Wednesday, 30 November 2016

MONTHLY FAVOURITES: NOVEMBER 2016


Hair:It's not often that I found a haircare product that really gets me excited as I find most products to be pretty much the same whether they're a detangler, a heat protectant or a leave in conditioner. I have been applying semi permanent medium brown hair dye every 6 weeks or so to keep any brassiness from my blonde at bay, and in turn I have been using the Scott Cornwall 'Pre Colour - Protein Spray'. You spray this through dry, porous hair before colouring to help pack the proteins back into damaged hair, it also helps to strengthen and prevent breakage as well as creating a more even colouring by filling in the gaps in dry and extra porous areas.  Not only does this smell super lush, think salon quality product but it is pretty wonderful at keeping my dry, unruly hair protected and evenly coloured.

I have also been trying out a new heat protectant this month in the form of the Got2B 'Guardian Angel' 220 Heat Protectant. I can never gauge if this stuff actually works but it smells lovely and keeps my hair from giving off that sexy burnt hair smell whenever I use the curling wand. Anything has to be better than nothing right?

Nails: My least favourite colour is blue so it was a bit of a surprise when I had a desire to wear turquoise nail varnish whilst on holiday in America this summer. I bought this 'Sinful Colours' shade named 'Savage' from Walmart for a few dollars and the formula is outstanding, chip free for well over a week and ultra glossy and opaque in one coat. I wouldn't usually choose such a beachy/summery shade at this time of year but I have been absolutely loving it. 

Perfume: I mentioned 'L'aimant by Coty' in my bedside beauty post so I won't talk about it too much but this iconic scent which reminds me of my Nana has soon become my everyday perfume, it's rich, heady and distinctly old fashioned but I LOVE it. 


Lifestyle: This month I was introduced to the Ginger Zinger shots from James White and I take one in the morning before breakfast to give a little wake me up. The shots include organic crushed ginger and apple juice with water and ascorbic acid as an anti-oxidant. I like the extra hot variant for a super heated effect.

Lips: Another surprise this month has been my love of nude lips, yeah really! I have been mixing 'Kinda Sexy' and 'Velvet Teddy' both nudey/brown shades that look lovely when paired together, perfect for daytime and pairing with a subtle, brown smokey eye.


Lifestyle: November is my favourite month as a lot of exciting things start happening, everything from an awesome Bonfire night celebration toasting marshmallows on the fire-pit, watching pretty fireworks and tucking into traditional pie and peas to watching the Chicago stage show as this month I turned 23 and had a super exciting birthday week filled with lots and lots of love from friends and family as well as a few surprises as there is now a new man, or should I say kitten in my life by the name of Reggie. He's 4 months old and an incredibly confident, bold and playful black cat, meeting him was an epic surprise this month and he is just the softest, most loving little creature who loves a cuddle.

In November I also saw my bae Liam Fray this month on The Courteeners 'Mapping the rendezvouz' tour - unfortunately there was a problem with my allocated seat so we were moved to an entire section / balcony just for us slap bang, right in front of the stage. EPIC.

Playlist for November on Spotify: You may have noticed the playlist has found a home in the sidebar and there you will find everything from 90s r'n'b slow jams to The Style Council, to Madonna, ofcourse 'Celebration' is on there too for obvious reasons.



What have you been loving in the month of November?

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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

NOTES: 12 THINGS I'VE LEARNED UPON TURNING 23



(I've ALWAYS been a red lipstick lover)

Today rather excitingly marks my 23rd birthday and I thought that for today's blog post I would share with you 12 pieces of wisdom i've learned and things i've observed so far in my 23 years here on planet Earth.

1. Nobody has a clue what they're doing, whether they're 3, 23, 53 or 103...
We are all just pretty much muddling through life trying to stick to a vague plan and hoping for the best. When I was younger I figured that adult life meant you knew what you were doing all the time, how wrong could I be? In fact adult life is even more confusing to navigate...but the good thing is nobody has it completely sussed and that is okay.

2. Never miss an opportunity to say I love you...
The people you love most in life will die and you will realise how precious life is. I very sadly and of course inevitably lost two of my grandparents within a short space of time when I was 20 - I've never gotten over it, but life does go on and you will feel okay again. The last words I ever said to both of them were: "I love you" and that reminds me to say it as often as I can to my nearest and dearest.

3. Life changing opportunities appear, if you put in the legwork...
You have to get the ball rolling and by making a few changes to your daily routine you will start to adjust your bigger life picture. For example, when I was at university I was committed to working, finding internships, being proactive in building my CV and blogging which led me to meeting the founder of a digital marketing agency, 2 years after meeting him on the off chance he offered me an amazing job and the first step on the content marketing career ladder.

4. Life up until the age of 23 is like jumping fences...
So far my life has been an obstacle course overcome by jumping a series of fences. It started with boxing off my GCSE's in high school which led to starting college and completing my A levels, which led to going to university and finalising my degree, which led to getting started in my career. Often when you're a young adult there is a certain 'path' taken to get through each 'stage' - once you leave university and start working it is odd knowing that your life isn't dictated by the academic year and there are no more fixed obstacles to overcome, you have to set your own goals.

 5. The most interesting people you will meet in life have been tested the hardest...
The people who have really been through the ringer will always have the best lessons and advice to share. I once met a man who consistently had to fight for people to take him seriously as they always thought he was drunk and slurring his words...he wasn't he had just been in a horrific car accident which left him in a coma for months - his attitude to life was both moving and inspiring. If people have felt it, lived it and are still around to tell the tale...listen to them because they have legitimate wisdom.

6. Things are a little bit easier if you know what your passion is...
I have pretty much always known that I wanted to be a writer of some sort and I have found navigating my life a little easier as I was constantly pursuing a writing career. I studied the craft of journalism at university and I now write every single day whether that is at work or right here on my blog. When I was younger I loved coding, I loved creating and I loved writing, I feel blessed everyday to have a full time job that pulls together all of the above.



7. Don't try and be someone that you're not because you will just run into yourself...
A classic example of this is when I was 18 I bragged to my Dad how 'uni life' was going to be the best thing since sliced bread, I would party all night, party all day, be a total social butterfly and join every sports society. Who was I kidding? When I finally got to university I realised that the A-typical social side was not for me. My boyfriend at the time was the captain of a sports team, was out drinking all the time and I felt like an alien for not being the same. I preferred going for meals with 1 or 2 friends, and avoiding flat parties like the plague. University (the social side, not the academic side) was the most challenging period of my life and as soon as I stopped running away from who I really was, I was a happy little lamb. This meant not living in a shared house, I lived in my own flat, keeping a small but close social circle and doing things that I actually wanted to do, not what the social norms made me think I should do.

8. There are good times and there are bad times, but this too shall pass...
Sometimes it feels like there is no way out of a dark place no matter how hard you try and you feel like you're never going to feel okay again. But these times don't stick around. You may also feel on top of the world, like nothing can bring you down and life is sweet as a peach. But these times don't stick around either. Appreciate the good and work through the bad.

9. When it comes to matters of heart, you will always be okay...
Heartbreak absolutely sucks and it is one of the worst feelings in the world, the feeling of rejection, of not being good enough, the humiliation if infidelity is involved, BUT you will get over it and someone else will come along and show you exactly why it didn't work out before. A work colleague of mine always said to me that: 'it gets better everytime' and it's true, each relationship is better than the last because you know what you are looking for and what you are and aren't prepared to accept.

10. People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime...
Everybody who enters into your life all have a meaning. They are either there for a reason, perhaps to show you a new way of thinking, a season perhaps whilst you are travelling or on an experience together such as an internship programme, or a lifetime to always be there for you no matter what. It is important to respect all of these people and the time frame that they are in your life for.

11. You will click with some people and you won't with others...
I love something Dita Von Teese once said: 'You could be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, but there's always someone who doesn't like peaches.' - This is true, there are some people who have done no wrong to you, but you just cannot click with them, and that's fine, respect the people that you do and do not click with, it's just the way life is sometimes. I have met countless people in my life that I had hoped to get along with but unfortunately we couldn't click, it made me even more dedicated to nurturing the relationships with the people I do gel with.

12. Complete strangers will surprise you...
I met my close friend Lauren when as complete strangers she saw a tweet i'd written about having no friends when I had moved to Liverpool for university and how incredibly lonely I felt. Lauren reached out to me and asked if I fancied meeting up for a coffee, we met up and I cried for around 2 hours straight, I could not believe that somebody I had never spoken to before in my life would go out of their way and want to meet up to help a stranger feel less homesick and unhappy. 4 years later I still live in Liverpool and Lauren and I are still the best of mates. It just goes to show there are good people out there, strive to be one of them.

And with that i'm off for a cocktail or three to celebrating 23 years of sassiness...Remember to always work hard, screw social norms and try to always be the best version of yourself.


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Friday, 25 November 2016

STYLE: JEWELLERY / ACCESSORIES I ALWAYS WEAR




When it comes to jewellery for me, the more the better! My collection of jewellery is growing by the minute and soon I am pretty sure I will have to let a bigger flat to house it all. The amount has surpassed my collection of antique teacups, handbags, shoes and faux fur coats and continues to make me late setting off to work everyday as I deliberate over which pieces to wear. There are however a few pieces that I tend to wear more regularly as the 'base' layer if you will, I then just add and add from there. 

I have really been enjoying the 90s choker trend revival and have collected a fair few chokers to alternate between. My favourite at the moment has to be the multi strand, beaded number as it adds a touch of edge / interest to my neck, looks smart but also casual and goes with pretty much everything. I also very often wear a 'Hollie' namesake necklace that is ofc inspired by Carrie Bradshaw and i've had it years and years. A little tacky? Maybe so.. but then again who am I to be the judge of any gaudiness?


My bracelets are often a complete random mix, whichever are lying around, or is closest too me as I run out of the door. I love beaded pieces, particularly ones with a lot of colour as I find them cheery and interesting to look at. I also wear two bangles, the first is made out of cork and was a present from Portugal, the second from the infamous Es Cana Hippy Market in Ibiza. Both of my rings are very cheapy cocktail rings from Primark, a place where I think you can get the best statement rings for literally no money at all. I am currently loving tones of blue, turquoise and green so they fit in nicely.

Finally, my watch is by a brand named Circulr which I backed when it was live on Kickstarter. The brands ethos is to cut out the fluff so that you can buy a quality watch at an accessible price. I opted for the mint green variant as I think it looks pretty cute against my pale skin and can look sassy in all seasons. Simple, minimalistic watches are very in at the moment as they (excuse the pun) look timeless and go with pretty much any outfit

What kind of jewellery do you wear everyday?

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Tuesday, 22 November 2016

BEAUTY: MY EVERYDAY ROSE / ORANGE EYE MAKE-UP


I've been dabbling with warm shades of colour on my eyelids for some time now. Not only do they help my eyes to look more awake, sparkly if you will, but they also blend beautifully into my pale skin for days when a more understated look is desired. I have been wearing this look non stop for the past few months and I quite often receive a few questions on what i'm using therefore I figured it made sense to jot it all down.

This look takes around 3-5 minutes out of my 10 minute everyday make-up routine and is super simple. I start by using 'Mythology' from MAC all over my lid, it is a beautiful pink lustre shade that is very on trend this season all thanks to Pantone's 'Rose Quartz' colour of the year. I then go in with 'Texture' a matte orange / terracotta shade that blends seamlessly into the crease, adding definition and a nice warmth.



I will then take the gold shade in the Maybelline 'Expert Wear Sunlit Bronze' palette and highlight the inner portion of my eyelid. For eyeliner I am still loving to super smooth, gel liner from Rodial and I use a deep brown shade which is in-keeping with the warm tones used on my lids. I will then line my upper lash-line and bring down a small winged flick by using the Maybelline 'Lash Stiletto' liquid liner, the nib is so precise and the formula, super inky black.


My mascara of choice at the moment is a budget option from Collection and is for lengthening, as i've mentioned before the formula is irrelevant, it's all about the brush and this brush is a very sturdy, plastic piece with little raised bumps to help distribute the product amongst your lashes, clump free of course. If I am feeling like a little more drama is required I will use the Maybelline 'Lash Stiletto' mascara to add extra length and volume for a more fluttery look. And there we have it, my simply everyday eye make-up...Looks especially sass-worthy on blue eyes.

What shades do you like to wear on your eyes?

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Friday, 18 November 2016

STYLE: 4 AUTUMN/WINTER STYLE STAPLES


The period between mid September to late December is my favourite time of the year, late Summer merges in Autumn before giving way to Winter. Festivities such as Halloween, bonfire night, Christmas and er, my birthday start to take place - it's dark, it's cold and there's an excuse to wrap up warm in lush textures such as faux fur and shearling.

With the temperature biting now I have been layering up and readjusting my wardrobe to suit the colder season. With a super exciting trip to Berlin on the horizon I was sure I needed a super cosy coat to wrap up in as the temperate drops way below zero. For my 21st birthday a few years ago I went to Amsterdam and the temperature was almost unbearable, lets just say a lot of hot chocolates were consumed and I am pretty sure a similar story will unfold in Germany. 

I had been after a parka for some time (nothing to do with Liam Gallagher in Supersonic) as my other Winter coats are more fashion focused like this mutli coloured outrageous coat and my vintage leopard print number from Topshop. I found a super snuggly, waterproof, faux fur hooded parka in Zara. It was expensive but worth it as I will call upon it time and time again, year after year. It is already infused with the deep, smokey scent of bonfire night following a party we had a few weeks ago whereby a lot of marshmallows were toasted and pretty fireworks lit up the sky. 

At this time of year I also like to rock an oversized jumper, I have a few in my collection and I think the best ones are sold in vintage stores such as Pop Boutique. I love scarves but I find they get a little annoying after a while, therefore this year I have been rocking a faux fur stole to keep my neck nice and warm. I bought mine from Primark for a few quid and they make a nice addition to an outfit after you've de layered and want some texture and interest around your neckline.

Finally, a pair of Winter boots. I have a few pairs of Dr Martens and printed ankle boots however, I have recently found that I am wearing my cowboy boots day after day. I bought them whilst I was in America from Tractor Supplies store?! And they are the sturdy-ist boots...ever - They also include a hint of leopard print so there's more to love there too. I wear mine with leggings, jeans, tights you name it, perfect for running through crunchy leaves and snowy days. 

What are your style staples in AW? 


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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

BEAUTY: BEDSIDE BEAUTY



For as long as I can remember i've always had a few trinkets and beauty products positioned on my bedside table as I have a few little rituals that I always do before I go to sleep. 

First up I will make a cup of tea to sip on whilst i'm reading my book (Currently Mick Jagger's autobiography) or catching up on Youtube and then I will brush my hair using a Denman bristle brush - i've always wanted a Mason Pearson brush, which I think the Denman is based on, but with a hefty price tag of around 50 quid, I can't quite justify it. Anyhow, this does this trick to smooth and polish my hair into silky wonderfulness.

Once my hair is nicely brushed I will apply some hair oil or serum to the lengths of my hair to keep the bleach ravished ends soft and manageable in the morning. I am currently using the Garnier 'Ultimate Blends - Strength Restorer Serum' which is created for fragile hair prone to breakage and is enriched with propolis that honey bee's use to fill crevices and varnish their honeycombs. Not only does it smell gorgeous, like honey but it also is a wonder worker on my parched hair.


I also apply some hand cream, especially at this time of year when my hands are exposed to dramatic temperature changes and generally feel a little unloved. I am currently using a Royal Jelly cream with pure honey from M+S beauty, it is light weight and non greasy and smells super luxurious.

Once i've finished my brew I will apply a few spritzes of my perfume L'aimant by Coty a heady, sexy classic scent that is reminiscent of Chanel No.5. I love this scent as it's powdery floral notes remind me of my Nana when I was a child, it's comforting and mesmerising and even more nostalgic in the way my Grandma wore it as a teenager. I've even had it described by my man friend that it smells like Autumn - whatever that means.

Finally, I will apply a dab of Carmex to my lips which are usually chapped and dry at this time of year from the cold and the fact I wear bright lipstick almost everyday to work. It's matte, non greasy and leaves your lips feeling nourished. Perfect for a good night kiss?

Do you have any night time beauty rituals?

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Friday, 11 November 2016

BEAUTY: BOURJOIS LITTLE ROUND POT BLUSH IN ' 16 ROSE COUPE DE FOUDRE'


Every morning for the past few weeks I have been driving to work whilst listening to Sali Hughes' 'Pretty Iconic' audiobook. Sali shares, what in her opinion are the most iconic beauty products of all time, from those that give you oodles of nostalgia to the absolute staples. 

I have always noted how pretty the Bourjois 'Little Round Pot Blushers' were in their timeless packaging, but as a no blush gal I never felt there was much reason to add one to my beauty bag. I have since been converted (all thanks to Sali). 

With my dalliance with blush beginning, I popped out to Boots and bought the shade '16 Rose Coupe De Foudre' translated into English as 'Love Struck Rose' which is a pale, peachy shade with a very fine shimmer that don't be scared, does not translate prominently onto the skin.  The shade provides a healthy, luminous glow that looks like your cheeks have been pinched....Or you're in love. 

This iconic blush has been on the market for almost 150 years and has become synonymous with the brands place in iconic make-up history. The baked blush transcends onto the skin as an ultra fine powder and gives off a gorgeous scent that I can only describe as a vintage, powdery perfume. The little pot is pretty sweet too and has a very satisfying magnetic snap closure.

I apply the blush with a blusher brush from The Body Shop buffing into the apples of my cheeks and being sure to not apply too high or too low (a technique used in theatre to age a character!) The lasting power is pretty good too whilst feeling comfortable on the skin. 

Which is your favourite shade from the Bourjois 'Little Round Pot Blush' range?


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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

BEAUTY: ILLAMASQUA SKIN BASE FOUNDATION


When it comes to foundation i'm pretty loyal, for day to day wear, at work or on a weekend etc, I will wear Collection 'Lasting Perfection Foundation' which has been my drugstore choice of base for years. And for special occasions when I feel like whipping out my fancier, less disposable make-up, I use 'Studio Fix Fluid' from Mac.

 I enjoy medium to build-able coverage and whilst my skin is by no means terrible, I do suffer from break outs and being so naturally pale, my skin display's a number of different colours from blue to pink, resulting in an uneven skin tone that looks better (to me) when evened out with foundation. 

It's rare that I ever spent a lot of money on foundation but when given the chance to try a high end formula, I ofcourse am I always very intrigued. I have recently been trying out the 'Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation' which is in formula and finish the complete opposite to my usual more heavy duty choices. A high end choice, this foundation retails at £32.50 for 30ml.

Shade range...

The SB foundation range has an amazing shade variety suiting a number of skin tones meaning it is more accessible for everyone. I am currently wearing the shade 4.5 which, whilst I have been colour matched by a make-up artist at Illamasqua, I find it interesting that I am wearing an olive yellow undertone when I would always position myself with a pink undertone. Of course, I am glad about this as yellow undertones are much more universal and flattering, however it is worth noting that this foundation line also carries shades with other undertones such as 'pink with yellow', 'red with yellow' and 'yellow with pink'.

Coverage...

The 'Skin Base Foundation' combines the finish of a BB cream with the coverage of a liquid foundation and was inspired by asian beauty balms and a realistic, effortless complexion. I would compare it in likeness to 'Face + Body' from MAC, providing a light, build-able coverage which is neither too dewy or matte. I dispense two or three drops and apply with the Real Techniques Expert Face brush in a buffing motion. I must admit this foundation is an odd one to get out of the plastic bottle which is not squeezy, the foundation just seems to drip out when you shake it and I do wonder how you acquire the last dregs.

It's worth nothing that SBF doesn't contain an SPF so make sure you wear one underneath to protect your skin. Remember if you're being photographed with flash the lack of an SPF means you're not left with a white chalky complexion.

Lasting power...

My skin swings between combination and oily depending on the time of the month, the conditions of where I am therefore I always use powder to set my foundation, Collection 'Lasting Finish' if you're interested. I find that this foundation sticks around all day and my skin feels hydrated and comfortable throughout long periods of wear.

Overall...

Overall, I really like this foundation and enjoy wearing it, but I don't think i'll be swapping it out for any of my more fuller coverage formulas anytime soon and especially my cheapy drugstore choice. I think on more flawless skin it is perfect for evening out the complexion but on more problematic skin or unevenly tones skin,  I don't believe it will get the job done well enough. For those who like a sheerer, build-able coverage and enjoy tinted moisturiser and BB creams, this is ideal though I highly suggest being properly colour matched to ensure you're wearing the right undertone.


Have you ever tried the Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation?

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Friday, 4 November 2016

STYLE: WHAT I WORE TO AN AUTUMN WEDDING



Whenever somebody tells me they're getting married, I always congratulate them and as if by default I always follow that up by saying: "I love a good wedding." A few months ago this very conversation played out in the kitchen at work and before I knew it had a formal invite to a beautiful wedding land on my desk. 

Of course, in these situations one has to wonder what on earth am I going to wear? And so a trip to the shops was on the cards. As I was invited to the 'night do' as us northerners so affectionally call it, I wanted something dressy, befitting of the season and something a little sparkly to satisfy the inner magpie in me.


If you saw my latest Primark haul you'll have seen the gorgeous metallic dress I bought on a complete whim which I knew would be perfect for this occasion. Midi in length with a sexy side split, and pleated metallic detailing, I kind of felt like an Oscar wearing it. I ended up taking the tie wrap off and wearing it as a choker as you can see in the pic above. 

On my feet I wore, only what I knew my Vivienne Westwood Melissa Heels which surprisingly were a whole lot more comfortable than the first time I wore them! Classic, black and patent you can't really go wrong. I kept my accessories super simple wearing my bespoke Camilla charm bracelet which was made for me by my grandparents on my 17th birthday and a simple cocktail ring which is a hefty bit of bling.

My clutch bag is the 'Rae' clutch from Vintage styler and I simply love the art deco feel of it, i'm not precious about mixing metals and I think it was particularly fitting with the look.

In terms of make-up I kept things super, super simple with a gold smokey eye, I believe it was just a simple wash of 'Half Baked' from the UDNP1 and lashings of mascara. On my lips I wore the Kat Von D Everlasting lipstick in 'Bauhaus' as I wanted longevity, no smudges and the ability to drink as many gin and tonics as possible without looking like the joker.


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