The Festive Makeup Menu

I just love makeup at this time of year, the colours, sparkles, reds, deep berries and dark smoky eyes. Everything screams Winter and festive, I mean, just looking at this picture I get some serious party vibes. Throughout the year generally my base remains pretty consistent. Primer, foundation, concealer and powder all stay very similar month in, month out, even in the Summer months I tend to opt for a medium buildable coverage with serious staying power. But my eyes, lips and cheeks are a completely different story. I've pulled together a few of my picks for this season that are sure to glam up any Winter/Christmas Party look.

December Beauty Haul

Tis officially the season to treat yo' self and after trying somewhat successfully to be good and save money, I caved when Black Friday hit. There's only so many emails, offers and discounts that a girl can resist. But you know what the best part is? None of these things were actually bought in the sales.

My First Christmas in Manchester

A couple of months ago I took the big step of finally moving out of my parents house and into rented accommodation. (Bonus points if you recognise the Jack Whitehall reference there). And though I will be spending actual Christmas Day and the various other days surrounding it with my family and loved ones, this will be my first ever festive season living entirely away from home, not just at university. And with this comes changes, new experiences, new purchases and of course new wish lists. So as part of the Debenhams Win Your Wishlist Competition, I thought I'd share a few of the things I will be doing this year and a few things on my wishlist to make my new apartment a home away from home.

Bat Those Lashes!*

For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you'll be more than aware of my love for false lashes, not just on nights out but for day to day life as well. To cut a long story short, I went through a phase of picking off my mascara, unfortunately ruining my natural lashes in the process. Fast forward a few months and here I am, a 22 year old with a serious lash addiction.

My Night Out Essentials

I'm a sucker for a night out. There, I said it. As much as I love a good night in complete with takeaway curry and a good film or two, as soon as I get that "you coming out?" text, I'm straight in the shower and throwing back a rum and coke. Whether it's a case of FOMO or just being a weak ass bitch, I just can't resist getting dolled up, having a good old dance and doing one two many shots of vodka. And since moving from my tiny little hometown with one nightclub to Manchester, I've loved going out and trying out all the different clubs and bars, as well as really switching up my look. It's almost as if I have an alter ego some nights. Seriously, last weekend I was 26 year old Isla from London who'd been married for 6 years. Don't ask. So why not share with you some of my recent night out essentials...

Life Updates | Big Changes

As I write this I am currently a week into a new job, new flat and essentially, a whole new life. The last month have involved some huge changes for me, in both work and my personal life and though I would normally be posting about baking, makeup, homeware or lifestyle, I thought it would be nice to take a break from all that and give you an update on me. It might also help to explain why I've been so slack with blogging lately. (Though I hope that will all change from now on.)

Debenhams Christmas in July Show

I love Christmas. Like, a lot. And though we may only be coming to the end of August, there's nothing more exciting to me than the idea of seeing all the A/W and Christmas releases in the middle of July and this is exactly what happened at the latest Debenhams Press Show. I was flattered again to be invited down to London by Vanessa and the rest of the team to another beautiful event held in a stunning townhouse in Fitzroy Square, full of fashion, accessories, homeware, gifts and my personal favourite, makeup.

Summer Homeware Haul with Ocean

Over the last month I was lucky enough to be asked to get involved with Ocean's Summer Homeware Haul, a project aimed at bringing a little needed TLC to homes over the Summer months. This season has brought with it a whole load of new trends, prints and accessories perfect for sprucing up any living space and since moving back in with my parents after living at university for three years, it was about time I injected a little more life into my unloved bedroom. As all my walls and furniture are white, I find it really easy to switch up the overall look of my bedroom by just switching up a few of the accessories I have dotted around and I decided to go from pink Spring florals to more of a bright Summer look with mismatched prints and loads of colour.

Send Me Nudes

Let's face it, for some of us, these are the only kinds of nudes we really want to be receiving. From pale peachy pinks, to dark dusty mauves, browns and everything in between, there's a shade for everyone, even if you wouldn't necessarily deem it a nude. For this post I've rounded up pretty much every remotely close to nude shade that I could find in all sorts of formulas and finishes, to really give you an idea of just what options you have and this isn't even a fraction of what's out there. For me, a nude lip is an absolute staple in my makeup collection. It's a look that can take you from subtle daytime to a sultry night look when paired with something like an intense smoky eye and long lashes. They're understated, chic and subtle or slightly more bold, whatever takes your fancy.

You're so Too Faced!

Of all the high end beauty brands, one that never fails to let me down and keeps me coming back, is Too Faced. After seeing countless beauty bloggers and vloggers using their makeup and being desperate to try out some of their products, I managed to grab a few while Stateside in December 2014 and have not looked back since. Especially now they're so easily accessible from Debenhams, the Too Faced website and a few other places. They're a brand that are instantly eye catching from the get go with packaging on point and the product to match. I never feel like I'm getting less than what I've paid for and let's me honest, they make pretty adorable additions to any makeup bag.

Debenhams AW16 Home & Fashion Press Show

Prepare yourselves for a very image heavy post. I know I've said this numerous times before but this time, I really mean it. I was lucky enough to be invited to the Debenhams AW16 Home & Fashion Press Day in London this Thursday and though I had the last hand in of my university life the day after, I couldn't miss out on such an exciting opportunity. A huge thank you to Vanessa and everyone at Debenhams for putting on such an incredible event, the collections, venue and entire set up was just beautiful. Honestly, I've left with a shopping list as long as my arm and interior design goals for a house I won't have for at least another 5 years.

A Trip Down Coconut Lane (+ 20% off code)

As a way of treating myself after my latest university hand in, I picked up a few new bits from one of my favourite websites, Coconut Lane. Coconut Lane is a bloggers dream, marble, rose gold, unicorns and all things pretty. The two pieces of jewellery I spoke about in my last post are my most worn accessories, in the day and on nights out and I've had so many compliments and questions on them. After a quick look on the website and a browse of all the new products they had, I was very eager to pick up a couple of new bracelets, as well as some of the other bits they stock, that I thought I'd share with you today as well as a discount code that will give you 20% off everything on their website!

Huge Beauty Haul

As most of you will know I was lucky enough to attend the Debenhams SS16 Beauty Press Show last month in London and after looking at all the latest releases I couldn't help but treat myself to a few (ok more than a few) new purchases. I did some serious damage to my student loan, in fact it's times like these when I'm glad that I don't live in the city as I know I'd soon be well into my overdraft. A fair few of these are products that I was introduced to at the event and just couldn't wait to get my hands on afterwards, as well as a couple I'd been lusting after. Part of the reason for waiting so long before writing up this post was that I wanted to give as many of these a try as possible, so I could give a proper opinion of them as opposed to just a first impression. Not to mention I finish uni in a week so life is pretty manic right now. (I don't want to enter the real world yet, I'm not ready.)

Rose Gold Prettiness with

Jewellery has never been a huge part of my day to day style, I own dozens of necklaces and a few pairs of earrings but it's something that I never reach for on a daily basis. Mostly it's just a case of forgetting and having to quickly rush out the door or never knowing quite how to work a statement necklace. But recently I've found myself getting into small, more dainty bits of jewellery that can transition easily from day to night, particularly of the rose gold variety. I was recently contacted by the people over at  (who sent me the loveliest email, I should add) asking if I would like to try some of their products and after a quick glance at their website and some of their really delicate looking rose gold pieces, I just couldn't resist!

Simple Eton Mess Inspired Cupcakes

I have a confession. This post did not go as planned, like really not as planned. I was originally going to make two different types of cupcake and they were going to be amazing with loads of Eton Mess, crushed meringue, strawberries, the absolute works. But me being me, I managed to mess up the Eton Mess. Of all the things to mess up, I messed up the one thing that is just three or four different ingredients thrown together. Long story short I forgot that strawberries are essentially water and if you stir too much, the cream you spent ages whipping into stiff peaks will start to go runny and no amount of stirring, icing sugar or meringue will help, in fact it just makes it worse. What I ended up with was a pink, runny, tubby custard looking mess. So instead, have a super simple Eton Mess inspired recipe. Inspired being the key word here.

22 Things I've Learned in 22 Years

Today I am officially 22 years old. The days of being 21 are behind me (though I wish I could have stayed 21 for just a little bit longer). And I feel different. I do actually feel older, not old but like I am actually growing up. I have watched myself change drastically over the last four years or so, not just in the way I look but also in the way I am as a person. I've seen my confidence fluctuate, my ambitions, motivation, worries, etc.. all change. And I am still changing. With every new person I meet, every new experience, I find out a little bit more about who I am as a person.

Debenhams SS16 Beauty Press Show

As I sit writing this on a Saturday afternoon the sun is positively beaming through the window, the birds are singing and I've got two days off to celebrate my birthday with friends, so all in all it's a pretty good weekend so far! And this weekend started off in the best way it possibly could, spending a day in London looking at all the latest beauty releases with Debenhams. In all honesty, I was completely shocked and massively grateful to be invited to an event like this, especially after only about 6 short months of blogging. I'd really like to thank Rebecca and Vanessa over at Debenhams and all the girls involved with the event for inviting me and making me feel so welcome and at ease. I guess there was a part of me that felt like I didn't deserve to be there or wasn't good enough, I was massively nervous in the days leading up to it but everyone was so lovely and it made my first blogging event one to remember. Warning, this post is going to be very photo heavy but I simply couldn't cut it down any more.

"On Wednesdays We Wear Pink"

 It's officially Spring here in the UK and though that would normally bring to mind images of bunny rabbits, daffodils and sunshine, it appears that we have been blessed with nothing but rain, hail and storms. I guess there's a reason they call them April Showers! But just because the world around me isn't exactly screaming Spring, doesn't mean my makeup can't and for me no other colour gets as much wear at this time of year as a good old pink. Whether it be on my lips, eyes, cheeks or nails, pink for me just screams Spring. It's the perfect transition shade between the Winter reds and Summer corals and there really is a pink for everyone, whether you want to go full on bubblegum Barbie, pastel or muted baby pink.

The False Lashes Showdown

I'm a serial false lash wearer. I've tried to go without but I just can't, my real lashes just look terrible in comparison. And as a serial lash wearer, I am constantly on the hunt for a good set of lashes at a reasonable price, I want something that adds volume and length while still looking somewhat "natural" or as natural as they can look while still being ridiculously long. Hopefully those of you who wear lashes or are looking into trying falsies will find this helpful and maybe discover some new ones to try. All are high street prices, I've seen gorgeous lashes for £25 but would I really spend that much on something I might just rip off drunk at the end of the night and drop in my cheesy chips? No, not really.

En Taupe Of The World with Zoeva

I would apologise for that terrible pun but I'm really not sorry. If someone had said the word taupe to me this time last year, I'd have no idea what they were talking about. I certainly wouldn't have imagined it would be a colour and a colour I would seriously grow to love. (Seriously, I want my bridesmaids in taupe dresses and as I type this I currently have taupe nails). So no palette currently speaks to me more than the Zoeva En Taupe eyeshadow palette.

Spring 2016 Beauty Wishlist

Being on a spending ban is hard, like, really hard. My bank balance is finally feeling the pinch of all those nights out I've been on recently, V Festival tickets, rent, petrol and train tickets. (There may have also been half a dozen or so new dresses...) I don't remember the last time I bought a beauty product and that is a big deal for me. I even found myself refraining from buying a new Collection Lasting Perfection concealer, that's how desperate the situation is for me right now. So what better way to help me resist spending than my compiling a huge list of new bits and pieces I want to try out. (Please note the sarcasm). Seriously, it took every ounce of my being to not buy anything here.

Step Into Spring with Essie

Firstly let me apologise profusely for not having a new post up in two weeks. This last month or so have been incredibly hectic and stressful for me, a culmination of personal things and being behind on university work have left blogging at the bottom of my to do list. Being on a huge (and very real) spending ban also doesn't help when there's just so many new products and things I wan to try. Nonetheless I am back and filled with new ideas for content and motivated to get going. So as we're officially into March and stepping into Spring (though my frozen car at 7am would say otherwise) I thought I'd share a few of my favourite Springtime Essie nail colours with you. Cue an array of pretty pastel shades.

Matte About Too Faced

Oh I do love a punny title, don't you? Now, I don't know what's happened to me but in the last few months I have officially become an eyeshadow addict. Lip products and blushers used to be my absolute jam but now I find myself drawn to eyeshadows and palettes more than ever before and as a result of this my collection has expanded massively. (Sorry not sorry bank balance). Experimenting with different colours and styles has become a daily occurrence (I still haven't quite picked up the courage to try anything garishly bright, maybe one day!) But one thing I had found lacking from my array of shades was a good selection of mattes.

The Body Shop Lovin'

It's about time I wrote a post to show my appreciation for all things The Body Shop and of all the products they do, my favourites have to be the bath bits. I've gone through countless bottles of their shower gel and numerous body butters and never have I been disappointed with a product. Cruelty free, incredible smells and good quality. You really can't go wrong. Though a lot of the products featured above did come as part of gift sets, it's pretty obvious what my favourite scents are. Anything from their mango range is just out of this world good.

Printing Memories with Cheerz*

In a world dominated by social media and digital memories, having things like photographs for me is very rare and like many others, all my memories and personal photographs are either stored on my phone or computer. I don't mind this, just for me personally, there's something much more special and nostalgic about having physical copies of photographs. I have in the past taken disposable cameras with me to places, as I love having the developed pictures afterwards. There's also something really nice about not knowing what your photo is going to look like but it can be pricey. Of course, you can invest in something like an Instax or Polaroid camera but depending on your budget, this just might not be an option. This is where Cheerz comes in.

Choosing Happy

I've been sat here staring at the screen for what feels like an eternity trying to find the words to write this post. It's not that it's a particularly difficult post to write, I know what I want to say. It's just that I hate to come across as preachy and sometimes it's easier to stick to what I know, whether that be my favourite lipstick or cupcake recipe. I want to write something that will inspire people or make them smile, I want to make people happy.

Treat Yourself This Valentine's*

If you read my previous post about Valentine's Day, you'll have hopefully picked up a few ideas on how to spend the day whether it be with a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, friends, dog, cat or alone. In this post I thought I'd give you a few gift ideas for you to either treat yourself or someone else you love. Because we all like to be treated once in a while, god knows we deserve it.

Valentine's Day Ideas + Thornton's Giveaway*

With Valentine's Day fast approaching, for a lot of us it's time to start thinking about how and with who we're going to be spending the day. I can't go on any social network or website without being reminded of the impending occasion. Personally, I'll be wining and dining with my best friend followed by an evening on snuggling with the dog. Whether you're spending it alone, with friends, pets or indeed a loved one, here's just a few ideas for how you can spend your day. Though I'll be honest, a lot of these ideas are aimed at my fellow singletons. I also have a great giveaway at the end of this post with thanks to the lovely people over at Thornton's. 

4 Mac Lip Combinations

For me, nowhere quite does a lip combo like Mac. Yes, there are incredible lipsticks and liners out there from dozens of high end and drugstore brands but as my first ever expensive purchase, Mac will always have that special place in my heart. They're the liners I reach for on a daily basis and my lipsticks that see the most use. In fact, whenever I visit a store or counter I can almost guarantee you that the first place I will go is the lipsticks. And I'l leave with 15 different swatches up and down my arms and hands. In this post I've pulled together four of my liners and lipsticks that I think make a perfect pair.

Are you a Narsissist?

NARS is one of those brands for me that just screams amazing. From the matte black packaging and gorgeous collaborations with designers to the products themselves, everything feels expensive and quality (I guess part of this is reflected in the price). After experimenting a lot more with NARS this year, I thought I'd put together a small post about all the bits I've tried that might hopefully give you a few ideas on some bits and pieces to pick up, whether you're new to the brand or not.

The Benefit Mascara Showdown

As a serial false lashes wearer, mascara has never been top of my makeup priority list. Since finding the Maybelline Lash Sensational and falling in love, I have't really felt the need to look for anything else. It gives my short, sparse lashes the extra volume and length they need without the need for falsies. A breakthrough in itself! Step in They're Real and Roller Lash, two of the countries favourite mascaras, both from Benefit. After receiving both of these as a gift from my grandma, I've decided to put them both to the test on my natural lashes and share the results.

Irresistible Me Extensions Review*

A few Summers ago, I made the drastic decision to dye my hair blonde, a decision I would soon come to regret. Naturally, I have your bog standard medium brown hair and for as long as I can remember I've dyed it darker and tinted it slightly red or purple with little damage. It was time for a drastic change and going blonde for the Summer seemed like the obvious choice. Long story short, I ended up going through the whole process far too quickly and ended up with very dry damaged hair that had snapped off so much I went from having thick hair past my boobs to thin shoulder length hair in a matter of months. That's where hair extensions started to come into my life, mostly for special occasions and nights out. And though after a couple of years my hair is finally getting back to its former healthy self, I still love to add extra volume and length.

Boxing Day Lush Haul

 Like seemingly everyone on my Twitter feed come Boxing Day, I was waiting for the Lush sale to go live. I wouldn't say I was overly excited for it, this is the first year I've ever had a look in fact but I guess fear of missing out got the best of me. Getting on to their website Boxing Day however was an absolute nightmare. At one point I was told I was 500 and something in the queue and let me tell you, ain't nobody got time for dat. So I left it until a couple of days later and yes I did miss out on a lot of cheap Christmas pieces but they still had a really nice selection to choose from at a fraction of the price. I've also included all the bits I was given by my sister for Christmas in this post.

Starting My Mac Palette

One thing that always bothers me about buying eyeshadow palettes is the fact that more often than not, there's at least one or two shades that I don't like or never end up using. Don't get me wrong, I love the palettes I have but it's so difficult to find one where I love absolutely every shade and will use them all on a regular basis. That's why I decided to start my own Mac palette. I love the idea of having something completely customisable, giving me the ability to swap colours in and out as I need. It's also going to eventually be full of shades that I will wear all the time that I have hand picked and organised myself. I'd never really looked at the eyeshadows in Mac as naturally I gravitate towards the blushers and lipsticks but I now completely understand the hype and I am 100% on board.

Stila Liquid Lipstick Lowdown

For those of you who have followed my blog for a couple of months, you may remember my last post on the Stila Liquid Lipsticks (read here) where I talked briefly about one of the shades that I had tested out but as I hadn't tried the other two, I was unable to comment. Well now, 3 months down the line, I think it's about time to take a better look at my little collection, including some adorable little mini shades I received for Christmas, which I am very happy to say are now permanent, hurrah!

My Weight Loss Journey

Before I start this post I just want to say that I am in no way, shape or form an expert in diet or exercise. I am simply a young girl who has tried many a different diet over the past few years, who has constantly tried to lose a few extra pounds and would like to share a few of the tips and tricks that have helped me remain motivated. I've always had an hourglass figure, carrying extra weight on my thighs, bum and chest whilst remaining pretty small around my waist. A lot of people I spoke to would have said that I didn't need to lose weight at all but it was something that I wanted to do, it was something that would make me happier and healthier in myself. I don't think that anyone should lose weight if they don't want to, if you're happy in yourself then I think that's a wonderful thing. We all come in different shapes and sizes and we're all beautiful. We all deserve to be happy in ourselves but for me one way of doing that and regaining my confidence, was to lose a few pounds.

Introducing NYX Cosmetics

For the new year I've decided to start a new series of sorts on the blog, taking a different brand and solely focusing on everything I own from them, what worked for me and what didn't. I personally find these posts hugely helpful when I'm feeling a little spendy or want to dip my toe into a brand but have no idea where to start and after posing the question on Twitter, I had a really positive response! For today's post I'll be looking at NYX Cosmetics, the hugely popular American brand that we are now lucky enough to have over here in the UK. I'm not entirely sure how accessible NYX was before they launched on Feel Unique, Very, Selfridges and Boots but whenever I'd been on their website they barely had any stock or recent products so now I feel positively spoilt for choice! I'm going to talk you through four of the different bits I've tried and hopefully give you a few ideas as to what might work for you. 

Rose Gold Everything with Coconut Lane | + 20% Off

If you're anything like me, then your obsession for anything and everything rose gold is still going strong. Everything just looks better on a rose gold or copper finish and it's a much prettier alternative to regular gold or silver. (Or at least, I think it is) So when I was contacted by the lovely people at Coconut Lane and asked if I wanted to try out some of their products to share with my readers, I was delighted to find they had a couple of gorgeous rose gold pieces among their selection of phone cases, prints and jewellery. They've even supplied me with a discount code for you all, that I'll leave at the bottom of this post!

Becca x Jaclyn Hill | Champagne Pop | Review

It's finally time. Can we all just have a moment to take this in before we get started... ok. It seems like years I've been waiting to get my hands on this highlighter and now the coveted collaboration between Becca and Jaclyn Hill is finally available in the UK at Space NK. I can't tell you the amount of times I've put this (among other items) in a Sephora basket and been desperate to make a purchase, albeit slightly wary of the custom and shipping charges. But no more! I pre-ordered this as soon as it became available and let me tell you, it was wroth the wait. The hype is real with this one.