Some favourites on a Friday

Where else am I going to bore people with how much I loved a dairy-free yogurt I bought accidentally in a lunch break panic? Exactly. So buckle up for all things currently in favour in my life including tea that won’t upset your bladder.


The Coconut Collaborative 

This was the panicked lunch purchase I made when there was a queue of people building up behind me in the tiny Sainsbury’s in Waterloo. I wanted a yogurt, felt under pressure from lots of angry looking people in suits trying to squeeze past me, so grabbed this thinking it was natural yogurt. Well it’s better than natural yogurt. It’s delicious. So delicious that I went back the next day for more. Then also the next day. I probably will also go get one today. It’s dairy-free, made from coconut milk and is so creamy. Highly recommend it especially if you’re a dairy-free eater.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople 

This little indie film is absolutely incredible. I laughed so much I got pains in my stomach and I also did a small cry at one point. It’s set in the New Zealand bush, involves a dog called Tupac and a genius little kid in a variety of bright hoodies, who likes gangster rap and sausages. It’s hilarious and pretty heartwarming and if you can find it still showing in a cinema then go see it. Watch the trailer here.  I really want to go to New Zealand.

NYX Concealer stick

As basic NYX as you can get I’m sure, but this doesn’t make my eternally oily skin more oily, or make the random dry patches look like a beach on my face. Also, there is actually a shade that matches my skin tone, which is frankly miraculous for a pale-but-not-really-fair girl. You really can’t beat NYX.

Rooibos tea

This is caffeine-free tea which doesn’t taste like grass in a mug- miraculous. I try to not drink too much caffeine because of cystitis and general bladder problems and this is a good alternative. I tried to get into proper green tea and I can’t, but this is really nice. I’d never heard of it before I found it in the kitchen at work, but if you’re a hot drink lover try it. It’ll never be Yorkshire tea, but it’s not half bad.

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Adidas runners

I took my new running shoes out for their first 5k this week and after years of wearing Nike trainers for exercise, I’m a convert. I need a lot of ankle support when I run and shoes that are very cushioned for my hips (I am actually 100 years old) and these tick the boxes nicely. I got my immensely bright green ones abroad from the Central Adidas store in Cyprus, and they’re not online anymore, but if you’re looking for a change, I’d try Adidas. I’d always only been recommend Nike or Asics. Also go to Runner’s World (the store) and get on a treadmill and run- they can tell you which shoes you need based on the way you move. Science.

 

One to buy- Loreal La Palette Nude

   
 
Loreal’s latest nude eyeshadow palette is about the prettiest I’ve seen in a long time. Nudes so often look the same that it seems almost pointless to buy more, but if you find yourself traveling any time soon this is well worth some of your spending money.  
 

It reminds me of Urban Decay shadow in the way it goes on quite heavily on the first application and doesn’t crumble onto your cheeks. There’s very little loose powder too which means you don’t waste half of the colour blowing it off or dusting it out of the bottom of make up bags. 

The dark grey and warm brown make the palette worth it on their own. For darker colours they don’t crease, they stay bright and they shimmer just the right amount without making it look like you’re trying to channel your inner Mariah Carey. 

This particular boxed palette is a travel exclusive but you can get the set in Boots for £14.99. Honestly the prettiest palette I’ve seen this year for nude hues and for the small price tag, definitely the best quality. It has brilliant staying power, a good, long brush and is really easy to blend for smokey eyes or a light barely-there look. 10/10 Loreal. 

  

What you should buy from Boots No 7 


The two things I love most about No 7 products are the price and the softness. It’s also a bonus they don’t leave me with an extensive, lumpy, unhappy rash on my overly sensitive face like so many products that came before them. I realised I could use No 7 without fear of a break out about 2 years ago and I jumped on board the No 7 boat for life.

I used to only use their moisturiser and face wipes, but since I ditched wipes, got a boots card and actually used one those vouchers you ALWAYS get in boots for £5 on a mini haul, I’ve started using everything.

I went in a couple of weeks ago and used their skin matching service to buy my first foundation in 4 years (I know). I’ve always managed to somehow have both frying pan oily and lizard dry skin at the same time so foundation basically falls off or dries up and makes my face look like an old tree.

After getting the whole combination skin thing under better control (thank you forever Elemis Tri-enzyme face wash), my sister recommend I go get the skin matching done. I left Boots with a properly matched (cool beige because I’m the colour of milk) ‘Airbrush Away’ foundation, mascara, foundation brush and new moisturiser.

 If you need something light, medium coverage and reasonably priced, I couldn’t recommend it more. The colour matching makes such an enormous difference and it looks invisible, just like you have clear, soft and even skin- the whole point right? I’m a foundation novice but I’m so happy with it. The brush is really worthwhile too. It’s the perfect size even for moon faces like mine.

I also use No 7 to get all my make up off these days. Their ‘Melting Gel Cleanser’ which I’ve been using for about 3 months first came into play when my skin was suddenly so dry it was coming off in strips. An attractiveness peak in my life. It’s super soft and you don’t even feel like you need to moisturise after and it’s ideal for washing off make up or just as a first cleanse. If you need to fix some dry skin give this a whirl. It took about two days of use to make a really noticeable difference. Same with the body wash.


Another face wash winner is their foaming cleanser. I know foam washes are known to be drying but this stuff left me with clearer skin really fast and I didn’t break out, so I added it to immediately to my ‘no risk of cheek hives’ hall of fame. Also good at getting off make up.

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The ‘Dramatic Lift’ mascara is just mascara but a firm 9/10. Good brush, not clumpy, long lashes.


And lastly their moisturiser is perfection. Good for very sensitive medium dry skin, lasts a good amount of time and doesn’t cling for ages when you’re trying to get ready. They also do a good thick night cream which I need to repurchase.

That’s probably enough No 7 worshipping (this isn’t sponsored or anything, it’s just true love), but my summer face is definitely going to top up my boots card points.

Eyebrow stencil and powder from K Co

  
Saving pretty much every penny recently has made me realise just how much I used to spend on myself. I’m trying to pretend I don’t miss flouncing into Boots after work and dropping £30 on make up and toiletries that I didn’t even really need, BUT I DO. I was speaking to a make up artist at The London Health show last month about the cost of make up and she gave me a list of things you should spend money on. Basically, Things that stand out: brows, blusher and lips. I asked if spots count as a joke because mine like to stand out A LOT, but she didn’t get it. So she moved on to eyebrows and to cut a long story short, I came away with a K Co brow powder and stencil kit.

  
It’s the best make up I’ve bought in a long time. I never would have gone out looking for an eyebrow stencil because I have neat eyebrows anyway and couldn’t imagine myself stencilling my face but actually, it’s really bloody good. And easy. And quick. Powder your brush up, line up the stencil, fill in the gap. Done. It takes literally about 40 seconds and you get two very even, very nicely shaped eyebrows.

This stuff is also VERY stubborn so you won’t rub it off or lose half an eyebrow in the rain, but you can get rid easily and quickly with some remover or a face wipe. The other good thing about this, is that the brush is such a good shape, you can use the black powder to do your eyeliner in one easy swoop.

  

  
seriously, if you do your brows everyday and want to try something new that’s easy and got staying power, I highly recommend this kit. It’s £24.99 and I imagine it’ll last a good 6 months at the very least. Plus you can also use it as eyeshadow and liner. You get two stencils with each kit, one ‘natural’ and one ‘thin’. It’s well worth a pay day purchase, and while I wouldn’t usually trust new products on my eyebrows because I found a Body Shop powder I like about 5 years ago and am boring, this kit is really quite brilliant.

You can only get K Co make up online FYI, so happy browsing. See what I did there. BROWsing.

Okay bye.

Palette heaven from Seventeen

  
This time last year I was having lunch with my friend and wiping eyeliner off of my cheek using a spoon as a mirror because, like, glamour. I then said that 2015 would be the year I learnt how to apply make up properly so I had fewer days looking like a child who had raided mum’s dressing table.

I’m not sure how well that has gone, but I do now own proper make up brushes and I have actually learnt how to use eyeshadow (kind of). Small steps.

If you’re in the market for some new palettes, the ones from Seventeen* at Boots are gorgeous- lips and eyes.

  
I’ve never been one for applying lip gloss with a brush because it feels like fake make up from my early teens, but these are so bright and moisturising, you would never imagine they’re from a palette and not a lipstick. 

 

The eye pallets are equally as good and they don’t crease or look a totally different shade when you put them on. They also blend insanely well, which is my new thing and makes me feel totally like a well rounded woman. Blending eyeshadow. So adult.

  
These bad boys really are bargain beauty at its very best. I can’t recommend them enough.

I highly recommend if you’re going for the subtle, colour pop look for your Christmas party:

 Just kidding, obvs. But seriously, these are such little beauts. Ideal stocking fillers or just to top up your make up bag. I’ve been using them for a couple of months now so I have fully test driven. I don’t have fancy photos of me wearing said make up because quite frankly I’ve been so busy lately that I’ve forgotten every single time I’ve used them. I’m a bad blogger, but you need to know that these are out there waiting for you. 

 

*A product sent to me, but opinions are reviews are all my own and 100% genuine.

 

Favourite recent buys

After going 2 months without much  disposable income due to changing jobs, I got paid at the end of August and erm, bought some things. You know how it is. Payday lands and you jump in your limo and go direct to Oxford Street? No me either. But anyway. PRETTY, NICE NEW THINGS. There are a lot more than four, this is just what I have access to right now. I have been maybe the busiest I have ever been for the last few months, so I have been blogging on trains, from planes, in hotel rooms and mostly on my phone. I mean, just look at the amazing retro hotel carpet you’re being treated to in the above photo. I was going to wait until I was home to do this post but that would be Thursday at the earliest and quite frankly, life is not always rainbows, butterflies and pristine marble surfaces. Mine’s currently more travel hairdryer, damp fringe and tights with holes. The glamour never ends.

Bourjois 1 Seconde  Mascara

This mascara is a re-purchase as I got yo try it at the start of summer when it launched and loved it. It’s such a good, beauty buy  at a good price and I never usually feel happy with mascaras, so yeah. It does length and thickens equally well so you don’t need two products and you certainly don’t need much of it. I highly recommend keeping one handy or trying it if you fancy a change. It’s also okay for giving a quick boost to lower lashes without making them look gloopy and like dead spiders. It’s not Halloween yet, lets save that look for October.

New Look tea dress

I saw this as I was walking into Brighton New Look to buy tights, did a loop of the shop and just swooped back on it. The colour is dark yellow enough to be good for autumn and it’s just quite cheery. It’s also very flattering for hips and I have plenty of those. Good for layering too, so everyone give it a clap.

Forever 21 ankle boots 

I got these in brown but I wanted them in dark red originally. Tragically my size keeps being sold out but these are winners regardless of colour. They’re cheap at only £19.99, comfortable, perfect with tights and look so nice with skinny jeans. I wore them in Ireland and tried them out on a cliff edge for fun, as you do. Both shoes and i survived.

Rimmel Match Perfection brush concealer 

I don’t use concealer that much unless I get a delightful, bright red babe of a zit come for a visit on my face. When I do though, it’s usually a MAC one as I’ve never found better, but I picked this up before I went away as I had a hormonal spot attack on my chin that was really sexy and about half hour spare to buy things. I love it. The brush applicator is so good and it’s also amazing for under your eyes which many concealers aren’t. It’s easy to blend in and I’ve started usIng it everyday to reduce redness. Massive love for this stuff. If you suffer with a slightly blotchy complexion like me I really recommend it. It sits nicely under the widely used Rimmel Stay Matte powder too.

19 reasons the end of summer is alright really 

  

This weekend in sunny Brighton (well Saturday was sunny, Sunday was back to mandatory grey), felt like the last burst of summer. I know there’s rumours of a warm October, but forgive me for not buying into British weather predictions. I’m not all that sad to wave bye to summer tbh when there’s plenty of good stuff heading our way. 

1) The imminent arrival of Starbucks Christmas drinks. 

2) Scarves.

3) pretty autumn trees.

4) Hot alcohol. All of the mulled goodness all of the time.

5) Nights out involving fireworks. 

6) Primark winter pyjamas sets. 

7) Being able to wear some your immense fluffy sock collection without feeling like fire. 

8) Getting back into porridge. 

9) Boots. Ankle, over the knee, ski. All kinds of boot. 

10) Coat shopping. 

11) Dressing gowns over clothes. 

12) Planning for next Summer. 

13) covering up bad hair with wooly hats. 

14) Halloween cupcakes. 

15) Dark moody make up and nails. 

16) Eating because it’s cold. 

17) Making hot drinks just to hold. 

18) Soup season. 

19) Layering. 

It’s not so bad after all. 

Ulta3- A bargain beauty brand to take notice of

I’m all about bargains. Why spend loads of money when you can get good products cheaper? Exactly!

This week I went along to the London launch of Australian beauty brand Ulta3. Their nail varnish collection has been sold in the UK before, retailing in a selection of Primark stores, and it did remarkably well, with lots of praise from the beauty community, and I can see why. Since it was so successful, it’s now having a full launch, with other make up products, and it’s going be exclusively sold in Primark. I would before now, have not really spent money on nail varnish there, but after trying out Ulta3 I reckon that will definitely change.

They have SO many nail colours, and so many that are different to the run of the mill which is nice. I consider myself to have every colour that could possibly exist when it comes to nails, but they have a few that stand out such as Hot Cross Fun, wooly Days and Egg-cellent. I’m always a bit put off buying cheaper nail varnishes because there’s not much worse than slapping on thin, runny, gloopy colours onto your nails. But I have to say, this stuff is good. I had my nails painted on the night by the amazing Sophy Robson Nails team (whose Instagram I have lusted over for a long time), and it’s nice, glossy, varnish. Not too thin, not gloopy, no need for 7 layers and doesn’t come with a crappy tiny brush, which is always pleasing when you have borderline freakishly wide nails like me.

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There were also some Ulta3 lipsticks on display which impressed me the most out of the other make up they’ll be selling. The packaging isn’t spectacular or stand out, but the colours, particularly Orchid, are very pretty, very girly and it’s really pigmented. It also didn’t dry out on my concrete lips, which is a bonus.

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I’m pretty excited about Ulta3, because for a bargain brand you’ll definitely get a bit more than you expect in terms of quality. The nail products in particular should be a big hit. They look nice, they go on nice and the price is nice. The brand will roll out across more UK stores from now, so keep your eyes peeled. Introductory prices will be just £1.50 per item, which for nail varnish like Egg-Cellent and gorgeous autumn shade Mulberry, is really bloody good!

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Beside from good products you gotta give a brand credit for effort. It was a really cool launch, with the press type stuff announced over an app, via a video, with headphones handed out at the door. The future is here, kids. It was also at the Double Tree Hilton Sky Bar near Tower Hill, which is totally beautiful and worth a visit if you’re in the market for some roof top drinks.

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June recommendations

 These are all my favourite things from the past month that I think you should seriously considering bringing into your life. You deserve it.

1) The Bees

This book is like nothing I have ever read. It is quite literally set in a hive, and the concept is beyond cool. It’s the kind of book that makes you miss your tube stop and walk around still reading it when you should be going up some stairs to find your office. Ahem. Guilty. If you need a holiday read, I couldn’t recommend this highly enough. It’s also bright yellow so that’s nice and cheerful.

2) Lily O’Brien’s chocolates

So my sister got me these for my birthday last month and only this week did I delve in and LITERALLY DIE OF HAPPINESS. These are insanely delicious. The caramel macchiato chocolate is everything that is right with the world. I’m also considering eloping with the sticky toffee and zesty orange. If you want to please someone or just treat yo’self, get a box of these babies. Sorry Milk Tray, but these walk over you.

3) The Body Shop brown brow kit

I think I have found something I will use forever. Please never discontinue this Body Shop. PLEASE. I’ve always mostly used pencils on my unruly eyebrows, before dabbling in powder for a while, but everyday they looked different and I was never thrilled by them. This is a game changer though. The brush is really good, the colours are perfect and it stays on all day without smudging. You will get a bit of loose powder on your face though, so don’t overload the brush. This is like, my beauty crush of a lifetime.

4) The West Wing

Now I know this is old and I’m a million years late to the party as per usual, but such love I have for this TV show. I didn’t know anything about American Politics before I started watching this, and I found it a bit difficult to get into at first, but if you haven’t seen it, you need to. It’s amazing, not least because the first four seasons are written by genius Aaron Sorkin, but because the characters are amazing and you actually learn stuff. If you’re looking for something to binge or get stuck into, give it a go. You can also enjoy the transition from computers the size of cars to flat screens and phones that you don’t have to flip open. Oh and 90s fashion LOLZ aplenty in the early days.

5) Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde mascara

My fave mascara will always be by Clinique, but I usually have a more bargain one in my make up bag too, and I got this to take away with me, because I was worried my other one would melt and get ruined in the Asian heat. This is such a good mascara, and these aren’t words I say often. I struggle to like mascara, but this has a good brush, does volume and thickening and one coat makes your eyes look wider and more awake. It also doesn’t drip down your face when you’re facing the tropical heat of the Central Line, so there’s that added bonus.

6) Schwarzkopf Got2b Poweder’ful volumizing styling powder.

That’s a mouthful isn’t it? This was actually originally purchased by my boyfriend, a man who is more obsessed by his hir than any girl I know, and I stole some. I have very flat hair, and I usually use dry shampoo to boost it between washes, but I dabbled with this and it’s really bloody good. You have to put it in your finger tips and rub it around and it kinda vanishes, but then you massage your roots and your hair sort stands up to attention. Magic. It lasts a while too, which isn’t always the way with powders like this.

Reads, wears and skin: Stuff you definitely want to take on holiday with you this year.

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Sooo I’ve already been on two holidays this year and I have another two potentially in the pipeline. I have a problem okay, I said it. This habit will need to come to an end this year when my hardcore saving starts, but I will never ever regret any travel, so screw it.

I got back from an amazing trip to Sri Lanka with my pals a couple of weeks ago and now I’m sitting in bed feeling very ill, so the only logical activity I could think of doing is looking into a trip to Greece, which led to this blog post. I’ve had a pretty good 2015 so far, and I’ve stumbled across some holiday must haves that you should absolutely get involved with if you are going away this summer. Or winter. or WHENEVER.

Reads

White Girl Problems and Psychos- Babe Walker. I cry-laughed at both of these books. I started White Girl Problems on the plane to Sri Lanka and immediately fell in love. If I ever write a book, I want it to be as funny and ridiculous as this. The story behind the books is pretty cool too. You might have seen the Twitter account White Girl problems? Well if you have or haven’t, it was started by three people, who then created a character and built a hilarious, LA based, fake, bitchy, smoothie obsessed world around her. If you like a good laugh you HAVE to read these. Psychos is the follow on and even funnier IMO. These are beach reading perfection. LOVE.

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Wears

Sliders. Maybe the most comfortable holiday shoe ever. I took some with me to Sri Lanka and basically never took them off. I even wore them in the sea once because, well, I don’t know why, but I did. My faves are from ASOS. They’re metallic and really bloody cool and go with anything. They’re £20 which is more than I would normally pay for holiday flats, but these are babes.

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Pop brow sunglasses. I have so much love for these. Urban Outfitters always do amazing sunglasses and these are only £18. I was people watching on a beach in Sri Lanka and saw a French woman who turned into my holiday idol wearing a pair of these. I want to be her, but until then, these will do.

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For years I have gone on holiday, used suncream on my face and immediately broken out in 39398484 spots. Whiteheads everywhere. A gross, zitty invasion. Zitty is a sick word and I will never use it again. Anyway, I was in Thailand this time last year (sob) and I took an SPF 30 face moisturiser with me and didn’t touch above my neck with suncream. What a revelation. I’ve tried this before with other moisturisers but always ended up with a bright red nose or burnt cheeks. This Olay one though, is something else. It’s lightweight and okay to reapply a few times a day without clogging up with your face. I just splash myself with water before I re-use it. Probably my favourite and most-essential holiday toiletry.

My other favourite holiday discovery this year is Tiger Balm. Mosquitos love me. They descend on me and feast upon my blood and leave me with lumpy arms and legs. I also always manage to get other unknown lumps or bites or tiny bits of sunburn pop up to say hi. Tiger Balm is good for like, everything. I had no idea. I also always get a back ache from planes, and guess what, it’s good for that too. It not only makes mosquito bites feel better, it puts the buggers off in the first place. Well worth a purchase, especially if you’re off somewhere tropical.  You can pick it up in Boots and I think once spied it in Primark, so there we go.

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