Tuesday, 31 January 2017

January Loves

Quite a few favourites to mention this month so I'll just get straight into it! 

I mentioned how impressed I was with No. 7 skincare last week in this post - and I stand by how much I love the No. 7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream and Night Cream. They're both fantastic budget friendly moisturizers and they're available in formulas suited to every skin type from oily, to acne prone, to very dry so there is something for everyone. The packaging is super luxe too, which looks lovely on my bathroom shelf.

My favourite makeup product of the month has to go to the Becca Backlight Priming Filter. It's been on my face every day I've worn makeup without fail and it really helps my makeup last whilst giving my complexion an overall glow boost. I've been struggling with my skin a lot lately and this really has helped. I can't wait for my face to clear up so that this product looks even better!

Another makeup favourite this month has been the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes To Mesmerize in Jean. It's a beautiful champagne cream shadow which just works well with any makeup look. I love how quick and effortless it is to apply - it really helps when you're trying to get your makeup done fast! The formula is brilliant, it's long lasting and doesn't crease - and of course the packaging is beautiful. I mean, it's from the Charlotte Tilbury, the queen of pretty packaging. 

I have a fragrance favourite this month, and I'm excited because I don't often talk about fragrance on my blog. I have a select few that I like so I'm always incredibly happy when I find a new favourite to add to my collection! It's the Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia Cologne - I love how fresh and invigorating the scent is. It smells crisp and delicious, a little fruity and a little floral, just perfect. I'm not the best at describing scents but this is beautiful... I don't see how anyone couldn't like it.

A couple of home favourites were also on my list this month. Starting off with candles - I've been burning so many, but the Diptyque Baies Candle has to be my favourite! I hadn't smelt it before but I'm so glad I bought it, it's a beautiful scent that makes my room feel so cosy and inviting. I love lighting it in the evenings, the scent really throws itself about the room and it's beautiful. I'm now beginning to get worried about it finishing too quickly (I'm already halfway down!).

My other home favourite is this Primark Gold Geometric Throw which I picked up at the start of January. It looks super Pinterest worthy and it's incredibly soft... the ideal display throw for the end of my bed. Quality wise, it's not the best of the best but then again, it was only £11 so I can't complain. It looks beautiful in blog photos too, adding a little bit of metallic and texture to a photo.

One film favourite and of course, it's La La Land. If you follow me on Twitter you'll know I've been tweeting about it a lot because I'm utterly obsessed with the soundtrack and I can't stop listening to it/humming it/even singing it on occasion. A beautiful musical movie that is executed perfectly - and a definite must see if you're into all that. It's definitely on my list of all time favourite movies, and it's more than worthy of every single award it has won. 

What have you loved this month?



Sunday, 29 January 2017

Fresh Faced Beauty Picks

With January well underway, I'm excited to switch up my makeup routine for the new year. I'm all about fresh, light makeup and dewy skin - so in today's post, I'm going to share some of my favourite makeup bits that are helping me out this month. 

I've spoken about this particular product a ridiculous amount this month - but it's truly such a miracle worker! I can totally see why the Becca Backlight Priming Filter got so much hype last year. It's a gorgeous soft focus glow potion in a bottle that works beautifully underneath foundation to help perk up your skin. The packaging is gorgeous, the scent is like fresh coconuts, and it's just an all round must have - particularly for anyone with dry skin.

The Nars Sheer Glow Foundation has been a favourite of mine for nearly two years now. I've gone through about three bottles of this and it's just a great option for getting a medium coverage, yet still dewy-skin base. It works really well over the Becca primer and definitely freshens up my face on mornings when I've had a little less sleep than I was supposed to (although I'm trying to improve my sleeping patterns this year, I promise)! To go with the foundation, the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer is perfect for brightening up the complexion and keeping your base light and fresh. 

For quick and easy eyes, I always find myself reaching for the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise in Jean. It's light, shimmery and the most gorgeous champagne shade which looks pretty with every eye colour. It's a bit more expensive than your high-street cream shadow alternatives but the texture of these is beautiful and a little goes a long way. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat (or any of the Hourglass blushes for that matter) are definitely my go-to cheek favourites for when I'm wanting a radiant fresh faced flush. They pair beautifully with almost every eye/lip combo and wear really well throughout the day. 

Light lips are usually what I opt for when I'm going for minimal makeup and the Dior Lip Glow in 004 Coral is one of the best lipstick/balm hybrids out there. It's moisturizing, plumping and adds a soft, warm glow to your pout. The idea behind this product is that it adapts to your body temperature and gives you the perfect shade to compliment your look.

What beauty bits have you been reaching for lately?

Thursday, 26 January 2017

How To Upcycle Pretty Candle Jars

Pretty candles are where it's at these days, seriously, they are everywhere. And I'm not complaining - there are so many to choose from, with some absolutely beautiful scents and so many come in the dreamiest packaging. Of course that means it would be such a waste to throw candle jars away, especially if you've spent so much on the candle - instead, they can easily be upcycled and reusued, so I thought I'd write up a post on how I like to do this.

When I get to the bottom of a candle I trim any remaining wick (if there is any) and dispose of it. Then I like to wait for the rest of the wax to cool slightly so that the jar is cool enough to handle. Once the wax is soft but not molten, take the jar to a sink and run it under hot water (not boiling as this can crack the glass). If there is a pretty label on your jar that you want to keep, be sure to wash out the wax from the side that doesn't have the label - you don't want to ruin it with water! Allow the wax to melt away from the glass and wash out of the jar. With the remaining wax that is stuck, gently pry at it with the back of a spoon and scoop this out, being careful not to scratch the glass. Then continue to run the hot water over the metal wick holder until the glue softens. Once this happens, you should be able to use a screwdriver to lift it off the bottom of the jar. Dry the inside of the candle jar with a clean tea towel and you're good to go! 

Large Candle Jars (180g+):
Of course candles come in all different shapes and sizes and the size of the container depends on what you can use it for. For larger candle jars, like the Diptyque 190g candles, I like to store makeup brushes or eyeliners/lipliners. You can also use them as a pretty pen pot on your desk or as a mini vase for some pretty flower heads. Peonies or roses would look beautiful in these on a desk - just make sure you cut their stems to the right length otherwise they'll be too long. 

Small Candle Jars (70-90g):
For smaller jars, I like to empty them and use them to store cotton buds on the bathroom shelf. Some smaller jars are large enough to fill with a stack of cotton pads as well which looks lovely next to one with cotton buds. They can also be used for desk snacks, such as trail mix. I find that they contain the perfect portion size for when I'm working away at my desk and fancy something quick to eat whilst I work! 

Mini Candle Jars (35-50g):
There are also super mini jars that some brands sell (again, Diptyque do 35g candles in certain gift sets and collections). I love using these to store small trinkets such as bobby pins, paperclips and even everyday jewellery pieces. They look adorable lined up next to each other on a desk or dresser - and they're perfect 'filler' props for blog photos too (always a bonus!). 

What do you like using empty candle jars for?


Tuesday, 24 January 2017

An Underrated Skincare Brand

No 7 has been a brand that I'd always see stacked on the shelves at Boots but it was never one that I would go to - and honestly, I don't really know why. I guess I always associated it with the slightly older working woman, not really a brand built around a girl in her mid-late teens, but I've really been getting into the brand lately and so I thought I should probably talk about it. My earliest memories of No 7 stem from my late Aunt's makeup drawers, filled with little oval compacts with deep plum eyeshadows and gorgeous berry lipsticks (her favourite colour was purple). I remember her letting me give her a makeover with all of the products she owned and the majority of it was from No 7.  

More recently, I started taking Accutane again. My skin has been playing up a lot over the past year and right now it's the worst it has ever been even though I'm well past my teenage years. You might know that one of the most common side effect of Accutane is actually dry skin... and I guess this time round, I was well prepared! I popped into Boots and asked for their best moisturizers, and I was immediately guided to the No 7 counter. Long story short, I left with three products - a day cream, a night cream and a foaming cleanser. I thought I'd talk a little bit about them today because so far, I'm really impressed.

No 7 Beautiful Skin Foaming Cleanser - this is really light and refreshing to use, it really cleanses the skin and I love using it when my skin needs a quick cleanse. It takes about three pumps to have enough for one wash and you apply it on dry skin and lather it up before washing off with water. I think that I will switch to an oil based cleanser in the next month or so because my skin is going to get even more dry as the course of medication goes on but this is great for now. I'm really enjoying it.

No 7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream - I've been using this so much and I can honestly say that it's one of the best affordable moisturizers that I have ever tried. It's hydrating, soothing (my skin is extremely itchy and red due to Accutane) and it calms redness down as quickly as possible. I know I'm going to look into the Dry/Very Dry skin formula the brand have next, but this will definitely be a 'to repurchase' product once I'm off the course of treatment. It's just such a great moisturizer!

No 7 Beautiful Skin Night Cream - again, like the day cream, this is very hydrating but less thick. I wasn't expecting this because I always thought a night cream would be thicker and more hydrating than a day cream, after all, you're not drinking water in your sleep and your skin needs to stay hydrated. Oddly enough, this gel formula is light but still packs a punch when it comes to moisture. The jars of moisturizer feel super luxe too, even though they're both very affordable.

If you can't tell by now (I feel like I've just been singing praises but I can't fault these, honestly),  I love the few pieces that I have tried from No 7. I haven't really tried much of their makeup, at least not on myself, nor much else of their skincare - but I look forward to trying out lots more soon. I don't think the brand is talked about nearly as much as it should be - it often gets lost among reviews of more expensive skincare treats. But if you're on a budget, or even if you're not, I highly recommend taking a look at this range - it's definitely a great one.

Have you tried anything from No 7?



Sunday, 22 January 2017

Staying Motivated Beyond January

With January being the month of resolutions, I think it's even more important to discuss the ways we can stay motivated to keep the goals that we set ourselves. Seeing as we're nearing the end of the month now, and it's possible that the new year kick has dwindled, I thought I'd write up a post with some of the ways I'm planning to stay motivated in the months to come. I hope you find them useful - let me know in the comments!

1. Set aside mini goals on the first of each month.
I always find that setting aside some smaller goals at the start of each month really helps me review my progress and feel a sense of achievement that keeps me going. They work as stepping stones towards the bigger goals that I set myself each year. It's important to keep these smaller goals attainable so that you can measure your progress - I wrote a whole post on how to do this earlier in January which I'll link here.

2. Create an environment that inspires you.
This is different from person to person because we're all inspired by different things. Pinterest is such a great resource for some online inspiration, but the way you feel scrolling through your different boards can be translated into your life! I know I feel so inspired when I've looked at pretty pictures or beautifully scripted quotes (you can follow me here), but it's so much better to have these things surrounding me all the time - or better, to be working in them. So making your space an inspirational one is important when you're looking to stay on track with your goals. 

3. Eliminate negative energy.
Whilst creating a space that inspires positivity and drives your motivation, it's also super important to cut out any negativity around you. It could be anything from people who bring down your mood and /or put you down, to something as simple as the colour of the walls. Getting rid of the uninspiring parts of your life will create more room for your to focus your energy on the good stuff - and that will automatically keep your more motivated and happy at the same time! 

4. Buddy up.
Having someone you trust to encourage you is another brilliant way to stay motivated in achieving what you've set out to do. It's important to find the right person for this job though - they mustn't be too soft and let you slip off track, but they mustn't be too hard on you either! They should be the kind of person you can ring up or visit whenever you're feeling unmotivated to keep going, like a backup supply of energy on the days when you're all out.

5. Take a break now and again.
Remember that it's ok to take a step back and rest from time to time. Lots of us have the tendency to set our goals so high and then feel disheartened when it takes us longer to achieve them. It's perfectly normal to take a step back, re-evaluate the situation and rest before getting back on track. You will almost certainly feel more inspired and positive about the journey towards your goals if you remember to do this!  

How do you like to stay motivated throughout the year?


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Five Beauty Brands To Try This Year

There are so many beauty brands out there, and lots of them have an amazing selection of products that have caused a huge sensation across the blogging world. However, there are definitely some brands which I've tried over the past year or so that seem to be getting everything right... and they've become my go-to brands when I'm on the hunt for a product that I know will be amazing. I thought I'd share five of these brands in today's post, because all of them have an amazing range of products, and if you haven't tried them already - I highly recommend that you do!  

NYX Cosmetics
When it comes to drugstore lip products, look no further, NYX is bound to have you covered. I'm yet to find a lip product from NYX that I don't love. I've raved about the brand on my blog for a while now, but their butter glosses have to be some of my favourite lip glosses of all time. And their lip products aren't the only products worth mentioning - the NYX Prismatic Eyeshadows are absolutely gorgeous. Super affordable, buttery soft and full of pigment! I wrote a whole review on those here.

Sleek MakeUP
I haven't really mentioned how much I love Sleek on my blog, but I really do, and I have done for a long time. They were one of the first brands I ever tried when I first ventured into the world of makeup aged 13, and I've been using their products ever since. I'm a particularly huge fan of their blushes, and even more importantly, their Solstice highlighter palette. It's the palette of dreams. If you don't have it, I  promise you that you need it! I've got my eye on the Cleopatra's Kiss palette next.

This will come as no surprise to you if you're a regular reader because I have a serious obsession with the Charlotte Tilbury beauty line. The packaging is divine, but I know that's not the only reason to buy a product... but a lot of her formulas are spot on. I've mentioned the Filmstar Bronze & Glow palette several times, as well as the beautiful Eyes To Mesmerize Cream Shadows - but another stand out product for me has to be the Goddess Skin Clay Mask. Again, I wrote a full review on this here.

Another slightly more luxury brand, but one I fell in love with immediately. If there's one thing you must try from Tarte, it has to be their blushers. They come in such a wide array of shades - so there will be at least one (if not more) to suit everyone. My favourite shade is Tipsy, a beautiful coral pink, and it featured quite a bit on the blog throughout the summer this year!

Of course, I had to include a brand for nails and no one does it better than Nails Inc. I'm a huge fan of the Kensington Topcoat Caviar Nail Varnish and I use it with every manicure without fail - it dries within 45 seconds so it saves me time and prevents me from smudging freshly painted nails (I'm super impatient as I'm sure a lot of us are). The shade range is beautiful too, and the brand offers lots of different finishes. My favourites are definitely the ones infused with nourishing ingredients like kale - a unique concept but I really have noticed a huge difference in my nails! 

What are your favourite beauty brands?

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The Ultimate Make Up Brush Cleanser

Bobbi Brown Conditioning Makeup Brush Cleanser

Cleaning brushes is probably one of the most boring topics when it comes to beauty but it's definitely one that I think is useful to spend some time talking about. I'm usually someone who gets really lazy when it come to washing my brushes and that's definitely not a good habit at all, so I made a promise that I'd start making a routine of doing things properly this month - I really want this to be something that I'm always on top of! 

I recently discovered a new brush cleanser which has quickly become a total holy grail for this chore, and I can even go as far as to say it actually encourages me to clean them more often. It's incredibly quick and easy to use, it keeps the bristles nice and soft and really lifts all the product off the hairs so that you're left with brushes that look totally new. It's actually none other than the Bobbi Brown Conditioning Brush Cleanser. I'm not usually the kind of blogger that would promote such a high end brush cleanser when I used baby shampoo for years and it worked just fine. What I will say, is that using this cleanser rather than baby shampoo seems to get the job done a lot quicker... which means I'm not standing by the sink with prune fingers midway through the washing process. 

I don't usually like the idea of spending a lot of money on cleaning products for brushes, especially when there are cheaper options out there. But I do feel like this one isn't too steep in price, a little goes a really long way, and it seriously cuts the amount of time you spend doing it in half. It's like a magnet for all the dirt. I would look into it if you're wanting to speed up your brush-cleaning for sure.

What do you like to use to cleanse your makeup brushes?

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Super Berry Breakfast Smoothie

I know it doesn't look particularly appetizing but I promise you, this tastes incredible! It's my favourite smoothie of the moment - it's quick, easy to make and super fruity so if you're a fan of sweet smoothies, this is right up your alley. It's also packed with antioxidants, so it works as the perfect healthy start to your morning.

You will need:
350mls unsweetened almond milk
1 medium ripe banana, chopped
3-4 tbsp of low fat vanilla yoghurt
3 drops of vanilla extract
1 tsp honey (optional)
large handful of sweet, dark cherries
large handful of blueberries
approx. three large strawberries
a sprinkling of coconut sugar

1. In a blender cup, pour in the almond milk. I use a NutriBullet but any high power blender will do. (Side note if you are using a NutriBullet style blender: I always like to add the liquid first so that the other ingredients don't stick to the bottom of the blender and not get blended when turned upside down to blend.)
2. Add the chopped banana, vanilla yoghurt, vanilla extract, honey and the berries and blend until smooth. Pour into some gorgeous glasses. Garnish with more berries and a sprinkle of coconut sugar before serving. Enjoy!

Let me know if you try making this! 
 I'd love to see pictures.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Simple Ways To Update Your Living Space

I don't want to harp on about the fact that it's the new year but I've really been feeling the motivation to freshen parts of my life up. One thing that I love doing every January is sprucing up my living space, so in today's post, I thought I'd share some of the ways I like to  do this:

1. Inject some colour.
Having a colour scheme, no matter how loose, really helps pull a space together and keep it from looking mismatched and cluttered. Finding colours that work well together is something that I find really fun, and it's always such a treat to go out and select homeware bits that fit with your scheme. I'm really into blush pinks and creams, with dove grey and mixed metals to give you an idea, and this is what I look for when I'm on the hunt for some new pieces to add to my home. 

2. Get some greenery. 
Another way to add colour into your space is through plants and shrubbery. This is particularly great if you live in a flat without a garden - it allows you to add something fresh and living, whilst also bringing a bright colour in as well (an extension of point one, I guess).  I bought this set of three cacti from IKEA, they're really low-maintenance and they look adorable on the window sill!  

3. Find a fresh fragrance.
I love adding candles, fresh flowers, room diffusers or sprays - anything that gives the air some scent that's homely and cosy. I usually switch mine up according to season, but recently I've been loving the Diptyque Baies scented candle and (new to my candle collection) the Taper London Grapefruit, Orange and Pink Pomelo* Candle. They're both incredibly fresh, with the latter being super fruity and zesty which I love to burn in the morning as a pick-me-up.  

4. Add personality.
Oh, this one is a bit of a tricky one but it's super fun. I love shopping for quirkier piece which inject some interest into my living space, be it a cushion with a funny motif, a statement ornament or even just a cool looking plant. There's lots of different options out there when it comes to adding personality to your home and it doesn't always have to be bold. Something as simple as framed photographs with your favourite memories adds character to a space. Another way I like to make my home personal is to always have a box of pretty looking chocolates on the dining table for guests. It's something nice (and you can always have a cheeky chocolate yourself when it's been a rough day!).

5. Keep it cosy.
There are so many ways to warm up a space, whether it's adding blankets and cushions or just something as simple and as small as fairy lights. I recently picked up this geometric gold and cream throw from Primark which feels cosy but still brightens the room up. I also like to use candles for warm lighting as well as for the fragrance, and they really help keep the place feeling cosy. It just makes coming home that much more pleasant when everything feels warm and inviting - especially during the colder month of January!  

6. Include something quirky.
I love looking for quirkier pieces when it comes to home decor. I recently picked up an adorable cushion from Urban Outfitters and it's minimalist but still really fun to have on my bed (the one I've linked isn't the same but it's similar - the design I picked up is now out of stock!). I also picked up a cute green trinket dish to house my rings and bracelets (UO is great for little pieces like this). There are some really lovely finds in Primark and Oliver Bonas as well - they have everything from pineapple candles to bright illustrated prints, you're bound to find something that catches your eye.

How do you like to update your living space for the new year?

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Six Instagram Accounts I've Been Loving

I had my final university exam last night so today's blog post is short but sweet! At the end of last month, I wrote up a post featuring six bloggers that had inspired me throughout 2016. I thought I'd write another in the same style, but this time mentioning some gorgeous Instagram accounts that I've been heart eye emoji-ing all over recently:

Catherine: @catherine.mw
Catherine's account has a larger following - and for good reason! I love the blush pink theme that she has running through her images, and if you're into all things pretty and girly, you must give her account a follow. There's lots of sweet treats featured too! 

Lily: @pintsizedphoto
I've loved Lily's blog for a while now and her Instagram account is equally as gorgeous! She's been posting everyday lately and all of her pictures are incredibly dreamy... she knows how to use a camera well and makes great use of colour and theme so her photographs fill my feed with inspiration for my own blog as well! 

Stacey: @staceylouisewhite
Stacey has not just a lovely account, but a lovely personality. You instantly warm to her personality through her Instagram stories, and she's so kind and sweet in her comments. Her photography is stunning too (of course), with fresh and crisp images that create a tidy - yet still relaxed - feel to her feed. 

Rebecca: @fromrosesx0
I've followed Rebecca for a long while now and both her Instagram and blog have some beautiful images which vary from beauty/desk flatlays, to nature, to dainty jewellery... a real mix of bright, airy images that are gorgeous to look at. Well worth a look - and a follow.

Ninz: @ninzbeauty
I've been really into 'busier' flatlays and photographs lately and this girl knows exactly how to pull it off! Her photographs are busy but not overcrowded, perfectly balanced and edited to perfection. They're really creative too, using lots of simple props to liven up the images.

Jessy: @thebeautysanctuaryblog
Last but by no means least: Jessy. This girl's feed is just b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. Her flatlays have me swooning - all the blush pink and gold has me weak at the knees. Another girl who loves bright and airy images with soft colours and beautiful editing. Go follow her! You won't regret it. 

Which Instagram accounts have you been loving lately?
Feel free to link them down below in the comments so I can check them out!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Makeup Musings #7

It's been a while since I did a Makeup Musings post and seeing as I purchased a few beauty treats over the holiday period, I thought it was about time I wrote up another one! 

Ok, so first up - it's not strictly makeup but I'm so excited about this purchase that I decided to include it anyway. I think it's safe to say that many (if not most) beauty bloggers adore Jo Malone. Their fragrances, candles and body creams are some of the most luxurious beauty treats out there, and I thought it was about time that I bought myself a treat from the brand. I'd only ever tried their body cream before (and it's still definitely one of my favourites), but I wanted to pick up the matching cologne to go with it. My favourite scent from the entire range is English Pear and Freesia so of course I went with that one - it's fresh, luscious and so invigorating - definitely the perfect scent to get me pepped for the new year!

I was browsing the Topshop Boxing Day sales and I decided to pick up the Topshop Cream Contour Palette in Unreal. I have never tried cream contour but I've heard it's a really great way to sculpt and define your face without adding lots of layers of powder (which risks ending up looking cakey). I haven't tried using it yet but I'm excited to give it a go once my exams/coursework deadlines are over and I have some time to experiment with my makeup some more!

I've been after the Becca Backlight Priming Filter ever since I tried a sample of it a couple of months ago and I finally splurged and bought it over Christmas. It's (hands down) the best primer that I've ever tried, and I can totally see what the hype was all about when it was first released. It gives a beautiful sheen to the glow, like a lit-from-within glow which boosts radiance and makes foundation look dewy and gorgeous. Totally worth the splurge and I already know this will feature in my favourites!

Beauty Pie has been all over Instagram lately, and for good reason - it's a totally new concept that we've never really seen offered before. The way the brand works is through membership, which in turn allows you to pay factory prices for premium products. This means that you can purchase makeup for next to nothing, yet the product itself is of the same quality and standard as a high end, luxury beauty brand. There are a few other costs to think about though, including shipping costs and membership costs, but I think Fleur's video is the best review out there when it comes to weighing it all up. I chose to try the Beauty Pie Triple Beauty Liquid Luminizer in Golden Whirl because (as you could probably tell when I mentioned the Becca primer) I'm all about the glow these days. This product comes in a little jar and is almost balm-like in texture. I love wearing it on the tops of my cheekbones for a subtle highlight, as well as down the bridge of my nose and on my cupids bow to draw some extra light to these areas.

The Beauty Pie Matte Future Lipstick in Cowboy Nude is another piece from the range that caught my eye. I love matte nude lipsticks and this one seemed like the perfect transitional shade for the new year. It's a really rich and beautiful brown tone with fairly long wear time - however, it can get a little bit drying on the lips so I always find that I have to moisturize well before applying this. 

I also purchased the Real Techniques Sculpting Brush Set from Superdrug in the Boxing Day sales - and yes, it was purely for the fan brush. I've heard so many great things about it and I don't believe you can get it on it's own so I bought the set. I know Real Techniques never disappoint me (I also bought their foundation sponge back in November of last year and I like that a lot too), so I'm excited to try the setting brush and sculpting brush too. Let's hope 2017 is a year of perfect contour... trust me, I need it!

Speaking of makeup application, I've been a huge fan of using the Beautyblender* to apply my foundation for over a year now, especially when I'm wanting to keep my makeup light and natural, without skimping on the coverage. I was kindly sent a new sponge over Christmas, so I think it's time to throw my old one out and use this little guy for the new year (my old one is hardly even pink anymore, eek!).

What beauty bits have you been enjoying recently?

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Golden Eyes & Vintage Lips

Isn't it lovely when the smallest thing inspires you? I found this gorgeous copy of one of my favourite novels of all time (I mean, which literature student doesn't love Gatsby?) in a local bookstore and it's just one of those small things that made me so incredibly happy. There's a whole collection of covers with lots of F Scott Fitzgerald's works but they're also quite pricey, so I chose my favourite for the time being! After spending an evening reading, I was suddenly inspired to go through my makeup stash and put together a look that feels sophisticated and oozes glamour whilst still being wearable for everyday (after all, party season is over for a little while - at least for me). 

Of course Charlotte Tilbury is a one stop shop for anything classy and glamourous. Her packaging alone makes any makeup addict swoon and the quality of her products make them well worth the extra money. The Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow Compact is the perfect compact for sculpting, whether you want to keep it subtle or if you want to build it up for something a little more intense. I'm also all about lots of lash - the more the better - so you might remember the post I wrote last year dedicated to the Legendary Lashes mascara too. It's still one of the most gorgeous mascaras I've ever tried and I'm already on my second tube. It's on the clumpier side, but the good kind of clumpy... and I love it. Perfect for this effortlessly vintage-inspired look.

For eyes, the NYX Prismatic Eyeshadow in Liquid Gold packs a stunning amount of bright golden pigment which lasts really well. I like to use a basic dark matte brown shadow in my crease and then blend this gold all across my lid for a gilded metallic eye that is still well defined. What's more, if you use it with a damp brush, the sparkle is even stronger... and I'm all over thatIn terms of lips, the Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in L'Amoureuse is perfect for that in-between plum and rose shade that screams all things Gatsby. It's a really classy colour and I haven't come across anything quite like it - it completes the look so well!  

So these are the beauty bits that I've been reaching for over the past few days and it's all because of a book cover. I do love it when that happens though - and it's encouraged me to switch up my everyday makeup look and try something new.

What makeup bits have you been enjoying recently?

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

How To Set Attainable Goals

In Sunday's post I talked about the things I'd like to do and achieve this year, and to draw on from that, I thought that today I would write up some tips and tricks for successful goal setting:

1. Make them specific.
It's incredibly important to set goals which you know how you want to go about achieving. It's actually incredibly easy to set goals that you think make sense but in reality, they're actually quite vague. For instance, you might set a goal such as 'be healthier', but really, what does 'being healthy' mean to you? Sound familiar? Laying out exactly what you mean with each goal is a really simple way to break down a goal into something specific, and so achievable, in your mind. 

2. Know the importance of planning.
I love planning, and I'm so glad that I do because it's so useful when it comes to setting attainable goals. This also draws on my first point about being specific - planning becomes a lot easier when you can pin point the stepping stones towards achieving your targets. It also means you can place everything on a time scale, and this works especially well if you're a visual person. Of course, try not to be too rigid though - things do sometimes get in the way and your planning should allow for that! 

3. Keep them measurable.
Long term goals are great in the long run, but a really great way to keep focused on them is to keep them measurable. This allows you to stay time-specific, so you can record your progress as the year goes on. For example, I've done this for my blogging related goals this year: I have a big number goal in mind on all my social platforms, but also smaller goals which encourage me to stay on track and keep me motivated. 

4. Be realistic.
Oh, this one is a bit of a tricky one. It can be really hard to find that fine line between being too optimistic and not optimistic enough. The way I try and set realistic goals is by measuring up my plan of action - hence me mentioning to keep things measurable. If I can see my progress throughout the year, it becomes easier to gauge where I'm headed, and what a reasonable and realistic goal would be for me. 

5. Hold yourself accountable.
This one is good for when you need a little motivation. Reminding yourself why you're working towards a certain goal can be tricky at times, but it's incredibly important. I find one of the best ways to do this is to look back at what I've already achieved - and I mean on a really regular basis. If I'm constantly being grateful for how far I've come, it often ends up pushing me towards working even harder. Try it, it works wonders.

I hope you've all had a great start to the new year!
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