Thursday, 30 June 2016

MONTHLY FAVOURITES: JUNE 2016



Beauty products i've been loving in the month of June...

S K I N: I am really enjoying using lighter products on my skin at the moment, gone are the days whereby I would blur out my features (A term nicely put by Wendy Rowe in her 'In the bathroom interview with Sali Hughes) with a heavy coverage mousse foundation, Dream Matte Mousse anyone? I have been using the medium variant Clean + Clear 'Hint of tint'  pretty much everyday this month and have really been enjoying the light texture with a hint of glow. I just top it up with some mascara and bronzer to create a fresh everyday look.

L I P S: I'm not ashamed to tell you that I acquired the super lush 'No Competition' lippy by Benefit at a Kings College ball I attended years ago when a girl gave it to me because 'it looked better with my dress than hers.' Ever since then, the plummy hues of 'No Competition' have been my go to choice when I want to make a statement with my lips and go for a vampy make-up look. The formula is super comfortable to wear, almost too creamy on the lips, it can get a little messy if you don't blot.

E Y E S: In the August edition of 'Red Magazine' we were treated to a Rodial 'Smokey Eye Pen' eyeliner duo in black and brown. To me, this is the best freebie i've ever seen stuck on the front of a magazine as these eyeliners are absolutely incredible, super creamy and pigmented and are perfect for smudging out for that classic Bardot bedroom eye look.

N A I L S: When it comes to the time of year whereby it's acceptable (ish) to get out my horrendous feet, I like to make them look at least somewhat presentable with a pop of colourful nail varnish. The same goes for my fingernails i'm a natural biter but I go through phases of growing them when my mental psyche is healthy. I have been loving the Collection 60 Second 'Hot Looks' polish in '65 Scorched' it is a gorgeous burnt orange shade with flecks of gold. A real summery shade.

B R O W S: If you read my post on my experience with High Definition brows you'll have seen me briefly touching upon the 'Brow Color Fix' in the shade 'Vamp' - a brow fixer that distributes colour through your brows whilst keeping them set. It is a little messy but I tend to pop a smudge of the product on the back of my hand before setting my brows with the spooley to avoid any excess product clumping.


What beauty products have you been loving this month?


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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

IN BEAUTY: HIGH DEFINITION BROWS AT BENITO LIVERPOOL



The day before my year 9 school portrait I decided to 'do something about' the thick, full brows that framed my face. To me, they were like caterpillars, square and straight... not defined and arched like those of the popular girls who all wore hoop earrings and lipgloss.

I sneaked into my Mum's bedroom, sourced her tweezers and got to work. What I ended up with was a pair of very harsh, thin eyebrows which looked a little something like this. 


[Me and my friend Charlotte aged 14 - I hope she won't mind me showing you this SUPER sassy pic for deterrent purposes!]

Ever since that day some 8 years ago i've been trying to undo my handy work and grow my brows back to some kind of shape and thickness. It hasn't exactly helped that fuller brows 'ala' Cara Delevigne have been all the rage for the past year or two.

My eyebrow routine is a large part of my make-up and I like to spend time making my brows look somewhat presentable, so when the Benito eyebrow specialists housed in Debenhams, Liverpool invited me to try their High Definition service* I jumped at the opportunity. 

The service is designed to create a bespoke brow service tailored to you, depending on what you want to achieve with your brows. For me it was all about creating shape and promoting growth.


Top Left: My natural brows before the treatment 

Top Right: My natural brows filled in 

Bottom Left: My natural brows after the treatment 

Bottom Right: My natural brows after the treatment + filled in

I wore a patch test in the crook of my arm for 3 days before my treatment which was a little annoying especially if like me you are a sweaty gym goer, but I understand it is an important precaution to avoid a reaction to the treatment.

After 3 days, the lovely Benito consultant Shada took care of me on my visit, beginning with a consultation on what I wanted to get out of the service. I was then laid down horizontally waiting for my brows to be transformed. The effects of the treatment lasts around 4-5 weeks and is around £30 per treatment.

Shada started by tinting my brows dark brown before getting to work waxing. I found the waxing process pretty painless, though more tender around the top of my brows as opposed to underneath. It was then time to trim, tweeze and thread my brows to whip them into shape. I don't find threading unpleasant but it was quite nippy for me, again around the top of my brows.

With so much time and attention focused on my brows I was slightly nervous about what they'd look like throughout the whole process which took around 1 hour. The final stage of the treatment was make-up which was probably my least favourite part of the process. To me, only I can style my brows how I like them to look and I think they were made up a little too square and strong for my liking so be mindful of this stage, your expectations of the result may be skewed by the make-up. Wait until you get home and take off your make-up to reveal the real results.

As you can see from my before and after pictures, there is a noticeable result with my brows looking much more tidy and striking. I love how natural they look without product and having the option of whether I actually want to fill them in on a morning is great. As this is a process, it may be that you need 3 or even 4 visits to enhance your brows into the style you really want, but as a first treatment i'm really happy.

My only note on having the treatment done was that a day later I unfortunately had a huge breakout all over the area that had been worked on. You can kind of see in the pictures that red and white blotchy bumps that look like acne cysts popped up on my brow and have yet to clear. I don't have sensitive skin, and this seems to be a reaction I have had only when i've had eyebrow treatments, so i'm not sure it's directly linked to my treatment but is something to be aware of if you also have similar reactions.


To maintain my brows I have been using High Definition products the 'Brow Define pencil*' in 'Foxy' which is a gorgeous, soft pencil for drawing tiny stokes to emulate hairs where they are sparse. To set my brows I have been using 'Brow Color Fix*' in 'Vamp' which distributes colour through your brows whilst keeping them set. I have been really enjoying these products and will be talking more about them next week in my June beauty favourites. 

Have you ever tried High Definition brows?


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Sunday, 26 June 2016

IN THE NOTES: 3 WAYS TO RECOGNISE YOU'RE IN A BAD RELATIONSHIP


Remember when Berger said he needed space, then a week later he came to Carrie's door with flowers, stayed the night and subsequently broke up with her on a post it note?

He was a bad guy. 'Bad' can mean any number of things from coward to cheat.


Slight swerve from beauty + fashion related stuff today...I hope you don't mind. I've wanted to write this post for a while now as I have a few friends who have like me, in the past have been in total denial that they were actually in a bad relationship with a bad person.

Unfortunately in my short 22 years of life i've been able to tick off: 'taking bad person back time and again' off the 'shit things that happen' list and the reason I want to write this blog post is to help people like myself who have put up with shitty behaviour in a relationship because they don't feel they have a choice but to live with it. Or sadder still, nobody else will want them and they are worthless. If there is a question mark lingering in your mind, here are a three things that will help you acknowledge if you are in a bad relationship.

1. Read the warning signs...

With every bad egg, there is always an early warning sign to let you know and as much as you want to ignore it, you shouldn't as it will save you from making a fool of yourself down the line. Examples of warning signs i've experienced in the past is a guy telling me: "Yeah i've cheated multiple times before and I don't regret it." Or even more dangerous, the guy who pinky promised (don't laugh, a pinky promise is binding!) that we would date exclusively...Not two days later a friend informed me that they'd seen said guy out snogging the face off NOT ONE, but TWO other girls in the same night, one of which was an ex fling!

If you're dating a guy and there's a warning sign or two...Act upon it and get rid! PS...Watch out for the two timer warning, double check that before you get serious with someone that they are not 'finishing up' with somebody else and stringing you both along while they decide who they want, because one day you'll be the person they're 'finishing up' with.

2. If someone wants to be with you they will do whatever it takes...

One of the hardest lessons I learned was that if someone is just not that into you, they really aren't, whether you've been together years or thinking about taking things to the next level if you're dating. If a person misses you, they will call or come over to see you, if they want to talk to you, they will get in touch, if they can't go a day without thinking about you, they will make every effort to communicate with you and put you at the forefront of their agenda. Unfortunately, when communication dwindles without good reason, this person is just not that into you and couldn't care less. So act upon it and get rid because 9 times out of 10 they're pouring all that time and resource they once gave to you... into somebody else.

3. Repeating cruel behaviour...

I mentioned above that I was stupid enough to take a guy back time and time again and this was after he repeated many cycles of shitty cruel behaviour. Now i'm not saying he was cruel in a physically abusive way or anything like that, but emotionally hard on me. Those kinds of people are the worst because you are under their spell and they know it. They say jump, you say how high? Whether they are emotionally unavailable and just shut down from you...perhaps go days without communicating playing the Jack Berger card, or try to blame you for their sneaky behaviour i.e lying about their where about's and always seem just too busy to give you the time of day. The cycles of cruel behaviour repeat on and on and on. If somebody loves you and cares about you, they won't put your through the ringer and try to destroy you. If you ever hear the words "I dunno its not you, it's me" in a relationship, please just walk away, this is just an excuse and a get out of jail free card.

So there we have it, 3 reasons to help you recognise that you're in a bad relationship. As for me, I wanted to be with a guy for the rest of my life and plan a future with him, I invested every last piece of me into our relationship but I stupidly ignored every one of these signs thinking it would be okay...Sure enough the leopard never changed it's spots, and I was very very badly burned as a text (yes a text) came through to say he wanted to be 'alone' and then sure enough it was complimented with a picture of said dude stuffing his face with sushi... full of smiles across the table from his ex... What a catch!

And whilst i'm not confident enough yet to say "hell yeaaa i'm just fine" I can say that I had a very lucky escape from the repeated cycles of shitty behaviour and someday, all of this will be explained, just like it will be for you.

Have you ever experienced a bad relationship?

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Friday, 24 June 2016

IN BEAUTY: CLEAN + CLEAR - HINT OF TINT COVER AND CORRECT CREAM


[ Left: Wearing just the 'Hint of tint' cream | Right: Wearing the 'Hint of tint' cream with make-up]

The lovely team that look after the drugstore skincare brand, Clean + Clear recently gifted me a 'Festival Survival Kit*' which landed on my doorstep at just the right time... a few days before my trip to Parklife Festival. Packed inside a beautifully made woven tote bag that reads: 'Hello Summer' were some goodies to help make the practicalities of rocking out at a festival a little easier. Think mouthwash, blister pads and face wipes, you know the essentials!

Also included in the tote bag were two beauty products from Clean + Clear - The 'Hint of tint cover and correct creams' in the shades 'light' and 'medium.' Since paring down my everyday make-up, tinted moisturisers, foundations with a light coverage and CC creams have become my muse, so this introduction to the Clean + Clear CC cream offering was a welcome surprise. 

The 'Hint of tint' creams are super light and I like to apply them with the warmth of my fingers as opposed to using a brush so that the product distributes nicely. Now you'll have to excuse my patchy naked skin in the images above, I had been suffering from a prickly heat rash from the sun #palegalproblems but I wanted to illustrate how although the oil free cream is distributed from the tube quite orangey, this doesn't translate onto the skin. 

The coverage is light to medium build-able and the creams can hide a few of the usual sins such as dark under eye circles and redness around the nose. The creams retail at under £4 from Boots therefore they are a great make-up bag staple for the days when you don't want to use your more expensive make-up, or if you're on a budget. Clean & Clear say that the creams also contain a spot-fighting ingredient that helps to clear spots on application. With this in mind, I think this product would be brilliant for younger skin if blemishes / problem skin is an issue. 

With the cream being oil free and blemish busting I did find it dried out my skin a little within the first few applications. To combat this I used an especially rich oil / moisturiser in my evening skincare routine, but this is certainly something to look out for if you have dry skin. 

Have you ever tried Clean + Clear products?


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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

IN STYLE: FOUR DAYS, FOUR OUTFITS #20


Outfits i've been wearing recently...

O U T F I T  1: I am completely head over heels with this turquoise dress (Ahem) playsuit that I bought from Primark. I adjusted it to make it a dress and love to wear it with denim shorts or jeans, on holiday I hope to wear it as a sun dress as the length is really good. Here i'm wearing it when a lace bralet and black leather look leggings. My charm necklace is from Primark as is my ring, on my feet i'm wearing embellished sandals which you can take a peek at in this post. 

O U T F I T 2: I have had the orange tulip skirt in my wardrobe for literally years but never found the right things to wear it with. I bought it from H+M whilst on a shopping trip with no less than SWalkerMakeup if you remember her? Here i'm pairing it with a low, scoop neck vest from Zara and a black and gold, skinny waistbelt from Topshop. My layered necklaces are from Urban Outfitters and I have the whole lot on with tights and heeled ankle boots.

O U T F I T 3:  I have to admit, I absolutely love this outfit and it was completely thrown together on a whim. My leopard print cami dress is from Primark and i've layered it with an orange patterned kimono from tied at the waist. My beaded necklace is from Ibiza and now that the weather has brightened up i've found myself reaching for it more and more.

O U T F I T  4: Okay, I guess this isn't the most summery of outfits but it was during that time that the weather was being crazy, treating us to sunshine one day and rain storms the next. I'm wearing a black jumpsuit from Primark with my skinny waist-belt from Topshop. My red check top is actually a sleep shirt from Primark (lol) and my leather jacket is from Zara.

Which outfit is your favourite?

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Friday, 17 June 2016

IN THE NOTES: PARKLIFE FESTIVAL 2016


Last weekend I found myself quite literally knee deep in mud, bouncing up and down in the pouring rain to 'It was a good day' by Ice Cube and making my world spin 42 metres above the ground. Those were just a few of the things that made Parklife 2016 pretty darn ah-mazing.

I have to say, up until earlier this year I hadn't heard of the weekend festival held at Heaton Park in Manchester, as a seasoned Leeds Fest go-er (There's a seriously old blog post all about my experiences here if you want a giggle) I was interested to see how a festival that you don't camp at would fare. 

S T Y L E

The weather was rough, after a week of seriously hot, balmy days on the morning of the first day, the heavens opened and I knew I would have to cast my snake print Vans aside and work the wellies. The general look at Parklife was seriously Coachella inspired with plenty of off the shoulder bardot tops, denim shorts, glitter bindi's and braids. 

On the first day, I styled my wellies up with tights, my favourite leopard print shift dress and a cropped denim jacket. After a cheeky trip into Manchester city centre, brunch at the infamous Fig + Sparrow and a raid of Primark, on the second day I wore a pair of ripped knee, Topshop Joni jeans with an oversized striped tee and a faux suede waistcoat. All of this was of course layered under a plastic poncho and thrown together in the shop. #rocknroll 

M U S I C

The first act on Saturday's agenda was Craig David, as a firm appreciator of 00s garage music, this was so welcome. I found myself sat on a sturdy pair of shoulders high above the roaring crowd in a seriously sweaty tent singing along to '7 days' and 'Fill Me In' - How else would you want to spend a Saturday? Ps. Craig's trainers were seriously fresh and white...I know you were dying to know that.

It was then time to switch up the tone to some indie rock as we headed to another tent to see Blossoms. Now, if you haven't listened to them, load up your Spotify player and LISTEN NOW. Blossoms are a relatively unknown and new band on the British music scene but they have something with their catchy electronic riffs. In my opinion they're a cross between The Kooks and Jake Bugg. Their first single 'Charlamagne' is a cracker and it was so nice to hear them dedicate this song to the the late Viola Beach who tragically died in a car accident earlier this year. 

My stand out performance of the festival was Jess Glynne, not only did she look like an absolute babe with fishtail braids, an oversized tee and what looked like Jeffery Campbell 'Litas' - but she was also super awesome live. My favourite song of the moment 'Don't be so hard on yourself' was so brilliant to hear open air in the dusky, damp evening singing along with good company.

C O S T

Boozy drinks are around £5 each and food which ranges in cuisine is around the same price for a burger or a wrap. We stayed in a hotel over the weekend so considering that and £97 for the weekend ticket, it can be a pricey weekend if you're not local to Manchester. But if like us you see 6,7 or 8 acts the ticket price is fairly good value and I would certainly pay it again. There's a few rides there too, we took a recky of the grounds on the festival wheel which was £7 each for 3 rotations. It's a pretty cool way to see everything though so i'd definitely recommend.

F E S T I V A L  V I B E S

Vibes wise, Parklife this year was very pop, hip hop and dance orientated, i've never been before but there weren't many bands playing this time around so that's something to bare in mind. General crowd pleasers were Skepta, Annie Mac, Ice Cube and The Chemical Bros and i'd say in comparison to Leeds, it's a young festival attracting a 16-25 crowd.

Whilst it might have been raining, the temperature was humid so there were some serious tropical vibes going on, that mixed with sticky mud, sweat and festival toilets it was the epitome of a great British festival.

Have you ever been to Parklife festival?



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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

IN BEAUTY: NARS EYESHADOW DUO IN EGEA



It's no secret that I absolutely love TK Maxx and the pure gems that you can find in store. I've come away with some real steals before, particularly from the make-up and beauty section. 

My latest finding is from NARS a make-up brand that just calls out my name through it's sleek and super satisfying packaging. When I saw the eyeshadow duo box sitting on the shelf, I didn't really care which colours were inside, for £10 instead of the usual £25 I knew that I had to have it. 

Welcome to the family 'EGEA.'

It turns out that I was treated to a duo featuring a iridescent almost pearl finish pale green and lilac that NARS describes as 'frosted sage and smokey lilac.' A great pairing for light eyes and pale skin, I have been wearing the colours ever since I first picked up the box, with the green shade on the lower lash-line and the lilac shade as a wash all over the lid...I have to say they make me look awake in the morning.

I team the shades with black liner in the tightline/waterline and a subtle cat flick liner as you can see in the picture above.The colour pay off is good, but not intense as the shades are of a highlight / pearly finish rather than an opaque, solid shade. The shades are quite powdery when applied with a soft, shadow brush but thankfully as they are not dark in pigment it doesn't cause too much of an issue. 

I hope to see more NARS products popping up in TK MAXX, as a high end make-up brand it is great for us budget beauty gals to be given a chance to try something new.

Which is your favourite NARS eyeshadow duo? 

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Thursday, 9 June 2016

IN STYLE: SUMMER ESSENTIALS FROM PRIMARK



I think the pictures speak for themselves when it comes to the holiday shop beauties I bought from Primark a little while ago. I can't help but think of The Little Mermaid when I look at this bikini set and playsuit which is made in a gorgeous paisley turquoise and royal blue colour combo.

I'm super lucky to be headed to the US this summer for a few a little while to see some new places and visit my family. I'm hoping the New England weather will be warm enough to hit the beach at least once so I took a gamble and thought 'why the hell not,' when I saw the wall of ocean colours in front of me.

The older I get the more aware I am that I look a bit dodgy in a two piece bikini set..Despite hitting the gym 2-3 times a week and eating a balanced diet my belly / hip area is not the most svelt ala Insta #Fitspo baes and I figured a one piece was the only way to go this summer. "Stuff it" I thought I as I loaded the ruffled, bandeau bikini into my shopping basket. It's not like i'm hitting up the white sands of Ibiza again this year, i'm hanging out with family who I don't think really care about the rolls on their cousin / niece...so what the hell. Both pieces were sold separately to mix and match and the total came to around 12 pounds. 

Despite having super jingly, jangly embellishment on the hem, the matching playsuit was bought with intention of it being a top. It's only when I got it home that I realised it was in-fact a dreaded playsuit...Sorry PS lovers but they do nothing for me. I love the print and the laid back, casual style and I knew that I didn't want to take it back so I got the scissors and snipped at the leg join to make the little beauty into a top. You can see how it looks on my Instagram here. It looks pretty cool and will look even better when teamed with frayed denim shorts and sandals!

Have you spotted anything nice in Primark recently?


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Tuesday, 7 June 2016

IN BEAUTY: NATURAL BEAUTY FROM THE BODY SHOP


A few weeks ago I was invited to The Body Shop to discover their new 'Pinita Colarda' collection which epitomises the scent of summer. I was treated to a lovely relaxing hand massage and a facial which was a real Thursday night treat. I dare say that it also felt great to have a little taste of the 'old blogging days back' - a simple event with no egos and the focus solely on the products.

I have long since loved The Body Shop and of course their natural and non animal testing ethos but recently I really feel that the brand has stepped up their game in both image and product variety. I have my eye on the 'Oils of life' collection once the products in my current skincare routine have been used up.

I came away from the event haven't purchased two slightly obscure products. Did I buy the brand new collection? No, I bought some soap and a tin of oil!

Wild Argan Oil - Miracle Solid Oil For Body & Hair

As you know, I have been seriously looking after my hair recently treating it to weekly masques, no permanent hair dye and lots and lots of oil. I chose the Wild Argan Oil as it looked like a very simple and interesting product that could be used on both my body and the dry ends of my hair. It is enriched with organic community trade Argan Oil from Morocco and I really, really like it. I use it everywhere and particularly on my hair, it has left the drier strands seriously nourished. I put it on my face too after a cleanse and my skin just drinks it up whilst remaining clear and nourished. The rich oil is easily warmed in the palm of your hands to give an instant glow. 

Olive Oil Soap

I am making a conscious effort to attain more and more natural and ethical products in my beauty regime. I don't know what came over me, but when scouting my favourite 'Olive' section I saw a humble bar of soap and at £2 I snapped it up. First things, first the Olive Soap made from organic olive oil makes my shower smell insane all day long, like a Mediterranean holiday. Secondly, I figured soaps were insanely drying...Not this one it is incredibly moisurising and leaves my skin feeling and smelling lovely.

What is your favourite product from The Body Shop?


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Thursday, 2 June 2016

IN STYLE: MINI PRIMARK HAUL - LOTS OF LEOPARD PRINT!





It was only a few weeks ago that I was thinking how these days Primark never seem to have any stock that tickles my pickle. I remember a time when I was a Saturday girl at the local greasy spoon and I would get my wages every week in a little brown envelope. At bang on 5pm I would run down to Primark and spend it all...Ah those days when rent and petrol were just a sparkle in my eye!

My slump with Primark has however been turned around since I went in the Liverpool store on a whim to buy some tights. I didn't end up buying any tights but I did end up with a few goodies.

L E O P A R D  P R I NT  B O D Y S U I T

Bodysuits are really not my thing...Or so I thought. I have that weird exaggerated pear body shape whereby I have a small chest and super child bearing hips that makes it look like I have a rubber ring around my midriff! #Sassy! Therefore anything tight and bodycon is strictly out of the question for me. I do however stand corrected as I bought the little leopard print bodysuit number and absolutely love it. I pair it with high-waisted skinny jeans or a plain black, bodycon skirt and I love how it looks. Yeah I have the odd roll popping out when I sit down but aside from that it makes me feel super sassin'. 

P I N K  E M B E L L I S H E D  S A N D A L S

I love the Birkenstock style of sandals more than any other style of summer shoe including gladiator sandals, flip flops or espadrilles. They are super comfy and I had a leopard print pair from Primark that I bought in 2008! They're still going strong, though i'm no longer a size 6...Oddly my feet have shrunk and so I can't wear them to walk around in anymore. This of course called for a new pair. I found the beaded, embellished pair in store and new I just had to have them. I haven't taken them off my feet as they are just so darn comfy and cute!

L E O P A R D  P R I N T  S U N  D R E S S

This has to be my favourite purchase and I can already tell i'll be wearing this all summer and all winter with tights. The sundress is a cute pattern / tone of leopard print that looks great with a tan and really lovely with a bright red lip. It sits nicely on the shoulders and hangs to just above the knee/ the mid thigh area. I like to wear mine with chunky gold heels for a night out or keep it casual with knackered converse.

Have you spotted anything nice in Primark recently?




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