New Makeup Favourites

We are two months into 2018, and already the makeup game has started to change! New and amazing products are being released, new trends are being formed and new ideas are being made into reality more frequently than ever. Between the new trend of ‘mixing’ all of your products in a specific category together, to L’Oréal’s new string of amazing products, money cannot leave my bank account fast enough.

The drugstore has some hidden gems, and they have certainly upped their game with regards to the quality of products they are producing. I remember a few years ago struggling to get a foundation to match my pale skin, and now I actually have a choice as to which foundation I would like, and I no longer have to fork over a lot of money for some products, because I can get an even better product at an even better price in Boots!

My new makeup love is the Collection concealer in the shade 00. The only concealer that has ever been light enough for my skin tone in Boots is the NYX concealer, and in all honesty, I hate that concealer! The concealer that I have been using for the past while has been either the Tarte shape tape concealer, or the Doll 10 cream concealer. However, Collection has changed the game with this affordable, medium coverage matte concealer, and I couldn’t be happier!

The other product that has stolen my heart is the new range of L’Oréal primers which consist of an illuminating one, a pore filling one, a mattifying one, a colour correcting one and an anti-fatigue primer. These primers are unbelievable! I actually prefer the pore filling one to the Benefit porefessional primer, and the illuminating one exceeds all of my expectations.

L’Oréal have also launched a new Infallible line of multipurpose stick foundations that can be used for highlighting, blush, foundation and contouring. These foundations retail for £8.99 in Superdrug and they are fantastic! They have a pretty good range of shades with varying undertones, however, the jump between the lightest and the second lightest is pretty big. I am shade 100 and my contour shade is 200, so unfortunately, I cannot buy a lighter to shade to highlight with. However, they do have shimmer shades for strobing, and they also have blusher shades.

Other product recommendations that I have include the new Makeup Revolution Re-loaded palette range, especially the Loaded Newtrals 2 palette! There are fifteen warm neutral eyeshadow shades of amazing quality, and all of it is only £4. There is one shade that isn’t the best (the burnt orange shade), but the rest are absolutely amazing, especially for the price point.

If you guys have any product recommendations that you want me to try or test, please let me know on my social media accounts, and I will happily put the product to the test!

Recent Posts

Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

12 Feb 2018

Five Makeup Application Tips

8 Feb 2018

Bucket List Ideas

30 Jan 2018

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Valentines Day Date Ideas

Valentine’s day is quickly approaching and love is in the air. Valentine’s day can be a wonderful day for some, or an awful day for others. It can remind you that you’re unhappy in a relationship, that you’re gloriously happy being alone, or that you’re somewhere in-between those two options. Nevertheless, there are many ways to celebrate the day of love, whether you are with someone or not!

I will never forget my first valentine’s day and how much of a train-wreck it was! The day was filled with unrealistic expectations, and ultimately ended up being disappointing and resulting in a fight… not exactly very romantic.

I don’t think you should need a holiday to tell someone how you feel, and you shouldn’t limit those displays to only once a year! It doesn’t matter if you are celebrating valentine’s day with the love of your life, or with your friends, or even by yourself… Everyone deserves to be shown a little love every day.

So, here is my list of five wonderful ways to spend valentine’s day. These things can be done alone if you are interested in a day of self-love, they can be done with a ‘special’ friend if you’re feeling romantic, or they can be done with your friends!

1. Cook a wonderful dinner, light some candles, and watch a movie.

Going out to eat can be more of a hassle than what it’s worth, especially when you can easily spend a fortune on something that isn’t worth it! I think that a proper home cooked meal, a gin and tonic, and a good movie can be more fun and budget friendly!

Some grocery stores offer ‘meal deals’ such as the dine in for two deals, and they often come with a bottle of wine. I have heard wonderful things about the Marks and Spencer’s deal, however, if nothing on the menu tickles your taste buds you can get a large pizza, dough balls, wine and a dessert for under £20.

However, if cooking is something you love some good recipe ideas are a wonderful creamy carbonara, a hearty meatloaf, or maybe a delicious steak. With this idea you have a lot of freedom and choice. You can eat what you want, drink what you’d like and watch whatever movie tickles your fancy, whether it’s Fifty Shades Freed, Funny Face or a good old action movie… the choices are endless!

2. Cabaret?

Going to the cabaret is one of my favourite things to do in Belfast! The performers are unbelievably talented, the staff are really kind, and there are guaranteed laughs all around. You can have a three-course meal and some wonderful drinks, or you could just go for the show, it’s completely up to you! I think that this is a wonderful and fun way to spend your night, whether you are with your best friends or a loved one.

3. Game night

You can do this with a few other couples, or with a large group of friends. Crack out a few board games, a few bottles of wine, order in some pizza and have a ball… Nothing is better than drunk monopoly! The best thing about this idea is that the more ‘traditional’ valentine’s day dates can be stressful and make you feel a bit pressurised. That’s why I love this idea, because it is relaxing and fun. You don’t have to worry about following a dress code or making sure your makeup is perfect. Instead you can spend the night having fun and laughing with your loved ones.

4. Fancy dinner and drinks

It wouldn’t be a list involving Valentine’s Day if there wasn’t a suggestion for a fancy and romantic dinner. However, rather than doing something plain and predictable, make the night fun, make it a night to remember.

You could start at a nice bar for a quick cocktail in somewhere like Muriel’s, and then you could walk to somewhere wonderful and exiting for dinner such as Bertz Jazz Bar, 2 Taps, or maybe even Ginger! Afterwards you could go dancing in Revolution de Cuba, or maybe end up at a nightclub such as Ollies or Limelight if you’re feeling like a good boogie!

Going from place to place can make the night more fun, and doing it with the person/people that mean a lot to you can make the night even better!

5. Recreate your first date/first time you met

This is possibly one of the most simplistic ideas, but it could easily be one of the most romantic. Doing this shows your loved one that not only do you remember that day, but that you treasure it and everything since then.

6. Ice Skating

Ice Skating isn’t the safest option, especially when you are as unbalanced and accident prone as I am, but it could be a very fun option. You could skate around the rink romantically holding hands, or just holding on for fear of dying! You could race around the rink, or just glide around it while watching everyone else fall, and afterwards you could go and play some mini-golf, or maybe you could go for dinner!

For me, days like Valentine’s Day are more about spending quality time with someone than spending a lot of money.  I personally don’t believe in large and lavish gifts, as nice as they may be.  I would prefer to spend my time and money with someone rather than on something… I would rather spend my money on a wonderful memory than a material object.

I hope that you enjoyed this post, and I hope that you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Makeup Application Tips

Nothing is worse than a cakey, patchy and messy makeup look, especially when you spend so much time trying to make sure that everything is absolutely perfect! One thing that I have learnt is that more often than not, the mistakes aren’t massive and glaring, and instead it is often tiny blunders that have the largest effect on the final product!

1. Are your brushes clean?

I never used to think very much about cleaning my brushes, and if I am honest, I used to only clean them once a month! However, what I didn’t realise is how much product, dead skin, and general dust and debris gets held within the brush! My makeup always applies much better when I use clean equipment, and this is only something that I have learnt since starting my makeup artistry course.

2. Are you exfoliating?

I have briefly talked about exfoliation on my blog before, but I cannot stress how beneficial it is for your skin! My Clarisonic recently broke and I had to wait a few weeks until I could replace it, and the difference in the appearance in my skin and makeup was unbelievable. My makeup began to look cakey and patchy, and I had to put a lot more effort into getting a perfect looking complexion. Tools such as Clarisonics are expensive, and so another item that I love is the L’Oréal Pro glow exfoliation scrub.

3. Primer

Primer is an often-skipped step in everyone’s makeup routine, especially if you don’t have enough time. I like to think of primer as a base. It perfects everything underneath so that everything on top sits perfectly.  You don’t want to spend all of that time and effort on makeup if you haven’t got the perfect base!

4. How old is your beauty sponge?

A beauty sponge is an absolute must for me! I doubt I would be able to do my makeup if I didn’t have one on hand. It helps to perfectly distribute the product across my face, blend everything seamlessly and soak up any extra product. However, I have noticed that the older the blender, and the more foundation that has gradually accumulated in it, the cakier my foundation looks. Now, it is obviously going to be a very expensive if you buy a new sponge for each application, so I recommend that you clean your sponge after each and every application, so that you can get as much use of the sponge as possible! My favourite sponge is the Real Techniques sponge.

5. Oil

I have always been very apprehensive about adding oil into my beauty routine. My skin type is combination, and so I notice that I can get very oily in my t-zone and on my chin. I used to associate oil with being oily, however, that is not always the case! My favourite oil is the Bleach London Galixir. Rather than just being an oil, it has luminous particles within the oil which helps to give your skin a luminous and dewy look!  I like to mix this oil into my foundation, and sometimes I will add a little to the top of my cheekbones when I want a more natural highlight.

Bucket List Ideas

Everyone has a bucket list, or at least everyone has a few things that they’d like to do before they die! There are so many wonderful places and things to do in life, and it is my intention to try and experience as much as I can while I am able to.

I wrote my first bucket list when I was about ten years old, and as you could expect, the entries were along the lines of getting the new Bratz doll, becoming a famous actress and going to the moon. As I have gotten a little older, I think that it is safe to say that my tastes have changed!

So here are a few entries from my current bucket list!

· Go to Fiji

Fiji is one of those magical places that I have always seen on Instagram. The crystal-clear water, the white sandy beaches and the endless supply of gorgeous food and natural wonders makes Fiji an absolute dream!

· Drive the great ocean road

The great ocean road is a 243km road and a recognised tourist destination in Australia. Along the road there are various attractions, places to eat and experiences to enjoy, as well as the stunning views over the ocean. To some this may seem like a relatively boring experience, but I think that there is something relaxing about just driving, looking at the views and stopping at the coastal towns and experiencing what they have to offer.

· Get over my fear of deep water

I don’t know whether it is a fear of the unknown, a fear of drowning, or a fear of both, but I cannot get into deep water without freaking out! I would really like to tackle my fear and then maybe go snorkelling, swimming with dolphins or just be able to get into a swimming pool!

· Be an extra

Maybe this is playing into my fantasy of becoming a famous actress, which is extremely unrealistic, but I would love to be an extra on TV.

· Learn a new language

Speaking a foreign language is something that I have always wanted to do! I currently speak Spanish relatively well, but I’ve always wanted to learn Japanese and French! So, it is on my bucket list to learn how to speak Spanish and another language. I think that it is a wonderful and very useful skill, as well as a way to enjoy and immerse yourself in other cultures!

· Become a morning person

There is something about getting up in the morning that immediately puts me in a bad mood. Whether it is the lack of sleep, the amount of light, or the realisation that there aren’t enough hours in the day, but regardless, I hate mornings. I would love to condition my body to be able to get up in the morning and be productive!

So, there are a few of my bucket list ideas! I know that they aren’t terribly exciting, but I think that the smallest win can be the biggest achievement.

10 Ways To Relax

Coming out of the winter months and heading towards the summer should be an exciting time. However, for many students this is the most daunting time of the year. Exams are getting close, tensions are getting high, and stress levels are increasing.

Stress has an awful effect on your body! It causes insomnia, weight gain or weight loss, heartburn, high blood pressure and depression, and the worst thing about stress is that you cannot control it. However, what you can do is try to minimise how much you are affected by stress.

So here are the things that I do to battle stress!

1. Take a long hot bath

Nothing is more relaxing than a long hot bath! Put on some music or your favourite TV show, sink into the warm water and let your muscles and your mind unwind.

2. Read a book

Reading is such a wonderful thing because it lets your imagination take control. It allows you to forget about what’s going on in your life while you focus on something else. Sometimes this is exactly what we need… an escape.

3. Eat right

When you are stressed and under pressure, eating right is the last thing that you want to do. However, it is at these times when it is most important! Eating sugary food causes mood swings and weight gain, and that isn’t going to help your stress levels. Properly fuelling your body will help you feel right from the inside out.

4. Yoga

Sometimes I don’t realise how much I hold my breath or how quickly I breathe because I’m too stressed out. Yoga really helps you tune out to the world, and it allows you to focus on breathing and stretching, which can be really therapeutic at times. A yoga app that I really enjoy is Yoga Studio: Mind and Body. You can do fifteen, half hour and hour sessions, and you feel so unbelievably relaxed afterwards.

5. Sleep

I love my sleep, I really love my sleep. I feel absolutely lost if I don’t have at least seven hours of sleep per night. Sleep deprivation causes your attention span to decrease, you become less creative, your immune system becomes less efficient, your mood decreases and your memory decreases.

Getting a good night sleep helps your body to clear toxins, and means that you wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day. What could be less stressful than that?

If you are interested, here is a link to a wonderful video explaining how dangerous sleep deprivation can be. http://uk.businessinsider.com/what-happens-when-you-dont-get-enough-sleep-2017-12?r=US&IR=T

6. Get some space

Sometimes they key to relaxation is taking either your body or your mind out of the situation. Taking a few moments for yourself during a stressful time can provide you with the clarity you need to complete the task, which is why I recommend an app called Headspace. This app helps you meditate for a short period of time every day, and I have found that I feel much more relaxed and ready for life after a few minutes of meditation.

7. Follow a passion

When you spend your days following your head, sometimes it is nice to follow your heart. Taking some time every once in a while, to follow a passion whether it’s cycling, makeup, running or knitting can have a positive effect on your mood. You are worth some ‘me’ time.

8. Smell

Aromatherapy is a tried and true way to reduce stress levels. It involves essential oils being aromatically inhaled, causing mood changes. The best oils and scents for stress relief are lavender, bergamot and lemon oil!

Aromatherapy has also been proven to help treat depression and headaches.

9. Music

Music has a wonderful ability to influence our emotions, and sometimes when I’m stressed I will play a specially made ‘Stress Playlist’ to allow me to relax. My favourite band to listen to when I need to relax is Oh Wonder, they are a phenomenal band and their music is really unique.

10.  A cup of tea

Maybe it’s just me, but tea can solve almost any problem! It doesn’t matter what the problem is… if you’re tired you can drink camomile, if you want to cleanse your body you can drink peppermint etc. In fact, drinking black tea has been proven to reduce the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in your body.

My Skincare Tips

A few years ago, clear skin was something that I used to dream about. The idea of having a blemish free complexion was a fairy tale, and it didn’t seem to matter how hard I tried, but my skin was a mess.

However, through my expensive skincare journey I managed to learn a few secrets that have allowed me to enjoy clear and blemish free skin.

1. Water, water, water…

I have only realised recently just how naive I can be with the amount of water that I usually drink on a daily basis. In my mind, I usually drink about two litres of water a day, however, in reality I am barely drinking a litre. It has only been since I have started drinking out of proper water bottles that I have realised just how dehydrated I am, which means that my skin is also dehydrated!

I used to have the most awful under eye wrinkles, bags and dark circles. It didn’t seem to matter how many treatments, creams or concealers that I used, those issues never got much better. However, when I upped my water intake I looked about five years younger in my under-eye area!

Here are some benefits of water:

· Water cleanses the body by removing toxins from it

· Water maintains the skins moisture and delivers nutrients to the skin

· Keeping hydrated causes the skin cells to pump, and can prevent the development of wrinkles.

2. Moisturiser is amazing

I used to be afraid to use too much moisturiser in case it made me breakout. The truth is that as long as you are keeping your skin clean, and you are using the right moisturiser for your skin type, you shouldn’t break out.

I use a heavier moisturiser at night and a lighter gel moisturiser during the day, and as well as applying the moisturiser on my skin, I also apply it to my neck.

Keeping hydrated moisturised your body from the inside out, and moisturiser helps from the outside inwards.

3. Salicylic Acid can be dangerous when not used correctly.

A few years back I didn’t understand the concept of people having different skin types, and I assumed that I should be applying spot fighting treatments all over my face to prevent spots. However, what I didn’t consider was my skin type, and the fact that I didn’t have spots all over my face!

I have combination skin, and the places that I have breakouts are my chin and the sides of my nose. Salicylic acid is used to fight acne by killing bacteria and encouraging exfoliation.

This is where my issue arose.

Salicylic acid can be very irritating to people’s skin, especially when used too frequently or in too high a concentration. My skin is generally very sensitive, and so the salicylic acid, whilst killing some spots, caused my skin to break down and become dry. This then caused my skin to fight back and produce excess oil to battel the dryness, which ultimately resulted in more spots.

My point is that it is vital that you know what your skin type is, and then use products that will work for you. My skin was too sensitive to use that product, but someone with serious acne and oily skin may think it’s a lifesaver!

4. Exfoliation

Previously my routine was to apply makeup, baby wipe it off, and then apply more makeup. One of the many issues with that routine is that I was continually applying makeup onto layers of dead skin, which resulted in cakey and patchy looking makeup.

I use my Clarisonic every day when I am frequently wearing makeup, or every other day when I am not. This removes the dead skin, revealing the supple and soft skin underneath, resulting in a glowing complexion.

Exfoliation also helps to keep your skin clear and prevents breakouts!

10 Things I Have Learnt In 2017

2017 was a bit of a turbulent year for me for various personal reasons… my health had deteriorated, my boyfriend broke up with me, and I had ended up entering an unhealthy way of life. However, despite how absolutely crap this year has been, I have learnt so many important life lessons, and I wanted to share them with you.

1. Not everyone is going to like me, and that’s okay

Before, if someone didn’t like me I felt this strong urge to try and please them, and this often led to me over-stretching myself, or me becoming someone I wasn’t.

There are over 7 billion people on this planet, and it’s okay if some of them don’t like me.

2. I don’t have to hate people who I don’t like

It’s a natural thing for us to have negative emotions to people we don’t like, but I have realised that it is such a drain on my energy and positivity. Of course, there are some people that I don’t like for various reasons, but I have learnt that there is no need to hate someone that you simply just don’t get on with.

3. Stop getting upset at stuff you can’t control

Sure, I missed the train and that’s really annoying, but there is no need to let that small detail ruin the rest of my day, and possibly ruin other people’s days. There are so many things in life we can’t control, but we can control how we react to those things, and you can choose to react positively and you can choose to move on.

4. Perspective is a wonderful thing

Do you ever look back at a situation and realise that you have the same number of IQ points as a tuna toastie? There have been so many times that I have cringed a ridiculous amount at something I’ve said, and then I have dwelled on it and ended up creating an even more awkward situation. I have learnt to just accept what happened and move on, and it has made such a difference to my attitude towards things.

5. I do not need someone to make me feel valued

I used to feel so self-conscious when I was alone in public, and I never would have had coffee or lunch alone. However, recently I have learnt the joy in taking a few hours to myself and relaxing. I used to feel like if I didn’t have someone then no-one wanted me, but that is not true. It’s okay to need some space and perspective, and it’s okay to like it.

6. I do not have to prove anything to anyone

I do not have to buy my coffee on a date to prove that I can, and It’s okay to accept a little help from people. I used to think that accepting help made me weak, and that I had to prove my strength by never showing weakness. However, I have recently realised how exhausting that is! It is okay to let someone buy you coffee, or to let someone give you their jacket, or to let someone help you. In fact, I have learnt that life is a little less lonely when you accept help.

7. Love and lust are completely different things

Love is an intense feeling of affection. Love is feeling completely safe and content in the arms of someone. Love is dropping everything for someone. Love is when the most difficult things become easy when they’re involved.

Lust is desire fuelled by passion, and while it’s okay to be in love with someone and to be in lust with them at the same time, I have learnt that it’s not as good to just be in lust with someone.

8. Eat that cupcake

As someone who has struggled with my weight and my body image, I have learnt that size doesn’t matter, and it is what’s inside that really counts. I have learnt that letting go of control is a relief, and that having all of that control just adds more pressure.

9. Stand up for yourself

After years of being bullied, tormented and put down, I have finally found my voice, and I have never felt more empowered than what I do now. I have learnt that it’s okay to say no, that it’s okay to defend yourself, and it’s okay to have an opinion. This is a lesson I probably should have learnt when I was younger, and unfortunately, I never did… better late than never!

10. Never be embarrassed about having a passion

I used to be so ashamed, embarrassed and afraid of being bullied that I never followed my passions. I never started that Youtube channel because I was too afraid of being teased. I never dressed the way I wanted to because I didn’t want to draw attention towards myself, and I never wore my makeup the way I wanted to in case I looked out of place.

I spent so much time trying to fit in, trying to be the same due to a fear of being noticed and teased. I did this to protect myself, but instead, I ended up losing myself.

Now, I wear what I want no matter where I am going, and I don’t care if I’m overdressed or underdressed. I wear my makeup the way I want to, and I don’t do it to look good for someone, I do it because I feel beautiful.

2017 has been the worst year of my life, but I have found my voice and myself. I am so grateful for everyone that made my life hell, because they are the people who have made me as strong, as empowered and as carefree as I am now.