Summer Recap 2016!

It’s nearly October so I’ve got to face the fact that summer is over. But I thought I’d send it off in style by recapping all the things I’ve done this summer. It’s been a good one for me in many different ways so I thought I’d put together a small post as a nice reflection of what I’ve done!

Exploring Italy!13422316_10209857668548508_2247247816101997224_o

In early June Tom and I headed off for a little Italian adventure. You can read all about the trip in detail here, but in summary it was a gorgeous mix of sun, sightseeing and ermm… pizza! We visited Pisa, Florence and Milan and got up to some amazing things and saw some beautiful places. Italy truly does hold a special place in my heart so I can’t wait to go back.

Interning!

I had one of my biggest career progressions to date this summer when I interned with the infamous accounting firm PwC. I spent six weeks working with them, learning more about what is involved in working in the financial services industry. I loved the office I worked in and everyone I met was so welcoming and friendly. I am also pleased to say that I have since been offered a job and will be commencing a full time position next September (once I’ve graduated) as a Tax Associate. I honestly couldn’t be happier and it takes off some of the pressure for my final year at uni!

Discussing the EU!IMG_1718

In August I headed off with ACCA to Brussels for my prize trip to the EU Parliament. It was such an interesting trip and I learnt so much more than I expected to. I wrote a whole post here about my new found love for the city and it’s definitely a place I will return to one day. I even had my first ever trip on the Eurostar and met some incredibly inspiring men and women during the few days too.

Relaxing in Tenerife!IMG_1858.JPG

Tom and I have just got back from 8 lovely days in Tenerife where we did nothing but soak up the sun and swim in the pool and the sea. I’m going to do a post on how lovely the whole trip was and some good places to eat if you are in the area but it was simply pure relaxation! I could go back tomorrow in a heartbeat and the fact that I read 6 books in 8 days surely shows that life really was a beach whilst I was there!

The Extra Little Bits of Goodness!

Obviously I can’t keep mentioning too much as the list will go on forever but here are a few other fabulous things this summer had to offer me:

I could probably keep going for a lot longer but I plan to do a pretty epic post of a similar style to celebrate new year so I might hold a few ideas back for that and perhaps go into some in more detail. I hope you like the idea of this post as I was really keen to reflect on how lucky I’ve been to have such great experiences this summer. I hope you all have too and here’s to summer 2017 being even bigger and better than ever!

Much Love

xoxo

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My Favourite Tanning Product Ever?

I’m back from holiday and suitably sad that summer is now officially over! Despite the fact I love Autumn and my birthday is just over a week away the end of summer is always a bit or a horrible marker as it just feels so long until the next spell of summer happiness is cast! After eight days in beautiful 29 degree heat it’s safe to say the Midlands is a bit of a lack lustre place to be right now. The one plus side is that for once I am really nice and tanned and I put it down to the help of one product which is now being bought for every single holiday I ever go on and that is the Clarin’s Self Tanning After Sun.img_1828_fotor

If you remember my Spa Haul post you’ll know that I picked this up then to take on holiday. Of course I forgot to pack it so a quick dash through Duty Free lead to me purchasing another bottle with the aim to get brown or spend a lot of cash on tanning products trying. This lotion claims to enhance a tan and keep your skin moisturised to avoid any flaky or peeling skin or that horrible stiff dry feeling you can sometimes get. It is aimed at lighter skin tones, I presume this is because it’s only meant to enhance a tan rather than be an all out self tanner. It retails for £21 but I picked it up for £17.50 at the airport. Score!

I applied this nearly every night of my holiday and a full 150ml of lotion lasted a weeks worth of entire body applications so I thought that was pretty good actually! It’s a nice light lotion that doesn’t feel sticky or heavy and soaks in at a nice speed so you feel like it’s done something but isn’t lingering! In the bottle this has quite a nice scent but in truth, after a while it has that standard fake tan ‘biscuit’ smell, albeit much less pungent than normal tan. But for me that really is the only downside. My skin is so soft and there is not one skin peel in sight whereas normally my shoulders start to go before I even get on the plane home! I also get really dry flakey shins (Ewww) but nope none of that either, they look beautifully smooth and even!

In terms of the tan it gives I honestly couldn’t be happier! It’s a lovely golden shade that looks so natural and did what it said on the tube and enhanced the tan I was already getting. Apparently one of the herbal ingredients used enhances a tan and whether that’s true or not, it really worked on my skin. I had no problem with build up around my knees or elbows but I do feel you need to be careful ever so slightly around your wrists and shins and give it a little extra scrub the next day if you do think it’s built up slightly. By no means was it obvious though, that was under intense scrutiny from me to come up with a review!

Overall I am so happy with this product and it will definitely be my holy grail after sun for the foreseeable future. My tan looks glowing and natural and my skin feels healthy, soft and smooth. What more could I want?! If you are off for some late summer sun then I would definitely recommend picking this up. You won’t regret it!

Much Love

xoxo

Book Review: Rush of Blood by Mark Billingham!

So you may have noticed that I am adding more book reviews to my blog and I hope you are enjoying them! I have always been a book lover but since joining Good Reads at the start of this year my ‘Read’ list has just multiplied! I’m currently on holiday and I’ve just finished my fifth book but one has really stuck in my mind and that’s what I’m going to be sharing with you today. Rush of Blood* is a mystery/thriller written by Mark Billingham and centres around the disappearance of a girl from a holiday resort in Florida.

Three British couples meet around the pool on their Florida holiday and become fast friends. But on Easter Sunday, the last day of their vacation, tragedy strikes: the fourteen-year-old daughter of an American vacationer goes missing, and her body is later found floating in the mangroves. When the shocked couples return home to the U.K., they remain in contact, and over the course of three increasingly fraught dinner parties they come to know one another better. But they don’t always like what they find. Buried beneath these apparently normal exteriors are some unusual kinks and unpleasant vices. Then, a second girl goes missing, in Kent—not far from where any of the couples lives. Could it be that one of these six has a secret far darker than anybody can imagine?

It was the blurb that really drew me in to this book as the plot sounded so unique compared to a lot of mystery/thriller novels. Although this is initially set in the states, it is a British book and is eventually set in and around London. Three couples who meet on holiday are connected through the disappearance of a girl in their resort. They decide to meet up again once they return home to take it turns to host a dinner party and through this we discover more about their shady pasts!

Each of the couples are suspiciously shifty which keeps you guessing right until the very end. One has an awful temper; one has a criminal record of rape and another is just downright weird and that’s just the men! The women are eerily odd too which leaves you wondering which of the six has the motive? The chapters are written from different characters perspective, including the 3 couples, the detectives investigating this case and also a few chapters from the killer themselves to really amp up the excitement!

I can honestly say that this is one of the best books I have read in a long time and really kept the pages turning and me guessing right until the very very end. If you love mysteries, thrillers or ‘whodunnit’s’ then you have to give this a go. This is the first book in a very long time that I would happily rate as 5/5. It’s so easy to read; you really get to understand the characters and get into their heads and the plot is really unique. What more could you as for?!

Much Love

xoxo

*Received free from Net Galley

What’s In My Holiday Makeup Bag?

So I am currently writing this blog post in Tenerife, with the sound of the sea in the distance and basking in the 29 degree heat. Don’t hate me. I thought today I’d show you what I brought with me in my makeup bag to give me that ‘holiday glow’ that everyone’s desperate to get whilst away! It is less than I would normally take but it’s still not slimline by any means! Naturally, I went for a lot of bronze glow so I can look nice and fresh for meals out in the evenings!

Foundation: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua – I wanted something nice and lightweight to wear in the evenings when I went out for a meal and this is quite a good golden colour too that seems to adapt to my skin tone well. As i’m writing this (5 days into the holiday) I can safely say that bringing this on holiday with me has kind of made me fall in love with it all over again!

Concealer: LA Girl Pro Conceal – My current favourite and a lovely light shade to double up as some subtle highlight too!

Bronzer: Bourjois Bronzing Primer & Benefit Hoola – On holiday I love to go for a dewy finish so I decided to bring this bourjois bronzer as its a cream and a lovely light texture! I have really enjoyed using it but its also been nice to have hoola around just incase I couldn’t be bothered to blend it all in with my beauty blender!

Blush: MAC Crisp Whites – A favourite of mine when I only want a subtle blush. Also slightly enhances the appearance of a tan so it was a win win all round!

Highlight: MAC Soft & Gentle – This is one of my favourite highlights, I was going to bring my Becca Highlight but I’ve heard so many horrific incidences of them cracking that I decided not to risk it! This is still a beautifully shimmery golden highlight and looks amazing with a tan!

Brows: Benefit Ka Brow & High Brow Glow – nothing is beating this brow duo for me at the moment and seeing as they are both so travel friendly (Ka brow comes with a built in brush and high brow glow literally never needs sharpening) I had to bring them with me!

Eye Shadow: Zoeva Cocoa Blend Palette – I seem to always take this away with me as the warm golden hues really scream holiday to me! You can create so many different looks with this that you will never get bored and there’s a good mix of matte and shimmer shades too.

Eye Liner: Charlotte Tilbury Amber Moon Rock ‘N’ Kohl & Urban Decay Naked 3 Pencil – Amber moon is a lovely dark brown black with gold flecks in and the Naked 3 pencil is a double ended cooler toned pencil. It gives me three colours to choose from and all eventualities covered!

Mascara: Clarins Be Long, Lancôme Hypnose; Benefit They’re Real! – I like to have a few mascaras depending on how I feel on the day. Clarin’s is good for separation, Lancôme is good for volume and a deep colour and Benefit is good for length. They’re all minis so it didn’t take up too much room!

Lips: Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Sampler & MAC Brave – This lipstick sampler is one of the most amazing freebies I’ve ever received! It has 24 different colours in ranging from nudes, metallics, brights and darks to ensure that every eventuality is covered. Each little capsule has multiple uses in it so you really can get a good try out of each shade. They all apply beautifully with a lip brush too! MAC Brave is my most used go-to lipstick and I can’t go anywhere without it!

Tool: Beauty Blender – Obviously I brought brushes too but this always comes with me everywhere. A complete necessity in my life!

Not the most slimline of holiday makeup bags I’m sure but i’ve found it to be completely sufficient for my trip and I’ve been able to create quite a few different looks. The lipstick sampler really helped to slim down my makeup bag as I normally carry about 10 lipsticks with me so this was rather handy! What do you have to take away with you?

Much Love

xoxo

Brands I’d Like To Try!

Being the mad raving beauty addict that I am, there are not many brands that I haven’t tried. However, when I was contacted by a company working on behalf of Lime Crime*, I realised that there were perhaps more than I originally thought. I have narrowed it down to 5 brands I would like to try and at least one specific product that lures me in!

  1. Makeup Geek – It’s the Makeup Geek shadows that really draw me in. Many a time have I created a palette on BeautyBay and I’ve always convinced myself I don’t need another palette. However, shades such as Dirty Martini, Cocoa Bear and Peach Smoothie really draw me in and I’m sure it won’t be long before I cave!
  2. Lime Crime – Lime Crime are a brand that I’ve heard loads about over the years but I’ve never actually tried. Their Velvetines have been a blogger favourite for years and, after looking into the brand further, I discovered their Venus palette which is like something dreams are made from! Think all warm red-toned shades that would just make the most dreamy looks ever. It’s definitely high up on the palette want list now!
  3. Tom Ford – The most luxurious brand there seems to be on the market, Tom Ford oozes quality and designer style. For me, it’s their eye shadow quads and their lipsticks that appeal the most. Everything from the packaging to the colours and texture draws me in and makes me want to spend my hard earned cash! Sadly it involves parting with a lot of hard earned cash and as a student, it’s a little out of my reach at the moment.
  4. Anastasia Beverly Hills – I know they are most famous for their brow products but it’s their other products that I like the look of the most. The new glow kits, liquid lipsticks and eye shadow palettes look like some of the most gorgeous products that I am just itching to get my hands on them. If I was to pinpoint one product it would have to be the Modern Renaissance palette as that is just full of very ‘me’ colours.
  5. Kat Von D – Now finally available in the UK, Kat Von D has now become more accessible to us British Beauty Lovers and I for one couldn’t be happier! Her foundation is so well talked about that I am really keen to try it and her liquid lipstick in Lolita really appealed to me when I was in the states. I’m definitely going to be hitting Debenhams with some birthday money to try some of her products out!

On reflection, it was very very easy to conjure up five brands that I want to try and I could probably go on further if I thought for a bit longer. Even now I’m thinking of Colorpop and Juvias Place so the list is probably pretty endless! What brands are you keen to try? Have you tried anything from the brands I’ve mentioned above? Please leave me any tried and tested suggestions in the comments as I am eager to try some more brands!

Much Love

xoxo

*This post is very kindly sponsored by Lime Crime.

FOTD: GLITTER!

Now I am an absolute glitter lover and nothing can ever change that! So last week I decided to have a play around with my new Violet Voss Glitters from my beauty bay  and come up with something that allowed my inner sparkly princes to shine through…literally. Coppertini was calling to me that day so be prepared for lots of golden/bronze tones and of course a hell of a lot of glitter!

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For my base I was finishing off the L’oreal Infallible 24 Hr foundation which I had been enjoying but now that it’s over, I’m not really missing it and I probably wouldn’t buy it again! I used the LA Girl Pro Conceal to conceal and brighten under my eyes and set everything with my MAC Studio Fix Powder. The rest of my face makeup was quite predictable really: Benefit Hoola to Bronze up my cheeks; MAC Crisp Whites Blush for a subtle flush and Becca Opal Shimmering Skin Perfector for some kick ass highlight! Brows were Benefit Ka Brow and High Brow Glow which are my current favourite duo!

Now onto the star of the show, the eyes! On reflection I used a hell of a lot of products so accept my apologies on a) how many products are required and b) how expensive they all are! I started by priming my eyelids with Urban Decay Primer Potion, something I am trying to remind myself to do daily! I used MAC’s Woodwinked to add a wash of colour to my entire eyelids and then used Wedge to darken the crease and Amber Lights to enhance the copper tones in the inner third of my eye! I then took my Nars Single Shadow in Bengali to deepen up the outer third as it wasn’t dark enough, I also used this later to line my upper lash line and create a subtle flick! Over the inner two thirds of my eye I applied MAC’s Copper Sparkle pigment on a brush that was dampened with Fix+! Not wanting to stop there, I applied Duo Eyelash glue over the inner 1-2 thirds of my mobile lid and waited until that was tacky before pressing Violet Voss’s loose glitter in Coppertini over the top! I popped a touch of MAC’s Shroom in my inner corner to brighten it up and blended a mix of Woodwinked and Bengali across my lower lash line with a tiny amount of Copper Sparkle in the inner third.

To finish the look off I applied quite a liberal amount of Lancôme’s Hypnose mascara to both my top and bottom lashes. I decided to opt for a neutral lip rather than the red I love to wear with warm eye looks and chose Charlotte Tilbury’s Very Victoria which is quickly becoming a firm favourite of mine! I sprayed my face with Urban Decay All Nighter Setting spray and honestly this makeup did not budge until I cracked out the makeup remover in the evening to attempt to remove the glitter! Two little tips I’ve found when working with glitter:

  1. Use a tiny amount of tape wrapped sticky side up around a small makeup brush to remove any fall down glitter!
  2. Use an oil based eye makeup remover to take the makeup off in the evening! It’s much quicker and you don’t end up with glitter everywhere!

I hope you liked this makeup look, I do have quite a few more Face of The Day posts planned as I have really been experimenting with colour and styles lately and I wanted to share it with you all. If this is something you’d like to see then please let me know in the comments!

Much Love

xoxo

Budget Beauty: Collection Eyes Uncovered Nude Bronze Palette!

I know that most of the makeup I talk about on this blog is high-end and that is because I just seem to prefer high-end products. However, I do find drugstore products every now and again that really impress me and make me want to write about them and this little Collection palette is one of those!

Back in August I received this palette as part of the goodie bag from the #NottsAlzheimersMeetup and was dying to give it a try as a lot of the shades look very similar to those from the Naked Palette! The palette features 6 shimmery shades across the bronze spectrum from a light inner corner and brow bone highlight to a dark shadow that would intensify and smoke out any looks created using it! At only £3.99 these are incredibly affordable and a much cheaper alternative to the likes of Urban Decay!

Firstly, lets talk about the shades included in this little palette! Below is a picture with finger swatches for all size of the shades:

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L-R Ivory, Mink, Ochre, Golden Brown, Ember, Nutty
  • Ivory – A creamy shimmer that is actually quite pigmented for a lighter shade. This is a perfect inner corner or brown bone highlight and blends really nicely.
  • Mink – A bit of a cool-toned lighter shimmer that is a great colour for chucking all over the lid for a easy day time look.
  • Ochre – My favourite colour in the entire palette and very similar to Half-Baked in the Naked 1 palette. Very highly pigmented and really easy to blend!
  • Golden Brown – Does exactly what is says on the tin, a nice warm brown with golden undertones to it. Pairs nicely with Ochre for a quick two-colour smoky eye!
  • Ember – Has slightly more red tones to it than the other colours and wouldn’t go amiss in the Naked 3 palette!
  • Nutty – This came across as the least pigmented in the swatches and its a cool-toned dark brown shade. Would be really nice for smoking a look out or pressing along the lash line to create a subtle liner!

The packaging of this palette is cheap and cheerful. I don’t hate it and I think it’s pretty good for £3.99 but I don’t hold out much hope that it will last too long! It doesn’t include a mirror as the top is see-through so this wouldn’t be that great for travelling and it also includes one of those rubbish sponge applicators who’s only decent use is for apply shadow to the lower lash line. It is a magnetic closure lid though so it won’t open too easily in your makeup bag which is quite a nice plus!

Overall I am impressed with the pigmentation and the texture of these shadows. They have clearly been well formulated and will make a great alternative for makeup lovers who can’t afford the Naked Palette. I think this is also a great size for travelling and would make a lovely gift or stocking filler for a beauty lover this christmas! One final thing I do want to point out though is that these shadows do smell very cheap and powdery, this isn’t something that translates onto the eye but in the packaging they do smell like they cost less than £1 to make so bare that in mind! Have you tried any of the collection eye shadow palettes? What did you think of them?

Much Love

xoxo