam period is fast approaching and motivation is nowhere to be seen. And no matter how I try to avoid it, I always seem to fall victim to procrastination. I mean, this blog is just one of the results of locking myself away from society, for hours at a time, in an attempt to kick myself into action and knuckle down with studying for my exams. So for the last few days, I’ve been browsing the tinternet for the best tips to help aid my revision and get me to crack on with studying as well as reflecting on things that I’ve done in the past that have helped and I thought I’d share them with you guys in case you were in the same boat as me - a boat that was going absolutely nowhere and at high risk of sinking.

These tips are pretty much applicable to every student, regardless of what level of education you’re in, whether it be high school, college or university (undergrad and postgrad) - which makes them even better!

Before Studying
I have two huge guilty pleasures when it comes to studying - stationary and organisation..

Nothing makes me happy like new stationary. Growing up I’d always be looking forward to the last week of August before starting a new school year so I could raid Staples and WHSmiths for new pens, pencils, books, folders etc. etc. etc. Even just typing about them is making me so happy. (You don't need to tell me I'm sad - I already know). But I do find having stationary that you enjoy using makes me more motivated into studying. So even if you’re not a stationary freak like me, go out to the shops and buy a new notebook or a folder or even just a pen because you’ll probably find that, if you really like it, you’re gonna want to use it, which is going to motivate you into studying. Clever, eh?


And when it comes to organisation, there’s no doubt in saying that I am definitely on Monica Gellar’s level. I love, love, love making to-do lists. My whiteboard is home to most of my to-do lists. It helps me organise what I’m gonna do and I have a terrible memory at remembering things. I also find that making a to-do list helps you complete the tasks that you don’t necessarily enjoy doing as well as the ones you do like doing as you can switch them up and everything gets done in the end. It’s also the best feeling at the end of the day when you can tick (or violently scribble) everything out that you’ve done, leaving you feeling like you’ve actually accomplished something with your day. 


As well as having day-to-day to-do lists, I have to-do lists that can span over months at a time, especially when it comes to huge deadlines, such as with my dissertation or for my final examinations. I don’t enjoy these as much as I rarely get to cross things off them but when I do, I feel so relieved. 


Talking of deadlines, organise your deadlines or exam dates somewhere you can see them regularly but not constantly, i.e. don’t put them up right in front of your desk but maybe at the side of your room or, like I have, on the back of your door. If you can see them all the time, you’ll just work yourself up about how much time there is left, whereas keeping them somewhere you can see a few times a day means you get a reminder but without all that stress. I like to keep mine on the back of my office door on a little whiteboard as it means that I see them every time I go to leave the room. Again, it’s a great relief to scribble them out as each one passes!


During my A-levels, I had a habit of creating revision timetables but never stuck to them. Things would come up, meaning I couldn't study certain things on certain days, so I’d spend more time redoing the timetable than I was revising. So I found during my first year of university that it was more useful to create the to-do lists and allocate a certain amount of time each day to studying. I wouldn’t specify what I’d be doing each day but I’d make sure that I’d get a set amount of hours each day revising. I didn’t set myself ridiculous amount of hours either - I’d have an hour a day for each subject I studied for the first few weeks and then for the final two weeks before the exam, I’d up the hours as much as I felt was doable without overdoing it. This semester, since I do two exams, I have two hours a day studying for those and then two hours a day working on my dissertation. It’s good to have a small amount as it means I can do more if I want but is also manageable if I want to make plans too as I only have to do four hours in the morning or make sure I’m home in the evening to do four hours before bed. I then work through my to-do lists and once something is crossed out, I don’t redo it until the last few days before the exam. Simples.

It’s also important to be in a comfortable surrounding that you can sit, undisturbed, for the set amount of hours you’ve decided on. This could be an office/study, a desk in your bedroom, the family dining table (so long as it isn’t going to be interrupted with meal times) or even a library. I also find it’s good to have a change of setting ever so often so like to head down to the local coffee shop with a few books and my laptop to study. The worst thing you can do when studying is watch a movie or television shows. Up until last semester, I’d whack my Friends or Desperate Housewives boxsets on (or other boxsets I’d seen billions of times before as I thought it’d be safe for me to just have them on for background noise), but found myself laughing at Chandler’s jokes or crying at (SPOILER ALERT) Mike’s death for the umpteenth time so it was distracting me from what I was supposed to be doing - studying. Now I’m settled in my own office space (which you can see a tour of here (lil selfless bit of self-promo)), I put an easy-listening Spotify playlist on and put my phone on silent in a drawer to minimise distractions. This playlist is perfectI’ve even disabled the notifications on my Mac so I can’t stray to the dark side when a Candy Crush request comes through. 


Then there’s my favourite thing of all when it comes to studying.. pyjamas! Well, it doesn’t have to be pyjamas but I find that everything is better when you can wear your pyjamas. And it’s best to wear clothes that are loose and comfortable when you’re studying so you have less annoyances as studying itself is the biggest annoyance, ever. That’s one thing I hate about studying in the university campus’ library. I’m one of those people who cannot step foot in university with no make-up on and lounging clothes on so studying in the library for me is my idea of a nightmare - it’s much better to study at home, where I don’t get judged for being in my Finding Nemo onesie with my hair up in space buns, looking like a four year old. Oh, that’s another point. If you have long hair, it’s probably best that you tie it up in a hairstyle that means your hair won’t be in your face as again less annoyances and all that jazz. 

And I think that’s all the tips for before the hell that teachers call ‘studying’ starts..

TIPS FOR BEFORE STUDYING: 
  1. Get stationary that you need and love!
  2. Write a to-do list of what you need to achieve (either that day or before the exam)
  3. Organise your deadlines
  4. Allocate a set amount of hours to study each day (four at the most)
  5. Get into a comfortable surrounding with minimal distractions
  6. Get in ya jim jams (or other comfortable attire)

During
When I first started my degree all those years ago (okay, it was two and a half years ago but feels a lifetime ago), we had an induction day when we got bored to death with all the rules and regulations and all that yardy yar. But one thing that I do remember for those eight tedious hours in that lecture theatre was the head of the law school telling us that he didn’t believe in saying ‘studying for a degree’ or ‘studying for a qualification’ but he believed in saying ‘reading for a degree’ or ‘reading for a qualification’. And at the time, I was like ‘yeh, ok, mate, whatevz’ and was more concerned in wondering what I was gonna wear that night for our final Freshers night out. But now I actually see what he was meaning. Studying is essentially reading. For the first two years (well, majority of my degree), I bought the textbooks recommended to us at the start of the semesters with all intentions of reading them all but in reality, the only thing I used my textbooks for was as a doorstop (see below). But now I’ve started reading them and can see why they are useful. I’m not gonna profess that I read every single word printed and understand it fully - it’s more of a skim read - but they do help me understand it a lot more. So if your teachers or lecturers have told you to read something, read through it. They’re not trying to ruin your social life, like I thought they were doing to me in first year. They’re trying to help you. Honestly. And if you’re like me and hate reading, use something as a reward for when you finish a section. Haribos are great, FYI. 


Studying can be a right ballache, especially if you’re really strict with yourself and lock yourself away for hours at a time without no breaks. That's why breaks are so important when you’re concentrating. My concentration is like a goldfish’s memory and lasts about twenty seconds at best. But if I really crack down, I can do about half an hour of hard studying before I get restless, so for me, it is important to take breaks regularly. For the first few weeks of studying when it would be a couple of hours every day, I just have breaks that would last for a few minutes at a time (ten at the most). Then when the studying gets more intense, when I could be sat at my desk for nine or ten hours a day, I’d make the breaks longer. First year of university I’d reward myself by intending on having a nap or watch an episode of my favourite show on Netflix, but then when the nap would turn into a full blown eight hour sleep or the one episode on Netflix would turn into an entire season, I realised it wasn’t helping me at all. The break is supposed to help you reflect on what information you’d just studied and give you a refresher while it all sinks into your brain so last year I spiced it up a bit and rewarded myself by cleaning or cooking. Now, I know what you’re thinking right now and it seems boring but in the long run, it gave me a huge break from studying, let me have time to myself to think about what I’d studied and was productive. It wouldn’t be huge tasks. I’d do an hour or so of studying then maybe clean the bathroom (not a full hand and knees scrub as me and my housemates kept it relatively clean anyway but just bleach the toilet and run a mop over the floor) then go back to studying for an hour or so, then break for lunch, then go back to studying, then hoover the downstairs while pretending to be Freddie Mercury, and so on. BREAKS ARE SO IMPORTANT. YOU ARE STILL A HUMAN AT THE END OF THE DAY, NOT A MACHINE. And even machines breakdown when they’re over used. 


Drinking water is also vital as it helps you feel refreshed and stops you getting dehydrated. This is pretty self-explanatory so I won’t jabber on about it, but it’s also a good idea to maybe use ‘getting water’ as one of your short studying breaks.. just saying.


Enjoy yourself too. It doesn't always have to be work and no play. If your favourite song comes on, dance in your chair and sing your little heart out. If you feel a little reclusive, look at your phone for a bit and creep on Twitter. If you’re getting a numb bum, stand up and go run around the garden, chasing your dog. And if you don’t have a dog, go find someone with a dog and pet the dog. Dogs always help. If I ever ran for Prime Minister, I’d make it mandatory for every student to get a puppy as puppies are great. 


LOOK AT 'EM. LITTLE BALLS OF FLUFFY CUTENESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TIPS FOR DURING STUDYING: 
  1. Read what you’re supposed to read
  2. Have short, productive breaks regularly
  3. Drink water
  4. Don’t forget to have fun too

After
Once you've finished your studying for the day, don't even think about it again. Don't plan for tomorrow's session studying. The day is now yours to enjoy. Don't stress. Don't work yourself up because your deadline is dooming. Don't think 'what ifs' or 'what buts' (is that even a phrase?). Just relax. Take a bath. Pet more dogs. 


And if you are stressing so much to the point that it is physically impossible to relax, even if you've petted all the dogs in the neighbourhood, write all your worries down on a piece of paper. This way, tomorrow you know what to tackle first. (What a surprise, I've recommended writing yet another to-do list..) Overworking yourself will mean you'll spend more time worrying about what you can't do, instead of studying what you can't do and turning what you can't do into something you can do. Never stay up ridiculously late to study either. Get an early night and after a good night's sleep, you'll be more refreshed, more focused and less stressed to battle on. 

So these are the tips I've picked up and started using myself throughout the years and hopefully they help you guys if you're stressing with studying and revising too! 

We can do this. And if not, friendly reminder that these jobs actually exists.. 


Saturday, 19 March 2016

Winter Favourites.

Winter has pretty much gone now - thankfully - meaning I can do my first ever favourites post and boy, oh, boy, am I excited to do that! So let’s begin..

Skincare


Winter is always a harsh time on my skin so the amount of moisturisers and skin products that I go through usually is beyond a joke but all changed this winter when I discovered these bad boys..

Clinique Moisture Surge 
In October, I went to a Sephora (obviously!) in New York and the sales assistant recommended Clinique’s Moisture Surge to me - something I was pretty happy with as I’d heard such good things about it online but just didn’t know if it was for me. So I splurged a bit and bought a pot. It wasn’t too expensive, especially now considering how good it is with my skin, and my mum didn’t even blink at the price when I paid for it so it even had parental approval. Since that day, I’ve used it three times a day without fail - once in the morning as soon as I wake up so it has time to soak into my skin before I put make-up on top of it; once when I take my make-up off as I usually take my make-up off the minute I get in, knowing I don’t have to go back out again; and then once the second I climb into bed before I go to sleep. Even though a small amount of the gel-based moisturiser would be able to cover my whole face without a problem, I use generous amounts each time as I feel like my skin needs it. It also doubles up as a mask too - which is perfect! One 50ml tub lasts me about three months but considering how much I do use and how often, it is pretty good going! It’s not greasy at all, feels light when you put it on your face, soaks in really well and leaves your skin feeling soft and refreshed with a slight glow too - perfect when the weather is dull outside. There is no way I’m gonna be changing from this moisturiser as why change it if it does exactly what you want it to do? I would definitely recommend this product to anybody with any type of skin that craves moisture. 

Clarisonic Mia 2 
There has been one product that I have wanted for absolutely donkey years yet never even considered buying because it was so expensive and that is a Clarisonic Mia 2. If you have never heard of Clarisonic before, they manufacture some of the best electronic face brushes known to the skincare world and have brushes that cater for every skin type possible. For the past 2+ years, I’ve been using a box standard Soap and Glory manual face brush to make sure all my pores are cleansed and exfoliated but the second I got my first big payslip from my current job, I went online and did the inevitable - ordered myself a Clarisonic Mia 2 in baby pink.. and I haven’t regretted it one bit. Even though it is expensive, it has made my skin so soft, clear and I rarely get any blemishes now so in my opinion, it is totally worth the £125. My Clinque Moisture Surge soaks in so well because of it and using it twice a day - morning and night - leaves my face feeling all fresh and clean. I did, however, break out a lot for the first two weeks of using it but I persevered and the results paid off - I guess the Soap and Glory wasn’t cleaning my pores as well as I thought it was. Along with the Clarisonic, I use Clinque’s Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser to cleanse my skin and they are such a good combination. I only use the tiniest smidge of the cleanser on the brush every morning and every night and I soon look like Mr Stay Puft Marshmallow Man as it creates so much foam. 

Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment
Never have I ever found an eye cream that is as good as Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with avocado. It works instantly to get rid of dark circles and moisturises the most sensitive part of my face. I'm one of them unlucky souls that is cursed with dark circles and when I eventually bought this cream at the end of 2015, I hit the jackpot. The cream is a lovely consistency and works so well that the slightest blob will generously moisturise both eyes. You only apply it to the orbital bone (for all you non-scientific people, like me, it's basically that sticky out bone just beneath your eye socket..) and massage it in gently in a circular motion with your finger and hey presto, magic! It is a small pot but I use it twice daily (first thing in the morning and last thing at night) and I'm just nearing the bottom of the pot, even though I bought it in December! I'll definitely be purchasing this lifesaver again in the near future.

Garnier Micellar Water
Everyone and their mother seems to be raving about micellar water these days. The craze seemed to appear out of nowhere, and after trying out micellar water at the end of last summer/start of last winter, it isn't hard to see why. Garnier's Micellar Water is the best thing since sliced bread when it comes to make-up removal (I mean this as in it's amazing, not that sliced bread was good at taking off make-up before this came along.. never tried that..). Even though it is available in a 400ml bottle, I always opt for the smaller travel size bottles of it as there's nothing I hate more than lugging around huge bottles of toiletries if I'm stopping over somebody's house for the night or travelling to and from London so it's just easier for me to have the smaller bottle. But it works like a dream with taking off eye make-up, even waterproof mascara!!!!!!! All I do is soak a cotton pad in the micellar water and hold it firmly over my eye for a few seconds before gently wiping it away from my face, taking all the eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara and all the junk with it. It's so gentle - which is perfectly for your eye area - and so inexpensive considering how well it works. 

Make-Up


With winter having the festive period right slap bang in the centre of it, I thought it was the perfect season to spruce up my make-up collection with some new additions that I'd wanted for absolutely ages!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit
There's one thing that really annoys me when it comes to shopping in London and that's the fact that nowhere stocks Anastasia Beverly Hills, so when I was in New York in October, I made it my mission to hit up Sephora and raid Anastasia Beverly Hills' counter. Surprisingly, I came away with the cream contour kit (which I was told was a rare occurrence as the palette is so high in demand so it usually sells out within a day or so of being in stock). I'd always wanted it due to the fact that I love contouring (when I can be bothered) and always preferred a creamy consistency to a powder as I found the creams so much easier to blend. When I got back to London, I wore the contour kit on most days and absolutely loved it! So when I realised that Cult Beauty (a UK online beauty store) stocked ABH I decided to buy the powder contour kit too. And I haven't looked back since. I've even ended up ditching my cream contour kit (apart from on days where I want a more dramatic make up look) for the more subtle and easy-as-hell-to-apply powder kit. 

MAC Velvet Teddy Lipstick and Spice Lipliner 
I don't know if it's just me but I find watching make-up tutorials on Instagram so relaxing, but it's got to the point where I just want every single bit of make-up featured in my favourite accounts' videos. And one video that especially caught my eye was a gorgeous deep nude lip tutorial that I can't seem to find now but if I find it again, I promise to link it. It was quite a dramatic lip colour for me to say I usually stick to the neutral nudes and only dare for a bold colour when I'm actually going somewhere important but I fell in love and knew I 'needed' it. Thankfully, the account had posted the names of the products used and so I went on a mission on Christmas Eve to get me so lippy and some liner - MAC's Velvet Teddy matte lipstick and MAC's Spice lipliner. I didn't open it until Christmas Day morning as I always love having new make up to wear on the big day itself and the second I put it on I was in love. I followed the instructions the tutorial said and the lipstick seemed to last all day. I'd tried matte liquid lipsticks before and loved the way they looked but felt they dried my lips out too much and it was more like a form of torture for me considering I'm constantly putting on lip balm, but this was perfect as it felt like it was moisturising my lips as well as looking great. I don't wear it as an every day look but it's definitely my favourite lip combo to reach for on nights out and special occasions. 

Chanel Le Blanc De Chanel
Last payday, I was browsing around Boots and saw Chanel's Le Blanc De Chanel and thought I'd give it a go. The description said it was multi-use with being able to be applied before foundation for more radiance, mixed with foundation to light the shade and applied over foundation for a subtle highlight so I thought 'hey, kill three birds with one bottle'. And it's fair to say I'm in love with this little white bottle. I was a bit dubious to apply it over make-up as I always find a liquid over a liquid based foundation causes it to go a bit patchy but this didn't do that at all and left me with a really subtle hint of highlighter - something I wanted as part of my every day routine. It also makes a perfect base for days where I want a more defined highlight and acts as a primer for my highlighter, keeping it in place pretty much all day. 

Urban Decay Naked Smoky
Since I started my high end make-up collection last, last summer, I've been lucky enough to buy all three Naked eyeshadow palettes and love them all so much.. so when Urban Decay announced they were releasing yet another one, I cried with joy but my bank account cried in pain. I waited a few months and then the week before Christmas, treated myself to it with my tips I'd saved up from work. Naked Smoky is now my favourite eyeshadow palette that Urban Decay have released and I can't even remember the last time I touched the other three as this just has every colour and shade I could possibly want for a smoky eye. As much as I love the other palettes, I just feel like Smoky is aimed more at a brown, nude, smoky eye whereas the other palettes never seemed to have the right shades for a proper smoky eye and I always had to use two palettes for one look, rather than just one - I guess 'Smoky' kinda gives the aim of the game away. I also love the brush that comes with this palette. Naked 1, 2 and 3 came with great brushes but they were all so similar and it got to the point where I didn't even know which brush came with which palette as they were pretty identical. However, Smoky was a game changer and came with a more precise brush on one end and a fluffy blending brush on the other - p e r f e c t! Smoky is aaaaaaaaaamazing for the perfect smoky eye (good job naming it, UD!)

Bits and Bobs


Winter is the coldest time of the year (unless you live in England and it's just the same as all year round) so I find having bubble baths regularly keeps the summer blues at bay and makes me all warm, relaxed and prepared for long, cosy nights in. So I like to get a few of my favourite bath bombs every time I go to Lush and my ultimate one this winter has been Sex Bomb! It turns the bath a gorgeous pink colour, which reminds me of Calpol (a children's strawberry flavoured medicine in the UK that I confess I sometimes faked being ill just so my mum would give me some) and smells so relaxing. I was pretty much a Lush bath bomb fanatic this winter so every chance I got, I'd be straight in the bathroom, plopping a bath bomb into the running bath and watching it fizz like a child. No ragrats.

And finally, my holy grail perfume for the past six months.. Chanel's Chance Eau Vive. If you haven't smelt this yet, go to your nearest perfume counter at Boots or Debenhams or Macy's or wherever and smell it. It is the best scent I've ever smelt on a perfume since Victoria's Secret broke my heart and discontinued their Dream Angel. It's a scent that stays on all day, even with just one spritz and it's such a refreshing smell. I'd wanted it for ages and it was only until I went to the Chanel counter in Macy's Herald Square on my birthday that my mum talked me into getting it. Every time I smell it now it reminds me of New York and makes me so happy (and a little bit sad because I miss the Big Apple)! I love this perfume so much that it's probably gonna be my spring scent, and summer scent, and autumn scent too but hey ho.


So that's my Winter favourite blog post - something I've wanted to do for absolutely ages. I'm sorry for how long it was but I had so much to get through and didn't want to miss any out!