Friday, 28 August 2015

I'll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife.

Hey guys, long time no see! I know it's been a while, you may have seen my Facebook or Instagram post explaining that my laptop had finally ground to a halt. Sonic, as he's known to me (er, it's normal to personify electronic devices right?) is over five years old now and has supported me through an art foundation course and Illustration degree, which inevitably took its toll on his storage and memory (there's a lot of HUGE files on my hard drive, needless to say!) yet I've only just got around to upgrading him. In fact I only made the decision to do it when Sonic was so slow he was barely functional and constantly crashing, making creating posts over here take quadruple the time it usually would on a healthy laptop. So with many thanks to my computer genius father, Sonic's back in business, in a much healthier state than I've seen him in years.

During this time I've made lots of changes, one of them being that I turned a year older (ugh, do I really have to be 24? I'm starting to sound too old for my liking!) and this has scared me into making a few big decisions. I've decided to prioritise my ambition to freelance and made some changes to accommodate that, scary as taking the leap to chase the dream always is. I've also got lots going on this month including a festival, some big birthdays, an anniversary and a Foo Fighters gig (one of my amazing birthday presents!) and I'm looking forward to living to the full in my free time rather than feeling it's all about work. I guess we have lots to catch up on, but for now I wanted to share an outfit post from my birthday a few weeks ago which I've been unable to publish until now.

Dress - Topshop
Shoes - New Look

Initially I wanted the black version of this Topshop dress, but it was sold out in my size and I ended up loving the print of this version anyway. I'm hoping the cute lace up sides counteract any frumpiness from the midi length. I also had some cool Daenerys braiding work going on at the back of my hair, but in all the birthday excitement I failed to take any half decent photos of it all. Still, you can find this outfit on Lookbook here!

Anyway guys, I wanted to thank you for your patience and wish you all well. This blog is just my little informal journal, but a drop in the ocean, but I do miss posting and interacting with everybody since my laptop's been busted and I can't wait to catch up with you all!

Friday, 7 August 2015

July Favourites

Hi dolls, I hope you're well. Things have been pretty busy on my part as mentioned in my last post, but I'm really excited for my birthday this weekend which has come around so quickly! Then I have my cousin's wedding the following week too, which I'm a bridesmaid for - I really can't wait. Anyway, I can't believe that it's August already and I'm late once again to post my July favourites. This time I spotted a bit of a theme within my favourites, so I've run with it: usually my favourites can be anything, but often they're beauty products. However this month it seems I've been really focusing on beauty tools: ways to make my beauty regime easier or improve it in some way. So here are the four beauty fixes that I've been using throughout the month...

Veet Roll On Wax Kit*
As an almost 24-year old woman with fairly conventional views on excess body hair it makes sense that I have tried a variety of hair removal methods over the years, but strangely I have never tried leg waxing before. Cold wax strips never worked for me, and paying for waxing at a salon always seemed an excessive expense with epilators and razors at home. However I find epilating uncomfortable and shaving is quite high maintenance as it needs to be done more frequently, so this summer I wanted to try out waxing. The Veet roll on wax kit is an affordable option for at home waxing and, whilst I was a bit daunted by the idea of doing it myself, it turned out to be much easier than I expected. With this particular product you plug the device in to heat up, and after about 20 minutes when the wax is warm enough you can roll it onto the skin. You immediately apply a wax strip, smooth down, and quickly remove the strip, pulling back against the direction of hair growth. I quickly got the hang of the best way to do it: you need to be quite methodical so you don't miss patches as you shouldn't wax areas twice. When I finished my legs were really smooth and I was really pleased I'd taken the plunge. A downside of the kit is that it can be a bit messy, part of this is to do with the fact that you are recommended to reuse wax strips as the kit doesn't provide nearly enough, and handling the strips several times meant I got excess wax on my hands and legs which isn't ideal as it's a pain to try and wash away! However the product itself is really effective, and my legs stayed smooth for a couple of weeks after. This is a really handy product to own and I certainly plan to use this again as it means I won't have to worry shaving my legs on holiday or at festivals.

T&N Health Hairworx Vitamins*
These vitamins are a vegetarian diet supplement which is meant to help contribute to healthy, long, strong hair. I always find dietary supplements or changes are quite difficult to rate in effectiveness as there are so many external factors that can also effect change: for example, I'm continually trying to be kinder to my hair by limiting heat use and doing treatments such as coconut oil to aid my quest for mermaid hair. Additionally, dietary supplements tend to have a delayed effect and it can take a couple of months to notice positive change. I've been taking these tablets for over a month now so it's hard to pinpoint that any changes are purely caused by these tablets but my hair is feeling a bit thicker than usual, I've had comments that it's grown (even after having a trim in the middle of the month) and it feels nice and healthy. I'm certainly hoping to continue with these tablets and see where I'm at in three months' time but so far, so good.

Babyliss Ceramic Heated Rollers
The problem with wanting to grow out hair means that you really shouldn't use much heat or colour on it... so that rules out pretty much everything that's fun to create different looks with, basically. So I came to a compromise and bought myself some heated rollers to use on my hair: yes, they're still heat, but at least I can hold them comfortably in my hand whereas my curling tongs are another level of scalding, burning hot. I'm sure the damage levels must be relative! I've managed to get some pretty excellent curls and volume with these rollers and I've only used them at the lowest heat setting which means when I want to do something fancy with my hair I don't have to feel like I'm burning it to a crisp - result. Of course, they're the kind of thing you expect someone's nan to wear so yes I tend to feel like a bit of a douche for the 45 minutes or so that I'm walking around with 20 rollers on my head (it's also always when the postman decides to come to the door, how do they know?!) but you know, beauty is suffering and all that...

Eat Pretty by Jolene Hart
Nutrition is quite fascinating to me and something I'm trying to educate myself about more and more. But whilst I feel increasingly aware of what my body needs nutritionally to thrive, this is a more in depth look into how these nutrients affect us at a surface level as well as what they do for the body. I genuinely feel like this is not just a once-read, but a vault of information which I will continue to refer to. Lately my skin's been a bit rubbish, which I think is due to stress, but for the first time I'm not just looking at face washes or topical treatments to try and sort it out - I'm looking at the internal contributors too and trying to make smart choices* to relieve the problem from the inside out.
*Do take this statement with a pinch of salt, as over my birthday weekend I foresee large amounts of sugary, dairy-laden cake in my immediate future and I take full responsibility for the consequences!

So these are a few favourites from the past month: have you tried any of these, or will you be trying any? What are your favourite beauty tools, books and supplements? Educate me guys!

Monday, 27 July 2015

How you thrill me, love. How you kill me, love...

Hi guys, I hope you're well. I do apologise for the break in blogging - my man has just had an operation on his knee, and between working and looking after him things have been pretty hectic. Anyway - it feels like it's been too long since I've posted an outfit. It's harder to find the time to take photos these days, and it makes me miss uni so much as I had far more control over my work schedules and could fit blogging in around those. I also miss being able to wear my own clothes pretty much all the time rather than a boring, monotonous work uniform. Hopefully soon I'll be able to freelance and get share a little more of what I love with you all as it will be part of my everyday again rather than a rare treat. My wardrobe's definitely changed since uni but I love the change and I feel good for it - I got rid of loads of stuff lately and strangely it makes me feel like I've got more options rather than less. Maybe having fewer choices is less stressful! Anyway, here's a new outfit I wanted to share with you, I hope you like it!

Dress - Next
Shoes - New Look

Lately my style's shifted slightly (I think it always does in the summer) and I'm cashing in on my love of all things boho while there's so much of it available to buy. This is a dress I've been eyeing up forever and managed to snag it for £20 in the Next sale. It needs a thick black belt and lashings of silver jewellery to make it perfect in my eyes, but the rust colour is a refreshing new addition to my wardrobe and this feels effortless to chuck on yet looks a little bit special. Find this outfit on Lookbook here...

I wore this last week, when my good friend was hosting a gathering to commemorate her father. She decided to reclaim the anniversary of his passing in order to celebrate his life with loved ones. I was happy to be, amongst many others, by her side to raise a glass in his honour and to surround her with positivity, love and friendship. It was lovely to spend a day in such good company, people came from near and far and even my man made it, crutches and all.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. How did you spend yours?

Monday, 13 July 2015

A Beauty Wishlist

Hi dolls, I hope you're well and had a great weekend! Today I'm having a day of drawing and organising, but I wanted to stop by with a little wishlist post first. This year is flying by and it's less than a month to my birthday which is a bit scary, I'm not sure if I like the sound of 24. I wanted to create a beauty specific wishlist post today because there are so many items I've got my eye on and I needed to come up with a bit of a birthday list anyway! Enjoy...

1. MAC Full of Joy Blush
 I'm really hoping to get to a MAC soon to try this on because the idea of a lilac toned blush intrigues me: I suspect it will either really compliment my colouring or make me look like a zombie. I'm hoping for the former! I've been checking out reviews and swatches online and it's looking more and more tempting to me, I think it'd be particularly great for winter when I'm back to my ultimate vampire-pale self.
2. Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette
 I bet you're already tired of reading about this everywhere and it's not even out yet (roll on August, just in time for my birthday!) but this looks amazing and naturally I need it to complete my collection. I love that they've included a lot of pale shades as well as deeper shades which makes the palette really wearable for an everyday smoky look as well as being able to truly vamp it up for evening. Also, huge props to Urban Decay for including a few more matte shades in there, something the other palettes have been crying out for.
3. MAC Russian Red Lipstick
 This is so indulgent because I firmly believe you can get a good red lipstick for a fraction of the price of MAC, but Russian Red just looks like such a classic, beautiful red that I would love to have it in my collection.
4. Too Faced Love Flush Blush
 I cannot wait for these to make it to the UK! Yes, the Polly Pocket-esque packaging is adorable but I love the shades inside too. Generally I stick to fairly neutral or pale blushes, but I love the idea of something a little brighter for summer. The brights I own are "Orgasm" and "Majorette" which I've been wearing a lot but I'd like something more pink-toned and these look like they can deliver that. Honourable mentions go to "Love Hangover" and "How Deep Is Your Love," both of which I need in my life.
5. Redken All Soft Heavy Cream Hair Treatment
 I've had this conditioning treatment before and it's amazing - it left my hair feeling so soft and healthy, I need it back in my life!
6. Viktor & Rolf Bonbon EDP
 I'm a fan of a sweet perfume during the daytime and this is a gorgeous fragrance.
7. Clarins After Sun Shimmer Oil
 I'm not even going on holiday this year but as this is limited edition I want it even if only to apply after sunbathing in the garden. You can also use it as a general moisturiser. The shimmer in the oil is really fine and subtle which I really like, because there's a fine line between "slightly sparkly" and "Twilight Vampire."
8. Jo Malone Red Roses Cologne
 Ah I just have so much love for this cologne from Jo Malone. I have a really soft spot for rose based and floral perfumes, this lasts for so long on me and is truly gorgeous and uplifting. I feel like a bottle would last for a really long time as well as a single spray is really potent.

Those are just a few of my beauty lust-haves, which of these items have you tried and which are you dreaming about?

Monday, 6 July 2015

June Favourites

Hi dolls, I hope you're well and had a great weekend! Yesterday I spent the day in London with my uni friends and had an amazing day. I had my first ever Chiquitos and now realise what I've been missing out on! Summer is well and truly here all of a sudden, so that must make it time for my June favourites...

Facebook Photo Book - Printrbook*

Recently I've really been into scrapbooking - it's a lovely way to preserve important moments and memories, photos and ticket stubs. However it's made me realise that so many precious photos are exclusively on Facebook and I don't have a physical copy of them. Coming across Printrbook was a great opportunity to be able to print Facebook photos to have a more permanent version of them should I decide to delete my social network profile, which I repeatedly consider doing. The paper quality of this little book is lovely, and I really like that they aren't printed back-to-back so I can cut them out and use them for my scrapbook (however the book in itself would make a sweet little gift or memory book should you want to keep it intact!) It's easily personalised with quotes and captions, I opted to simply have my photos dated. I would only say that Facebook and Instagram can wreak havoc on photo quality, and so I would recommend using sharper images for the book otherwise they may look disappointing in print. However, overall I love my little book and I can't wait to get some of the photos into my scrapbook! (You can get 10% off your own scrapbook using the code 'doodle10' FYI!)

Earrings and Midi Ring - Accessorize
I love the Accessorize sale, as it means their affordable sterling silver pieces become even more affordable. I'm so pleased with these earrings, and this little midi ring (which I wear on my pinkie finger because I lose all my midi rings when I wear them as intended!)

They're Real Push-Up Coloured Liner and Mascara - Benefit Cosmetics*
I've been a black liner flick kinda girl for as long as I've been wearing makeup, and I never thought I'd contemplate trading in my black liner for colours instead. But these from Benefit are gorgeous - both the green and the purple liners stand out enough to look softer than black which seems to enhance my eye colour, but they're not so bright that I feel uncomfortable and lost without my usual black wing. The (bright!) blue mascara is more out of my comfort zone, but I've been wearing it on the ends of my lashes over my usual mascara, which again brightens things up a little and adds a little extra oomph. Who knew?!

Escada Cherry in the Air Perfume
I love a sweet perfume so Escada's creations are always right up my street, and this particular bottle was a total bargain which cost me all of £14 for 30ml. It smells so sweet and summery, it's beautiful.

Flats - Topshop
I've always been a bit scared of pointy shoes because I worry they'll make my feet look clownish, but I caved with these because I liked the texture of the outer fabric and the lace up detailing. I'm yet to wear them as every time I put them on I get scared they're going to hurt to break in (I never wear pointy shoes and they look painful!) but I'm planning to wear them out soon somewhere I don't walk too much, to give them a bit of a test drive!

So there we have some of my June favourites! Which of these items do you like the look of? Be sure to link me to your own favourites posts!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

So open up my eyes, tell me I'm alive...

Hi dolls, I hope you're well. Today I'm sharing an outfit post, but a modern up-to-date one unlike my last post! :) I've had this dress kicking around my wardrobe for a couple of months now waiting for the right occasion to be worn. It ticks many boxes for me - black, check, florals, check, lace up detailing, check. Even the midi length, which usually I am not too keen on, I like in this dress. So when Fathers day rolled around and we went off to spend the day in the sun outside, I felt it was time to break this outfit out finally...

Dress - New Look
Earring - Bloody Mary Metal (similar)
Pink Necklace - Bloody Mary Metal (similar)
Black Necklace - Thomas Sabo (similar)

I'm so pleased with the necklace and earring I picked up in Bloody Mary Metal's Last Chance Saloon. The necklace gets so many compliments and I feel it's perfect with this dress, particularly when layered with the onyx pendant my friends bought me as a graduation present. I love the earring too - it stands out really well and I adore the asymmetric look.

Overall Father's day was a really fun day and I loved hanging out in the sun with my family. What started out as a grey, overcast but muggy day turned into a super sunny afternoon and I must say I'm nursing some sunburn now! Life lesson, SPF is needed at all times this time of year..! Find this outfit on Lookbook here...

What were your Fathers day plans? Have you been out catching the sun?