30 March 2018



After a chaotic February, i've been spending less and less time 'online' this month. Instead, i've been busying myself doing the house up, enjoying the sunny little window of spring we were treated to and spending time eating and drinking with my nearest and dearest. It's felt really good too! My job demands a lot of my time to be spent online and so when I get home, plugging myself back in to mindlessly scroll Instagram and Twitter to see what everyone else has been up to has felt like the last thing i've wanted to do at the moment.

My 'Watch Later' list on Youtube has stacked up, my Pocket app is brimming with articles to read and my Instagram home feed hasn't been refreshed in sooo long - I'm really at the point this month where i'm just not bothered what anyone else is doing. Who'd have thought ey?! Sometimes taking a break is good for the soul.


Netflix: I am quite literally 8 years late on this band wagon but this month I have two words for you, Black Mirror. Now, I know you're probably rolling your eyes in exasperation, but it's always the way with me - People say: 'oh you should watch this' and I never get round to it because someones told me to, such a backward mentality. I did however decide to give Black Mirror a go because I liked the idea that every episode is different, you don't have to have seen one to understand another, and each episode is crafted like a mini film.

I guess what i'm about to write will only make sense to anyone who has watched Black Mirror but I was deeply, deeply disturbed (no... genuinely) by 'National Anthem' - Controversial, but I don't think 'San Junipero' is as amazing as everyone makes out, the lead male actor, Alex Lawther in 'Shut up and dance' is bloody incredible and my stand out episodes are: 'Be right back,' 'Black Museum' '15 Million Merits' and 'White Bear.' If you're (very) late to the party like me, start watching Black Mirror now, it's genuinely terrifying how close to the bone it gets to our potential future. 

Another series i've been Netflix binging was a recommendation from the wonderful Franky aka Love Audrey. Franky recommended that all foodies should check out 'Ugly Delicious' and she wasn't wrong. The cultural documentary / travel diary style exploration of cuisine led by David Chang makes you want to reach for the phone to order food pronto. My favourite episodes are: 'Pizza', 'Fried Rice' and 'Home Cooking'. I genuinely loved the whole series though, it certainly is an interesting food history lesson to discover the origins of why and how certain dishes are made the way they are and where they came from.

Reading: I often stumble across creators online who are familiar to what feels like everyone and they seem to be that pinnacle person who always appears on your newsfeed. For me, Sara Tasker is one of those people. Last week Sara opened up a Twitter thread for people to share what their friendship 'green flags' were. Sara invited her followers to describe which actions/words/behaviours make you think that someone is likely to be a good friend. Naturally, I threw my two cents in sharing my green flag which is: 'When you ask someone a question about their life and they ask you about yours straight afterwards instead of just talking about themselves the entire time.' And would you believe my comment and other snippets from the thread were shared on Stylist magazine online. Give it a read it's a nice warm, fuzzy one!

For a bit of fluff, I recommend this article: '100 fascinating things you didn't know about the Kardashians' from Glamour magazine online. One of my highlights was the fact that when our gal Kimmy meets someone she can apparently smell the specific (and I mean specific) scent of any undiagnosed dental cavities they may have. Mind. Blown.

Other things to read..

All the glamorous things I will do when i'm a rich old lady - The illustrations are also fabulous
 The soul was lost somewhere: Inside the demise of NME - How the music industry has changed
 Why we still love Tracy Beaker - Because according to Jaqueline Wilson, she's coming back, as an adult!

Podcasts to listen to...

The Windsor Knot - A tongue-in-chic light-hearted podcast exploring all facets of the royal wedding
Happy Place with Fearne Cotton - stand out episode, Paloma Faith
Wobble with Lauren Mahon - What a woman! If you only listen to this ONE THING, Lauren beat breast cancer in her early 30s, this is her story.



I feel like Glossier got it so right with their Cloudpaint formula, but so wrong with the packaging. I have used the 'Beam' cream blush every day since I bought it a few weeks ago because it just makes my skin look radiant and healthy. My only qualm? How the product is distributed through the tube, it is simply impossible to get the right amount! If anyone has any hacks for this, please let me know.

And because it is good enough to eat, I have also been crushin' on the coconut Balm Dot Com. It smells like NICE biscuits and helps dry lips come back to life after the long, cold winter. I apply this stuff everywhere because it smells sooo good.

Also on the lip theme, I have yet to find a lipstick that hangs around all day and all night if you wanted it to. Step forward the new Bourjois Rouge Velvet Matte Lipsticks. I have the shade '05 Brick-A-Brack' and it is my go-to lip shade of the moment. You can see me wearing it in this Instagram pic if you want to see how it looks on. Designed to last 24 (not so sure about that) the formula can be a little drying so I make sure to prime my lips with the aforementioned Balm.Dot.Com. The pigmentation is excellent and the packaging is weirdly satisfying because it feels expensive (it isn't!)


Being naturally dark haired, keeping unwanted and random hairs around the old lip area is a constant battle. In the past i've waxed, plucked and bleached the old 'tash but sure enough it kept coming back. I wanted to find a solution that was painless and not too rough on my delicate facial skin. My previous dabbles with hair removal have left my skin red, sore and sometimes burnt!

Step forward the beauty gadget that has revolutionised my world. Big statement. The 'Finishing Touch Flawless' tool from JML is a gold plated hair remover that gets rid of those fine facial hairs instantly and painlessly. Working in a similar way to dermaplaining the tool removes hair from the lips, chin, cheeks and downy hair aka 'peach fuzz'. A small blade rotates under a surface plate which means when you gently apply the tool in circular motions those pesky hairs are no more. There's a handy light too for those lurking hairs that like to go uncensored under your regular bathroom light. No nicks, no burns just nice smooth skin, without the unwanted hair! Naw, I love JML, they're always inventing these nifty little gadgets.


A fun fact about Adam and I is that we share a hairdresser. When my hairdresser moved away to Canada, I was looking for someone new to deal with my mop. Adam recommended his hairdresser *cue eyebrow raise* but I decided that I had nothing to lose. Since visiting Stefan, my balayage bronde hair is looking swish and healthy and I have spent more hours than I care to mention in his salon.To combat the brassiness within my bronde hair, I use a shampoo recommended by Stefan which is definitely doing the trick. The L'anza Healing Colourcare Silver Brightening Shampoo has been my go-to wash/treatment for the last few weeks. I like that the formula combats redness in the brunette areas of my hair whilst targeting the blonder strands also. Apparently the UV protection inside the formula helps your colour last for 107% longer too.


I have always loved using mineral foundation, i've waxed lyrical about this one from Bare Minerals, but I have yet to find a brush that applies the foundation efficiently. Sure, i've tried the official Bare Minerals brush that they recommend you to use, but sadly the hairs just pour out everywhere and it is really difficult to wash and keep tidy. In short, I really wanted to like it, but I don't. I recently discovered Younique when their team got in touch to introduce me to the brand. I explained my issue with mineral foundation application and they very kindly offered to send me their synthetic bristle powder/concealer brush and their natural bristle powder puff brush.

Both brushes are great quality and you can tell when you look at / hold the brush via it's weight and also (more importantly) when you apply product. My mineral foundation is now able to be buffed in flawlessly in a mess-free way. And whilst these brushes are working a treat, I must add that the powder puff brush bristles are made with natural animal hair. I have seen Younique representatives online state that no animals are harmed in the making of their brushes, but of course this is something to research yourself if you want to learn more, but I think it's quite important to mention so you can make an informed decision about the product.

* Post contains gifted items from JML + Younique


12 March 2018


I mean it when I say that I know how truly lucky I am to have an entire space of our home dedicated to being just mine. This is a space that I don't have to compromise on decor or furniture, a place I can house my trinkets, worldly goods and excessive coat collection. Most importantly, my new room is a tranquil space for me to work.

For a bit of back story, during the last 5 years of my time living in the North West, I rented my own flat. Man I loved that place. And then, I met my boyfriend, Adam - he lived with his brother at the time, we knew we wanted to live together on our own, but our flat leases didn't match up therefore it made sense for me to move in with them until the time came to go our separate ways. This was last summer and I talked about it here.

When Adam and I were looking at properties to move into, we had 2 deal breakers:

 1. It had to have space for Adam to have an office to run his business 
 2. It had to have space for my family to come and visit/stay over

I never dreamed that we'd find the perfect place which accommodates both requirements and gives us two separate spaces to be ourselves, no interruptions. For me, I can explode as much colour as I like, for him he can have a an all black erry'thing man cave that smells of boys.

In the shared rooms of our home, it's a total merge of both our styles and i'll be honest, i've been a little more 'grown up' with my interior decoration aesthetic. In my new room, i've regressed back to the real Hollie. Most of the chaos you see in my new office is a mix of things that once lived in my bedroom at my parents house and my old flat. Colour! Eastern inspired bits and bobs and a total miss match vibe. 

The room is quite oddly shaped with lots of sloping ceilings and indents so I had to be quite creative with the space. As this room is ultimately, also a guest bedroom, it needed the space to fit a bed when required. As with all these situations, this room is a work in progress. For now, it is a comfortable multi-use space. 

And the story of this print? Well, many years ago, there was a boy I fancied. Like, really fancied. His name was Joe and he was a few years above me at school. When I was in year 8, he was in year 11, he was my maths tutor (anyone who knows me will know how horrendous I am at maths) He told me one night on MSN, that his favourite piece of art was 'The Kiss' by Gustav Klimt. After a quick Google search, I told him how strange that was, because it was my favourite piece of art too. Eek. Truth be told I did really like the piece and have loved it ever since. It's become really commercialised now, you can find a recreation of it almost anywhere, but I want to make it clear, I liked it before the hype. Haha.

Anyway, I knew that this particular piece of art needed a place in my new office. So when the team at photowall kindly got in touch to see if i'd like to try our their service, I immediately KNEW that The Kiss would be the print I chose. 

So who are photowall? Well, photowall are a company passionate about design - they create wall murals, photo wallpapers and canvas prints. If you want to create a focal point in your home the photowall site has thousands of images to choose from and you can even upload your own image.

The whole process from idea to canvas is so easy to follow and my canvas arrived within 3 days of ordering! The Kiss print and the build materials came in a large rectangle box with everything I needed to assemble my print! The assembly process was so, so easy. You simply attach 4 pre adhesive wooden plinths to your canvas print and tighten up some corner brackets to make your canvas taught. SO EASY. I am pretty rubbish at home DIY but even I could master this. If you're looking for a new piece of art for your home, use my code below for 20% off your first photowall order!

(Code is available for 30 days so don't wait!)

* Post contains gifted items from photowall


6 March 2018


Wearing: Stretch Concealer | Cloudpaint's in 'Beam' and 'Dusk' | 'Crush' Generation G lip colour | Maybelline 'Great Lash' mascara 

There was a time when I really didn't understand the statement: 'Less is more' - for me, more was always more and when it came to my make-up, this was so obviously the case. My eyes would be heavily kohled with a smokey grey/green eyeshadow and my lips would be dramatic, more often on than not, i'd be wearing Vamp from Makeup Revolution or Heroine from MAC - And that was just the makeup I wore to school.

These days, unless i'm going out somewhere fancy, I simply don't have the time to pile on the makeup and if i'm quite honest it's just not a look I like on myself anymore. Instead, I call upon a more pared back look with the help of my favourite Glossier products.

I've previously talked about the products that turned me on to Glossier, as well as my thoughts on the phase 1 set. So when payday came around, I decided to break my bank account...again with some of the remaining Glossier products that I had yet to try.

I had been put off purchasing the Cloudpaint cream blushes because one review said they're teeny tiny and definitely not worth the money and another said that most of the product shoots out of the tube when you first open it and it is impossible to ever distribute a small amount.

So what changed my mind? Well, I was getting pretty bored of how powder formulas sat on my skin. I was pretty interested to see how the gel-cream Cloud-paint formula could help create dewy, flushed cheeks. I really struggled to decide on which shades i'd try, in the end I opted for the duo deal in 'Dusk' - a rosy, rust shade that I use as bronzer, and 'Beam' - a coral pink shade that dries matte. Both are subtle and give you a look reminiscent of a day spent on the beach.

L-R Balm Dot Com in 'Cherry' | Generation G lipstick in 'Crush' | Balm Dot Com in 'Rose'

Why am I spending £10 each on multiple lip balms? Hmm I know. Completely and utterly frivolous! But they are all different right? I have a Balm Dot Com affectionate. I wear the formula everyday. 
The latest editions to my collection are; Cherry - wow this reminds me so much of a doll I used to have named 'Baby All Gone' - she came with food to feed her that smelt of cherries. 

Cherry is a subtle tint of red that is fully buildable. 'Rose' is a translucent pop of pink, an easy, breezy everyday shade that smells of rain on rose petals. Lush. And finally, a summer holiday in a tube the coconut variant of the Balm Dot Com family, Coconut smells heavenly - not your typical sun lotion scent, more like NICE biscuits and is a clear balm so you can wear it anytime, anywhere. 


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