Weekend Notes & Links 02

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Happy Sunday! Seen as though last week's post went down so well and was one of the most popular posts of this month (and also one of the ones I loved writing the most), I had to continue the series. This weekend hasn't been as hectic as last - Bloglovin' finally changed my URL on my blog's page without having to start all over again follower-wise and everything seems to have finally been switched. Yay!

This week I've also been preparing for my camping trip (which I'm currently on right now, you'll know if you follow me on Twitter. Hint hint...) so I'm up at 2am on Thursday morning trying to get content scheduled from when we're away tomorrow. Thank the Lord for softbox lights - I spent the past hour and a half taking blog photos and nobody will ever know that the sun set 5 hours ago.

Also, YouTube. I wanted to have a quick chat about what people who read this blog thought about me re-starting my YouTube channel. If you followed my blog back in January of this year you'll know I started up a channel, but got embarassed of my videos and deleted them. Now that I feel my blog is more 'established' (don't ask what I mean because I don't have a clue either), I was debating whether to give my channel a refresh and pop some videos up. Let me know what you think!

Links I've loved:

○  7 things you should know about working in PR
○  How I increased my Twitter following in less than one month
○  Being a teenage blogger in 2015
○  18 things all girls carry in their handbag. Oh how true!
○  The Mystery Hour podcast. I'm obsessed!
 A new favourite blog of mine!
○  Cat bed or your bed?

What've you done this week?

Forever Repurchases

Friday, August 28, 2015

It's not often that I'll fall head over heels with a makeup product but when I do, I fall hard. Over the past few years of writing this blog I've been through hundreds of lipsticks, foundations and even brow products but there's a few that have truly found a place in my heart and I'll continue to repurchase over and over again.

The first one is the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum. My love for this has been well documented over here because I have been using it for the past 2 years. It's my daily foundation due to the light coverage, dewy finish and the shade range. It's usually hard to find a drugstore foundation that caters to extremely pale skin like mine, but this one suits me perfectly. On a similar note is the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer. I won't ramble too much about this because I feel like I've talked it to death but it still surprises me how this will be the only thing to cover mega-spots!

For brows, Anastasia Beverly Hills is the only way to go. I bought their DipBrow just before Christmas last year and I've used it everyday since. It took me a while to get used to the consistency of it because I've never used a gel-like formula for my brows, but now I won't be without it. Mascara-wise, Maybelline's Lash Sensational is the only thing I'll use for my lashes. It's surprisingly good for the price and it seperates my lashes perfectly whilst still adding volume.

Lastly is my ultimate favourite favourite lipstick, MAC's Patisserie. Again, I've had this years and been through countless tubes but it still holds the spot of 'best nude lipstick' in my heart. I did a full review of this last year and mentioned that if you have fair skin and struggle to find a nude lip that doesn't wash you out, you need to try this. I still whole-heartedly stand by that and I wouldn't be without it now!

What's your favourite makeup product?

Easy, Simple Tips for Saving Money

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

We've all been there - the mad rush at the end of the month when you have too many days and not enough money. Similarly, we've all been there when you log onto Feel Unique and notice that Anastasia Beverly Hills have launched a new eye shadow palette and nothing but the words "OMG I NEED IT" run through your mind because really, we all need eyes like Amrezy from time to time. Whether you find yourself in either situation or are just looking at saving some money, I have a couple of simple tips.

Create a savings account 
The first thing I did when I started to save money was to create a seperate account with my bank. It was all too tempting to have money sat in the account I use to buy whatever I want with yet not spend any. I created a savings account and transfer money from my personal account to my savings account so I'm less likely to spend it.

DIY everything
Well, almost everything... When it comes to saving cash, DIY is your best friend. Instead of paying for ready-made items, buy the supplies and do it yourself. Add YouTube into the mix and you have a much cheaper way of making the things you'd love to spend a fortune. Not only does it save you cash but I also feel such a sense of accomplishment when I do things myself instead of buying it ready made/depending on somebody else.

Set a budget 
How much would you like to save, and over what length of time? Realistically, how much can you afford to live on after your necessary outgoings are out of the equation? Use these questions to find a healthy amount in which you can save yet still live comfortably.

Pay with cash when you can
I've personally found that I'm less likely to go on a spending spree if I don't pay with a card. I know exactly what I've spent without having to log onto Internet Banking to see how much I really went over my budget. When you're stood at a till paying for something with actual real-life money from a purse, it feels much more real than it would if you were to use a card.

Look out for vouchers, coupons and deals
I have a variety of apps on my phone on which you can get money off coupons and special deals in certain shops. This one is especially good if you like eating out - there are tonnes of money off deals on apps like Groupon and Vouchercloud that can save you money!

Clear out old things 
Although it's not really classed as saving money, getting a bit of cash back from your old clutter will be great in your savings account. You clear out space in your wardrobe and make money from it to save up for whatever you like. It's a win-win!

What's your best tip for saving money?

LA Girl Glazed Lip Paints

Monday, August 24, 2015

For me, there's one beauty website that has been my go-to for the past few weeks. I mentioned last week that Beauty Crowd is my one stop shop for American & Australian beauty products that you can't really get easily in the UK. Last week when I ordered my Milani Illuminating Face Powder (review here), I got a couple of the LA Girl Glazed Lip Paints after wanting them since Kathleen recommended them a few months back.

I've never tried a product like this before - the application process is more like a lip gloss but they're much more opaque than a gloss, yet still with the glossy finish. The formula is like a liquid lipstick but they're more difficult to apply without the doe-foot applicator, so I use a brush for more precision. They remind me a lot of the OCC Lip Tars, but on a much cheaper scale.

Out of the 4 I own, Elude is my favourite. It's a gorgeous nude shade that looks amazing on all skin tones (even my own pale skin). I also have Pin Up,  a deep burgandy and Feisty, a very name-appropriate bright red. The only shade I'm not too keen on is Babydoll as it reminds me of a very Barbie-pink, MAC Saint Germain dupe that does not suit me. Overall I'm so happy with these lip paints and I cannot recommend them enough for the price. If you're after opaque, glossy liquid lipsticks, make sure you check out these!

What's your favourite liquid lipstick?

Weekend Notes & Links 01

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Happy Sunday! I feel like I need a bit of a minute for a catch up with you as a lot has changed over here within the past few days. First of all let's note the most obvious - the name change. Since I started my blog, my URL was my real name. I hated it and only used that because I couldn't think of something better. I felt like I needed a 'real' blog name to change the direction I want my blog to go in (more on that later) and so I settled on Peonies in Paris.

I spent most of my week changing usernames, links and swapping over domain names (which is always a pain to do) and now I think almost we're fully switched over - just waiting for Bloglovin' to transfer followers from my old to my new URL. My TwitterInstagram and Pinterest names have changed and of course, my URL.

The main reason why I wanted the name change was to re-brand my blog. It became mundane to log on and write just about beauty. Don't get me wrong I still love trying out makeup and telling you all about it, but it just became a bit too restricting. From now on, I'm trying now to refer to this website as a blog as I want it to be more of an online magazine. Peonies in Paris is going to become an online lifestyle and beauty magazine, updated more frequently with inspiration, cute photos and all things girly. I can't promise that a small part of the name change was so I could include mini Eiffel Towers everywhere but we'll get to that at a later date.

So, this is where I need your help. What would you like to see on here? What are your favourite features? I have a few ideas - starting with this one where every Sunday I sit and write about the week and what's going on, along with six photos I love and some links I think you will enjoy clicking through. Let me know if you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them!

Links I've loved:

○  This article on re-creating childhood photos
○  61 quotes that will make you feel beautiful
○  The cutest village ever?
○  An all-too-familiar feeling of spending too much at a makeup counter.
○  The 13 commandments of Instagram
○  Personality tests! I'm INFJ, what are you?
○  Finding your purpose & doing what you love

Have a great Sunday! XO 

7 Apps Every Girl Needs

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Us girls have all gotten to the point at least once in our lives when we suddenly have an urge of realisation - spending days in your pyjamas with no makeup and hair full of dry shampoo & then wondering why you "don't have your life together". When it comes to these situations, I rely on my phone (in fact almost any situation I rely on my phone, but this one in particular).

WAHANDA is an absolute life-saver when it comes to wanting to feel more girl-like. You can just pop on the app and book yourself a hair & beauty appointment within a matter of minutes.

PINTEREST  is an app that is essential on my phone and I use it almost daily. It's also not good for me, because I end up spending 3+ hours on there and forgetting I have work to do... Ooops.

CLUE  if there's one app I think every girl should own, it's this one. Clue is a period app where you can track your cycles so you know where you're up to & it saves you from being hit with a nasty surprise at the end of the month!

BANKING  is my life-saver when it comes to being out shopping. Can you really afford those shoes when you have 6 other pairs almost identical at home? No Elise, step away from the shoes.

AFTERLIGHT  if you want your selfie game to be strong before it's put on Instagram, Afterlight will be your best friend. It has better filters than Instagram itself and is definitely worth the price.

QUIZ-UP  if you're stuck on the train with nothing to do, you need to get Quiz Up. When I went to Tenerife a few months back I lived on this game, playing it almost 90% of my journey (the other 10% was either eating or sleeping. Typical).

BLOGLOVIN'  being a blogger, how could I include an app post without including this little gem? Bloglovin' is one of my most used apps and helps me keep up to date with the blogs I read.

What's your favourite app?

2 Favourite Lipsticks from MAC

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The first ever high-end makeup product I bought was Russian Red lipstick by MAC, and since then MAC lipsticks have been some of my favourites. I still add to my collection every now and then but there's two that have stuck in my mind as favourites for many years. I reviewed Russian Red, which is my ultimate favourite, last week so I decided just to include these two in this post.

My favourite nude lipstick of all time is Patisserie. I got this on Anna's recommendation a few years ago and I've been through about 3 tubes since. It's achieved holy grail status due to it's ability to make my pale skin look less-washed out than other nude lipsticks do. It's a Lustre finish meaning it's sheer and easy to apply, so much so that you don't actually need a mirror to apply it. I've applied this whilst on the bus before and the end result came out much better than expected!

Another favourite is Rebel; a classic staple that is basically my everyday look in the Autumn/Winter. It's a gorgeous deep purple that comes out brighter on the lips than it looks in the tube. This is the most versatile lipstick I own - you can wear it on it's own, lightly patted onto the lips as a subtle stain or mixed with a red lipstick to create a deep burgandy colour. It's a Satin finish so it's long wearing and has an opaque colour.

What's your favourite MAC lipstick?

Milani Illuminating Face Powder

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Milani is a brand that I've been wanting to try for a number of years after hearing about Lauren talk about it non-stop in the earlier days of her channel. I finally found Beauty Crowd, a site that stocks many American/Australian brands like Milani, Jordana and LA Girl in the UK to get my hands on some of the products I've lusted after for months.

My first purchase was something that I've never tried before, Milani's Illuminating Face Powder in Beauty's Touch. This is a blush/highlight combination that I've worn everyday since I got it and it's replaced my beloved Clinique Cheek Pops. I swirl my brush to combine the blush and highlight roses and sweep it over my cheeks and it gives the perfect amount of colour and highlight without looking like you've been slapped and partied in glitter.

The quality of the blushes themselves are amazing - they're finely milled therefore they have no chunky parts of glitter. Due to them being a highlight/blush combination they're not incredibly pigmented but just provide the perfect amount of sheen to give you a healthy looking glow. Another thing worth noting about these is how great the lasting power is - I wear this daily with an average wear time of 8-10 hours and it still looks just as good at the end of the day as it did when I first applied it.

What's your favourite blush / highlight?