Thursday, 29 June 2017

June Loves.

I've been keeping things as glowy, rosy and fresh this month - with everything from beauty and lifestyle, to fashion and home. I know that July will be full of favourites, so I'm stripping things back for June! Here's what I've been loving this month:

The Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel has been a long term favourite of mine, as with most beauty bloggers. I use it religiously, but recently I've been experimenting with a new skincare tool (more details next month), and this cleanser works beautifully with it. It's incredibly nourishing and soothing on my dry skin, and it leaves my face feeling fresh without being stripped of natural oils. It is more pricey than the average cleanser, but with skincare, I think it's definitely worth it.

As I mentioned before, I've kept things super simple on the makeup front. Mascara has been my go-to product, on top of curled lashes. It looks fresh and natural, very light and easy to wear for summer. My trusty Shiseido Eyelash Curlers give the perfect curl without breaking or pulling any lashes which is exactly what I need from a lash curler - so these have taken permanent residence in my makeup bag this month.

With curled lashes, I've been loving a beautiful summer glow and a very fresh and dewy base for my makeup. The L'oreal True Match Foundation is known for being a great light foundation with decent coverage and a glowy finish so I picked it up at the end of May to give it a whirl. I can honestly say it's one of the best drugstore foundations that I've ever used - incredibly lightweight, easy to blend, long wearing and dewy. The coverage is buildable, and with the L'oreal True Match Concealer I get exactly the kind of flawless base I want - one that still looks natural, and a your-skin-but-better finish.

I popped into Home Bargains the other week to check out their homeware section, and I stumbled across a whole newly launched makeup range by Olivia Hale. The packaging looked incredibly sleek (everything was packaged in neat black boxes), and each item was priced at 99 pence as an introductory offer. Of course, I was intrigued! I ended up choosing the Olivia Hale Lipgloss and Liner in Antique Rose which seemed to swatch the best, and I've been wearing them together a lot this month. The formula isn't sticky like most glosses, and the colour payoff is beautiful. It's a gorgeous warm rose pink that wears well and looks beautiful with the minimal makeup that I've been loving so much. Two total bargains!

I worked with jewellery designer Annie Haak designs this month, and I was kindly sent the Annie Haak Exquisite Bracelet Stack*. The bracelets are subtle, sparkly and incredibly well made, so I know they won't just be a favourite this month! Annie Haak has some beautiful jewellery designs which can be layered and stacked together for a more statement look too - and I'm totally in love with the pieces I've seen. 

My new Zara Pom Pom Basket Bag is something I bought for my holiday next month but I love it so much that I've started using it already! It's the most adorable straw raffia bag with a pom pom trim and long handles so you can wear it on your shoulder. I know I'll be using it a lot next month too, as well as this stunning Red Mini Tote Bag that I also purchased from Zara for the summer. In fact, I've overhauled my wardrobe with a lot of new pieces from Zara which I'm totally smitten with!

Fresh flowers have been a serious favourite this month. I've been loving warm summer afternoons in the garden with BBQs or iced coffee. The peonies have been in full bloom and they look absolutely gorgeous! 

What have been your favourites this month?


Sunday, 25 June 2017

Six Summer Discoveries.

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to win a giveaway! The prize was a gorgeous beauty box from Look Fantastic which was filled with goodies to enhance your summer glow for the season. Lots of the brands in the box were completely new to me, so I decided that a blog post sharing some of these new product discoveries would be a great way to share them. 

One of my most exciting summer discoveries this month has to be the James Read H20 Gradual Tan Mist which gives the most gorgeous radiance boosting glow both underneath and on top of makeup. It's perfect for a spritz of moisture, and subtle golden tan which builds gradually throughout the day. The formula is stain-free and infused with rose water to keep skin supple and fresh, and it works as a gorgeous setting spray after applying makeup.

Speaking of makeup, the box contained a full size Mellow Baked Eyeshadow in Cream which is such a lovely warm ivory brightening eyeshadow. I have loved using mine in the inner corner of my eye for a subtle awakening effect. As it has a satin finish, it doesn't look too harsh and lightens your eye area without appearing unnatural. It's incredibly affordable too, so I'll definitely be taking a look at the other shades in this collection! 

I have always been intrigued by coffee scrubs, but when it's infused with summer, it's all the more exciting! The Scrub Love Hydrating Body Scrub in Coconut Cranberry is the perfect summer body scrub with anti-oxidant rich, skin loving ingredients. The coconut shell is meant to remove dead skin cells, whilst the cranberry oils hydrate the skin and boost radiance - sounds perfect, right?! It smells incredible too, and it's such a quick and easy product to use in the shower. 

Another facial care find has been the Real Chemistry Three Minute Peel which is probably the most unusual product in the beauty box. It's a gel textured cleanser that solidifies into small rubbings as you apply it in circle like motions on your face. These 'rubbings' contain dead skin which has been peeled off your face (it sounds gross I know!), but it really leaves your skin feeling new and fresh.

The NuFace Prep N Glow Cleansing Cloth is the one product that I have officially tried yet but I'm very excited to use. I'm actually saving it for the plane trip to Canada because it claims to be the perfect little cloth for on the go cleansing, exfoliating and hydrating - like a three-in-one cleansing routine, which makes it ideal for travel. This sounds ideal for any summer holidays coming up, and they're the perfect size to fit into your handbag.

Last but certainly not least, there's a little haircare discovery. The System Professional Luxe Oil Reconstructive Elixir has been all that I've used on my hair recently. It's a lightweight oil that works to condition, nourish and reconstruct hair from within, defending against dryness and the harsh external atmosphere. One pump of this goes a really long way, so I know that even this mini size is going to last me a while!

All in all, a gorgeous summer box! I've always been a bit sceptical about beauty box subscriptions as I never know if they are really worth it - but this one certainly seems it. The samples were incredibly decently sized, and it had a whole range of beautiful products to try. 
Have you tried any of these gorgeous summer products?


Thursday, 22 June 2017

Strawberry Lime Mocktails.

With this awfully long heatwave spreading across the UK, I've been all about ice cold beverages. It's so important to drink lots of fluid, particularly in this kind of scorching weather, and what better way to do this than with pretty coloured drinks?! I don't drink alcohol, and so mocktails make the perfect substitute on days when it's hot and I'm feeling fancy. This is one of my favourite recipes - it's not that bad for you, it tastes delicious, and you can adjust the quantities to suit what you prefer.

You will need:
Sparkling water
1 cup lemonade
2 tsp rose water
Lime wedges
Fresh strawberries
5 tbsp sugar
Crushed ice

Heat the sugar in a pan with some water over medium heat until it dissolves. Let the  mixture cool before adding a handful of mashed strawberries and straining through a sieve. This makes your strawberry syrup. Make sure it has cooled completely before using in the next step.

In a glass, pour sparkling water over crushed ice until about half full. In a separate bowl, stir together the strawberry syrup and rose water before adding to the water. Top up the remainder of the glass with lemonade. Feel free to garnish the drinks with strawberry and lime slices for an extra summery touch!

What has been your favourite summer drink?

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Holographic Holiday Hues.

If you caught my Insta stories from this week, you might have seen that I was very kindly sent the new Sleek MakeUP collection to try out and review - seeing as I love it so much, I've managed to put together a little post straight away, so here are my thoughts:

Words could not even describe how excited I was when I saw that Sleek MakeUP had released a new highlighting palette as part of their summer collection! As with most others, I'm a huge fan of the Solstice palette, so any new highlight launch from the brand is a must have for me. The new release is the Sleek Distorted Dreams Highlighting Palette* that features five stunning iridescent shades to boost your glow on a whole other level. There are two powder shades, and three creams, each beautiful in their own right. The pans are smaller than the solstice palette, but you do get an extra shade in there - and for such an affordable price, it's the perfect holiday highlight kit. 

Along with this palette, Sleek also released three brand new Matte Me Liquid Lipsticks - but these ones are with a twist. Each shade has a beautiful metallic sheen that is gorgeous, yet still incredibly wearable. Each shade name is beautiful too! The Sleek Matte Me Liquid Lipstick in Rusted Rose* is a dreamy pink based foil that looks stunning paired with some of the icier highlights from the palette. The shade Volcanic* is a more golden foil which I can already see as being a huge favourite for the summer! Again, the quality is stunning and the pigmentation is gorgeous. Last but certainly not least, the shade Roman Copper* is the deepest of the three, with a more rose gold foiled finish. I'm in love with them all!

This entire collection is definitely a must-see, especially if you love experimenting with more holographic hues. Each product is buildable, so you can keep it subtle or take it up a notch with full on festival vibes! At the time of writing, there's currently a 3 for 2 offer on Sleek MakeUP at Superdrug so well worth picking up before it runs out.

Have you tried the new Sleek MakeUP collection?


*PR samples

Sunday, 18 June 2017

The Basic Blogger Products That Are Totally Worth It.

There are so many products that the beauty blogosphere love and fill their social channels with, and some of them are real classics. Most of these products (if not all) are because they're extremely photogenic, but I wanted to talk a little bit about the cliche purchases that are actually worth the extra pennies, because they perform as well as look good in photographs. Here are my favourite 'basic blogger' favourites:

These pricey perfumes are honestly some of the most intensely fragranced scents that I've ever come across. Each scent is really unique and special, and they last so long. I remember when I first sampled a Jo Malone fragrance at Duty Free - the scent lingered even after the entire long haul flight! My favourite scents from the range are English Pear & Freesia and Peony & Blush Suede.

Baies. This beauty crops up a lot on my Instagram feed, and for good reason. The jars are perfect for minimal lovers and scent lovers alike. Diptyque have a whole range of clean, crisp scents that add that something extra, both to your home and to a photograph. Not to mention, the jars are recyclable (I talk about that a bit more in this post), and they work really well as makeup brush holders or pen pots when the candle runs out.

Pink ones of course! I bought my first bunch of the season last week and they've been filling my room with the most beautiful summery scent. It's no surprise that these are such a favourite among bloggers - they're pink, they're bold and their Blair Waldorf's favourite (that must count for something, no?!).  But in all seriousness, totally worth it when the season allows, they always manage to lift my mood when I'm not feeling the best.

How could I possibly write this post without including a little Tilbury? I love everything I own from the brand, and the lipsticks are especially photogenic! The one photographed is called Pillow Talk, but I've written a whole post about my whole Charlotte Tilbury lipstick collection here. 

More rose gold of course! I've now acquired two sets - so worth the investment because they are super soft and work wonders to apply makeup smoothly. There's the beautiful eye set, which I reviewed here a few months back, or the face brush sets. I use these every time I apply my makeup without fail, they are such good quality brushes.

Coffee Table Reads.
I'm building a shelf of beautiful lifestyle books that work beautifully as props for photographs. They're usually really enjoyable to read, gorgeously presented and quite affordable. A popular one is Love, Style, Life by Garance Dore - it often makes an appearance on my blog and I love dipping into it from time to time. Amazon is my go-to shop for a good new book at reasonable prices.

This was definitely a fun post to write, and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Have a lovely Sunday! 

Thursday, 15 June 2017

My Glossy Summer Lip Picks.

I've been switching up my makeup a lot recently, and I've found myself drawn towards lighter versions of basically every makeup product. One of these switches is definitely with lipsticks, and I'm really enjoying tints, glosses and balms as an alternative to the heavier formulas I love throughout winter! Here are some of my favourite formulas:

The Revlon Lip Butters were everything back in the day when they were first released and I've been holding onto the Revlon Lip Butter in Sweet Tart for far too long! I believe they're now discontinued and they've become really hard to find but there are still some places that you can buy them. If you can get your hands on them, they're the perfect formula for a beautifully fresh summer lip. I have no idea why such a gorgeous product would disappear off the shelves! 

I could go on and on about the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatmentsparticularly in the shade Rose. It's such a beautiful hint of colour with the right amount of shine for the perfect strawberry stained lip look. So summery, and well.... fresh.

For a subtler gloss, I always reach for the Dior Lip Glow in Coral which changes colour with the heat from your lips. It's a soft, warm glow that compliments light makeup beautifully. I often pair this with a bit of concealer, mascara and a peachy blush for a quick summer makeup look.

I actually purchased the Laura Geller Colour Drenched Lipgloss in Cafe au Lait for my mum's birthday as part of a gift set, but I've been stealing it back to use a lot! It's a perfect pigmented summer gloss with a gorgeous juicy finish. I love switching my brown-toned nude lipsticks for high-shine glosses in the summertime and this one is a beautiful option for that.

For something a little less glossy, but definitely more of a satin sheen, the Nars Lip Pencil in Rikugien is a must-have. I adore the formula of Nars lip pencils (or anything from Nars for that matter!), and this is definitely a go-to shade for a high pigment, easy-to-wear lip.

Speaking of being quick and easy, the Buxom Lip Creme in Dolly is for the girls who love a lotta shine, and a voluminous pout. If you don't mind the tingle, this is such a mouth-watering peach pink gloss that looks absolutely gorgeous on. They have such a massive shade selection, but this is by far my favourite!

What are your favourite everyday summer lip picks?


Tuesday, 13 June 2017

A Brighter, Whiter Smile.

With this month being National Smile Month, I thought it was the perfect time to share some of my new favourite teeth whitening products for an extra bright smile. A few weeks ago, I was emailed and asked to try the new whitening range by Janina Ultra White to make my summer smile whiter and brighter - and of course, I had to say yes! Oral hygiene is something I take very seriously, and I'm always up for trying new products that make me feel even more confident. Having the perfect white smile can definitely be a huge confidence booster, so when a couple of products from the range were delivered through my door, I couldn't wait to try them and share my thoughts.

First up were the Janina Ultra White Pre-filled Trays*. This claims to make teeth up to seven shades whiter in just five days. The box comes with five pre-filled trays that you simply slot into place in your mouth and leave for half an hour. It can tingle a bit, especially if you have sensitive teeth like me, but not excessively so. I don't really have many stains on my teeth, but I enjoyed using the trays as an extra brightening treatment. 

** Side note: Please excuse my excessively dry lips - the Accutane is really kicking in! They've been chapped and sore all month. **  

The second product they kindly sent over was the Janina Ultra White Whitening Toothpaste*. This toothpaste claims to be a gentle, effective everyday stain removal solution. I wanted to try it out straight away and I've been using it twice a day for about three weeks now. However, I have to say, I wasn't as wowed as I was expecting to be. It is a new concept - the paste is black and has activated charcoal to help with stain removal, but it didn't feel as refreshing as other toothpastes I've used. I don't know if that's just me, because I like a strong toothpaste, but this one didn't seem to do the trick. For such an expensive toothpaste, I was expecting to be thrilled with the results - but that didn't seem to happen with this one.

Saying that, I did really enjoy the pre-filled whitening trays, and I do think they're worth the investment for a brighter, whiter smile this summer! It's a short course, and well worth it for the extra confidence that a gorgeous white smile can give. 

Have you tried any Janina Ultra Whitening products before?
What are your thoughts on them?

*items kindly gifted by Janina Ultra White

Saturday, 10 June 2017

My Lazy Weekend Favourites.

Breakfast in bed.
This is my ultimate weekend treat - I absolutely love taking a tray up to bed and enjoying a light breakfast whilst watching a sitcom on Netflix. Even in summer, nothing beats a steaming cup of coffee in the morning, with a pastry or a bowl of fresh fruit. Definitely something I'll be doing a lot this season, especially when the mornings are beautifully bright! I know that breakfast in bed sometimes gets a bad reputation for being a bit slobbish, but I think it's a wonderful treat to look forward to at the weekend. I find it really wakes me up and puts me in a really good mood.

Movie marathons.
These happen on rare occasions, but I love it when they do! I remember when a friend and I watched all of the Harry Potter movies back to back across a long weekend. It was both exhausting and brilliant at the same time, especially as we watched them all on her high-def television. I've been wanting one of my own ever since, and the Panasonic 4K TV* is definitely near the top of my list for when I move into my new home this summer. I've thought about investing in a quality TV for a while, but I've never managed make the commitment real.

Online shopping.
To be honest, I don't think this favourite is strictly kept for the weekend. I find myself sliding into the world of online retail all the time, and there's a whole folder of apps on my phone that prove it! Brands often do send out discount codes on weekends though, especially long weekends and holidays (especially ASOS), so I look out for these and place big orders when they're active. I often forget when I've placed an order though, so it's always a surprise when they arrive - and there's always so much more than I remember ordering! 

Browse my favourite blogs.
Of course, blogging is a huge part of my life and I love interacting with lots of wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs! The weekend is the best time for me to catch up on any posts and comment on my favourite ones. I also love to organize my own blog posts and make sure I have ideas scheduled to go up throughout the week. YouTube is something I also occasionally dip into and watch - all at the weekend too.

Lounge in the garden.
The weather hasn't been all that beautiful lately, but the few days of sunshine that we did have were spent lazing on the grass outside. The flowers are in full bloom outside - there's a whole bunch of huge magenta peonies growing and it would be such a shame not to enjoy them whilst they're looking their best. Taking a cool drink and a good book to enjoy in the sunshine is definitely something I want to do more of before I move next month!

What are your favourite ways to spend a lazy weekend?


*this post is in collaboration with Panasonic

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

How I Plan Content For My Blog.

Despite what some people think, blogging is an extremely time consuming activity - and I think every other blogger out there will agree with me! Don't get me wrong - I love creating content and that is exactly why I blog, but it does take up a lot of time. I'm lucky that I've always been a very organised person, so I have managed to work out a strategy that works when it comes to planning the posts I want to upload. I like mapping everything out so I can make sure I'm writing a variety of content, and not focusing too much on one particular theme. Here are some of my favourite tips for planning blog content:

Keep a journal full of ideas.
I've been doing this ever since I started blogging because it's often my go-to place for inspiration of what to write next. I keep a journal full of lists in different categories, pictures and cut-outs - even titles that I thought sounded catchy! It's very much like a Pinterest board in book form.

Decide whether you prefer a digital or paper method of organisation.
I prefer paper myself (I've always been a stationery kinda girl), so these beautiful blog planner pads from Paper Chic Co are perfect for me! The site has stationery specifically designed for bloggers and content creators to keep tabs on all they've got going on, so I've bought several different notepads which helps me plan for each week.

Designate one session a week for photography.
This usually works for me. I spend a while arranging the objects I want to photograph and then snap away. I need about six photographs that I'm happy with for three different posts a week, plus Instagram shots so it takes time to get it right. Usually this is the hardest part of planning a post, but it's the most satisfying to get done!

Keep track of your emails.
I've been doing this one more and more lately so that I don't forget the different projects I'm working on/planning. List making is something I've always loved to do, but recently, I've been keeping a list of products that I've been sent or that I'm trying out to review so that I can make sure each post is up on time. That's another reason I love the planner from Paper Chic Co, because there's plenty of room to keep note of these things!

Schedule in advance.
I've been finding this one tricky lately because I'm so caught up in planning the wedding, but I usually schedule each post well in advance so I don't need to worry about posting on time. It takes the stress of uploading away, and you are able to choose the exact date and time that the post goes up. I've found this tip super useful when this get a little hectic!

What are your top tips for planning blog content?


Sunday, 4 June 2017

Three Drugstore Finds.

If you saw my Instagram story a couple of weeks ago, you might remember that I paid a final visit to the Superdrug in Exeter before I left university. L'oreal had a 3 for 2 offer on, and so I picked up a trio of treats to try for the summer. In the story, I promised a review, so here it is...

I went for the cult products that I had never tried, so of course the L'oreal True Match Foundation had to be one of them! I know so many people rave about this foundation, it's lightweight formula and buildable coverage make it the ideal base for me. I've been using it non-stop for the past few weeks and I am smitten. I love how light it feels on my skin, it's so easy to blend and the coverage is medium and buildable. It conceals my redness and adds a nice healthy glow to my complexion - exactly what I needed after my trusty Nars Sheer Glow ran out! If you're on the hunt for a nice, light summer base, this is a great option from the drugstore.

To go with the foundation, I picked up the L'oreal True Match Concealer in Beige. The formula of this concealer is really light and creamy, just like the foundation, so I found it to be quite slippery and not for blemishes or areas that need higher coverage. I prefer using this under my eyes and setting it with a good loose powder to keep it in place - it's brightening, blendable and beautiful at concealing any under-eye circles. I do stick to my Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer for peskier blemishes though!

Last but by no means least, the L'oreal Miss Baby Roll Mascara was at the top of my list as soon as I walked into Superdrug. I've heard such good things ever since it was launched earlier this year and I had to see if it was worth all that hype! I love the wand of this mascara, it's dense with bristles but they're each evenly spaced in a spiral-like fashion, which makes it really easy to 'roll' the wand in an upwards motion across the lashes. It works to lift and lengthen, whilst adding a ton of volume which I love. Again, if you're looking for a new affordable mascara, I highly recommend this one!

So, these are my new favourites from the drugstore... I'm really impressed with L'oreal and I'm excited to try more from the brand. I already love their nailvarnishes and lipsticks - anything else I should try? 

Have you discovered any gems at the drugstore recently?


Thursday, 1 June 2017

June Goals.

May was quite chaotic and I imagine June is going to be the same way for me! 
Here are my goals for this month:

1. Finalize the wedding plans.
I can't believe the big day is just over a month away, it's come around so fast! There are still some final touches to sort out with catering and photography, so I know that this month will be busy with organizing that. I also have a tonne of packing to do because there won't be time after the wedding. I'll be sorting out all of my belongings - and I already know that's going to be a mammoth task!

2. Find a lipstick for the big day.
I already have my scent sorted - it's Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede all the way - but I'm yet to find the perfect lipstick. I've been searching high and low but I just can't seem to find the right shade! I do have a Feel Unique voucher that needs to be used by the end of June so I'm hoping to have a browse this weekend and pick a couple of shades out to try.

3. Enjoy my time in London.
I've grown up in London and I know I'm going to miss it. The city is such a huge part of me, and it's definitely become even more that way over the past few years. I want to make the most of my time here because there's no place like it (if you also live in London, or you've visited, you'll know what I mean)! Don't get me wrong, I am incredibly excited to start fresh in a new environment and experience new adventures in a place that is so beautiful. Victoria is known for lush scenic views and long roads, and it's also a small city which means (hopefully) I'll get the best of both worlds.

4. Put together a Sephora wishlist.
I know I'll have a giant Sephora about ten minutes drive from me when I move (I'm so excited), but I already have a whole list forming in my head of all the wonderful products that I want to swatch and buy. Expect lots of beauty hauls throughout the summer - and potentially homeware hauls too once I settle in.  

5. Research my new home.
Even though I've been to Canada a lot, there's still so much I don't know about the country. I've only ever visited one part of it, and I want to know more about the place as a whole. This month will definitely involve some serious research into the best places to visit, dine and enjoy... I want to compile a whole long list of things to do once I get there. If anyone has any recommendations, I'd love to know in the comments!

What are your goals for June?
I'd love to know!

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