Monday, 26 September 2016

Customizing Your Tech (+ My First Ever Giveaway!)

CaseApp Phone Case

I am really excited about today's post because I'm doing my first ever blog giveaway! A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by a lovely Swedish brand called CaseApp who create custom phone cases and laptop skins for the gadgets we all love and use these days. They asked if I would be interested in collaborating with them, and once I saw how gorgeous their designs were I knew I had to share it with you. They have lots of pre-made designs, varying from classic marble prints to popular quotes and cute illustrations. They also have an option for you to customize and create your own case/skin with photographs, quotes, text... anything you want really. The website is incredibly easy to use and navigate and you can get your customized case ordered within minutes. 

Here are two cases which I received from CaseApp - one is pre-designed and the other is customized. Aren't they gorgeous? The quality is incredible too - you can get super sturdy ones if you wish, but I think the regular ones are really strong too, they will definitely keep my phone well protected whilst staying stylish as well. 

CaseApp Phone Case

CaseApp Phone Case

To make this collaboration even more exciting, one reader has the chance to win a free gift voucher for CaseApp with the value of £22! That's one free laptop skin or phone case, designed exactly how you want it to be. All you have to do to enter the giveaway is follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter box below - the deadline for all entries is the 26th of October 2016And it doesn't end there - I have a discount code for all of my readers to use if you don't want to enter the giveaway - you can get 20% off your order using the code LITTLELOVES20. This code is valid until the 31st of October 2016. Let me know what cases/skins you choose - I'd love to see! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Best of luck if you've entered the giveaway!
SHARE:

Friday, 23 September 2016

How To Make The Most of Your Makeup


I wrote a post on How To Keep Your Makeup Bag Clean & Organised last month and that went down really well so this month, I thought I'd write up a few tips on how to keep your makeup clean, organised and fresh outside of your makeup bag. This is probably more aimed at those of us that have larger makeup collections - large enough that they don't all fit into one standard makeup bag. My makeup collection isn't massive by any means, but it's more than average and I always try my best to keep it all nice and organised so that 1) I remember to use it all and 2) Each item is nice and ready to use every time I reach for it. So, without further waffling, here are my top tips on how to make the most of your makeup:

1. Know what you have.
It can be so easy to forget about products that you own when you're constantly trying out new products and experimenting with lots of different looks. Equally, you can forget about products just as easily when you fall into a makeup rut (something I do wayyy too often) and this means that products start collecting dust and never make it into your everyday makeup routine. In each scenario, the end result means that products aren't getting used and loved and so they'll reach their expiry date (and sometimes even beyond) without seeing the light of day. I like to make it a habit to go through my collection at least once a month or so and pick out some products to switch things up (hence my Makeup Musings series). 

2. Invest in some clear makeup storage.
Clear makeup storage has been popular for a while now and I've been seeing it everywhere from MUJI to TKMaxx and even Primark. It's incredibly affordable and well worth it. There are lots of different styles of storage, be it drawers, boxes, trays or lipstick holders - but having clear storage means everything is there for you to see. Again going back to point one - if everything you have is visible to you, you're not going to forget that it's there! Also, it keeps all of your makeup well protected, not to mention that it looks incredibly stylish and sleek on a dresser.


3. Know the expiration dates.
There's a recommended shelf life for makeup products on the label of every single piece of makeup and skincare which should definitely not be ignored. Powder products last longer than cream and gel based products. Liquid makeup like mascara and foundations should be thrown out 3-6 months after opening. Blushers, highlighters and bronzers are usually good for between 1-2 years, but in all honesty - just know when a product has gone bad. I have blushers in my collection that are over two years old (I know some people will find this awful), but they don't smell funny and they look the same way as they did when I bought them, so I'm OK with that. If you keep powder products in good, clean condition and take care of them, they will last. 

4. Keep your makeup in a cool, dry place.
You'll often see this written on the back of beauty products and it's there for a reason. Don't store your makeup directly n the sunlight or it won't last as long at all. I've had the case of melted lipstick and warm separated foundation too many times, and I've finally learned my lesson. Just keep it somewhere where sunlight and heat can't reach it (that excludes the bathroom too - the temperature is always changing in there!).

5. Enjoy your makeup routine.
You  bought it for a reason and that was probably because you liked it. If there's a product that you find yourself holding onto for any reason other than that, chances are that it should go. Think about what products work for you, and if they don't, it's not worth wasting more time on them - there are so many other products out there that you could be enjoying! Take time to build a beauty routine that you truly love because it makes you feel your best - that's the most sure fire way to make the most of your makeup.


SHARE:

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

A Hero For Healthy Hair

Alterna Haircare CC Cream

I first heard of the Alterna Haircare range from Tati, and I was immediately intrigued by her Hot or Not review of the Alterna Hair Caviar CC Cream. I mean, a correcting cream for hair? Caviar? Sounds fancy, right? Also, it has some pretty big claims for just one product - in fact, ten of them. The bottle reads that just one squeeze of this CC cream will perfect your hair by providing moisture, shine, smoothness, softness, anti-breakage, heat protection, light hold, UV protection, manageability and strength. The reviews are absolutely fantastic too, so i thought it was the perfect product to dedicate a review to. 

I have quite fine hair so I try not to add too much product to it otherwise the build up makes it appear limp and greasy. Although this product can be used in conjunction with other hair treatments, I chose to use a single squeeze of this on the ends of damp, towel dried hair, and nothing else. Seeing as the cream has heat protection in it, I didn't add any more before blow drying as usual. Once dry, I immediately noticed a difference. My hair was certainly smoother, softer and very shiny so it left me feeling super impressed.  

Alterna Haircare CC Cream

I didn't notice much difference in terms of manageability and light hold - and UV protection is something that I couldn't measure, but for everything else, this product definitely worked its magic on my short tresses. I have been using it for about three weeks and I've got so used to it now that I'm not sure I can go back. The scent is lovely too - this is another aspect that Tati mentioned, and it just makes the product that bit more luxurious to use. Price wise (at $40 for 150ml) it's a bit more than I usually spend for hair, but it's still reasonable for a product that performs so well. It's a good 'un.

Have you tried the Alterna Caviar CC Cream?

SHARE:

Monday, 19 September 2016

How To Find The Silver Lining


Things can definitely get tricky sometimes. I've definitely been through it before, and I know I'm going through a tricky patch again - where something felt like it was going alright but then a spanner is thrown in the works and everything suddenly spirals out of control. We've all been there. One thing I've learnt is that there are ways to keep your mood from dropping too low when things get messy, there's always a silver lining if you'd just take a moment to find it. When a situation gets tough for me, there are a few steps I like to take to prevent too much anxiety kicking in, and to help me focus on what's important; so in today's blog post, I'm sharing them, just in case you need to find the silver lining too.

1. Spend some time with nature. 
I have often been guilty of feeling so down that I just don't want to go outside and face the world. Everything becomes too much effort and all I want to do is curl up and hide under the sheets. Getting over this feeling can be hard but I'm sure you've heard how healing getting dressed and getting outside can be. Taking a walk for some fresh air, stopping by a coffee shop or a park can be extremely uplifting and it can help you regain perspective when nothing seems to be going right. 

2. Ask yourself some questions.
What am I learning/have I learnt from this situation? What good things have been a result of this? How can this make me stronger and better than before? Asking yourself these sorts of questions forces you to look for the silver in the clouds. I always like writing things down, there's a sense of concreteness which I experience from the act of writing with pen to paper. If it helps you, write down the questions which force you to search for the positives in a bad situation, and write down your answers too - that way you can constantly reflect on the good.

3. Practise gratitude.
This includes self-gratitude. Once you appreciate yourself, you can start appreciating the good in every situation, and it becomes much easier to do it. When you realise your potential and you're working towards a bigger goal, understanding the process of how you're going to get there becomes the biggest priority and suddenly you'll find that you're not sweating the small stuff. I wrote a post on quotes for self motivation which I'll link here. I like looking these up on Pinterest when I'm not feeling so great for a bit of a pick-me-up.


4. Make a game plan.
Bad situations come and they throw us off balance. They teach us something new and they make us stronger people. But the best way to move on from them is to stand up, dust down and refocus on how you're going to ultimately reach your end goal. Yes, there's been a bump in the road - maybe two or three, but ultimately you're going to get to where you want too. It's just that your journey there might be a little longer than you first anticipated, that's all.

5. Remember that you're in charge.
Everything that you do is up to you and that can be both intimidating and liberating. Finding the silver lining is all about realising the latter, and being able to enjoy it. Sometimes things won't go as smoothly as you want them to, sometimes stuff gets tricky, but ultimately it's up to you. If you want something that badly, you can keep working for it until you get there because (as cliche as it sounds), you're the one in charge of your own destiny. 

What's your favourite way to look for the positive in a bad situation?

SHARE:

Friday, 16 September 2016

Five Transitional Autumn Lipsticks

MUFE, MAC, Colourpop, Rimmel, Chanel Lipsticks

Words seriously cannot express how excited I am for autumn! I love it when the days get a little shorter and the temperature gets a little cooler but it's still warm enough that you want to go outside. With every season change, I like switching out my makeup bag for some more seasonally appropriate products. One thing that I'm forever changing are my lip choices, and so in today's post, I'm sharing my top transitional lipsticks for autumn... not quite the dark, plummier, richer tones that we see everywhere once October comes around - but more of the midway point between summer shades and winter classics. Here they are:

MUFE, MAC, Chanel, Colourpop, Rimmel Lipsticks

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in L'Amoureuse (£26)
This is just a beautiful (just as the name describes) velvety formula that cushions the lips in such a pretty plum pink. The best way to describe it would be a vintage deep rose colour - there's definitely no colour that I've seen like it! It might not be for everyone, but this shade definitely oozes sophistication and I love it for that reason. 

I first purchased this back in the day when it was all the rage as the ultimate Kylie Jenner lip, but it was so good that this one is a repurchase. It lives up to the hype, as do a lot of MAC lipsticks. It's a satin finish, so it has a lovely sheen to it. Also, it's definitely more of a brown toned pink than a nude toned pink, so something about this really works for fall.

I featured this in my in-depth review of these lipsticks last month - and that post was a very popular one! The red shade seemed to be loved by lots of you in the comments so I had to mention it again in this post. It's a real vintage looking red, with lovely lasting power and a beautifully smooth finish. Also, it's only £6.49, which makes it one of the most affordable 'classic' red shades that I've ever come across!

The Make Up for Ever lipsticks don't get as much hype as they deserve. They're some of the first 'higher end' lipsticks I ever tried and they're still a brand that I keep going back to, because they're just so good! Copper Pink is definitely one of my favourites, it's so wearable as an everyday pink nude, with enough pigmentation to make it a lipstick - without looking too much for the daytime. (I've done two lip swatches of this one because 1) it's my favourite and 2) the odd number wouldn't fit neatly into a photograph)

This one is for the brave! We've all heard of how popular the Colourpop Liquid Lipsticks are, so I've featured a favourite of mine in this post too. I loved this shade on the model, and even more in person. It's such a beautiful dusty deep mauve toned rose pink - it reminds me of Rose Matter by Jeffree Star, but deeper and more autumn-y. Also, this one is super affordable too (and Colourpop ship to the UK now - hooray!). 

MUFE Copper Pink, MAC Brave, Chanel L'Amoureuse, Rimmel Kate Retro Red, Colourpop Bad Habit Lip Swatches


What are your favourite transitional lipsticks to get ready for autumn?

SHARE:

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The Miracle Moisturiser

Bioderma Sebium Hydra Moisturiser

I have been searching for the perfect moisturizer for dry, acne-prone skin for the longest time, with absolutely no luck. Everything I tried was either not moisturizing enough, or so sticky that it made me break out even more. I liked the Clinique Moisture Surge, but that comes at a hefty price tag and I wanted something a little more affordable seeing as I was repurchasing so often. About a month ago, I came across the Bioderma Sebium Hydra Moisturizer, which is specifically formulated for dry, acne-prone skin which is deprived of moisture and is very fragile. It claims to work as compensating care for irritated skin whilst soothing and hydrating it - and let me tell you, it does just that. 

The idea behind the Sebium Hydra is to rebalance the skin and combat any feelings of tightness. I find that immediately after applying it, my skin feels hydrated but not overly sticky, and the redness from my acne is soothed and - literally - looks relieved. The moisturizer has an exclusive ingredient to Bioderma laboratories named Fluidactiv, which regulates the skin sebum quality and prevents pores from getting clogged. I've been using this moisturizer for several weeks now and I have definitely noticed a difference in my skin, it doesn't dry up as quickly, my face feels hydrated and makeup doesn't apply unevenly over top of it - always a bonus! The one thing I would say is that this moisturizer doesn't seem to have any SPF, but then again, I'd recommend applying that separately anyway. Overall, I'm in love with this miracle moisturizer - and if you have dry skin, acne prone issues (like me), I think you'll love it too.

Have you tried Bioderma skincare?

SHARE:

Monday, 12 September 2016

Four Fall Blushes (ft. H&M Beauty)

H&M Blushers

I am so late to the H&M Beauty party. I know that H&M reformulated and repackaged their whole beauty range last year, but I never got round to trying any. I watched and read lots of reviews on the range - and so many bloggers raved about how gorgeous the blushes are. So of course when I was placing an order on H&M last week, I finally picked out a few that looked particularly pretty. 

I feel like autumn is the season where you can be really free with your blush choice. Whether it's a pop of bright colour to cling onto the summer, or a plummy berry shade to welcome the winter, or even a warm neutral nude shade, autumn embraces it all. With that in mind, I chose four different blush tones to suit each occasion: a pretty peach, a soft natural brown, a creamy hot pink and a vibrant bitten berry.  

H&M Fall Blushers

The shade selection is gorgeous - there's a colour for everyone. There are three different formulations available (a powder, a cream and a gel-like cream which works as a lip colour too). My favourite is definitely the cream formulation. It's totally fuss free and works really well with my dry skin, adding a healthy pop of colour with a beautiful seamless finish. I use my fingers to apply it and I find that's the best way so that it doesn't apply streaky. The powder formulas are also pretty lovely, though they're a little bit sheerer than I was hoping. If you work with a denser brush like the Mac 129 blush brush, it's easier to build up more colour. Lasting powder is also really nice, the cream blush lasted longer than the powder formulations but both looked lovely for a good amount of time.

H&M Fall Blushers

Packaging wise, I mean, aren't they just the most aesthetically pleasing affordable compacts you've ever seen in your life?? They pretty gorgeous, especially the white and gold cream velvet blushes. They each come in gorgeous sleek boxes as well which makes them particularly special as gifts. Don't expect heavy packaging though - they are really light (and obviously plastic), but this makes them really ideal for travelling. Each blush is priced at £6.99 so very affordable - and a couple of the shades are on sale at the moment for even less.   

Have you tried anything from H&M Beauty?

SHARE:

Friday, 9 September 2016

Confessions of A Stationery Hoarder

Kate Spade, Paperchase, Ban.do Stationery

For the final post in my mini back-to-school series, I thought I'd share one of my biggest passions... stationery. I think a lot of us are in the same boat when it comes to getting excited to buy new books and pens when September comes around! It's just something that never seems to get old. In today's blog post, I'm sharing my top five places to shop for stationery from high street favourites to more luxury stores:

This one is a bit of a no brainer really. I think we all love a bit of Paperchase. It's mostly quite affordable, with some really cute novelty designs that suits everyone. They stock everything from paperclips to photo albums, and a lot of their products are great to give as gifts as well. 

2. Ban.do.
It's such a shame that Ban.do is so difficult to get hold of in the UK. There are some pieces available in TKMaxx or ASOS from time to time but they have a gorgeous website which I'm always looking at and lusting over. If you're in America though, you're in luck - this brand is a lot more accessible over there.

Kate Spade, Paperchase, Ban.do Stationery

3. Kikki K.
A little Kikki K store recently opened near where I live and I was literally squealing when I found out. It's such an adorable store with so many different bits and pieces - although the downside is that it's a lot more pricey. If you're looking to invest in some really high quality, gorgeous looking stationery, it's definitely the place to go. 

Again, a really high price tag, but some really pretty office essentials are available. I think John Lewis stock most of the range, as does the website - but I've found some bargain pieces on for a fraction of the price in TKMaxx as well. However, there are lots of places (Paperchase being one of them) that stock really similar designs to Kate Spade for more affordable prices.

5. TKMaxx.
I've mentioned it a couple of times in this post so far but TKMaxx has a brilliant range of stationery from all different brands, big and small. I love going to the home department and browsing through their enormous selection of notebooks and pens and binders... and everything's just so much more affordable than if you were to buy it from anywhere else.

Kate Spade, Paperchase, Ban.do Stationery

Where are your favourite places to shop for stationery?

SHARE:

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

How I Did My Makeup In (High) School


This tag has been floating around lately so I thought I'd do it too! Makeup is something that I've always seen as a way of building on what you already have, not masking it. Although there's absolutely nothing wrong with not wearing makeup to school, there's also nothing wrong with wanting to wear a little to make you feel that extra bit more confident. As a student at school, I would always save up my pocket money to buy makeup, and most of my (very minimal) kit was all from the drugstore. So in today's post, I'm sharing a few of the pieces that I wore whilst I was at school - but also some newer products that I've discovered since (which would probably have worked better for me all those years ago). 

I never really wore foundation to school, only ever a little bit of the Collection 2000 (remember those days?) Mineral Concealer Powder. That has since been discontinued but if I could go back, I'd opt for the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer. It's a product that I've raved about all year on my blog but it's truly one of the best concealers I've found and it's super affordable at £5.99. There's nearly always an offer on, so I often buy in bulk when it's even less.

I didn't really do much for eyes (my secondary school was very particular about makeup rules) but a little brown liner just along the lash line really helped to add a little definition. The Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer in brown was my go to option, but if I'd had the choice, I would have always gone for black (I've been addicted to black eyeliner ever since). It lasts really well without fading or smudging all over the place so it was the perfect choice for school.

Mascara wise, Maybelline Falsies Flared was always my favourite, particularly in upper school. I used to wear this every single day back when I hadn't really tried anything else - but I still go back to it because it's just a really great mascara! It does all three things that you want a mascara to do: it adds length, incredible volume and holds a beautiful curl all day long.

I didn't really wear blush. When I was feeling particularly daring, I would have a look in my mum's makeup bag and use her Clinique Soft Pressed Powder Blush in Chestnut Brown. I didn't know how to apply it so I'm sure it looked incredibly strange... either way, I'm glad there's no photographic evidence! But, I've recently discovered how wonderful the H&M Beauty blushers are (post coming soon), and they're really great affordable options for a bit of colour on the cheeks. The shade selection is huge - from peaches, to corals to pinks, there's a shade for everyone. I love the shade Brown Sugar, it's a perfect muted blush shade which makes it ideal for a bit of natural colour - perfect for school.

I wasn't allowed to wear much colour so lips would involve a very sheer tint or completely colourless lip balm. I used to use Carmex for this, but Maybelline Baby Lips or the Rimmel by Kate Lip Conditioning Balm are also perfect options for back to school.

And that's it! With a spritz of my favourite perfume I was ready to go. 
What products did/do you wear to school?
SHARE:

Monday, 5 September 2016

Melt-In-The-Mouth Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Cookies are such a basic kitchen cupboard essential - but there's nothing like having them homemade, and fresh out the oven. I've always thought: the softer the cookie, the better the taste. I'm really not that great in the kitchen, so basic recipes are my favourite. These cookies are incredibly easy to bake, they take about twenty minutes in total so even kitchen novices like me can make a seriously delicious batch! This recipe makes approximately 12 cookies.

You will need: 
1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup caster sugar 
1 egg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose white flour 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup of milk chocolate chips
a pinch of salt

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees/Gas mark 4. Melt the butter in the microwave for roughly half a minute - it shouldn't be entirely liquid though. 

2. Beat the butter and sugar until they turn creamy and pale cream in colour. Add the vanilla extract and one egg, and continue beating until combined. Don't beat for too long or your cookies will become stiff. Add all of the flour, the baking soda and a pinch of salt. 

3. Use your hands to bring the mixture together to form a soft dough. Add most of the chocolate chips and fold them in with your hands.

4. Roll the dough into medium sized spheres and arrange them on a cookie sheet - they should sit quite far apart. Press into them with the back of a fork to flatten them a little (but not too much!). Bake in the oven for 9-11 minutes until the cookies look slightly toasted and a little bit golden, but not too much - this is so important for a soft bake. Once cooled, enjoy! 

Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Let me know if you try making these! 
SHARE:
© Her Little Loves | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig