Monday, 28 July 2014

Whatever you do, don't tell anyone...

Hi guys, today's post is a quick one, mainly aimed at anyone who's visiting London within the next week! As you know, I recently finished my Illustration course, and I wanted to let you know that my coursemates and I are holding an exhibition in central London this week.

This poster was designed by the very talented Beth Coleman, whose work is also on display at the show.

As you can see above, we will be displaying our show at the Coningsby Gallery on Tottenham Street from today, until the 2nd August. Please do pop in and check out the work myself and my coursemates have produced: you're welcome to stop by from 10.30-6pm from today until Saturday 2nd August, or if you fancy a short notice invitation, there is a private view at the gallery tonight from 6.30-8.30pm. There's also pretty things for sale all week.

I'd love for you to stop by and see our work, and your support would be much appreciated. Let me know if you can make it!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

She's a killer queen...

Hi dolls! I hope you're well and have had a lovely weekend: today's post includes some festival beauty tips. Now that I've posted about my current makeup routine I feel that any beauty posts or reviews will make a little bit more sense, and it will be easier to see how new products match up to the items I use regularly. However, today's post includes three new, separate tips for the kind of products I recommend for festivals: it's killing me that I'm not attending any this year, so please enjoy this post, use my tips and I'll live vicariously through you this summer...

Topshop Nails in Myth

I bought this nail varnish a few weeks ago on a whim as Topshop were offering two polishes for £9 and I wanted to treat my nails now that they're long and strong for the first time in forever! This is an excellent festival nail polish: glitter is practically mandatory at a summer festival, and whilst I'm a silver person, I often like how a gold-tone nail polish looks with the silver of my rings. But most of all, this polish is great for a festival as it has a clear base, so if the varnish chips it's not really visible. It makes the product multipurpose as it is buildable: the first picture illustrates one coat of varnish, above I'm wearing two. At the moment I'm also using Myth as a topcoat over a metallic varnish on my toes (but no one wants to see those!) Topshop have this kind of glitter in loads of different colours, the pride of my collection being Panther (black and silver) - that seems to have been discontinued, but hopefully it will reappear for A/W. Until then, this colour looks pretty with both coloured and all-black outfits (you know which I prefer.)

Katy Perry Killer Queen EDP - Click Fragrance*

At festivals a long-lasting fragrance is really important (particularly if the only bath you get all weekend is a baby wipe one!) I never feel dressed and ready for the day without perfume, and usually I tend to gravitate towards scents that include strawberry, vanilla or rose. This scent, Killer Queen by Katy Perry, is both floral and fruity, mixing top notes of plum and berry with red velvet flower and jasmine. It's a sweet, feminine fragrance, with a slightly musky undertone. After wearing it for the first time I was struck by how well it lasted throughout the day, and I liked the scent both on application and after some time (so many perfumes fail this test!) Admittedly I've never really tried celebrity perfumes before as frankly celebrity endorsements mean very little to me, but as it happens I really like this fragrance. It's also worth considering that celebrity perfumes are usually far more cost-effective than any designer eau de toilette, and if you're heading towards a festival I'd always recommend opting for an eau de parfum as they're far more long-lasting by nature. I prefer to take cheap perfume when heading to a festival, as if it's confiscated due to the glass bottle it's not such a blow to the wallet.

BB Cream Sachets - Various Magazines!
Finally, when it comes to festival makeup, a less-is-more attitude is usually applied when it comes to camping. That's not to say it's not okay to smear glitter everywhere, but certainly a BB cream is preferable to trying to create a perfect base in a stifling hot tent. In order to try and keep my festival makeup bag as compact as possible, I've started keeping a stash of these foundation/BB cream samples found in magazines. You often find that the same samples are included in various magazines over a period of a few months, so if you find a sample you like (and subscribe to one or a few magazines, I realise this tip is heavily based on the assumption that I'm not the only one who does) it's worth hanging onto the sachets you like for a festival: they take up minimal room in a makeup bag and that means there's room for, y'know, more glitter.

So there are three ways to make your makeup bag more compact, cost-effective and exciting for the next festival you're heading to. Do you have any festival beauty tips - please do leave a comment with your ideas!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

When you were young...

I guess by now it's been established that when it comes to clothes I am quite nostalgic: items I wear often remind me of times, places, memories. The item I am featuring today is a pair of Vans.

When I was a young teenager - probably aged about thirteen - I went shoe shopping with my mum, and for the first time ever I chose something that I liked rather than something that everybody else had. Prior to then I'd worn the white, sporty trainers that all the other girls wore, but this time I fell for a fat, black pair of skate shoes, with a single pink stripe scored down the side. I didn't even like pink but I was enamoured with them: I took them home and wore them solidly until they fell apart - very, very literally. That was my first pair of Vans, but they certainly wouldn't be my last.

Vans - Cloggs*
Browsing the Cloggs website (a true favourite of mine, I have always purchased my Dr Martens from Cloggs as they have great prices and incredibly fast free delivery) I stumbled across this pair of Vans. They're slightly slimmer than my first pair, with a white sole and rose accents, but that pink stripe paired with the black suede reminds me so much of my beloved, first skate shoes. I love how padded they are, it make them so sturdy and comfortable, something you don't regularly associate with pretty shoes.

As soon as these shoes arrived we seemed to be hit with beautiful weather that is yet to give way to cloud (I'm absolutely not complaining!) so I've not yet worn these aside from when dogwalking, and believe me when I say my girls will not let me stop for photos! Still, I'm already planning outfits that will please my inner 13-year old (I could not resist this Primark T-shirt, sorry not sorry!)

I think the reason I loved my Vans so much was because they were the first item I ever chose that I loved of my own accord, not influenced by anybody else, and as such they were one of my very first baby steps in my personal style journey. I remember feeling so nervous wearing them out for the first time because nobody I knew wore anything like that, but they made me feel amazing. Personal style's a funny thing, and most people I know have some pretty extreme phases before they find something true to themselves - for me it wasn't until I was about twenty that I really knew what I liked as an individual, what worked for me, and even now that's evolving. Some things I wore over the years I look at with revulsion and embarrassment, but some things stay firm favourites, meaning to this day I cannot resist a fat skate shoe...

Do you have items that made you feel nostalgic? Do you remember the first item of clothing that you really fell in love with?

Monday, 21 July 2014

Daydreaming all the time...

Hi dolls, happy Monday! Today I have a wishlist post, specifically a birthday wishlist post as my birthday is in just under three weeks and I have been asked for present ideas from friends, family and boyfriend alike! I decided that I'd put together a post full of the items that I love most, because hey, a girl can dream...

1. Gipsy Dharma Boots: Sadly these more than blow the budget but I had to include them here anyway as one day I need a pair of these, they are so incredible!
2. Regal Rose Choker: Because I love rose quartz and I love chokers.
3. Regal Rose Necklace: It looks like a tiny little world is trapped in this necklace, so beautiful.
4. Storyteller by Tim Walker: His work is so dreamy and inspirational.
5. Lime Crime Velvetines in Red Velvet: Red lipstick is an essential for me, and I've only heard good things about this product.
6. Topshop Rabbit Sandals: I featured these in pink recently, but the black are just as incredible!
7. Black Milk Marie Skater Dress: My friend Kimmie sent me a link to this dress which is part of Black Milk's new collection, released on the 29th July. The Aristocats is my favourite Disney film, so I had to put this Marie-patterned dress on my birthday list!

1. The Great Gatsby on DVD: I've not seen this film since it was released in the cinema, but the book is a favourite of mine and I love the glitz and glamour of the film with it's dark undertones.
2. Urban Decay Naked Palette: Since I have the Naked 2, 3 and Basics I really want the original palette to complete my collection!
3. Lush Rose Queen Bath Bomb: I'm particularly fond of rose fragrances at the moment, and I've not tried this bath bomb before.
4. Skagen Watch: I'd like a new watch but I'm still looking for the perfect one. I like them silver, reasonably large and modern, but without tons of sparkle. I'll know the one when I see it!
5. Topshop Nails in Sweet Treat: Seemingly I can never get enough nail varnish: Topshop's glitter range have really caught my eye lately!
6. Troll Beads Boheme Bead: I love Troll Beads for birthdays, this bead is particularly beautiful but the fun of Troll Beads is people picking them and finding their own meanings behind each charm.
7. The Body Shop Atlas Mountain Rose Fragrance Mist: I recently reviewed the perfume oil of this fragrance but I'd still like the fragrance mist to top it up throughout the day.
8. Black Milk Alice Skater Dress: Okay, so this Black Milk beauty's arguably more wearable than the Marie dress - let's face it, if it's not got black in it I probably won't wear it - and I do love Alice in Wonderland.
9. Lush Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment: Have you guys tried a bath melt from Lush before? They always make my skin feel incredible: so fragrant and moisturised. I've not tried this one but I do tend to like sweet bath products so I feel this would be a winner in my books...
10. Black Milk Lace Crop Top: Yeah... I need this. In every colour, please?!

So that's my birthday list... aside from a few CDs here and a few Yankee Candles there! I'd be lucky to get even one of these beautiful things, but hey, I'm dreaming! Which of these items is your favourite?

Saturday, 19 July 2014

You're dancing circles around me...

Hi dolls, welcome to the weekend! I just wanted to stop by with a little post to let you know I've now opened an account with Depop where I plan to sell lots of different items, mainly clothing but you can also buy my prints from there too. I'm accepting offers on the clothes so please hop over there and, if anything takes your fancy, help out a poor, starving (OK, not really) graduate!

I'll be adding more to this over time, so if you have an account please follow me @doodleheart!

What are your weekend plans - anything of interest? Last night I went all 50s housewife and cooked a meal for my boyfriend, but I have no other big plans!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Slipping on my red dress, putting on my makeup...

Hi dolls! Today I am writing a post about the contents of my makeup bag: one of the things I intend to do is start posting more about beauty products because they don't get much time of day here despite my cosmetics obsession being on par with that of any other beauty blogger. However, the last time I posted about my makeup bag was back in April last year and the majority of products I use regularly have changed since then, so I knew it was time for an update!

My daily makeup bag is still filled to the brim with all kinds of products, either old faithfuls, things I'm using up or things I like on occasion (I seem to hoard lipsticks and liners in particular) but this post consists of all the items I use regularly, and the reasons I like them so much. Enjoy!

Face Products:

GOSH Classic Foundation Primer in Clear, RRP £12.99: I used to use this face primer regularly, but last summer I found I needed something more mattifying. My skin has become very dry recently, and so I switched back to this GOSH primer which suits dry skin types better: it helps provide a smooth application for foundation, and as an absolute rule, if I wear foundation, I always wear primer. For me, it makes foundation look better, last longer, and feel nicer.
MaxFactor Creme Puff Pressed Powder in Translucent, RRP £5.99: This powder was recommended by my mum: she's used it for as long as I can remember. It's really long-wearing and using it to set my foundation provides a matte finish that doesn't need topping up. It's much more effective than previous powders I've used, meaning it is more cost effective than buying a cheaper powder which I constantly have to top up and frequently replace.
MaxFactor Lasting Performance Foundation in 100 Fair, RRP £9.99: They say once you have a foundation you love, stick to it. I love this: long-wearing, transfer-resistant, and it doesn't feel heavy. Never stop making this, please, MaxFactor!
Revlon Colorstay Concealer in 01 Fair, RRP £6.99: I'm undecided whether this concealer is significantly better performance-wise than it's cheaper Collection 'Lasting Perfection' rival, but I feel like this formula is slightly lighter and more suitable for daily wear which I prefer.

Cheek Products:

Sleek Face Contour Kit in Light, RRP £6.49: This kit is embarrassingly well-used but it has the perfect amount of colour payoff for everyday use if you're looking for a subtle contour and a little bit of blush on the cheeks. (For contouring without blush, I've now switched to Hoola by Benefit, but it's so pigmented I have to take my time applying it sparingly, thus I still prefer my Sleek contour kit for everyday use.) Meanwhile, the highlighter is a godsend for adding a little sheen to my complexion: since my skin is quite dry it adds a little bit of life.
Rimmel Lasting Finish Blush in 050 Live Pink, RRP £3.99: This blusher has great colour payoff for such a purse-friendly product, so it needs to be used sparingly: a warning if you do purchase it! I've never really been one for blusher, but my skin is looking quite dull and lifeless at the moment (I need to eat more spinach!) so for now just a hint of this blusher makes all the difference to my complexion.

Brow and Eye Products:

Collection Brow Definer in Blonde, RRP £2.79: I've tried powder, but as somebody who's really bad at eyebrows (is that a thing?) I prefer a pencil and I always go back to this brow definer as the colour is perfect for me and the pen-style applicator makes filling in those sparse areas quick and easy.
Barry M Kohl Pencil in White, RRP £2.99: I use this on my waterline to brighten my eyes a little, and then blend it onto my lids as an eyeshadow base to help the powder stick and create a bright base.
Urban Decay Palette in Naked 2, RRP £37: I love the mix of matte and shimmer shades in this, varying from base and highlight shades all the way down to a matte black. The colour payoff in these is great, I was so sick of buying beautiful eyeshadow colours that turned out to be a disappointment. The Naked 2 is more suited to my skin tone as it contains cooler shades than the original Naked palette (the rose golds in the Naked 3 work on most people), but I do still kind of wish I had the original now since I own (and love) 2 and 3: it'd make me feel complete!
Benefit They're Real! Mascara, RRP £19.50: Now that I own the remover, I've fallen back in love with They're Real! mascara. The performance and longevity is pretty incredible: whilst I still try and use less harsh mascaras for day-to-day (The Body Shop are great, and more affordable) this is still realistically the highest performing mascara I have used.
Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner, RRP £18.50: I wrote quite an extensive review on this liner before I even found out who made it: now you'd be hard-pressed not to have heard it, in fact you're probably wearing it as you read this. In short, it's a gel liner with an innovative applicator which results in longevity and durability, a lovely opaque finish, and an easy method of application. For these reasons this has become my go-to liner and, as somebody that even includes cat-flick liner in their 'natural makeup' look, thank you Benefit for making my life so much easier.
Avon Supershock Gel Eyeliner Pencil in Black, RRP £6: I didn't bother for years, but tightlining my upper waterline with black actually makes quite a difference and makes a makeup look seem 'complete' - however, you have to get the right product. This gel liner from Avon is opaque and long-lasting, but it's also fairly transfer-resistant which is important as I line my lower waterline with white.

Lip Products:

Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me, RRP £2.99: For everyday, this Baby Lips balm is nice as it adds moisture and protection with just a hint of colour. On lazy days I just wear this, BB cream and mascara, but ultimately the product is functional more than it is visible.
Topshop Lips in Red Lippy Project, RRP £8: My favourite shade right now, I've blogged about this before and it is a bright, beautiful true red with a smooth finish. It's a similar colour to my beloved Barry M in 121, but I find this is more moisturising.
Lipcote Lipstick Sealer, RRP £3.69: An absolute staple, if I use lipstick I use Lipcote (can you tell it's well-loved?!) Though I love using makeup as an extension of my personal style, I do hate topping it up throughout the day, so Lipcote is perfect for me as it makes most of my lipsticks last all day.

So there are my favourite, magic fifteen products! Astonishingly, compared to last April, the cost of my daily makeup bag has risen from £81.39 to £147.90! That is a terrifying figure! But here are some tips of mine that have helped me get these products for a lot less than their RRP of £147.90:

  • If you are a student, always check for discounts: I bought an NUS card solely to use at Superdrug (they don't take uni or college cards), and although 10% may not sound like a lot of discount it adds up beyond belief: the card has paid for itself many times over.
  • Utilise promotions such as 3 for 2, which are often held by Superdrug and Boots. To make the most of the promotion, buy two the same of the cheaper item (or something else which is the same price) to receive as the third free item: you can always put it away for next time. This way you save more money.
  • Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter often hold exclusive promotions and discounts: it's handy to follow them if you are shopping for something in particular. Sites like Debenhams regularly hold events where you get 10% off beauty products, which adds up with the expensive purchases such as Urban Decay and Benefit.
  • Using cashback sites like Quidco are great because they provide discount codes and you get paid cashback: though it's not instantaneous, if you use them every time you buy something online the chances are you get at least a small amount of money back each month (better than nothing, right?!)
  • If you are happy to wait a few days for the item, sites often get free delivery either to store or to home. Combining these with an online-exclusive discount as well as a cashback site means it can actually be cheaper to order online than it would be to buy instore (sorry, retailers everywhere, but you have to be thrifty about these things.)
  • Do invest in products. I've had my Naked palettes for ages, I use them regularly, and I've still not used up any shades. It's worked out far more cost-effective than buying loads of cheap shadows that I have to apply heavily to try and get the same colour-payoff. More expensive products often mean you need to use less of them to get a good result, and you waste less money.
  • Only buy from authorised sellers if you do buy online: fake products compromise quality but also could contain ingredients that are harmful or irritating to your skin. Saving money is great but if it looks too good to be true it probably is. (I hate that phrase, but it's TRUE.)

So that's the cost of my face, guys: if you do write a similar post of your own please leave a link to it! (Seriously, please do, it'd make me feel way better haha!) What products of these have you tried and loved? Do you use any of these discount tips, or do you have anything you can add?