Wednesday, 6 July 2016

WRITER'S BLOCK?


Now the summer months we have all been waiting for have finally approached, work for some may be as hectic and stressful as ever. The work load is gradually building up and some days it's even easy to forget that you haven't eaten all day. If you're anything like me dealing with stress and so little time for yourself is definitely a struggle and that's when I am most likely to get writer's block. For the past month or so I have been struggling to find inspiration and motivation to write up new blog posts that I enjoy writing and also what I think others will enjoy and find useful. So, as I'm sat here with the worst writer's block going, I thought what better to do that write up a blog post about the struggle us bloggers or writers tend to face now and then and how to try and help motivate yourself getting back into the swing of things. 


CHANGE IT UP
                                                                                                                                                                   
We all go through phases where we like to change the style, colour theme or even back drops of our blogs and I also find that doing this is probably one of the most motivating things that will help encourage you to writing up more enjoyable blog posts. Feeling comfortable and happy with the layout and design of your blog is so satisfying as it reassures you that all the hard work and effort that you have put into your blog is finally coming together. I recently bought a template from an online company named Pipdig who sell blog templates, to me this was possibly one of the best decisions I had made as it meant having to fight with html coding was no longer. Unless you're an IT genius this could be very useful! I have also found that changing the back drop of my blog posts motivates you to experiment with different layouts and props to get that perfect blog shot. One of my favourite backdrops at the moment is a simple white washed plank of wood and occasionally a marble slab (shock).


PLAN AHEAD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Planning blog posts in advance is another way to avoiding writer's block. I am definitely guilty of leaving things till the last minute and not planning ahead which is one of the main reasons I'm sat here writing this post. I try to encourage myself to carry a note book nearly everywhere in my hand bag as it's so useful just to jot down any ideas or even write up a small plan. This is perfect if you find you have a free moment just to brain storm and see what needs to be done in order to prepare for writing up a blog post. Do I need any more props? Do I need any cooking ingredients? Or even if it's just finding time in your busy schedule to write it up. 


THINKING OUTSIDE, INSIDE AND AROUND THE BOX
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
With the increase in bloggers it is and can be really difficult at times to find any sort of motivation to write up a blog post that is somewhat different and more unique to what has already been published. It's so easy to just follow trends within the blogger community and of course, I'm sure we've all been guilty of doing this and there's absolutely no problem with it. But finding originality in a post I find is always more rewarding. To do this I always think of the type of post I would like to read. Not only does this give you a more unique post but it also helps you gain more knowledge in a certain area. For example, during the Summer months I always love to read posts about skincare, new make up trends and healthy recipes. By doing this you are able to see the type of posts that you could introduce into your blog and write more about something you find interesting and therefor be more motivated to write about it. 


FINDING INSPIRATION
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Being able to find inspiration to motivate you to write a new blog post allows you to make your blog the best it can be. Somewhere that you enjoy and also somewhere you are constantly being reminded of the hard work you have put into each and every post. To find inspiration I am constantly on Pinterest pinning any home decor images (they are great for blog backdrop ideas) and beauty images as I'm then able to look back onto my boards when I'm lacking motivation and ideas on what to write my next post about. I also find that looking through magazines has helped me a lot as it gives me so much inspiration and an inside to all of the latest trends. Every month I am always far too excited to receive my cosmopolitan magazine as not only are they really addictive to read but you also receive them a couple of weeks before the release date giving you an advantage in being able to look into new trends before anyone else. This is great if you want to know next months make up trends and any new beauty releases to write up a blog post in advance.

TAKING TIME TO BREATH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
My last tip to overcome writer's block would be to make sure you are taking time out to do things that you want to do. Let's face it, we all get those moments where we'd rather be out and about than writing up a blog post. And that's absolutely fine! By taking a days rest or a day spent with friends and family you are able to take a break from all things stressful which will give you a clear mind to writing up your next blog post.


I hope you've enjoyed this more different blog post and have found any of these tips useful! Do you ever find yourself fighting writer's block? And how do you overcome it? I would love to know! And on the plus side, it's almost Friday!



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Sunday, 3 July 2016

SUMMER SKINCARE FAVOURITES



As I've recently decided it's about time I binned the make up wipes, I've been on the constant look out for skincare products that will help improve my skin to make it look more healthy and clear so I thought I would show you all a handful of the products that I am really enjoying at the moment. I am the age of 20 so I do still tend to get the occasional spot here and there but especially around my time of the month I tend to break out more, so looking for skincare products that won't irritate my skin is highly important. My skin is also dry to combination, so I find that using skincare products for normal skin types during the day helps reduce any build up of oil throughout the humid days and then using products targeted to dry skin during the evenings so I am able to give my skin more time to absorb the products and a nourishing treatment as I find that during the summer months my skin tends to dry up. 

When I began my search for make up removers I did struggle to find products that weren't overly scented. I first heard about the Taaj Himalaya Micellar Water in a blog post by Zoella back in 2012 and funnily enough came across it in TK Maxx at a really discounted price so of course I had to pick it up! This product works really well with my skin as I find it removes my make up but doesn't dehydrate my skin. It does leave a slight residue on the skin which I tend to just rinse off with water. I find that this micellar water would work perfectly with all skin types but especially sensitive as it contains ingredients such as chamomile, green tea and rosemary which are famous for their soothing and anti-irritant properties.


The next product I have been loving is the No7 Cleansing Balm which I tend to use in the mornings to freshen up before applying make up and after removing my make up just to get rid of any dirt left on the skin and to give a thorough cleanse. This product is targeted to those with dry to very dry skin which I personally prefer as it give me more of a nourishing treatment. I really love this product as it feels really hydrating and leaves my skin feeling soft and firm however it works really quick so I'm not having to wait for it to dry when I'm in a rush. After removing my make up and cleansing my face, once to twice a week I like to use a treatment such as a face mask or pore cleanser, for this I have been loving using the No Clogs Allowed by Soap & Glory's skincare range as it really does help remove any blackheads on my face. This can also be used as a mask as it helps deep cleanse the skin or can just be used on more targeted areas. I have really been enjoying this product as I find it does help my skin look more clearer which makes no make up days stress free. 

Another of my favourites is the Superdrug Vitamin E SPF15 Moisturising Cream, although at first I was pretty sceptical about this product working with my skin with it being sensitive to spots, I was really impressed when I first used this! It is a really light moisturiser that is perfect for summer as it absorbs into the skin really quickly, leaves my skin feeling soft and also has SPF15 in it. And not to mention, the scent of this range is beautiful! I definitely would recommend this range to any skincare beginners!



The last three products I have really fallen in love with are the Instant Lip, Instant Eye and Instant Lash by a Instant Effects. The Instant Lip has to be my favourite out of the three as it gives the slightest amount of plumpness to your lips, I love to use this before a night out or sometimes just before bed to get the full effect. As you can see by the packaging, I have been using this quite a lot and would definitely recommend for those of you who are wanting a quick but only subtle natural lip plump. The next product from this range is the Instant Eye, this product is targeted to help remove the appearance of dark circles and fine lines. I found that this product after 3 to 5 uses did minimise the colour of my dark circles which helped brighten up my eye area. I have been constantly on the look out for a product like this as my dark circles are probably the worst feature of my face! The last product is the Instant Lash and I like to use this before I go to bed as it give it time for the eyelashes to absorb the product. From using this I have noticed a slight increase in the length of my lashes but if you keep up with a routine you will definitely see a result! 

I really do hope you've enjoyed this post and have had a lovely weekend, I would love to know what skincare products have you been enjoying or if you have any recommendations? 

Lots of love,






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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

GETTING THAT SUMMER GLOW


Considering it's now officially summer, there would be no better way of getting into the swing of things than writing up a post all about getting that healthy summer glow. Unfortunately for us Brits, we don't tend to get much sun during the summer to get that gorgeous natural glow, so of course I was going to write up a post on a few tips and tricks I have found that have helped me a huge amount when it comes to getting a beautiful dewy make up look. Of course staying hydrated and eating healthy plays a huge part in the condition of your skin so ensuring you stick to a good routine will definitely help! A few weeks back I read an article on Glamour which listed a range of foods that naturally help keep skin clear. It states that foods such as peppermint, nuts and dark berries have been proven to help heal and calm the skin. It's safe to say I will definitely be looking to include more of these foods in my daily diet. 

For a while now I've always preferred for my base make up to have a matte and full coverage finish but lately I've been really loving the glowy and more natural make up look. I have tried and tested so many base products this year so far and have found some of my favourite products which help give me a healthy look. I currently have combination to dry skin, where my T zone will get the better of me and get oily now and then, but the majority of the time my skin mainly tends to be dry and constantly feels dehydrated. At the moment I have been using the Superdrug Vitamin E range which is targeted to those with dry skin and have to say I am really enjoying using this range and have found that it really has helped hydrate my skin while also preventing any breakouts. To give my skin a more dewy look I am in love with the Yves Saint Laurent Top Secret Instant Moisture Glow. It does everything it says in the name and it has instantly become one of my favourite products to use on a daily basis. Ensuring that your skin is hydrated with a good skincare regime will also help create this look. 


One of my first favourite products to use as a starting base is the Max Factor Facefinity Primer. Although most primers have mattifying properties this one has smallest gold shimmer particles which help give the illusion of a more dewy base. I also find that this product really helps foundation glide on more smoothly. Two of the foundations that I have been loving which have a dewy finish are the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Foundation and a more affordable option, the Bourjois Happy Light Foundation. These both give a gorgeous glow and are perfect for those with normal to dry skin as they give the perfect amount of dewyness. I love to mix these two foundations together as they YSL foundation matches my skin tone better but the Bourjois foundation is slightly more dewy. 

To bronze up a bit I absolutely love to use the Bourjois Bronzing Primer, this is perfect for a subtle contour shade and especially for beginners! I have always had a struggle trying to get contouring right and this product has made it so much easier, it blends so effortlessly and is the perfect shade. I like to apply this before powdering as it is a mousse consistency. After applying this I like to dust a fair amount of the Topshop Bronzer in Mohawk, this is one of the best bronzing powders I have come across due to being the perfect natural contouring shade and also have such a smooth texture making it so easy to apply. 


For powder products I have really been enjoying using the Bourjois Jave Rice Loose Powder. This I would say is a transparent powder with a slight pink undertone with extremely fine shimmer particles. I love to use this on top of matte foundations to brighten up my complexion. Its lasting power is also really impressive and I would highly recommend it to those who like a long lasting make up base. The two last products I really like to use during the summer months are both highlighters which are essential in creating a healthy glow. I really like The Balm's Mary-Lou Manizer and the MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder in Iridescent Gold. Both have a gold undertone and are very pgimented however I would say that the Mary-Lou Manizer is slightly more pigmented and has more of a silkier touch but for £3 you can't really go wrong with the MUA Highlighting powder! Lastly I love to use some sort of setting spray to make sure my make up doesn't budge and to set everything, I really love using the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Mist as it's so light and really does help increase the lasting power of your make up!

I really hope that this post has helped you in creating that gorgeous glow! I have always struggled finding the perfect products to create this look however I definitely couldn't fault any of these!
What products are you favourite when creating a more summer look?



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Sunday, 12 June 2016

NYX // CREAM LIPSTICKS





When I first saw the opening of a NYX stand in the Boots in Cardiff I spent about half an hour swatching their products and may have got a bit carried away. You probably all know by now but trying to find a store that supplies NYX products in the UK is extremely difficult and I have been trying to get my hands on their lip products for a while now. Lately I have been obsessing over the muted toned matte lipsticks and two of their ranges really caught my eye. First of all I would like to say I was extremely impressed by the colour range NYX had to offer, their lipsticks range from matte to intensely glossy and from vibrant purples to a range of nudes, it is safe to say they have a colour to suit all skin tones and personal preferences!

While at the NYX stand I finally managed to grab some gorgeous colours, 50 swatches later. The first three lip products were from a range called 'Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick' and the three shades I picked up were Vintage LSCL12, Sandstorm LSCL07 and Soft Spoken LSCL04. I also picked up the shade Dubai SMLC34 from their 'Soft Matte Lip Cream' range.

The first shade named Vintage LSCL12 is the perfect dark berry colour that in my opinion would suit all skin tones. I absolutely love to wear this type of colour throughout the year, although I mainly wear this type of colour during the colder months I love to wear it during the summer with a very natural eye. It has the perfect amount of undertones of a pinky purple berry shade but is very intense. This shade looks the exact shade as Anastasia's Beverly Hills 'Liquid Lipstick' in the shade Trust Issues. Both perfect if you are wanting to try out more daring lip colours! Secondly, the shade Sandstorm LSCL07 is an unusual shade that I have grown to love! I currently don't have any lipsticks in my collection similar to this lip cream which gave me all the more reason to buy it. The best way to describe this would be a more darker nude with brown undertones. I am all about the brown shades at the moment and this is a perfect everyday nude but also really stands out as it is such a gorgeous light brown shade. This also looks like the perfect dupe for Kylie Jenner's Lip Kit shade in Dolce K if you are looking for a more cheaper alternative.

The last shade from their 'Liquid Suede Cream' range that I picked up, Soft Spoken LSCL04, is a best described as a dirty rose shade which I wear almost on an every day basis. I love to apply this lip cream when I'm in a rush but wanting to make my make up look as if I spent hours applying it. This is also a perfect dupe for MAC's lipstick in the shade 'Whirl'. All of these lip creams in this range are so easy to apply and I tend to only apply one coat of product as they are immensely pigmented. These lip creams in my opinion from the pigmentation to the finished look are perfect however these do tend to wear off throughout the day and almost crumble due to being quite drying. Because of this I would recommend applying a lip balm of some sort before just to help improve the wear of these!

And finally, the lip cream from their 'Soft Matte Lip Cream' range that caught my attention was their shade in Dubai SMLC34. This is my eyes was a very out there shade and I haven't tried anything like it before so I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to give it a go. It is a true brown shade which I think would look amazing with a tan and natural eyes and a bronzed make up look. The formula of this product is slightly different compared to the range I previously mentioned due to being more creamier, hydrating and also smelling like chocolate. I did find that this range weren't as pigmented as the 'Liquid Suede Creams', although this may seem as a disadvantage it is perfect to either apply a small amount to give a slight effect or apply two coats to give the colour shown in the tube. The wear of this lip product lasts a good amount of time but like all lipsticks will need reapplying.

Overall I am very impressed with my new NYX products and can say I will be definitely paying another visit to their stand in Boots! NYX is also now available to buy online on of their website! I hope you have enjoyed this post and found it somewhat useful!

Lots of love,

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Sunday, 29 May 2016

RICHARD WARD // THE CHELSEA COLLECTION


The continuing struggle to fight frizz from humid cities and the occasional damage from the sun meant that it was about time my hair had a bit of a treat to help get the nourishment it needed to look and feel more healthier. My hair has been in battle of overcoming dryness for as long as I can remember and finding the right products has proven pretty difficult. I've been on the look out for some haircare products that will give my hair the conditioning it needs but however doesn't make my roots greasy two days in. 

Around two months ago I was kindly sent the Keratin Restore range from The Chelsea Collection by Richard Ward and have been using it ever since I'd received it in order to gain my full and true opinion on it. This shampoo, conditioner and hair mask is targeted for those with dry and damaged hair which to me sounded like the exact type of product I was looking for. It contains natural ingredients such as keratin, a natural protein which helps protect an re builds hairs natural fibres, chicory which helps with strength and vitality, and an ingredient called yucca vera which revives suppleness and natural shine. 

The first thing I noticed when applying the products is that they have a very similar fresh scent to the original TRESemme's products however these seemed much more luxurious and silkier and had a really quick and easy application. I personally loved the 'Keratin Restore shampoo' from this range as I found that it didn't completely strip all of my natural oils or leave my hair feeling dry like some others I have tested. I also found that this shampoo began nourishing my hair from the beginning of application whilst also removing any excess dirt which would be perfect for those who like to wash their hair daily or every two days. 

In my opinion the 'Keratin Restore conditioner' is perfect for an everyday conditioner as its not too heavy yet it gives your hair the conditioning it needs. I also found that using this from time to time helped close up my split ends resulting in a more healthier look. The last product, the 'Keratin Rehab mask' was by far my favourite out of the three. I absolutely love giving my hair a deep nourishing treatment once to twice a week and this hair mask left my hair feeling silky smooth and overall made my hair look and feel extremely healthy. I'm always a bit sceptical with trying new hair products as my hair is very specific to what products can and can't be used but I have to say I was definitely impressed by these. These products are exclusive to Waitrose stores and are all priced at £5.99 which in my opinion is an amazing price for such professional results!

I hope this post has been useful to some of you and I will be back to posting every Wednesday and Sunday! Have any of you tried any of the Richard Ward products before? 

*Although these products were kindly sent to me I only work with brands I love and think I will enjoy and all opinions are honest and my own*
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Sunday, 15 May 2016

L'OREAL // SCULPT CONTOUR PALETTE




Hello my lovelies, first of all I just want to apologies for my lack of posts! Exams have definitely gotten the better of me and revision has currently taken over my life, but on the up side, I will be back into the swing of things as I will have officially finished my first year at university!

To get back into the swing of things, I thought what would be better than to write up a review on the not so new anymore, 'Infallible Sculpt Contour Palette' by L'oreal. As soon as I'd seen the adverts of L'oreals new Sculpting range and saw this contour palette I immediately thought that this product could at least try and give me some cheek bones. If you're unlucky like me and suffer a round face with no definition this would have definitely caught your eye. This product can be purchased at both Boots and Superdrug with a price of £9.99. I however bought this during a 3 for 2 promotion as it can be a bit on the pricey side for a drugstore contour kit. This contour kit also comes in two different shades, light/medium and medium/dark. The shade I picked up was the light/medium shade as 1) lets be honest, I tend to be on paler side of the scale and 2) I find that building up contour gives a much more natural finish. This product came with a small guide on where to contour for your specific face shape which I found highly useful as I'm always trying to find new ways to contour in order to achieve the best look for my face shape.

The first thing I noticed about this contour kit was there was a lot more less product than what I was hoping for, but this didn't really bother me as the consistency of the product seemed so smooth and creamy. This can be a bit of a risk for a contour palette due to creamy products having the tendency of not lasting a great deal amount of time and tends to smudge throughout the day. Probably two of the most things that you would wish your contour wouldn't do. However saying this, although the product is highly creamy and silky it blends to almost a very fine powder texture. I found that applying both shades to my face was easiest after applying foundation and concealer and before powdering as I was able to then set it afterwards with my Topshop bronzer in 'Mohawk' and the MUA Highlighting powder in 'Iridescent gold'. I did however find that if my foundation had dried, it was more of a struggle to blend this product without making it look patchy so make sure that you apply this directly after foundation!

The light highlighting shade looks more pink under toned in the pan more than it does when applied and blended as it gives a more neutral highlighting shade which is perfect for a natural contour and will suit all skin tones. I found that this highlighting shade was more of a matte shade with the slightest and most finest amount of shimmer, which to me is barely noticeable. It glides on really nicely and can be applied on the cheek bones, bridge of the nose and cupids bow. I find this a really good matte base with for any powdered highlighters and will enhance the duration of wear. Perfect for long lasting make up.

The dark shade that is used to contour and define is also a really matte shade with a neutral under tone. It is not too orange nor too ashy which also helps give that more natural effect. I use this shade in the hollows of my cheeks to help create a defined look and bring out my non existing cheek bones. I also like to use this on the temples of the forehead. By doing this helps create the effect of a smaller forehead which I personally like. On special occasions where I'm taking my make up to the next level I like to apply a small amount of this to the edges of the bridge of my nose to help give my nose more definition and to make it look slightly smaller.

Overall I really enjoyed using this product, both shades were really easy to blend and lasted a good deal amount of time. I also found that using a powdered contour and highlighter on top of this product gave it a more defined and longer lasting effect. This product is build-able to a certain extent before beginning to look patchy and give a really natural result. I would definitely recommend this product to anyone looking to explore into the contouring world and even for those who are experts for an everyday subtle contour.

I really hope you enjoyed this post and let me know of any posts you wish to see these next coming weeks! Hope you've all had a lovely weekend!

Love,






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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

COCONUT LANE HAUL





A few weeks back I was kindly asked by the lovely girls at Coconut Lane to become one of their Coconut Queens. I'm so delighted and couldn't be more grateful. The products on their website range from home ware to accessories and each and every one of their products are so unique and beautiful!
The three products I ordered was the Luxe Miami Silver Sunglasses, the Silver Mirror Case and the Silver Bar Ring. Coconut Lane also offered a deal that all Coconut Queens would receive one of their newest products which was this beautiful ring that will be hopefully coming out soon!

Firstly, these sunglasses are an exact dupe of the Dior 0204S. They are so beautiful and definitely on trend right now. These sunglasses are mirrored and they have four different colours to choose from. I picked up with Silver mirrored ones as I personally feel they will go with more outfits but I am seriously contemplating buying their Rose Gold shade. These sunglasses are so lightweight so they're perfect for traveling and everyday use, I love how edgy they are and really differentiate from any other sunglasses I have ever seen. These glasses cost at £24 which I personally think are really worth it!

The next thing I picked up was the Silver bar ring, this ring comes in one size but is resizeable which I find so useful as you can change it up. The other ring I received I'm not so sure what it is called but I absolutely love it! It's so beautiful and perfect for everyday. The bar ring is priced at £9 which is amazing as it's such good quality.

Lastly, I bought the Silver Mirrored case, not sure if you can tell but I went for a bit of a theme here, but I am IN LOVE with this case. Not only does it look great but it's perfect for when you need a mirror quickly. This phone case is priced at £9.50 which is really good for its amazing quality. If you lovelies see anything you like feel free to use my 20% discount code ISABELLOUISE20

I hope you enjoyed this post! I'm so sorry for the lack of posts, but with exams coming up I thought I'd post once a week until they're over! I hope you don't mind.

Hope you have a lovely week! Love,







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Sunday, 10 April 2016

WHEN ELLE AND YSL TEAM UP




A few days back I was kindly invited to attend a Beauty Masterclass hosted by the gorgeous Sophie Beresiner, a beauty director at ELLE Magazine and the YSL Beauty team. During the event we would be given a handful of tips and tricks whilst applying our make up using a range of Yves Saint Laurent's most popular products. We would also be told two new trends coming up this summer.
The day would end in receiving an amazing goody bag worth £70!

The top four base products that the YSL and ELLE beauty team recommended to use for this summer were the YSL Touche Éclat Blur Primer, the YSL Touche Éclait concealer and the YSL Touche Éclait foundation. These three products worked amazingly together. The primer was one of the smoothest and perfecting primers I have tried. It helped the foundation to glide on so smoothly and evenly. I was colour matched by one of the YSL beauty team members to the YSL foundation in BD25 which is a perfect match for my skin tone. As I tend to fake tan around once every two weeks, it had enough yellow tones to match. This foundation glided on so well and didn't require a lot of work at all! The ending result was quite a matte finish which I tend to prefer over warmer months as it helps lengthen the lasting time. The last base product was the YSL concealer in 1 Luminous Radiance. I fell in love with this concealer as soon as I used it. It gave a light to medium coverage whilst also highlighting. This is perfect for the under eyes and gives you that touch of brightness. We were also given a range of the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Neutralizers to try out.



After being given the opportunity to try out some of YSL's most talked about products we were told about two new trends for this summer. The first one was called 'Sun Stripping'. This trend focuses on the areas where the sun naturally hits you to give you a gorgeous sun kissed look. We used the
Yves Saint Le Teint Saharienne to create this look and began by dotting it across our cheek bones and over the nose then blended it together. Watch THIS video for a full demonstration. A tip to help set this product was to apply small amount of a powder bronzer on top. The next trend was all about the freckles, as a more natural and fresh look is becoming one of this years trends, freckles had to make an appearance. To do this we used the YSL eyebrow pencil to lightly dot freckles around the same area as the Sun Strip. A tip given by Sophie was to lightly dab the freckle as the warmth of your finger against the warmth of your face would help blur the freckle making it appear more natural and also enhance the wear. 


After being taught some amazing tips and tricks and having a go at trying out a range of YSL's spring inspired lipstick and blushes we were given the chance to take a photo of our gorgeous new glowy make up in the ELLE photo booth. After this we headed on over to the YSL beauty counter where we were given our fabulous goody bags and have another chance to look at more YSL products. In the goody bag we were so kindly given the Yves Saint Laurent Top Secrets Moisture Glow Base, the YSL Touche Éclait concealer in 1 Luminous Radiance, a copy of ELLE's May edition and some tasty popcorn! Lastly I treated myself to the stunning YSL Touche Éclait foundation with the golden ticket given.



I would like to send a huge thank you to the ELLE UK and YSL beauty team for such an inspiring and useful beauty class! I really enjoyed this fun pact day! I will definitely be taking these tips on board. Have any of you tried any of the YSL products or know of any upcoming summer trends? Lots of love,


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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

LEARNING TO LOVE YOURSELF


From my early teenage years until the past year I always struggled to love myself and accept me for who I am. Comparing myself to others and hating on all my flaws was pretty much a daily thing but this year I've finally learnt to love my imperfections, and love myself inside and out. In this day and age, personal image has become a huge aspect to everyone's daily routine. Wherever you look the media have portrayed their perception of the "perfect" women or man which puts pressure on a lot of us. I know many of you, like I, work on self image for self happiness and to be the best you can be. But some people still may find this difficult, like I did while growing up.

Stupid and negative comments would convince me to change the way I looked just because someone "didn't like what I'd done to my hair" or "how I applied my make up". But eventually I'd learnt to block out all these negative comments and be how I wanted to be and do what I wanted to do. Learning to love yourself in most cases is just a learning process, I'd always come across blog posts and YouTube videos on how to do this and agree with every word they'd say but I could never apply it to myself. Saying this, I found that these tips definitely helped me to eventually be happy with who I am.

1 - Don't compare yourself with others. This is a tricky one but probably the one thing that has helped me overcome my negative thoughts. Being able to look at other people and admiring things about them instead of comparing yourself to them really did help. It lets you accept others and not become envious which definitely helps accepting yourself.

2 - Accepting flaws. For me personally, I have always wanted a smaller nose and to lose a stone or two. But if it wasn't for these what we call 'flaws' we wouldn't be who we are today, unique. I used to spend days pointing out areas about myself I hated, but why? All I achieved from this was getting myself down and end up eating my body weight in food. Definitely not a good start to achieving my goals! If you're guilty of doing this sometimes, once in a while when you find yourself moaning about the way you look, take this time to admire something you love about yourself and remember what's inside matters most.

 3 - Don't put pressure on yourself. Setting goals and working towards something is definitely something we should all do, the feeling that you've achieved something is probably one of the most amazing feelings you can feel and it definitely helps appreciating yourself and taking time to look at the hard work you have accomplished. Whether it's reaching 500 blog followers or graduating with a first. By breaking up goals into smaller, more manageable goals, you will make them more achievable and will definitely help you in where you want to be resulting in a happier you.

4 - Take time to breath. When times get a bit tough and busy, we end up running around and not thinking about our mental well-being. Whether you have school or work deadlines make sure you give yourself enough time to take a break and de-stress just to remember why you're doing what you're doing.   

5 - Explore. I recently saw an Instagram post that quoted "Travel while you're young and able. Don't worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be." Making sure you spend either your weekend off or a weeks holiday exploring the outdoors and being with the people you love will definitely help you gain happiness! Of course we're all allowed our nights in wrapped up with a pizza watching Bridesmaids, but trying something new and exciting will help you feel so much better about yourself.

6 - Do favours. I've found that by helping others and not expecting anything in return definitely shows your kindness from within. It gives you the feeling of worthiness and accomplishment, making you gain happiness from the inside which will show on the outside!

I hope this post has helped some of you out there, and remember if you do struggle with finding it difficult to accept who you are, you are not alone!

Love, 

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Sunday, 3 April 2016

SPRING TIME BEAUTY BUYS


Since it's now finally spring I decided to make a Superdrug order and change up my make up bag with some of these old, and new favourites! I've been using the same products for my face make up for far to long now and thought spring was the perfect time to change it up a notch.

For as long as I can remember I've been using the Rimmel 'Match perfection' foundation mixed with the Rimmel 'Lasting finish' foundation, and I absolutely love these two foundations but unfortunately their colour range is slightly on the pink side which is the complete opposite to my skin tone as I have more yellow undertones. I used to be a huge fan of the L'oreal 'True match' foundation and their colour range is outstanding! They have 10 different shades, each with three different undertones of either warm, neutral or cool to perfectly match your skin. I'd noticed that recently L'oreal had updated their packaging for the 'True match' foundation and also slightly tweaked the formula so I was excited to give this another go. I picked up the shade W1 as for some reason they don't stock W2 anywhere, which is the shade I used to be without any tan, but luckily this shade matches me perfectly as I am quite pale at the moment. This foundation is more on the matte side with a medium coverage, I would recommend this to those of you who struggle with oily skin!

Next I had to stock up on my favourite concealer from Collection, from their 'Lasting perfection' range. I will one day venture out of my comfort zone and try some new concealers but this one is always a must for me! It's so high coverage, and for my under eye bags I need all the coverage I can get. Let me know in the comments below any of your favourite concealers as I really do need to try out something new!

Due to buying a matte foundation, I thought buying a more glowing powder would help give me a more dewy look as my skin type is dry to combination so it tends to look a bit more on the matte side with this foundation. My sister always raves about this 'Java rice loose powder' by Bourjois and I had to get it. This loose powder had THE finest shimmer particles that it instantly gives your foundation a slight dewy look without looking like a disco ball and I am in love! It's great if you have dry skin and want a more dewy effect. The colour of this powder is white but once applied it doesn't leave any colour which is always a bonus for me!

The next thing that I've finally got my hands on is the 'Infallible sculpt contour palette' by L'oreal in the shade light to medium. I've been really getting into contour and once I heard that this was a cream product I was so intrigued to try it out and hopefully finally be able to master the whole contouring malarkey. I was thinking on doing a first impression of this product, let me know in the comments if you would like me to!

The last thing that I decided to buy was one of my old favourite mascaras. Lately I've been on the hunt for a good new mascara and unfortunately none of the ones I'd tried were cutting it for me, I firstly tried out the 'Divine lash mascara' by Collection as the brush looked an exact dupe of the Benefit 'They're real mascara' but unfortunately the formula was way to dry and impossible to work with on my lashes. Another one I gave a go was the Maybelline 'Great lash mascara' but this would print on my under eyes after a few hours. After failing to find a new mascara that would work with my lashes I decided to go back and splurge on my old favourite the Max Factor 'False lash effect' in black. For me this mascara works wonders for my eyelashes, it gives great volume with a good amount of length also. It stays in place all day and doesn't lose it's curl, a winner to me!

Next on my list is to venture out on a new eyeshadow palette, I've been using my Urban Decay Naked 'Smoky' palette religiously, what eyeshadow palettes are your current favourites? I would love to know! I hope you enjoyed this blog!





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Friday, 1 April 2016

MUA LUXE // VELVET LIP LACQUER



Although I'm being super tight with money while I wait for my next student loan, I couldn't stop myself from making a Superdrug order as obviously I need make up more than I need to pay rent and bills. Just kidding, don't worry. As soon as I saw these new beauties from MUA Luxe I knew I had to get my hands on them all, however unfortunately only two were in stock! But luckily these two colours were two of my favourite from the range.

The two shades I managed to pick up from the Velvet Lip Lacquer range were Reckless - 656 and Tranquility - 694. When I first received these I was amazed by how pretty these two colours were, it's always risky ordering lipsticks online! Reckless being a lovely red with a slight pink undertone, perfect for when I get my tan on, and Tranquility a gorgeous orange based nude, perfect for an everyday make up look.

Tranquility was the first shade I manage to try on, at first I wasn't so keen on the colour on me as it seemed a tad too orange undertoned for my liking, however saying this, once this dried matte it was a gorgeous nude with a browny orange undertone. In my opinion I feel that this type of colour would suit all skin tones! Reckless is THE perfect red shade, not to bright and not to dark! Both shades look more brighter in colour when first applied, however once dried the colours tone down a bit and are stunning.

These lip lacquers have easily made their way into my April favourites, they are extremely matte and dry within about 2 minutes, I prefer this as I always tend to get that problem of my hair sticking to lipsticks and lip glosses. The wear on these are amazing, I've been wearing the shade tranquility since 11am until now which is currently 5pm and have had lunch in between and haven't needed a touch up! They're perfect for a night out and I would definitely recommend these to those of you who are looking for a long lasting matte liquid lipstick.

Have you tried any of these yet and what are your thoughts?



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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

PAINTING IT PASTEL



Although it's currently raining here in the UK I've been itching to get out all of my pastel and nude nail varnishes ready for spring, so despite the weather I've dug out my three absolute favourite pastel nail polishes from Barry M. Barry M nail polishes are perfect for those of you wanting some inexpensive nail polishes as they tend to range from £2.99 to £3.99 and I must say their colour range is impressive! I have been a Barry M nail polish lover ever since entering the beauty world and I have to say that one of my favourite formulations from them are the 'Gelly Hi-Shines'. The three colours that I tend to reach for every spring are Huckie Berry, a light pastel blue, Rose Hip, the most gorgeous pastel pink and lastly Prickly Pear, a less pastely purple. As well as applying these to my nails they look amazing on toe nails especially with a tan.

These nail polishes are extremely pigmented and you can get away with only applying one coat if you're in a rush. The swatches in the image above have only one thin coat of nail polish. The brush for this nail polish is pretty standard but you are still able to create a streak free layer. The only downfall I would have to say for this product is that it does take a while to dry, so be prepared to not move for at least half an hour! I would definitely recommend getting a quick dry spray like the Elegant touch 'rapid dry spray' as the wait for these are definitely worth it.

Let me know in the comments below any of your favourite spring nail polishes as I am hoping to add some more to my collection! Thank you for reading!


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Sunday, 28 February 2016

FEBRUARY BEAUTY EMPTIES



1 - Urban Veda Purifying day cream £18.99
2 - Simple Deep Cleansing mask - £3.99
3 - Sleek Contour Kit - £6.49
4 - Bourjois Happy light primer - £10.99
5 - Ole Henriksen Truth serum - £23.50
6 - Sleek Eyebrow kit - £8.49
7 - Paco Rabanne Lady Million Eau my gold - £46.50 

For a while now I've been collecting some products that I have finally managed to use up and thought it would be a good idea to share with you my reviews on these products! I have the tendency to never finish a product and just buy more and more instead, however this year I made a pact to myself that if I start using up products that I have stashed away in my drawers, I will treat myself once my hoarding habits have stopped. I will be honest, it was hard trying to stick to the same products and actually use them up but I actually enjoyed it! Also, my make up and skin care collection is already starting to look de clustered.

The make up products that I have used up / nearly used up are from Sleek and Bourjois. When I pick things up from sleek I always tend to stick the their palettes as I absolutely love the formula of their powdered products. The first item I have finished up is the Sleek eyebrow kit in 'dark'. For my eyebrows I would always use an eyeshadow from Natural Collection so about a year ago I decided it was time to try something new and I have never looked back since. I use this eyebrow kit everyday and wouldn't be able to leave the house without it. This eyebrow kit comes with a high pigmented wax and a matte brown powder. What I love mostly about this product is that the colour is perfect, usually with inexpensive eyebrow kits I find that the colour has too many red undertones and just doesn't match my hair. I also find that my brows do not budge through out the day making it a winner in my books. I would highly recommend this product for those of you with medium to dark brown hair as you can build up the colour or lightly apply it to create a more lighter shade.

Secondly from Sleek I have almost finished the contour and highlight kit in 'light', I have had this for just under a year and have fallen in love with it. The shade is perfect as it's not too orange under toned but also not too ashy. The highlighter in this kit is also gorgeous and a little goes a long way, hence why I haven't hit pan yet! I picked up this Bourjois 'happy light primer' from their range almost half a year ago, when first trying this primer I felt that you had to be quick at applying it because it tends to dry quickly and starts to rub off, however despite this and if you're quick enough, it does give an incredibly smooth texture to the skin making it a dream to apply foundation. Saying this, I do find this primer quite drying. I would recommend this primer to those of you who are looking for more of a matte foundation finish rather than a dewy finish.

I received both the Ole Henriksen truth serum and the Urban Veda purifying day cream in a YouBeauty subscription box. Subscribing to a beauty box is really useful if you're a fan of trying new products, at first I was pretty sceptical but the products that you receive are most of the time amazing! From my YouBeauty subscription box I have really enjoyed receiving skin care products as they pick companies that aren't that hyped about giving you the opportunity to try them out. I was really surprised when receiving both the Ole Henriksen serum and the Urban Veda cream as both products were full sized! The serum is priced at £23.50 and the cream at £18.99 however the YouBeauty box costs £6.99 a month which is amazing! The first day of trying both these products I was surprised by the results, they both left my skin feeling so refreshed, clean and brightened. I managed to use up both products within 3 to 4 months and I will definitely be repurchasing these any day soon.

The last skin care product I have managed to use up is the 'Deep cleansing face mask' by Simple. Simple is one of my go to skincare brands when my skin is starting to get a bit uncontrollable as their products always work for my skin and clear up any imperfections. With this mask, I couldn't quite tell if I loved this product or if it didn't actually seem to do anything to my skin. When using, it does feel slightly refreshing however the consistency isn't quite mask like and feels more like a day cream. As this mask is described as 'deep cleansing' and doesn't quite feel as to what it says on the packaging, I don't see myself repurchasing it.

The last item of my February beauty empties is the Paco Rabanne 'Lady million eau my gold'. This perfume has lasted me almost two years and the scent is gorgeous. This perfume compared to the original 'Lady Million' is slightly more citrus and fresh scented although it still has that rich musky undertones like 'Lady Million' has, which I personally prefer.

Thank you for reading, and what have you used up this month?






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Wednesday, 20 January 2016

BARRY M // SATIN SUPERSLICK LIP PAINT





Barry M have recently brought out their new collection of 'Satin Superslick' Lipsticks and I had to get hold of them as soon as I saw their gorgeous colour range and beautiful gun metal packaging. I have quite a few of Barry M's lipsticks and they're one of my favourite brands of lipsticks, and of course nail varnish. They always have amazing pigmentation and are always such a lovely texture which makes applying them a dream. I always find that Barry M always hits the spot with colours on trend with both their lipsticks and nail polishes and the shades of these new lip paints scream winter/spring. The colours range from a dark berry shade to a gorgeous every day nude. The difference between this range of lip paints to others from Barry M is that they contain both Shea Butter & Vitamin E to create an incredible dewy formula. 

The three colours I picked up were 169 'Mannequin', 170 'Mauve It' and 168 'Truffle Shuffle'. These lipsticks are extremely hydrating and glide on super easy. Although I would recommend using a lip liner first if you tend to go over the edge of lips as I got carried away the first time trying these and end up looking like Kylie Jenner. I wish. These lipsticks also have a really good lasting power although just like any lipstick I would recommend re applying after eating or drinking! But apart from that I would highly recommend these lipsticks to anyone wanting matte nude shade with a slight sheen to them. They are incredibly affordable and their colour range is gorgeous! 

These are currently on offer at boots at £3.49 each and buy one get one half price on Superdrug! 

I hope you enjoyed this review and let me know if you have any further questions.
Lots of love,

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