Goals For 2016

Now I don't know about you but I always make New Years Resolutions and never seem to stick to them. Maybe it's my lack of will power or maybe it's the whole idea itself. I find that I have a lot more motivation to change or do well if I'm working towards a goal rather than just trying to change something about myself. This year instead of just aiming to "lose weight" in general I set myself goals to achieve, I set myself a goal weight and an exercise schedule and I found that having something to actually work towards really helped with my motivation. So this year instead of making New Year's Resolutions, I'm setting goals. Things to work towards rather than change instantly.

What I Got For Christmas 2015

First, let me say, I hope those of you who celebrate had a wonderful Christmas, I hope you stuffed yourselves silly with delicious food, were surrounded by friends and family and got positively spoilt! For those who don't celebrate, I hope you had a lovely day regardless! I had Christmas at home this year (last year we spent it abroad in Florida) and I had such a lovely time being surrounded by my family, I feel it's one the main times we're all together all day long and it's such a special day. Plus I know a lot of other members of my family love Christmas just as much as me, so it's always a really nice, happy day. Unfortunately I've been pretty ill the last week or so, so I did end up in bed by 8pm but regardless, I still had such a really nice day. We started off the day by opening presents and having a couple of croissants before the big dinner at 2pm. I was well and truly stuffed by the end of it, we still have some leftovers in the fridge now!

New Year's Eve Party Beauty

Though I will be spending New Years Eve as I have spent the last three years, serving pints to others who are actually enjoying their night (booo bar work), I thought I'd share a couple of my makeup picks that I've been loving recently and I would wear if I were to go out. And with every makeup look I've had this month, it's all about the glow. Dewy base, metallic eyeshadow and highlight on fleek. Because there's only so I long I feel I can get away with looking like a human glitter ball.

Christmas Face Of The Day

I don't know about you but I've had my Christmas Day makeup planned for at least two weeks now. What can I say... I'm organised (or just mad, I'll let you decide). This will be the first year that I'm going all out with my makeup, normally you'll find me bare faced in my pyjamas but since we're having lots of family and friends round and possibly off visiting others, I thought I'd make a special effort. I wanted something that was going to give me a flawless finish, last all day and still be massively festive. So a gold eye and red lips was the obvious choice for me!

The Christmas Tag

Christmas for me really is the most wonderful time of the year. The music, the weather, the general sense of joy that this time of year brings, everything about it just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I've always been more of a home bird, I thrive off spending time with my family and loved ones, stuffing our faces with amazing food and sitting in front of the fire watching all the Christmas specials on TV. I found a few of these tags floating around the internet but I much preferred the questions in this one so I thought I'd go ahead and answer them and maybe give you a little more insight into the person behind the blog.

White Chocolate & Malteaser Cheesecake

When it comes to baking, I tend to stick with what I know, mainly cupcakes and cakes of some sort as the flavours are so easy to mix up and decorating is always fun. But for Christmas I wanted to try out something a little different, as I'm personally not a fan of the usual Christmas dessert options like mince pies, Christmas pudding or Christmas cake. Having not made a cheesecake in years, I thought it was time to try one out again This recipe is super easy to follow and make, mainly consisting of just mixing up ingredients, whacking them in a cake tin and leaving them to set. No baking involved whatsoever!

My Favourite Festive Nail Polishes

Christmas and New Years is the time of year for me when I feel it's totally acceptable to crack out just about every sequin dress or glittery accessory that I can get my mitts on and nail varnishes are no exception. Whether used as a top coat, an all over finish or as an accent nail, glitter or metallic polishes are the perfect way to add a pop of sparkle to your nails. I'm more of an all over the nail girl myself. I've gathered up a handful of the ones I own to share with you today ranging from the more subtle to full on sparkle. A few of these are really old and difficult if not impossible to get your hands on now but there's a massive selection of similar or duplicate shades out there. This is just to give you a little nailspiration this year!

Festive Lips, Cheeks and Eyes

It's officially party season and what better time to crack out the super shimmery eyeshadows, glitter, intense highlight and red lips. If you're anything like me, you'll already have your Christmas day makeup planned. (Is it way too early?) But I wanted to put together a few different bits that I think will work across the festive season up until the New Year, including some adorable antlers from Asda. how cute are these? They're a nice festive addition for parties for those of you who don't feel like going the whole hog with a Christmas jumper.

Beauty Blogger "Get To Know Me" Tag

I was recently tagged by the lovely Rebecca at Northern Soul Beauty to take part in the Beauty Blogger "Get To Know Me" tag. Here's my answers, hopefully this might give you a little more insight into the girl behind the blog.

Makeup Geek Haul | Review & Swatches

I'll be the first to admit that when I heard Makeup Geek were being released on Beauty Bay, I went a litttttle bit crazy. And when I say crazy I mean I originally thought I'd fill a medium Z Palette and then ended up having to order the large which I seem to have nearly filled already. My bad! This is the result of combining dissertation procrastination and late nights. All the shadows I have were bought from 3 separate orders, basically whenever they were back in stock and I could get my hands on some, I went for it.

Gingerbread & Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Baking posts are some of my absolute favourites to write on my blog and not just because I end up with a batch of cupcakes or brownies at the end of them! I love spending a morning baking and decorating, I find it incredibly relaxing and I always get such positive feedback with these kinds of posts. Since we're heading towards Christmas, the time of year when I can stuff my face full of calorie laden goodies and not feel guilty about it, I though I'd do one or two festive themed bakes for you to tempt your taste buds with. I've gone for a very stereotypical yet delicious flavour, gingerbread. Mixed with a cream cheese frosting these are incredibly moist, rich and delicious.

Soap & Glory Makeup | Review

Though I have a few of their beauty products, when I think of Soap & Glory the first thing that comes to mind isn't necessarily their makeup. The mind tends to jump towards shower gels and body butters before it does pressed powder and eyeliner, despite the fact that the majority that I've tried from them are wonderful for the price. I've gathered up my little collection of products from them to tell you what I would recommend and what I wouldn't buy again.

Keeping That Summer Glow

Even though we're moving into Winter now, I still like to do everything I can to keep my ghost like skin looking bronzed and tanned from top to bottom. I've pulled a few bits and pieces from my collection that I use to give my complexion that instant boost of colour that it needs without looking like I've been completely tangoed.

Kate Moss by Rimmel Lipsticks

If you can't afford to splash out on lipsticks from brands like Mac then it's always nice to have a good drugstore alternative. My go to brand since I was young has always been Rimmel. I remember wearing the shade 016 Heart Breaker from their Lasting Finish range religiously when I was in college (that might have something to do with it being pretty much the only lipstick I owned at the time, boy how things have changed). My favourites in particular are the lipsticks in the Kate Moss collections. There's a really nice range of colours and finishes for everyone, and at just £5.49 a pop, they really are great value for money. I've gathered all mine together to show you!

Things To Do This Winter

For my first December blogging, I decided that I want to up my posts to every other day from the 1st to the 25th, it's sort of my attempt to do Blogmas without completely bogging myself down. If I didn't have a dissertation to write, pints to pour and projects to finish, I'd probably push myself to post every day. But unfortunately, life gets in the way sometimes. I've still got a ton of festive posts coming your way, with all sorts covering beauty and lifestyle. The first thing I wanted to do was something a little bit different for me, a list of things to try out or do this Winter season.

My Simple Winter Skincare

It's safe to say that when it comes to skincare, my routine is extremely lacklustre. I've never had an in depth routine full of dozens of products because in all honesty, I don't feel like my skin needs it. When I was younger I experimented with facial scrubs and moisturisers and just found that if anything they made my skin worse and left me with more breakouts than when I started. That's when I decided to keep it extremely simple and that's what works for me. It also saves me spending an arm and a leg on products that I might not necessarily like. As I get older I would like to experiment and invest in some more skincare but for now this is what I used on a regular basis and what works wonders for my skin.

NARS One Shocking Moment Palette | Review

Far be it for me to try and resist a blush palette, especially one from NARS that features four blushers, Laguna bronzer and two contour shades. This latest offering from NARS comes from their Steven Klein collection, a collaboration with the famous photographer that has resulted in a range of beautiful and playful products. The design of these products is a massive selling point to me, the One Shocking Moment is no exception, incorporating incredibly quirky fashion photography on the front, think high end avant garde fashion. It makes a fantastic addition to any dressing table! And as if the outside wasn't enough, the inside is even more spectacular.

Christmas Gift Guides

Christmas shopping can be really difficult if you don't know where to start. Me and my sister are so similar that I could spend hundreds picking bits up for her because they're normally bits I like too, but I find it particularly difficult to shop for the men in my family. It's always made even harder by just getting a "don't know" when you ask what they want. (JUST TELL ME SOMETHING!). It's the same for me too, as I've got older I find it a lot harder to make a list of things that I want without handing over a massive list of lipsticks, eyeshadow palettes and blushers. Gone are the days of sitting with an Argos catalogue and cutting out the pictures of all the toys I wanted to send off to Santa. With a month or so left until the big day I thought I'd throw together a few ideas for those of you who may be struggling, with a little something for everyone, from the beauty obsessives to the gadget lovers and a price to suit everyone's budget. Here are a few of my picks for Christmas presents this year! (I have a feeling this might be a long post, brace yourselves.)

Blogs I'm Loving

One of my favourite parts of blogging is connecting with other people who share the same passion for writing as I do and though I'd been reading blogs long before I started my own, I didn't realise just how amazing and supportive this community was. I've spoken to so many amazing people in the short amount of time that I've had this little corner of the internet and I love how everyone is so willing to share the love, whether that be by commenting on a post, following on social media or leaving a message on Twitter to tell someone you enjoy their blog. I've never met such encouraging and supportive people, so I thought it was my time to share the love by telling you about a few of the blogs I've been loving recently. 

Go Customized Phone Case | Review*

Being an Android user, it can be really difficult to find phone cases that I like. Sure, there's cases for most phones out there if you look hard enough but you can end up paying an arm and a leg or the case itself is just plain boring or awful. I've lost count of the amount of times I've stared longingly at the cases on places like Skinnydip London and wished they made cases for a wider range of phones. So when I was contacted by GoCustomized, a company of Dutch origin, and asked if I would like to collaborate with them on a post, I couldn't say no! Especially after seeing that they have a huge range of cases for pretty much every make and model you could imagine. On their website they have a massive range of personalised phone cases and other gadget accessories to choose from, so you're bound to find something to suit your needs.

Thank You NARS

Everything I've tried from NARS, I've loved. Their Deepthroat blush is in my all time favourites and my most recent purchase from them, the One Shocking Moment palette, is an absolute dream. They're one of those brands that although on the pricey side of things, always nail it with their products and make me feel like I'm really getting something luxurious and quality. So I'm sure you can imagine my excitement when a message popped up in my Instagram recently from NARS, asking for my details so they could send me a thank you gift for being a loyal #NARSISSIST. I had to double check and then check again that it wasn't some sort of hoax or joke and had really come from their official account before I scrambled to send along my details. I even checked again in the morning that it hadn't been some sort of dream. 

Let's Talk Eyeshadow Palettes

It's only within the last month or so that I've really gotten into wearing eyeshadow on a regular basis, despite having a couple of really beautiful palettes at my disposal. I guess it was a combination of the time it takes in the morning coupled with the worry of looking like I've been punched in the eye that stopped me delving further into the world of crease colours, blending and smoky eyes. I can't wait to start expanding my collection and really jumping into and experimenting with loads of different colours and styles. But for now, here's a look at the three eyeshadow palettes that I've kept stored away in my drawers until recently as well as a few of my favourite shades from each.

My Top 5 Brushes

Despite using and owning a multitude of different brushes, I actually found it very easy to pick just five brushes that I couldn't live without. Firstly I can completely go without eye brushes. I don't really wear eyeshadow on a day to day basis anyway and I've found that hands can be your greatest tools. Though if I were to pick one it would be some sort of fluffy blending brush, Zoeva have some wonderful ones. Anyway, these are the brushes that I always return to and most have some sort of multipurpose aspect to them.

Night In Essentials

As much as I love going out with my closest and friends and getting absolutely "mortal", (though I really can't hack the hangovers anymore), there's nothing I love more than spending a relaxing night in with my favourite films, foods and pampering supplies. I will admit that this post was entirely influenced by the above bath bomb as it's one of the most spectacular things I've ever seen. Seriously, I felt like I was bathing in something out of Star Trek, live long and prosper and all that.

What To Watch This Autumn

Anyone who knows me knows that I could spend hours in front my TV or computer watching endless boxsets. I just much prefer getting really into a good TV series rather than films and they provide the perfect distraction from university work (which I should probably be doing right now). My taste varies massively from the girly classics such as 90210, One Tree Hill, Desperate Housewives and Gossip Girl to the grittier Dexter, Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad (all of which I have watched from start to finish, some numerous times). I will watch pretty much anything and once I've started I have to finish, no matter how dire it seems to get, though I tend to enjoy gritter, creepier shows with serial killers and murder (what does this say about me?) As the nights are drawing in and my workload gets higher, I thought I'd share with you some of my recent favourites that I've been watching or am looking forward to getting stuck in to. So light a candle, grab a blanket (Primark have some amazing faux fur ones in at the moment) and stick your TV on.

Glow Getters

First things first, a warning. This is going to be a very image heavy as I wanted to include swatches of every product as well as photographs of each and let's face it, highlighters are too pretty to not take pictures of them. I've included all the highlighters I own in this post (excluding illuminating primers or anything along those lines) and I'm going to talk you through each, as well as telling you which are my favourites and why.

Bonfire Night Brownies

Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night, is one of my favourite events during the Winter season, mainly because it's a night spent with friends and family in front of a fiery inferno, watching fireworks while you stuff your face with a massive amount of treats and goodies and write your name in the sky with sparklers.  In honour of the occasion I've created some mouth watering treats, gooey chocolate orange brownies topped with a delicious mini bonfire. For more information on how I made these, then carry on reading.

My Favourite Eyelure Lashes

I've mentioned on this blog before that I am serial wearer of false lashes and my go to have always been Eyelure. I like to order mine on Amazon but they're also available in Boots where they're regularly on some sort of offer like 3 for 2. I've had a few questions online and also from friends about how I can wear false lashes every day and the time it takes me to apply them. Like anything I find that practice makes perfect.

Anastasia Beverly Hills | So Hollywood | Review

Firstly I am blaming this purchase entirely on Emily from British Beauty Addict. After seeing these highlighters absolutely everywhere on beauty blogs and instagram I knew I had to get my hands on them, it was only after reading Emily's review that I finally plucked up the courage and decided to click buy. I bought mine in the shade So Hollywood as I felt this colour would work best with my skin tone but there are four shades in total, each aimed at those with different skin tones. You can get your hands on these on Cult Beauty if you're interested!

Halloween Cupcake Recipe

What better way to celebrate Halloween than by stuffing your face full of devilishly tasty cupcakes? I've been planning these tasty treats for a couple of weeks now and I finally found time to make them this week! These combine a tasty orange sponge with two toned vanilla buttercream icing (wow, that's a mouthful) and I can honestly say these are some of the best cupcakes I have ever made, the buttercream is particularly mouth watering. What I love about these is how easily you can chop and change up your colours and flavours to create something for any special occasion. Think pink and white for Valentines Day or red for Christmas.

My New Favourite MAC Lipstick

Despite the fact that I definitely have enough lipsticks to last me the rest of my life and it would take me nearly two months to wear one per day, I couldn't resist picking up this beauty when I popped into MAC last week. I actually went in for Diva, having lusted after this shade for quite a while but instead I found myself more drawn to the shade D For Danger, part of their 2015 Matte Lip Collection.

The Autumn Tag

Autumn and the build up to Winter is probably my favourite time of year. It's time to crack out the big knitted cardigans, the berry lipsticks, cinnamon scented candles and all the layers. It's the season for bonfires, fireworks, gift giving and family. I love it! So in honour of this time of year I thought I'd participate in an Autumn tag. I found the questions on Makeup Savvy.

Etsy Haul

I think most of us can agree that we could spend hours on Etsy browsing through thousands of beautifully designed and hand crafted items. I know I can! From homeware to stationary, blogger themes to clothes. I started out on Etsy with the intention of getting the blog planner you'll have seen all over the blogging world but I ended up getting a lot more than intended (it's always the way). I thought I'd share with you a few of the bits I picked up, maybe you'll be inspired to get a few new pieces yourself!

My Current Everyday Makeup

Although I do tend to switch up my makeup pretty often, changing up everything from my foundation to my lipstick, there are products that I do like to reach for more often. Here's a quick run down of what I've been using on my face (I did forget to include a highlight, this tends to be Mary Lou Manizer by The Balm, just one tap of my brush delivers an incredibly intense glow to the cheeks). I then use Urban Decay Chill Setting Spray to keep everything well and truly locked down for the day. 

Maybelline Lash Sensational | Review

For the last few years I've worn false lashes religiously. It doesn't matter whether it's for work or university, I will take the extra time in the morning to apply falsies, normally resulting in my being late as I won't sacrifice sleep for anything. Last year I also found myself in a really bad habit of picking my mascara off when I was bored, anxious or just at the end of the day. This resulted in my once really thick, long lashes becoming a lot shorter and less full, which in turn meant I felt compelled to wear false lashes even more than usual. It's a bit of a vicious cycle really. Ever since I have been on the hunt for a mascara that will emulate the effect of wearing false lashes, at least to some extent. This is where Lash Sensational comes in.

H&M Beauty | Review

My MAC Lipstick Collection

Things I Learnt at University

As I pack up my life ready to head back to university for one last year, I've started to look back at what I've learnt over the past two and what I would pass on to future freshers. I think university is a different experience for everyone, for some it might be about making new friends, for others it might be about having new experiences, finding yourself or simply learning more about something you're passionate about. Perhaps it's all of the above or it might be something completely different. I went to university with the idea in my head that I would be out every night, drinking my own weight in Malibu and dancing my way through every club in Manchester. What actually happened was quite the opposite. I spent a lot more time in the flat in my pyjamas watching endless boxsets than I did on nights out and I don't regret it in the slightest. So without further ado, here's a few of the things I learnt at university.

My Favourite Five Blushers

Blusher follows close behind lipstick as one of my all time makeup weaknesses, I could spend hours swatching every shade of pink and peach under the sun until I find the right one for me but I always seem to come back to the same five over and over again. I personally tend to stick to pink blushers, with the occasional peachy tone thrown in for good measure. I just think a pink blusher is an absolute staple and with the right shade can provide that light flush to the cheeks that your makeup needs. I've chosen fives shades from my collection that I think everyone should try at some point in their life.

Spontaneous Boots Haul

You know those shopping trips where you only pop in for one thing and end up coming out with 5 new lipsticks and not the thing you originally went in for? Yeh, that happened. Yesterday I briefly popped into Boots before work, originally intending to get some toothpaste and shampoo. Instead, I cam out with 5 new lipsticks, some skincare bits and no toothpaste or shampoo. This is actually one of those times that I am grateful the Boots nearest to me is pretty small, as had it been any bigger I probably would have ended up spending a lot more.

Stila Liquid Lipsticks | Review

I think it's safe to say that I'm on a bit of a liquid lipstick hype at the moment and after buying these and the Anastasia Liquid Lipsticks I'm officially on a spending ban! (At least until the student loan next comes in).

Anastasia Liquid Lips | First Impressions

I've never been so excited to hear a van pull up outside in my entire life. In all honesty I didn't think these would be arriving for at least a week but they arrived within 4 days direct from the Anastasia website, so that automatically gets a thumbs up from me. I did have to pay extra for freight and customs which is slightly annoying but I didn't mind this too much considering the exchange rate meant the lipsticks themselves worked out relatively cheap.

September Homeware Wishlist

Like everyone and their mother these days, I have truly jumped on the copper and marble bandwagon. This is a trend that just seems to be everywhere and I can completely see why, there's something really beautiful about these two and they make for chic additions to any interior space. I've also got a massive love for anything pastel blue or pink, monochrome and geometric. Despite being a few years off moving out and having my own place, I could spend hours swooning over furniture and homeware and this seems to have got even worse recently. I've probably spent way too much time recently drooling over anything from candles to storage baskets. So in the meantime I've decided to share with you my wishlist, including products from Etsy, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Sass & Belle and Oliver Bonas. Some are definitely on the pricey side and will most likely remain on the wishlist but hey, a girl can dream right?

Autumn/Winter Nails 2015

Following on from my previous post looking at my choices for lip colour this season, I thought I'd take a look at the colours I'll be wearing on my nails. As with the lips I tend to navigate more towards anything berry toned, red, purple, or generally dark at this time of the year before I slowly transition into full on glitter at Christmas time. This line up is going to be very Essie heavy, in fact it's entirely made up of Essie polishes. I've been addicted to Essie polishes since my sister bought me my first many Christmases ago. I think they have a fantastic range of shades with something to suit everyone and they're constantly bringing out something new. I also think the formula (for the most part) is fantastic, with most polishes only needing one or two coats max. I say most here as there are some colours that seem to use a completely different formula and never build up a solid colour no matter how many coats I painstakingly build up, I find this generally with the lighter shades, having never had a problem with any of the darker colours. So without further ado here is my Autumn/Winter nail polish lineup...

Autumn/Winter Lips 2015

September is finally upon us, the nights are starting to draw in and the weather is getting cooler (although let's be honest, we didn't have much of a Summer here in the UK to begin with). This has to me my favourite time of year! There's just something about the dark evenings, cuddling up with a hot chocolate in front of an open fire that makes feel really happy. And as I sit and type this in my Christmas tartan pyjamas, I can't help but look forward to everything that the following months have to offer. Lots of layers, Halloween, Bonfire Night, open fires, Autumnal colours and eventually Christmas. So with that being said I thought I'd take a look and share with you what I'll be wearing on my lips for the rest of the year. From September onwards I tend to pack away the bright pinks and oranges and stick more to blue toned reds and berry shades, with the occasional nude thrown in for good measure. Here's a run down of a few of my personal favourites...

September Baking

I don't know whether it's the latest series of Great British Bake Off or a general craving for sweet food recently but something has me in the mood to bake. So much so that on a recent trip to Asda for cans of Coca-Cola, I ended up leaving with fifty pounds worth of baking equipment. (Woops!) The George Home section at Asda currently has a beautiful selection of baking goods in an array of pretty pastel shades, from pretty pink mixing bowls to adorable ceramic measuring cups decorated with little cakes. It's a good job I have some self restraint or I really could have ended up spending hundreds. I also found myself picking up Mary Berry's Baking Bible, mainly because that woman is just an absolute queen and I wish she would adopt me but also because it's a really wonderful baking book. There's a great selection of recipes across bread, cupcakes, tray bakes, pastry, etc etc. There really is a little something for everyone and I also like how she included the basics which can then be really easily spruced up and changed about.

Bedroom Tour

What better way to start off my blog than with an insight into my bedroom, the room in which I spend the majority of my time. This is my favourite kind of post to read on other blogs and see in videos, so it's pretty fitting really. Rather than show you every single item and detail in my bedroom I've opted to pick out a few of my favourite decorative pieces. The room itself is a slight off white colour, with white and wooden fixtures and fittings. I wanted a colour scheme that would enable me to easily chop and change the different accessories and other colours within the room... currently everything is very floral, pink and feminine but this could be quickly changed with new textiles, decorations and ornaments. The white walls also help to keep the room really light and airy, something that wasn't often possible when the walls were dark purple. But the fairylights and soft colours, along with the occasional candle, still keep the room feeling really lovely and cosy. I'll also tell you details of where you can buy any of the bits in these photographs too, at least where I can remember them, just in case you fancy getting them yourself.