30 April 2018



For me, April is a month of great change, a sentiment shared by the legendary make-up artist, Mary Greenwell of whom I interviewed earlier this month for one of my client's digital magazines. It was such a great honour to be able to chat so candidly with Mary about her enviable career working with the original supermodels, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista, as well as her transformative work with the beautiful, Diana Princess Of Wales. You can find the article HERE if you're interested.

I was also extremely lucky to be invited to the opening of a new restaurant in Liverpool named, The Florist which has taken residency in The Old Blind School Building. The restaurant, which is spread over multiple floors, is adorned from floor to ceiling with beautiful flowers. Adam and I were invited to try their Sunday Roast which I hope the picture below is doing justice because it was simply divine. I had the lamb with homegrown mint sauce and cauliflower cheese and Adam had the belly pork, both were far from mean on the portion size and incredibly tasty. We finished our meal with a sharing bowl of the most scrumptious apple crumble and custard that I've ever eaten in my life. If you're in Liverpool, you must call into The Florist, even if only for one of their beautifully crafted cocktails -I recommend the coconut and poppy mojito from their English garden cocktail menu. 
Wearing my Ruflixoo red tartan scarf, the softest scarf I've ever worn  | Roast Dinner + cocktails @ The Florist | The most beautiful arrangement of flowers suspended from the ceiling, can I have this in my house?


I know that Christie Watson's powerful book extract focusing on 20 years on the front line of the NHS for The Times has been shared to death in the zeitgeist, but I wanted to include it here, because not only did it strike a nerve with me, but it is also one of the most insightful, no bullshit pieces of writing I've ever read. Christie worked as a nurse for the NHS for 20 years, in her upcoming book, of which The Times extract is taken from, Christie discusses what it's really like working in different areas of the NHS from paediatrics to A+E to palliative care and more. There are no filters here, it's real life. If you read one thing today, make it this.

I also really enjoyed this blog post by Lily Pebbles where Lily reflects on her experiences getting tattoos over the years. I particularly loved (and deeply resonated) with this part:

"I honestly disliked every single tattoo experience I had. I don’t mean to generalise, but they were all men and every single one made me feel rushed, intimidated and inexperienced. I’ve said for years that there’s a gap in the market for a tattoo parlour for either first-timers or for people who have just a few small tattoos… because it’s different, it just is. Often tattoo artists won’t draw the design for you ahead of time to think about it because they’re worried you’ll take the design elsewhere to be done. So you arrive on the day, you’re shown a design and unless they actively say “don’t worry, take your time and any changes you want to be made can absolutely be made”, you feel really guilty and embarrassed asking them to change things. There’s a pressure, a time constraint and I’ve many times in the past been told: “no, that’s the best I can do”. In the past, I’d paid deposits, booked appointments months in advance and it doesn’t feel easy to stick up for yourself, especially in an environment that feels alien to you (most the tattoo parlours I’ve been to are quite scary inside)."

I completely agree with Lily here, I've only had two tattoo experiences, one here in the UK and the other in America, with my first tattoo I experienced exactly what Lily is talking about. The whole process felt totally overwhelming to a tat first timer. 


My favourite podcast this month was an episode of 'Desert Island Dishes' - in-particular the episode with Levi Roots of Reggae, Reggae sauce fame. I had obviously watched Levi on Dragon's Den many moons ago, and there is indeed a bottle of Reggae Reggae sauce in my pantry however, I was really inspired by Levi's episode where he talks about his work with Princes' Trust, the close relationship he had with his Grandmother in Jamaica, before moving to the UK age 11 and how his humble jerk sauce made in his kitchen was snapped up on scale by a major supermarket.

I've also been catching up on the 'Re-issued' Desert Island Discs, as the programme/ Kirsty is taking a break at the moment, some iconic back episodes have been republished. I listed to Steven Hawking's 1992 episode with Sue Lawley on a whim and I was mesmerised by Steven's eloquence and sense of humour, not to mention his penchant for classical music. 

I also, more recently listened to Annie Lennox's, 2008 episode, what a soothing voice Annie has! A delight to listen to, Annie is someone who really appreciates the composition of music. I loved the way she identifies with particular music of a certain time or era because of the messages and mood it gives out. I share this same sentiment with music from the 1980s incidentally. Annie also introduce me to The Blue Nile, a Scottish folk-ambient band, rather ironically famed for their inaccessibility and infrequency of recordings. 

Other podcasts to listen to...

Lily Pebbles on The Emma Guns Show discussing Friendship, entrepreneurship and honesty


It's certainly felt like royal family mania at the moment and amongst babies and that Camilla documentary I LOVED the Queen's Green Planet with David Attenborough where Queenie and Sir David took a stroll around Buckingham Palace gardens looking at the different plants and trees planted there. I don't think I've ever seen the Queen as animated, she came across really human and far less stuffy than I imagined.



I'm back on the fake tan wagon, well on a part-time basis I guess. When we were treated to the beautifully sunny weather the week before last, I decided to whip out the gradual tanning moisturisers in order to not look quite so pasty. My current favourite is the Palmers Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze Tan Lotion. It doesn't streak, smells divine and offers a really nice colour payoff.
Sticking with the self-tanning theme, I also bought a bottle of Hi Glow shimmer oil which is a tanning range by Rochelle Humes and stocked in Superdrug. Simply give the bottle a vigorous shake and the shimmery oil formula applies to the skin beautifully. The shimmer payoff is very, very subtle and in my opinion, could do with being amped up a little bit but the moisturising oil is lovely for patting onto your collarbone, arms or cheeks when the sun is shining.


As I mentioned earlier on, I had the great privilege of interviewing Mary Greenwell which inspired me to seek out her fragrance range, sadly now discontinued. From Mary's line, I chose 'Plum' - her first fragrance featuring notes of white floral (my favourites) tuberose, fruit to name but a few. This is a very elegant, grown-up scent which I can totally imagine Mary wearing. You can tell that this perfume was made for the premium market as the bottle, particularly the lid is extremely weighty. I really want to try Mary's Fire next.

Makeup / Skincare.

I have a secret place that I like to go to find discounted makeup and whilst a lady never tells, I can say that this shop has the best collection of Cover Girl cosmetics (Maybelline here the UK) I've recently been coveting the Lash Effect mascara, the thin, plastic wand helps to really dig into those lash roots and help lengthen and curl my lashes. I've been teaming a basic makeup look comprising of just one swipe of mascara with my favourite lip stain/balm of the moment 'Crush' from Glossier.

I've waxed lyrical about my love for Olay skincare and as the slightly warmer weather sets in I've been using their Complete BB Cream in Fair, the colour blends into the skin, matching the pigment and tone, though I must add this formula is slightly on the warm side. I like how much of a healthy glow it gives me whilst evening out my skintone. It's perfect for everyday use when you don't want to wear a full coverage base.

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* Post contains gifted items from Ruflixoo

27 April 2018


I was pretty late to the game with blush, when I first started dabbling with makeup age 12/13, it was all about the eyes and maybe a touch of bronzer. It's only in recent years that i've started to experiment more with blush and thanks to Charlotte Tilbury's 'swish and pop' technique, actually understand how to use it. Lol.

I could buy Bourjois Little Pot Rouges all day long, just for the aesthetic of them, however, I find the formula a little disappointing and after a while, the colour payoff isn't as great as when you first start using it. It is because of this, that I wanted to experiment with more shades of blush and I figured a palette would be the best way to do that without wasting too much money.

Step forwards the NYX 'Sweet Cheeks' palette - Ah, just looking at this satisfying array of colours delights me. At around the £17 mark, it isn't the cheapest palette around, but in my eyes, it's well worth the dollar because not only is the formulation on point, but the shade range is diverse also. Whats more, some of the blush shades can be doubled up as highlighters. The palette contains 8 blushes with the top 3 shades being shimmery and the other 6 being matte.

The only shades that don't work for my skin tone are the two Barbie bubblegum pink shades, I'm too pale for those and they do look a little chalky on my face. My favourite shades are the ones that are more orange in tone. If you aren't afraid to experiment with colour, this blush palette is definitely one to try.


24 April 2018


When it comes to creating affordable budget makeup and dupes of premium makeup products, w7 cosmetics have it down. w7 are famed for creating 'in the style of' products based on bestsellers from the likes of MAC, Ben Nye, Benefit, Anastacia Beverley Hills, Urban Decay and many more. Now, i'm not under any illusions, I know that there is a fine line between inspired dupes and complete rip offs however, w7 have made the 'makeup of now' accessible to everyone. And whilst these days I am lucky enough to be in a position whereby I can afford to buy high-end makeup and beauty, I still absolutely love drugstore and budget makeup. 

So why a sudden penchant for w7 makeup? Well, I was inspired to give a selection of w7 products a whirl after another late night binge of 'makeup declutter' videos of which I am wholly obsessed with currently. By the time I got to video 109, it was apparent that the w7 cosmetics brand popped up time and time again as the brand to go to if you were looking for affordable high-end dupes.

w7 'Delicious Palette' - Anastasia Beverley Hills 'Modern Renaissance Palette' Dupe 
Like the look of the Anastasia Beverley Hills 'Modern Renaissance' palette but can't justify the price tag? w7 offer a dupe that is so unapologetically a dupe. For an as-near-as-dammit palette, I recommend trying the w7 Delicious palette. I must however start by caveating the fact that I've only ever swatched the iconic Anastasia Beverley Hills 'Modern Renaissance Palette' therefore it wouldn't be fair to write a full comparison on how they pit against each other, though I do have it on good authority that the w7 'Delicious' palette is a pretty good MR dupe. 

The Delicious palette is made from snap-shut cardboard packaging and comes with a double ended brush which is perfect for pressing and blending colour on the lids thanks to a duo comprising of one dense, flat brush and one fluffy brush. And whilst the shade range and pan formation of these two palettes are very, very similar, one thing that certainly sets these two palettes apart is the cost. The Delicious palette retails at £9.95 making it an ideal budget beauty option if you don't want to shell out the eye-watering £43 for the MR palette.

I've been road testing the Delicious palette for around 3/4 weeks now and I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed with how pigmented these colours are. My favourite shades are by far and away the two orange tones which in the MR palette are named: 'Red Ocre' and 'Realgar.' I also recommend not shying away from the deep red toned shades which are super easy to work with and again, pigmented so beautifully. If neutrals are however more your bag, the neutral shades including taupe browns, creams and biscuit tones are really wearable.

So what about formulation? Well, despite having talc as a lead ingredient as most budget cosmetics do, I didn't find these shadows to be at all overly powdery, unlike the MR palette of which unnecessary fall out is notorious. So even if you have zero interest in dupe hunting, if you're looking for an affordable warm toned palette with plenty of workable berry and neutral shades, this palette is definitely one to try.
w7 'Hollywood Bronze + Glow' Palette - Charlotte Tilbury 'Filmstar Bronze + Glow' Dupe

I really wanted to try the w7 Hollywood Bronze + Glow palette out of sheet interest on how it fared against its originator and inspiration, the famed Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze + Glow duo. It's with a heavy heart that I confess that I did once own this high-end contour and highlighter duo, however, it sadly met a brutal end on holiday in Portugal when the compact fell to the ground and shattered to smithereens all over a hard, marble floor. Weep. Instead of repurchasing and parting with yet another £49, I was curious to see how this £5.95 dupe worked out in comparison and of course on its own merit. w7 certainly haven't tried to be subtle with their take on this premium product, hello 1920s-esc fan effect powder press and obnoxiously similar product name. 

Though, in terms of how the w7 dupe stands up, it's pretty good. I'd say that the Charlotte Tilbury formulation is slightly more on the peachy side, but other than that, the w7 contour powder is a decent match, it applies smoothly and provides an even contour/cheek bronze. If you're interested in this duo, it's worth noting that I found the w7 highlighter a little chalky, it is also quite subtle and takes some working with a brush or fingers to see a noticeable result on the cheek.

w7 'Strobe Struck' - Cream Highlighter
If you're looking for a subtle, dewy highlight with a natural finish, then the w7 Strobe Struck Cream highlighter is a brilliant option for only £5.95. It's very similar in tone to the Jouer Cosmetics Crem Highlighter in the shade ' Champagne' . I like to pat the cream formula onto the top of my cheekbones and above the cupid bow for a nice, easy going glow, nothing OTT, nothing major.


20 April 2018


The day that these shots were taken, it was an extemley grey, rainy day and it felt like the bright, fresher days of Spring were never going to arrive. Of course, we've been treated to some glorious sunshine recently which has caused me to do nothing more than sit outside on my sun lounger - sometimes working on my laptop, sometimes doing absolutely nothing but listening to Audible. My audiobook of choice being the fabulous Grace Coddington's memoir. It is however on those rainy, gloomy days that we have all year round here in England that I feel the most hygge if you like. And so here are 5 of my favourite things to do when I'm not working (or writing) and the weather is gloomy.

1. Have a cup of tea and read a book
I always knew that someday I wanted an armchair of my own to sit and read in. I'm an introverted soul at heart and peace and quiet is something I crave in order for me to recharge my batteries. In recent times my armchair pipedream has come true and I love nothing more than sitting back in my rocking chair and reading my favourite books, glossy magazines, or whatever new title I have on the go. Of course, a cup of Yorkshire tea is usually by my side, sometimes Earl Grey depending on my mood.

2. Take a hot bath
When I lived in my flat, for the best part of 3 years I only had a shower cubicle and so getting a bath at my parent's house, or at my boyfriend's flat was a total luxury that I looked forward to as often as I could. Since moving into our new place, it's been pretty nice to be able to get a regular bath again. I like to run mine as hot as I can possibly bare, with lots of bubbles. Usually, I'll add some lavender baby bath (Because I'm really that extra) and a bath bomb from Lush - My favourite is Twilight. Bathtime is another of my much needed 'quiet' times. I like to light some candles and sometimes I'll catch up on my Youtube subscriptions by propping my iPad up on my wooden bath shelf. Bath time is a bit of me-time that helps me to wind down and feel centred again.

3. Reorganise my beauty drawers and clean my brushes

I find reorganising my makeup drawers really soothing and satisfying, especially if i'm feeling het up about a situation, or there's something nagging at my mind. Some of my favourite videos to watch on Youtube are the ones where people declutter their makeup collection. For some reason, the eyeshadow palette versions really help to lift my mood. Maybe it's the ASMR-y nature of them, after all, they are pretty visual and colourful. When the weather is grim, I tend to find myself reorganising, cleaning and tidying my beauty stash and brushes. I'm probably one of the few people who actually enjoy cleaning their makeup brushes. Weirdly it must be rubbing off because Adam saw me doing it one day and liked the look of it so much that he started joining in the swirling and rinsing process. 

4. Watch trash TV - the trashier the better
Back in the day, we're talking circa 2010 when I was around 17, I was the Queen of watching reality TV. You name it, I watched it. I religiously tuned into Big Brother, TOWIE, Made In Chelsea, everything - nobody got in the way of my rigid TV schedule. As I got older I stopped watching as many of these kinds of programmes on TV, though I'm not really sure why. However, in recent times I've really gone back on myself. Since we sorted our TV package out, I've become ADDICTED to coming home from work, throwing my bag down and watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians. I stopped watching the show as regularly around the time when Kim married Kris Humphries (lol) so I've had some MAJOR catching up to do. And I guess while we're sharing, I'm also partial to 'Can't Pay We'll Take It Away', 'Catfish' and 'Teen Mom'.

5. Organising + pressing reset

I've previously talked about the fact that I am anal about prioritising things and making lists of things that need doing. I must get through stacks and stacks of post-it notes every week. I like to actually spend my downtime writing to-do lists, planning meals and sorting my calendar out. I love it, I think it gives me a sense of control over what's happening in my life and I love having an overview of how my week is playing out. Of course, I also like to hit reset on my beauty routine too, making time to put a deep conditioning mask on my hair, de-fuzz and put a fresh layer of tan on. All of these little acts of self-care are perfect for not letting a gloomy day make me feel miserable.


17 April 2018

How To Wear a Full Coverage Base Without Looking like a 'cake face'

Back in the day when 'Dream Matte Mousse' was the only foundation to be seen carrying in your Jane Norman PE bag, cake face was pretty unavoidable. This was especially the case when the Aero bar formula was paired with a translucent powder laden with talc from The Look or Bodycare. Ah, Dream Matte Mousse, concealer lips and pale face. A look so popular, I think that some girls in my year were actually nicknamed 'Cake face' by a typical group of spotty, gangly 14-year-old lads.

I haven't purchased a pot of DMM in years, these days, I'm about the less is more approach when it comes to my makeup, but one thing has not changed and that is my love of a full coverage base.

Avoiding cake face...

Over the years, I've tried and tested a few ways to try and stop my foundation from bobbling while avoiding dry patches for powder formulas to cling to. And whilst my method isn't always foolproof, cake face had been known to appear a few hours after applying what looks like perfectly applicated makeup, it's pretty reliable most of the time.

Exfoliating weekly 

Exfoliation is vital for buffing away those dead skin particles that cause your face to become dry which is often a primary cause of cake face. I use a chemical exfoliate on a daily basis and opt to give my face a good manual scrub on a weekly basis. Back in the day, my favourite exfoliator would be the St Ives invigorating scrub, it's much too harsh for my skin now but it's true to say that market wide exfoliators have come a long way since then. My current squeeze is the Bodyshop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion formula, it's pretty amazing how it works and I urge you to try it if you want to see skincare magic occur before your very eyes.

Keep on top of the moisture

Moisturising is my favourite step of my skincare routine, I like to really work the formula into my skin and feel it seeping in. My current favourite moisturiser is from Harley Street Skincare and it is a lightweight formula that sinks into the skin without leaving a greasy residue. Depending on your skin type, find a moisturiser that works for you and never skip using it! Not only will your skin feel more comfortable, but it will also make any makeup you apply stick around longer and apply more evenly as your skin won't be as thirsty and dry.

Choosing your base

To avoid cake face, a technique that has worked for me is to work with light layers. When working with a number of different products it can be easy for the different formulations to curdle and make a cake face situation occur. Lol. If you're using brushes for your base, try to use brushes that are specifically made with bristles that can do the best work for the job. For example, my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush is excellent for cream-based products thanks to its synthetic bristles, whereas the Younique Powder Puff brush is perfect for working with dense powder formulations.

Every morning I moisturise with an SPF (Currently Olay Complete Our Original BB) and then if it's a snazzy occasion I'll use a primer, to add extra moisture to my skin and even out my skin tone. My current primers of choice are Pixi Flawless + Poreless and the iconic Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

In the past, if you wanted to wear a more full coverage base, you'd often have to compromise on dewiness and glow - instead, more matte coverage formulations were positioned for us, full-coverage lovers. I'm currently wearing a mineral foundation and the Bare Minerals Original SPF Foundation is my pick of the crop. For a creamier and more full-throttle coverage, I use the Revlon Photo Ready InstaFix foundation which I raved about in my March monthly favourites so I won't repeat here, but its a goody.

* Post contains gifted items from Clarins + Younique


13 April 2018


When 2018 rolled around, which let's be honest was quite a while ago now as we've suddenly woken up and it's April?! I thought about the negative thoughts that I believe had been holding me back as I navigated life as a young woman going through college, university, career beginnings and life.

Before the end of last year, I made a point to write these thoughts down and study them in more depth to see how I could alter my thinking. Today i'm sharing these thoughts with you as they might help you to take stock and make a change about how you think about things. After-all, we're all striving for a healthy and happy mind.

1. "I'm just too busy..."

For me, it does often feel like there are simply not enough hours in the day to achieve everything on my to-do list. I am a master of organisation, prioritising and getting shit done, but there are a few things that perhaps i'm selectively saying that i'm too busy for. The main thing being, exercise. At the end of a long day at work followed by a traffic-laden commute, i'm hungry, drained and just want to flop on the sofa and watch telly. The very last thing I want to do is work out. I don't think it helps that my boyfriend lives by the mantra of always been 'too busy' as he builds and grows his business. We're a household of busy bee's. However, I'm now actively trying to plan my days to ensure I can slot in exercise and the time to cook a meal from scratch. It's not easy, but these days when it's fashionable to be seen to say you're 'soooo busy' - it's also okay to not be busy and make time for meaningful headspace to recalibrate yourself. You can't burn the candle at both ends!

2. "There's no point, it won't make a difference anyway..."

Guilty as charged with this one. I often struggle to see how my mere contribution can make a difference to the bigger picture. I remember one of my hardest struggles was to crack the back of my maths GCSE. Sure, I mastered it eventually after many, many, many hours of hard work, but at the time, my go to line would be: 'There's no point in doing these extra tuition lessons because it won't make a difference anyway, I still won't get that C" - What I needed to be telling myself was, after all this hard graft, i'm sure to see some improvement in my grade, no matter how small! And even if I didn't, I can add tenacity and sheer perseverance to my list of traits. It's better to try instead of counting myself out as a failure before i've even started.

3. "No, I can't do that because i'm too thick..."

In a similar vein to the point above, i've always had low self confidence when it comes to my ability. Anyone who knows me will tell you that. I would always shy away from going forward for opportunities in fear of being 'too thick' - I now understand that i'll never be good at maths, winged eyeliner, crosswords or dealing with lots of complicated data but that's alright because i'm kick ass at other things that are probably more important to my day to day functioning.

4. "I don't care..."

This is something I say to protect myself, It's easier for me to say: "I don't care" than to accept what may be happening. One thing to know about me, I bloody do care. I care about far too much about everything and anything and it drives me potty sometimes. I think it's really important to pick and choose what you do actually give your time to care about. I've dwelled on things so much in the past and what i've dwelled upon has never even happened. Let it go! Your mind will be clearer for it!


11 April 2018

The minimal moment // Affordable Minimalist gold jewellery favourites

Dainty gold bracelets, chunky gold hoop earrings and the famed gold 'coin' pendant necklaces are certainly having their moment right now. I have to say, I am 100% all for this trend as the majority of my jewellery collection tends to be gold, rose gold or copper led in tone and colour. 

I'm currently really inspired by Stacey Dooley's style which definitely incapsulates the minimal gold jewellery trend teamed with a style direction of slouchy knits and basic denim. For anyone who doesn't know who Stacey is, she is a British television presenter, journalist and author who cut her broadcasting teeth making harrowing (and fantastic) documentaries on social/cultural issues for the BBC. 

Over the last month or so i've been on a Stacey Dooley binge because luckily for us, you can watch her documentaries on BBC iplayer. I think the most disturbing is the Japan episode where Stacey explores the law on child pornography and JK girls in Japan. If you're looking for something new to watch, I recommend giving Stacey's documentaries a watch if you haven't already.

Back to minimal accessories

I think that you can find the best minimalistic gold jewellery at antique fairs, or at markets/bazaars - each piece has character and a back story. I like my jewellery to have a little rough 'n' ready tarnish so for me, these are the places I normally look for new jewellery, but of course you can find nice pieces online on marketplaces like etsy or ofcourse on the high street.

My watch is from Daniel Wellington, it is the Classic Petite Melrose style. I really like how dainty the metal strap is and how it clicks into place with a really satisfying snap. I tend to only wear my watch on my left arm which is also home to some (non gold) bracelets, one of which you can read more about here and the other was a present from my boyfriend, which features a heart shaped locket and inside are two loose precious stones that represent our birth months, his being Sapphire and mine, Orange Topaz. CUTE!

On my right wrist I wear two bangles which are pretty much the same, just with different stones in them. One of them is from the Hippy Market in Ibiza and the other is from Alvor in Portugal. I also wear multiple hoops in each of my ear piercings, the ones featured here are from Weekday, but you can pick hoops up like this in packs for a few quid in Primark.

My rings are probably the most important pieces of jewellery that I own, they've all come to me from a family member in some capacity and each have different meanings and feelings attached to them. I wear a lot of rings on a daily basis, probably too many for my fingers to handle however, i'm never without my core staple rings. 

And finally, what gold jewellery jewellery round-up could be published without an ode to the 'gold coin pendant' necklace? I found mine in Topshop the duo is called the coin and horn two row necklace i've been wearing both pieces every day since I bought them. 


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