gifts for guys

Saturday, November 30, 2013
Boys. Probably the hardest group of people to buy Christmas presents for in the whole universe. They already have everything, so it's so hard to find good stocking fillers. I posted about gifts for girls and it was so easy to find things to put in a girl's stocking, but looking for boys was so much harder. My brother is such a pain to buy for, so here's a few ideas I had about what to get him this year.

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One of the best products out of these has to be the Drumstick cup with sweets. I love Drumsticks so this is perfect for my brother (when I can eat the sweets whilst he uses the cup!). I also love the gloves for Winter. It's such a great stocking filler and these are even touch-screen compatable, meaning you don't have to take your gloves off everytime you go on your phone.

Everyone needs a pair of comfy PJ bottoms and of course, a Christmas candle. I'm big on candles anyway, so this is a perfect excuse for me to go to the candle shop and possibly buy even more! This is perfect for men because it's not a girly scent - it's very masculine but a lovely smell nonetheless. I also threw the Topman body wash because everyone needs a good body wash, right?


gifts for girls

Friday, November 29, 2013
Finding Christmas presents for girls is hard, so hopefully this little guide will make this Christmas a bit easier. All of these gifts are perfect for sisters, mums, cousins or friends and all of them are also under £10 so they're great for stocking fillers! They're also great for those people who 'are not your close friends but still feel like need to buy a present' because everyone has those people!

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First of all are these cute pyjama bottoms from Matalan. I love cosy pyjama bottoms in Winter and these look perfect for lounging around in. I might just buy myself a pair too! I also saw this set of 3 Barry M nail polishes where you get a white, light pink and deep pink for just £10. Everyone needs a pair of Christmassy socks and these are perfect stocking fillers! I love candles so I just had to add this Pomegrante and Amber one. Finally is a Cath Kidston purse and for only £6 you can't go wrong. Plus, keep your eyes peeled for tomorrow's post on gifts for guys.


the body shop smokey eye

Wednesday, November 27, 2013
After trying many of The Body Shop's makeup pieces in the past, I've noticed that their newer products have improved massively. I recently got asked to review their '4 step smokey eye' and can easily recommend it to everyone - whether you're a beginner in makeup or a professional makeup artist.

The kit itself retails for £15 which I think is amazing, considering you get two brushes and 4 eyeshadows. On the reverse side of the sleek packaging, it shows you a little pictorial on how to get an easy smokey eye. After following the instructions, above is what I managed to create. I topped off with a little bit of Maybelline Mega Plush Volum' Express mascara and you're good to go.

The quality of the eyeshadows are much better quality than I'd have expected. They do have a little bit of fall out so you'll have to go over with your concealer but they're very pigmented and blendable. There's a light base colour, two lid or outer V colours and a deep brown to line the top of the lashes. I applied this lightly to see what it looked like and I prefer it toned down than built up.

The brushes are also surprisingly good. You get a small shading brush and a small angled brush which can also be used to fill in eyebrows. Both are very soft and very handy to have in the set. This is a perfect product for if you're travelling because you can create a gorgeous and very easy smokey eye with brushes included.

*this products was sent for review

winter morning walks

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
There's just something so satisfying about going for a long walk on a cool Winter morning. This week, my brother, my mum and I went to Etherow Country Park in Manchester and had a gorgeous walk around in the breeze. Even though it took a good two hours to get there (when it should've only took 1 hour and 20 minutes), it was a good day and I got me thinking that we should definitely do this more often.

For what was supposed to be a quiet, nature day, it was quite eventful. First of all we was slipping and sliding everywhere in the mud because it was so frosty. That's one of the only downsides of going for walks in the Winter mornings. When we'd finished walking (or sliding) around the path, we sat down in the little cafe overlooking the lake with a hot chocolate. This place honestly has the best hot chocolates ever but they're so sickly. And the cream gets everywhere as you can see above!

Blaine then insisted on buying a bag of duck food (which was basically just seeds) and we made the bad decision to feed the 'ducks' - except the ducks were pigeons and attacked you for the food. Blaine tried to get pigeons on his arm and I just put my hood up and screamed. How typical of me.


what i wore: winter

Monday, November 25, 2013
I'm not the best at the fashion side of blogging, but everyone starts somewhere! I love fashion, so I'm attempting to incorporate more fashion posts in my blog somehow. I recently spent a morning in a gorgeous nature park with my mum and brother, so they came in handy when taking photos! I find it so hard to do these kind of posts because I don't want to sound vain to people when I say 'take a photo of me!' but I guess it's something you gotta do :)

Fashion blogs always tend to go a little like this, so let's have a go. My coat is from Matalan and is so unbelievably cosy and warm. It has a fleece lining to keep you snug in Winter and (I also do take blog photos with products lying on this. Haha). I'm also wearing a wooly jumper from George - the clothes at ASDA are so underrated! I don't understand why some people turn their nose up at clothing brands like this because it's the same quality you'd get at Topshop but for a fraction of the price! I'm wearing a plain white t-shirt underneath to keep me extra warm.

I'm wearing a pair of Matalan's extra thick leggings and these are honestly a life saver. They're much much thicker than those flimsy Primark pairs and keep you so warm. You also don't get that horrible I-can-see-your-knickers-through-your-leggings thing either, which is also a bonus! Finally my boots were from Matalan also, but I bought them last year so you'll be lucky if you find them! I'm also wearing Black Cherries from Rimmel on my nails which has been my go-to nail product this season.

I hope you enjoyed this little fashiony post. How did I do?


christmas wishlist

Sunday, November 24, 2013
Christmas is fastly approaching and it's about time we all got our Christmas lists drawn up. After taking inspiration from Anna, I've rustled up a wishlist for this year. I'll warn you - it is almost full of high-end makeup that you'll drool over, but it's OK because it's 30 days until Christmas! I love making Christmas lists and hunting through the Debenhams and Space NK websites makes it all so much more fun. Here's what I've got on my wishlist for this Christmas.

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Every Christmas I look forward to opening what's wrapped up underneath the tree. One thing I've been wanting for so long is the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks. I have also added the Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser after hearing Lily from Lily Melrose talk about it for so long. The Soliel Tan de Chanel has been something I've been wanting to try for so long but I can't afford £31 for one primer. I've heard so many people love and rave about this and I'm dying to try it.

I've also been on the lookout for a good primer. Smashbox are known for their amazing primers so I'm hoping to trial this out. Now, the most exciting part about this whole post - the NARS lip pencil sets. I've loved NARS for so long and I'm desperately wanting to see what these are like! If you're looking to buy any of these, go for it. If you buy it for yourself, don't feel bad. Use the excuse "it's for my blog" and it works everytime. Trust me.


mac lovelorn

Saturday, November 23, 2013
I feel like beauty posts have been a bit sparse over here on the blog in the past few weeks, but what better to kick a whole load off than a review of another MAC lipstick. MAC is fastly becoming my go-to lipstick brand because I always trust them and know I'm paying for good quality. Even though they are quite expensive at £15 a go, they last so long and I love indulging in them every once in a while!

Lovelorn is my newest addition to my collection. It's a beautiful, natural mid-toned pink with cool undertones. It reminds me of a less-sheer sister of Creme Cup (review here) but with a lustre finish. In MAC, lustre finishes make your lips look very glossy, hydrated and smooth with a slightly glossy finish. They're sheer to begin with but are buildable to give a higher coverage. This pink is a perfect everyday colour and is great if you want a subtle pink but not as nude as Creme Cup.

The only thing I'm not over-awed by is the lasting power but I knew that before I bought it. Lustre finishes only last around a few hours and so reapplication is necessary, but I don't mind because it's a gorgeous colour. You don't even need a mirror to apply it because it's such a sheer but buildable colour. It also doesn't highlight dryness on the lips which is great in Winter when you're lips aren't in tip-top condition!

I would recommend this lipstick to everyone because it's so wearable and glossy. You can just throw this on if you're in a rush - no need for lip gloss or even a  mirror!


new & best: the body shop

Friday, November 22, 2013
Even though The Body Shop isn't the first place I shop for makeup products, I do like their products when I try them. The one thing I love most about them is that all of their products are not tested on animals, organic and support community fairtrade, which does make you feel a tad less guilty about buying them! As usual, I can't fault any of these products but admittedly, I wouldn't usually pick them up whilst I was out shopping. Two of these products are brand new and the other is a best seller so I couldn't resist trying them.

The first item I tried was their Coconut body scrub - one of the things which makes The Body Shop so much more likeable. I've been trying these body scrubs since I was about 13 years old because my mum used to get me a set for Christmas or my birthday. My favourite was this coconut scent and after not having it for quite a lot of time, it's nice to have another one back! These are £12.50 and worth every penny - It's a gorgeous smelling exfoliator that removes all dead skin cells and leaves your skin smelling nice and coconutty. Mmm.

I also got sent one of their new Eau De Toilette in the scent White Musk. Because I am a beauty and perfume obsessed girl, I couldn't resist trying this. However, I'm not too keen on the scent. It smells quite strong and musky (hence the name). I hate to say it, but it reminds me of the kind of perfume that an old lady would wear. I wouldn't personally pay £10 for this because I don't like the scent, but it has a long staying power and it's just a small, handy perfume to have in your bag.

Finally was one of their new Plum lip balms. This came right in time for me after asking on Twitter what was the best lip balm for dry and cracked lips. I've never tried lip balms from The Body Shop and I was very intrigued as to what it was like repair wise (and of course taste-wise!). For me, lip balms are always better when they taste good. The only way I can describe the taste of these is that they taste like purple Soothers. These are such a bargain at only £3 and leave your lips so soft and hydrated.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend the lip balm and the coconut scrub, but not so much the eau de toilette. Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?

*these products were sent for PR review

count your blessings

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Christmas is always a time for saying thanks and receiving presents, but that's only if you're lucky. I was listening to the radio earlier today and it said that in Manchester, where I live, there's around 150,000 families that earn 60% less than the national average. I literally couldn't believe it. Hundreds of thousands of children living in child poverty, struggling to live really upsets me.

Image from WeHeartIt - edited by me

These families (often with young children) receive less than £17 a day. That £17 we usually spend on ONE MAC blush or even more than ONE new Benefit mascara, but for those people, it needs to pay for food, rent, heating and electricity. Food which they need, rent that they need to pay, heating that they need to keep warm and electricity for simple things like lighting. 

I'm a high-end makeup lover, but this does really put things into perspective. When buying makeup, I think "Oh, it's only a tenner - it's a bargain!" but that's over half of these people's daily budgets. It's strange to think that a 10 minute drive from my house could be like this and the parents are struggling to pay for their kid's Christmas presents.

When you're next shopping, try and pick up just one spare toy, as little as £1 or £2 and donate it to one of Key 103's donation drop-off points. There's even one in the Trafford Centre where you can drop off any donations whilst you're Christmas shopping. All of the toys can be donated from the 28th November and all of the toys you donate will go to disadvantaged children in Manchester and will just help to make their Christmas a little bit better. To read more about donating toys, please click here.


balancing blogging & school

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
As I briefly mentioned in this post, I struggle sometimes juggling the right balance between blogging and school. I want to try and put as much into my blog as I can to make it the best it can be, but I also need time to revise and do my homework to get on with tasks in school.

I find is so frustrating how non-bloggers think it's just a quick type up and go. It is so extremely difficult to be a blogger whilst still at school because blogging is practically a full time job. By the time you've photographed and edited the photos (1 hour), wrote it up and published (another hour and a half) and then shared it on all of your social media platforms, it can be a 2-3 hour job, and that's just half of it. You need to reply to comments, get involved with other people and juggle hundreds of emails - it's a full day's work and not just a quick type-up and go.

I've been using a few easy tips to help get the balance right between working at school and not neglecting your blog.

Image from WeHeartIt - edited by me
Know your school schedule
The chances are, if you know your school schedule, you'll be more efficient in getting blog posts up. You'll know when your deadlines are and you can blog around that. Say if you want to post every two days but you know you're approaching a school deadline, plan in advance so you're not rushing both your school work and your blog post just to get them done.

Photograph in bulk
Probably the one of the most useful tips I'll ever give you. If you take photos of 5 or 6 products in one go, upload them to your computer/laptop (or whatever you blog from) and save them there. This means that if you're stuck for a post or struggling for time to take photos, you'll always have them stored on your device for you to use whenever. This is especially important in Winter - it's usually too dark to take blog photos when you get home, so I take all of my photos at midday at the weekend to ensure I get good photos for my blog.

Use your weekends!
As I said earlier, take your blog photos in the afternoon of the weekends if you can. Here, you'll have natural sunlight (so your photos look better) and you'll have all of the photos needed during the week.

Use a printable weekly timetable
I just made this in a matter of minutes and it can be used as a timetable for the whole week. You are welcome to use this and write down your school deadlines and what date you want to publish which post. I also added the 'other' section for things like the dentist, doctors etc. You can print this off and write what you want to happen throughout the week. If you keep it in your pocket, you can also write on the back of it any blog post ideas you have.

Using planners like this will make your blog and school life much more organized. Write in your deadlines and when you want to publish a post. You can even write in what you want to do that day. For example, if you want a post up on Thursday, write on Wednesday's entry "write blog post on .... for tomorrow!" and cross it out when you've done it. Schedule the post and it'll go up whenever you chose.

I hope this has helped! How do you juggle blogging and school?


the monday linkables

Monday, November 18, 2013
I've been thinking of a new series to do over here on the blog, and seen as though I'm an internet addict, I thought I'd share a few of the links I've been enjoying throughout the week. This will not be a weekly feature because it's just a bit of fun, but it's just a nice one-off thing that hopefully you will all enjoy!

These funny exam answers. I can't deny that I've been clicking through the silly answers people have wrote. If you're feeling quite down about school, these will more than likely cheer you up!
This very inspiring poem on Sofia's Journal. If you have a spare couple of minutes, I really urge you to read this. It's really amazing.
This guide to SEO. I'm terrible with SEO and have only just learnt what it meant. This is a really useful and detailed guide to try and understand the basics.
This beautiful and really cozy snood from River Island. I can't help but to buy a cosy scarf/snood at Winter... It's almost becoming a tradition!
And finally I've been using this Twitter chat  guide by  Sweet Sparkly Serendity. If you're very forgetful or just confused by Twitter chats, I think you'll find this guide very useful! Whether you're a food, beauty, lifestyle or even craft blogger, she's added them all onto this little guide.


maybelline colour tattoos

Saturday, November 16, 2013
Now that I'm back from revising for mock exams, let the beauty posts commence. I think one of the hardest things about teenage bloggers is finding out how to balance between school and your blog. I have a few ideas, so if you'd like me to share make sure you comment! Well, today's review is on the infamous Maybelline Colour Tattoos. There's no doubt that you've seen hundreds of reviews on these, but I chose a few more bolder shades so it might be a little different!

As I mentioned in this post, I'm on the hunt for more brighter, bolder and slightly different makeup to add to my kit. These cream eyeshadows really do look perfect for doing this. I love the all of these colours, and are very cheap from stores like Boots and Superdrug. I pocked these up in Superdrug's 3 for 2 and they only cost me £10 for all three.

The first I picked up was Pink Gold. This has to be one of the most beautiful cream eyeshadows I have ever tried. I use this when I want a basic eye makeup to focus more on the lips. It's a really beautiful pinky champagne colour that's super easy to blend and pair. I paired this with a small bit of Wedge by MAC in the outer V and looked gorgeous. It's a really brightening colour that makes your eyes look much more awake and brighter.

One of my favourites has to be Turquoise Forever. This is the most gorgeous deep rich blue shade. Although you do have to be quite brave to pull it off when it's built up, it also looks gorgeous with just a light layer. I like to wear a small bit of this under my waterline with a defined black winged eyeliner and it's been one of my favourite go-to eye makeups this month.

Finally I picked up Gold. As with all of these colour tattoos, I really can't fault it. This is a really rich golden colour that I love to wear when I want something really different. The formulas of all of these are often compared to that of MAC's paint pots. If I'm completely honest, I would buy these over MAC. They're so pigmented and creamy, and also a fraction of the price!

bobbi brown longwear gel liner

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Brown eyeliner is a new thing for me. I usually tend to go for black - yes, the plain-Jane black liner. I just find it so fitting for every makeup look, however I have found that it can sometimes look 'too much' for everyday. I'm not allowed to wear makeup to school anyway, but if I did, black would be just way too obvious. I've tended to opt for brown liner as it looks more natural and you can get away with a little bit more than you would with black liner!

A new gel eyeliner was definitely in need for me because although I tend to stick to eyeshadows blended out or kohl pencils, I'm trying to build up my kit with more types and colours. I was intentionally heading out to buy just a plain Jane black one and my dad said 'why don't you get brown?'. Genius.

This is honestly one of the best gel liners I have tried in a long time. Eyeliners tend to crease on me and I am often left with huge lines above my eyelid - not a good look! I have very oily eyelids and this doesn't budge a bit throughout the day. As the name suggests it doesn't move an inch - hence the longwear title. This lasts a good 9-10 hours on myself without any problems. I apply it with a small angled brush or a Real Techniques eyeliner brush if I want a more natural, blended out line. I like to wear this with a very natural makeup look - a light foundation, touch of mascara and a splash of lip balm is all you need.

The packaging is so sleek, which is one thing I love about Bobbi Brown products. I'm so fussy with my makeup packaging and I like it all to look neat and tidy, as strange as that may sound. Overall, I'm definitely considering this product to be in the running to be my 'holy grail eyeliner'! Although it's slightly on the expensive side at £17, it's definitely worth every penny.

favourite cuticle cream

Sunday, November 10, 2013
in a recent clear out of my bedside tables, i found this little l'occitane gem stashed at the bottom. i'm trying to make my cuticles look slightly more presentable because i'm a nail nibbler. not just the nail itself, but all of the skin and cuticle around it. it's not nice and as my grandma says, it's not very "girly girly". i've been using this for a little over 2 weeks and has worked wonders for my nails. 

it's definitely made them stronger and more hydrated, which is what my nails are in desperate need of. this 8ml pot is £7 and will last you a very long time. as strange as this may sound, l'occitane packaging scares me a little. it reminds me of all those serious and scary chemical formula products that you're not too keen on trying, but it's just a very handy (no pun intended) cuticle and hand cream to have on your bedside table when your nails are in a little need of some good tlc.

4 before 2014

Saturday, November 09, 2013
you should know by now, i'm a list lover, addict and obsessor. i'm not even going to deny it - i have over 50 lists on the 'notes' section of my phone. they're taking over my phone, blog and now my life. but, i've seen this list sort of idea where you chose 4 simple things you'd like to do/achieve before 2014 and i just couldn't resist another list. so, here goes...

begin to eat healthy. i'm a sucker for fast foods and quick snacks. especially cheesy pasta mugshots. mmm. i'm after loosing a bit of weight so i'm just easing myself into eating healthily instead of going in full-force straight away!
be happy. i don't really think this needs an explanation!
build up my portfolio. i got my place at college! i'm so happy! i just want to start to build up my portfolio further and hopefully get a bit further with my makeup :)
learn to cook something new. i love baking, but cooking isn't really my thing. ok, i can make things like spaghetti bolognese and baked potatoes but that's about it. and i'm almost 16. oh well.

zara home lusts

Wednesday, November 06, 2013
zara. one of the best shops in the history of shops. although slightly on the expensive side of clothing, the durability and quality is still worth the money. we're decorating still, and the coughs and cold are sadly upon us now, making wishlists about cute home decor all i feel capable of. mock exams (in subjects that i require no information of to do what i want to do with my life) are also another fault of this week. endless revision sessions and hours upon hours of procrastinating is starting to drive me crazy... drained is not the word!

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all of these products are just so cutely pretty and feminine - all things that i love home decor to be about. zara's new home additions are all beautiful, and not mega overpriced like you'd expect. all of the products look like they're made beautifully and i just want them all shoveled up and plonked into my room. the daisy photo frame is especially my favourite, but can you blame me? it's beautiful, and i'm definitely scouring the zara website trying to other find matching pieces.

fast & easy special effects makeup

Monday, November 04, 2013
special effects makeup for film and tv - now that's a dream job of mine. ever since being little, i was amazed at how real fake blood, cuts and scars look, and how the artists created them. i hinted on twitter earlier this week, but i have got an interview to do media makeup at college. i am so excited i can't even put into words. i've been waiting what seems like forever to leave school and just do makeup and prosthetics as a job & i feel like this is the first step for me. yay!

i've been playing around and getting used to using different makeup for my college portfolio. i bought some little bits from a fancy dress shop in my local town and managed to create this. i am well aware it is not the best, but it's a really quick, simple and easy thing to do which looks impressive to people who don't know much about it. anyway, if you're interested, keep reading!

sunday songs

Sunday, November 03, 2013
admittedly, sundays aren't my favourite of all days. the rushing around in the evening and waiting for sunday night TV before early nights are not for me, although i do love sunday mornings. there's just something so satisfying about just laying in bed and listening to music with a cup of hot tea and pjs. i'm taking this weekend easy, as a few coughs and colds are brewing... cue the creativity.

beauty blog, lifestyle blog, fashion blog

a new halloween tradition

Friday, November 01, 2013
After wanting to set up a yearly seasonal tradition for what seems like forever, I think I've cracked the perfect one. What really is better than carving pumpkins and buying nice, organic food on a small family run farm? I didn't have trouble picking out a season to pick the tradition for because I had my heart set on Halloween - it's not as manic and busy as Christmas but there's still enough to do not to get bored.