THE FEBRUARY '18 EDIT // MONTHLY BEAUTY FAVOURITES + POP CULTURE LOVES


FEBRUARY...


Right now i'm consumed by the heady smell of fresh paint and the thick scent of new carpets. Bliss. I'd been waiting for this day for so long. The house had been on and then off and then on again and the process had taken so much longer than we expected, it got to the point where I was making myself feel ill with the stress of it. But alas, that's all in the past now - we're finally living in our new home. I've never felt prouder or happier and whilst there is still some way to go in terms of decorating, things are coming together pretty well. Even my mum and dad were pretty impressed with how we have it and they both say I have absolutely zero taste in home decor.

House move aside, amongst the manic month that has been February, I have made sure I had a full diary to keep busy whilst my life was in boxes. One of my 2018 new years resolutions was to see much more of the people I love - Though, as half of my life is split at the other side of the country, this can sometimes be a challenge however, I have adored having my nearest and dearest sat around my table eating brunch, or having a late night glass of wine with my best friend catching up on what's been going on. People are good for the soul and it has reminded me how proud of myself I am for setting up a new phase of my life in an unfamiliar city. (Yeah, I know it's been like 5 years now, but still!)



TV. LIFE. PODCASTS + MORE.

Podcast: Due to a change in work at the beginning of the year, my commute was extended, a journey that once took around 25 minutes now takes me 45 on a good day. I'm okay with that though because it gives me extra time to listen to my favourite podcasts. My latest discovery this month is (i'm sorry) by Dolly Alderton, yeah, yeah I know why don't I just be her already - but her latest podcast 'Love Stories (created in-conjunction with the release of her new book, but more on that later) is a celebration of love, passion, heartbreak and intimacy. My favourite episode is her frank conversation with the enigmatic and wonderful Cosmo Landesman. Cosmo speaks so beautifully about women and his experiences of love. I also thoroughly enjoyed hearing about his parents Fran and Jay who sound like they were really quite something.

Film:If you'd like to know an embarrassing fact about me, it's that the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy is a one of my guiltiest pleasures. Going to see the films has been a ritual myself and my best pal Hannah have done for the past 3 years. I recently saw '50 Shades Freed' and whilst it was so twee and cheesy, it was my favourite of the 3 films. Ana and Christian, the lead characters are more grown up and instead of being sleezy, it has more romantic storyline. One takeaway is that Ana's styling is on. point. It's chic and classic with a French vibe going on. 8/10 from me!


READING

I laughed out loud Lucy Dunn's article 'You're not messy, it's your partner/dog/colleague that's messy.' - this part in-particular really resonated with me.

"My husband’s big thing is that he likes to put stuff where stuff doesn’t belong. So, electric drills on the top of kitchen cupboards, piles of paper tucked in among the cereal jars, etc. He is is totally incapable of putting – no, actually, he refuses to put – his smelly trainers away in the shoe cupboard."

This is my life living with Adam. I am constantly finding things in the wrong place and the most random stuff shoved in cupboards. It's usually the shoes strewn all over the living room, the washing overflowing out of the washer door, or the shampoo and conditioners stood with their lids off, tipped upside down in the shower - This isn't to mention the nails and screws and tools hidden in the cutlery drawer - It drives me insane!

Okay, so i'm not going to apologise but i've read 'Everything I Know About Love' and it was flipping amazing. The book, a debut novel by Dolly Alderton is a personal memoir which sees Dolly and her mates navigating love and life, loss and friendships. It had me nodding along (especially the parts about msn and the power of logging out and in again to make your crush notice you) and it also had me reaching for the tissues. Read this book - you won't regret it.

And finally, Anna Hart's article for The Pool, 'How Solo Travel Taught One Woman What She Wanted From A Relationship' was such a tonic to read - Often we see other people's holiday snaps depicting wide toothy smiles against a beautiful backdrop of the turquoise ocean, or a beautiful cityscape. Anna says it how it is

"We’re presented with a series of challenges, all the while being seemingly berated in an unfamiliar tongue... For travel illuminates the stark differences between us and our loved ones.""

Anna shares all the different couples she's witnessed whilst she's travelled alone, she's taken mental notes about all of them and thought about the ones that will last and why. A must read and such a well thought out piece.


BEAUTY + STYLE FAVOURITES.


Makeup

As I mentioned in my ode to 50 Shades Freed above, I have become obsessed with Ana's styling and makeup. Now, i'm not sure if Dakota Johnson, who plays Ana has had some filler injections put in her lips to make them look so full, but they just look so plump and pink. I've been recreating her lip colour with a lipgloss from Burt's Bees. The shade I have is 'Evening Glow' and it was gifted to me in the Date Night box from Latest in Beauty (You can still purchase that box here if you're interested) Evening Glow is a gorgeous pearl finish shade of raspberry/plum that gives you perfectly just bitten lips, whats more... all of the ingredients are 100% natural.

Cream blushes are also a newly coveted product that i've been calling upon time and time again. My current favourite is by KIKO and is their Velvet Touch Cream Silk Blush in the shade, 04 'Hot Pink' - a pop of this beauty gives you dewy, healthy looking skin with a pink toned flush. Sure, it looks kinda scary in the bullet - but it's actually a really gorgeous and diverse colour.

Body

I recently wrote about the beauty rituals that I do when i'm feeling grubby. Some of the newest editions to this routine include the NUXE 'Precious Scented Shower Oil' which just smells divine and leaves your skin baby soft and the Loccitane hand and nail cream in the 'Roses Et Reines' scent. Wow, this smells just like a rose garden after it's rained, it smells so luxe and beautiful not to mention how deeply nourishing it is for dry hands, or in my case hands dried out and parched by bleach. 


Skincare

Oil based skincare is my favourite. And so i'm always on the look out for new oil based products to try. This month my hero product has been the 'Moroccan Rose Oil' from Dr Botanicals. I apply on naked skin straight out of the bath. Packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Almond Oil - my skin feels softer and more radiant immediately after use. It's also worth noting that this facial oil not tested on animals.

I read somewhere that the classic Nivea cream produced in Germany is a dupe for Creme De La Mer skincare. Sounds good to me, so I picked up a pot for a few quid in Boots. This seriously thick, cream is what i've been basting my face in for the past couple of weeks. It takes ages to sink in and leaves my face looking more Casper-esc than normal but it certainly leaves my skin feeling soft and supple - sadly, i've yet to try Creme De La Mer skincare, so I couldn't tell you if it's a dead ringer but it does the job for me!



Jewellery

Over the course of February, i've been trying to work out what the undertone hue of my skin is. I've come to the conclusion that I must be neutral because silver and gold jewellery both look good against my skin, I suit almost any hair colour and my veins are both blue and green.

Anyhow when it comes to jewellery, i'm a mixed metal kind of gal and with this in mind i've recently been coveting a new bracelet from Browns family jewellers. Feel like you've seen the name before? See this post featuring the most beautiful earrings ever and so I was really excited to try a new piece from their collection.

The beautiful silver bracelet i'm talking about is from Vamp London at Browns Family Jewellers. It's a piece of jewellery i've been wearing not stop all thanks to it's dainty nature and ability to make any outfit look chic. For anyone interested, it's their Rio beaded silver bracelet - Vamp London say that this bracelet is inspired by the electric theatre of Brazilian lifestyle. I like to layer mine with my silver Nick Cabana watch and of course a few other bangles to mix a more minimal feel with my usual eclectic layered look. If you're looking for the perfect Mother's Day gift, have a look on the Brown's site, there's a range of amazing jewellery to suit all budgets.


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* Post contains gifted items from Browns Family Jewellers + Latest In Beauty 
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3 BEAUTY RITUALS FOR WHEN YOU FEEL GRUBBY AND RUN DOWN // MY FAVOURITE PRODUCTS


For the last couple of weeks i've been burning the candle at both ends. Between moving into our new house, birthday's, seeing friends and spending time with family - i've been barely keeping on top of eating right, working out and getting an early night. Oops. 

The stresses that come with a house move caused me to break my new years resolution before it had even really got going and that was 'stop biting my nails' (For the 18th time in my 24 years on earth!) Along with bitten nails (stubs) and a perma top-knot that lets face it, didn't get washed as much as it should as I unpacked the 123rd box of the weekend and assembled the 17th piece of furniture - I wasn't looking so fab, in-fact on one of the moving days, i'm pretty sure Adam said I 'looked like a hot mess' - He's since gone on to say that he meant 'we'.

Beauty for when you feel grubby...




There are a few failsafe beauty rituals and products that are guaranteed to make me look and feel sassy again. And when the final box was unpacked and the contents of which were put in their respective places, I had a long, hot bath and reached for the following products...

1. Skincare 

 It probably bares no surprise that some Glossier products made the cut here. I used the Mega Greens Galaxy Pack almost every night for my facial fix of vitamins, fruits and leafy greens. The mask is super comfortable to wear without drying too hard and helps drawn out impurities that are lurking beneath the skins surface. I also basted myself in the Glossier Priming Moisturiser - the mix of Hyaluronic acid and soothing tea and honey really helped my dehydrated, battered skin. And finally, what is life without a slick of Balm Dot Com? The cold February weather calls for some serious lip hydration.


2. Nails 

I've already mentioned that my finger nails have seen better days but a touch of the classic shade of nude pink that is 'Ballet Slippers' by Essie. Whilst it won't save my hands from looking horrendous, it at least makes them look a little more polished. On my toes, more often than not you'll find me sporting a pillar box red pedicure. My favourite red is 'Flamenco Red' from Rimmel and is part of their super gel line - it lasts an eternity without chipping and makes me feel cheery when I see it poking out of the bubbles in my bath.



3. Red Lipstick 

Yeah, I know...You're probably sick of hearing about it, but it really is true when I say nothing makes me feel more peppy than a touch of red lipstick. I am currently sporting 'Rouge Verite' from And Other Stories, a deep burgundy red that instantly takes my mood from flat to fab. Other favourites include 'Red Square' from NARS and 'Ruby Woo' from MAC.



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* Post contains gifted items 
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WHY RED LIPSTICK MATTERS // NARS VELVET MATTE LIP PENCILS


Red lipstick is loud, it's elegant and it absolutely means business. Red lipstick matters. Why? Because it can transform any outfit and any mood with the slightest slick of the bullet. For me, the right red lipstick makes my skin look brighter and my teeth whiter, it makes me feel confident and put together. Whenever I wear red lipstick, I feel as though I look like me. 

Red lipstick is sexy and provides a warning to lovers that they should absolutely approach with caution. Earlier in the month I mused over nude lips and despite dedicating the post to the carefree, easy neutral shades that I enjoy wearing, I made it undeniably clear that red lipstick was and is my first love in the business of cosmetics. Were I to be ever asked onto Desert Island Discs, alongside an LP of 'Supersonic' by Oasis, my luxury item would be red lipstick. (For anyone interested my book choice would be Shantaram).


Whilst my red lipstick collection boasts many formulas and finishes in hues of everything from very vermillion to coral, there is one particular lipstick formula that I call upon time and time again when I need my lips to feel comfortable but also look polished and...red.

 Velvet Matte Lip Pencils 


I have two velvet matte lip pencils in my collection. The first being my day time favourite, 'Red Square' - I wrote about it here. Red Square is a true red, an orange based red that sits for hours on the lips without feeling dry or uncomfortably 'bobbly'.  

When the sun goes down, I tend to opt for a deeper shade of red, you could argue this one is more purple toned of which I agree. 'Endangered Red' is a shade that I discovered on a makeup tutorial uploaded by the beautiful Violette_FR. And whilst I don't have the same skin tone or hair colour as Violette, I knew that Endangered Red would look just as good against my pale skin, especially with a kohl liner smudged under the eye.

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NUDE LIPSTICKS THAT ANYONE CAN WEAR // EVERYDAY LIPS


I've always struggled to find nude lipstick shades that really do something for me. I naturally have very pale, sun sensitive skin with a blue undertone and naturally pink lips. The typical English rose.

 Because of this, I am a rouge lipped maven at heart and i'll always pick a red over a nude however, there's something about the carefree ease of wearing a nude lipstick that I throughly enjoy. Low maintenance and easy - like getting ready for the evening following a day at the beach when your hair is tousled and your skin has a radiant glow. 


I remember when 'concealer lips' were a thing. In years 8/9 of high school, I almost always covered my lips in the palest ivory shade of 'Dream Matte Mousse' from Maybelline (which I thought looked the biz). Especially when teamed with spidery, crusty eyelashes and my Bench jacket - thumb holes includes.

Finally, after many years of experimenting with makeup - I have at long last found my tone in nude lipstick - with much trial and error I might add. My first ever high-end lipstick ever purchase was 'Angel' by MAC, simply because it was rumoured to be one of Kim KW's favourites! It truly did nothing for me, far too baby pink in tone and if anything, it only exacerbated my natural flush. I still have it now. It lives on in my makeup collection as a warning incase I forget what i've learned and decide to dabble with bubblegum pink lips again.

My nude lipstick tone is one with a coral/orangey or brown undertone




I have a few nude lipsticks in rotation that hit this brief. The one I reach for almost daily is 'Cake' from Glossier. This much hyped sheer matte lipstick is ideal for working a dialled down look. No makeup, makeup if you like. Perfect for giving your lips a bit of something without committing to colour. My favourite nude lipstick is 'Stoned Rose' by Charlotte Tilbury. - This is a full bodied coral/brown lipstick that is so comfortable to wear and stays put all day long.

Other favourites include: 'Triumph' from Makeup Revolution's Renaissance line and the classic 'Velvet Teddy' from MAC. This one isn't the most comfortable to wear, due to its matte formula, but it looks great and particularly sexy with a grey smokey eye!


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GETTING READY FOR DATE NIGHT // MY VALENTINE'S (AND GALENTINE'S!) OUTFIT


The night these pictures were taken, it was date night. Adam and I hadn't been able to get out together for a while due to one thing or another, the main reason being the laborious process of moving house! However, on this day, we had been able to actually walk around our new house and the occasion called for a meal and a celebratory clink of glasses filled with a mellow red for me and in Adam's case, a chilled Rose (lol).

My favourite part of going out...Is getting ready

I love taking the time to get ready to go out, being able to get creative with my make-up, take my sweet time, use products i've not had the time to play with and most importantly, immerse myself in the process of choosing something sassy to wear! I really can't wait for all our house stuff to be over and start making date night more regular again, I have a whole host of outfits that need to see the light of day!


It has to be said though, I will really miss my little dressing table nook nestled in the window of our old bedroom. It's the spot where, all bleary eyed, I applied my everyday makeup ahead of a day in the office, it's where I got myself ready for my best mates 25th birthday party, house warming gatherings, work nights out etc.

But, with change comes bigger and better things. With a bit of luck, by the time you're reading this, it'll almost be time to start moving everything into my new office/dressing room space. I can't wait to get in there and put my own stamp on it! Hopefully i'll be able to share some of my decorating process with you too!





On this particular date night, I decided to whip out one of my favourite winter outfit combos, a black turtle neck layered under a playsuit with chunky tights and heeled loafers...



My playsuit is the stunning Burn Baby Black Velvet Romper from Tobi. I call upon this piece time and time again for when I want to add a touch of colour to my #ootn without looking too OTT - not to mention the fact it complements a bold red lip perfectly.

Here, i'm wearing 'Rogue Verite' from And Other Stories on my lips, it is one of my favourite deep red lip shades, not to mention how comfortable it is to wear. It has to be said, I also can't wait to be able to wear this printed playsuit in the summer with bare legs! Ah, the chance would be a fine thing!



I accessorised with a black, quilted clutch and not forgetting a final spritz of the classic L'aimant by Coty This outfit is definitely getting recycled and restyled for Valentine's Day. Adam and I are going back to the restaurant where it all began on our first date. The pizza is good too. 

Heck, I might even wear a variant of this combo for a Galantine's date with my best friend Hannah -  We're going for pizza (common theme?) and to see the new 50 shades film, so I definitely think the stretchy waistband of my favourite Tobi playsuit will be needed!



Heeled Loafers: TU | Necklace: Tate Gallery Earrings: Weekday






* Post contains gifted items from Tobi
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