Monday, 24 October 2016

Autumnal Lipsticks and Nail Polishes

From top to bottom: MAC Mocha, MAC Twig, Rimmel 128 Starry-Eyed, NYX SMLC 10 Monte Carlo
Autumnal makeup is my favourite because you can play around with bold colours that just aren't acceptable in Spring and Summer. Today I thought I would share with you some of my favourite lipsticks and nail polishes to wear in Autumn.

My most recent MAC lipstick purchase is Mocha. This is a peachy yellow-brown satin lipstick and it goes perfectly with the MAC Nice 'n' Spicy lip liner. Another MAC lipstick that I love wearing in Autumn is Twig. This one is described as a soft muted brownish-pink lipstick on the MAC website and is also a satin lipstick (I did a full review on this lipstick here). I don't own many Rimmel lipsticks but I loved the dark berry colour of 128 Starry-Eyed so I had to buy it! The only problem with this lipstick is that it's not as long lasting as the MAC lipsticks so you have to reapply it more often. However, you can apply lots of layers of this lipstick to create a darker colour and it doesn't go patchy. Lastly, the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Monte Carlo is a gorgeous dark red shade - it's slightly bolder than the other lipsticks I've mentioned but still wearable! A few months ago I did a full review on the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams, so you can find that here.

Essie's Bahama Mama nail polish is my all-time favourite for Autumn. It's the perfect plum shade and it lasts about a week without chipping - if you want to see what it looks like on then have a look at my full review. For my birthday, I received another Essie nail polish in the shade Angora Cardi. This is lighter than Bahama Mama; it's more of a dusty rose colour. My friends also bought me the Rimmel 313 Rita Rouge nail polish for my birthday (they know me so well!). It's a very dark purple shade that promises super shine and that it'll be dry in 60 seconds - although I haven't found it to dry that quickly! Rimmel nail polishes do last a long time without chipping; probably nearly ten days. The final nail polish that I'll be wearing this Autumn is Maybelline Color Show 265 Wine Shimmer. This nail polish is red and sparkly, so it will be particularly good for parties and events because it adds a bit more glam. To get a more intense colour I usually apply three coats of this, whereas with the other nail polishes I apply two coats.

What are your favourite products to use during Autumn?

Sunday, 16 October 2016

September Favourites

Sorry for such a belated monthly favourites post - it won't be long till I'm posting about my October favourites! If you follow me on Twitter, then you would of seen that the wifi wasn't working properly in my new house for the first three weeks, which completely ruined my blogging schedule. Thankfully the wifi's fixed now so I can start posting weekly again. Anyway, lets get on with my September favourites...

My first favourite for September is the Batiste Beautiful Brunette dry shampoo. I've always been a massive fan of Batiste dry shampoos, however, they usually make my hair look a bit grey, no matter how hard I try to rub it in, due to my hair being so much darker than the spray. The one aimed at brunettes blends perfectly with my hair so you can't even tell that I've used dry shampoo! It also gives my hair a lot more volume - it works better than some volumising products I've tried!

Another hair product I've been loving this month is the L'Oreal Extraordinary Clay Masque. I don't use hair masks very often but this sounded exactly like what my hair needs because it's for oily roots. You apply the mask to your roots before shampooing and leave it on for five minutes to allow the mask to absorb oil and impurities. The mask leaves my hair looking a lot less greasy and it smells amazing too. There's also a shampoo and conditioner in the range, however, I haven't tried these yet. Let me know what you think of them if you've tried them.

My mum bought me the Nosh For Students recipe book so that I'd be able to cook some proper meals whilst I'm at uni. The recipes are very easy to follow and each one has a key which shows how much it costs per person, how many it serves, how difficult it is to make, and how long it takes to prepare. The recipes I've tried have turned out really well - chilli con carne is definitely my favourite so far!

I'm quite proud of myself that I've managed to go a couple of months without buying a MAC lipstick; obviously that wasn't going to last forever, so I treated myself to one of their satin lipsticks in the shade Mocha. MAC describe it as a 'peachy yellow-brown' and I would say that it's slightly darker than Velvet Teddy (which I also own!). The satin lipsticks are quite matte but more moisturising than the matte lipsticks, which is great for autumn because my lips usually get dry. I'll definitely be wearing this shade a lot throughout autumn and it matches perfectly with MAC's Nice'n' Spicy lip liner.

Lastly, I received Blog Inc. from my family for my birthday and I've loved reading it so far. This covers everything you need to know about setting up and growing your blog, as well as meeting new bloggers. This book is really going to help me improve my blog and I can't wait to read more of it. I would recommend getting this if you are a relatively new blogger.

I hope you've enjoyed my first blog post back and I won't leave it that long for my next blog post! What did you love in September?

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Freshers University Advice

Over the next few weeks I'm sure many of you will be starting the next chapter of your lives; university. Heading to university is an exciting time - full of independence and opportunities - but it can also be a daunting time for many freshers. Next week I will be going back to university for my second year and I feel like I've learnt a thing or two along the way to share with you so you can make the most of first year.

Making friends:
Getting to university and not knowing anyone can be really nerve-racking, particularly if you're shy or quiet. I was lucky that my flat were a friendly bunch and on the first night we all sat together in the corridor and got to know each other better whilst playing a few drinking games. If you usually struggle to start a conversation with someone, freshers is a great time to put that behind you because there are so many questions you can ask people, such as; Where are you from? What are you studying? Was this uni your first choice? Another great way to make friends is by joining clubs and societies. This gives you the opportunity to get to know people outside of your flat and on different courses, as well as second and third year students.

Managing your money:
During freshers week, it's tempting to spend a large proportion of your money on going out and not think about how long your money's got to last you. There are certain things you can do to save money without compromising on the nights out, for example; some clubs offer discounted entrance fees if you arrive there before a certain time so you could aim to get there before this time, also, instead of buying a takeaway after each night out (cheesy chips and Dominos add up to a lot throughout the year!), you could keep some snacks in your room to have when you get back to your accommodation. Working out how much money you'll have going in and out of your bank account is really useful to make sure you don't overspend - you could add up how much you have to pay for accommodation each month or term plus how much you'll roughly be spending on food and other essentials and the rest can be used for nights out and treating yourself! Also, writing a shopping list before you go shopping stops you from picking up items that you don't need.

Staying healthy:
It's difficult when you haven't got your parents around to cook you nice meals and check that you're eating your 5-a-day! Buying a recipe book aimed at students is a good place to start because the recipes are usually easier and less time consuming than other recipe books. Also, making your own food normally works out cheaper (and healthier!) than ordering a takeaway. If you struggle to include fruit in your diet, then you could make a smoothie using lots of different fruits, or you could add chopped up fruits to your cereal. Exercise usually takes a backseat at uni because you're too tired/busy, however, there are plenty of workout routines available on Youtube so you don't even have to leave your room! Joining a sports club is a great way to exercise because you can go with your friends and motivate each other.

Keeping up with work:
With so many exciting events and opportunities happening at uni, it's easy to forget that you're actually there to study! Creating a timetable for completing quizzes, reading books, doing revision, etc is a good idea to show you when you'll be able to fit in uni work around your other activities, but make sure you stick to it. Don't rush your work because this won't help you remember it when it comes to exams and don't leave group work for someone else to do - because they might be doing the same thing!

One final note, make the most of freshers and have an amazing time! If any current uni students or graduates have advice for freshers then feel free to comment below.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

August Favourites

It's the end of August already and summer is pretty much over now. Where has the time gone? In a couple of weeks I'll be back at uni and counting down the days until next summer! Anyway, I've got a selection of my favourite summer products to share with you.

When I went to Barcelona earlier in the month one of the top things on my to-do list was to visit a Sephora (priorities right!?). I made such a big deal about going to one that I wasn't leaving empty-handed, so I picked up the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper. I had heard so many good reviews about this eyeliner but never thought about buying it myself - and I'm so glad that I did buy it. This eyeliner has a very thin tip for precision, however, you can build on it if you want a thicker line. Usually, I find that eyeliners smudge onto my eyelids but this one stays put and is very long-lasting.

Something else I enjoyed whilst in Barcelona was using my Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Camera. I picked up a pack of the Colour Close-up Lens which clip on to the front of the camera and give warmer or cooler tones to the photos. I love using this camera because I can decorate my room with the photos rather than having them stored on my phone.

Whilst I was in Boots the other day I bought a couple of products from Soap & Glory. Heel Genius is a foot cream that I've been using for years and I love it; I apply it a couple of times a week and then put a pair of socks on to let in soak in. The other product I picked up was the Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub, which contains oats, shea butter, and sugar. I had never tried this scrub before but I'd seen lots of good reviews on it. This smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling so smooth.

Finally, I have been reading Dream A Little Dream by Giovanna Fletcher. I've never read any of Giovanna's books before but they all have amazing reviews so I thought I'd try one of them. The book is about a woman who dreams of a handsome stranger and then he appears in real life. I'm only a couple of chapters in at the moment but I can't wait to carry on reading it!

Have you tried any of these products before? What have you been using throughout August? Also, I'm planning on doing a university advice post next week so if you have any questions then please let me know.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Eyebrow Routine

With inspiration from Into The Gloss, I was encouraged to team up with them to write a post about my eyebrow routine and products. I was already planning on sharing this with you guys so the idea couldn't have come at a better time!

Firstly, I always use tweezers to do my eyebrows and I usually do this once a week to keep them tidy. The tweezers I use were a present from a friend (maybe she was trying to hint at something when she bought me them!) so I don't know what brand they are but these tweezers are really good at grabbing hairs even when they're short. I've experienced a few brow scares in my time caused by over-plucking so now I do the bare minimum amount of plucking and next time I feel like my brows need reshaping I'll be going to a professional! The Benefit Brow Bar is supposed to be really good for shaping and tinting eyebrows; I've been wanting to try this out for ages but I haven't yet so let me know what you think of it.

On a daily basis I don't fill in my eyebrows because mine are quite thick anyway. When I do fill them in I use the Maybelline Brow Drama, which I did a review on back in December. This brow mascara is really easy to use because the brush is small and spreads through the brows evenly - creating natural but fuller looking eyebrows. A similar product to the Maybelline Brow Drama is the Benefit Gimme Brow. I got a tester of this a couple of months ago and I'll probably buy the full-sized product when it runs out. Gimme Brow gives slightly more dramatic looking eyebrows than Brow Drama does and I also thinks it lasts a bit longer, so I usually wear this one on nights out. If I want something more precise to shape my eyebrows and fill them in, I use the Maybelline Master Shape Brow Pencil. This is my favourite brow pencil that I've tried because it has a brush on the end of it so once you're done filling in your eyebrows you can brush through them to make them look more natural.

Hopefully you've enjoyed reading what eyebrow products I like to use. what are your favourite products for eyebrows? If you want to see a video showing you how to fill in your brows then head over to Into The Gloss here.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Three Nights In Brighton

Sorry for the overload of photos! Last week my family and I headed to Brighton for a few nights as none of us had been there before. Luckily, the weather was on our side and we managed to spend all three days on the beach. We also visited the Marina (which had an amazing selection of restaurants), went to the Pier, walked through The Lanes, and had a go on the British Airways i360. I attempted a bit of vlogging whilst I was in Brighton so keep your eyes peeled for that being uploaded to my Youtube channel - I'll let you know when I've finished editing it! I hope you're all having a good summer. Are you going away anywhere?

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

Tanya Burr is a Youtuber that I've been watching for years, so when she released her cookbook Tanya Bakes of course I was going to buy it! I've been trying lots of the recipes lately and my favourite one so far is the Chocolate Orange Cheesecake...

- 300g double chocolate cookies
- 100g butter
- Zest of 2 oranges
- 250g full-fat cream cheese
- 150g icing sugar
- 200g Terry's Chocolate Orange, plus extra slices for decorating
-150g double cream

- Crush the biscuits to crumbs. Mix in the melted butter and zest of 1 orange until well combined, then press into the bottom of the tin.
- Mix together the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth. Set aside.
- Melt the 200g of Chocolate Orange in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water. Once melted, quickly whip the cream in a bowl until it forms soft peaks, then add the melted chocolate and cream cheese mixture. Mix until smooth and well combined.
- Pour onto the biscuit base and smooth out. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- When you're ready to serve, decorate with the remaining Chocolate Orange slices and orange zest.

Anything chocolaty in my house doesn't last very long, so by the time I came to decorate the cheesecake there was only two slices of Terry's Chocolate Orange left! Thankfully everyone still enjoyed it. Have you got Tanya Bakes?