Bloom & Wild Letterbox Flower Deliveries

Thursday, October 29, 2015
Bloom and Wild Flower Delivery Service by a UK Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

Readers of my blog should know about my love for flowers - it's documented all over the place with the most obvious hint being my name (my blog name, that is... I'm not actually called Peonies although it would be pretty cool if I was). Over the past couple of months I've heard more and more about Letterbox Flowers and new flower subscription services so when Bloom and Wild offered to send me a bouquet of flowers to review, I obviously jumped at the chance.

The Sophia bouquet was delivered through my letterbox, much to my mum's surprise (the actual words she used were, "Elise, why have we just got flowers in the post?"). I was actually shocked about how quickly they were delivered, with the time from them being ordered to in a vase in my bedroom just under one day. 

One thing I loved about this service that you don't really get with other flower arrangements is the ability to arrange them yourself. Flower bouquets usually come pre-arranged to the florist's taste but you are able to style these how you like, adding and/or removing bits you don't like. The delivery itself comes with a mini notebook with tips to advise you on how they would look their best, but the end result is completely up to you. 

For some reason that I can't quite figure out, this flower bouquet took weeks longer to wilt than usual flower bouquets from other shops. I kept them on my windowsill, added the flower food that came with the flowers and added water, but they just would not wilt. The longest I've ever had flowers without them wilting is around 5-7 days. These lasted almost 2 weeks, and even then they were still not fully-dead!

Overall I'm so happy with this bouquet and would definitely recommend them to anyone looking for a flower subscription service. They're available as a one-off parcel or 3 month subscription. I know what's on my Christmas list!

MAC Soar Lip Pencil Review

Monday, October 19, 2015
MAC Soar Lip Pencil Review and Swatches

One product that has been on my wishlist for the longest time. MAC's Soar lip pencil (and also Velvet Teddy) seem notoriously hard to track-down after Kylie Jenner mentioned she used it to perfect her pout. I finally managed to get my hands on it after trying to find it for over a year, and I'm so glad I did! I'm a bit late to the party with the whole 'KJ lip' thing but better late than never, right?

Soar is such a gorgeous shade and also very unusual. It's a pink-toned, mauvey neutral shade which looks amazing on all skintones. Because my skin is so fair, I find pink-toned lipstick more suiting than that of a brown/beige toned one - if you're struggling and along the same lines of me, I'd definitely recommend Soar. One thing I love about this product is that it's the perfect pencil for over-lining your lips. Due to it being matte it doesn't show the line where your natural lips end, and just looks like a perfectly natural pout.

This is my first MAC lip pencil and as for the actual pencil itself, I'm positively surprised! I've found in the past that although MAC lipsticks are amazing, there are more amazing ones than them - the only reason why I stick with certain MAC lipsticks is if I can't find a good enough dupe for the shade. This pencil is amazing and doesn't cling to dry patches or dry out your lips like most pencils do. I have to say, I think this Autumn I'll be reaching for this over some classic Autumnal shades!

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Last year, for me, was the year of the liquid lipstick. It seems like in 2014 every brand from high-end to drugstore had their own take on them. One of the most exciting and memorable makeup launches from 2014 is still a product that I'm obsessed with ten months later - the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets. I picked these up in the early months of last year and they're the only lipsticks I lean towards on a daily basis, so much so that I've come to the conclusion that they're the best lipsticks ever. Big statement, right? Here's why.

The thing I love most about these is the formula. They're liquid lipsticks that dry matte, to an almost powder-like finish. Unlike any other liquid lipsticks that I know of, layering is not a problem at all and you can toss on as many coats as you want without any flaking, smudging or disturbing the colour. The most impressing thing about the formulas are the staying power - seriously, I've never come across anything that stains my lips as much as these! I love that though - it means the color isn't going anywhere.

Another thing I love about these is the colour range. Peach Club is my favourite out of the three that I own, which is a surprisingly bold, opaque nude shade. Ole Flamingo! is a stunning hot pink, again with amazing pigmentation. Hot Pepper is another great shade, a post-box red that looks stunning on everyone. Feel Unique are also doing an amazing deal on these (3 for only £12!) so I'd definitely recommend getting your hands on them if you can!

You Know You're A Beauty Blogger When...

Monday, October 12, 2015
You Know You're A Beauty Blogger When... by a UK Beauty Blog

Ever since starting my blog a few years ago, there's more and more things I find myself doing that my mum likes to define as a 'typical beauty blogger'. Since I began my blog I try my hardest not the fit in the typical 'beauty blogger' mould but come on, can you really resist the new Naked palette? I didn't think so.

○  No matter how hard you try, you'll never be able to just walk past Boots.
○  Checking CultBeauty and Debehams daily just to check there's nothing you missed.
○  When you buy a magazine, you flick through looking for the beauty adverts rather than the actual articles.
○  "This red lipstick is NOT the same to the other 78 I own, trust me..."
○  A spending ban will never work.
○  Wearing a full face of makeup to pop to Tesco, because you NEED to try out that new eyeshadow.
○  Trying your absolute hardest to create an amazing winged liner and when you finally crack it, no photo can do it justice.
○  Your mum will always ask "Elise has anyone reviewed this product?" before she buys it.

5 Ways to Easily Refresh Your Blog

Sunday, October 11, 2015

If haven't been around these parts for a while you might notice a difference - my blog design! I decided to get rid of the pastel pink scheme and just stick to monochrome & it's safe to say that I'm loving it. There's not many things better to get you in the blogging-mood than to have a refresh, so today I'm coming at you with five super easy tips for a blog Spring clean. If you're feeling unmotivated, sick with your blog design or just want to de-clutter your blog, I have a feeling that this will be the post for you!

Declutter your sidebar

y far one of the most satisfying to sort through and it makes such a huge difference once it's been de-cluttered and gotten rid of all the gadgets you don't use. I personally go by the rule of getting rid if I haven't used it personally in over 2 months, or doesn't make a difference to my blog/readers. I also really like to add a lot of spacing between gadgets to make it look as clean as possible & also use a similar colour scheme to tie in with the rest of my design.

Update your photo

I love being able to click on a site and be able to see the person behind the blog straight away; it feels much more personal. I like to refresh the image in the top of my side bar for two reasons - a) it's nice to have a change, and b) I get bored too quickly! I'd also recommend using a clear photo that's not too small to see properly.

Change your fonts

Fonts make such a massive difference when it comes to the design and accessibility of a blog. Personally, I like to stick to easy-to-read fonts like Arial, Georgia or Times New Roman, then leave the fancy fonts to titles and headings. I'd also recommend keeping to two/three different fonts to make your design look uniform.

A new header?

Following on from the previous point, a new header is one of the crucial parts of a blog and updating it now & again will do no harm. Again, make sure it fits with your colour scheme and is big enough (and clear enough) to read.

Revisit your pages

Another great way to refresh your blog is to revisit the pages you use. I like to update my About and Shop pages recently because I'm always changing, getting new ideas or recieving inspiration from somewhere that changes me. About pages are one of the first things I visit when I go to a new blog because I like to see who's behind it and get to know them a little better.

How Are You Doing? 01

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Without a doubt, my favourite blog post this week was Food for Thought by Daisybutter. Michelle has always been one of my favourite bloggers and the way she writes is something I really do love, and this post especially struck a chord with me. She mentioned how the blogging community used to be post-Twitter chats, and I really do miss the actual blog-focused community on blogging. The times where we'd communicate via blog comments, leave actual meaningful comments and get to know each other via our blogs. I feel like more valuable friendships were formed that way, and I'm really going to make an effort to get to know the people who read my ramblings. I don't know why you do it, but thanks! To get to know you a little more I want to do what Michelle did - ask you some questions.

  1. Where are you from? And do you blog?
  2. Do you have any nicknames?
  3. How was your day?
  4. What's your least favourite word?
  5. What made you happy in this past week?
  6. What did you do for your last birthday?
  7. What's your favourite hobby (minus-blogging)?

Here's my answers:
  1. I'm from Manchester (UK) and of course I blog!
  2. Ever since I was young, my dad has always been the person to give me the most nicknames. He calls me Ellie-bellie (I could eat for England), Sweet Pea and when my neighbor had her daughter, she always called me Melise as she couldn't pronounce my name. She's almost 6 now and still thinks that's my name!
  3. So far, my day has been great. I'm meeting my boyfriend later for lunch and a movie date - they're my favourite days!
  4. Moist - even typing it makes me cringe haha.
  5. Getting another job interview! I've been on a job-search for the past month and I've actually got an interview with a company doing social media and digital marketing... Wish me luck!
  6. For my last birthday I had a quiet one eating out at a favourite country pub with my family.
  7. My favourite hobby is probably eating out (surprise surprise). My boyfriend gets sick of the words "can we eat out tonight" hahaha. Sorry Kyle.

5 Tips to Defining Your Personal Style

Thursday, October 08, 2015

One thing I find hardest about the whole fashion dilemma is defining your personal style. I honestly think that you're never too early to change the direction of how you want to style/dress yourself, whether that be in your teens or 50's. Let's face it, your personal style will gradually change throughout your life (would you still wear the fourteen year old-you's hot pants in your seventies? I doubt it, but whatever floats your boat!) but you always need a rough idea of where to start, and that's usually the toughest. I've conjured up a little checklist to defining your personal style with tips that have helped me and that are so much fun to do.

Know your shape & what flatters you

How many times have you seen a gorgeous jumper on someone walking in the street, you finally hunt it down and it looks ridiculous on you? It's all down to trial & error and what flatters your body shape. On myself I steer clear of shorter dresses, strapless t-shirts and anything brightly coloured. I'm a minimalist at heart!

Do your research!

Of course, we're talking about the genius that is Pinterest for this step. Start by creating your account & dedicate a board solely to fashion. The only rule is that you need to pin what you'd actually wear. If you're really into your fashion and enjoy looking at other people's style to be inspired, create another board but don't mix the two! By pinning the things you'd wear, you're more likely to reference back to it when you're out shopping. Personally, my board mainly consists of denim & monochrome.


Can you really afford £100 on a new, plain white t-shirt? I doubt it. By all means purchase investment pieces, but make sure you can seriously justify them so you don't regret them further down the line.

Clear out regularly

Personal style is ever-changing. Would you really wear the bootcut jeans you wore out ten years ago? Nope - clear it out! Sort your clothes into three piles - keep, maybe and throw. The 'keep' pile contains items you've worn within the past 3 months and you couldn't live without, ie. the classic plain white tee or a pair of skinny jeans. The 'maybe' pile is items you haven't worn in the past 3 months but you can still find a use for. This is mainly the pile for special occasion clothes like wedding guest dresses. The 'throw' pile is everything you haven't worn for at least 6 months and you'll never find a use for them. When it comes to the clear out, you need to be harsh. None of this "I'll find a use for it! It's too nice to throw away!" rubbish. You probably won't find a use for it and you don't technically have to throw it away. Sell it or give it to family and friends, then you have a bit more cash & wardrobe space to buy more - it's a win-win situation!

Enjoy it!

Experimenting with fashion is one of my favourite things to do and sometimes, some of the best results come from the ideas you never expected. If you buy something without trying it on first, you bring it home & don't like it - sell it! Nobody's holding you to it. No matter how much you bought it for or what style it is, it will suit someone's body shape/budget perfectly.

Leighton Denny I Am Goddess Collection

Leighton Denny I Am Goddess Collection Review and Swatches: UK Beauty Blog
items are PR samples*
I've forgotten the amount of times I mention how much I love Autumn - the Pumpkin Spiced Lattes from Starbucks, the cosy blankets, the multiple layers of clothes and of course, the hair, makeup & nail polishes. I was lucky enough to be sent a few nail polishes from the new Leighton Denny I Am Goddess range and I have to say, I'm completely blown away.

Leighton Denny are often forgot about when it comes to buying nail polishes and they're seriously underrated - I'd even go as far to say as their formula is my favourite ever (and that's a pretty big statement to make). Everything from the brush, the opacity and the thickness of the product is perfect, making it so easy to apply. I reckon I could even apply this on the train, it's that easy!

The colors I have are Aphrodite's Love, a gorgeous purple/olive hybrid, and Queen Hera, a metallic chrome shade. Out of the two, Aphrodite's Love is my favourite because of how versatile it is. I apply this over something like Rimmel's Black Cherries nail polish to give it a something extra and the opacity is perfect - enough for it to be noticeable but not overpowering.

What's your favourite nail polish for Autumn?

5 TV Series You Need to Watch

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

If, like me, you like to spend your weekends binge-watching TV, you may've dried up Netflix and therefore have nothing left to watch. I've compiled a list of TV series that I think are a must-watch. But be warned, your weekends may be taken up by the TV. Not that that's a bad thing...

○ PRETTY LITTLE LIARS  I don't think a TV series post would be complete with some sort of mention of PLL. I only jumped on the bangwagon with this a few months ago and I'm finally up to date. Guessing who A is every episode really does get my tensions up, though.
○ GOSSIP GIRL  If you're more of a girly-girl, NYC and shopping kinda person then Gossip Girl is a must-watch. I watched all six seasons in a matter of weeks and I'm definitely not ashamed *insert sassy girl emoji*.
○ ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK  This is one of my all-time favourite shows, yet I have to say that the first series is the best. I think Crazy Eyes is my spirit animal.
○ PRISON BREAK  Was one of the first TV series I ever watched and I'll always come back to it. I must've watched the whole programme at least 3 times just to see Wentworth Miller.
○ FRIENDS   How could I include a post on TV series without including Friends?! I grew up watching this programme and I'll be the first to admit that yes, I cried at the last episode...

What's your favourite series?

Chanel Soliel tan de Chanel: Worth The Hype?

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

I've mentioned before that if there's one brand that screams luxury to me, it's Chanel. I've only just began dabbling with Chanel makeup and although I love their Rouge Coco Shines, I can't say that all of the products I've tried from them are worth the money. I got the Chanel Soliel tan de Chanel for Christmas after it being on my wishlist for the longest time (and after seeing countless bloggers rave about it!) but I just don't think it's up to my expectations.

I have to admit that as with all Chanel products, the packaging is stunning and it looks so pretty sitting in my makeup collection. The bronzer itself is something I've found pretty hard to work with - it's almost a mousse/cream texture that is difficult to get a natural, bronzed look. Before I received this I'd read that it could be a long-winded experiment with trial & error to get this to work for you but up to now, I can't crack it. It looks way too orange on my skin and although it can be used as either a bronzer or primer, it seems way too warm-toned to work as either (on my skin, anyway).

Overall I'm really not too happy with this product which is a shame considering the price! I've done a bit of research and I think if you're looking for a product similar to this but aren't sure if you'd get along with the texture, Bourjois' Bronzing Primer looks almost identical. What are your thoughts? 

Do you own this product & what do you think of it?

Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette

Monday, October 05, 2015

If there's one thing I can never have enough of, it's eye shadows. It's almost guaranteed that every time my mum & go makeup shopping she will say to me "Elise, do you really need anymore?! You could open up your own store!" and the answer is always yes. A girl can never have too much makeup, right?

As a matter of fact, my mum bought me the Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette for Christmas (if you're reading, mum, it's your fault!) after I saw it in a makeup-browse and felt like I couldn't be without it. I fell in love with the shades & from what I swatched, they look like amazing eye shadows. A few months later and I have to say I haven't used it as much as I'd like but they are of great quality.

I've made no secret that Urban Decay's eye shadows are one of my favourites and I prefer them over brands like MAC in the form that they're much better quality. Just like the Naked palettes, they're much creamier, pigmented and easier to blend than MAC. I have only one issue with this palette: it produces so much excess powder that it just gets wasted & looks grubby. When I dip my brush into the palette, so much extra powder comes off that it just ends up looking so messy and because of the price of the palette, I don't want to let any go to waste!

Other than that, I love every thing about this palette. One of my favourite shades is 'Undone', a shade which looks amazing as a transition shade on fair skin. The palette also has so many unusual shades that I haven't seen anywhere else; like 'Alchemy' and 'Freeze'. Overall I'm a big fan of this but although it consists of bold shades, I can't get as much use out of it as I wish I could have!

Rautken Bonus Box

Sunday, October 04, 2015

A few weeks ago, Rautken's brand new Bonus Box landed on my doorstep. Every so often I get sent things to review, but boxes like this full of small fashion/beauty samples are my favourite as you get to try out a few products at once. This is the first Bonus Box and I was lucky enough to be sent one - here are the products inside.

The most exciting thing in this box for me, was the Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask icon as Origins is a brand I've always wanted to try. This is only a sample-sized product but I was surprised when I actually got 3 uses out of it. It dries on the skin and gives that cracking-face feeling but the end result is amazing - silky soft skin all round! On a similar page is the The Body Shop Charcoal Clay Body Mask iconwhich is a concept I haven't heard of before. Its similar to the Origins mask but for your body - you apply it then wash off after 10 minutes. I'm not the biggest fan of this because although my skin loves it, it's a pain to stand around waiting for it to dry!

The Clinique Take The Day Off makeup remover was also included, a product that is very much hyped-up in the blogging world. After trying it I can safely say I really do understand the hype - it's amazing! It takes my makeup off in one swipe and is gentle on the skin. A product I didn't really use was the Darphin Ideal Resource iconserum, but I ended up gifting it to my mum and she's loving it!

A brochure from TOMS iconwas also included which I actually really enjoyed flicking through. TOMS is not a brand I buy from but some of the items in this brochure are amazing! You can use the code TOMSBONUSBOX for 25% off your order :)