30 June 2015

Strobing | The new contouring?

With the Kardashian contour being the hottest trend over the past few years, its about time something new came onto the scene. Enter strobing. Ok, so it may not technically be a new technique but over the past week there has been great talk of the trend within the beauty world and I have been reading many articles dubbing it as the new 'contouring'. So in honour of the new trend, I have gathered together everything you need to know to try out the strobing technique for yourself. 

Whereas contouring uses harsh contrasting colours to create sculpted facial features, it often hides any natural beauty under layers and layers of products (I was personally taken aback by how much product is used for the full on contoured affect). It is also harder to master than strobing and what many people don't realise, it doesn't suit everybody (my non-existent cheekbones would make it difficult to fully contour). Therefore with contouring, there is not a one-size-fits-all technique whereas  with strobing, near enough anybody can pull off. 

So what is it? Strobing is a slightly more complex way of highlighting in that there are more precise locations on the face where you should apply product. Instead of playing with the shadows and contours of the face, strobing accentuates the highest points of the face giving a healthy and youthful look. 

Where to highlight: Apply highlighter to the highest points of your face to really accentuate your features. The main places are: At the top of the cheekbones, dabbing the product up near the outer corner of your eye towards the temple; the inner corner of the eyes; on the brow bone; the cupids bow  on top of the upper lip; the tip of the nose. Some make-up artists also use highlighter to create structure, for example by applying a little highlighter on the bridge of the nose to create a sleek shape, or applying on top of the eyebrows to create more definition. It is usually a personal preference how much you want to use the strobing technique, wether it is to go all out or simply to add a bit more radiancy to your make-up look. 

Some tips: The first thing to do would be to avoid any sparkly or glittery highlighters, instead opting for creamy or gel-like formulas that reflect in the light to really uplift your face. 
For the rest of your make-up, keep it simple. Less is more with this look, as it's aim is to give a glowing-from-within look, not one that is covered with layers of other products. I would recommend using a dewy foundation, or if thats not your thing you can use your usual foundation but avoid over-powdering the face and creating a matte look. Cream blushers also great when used with highlighters to really give a brightened and healthy look, teamed up with a slick of lip gloss to finish off the overall look. 

I've also rounded up a few of my favourite highlighters, for every budget:

The Balm Mary Lou Manizer £17.50 
Mac Strobe Cream £25
The Body Shop Radiant Highlighter £12 

I hope you enjoyed this little beauty trend segment! I would love to know, are you looking forward to trying out this new technique? 

27 June 2015

Soap & Glory: Skincare Haul

Soap and Glory is a well-known brand, particularly in the blogging community, and so of course I had to give the products a try out for myself. My trip to Boots clearly paid off as I am so happy with  everything I bought - Their products have converted me into a true S&G lover!

Butter Yourself Moisture Lotion: I'm not usually a fan of body lotions but I just adore the fruity scent and light texture.  It absorbs pretty quickly into the skin, and unlike many lotions, leaves your skin feeling soft and well moisturised.

The Righteous Butter: This body butter is brilliant for those who suffer from dry skin like me! I love the thick consistency and find that its great for use on my arms and legs. It smells lovely with a slight sweetness to it, although it is missing the signature strong scent that the rest of Soap and Glory's products have but I honestly don't miss it in such a nourishing product. 

Hand Dream Super Cream: For some reason, lately my hands have been feeling really dry recently, so I thought this would be a great addition to my bag so I am constantly reminded to moisturise my hands. It silky smooth and doesn't leave your hands feelings sticky afterwards (One of my pet peeves!) and with its sleek design, it fits nicely into my handbag without taking up too much space.

Heel Genius: Feet are often neglected, particularly after the colder months when they never got to see the light of day. Now summer is coming though, its time to get ready for sandal season. This is lovely and not too thick, leaving for a quick and easy application. I don't think its brilliant at banishing try heels completely but its more of a pamper product that feels lovely (and smells it too) when using it. 

You can never go wrong with good ol' Soap and Glory, the quality of their products have amazed me. I will be sure to try some of their other products, I'm sure I won't be disappointed. 

23 June 2015

Drugstore Make-Up Wish List | Summer Edition

Makeup wishlist: collection eyeshadow palette, loreal mascara, maybelline foundation, max factor blush, rimmer lip pencil, bourgeois lipstick

With summer just around the corner, I put together a list of drugstore products I need in my life! Having heard so much about each of these, I am considering doing a large Boots shop and treating myself to every one of these products. Why not, eh?

Collection Eyes Uncovered Palette in Nude Bronze - £3.99 
Being all the rage among bloggers right now, Collection are said to have done well with both formula of these eyeshadows. Dubbed as a cheaper alternative to the Naked Basics palette, I'd love to give these a go and see how they live up to their holy-grail reputation.

L’Oreal Paris Miss Manga Mascara Black - £8.99  
I’m currently on the search for a new mascara and whilst browsing, the packaging of L'Oreal's Miss Manga caught my eye straight away. The brush looks really thick and fluffy, an attribute I’m hoping wil transfer onto my lashes.

Max Factor Crème Puff Blush (Shade: Lovely Pink) - £8.99 
I have been drooling over these blushers for so long and after trial-testing the similar Milani ones, I think I am ready to venture out to the infamous Max Factor range! With a little simmer and a whole load of colour, this would be perfect for summer days, teamed with glowy skin and nude lips.

Maybelline Dream Flawless Nude Foundation - £8.99
I feel like everybody needs a lightweight foundation, especially for the Spring and Summer time, and this seems to be the answer I am looking for. The formula really is light in its application (according to the testers I tried out in Boots!) and with a handy teardrop applicator it lets you control the amount you want to use. Perfect for them 'no make-up look' days.

Bourjois Rouge Edition Aqua Laque Liquid Lipstick - £8.99 
I’m not sure how long-lasting these lipsticks will be (Judging by the price, I’m sure the quality will match up), but I absolutely adore the colours that they come in! I literally want all of them (well, most anyway). I feel like they will suit all skin types and really hydrate the lips whilst brightening the face.

Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lip Liner (Shade: Indian Pink) - £2.99
Looking for a new lip liner, I have heard great things about the Rimmel pencils. With the warm weather I'm hoping to see this British Summertime, a long lasting formula is needed for the lips. A bit of liner, and a slick of gloss would give an effortless chic look with a long- lasting colour.

21 June 2015

Dear Diary | Jurassic World, Gone Girl, and Taylor Swift

Jurassic world in cineworld, reading gone girl and listening to taylor swift 1989 and

This week has been an interesting one. I've recently been getting out a lot more in an attempt to socialise in a medium other than social networking, which is harder than you would think! Going to the cinema, eating out more, visiting my local city's Museum, and simply playing badminton in the park are just a few new things I've been doing in the past week. To me that is a lot. When I'm not out, I am usually at home discovering some new favourite reads or must-see movies. I plan to really become more productive me this summer, and just enjoy the little things in life especially with the first year of university coming to a delightful end.

Ok, so I'm a little late to the 'Gone Girl' party, but I finally got round to reading the infamous psychological thriller novel by Gillian Flynn. After finishing it, I was just pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it, making me want to watch the film-adaptation even more.
BOOK BLURBWho are you? What have we done to each other? These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren't made by him. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick's beautiful wife?
The narrative is a simple, witty one that makes you feel as though you are in the characters head: How they think, the details important to them and how they wish to present themselves. The characters, Amy and Nick Dunne, conjure up both sympathy and dislike towards them both at different points in the narrative. Flynn has created an almost seamless transition for the reader to experience a whole array of emotions, and thats what makes her writing so special. She also continuously brings up the point that you never truly know somebody: What is presented to the world can differ to how they really feel. The ending, for me, was quite ominous - It was an ending I never really expected and I was just waiting for more. And that is whats brilliant about Gone Girl. The characters are truly addictive, and therefore I would love to watch the film starring Ben Affleck and see how the directors tackles their characters in a film medium. I'm hoping he preserves the authenticity of the characters as much as possible.

Everybody is talking about Jurassic World, and for good reason too: it was amazing! Like, totally awesome. Brilliant. Epic. *insert list of other adjectives*
Chris Pratt is life. He adds wit, humour and life to the movie, making the experience of watching it ever more entertaining. The one-liners can make you chuckle at times and you really see his hilarious personality come through. Bryce Dallas Howard (who plays Claire) is also brilliant at her playing her character, showing audiences what a true bad ass she really is. She has even caused a stir all over social media for running in heels throughout the entire movie, some who take offence whereas I personally applaud her for doing so! That is what you call commitment to the role. Despite the usual criticism surrounding female protagonists, I find Claire to be a great representation of a strong, assertive and clever woman in a modern-day setting.
Moving on, I have to talk about the graphics. They are truly incredible. The CGI effects are a huge improvement from the previous movies  of the franchise, which is inevitble really, but I think they stepped up their game completely with this latest saga. The painful screaming and graphic crunching of bones truly gave me goosebumps, and made me wince at times when watching. There was talk of the storyline being too weak, but in my opinion I loved every part and thought it ws a great way to evolve the movie franchise whilst remaining faithful to its roots.

I've returned to my favourite album (of last year). Theres no need for me to tell you how good Taylor Swift's 1989 album is, as I'm sure you probably already know. Recently I've been obsessed with 'Wonderland' and 'How you get the girl', which are both great feel-good songs. Even now though, I am still amazed by the skilful lyrics of 'Clean' and how she manages to create to use her lyrics in such intelligent ways to tell a story in a greatly emotive way. Taylor Swift has done well in creating this pop-album, and once again has proven to be the most talented woman in the music industry. 

What were your favourites this week? Have you been to watch Jurassic World yet (if not, I would definetley recommend you do!).

17 June 2015

15 of my Favourite Feelings | Inspired by EssieButton

favourite feelings inspired by blogger / vlogger essie button

Feeling inspired after watching Estee's video '15 Favourite Feelings' (an idea she got from fellow Youtuber, Hank from the vlogbrothers), I decided to do a blog post of my own. Just hearing someone else describe what makes them most happiest in the world got me thinking about the moments I cherish the most. Just the mere reflection on my ultimate 'feel-good' moments puts me in a happier mood - it is a great idea to help spread a bit of the positivity. Right now, anybody reading this should just think back on the last time you just felt happy or content, it can be literally anything no matter how trivial. Everybody is different in their appreciation of the small things in life, and I think we should embrace that. So here it goes, my Favourite Feelings:

1. New haircut and eyebrows freshly threaded: After  trip to my local salon, I just feel a tonne more confident in my own skin. It also makes me forget about that dreaded pain from threading!!

2. Buying something that you've wanted for ages: This is particularly great when you've been pining for something for so long and you finally make that purchase that leaves you on a high all day... you just know the wait is going to be worth it.

3. After a productive day, coming back home and having dinner, then binge-watching Netflix in bed or cosying up to a good book: These are moments I think everybody looks forward to, especially when you know that you deserve a nice and relaxing break from work/school/university.

4. Getting into bed ready for sleep: This may sound like a it of a weird one, but it is something we all take for granted every singe day. I just think how lucky I am to be able to get into a lovely warm bed in a lovely warm house, with a belly full of food, and my family around me. What more is there to life? Yes material things are great, but sometimes we just need to appreciate the little things in life that God has blessed us with.

5. Coming back from the gym after a hard workout: The best feeling ever! I usually just in the shower, leaving me feel fresh and pumped for the rest of the day. Honestly, working out in the morning (if I manage to get out of bed that is) really starts my day on a positive note and makes me feel like I can tackle anything.

6. Taking a relaxing bath with all my best products: You know when you have a product hat you use so sparingly, because it is just so luxurious? It feels so good that moment you use it without a care, and leaves you feeling well-pampered afterwards.

7. Having a long talk, just me and a friend: This is the time I find out so much about the people closest to me, and vice versa. To this day, me and my cousin can literally stay awake most of the night talking about who-knows what, and we just feel so comfortable around each other. Nothing beats that kind of friendship.

8.  Taking a walk: sometimes I wake up in the worst mood, that I have to actually force myself to get dressed and leave the house. But once I walk out that door, I never want to go back inside! With headphones in, or simply being alone with my thoughts, a walk can give me the much needed 'me-time' more than any pamper session or Netflix marathon ever could.

9. Seeing my little nephew smile: If you have a little child in your family, it is likely you understand how I feel when I see my nephew smile or laugh. Just him struggling to tell me a story about his experience to the shops puts a smile on my face. He's adorable laugh is what ultimately makes my life.

10. Sorting out my room and cleaning: I'm one of those people that tidying and sorting out my room provides me with such a great satisfaction! Not so much the cleaning part as the organising, but I just feel so much more at ease feel like I have some control in my life and know what I have and where everything is.

11. Taking your bra off when you get home: Girls all around the world would feel me right now. Like Essie also mentioned, taking your bra off is when you know you can truly relax. That is when the PJ's come out, the hair becomes tied in a bun and the tv is switched on.

12. Summer nights: Summer days are not exactly my favourite - I just end up getting so hot and bothered, its not exactly what I would call a great feeling. But the evenings are a whole different story: the family gatherings around the barbecue having a good old catch-up as the sun sets is one of the highlights of the summer season.

13. Having an evening with my whole family: We talk, we laugh and we listen to stories my parents have to tell of the ''good old days'. Its times like these that you truly appreciate how lucky you are to have these people as your family, and to have them around you at that moment in time.

14. Bonding time with my cat: Did you know that stroking a cat has been proven to be therapeutic? I honestly believe that is true, and I think seeing my cat, and cuddling up to him puts me in a much better mood. It can feel like pets are the only ones who tuly understand how you feel in times of hardships.

15. Finishing reading a book: I just love love love that feeling when you reach the last page of a book. First the pride kicks in that you have finally finished the book, then the reflection starts on what has just happened. Was it an interesting ending, did it have a twist? Should it have ended differently? It is great to just take in what just happened and assess how I feel about it. And then I go to start another novel...

13 June 2015

Fathers Day | Gift Ideas for the Clueless

With Father's Day just around the corner (21st June FYI) comes the frantic rush of trying to find a gift that shows your appreciation to the one man in your life who you can trust the most (*cue cheesy music*).

From personal experience, Father's Day in my household is just not a big deal. My dad will usually be lucky if he gets a cheesy mug or a box of chocolates from us lot. In comparson, it is Mother's Day we all put some effort into, showering our mothers with gifts to show our appreciation for everything she does for us. This year however, I have made it my mission to show my dad just how thankful I am for having my dad in my life, who has provided me with everything I could ever need.

There are probably better ways to do this than just buying something materialistic (making cooking a meal for him, or literally just giving him a big hug from his favourite child), but if your dad is anything like mine, he probably hates all the lovey-dovey shows of affection. The only way to show him a bit of love is by buying him something, and saving him from that awkward altercation when he doesn't know what to do when presented with a lovely, thoughtful (and cheesy) gift.

Hence, I decided to do my favourite thing and browse online at the best deals and the best items on offer. There are so many places to look: Boots, The Perfume Shop, House of Fraser, and Debenhams all have some great Fathers Day deals.

Everyone loves some novelty gifts, and what better way to add humour to a Father's Day present than giving him a funny card, some cartoon socks and a big ol' mug. Or you can choose to get a little gift set, his favourite sweets or chocolates, maybe some 80's memorabilia. It obviously depends on how well you know your dad, but these are great things to buy when on a budget! Make him laugh and show him your love at the same time!

fathers day gift ideas from house of fraser and debenhams

Philips BT9280 Laser Guided Trimmer  /  Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display  /  J by Jasper Conran Designer gold two tone crystal cufflinks  /  Introduction to Racing Car Driving  /  Paco Rabanne Invictus Eau de Toilette Collector's Edition Father's Day Set 100ml  /  Joop! Homme Wild Eau De Toilette  /  Accurst Men's Stainless Steel Blue Chronograph Watch
If you have a bit more cash to spend, there are a whole array of items that suit the average man. From expensive perfumes to expensive watches. Or buy something a little more classy, maybe some designer cufflinks, great for something for the older man. Gadgets also make a great gift, wether for grooming or just for leisure, you can really go wrong with some tech. My favourite gift fall has to be an experience day, great for the men with a passion for a particular sport. Personally, my dad is obsessed with all these cars, so the perfect gift for him would be one of those track days where he will able to be do laps in a supercar of his choice. Whats not to love?! It is a bit more on the pricey side, and I hope one day I will be able to afford many experience days, but until then I think I'll stick to what I know (and can afford) by buying him a box of Thorntons' Dark Chocolates and a lovely aftershave.

So what are your plans for Father Day? Have you got your dad anything special, novelty or otherwise?

11 June 2015

Current Products | Haircare

L'oreal elvive shampoo (extraordinary oil and colour protect) and macadamia oil hair mask

L'oreal elvive shampoo and hair mask for my current haircare routine

Tresemme hair creme for frizzy hair and avon hair serum for dry hair

I admit, my hair isn't exactly in the most looked-after condition: its long, thick and prone to dryness that makes me just give up on it sometimes. So, in an attempt to tame it, I've started to mix up the hair products I use to find what works best but what I instead found was that it reacts best to change! Above are the products I am currently using, and might I add loving, for these warmer months.

I have been a fan of the L'oreal Elvive range for a while now. I usually go for the Elvive Nutri-gloss (the pink one) in both the shampoo and conditioner, but I find that this new-found combination works really well. The Colour Protect shampoo protects my freshly dyed hair which is great, but honestly, I can't really judge how well it works - all i know that, as of yet, my hair colour has not faded at all which is always a good sign. Then the Extraordinary Oil Conditioner thoroughly nourishes my hair well, and I feel its thick consistency and oil really does leave my hair feeling softer.

When my hair is in need of a little more TLC, I like to put on this hair mask and let it soak in of a good 10-20 minutes. It contains Macadamia Oil Extract which is always going to be a good treatment for your hair. I found this in Poundland at a steal for, you guessed it, £1! Its always good to use a hair mask like this, especially if your hair is prone to frizziness or damaged from heat appliances.

These two serums are also currently in use, depending on how my hair is feeling that day. If its working with me, I like to use the Tresemme creme which just smoothes flyaways. It smells really good too, the kind of fresh and clean smell you usually find at a salon. If the frizz just won't calm down, the Avon serum is great to use on the ends of my hair to give a really nice, silky finish that defines my curls just at the bottom of my hair, which I love.

So there are my regular haircare products! Any similar items in your collection?

07 June 2015

Dear Diary | My Week: Celebrating a Friends Birthday

Last week it was one of my close friends birthday, and so I went on a venture looking for a present for her. I came across this shop, called 'Magical Story' and it was so beautiful! They had really unique and very pretty items, I just wanted to buy everything. My favourite part was a little corner of the shop that was home to all of the owl-themed home products, and right there I decided just how to decorate my future house. The owl-shaped plate dish in particular would be great to place on my dressing table and put my jewellery on to. Everything there was just adorable!

We then went out to treat for Pizza at La Vera, where they actually make the pizza right in front of you. It might have been for this reason, or maybe for the ingredients they used, but it was delicious and authentic tasting. It was such a lovely place to have a catch-up and eat yummy food.

Its times like these when you can celebrate with your friends a milestone in your life (she was turning 19!) that you truly feel blessed. We laughed, we joked and we just had such a good time. Everybody needs good friends, and I'm lucky to have 3 amazing ones. I hope to experience more fun days together, I just can't wait for the summer where we will put all of our plans into action!

04 June 2015

Discovering Some Old Lipstick Favourites | Swatches

Whilst I was sorting out all of my make-up, once again, I found myself discovering some old favourites, some which I haven't worn in years. I thought I'd quickly share some swatches of all the colours I think are just so pretty and versatile for everyday wear:

vintage lipstick swatches: Milani, rimmel, l'oreal, avon, pink, revlon lip butter

1. Milani: Chilled Brandy (22)
2. Rimmel: Hyper (585)
3. L'oreal: Matte Plumstone (076)
4. Avon: Plump Pink
5. Avon: Vintage Pink
6.  Revlon Lip Butter: Sweet Tart (090)

* Note: some of these lipsticks are pretty old and therefore may be discontinued!

01 June 2015

Monthly Round-up | May Favourites

I honestly can not believe it is June already! This month has flown by, and being busy with exams (a burden many of us bear), has meant I have been in need of some pampering. So onto this months favourites....

Album of the Month: As of late, I have constantly been listening to Fall Out Boys latest album, American Beauty/ American Psycho. Not only do I love the title, but the entire album is just so good! My most played songs has to be 'Uma Therman', 'Favourite Record' and 'Centuries'.

Song of the Month: Aston Merrygold - Get Stupid. My favourite boy-in-blue is back! And among with him, he has bought a whole new edge to his look as well as created a musical hybrid of sound that is just completely suited to my taste. Think: Bruno Mars, James Brown, Justin Timerberlake and Olly Murs all mixed into one.

Box-set of the Month: Revenge - I'm very nearly on the last episode of the entire series and it is just so good! I am truly going to be sad when it ends. *sobs*

monthly favourites include vaseline body oil and ghost fragrance body lotionmonthly favourites include vaseline body oil and ghost fragrance body lotion
monthly favourites include collection mascara, stila powder foundation, carmex vanilla lip balm

Now onto beauty and skincare products... 
This month I've been a big fan of fragrance body lotions, and the one I've been reaching for the most is the Ghost fragrance Lotion! Its quite a soft scent that just spruces up my mornings a little, especially when I'm off on a day out. It really lifts my mood, and is not too overwhelming in its fragrance.

With Vaseline being a classic brand, with this product they have yet again achieved a staple skincare item. I love this! The consistency is really thick, which is what you would expect from a gel/ oil product. After application, my skin felt instantly smooth, hydrated and thoroughly nourished. This feeling lasted day and all night, which is so great for a drugstore product. Perfect for when your skin feels dehydrated and is need of a bit of TLC. It has some fragrance in it, which may be off-putting for some, but I really love it and its not too overpowering either.

This Collection mascara is a new buy for me, one that I have been using constantly since I got it. Because it is so affordable, I am quite generous with the application, making it great for everyday use. I'm not too sure about that e'no clumps' claim, that may be because I happy so much on, but it is one of the best cheaper mascaras that I have tried (Boy, have I tried a LOT).

My mum is the one who actually bought this Stila Angel Light Whitening Powder Foundation refill, and ever since, I have been obsessed! Its great for a bit of light coverage that evens out squinting and has ingredients that cause it to really illuminate your skin and leave it glowing.  The texture is smooth and creamy, and blends like a dream. It covers up any imperfections and lasts all day without touch-ups. Not usually being a fan of powder foundation, this product has truly won me over. The lightweight formula gives a complete flawless finish, and the SPF 26 is just a bonus!

This Carmex Ultra Moisturising Lip Balm never seems to fail me. Kept in my handbag, a quick application leaves my lips feeling soft for hours. It doesn't dry white, like a few lip balms I've tried, and what makes it even better is that it has SPF which is so so important even for your lips!

What have been your go-to products this month?