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

Skin: I've been super lucky lately as my skin has been fairly clear, bright and healthy. I'm not saying that odd hormonal breakout or post gym hairline blemish doesn't pop up from time to time but I have noticed a significant difference in the overall texture and appearance of my skin within the last 2 months or so. My diet hasn't really changed and I am still using KORE products for my skincare routine, the only thing I have added is my daily Revidox* supplement. This is a daily tablet that I take with my breakfast to help improve my skin's hydration, elasticity and luminosity as well as neutralise free radicals and help reduce premature ageing of the skin...Do I think it's effective? Absolutely! 

Lips: I am sucker for a bright bold lip and I feel weird when i'm not rocking a ravishing red or a punchy pink shade on my lips. My go to lip shade of choice has been 'Bauhaus' an Everlasting Liquid Lipstick by Kat Von D Beauty - this is the most insanely pigmented lip colour i've ever worn and the lasting power is amazing, even after multiple cups of tea.

Hair: You have probably guess that i've been tinkering around with my hair again and with this new experiment I am also trialling and testing new hair care products. I currently cannot live without the Aveda 'Shampure' dry shampoo which was kindly donated to me from my Aunt. Not only does this lightweight powder formula instantly revive lank hair, giving it plenty of volume and sass, but it also helps camouflage my dark roots around 3 weeks after bleaching my hair. 

My second weapon of choice in the hair department is a toner by 'Colour Freedom' a conditioning toner that helps keep yellowy and brassy tones out of bleached blonde hair. Not only does it leave my hair feeling totally nourished, but it also helps to keep my hair ashy in tone.

Eyes: When I awoke from a 1 hour power nap on a flight over to Boston I was looking a little worse for wear. My Aunt handed me a palette that transformed me from transatlantic mess to acceptable to step off the plane within one swipe. The Maybelline 'Expert Wear' eyeshadow palette in 'Bronze' is a life saver whether you're in a rush to the office or travelling. With a selection of complementary shades that a pigmented, buttery and long wearing, it's hard to pick up anything else. 

Lifestyle: This month I reached a pretty big career milestone having pushed myself off the edge of a cliff to challenge not only myself but also my professional capabilities. It's a very interesting and exciting time for me at the moment and the best way to describe it is using the snake analogy, i've shed my old skin and completely pushed my life into a new direction. I'll be honest this is terrifying to me as someone who seeks familiarity but bloody exciting and this is only the beginning. Things i've enjoyed this month include discovering South East London, namely Crystal Palace and Stranger Things on Netflix, as well as my new blonde barnet. Totally not inspired by Debbie Harry.

Playlist for August on Spotify: As this month has seen a huge surge in personal growth there's a right ole' mix on my August Playlist - everything from Metallica to old school reggae to The Courteeners (LOVE their new single The 17th) 

What have you been loving this month?



My first memories of beautiful jewellery...

If you're a long time reader over here on GGMH you'll know that I am a total jewellery fiend...a love affair that stems back to early childhood when I would sit on the end of my Nana's bed and we would talk through each piece in her exquisite jewellery collection. As the hours passed, i'd end up with my fingers adorned in cocktail rings and my neck embellished in layers and layers of beads...I would feel a million dollars. 

This was the beginning of a deep rooted passion for interesting pieces of jewellery that I still have to this day. For some people their 'thing' may be shoes or handbags...for me beautiful jewellery makes me feel special whether i'm having a casual day running errands or heading out for dinner with friends. 

I was recently introduced to Browns Family Jewellers who have 6 jewellers situated within my beloved home county of Yorkshire. As well as a contemporary collection, what really makes Browns stand out is their specialism in vintage, pre owned jewellery. My antique jewellery collection is constantly evolving and whilst I love collecting pre loved jewellery, I also have a soft spot for more contemporary jewellery inspired by the styles and settings of a past era. 

I currently have 5 piercings in my ears and I like to keep the jewellery in my lobes fairly simple with the exception of a statement style in my lowest lobe piercings. I am currently wearing a seriously stunning pair of Amethyst Drop Earrings* from Browns Family Jewellers and my goodness aren't they beautiful? 

Purple is my favourite colour and the alluring tone of deep violet makes the Amethyst precious jewel light up any outfit. When it comes to style my general vibe is quite rock n roll and I am rarely seen without a leather jacket, a pair of spray on skinny jeans and some ankle boots...With that in mind I like to add a chic touch to my otherwise edgy wardrobe through my jewellery and these 9 carat rose gold beauties do just that.

If you're looking for a beautiful piece of jewellery, contemporary or antique I strongly recommend the wonderful jewellers at Browns



I have recently re-discovered my inner bookworm, someone I haven't seen a very long time since kickstarting my marketing career and continuing to beaver away on this little corner of the internet. It's terrible to say, but for the longest time I simply couldn't find the time or the right mindset to settle down with a book. As a total work-a-holic I find it super hard to wind down and switch off but I recently decided that enough was enough, I wanted to enjoy a story again and as i've done quite a bit of travelling here, there and everywhere recently, there was no better time to get immersed in a new read...or three.

Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates

Revolutionary Road is the story of Frank and April Wheeler, a bright young couple who are bored by the banalities of suburban life and long to be extraordinary. With heartbreaking compassion and clarity, Richard Yates shows how Frank and April's decision to change their lives for the better leads to betrayal and tragedy.

I have to admit, I watched the film adaptation before I read this early 1960s classic simply because it saw Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio join forces again for the first time since Titanic. The film prompted me to pick up the book as the storyline is just so unique and scarily relatable, I simply needed to see how the stagnation and mania that consumed the protagonists Frank and April Wheeler could be portrayed on paper. This book depicts the dark side of the American dream and I will be honest, it isn't a beautiful love story. Author Richard Yates told the Boston Review...

"If my work has a theme, I suspect it is a simple one: that most human beings are inescapably alone, and therein lies their tragedy." 

Shop Girl - Mary Portas

Whenever I am asked who my role model is...I always reply with the same person and that is retail strategist Mary Portas. Whilst I was away in America, I took her memoir 'Shop Girl' away with me and it was so nice to discover Mary's beginnings from a cheeky school girl to a window dresser at Harrods. 

My only qualm with this book is that the last few chapters feel a bit rushed, i'd loved to have learned more about her kickstarting her creative agency Yellow Door (Now the Portas Agency) and discover more about her time as a window dresser. Instead, the book is more focused on her childhood and family life. Weirdly, there is SO much of Mary's story that resonates with me. I just really hope Mary brings out a more detailed memoir on her journey into becoming the UK's best loved retail consultant. 

Not That Kind Of Girl - Lena Dunham

I currently have this book on the go and I have to say as a 22 year old woman growing up in the digital age of social media and blogging... I totally get it.

I haven't finished it yet so I can't comment wholly but whilst this book is funny and I love 'Girls' Lena does come across a little bit self indulgent and at times I cringed with just how far she goes (the bed sharing situation anyone?) but overall I have been enjoying it, it's honest and witty and a great accompaniment to the HBO series. If you've read this one, i'd like to know your thoughts because I don't think i'd be mates with Lena but I like hearing her reflections.


How to use Knight And Wilson Colour Freedom Toner in 'White Blonde'

Yep, I know. Before you say anything I wasn't planning on it and it sort of just happened.You know how it is, big life shift = new hair and for me that always tends to be something drastic. So there we have it i'm blonde again and absolutely loving it. I'd forgotten how much lighter and brighter my skin looks when my hair is lighter and truth be told I was fed up of being dark and looking super washed out when I wasn't wearing make-up.

I did it myself, following a similar procedure to what I did last time starting with a colour before formula to break down the colour in my hair then a series of bleaches and dyes to get my hair to a light, non orange or canary yellow shade. Surprisingly it didn't take as much effort this time around and within three days I was working with an acceptable colour. As i'm sure you can see i'm not 100% there yet as there is still a lot of warmth in the lengths but overall i'm loving it.

To tone and condition my hair I have been using the Knight + Wilson 'Colour Freedom Toner in 'White Blonde' now, of course I know this conditioning toner won't budge the warmer tones but it has given my hair a more general ashy base which I can work with. The formula is bright blue and I leave it on for an hour once a week to nourish and tone my hair to the shade you can see in the pictures above. You can use it straight after bleaching to help tone down any undesirable shades left after the process and I have to say it is a joy to work with.  I bought mine from Superdrug for around £6.99 and there are various other toners to play with in the range including pink and silver which might be fun to try again (lol) when my hair has brightened up to a more white shade.

Which is your favourite toner for blonde hair?

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Do you ever find that after applying dry shampoo your hair feels heavy, powdery and dry? Yep me too and now that my hair is much drier in it's natural state, I find that dry shampoo is doing it's job but not making my hair and scalp feel very nice!

 I have discovered a new little weapon for keeping my hair super conditioned whilst rocking dry shampoo...Step aside the Batiste 'Repair + Restore' Instant Conditioner, a handy little formula to keep your hair frizz free and nourished all day long. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen that i've gone a little lighter in the ol' hair department and therefore I am re packing as much conditioner as possible back into my tresses.

The Batiste conditioner is the perfect finishing touch for when my hair needs some nourishment, the light weight spray doesn't hold my hair down, instead leaves it feeling super soft and sleek. I really recommend if you need a boost of moisture to your hair on days in-between washes. 

What do you think of the 'Repair + Restore Instant Conditioner?'

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Whilst on my trip to America I visited a huge casino in Connecticut, little did I know my trip there was to see The Killers (yes Brandon Flowers looks as sexy in real life) so I rocked up in the mood to shop around the mall section before the ah-mazing surprise was revealed and I found myself jumping around to 'Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine.'

Just before the show a shining black and white beacon unfolded in-front of my eyes...My very first time experiencing Sephora in real life....And you never forget your first time.

Trust me it is as amazing in real life as our favourite Youtube beauty guru's make out - A whole store filled to the rafters with US international beauty brands, think Tarte and Anastasia Beverly Hills. Time was tight so I only had time to speed shop but one note I will make is that the Sephora own brand stuff is awesome. I knew there was one brand I couldn't pass up on and that was Kat Von D.

Kat's Closet Tour

I've heard all good things about the Kat Von D 'Everlasting Liquid Lipstick' so I picked up the shade 'Bauhau5' a gorgeous hot pink shade that is one of my favourite colours to wear on my lips. 

The lipstick itself is a long-wear, full-coverage formula with a matte finish and boy when you apply this wonder to your lips...You know about it as the pigmentation is full throttle. The formula itself is comfortable to wear and the lasting power is all day no matter how much you eat or drink. I think next time, the infamous Shade + Light palette is on the cards or maybe a studded kiss lipstick? ESPECIALLY now that Kat is launching her make-up line in Debenhams this Autumn!

Have you ever tried Kat Von D make-up?



Two years ago to the exact month I sat in an East London tattoo parlour just off Brick Lane having spent the afternoon drunk sipping on Pimms and dipping my feet in the infamous rooftop pool at Shoreditch house. You could say it was a pivotal moment of my life, and probably the happiest time of my adult life so far. It was the perfect day to mark such a high point in my story by having a 'Holly leaf' inked on my left foot to remind me of a time I truly knew who 'Hollie' was and what made her tick. The story is told here in this post and everytime I look at my foot i'm reminded of that very day.

Fast forward a few years and I am older, my hair is darker and my frame smaller...I'm back inside a tattoo parlour, though this time in the beachy state of Rhode Island in America. My cousin is stood behind me and the artist is yelling "No screaming Brit!" The needle grazes my skin and I feel absolutely nothing but a yearn to have a permanent reminder that no matter what life throws at you... you HAVE to keep moving forwards and: "This too shall pass."

Allow me to introduce you to my favourite quote...

Prior to my trip i'd found myself at a sincere low point, in a real mess and friends and family were desperately trying to help me figure something out. But healing had to come from within and I needed to remind myself of that. So I decided to have a small arrow inked on my right arm as a nod towards my favourite quote and to symbolise my star sign, Sagittarius...the archer. 

It was a scorching hot day and the temperature had soared to 98F, i'd fallen asleep on the beach due to jet lag and I wandered into a downtown tattoo parlour on a whim that someone would be able to complete my second so very poignant tattoo there and then. I figured if it was meant to be, it would be. I was still wearing my bikini, I was covered in sand and my hair was salty, I was also slightly delirious from jet lag and heat stroke and my heart was broken into a million pieces. - A situation so far removed from my first tattoo whereby weeks of prep and research had taken place beforehand. A new free spirited me was alive and she couldn't be tamed. 

Sure enough my wish was granted and the whole process probably took 45 mins from the artist drawing the piece to actually getting it inked. Pain level? 3/10 to begin and then a 5/10 when he went back over the area to shade. Nothing compared to my first tattoo on the foot and it was over in a matter of minutes. Position wise, I chose the natural vertical line of my arm as I liked the way it flowed and decided on the inside wrist so that I could see it, I never understand tattoos you can't see yourself. 

I really love the delicate nature of the piece and I love taking a little glance when I have my hand on the steering wheel driving along to a song that epitomises that trip - 'Don't dream it's over' by Crowded House. A song that healed me.

"There's a battle ahead
many battles are lost
But you'll never see the end of the road
While you're traveling with me"



Whilst I was away in America I visited a super beautiful place in Connecticut named Mystic. A place where nautical vibes are all around and you feel like you just want to throw on a striped Breton top and a pair of white shorts and soak up all of what New England has to offer.

There are loads of quirky and quaint boutiques lining the streets of Mystic and therefore I was in my element discovering pieces that I would never, ever find elsewhere. Whilst in America I found the boutique shopping to be pretty awesome and again, had my style down to a T. 

[Cowboy Boots: Fatbaby by Ariat]

[Oversized Cardigan: SLK + CO]



A few weeks ago I headed to the states to catch up with my family, soak up lots of sunshine and challenge myself to tread where my comfort zone had never ventured before...But more on that a little later in the week.

Today's post is all about the shopping...another of my favourite past times. The first part of my US clothing haul is centred around the pieces I picked up from T J Maxx, the American version of our very own TK Maxx, one of my favourite shops for, well...everything.

I felt that TJ Maxx really had my style on point and soon as I entered the store, my basket began to grow with unique pieces that just had to be included in my wardrobe back in the UK. Think bo-ho, summery, beachy vibes with a real laid back feel.

[Paisley Cami - Pink Rose]

[Paisley Maxi Dress - Pink Rose]

[Faux fur handbag - Claudia Ferenzi]

[Slouchy Long sleeve Tee - Max Jeans]

[Cat Eye Aviators - Thari]

[Slouchy sweater - Ocean Drive]

Have you ever shopped at TJ Maxx?

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