23 December 2014

THE NOTES: MY THOUGHTS ON LIVING ALONE


Whenever I tell people that I live on my own, nine times out of ten I receive a shocked expression followed by: "Don't you get lonely?" "Why did you want to do that?" "You're a student that's weird  and I have to laugh to myself because living on my own is truly the best thing that has ever happened to me and I will tell you why.

I semi moved out of the family home of 17 years when I was 18 and moved to Liverpool to study. Like any fresher I ended up living in halls of residence which happened to be one of the worst nine months of my life, you can read about some of it HERE.  I absolutely hated living in a place that I had no control over, no control over how clean it was or how noisy/quiet it was. I had the same problem in my second year and by my third year I knew that enough was enough, I had to get a place on my own and that is exactly what I did.

Often, I will unlock my front door and almost want to cry with happiness that when I walk inside my flat, it's quiet, clean and there's nobody there. Just me, free to do whatever the hell I like. I love having friends over but I also love saying bye to them when i've had enough. I can hide away and I can have an open house, what matters to me is that the choice is mine. I used to be petrified when I flat shared and the door would open for an army of drunk people to walk in screaming and shouting at all hours in the night, I hated being scared to go out of my room to the toilet because of strangers that my flat 'mates' had invited in running around the flat and trying to get into my room to play a prank on me. 

As an only child I believe that i'm programmed to enjoy my own company a lot more than most, I find it easy to entertain myself and I don't yearn for the company of others, I never ever get lonely whilst living on my own, loneliness was something that when I lived with others I suffered from chronically. Living on my own is the best thing that has ever happened to me and when people ask me why I take them back to a night when the psychopathic lad I lived with in first year tried to strangle our flat mate in the middle of the night.

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16 December 2014

THE MAKE-UP: MAC 'FRESH MOROCCAN' LIPSTICK



With every trip I take somewhere special, I buy a Mac lipstick as a little souvenir to remember it by. When I visited London in 2012 I bought 'Girl About Town'  and when I popped over to Turkey in the summer of 2013 I bought 'Big Apple Red.' 

For my birthday trip to The Netherlands, I bought 'Fresh Moroccan' a beautiful brown toned red with plenty of sparkle. I would describe the shade as cinnamon/copper tone which is super Christmassy and is the perfect Autumnal shade. This aside, I think this shade will look beautiful with a tan in the summer. 

The lipstick is a frost finish which means that this lippy is easy to wear all day long, moisturising the lips and maintaining a colourful shine. Fresh Moroccan is more orange toned than 'Big Apple Red' which is a pink toned red. 

Perfect for warm and cool toned skin, Fresh Moroccan compliments a peachy cheek and gold eye make-up


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9 December 2014

L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss In 535 'Chocolate' // My hair before + after

 L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss In 535 'Chocolate'

In all honesty, I don't know what I'm doing with my hair at the moment. All I can say is that I am truly angry at myself for damaging it so badly and having to have three inches lobbed off. With a band-aid over my heart, I am embracing having super short hair and clinging to the positives of it feeling softer and looking shinier. 

After deciding that the ombre had to go due to a lot of breakage and no shine I had my hair cut and decided to embrace the true Hollie as a natural brunette. Having been told by a hairdresser that semi-permanent hair colours had much more depth and shine to them in comparison with permanent colours that are matte, I decided to choose a colour from the Casting Creme Gloss range as their brunette shades are just delicious. After much deliberation between 'Chocolate Brownie' which was a smidge too dark and 'Honey Chocolate' which was a tiny bit too golden, I went with 'L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss in '535 Chocolate'' a deep red-based brown.

The colourant itself lasts for up to 28 washes and adds a conditioning colour to your hair using no ammonia. The conditioning treatment that comes in the box is amazing as it is infused with royal jelly leaving your hair super conditioned and nourished post colouring. 

I'm really happy with the colour as it is a rich, warm brown which I think for winter time suits my skin tone a lot. I'm not sure how long this exact shade will stick around on my barnet but I would certainly use it again.




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4 December 2014

THE NOTES: MY 21ST BIRTHDAY IN AMSTERDAM



For my 21st birthday, I decided to celebrate in The Netherlands, specifically Amsterdam after hearing so many amazing reviews of the city. 

We headed off on our travels on Saturday morning hopping across Europe on a propeller plane which took just an hour to land at Amsterdam, Schipol airport. After a short 15 minute train ride we arrived at the Westcord Fashion Hotel to be shown to our room, a large monochrome space with plenty of stylish accessories and a super large shower. The hotel itself was nice however, the front desk service was a bit shoddy and after a number of mix ups with deposits and sneakily added bills banged on to our stay, I wouldn't stay there again.

To celebrate my birthday we headed to the hotels 10th floor where the super glamorous Sky bar looked out over thousands of twinkly lights and the black, inky sky and after a cocktail or two, it was time to head into central Amsterdam. We booked to have dinner at Jamie Oliver's '15' restaurant on the dock front, I have to say Amsterdam at this time of year is bitterly cold, I don't think we anticipated just how biting the air would be as we scrabbled with a map. Our meal at 15 was delicious, I opted for the fettuccini with truffle and a mocha cake dessert, the butterscotch ice cream was certainly the jewel of that dish. We closed the evening with a walk into Amsterdam, finding ourselves wandering down the red light district shuffling passed the windows adorned with scantily clad ladies.

On Sunday we slipped into super tourist mode, grabbing a croque monsieur from the station and taking a long walk around the freezing streets of Amsterdam, dipping over canal bridges, dodging bicycles and ambling through Dam Square. In between bubbly hot chocolates and a delicious, authentic pizza we visited Anne Frank House, a moving museum focusing on the Frank families time in the secret annexe in World War 2.  To actually walk through their real life hiding place was unreal.
After a solid eight hours of understanding Amsterdam we headed back to the Sky bar for more cocktails before being too tired to keep our eyes open. Being a tourist is hard work.

We flew home on Monday after spending a little more time in the city by this time the winter chill was becoming a little over bearing, it was almost too much as you can't amble around the streets as fluidly. I did however have an amazing city break to Amsterdam, the city itself is a cultural hit with so much rich diversity, I certainly recommend heading there yourself if you are thinking about it. I wasn't sure if it would be the right city for me but it turned out to be even better.





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