Friday, 29 April 2016

April Loves

And here we are at the end of the month again! It's time to round up the little wonders I've been loving all of April and put them all in a post for you. There's loads to mention on the beauty front, with a couple of skincare, fashion and food bits too. 

Starting off with a couple of wardrobe favourites that I have worn over and over again this month: I love my new striped pastel blue cotton shirt from Primark. It's so light and comfortable to wear, and for £8 I think it's a real bargain! Also, my Topshop Moto Cain Washed Black Jeans have been worn to death this April - I  only purchased them last month but I can't get enough! They fit so well, and are cut at the perfect length - I definitely will be picking these up in a couple of different colours next time I go. 

The Freedom Glow Tonic has been the star on my bathroom counter top this month. The packaging is just gorgeous, and it smells like marzipan. I haven't compared this to the Pixi Glow Tonic, but I know that it comes pretty close in terms of results. I wrote a more thorough review on this product at the start of the month which I'll link right here. Talking of Freedom Skincare, the brand's Priming Water was a real hit this month as well. Again, I've done an in depth blog post on this as well, so I'll link that here. It's a great budget alternative to the Smashbox Primer water which I featured in my February Favourites this year - I'm really glad to have found a much more wallet friendly option for a makeup step that I love so much! 

Beauty wise, there have been several products that I have fallen utterly in love with. First up, the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation has been a new addition to my collection. I wanted a cheaper alternative to my favourite NARS Sheer Glow, and I had heard lots of positive things about the Bourjois one as an alternative. It's super glowy, has buildable coverage and feels so lightweight that it's hard to detect that I'm wearing any foundation at all! The packaging is cute and travel friendly - I have the shade 53 Beige Clair and this works well for me. 

I've also been reaching for my new Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Eyeshadow Quad non-stop this month - I've been travelling across the country and this has been in my bag all the way. I love how versatile the colours are, and how beautiful they wear. I have a full review/swatches up on this little gem as well and here's the link in case you missed it! With the Dolce Vita palette, I have been loving the Buxom Lash Mascara. I honestly think this might be my new favourite - it adds SO much volume and length to my lashes that I'll definitely be purchasing the full size next time I'm in a Sephora. 

Last but not least on the beauty front, lipglosses have been my thing this month. I love how light they feel and how pretty they look paired with a smoky bronze eye for Spring. My go-to lipgloss has been the Chanel Glossimier Lipgloss in 204 Rose Tendre - it's the perfect sheer pale pink for a little extra shine. I find that it really finishes off a makeup look beautifully. 

I wrote a very short post dedicated to my favourite easy breakfast smoothie for April - my banana and vanilla hazelnut milkshake has been a firm breakfast favourite. I have the full recipe for you here. It's super light, healthy and very delicious - please let me know if you try and and what you think. I'd love to know!

What have been your favourites for April?


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Freedom Pro Studio Priming Water

The Freedom Pro Studio Priming Water Review

This product is one I snapped up as soon as I got the email from Superdrug telling me it was back in stock! I know I promised to review this back in February, when I first confessed my love for the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water. I really wanted to see if this £6 (100ml) version lived up to its much more pricey big sister. However, getting my hands on this was hard - it kept going out of stock within minutes of being online and no store seemed to have any left. Or (even worse), they didn't stock it at all. But, about three weeks ago, I got two emails from Superdrug saying that the Freedom Glow Tonic and Primer Water were back in stock, so I bagged them right away. They arrived three days later with free delivery (thank you Superdrug), and for £12, I have two very impressive products.

I've been trying this Primer Water out for about two and a half weeks now, so I think I've formed a pretty good opinion of it to give a fair comparison with the Smashbox version. Firstly, as always, let's talk packaging. I think it's pretty sleek for £6, with a sturdy cap and silver label. I do prefer the clear bottle concept from Smashbox because you can see how much is left, but this isn't bad. One thing I wasn't happy about was the fact that some of the product had leaked into the cardboard packing during delivery - maybe that was just a fault with mine? I'm not sure. The spraying mechanism itself is better on the Freedom version - it's much more of a mist action than the spritzing of the Smashbox Primer Water. It dries down quickly and evenly across the face, allowing my makeup to mesh together just perfectly. I use it before applying my foundation, and in between different stages of my base makeup (over concealer, over blush and to finish), just to lock everything into place.

One thing I will say is that I built up shine really quickly, which didn't seem to happen with the Smashbox one. But, when looking up what the product was actually designed to do, I found that this primer water was much more for adding a boost of hydration and a glowy finish to my makeup rather than giving it longevity. So in terms of what it claims to do, this product does tick all the boxes. I love how it looks on my skin - in fact, ever since I stepped into the world of primer waters back in February, I haven't looked back. I use them every single day without fail. From what I've mentioned, I think I'm more likely to keep purchasing the Freedom version (if it will ever come back in stock!), because it's a brilliant affordable alternative for a very similar effect to the original Smashbox one. Also, if you're new to the whole primer concept, then I'd recommend opting for the Freedom one first. If you really love it, then try the Smashbox one. It's a lot easier to part with £20 when you've decided that primer waters are something you will value as part of your makeup routine! Really, it's all about personal preference.

Have you tried primer waters?
What do you think of them?

Monday, 25 April 2016

Glossy Pink Lips

When Spring rolls around, I find myself reaching for the lightest makeup, from dewy foundations and creamy blushes, to champagne shadows and glossy lips. Actually, I never really used to be a fan of lipgloss a couple of years ago - but this Spring, I'm all about the pretty pink glosses that just give that extra shine to a smile. Don't get me wrong, I love a good lipstick, but there's something about the lightweight feel of gloss that just sums up Spring in a tube. That's why in today's blog post, I've picked three gorgeous pink lipglosses which will see me through the season. 

I look for a few things when hunting for a good lipgloss. A non-sticky formula is really important - I know that stickier formulas are more long lasting but I just can't stand the feeling of something sticking to my lips. I also like the gloss to be as weightless as possible, particularly for Spring. The pigmentation really depends on my mood - but lately I've been drawn to sheer pinks paired with soft golden eyeshadow for a fresh Spring vibe. 

Urban Decay's Naked Lipgloss in Lovechild is exactly that, a milky pink which reminds me of strawberries and cream. It's the stickiest of the three I'm sharing, but it's just so pretty! There's 4mls of product in each tube, priced at £15 each. I love most of the UD Naked lipgloss line, the colours work well with every skin tone and are perfect for pairing with more dramatic eyes. 

Next is NARS Lipgloss in Super Orgasm. This one screams Springtime. It's a clear pink base mixed with gorgeous rose gold micro glitter which really plumps up your pout. It's also absolutely perfect for pairing over a more pigmented lipstick for a little extra sparkle. There's 5.1g of product in the tube for £19.50.

A little more on the pricey side is Chanel's Glossimier Lipgloss in 204 Rose Tendre. At £22, this one is for those who are really on the hunt for a good pink lipgloss. The packaging is absolutely stunning, super sleek with the black lid embossed with the Chanel logo. You get 5.5 mls of product in the tube. I would describe it as a pretty sheer pink which again, is great for pairing with a more intense eye. 

What are your favourite lip products for Spring?

Friday, 22 April 2016

Five Ways to Stay Financially Fit at University

University can be expensive. Actually, who am I kidding? University is unbelievably expensive, no matter where you are in the world. I'm currently in my second year of university and I'm definitely feeling the strain of piling expenses from all around. With tuition fees tripling, rent being higher than ever and books/study resources adding to it all, being financially fit is a skill any student needs to have. With April being Financial Literacy Month, there couldn't be a better time to share some money management tricks which I've found seriously helpful when dealing with the growing costs of being in full time education! So, without further ado, let's get to it:

1. Make a spreadsheet.
This is something I didn't do in my first year, but picked up in my second and it makes such a difference. I tot up my loans, savings and any extra income (e.g. - jobs etc.) to work out exactly how much is coming in, and the same for any expenses. If you do this for a while, you'll see how much your spending every month and where it is going. By having everything on a spreadsheet, it's really easy to spot where all the money is going (trust me, I've often found myself wondering where it all went and this solves that problem!). Not only that but you'll be able to allocate an appropriate budget for your needs every month. For example, I have a certain allowance which I've given myself for groceries based on my average spend. The same goes for textbooks, social activities, clothes etc. This way you have a budget and you'll stick to it. The spreadsheet will hold you accountable. 

2. Use your student card.
I flash mine pretty much everywhere that offers a student discount. You'd be surprised at how much you can save. Look out for the times that stores offer more student discount and plan to buy your essentials then if you can. Unidays is a great website which is well worth signing up to for notifications of when these days are. They also give you codes for online discounts as well (which I use on my seasonal ASOS sprees), so very useful if you're more of an online shopper like me! Remember, student cards are good for saving on food too - so if you like eating out, remember to check to see if the restaurant offers it. A lot of places do, so it's worth asking!

3. Learn to cook.
This is so important. Learning to cook some affordable meals that you love will save you a ton of money in the long run (and probably save your health too, if you're more inclined to order in!). Use the summer holidays to learn some of you favourite recipes, maybe look for some good student cookery books in second hand book shops where they'll be cheaper. Also, it's good to learn what foods to eat when - buying fruit in season is cheaper than when it's out of season, just like buying frozen fruit is cheaper than fresh fruit (and also much better in smoothies!). Just because you're looking for cheaper alternatives, it doesn't mean you have to rely on unhealthy options. There are lots of fresh and healthy ingredients out there which don't cost a lot if you know how to put them together to make a tasty meal! 

4. Look for a part time job.
There will definitely be a few hours that you will have to spare, particularly in your first year, and a job would be a great way to use that time. If you're going to a city university, there's bound to be a lot of retail jobs around but often, the university itself has lots of jobs and paid internships which will give you experience as well as a little bit of cash. Sign up to your university career zone for their emails with new job vacancies and apply to any that take your fancy. My advice would be to not be too picky though - any experience is useful at this stage, particularly if it's your first job! I would recommend looking for a job in retail as customer service experience is a skill which will really shine on your CV too.

5. Buy second hand.
This is especially true for textbooks - I remember buying all my fresh new books in the first term of uni and being nearly £150 out of pocket because of it. What's more, when I checked sites such as eBay and Amazon, sellers were offering the same books for less than half the price I had paid for a book in nearly the same condition. Ever since then, I vowed to myself that I'd never buy a new textbook. It does mean that you have to look for your textbooks way in advance because other students will be doing this too - but it's well worth it. I managed to bag a nearly new £40 textbook for £5 from a seller on Amazon earlier this year. Needless to say, I was very happy with the amount I had managed to save just by choosing to buy second hand!

What are your favourite tips for staying financially fit at university (or even after!)?

Ambar x

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Banana & Vanilla Hazelnut Milkshake

Banana & Vanilla Hazelnut Milkshake Recipe

If your a fan of all things sweet, you are going to absolutely love this recipe! It's super quick, easy and 100% vegan. I make mine in about three minutes most mornings for a speedy (yet delicious) breakfast. It's also great as a mid morning snack or evening dessert, and it's easy to customize according to your preferred taste. If you're not a fan of hazelnut milk, you can always swap it for almond milk, cashew milk or regular dairy milk depending on what you have in your kitchen.

Bananas are the main ingredient on getting the texture like that of a milkshake - the trick is to freeze them overnight so that it thickens when blended. As nut milks tend to be quite thin, using frozen banana as a thickening and sweetening ingredient works wonders for recreating the creamy taste of a milkshake. I like to slice a small overripe banana up into discs and put them in the freezer for at least four hours. I usually do this the night before I plan to make this! If you want, you can freeze other fruits as well, such as strawberries and cherries - just make sure they're super ripe so that they're sweet. Fresh dates are really nice in this smoothie as well (make sure that they're pitted!). 

Banana & Vanilla Hazelnut Milkshake Recipe

Making it is really simple: In the morning, just blend up the frozen banana discs with 250 mls of hazelnut milk and half a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. I use my trusty Nutribullet, but any high power blender will do the job just fine. If you like the banana peanut butter taste, you can always add a teaspoon of all natural PB to the mix as well. Blend it up until it's nice and creamy and pour into a fancy glass (optional). Enjoy! 

Let me know if you try making this. 
I'd love to know what you think of it!


Monday, 18 April 2016

My New Nail Obsession (ft. Smith & Cult)

 Smith & Cult Nail Varnishes Review

I've been seeing Smith & Cult Nail Varnishes literally E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E for the past year or so. It must be something to do with that seriously eye-catching bottle bling, with each shade capped in the most gorgeous gold. As soon as I saw them, it was that moment where you know - you just know - that  you're going to buy them. Soonish. As soon as the funds appear. For me, that took a whole year, but finally last week I took a deep breath and clicked 'BUY' (and then sat anxiously refreshing my browser for delivery updates).

The bottle is a work of art in itself - I will definitely be having these on display. They look so chic but very edgy at the same time, with their dented golden lids like little sculptures. There's 14 mls of product in each little bottle which is quite a bit - but then again I would hope so, with the product being priced at £19 a piece! I know that these are $18 in the States so I do feel like it's ridiculously overpriced in the UK. I know the brand do lipglosses too, which look equally as beautiful, but I decided not to try them just yet. 

 Smith & Cult Nail Varnishes Review

We all know how easy it is to get sucked in by packaging, and I sorta did with these, but the formula itself is a real winner. It goes on smooth and opaque with two coats, giving gorgeous colour payoff and a super glossy finish. The one thing I would say is the brush is very fat which is nice if you like coating your nail in one swipe, but I prefer the three-swipes-to-cover-your-nail sort of thing. I've only tried three colours from the range but I think I've got a pretty good idea as there seem to be only two finishes in the line - opaque cream and glitter. I picked four different shades which I thought would be wonderfully Spring appropriate (after all, I wanted to wear them right away). The colours I chose were: 

Above It All - this one is a gorgeous glossy topcoat which seals any colour and gives it a whole lotta shine. It's also perfect for the au naturale manicure.

Cut The Mullet - an opaque pastel sky blue, perfect for the Spring season and yet sophisticated enough to wear on an everyday basis.

Doe My Dear - talking of sophistication, this one is one of the most stunning neutrals I've ever owned. A seriously chic dove grey.

Gay Ponies Dancing In The Snow - and this one just caught my eye in all its sparkling glory. It reminds me of unicorns, all fine pink glitter suspended in a clear gel base.

 Smith & Cult Nail Varnishes Review

They have some witty names, eh? Not gonna lie, I kind of want them all. They're just so stunning. There are so many more shades I've got my eye on like Faunt-LeroyBitter Buddhist and Vegas Post Apocalyptic. But the four I've got are keeping me happy for now. You can find the full range with all the colours in the line at Space NK and Net-a-Porter

Have you tried the Smith & Cult Nail Varnishes?

Friday, 15 April 2016

Five Ways to Be More Productive

I've had a really productive day today (the day I'm writing this post is Monday even though I'm scheduling it to go up on Friday). I've spent the morning cleaning my flat and the afternoon organizing my revision for the month. Oh, and now I'm scheduling a couple of blog posts for this week. So overall, I feel like I've done good today, I've made progress. But, if I look back on how my day started, there are definitely a few reasons as to why my productivity was so good. There's no secret - productivity comes down to a number of steps which I'm going to share in my post today. So, with these tips, I hope your weekend (and every day after) will be that little bit more fruitful and give you that 'I did good today' feeling.

1. Map out your day. 
It's so important to have a structure to your day in order to get the most out of it. Decide what big goals you have for the day and allot a time to tackle them. So for me, cleaning my flat was a big task today which I allotted the entire morning for. Also, the fewer the better. I would recommend no more than three big goals, any more than that and you'll start to feel swamped which will actually slow you down rather than gee you up. Three goals will give your day that overall structure. You can divide them up into smaller 'mini' goals as you take them on - this is where my second tip comes in, make lists.

2. Lists are your best friend.
I love lists. Seriously, everything about lists gets me excited. I make one at the start of the week with my weekly goals, and one at the start of each day with my daily goals. It kind of goes hand in hand with mapping out your day but my lists tend to also have the smaller things I need to do as well. So my list today had 'clean my flat' in bold but also 'tidy my shelves' and 'clear the kitchen cupboards' as smaller goals underneath. It kind of helps keep things specific, so you don't get sidetracked/forget anything and know exactly what you need to be doing.

3. Make use of your time.
I didn't know how to condense this one into a catchy subheading, can you tell? You know those little pockets of time you get throughout the day when say, you're waiting for someone or your favourite show takes a break for the adverts? You should use those too. Use them for mini tasks like dusting the shelves or squeezing in a mini workout. Every minute counts so use them wisely. Plus, you'll feel so much better about it too - it's one less thing you'll have to do later on. 

4. Celebrate as you go.
When you achieve something, celebrate it! It doesn't matter how big or small it is, take that moment to reflect and feel good about what you've done. My way of celebrating is getting to tick off my list that I made at the start of the day. This works really well for the little things, and gives me that sense of achievement - making me want to keep going. For the bigger achievements, take some time to do something for yourself as a treat. It could be a mani/pedi or maybe a cup of tea and a TV show. Just some time to reward yourself for working so hard. Your productivity will increase in no time! 

5. Take breaks.
You can't be on work mode all the time. A break is something which is needed for your brain to relax a little (and this is where your rewards can fit in too). How you take your breaks really depends on how best you work - I find that longer periods of working followed by reasonably long breaks works best for me. If I take frequent short breaks, I get easily distracted and the breaks end up being long anyway, keeping me away from work. Also, I work best in the late morning/early afternoon so that's where I allocate the task that requires the most brain power! It's all about figuring out how you work best and then allocating your breaks accordingly. 

What are your favourite ways to be more productive?

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Charlotte Tilbury: The Dolce Vita

Charlotte Tilbury The Dolce Vita Eyeshadow Quad Review

I was so excited when this finally arrived on my doorstep. I had been wanting to try the Charlotte Tilbury line for a while, particularly the gorgeous eyeshadow quads which I had seen popping up in so many favourites videos for over a year. The one which seemed to catch my eye the most was none other than The Dolce Vita eyeshadow quad, which its "smouldering copper and bronze shades", so I finally dipped my toes in the pond and sought to try it out. The concept behind the whole of Charlotte Tilbury's make up line was to create products which are grouped together to create ten different looks. Each of the eyeshadow quads create a different eye look, with the four shades colour coded in order to take you from the "desk to dusk to disco".

The Charlotte Tilbury packaging is all gorgeous, but these quads are just so darn cute! They're small, square shaped mahogany brown compacts embossed with the gold CT logo. There's a mirror inside the lid, with a little star stamped in the corner. The shadows themselves are presented in a gold coloured frame, giving them a super luxury appearance. The frame is also embossed with the Charlotte Tilbury logo, just to give it that touch of somethin' somethin'

Charlotte Tilbury The Dolce Vita Eyeshadow Quad Review

The quads are made up of four shadows, labelled Prime, Enhance, Smoke and Pop - and these are different depending on which palette you choose. The Dolce Vita is all about luxury and indulgence, so the colours in this one are rich and golden to give that sultry bronze smoke around the eye. The CT website outlines the process of how to use each eyeshadow quad to get the look it was designed to create. Each look is linked to a video on a Youtube channel which is where Charlotte herself guides you step-by-step on how to recreate each look. 

The eyeshadows are perfectly pigmented and buttery soft so they can blend seamlessly into each other without much effort. I've never used a palette which makes it so easy to get such a gorgeous look. The Prime shade is a warm shimmery peach which I use all over the lid to prep the eye and give it a soft sheen. This is followed by the pearlised reddish brown Enhance shade, which I blend into the outer corner to add some depth. I take a little of the same shade under my lash line, add some liner and lots of mascara and I'm good to go for the day.

To amp it up later on in the day, I apply the satin chocolate Smoke shade to the outer corner of my eye and take it under my lash line to darken it a little more. Finally (the best part), I use my finger to apply some of the glittery molten gold Pop shade in the centre of my eyelid to brighten it up and add some sparkle. It's the most unique shade I've ever come across, very soft textured and almost slightly creamy which helps it stick to the eyelid better.

Charlotte Tilbury The Dolce Vita Eyeshadow Quad Review

The colours last a really long time - I wore them for over eight hours and they still looked just as gorgeous  as when I had applied them in the morning, with no creasing or fallout. This is definitely a new favourite eye look which I will be wearing a lot this spring - I love brightening things up with the more golden shades for a daytime look that I know wont fade throughout the warmer days. And the fact that it's so small means I can easily slip it into my bag to carry with me should I want to add some more colour in the evening. 

Have you tried the CT Eyeshadow Quads? 
Which one is your favourite?


Monday, 11 April 2016

Makeup Musings #2

There have been a few new purchases and rediscoveries this month which I'm going to round up and mention in today's blog post. It's a bit more luxury product focused than last month's post, with some Charlotte Tilbury (eek!), NARS and Lancome, but let's get start of with the budget product I've been trying out (and loving, might I add).

It's none other than the Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette. I have been using this for pretty much all the glow work needed for the Springtime. There's not one shade that I find difficult to use and they work seamlessly together on different parts of my face. I have done a full review and swatches on this which I'll link right here if you're interested. I bought this for £10 from Superdrug - a real steal for what you get.  

Another new palette addition to my makeup has been the Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Eyeshadow Quad. I can't believe I waited this long to get my hands on this - it's truly stunning. I can see it being a favourite for all year round, but I'm particularly enjoying the Prime and Enhance shades for a more Spring appropriate look! I get into the nitty gritty later on this week - keep an eye out for a full review on this one. It's coming your way, I promise.

One last new addition to my makeup bag this month: the Lancome Drama Liquid Eye Pencil in Noir Intense. This works great in the waterline as a budge proof option, but I love this as drawn across my upper lash line. It adds that little bit of definition, but when smoked out, there's a certain subtlety to it that makes even black liner appropriate for Springtime. 

In terms of rediscoveries, I have rekindled my love for my trusty MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium. After a few months apart, I found this getting dusty in my makeup draw and took it out again early this month. It's perfect to carry throughout the day to keep the shine down without getting rid of the glow. It feels weightless on the skin, it doesn't cake, that's actually why it was such a hit with me in the first place!

Last but not least, I found my love for the NARS Multiples, particularly the cream blush stick in Portofino. Cream blushes are a great option for Spring - they're lightweight, blend easily and give a gorgeous dewy finish. I love applying this to the apples of my cheeks and then blending it out with my fingers. It's the closest thing to a natural flush - and this particular shade is absolutely beautiful. The closest description I can think of would be a shimmering coral peach - super Spring appropriate! 

I'm not sure whether to make this type of post a monthly feature or whether to just do individual product reviews on everything new I try each month - any thoughts? I try and keep it brief in this round up of the new bits I've purchased/rediscovered throughout the month, and then have more in-depth reviews on the products that need it. If they're a true favourite, then they also pop up in my monthly favourites post at the end of the month. Is that too much? Let me know!

What new make-up bits have you been trying out this month?
Any I should try?

Friday, 8 April 2016

A Skincare Staple (ft. Freedom Glow Tonic)

I have been wanting to try the infamous Pixi Glow Tonic for a long time, but every time I would be ready to checkout, I'd click off the page in the hope of saving £18. It's expensive, right? Far too expensive when there's the Freedom Glycolic Glow Tonic claiming to do exactly the same thing, but instead for 1/3 of the price. So, when it finally came back in stock on Superdrug, I ordered myself a bottle right away. And boy, am I glad I did.

Don't get me wrong, I do intend to try the Pixi version and see if it's any different. But until I cave to the raving reviews, I thought the Freedom would be just fine for now. I'm really impressed with it so far. I use it twice a day (so the bottle is emptying fast - another reason why I'm glad it was only £6), by saturating a cotton round and swiping it all over a freshly cleansed face. It does have some tingly action after applying, but not too much. I guess it depends how sensitive your skin is, but mine is fairly sensitive and I don't like harsh products. This one is really gentle and it feels like it's doing something good. A sort of light exfoliation, which leaves your face radiant and smooth. I can't put my finger on exactly what the difference is, but I know that my skin feels better when I've used this as opposed to when I have skipped the toning step.

It contains ginseng and aloe vera, so it's soothing whilst it works. The scent is just divine, it reminds me of marzipan, very almond-y and quite sweet. You get 200 mls of product which will easily last two months if used twice a day (longer if only used once a day). Again, its £6, so I think it's a very affordable beauty staple which makes that little difference to better looking skin. 

Have you tried the Freedom Glow Tonic? 


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The Modern 70s

The 70s trend has been floating around for a little while now, slowly creeping into the catwalks with suede textures and light denims, then more outwardly with fringing and printed chiffon. There are some areas of the 70s which I'm still nervous to try or I'm just not feeling - but I thought I'd share a way I've incorporated the trend into my wardrobe this season. Here are three pieces which I've paired together for a modern twist on the 70s vibe.   

I loved this Camel Suedette High Neck Sweater the moment I saw it on ASOS. It has a suede-like fabric on the front with a light knit on the back, so it really brings together the whole 'mixing textures' trend too. The high neck gives it a sophisticated feel whilst the camel colour brings in a key 70s colour. Often suedette tops can be quite unflattering on the chest area but this one is nicely structured with seams to not appear unshapely. There's also a front panel stitched on the front to keep it a little edgy

The jeans I've paired with this knit brings in the lighter denim I mentioned earlier. I love the true blue denim on these ASOS Ankle Grazer Jeans I purchased last month. It cuts at just the right point on the ankle - and they are so comfortable to wear! Not too tight, not overly saggy, but another perfectly relaxed fit. The colour is perfect too, not too dark and not too light (I find pale blue jeans can be unflattering on my legs). The thing I would say is I do need a belt with these jeans even though I bought my regular size - they're a little loose on the waist!

The Black Pointed Pixie Shoe is actually something I've featured on my blog before. I'm absolutely loving this style of shoes for Spring. It has an open back (like sandals) but an ankle strap to keep the shoe secure and comfortable. The heel is short so it still gives the laid back look of the 70s whilst still adding a bit of a chic twist to the overall outfit. If you're not feeling the pointed  shoe (it's the more modern twist I was getting at with this outfit), a pair of sandal wedges would really complete the look!

What trends are you loving this Spring?

Monday, 4 April 2016

The Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette

The Sleek Solstice Palette has been on my wish list for a while now, ever since it began floating around the beauty space as the new highlighter sensation. The minute it landed on my doorstep I could see why. There are four shades, each as beautiful as the next, with three powders and one cream formula. They all come cased in a shiny rose gold compact with a large mirror in the lid. There is a small brush on the side as well, but I would have preferred if they skipped the brush and filled the space up with some more product or instead made it a smaller palette. I guess if you're on the go the brush might be useful.

The colours are just gorgeous. Each shade is named but this comes on a plastic sheet and not printed under each pan as higher end products tend to have. However, for £10, I'm not complaining. It's the quality of the product which matters and Sleek have done it just right. The colours have been designed to work together on different parts of the face and Sleek have made a tutorial on that here

The powder shades (SubsolarHemisphere and Equinox) are perfect as eyeshadowsbrow bone highlights, dusted on the cupids bow and for accentuating a lipgloss by mixing it in. Subsolar is a very cool toned shade, so it works great for the inner corners of the eye to brighten them up. The cream shade (Ecliptic) works great blended in on the tops of cheekbones and down the bridge of the noseI've swatched the colours below, and you can tell how smooth they are. The pigmentation is great, but like a lot of highlighters, they are quite intense so use them with a light hand if you're not going for the disco-ball look. 

I think this palette is a great option for a holiday or weekend trip, where you want the most from your makeup. You've got a ton of options with this one, it's versatile and doesn't lack in the quality department. I'm excited to welcome it as a staple in my Spring makeup routine! 

Have you tried the Sleek Solstice Palette?

Friday, 1 April 2016

My April Goals

It's amazing to think that it's the start of yet another new month today. We're already three months into 2016, and I'm sitting here (like probably many of us), wondering where on earth the time has gone. But, with the start of a new month comes a new set of goals that I want to use the thirty days of April (if not longer) to work on and achieve. I usually find that writing things down is a great motivator, whether it's writing a list of things to do for the day, or a set of goals for the year. So, here's a glimpse into the goals I've written down for this month:

1. To switch up my wardrobe. 

With Spring blooming a little, it's time to switch things up in the fashion department. I really want to incorporate some of the new trends coming our way this season, like the Spanish influence and Romantic trend, with floaty ruffles and vibrant reds. Let me know if you'd like to see little segments on how I work those into my wardrobe this Spring.

2. To practice the art of meal planning.

I love planning. I recently purchased a meal planner with the hope it would help me organise the food side of life. I've been stuck in the 'nothing to eat - let me just order pizza' situation one too many times lately, so it's time to plan out my grocery shop and write out my plans so I know exactly what I'm cooking and eating all month. Hopefully it will work and become a habit that I can continue for the rest of the year!

3. To create (and stick to) a revision plan for my exams. 

Yes. Exams. Second year university exams are approaching in May, which means revision is on the table once more. Although I only have two exams this year, April will need to be used for a burst of revision before a well needed summer break. I've created a plan for this month, but the hard bit is sticking to it, so this will definitely be a goal for this month. 

4. To walk more.

I want to start enjoying the sun more now that it's coming out more often! I often find myself in the habit of working indoors even when the sun is shining, so that's an area I want to change. Taking some time out to walk will help me get some exercise into my day - particularly with all the revision I have planned.

5. To find effective ways to combat my anxiety.

Here's where it gets that little bit more personal. I often find that I get more and more anxious as exam dates get closer, particularly with the amount of things to cover before I sit them. My bright idea is to break up the topics before hand and assign each day of April with an overarching revision task - I'm a firm believer in being organised to reduce stress. If anyone has any more ideas on dealing with exam stress, or if you'd like a blog post on how I approach exams, let me know in the comments!

What are your goals for April?
Here's to a new month!
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